Question from the Ether: Mystara Compendium Conversion

I received a succinct request for “Any advice on converting the Mystara Adversary’s Compendium to the new Fantasy Age system?” from a reader named David.

The short answer is that I don’t, yet.

I don’t have a guideline for this yet, as I don’t own the core book yet. The information I’ve seen freely available would suggest that the most major changes are magic spells, and the attributes. For example, I can assume based on Chris Pramas’ discussion of the differences between Fantasy Age and Dragon Age that the actual weapon skills that used to be under Strength are now under Fighting. However, the question becomes are you wanting them converted for how I’d have imagined them if this rule set was the one they were originally written for, or if you are concerned that they are compatible with the new rules?

If your question is the former, I’d have to go back through each entry and decide how I’d write them for a game where ranged and melee to hit are separate from their damage enhancing statistics entirely. This would be a case by case basis, and would definitely require some time to think about all 90 some pages of entries. If I were to seriously contemplate that, I’d have to rewrite and rerelease the book. I currently have no plans to do so right now.

If your question is the latter, I’d say just make them equivalent and don’t worry about it. The reason I say this is that if we are talking about the original rules for which the world was written, high level monsters invariably had little trouble hitting high level characters. To Hit goes up faster than Armor Class for PCs, even with lots of magic items. The creatures are already calibrated for this effect, and take into account that armor absorbs damage. If you would otherwise have been playing D&D after original rules (ie. Any variant of Advanced, 3rd, 4th or 5th edition) then those rules don’t separate those stats that way. A super-strong creature is really good at melee combat, and an agile one is really good at aiming attacks at people.

Since I’ve got no plans to rewrite the book, here is what I’d use on the fly in this situation. Keep in mind this is just me scribbling down some notes to cover the former situation without having read the rules. I would say the quick and dirty conversion would be dependent upon the type of creature:

Strong Creatures which are clumsy
Make Fighting equal to half Strength, or less.

Good Fighters which aren’t Strong
Make Fighting equal to Strength, and make Strength half of its former value

Agile Creatures which are not great shots
Make Accuracy equal to half Dexterity, or less.

Good Shots which aren’t Agile
Make Accuracy equal to Dexterity, and lower Dexterity to half its original value.

Note this last category isn’t very common in my opinion. Even dragons are quite agile for all their bulk. There are plenty of creatures which fit the first category: Giants, Ogres, Gelatinous Cubes and such. The second category is most often humanoids, especially warrior archetypes of those races. The third category is fairly rare as well, but again boils down to certain humanoids which are small or hard to pin down, but aren’t versed in ranged combat. Perhaps Phanatons. Certainly not elves or halflings. I can’t even think of anything except Beholders which fit the last category.

Happy Hunting.

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About Byron D. Molix

I am an information technology professional in Missouri. I've been an avid fan of fantasy and science fiction novels, comic books, pen and paper role-playing games, computer games and console video games for the last two decades. My dream would be to one day make a comfortable living while having the time to pursue writing (novels, rpgs, etc.) as a full-time hobby.

Posted on July 25, 2015, in Editorial, Gaming and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I think it’s fine to leave Mystara based on Dragon Age myself, especially now that the combined Core Rulebook is available. I’d just like to see the classes expanded to level 20 🙂 This is such a great work that I would be sad to see it not get “completed”, in a sense.

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