What happened when we mixed Paizo AP and 4e


4th Edition


So last night was the first time I used both a Paizo module (Burnt Offerings) and the 4e rules together, and it was awesome!

Up until now, our group has been using WotC's 4e modules, but I must say I haven't really been that keen on them. But using a Paizo module, with it's rich flavor, and the 4e rules really struck the right cord for us. I highly recommend, if you are into 4e, to run those Paizo modules if you have the time to convert the mechanics.

Basically we started off with 3 hours of roleplaying as the Swallowtail festival raged on throughout the day. It was the perfect opportunity to meet some of the town's people and introduce the PCs to each other. Then the goblin attacks came. I had the town attacked by various goblin tribes and each tribe had a different flavor and power. The use of goblin minions really allowed me as a DM to have fun with their crazy, often suicidal antics. It was a perfect blend of roleplaying and exciting battle.


Whimsy Chris wrote:

So last night was the first time I used both a Paizo module (Burnt Offerings) and the 4e rules together, and it was awesome!

Up until now, our group has been using WotC's 4e modules, but I must say I haven't really been that keen on them. But using a Paizo module, with it's rich flavor, and the 4e rules really struck the right cord for us. I highly recommend, if you are into 4e, to run those Paizo modules if you have the time to convert the mechanics...

I'd recommend visiting (or downloading) Scott Betts' 4E RotRL conversion, which can be found here.

It's good stuff!


Cacophonik wrote:
I'd recommend visiting (or downloading) Scott Betts' 4E RotRL conversion, which can be found here.

I like Scott's conversion a lot and I'm definitely using it as a reference (particularly for major NPCs like Tsuto and Orik). I also like some of the skill challenges he developed.

There's certain overall changes I'm making, however, that limits my ability to use the conversion. For one, I'm only running the adventure for about 6 weeks, so I plan to combine several encounters and the PCs will probably be only level 2, possibly 3 when it's all over. Second, because there are so many goblin battles, I'm including different goblin tribes and giving each it's own powers and flavor, which is outside of Scott's goal of a more straight forward conversion.

What's nice, however, is that I'm finding it really easy to make these changes using 4e. I probably spent 2 hours creating creatures for 4 major combat encounters and another hour setting up noncombat roleplaying and such. I think 3 hrs. prep is pretty good for a 6 hour section, and a lot of that initial creation will be useful for future encounters too.


This is awesome. Regardless of how much you're using my conversion notes, please keep us updated on how it's going!

Dark Archive

What? It wasnt bad like crossing the streams? I wear folks around here kept saying the two dont mix....:D


carmachu wrote:
What? It wasnt bad like crossing the streams? I wear folks around here kept saying the two dont mix....:D

Correct, just like olive oil and vinegar they don't mix, but throw in some pepper and give them a good shake and you've got some tasty salad dressing... :P


4th edition minion rules are a great fit for Pathfinder goblins. And I agree that 4th edition prep time (even including conversion) is very quick.

My players are closing in on the end of the Hook Mountain Massacre at 11th level. The Compendium made it really easy to grab a handful of different ogres for the assault on Fort Rannick. The upcoming Monster Builder also looks very promising.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's terrific. I think Burnt Offerings is one of the best modules ever written for D&D, as shown by enthusiast wanting to convert it to whatever game they enjoy playing, and whichever edition. I'm sure the guys n gals around here will be greatful for your stories, and more than willing to lend a hand with any conversion issues/challenges. Have fun!
Reckless


FYI, if people are interested in what I did with the various tribes, here's a basic rundown.

I took the various goblin types in the Monster Manuals and made variants, similar to the DMGII idea of monster themes as previewed in Dragon. They ran as follows:

Birdcrunchers - Chargers and primal characteristics. Basically, they caused more damage when they charged and their goblin tactics took place after the charge, not after an enemy's missed attack. One shaman style goblin rounded out the bunch with a headless bird as her spirit companion. These were the one's I mostly featured in the initial goblin attack.

Seven Tooth - Sneaky and poisonous. I upped the Stealth and Thievery even more and added some poison effects on their attacks (basically, 2 ongoing damage, save ends). An alchemist served as their leader. These guys will feature most prominently in the Glassworks, since they were best at sneaking in.

Thistletop - Acrobatics and animal trainers. They have great acrobatic skills, and they specialize in training natural beasts - mostly goblin dogs. I plan to make Ripnugget's giant gecko very special and powerful. Obviously, these feature mostly at Thistletop.

That was basically it. If I have any more tribal variants, I'll let you know.

As a side note, the Monster Builder will make this soooo much faster and easier, as I'll be able to load a goblin's stats and then adjust. Right now I'm using a good computer program, but I have to write in every monster's stats from scratch and that takes some time.


So this last weekend, the PCs got to know more about the town of Sandpoint. Using Scott's conversion, I handled the encounter with Shayliss, the general store owner's daughter, as a skill challenge. The bard of our group had no problem following the daughter down to the basement so she could "show him something," and had no problem once down there taking advantage of the situation. The challenge came when the father of the daughter came along. Some of the bard's PC "friends" actually showed the father downstairs as a joke. The daughter was naked and the bard slowly taking off his armor. The father started out rather hostile, but after 6 successes and 2 failures, the bard eventually convinced the father to let him go. The father, still upset, told the bard to never come into his store and if he was ever found again with the daughter, the father would kill him.

This scene actually turned out more successful than planned. The skill challenge gave it a good edge and made it exciting. The bard, after a couple successful bluff and diplomacy rolls, had two natural one's in a row, much to the laughter of the table. The bard knew that if he failed one more time, it could turn ugly. Each role became something exciting.

This was probably our most successful use of skill challenges to date. It was a great blend of roleplaying and using the dice to give the scene a little unpredictability and excitement. I was a little weary of skill challenges at first, but they are definitely growing on me.


Whimsy Chris wrote:

So this last weekend, the PCs got to know more about the town of Sandpoint. Using Scott's conversion, I handled the encounter with Shayliss, the general store owner's daughter, as a skill challenge. The bard of our group had no problem following the daughter down to the basement so she could "show him something," and had no problem once down there taking advantage of the situation. The challenge came when the father of the daughter came along. Some of the bard's PC "friends" actually showed the father downstairs as a joke. The daughter was naked and the bard slowly taking off his armor. The father started out rather hostile, but after 6 successes and 2 failures, the bard eventually convinced the father to let him go. The father, still upset, told the bard to never come into his store and if he was ever found again with the daughter, the father would kill him.

This scene actually turned out more successful than planned. The skill challenge gave it a good edge and made it exciting. The bard, after a couple successful bluff and diplomacy rolls, had two natural one's in a row, much to the laughter of the table. The bard knew that if he failed one more time, it could turn ugly. Each role became something exciting.

This was probably our most successful use of skill challenges to date. It was a great blend of roleplaying and using the dice to give the scene a little unpredictability and excitement. I was a little weary of skill challenges at first, but they are definitely growing on me.

This is all extremely cool to hear about. Congratulations on running such an engaging skill challenge!


Whimsy Chris wrote:
But using a Paizo module, with it's rich flavor, and the 4e rules really struck the right cord for us. I highly recommend, if you are into 4e, to run those Paizo modules if you have the time to convert the mechanics.

Sorry Chris, I couldn't resist the temptation.

"with it's rich flavor..." -Whimsy Chris

P.S. I enjoyed the post enough to make this sillyness, I look forward to further posts on your conversion.


Daniel Moyer wrote:
"with it's rich flavor..." -Whimsy Chris

I charge by the tag line.


Paizo fluff with 4E system is pure win.


avin wrote:
Paizo fluff with 4E system is pure win.

I agree completely.


We didn't play this last weekend, so I don't have much to update.

However, I wanted to mention the Dragon editorial for this month. He speaks about why they decided to rid of certain "fluff" rules such as Profession and Craft - they felt that by creating rules for such fluff-filled content actually limited the fluff. My experience has been the same. The last couple sessions with Paizo's adventures have shown me that one can have great amounts of roleplaying character development in 4e. In fact, I would say at least 80% of the last couple sessions have been only focused on roleplaying. The players have been able to be the characters they want to be.

I found the article interesting, but perhaps a little late. The perception is already out there that 4e doesn't allow for good character development and roleplaying. My experience has been the opposite.

I say this not to bring up another edition war, but to relate my own experience of 4e and why I'm enjoying it so much. For me, mixing a Paizo adventure ("...with its rich flavor") and the 4e game system has been the key to a great game.

And that's what it's all about, right, regardless of which edition one plays or even which edition sells better. Now for my second cheesy tag line: "Fun. That's what matters."


That is great news!

I'm running Age of Worms in 4E and it's proving to be challenging, but ultimately, very satisfying.

My players seem to enjoy the rules a lot more than 3.5, and granted, there is not much roleplaying during combat, there is still roleplaying taking place at other times.

We have learned a few lessons though, especially me as DM when it comes to encounter design.


I would almost argue that you -need- Paizo adventures if you're going to run 4E (unless you make your own). The 4E adventures by Wizards, IMO, just don't cut it. Sure, they've got some interesting encounters but they sorely lack anything resembling story and that's where the Paizo products have them beat.

Look at Scales of War: I'm not sure how a collection of semi-random monsters in unlinked adventures becomes an adventure path simply by virtue of having a common logo! Perhaps an exaggeration on my part, but it's certainly not an adventure path as we have seen from Paizo. It's not even up to the standards of Paizo's first effort, Shackled City!


Eremite wrote:

I would almost argue that you -need- Paizo adventures if you're going to run 4E (unless you make your own). The 4E adventures by Wizards, IMO, just don't cut it. Sure, they've got some interesting encounters but they sorely lack anything resembling story and that's where the Paizo products have them beat.

Look at Scales of War: I'm not sure how a collection of semi-random monsters in unlinked adventures becomes an adventure path simply by virtue of having a common logo! Perhaps an exaggeration on my part, but it's certainly not an adventure path as we have seen from Paizo. It's not even up to the standards of Paizo's first effort, Shackled City!

"A collection of semi-random monsters in practically unlinked adventures," is almost verbatim how I've seen Shackled City described by some DMs. I have no idea whether this is accurate or not, having never played the path, but I think it's clear that different people see different levels of value in each adventure path. I've heard some DMs say they love Scales of War, especially once they get past the first few adventures.

Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Gaming / D&D / 4th Edition / What happened when we mixed Paizo AP and 4e All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in 4th Edition