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cplmac
01-23-2008, 07:10 PM
Hello everyone. I was just wondering if any of the DM's out there have ever reused an adventure in a newer version? An example would be like using a AD&D 2nd Edition module but played it in the 3.5 setting and rules.

If you have done this, was it hard to do? Also, how many times have you done this since I have seen some folks on here started at the very begining and have been going through many version changes.

Your experience would be greatly appreciated, I have alot of 2E stuff that I would like to use with the 4E version, if it will work. This way I only have to start out by getting the core books to start a new group.

rabkala
01-23-2008, 07:47 PM
I have done it many times. From basic, expert, 1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5e and even many other game systems. Other systems I just use the core ideas, maps, descriptions, etc. unless I can find a good basis of comparison. I generally never use a written module/adventure as is. I've run some expert set modules in 3.5e for young guys who weren't born when they were written, and they raved about how great they were.

I don't find it difficult, but I wouldn't do it without an intimate knowledge of the rules. Things generally do not convert evenly. You can't just assume that throwing 4e characters against the same monster as a 1e character could face will work. Some things get more powerful, while others get less powerful. Unless you are just using the 'fluff' as a platform to build on, it can be difficult to get things balanced perfectly.

That's about the best to tell you until 4e comes out and I can see the rules a bit.

RealmsDM
01-23-2008, 08:02 PM
done it a lot... its fun, especially if you played or ran the older module in question.
my advice would be not to try to literally convert things over to the new format, the game versions do not sync well as rabkala has said. just try to keep the feel there. add a little here & there, but dont be afraid to edit a bit too.

the most enjoyable conversion for me was taking the Isle of Dread expert module & making in 2e compatible. the one that was the most work was taking Return to the Tomb of Horrors campaign module & making it 3.5

Drohem
01-23-2008, 09:48 PM
I've run Castle Amber in every incarnation of D&D/AD&D! I just love that wacky module.

Mulsiphix
01-24-2008, 12:00 AM
While I have not done this myself I've been looking into rule system conversions quite a bit lately as I'm interested in running Ptolus under GURPS. Generally speaking actual conversion usually doesn't work, even between different edition for the same game system. While you can generally convert something it is impossible for the end product to be as balanced as the original. In fact direct conversions can create horrible balancing issues that ruin the entire campaign. Unfortunately conversions are generally a lot of trial and error until you find a balance that you can enjoy. Even most crunch-light conversions usually take a good amount of time to accomplish though.

RealmsDM how long did it take you to convert Return ot the Tome of Horrors?

gdmcbride
01-24-2008, 03:49 AM
Good ideas remain good ideas regardless of edition. I own every issue of Dungeon magazine and find it an invaluable resource regardless of the version of D&D or even system I'm running.

Gary

Mason2501
01-24-2008, 09:39 AM
Now I done games in Torg, Cyberpunk, Traveler, Heroes, World of Darkness, Deadlands, Battletech.

New versions do require work. Seldom does it just convert.

I've gamed through basic, 1st, 2nd, 3.0, 3.5. D&D
The first real D&D game I played in was B2 Keep on the Borderlands.
Memories of that first adventure were good.
So in many games I've DMed I found ways to bring some of that in.
A good story can be reused. As a DM figuring out how to make it work is all part of the fun.

Going from basic to 1st wasn't too hard.
Just swapping monsters and rewriting a few NPCs.
2nd was really easy. Few upgrades here and there.
2.5 Ok had to rethink kits and skills.
3.0 Now here where it took a ton of work.
Total rewrites, swapping out monsters, switching magic items.
3.5 Not so bad, as most of the work was done in prior version.
Things like HeroForge, Redblade, PCgen, made rewriting characters easy.

Personally I think D&D 4.0 will be a huge switch. Just like 2nd to 3.0 was.
Until we get the core two books(PHB&DMG) we have to wait a see.
With online game tools, that switch might not be so overwhelming.

All the old books and adventures will still be highly useful.
No there won't be an easy conversion. If there is it will have balance issues.

You as DM hold all the power. How much time you spend preparing or how well you think on your feet really is what matters. You steer the game the way you wish it.

Drohem
01-24-2008, 11:37 AM
Also, you have to have the mindset that a direct coversion is not feasible. You just need to convert enough to keep the theme or spirit of the original concept. Magic items and spells don't need to be exactly the same, but close approximations.

Mulsiphix
01-24-2008, 01:04 PM
Also, you have to have the mindset that a direct coversion is not feasible. You just need to convert enough to keep the theme or spirit of the original concept. Magic items and spells don't need to be exactly the same, but close approximations.The biggest problem is drawing the line between "generalizing" converted items, monsters, concepts, etc... and actually choosing something that really feels like the original. Much is left open to personal interpretation and I think anybody sitting at the table, who has a knowledge of the original product, will have their own ideas of what a proper conversion is. Point in case, convert something really old or unpopular :p

InfoStorm
01-24-2008, 01:39 PM
I've converted manu modules from Basic to 3rd Ed, and it does take some work. I basically used the map and plot line, and then changed creatures as appropriate. I was lucky that in many of the modules, I was able to use the same creatures, just replaced with the new rules versions. Many things had to be edited, like replacing a red dragon at the end with something they actually have a chance against, but still in the idea.

tesral
01-24-2008, 02:25 PM
Ideas are where you find them. I have never run an adventure out of the box. Even when I do use a module I change things to fit my setting. So I am always rewriting something.

Drohem
01-24-2008, 03:08 PM
The biggest problem is drawing the line between "generalizing" converted items, monsters, concepts, etc... and actually choosing something that really feels like the original. Much is left open to personal interpretation and I think anybody sitting at the table, who has a knowledge of the original product, will have their own ideas of what a proper conversion is. Point in case, convert something really old or unpopular :p

No, not really. You can convert something and maintain the original flavor even though the minutia doesn't match exactly.

RealmsDM
01-24-2008, 07:28 PM
RealmsDM how long did it take you to convert Return ot the Tome of Horrors?

Wow.... I had a lot more free time a few years back, so I had stints where I would get inspired or in the zone & crack out a all nighter. Even with those crazy nights, it took me 2 months of piece by piece rewrites.

Some creatures/encounters had no 3e stats, so that took time. Some trap tweaking to take into account feats such as evasion, new rogue trapfinding skills, and a revamp of saves in general. It was grueling at times, but it was a labor of love.

Mulsiphix
01-24-2008, 09:38 PM
No, not really. You can convert something and maintain the original flavor even though the minutia doesn't match exactly.Unfortunately I don't really understand how that is possible. There aren't really a lot of examples to learn from. Most conversions I find are formula heavy and since I don't know/understand the original formula the conversion makes no sense :(

rabkala
01-24-2008, 09:47 PM
Imagine you take the story of Superman, just change the names of his parents and a few random things. Does it suddenly lose anything or drastically change the feel because his father was named 'Mulsiphix'? While the crunchy bits have changed a little, the sweet fluffy nougat center of the adventure is unchanged.

Mulsiphix
01-24-2008, 10:09 PM
I see the wisdom in your words and thank you for providing me with such insight. I have a follow up question for you rabkala. Do you think the same can be said when switching between game systems; D&D to GURPS for example. When the rules that define Supermans universe drastically change, capturing the essense of Superman becomes quite more difficult does it not?

rabkala
01-24-2008, 10:27 PM
If Superman still has flight, strength, cold breath, heat vision, etc., it maintains the feel. Now maybe Gurps says he travels at Mach 1 while D&D says he travels at Mach 2... Maybe Unisystem says he can lift the world while Mutants and Masterminds limits him to 5 billion pounds... Maybe one system calls him magic while another calls him psionic...

The puny actors in that world don't notice the small change in Supermans ability, they just love him because he is their good guy savior. ;)

Mulsiphix
01-24-2008, 10:32 PM
Well said ;). Thank you very much for shining light on the subject. It is moments like this, where my mind has been stressed over something and by talking to you great folks a weight is lifted, that I truly appreciate my fellow human beings :o

tesral
01-24-2008, 11:58 PM
Unfortunately I don't really understand how that is possible. There aren't really a lot of examples to learn from. Most conversions I find are formula heavy and since I don't know/understand the original formula the conversion makes no sense :(

To do a conversion it is ideal that you understand both the system converted from and the system converted to. You need to understand what the author intended so you can do it in the new rule set.

Fluff is systemless. That is the easy part.

cplmac
02-04-2008, 11:51 AM
Thank you everyone for your input. I have never discarded any of my AD&D stuff. Glad to hear that with some work, I will be able to use it with the 4e system. Obviously, I'll have some work ahead, since i will have to first read the books to learn the new system first. Being able to reuse previous adventure modules will help, since at first the cost of buying the new core books will use most of the gaming budget. Again, thanks to all who responded.

nijineko
02-09-2008, 12:41 PM
you mean that you actually play 3.0 and 3.5 modules? i use the old stuff and convert it up as i go... even the games i'm actively playing in are like that! return to the tomb of horrors (tsr1162), against the giants (GDQ1-7), and so forth.... and i find lots of inspiration in the old modules.

cplmac
02-09-2008, 09:44 PM
you mean that you actually play 3.0 and 3.5 modules? i use the old stuff and convert it up as i go... even the games i'm actively playing in are like that! return to the tomb of horrors (tsr1162), against the giants (GDQ1-7), and so forth.... and i find lots of inspiration in the old modules.

Everything that I currently have is AD&D (2e). I am curious to see the new 4e. It will be interesting to see all the changes.

I also have a very large module worked up and ready to go. I have it posted on the site.

nijineko
02-10-2008, 06:21 AM
the passing away of the great wheel, and the new cosmology is of great interest to me, personally.

Mulsiphix
02-10-2008, 11:12 AM
I think it is weird your so into D&D cplmac but you've never tried 3.X. Very cool your getting into 4E but 3.X seems to be the holy grail for so many old school D&D'ers.

tesral
02-10-2008, 11:04 PM
I think it is weird your so into D&D cplmac but you've never tried 3.X. Very cool your getting into 4E but 3.X seems to be the holy grail for so many old school D&D'ers.

Good cup, I wouldn't say holy grail.

nijineko
02-11-2008, 06:36 AM
decent cup, better than 3.0. not grail material, for sure.

Mulsiphix
02-11-2008, 11:39 AM
Chalice Of The Hour perhaps?

cplmac
02-11-2008, 11:55 AM
I think it is weird your so into D&D cplmac but you've never tried 3.X. Very cool your getting into 4E but 3.X seems to be the holy grail for so many old school D&D'ers.


When 3.0 came out, the people I was gaming with did not want to have to learn a new system. I didn't see any value to buy the new books then, since my group wanted to stay with 2e. Basically I did not want to spend the money on something that I wasn't going to be using.

Unfortunately, now I wish that I had got them anyway. It has been a couple of years since I last got to have a game going. I had thought I would get the 3.0 and 3.5 books to learn the system, but saw talk about 4e being developed. I firgured that I might as well just wait and get the 4e books and related items when they come available instead. This is why I asked if anyone had used modules from older systems using the newest system.

Mulsiphix
02-11-2008, 11:57 AM
Fair enough ;)