Advice for converting PF to 5e?

4th Edition

What is your advice for converting a PF Module it AP to 5e?

Don't reify level.

A twelfth level Pathfinder character is not necesarily the same as a twelfth level 5E character - judge the appropriate level by the scope of action in the adventure, not by what level it was designed for in Pathfinder.

I've had success with halving the PF DC and adding 4. It's worked for me for an entire AP with very little need for tweaking (though I did on occasion, especially for some knowledge checks).

I ran Curse of the Crimson Throne in 5E and handed out about six magical items in the entire campaign. I think I'd definitely tone the loot down, even if you were running a high fantasy game.

At high levels, I found it was necessary to significantly rewrite encounters (or give the solo monsters insane numbers of hit points). 5E works much better with several opponents than against a single foe, imo. Legendary and Lair actions are good - but when the party can gang up they can really do insane numbers of hit points very, very quickly at high level (an action surging, sharpshooting, crossbow expert, champion is a withering opponent when he just has to shoot at one target). Likewise a monk's ability to reliably stun an opponent can make single-foe encounters a walk in the park unless they have lots of 'auto-save' features, which always kind of feels cheap to me.

Liberty's Edge

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The biggest thing I discovered in my home conversions is that re-skinning is really your friend. The more I look at Pathfinder monsters these days, all the number-crunching stuff for 3/4 of the sta t block is generically interchangeable. It's the bizarre and nifty Powers at the bottom like exceptional and spell-like abilities.

Take daemons. No real presence in 5E. So when I needed one, I took the numbers of a 5E demon and just grabbed the text of the special abilities of the Pathfinder version and translated it to 5E. Pretty easy to do. Then changed the alignment to NE and bam.

From the PF Goezspall in Feast of Dust:

Scalding Spray (Ex) As a standard action once every
1d4 rounds, a goezspall can spray a 60-foot line of scalding
water at its enemies that deals 12d6 points of fire damage.
Against creatures, this stream acts as a bull rush. A goezspall
can bull rush creatures of any size with its spray. When using
this ability, a goezspall attempts a combat maneuver check
and applies its results to each creature within the area. This
bull rush does not provoke an attack of opportunity.


Scalding Spray (Recharge 4-6) A goezspall can spray a 60-foot line of scalding water at its enemies. Any who fail on a DC 16 Strength saving throw take 12d6 fire damage and are knocked prone. A successful save means half damage and the creature is not knocked prone.

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We're playing a 5th Edition version of Rise of the Rune Lords. The DM didn't really skimp on magic items, but instead of handing out tons of the "Big Six," he handed out magical gadgets and gizmos. For example, my dwarf cleric has a Ring of Swimming and the Medusa Mask. Neither really increases his power level, but they add a lot of utility. The Medusa Mask requires a relatively low Con save, so I usually coordinate with the divination wizard to see if he has a low Portent roll to use with it. The advantage against visual attacks is also nice.

We're also going to finish it around level 12 or 13, not 17 or 20 or whatever most APs end at.

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Daemons are Yugoloths. They're in the 5e MM. May not have some of the same creatures, but some are there. For example, the Hydrodaemon was in 2e Planescape as a Hydroloth. But the Hydroloth didn't make it to 5e. I'm not sure if it's in 3e or 4e.

In D&D history, Tanar'ri were Demons, Baatezu were Devils, and Yugoloths were Daemons. Obviously Pathfinder couldn't use the trademarked names, so they kept the generic names. :)

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MM3 from 3.5 has some Yugoloths: Canoloths, Mezzoloths, Nycaloths, and Ultraloths.

They've been a favorite of mine since Planescape. Particularly canoloths and yagnaloths.

Honestly, my advice would be to avoid any actual formulas, and just go by feel. They may both share a common ancestor, but they're different enough systems that slavishly following some formula, while it might give SOME good results, will have just as many results that are just plain ridiculous.

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Yeah, what Norman Osborne said. 5th Edition is kind of designed so easy tasks at 1st level are still easy tasks at 20th level, and nearly impossible tasks at 1st level are still pretty hard at 20th level.

For example, at 1st level, if you're good at something, your bonus is +5 (16 (+3) ability score, +2 proficiency bonus). At 20th level, you're +11 (20 (+5) ability score, +6 proficiency bonus).

DCs are anywhere between 5 and 30, but usually 10 to 20. 5 is practically an auto success if proficient, and 25 almost impossible.

You might be better off setting the DC of things to 2d6+8 or 4d6+1 or 5d6 if you can't eyeball it.

But climbing a tree is going to be DC 12 at 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level. Just because you can swing a sword 4 times a round or raise the dead or cast a fire ball, it has no effect on the tree (well, unless you fireball the tree or hit it with an axe). The tree stays pretty much the same, so its ease (or difficulty) of climbing remains the same.

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