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So, I eventually got around to writing this thing.
I'm still very much working on it, but I thought I could use some good feedback. If any of you have worked on adventure conversion, please, point out flaws, add your own ideas, and feel free to help out.
I'm open to hearing your contributions. Have a look.
For your section on setting DCs, such as for that hedge maze, you might want to mention that a GM should be wary of the Assurance skill feat when converting skill check challenges. For your example, Assurance + Expert in any 4 of the skills would beat the maze every time without any chance of failure.
Doesn’t sound like a terrible use for a feat, but it is worth a mention.
I actually agree. At low levels Assurance is pretty poor for a feat investment - it basically guarantees failure for DC 15 checks until level 3. Deliberately setting DCs at a level where Assurance continues to do nothing probably isn't the way to go. It's intended to represent a level of expertise where most related tasks are regarded as routine. It's the difference between an expert historian who might mis-remember the occasional detail and one who has studied enough to avoid those mistakes, even if their actual skill level is the same. The offset, of course, is that the historian using Assurance has no chance of catching the really fine details the other historian might notice on a critical.
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It doesn't really matter, because you have no way of bypassing Assurance in multiple-check resolutions once you start requiring three or more checks. The math just wrecks you, so you'd have to either dodge Assurance entirely by requiring a different check (which doesn't necessarily make sense) or tank the rates on the other skills to counter the free success, which actually punishes the other players.
This isn't the same issue as take10 where the whole challenge gets blown to bits simply because people decide they feel like it unless you make it impossible. This is a feat's purpose and benefit, which players invested in, and which rewards them by boosting the team's overall chances (but still leaves a challenge present).
Practical example, in the maze itself, chances move from 0.75^4=32% to 1*0.75^3=42%.
A 30% success improvement for the party, thanks to the one guy who had Assurance. Good for him.
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Thanks for this. It is useful as I am also going to be looking at a Runelords conversion
I need to reread as I was utterly bamboozled by your treasure section despite you suggesting it was one of the easiest parts. I am hoping it was because I was reading on my phone with no Runelords book nearby !
Quick question on that though - are you saying that a weapon with two runes is supposed to count as two items ?
In terms of treasure, yes. A flaming grievous +1 sword is a lv8+lv9+lv2+lv1 item, but you can ignore lv1 and 2 values at that point, so you just count it as a lv8 and lv9 item. Also it’s not a valid item because uh two properties on a +1... but you get the point.
What was bamboozling about it? I’d like to try to reword it to make it clearer.
It might be that I was reading it on my phone in a work break
I will look again when I have a bit more time and let you know
It might have been where you filled out the remaining treasure based on the original with no reference to the original (I think that is what happened anyway)
I have made an excel sheet of all the original treasure for my attempt at converting (currently paused as it was like for like and prior to the paizo conversion guide so really going nowhere!)
If I look at yours side by side with that I might be able to see where I got confused
Thanks for the link to the Bestiary Stats, that is massively helpful all on its own. Also, I learned a new word today: obstaculate. :)
I think the section on skill challenges gets away from you a bit. It seems like advice for making brand new skill challenges, rather than converting existing ones. Unless the intent is for the DM to calculate chance of success for the PF1 skill challenge and use that chance to calculate the new one? If that's the case, we would also need chance by level of success in PF1 for a given DC in the guide.
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In part that’s true. Unfortunately one of the issues in PF1 is the total lack of a projected benchmark (or better yet, the complete nonhaderence of the game to said benchmark).
In the latest years especially, you could have within the same group two players who both maxed the same skill, but one had a +12 and the other a +34. When variation (bonus difference) is higher than variability (dice), group challenge is impossible and needs to be set to the specific player. So APs gave very low challenges geared towards baseline minimal values and often there was no failure at all.
A healthy game includes failure. Small perhaps, but present. But there’s no real way to determine what the amount of healthy failure was in the AP just from the numbers (you can have a vague idea, like if the AP gives DC15 at level 10 it’s meant to be something anyone has a fair shot at even if untrained).
Are you still maintaining this? For a lark I thought I would apply it to the first book of Way of the Wicked, and hoo boy, it's a doozy. Maybe because it is 3rd party or maybe because of the non-traditional start, the loot in just the very first act is not what I was expecting.
5. The Garden: belladonna
15. Sergeant's Quarters: 12 x rotgut whiskey (5gp each=60gp), 1235gp
22. Richter's Library: "Astra Mysterii" (75gp), "The Travels of Titus the Mendicant" (120gp), "The Floralegium" (250gp)
24. Warden's Office: "Richter's Tome of Arcane Armament" (350gp), 5 x noble outfits (75gp each = 375gp), alchemist's lab (200gp)
Sergeant Tomas Blackerly: potion of cure light wounds, chainmail, masterwork longsword, 30gp
Warden Richter: potion of cure light wounds, scroll of magic missile, scroll of sleep, scroll of hideous laughter, scroll of invisibility, ring (250gp), ioun torch
Lashtongue's Lair: medallion (125gp), 45gp
First off they start with nothing except the Veil of Useful Items to provide them with a couple basic pieces of equipment. Through stealth or force they can easily get hold of some chainshirts, longswords, bows, arrows, and metal shields, none of which I included here. Assuming they are thorough in their looting they could easily end up with over 2000gp, 2 1st level scrolls (lvl 1 consumables), three doses of belladonna (lvl 2 consumables), two 2nd level scrolls (lvl 3 consumables), and whatever I would convert an ioun torch to (a dull grey Aeon stone and an everburning torch are both lvl 1 permanent items).
I was wondering what others might advise. Scrap it all and allocate treasure from scratch? Keep the general allotment assuming that the AP writers knew what they were doing and that villains need lots of extra cash at 1st level? Something in between?
I still maintain it and yes, that is probably off the standard.
I am not familiar with Ways of the Wicked but, seeing that, my first instinct would be to check the treasure distribution in the rest of the book, to see if maybe it's a frontloading of resources.
If it's not, I could be led to assume the adventure is intentionally on a higher power curve. Perhaps there's a reason. Perhaps it's busted (there have been some 3pp who intentionally gave higher power levels - it's fine in context, just not something you want mixed with regular content). Regardless of intent, you are the converter, and it's your intent that matters now.
You have an array of encounters and difficulties. Do you believe standard characters can face them? If yes, resize treasure to standard. If not, boost treasure (perhaps with consumables). Values will dilute in the higher levels economy, so long as you are mindful of the short term effects. Consumables are the easiest to deal with, money can be more of an issue.
Another thing to note is, are there any subsystems that assume you're burning money, or extraordinary expenses that treasure might be required for? There is a short hand formula in the guide for those if so.
Just a note Ediwir, a few people mentioned Assurance and being wary about that. If you go by the DC's by level, instead of the Easy DC table, Assurance won't cut it for any level - even for maxed out skills - except for level 7 & 8 (7 is the earliest you could get master; 6+7=13; the level DC is 23=13+10).
Just letting you know. Take care!
I know :) it was in relation to multiple-check resolutions, which have inherently low individual DCs in a series (generating compound failure chances, for example 3 DC10 checks done with a +5 give you a 50% chance of success). Assurance works very well on those.
More practically, I often find Paizo adventures having things like “this series of 8 checks fails if you fail more than 3”, which is like saying “this requires 5 successes”. Run calculations from there.