Now for something completely different…

Hi all,

I’ve decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month. For my first novel (attempt), I’m going to tell the story of Mara from the Unicorn’s Tower adventure. I’ll be using the Dice Match: Spell Thief setting as a backdrop for a sweeping adventure across Aldur. I hope to have the first draft finished Nov. 30th and the final manuscript on Amazon in January. If you like Spell Thief, check it out. I’ll do my best to make a compelling story for the players and game masters.

-ATH

Now for something completely different…

Putting it All Together

Hi Everyone!

Let’s try quick-converting a few monsters from Pathfinder into Swords & Wizardry. You’ll notice that the monsters won’t be exactly the same. But… it’ll be close enough for the game table. I picked a couple of weird ones that I haven’t used before: the Ant Lion and the Hound of Tindalos.

In Pathfinder, the Ant Lion has 67 HP. So using our table, it should have 6 HD in Swords & Wizardry. I just took the CR 6 and listed it as CL 6 too since it has a linear relationship. It’s BIG and has a hard shell so I add the “Plate” modifier and the “Taller” modifier to the base of 9 and get AC 17. I would give it a Move of 12 with a Burrow value of 3. It uses a Bite as its melee attack so I use 1d8 for its bite. I would also ask the victim to roll a saving throw or be grappled. In the description, we see that Ant Lions build traps so we can just use that as flavor rather than a mechanic. So how does it compare to the official conversion from Tome of Horrors Complete?

The official version has HD 8 rather than 6. No big deal but it will change the monster’s Saving Throw value. The AC is spot on. The regular Move speed is the same but the Burrow speed is faster in the official version. The big difference is the Bite damage. The official version uses 2d8. I use 1d8+Grapple. In the end, that isn’t a problem. It retains the flavor of the beast and just gives us a little variability in how it carries out an attack. In the case of the Ant Lion, I would have it grapple a PC and then use it to bludgeon the other characters. That’s too much fun!

Now, let’s try one that is more complex. I haven’t seen this one in any S&W books so this is completely built using my method. The Hound of Tindalos is a commonly occurring monster in the Cthulhu Mythos. It has some vicious bite and claw attacks but it can also teleport into other dimensions. In PF, it has HP 85, CR 7, AC 20, Speed 40, melee and magic. I would quickly convert it to HD 7, CL 7, AC 17 (+4 Stealth, +2 Pain Perception [it already looks dead], +2 Leather[y]), Move 15, and Attack Bite (1d6)/ 2 Claws (1d8). Now, I add the spells. Its primary magic is teleportation so I give it Teleport. It also gets Invisibility, Locate Object (MU), Haste, and Slow. I think he’s ready for the table. It cuts out a lot of the detail that the PF version has but it retains the flavor of a teleporting, otherworldly killing machine. Compared to a Blink Dog (CL 4), the Hound of Tindalos is much more terrifying.

I hope you enjoyed these posts. I’m thinking about doing another system next. Possibly 5e to SW. If you have a request, let me know. Happy converting!

 

-ATH

Putting it All Together

Into the Attack! Quick Converting Attack Damage

Hi Everyone!

Throughout this series, I have discussed the wide variability that you can get with some of the stats. When you are trying to take a monster from Pathfinder and convert its attack damage to Swords & Wizardry, you need to try to avoid using the stats from Pathfinder entirely. S&W has enough weird variability issues on its own to work around. Instead, focus on the Challenge Level of the monster in S&W.

I tried a number of things to pinpoint how damage is done. I settled on a method that works pretty well to retain the flavor of the monster. First, I took all of the monsters in the Complete book and correlated their CL to their minimum damage done on an attack round. Then, I did the same thing for the maximum damage. Then, I split the damage into three types. You’ll notice that many monsters have multiple attacks per round. I just verbalize those after I’ve rolled all of the damage dice rather than roll them separately using this method. Try this for monsters that only have one primary attack:

damage

Since this is “quick converting” and not “accurate converting,” you may find that the damage dice are quite lethal for characters at the low end of each category. Be careful to avoid the dreaded TPK. I fudge my numbers a bit after I kill one PC.

We’ll wrap up this series by putting it all together and trying to convert a monster. Happy converting!

-ATH

Into the Attack! Quick Converting Attack Damage

Even More Quick Converting!

I’m back! Let’s talk about the conversion of Pathfinder’s Speed to Swords & Wizardry’s Move values. I thought this one would be a simple linear correlation. It’s a bit messier than that because some monsters may have different powers that are more or less valued between the two games. So when I calculated the correlation, it was moderate: =.39. When we look at the graph, it’s a mess.

speed2

Yes, there is a trend but there is such wide variability that it’s hard to make a simple 1-to-1 conversion. The other thing is, they’re on two different scales. That shouldn’t really matter too much but it does make it a little less obvious when converting. I created a really simple table that can be used to capture the spirit of the monster’s movement rate within S&W.

speed-table-graph

This should get you by. Like I’ve said before, it isn’t what the Frogs use but it’s close enough in a pinch. We’ll wrap up this series with attack values. It’s the one I tend to fudge most often at the table but you can also have a lot of fun with it. Happy converting!

-ATH

Even More Quick Converting!

QUICK CONVERTING PF TO SW (CONT.)

Hi everyone,

I took a long break from Pickled Punks to focus on work, family, and my insatiable gaming habit. Let’s get back to our discussion of converting Pathfinder to Swords & Wizardry!

Armor Class (AC) in Pathfinder is really complex. There is a regular AC, touch AC, and flat-footed AC. Pathfinder takes into consideration size, toughness, speed, stealth, body material, and method of locomotion in three statistics related to a player character’s ability to land a blow. Swords & Wizardry, on the other hand, comes from an older, less-specific point of view. One thing I ran into was the fact that small monsters in Pathfinder are harder to hit than big ones. They take the “broad side of a barn door” philosophy when considering hitting targets. In Swords & Wizardry, little things are “squishy.” Big things are tough.

I ran all of the numbers. I’ve tried correlating PF AC to SW AC, PF touch AC to SW AC, PF flat-footed AC to SW AC, averaged PF AC to SW AC, averaged touch/flat-footed PF AC to SW AC, PF speed to SW AC, and size to SW AC. I’ve looked at Reflex, Dex, and Speed. The strongest correlation of these was averaging all three PF AC stats and using this number as the SW AC, r = .667. You could just take the Pathfinder AC values, estimate an average between them, and slap that AC on the Swords& Wizardry version of the monster.

Honestly, though, that’s not what I do. I read the description of the Pathfinder monster and then build my Swords & Wizardry AC based on its characteristics. I use this table:

SW AC

Is this perfect? No. But it allows me to consider a lot of factors in retaining the flavor of the Pathfinder monster while making sure my Swords & Wizardry players can hit their target when I intend for it to happen.

Next, we’ll take a look at one that I thought would be straightforward but isn’t: SPEED.

Happy converting!

-ATH

QUICK CONVERTING PF TO SW (CONT.)

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!

-ATH

Quick Converting PF to SW (cont.)