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Mister Andersen
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« on: December 11, 2014, 10:26:35 PM »

As it's more a general topic than one specific to a particular game, I'm curious what peoples' experience has been when converting/strip mining adventure modules from one game system for use in another.

What, if any, 'after market' work do you find youself doing with them? Do they end up heavily converted for use with a home campaign, or do you usually throw them in with minimal mechanical translation?
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Antilles
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 05:07:56 AM »

Converting Pathfinder adventures is a fair bit of work, I've found. All NPCs must be converted, sometimes using the conversion process is enough but as the two systems have different fundamentals I frequently have to build them from scratch. DCs and associated mechancis have to be converted (locks, traps, various checks) have to be converted to closest FC equivalent. Itemization have to be reworked (money/items/magic items) have to be mostly completely redone. There's custom systems (f.ex. the settlement rules from Kingmaker) which are a bit of a pain, as their basic assumptions follow PF customs (f.ex. auto-succeed/fail on 20/1) which would clash when ported over to FC, but reworking the systems from the ground up for FC would be more work than I'm willing to put in. Finally there's the problem of general system assumptions (f.ex. certain spells working in certain ways, clerics acting more like mages than priests, etc).

So to conclude, I've found converting PF adventures to be quite a bit of work.
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 09:45:32 AM »

I agree, although I've found its made somewhat easier by basically ignoring the mechanics and following the plot.

Also, you forgot the differences in the assumptions vis a vis encounter construction. Just converting PF encounters as written will generally result in either cakewalks or TPKs based on the split pf standards and specials and how certain things like poisons or special attacks work.
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 03:26:31 PM »

GURPS has been my go-to RPG system for about 5 years now (mostly due to the fact that all of my friends who play tabletop games refuse to learn anything else  Roll Eyes ), so I've tried my hand at converting both Pathfinder and Fantasy Craft adventures/settings into the system.
What I've learned? Pathfinder is a pain in the ass to convert due to the sheer amount of power differential between enemies and characters, and the fact that GURPS characters grow much more slowly even in the most unrealistic game possible. The standard for attempting to simulated TOG and PF is something called Dungeon Fantasy, which is a bit tongue-in-cheek and strips the system down to a more simple format for playing those sorts of games, but even that is more realistic and slower-growing than any PF game.
The settings and rules for the Adventure Companion in FC, however, is also extremely powerful in comparison to PF, but strangely it's easier to convert into GURPS. Priding itself as being able to do anything, GURPS can take, say, the weapon chains from the main book and get them down to a few points worth of Techniques, Perks, and Skills. It's still tough, but it's not as hard as usual.
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TheTSKoala
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 04:34:07 PM »

I'll use plots and maps, but everything else I typically hand generate instead of trying to convert.  I'll get the same flavor, but sometimes different specifics.  It's just easier than trying to do the 1:1 conversion.
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2014, 11:19:14 PM »

I have to admit that I've enjoyed reading through the PF conversions done here on the site. Based on Antilles experience, it sounds like it is better when stuck on it to follow the plot and approximate instead of going for a literal transcription.
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2014, 12:55:17 AM »

While not strictly a Fantasy Craft issue, I was reminded of another issue with converting modules.

Many are written with a presumption that the players will just kick in the door and kill everything that moves. If your players are more inclined to think, talk, and problem solve you can be left tap dancing since the encounters don't give you much to go with.

Tonight, instead of the assumed strategy of invading a giant, human level intelligence bird's nest to steal a feather and having to fight and then run away, my players sent the mage and scout with a Tongues scroll to haggle for one and I had to quickly improvise a social encounter. Eventually they got their feather in exchange for going the hell away so she could eat her dinner in peace.
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We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. - Werner von Braun
Right now you have no idea how lucky you are that I am not a sociopath. - A sign seen above my desk.
There's no upside in screwing with things you can't explain. - Captain Roy Montgomery
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