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Seeking help with the old modules original content 
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Skobbit

Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:52 pm
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Post Seeking help with the old modules original content
Hello!

I chose C&C because I'd like to convert old O&AD&D from my youth easily. I've read explanations on how to convert AC, HD and saving throws, and it seemed indeed really easy.

However I have some questions.

Magic items gained in the old modules are very powerful. Way too powerful according to Monsters & Treasures. But I would like to play these modules as intended! So here, my first question: will I encounter problems if I keep those magic items, and the original economy, and the original tables for treasures in the long run, within a campaign?

I read that 19-AC (20 for AD&D2) was the way to convert armor class. However, in Monsters & Treasures, 21-AC seems to be used! That's a big difference! Will I encounter problems if I choose to use the original monsters from the modules, with the 19-AC equation? (And with the already too powerful magic items.)

My purpose with C&C was to play with a simple ruleset all my old modules without too much hassle. But if I have to rethink every magic item, every treasure, every monster, every NPC, etc...

So, have you already tried playing old modules/campaigns this way? Any advice? By the way, B11-B12-B10-X1-…, staying within the realm of OD&D, at least at first, is my first idea of a campaign (for new players, but not sure yet).

I'd really love to love C&C. :)

Sorry for my bad english and thanks in advance.


Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:48 pm
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Mogrl

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Couple of things regarding writing of M&T...

1) AD&D 2nd edition was rarely, if ever, consulted. Certainly not for AC. I have no idea where you're pulling "21-AC is used" since that was never even considered. At least for the original printing... if its changed since, I have no idea as I stopped looking after the 1st. In fact, as I put the stuff together, the only time 2e even came onto my table was to compare the dragons, giants, and a few other things (which ended up being cut like demons/devils.)

2) The assumed maximum AC at the time was 30. This is why dragons were calculated differently for both AC and their attack values. I know this has changed and I believe there is now no assumed maximum limit to AC. I personally don't like that and would likely at least up the max to 40, but whatever, doesn't matter except for number inflation -- have an AC 100 and use percentage dice to hit. The game works either way.

3) "20 - AC" is good enough for most of AD&D. If you want OD&D and things in the original Monster Manual use 19 instead.

You can use the magic items from AD&D/modules. Some are very powerful even for their own system. So decide to change them or not.


Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:37 pm
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Skobbit

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
21-AC was just an example (sorry, my english). I meant that every monster I checked in M&T have a better AC than with the formula 19-AC (or 20-AC). So I'm afraid of what will happen if I keep that worse AC and the powerful magic items. Hence my question. :)

Random picks: Bubear (AD&D1 AC 5 vs M&T AC 17), Gargoyle (5 vs 16), Goblin (6 vs 15), Hill Giant (4 vs 17), Stirge (8 vs 16).

Maybe someone here have already tried an entire campaign just converting ACs directly and keeping those powerful treasures. I just want to know if the game didn't break gradually.

You think it won't?

I haven't played any RPG for a long time, but I clearly remember that, when I was young, one of my campaign got of control because the DM was too nice. It was me by the way. :) Altough I must say that, in those times, I wasn't particulary careful. And I often mixed old D&D module with newer editions ones without fixes. There was no internet, and I was lazy (just as I am now ;) ).

Thanks for your answer.


Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:35 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Well, the monsters should have their stats bumped up to match the M&T despite the conversion. Though nothing to say that something in the dungeon hasn't negatively impacted them either, such as not enough food or shoddier than normal equipment. The powerful magic items aren't that big of a deal. You can always subtly increase the number of creatures encountered if you feel the need or leave the exact nature of the items recovered in doubt until the PCs can get back to a town or such where they would have time to fully ascertain the magic items abilities. This allows you to fudge things as you wish to keep things in check if at all needed. If you feel the items are too powerful, reduce charges or nerf the item a little bit. After all, you are the one doing the conversion and running things. ;)

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Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:49 pm
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Skobbit

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
To be clear, you think that I should keep the better AC from M&T? If that's the case, when I meet a monster which isn't in M&T, should I use a formula like 20, 21 or even 22-AC?

The reason I ask is that the modules original magic items are VERY powerful: for B11, at level 1, a ring of prot +1, a lot of +1 weapons and armors. B12 and B10 are even worse, at least according to M&T.

Thanks for your kind answer, Go0gleplex.


Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:12 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Where you have the official C&C stats use those as your default unless you have a reason not to. If you are dealing with a critter not part of the official C&C menagerie, go with the 20-AC as appropriate. The magic items may be powerful but also realize that C&C is a bit more brutal, to use a word, on the PCs than AD&D is which surprised me my first game or two when I ran C&C for the first time. Not quite as brutal as OD&D was, but definitely within reach.

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Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:20 pm
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Skobbit

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Go0gleplex wrote:
C&C is a bit more brutal, to use a word, on the PCs than AD&D is which surprised me my first game or two when I ran C&C for the first time. Not quite as brutal as OD&D was, but definitely within reach.

That's the kind of info I was looking for. Although I'm guessing part of the reason it was brutal was the better AC. :P

Thanks!


Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:27 pm
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Skobbit

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
I haven't retrofitted one of the ancient adventures myself yet, but all the advice I've read on doing so pretty much match what @g00gleplex wrote:

  • If a C&C version of a monster exists, use that.
  • Converting descending AC: Subtract from either 19 or 20, depending how tough you want the NPC to be.

Magic item-wise... I dunno. My first thought is to use the C&C version if there is one. But adventures (even today) have a bad habit of introducing exclusive magic items, so you may have to do your own adjudication on converting them. Also, it's your game, you're not forced into awarding TSR "Monty Hall" ridiculous treasures if you don't want to.


Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:38 pm
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Ungern
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
We've got a party that started at 1st level and have now gone through 2 C&C adventures 1 1st edition AD&D adventure, and 1 OSRIC (Advanced Adventures) module. I did nothing to any of the monsters or treasure and all have played fine. The group lost 1 PC (in the AD&D adventure, which was Against the Cult of the Reptile God[i][, but that's been it so far. These are experienced players though and I also give all 1st level PCs a 20 HP kicker. But we also use exploding dice and criticals so that evens things out. So I think you might be overly concerned about nothing. remember that low level characters miss a lot and fail lots of saves. so a few +1 magic items aren't going to totally tilt things in their favor.


Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:55 am
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Skobbit

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
I see. Well, I slept on it and I must say: I don't like the M&T route. I just don't see why an encounter should be easier just because the monster wasn't in M&T, and that's the case since all ACs are better in it. And I don't like to lose time checking another source for every monster or every treasure. So I'll use 19-AC for OD&D and AD&D1, and 20-AC if I use AD&D2 material. If the result is too easy for the players, I'll try with 20-AC. I'll use the treasures and magic items of the original modules too. I won't use criticals nor exploding dice. Just auto-hit/fail for natural 20/1. Maybe a little HP kicker at the 1st level.

I'll share my experience here in two months.

Persimmon, just out of curiosity, what was the formula you used for the AC? I guess it was 19-AC since both your modules were AD&D1. Do you remember why one of the PCs died?


Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:32 am
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Ungern
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
We used 20-AC for the AD&D stuff. So AD&D AC 3= AC 17 for C&C. You also have to figure out if saves are mental, physical, or both. Most of these low level monsters seem to be physical.

The character who died was killed by a critical strike that ended up doing 45 points of damage! Since he was a barbarian (wary of magic) and the party was still pretty poor they decided to simply give him an honorable burial rather than try and resurrect him. And the nearest high level cleric was at least a hundred miles away...


Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:54 am
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Skobbit

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Yep. That's the problem with criticals. ;) Never liked them. And they're the norm now.

I think I'll use 20-AC directly too.

Did you use equipment from the original books (with their ACs and damage) or convert to the C&C one? If the latter, what did you do when weapons and armors were found in your modules, with their sometimes different ACs and damage? What about their price? A leather armor is 20gp in OD&D (AC 7), 10 in C&C (AC +2). A plate mail is 60gp in OD&D (AC 3), 600 in C&C (AC +7).

I think C&C equipment should be used, because they are part of the characters of the C&C system, but then I'd have to convert it after encounters too. A magical armor with an AC of 5 would suddenly have an AC of 7 when worn by a PC. A weapon would hit for 1D4 damage on an NPC, but for 1D6 on a PC. A plate mail would sell for ten times its original value if I don't use the original economy.

I don't give too much importance to balance or even rules, but I still want to have a good base.

What was your approach?

Thanks for your help, by the way. :)


Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:59 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Welcome to the game... just play it by a book a few times.. see how it works, THEN convert to the game.

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:28 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Captain_K wrote:
Welcome to the game... just play it by a book a few times.. see how it works, THEN convert to the game.



Rgr that. Welcome to the game

Also, and this is coming fro a constant rules tinkerer ... , C K has it right. Play a few games by the book, see how you like it, then do the fine tuning

Just let your players know that as the game goes there may be a few changes, then explain it to them when you make a modification.

As for specifics on conversion, I know Tree has some good rules of thumb, but he is out of pocket with his family now. I assume he will pop in here and give some sage advice eventually.

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:06 pm
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Hlobane Orc
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Captain_K wrote:
Welcome to the game... just play it by a book a few times.. see how it works, THEN convert to the game.


I agree with this 100%. While there's a lot of good advice from the other posts, make it your own. It's C&C.
It doesn't need to be technical. It doesn't need to be precise.
Enjoy it. Change it.
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Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:09 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
I wouldn't worry about balance too much with C&C. It is an incredibly robust and versatile system (read 'dang near impossible to break') that is almost tailor made for tweaking with house rules and conversions. I have the four book magical encyclopedia and use items from it without modification and have had absolutely no issues with the items in my games. (shrug) I AM rather stingy on treasure amounts though and often times the best items are ones the PCs have had to fight against in the hands of the big bad guy before obtaining them for their own use.

Honestly, I think you are over analyzing and worrying too much about things being conversions. :) To paraphrase Mork: "PLAY! BE FREE! HAVE FUN! (ignore the broken eggs on the floor)"

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:24 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
SwissCake, you are overthinking it. A 1 point difference in AC doesn't matter at all. Those old modules are not fine-tuned/"balanced" to such a precise degree. Consider for a moment the recommended levels for old modules. If you are running an adventure advertised for PCs of levels 1-3, the variability in party strength over that level range vastly overshadows a 1 point (or even 2 point) AC difference. Same with variable number of PCs that might be participating in the adventure. Precision in monster toughness just isn't important (or even a real thing).

My recommendation is this: if monster stats are provided in the module, don't worry about checking for an equivalent monster in M&T. Just convert the module monster on the fly. The standard formula for AD&D or 2E is C&C AC = 20 - D&D AC. For B/X D&D, the formula is C&C AC = 19 - B/X AC. There is no need to spend time looking up and substituting M&T monsters. Who is to say an orc from M&T is the type of orc appearing in the module? If the game allows you to create and use custom monsters (which C&C and D&D freely encourage), there is nothing special or magical about the book monsters. The variations between the module versions and the M&T versions are not significant to running the adventure. Use what's written up in the module and you'll be just fine.

Also keep in mind that the PC power level in C&C is close to the power level in 1E AD&D using Unearthed Arcana. The power creep from incorporating things like weapon specialization is more significant than a 1 point variation in AC.

For that matter, the randomness of dice rolling will dwarf any conversion issues. You'll notice someone going on a hot or cold streak with the dice before you'll see any impact from converting material at the levels you are talking about.

Basically, relax and enjoy the game. The conversion issues you are concerned about aren't going to noticeably affect you or your players' experience at the game table.

Saving throw conversion does make a noticeable difference at high levels. Generally speaking, saving throws are much harder in C&C at high levels than they were in pre-3E D&D. That becomes a significant consideration when converting high level material. Whether that is a feature, bug, or irrelevant aspect of C&C varies based on who you ask. High hit dice monsters with special abilities and spell-casting NPCs are scarier in C&C. You need to consider that when deciding whether to alter encounters from pre-3E modules designed for high level PCs. However, if you are looking at running B-series modules right now, you are a long, long way from needing to worry/think about high level conversion. By the time your party gets to the point of tackling old high level modules, you'll have a feel for the system and shouldn't have any problems deciding whether to adjust encounters.

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Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:06 pm
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Ungern
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
In answer to your question, all PCs were basically made using C&C rules with one exception, a halfling sawshbuckler taken from Hackmaster 4th edition. But all his equipment was culled from C&C rulebooks. I didn't worry about minor differences in armor, weapons, etc., that might have emerged in the AD&D material. i still have all my first edition stuff so I just ported it in. As others have said, things can be done more or less on the fly and just incorporate house rules as you go along.

I added crits and exploding dice a few years ago and the players like it. It certainly makes for cool descriptive opportunities and it makes thiungs dangerous even for very high level PCs. In D&D at higher levels it could be pretty tough to challenge players at higher levels except with stuff like dragon breath. But crits preserve the fear factor. Ours work like this: natural 20 is a critical. Roll another d20. 1-15: x2 dmg; 16-17: x3; 18-19; x4; 20: x5 dmg. With exploding dice thrown in, these can get brutal.


Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:45 pm
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Skobbit

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Thanks for the recommendations, guys. I wasn't worried about the game breaking in the first few levels, but in the long run.

Unbreakable? Challenge accepted. :P

Now I need to read this d*mn module before Monday.

Have a nice day/good night. ;)


Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:07 pm
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Clang lives!
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
I've ran and played in several campagns using old edition modules and magic items. They will convert without any issues and while saving throws do remain tough throughout a PCs career, that just makes it more fun and challenging.

R-

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Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:27 am
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Skobbit

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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Rigon wrote:
I've ran and played in several campagns using old edition modules and magic items. They will convert without any issues and while saving throws do remain tough throughout a PCs career, that just makes it more fun and challenging.

R-

Good to know.

I'll use AD&D as a model anyway, where rings of prot, e.g., give bonus to saving throws too. So it may solve the prob. And the stacking limitations of ACs for magic items too, to be consistent.

Thanks for the info, Rigon.


Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:00 am
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Ungern
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
I've done a lot of conversion for online play.

Where possible, I find an equivalent C&C version of a creature in either M&T, Classic Monsters or M&ToA and use that, tweaking slightly on an ad hoc basis. For cases where there isn't a C&C option, I just create one that captures the essence of the AD&D/2e/OD&D/BECMI/whatever original.

For classed NPCs, I create a C&C version, again, that captures the essence of the AD&D/2e/OD&D/BECMI/whatever original.

Magic items again I try and find a C&C version and compare the two and make small tweaks as needed.

For AC I do a pretty straight translation AC 3 = AC 17, AC -1 = AC 21, etc.... Again, I modify as needed if the C&C version of whatever armor being used protects better/worse than the original - it's likely to only be 1 point in either direction 19 times out of 20.

I agree you are over thinking things a bit too much - but don't worry converting is a bit of an acquired skill (it's pretty hard to get it wrong in a disastrous manner though).

Edited to add: don't get too caught up in the curse that is "balanced encounters" introduced in later editions of (A)D&D. Those old adventures never gave anything like that a thought and we all managed to enjoy them without the hand holding and training wheels. :)


Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:44 am
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Seeking help with the old modules original content
Lots of good advice... I'll add a little detail, when I run a module the first thing I do is get out a sheet of paper (or open a new document) and write out each monster from the module with the C&C details from the M&T if they exist and if not with the stats I want to use. I also start counting how many exist. By the time I'm done I have a "tear sheet" with ever monster in the book ready to go. As combat occurs I check of deaths, and or keep other notes on the tear sheet.

Doing this allows you to keep organized as thing go sideways, monsters flee, or regroup, set ambushes, etc....

I've posted a few tear sheets for the G1 - G3 here before.

Good Luck and hope you have fun!

-Mike


Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:51 pm
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