Old People Playing Old Games: The Campaign
April 8, 2012 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Well, we were successful, and I pulled off my birthday party by DMing a 1st Edition rules run through Steading of the Hill Giant Chief without too much trouble. Now, my players are well and good hooked, and we're talking about actually running a campaign. Some things came up, however, that some other old school gamers may be able to help with.

The first problem we encountered was that the simplicity of the structure of the first edition combat system, combined with the inscrutable series of plusses and minuses that get baked into every dice roll was ...grating. We settled on a hybrid version of initiative, and as a group we ignored some of the more classic minutiae involved in every move and decision.

While it seemed to work out, for the most part, folks who have been regularly gaming all of this time still seemed dissatisfied with the way the mechanics drove the combat, and have asked that if we continue as a campaign, that we switch up to 3.5 rules.

The catch is that we want to keep the same characters, and want to continue on in the same campaign. If you remember the modules, I can tell you that in our one 12-hour session, we got all the way through G1, and the party is on their way back to the nearest populated area to unload treasure and outfit their party.

Is there someone out there, officially or unofficially, that has consistently, and without breaking the power levels of monsters or party, converted G2, G3, D1-3 and Q1 to 3.5e rules? I've done some searching around, and there appears to have been some work hosted on enworld.org, which may or may not be available any more. But that's all I can find.
posted by thanotopsis to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
I think there have been "inspired by" efforts, but I don't know any specific conversion.

A couple other thoughts that hopefully aren't too far afield from your question:

I'd strongly suggest you consider Pathfinder if you want a 3.5ish game. It is largely the same as 3.5 but cleans things up a bit, particularly special cases like disarms, grapples, etc. This is in line with the goal of something a bit more familiar to the players.

Or, you could consider something that has that AD&D 1E feel but updates the mechanical aspects to the more uniform modern d20 approach. Castles and Crusades does this nicely with a uniform roll high against a DC mechanism similar to 3.5 but with the class detail and powers closer to AD&D, conversion in this case would be simple. This is how I would do this particular module series because they are relatively high level.

Be aware that Pathfinder/3.5 play at this level has a slower/different per encounter pace and balance, so a good conversion would have to really restructure the adventures to maintain the same pacing and feel.
posted by meinvt at 12:04 PM on April 8, 2012

I've never read or played 3.5e, so I know nothing of it, but I know that there were a series of "Expedition to..." modules revisiting old settings in 3/3.5e. One such is "Expedition to the Demonweb Pits", which Noble Knight will sell to you.

rpgGEEK has some conversions listed in their "best of D&D modules" post, including G1-G3.
posted by Mad_Carew at 2:40 PM on April 8, 2012

The first thing we tossed out playing 1E was the entire 'weapon changes against armor class' thing. It drove us all mostly insane.

but yes, if you wnt to go to something 3.5-ish, Pathfinder is what you want to do.

And this page may help you: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/oa/20030530b&page=1
posted by mephron at 3:21 PM on April 8, 2012

Played 1e for years. It emphasizes role-playing. As a DM with a lot of experience, there's no need for a complex combat system. Stick with 1E.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:11 PM on April 8, 2012

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