How to convert Dungeon Crate Adventures to Pathfinder, 4e and more

gamemaster.jpg

Every month in Dungeon Crate you’ll find an adventure.

They’re designed to be run in a single session, giving you a break from your normal campaign planning. They’re designed with Dungeons & Dragons’ 5th edition in mind.

It’s the most popular tabletop RPG right now, and frankly, we like the system.

We know our customers don’t exclusively play 5e, and we want everyone to enjoy the adventures. We get it. We play 5e, Pathfinder, 2nd edition and all kinds of other stuff, too.

We created this document to help you quickly and easily convert Dungeon Crate Adventures into whatever system you prefer to run.

Some basic guidelines:

  • Focus on the most important things like monsters, encounter difficulty and encounter structure. If there’s something you don’t think the players will notice or care about, don’t worry about converting it.
  • Spells and traps should be roughly equivalent between all the editions.
  • There is purposefully less treasure in 5th edition than in previous editions. You may want to consider handing out more magic items and gold than is listed in the 5e adventure you’re converting.

Pathfinder/3.5

Though Pathfinder has loads of rules and monsters while 5e has relatively fewer, they’re pretty close systems.

Character levels are equivalent in both systems, but only up to 20th level.

As with any conversion, you’ll want to sub out 5e monster stats for Pathfinder monster stats. Be wary of the difference in challenge rating between one set of stats and another. For example, a Pathfinder goblin has a challenge of ⅓ while a 5e goblin has a challenge of ¼, making the Pathfinder goblins a little more dangerous. (Roughly 3 PF goblins are equal to 4 5e goblins.)

That leads to a general rule of thumb: Because of the way the game is designed, Pathfinder monsters, checks and other elements are more difficult than 5e. In fact, 5e’s numbers tend to be about ¾ of their Pathfinder equivalents. For example, an armor class on a monster in 5e might be 12 while its equivalent monster in Pathfinder might have an AC of 16.

If you don’t adjust, the difficulty checks and numbers of monsters listed in a 5e adventure may be a bit too easy for your Pathfinder group. Feel free to adjust them upwards just a little bit.

Also remember in Pathfinder, encounter areas are often more detailed. Feel free to add in information on parts of the area that characters might be able to interact with.

4th edition

This might be the most difficult conversion to make. The general concept behind 4e is a little bit different.

For starters, character level in 5e is ¾ what it was in 4e. So, a level 10 adventurer in 5e is roughly a level 7 in 4e. You ought to keep that in mind when thinking of encounter difficulty.

Since 4e is designed differently, we highly recommend a tool such as Power2ool to make stat blocks and figure out encounter difficulty when converting from 5e to 4e.

Remember in 4th edition, the game is intended to use maps and miniatures. Make sure the encounter can be played out the right way on a map. And recall that in 4e, encounter areas are often a lot more detailed. Feel free to add in information on parts of the map that characters could interact with.

2nd edition/AD&D

If you’re converting back to the old school, you’ll probably realize one of the biggest differences right off the bat.

Namely, there were a lot more monsters in the old editions. You can start by subbing out monsters for something that’s the same or similar.

Since there were a lot more monsters, you can probably start by multiplying the number of foes by two. In the older editions, monsters did less damage and had fewer hit points, so you can reduce their damage output and hit points by ½ to ⅓. It might take some trial and error to get this just right, so adjust on the fly if you feel like an encounter is overwhelming.

twitch logo.png

There’s a lot of D&D out there.

Though most of the Twitch community posts live streams of playing video games, the site also has a load of people playing RPGs, especially Dungeons & Dragons.

People enjoy it for picking up tips and tricks or checking out games for your own entertainment. Perhaps you’ve tuned into Twitch for a few episodes of Critical Role or stumbled on someone’s live session while perusing the app.

But what about streaming your own games?

It’s not that hard. But it can be complicated.

For the beginners out there, we broke down the ways to get your games up on Twitch. (And this is a beginner’s post. No video switchers, lighting ideas, or camera crews here.)

First, sign up for Twitch.

If you want to stream your in-person sessions…

The easy way: The simplest way is to set up your game table as usual. Download the Twitch app to your phone and place it somewhere it can view the whole table.

Open the app, and then tap “Pulse.” At the top, there should be a little camera icon. Tap it and enter some info about your game.

Hit “Start Stream” and play your game.

That’s it. You’re on Twitch.

Good work, you.

If you want to stream your online sessions…

This is a little more complicated, but it’s not all that hard.

First, you’ll need some software. XSplit is one of the most popular options, and Bebo is supposed to be very easy for beginners. Twitch offers several options on its website. Most of them are free, but some offer more options with a subscription.

Each piece of software works basically the same: These programs take a screencast of your session and then broadcasts it to Twitch.

We’ll focus on Xsplit (because that’s what we know the best), but most software should have a similar setup.

  1. Download the software and install it. Configure it and set up your profile.
  2. Launch Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, or whatever online Virtual Tabletop game you prefer.
  3. In Xsplit, you’ll want to configure “Screen 1.” Click on “File” and then “Add screen region.” This will let you stretch red crosshairs for the screen capture. Drag it over the browser window you’re using for your game.
  4. From there, you can adjust colors and cropping and other things to get it just right.
  5. Click “Broadcast” and then “Add channel.”
  6. That opens the Broadcast window. Select “Justin/Twitch TV” and link your Twitch account.
  7. Now you’re ready. When it’s time to start your game, click “Broadcast” again and then select your Twitch channel.
  8. You’re on Twitch now. Nicely done.

Make sure to engage in the chat with people.

One of the nice features of Twitch is that people can communicate with you while you watch. If you’re able, talk to them. Maybe have a player or a friend who’s not playing take care of the chat.

Share your videos.

When you’re streaming, send out a link to your Twitch page, which should be twitch.tv/username.

After you’re done, you can also share your videos on a blog or on social media. Twitch only keeps videos for 14 days, so if you want to keep them forever, you can export them to YouTube. (Click on your account settings then “Connections,” and connect your YouTube channel.)

Some shows you can watch for livestream inspiration

Critical Role - The mother of all D&D shows and streams is made up of eight voice actors playing a long-running 5th edition campaign. The first campaign lasted two years, and the second campaign started very recently, meaning you can easily catch up if you so choose. They even have their own published campaign setting.

Acquisitions Inc. - The folks at webcomic Penny Arcade rounded up some friends to create Acquisitions Inc., which plays games led by D&D’s Chris Perkins at their PAX conventions. But they also have the C Team, which is broadcast weekly on Twitch.

Girls Guts Glory - The eight actresses on Girls Guts Glory were all friends before starting the show, but not all played D&D. But they’re fun to watch, and they throw down every week on the official D&D Twitch channel.

New at the Table: How to find a D&D game

 Artwork by Fernando Sala.  Buy it on a T-shirt!

Artwork by Fernando Sala. Buy it on a T-shirt!

You’re new around here.

Don’t be intimidated. It’s totally cool. You’re welcome here.

Fantasy RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder are a whole lot of fun, but between the rules, the dice, the adventures and everything else, we understand it can be a whole lot to process.

That’s why we want to help. Here at Dungeon Crate, we love RPGs, and we really love new players. That’s why we’ve created this series of blogs called “New at the Table,” which is for those who are totally new to the game as well as those who haven’t rolled dice since the AD&D era and are looking to get back into it.

Over the next few months, we’ll be exploring where to find dice and minis, how to create a character you love, deciding what kind of game to play, how to DM your first game and lot smore.

But first: You need to find a game. We can help.

Ask at your friendly local game shops. Game shops aren’t just places where people buy games. It’s also where they play games. Your FLGS almost certainly has a few groups that meet there to play D&D regularly. (It can be easier to meet somewhere than for someone to host.) Tell an employee you’re looking to join a game and that you’re new at this. They should have a good idea of who plays at the shop and who might be looking for a new player.

Join an organized play group. D&D has Adventurer’s League and Pathfinder has Pathfinder Society, and they’re played at game shops. (If you take our advice above, your game shop might recommend this first.) Organized play groups are officially sanctioned by their respective publishers, and they’re geared toward new players and those who are looking for a more casual play experience. You can typically drop in on a game whenever it’s scheduled and find a seat at the table, but check with the organizer first. Either way, it’s a great way to start the hobby.

Check out the LFG Subreddit. LFG stands for “looking for group,” and the Reddit page is dedicated entirely to tabletop gamers looking for like-minded people to play with. Some want to meet in person, and others are happy to play online. Which leads us to…

Find a group on Roll20. Virtual tabletops such as Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds host online sessions of games. Roll20 has a big “Join a Game” right on its front page if you’re looking, and Fantasy Grounds has an LFG section in its forums.

Find a Facebook group. The social network is full of gaming groups, and if you live in a large enough town, you’re likely to find a group of local players you could join. Otherwise, join some of the largest community pages for D&D and Pathfinder and ask around.

Check out other sites meant to connect gamers. Sites such as Gamer Seeking Gamer, Meetup.com, Obsidian Portal and RPGGeek are all great ways to locate other gamers looking for an extra player.

Find a play-by-post page. Whereas sites like Roll20 depict a map and tokens, sites such as Tavern Keeper and RPG Crossing feature play-by-post games where players write their actions into a forum to play the game. Games can then be played at any hour of the day and from all over the world without all the players having to meet in the same place at the same time. It may sound crazy, but play-by-post games can be really fun.

Start your own game. Do you have any other friends that are interested? Maybe you can play the game with them. We highly recommend something like the D&D Starter Set, which includes a rulebook, a fun adventure, pre-generated character sheets and even a set of dice. It’s also designed to ease first-timers into the game, so it’ll be easy to pick up.

 

 

How to use the minis, adventures and other items in March's Dungeon Crate

Pull up a stool.

This month’s Dungeon Crate is all about the tavern. 

With the contents of this month’s box, you can create stats for your in-game pub, serve your friends beverages in a cup from one of our fantasy taverns and even staff the place with miniatures straight from the box. 

Raise those glasses high and dive into Dungeon Crate.

Epic Encounters - Tavern Builder

tavernbuilder

Ah, the tavern! The place where adventurers like to meet up, spend some coin and find new adventures. Instead of using a generic pub, why not craft a fuller scene? We made the Tavern Builder, so it’s obvious that we like it. But it makes creating a tavern, inn, pub or dive easy, plus it gets fleshed out with a menu, staff and patrons.

How to use it: Any time you want to whip a spot for your characters to meet, pull out the Tavern Builder booklet and roll a few dice. Bam! You have a bar.

Tavern Pint Glass

pintglass

In Halcyon, Dungeon Crate’s very own campaign setting, we’ve created some taverns of our own. So, we talked to the folks at Advanced Deployment to make us some official drinkware for those taverns. These things are sweet, and they’ll keep your drink frosty all night.

How to use it: Find a beverage. Fill up your cup. Enjoy.

Bartender and dwarf miniatures

dwarf

You’re gonna need some people in that tavern. These miniatures from Reaper depict a bartender and a drinkin’ dwarf and his keg. No matter what kind of tavern you create, you’ll be able to use these two.

How to use it: Paint them up, for starters. Then give them names and plan to use them in a future tavern encounter. Maybe the bartender has lots of secrets he’ll tell… for a price. Maybe the dwarf… well, maybe he’s just drunk. He does have that whole keg.

Coins and bag

coins

You gotta have some coin to pay for your drinks. These coins and bag from Rare Elements Foundry are great to add to your collection or perfect to help you get started with one. We love using real coinage at our tables. 

How to use it: Instead of marking gp and pp and cp and whatever on your sheet, use the coins to actually track your character’s wealth. If you don’t have enough, you can use them as inspiration tokens, as a d2, or as markers on your table.

d10

gamescience.jpg

These dice are so precise. Another single die from Game Science will add to our collection of sweet, precision dice. These things roll so well.

How to use it: First things first: Use a white crayon or a paint pen to ink in the numbers on the die. Also use an X-acto to shave off any excess plastic so they roll just right. Then use the d10 for your character’s tavern drinking game. 

Triplefour Dice

triplefour.jpg

Can we be honest? The d4 is terrible. It’s necessary, but it’s the worst die in your bag. With three numbers on each face, it can be hard to read. They don’t roll so much as flop around on the table. And they are better used as caltrops than dice. Enter the Triplefour. This twelve-sided die has three of each face - 1 through 4 - making it just as random but easier to read than your standard d4. 

How to use it: Give them to your wizard for magic missile rolls. He’ll be so thankful, he’ll get to work crafting that magic item for you right away.

Digital Crate

We can only fit so much into the adventure booklet, so we put all the extras right here. In addition to the Tavern Builder worksheet in the booklet, the digital crate spells out NPC stats, offers additional tavern encounters, gives sample maps for each tavern type and features several gambling and drinking games.

How to use it: When you make your tavern, make sure you access the digital crate to make things as awesome as you possible can. Plus, you can use the maps to print or to put on a virtual tabletop.

* * *

Does this sound like epic loot to you? Get your own Dungeon Crate by subscribing on DungeonCrate.com.

If you missed something, you can order past items in the Dungeon Crate shop.