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Author Topic: 5e Conversion Work  (Read 24865 times)
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2014, 01:08:21 PM »

Minor update. After some initial playtesting some of the fears about Heroic Paths turned out to be true. They were giving out too many abilities too quickly for 5e, and my players noted some fairly serious balance issues.

Reducing Ability Count
First off new abilities are granted every 3 levels (plus 1st and 20th) which means two less powers per character. Most paths now only get 1 ability increase, and bonus feats are much rarer.

Abilities that passed out spell-like abilities have generally been condensed, so you'll see a lot of "Spell X or Spell Y once per long rest" where before you each given out at a different level. More flexible, but fewer abilities overall that way.

Improving Balance
One key was that many abilities are extremely circumstantial, see things like Mountainborn or Northblooded. Nobody wanted to take those, because they felt like their character would be useless if they aren't in the cold, or aren't in the mountains or whatever. So I've gone through and tried to pair those circumstantial abilities with more generally-useful abilities that come at the same level.

Also people tended to feel that those paths granting just a few abilities and improving them incrementally were less appealing than the ones that granted more diverse abilities. I tried to fix this by a) Reducing the number of unique abilities in some "overpowered" paths, and b) Giving out upgrades alongside new abilites on other "underpowered" paths. I also tried to reduce how many times abilities incremented by 5ft. or whatever, and tried to derive the values from math instead. (eg. "Shadow jump 5ft/level" or "Fast Movement 2.5ft/level")


Herbalism

Reworked this to be slightly more 5th-edition-y. Feeling pretty good overall. 5e crafting doesn't have any conception of DCs or failure, but I feel like that's important in the kind of high pressure environments that Midnight focuses on. My compromise with their intent was to introduce the idea of partial failure: if you fail to meet a DC, you make something less-useful instead.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 03:22:25 PM by artfulshrapnel » Logged
TheBigRagu
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« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2014, 04:01:06 PM »

If balance is an issue with Heroic paths, why not do a set of guidelines and decide what exactly is the absolute value of a heroic path in game terms. For instance, in my game I'll probably try to aim for an end balance of a heroic path contributing the equivalent of 5 5e feats dispersered over 20 levels. Your mileage will definitely vary on that, as primarily a Shadowrun GM I tend to be brutal on my players so don't mind giving them something to contend with.

With that in mind and going with the odd level progression of heroic paths, we could break down that a player would get half a feat equivalent every odd level. I'd then probably try to rework most abilities to give either advantage/remove disadvantage for certain situations instead of straight up benefits like spell-like abilities, resistance, ignoring resistance etc. Use the published feats as a guideline. This is a whole lot more work, but if you're getting some serious balance issues then it might be the only way for me to smooth them out without having plateau levels come back into effect (Making abilities at every 3rd level but still the same relative power makes difficulty spike too much for my taste, with every 3rd level being easier than the level just before getting an extra ability.) Plus I like the idea of working with the 5e framework of advantage/disadvantage. I find it's a nice tool for more narrative use of Heroic Path abilities.

Still waiting on my copy of the DMG to come in, so when I get a good look over how equipment is handled as it relates to difficulty curve I can adjust this up or down (Probably down, since it looks like the phat lewt is not what 5e is about.)

[UPDATE] Having given the DM guide a quick once over I'm seeing the approach to magic items and wealth by level as "Whatever the story calls for." So balance is RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW through that approach.
[UPDATE #2] Going through the Epic Boons in the DMG (p. 231-232) These are really powerful effects that they've reserved for epic level play, and yet have their equivalent in the Heroic Paths if you keep to your current power scheme. That might be some food for thought when considering toning down the powers of the Paths.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 08:59:30 PM by TheBigRagu » Logged

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TheBigRagu
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Oh fiddlesticks


« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2014, 04:39:34 PM »

I realize this would mean a hell of a lot more work re-working all the paths, so this is more of a thought experiment until I try my hand at it instead of sponging off your hard work like some sort of awful millennial.
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TheBigRagu
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Oh fiddlesticks


« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2014, 06:45:14 PM »

Some basic equipment conversion so far. There's weapons that I haven't converted as their special rules don't work with 5e, mainly the small bonuses to trip attacks, since those are now exclusively a fighter maneuver. When I think of better bonuses to give the lances I'll give them a shot.

Simple Weapons
Great sling
   3 vp    1d6 bludgeoning   1 lb.   ammunition (60/240), two-handed

Martial Weapons
Fighting knife
   10 vp   1d6 slash/pierce   4 lb.   finesse, light, vicious criticals
Sepi
   8 vp   1d6 slashing      2lb.   finesse, light, vicious criticals
Staghorn
   8 vp   1d6 piercing      6 lb.   finesse, light, special
Urutuk hatchet
   30 vp   1d8 slashing      4 lb.   light, thrown (range 20/60)
Vardatch
   6 vp   1d10 slashing      15 lb.   heavy, two-handed, special
Atharak
   2 vp    1d6 bludgeoning   4 lb.   finesse, reach
Icewood longbow
   500 vp   1d8 piercing      4 lb.   ammunition (150/600), heavy, two-handed, special

Special Rules
   Vicious criticals: Weapons with this quality may reroll damage dice of 1 when scoring a critical hit. The second roll must be taken.

   Staghorn: This weapon can be used to grant the wielder +1 AC. When used in this manner the wielder cannot attack with the weapon in the round, either as part of an attack action or bonus action.
   Vardatch: A wielder with 15 or more Strength ignores the two-handed property.
   Icewood longbow: A snow elf may add a bonus +1d6 to damage. A wielder of 16 Strength or more who is not a snow elf that tries to draw the weapon destroys it.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 03:11:00 PM by TheBigRagu » Logged
artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2014, 05:30:42 PM »

Some basic equipment conversion so far....

Nice, I love those weapon conversions. Feel very 5e but keep the feel of the Midnight weapons.

Would you mind if I included them in my conversion doc somewhere so that people coming from other sources can find them? If so, is there some way you'd like to be credited?

EDIT: After looking over it again, the only tweak I might make would be to replace the Icewood Bow damage bonus with an extra 1d6 instead of a second stat. It would work out just about the same on most characters (that's an extra 3.5 damage, a lot of archer types are going to have a +2 or +3 to their secondary stat before too long). Part of the design philosophy of 5e is to not make you add as many numbers in your head, and it's replaced a lot of those types of bonuses with stuff like this instead.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 04:36:10 PM by artfulshrapnel » Logged
TheBigRagu
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Oh fiddlesticks


« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2015, 03:01:53 PM »

Edited for the change. And go ahead and paste my name somewhere if you're so inclined.

Have been play testing some one off games with your conversion, works pretty well so far. I'm probably gonna heavily tweak your main document for my own purposes once I've playtested enough to start a full campaign. I can post my modified document somewhere instead of badgering you with edits if you're interested in a different take on heroic paths, spell points, etc.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 03:05:58 PM by TheBigRagu » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2015, 03:59:06 PM »

Just got the 5e Player's Manual as an unexpected Xmas gift. Looks interesting (and definitely more to my liking than 4e was). Haven't had time of late to make progress on the Pathfinder/Hero Lab side of things.

But it's nice to see that this thread has a bit of momentum behind itů keep up the good work!
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Goldbricker
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« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2015, 03:43:08 PM »

On behalf of all the lurkers, I concur.
This thread has inspired me to dust off my Midnight books and and start working on a campaign.
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« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2015, 04:23:43 PM »

I like the Savage Worlds conversion that's been posted but I think that I might try a 5E conversion just to see.
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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2015, 08:23:10 PM »

I like the Savage Worlds conversion that's been posted but I think that I might try a 5E conversion just to see.

Oh Savage Worlds would be a very interesting take on Midnight. I guess it would inherently get a bit more cinematic but that isn't really a bad thing.

This thread has inspired me to dust off my Midnight books and and start working on a campaign.

You just made my day. That's just about the best thing I could hope to hear for having posted my conversion.

Have been play testing some one off games with your conversion, works pretty well so far. I'm probably gonna heavily tweak your main document for my own purposes once I've playtested enough to start a full campaign. I can post my modified document somewhere instead of badgering you with edits if you're interested in a different take on heroic paths, spell points, etc.

Awesome, I'd love to see it. Any particular notes you have from early playtesting? (I'm about to kick off my first big-long campaign with this system myself)
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TheBigRagu
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Oh fiddlesticks


« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2015, 09:16:34 AM »

Well once going over the world, I got asked for a few things and had some thoughts shared.
1. More backgrounds that are flavored for Midnight. I'll probably go through some old site docs to cobble together enough ideas for maybe 8-10 fleshed out backgrounds. My group really liked the mechanic for 5e, so that's something I'll expand on.
2. The spell point system was one of my favourite from the 3.X days, but it just doesn't work in the same way with the powering up of Feats, rebalancing of spells, reworking of BAB and all the other tweaks to casting. The spell point rules in the back of the DMG actually fit pretty well with the intended power level anyway. 5e has really made spells rarer but with more oomph, so having channelers cast low level evocation spells doesn't actually bother me too much. I found even though you could have access to them, the PC's will generally try to use their spells for subtler utility and keep to their minor cantrips in combat most of the time. I can't recommend this enough: Astiraxes are truffle hogs for careless mages. Use them to bring the hammer down without mercy and the group will learn.
3. They really like the flavour that Heroic Paths provide when I introduced them. Since as a mechanic they're meant for making up for a lack of the Wealth By Level system of doling out magic items, you were right in the needing to tone them down a lot to make them work in 5e. When I do a full review on the Paths, I'll likely replace most of the granted spell-like abilities per long rest, get them more in line with flavour abilities and try to make it so every time you gain an ability it's roughly equivalent to a half-feat.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 09:59:25 PM by TheBigRagu » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2015, 04:06:13 PM »

Heroic paths could also be requisites to give access to specific feats, that way they are more flavor, give cool abilities with little mechanic impact and let you pursue a different feat for that particular character, if you choose to.
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Huenengrab
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« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2015, 03:27:23 PM »

Wow what a great work!
Thank you very very much that you share this with us.
Do you plan to convert also the Core Class Defender and other Heroic Pathes like the Null?
We plan to start our Campain in a couple of Weeks and we love to test your conversion and tell you our feedback
« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 03:43:43 PM by Huenengrab » Logged
artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2015, 03:48:09 PM »

Dow you plan to convert also the Core Class Defender and other Heroic Pathes like the Null?

I wasn't planning to convert the Defender, and would instead suggest using the 5e Monk (possibly disallowing the Way of the Four Elements if it feels too magic-y).

I'm intending to do some of the expanded paths after I do a bit more playtesting with the ones I've got. I'd love to see any notes you have so I can move on to that stage sooner!

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artfulshrapnel
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« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2015, 03:52:20 PM »

The spell point rules in the back of the DMG actually fit pretty well with the intended power level anyway. 5e has really made spells rarer but with more oomph, so having channelers cast low level evocation spells doesn't actually bother me too much.

So my issue with the 5e DMG system is that it's an exponential system that leads to a LOT more casting of low-level spells. Something I liked in Midnight was that it encouraged a smaller number of badass spells, since the return on cost was much higher for higher-leveled spells. (A fireball is way more than 5 times as good as a Magic Missile, etc.)

Purely a stylistic choice, but one I felt that the 5e spellpoint system didn't quite preserve.

When I do a full review on the Paths, I'll likely replace most of the granted spell-like abilities per long rest, get them more in line with flavour abilities and try to make it so every time you gain an ability it's roughly equivalent to a half-feat.

I'd love to see your notes from those! I was trying to avoid giving out any spell-like abilities but was having a hard time coming up with enough.
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