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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Going from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia

    I would like to adapt some monsters from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia. There is plenty of advice for going the other direction, but I have yet to find something that does what I want. Do you know if such a thing exists? Can I just reverse the 5th Edition adapters in some way?
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Why be Evil when you can be Lawful?

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Going from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia

    Rules Cyclopedia is basically Immortal rules right before you become immortal. Wrath of the Immortals came out around that time.

    So its basically a more elaborate, green layout version of Combat and Tactics 2nd edition D&D with slight changes.

    thus i would translate as follows:
    give or take

    5e stat to Cyclopedia stat:
    30-->25
    29-->24
    20-->18
    17-19->17
    1-16->1-16

    First drop their constitution bonuses. Just throw those away. Add their Con bonus if the monster is really fat and huge, like a giant turtle island or whatever, but for the most part, you should see hit points drop by 60-70%, and the fastest way is to drop the d20s and d12s down to d8s and dump the constitution bonuses.

    Next, imagine 1-2 extra abilities whatever creature you are reading probably should have. Convert legendary abilities this way. On average, older edition creatures had 2-20 more super powers than 5e monsters, although Rules Cyclopedia Monster entries were a little lighter than Advanced. Phoenix in Cyclopedia has about 7 abilities including a potion of fire resistance recipe, and thats vaguely similar to the Magic the Gathering Creature-esque entry for the CR16 5e phoenix. However, the Solar Angel from Immortal Rules that made it to AD&D had something like 40-50 super powers, and its like half a dozen in 5e, so you need to adjudicate any super power changes according to personal taste.

    Rule of thumb: if its extra planar, add 1-2. if its not, add 0-1.


    Armor Class Cyclopedia to 5e:
    AC 10 = AC 10
    AC 0 = AC 20
    AC -10 = AC 30

    Attack bonuses: are usually calculated by number of hit dice. Saves are mostly as Fighter of Hit Dice level or higher. Thus a 20 hit dice monster saves as Fighter 20+. A 27 hit dice monster saves as fighter 27+. CR 25+ creatures usually save as Fighter 36. If its lawful good have it save as a cleric instead. Most high intelligence Aberrations with lots of magical powers (beholders, ilithid) save as mages of a given level.

    So there's this weird 5 squared = 25, therefore 6 square = 36 ratio
    this means if you are sneaky and bored:
    CR 4 saves as Fighter 9
    CR 9 saves as fighter 16
    CR 16 saves as Fighter 25
    CR 25 saves as Fighter 36

    You'll see this pattern is vaguely true by looking on page 168 of Rules Cyclopedia. It's not 1:1. Anything with Legendary actions and over 300 hp probably saves as Fighter 36.

    Breath weapons will do the same damage as the reduced hit points. This is a good reason to convert their hit dice downward, otherwise you will end up with silly 400+ damage breath weapon attacks from creatures meant for levels 10-20.

    Levels aren't direct. At low levels 1-8 ish its about the same, then its up to you. Technically a 36th level character in Cyclopedia is about the same as a level 18+ in AD&D, but a level 20 Mage in 5e has far fewer spells and experience, so converting directly might work.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Going from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    Rules Cyclopedia is basically Immortal rules right before you become immortal. Wrath of the Immortals came out around that time.
    Err no it isn't - it is the Basic, Expert, Companion and Master rules rolled into one book with a few tweaks here and there.
    Immortal level D&D was a very different game even with the WotI changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    So its basically a more elaborate, green layout version of Combat and Tactics 2nd edition D&D with slight changes.
    No, completely unrelated as C&T was a 2nd Ed AD&D book not a D&D book.
    (OK, I stopped buying 2nd Ed before C&T came out, but it would require huge re-working to align with BECM D&D.)

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    thus i would translate as follows:
    ...
    Rule of thumb: if its extra planar, add 1-2. if its not, add 0-1.
    The above advice that might be quite good, but probably needs to be re-checked considering how bad the above starting assumptions are.

    One point to remember on stat conversion is that stats over 18 were basically impossible to get pre-immortal unlike AD&D and 3+ D&D - not even a girdle of giant strength could give a stat over 18.
    Monsters only have one listed stat (intelligence) - they are assumed to be of average strength etc. for their own kind and I can only recall one type of monster with an Int of 19 (Nightshades) - there probably is another, but I don't remember it. In BECM terms this makes a nightshade more intelligent than any human wizard no matter how they have boosted their intelligence.
    So, find a conversion system but be prepared to pure heavily for stats over 18 as they are based on a different concept of what the stats are.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    Armor Class Cyclopedia to 5e:
    AC 10 = AC 10
    AC 0 = AC 20
    AC -10 = AC 30
    In BECM/RC D&D the base AC was 9 not 10.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    Attack bonuses:
    ...
    more advice that looks reasonable, but see above
    ...
    levels 10-20.
    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    Levels aren't direct. At low levels 1-8 ish its about the same, then its up to you. Technically a 36th level character in Cyclopedia is about the same as a level 18+ in AD&D, but a level 20 Mage in 5e has far fewer spells and experience, so converting directly might work.
    I am with you on this, in principle.

    TSR and WotC used to claim that to convert from BECM D&D to AD&D levels 1 to 18 matched and then go to 1:2 AD&D : BECM D&D so a 36th level character was the equivalent of a 28th level AD&D character.

    This always puzzled me, because BECM D&D had far more support (and options) for characters over 10th level than AD&D aside from spell lists so I usually reckon that the high level BECM character is more powerful than a level-equivalent AD&D character - perhaps it was based on the toughness of high level monsters?
    Last edited by Khedrac; 2021-02-28 at 04:40 AM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Going from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia

    i had a nice giant reply to all that, but it was eaten by the computer auto log out.

    So im just going to say

    1. you were semi correct about AC starting at 9. That's a hairsplit truth. it ignores the fact that 5e shields are +2 and chainmail is 5 in both editions. Platemail is also 3 in both editions. Shields are 1 in both editions, but 2 in 5e. It deviates at full plate + shield (AC 0 vs. AC -1 in BECMI) and leather 7 BECMI vs. 8 in AD&D. The other middle armors are virtually identical. There's a general +/-1 across the board, but the 30 point spread remains for anything but AC 10.

    2. nightshades had 19 intelligence but AD&D tiamat only had 17-18, so convert your mental stats however you like, immortals in cyclopedia dont have listed mental stats. Note that dragons are notoriously stupid compared to gods in early editions. The cyclopedia maxed dragons at 18, even the Pearl and Star Dragons and ruler of all dragons, all 18, but that nightshade still has a 19. Bahamut in AD&D had a 19-20/Supra Genius, while Immortal beings could have a 22, 55, or even 100, and rolled percentile dice to do hyperspatial calculations or make "strength checks" to move planes of existence.

    3. giant magic items doubled damage dice and changed your THAC0 to the hit dice of the giant, in the listed case, 8 hit dice for the hill giant, which is +7-8 to hit, and +4-5 damage per hit from a d8-10 weapon, possibly +8-10. I made a neat conversion table but it was auto deleted by my auto log out.

    4. You misunderstand my statement about BECMI and Cyclopedia. Cyclopedia is literally exactly what i said. It's everything up to immortal rules not including immortals. Put another way, its the rules set for 1st-36th level AND divine ascension options, BUT lacks definitive or playable versions of rules for the immortals themselves, and suggests retirement. The gold books are radically different rules that pick up where 36th level and divine ascension stop, and starts you as a level 1 god, called an immortal. More like a demigod, but same difference. That set switches to a 1/10,000 xp conversion for power points and you spend most of your time in the 4th dimension trying not to be outwitted by rivals and horrors from the 5th dimension and their emissary black balls.

    Combat and Tactics ripped off the mastery/grand mastery straight from Cyclopedia, then nerfed some of it because it was too good. You are free to open both books and see for yourself.
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-02-28 at 12:03 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Going from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    i had a nice giant reply to all that, but it was eaten by the computer auto log out.
    My commiserations - I have had similar happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    So im just going to say

    1. you were semi correct about AC starting at 9. That's a hairsplit truth. it ignores the fact that 5e shields are +2 and chainmail is 5 in both editions. Platemail is also 3 in both editions. Shields are 1 in both editions, but 2 in 5e. It deviates at full plate + shield (AC 0 vs. AC -1 in BECMI) and leather 7 BECMI vs. 8 in AD&D. The other middle armors are virtually identical. There's a general +/-1 across the board, but the 30 point spread remains for anything but AC 10.
    True (I think banded/splinted mail was missing in D&D and was a significant part of the difference).

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    2. nightshades had 19 intelligence but AD&D tiamat only had 17-18, so convert your mental stats however you like, immortals in cyclopedia dont have listed mental stats. Note that dragons are notoriously stupid compared to gods in early editions. The cyclopedia maxed dragons at 18, even the Pearl and Star Dragons and ruler of all dragons, all 18, but that nightshade still has a 19. Bahamut in AD&D had a 19-20/Supra Genius, while Immortal beings could have a 22, 55, or even 100, and rolled percentile dice to do hyperspatial calculations or make "strength checks" to move planes of existence.
    You are comparing Apples and Pears - AD&D and BECM D&D were very different systems
    In AD&D stats did cap at 25 even for the gods hence Tiamat not being more intelligent than a very intelligent human.
    In D&D they capped 18 pre-immortal and 100 when Immortal.
    As for Star's Int, yes it is given as 18 in the RC but that could be because the book doesn't have rules for Int over 18 (I know they gave it to Nightshades anway). In WotI it is 20 (which I think is too low for his rank) and in the gold box he is just listed as "Celestial 5" which gives a range of 25 to 50 (probably closer to 50 as rank 5).

    Either way bringing AD&D into a discussion of BECM D&D usually leads to confusion because the systems were surprisingly different once one got past Expert.
    (Yes D&D material was usually usable direct when playing AD&D but the reverse was not true.)

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    3. giant magic items doubled damage dice and changed your THAC0 to the hit dice of the giant, in the listed case, 8 hit dice for the hill giant, which is +7-8 to hit, and +4-5 damage per hit from a d8-10 weapon, possibly +8-10. I made a neat conversion table but it was auto deleted by my auto log out.
    In AD&D they set your strength to that of a giant - so 19 to 24 with the commensurate to hit and damage bonuses.
    In D&D I had completely missed the girdle adjusting "to hit" to be that of a hill giant - a major drawback for high-level characters! So yes, it doubles damage and changes to hit to be that of an 8HD giant.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    4. You misunderstand my statement about BECMI and Cyclopedia. Cyclopedia is literally exactly what i said. It's everything up to immortal rules not including immortals. Put another way, its the rules set for 1st-36th level AND divine ascension options, BUT lacks definitive or playable versions of rules for the immortals themselves, and suggests retirement. The gold books are radically different rules that pick up where 36th level and divine ascension stop, and starts you as a level 1 god, called an immortal. More like a demigod, but same difference. That set switches to a 1/10,000 xp conversion for power points and you spend most of your time in the 4th dimension trying not to be outwitted by rivals and horrors from the 5th dimension and their emissary black balls.
    Totally agree - both with what you say here and I did not understand your statement ("Rules Cyclopedia is basically Immortal rules right before you become immortal.") about what the RC covers.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    Combat and Tactics ripped off the mastery/grand mastery straight from Cyclopedia, then nerfed some of it because it was too good. You are free to open both books and see for yourself.
    As I said I never saw C&T so I accept your word for that - but it's also a significant revision from what you said previously ("So its basically a more elaborate, green layout version of Combat and Tactics 2nd edition D&D with slight changes") as, if I understand you correctly, that applies of Weapon Master but not the rest of the RC.

    In short, I think what I read was not what you thought you had written hence most of the confusion.
    Last edited by Khedrac; 2021-02-28 at 02:31 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Going from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    My commiserations - I have had similar happen.


    True (I think banded/splinted mail was missing in D&D and was a significant part of the difference).


    You are comparing Apples and Pears - AD&D and BECM D&D were very different systems
    In AD&D stats did cap at 25 even for the gods hence Tiamat not being more intelligent than a very intelligent human.
    In D&D they capped 18 pre-immortal and 100 when Immortal.
    As for Star's Int, yes it is given as 18 in the RC but that could be because the book doesn't have rules for Int over 18 (I know they gave it to Nightshades anway). In WotI it is 20 (which I think is too low for his rank) and in the gold box he is just listed as "Celestial 5" which gives a range of 25 to 50 (probably closer to 50 as rank 5).

    Either way bringing AD&D into a discussion of BECM D&D usually leads to confusion because the systems were surprisingly different once one got past Expert.
    (Yes D&D material was usually usable direct when playing AD&D but the reverse was not true.)


    In AD&D they set your strength to that of a giant - so 19 to 24 with the commensurate to hit and damage bonuses.
    In D&D I had completely missed the girdle adjusting "to hit" to be that of a hill giant - a major drawback for high-level characters! So yes, it doubles damage and changes to hit to be that of an 8HD giant.


    Totally agree - both with what you say here and I did not understand your statement ("Rules Cyclopedia is basically Immortal rules right before you become immortal.") about what the RC covers.


    As I said I never saw C&T so I accept your word for that - but it's also a significant revision from what you said previously ("So its basically a more elaborate, green layout version of Combat and Tactics 2nd edition D&D with slight changes") as, if I understand you correctly, that applies of Weapon Master but not the rest of the RC.

    In short, I think what I read was not what you thought you had written hence most of the confusion.

    i think what im getting at is there's more ease in converting a 30 point system to a 30 point system. By backward pit stopping in AD&D, you can get your 1-18:1-18 and wed it to the weird 1-30 system of 5e.

    As for immortals with their stats of 26-100, at first i thought there would be a multiplier, and in some sense, there might be (assume greater god is x4, intermediate is x3, and multiply their stat/avatar by X to convert it back to immortal rules. lesser is x2, and demigod or quasi power is x1/no modifier.)
    the legitimate reason for acknowledging stats over 25-26 boils down to the Atlas and Hercules myth.

    Atlas lifted a whole planet, and hercules struggled to temporarily support it. So we are looking at 25 in hercules is struggling, and 26+ is Atlas. Thor also had a 26+ strength with his belt. Now, why isn't this 100?

    Well, in immortals, you basically roll strength checks against things much bigger than moons and planets. You have strength checks against stuff like stars, super giants, galaxies, or whole planes of existence. Compared to those things, planets are pebbles, or even grains of sand. Since there's literally "roll this die to move a plane of existence" and that makes moving a planet "easy" to say "hercules struggles with Gaia/Earth with his maxed out 25 strength" lends itself easily to the logic that the immortals with 50+ stats are legit, rather than a numerical conversion error.

    Nothing in 5e gets this powerful. All the top shelf monsters are quasi powers or demigods, so they would all have a x1 multiplier and no real need to convert to the gold books. There's some demon lords, tarrasque and Tiamat, but i see no reason to worry about converting backward to anything severe.

    As to the 18 thing, i again recommend just following the Cyclopedia pattern of using text effect powers rather than assigning numerical attributes. If the intelligence of the monster is 20+, give them an 18 Int in Cyclopedia.

    If their AC is 25, check their converted dexterity and modify their "negative 5" downward/upward accordingly.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Going from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    i think what im getting at is there's more ease in converting a 30 point system to a 30 point system. By backward pit stopping in AD&D, you can get your 1-18:1-18 and wed it to the weird 1-30 system of 5e.
    this makes sense to me - the race-as-class nature of D&D makes going via AD&D 1 make a lot of sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    As for immortals...
    I think we both agree to leave the immortals rules out of the conversion (Also you seem to have hit the nail on the head with the difference between an Elemaster throwing a planet at someone (75% if it is of the correct element) and any other immortal (the penalties are what? - forget that).)

    Quote Originally Posted by anthon View Post
    As to the 18 thing, i again recommend just following the Cyclopedia pattern of using text effect powers rather than assigning numerical attributes. If the intelligence of the monster is 20+, give them an 18 Int in Cyclopedia.

    If their AC is 25, check their converted dexterity and modify their "negative 5" downward/upward accordingly.
    Completely agree - the end result is what matters not the actual numbers.
    Last edited by Khedrac; 2021-03-11 at 07:23 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Going from 5th Edition to Rules Cyclopedia

    If players are used to race+class and/or the "additional" classes from 1e-5e, I might suggest looking at Advanced Labyrinth Lord. It has the traditional "additional" classes from 1e, but scaled to work with B/X and, presumably, BECMI/RC. You'll have to choose whether to use the RC or ALL versions of paladins, druids, etc. (I prefer the ALL versions), but it should all be playable with btb RC classes. You can also have elf clerics, halfling thieves, etc. which aren't in btb RC.

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