Old People! (Converting old AD&D material to Pathfinder)


Conversions

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Have you ever looked at converting AD&D material to Pathfinder? I’ve tried it, I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City and it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Have others tried to do this?
How will did it work?


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i have a hard copy of the old conversion of 2ed to 3.0 ed.
im out of town atm. but give me a few days and i can probably scan it. from 3.0 to pathfinder should be a lot easier.

although im pretty sure you can also find it in the wizards of the coast site.

edited:
here found it online as well


I've been working on converting Dragon Mountain for a while now. Expanding on several things from Book 1 while I do it.


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I've done that kind of thing for 3e, PF, and 4e before. Usually I went too far trying to convert everything exactly, which is not a good idea.
The differences in editions are large enough that that doesn't really work.

I can't find the thread, but I once saw a description of encounters in various editions, involving (I believe) a tribe of goblins. In 1e, the PCs had a lot of henchmen and hirelings. The goblins all had the same stats, except the chief was 1+1 HD and had a magic sword. By contrast the 3e encounter had no henchmen or hirelings, a smaller number of goblins, most of the goblins were warriors and the chief was a rogue. There may have been some 1st-level fighter bodyguards and a shaman (1st-level cleric or adept).

2e doesn't support wealth by level, so doing treasure is a PitA. Even low-level Pathfinder characters are more powerful than their low-level 2e counterparts, and they have to be: a level 1 orc warrior in Pathfinder is more powerful than a 1 HD orc in 2e (which was basically 1d8 hit points dealing 1d8 damage, with variable AC based on equipment, which was often rolled).

Saving throws worked in a very different manner. There wasn't a save DC in 2e. Generally low-level characters failed saves, and high-level characters made their saves. In Pathfinder, a high-level wizard would have high save DCs relative to target saving throws, and the more sensible saving throw system means a wizard PC (or NPC) can "guess" an opponent's best and worst saves. (You could be reasonably certain that a character wearing heavy armor won't be so good at dodging the worst of a Fireball spell, for instance.)

Another wrinkle are the usefulness of wizard-specific items. The 2e version of Elminster uses his items first if brought into combat. His 3e version shouldn't, because the save DC of a Wand of Fireballs in Elminster's hands isn't any different than the same wand in the hands of a 1st-level apprentice. So NPC tactics would be ... different.

The biggest difference, IMO, is pacing. PCs gain levels a lot faster starting in 3e (you were supposed to gain one level roughly every 13 encounters in 3e!) while in 2e, you might have to train, duel, or something to gain that level (since apparently XP is not enough?). A dungeon in 2e should be paced differently than one in Pathfinder. (In PF or 4e, you would likely just remove less interesting or plot-relevant encounters.)


Some of my absolute favorite books put out during the 2e era were the Wizard's Spell Compendiums, The Priest's Spell Compendiums, and the Encyclopedia Arcana (maybe I'm screwing that name up. Sorry if so). But there is an immense wealth of things in those books that I've translated over, mostly wizard spells and magic items. I don't know how good a job I do on it, but so far nothing has broken our game and the players don't even know I've done it, so so far so good...lol

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Kimera757 wrote:
I can't find the thread, but I once saw a description of encounters in various editions, involving (I believe) a tribe of goblins. In 1e, the PCs had a lot of henchmen and hirelings. The goblins all had the same stats, except the chief was 1+1 HD and had a magic sword. By contrast the 3e encounter had no henchmen or hirelings, a smaller number of goblins, most of the goblins were warriors and the chief was a rogue. There may have been some 1st-level fighter bodyguards and a shaman (1st-level cleric or adept).

In my experience this is the biggest single difference. Encounter balancing was a very different thing then it was in AD&D. This forces a serious re-think of encounters to the point of taking the basic plot and rebuilding almost from scratch.

Using my original example, The Serpent's Skull adventure City of Seven Spears is pretty much the same plot as the AD&D module I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, which provides a great example of the best way to do this.

Silver Crusade

I've done lots of this. The old Dungeon Magazine is a treasure trove of terrific adventures. Adapting them takes time and effort. There's a terrific online INDEX that provides summary info about each adventure and which issue it's in. ALL the old Dungeon Magazine issues are available via bittorrent but are almost impossible to get on paper. Link not permitted in this forum.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Magda Luckbender wrote:
I've done lots of this. The old Dungeon Magazine is a treasure trove of terrific adventures. Adapting them takes time and effort. There's a terrific online INDEX that provides summary info about each adventure and which issue it's in. ALL the old Dungeon Magazine issues are available via bittorrent but are almost impossible to get on paper. Link not permitted in this forum.

Mentioning that you can get them on bittorrent may not be a good idea either.


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I've been converting BECMI stuff for my Mystara campaign since 2012. Generally it's been pretty easy. Converting and adjusting mechanics is pretty easy, if occasionally time-consuming. The most mechanically difficult choices come when converting old traps and monsters, which tended to be far nastier than P1 is - lots of SoD and no-save-and-suck abilities floating around back in the day. The hard bit is looking at a module and liking core aspects but needing to rewrite its fluff to a greater or lesser degree to make it better.

Figuring out how the politics of the world looks from "Test of the Warlords" and through "Vengeance of Alphaks" and "Talons of the Night" requires a thorough understanding of the countries and NPCs involved, and since magic works a differently in 3.x than it did in BECMI some significant assumptions about the progress of wars between countries with many max-level spellcasters needed to be changed.
I'm currently running Twilight Calling and it has needed a lot of work to make it more sensible and grounded in the setting. Converting all the unique monsters has been easy.

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Some of my absolute favorite books put out during the 2e era were the Wizard's Spell Compendiums, The Priest's Spell Compendiums, and the Encyclopedia Arcana (maybe I'm screwing that name up. Sorry if so). But there is an immense wealth of things in those books that I've translated over, mostly wizard spells and magic items. I don't know how good a job I do on it, but so far nothing has broken our game and the players don't even know I've done it, so so far so good...lol

You got the names right - and I love them too. I've been converting all pre 3.x spells I could find to P1. So far I've got 900+ pages. And you have to be careful with some of those spells, like the Mantle spell (by Ed Greenwood, of course, but that one isn't in the WSC).

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I've only ever tried converting some races, spells and items, not a whole adventure. Sometimes I've statted up heroes from AD&D games in Pathfinder.

In general when converting various things, I've aimed for an "in-spirit" conversion rather than an exact conversion. If the room contains a dart trap and goblins, I wouldn't convert the exact stats of the dart trap and the goblins in the room, I'd just use a pre-written Pathfinder dart trap and appropriate numbers and/or classed goblins that would be the right CR for the APL. The question I'd be asking would be "does this adventure feel the same" in terms of narrative and relative challenge, rather than trying to do a point-for-point (so to speak) conversion that may not actually produce an adventure that gives players a similar challenge.

With item and spell conversion I've always gone for relatively speaking how does the effect translate in Pathfinder terms. Percentiles are used a lot more in random places in AD&D, so if an item improves something by "20%" I might be more likely to translate that into a +4 bonus on a die.

Damn though now I want to try converting an AD&D adventure. Sadly I don't really have any on hand (I never DMed 2nd Ed), though I might go digging into my collection...

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This is all your fault Lord Fyre. I found an old AD&D module and have started trying to convert it--"Against the Cult of the Reptile God."

General encounters aren't too hard so far--I err more on the side of choosing something for an appropriate CR than a "literal translation" so to speak. So this adventure calls for a spirit naga which is CR 9. But I decided the big bad should probably be no more than CR 6 or 7 at most, so I picked a lunar naga instead. Narratively it doesn't make much difference, and I can even write the lunar naga's peculiarities into the story.

I am finding however that I have to account for more save-or-die/suck sort of scenarios that have been excised from later editions and especially Pathfinder--for example, in this one, the naga apparently has a permanent charm ability. I haven't looked up the old monster manual entry to be sure, but I am pretty sure this is a standard monster trait in AD&D. Because it's totally fine to lose your whole team and end the campaign due to a few bad saving throws. Nagas' charm abilities are not permanent in Pathfinder (and probably not in 3.x either). I'm not going to change the naga's stats to make it permanent (especially since I don't like that kind of gameplay, personally), but I decided that the naga in this story had to put the charmed cultists in the adventure through a ritual to make them permanently charmed. This explains why the cultists remain loyal after a long period of time in this version of the story. (And the PCs could be subject to the ritual if they really mess things up.)

An interesting challenge is dealing with what is and isn't codified into the game mechanics. True to the spirit of AD&D there are very few suggested mechanics for, say, how the PCs gather information from local townsfolk, leaving it entirely up to the GM (and one GM might rely entirely on roleplay for how this works, while another might purely call for Charisma checks and not bear in mind roleplaying at all; a third might use a little bit of both). Whereas, if you're trying to fully convert something into the style of Pathfinder, you probably should provide various DCs for Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks (of course, different GMs will still account for roleplaying to varying degrees, with some not asking for die rolls at all and others clinging to them religiously). While of course GMs can still come up with mechanics on the fly for something not explicitly included into the module, especially if the PCs really try something different or go off the rails, there is an expectation for the challenges to reflect what mechanics are in a Pathfinder game, and a lot of the "conversion" I'm doing is actually coming up with appropriate skill check DCs right and left. Of course one doesn't HAVE to do this, it depends on what you're doing this for. But there is SO MUCH you can mechanize when converting to "Math"finder. I decided to create a settlement statblock for the town the story takes place in, for example. That takes a lot more work than just describing the town!

At the same time, the "gameyness" of AD&D shows up in different ways. There's very few die rolls called for outside of combat, but there's a few places that mention people being able to detect alignment, not as a magical ability, but just, you know, a thing you do when you recognize someone like or unlike yourself. "Hey, I see you're the same alignment as me!" Another section explicitly points out that a certain NPC will refuse to reveal "his class and level"; the way it is written, it seems to actually assume someone might walk up to someone in this world and say "Hi, I'm Bob and I'm a 2nd level Ranger!" Those things I'm just writing out of the module entirely, or replacing them with other narrative text or game mechanics, e.g., rather than the NPC somehow just sensing alignment, they have a decent Sense Motive check.

It's fascinating to me what details are included in the AD&D module versus what you might find in a Pathfinder module. A lot of NPC characteristics and behavior are described where this would probably be left up to the GM in Pathfinder, with only truly key NPCs described and or provided some stats. The AD&D module also specifically accounts far more for the presence of murderhobos among the PCs, providing stats for very ordinary townsfolk AND where they happen to hide their life savings in their houses, you know just in case the PCs decide to search a farmhouse for where the owners keep all their money.

Except women. Women don't get stats. Except for three of them, and one of them is evil. Seriously, this is a module where the appearance and residents of almost every single house in town are described--if they're a dude. Almost every single house is identified with its owner, a named man with stats, with his unnamed statless wife. Sons are also named and statted if they are grown. Daughters are not. Children are not named or statted. The exception is the old lady widow who lives by herself who is allowed to have a name, one of the villains whose husband is gone, and a woman who gets named and stats because she is a retired adventurer (but she is a lower level than her husband, who, it makes clear, is the owner of the house she lives in). There's also one nameless but "overbearing" wife which the module feels the need to point out has a Strength of 16. No other stats, class or level, just FYI Str 16.

Oh and there's two male elves who live together, and everyone's suspicious of them. You know those elves.

Because I am a ridiculous and evil SJW, and because it is no longer 1917, let alone no longer 1982, I will provide names and statistics, where appropriate, for female characters. Some of them might get to be owners of houses. (Mind you, because I know tone gets lost on the Internet, I mainly find this hilarious, if also sad. I am not deeply offended--there are other things in the world to be offended about than an out of print adventure module from 1982.)

This said, 90% of the NPCs where the old module provides AC and HP, I'm just going to say at the beginning, "for ordinary citizens, use stats for the Farmer in the Game Mastery Guide."

Anyway. I think for treasure I'd almost completely re-generate it from scratch to bear in mind level-appropriate gear. And not bother with the detail that the dairy farmer the PCs may not even talk to hides 500 electrum pieces hidden in a milk canister in the barn.

Electrum pieces! I can't even remember the conversion rate for those anymore.

I will also just remove the description that says, "Characters will need to travel to the city west of here to be able to train to gain a level."

Speaking of class and level... the AD&D module is for "characters level 1-3." In my Pathfinder brain, I interpreted this as "you will begin at level 1 and will be level 3 by the time you finish the story." And then I realized that's not actually what they meant. They meant the PCs could be anywhere between levels 1-3 and different PCs might be different levels, because back when women had no names, PCs gained more XP individually AND leveled up at different rates. Who KNOWs what level they might be by the end of the module? They may indeed not level at all if the GM didn't let them travel away to train. Very few XP awards are also described -- I think the presumption is that you only gain XP by killing things? It's been so long since I played AD&D I don't remember (plus I do remember getting story and RP awards). So when converting you do need to think about what the party's starting APL should be and where they should end up, and maybe add enough XP awards if you feel it necessary to be sure that is likely to happen.

Anyway, that's my blathering. What, I needed a distraction from reality of late.


Electrum pieces are worth half a gold piece. I'm sure this is critical information for the conversion.


DeathQuaker wrote:

This is all your fault Lord Fyre. I found an old AD&D module and have started trying to convert it--"Against the Cult of the Reptile God."

General encounters aren't too hard so far--I err more on the side of choosing something for an appropriate CR than a "literal translation" so to speak. So this adventure calls for a spirit naga which is CR 9. But I decided the big bad should probably be no more than CR 6 or 7 at most, so I picked a lunar naga instead. Narratively it doesn't make much difference, and I can even write the lunar naga's peculiarities into the story.

I am finding however that I have to account for more save-or-die/suck sort of scenarios that have been excised from later editions and especially Pathfinder--for example, in this one, the naga apparently has a permanent charm ability. I haven't looked up the old monster manual entry to be sure, but I am pretty sure this is a standard monster trait in AD&D. Because it's totally fine to lose your whole team and end the campaign due to a few bad saving throws. Nagas' charm abilities are not permanent in Pathfinder (and probably not in 3.x either). I'm not going to change the naga's stats to make it permanent (especially since I don't like that kind of gameplay, personally), but I decided that the naga in this story had to put the charmed cultists in the adventure through a ritual to make them permanently charmed. This explains why the cultists remain loyal after a long period of time in this version of the story. (And the PCs could be subject to the ritual if they really mess things up.)

An interesting challenge is dealing with what is and isn't codified into the game mechanics. True to the spirit of AD&D there are very few suggested mechanics for, say, how the PCs gather information from local townsfolk, leaving it entirely up to the GM (and one GM might rely entirely on roleplay for how this works, while another might purely call for Charisma checks and not bear in mind roleplaying at all; a third might use a little bit of both)....

Hi! Two things, a conversion of this module to D&D 3.5 is available on Enworld conversion thread. May be a PF version as well, I do not recall. Second, I am very familiar with the module and the issue with the final encounter. Might I recommend creating an archtype to downplay some of the spell casting for some other benefit, increased DCs perhaps for its SU abilities? If memory serves, I think I took the same approach you did, but in other modules (tomb of the Lizard King) I had to do one of my suggestions above.


Greylurker wrote:
I've been working on converting Dragon Mountain for a while now. Expanding on several things from Book 1 while I do it.

I so wanted to do this, but specific instances in book 3 do not mesh with the ruleset in PF. Would love to hear your thoughts on how to solve (via PM of course).

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Javaman, lol thanks! It at least saves me from having to look it up to sate my curiosity. :)

Thedmstrikes wrote:
Hi! Two things, a conversion of this module to D&D 3.5 is available on Enworld conversion thread. May be a PF version as well, I do not recall. Second, I am very familiar with the module and the issue with the final encounter. Might I recommend creating an archtype to downplay some of the spell casting for some other benefit, increased DCs perhaps for its SU abilities? If memory serves, I think I took the same approach you did, but in other modules (tomb of the Lizard King) I had to do one of my suggestions above.

Thanks, but my interest here is not a) converting someone else's conversion or b) worrying about repeating what someone else did (especially since my conversion probably won't see the light of day). The OP's question intrigued me, and I thought I'd try it out with a module I was able to easily find. When I am finished maybe I'll see how other people did this, but I want to see how I tackle this first. Per the OP's request of "how would you do this" I'm sharing my observations and process in hopes it provides insight to other folks who are attempting the same thing.

And also I'm here to yell at Lord Fyre for sending demons to poke me with sticks until I took on this project, because I know he did. ;)

I am more curious about others' insights not on this particular module but general concepts of converting from AD&D to Pathfinder 1E, like determining appropriate XP story rewards and the rate at which PCs should level through the adventure.

Since it does sound like you've done some of this, you might also provide comment on the OP's original inquiry.


DeathQuaker wrote:


I am finding however that I have to account for more save-or-die/suck sort of scenarios that have been excised from later editions and especially Pathfinder--

Yup.

A simple giant bee had SoD poison back in the day. Even things like nightshades have been nerfed, not to mention monsters without official conversions like druj. Even without SoD/S abilities there were a lot of auto-succeed abilities floating around, like the revenant.

DeathQuaker wrote:


there is SO MUCH you can mechanize when converting to "Math"finder. I decided to create a settlement statblock for the town the story takes place in, for example. That takes a lot more work than just describing the town!

This is where I probably wouldn't bother to put in the extra work, possibly because I wouldn't need to with my players.

DeathQuaker wrote:

Except women. Women don't get stats. Except for three of them, and one of them is evil. Seriously, this is a module where the appearance and residents of almost every single house in town are described--if they're a dude. Almost every single house is identified with its owner, a named man with stats, with his unnamed statless wife. Sons are also named and statted if they are grown. Daughters are not. Children are not named or statted. The exception is the old lady widow who lives by herself who is allowed to have a name, one of the villains whose husband is gone, and a woman who gets named and stats because she is a retired adventurer (but she is a lower level than her husband, who, it makes clear, is the owner of the house she lives in). There's also one nameless but "overbearing" wife which the module feels the need to point out has a Strength of 16. No other stats, class or level, just FYI Str 16.

Oh and there's two male elves who live together, and everyone's suspicious of them. You know those elves.

This is hilarious. I feel the need to run this module sometime in the future just so I can share this with my players.

DeathQuaker wrote:


Anyway. I think for treasure I'd almost completely re-generate it from scratch to bear in mind level-appropriate gear. And not bother with the detail that the dairy farmer the PCs may not even talk to hides 500 electrum pieces hidden in a milk canister in the barn.

Electrum pieces! I can't even remember the conversion rate for those anymore.

Treasure could be a bit excessive by Pf standards. Running BECMI I generally tallied up the treasure in the module and then knocked off a 0 at the end of the sum, adjusting descriptions afterwards.

Then I ran "Sabre River" unadjusted and the PCs got 1.1 million each.
1 ep is traditionally 5 sp.

DeathQuaker wrote:

Speaking of class and level... the AD&D module is for "characters level 1-3." In my Pathfinder brain, I interpreted this as "you will begin at level 1 and will be level 3 by the time you finish the story." And then I realized that's not actually what they meant. They meant the PCs could be anywhere between levels 1-3 and different PCs might be different levels, because back when women had no names, PCs gained more XP individually AND leveled up at different rates. Who KNOWs what level they might be by the end of the module? They may indeed not level at all if the GM didn't let them travel away to train. Very few XP awards are also described -- I think the presumption is that you only gain XP by killing things? It's been so long since I played AD&D I don't remember (plus I do remember getting story and RP awards). So when converting you do need to think about what the party's starting APL should be and where they should end up, and maybe add enough XP awards if you feel it necessary to be sure that is likely to happen.

Individual xp made sense in many ways. They acknowledged that spells were powerful and thieves often wussy compared to the other classes, so the same amount of xp could make for a higher level Thief than Wizard.

In 1e and B/X-BECMI you got most xp from treasure - 1xp per gp. This helps to explain the massive amounts of wealth in the modules. Also, if treasure not only made you rich but more powerful, killing everything you came across was less necessary. Coupled with the massive amounts of SoD/S and loose concept of 'level appropriate encounters' in the game, combat was often something players would want to avoid, especially if it didn't mean anything to the story.

2e had xp progression that seemed to be based off the gp=xp model but hid that particular suggestion away in the DMG as an optional rule, meaning you had to kill a LOT of creatures to level if you only did xp from murder.

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Quote:
In 1e and B/X-BECMI you got most xp from treasure - 1xp per gp. This helps to explain the massive amounts of wealth in the modules. Also, if treasure not only made you rich but more powerful, killing everything you came across was less necessary. Coupled with the massive amounts of SoD/S and loose concept of 'level appropriate encounters' in the game, combat was often something players would want to avoid, especially if it didn't mean anything to the story.

THAT'S why the milkman has a bazillion coins in his milk can! I had completely forgotten that treasure brought in XP. So the message I should be taking from this isn't that the local peasants are bizarrely wealthy, but that the PCs should get story XP from interacting with those NPCs.Thanks Bjorn.

I think you've also explained why several of my players do everything they can to avoid a fight, when Pathifnder modules can be very combat heavy. Several of them played loads of AD&D as kids. (I had the books, but didn't have anyone to play with until college, where we only played a few one shots, so it didn't stick in my head in the same way. I played some of the video games, but that's different.)


DeathQuaker wrote:


THAT'S why the milkman has a bazillion coins in his milk can! I had completely forgotten that treasure brought in XP. So the message I should be taking from this isn't that the local peasants are bizarrely wealthy, but that the PCs should get story XP from interacting with those NPCs.Thanks Bjorn.

You're welcome. Another explanation is that if the world in general has more gold (as I feel we can safely assume looking at the modules) it stands to reason that the general population will have more gold than equivalent people in worlds that run on 3.x.

DeathQuaker wrote:


I think you've also explained why several of my players do everything they can to avoid a fight, when Pathifnder modules can be very combat heavy. Several of them played loads of AD&D as kids. (I had the books, but didn't have anyone to play with until college, where we only played a few one shots, so it didn't stick in my head in the same way. I played some of the video games, but that's different.)

Could be, could be. They might also genuinely enjoy stuff other than combat. Or they might feel that it is appropriate for their characters and immersion that they do not resort to violence at the drop of a hat.

I know several people who started gaming with 3.5 and they like talking more than fighting.


DeathQuaker wrote:
THAT'S why the milkman has a bazillion coins in his milk can! I had completely forgotten that treasure brought in XP. So the message I should be taking from this isn't that the local peasants are bizarrely wealthy, but that the PCs should get story XP from interacting with those NPCs.Thanks Bjorn.

I would also like to point out that money in 2nd edition was basically worthless after a certain level since there was nothing to buy. If you looked at the magic items section in the DMG you'd notice that none of them have any listed prices. This is because you couldn't purchase magic items. They could be crafted but crafting them actually cost your character XP which made it very unappealing to most players. It also meant that crafters didn't just hand out magic items to their party members and became very upset if said items got stolen or destroyed.

IIRC in 2nd edition everyone got xp for killing monsters. But each class had a short list of other activities that could get them XP. Thieves got xp for getting gold, fighters got xp per HD of monster they killed, wizards got XP for casting useful spells Etc.

This of course encouraged thieves to steal everything that wasn't nailed down, fighters to make sure they "got credit" for every kill and for wizards to blow all of their spells and were highly motivated to get every spell in the game. This also meant that while the game made it very clear that wizards were supposed to be extremely protective of their spellbooks. The reality was that the very 1st thing that would happen when two PC wizards met is they would swap spellbooks so they could learn each other's spells.

So, yeah. the mantra was very much "If it has stats we can kill it". This meant that if you didn't want PCs killing certain individuals you didn't give them stats. Women and children probably weren't statted in the module because the author didn't want to encourage players to kill them.


Nothing to buy?
We bought houses, inventory, luxury items, orphanages, donations to churches, taxes, buying land, investments, hirelings, goods and services, etc. etc. etc.
'Nothing to buy' only applies if you think that magic items are the only thing worth buying. The class specific XP lists were also an optional rule.

Crafting magic items GAVE you xp. You only started losing xp for crafting in 3e.

Plus the module in question is for 1e, not 2e, so the treasure found there was definitely not worthless.

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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:


THAT'S why the milkman has a bazillion coins in his milk can! I had completely forgotten that treasure brought in XP. So the message I should be taking from this isn't that the local peasants are bizarrely wealthy, but that the PCs should get story XP from interacting with those NPCs.Thanks Bjorn.
You're welcome. Another explanation is that if the world in general has more gold (as I feel we can safely assume looking at the modules) it stands to reason that the general population will have more gold than equivalent people in worlds that run on 3.x.

Sure, but I think the former interpretation helps with designing an effective version of the module in Pathfinder.

DeathQuaker wrote:


I think you've also explained why several of my players do everything they can to avoid a fight, when Pathifnder modules can be very combat heavy. Several of them played loads of AD&D as kids. (I had the books, but didn't have anyone to play with until college, where we only played a few one shots, so it didn't stick in my head in the same way. I played some of the video games, but that's different.)

Could be, could be. They might also genuinely enjoy stuff other than combat. Or they might feel that it is appropriate for their characters and immersion that they do not resort to violence at the drop of a hat.

I know several people who started gaming with 3.5 and they like talking more than fighting.

No, they've told enough war stories that I know they're traumatized from the early days. :) But rest assured I do my best to tailor adventures toward their preferred style of play. :)

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Nothing to buy?

We bought houses, inventory, luxury items, orphanages, donations to churches, taxes, buying land, investments, hirelings, goods and services, etc. etc. etc.
'Nothing to buy' only applies if you think that magic items are the only thing worth buying. The class specific XP lists were also an optional rule.

While I like that magic items can be bought (although the presumption upon the part of a certain type of player that there is a "magic mart" that has everything in the world to buy has always irked me especially since that's neither how the rules work nor clearly how it was intended), the way 3.x and thus Pathfinder 1e is balanced that basically all your wealth is intended to go toward your own gear---rather than stuff like donating to the town, hiring people, building your stronghold, etc. has often irked me. This said, I've been enjoying running Skull and Shackles where PCs have to gather Plunder and thus hold onto wealth for other reasons... but rather than of course just having them save money and not spend it, they still need gear to survive the adventure, so you have to drop more loot and hope they use it toward other story purposes. Which, my players do most admirably. But I could see it be a challenge with some groups.

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DeathQuaker wrote:
And also I'm here to yell at Lord Fyre for sending demons to poke me with sticks until I took on this project, because I know he did. ;)

My life is but to serve you ...


I've never done what you're interested in, but I've gone in the opposite direction - converting 3E or Pathfinder monsters / adventures to AD&D 1E. Monsters aren't hard to do, but adventures contain assumptions (e.g. about the rate of level advancement or how formidable a single tribal humanoid is) that fail in AD&D.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Nothing to buy?

We bought houses, inventory, luxury items, orphanages, donations to churches, taxes, buying land, investments, hirelings, goods and services, etc. etc. etc.
'Nothing to buy' only applies if you think that magic items are the only thing worth buying. The class specific XP lists were also an optional rule.

Crafting magic items GAVE you xp. You only started losing xp for crafting in 3e.

Plus the module in question is for 1e, not 2e, so the treasure found there was definitely not worthless.

I think the "nothing to buy" issue is table-specific and edition-specific. In 3e or Pathfinder (and 4e, unless using inherent bonuses) you spent money on magic items. Those items keep you alive. Spending money on anything else becomes dangerous. By contrast, neither 2e nor 5e had much in the way of magic item economies. You got items the GM gave you, so you could spend your money on other things.

Buying houses, inventory, land, etc is kind of confusing. I don't know how many gp "inventory" costs (how much inventory, and how much you can get for selling that inventory, or the payroll needed to staff your store?), luxury items (there are no rules for these, for the most part, and many PCs wouldn't care about these), orphanages (how much does one need, or cost?), taxes (PCs should be charged tolls, but how much?), land (who are you buying it from, and how much is that worth? Does the land come with serfs? Are you getting a noble title? Do you owe services to your new overlord? Won't that interfere with adventuring?), investments (what rules cover these?), and various good and services (Which goods? Which services? How much do they cost? If I want to hire a bunch of hirelings with shovels and wagons to cart all the treasure we got out of a dungeon, how much am I spending, given the weight of the treasure? What cut is the local lord going to want? I can't protect all those hirelings, so I would need to hire guards too... how many guards?) We don't live in a medieval setting in real life, so we don't know how much these things cost.

Even if the table could work that out, the PCs might not care. They might be mainly interested in exciting adventures.


Kimera757 wrote:


I think the "nothing to buy" issue is table-specific and edition-specific. In 3e or Pathfinder (and 4e, unless using inherent bonuses) you spent money on magic items. Those items keep you alive. Spending money on anything else becomes dangerous. By contrast, neither 2e nor 5e had much in the way of magic item economies. You got items the GM gave you, so you could spend your money on other things.

Buying houses, inventory, land, etc is kind of confusing. I don't know how many gp "inventory" costs (how much inventory, and how much you can get for selling that inventory, or the payroll needed to staff your store?), luxury items (there are no rules for these, for the most part, and many PCs wouldn't care about these), orphanages (how much does one need, or cost?), taxes (PCs should be charged tolls, but how much?), land (who are you buying it from, and how much is that worth? Does the land come with serfs? Are you getting a noble title? Do you owe services to your new overlord? Won't that interfere with adventuring?), investments (what rules cover these?), and various good and services (Which goods? Which services? How much do they cost? If I want to hire a bunch of hirelings with shovels and wagons to cart all the treasure we got out of a dungeon, how much am I spending, given the weight of the treasure? What cut is the local lord going to want? I can't protect all those hirelings, so I would need to hire guards too... how many guards?) We don't live in a medieval setting in real life, so we don't know how much these things cost.

Even if the table could work that out, the PCs might not care. They might be mainly interested in exciting adventures.

You illustrate my point excellently. If you run the sort of game that incentivizes min-maxing of gear and ignores any attempt at giving characters a home, then not being able to buy magic items means you have nothing to spend money on.

If you run the sort of game where stuff beyond personal gear is desirable, then you never run out of things to spend money on.

Obviously, (and I mean that in the sense that it shouldn't need pointing out) the details vary depending on the game and trying to give a comprehensive answer here is pointless. What I will say is that this has IME always increased roleplaying and immersion and connection to the world, and

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