Question from the Ether: OD&D via Fantasy Age

I still haven’t gotten and read the Fantasy Age rules, but I got a question about running mystara/original d&d modules using my adaptation / Fantasy Age.

Shannon asks

“So I’m readin my new pdf copy of Fantasy Age and Digging through your Mystara work and thinking … could I essentially just run old D&D modules with Fantasy Age and get a new lease of life on some much loved material without the annoying OD&D or BECMI issues… Basically updated rules, cool rules with AGE.

I’m not the authority you are but could I do this and what do you see as the overheads?”

My opinion is that you can, without reservation, utilize the wealth of adventure ideas in old D&D modules using this rule set. The overhead on this conversion is going to be all about restraint and replicating tone versus making a 1:1 replacement for every single thing. Can you take an adventure that has 26 kobolds in an underground lair and throw your party at it? Sure you can, but you will have to be sure not to throw all the monsters at them at once. When playing AGE, use AGE’s ideas of a fair or tough fight to set up the encounters. So in this case, the motivation is the same, the setup is the same, the layout of the lair and the type of monster is the same. The encounters have to change however because you are trying to get the best mileage out of the adventure you can. You’d have to do this if you ran it in AD&D or D&D4 or D&D5.

Beyond that, OD&D has a lot of magical effects which probably aren’t translated into AGE right now. Handwave what you have to if the players don’t get to take it with them and keep it. If the kobolds made a deal with a chaotic magic-user who set up warning spells, just describe the effects. It doesn’t matter whether your magic-user can cast the spell or not, even if he finds a scroll. It’s there for story reasons, not for the purpose of increasing the heroes’ arsenal.

So someone, myself probably, has converted many of the iconic d&d beasts so you shouldn’t have to start out writing statistics for every creature listed in the module pages. Keep in mind my notes about converting gold and treasures if you’re keeping a silver standard. Other than that, you should be set. Many of the AGE adventures I write hooks or full blown adventures for have been set in Mystara, whether they were rebuild from OD&D stats or were cobbled together anew. If you want to run Master of the Desert Nomads, or Castle Amber, you can. Just remember that while you’re playing in a D&D world, you’re not playing D&D so you need to plan for the flow of encounters, pacing and tension of an AGE game.

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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 31, 2015, in Editorial and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Yup – a little late, but having the Fantasy Age book now, I’d agree. More a spirit of adoption than a line-by-line, but I think Mystara is a nice fit to the feel of Fantasy Age.

    Thanks for the work on the D-Age conversation, btw.

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