Converting races question...

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MadCartographer
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Converting races question...

Post by MadCartographer »

I would like to convert a few races from "Monsters of Faerun" Monster Manuel. Any advice is welcome.
Specifically, I want to convert the Wemic and Stinger races.

Thanks!

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Rigon
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Re: Converting races question...

Post by Rigon »

For wemics, look at the 2e Humanoid book (one of the brown player's books). It should give you a good starting point. Not sure what a Stinger is, but you might be able to reverse engineer it if you are using a 3e book for reference.

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Re: Converting races question...

Post by Go0gleplex »

Are you looking at doing the conversions for PC use or NPC use Mad?
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Re: Converting races question...

Post by MadCartographer »

Go0gleplex wrote:Are you looking at doing the conversions for PC use or NPC use Mad?
For PC.

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Re: Converting races question...

Post by MadCartographer »

Rigon wrote:For wemics, look at the 2e Humanoid book (one of the brown player's books). It should give you a good starting point. Not sure what a Stinger is, but you might be able to reverse engineer it if you are using a 3e book for reference.

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Re: Converting races question...

Post by Rigon »

We used it a while ago in one of the online games. A couple of players got reincarnated to a Centaur and a Fairy. I know the CK did some modifications to the write ups.

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Re: Converting races question...

Post by Go0gleplex »

Generally do not want to give any stat bonuses of more than +2. Natural AC Bonuses rule of thumb: Hide +1, scale or chitin +2. Don't neglect disadvantages due to size, appearance, and such. Hit dice mean squat since their class will take precedence.
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Re: Converting races question...

Post by MadCartographer »

Thanks guys! I'll post what I do for review and modifications.

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Re: Converting races question...

Post by serleran »

I once posted this. I can't say if it retains what I would these days because I pretty much just wing anything...


There is no "right way," or "official way." Yet. There is only what people do... mine is as follows:

To convert a monstrous race into a playable race is rather simple.

List the "Specials" given by the monster as racial abilities. These will be transferred exactly across.

Next, one determines the attribute adjustments, which is the far trickier part, but one can bend this part ot suit taste. Personally, I do this:

If HD > = 6 and Physical Prime, then +1 Stength and Con ; +1 / +3 HD > 6.

If movement (land speed) >= 30, then +1 Dex / +10 feet > 30

If HD >= 6 and Mental Prime, then +1 Wisdom and Int; +1 / +3 HD > 6.

If a monster is described as weak, cowardly, or some other seeming contradiction, apply a penalty instead to relevant attribute. However, if the monster is described as being particularly strong, or agile, and it is not reflected in the HD formula, give a +1 bonus anyway.

All monster races get -2 Charisma.

If Con modifier >= +3, +1 hit dice at level one; still use class-based type. Note that monsters which are listed as having class abilities or possibly having class abilties should favor those classes, getting a +2 bonus on 2-3 checks for that class.

Next, comes the hard part, and that is "balancing" the race. I disfavor XP penalties, as they become meaningless at high levels. Instead, I prefer something else, which is similar, but not quite. Add up the bonuses, and the Type abilities giving by monster type (that would be the Type I, Type II, and Type III abilities.) Divide it by four. That is the number of levels the character must advance before being considered a 2nd level PC.

Some abilities should be reduced in power, to make them comparable, and not overpowering. In these cases, for those which are able to be stagnated, detrmine a level progression. For abilities that cannot be so determined, decide what level the character will get the ability, instead.

Example of the minotaur:

Abilities of race: Powerful Charge (Type II) [will be stagnated at +1d6/3 levels; attack modifier remains +2 as charge], Darkvision 60 ft (Tye\pe --), Natural Cunning (Type II), Weapon Abilities (Type I; stagnate as per Fighter Weapon Specialization.)

Attribute modifiers -- Strength +2 (7HD = +1 and "powerfully built"); Con +2 (7 HD and implied lifestyle); -3 Intelligence (Low Intelligence, "dim-witted); -2 Charisma.

Positive attribute mod + monster abilities = 9 / 4 = 2.

The character must earn enough XP equal to a third level character before advancing to 2nd. Essentially, the chart is shifted two levels, making the monster advance much slower, but compensated by its abilities.

Others will have their own system of course.

Over time, I have decided against the "level equivalency."

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Re: Converting races question...

Post by joneshoward »

That whole hide/armor class thing has been a head scratcher for me. My wife has been playing a lizard woman, and I initially gave her a +2 AC because of the scaled hide. but because she was picturing a swift lizard, she took a high dex and prime... I won't bore with more details, but her AC climbed quickly so that it became very hard for her to be affected by beginner level opponents, like, say, goblins. I've had to resort to making goblins in my world a little more competent so I can provide her with more challenge.

Eventually I refurbished the character a little bit and reduced the scale AC value to a +1.
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Re: Converting races question...

Post by Go0gleplex »

lizardman scale would be more in line with hide. What I referred to as scale would be like dragon or something seriously tough. And yup, when dealing with monster races as PCs you can have lopsided lower level vs encounter issues. Back in 2nd ed., we would end up using +1HD or more creatures from the PC's level.
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Re: Converting races question...

Post by joneshoward »

Ah, nice to see someone else had the same issues.

It amazes me that I've been game mastering since junior high (the primary GM for whatever group I'm in) and am 48 now... but I'm STILL learning new things and STILL learning how to be a a better GM, CK, DM, what have you.

There's this scale business. And then there's the idea I never seemed to get with fantasy games that if you put a little more thought into monster behavior it made for a far more interesting encounter, as I've seen in numerous wilderness encounters in C&C modules.

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Howard
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