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Author Topic: 5e Conversion Work  (Read 24863 times)
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artfulshrapnel
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« on: September 29, 2014, 06:15:39 PM »

So. About two years ago I was running what was arguably the best game of my life, a midnight sandbox game using a shoehorned Pathfinder system. It was a mess, it barely held balance, but it was great. Then I was forced to move to another city (damn you economy!) and running Pathfinder online makes my brain crawl because of all the tiny math that adds up to a huge headache.

Fast forward to last month: I get my PHB for 5e and hey... it's perfect! No more christmas-tree effect, magic items are rare, spellcasting is inherently more flexible but limited in quantity, and the system is much easier to run in something like an online setting. So I start working on a conversion.

Today, I'm at about the 33% mark. I've got the races and classes adjusted, I've worked out the handful of heroic paths my players actually use, and I have some base rules for magic in place (waiting on the DMG to reveal its spell-point system, which I hope to make use of with some minor tweaks), and I'm on the cusp of re-launching my campaign.

I figured I'd share this with the crowd here, and see if anyone had any thoughts or wanted to swipe anything for their own use. So yeah, here's what I've got so far.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1acSx0TmGQ5BxgRv0YZ0K6Zyw5nFMGzT1QOxDaEhHl3A/edit?usp=sharing

Feel free to make any comments or derive new versions of any of this stuff.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 06:04:59 AM »

I have read many reviews on the PHB and MM but haven had the time to read the PHB yet, but you sir have done a lot of work!

Care to share the idea behind your heroic path ports?

5e has a lot less abilities per level and the assumed magic items are way less than a 3rd edition game, where heroic paths are meant to offset the absence of magic items and the smaller access to spells. This means your heroic paths make a midnight character much stronger than he would be on a default 5th Edition game, at least in the first levels. Just curious how you envisioned them in that conversion
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 10:15:23 AM »

Good question. My thinking there was more that they were inherent to the setting, something my players and (I think) many players strongly associate with. It fulfills the role of making your Rogue/Ranger/Fighter/whatever unique among all people like that.

(In my particular campaign they actually have plot significance, and the power they're gaining is powered by belief/hope of the people who are hearing about them, but that's my own worldbuilding twist.)

In this case, yes, it will be making them more powerful than standard 5e. (I think possibly too powerful, I've been considering bringing the boosts down to an every-other-level rate)

My philosophy there with Midnight is that the players are inherently better than even other adventurers, and that's what the paths represent. If they weren't, they'd get mowed down like every other person that stands up to the Shadow. The world is stacked against them aggressively enough that I didn't feel like it was going to change things all that much, and that the kinds of really tough challenges they face won't be solved with single combat or a slightly higher Strength score.
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sshagent
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 08:55:55 AM »

Nice work.  I look forward to seeing this develop.  My home brew setting is moving from PF to 5e asap.  I've certainly wanted to revisit Midnight again Smiley
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2014, 10:28:33 PM »

Thanks to all those who have stopped in to make suggestions and edits!

Updates since the last version:

Heroic Paths
After thinking over Nifelhein's comment I've revised my sample versions of these, decreasing how often they give out rewards and making them more consistent with the 5e design ethos. They're going to be given out every odd-numbered level I think.

Languages:
Rules for "Cultural Growth" that include improving language proficiency and number of crafting/techincal skills over time (a critical part of Midnight that's not well supported in 5e). Since my rules now give out Pidgin competency in "related" languages, I made this handy chart to show what I believe to be the canon relationships between languages. (Along with my interpretations of which ones are likely distantly related in a historical context)

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1yPozwrfuTolFwwTMf7hEW6Sez9Pj8ePKCQqxrJ7mi0M/edit?usp=sharing

Spell Points!
I've put a temporary set of rules in place, and tweaked some of the feats and class descriptions to suit. If anyone is curious about the thinking behind the Spell Points system, I used this handy chart to calculate out how many spell points a caster would have, and how many of their top-tier spells a day they should be able to cast with that total. My goal was to start around 6 and end up at just over 2 by the end, building on the assumption that the bulk of spells cast by high-level casters would be around 3rd to 5th level, giving them a consistent ~6 "good" spells per day.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Alem5Clg0XfedDBSRmhXSm9HaDgtUE5melRSOEFDSFE&usp=sharing

Because I want casters to have a bit more longevity, but still be cautious with their usage in any given encounter, I'm allowing some spell points to be regained during a short rest, but I may look into other ways to accomplish this if it gets out of hand.

Other Random Stuff I've Forgotten!
There's probably some stuff I forgot to mention. Multiclassing tweaks, uses for skills, Race tweaks, buncha typos, and other stuff.

Thanks to all who've commented publicly or privately with suggestions and help! I appreciate it all, and look forward to any ideas or corrections anyone has to offer!
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2014, 11:23:24 PM »

Not sure if it is a faux-pas to self-update, but I just made my first foray into the full Heroic Paths, got about a quarter of the way through tonight.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bCGyEuslCn3C9K1UtXO7prLrYRUBwtkSA9RiU2nmVPg/edit?usp=sharing

These are intended to be given every odd-numbered level, I just find this numbering method easier while working on them and constantly rearranging. To figure out what level something corresponds to, double its number and subtract 1. (so 7. is 13th level)

As a rule people get about half the abilitiy, AC boosting, or spell-like powers they used to. They get things like Darkvision, damage boosts and movement boosts in a smaller number of larger increments. (These things have not been significantly cut down in 5e compared to the original, so I wanted to keep the final numbers about the same)

Comments, critiques and suggestions welcome as always!
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sshagent
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2014, 03:06:39 AM »

not sure about others.  but i appreciate the new post update (so i know to check back at your progress).  I can't really comment to much on the mechanics as I've only gm'd a couple of brief 5th ed games so not sure how it all balances in the end, i just know i like what I've seen thus far.  I've pretty much Midnight'd my homebrew setting, and hope to get a GM slot in the new year so this stuff may well be useful
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2014, 06:46:20 AM »

Thanks for sharing, my MM arrived last week and I am still with the PHB on my bedside, so can't give real feedback on mechaniocs and such, since I am basing everything around what the playtests were.

But as soon as I read it I will be all over this Grin
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arnon
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 12:39:44 AM »

My only experience with 5e is what they put out on the web, and i must say that there are some things there that look very interesting... So this conversion is interesting for me as well, although i'm not sure i'll make use of it.
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TheBigRagu
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 10:58:42 PM »

You sir or madam are an absolute gem!
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2014, 11:43:46 PM »

I'm currently engaging in vague meditations on how to convert Midnight to Pathfinder in a manner that would also work with HeroLab. For all that Doomed Hero has done some awesome work creating and converting Pathfinder-compatible classes and heroic paths… I'm looking to achieve something that is better streamlined with HeroLab, without requiring any programming.

But I think it's great that others are keeping the setting alive in other game systems, including D&D 5E. If D&D 5E is as flexible and modular as they make it out to be, then I look forward to adapting 5E material when I eventually resurrect my Midnight campaign (haven't give up on the setting, which remains my favourite!).
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 08:27:25 PM »

Thanks Arnon and Ragu, even if you don't make use of it hopefully it made for an interesting read!

I'm currently engaging in vague meditations on how to convert Midnight to Pathfinder in a manner that would also work with HeroLab...

Nice, I once embarked on a similar quest. If it's at all helpful, I have quite a bit of material I created for the Pathfinder version of Midnight I ran before this. It assumes use of the base classes, and only changes how the spellcasting is doled out. (not sure how hard that would be to tweak for HeroLab) It's also got some supplementary material like my collection of house rules and clarifications, and my handy chart of Midnight languages. (The players were often asking if the language they spoke was related to the language of the person they were speaking to, since I gave a bonus to Linguistics if they knew a related language)

It's been playtested over a multi-month campaign, and while it isn't perfectly balanced it was a lot of fun and nobody felt like they were hurt by it more than anyone else.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zBshUqRKeFc-sCD3t2HcQIxHcNjge9No2AtqB9zn654/edit?usp=sharing

Hope this is helpful at all!
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TheBigRagu
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2014, 01:29:00 PM »

Coming up in November my group has been itching to try out 5e, so this would work perfectly for me to introduce
A ) A favorite setting of mine
and
B ) A new system we've been wanting to try out.

This assumes of course I can't convince them to give a GURPS conversion a shot.
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2014, 02:37:45 PM »

...a GURPS conversion...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I think I'll do both. Wink

(My history with GURPS has been less than stellar)
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TheBigRagu
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Oh fiddlesticks


« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2014, 02:59:44 PM »

It's a dark road I walk.
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2014, 03:02:45 PM »

Thanks for the info and link, shrapnel… I'll definitely take a look.

TheBigRagu, artfulshrapnel… any chance one of you guys might want to run a play by post on these boards? I would even be willing to get the 5e PHB for that.
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TheBigRagu
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2014, 03:16:00 PM »

Tempting, but I barely have enough time to write and DM a campaign for my local group. University is a harsh mistress.
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2014, 03:58:58 PM »

I might be able to in a few weeks, but I'll have to see how busy I am... (I work for a company that makes political campaign software, so until the US elections are over we're on mega crunch time)
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2014, 11:24:31 AM »

Just a progress update: I found a bit of time this weekend, and took a pass at the rest of the Heroic Paths. I definitely think there are some balance issues, but the same was fairly true of the old ones (search your feelings, you know it to be true) so I guess yay for tradition.

Also I've cleared up a few small issues and typos in my main writeup, which came up as I went over character creation with a player for an upcoming campaign, and went through and tweaked the spell list. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KLvroMIQ4vFJHXR5DJU_Mx4ol176PBgup3B8wk_G7iQ/edit?usp=sharing

Feel free to read over and comment, as usual! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bCGyEuslCn3C9K1UtXO7prLrYRUBwtkSA9RiU2nmVPg/edit?usp=sharing
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2014, 09:48:13 PM »

I noticed that you had it open to suggestions. I made a couple of minor spelling corrections.

I like what you've got so far.
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2014, 11:58:11 PM »

Thanks, much appreciated! I caught a few more while I was accepting all the suggestions you made.

I think it might be more obvious than I hoped that I wrote it in one pass on a laptop keyboard. Smiley
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TheBigRagu
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Oh fiddlesticks


« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2014, 02:24:12 PM »

Just getting done midterms this week, afterwards I'll be able to (finally) read through 5e thoroughly and hopefully have something helpful to contribute.
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TheBigRagu
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Oh fiddlesticks


« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2014, 11:59:47 PM »

Alrighty, there's my first round of notes, suggestions, and questions.

[EDIT] And as soon as I can figure out how to use Google docs to make my own sidenotes, I'll put some up for the other documents as well.
[2nd EDIT] Found it. IGNORE ME.
[3rd EDIT] Ok, managed to skim the main doc, and got to Quickened on the Heroic Paths before I had to take a break.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 01:19:34 AM by TheBigRagu » Logged
TheBigRagu
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Oh fiddlesticks


« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2014, 12:21:18 AM »

I can't make comments on your house ruling doc, so I wanted to say that your herbalism DC's are kind old school and really, really high for 5th edition. Also, have you given thought to unique to Midnight equipment conversion, and would you be averse to me taking a stab at it?
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2014, 07:04:51 AM »

Yeah, I haven't redone that doc at all yet, still trying to figure or how herbalism will fit into 5e given the new mechanics at work.

Haven't taken a pass yet at unique equipment, but it's been on my list. Would love to see what others come up with!
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