Conversion Woes -- This is Me, Venting


Conversions

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Scarab Sages

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I'm beginning to find myself wondering if its worth bothering.

By which I mean converting my current ongoing campaign (which has been ongoing since 1981, and which survived the transitions from 1E to 2E to 3.0 and 3.5 to Pathfinder...

Now, its natural that with a campaign of this advanced age and complexity we've accumulated a lot of "extras." House rules, third party material, things adapted from other settings, other rules systems, and so on. In prior conversions all of this stuff was pretty easily done when it came to conversion.

Somehow this time its been a struggle. We've got feats that no longer exist in the game, we've got spells that are gone, we've got entire races and classes that are no longer around.

The players were looking to switch to the new rules, but right now its looking like we're all going to take a pass on it just because of the daunting nature of the conversion.

Don't get me wrong, we think the new rules are an improvement in many ways, but so much of the new rules are utterly incompatible with the old ones -- and cannot seem to ever be reconciled, that I am wondering.

Am I alone in this feeling? I hope not.

Liberty's Edge

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I'd honestly not even try converting most campaigns between editions. That seems like way more work than is necessary...but of course, I feel the same about converting AD&D 2E to D&D 3rd.

With a campaign as long running as yours, I'd likely make an exception and convert, but I'd definitely hold off on that conversion for a bit until there are, well, conversions for more of the PF1 material.

The lion's share of the Classes and Races from PF1 are clearly going to be converted in some form (heck, some already have been, you can do a very good Draconic Bloodrager conversion with the corebook)...but mostly they aren't out yet. Waiting until a larger percentage of the material is converted before converting your game as a whole seems very reasonable to me.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would say that the options are:

1 - Stay with the current system. It's working for you, no one is going to be upset.

2 - Wait until more resources are available, then convert. I'd imagine that your PF1 game uses more resources than the Inner Sea World Guide and the Core Rulebook, which is where we effectively are at in PF2.

3 - House rule and bend so that you can maintain the flavor of your campaign, with the understanding that you might over/under adjust and need to finagle things around later.

A direct conversion of characters is going to be impossible, whether you do it now or later. Going from 3.5 to PF was simple, but converting from 2E D&D to 3.0 took a heavy lift. Kits and combinations for Dual-classing or multiclassing didn't fit into the 3.0 paradigm. We are at a similar point now.

Let us know how we can help.

Liberty's Edge

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Not alone at all. It's going to take some work and patience. 10 years of content isn't going to make a smooth transition to one core and one bestiary this week, month, or probably year.

This conversion is just going to be much more drastic than any of your other conversions. 2e is just a different animal than 1e, that's why it's no longer dnd 3.75+. The conversion from dnd 2e to 3e was probably the closest in scope (omg the math flip headaches) but this is probably more like (to invoke some edition wars propaganda) trying to convert 3.5 to 4e that wizards just flat-out said couldn't be done, except paizo is making every attempt to help us instead.

Worth the work and patience? I think so, but might not be for everyone. I see way too much potential to give up this early. I'm waiting til the APG to do most of my home campaign world, but so far I'm enjoying converting Shattered Star to 2e.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't see the issues.
Once we have a big stable of pre-made NPCs, everything will be much easier of course.
After conversion, everything will be different. But that's fine. Challenges will be different; abilities, spells and feats will be different. But adventures will continue to move forward, regardless of niggling details.

What I want to see soon-ish is that big stable pf pre-made NPC statblocks we've been promised. With that in hand we can handle anything. In PF1 I would often cut & paste an NPC from d20.pfsrd and adjust a few details here and there. That's the only resource I think we are really lacking.

Then again, I usually run home-built campaigns, and even when I was running a printed AP, I was always adding stuff and making sidequests. No PFS shackles for me.


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Worldmaker wrote:
Am I alone in this feeling? I hope not.

You are certainly not alone, and some of us, after having evaluated 2E, are sticking with 1E. For me, I'm picking nuggets of goodness from 2E to include in my 1E play, without converting to 2E, which didn't quite get things right - despite a few improvements (yet many drawbacks) - from my perspective. Instead, if I find any scenarios or adventures I like in 2E, I'll be back-converting to 1E.

Silver Crusade

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I'm running a Crimson Throne campaign and we considered switching. Even though its using only CORE+ (a fair bit of plus, admittedly, but nearly all is Paizo) rules we all decided that it just wasn't worth the hassle to switch

We did decide that the NEXT campaign will likely be PF2, assuming PF2 still seems like a good game a year or so from now.


My group; we didn't switch over to PF from 3.5 until 5 years ago. I can't imagine we'll switch to PF2e anytime soon either. We've been playing the same group together since 1990.

Oh, I think we'll do the free adventure from the blog yesterday just to try the full rules; maybe even run Plaguestone as some fun game testing since we couldn't do all of the playtest.

But if what you got works, and thinking of changing is a headache; why bother? You're having fun and enjoying your own system? Then wait a couple of years to take in what Paizo continues to do before jumping forward if that's what you want.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Worldmaker wrote:

I'm beginning to find myself wondering if its worth bothering.

By which I mean converting my current ongoing campaign (which has been ongoing since 1981, and which survived the transitions from 1E to 2E to 3.0 and 3.5 to Pathfinder...

Now, its natural that with a campaign of this advanced age and complexity we've accumulated a lot of "extras." House rules, third party material, things adapted from other settings, other rules systems, and so on. In prior conversions all of this stuff was pretty easily done when it came to conversion.

Somehow this time its been a struggle. We've got feats that no longer exist in the game, we've got spells that are gone, we've got entire races and classes that are no longer around.

The players were looking to switch to the new rules, but right now its looking like we're all going to take a pass on it just because of the daunting nature of the conversion.

Don't get me wrong, we think the new rules are an improvement in many ways, but so much of the new rules are utterly incompatible with the old ones -- and cannot seem to ever be reconciled, that I am wondering.

Am I alone in this feeling? I hope not.

yeah from 1e -> pathfinde 1e, things only generally got more rules, but they've taken a few things out and moved them around, and whatnot.

I'd recommend, if by campaign you mean multiple new parties in the same world and not the same characters the whole way through, that you instead wait until you make new characters to convert. there'll be more material available then, more races, extra rules, etc, and there will be less character -> character converting except for important NPCs and the like which can be changed as needed to suit the campaign anyway.

if you wanted to press the issue, you could have the current character's arches end sooner rather than let the campaign carry on, but only if players want to play in the new system.

Pathfinder 2e isn't compatible with 1e and that's hopefully to get some of the old systems deep rooted mistakes removed.

I'm in a pf1e campaign and we have no desire to convert right now, but will be looking into it after we're done.

Dataphiles

I'd wait 2 GenCons before trying to convert a campaign that old and large. At that point, take another look.

That will let Paizo pump out a few more bestiaries, campaign guides, and character option books.

Don't drive yourself nuts trying to pack 40 years of gaming into a single book of options.


I would definitely say give the new system a playthrough or 3 with some one-shot adventures before attempting to move over a campaign of that scale. If you feel like it wouldn't work, just stay with 1e instead.


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Worldmaker wrote:

I'm beginning to find myself wondering if its worth bothering.

By which I mean converting my current ongoing campaign (which has been ongoing since 1981, and which survived the transitions from 1E to 2E to 3.0 and 3.5 to Pathfinder...

[snip]

Am I alone in this feeling? I hope not.

You're not alone.

One of the games I play in (Mondays) is also a very long-term continuing game where characters established years ago make appearances. We value a high degree of continuity. We went from AD&D 2 -> 3 -> 3.5 -> PF1. The move from 3.5 to PF1 involved painful conversions. Going from PF1 to PF2 is a non-starter for that game.

Another game I'm in (Tuesdays) tends to play APs. When they're done, the characters are forgotten. That game is trying PF2. Its too early to say if we'll stick with it. There's some interest in going to 5e, instead.


Wait until at least the APG is out before looking again.

We'll have a lot more stuff by then, and that's more or less the core assumption of the game with CRB, APG, GMG, two Bestiaries, as well as extra setting rules from LostOmens character guide and gods and magic, which even if you dont play in golarion give you more context for how rules should look.


Worldmaker wrote:

I'm beginning to find myself wondering if its worth bothering.

By which I mean converting my current ongoing campaign (which has been ongoing since 1981, and which survived the transitions from 1E to 2E to 3.0 and 3.5 to Pathfinder...

Now, its natural that with a campaign of this advanced age and complexity we've accumulated a lot of "extras." House rules, third party material, things adapted from other settings, other rules systems, and so on. In prior conversions all of this stuff was pretty easily done when it came to conversion.

Somehow this time its been a struggle. We've got feats that no longer exist in the game, we've got spells that are gone, we've got entire races and classes that are no longer around.

The players were looking to switch to the new rules, but right now its looking like we're all going to take a pass on it just because of the daunting nature of the conversion.

Wow, that is an amazingly long campaign!

I was once in a D&D campaign that ran from 2000 to 2006. We traveled out of state to the home of old college friends three holidays a year to continue it. It broke up when our children left for college themselves. It was less fun without their characters. That campaign converted from D&D 3.0 to 3.5 in 2003 and that was not much trouble. The bard lost his Levitate spell, so we retroactively gaven him Boots of Levitation.

In 2010 we started a Rise of the Runelords campaign under Pathfinder rules. Paizo had written the original Rise of the Runelords for D&D 3.5, so we had to convert the adventure path. d20pfsrd.com provided fan-made conversions of many NPCs. We did not need to convert the PCs since they started under Pathfinder rules.

This month, I am starting up Ironfang Invasion under Pathfinder 2nd Edition rules; therefore, I have to convert the adventure again. It does seem to be harder than the 3.5 to Pathfinder 1st Edition conversion I did in 2010-2012. Once again, we don't have to convert characters, just the adventure path. However, one player was interested in playing a lizardfolk, so we are guessing the details from the preview article before I can purchase the Lost Omens Character Guide that introduces that ancestry.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have nothing to add or help out, but I just want to say I am in complete awe of the length and continuity displayed here. Despite This being my favorite hobby for over a decade all the way back to high school. I have sadly never played in or ran a game over ~15 sessions long, something no matter how random, always comes up.


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Not alone in the least. My campaign first kicked off in 1979. I revised things in the early eighties, and it's been persistent since then.

I'm not even thinking about going to 2E at this point. I'll need it to be a more mature system. And even then, maybe not. The Conversion Guide for 2E is a wee bit light on details, with a lot of, "wing it" types of situations, because it's just too different, IMO.

Going from 3.5 to 4 (back in the day) was a non-starter for so many reasons, not the least of which, it looked like an entirely different game. Not necessarily bad, but different. And there was no buy in from our group, either. So - Pathfinder was the perfect next step back then. Now? Noping out for a lot of the same reasons as we did from 4e 10+ years ago.

Scarab Sages

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Thanks for the advice and for listening to me vent.

Just to clarify for those who were agog at the longevity of the campaign, my group and I started playing D&D way back in October of 1976. Donnie was DM, and he stayed in that spot until his passing (from Leukemia) in early 1981. I took over as DM and have been in the big chair ever since.

Out of the eight original players (Donnie, me, and six others) four are still a part of my group. We lost one to the military, we lost two to college, and we lost the last to unfortunate circumstances (Dan was a cop, and he was shot and killed on duty; quite coincidentally, his death happened on September 11, 2001.) The people who stepped into their shoes were either friends or children of original players, including one of my sons. The youngest of the "new kids" has been with the group since the early 2000s.

The game takes place in my own homebrew campaign world (information for which now fills a literal wall of bookshelves and filing cabinets). The players ran the same characters every week, for about six hours each weekend, from 1981 until their characters got too high a level for it to be feasible, and then switched to new characters who were often children or apprentices or friends of the old ones. They've done that three times now.

In that manner, we've continued the continuity of the campaign since 1981, with older characters showing up as NPCs (for example, one of the local kings used to be a PC paladin, while the sage the group regularly visits was the original party wizard).


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I've recently converted a PF1 campaign involving a Firearm Magus, a Secret Broker Occultist and an Investigator, and seeing their reactions to the past two weeks of PF2, it's working out quite well.
It's not immediate, but it's not that impossible either. Perhaps it's possible to help you out, if your players are willing to go through the effort ;) It sounds like an amazingly dedicated group!

The main advice I have for this is that it's a much larger jump than 3.5 to PF1, so there's going to be some leeway / compromise. When I did my conversion, I helped players figure out things, but sometimes my idea of their character didn't fit their idea of their character. Talking things through and going with their feel was key. For example, the Investigator decided to go with Fighter/Alchemist, rejecting my original idea of Precision Ranger to replicate Studied Combat, because of better feat support for duelist style, which was more important to him.

Think about the characters rather than the build. What are your players current classes / concepts? What do they do in combat? What about outside? What's the style in how the group plays together?


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Worldmaker wrote:

I'm beginning to find myself wondering if its worth bothering.

..

Don't get me wrong, we think the new rules are an improvement in many ways, but so much of the new rules are utterly incompatible with the old ones -- and cannot seem to ever be reconciled, that I am wondering.

Am I alone in this feeling? I hope not.

I absolutely think you should not convert. The rules weren't meant to be compatible.

I emphatically suggest you keep playing your old rules, and try Pathfinder 2 when you're ready to start a new campaign! Good luck!


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Zapp wrote:
Worldmaker wrote:

I'm beginning to find myself wondering if its worth bothering.

..

Don't get me wrong, we think the new rules are an improvement in many ways, but so much of the new rules are utterly incompatible with the old ones -- and cannot seem to ever be reconciled, that I am wondering.

Am I alone in this feeling? I hope not.

I absolutely think you should not convert. The rules weren't meant to be compatible.

I emphatically suggest you keep playing your old rules, and try Pathfinder 2 when you're ready to start a new campaign! Good luck!

I get the feeling they don't really do "new campaigns".


Worldmaker wrote:


The game takes place in my own homebrew campaign world (information for which now fills a literal wall of bookshelves and filing cabinets). The players ran the same characters every week, for about six hours each weekend, from 1981 until their characters got too high a level for it to be feasible, and then switched to new characters who were often children or apprentices or friends of the old ones. They've done that three times now.

In that manner, we've continued the continuity of the campaign since 1981, with older characters showing up as NPCs (for example, one of the local kings used to be a PC paladin, while the sage the group regularly visits was the original party wizard).

Ah!, that's great. In that definition, you still got my group beat; we've only been hammering away in the same world with characters and events setting the stage for each new campaign since '90. 'Youngins', I know. ;)


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I also run a long term campaign (though nothing compared to yours), and this is our first edition change. We've decided that our "core" setting doesn't really work in PF2 yet, since it's a significantly higher tech level than Pathfinder 2's baseline assumption. In the mean time we've been playing a campaign set several hundred years before our main timeline, and also in a different region of the world from where a majority of our campaigns took place. That's let us try out the new edition without abandoning our years of world building, and characters can still leave an impact on the world, without having to worry about crossing paths with any old PCs and their PF1 spells and abilities.

Another thing that can be fun for trying out new options without abandoning the established mechanics of a setting is embedding a campaign within a work of in-universe media. We recently ran a mythic campaign that was set within the legends of our Starfinder setting, so the outcome of that campaign is known in-universe as a myth. The canonicity of any precise details can be established later, as the campaign itself is already understood to be a retelling of events whose historicity is unknown in-universe.

Scarab Sages

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Zapp wrote:


I emphatically suggest you keep playing your old rules, and try Pathfinder 2 when you're ready to start a new campaign! Good luck!

Heh.

Someone on Facebook suggested that the best way to convert characters from P1E to P2E was to stack all the P1E characters into a single pile, douse them with lighter fluid, set a match to them, and then start over fresh building new characters from scratch.

I'm beginning to see his point.

Liberty's Edge

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Converting specific characters is definitely the big sticking point. If I were you, I'd wait until you're going to create new ones anyway and switch then.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Converting specific characters is definitely the big sticking point. If I were you, I'd wait until you're going to create new ones anyway and switch then.

Exactly.

When you get to this point:

Worldmaker wrote:
until their characters got too high a level for it to be feasible,

Then switch.


You could also just convert what parts of PF2 your group likes to PF1 and have to deal with relatively less rule changes.

Depending on what you convert of course.


Races are easy to create in PF2e as long as you accept that they don't NEED all the options that come with base ancestries.

That is to say, making a new ancestry only has to be: core stats, one heritage, four feats (one 1st, one 5th, one 9th, one 11th).

For classes that don't currently exist I would make archetype dedications for their core defining features (look to the Lost Omens World Guide for inspiration). The goal wouldn't be to convert every element of the class but just to make it feel like the same character.

Or, alternatively. Just don't have those same characters or have an in universe reason why they would change.

This all said, I wouldn't in a million years change systems mid campaign unless I wasn't enjoying running the system for said campaign or the players were really wanting to move on from the system.

For NPCs, they aren't built like players making monsters / NPCs is extremely easy in PF2e imo. I don't even have to wait on abilities to exist to match things I have created/used in the past.


Oh, another option is to run a PF2e short game set in the same world as yours (maybe homebrew some races / items).

Play it through and see whether the players like it or not.


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I mean yeah, that’s kind of the point in any major conversion.

You can’t just input numbers in a function and get 3.0 characters from AD&D or 5e characters from 4e, and the same is true to get pf2 characters from pf1.

How did you handle conversion from AD&D to 3.0? Because I doubt it was that direct. You likely remade the characters from scratch, finding what fit the most.

Same here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My campaign has only been running since 1990, so some of you guys have me beat! We’re still slowly transitioning from 3.5 to P1 (currently using P1 characters (with some backward conversion) in 3.5 adventures), so I don’t expect P1 to P2 to be a problem for us for at least another 10 years!

Scarab Sages

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Races are easy to create in PF2e as long as you accept that they don't NEED all the options that come with base ancestries.

That is to say, making a new ancestry only has to be: core stats, one heritage, four feats (one 1st, one 5th, one 9th, one 11th).

This was one of the first things I figured out. Turn all the "alternate racial features" into ancestry feats. The problem with doing so is some of them do things like "You gain X feat at 1st level without needing to meet the prerequisites"... and the feat isn't a part of the game anymore (or at least not yet) so now we need to convert the feat... and all the feats it has prerequisites... and all the feats they require...

Lots and lots of work.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I spent some time recently converting my group's high level (20th) characters into PF2 using Hero Lab Online (so Core only). They came out really well, but there were a lot of gaps, particularly in terms of some feats and magic items.

I'm not sure I've got the energy to convert that whole campaign (which started in 1988) to PF2 (heck, I haven't even completed the 3.5>PF1 conversion yet), but it would be fairly easy to start new parties in PF2 and convert things on the fly when I need to - my campaign setting is a persistent world, and each party begins after the last one finished.


Worldmaker wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Races are easy to create in PF2e as long as you accept that they don't NEED all the options that come with base ancestries.

That is to say, making a new ancestry only has to be: core stats, one heritage, four feats (one 1st, one 5th, one 9th, one 11th).

This was one of the first things I figured out. Turn all the "alternate racial features" into ancestry feats. The problem with doing so is some of them do things like "You gain X feat at 1st level without needing to meet the prerequisites"... and the feat isn't a part of the game anymore (or at least not yet) so now we need to convert the feat... and all the feats it has prerequisites... and all the feats they require...

Lots and lots of work.

Depending on the feat, either drop it entirely if it's a basic combat feat or math enhance, if not, turn that bonus feat's flavor directly into the ancestry feat. If it's a feat chain, even better, now it's an ancestry feat chain.

Classes on the other hand tend to be much harder, or require out of the box thinking.


Worldmaker wrote:


This was one of the first things I figured out. Turn all the "alternate racial features" into ancestry feats. The problem with doing so is some of them do things like "You gain X feat at 1st level without needing to meet the prerequisites"... and the feat isn't a part of the game anymore (or at least not yet) so now we need to convert the feat... and all the feats it has prerequisites... and all the feats they require...

Lots and lots of work.

In that case is it core to the race's identity? and if so why not just create a similar ability to the feat if so?

I may need an example to fully understand the issue though.


Worldmaker wrote:

Thanks for the advice and for listening to me vent.

Just to clarify for those who were agog at the longevity of the campaign, my group and I started playing D&D way back in October of 1976. Donnie was DM, and he stayed in that spot until his passing (from Leukemia) in early 1981. I took over as DM and have been in the big chair ever since.

Out of the eight original players (Donnie, me, and six others) four are still a part of my group. We lost one to the military, we lost two to college, and we lost the last to unfortunate circumstances (Dan was a cop, and he was shot and killed on duty; quite coincidentally, his death happened on September 11, 2001.) The people who stepped into their shoes were either friends or children of original players, including one of my sons. The youngest of the "new kids" has been with the group since the early 2000s.

The game takes place in my own homebrew campaign world (information for which now fills a literal wall of bookshelves and filing cabinets). The players ran the same characters every week, for about six hours each weekend, from 1981 until their characters got too high a level for it to be feasible, and then switched to new characters who were often children or apprentices or friends of the old ones. They've done that three times now.

In that manner, we've continued the continuity of the campaign since 1981, with older characters showing up as NPCs (for example, one of the local kings used to be a PC paladin, while the sage the group regularly visits was the original party wizard).

Holy smokes mate, your campaign is almost as old as I am! I've had a group that lasted about 10 years or so before life got in the way. I thought having a group for that long was something but to have a group last as long as yours is a hell of an achievement. for all of you.

I would love to hear the kinds of stories that came from such a long running game.

I agree with the others. I don't think converting your current campaign chars is worth doing until there is enough materiel out.


"We've got feats that no longer exist in the game, we've got spells that are gone, we've got entire races and classes that are no longer around."

As others have said, with time there will be more races and classes.

But I'm curious what some of the disappearing feats and spells are? Because (1) it could just be that PF1 had so much material and options that no edition could fill its shoes upon launch, or (2) there were specific design decisions in PF2 to make combat less fiddly or remove some universe-bending magic.


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I'm shocked that a campaign that somehow survived the absolute nonsense that was the rules changes from D&D 2nd edition to 3rd edition is having difficulty finding a way forward into PF2.

Perhaps after the Lost Omens Character Guide (that's the title, right? not sure I'm remembering correctly) there will be enough examples of various rules elements to make home-brewing any fill-ins needed a less daunting task?

I'm banking on feeling fully equipped to confidently home-brew my own world once I've got the additional examples from that book.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I suspect part of the problem is that you are that much deeper into your campaign now 10 years later, and with that growth you got used to, and dependent on the many years of content, and your own personal development. This probably is making the idea of converting much harder, especially with less pre-converted material.

Additionally, with the scaling back of magic some, and the scaling back of some abilities that were all bundled before, and may now simply be 'options' to choose between. [things like, choose and animal companion, or wild shaping, or something special otherwise, when they would have all been defaulted parts of a druid package before]

One, I suggest you can consider starting a new campaign, using the new rules, in the same world as your original, but with new characters starting from scratch, potentially having your old adventurers being your patrons or role models. This might allow you to maintain the feel of consistency you want without having to force all the mechanics down completely all at once.

Another option to consider, if you really feel like you need to move forward with your existing characters, and are having trouble feeling satisfied with attempting to convert them to second edition. Due to the mechanics being tighter, feats are now supposed to be less of a power boost each time, but an additional flexibility. With that in mine, to convert your 'existing' heroes, you might increase the number of feats that you grant to them at a given level. Simply granting an extra Class feat at first and even levels, and potentially an extra ancestry feat at first level, might be enough to give you more of the flexibility that you are used to for your original characters to feel more authentic in the second edition.

After playing in second edition with those players, maybe you will eventually get to the point where the idea of playing a sequel may sound fun. Perhaps, after playing for a while, you might be able to start new characters with a more baseline character generation. [although, certainly an option would be to play with the expanded feats progression, if that is what feels right for your group]

Sovereign Court

My question is, why bother converting everything? After this long, I'm sure you're not still playing the same characters you created in AD&D 1E. Just roll up new characters for PF2 set in your world and make whatever changes you need to the PF2 rules. Players can't take the feats, spells, races, and classes that are not yet in PF2, but that's fine, maybe by the time they create the next character after these the it may be available.


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I’m still waiting to see who these characters are, so I can have a feel of how impossible a task this is.


It sounds like the problem is not the characters, but everything they have done, experienced, and recorded for 10+ years.

There is also the problem of how much the system changes. 3e to 3.5 is a revision so many rules are similar (kind of what Ultimate is to PF1e); 3.5 to PF1e is again mostly rules revisions and paizo then added a bunch of their own content and systems. PF1e to PF2e is a complete redesign where even flavor was kind of lost (in my opinion).

Scarab Sages

Ediwir wrote:
I’m still waiting to see who these characters are, so I can have a feel of how impossible a task this is.

I don't want to post a pages-long thing to put all of them up here for your perusal, but here's one of them.

Bloody Teeth (Player: Darren W)
Male Goblin Feral Gnasher Barbarian 13
CN Small Humanoid (Goblin)
Init +6; Senses: Scent, Perception +4

DEFENSE
AC 24 (26 w/rage), Touch 17, Flat-Footed 18
HP 137 (13d12 + 39)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +3

Defensive Abilities: Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Beast Totem (+4 AC w/rage), Damage Reduction 2/--, Spell Resistance 4.

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1; Bite +13/+8/+3 (1d8+2/x3), 2 Claws w/Rage (1d4+2)
Special Attacks: Greater Rage (31 rounds/day), Rage Powers (Lesser Beast Totem, Beast Totem, Greater Beast Totem); Diseased Bite

TACTICS
Bloody Teeth is basically a one-trick pony in combat, but he is an amazingly effective one trick pony. He dives headlong into combat biting and clawing at his enemies with natural weapons, making best use of his attacks and dodging to get him through it. The player admitted that Bloody Teeth has no concern for his own life at all in combat and goes all out.

STATISTICS:
When not raging:
S 14 (+2) D 22 (+6) C 16 (+3) I 8 (-1) W 8 (-1) C 10 (+0)

When raging:
S 14 (+2) D 22 (+6) C 20 (+5) I 8 (-1) W 8 (-1) C 10 (+0)
Bloody Teeth gains +26 temporary hit points when raging, and his AC increases by +2.

Base Attack Bonus: +13/+8/+3
CMB: +13 CMD 19

Feats: Ankle Biter, Catch Off-Guard, Filth Mouth, Terrifying Rage, Throw Anything
Skills: Acrobatics +13, Climb +7, Escape Artist +9, Heal +3, Intimidate +10, Perception +4, Stealth +20, Survival +6, Swim +3

Languages: Smoking Hills Goblin Tongue, Speaks Common *Badly*

SQ Climb Speed 10, Can Make Grab Attacks w/Bite, Can Grapple Large Creatures; Cannot Be Counter-Grappled, Add STR bonus to Intimidate checks in addition to CHA bonus.

Magic Items: Hide Armor +4, Bloody Teeth's Shiny Rock (unique item; a magic gemstone that grants +1 AC and Spell Resistance 4, permanently stuck to Bloody Teeth's Forehead), Potion of Cure Light Wounds (x7), Bloody Teeth's Fish Ring (+3 to all Swim Checks), jar of pissed off fairies. (He's light when it comes to magic for a character of his level, but Darren, Bloody Teeth's player, roleplayed Bloody Teeth as having actively refused most magic items the players have found as "bad ju-ju.")

----

The new feats are as follows:

Filth Mouth
Your teeth are a frightening array of jagged crooks and disease.
Prerequisites: Con 15+, Bite Attack
Benefit: If you inflict damage to a target with your bite, they must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ your Barbarian level + Con modifier) or contract Filth Fever.

Terrifying Rage
Your rage is frightening to behold.
Prerequisites: Rage class ability, Str 13+
Benefit: When enraged, you may add your STR bonus to Intimidate checks made to demoralize opponents.


Chemlak wrote:
...my campaign setting is a persistent world, and each party begins after the last one finished.

Whoa!


Worldmaker wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
I’m still waiting to see who these characters are, so I can have a feel of how impossible a task this is.

I don't want to post a pages-long thing to put all of them up here for your perusal, but here's one of them.

Bloody Teeth (Player: Darren W)
Male Goblin Feral Gnasher Barbarian 13
CN Small Humanoid (Goblin)
Init +6; Senses: Scent, Perception +4

OK, so what does this guy actually do?

* Bites foes when raging. That's like the whole thing with Animal Instinct barbarians.
* Infects things with the bite attack. OK, that doesn't exist at this time. That said, hitting things in combat with something that won't hurt them until 1d4 hours later seems less than ideal. Otherwise, make it a fairly low-level barbarian feat with the Animal instinct prerequisite.
* Grapples. So, go for the Shark totem which adds the Grapple trait to your Jaws attacks. You won't get any claws though.
* Grapples bigger things. That's the Titan Wrestler feat.
* Scares things because he's buff: That's the Intimidating Prowess feat. Requires Str 16 though, but he'd likely have that in PF2. He should probably have the Raging Intimidation barbarian feat too.
* Scent: Acute Scent barbarian feat.
* Jumps heedlessly into combat gnashing and thrashing all over the place: that's like half the barbarian feats right there.

So this particular fella doesn't seem all that hard to convert, other than the infected bite.


Worldmaker wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
I’m still waiting to see who these characters are, so I can have a feel of how impossible a task this is.

I don't want to post a pages-long thing to put all of them up here for your perusal, but here's one of them.

Bloody Teeth (Player: Darren W)
Male Goblin Feral Gnasher Barbarian 13
CN Small Humanoid (Goblin)
Init +6; Senses: Scent, Perception +4

DEFENSE
AC 24 (26 w/rage), Touch 17, Flat-Footed 18
HP 137 (13d12 + 39)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +3

Defensive Abilities: Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Beast Totem (+4 AC w/rage), Damage Reduction 2/--, Spell Resistance 4.

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1; Bite +13/+8/+3 (1d8+2/x3), 2 Claws w/Rage (1d4+2)
Special Attacks: Greater Rage (31 rounds/day), Rage Powers (Lesser Beast Totem, Beast Totem, Greater Beast Totem); Diseased Bite

TACTICS
Bloody Teeth is basically a one-trick pony in combat, but he is an amazingly effective one trick pony. He dives headlong into combat biting and clawing at his enemies with natural weapons, making best use of his attacks and dodging to get him through it. The player admitted that Bloody Teeth has no concern for his own life at all in combat and goes all out.

STATISTICS:
When not raging:
S 14 (+2) D 22 (+6) C 16 (+3) I 8 (-1) W 8 (-1) C 10 (+0)

When raging:
S 14 (+2) D 22 (+6) C 20 (+5) I 8 (-1) W 8 (-1) C 10 (+0)
Bloody Teeth gains +26 temporary hit points when raging, and his AC increases by +2.

Base Attack Bonus: +13/+8/+3
CMB: +13 CMD 19

Feats: Ankle Biter, Catch Off-Guard, Filth Mouth, Terrifying Rage, Throw Anything
Skills: Acrobatics +13, Climb +7, Escape Artist +9, Heal +3, Intimidate +10, Perception +4, Stealth +20, Survival +6, Swim +3

Languages: Smoking Hills Goblin Tongue, Speaks Common *Badly*

SQ Climb Speed 10, Can Make Grab Attacks w/Bite, Can Grapple Large Creatures; Cannot Be Counter-Grappled, Add STR bonus to Intimidate checks in addition to CHA bonus.

Magic Items: Hide Armor +4, Bloody Teeth's Shiny Rock...

I don't know but most of the things seem to be easily able to replicate with a animal totem barbarian.

Scarab Sages

Biggest problem I'm seeing with her is her prestige class.

----

Anezka
Female Human Cat Burglar Unchained Rogue 11/Gentleman Thief 3
Chaotic Good
Favored Class: Rogue

S 13 (+1) D 18 (+4) C 10 (+0) I 16 (+3) W 12 (+1) C 16 (+3)

Base Attack Bonus: +8/+3
Fortitude: +4 Reflex: +13 Will: +5
Initiative: +4
CMB: +9 CMD: 24
Hit Dice: 11d8 + 0/3d8 +0
Hit Points: 87

Race Features:
• +2 with one ability score.
• Base Speed 30 ft.
• Bonus Feat: Gains an extra feat at 1st level.
• Skilled: Gains an extra skill rank at each level, including 1st.

Class Features:
• Proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, sap, short sword, and shortbow. Proficient with light armor, but not shields.
• Sneak Attack +6d6
• Trapfinding: +7 to find traps and disable them.
• Trap Sense: +3 to avoid traps and +3 bonus to attacks vs. traps.
• Evasion
• Careful Disarm: When Anezka attempts to disarm a trap using Disable Device, she does not spring the trap unless she fails by 10 or more. If she does set it off, she adds double her Trap Sense bonus to avoid the trap.
• Distraction: Whenever Anezka is detected while moving using Stealth she can attempt a Bluff check opposed by the Sense Motive skill of the creature that spotted her. If this roll succeeds, the target assumes the noise was something innocent and disregards it. This only works if the creature cannot see Anezka and can only be used once per Stealth attempt.
• Reputation: As “The Black Rose”. +3 to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks vs. anyone who knows Anezka’s reputation (DC = 17 check to see if any random person is familiar with her reputation).
• Rogue Talents
oo Fast Stealth: Can move full speed during Stealth.
oo Hide in Plain Sight: Can use Stealth in Urban terrain even while being observed.
oo Nimble Climber: When Anezka fails a Climb check by 5 or more, she can immediately make another Climb check at the base DC +10 to stop her fall. She does not take falling damage if she succeeds.
oo Quick Disable: Disable traps in half the time (minimum 1 round).
oo Trap Spotter: Receives an immediate Perception check whenever within 10 feet of a trap.
• Signature Trick:
oo Infiltrator: Can use disable device to pick locks as a swift action, and can do so with improvised tools with no penalty.
• Skill Mastery: Can take 10 on Perception and Stealth checks instead of rolling even when normally not allowed to do so.

Skills: Acrobatics +25, Appraise +19, Bluff +16, Climb +25, Diplomacy +11, Disable Device +31, Disguise +22, Escape Artist +25, Heal +4, Intimidate +12, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (Local) +11, Knowledge (Nobility) +11, Linguistics +8, Perception +18, Sense Motive +20, Sleight of Hand +25, Stealth +27

Languages: Tarnic, Auld Tarnaic, Barindi, Lemanari, Sindar’in, Khazak, Samarkhan, Turshok Heiroglyphics (written only)

Feats:
• Acrobatic: +4 to all Acrobatics and Fly checks.
• Fast Learner: Gain +1 hit point or +1 skill point whenever you gain a level in a favored class.
• Deceitful: +4 to all Bluff and Disguise checks.
• Deft Hands: +4 to all Disable Device and Sleight of Hand checks.
• Skill Focus: +6 to all Stealth checks.
• Skill Focus: +6 to all Disable Device checks.
• Skill Focus: +6 to all Climb checks.
• Stealthy: +4 to all Escape Artist and Stealth checks.

Concept: Youngest daughter of a duke who ran away to become a notorious cat burglar.


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It is definitely going to be easier starting fresh characters going on new adventures in the persistent game world than trying to convert existing characters to the new PF2 rules. Keep the lore and history of the world certainly. Have those cameo appearances from previous heroes. Have news articles in the library, or crotchety old geezers on porches that can give details of their adventures. That would be the easier way to keep your game going. Wrap up whatever stuff your group is currently doing, then retire those characters and create new ones.

Now, if that is not palatable, there are still options.

Some characters can be converted fairly easily as long as you are willing to have them be only close approximations rather than exact duplicates. The goblin barbarian listed is an example of one that can be converted fairly well. When doing the conversion, ignore the numbers. The math of the game has changed, so those old numbers are meaningless - as are any feats, features, or equipment that only boosts those numbers. Instead focus on what the character does; how they act, what they do in combat, what they do out of combat. Remember that some of them don't have direct correlations in the new rules (like the diseased bite). Also remember that while a character may lose some abilities, they will also likely gain new abilities too.

The idea is to create a character that 'feels' like the same character, rather than one that has the same details. That will prevent the jarring of feeling like the character changed overnight somehow. The new version of that character can be placed right in to the same story as the old version of that character.

I think that race and racial abilities will likely be the hardest to deal with. But once that is handled, the rest of the PC conversion shouldn't be too hard.

And once the PCs are converted, I don't expect that the NPC villains will be terribly difficult either. And once those are done, that should be the end of it.

And I'm sure that if you post requests in the advice forum for particularly tricky things, you will get more ideas than you know what to do with.

Liberty's Edge

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So, both the characters you've posted so far are actually really easy to convert to PF2 (the first as an Animal Instinct Barbarian, the second as a Thief Rogue).

There might be a few slight changes or ancillary stuff that get altered in the changeover (Bloody Teeth probably nets a higher Cha and Str and slightly lower Dex and Con, for example, and you'd have to remake the Filthy Mouth Feat), but the areas they're good at will remain almost completely unchanged. Anezka might be very slightly harder to get the exact stuff, but homebrewing a Skill Feat or two would fix that pretty quick.

I could post actual conversions pretty readily if you wanted.

Now, none of that helps if your other PCs are vastly more difficult conversions, but those two in isolation are actually among the easier possibilities I've seen.


Worldmaker wrote:


Anezka
Female Human Cat Burglar Unchained Rogue 11/Gentleman Thief 3
Chaotic Good

Cool. Most of the character is included in the Rogue class. Weapon proficiencies, sneak attack, trapfinding (higher training level in thievery).

Stripping out everything that isn't math leaves me with:

Careful Disarm => Wary Disarmament
Distraction => Might need a houseruled skill feat for this.
Reputation => I think this would be an intimidate skill feat. Don't know if it already exists or not.
Fast Stealth => Swift Sneak
Hide in plain sight => Legendary Sneak
Nimble climber => assurance, maybe combat climber.
Quick Disable => either Quick Unlock or a houserule feat based on it.
Trap spotter => perception skill feat?
Infiltrator => Definitely Quick unlock. May need an additional houserule skill feat to handle the 'no penalty for lack of tools' part.
Skill mastery => assurance.

Might homebrew those houseruled skill feats into an archetype feat chain. That way you can keep it contained easily and the character still keeps the appelation in the name.

Scarab Sages

Deadmanwalking wrote:
So, both the characters you've posted so far are actually really easy to convert to PF2 (the first as an Animal Instinct Barbarian, the second as a Thief Rogue).

I realized that, after the fact.

I probably should have started with Tarok Firebeard, the Dwarf rifleman gunslinger, or Bulwark, the Warforged (cnoverted form the Eberron race) Unbreakable Fighter.

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