Which AP to convert to D&D 4E


4th Edition


Hi all. I'm disappointed in how things turned out between Paizo and WotC vis-a-vis D&D 4E. I would really liked to have seen a Paizo adventure path for 4E.

I'm pretty disappointed with WotC's new AP, Scales of War. I would like to try my hand at a 4E conversion. As the three Paizo APs all start from level 1, I only need to do the one conversion for now.

Shackled City
Age of Worms
Savage Tide

Which AP is the best according to you? In which one should I invest myself? I have heard great things about all of them. Of those who played them, which was your favourite experience.

Thanks.
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Dark Archive

isaacc wrote:

Hi all. I'm disappointed in how things turned out between Paizo and WotC vis-a-vis D&D 4E. I would really liked to have seen a Paizo adventure path for 4E.

I'm pretty disappointed with WotC's new AP, Scales of War. I would like to try my hand at a 4E conversion. As the three Paizo APs all start from level 1, I only need to do the one conversion for now.

Shackled City
Age of Worms
Savage Tide

Which AP is the best according to you? In which one should I invest myself? I have heard great things about all of them. Of those who played them, which was your favourite experience.

Thanks.
.

Out of the three dungeon APs I would recommend Savage Tide. The other APs are fine but Savage Tide has the most variety of adventures (urban, nautical, wilderness, dungeon, abyssal etc.) and has both pirates and dinosaurs! And of course the Isle of Dread.

If your group just likes the dungeon-crawling AoW might be the ticket. I read Shackled City as it came out in the mags and I wasn't too impressed.

Scarab Sages

I was thinking of converting AoW just for the hell of it, and it seems like it would work with 4e.

In the end I decided to convert the Savage Tide. We are just getting to Parrot Isle right now, and have been playing There is No Honour for 3 sessions now. Before that we did KotS, and I modified a storyline to work with ST.

It has been fairly easy to convert so far, and has been fun as hell to run!


I'd vote for Age of Worms. It is my personal favorite. Savage Tide would be my second choice.

When considering converting any of them to 4E, how far can they be taken in levels gained by characters? Do you think they can be stretched out to 30th-level, or close? Or, low to mid 20s?

Scarab Sages

I am hoping to have the Savage Tide stretched to about 27-28th level. I am thinking 1-3 levels per adventure, as my party started TiNH at about 3-4 level.

I would say AoW is my favourite AP, but I thought the STAP had more RP opportunities, which my group loves.

It has been fun so far, and look forward to continuing this AP.


Thanks for the input.

What about connections between the three. If I opt to convert Savage Tides, can I still go back and do Shackled City and/or Age of Worms at a later date? I have read that the three are only very loosely connected with at most a major NPC re-appearing. But, even that can be troublesome. If I think I might game more than one of them, then should I start with Shackled City.

Having said that, my question really only applies to out-of-game player knowledge. Because the APs are so long, each AP will certainly be played using different sets of characters (barring a massive redesign of an AP to make it suitable for levels 21-30).
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Hi, I know neither Age of Worms nor Savage Tide, but have experienced the Shackled City. It is very nicely done, detailed, and immersive. Plus you can easily re-use the abundant data on the city itself for your own scenarios. Cheers.


Your pretty much asking whether one loves Age of Worms or Savage Tide more. Past threads on this topic indicate that the community is pretty evenly split.

In theory their are some great threads on this very topic including the strengths and weaknesses of both APs.

However the search function at Paizo is basically broken so threads that vanish are more or less lost at the moment.

In theory one can use Google to search Paizo but in reality you'll get an error - probably mainly a security thing to keep people from going to secure parts of the site like the PDF downloads section.


I've converted a few adventures in the latter half of Age of Worms to 4E already. The plot is basically sustainable without modification, its the challenges that require conversion.

Liberty's Edge

Age of Worms.


Savage Tide really begs to be the kind of finale that takes place at level 30. So does Age of Worms.


isaacc wrote:
... barring a massive redesign of an AP to make it suitable for levels 21-30.

I guess the faster XP track in 4E has to be considered in the conversion, and there is room for conversions that stretch the Paizo Aps out to high 20s in level.

A poster a Wizards of the Coast's boards said something to that effect HERE.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I ran the Shackled City (from the HC) and it was a blast. Yes there were some flaws but it was the first AP. If you think you might run more than just 1 AP I would recommend running the three in order. I really liked the loose connections from campaign to campaign If your are only going to run one then I would recommend Savage Tide as they had two previous APs to learn from.


Greyson wrote:
isaacc wrote:
... barring a massive redesign of an AP to make it suitable for levels 21-30.

I guess the faster XP track in 4E has to be considered in the conversion, and there is room for conversions that stretch the Paizo Aps out to high 20s in level.

A poster a Wizards of the Coast's boards said something to that effect HERE.

There is no faster XP track in 4E at least not in regards to APs. Oh sure on the face of it it sure looks like 4E has you level up quicker - after all it pretty much says you go up a level after 8 encounters presuming you got a major quest reward in there and a couple of minor quest rewards. So thats faster then the 13.333 encounters one did in 3.5 - except that, by the latter stages of 3.5 no one was doing anything close to 13.333 encounters. Especially not in the APs. Count the number of encounters in the average AP, considering that most of them are designed to get you two levels there just are not that many encounters, maybe 15 or so per adventure on average - certianly no where near 27.

That might psoe something of an issue in 4E - in 3.5 they could kind of get around the problem because, by the end of 3.5, PCs were really, really, powerful. They could handle all these heavily beefed up encounters without to much difficulty. I doubt you can do that with 4E characters. There is no power creep - not yet anyway.

Bottom line is the players will probably stay at roughly the level the adventure is designed for in 3.5 during the play through. If there is a desire to take things into epic one probably needs to add extra encounters (or give out extra XP).


Oh and I vote for Age of Worms. Man that was a good AP, especially the stuff after Champions Belt.

I felt Age of Worms really built up to a stunning crescendo. Things just got uber cool when the PCs became gladiators and it mostly just got better and better from there. Kings of the Rift in particular stood out. The PCs searching for Dragotha's Phylactery in teruins of a Giants rift wall city while armies of Chromatic Dragons and Evil Giants do battle all around them is one of the most spectacular setting I've ever seen for an adventure. There are some weak points with Age of Worms, low points that are maybe lower then what took place in Savage Tide but the high notes are off the richter scale.

Savage Tide, IMO, kind of reached its apex to early. My favourite adventure from the series was Tides of Dread and I generally felt that it mostly went downhill after the left the Isle of Dread. Part of my problem is that the outer planar stuff did not really work much for me. If you send players top the Outer Planes make them travel by ways and means that really bespeak of being in an evil and bizarre local. Monte Cook's A Paladin in Hell did that effectively by having the players ship actually be a layer of the Abyss and players dived Stygia's frozen waters etc. Here most of the locals did not really seem very 'otherworldly' and the players zipped around the river Styx with little trouble.

Scarab Sages

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

Oh and I vote for Age of Worms. Man that was a good AP, especially the stuff after Champions Belt.

I felt Age of Worms really built up to a stunning crescendo. Things just got uber cool when the PCs became gladiators and it mostly just got better and better from there. Kings of the Rift in particular stood out. The PCs searching for Dragotha's Phylactery in teruins of a Giants rift wall city while armies of Chromatic Dragons and Evil Giants do battle all around them is one of the most spectacular setting I've ever seen for an adventure. There are some weak points with Age of Worms, low points that are maybe lower then what took place in Savage Tide but the high notes are off the richter scale.

Savage Tide, IMO, kind of reached its apex to early. My favourite adventure from the series was Tides of Dread and I generally felt that it mostly went downhill after the left the Isle of Dread. Part of my problem is that the outer planar stuff did not really work much for me. If you send players top the Outer Planes make them travel by ways and means that really bespeak of being in an evil and bizarre local. Monte Cook's A Paladin in Hell did that effectively by having the players ship actually be a layer of the Abyss and players dived Stygia's frozen waters etc. Here most of the locals did not really seem very 'otherworldly' and the players zipped around the river Styx with little trouble.

I agree with Jeremy about the AoW, it is by far my favourite AP, but I had already run part of it with half the current party and there was a TPK in 3FoE, and a near TPK in the Whispering Cairn, so they didn't want to continue that AP...best money spent every :P although it is probably the best I have spent for a D&D purchase.

STAP I chose as it was new, my players love pirates and they don't know anything about it.

AoW is fantastic and would work well in 4e I think, although it is up to you in the end.

EDIT: We are still not through TiNH, although I am sure after 5 sessions of it, with the time I have, I can make the stuff after ToD work out a bit more, as I have already foreshadowed things.


Thanks for all the great input!

Man, I'm worse off than before :-). Basically, what I'm hearing is that each AP is great. Age of Worms sounds popular but I have heard that it is very grim all the way through. That worries me. Savage Tide sounds like all 'round fun but peters off to early. And, Shackled City sounds good too. What to do, what to do!
.

Scarab Sages

One thing to consider is the changes made to demons and the Abyss from 3.5E to 4E. That might make conversion of Savage Tide a little more difficult. That might also make things a little more difficult for a Shackled City conversion.

I'd say your best bet is to got with Age of Worms.


While I think Savage Tide is the better adventure, I’m going to recommend Age of Worms for a first AP conversion. ST’s main strength, the great diversity of adventure types, is actually kind of a weakness with the shortage of 4e rules out currently. How would you do the sea battles in Wyvern’s Wake? How would you run the siege of Farshore in Tides o’ Dread? How comfortable are you statting up Demogorgon?

The most critical comments I’ve heard about Age of Worms is that it’s a series of dungeon crawls and, whether or not that’s a fair critique, it does play to 4e’s current strengths. Kyuss, as a wannabe god of undeath, could just be a re-skin of Orcus and the hard part’s over.


Fletch;

Good points. Indeed, that's what attracts me to Savage Tides, the variety of adventure types. I really want to get away from the serial dungeon crawls intermixed with city rest stops.

I have no illusions regarding a conversion and I have no experience so I don't have the answers. I'm hoping that I will successfully tackle each problem as it arises depending on the generic rules in the DMG. Where there are rules missing, I ma hoping to find inspiration in 3.x content and 4e-ify it.

Where there is something totally missing, such as the sea battles you mention, I'd like to bring in a simple set of sea combat rules and interject some simple tabletop wargming, which I think would be a hoot. Moreover, as a DM I can serve as an umpire which is a cool thing to have in any wargame. I can keep the usual god's eye view of the battle to myself and give the players only their own point of view of the battle.

I also plan to keep conversion notes so I can pass it on to others. In any case, we'll see how it goes.

Scarab Sages

Fletch wrote:

While I think Savage Tide is the better adventure, I’m going to recommend Age of Worms for a first AP conversion. ST’s main strength, the great diversity of adventure types, is actually kind of a weakness with the shortage of 4e rules out currently. How would you do the sea battles in Wyvern’s Wake? How would you run the siege of Farshore in Tides o’ Dread? How comfortable are you statting up Demogorgon?

The most critical comments I’ve heard about Age of Worms is that it’s a series of dungeon crawls and, whether or not that’s a fair critique, it does play to 4e’s current strengths. Kyuss, as a wannabe god of undeath, could just be a re-skin of Orcus and the hard part’s over.

I agree about the STAP strengths and even with the current 4e rules it won't be that difficult. The battles in SWW I hope will be made easier with the rules from The Adventurers Vault, as they have already previewed air ships. There will ought to be some sort of rules in the book, if not I have Stormwrack:) The seige I can run pretty much as is, awarding VP for not failing the encounters, it will need some modification yes, but I am converting an AP so what the heck:P Ahhh Demogorgan, if we haven't even finished TiNH in just over a month playing it, I think that we will have a LONG way before encountering Demogorgan who is supposed to be in the MMII.

As for the demons in the Abyss, I am not making them all destructive ie the 4e fluff, we are keeping more the the classic feel


Grimsh wrote:

I think that we will have a LONG way before encountering Demogorgan who is supposed to be in the MMII.

Sounds like you're more in touch with WotC's release schedule than I am. Those new rules you mentioned from the Vault and MMII sound like they clear up a lot of issues with a 4e STAP.

For what it's worth, I imagined the Abyss, since it resides deep in the elemental chaos (per the core assumption), would feature tumultuous borders of elemental fury. One of those could be a raging river of elemental water pouring into the Abyss. While I don't need to *call* it the River Styx (although I could), it could certainly serve as such in the STAP.

In effect, the PCs would be equiping the Sea Wyvern with a device that allows them to enter the elemental chaos and ride a raging river into the Abyss. The visual of the Wyvern going over a continent-sized waterfall as it cuts between flaming cliffsides is too rich to pass up.


Aberzombie wrote:
One thing to consider is the changes made to demons and the Abyss from 3.5E to 4E.

This should not pose any difficulty - change the alignment and your done.

Scarab Sages

Fletch wrote:
Grimsh wrote:

I think that we will have a LONG way before encountering Demogorgan who is supposed to be in the MMII.

Sounds like you're more in touch with WotC's release schedule than I am. Those new rules you mentioned from the Vault and MMII sound like they clear up a lot of issues with a 4e STAP.

For what it's worth, I imagined the Abyss, since it resides deep in the elemental chaos (per the core assumption), would feature tumultuous borders of elemental fury. One of those could be a raging river of elemental water pouring into the Abyss. While I don't need to *call* it the River Styx (although I could), it could certainly serve as such in the STAP.

In effect, the PCs would be equiping the Sea Wyvern with a device that allows them to enter the elemental chaos and ride a raging river into the Abyss. The visual of the Wyvern going over a continent-sized waterfall as it cuts between flaming cliffsides is too rich to pass up.

Oh I have been keeping a close ear just my campaigns sake and my players, they all like to be kept in the loop as some of them don't bother to look things up.

And I agree about the riding in the elemental chaos and rivers does seem pretty fantastic. Hopefully the 4e MotP will have some info on the River Styx and if it is still around, if not your idea sounds fantastic!

Liberty's Edge

To refer back to the OP and the question posed I see that the posts here are the same no matter what thread I read about this. When I first discovered the APs with Age of Worms in some Dungeon back issues I purchased I came on here to ask folks which was the best.

It seems, in the end, that all three are stellar and everyone likes them all for some reason or another. I recommend just browsing each one and finding whichever one grabs your fancy the most and convert that one.

Your other option is to do what I did and just run them all. I started with Shackled City and we're about a quarter of the way through it right now. I am loving the story and, while it is the weakest of the three, it is still excellent.

Dark Archive

The only one I have significant experience with is Shackled City, and though I'm loving running it now, I would actually recommend against using it to convert to 4e. In order for SCAP to work best, you should make use of the resources found here and at therpgenius.com to foreshadow the villains and tie everything together - otherwise, the finale of the AP is pretty anticlimactic. So in order to run it, you already need to put in a pretty significant amount of work as a DM. From what I hear, the other two APs require less work to pick up and run, which would lessen the workload for you if you're already planning on converting to 4e.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fletch wrote:
In effect, the PCs would be equiping the Sea Wyvern with a device that allows them to enter the elemental chaos and ride a raging river into the Abyss. The visual of the Wyvern going over a continent-sized waterfall as it cuts between flaming cliffsides is too rich to pass up.

O.O

Oooooh! Pretty ....


PulpCruciFiction wrote:
The only one I have significant experience with is Shackled City, and though I'm loving running it now, I would actually recommend against using it to convert to 4e. In order for SCAP to work best, you should make use of the resources found here and at therpgenius.com to foreshadow the villains and tie everything together - otherwise, the finale of the AP is pretty anticlimactic. So in order to run it, you already need to put in a pretty significant amount of work as a DM. From what I hear, the other two APs require less work to pick up and run, which would lessen the workload for you if you're already planning on converting to 4e.

Still one has already committed to doing a fair bit of work to do a conversion in any case. Hence doing a little more work to add to the plot might not be a deal breaker.


Antioch, I'm a DM running the latter half of AOW in 4th edition. Could you please share your conversion notes with me?

Liberty's Edge

PulpCruciFiction wrote:
The only one I have significant experience with is Shackled City, and though I'm loving running it now, I would actually recommend against using it to convert to 4e. In order for SCAP to work best, you should make use of the resources found here and at therpgenius.com to foreshadow the villains and tie everything together - otherwise, the finale of the AP is pretty anticlimactic. So in order to run it, you already need to put in a pretty significant amount of work as a DM. From what I hear, the other two APs require less work to pick up and run, which would lessen the workload for you if you're already planning on converting to 4e.

This is a valid point. As my party rockets toward the end now there has been A LOT of conversion work that I have done. The hardcover smooths over some of the problems but not enough to really matter. I am running it from the magazines and I have had to put a lot of conversion work into smoothing out the plot and making it make sense. I can understand how doing all of that work and converting the encounters over to a new rules set would prove too much.

However, Shackled City has been some of the most fun I have had running a game in a very long time. Of course, Age of Worms is looking to be even more fun as I am converting it to Call of Cthulhu.


My vote is for Age of Worms - in my opinion it was the best (Savage Tide being a close second) of the original 3 adventure paths.

However, you may also choose to consider any of the new AP's from Paizo's Pathfinder material... They are slightly shorter running from 1st to the mid-teens, and all of them are written equally as well, if not better, than the original APs.

Might be something to think about.


Drawmij's_Heir wrote:

My vote is for Age of Worms - in my opinion it was the best (Savage Tide being a close second) of the original 3 adventure paths.

However, you may also choose to consider any of the new AP's from Paizo's Pathfinder material... They are slightly shorter running from 1st to the mid-teens, and all of them are written equally as well, if not better, than the original APs.

Might be something to think about.

Of the new APs my favorite is Curse of the Crimson Throne. One of these days I plan to take that AP, do the work to make it usable in a 'story now' format and then run it in 4E.

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