Quick Converting PF to SW (cont.)

Hi everyone,

Let’s talk about Challenge Levels (CL) in Swords & Wizardry. From a prepared monster perspective, they tell you whether or not they should pose a challenge to a party of a particular level. If you’re using the information on monster building, you can easily take a known monster and make it more (or less) difficult. Either way, the rulebook provides an easy way to manipulate the adventure.

If you’re converting from one system to Swords & Wizardry, you may want to add another perspective. I like to think of CL as a budget for buying powers and characteristics that I want to add to the monster. The relationship between Swords & Wizardry’s Challenge Level and Pathfinder’s Challenge Rating (CR) is linear. As you will see below, there is a little variability but you can almost use the same number for each.

CRCLThe correlation between the two is r = .96 which is pretty substantial. Of course, I wouldn’t assume that there would be much variation here. Even when I tried other fit lines, they stayed linear. The increased variability at the high end may be due to the fact that there just aren’t a lot of super-powered monsters.

So, don’t be afraid to just take that CR5 Pathfinder monster and make him a CL5 Swords & Wizardry monster. It won’t make a huge difference in the end. Use the monster creation rules as listed to choose enough characteristics that will merit this challenge level. Next, we will try to tackle Armor Class. It’s a doozy. Happy converting!


Quick Converting PF to SW (cont.)

Quick Converting Monsters: Pathfinder to Swords & Wizardry

Hi everyone,

I want to take a break from doing Dice-Match materials to focus on another game that I love. Swords & Wizardry has become my default game for older players who want a little more meat on the bones than what Dice-Match provides. I own several modules and adventure paths for Pathfinder but I don’t know anyone who is willing to play a system so “crunchy.” But, I love Pathfinder’s monsters. Each time Paizo does a bestiary, my grubby little mitts will be there with cash.

Anyway, as you may know, Frog God Games publishes Swords & Wizardry. They release many of their materials in S&W, Pathfinder, and D&D 5e editions. The “Frogs” have a system of converting materials between the three systems that has not been published (as far as I know) so there are many questions that people have about using monsters from one system or another. I have a way of quickly converting from Pathfinder to Swords & Wizardry. Is it what the Frogs use? No. There are certainly differences to be found but this method allows you to retain the intent and flavor of the monster while attempting to balance difficulty. Let’s take a look at each part of the conversion in short installments as Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day 2016 approaches.

Hit Dice

This one can’t be a simple linear conversion. In Swords & Wizardry, hit dice are d6s (White Box) or d8s. In Pathfinder, you have a variety of dice being used to generate hit points. Using 126 monsters that can be found in both systems, I used the listed HIT POINT value from Pathfinder and the HIT DICE value from Swords and Wizardry Complete. I performed a regression analysis and found an interesting relationship.


A polynomial trend fits the data best from the common monsters. Using the regression equation, I created a range of Pathfinder HP that corresponds to Swords & Wizardry HD. The table at the bottom works pretty well in my game. Let me know if you find a significant issue. Next up will be Challenge Level/Rating. That will be a simple one. Happy Converting!


Pathfinder HP Swords & Wizardry HD
≤13 1d4
14-21 1
22-30 2
31-40 3
41-51 4
52-62 5
63-75 6
76-88 7
89-103 8
104-118 9
119-134 10
135-151 11
152-169 12
170-188 13
189-208 14
209-229 15
230-250 16
251-273 17
274-296 18
297-320 19
321-346 20
347-372 21
373-399 22
400-427 23
428-456 24
457-486 25
487-516 26
517-548 27
549-580 28
581-614 29
≥615 30
Quick Converting Monsters: Pathfinder to Swords & Wizardry