Monstrous Physique — Converting 2E Adventures

Howdy! Over the past weeks, I’ve been providing advice to help you with conversion for all manner of content, bringing your favorite options from 1E Pathfinder to 2E. This week is my final entry in this little series and we’re bringing all of the past advice together to help you convert and adventure! Let’s dive right in!

As with the previous articles, I want to point you to Paizo’s conversion document. It has a few bits of basic information to get you started.

The first thing to keep in mind with the conversion of an adventure is understanding just how much you actually need to convert. If you’ve been following along, you’ll realize that you can very easily grab the stats for a number of different options by just approximating them with existing material. Depending on your level of expertise with the 2E rules and comfort with conversions, you can even do this on the fly! Instead of taking the time to convert in advance, you can just grab appropriate stats right there at the table and adjust it as needed. However, if you prefer to do the conversion in advance, that’s great too!

Beyond the basics of monsters and magic items, the big things that are important to convert are the DCs in the adventure. Adventures are chock full of skill checks and the like and while it’s easy enough decide which to skill to use in most cases, it might not be as obvious as to which to DC to use. Here’s a secret: You can leave the DCs as they are! For the most part, DCs in 1E are very similar to the DCs in 2E. I’m basing this on a set of tables in Ultimate Intrigue, specifically Table 4-1: Freeform DCs by Level. That table is intended to provide a guideline for DCs to work with in case you ever need to make up a DC on the fly. It has a listing for easy, medium, and hard DCs, with the medium DCs being the more common, everyday DCs. When you compare this table with table 10-5: DCs by Level in the 2E Core Rulebook, they are pretty close. The 1E table starts off a little higher, but they eventually line up pretty well. This suggests that you can keep all of the skill DCs pretty much the same! Of course, feel free to adjust the DC when you feel necessary, but for the most part you don’t need to sweat the DCs.

One thing I would recommend keeping an eye on is treasure. The first rule of treasure is to reduce the value of all gold piece treasure to 1/10th of the value. If an adventure gives out 100 gp worth of gems, you should reduce to 10 gp, as the new 2E economy is build around the silver piece as the main coin. You don’t want to accidentally give players something that’s worth ten times than what they should receive! Next, keep an eye on item levels. A lot of items already exist in 2E, but may have a different value now. For example, a ring of swimming was worth 2,500 gp in 1E and would be an item you would generally start giving out around 3rd level on. However, the ring is a 12th-level item in 2E and worth 1,750 gp, a significant value even 12th level, but way too much for 3rd level. So, if pre-written adventure is giving you lots of rings of swimming early on (*ahem* Ruins of Azlant) you have to make sure that the treasure won’t ruing your game by giving players too much wealth. In cases like this, you might consider finding a lower level item with similar effects or creating a new item yourself if all else fails.

And… I think that covers all of the important points. A lot of the work is finding the right monsters, magic items, and spells, which we’ve already gone in depth about! You can follow the conversion guide for most everything else. Also, Ediwir posted a very useful in-depth guide to conversion which covers topics like subsystems and calculating appropriate amounts of treasure. Check out the link to the guide here! If you have any other questions on conversion, feel free to drop me a line  at KnowDirection@hotmail.com or swing by the Know Direction Discord channel! I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. Happy converting!

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder World Guide line and formerly on Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Nova the cat, and walks with heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

1 Comment

  1. Ron Lundeen Reply to Ron

    This is a good set of guidelines for conversion! Anyone could take this advice and skew it a little more freeform for conversions on the fly at the table, or formalize it a bit for converted adventures for publication.

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