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D&D 5e conversions


Snick3
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Killer Shrike has converted older editions and his website has TONs of good information.

http://www.killershrike.com/

 

You'll find direct conversions of D&D to HERO somewhat tricky to do because some of the D&D spells are overpowered as !@#$ for their level and the points based nature of HERO makes those spells have to be downgraded substantially.

 

The classic cheese spells of D&D 5th edition (banish, hypnotic pattern, force wall, force cage) can be recreated roughly in HERO, but they won't be as crazily overpowered as their counter-parts.

 

I've done a lot of on-the-fly conversions using some rough rule of thumbs such as:

  1. Armor class:
    1. Converts directly to Resistant PD / Resistant ED in HERO.  Chainmail adds 6 to AC (16) so in HERO it is 6pts of rPD/rED.  Plate Armor adds 8 to AC (18) so it is 8pts of rPD/rED.
    2. Add the DEX bonus part of AC to DCV. 
    3. Add the shield bonus part of AC to DCV.
    4. Example:  You have an NPC with a D&D AC of 20 (10pts above starting value of 10) wearing chainmail and a shield.  Chainmail = 6pts rPD/rED and the NPC gets +2 DCV for the shield and +2 DCV for DEX.
  2. Spell Levels:
    1. Level 1 = 30 active points (max). 
      1. This goes up by 7.5 pts per level in a medium-magic setting.
      2.  You could raise it by 10 or more per level in a high magic setting.
      3.  Ex:  Magic Missile (1 pt NND RKA, Autofire, Single Hex, Accurate, Does Body)
    2. Level 2 = 37 active points.
      1. Ex:  Hold Person - Mental Paralysis 1d6 (+1 DEF).
    3. Level 3 = 45 active points.
      1. Ex:  The classic Fireball - 2d6 RKA with an 8 meter AoE
    4. Level 4 = 52 active points.
    5. Level 5 = 60 active points.
      1. Ex:  Cone of Cold - 2d6 RKA - Area of Effect Cone - Armor Piercing
    6. Level 6 = 67 active points.
    7. Level 7 = 75 active points.
    8. Level 8 = 82 active points.
    9. Level 9 = 90 active points.
      1. Ex:  Meteor Swarm - 2.5d6 RKA - 8 meter AoE - Autofire
  3. Saving Throws:
    1. One approach - Add a -1 limitation to all spells that they are either completely negated or their damage is reduced by half if the target ties or wins a characteristic roll vs. casters spell casting ability.
      1. Zapperon has a Magic Skill of 15 or less and he blasts Ser Rogerio with Cone of Cold.  Ser Rogerio must make a Constitution roll (13 or less for him) and make the roll by the same amount or more than Zapperon to take 1/2 damage.
    2. Other Options:
      1. To retain a more Saving Throw feel of D&D compare the spellcasters OCV to the targets Characteristic / 3.
        1. Ex:  Zapperon has an OCV of 7 and Ser Rogerio has a Constitution of 18  (18/3 = 6) so Zapperon will need to roll a 12 or less (11 + 7 OCV - 6 DCV) to do full damage to Ser Rogerio.
      2. Reverse rolls for a more "Saving Throw" feel.
        1. Ex:  Zapperon has an OCV of 7 and Ser Rogerio has a Constitution of 18 (18/3 = 6) so Ser Rogerio will need to make a CON save of 10 or less (11 + 6 for CON - 7 for OCV) to resist 1/2 the damage of the spell.
  4. Weapon Damage:  Use the weapon charts.  It doesn't conver well.
  5. Attack Bonus:  Remove the STR bonus from an NPCs attack bonus and add that to OCV.

Hope that helps a bit.  :)

 

 

 

 

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I need to read over the rules in Fantasy Hero but I vaguely remember something in Champions called a variable power pool and you had a list of things you could do with that pool. It just meant nothing was every really as powerful as if you put full points into a single power. I was hoping to do something along those lines but once again, I gotta read through the rules to see how that works.  

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33 minutes ago, Snick3 said:

I need to read over the rules in Fantasy Hero but I vaguely remember something in Champions called a variable power pool and you had a list of things you could do with that pool. It just meant nothing was every really as powerful as if you put full points into a single power. I was hoping to do something along those lines but once again, I gotta read through the rules to see how that works.  

 

I highly recommend Variable Power Pools for D&D classes that can swap out their prepared spells each day (Wizards, Clerics, etc.).

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7 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Wish I knew someone who knew 5th well enough to convert my stuff over so I could sell it in that market, too

 

I play 5th pretty regular and I am familiar with the rules, but I am not sure Hero lends itself well to conversion from a varietal standpoint. You'd have to be pretty okay with a significant number of effects having a lot less variety than Hero supports. That's aside from the entire DCV / PD / ED conversion to AC.

 

- E

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Well... converting Hero System spells to D&D spells in any systematic way is impossible, as every D&D spell is functionally a rule in itself. There are common patterns, but that's it. And as eepjr24 says, many Hero System mechanics just have no analog at all. For instance, there are no analogs to Power Defense, Mental Defense or Flash Defense; any effect other than hit point damage tends to be all-or-nothing, with duration set by spell durations or saving throws each turn rather than a number set by a dice roll. You'd be creating brand new crunch to be consistent with your setting concepts and flavor text, rather than adapting existing material.

 

Which does not make the project unworthy. Just don't imagine it would be simple and purely mechanical.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 6/1/2019 at 12:02 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

Wish I knew someone who knew 5th well enough to convert my stuff over so I could sell it in that market, too

 

 

I have DM'd 5th edition for the last 5 seasons and I've played HERO for several years in the 80s/90s and recently picked it back up.

 

Shoot me a message.  I think having the material available in two markets would be an interesting way to lure some business back over to the HERO side.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

To get off on a tangent, does it seem to you that advancement in D&D/PF/OSR/DCC is alarmingly fast by the standards of a HERO campaign? Which will surprise players going either way between them?

 

In general yes.  Current non-Hero games tend to have blindingly fast advancement compared to Hero and players switching between them notice that fairly quickly. 

 

But that can be explained.

The advancement in D&D/PF/OSR/DCC is intended to be that "fast".  In the current gaming environment players have very little free playing time and that time tends to go in spurts.  Play may be one 4 hour session a week broken by gaps of not being able to attend for 2-4 weeks before resuming the weekly game.  Players want to actually level up fairly quickly so they can actually experience play using abilities only available at higher levels.  D&D supports advancement without XP, essentially PC's gain a level per session.

 

I can sit down at the table and do cool stuff.  The next time I arrive I can do even more cools stuff. Yea FUN!

 

In Hero, XP is the only way to advance and it is incredibly slow.

 

"Usually, a one-session adventure is worth about 2 Experience Points. If an adventure takes more than one session, add a minimum of +1 Experience Point for each session beyond the first (a three session adventure would be worth at least 4 Experience Points)." ~Hero System 6th Edition Vol 2, Gamemastering Pg 292.  

 

Champions Complete has the same XP chart with less explanation.

 

But think about it.    In 3 sessions a D&D PC can advance 3 levels with all the attached new cool stuff.   In three sessions a Champs PC may, possible, if they scrimp and save XP, get maybe, possibly, an additional 1d6 added to one power. 

 

If you have extremely limited play time, which do you prefer? 

 

 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Spence said:

But think about it.    In 3 sessions a D&D PC can advance 3 levels with all the attached new cool stuff.   In three sessions a Champs PC may, possible, if they scrimp and save XP, get maybe, possibly, an additional 1d6 added to one power. 

 

That's not really a system problem, though. Hand out 20 XP per session in a Fantasy Hero game and watch the power levels escalate rapidly.

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25 minutes ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

That's not really a system problem, though. Hand out 20 XP per session in a Fantasy Hero game and watch the power levels escalate rapidly.

 

Absolutely. But it is a system problem because people go by what is written in the books and what is said on the boards, and the books have the chart. 

 

Yes, all RPG's tell the GM to modify as needed.  But 99.9999% of new players play RAW, at least in the beginning.  If the beginning period of play using RAW doesn't hook them, they do not stay long enough to experiment.

 

There is a post in another thread that I cannot find right now that had someone saying to the effect that 6th Ed "fixed" the Disadvantage "problem" by using a lower total of points for Complications.  But I never had a problem with Disadvantage point because all the groups I played with always used totals that were less than the book recommendations.  For 5th Ed, instead of 200+150=350 we always used 300+50=350.  But I've been a Hero fan since 82.  A new person that picks up the rule book will use the recommended values.  Deviations need to be spelled out in prominent and well accented terms. 


Especially since the vast majority of RPG's out there do not encourage big deviations and many are designed in a way that large deviations are not easy to make and maintain play balance.

 

 

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Quote

But think about it.    In 3 sessions a D&D PC can advance 3 levels with all the attached new cool stuff.   In three sessions a Champs PC may, possible, if they scrimp and save XP, get maybe, possibly, an additional 1d6 added to one power. 

 

Yeah but one D&D level isn't nearly as much as 10 points of power in Fantasy Hero.  The level ups are not remotely equivalent

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2 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Yeah but one D&D level isn't nearly as much as 10 points of power in Fantasy Hero.  The level ups are not remotely equivalent

 

True, I am not really disputing that.

 

But a level does add tangible stuff. 

New stuff the PC can do and it does make a discernible increase on ability.  

New lines of stuff on my character sheet. 

 

Increasing my Hero PC's strength by 5 may theoretically in game scale double the PC's strength.   But is still only 1d6 dam in battle and that sword I bought or the new spell is much "cooler" to a player. 

 

It is not about true points, it is about perceived fun'ness.

 

 I spend 10 pts on my PC and things still look pretty much the same.

I level up and I have all kinds of cool new word on the sheet.

 

Just saying....

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

There's no reason at all that a GM or player couldn't build.........

 

Absolutely.  This applies to everything and is a repeating statement for Hero.

 

The problem is new players use RAW, and that kind of thing isn't prebuilt in the RAW.

You have to get new players to PLAY before you get them to think outside the box.

The box is the RAW.

 

Hero is fantastic and allows people that are experienced with it to do anything. 

But Playing is needed to get the experience needed to utilize the rules to full potential.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Spence said:

 

In general yes.  Current non-Hero games tend to have blindingly fast advancement compared to Hero and players switching between them notice that fairly quickly. 

 

But that can be explained.

The advancement in D&D/PF/OSR/DCC is intended to be that "fast".  In the current gaming environment players have very little free playing time and that time tends to go in spurts.  Play may be one 4 hour session a week broken by gaps of not being able to attend for 2-4 weeks before resuming the weekly game.  Players want to actually level up fairly quickly so they can actually experience play using abilities only available at higher levels.  D&D supports advancement without XP, essentially PC's gain a level per session.

 

I can sit down at the table and do cool stuff.  The next time I arrive I can do even more cools stuff. Yea FUN!

 

In Hero, XP is the only way to advance and it is incredibly slow.

 

"Usually, a one-session adventure is worth about 2 Experience Points. If an adventure takes more than one session, add a minimum of +1 Experience Point for each session beyond the first (a three session adventure would be worth at least 4 Experience Points)." ~Hero System 6th Edition Vol 2, Gamemastering Pg 292.  

 

Champions Complete has the same XP chart with less explanation.

 

But think about it.    In 3 sessions a D&D PC can advance 3 levels with all the attached new cool stuff.   In three sessions a Champs PC may, possible, if they scrimp and save XP, get maybe, possibly, an additional 1d6 added to one power. 

 

If you have extremely limited play time, which do you prefer? 

 

 

 

 

 

To mitigate this difference in systems I have been handing the players 5pts per session +/- 1 point based on goal progression.  This allows characters to advance at a pace that feels more commensurate with D&D style games.

 

My current Saturday group is in book 5 of 6 of the War for the Crown adventure path and they have gone from 125pts to 270pts.  This is working out pretty well in terms of difficulty with the tier 3 monsters they are encountering.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/9/2019 at 5:40 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

There's no reason at all that a GM or player couldn't build "level up" templates.  I think I may have seen something to that effect around here, possibly posted by Killer Shrike?  Or maybe on his site.  

 

I offered a level to points guideline for the purposes of converting characters from D&D (3e) to Hero System (5), but one of the main advantages of converting a D&D game to the Hero System for me is to get rid of class & level straight jacketing so I personally never used level semantics for my Fantasy Hero campaigns as anything other than a conversion tool and as an approximation for some players who were stuck in that mode of thinking and wanted some kind of touchstone to cling to. 

 

http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/Conversion3e/Conversion3eStep1.aspx

 

Tangentially, this document spoke to considerations for how to adjust the way in which a DM coming from D&D (level based) might challenge PC's as a GM running the Hero System (point based):

 

http://www.killershrike.com/FantasyHERO/Conversion3e/Conversion3eOpposition.aspx

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Mumble years ago, I did a conversion of a lot of 1e material to Champions (pre-Hero System).  One of the things I learned is that you can try to do as exact a match as possible from the source, but it's actually a bad idea.  You end up with spells in some kind of framework, with all sorts of advantages and limitations layered on to try to exactly match the original.  It gets ridiculous.  You're better off using guidelines like those cited about from Killer Shrike for general power levels.  Then do a build of what feels right at that power level.  Once I saw what has been done with Hero System Grimoire, with various options for every spell, I decided that I truly didn't need one definitive version of each spell.  Having reached that conclusion, I knew that I could go for the right feel rather than exact mechanics.

 

With that said, there are some things you want to do.  You want to scale damage, range, area of effect appropriately.  That doesn't mean matching the source.  That means that if one spell has twice the range of another in the source, it should probably have twice the range when you convert it.  Similar concerns apply to other features of a spell.

 

Monsters are harder to convert.  The big reason is what DShomshak commented on above.  Simply, the Hero System has mechanisms for modelling things that don't all appear in most games.  If monsters are lacking in defenses against certain types of attacks, those become weaknesses.  If every monster converted from a particular source is lacking those defenses, you've increased the value of those attacks because they become disproportionately effective.  Monsters really need to be a build from scratch to match the intent of the original.

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  • 7 months later...

I was pondering this some today, and while I don't see much value in doing a whole hog conversion, I was thinking about how some 5e elements would convert. Like, I think a wolf totem barbarian conversion would be fun. Fighters with the Champion archetype would not be so different under Hero from Battle Masters; the Battle Master I think would mostly just have Tactics as well as more Martial Maneuvers, while the Champion would have some special traits. Remarkable Athlete is easy (+1 leaping, maybe a Skill level) but is Survivor better as a specialized form of Regeneration, or is it just a really high REC characteristic? 

Warlocks are kind of fun, in that you could built out some of their abilities as straight up powers, while others are traditional spells. 

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