"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

D&D Conversion Manual, Ability Transfer


The Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons Conversion Manual is intended to  help layers convert their older characters and gaming material to the then  new D&D 3rd Edition. The conversion manual is either A4 size or perhaps even  smaller since I am not sure of the exact dimension of A4. The manual was  released sometime in 2000 prior to August. I think it was included with Dragon  Magazine though I can not recall exactly where I got mine.

The manual goes through all the major aspects of the game and advises players  and DM's on how they can convert to the new system. The book is broken down  into four major sections. The first is Characters from Earlier Editions. The  second area is Character Troubleshooting. The third section covers Magic and  the last goes over Monsters.

The section of Characters goes over all aspects that would be integral to character generation and game rules. The items covered are:

Level and Experience
Ability Scores
Character Race
Character Class
AC and Movement Rate
Initiative
Feats
Skills
Equipment

The Character Troubleshooting section covers some possible issues that may be  encountered in the conversion process. Some examples are where a spell or  magic item is not included in the new system or characters that were creating  using a kit from one of the old class books. The material here is not  exhaustive but there are some major issues covered in mechanics and also in  what the players may feel is ot working right.

The next section is the Magic section. This covers not only spell conversion  and the new magic system but also magical items. There are a number of  different portions in this section. They are as follow:

Renamed Spells
Wizard Spells with New Schools
Converting Old Spells
Spells You Shouldn't Convert
Renamed Magic Items
Converting Old Magic Items

The final section in the Conversion Manual is the one covering monsters. The  new edition changed to a great extent how monsters were handled and really  made them a little more thre dimensional (though also silly in many cases  IMHO). They were given the built in ability to exist at many levels and  mechanics were given to do this. The sections in the Monster portion are:

Converting Old Monsters
Skills and Feats
Description
Creatures that Affect Surprise
Climate/Terrain
Organization, Challenge Level, and Treasure
Alignment
Advancement Range

Throughout the books there are a number of sidebars. These are i found in  many cases just as useful as some of the other text. Some explain new  mechanics and other game functionality. Others are simple conversion tables  for terminology which is really useful. The sidebars are:

New Names for Some Old Terms
What's New about Ability Scores?
What's New about Character Races?
What's New about Proficiencies?
What's New about Dual and Multiclassed Characters?
What's New about THAC0 and Armor Class?
What's New about Saving Throws?
What's New about Spells?
What's New about Character Classes?

The Conversion Manual is an essential tool (o was) is you were going to  convert older characters or game material to the new system. I am not sure  how it translates to D&D 3.5 and am sure it is woefully out of date for D&D  4.0. I am not sure if they did a conversion manual to the latest edition.

In the end I know many who might read this won't ever play the new edition so  it may be easy to shrug this off. I for one think it's real value may be  using it in reverse. There are some good products out there that were made  for the newer editions that would be fun to play. This could serve as a road  map to convert the material the other way.

Spell:

Ability Transfer


Level: Third
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 Turn/Level
Ares Effect: Target Touched
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: Special

The casting of this spell by the magic user will enable the transfer of basic physical or mental abilities (attributes) between two individuals. The transfer can be one or two ways and can affect up to two attributes though if two are done then they transfer must go both ways. If either originator is unwilling the cater must make a successful To Hit roll. Then they are entitled to a saving throw which if successful renders the spell useless.

When the spell is cast the attribute to be transferred are are compared. The difference between the two are calculated and then the difference is taken from the individual giving the attribute and given to the recipient. Using this in a situation where the originator has a higher ability results in the spell failing.

It is possible that this spell will take an individual's ability score lower than three. If this occurs then the individual falls becomes incapacitated for the duration of the spell. If it is a mental attribute they are still ambulatory though they will require constant guidance. In no case can an attribute be brought to zero and the amount transferred will be limited by that. Once the duration expires the attributes will automatically transfer back.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.

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