11/29/14

Converting Experience Points To D&D 5e

We are converting our Blood & Treasure characters to D&D 5e in the Montporte Dungeon Campaign. I could think of a couple of different ways to do it this. One way would be to convert experience points directly. However, because Blood & Treasure has three different experience point tables compared to one for D&D 5e, characters could potentially gain or lose levels based on a meta-game activity.

Instead, I decided to convert each character based on their current level and how far they were from making it to the next level (stated as a percentage). I then placed them the same distance away on the D&D 5e experience table. So if your character is 5th level and has 34% of the experience needed for 6th level in Blood & Treasure, you will still be in exactly the same place in D&D 5e.

The upside is that all characters are still in exactly the same position on the experience table that they were in before. The downside is that character on the "steepest" experience point table (e.g. wizards, sorcerers and warlocks) lost experience points relative to those on the least steep table (e.g. thieves).

11/28/14

Five for Friday 29: Things I Like About D&D 5e

I decided that when I restarted my Rusty Battle Axe blog, I was not going to do reviews. I will, however, occasionally highlight a product that I like. It turns out that the newest iteration of Dungeons & Dragons has made it to that list. Here are five things that I like about it:

  • Excellent Player's Handbook: The latest edition of the Player's Handbook is at the top of the list, in terms of the rules themselves, organization, clarity of content, etc. The D&D team managed to create a product that serves newbies and RPG veterans equally well. While it is more complicated that AD&D 1e, the rules are more cohesive. And it is far less clunky than D&D 3.x/Pathfinder.
  • Advantages/Disadvantages: What a simple and elegant system! By adding a second die to a die role, the game gains more texture and variability at the cost of a tiny bit of complexity. 
  • Death Rolls: This adds a clear rule for how to handle that often vague zero hit point thing. At the same time, it adds high drama to that otherwise passive act of lying in a pool of one's own blood. 
  • Groovy Character Classes: I like what WotC has done with the character classes in 5e. Lots of player choices without a lot of overlap. And the choices matter, each class has strengths and weaknesses. There are a lot of strategic and tactical options for players and DMs alike without creating a creaky clunky Byzantine ruleset.
  • The Monster Manual: The monsters actually get the biggest overhaul. I have only started reading the MM, but it is very well thought out and every monster has a twist that will matter a great deal in play. 
D&D 5e is definitely in the D&D family, moreso than 4e, for sure. That being said, it is its own version. It is clear that, beyond the character class system and d20 foundation, the designers held nothing sacred. The ruleset is elegant and well-designed. While I will almost always go for the simplicity of Swords & Wizardry Core or Delving Deeper, I am really enjoying playing D&D 5e.

11/26/14

Montporte Dungeon Campaign Update

Our Monday Night Gamer Ɯbergoobers have been taking a break from the Montporte Dungeon Campaign, mostly due to my absence because of work duties. I have managed to get in on a few games on Monday night as a player, mostly playing in +Rob Conley's Majestic Wilderlands. We are using D&D 5e and I am playing Aeven Steelhand, a human fighter.

We'll be starting up with the Montporte Dungeon in a few weeks. I will be converting it to D&D 5e from our current rule set, Blood & Treasure. We have had more people in and out of our Monday Gaming Group and I think it works better with newbies and transients if we can use common rule sets.

So, in the next few weeks I will be:

  • Converting my Montporte Dungeon to D&D 5e.
  • Helping the players convert their current characters to D&D 5e.
  • Facilitating character creation for the new players.
  • Catching up on my session notes on my blog. We have played 39 sessions and I have session notes for the first 37 sessions.
  • Retooling the Roll20 Montporte Dungeon campaign.

I am excited about the conversion as I have really enjoyed D&D 5e so far.

11/24/14

Monday Moodsetter 56

RPG Rorschach: What's the first gaming thought that pops into your head?