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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Fifth Age: A Hard(er) Science Fiction conversion of 5e DnD

    I have been working on this for a while, and thought I'd share it here. There was a post a while back with people asking for a sci-fi conversion for 5e, so since I have it in a pretty good place at the moment, I decided to share it here.

    Would anyone be interested in that? I have been more of a lurker here, and just made an account for this, so I can't post links yet, or I would lead with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fifth Age
    It is the dawn of the 24th
    century, and an interesting point in time for the human race. Fifth Age
    chronicles the dawn (perhaps more like early mid-morning) of humanity exploring the stars and getting
    into all manner of trouble, fraught with peril, excitement and drama. The science in this sci-fi is a little
    on the harder side than some might be used to and the adventure is a little pulpy, a perfect mix for the
    5e DnD system.

    Humanity’s first contact with alien life was a violent one, but fruitful. Equipped with the FTL technology
    of the alien civilization they encountered, humans could have eventually had the stars, but eventually is
    just never good enough. Pushing the boundaries of the technology, humans have spread farther, faster,
    than any species in recorded history, to the horror and dismay of other species who see humanity as a
    cancerous plague infecting the new frontier opened up by the enhanced hyperdrive.

    The solar system is divvied up by a smattering of old earth nation states, intent on keeping their grip on
    power while shadowy secret societies and mega corporations pull strings and manipulate events.
    Individual colonies might attempt to maintain their sovereignty, but eventually most bow to the will of
    the League of Starfaring Nations, or sell out to one of the licensed mega-corps.

    The thin strands binding together dozens of newly settled worlds and old earth are the spacers, daring
    starfarers willing to brave the dangers of hyperspace to haul freight, information, and new colonists into
    the frontier. Thanks to the relativistic time effects of hyperspace, these career spacers will age only a
    few short years while decades pass on the planet of their birth, meaning they must cast aside their old
    ties to friends and family, becoming a new type of culture all to themselves. Fifth Age is the story about
    these courageous adventurers, intrepid explorers and ruthless mercenaries, pushing the light of
    humanity into the deep darkness, and finding wealth, glory and adventure.

    Do you have what it takes to turn your back on the planet of your birth, and leave everyone you’ve ever
    known to die of old age while you step onto alien worlds, and see things no human ever has?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Beholder

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Fifth Age: A Hard(er) Science Fiction conversion of 5e DnD

    I am familiar with Fifth Age from links elsewhere, and do not see how you could possibly go wrong by linking it here.

    Edit: And when I say here, I mean in the homebrew thread; that's obvious, right?
    Last edited by Hitdice; 2016-12-26 at 11:12 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Fifth Age: A Hard(er) Science Fiction conversion of 5e DnD

    My group is planning on using this system as soon as we finish OotA. It looks great!

    Here's the link: Fifth Age

    Edit: Link fixed. Thanks, Tea.
    Last edited by mgshamster; 2016-12-26 at 12:14 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    TheTeaMustFlow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Perfidious Albion

    Default Re: Fifth Age: A Hard(er) Science Fiction conversion of 5e DnD

    Mgshamster's Link doesn't work for me. Try this.

    (Incidentally, the forum didn't want to quote Mgshamster for some reason - decided to eat half the post. How odd.
    Last edited by TheTeaMustFlow; 2016-12-26 at 12:05 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby Frost
    `This is just the beginning, Citizens! Today we have boiled a pot who's steam shall be seen across the entire galaxy. The Tea Must Flow, and it shall! The banner of the British Space Empire will be unfurled across a thousand worlds, carried forth by the citizens of Urn, and before them the Tea shall flow like a steaming brown river of shi-*cough*- shimmering moral fibre!`

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Fifth Age: A Hard(er) Science Fiction conversion of 5e DnD

    Gratifying that you've heard of it! Just trying to get some more eyes on it, I always need more feedback from playtest to keep iterating and making it better, and can only log so many hours at my table.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM

    Default Re: Fifth Age: A Hard(er) Science Fiction conversion of 5e DnD

    Interesting read - I enjoy your sense of humor, and your use of Proficiency Bonus for more things :)

    I might take a shot a running one - have a group entering a new campaign phase and we're a little tired of the fantasy trope. I might add in magic though... as an 'alien' only option.

    I noticed there's no multiclassing mentioned. With only 10 levels, I could see how it would be more difficult to implement, and how you split abilities from multiple 5E classes and put them on new class chassis, the probability of getting some crazy powerful combos is a definite potential. Was that your thinking?

    I'll let you know if the group goes for the idea.
    Trollbait extraordinaire

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Somewhere
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    Default Re: Fifth Age: A Hard(er) Science Fiction conversion of 5e DnD

    I like it and I consider running it in the future. I like the light and humorous tone, and the backstory is interesting (I liked the part why mankind survived singularity). I love that you're trying to keep it as relatively hard sci-fi, with few reasonable exceptions, even FTL takes relativity into account.

    That said, mechanicaly, it's obviously a work in progress. Backgrounds, especially, are a mess (some offering standard 2 skill and 2 other proficiencies + useful feature like Aristocrat, while others, like Colonist offer only half of that. Also, I'm not sure about some features giving clear, mechanical effects (Primitive giving free advantage on attacks)), and the balance between the races is another big one. I haven't been comparing how balanced the classes are, but without magic, it should be mostly fine. Feats are... well, they ARE supposed to be comparable to normal 5e half feats, and not all 5e feats are equally powerful, but still...it's clearly visible that some of them are ported from d20 Modern. Equipment seems mostly fine.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Fifth Age: A Hard(er) Science Fiction conversion of 5e DnD

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoxus View Post
    Interesting read - I enjoy your sense of humor, and your use of Proficiency Bonus for more things :)

    I might take a shot a running one - have a group entering a new campaign phase and we're a little tired of the fantasy trope. I might add in magic though... as an 'alien' only option.

    I noticed there's no multiclassing mentioned. With only 10 levels, I could see how it would be more difficult to implement, and how you split abilities from multiple 5E classes and put them on new class chassis, the probability of getting some crazy powerful combos is a definite potential. Was that your thinking?

    I'll let you know if the group goes for the idea.
    I allow multiclassing at my table, and honestly, it has worked swimmingly. There are sometimes 2-3 level "dead zones" in normal 5e classes, but it feels like every single level of these classes has something great going on with it. I intentionally tried to make two "half capstone" level 5 abilities about as good/cool as a full capstone. For instance, operates and officers have a lot of bonus action abilities which are just killer with the second bonus action provided by technician.

    I have seen most class pairings done, with the exception of soldier. It seems like anyone that wants soldier wants it all.


    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    I like it and I consider running it in the future. I like the light and humorous tone, and the backstory is interesting (I liked the part why mankind survived singularity). I love that you're trying to keep it as relatively hard sci-fi, with few reasonable exceptions, even FTL takes relativity into account.

    That said, mechanicaly, it's obviously a work in progress. Backgrounds, especially, are a mess (some offering standard 2 skill and 2 other proficiencies + useful feature like Aristocrat, while others, like Colonist offer only half of that. Also, I'm not sure about some features giving clear, mechanical effects (Primitive giving free advantage on attacks)), and the balance between the races is another big one. I haven't been comparing how balanced the classes are, but without magic, it should be mostly fine. Feats are... well, they ARE supposed to be comparable to normal 5e half feats, and not all 5e feats are equally powerful, but still...it's clearly visible that some of them are ported from d20 Modern. Equipment seems mostly fine.
    Backgrounds are intended to be a flavor choice to enhance roleplay, and might be valued differently from an optimization standpoint. Some of them need looking at, since they have remained virtually unchanged since my initial draft quite some time ago. When I originally built the game, Colonist's "super planet guy" shtick seemed a lot more powerful, but ended up being far more trivial. I will do a balance pass on those at my next opportunity.

    Primitive is a latecomer, and is very much a part of power creep in the system, representing a power level and game balance where the game was when it was added. You will note that it only functions with archaic weapons being used against those without them, so that means your 1d8 longsword against a security guard's 2d6 pistol or 3d8 assault rifle. This is just letting the primitive character have a chance to survive and perhaps thrive. After a few levels, a primitive has picked up a training feat and learned how to use modern weapons, and most of the feat is dead... or is still chugging away with his crossbow or battle axe.

    As for the feats... I feel like they are pretty decent overall. Let it be known I think that 5e great weapon master and sharpshooter are overpowered, so you can see that bleed through here. I cut those two feats into bits that grew into some of mine. Some of them are more or less powerful once you start playing in the milieu provided. Being able to ignore half and three quarters cover is amazing in a world where everyone is playing tag from behind corners, doorways, etc.

    Race balance is... tricky. I feel that the game should be mostly human-centric with the GM doing what he can to befuddle players with ridiculous alien crap, not vice versa. As such, humans are quite competitive to me, and the aliens are mostly one trick ponies. I feel like I gave greylians too much of the short end of the stick and they might need another balance pass. I think they are about 2 points behind the other, better races.

    I appreciate all of the feedback though, I only have the experiences of my own table to help me build with, and what I hear on forums, so the more of it I can get, the better a final work can be made. If you could point out what you think are the better feats, backgrounds and races, and which are the worse ones, that would be very helpful so I know it is not just my balancing bias.

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