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Old 12-26-2017, 03:49 PM   #1
LoneWolf23k
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

So, something I've been wondering, to make it (slightly) easier on myself in case I wanted to start a DFRPG campaign, would be to take some old adventure modules (now available on drivethrurpg) and converted them to GURPS stats.

Has anyone worked on such conversions, and if so, any advice?
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:18 PM   #2
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

The general experience is that converting is a pain. It saves you some time, but not all that much.

On the positive side:
1. Maps are already drawn.
2. Combat encounters already exist.
3. You probably have fond memories of the product, or alternately, have always wanted to run the product and now you get the chance to run it in DFRG.

On the negative side:
1. The maps generally don't have very many non-combat challenges, so you have to go and add opportunities for people to climb, jump across ledges, duck under stuff, and otherwise make Thieves and Martial Artists more useful.
2. Combat balance between some other game and GURPS is going to be very different. A lone golem can be anything from a push-over to a deadly fight in the source material, and in GURPS it can be anything from a push-over to a deadly fight. You're going to have to decide the challenge for each encounter that you adapt, and sometimes its going to be very hard to hit the right level.

Case in point: I adapted Keep on the Borderlands a few years ago. There's an encounter with a lone ogre that is fairly terrifying for 5-6 1st or 2nd level Basic D&D characters. In GURPS, the Scout shot it in the eye without even pausing. Similarly, the dinosaurs from Isle of Dread are moderately nasty if they start close to you in D&D, but are arrow bait in GURPS at just about any range.

3. Related to the above, a lot of published adventures suffer from the "horde of humanoids" problem. The opposition is mostly human-type enemies who fight in melee and maybe have some archers and possibly a spellcaster. This can work fine in some other games, but in DFRPG, you want a lot more variety in monsters or only the Scout and Swashbuckler will really shine.

Taking all that into account, my advice is to use published adventures as a source of inspiration. Redraw the maps to suit your purposes. Don't bother doing a mechanical conversion, but come up with your own monsters that feel right to you. If your orcs are more dangerous than your gnolls, don't worry about it and just make sure you and your players are having fun.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:18 PM   #3
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

Christopher Rice converted my 5e adventure Lost Hall of Tyr to DFRPG, at least in brief. Once Lost Hall is available on DriveThru (January sometime), you can see what's the what.
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Old 12-28-2017, 12:54 AM   #4
ArchonShiva
 
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

I’ve been running Ptolus, a world/campaign hybrid book written for D&D3 under (more or less) GURPS DF for three years, using quite a few existing dungeons and adventures from the original book.

My main piece of advice is pick your encounters. D&D just has way too many combat encounters; pick the ones that are relevant to the flow of the adventure and just ditch most of the filler. Encounters with a single “boss” enemy should be merged with their henchmen. One-on-five in GURPS is usually short and painful. Have the boss intervene as the henchmen fight progresses, for example.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:19 AM   #5
dripton
 
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

Pre-written adventures can save you a lot of time, but there's still a lot of conversion work.

1. You will spend a *lot* of time converting monsters. You can save time if you check and see there's already a usable conversion of that monster to GURPS first. Google "GURPS <monstername>" and see what you can find. As an example, I searched for "GURPS Hydra" and found http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=122335 , featuring a pretty nice Waterspout Hydra.

2. For treasure, you probably can't keep the same coins as in a D&D adventure without it being way too much, since DFRPG says 1 gold piece is $400. I went with 1 gold piece = $4. Then I back-converted the value of treasure into DFRPG coins. (So a dead bandit that was carrying 14 gp in the original module is now carrying $56 in the conversion, which is 2 silver and 16 copper if anyone cares.)

3. For weapons, DFRPG gives a lot of options: fine, balanced, dwarven, elven, ornate, meteoric, Accuracy, Puissance, Penetrating, Shatterproof, etc. So rather than having every +1 sword be +1 Accuracy and +1 Puissance, make it more interesting and realistic. Start with the cheaper buffs and save the more expensive ones for rarer, better treasure.

4. For weird magic items, consider whether you really need to translate the effects to existing DFRPG rules, or if you can just keep the description as-is. For example, the adventure had a Clear Spindle Ioun Stone, which let the user survive without food or water, as long as the stone was orbiting their head. I just kept that description rather than hunting for a corresponding GURPS advantage or spell.

5. You need to decide whether to keep the map as-is with 5' or 10' squares, or convert it all to 1-yard hexes, or take a hybrid approach where you use the original map with squares for just moving around but redraw bits of it with hexes on the fly for combat. I personally prefer doing everything ahead of time with hexes, but it's a lot of extra work.

6. Balancing combats is hard. I don't think there are any formulaic shortcuts that actually work. Err on the side of a bit too easy at first, then dial up the difficulty as you get the measure of your PCs and players.
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Old 12-29-2017, 10:25 AM   #6
Kalzazz
 
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

I find it pretty easy, both are 3-18 scaled stats systems so mostly direct converts as is straight across

The biggest challenge is finding an adventure you like to convert, the conversion will be easy

mlangsdorf - any example where the monster was scarier to the GURPS charries than in the original?
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:05 PM   #7
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

Broadly speaking, system conversions should be done thematically, rather than literally, because a challenge that is appropriate in one game system is likely to be too weak or too strong in another system.
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:06 PM   #8
dripton
 
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

An example where the opponent is harder in DFRPG than in D&D is large numbers of fodder humanoids. In D&D you have sweep attacks that let you take out multiple wimps per round, one fireball / cloudkill / sleep spell can take out lots of fodder, and higher level characters have enough hit points that a lucky hit or three doesn't matter. In DFRPG you mostly have to kill them one at a time, you have limited blocks and parries, and you don't get any active defense against attacks from the rear. So, good enemy tactics plus good enemy rolls can kill PCs.
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Old 12-29-2017, 06:46 PM   #9
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
mlangsdorf - any example where the monster was scarier to the GURPS charries than in the original?
The kobold main hall in Keep on the Borderlands features 40 combatant kobolds. Granted, they all suck, but the 6 PCs at 200 points each just don't have enough tricks or skill to take on 6 to 1 odds. The front line gets outflanked, the squishies get swarmed and then it's a battle of attrition with the front-liners hoping their armor is good enough to protect them from all the attacks from behind that they can't prevent.

In D&D, the wizard and the elf would drop their Sleep spells and drop enough of them that the rest of the party could handle the remainder, but GURPS multi-target spells just aren't that good.
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Old 12-30-2017, 06:10 AM   #10
Imbicatus
 
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Default Re: Converting D&D/Other Adventures to DFRPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
The kobold main hall in Keep on the Borderlands features 40 combatant kobolds. Granted, they all suck, but the 6 PCs at 200 points each just don't have enough tricks or skill to take on 6 to 1 odds. The front line gets outflanked, the squishies get swarmed and then it's a battle of attrition with the front-liners hoping their armor is good enough to protect them from all the attacks from behind that they can't prevent.

In D&D, the wizard and the elf would drop their Sleep spells and drop enough of them that the rest of the party could handle the remainder, but GURPS multi-target spells just aren't that good.
If you rush in the room and allow yourself to be surrounded, sure. However, with the right approach it’s actually an easier fight in DFRPG. Hang back in a narrow entrance corrridor with shield using knights or other melee fighters making a wall to prevent flanking. The Scout is then free to fill them with arrows, and create fire may not be a d&d fireball, but it’s great for taking out mass fodder.
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