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"Pathfinderized" d20 Modern Age of Worms


Age of Worms Adventure Path


I started my second run of AoW two weekends ago. This time I've put a different spin on it by setting it in a d20 Modern Supernatural/Dresden Files world. I'm trying to boil down each adventure to some key scenes that would fit into an amalgam of the two settings. I'm only allowing humans to start, though other templates such as vampire and werewolf may be available later on depending on the course of the game. I'm using the Pathfinder skill system and feat progression. To spice up some of the classes, I'm also allowing the incorporation of certain class abilities. For example, the Mage will get the Wizard's class abilities as well as the ability to specialize which replaces the Mage's class abilities. I'm using hp/wound points to allow for quicker healing. Divine classes with healing spells will not be allowed as I am trying to keep to the grittier feel of Supernatural as much as possible.

The characters (all human) are: Daniel Riverbend - Dedicated 3/Shadow Hunter 1; Leon Cooper - Fast 3/Gunslinger 1; and my GMPC Nicodemus - Smart 3/Mage 1 (Evoker). After some background discussion and much hilarity during the car ride, the trio of hunters made their way to Diamond Lake, New Jersey with plans to investigate reports of a haunted iron mine. I've decided to cut the entire "Whispering Cairn" dungeon crawl and focus on the characters dealing with a ghost, the old farmhouse, a possible bar fight, and the creepy, early 1900s observatory on the hill.


This sounds completely, utterly, mindblowingly awesome!!

Andoran

If you ever run this as a PBP here on the boards, I'll be signing up.


I agree, and I dont even have any idea how to play by post.


Here are d20 Modern versions of some of the key denizens of Diamond Lake that should be encountered during the first adventure "The Whispering Mine." Most of the conversions use the Urban Arcana "port-over" technique of multi-classing 3 levels of an appropriate base class (Strong, Fast, Etc.) with levels in a class that closely approximates the D&D class listed in the module. I use classes from d20 Modern, d20 Past, Urban Arcana, and the Polyhedron Magazine Dark Matter supplement.

Allustan - Allen Neff; Smart 3/Mage 6(Universalist)/Antiquarian 2 (town historian and head librarian)
Balabar Smenk - Bartholomew "Black Bart" Swank; Smart 3/Tough 2/Gangster 5 (recently purchased the "Whispering Mine," corrupt employer)
Kullen - Collin Fitzpatrick; Tough 3/Thrasher 3 (former MMA fighter)
Todrik - Ted Ericksen; Strong 3/Soldier 2 (thug, discharged Army infantryman)
Merovinn Bask - Marvin Baskin; Charismatic 3/Telepath 2 (Swank's interrogator; hides his gift behind a facade of deductive reasoning)
Filge - Jacob Filge; Smart 3/Field Scientist 1/Mage(Necromancer) 2 (Swank's occult expert; outcast in hiding from the White Council)

My intent is not to focus too much on getting to know the citizens of Diamond Lake too well as the hunters are new in town and are on a job. I did not feel converting all the NPCs was worth the effort and will stick to the action/investigation scenes as much as possible as befits a Supernatural and Dresden Files story. More to come.

Andoran

I began a conversion of Age of Worms to d20 Modern for use in a Call of Cthulhu style game (using d20 Modern not CoC d20 due to power differences). However I stopped the conversion and didn't run the game when I grew concerned about the discrepancies between the power levels of high level characters in D&D and d20 Modern. The final battle with Kyuss will have characters around 22nd level and the amount of destructive combat capability that D&D characters can bring to bear is outstanding compared to what d20 Modern characters can achieve.

My initial thoughts were that it would be a simple conversion of some setting flavor and whatnot but I could still keep all the cool monsters and such that make Age of Worms so badass. However, I soon realized that d20 Modern characters can't pull off the same things that D&D characters can and once they move into high-levels they don't really stand a chance.

I wish you the best of luck and I'm interested to see how your conversion goes and how Pathfinder might make it different. It's a great campaign, as you know.


Its been a while since my last post, and in that time my players have finished "The Whispering Mine." The hunters questioned folks around town such as Bartholomew Swank (Balabar Smenk), Ted Ericksen (Todrick), and Ted's girlfriend. They drove to the recently reopened mine to poke around. The Fast/Gunslinger was possessed by the ghost haunting the place, and his body was held hostage while he told the others where to find his bones so he could be laid to rest. Upon finding his family's farm, they found graves dug up and were asked by the ghost, somewhat forcefully, to find the rest of his family and lay them to rest as well. They avoided a fight with a mother cougar living in the farmhouse ruins and also found, near a set of SUV tire tracks, a dropped cell phone with older pictures of an albino cage fighter holding a title belt. They tracked Collin (Kullen) to the Mineshaft (Feral Dog) and after the Fast/Gunslinger and Dedicated/Shadow Hunter (barely) beat him in a two-match, bare-knuckle fight (think Snatch or Fight Club), he offered up the location where he and his men took the Land family's bones. The intrepid hunters managed to infiltrate the old observatory on a hill outside of Diamond Lake. Though seriously creeped-out by the zombie dinner party (reminiscent of the cadaver birthday party in the Supernatural Episode "Ghostfacers") they took the fight to Jacob Filge in his lab. They fought off his skeleton servant (a Land family member), a burning skeleton, and two plague zombies. The hunters beat down Filge and made an anonymous report to the sheriff's office of numerous dead bodies at the observatory and one goth nutcase doing "inappropriate" things with them. Next up: The Three Faces of Evil, where a cult made up of followers of Kali, Set, and Samhain are preparing to unleash their Overgod, a supercharged tulpa, on the unsuspecting denizens of Diamond Lake.

Andoran

Sounds awesome so far. :D


So, just a quick update as I plan out Three Faces of Evil. I have decided to change the gods that the Ebon Triad are trying to bring together from Kali, Set, and Samhain to Surtur, Loki, and Hel. I think having the Triad be heretics who worship deities from the same pantheon makes more sense (or relative sense, for urban fantasy anyway) than worshipers from three very different religions. I was thinking that the tulpa they create will have midnight-black skin cracked with inner fire like magma (Surtur), and half of its face will be stunningly handsome while the other half will be rotting (Hel). I'm not sure what kind of feature to add to represent Loki's part of the Triad. I drew inspiration from the D&D 3.0 Deities and Demigods sourcebook, but Loki just appears as a weasely-looking human. His symbol is fire, so I thought maybe the tulpa's hair could look like living purple-black flame. Any ideas from anyone out in message board land?

Andoran

Loki was a trickster, who utilized shape-changing to a large degree. Have the beast change its body form constantly (a horse, a snake, a wolf, etc) while maintaining the skin and facial structure you've described.

In terms of power, have its slam attack warp the flesh and cause insanity, confusion, and/or rage.


Cuchulainn wrote:

Loki was a trickster, who utilized shape-changing to a large degree. Have the beast change its body form constantly (a horse, a snake, a wolf, etc) while maintaining the skin and facial structure you've described.

In terms of power, have its slam attack warp the flesh and cause insanity, confusion, and/or rage.

Oooh, I like it! Very cool! I'll start with the rogue tulpa from the d20 Menace Manual and every couple of rounds change its form. Loki's children are Fenrir the wolf and Jormungandr the world serpent so I could have it take the form of a direwolf and a large fiendish snake. Its eyes in every form will be fiery, in keeping with Loki's symbol which is flame. I'll post an update when I modify the rogue tulpa with the new shape-changing special ability and decide what to do about its other special abilities/qualities. Thanks for the suggestion!


As an experiment, I am going to try running the next session of my Supernatural/Dresden Files mash-up of Age of Worms using the Dresden Files RPG. I just started reading the rules, so it will be a while. I will post now and then to let those who are interested know how its going.


I am seriously considering Age of Worms when I finish Shackled City and the Ashardalon Series.

Any chance you have your complete work all typed up and pdf'ed to give to anyone with an e-mail address????


KenderKin wrote:

I am seriously considering Age of Worms when I finish Shackled City and the Ashardalon Series.

Any chance you have your complete work all typed up and pdf'ed to give to anyone with an e-mail address????

Unfortunately, no. My two cousins I run for who live out of town only make it to my place two or three times a year. It took a year and a half to run The Whispering Cairn (Whispering Mine) in this wacky conversion, which amounted to about 4 sessions, roughly 6-8 hours each. "Complete work" amounts to some character sheets of NPCs, and rough notes that include changes to locations around Diamond Lake as well as the aforementioned Mine that took the place of the entire Cairn dungeon which I left out. The main dungeon of the adventure was the observatory.

Before deciding to use DFRPG rules, I toyed with the idea of adjusting the power level and retooling how I used the Modern rules. Basically I would just get rid of pre-requisites for Advanced classes and let them be accessible at 1st level. That way a wizard could be a wizard from the get-go, for example, and I wouldn't have to increase the NPC levels and encounter difficulties to account for the 3 extra base-class levels. After I become more acclimated to the DFRPG rules, I will go about trying to modify The Three Faces of Evil to fit the feel of the new system. Who knows? It may tank, and I may just go back to what I was doing before. It just didn't feel right as I had it, the more I read Dresden and watched Supernatural episodes.

Andoran

I successfully ran the first few chapters of Age of Worms converted over to World of Darkness. We stopped the game to play Wrath of the Righteous but will likely be returning to it.

I used a lot of my above mentioned d20 Modern conversion ideas but completely switched over the rules system. Working with a different rules set made the power scaling easier since I could balance things based on the current power level of the characters.


Joshua Goudreau wrote:

I successfully ran the first few chapters of Age of Worms converted over to World of Darkness. We stopped the game to play Wrath of the Righteous but will likely be returning to it.

I used a lot of my above mentioned d20 Modern conversion ideas but completely switched over the rules system. Working with a different rules set made the power scaling easier since I could balance things based on the current power level of the characters.

I'm glad you found a system that worked for you. The Age of Worms was my first "1st to 20th level" campaign, and it was really fun to run. I think I have been saturated by d20 over the years, and need to give my brain something else to think about, gaming wise, so that's why I think the DFRPG will fit the bill. A friend in my gaming group is running a now-and-then new WoD game and it has been pretty fun. I considered switching over to that for a minute or two, but decided to go all-out and learn a completely new system. Its slow-going trying to wrap my head around the Fate rules but they seem super fun. I will first try to build a trial game set in the town I live in, based on my cousin's recommendation. If that is successful, I will dive into Age of Worms.


This kicks so many levels of ass. Good luck!

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