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 Post subject: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:25 pm 
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Hi-

Once we finish the Sample Adventure, I want to start the group off in the upcoming Castle Zagyg box set (I have the "Mouths of Madness module now--I can't wait to see the Upper Works!). Although this is written for C&C, it has very similar creature stats to AD&D (except for AC). So I have some questions...

1. I am working on some guidelines for converting creatures. So far, I have thought about a way to guesstimate the MRV of the primary attack category, based on the Hit Dice of the creatures. This is what I came up with:

Hit Dice -- PH of primary attack
1 -- 1D6
2 -- 1D8
3 -- 2D4
4 -- 2D6
5 -- 2D8
6 -- 2D10
7 -- 2D12
8 -- 3D8
9 -- 3D10
10 -- 3D12

The other attack categories can be set relative to the primary category, and according to the nature of the creature.
Does this seem reasonable?


2. I am not so sure how to handle converting saves. Saves in ERP are handled by Resilience--you "save" by having a Resilience pool, and when that runs out, then you "fail your save", and the spell or toxin or whatever takes effect. So the thing to do is to convert the effect of the thing that causes the save into PH. But based on what? Here is an example creature:

"Wolverine: 3 Hit Dice, 16 HP, [skip AC, attacks and damage], From its rear it can release a musk in a 10' radius that sickens all within it: -2 on all attack rolls, constitution save negates."

So I would convert this to an unarmed PH of 2D4, with no other attack categories. But how to convert the musk? One possibility would be to go with 2D4 affecting Resilience. If Resilience is depleted, then there would be a -1 (or -2?) to PH as long as the musk is present. How does this sound? Any other ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:24 am 
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dunbruha wrote:
Hi-

Hit Dice -- PH of primary attack
1 -- 1D6
2 -- 1D8
3 -- 2D4
4 -- 2D6
5 -- 2D8
6 -- 2D10
7 -- 2D12
8 -- 3D8
9 -- 3D10
10 -- 3D12


How bout you choose the primary threat rank that makes sense for each monster. The rules for CS should allow a rough estimate of the number of monsters encountered.

Primary Threat Rank Type

D4 Fodder
D8 Fodder
2D4 (2-8) Standard
D6 Fodder
D10 Fodder
D12 Fodder
2D6 (2-12) Standard
3D4 (3-12) Exceptional
2D8 (2-16) Standard
3D6 (3-18) Exceptional
2D10 (2-20) Standard
2D12 (2-24) Standard
3D8 (3-24) Exceptional
3D10 (3-30) Exceptional
3D12 (3-36) Exceptional


Quote:
The other attack categories can be set relative to the primary category, and according to the nature of the creature.
Does this seem reasonable?


It would work fine, I think, although the conversion from hit dice to primary threat rank might seem arbitrary.

Quote:
I am not so sure how to handle converting saves. Saves in ERP are handled by Resilience--you "save" by having a Resilience pool, and when that runs out, then you "fail your save", and the spell or toxin or whatever takes effect.


If you're out of Resilience, some Effects take place for a round without a "save", and then if the effect continues into a second round, then the victim is still allowed an opposed roll of ADC vs. ADC (like poison versis Resistance Ability). This is true of all Influence effects.

Quote:
So the thing to do is to convert the effect of the thing that causes the save into PH. But based on what?


Base it on one of the magic "Effects" or just make it straight damage bypassing active defense and armor.


Quote:
Here is an example creature:

"Wolverine: 3 Hit Dice, 16 HP, [skip AC, attacks and damage], From its rear it can release a musk in a 10' radius that sickens all within it: -2 on all attack rolls, constitution save negates."

So I would convert this to an unarmed PH of 2D4, with no other attack categories. But how to convert the musk? One possibility would be to go with 2D4 affecting Resilience. If Resilience is depleted, then there would be a -1 (or -2?) to PH as long as the musk is present. How does this sound? Any other ideas?


Use the game's magic Effects as a baseline for special monster attacks.

2D4 sounds ok for a wolverine. The musk would be a "Curse" Effect basically, assigned a threat rank of it's own, like 1D4 (contributing to CS but HP or RS). So the Musk would do up to 4 points "curse" against all attack rolls. No maintaince cost...just give it like 2 rounds until it dissapates.

TRs/CS: standard, 12
Melee D0
Unarmed 2D4 ( 2 to 12 )
Ranged D0
Arcane D0
HP 12 ( Mod to HP x1 )
RS 6 ( Mod to RS x1 )


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:51 am 
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dancross wrote:
It would work fine, I think, although the conversion from hit dice to primary threat rank might seem arbitrary.

Well, it IS arbitrary, I agree. But the purpose of the table is to give a starting point for conversion. Generally, for D&D creatures, damage potential scales with Hit Dice. So the table gives a ball-park value for TR. What I'm not sure of is how well the higher-level creatures convert, as I haven't seem too many of them in ERP.

dancross wrote:
Quote:
I am not so sure how to handle converting saves. Saves in ERP are handled by Resilience--you "save" by having a Resilience pool, and when that runs out, then you "fail your save", and the spell or toxin or whatever takes effect.


If you're out of Resilience, some Effects take place for a round without a "save", and then if the effect continues into a second round, then the victim is still allowed an opposed roll of ADC vs. ADC (like poison versis Resistance Ability). This is true of all Influence effects.

I had forgotten about this. So you automatically "save" until your Resilience Pool runs out, then you automatically "fail" for one round, then you make a "saving roll" against the appropriate Ability.
Given this, what is the advantage (game-design-wise) for having the Resilience Pool? Why not just have "saves" against the appropriate ability? ("Saves" could be one-time or every round.)

dancross wrote:
2D4 sounds ok for a wolverine. The musk would be a "Curse" Effect basically, assigned a threat rank of it's own, like 1D4 (contributing to CS but HP or RS). So the Musk would do up to 4 points "curse" against all attack rolls. No maintaince cost...just give it like 2 rounds until it dissapates.

I like the idea of using the various magic effects as a base. But how did you decide on the amount of 1D4 for the threat rank? That is the question I am working on.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:32 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
Well, it IS arbitrary, I agree. But the purpose of the table is to give a starting point for conversion. Generally, for D&D creatures, damage potential scales with Hit Dice. So the table gives a ball-park value for TR. What I'm not sure of is how well the higher-level creatures convert, as I haven't seem too many of them in ERP.


I think your starting point works fine. But what I'm seeing is that D20 (D&D) is harder to convert at first glance because of how its combat power and level are linked. ERP can be put together like that for the purpose of conversion, but I was thinking perhaps it would be better to generate stricter (optional), level-based archetypal "builds" for the PCs using ERP rules, to get a better idea of appropriate monster "power by level" after that. In other words, I think the converstion is possible, but because ERP has more in common with GURPS character creation than D&D's, it may serve to do a little reverse engineering to create bonafide character classes for ERP. As it is, the occupational paths are nothing more than suggested progression of abilities, and will not serve as examples for levels tied to ascending levels of power. That can be done, naturally enough, by just working out a chart of mandatory step increases in certain abilities/specializations/masteries depending on the character concept.


Quote:
I had forgotten about this. So you automatically "save" until your Resilience Pool runs out, then you automatically "fail" for one round, then you make a "saving roll" against the appropriate Ability.
Given this, what is the advantage (game-design-wise) for having the Resilience Pool? Why not just have "saves" against the appropriate ability? ("Saves" could be one-time or every round.)


Dieter Zimmerman asked the same question in another thread. :wink: The advantage for the game in having a Resilience pool is it prevents automatic effects that could lead to instant death of party members. You remember the story from earlier editions of D&D...a sleep spell where everybody in the area of effect fails in a saving throw just killed the whole party. An influence of Incapacitation can be a death sentence too. A good number of effects are like that. So Resilience is a fail-safe against those sort of things. Of course you could remove magic-resistence from the Resilience equation, and put forth the rule that there's no such thing as an "instant death" hit even against a target that has no means of defending himself. Mind control, detect lies, blah blah...all of those things can affect the campaign in a negative way if they work to easily or quickly. But maybe my design was just paranoid 8)

dancross wrote:
I like the idea of using the various magic effects as a base. But how did you decide on the amount of 1D4 for the threat rank? That is the question I am working on.


Honestly, I just thought "that musk ability doesn't sound like it would be too strong", so I gave it a D4. Also because it was a mundane animal. My reasons were not reached by means of any method other than preference. I know that doesn't help much.

I was looking at "Dungeon Fantasy" for GURPs on E23, and I thought, wow, Eldritch RPG could use something like that too, for those who want to convert from the classic dungeon romp.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:31 pm 
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dancross wrote:
I think your starting point works fine. But what I'm seeing is that D20 (D&D) is harder to convert at first glance because of how its combat power and level are linked.

Maybe this is true for higher levels, but at low levels it is pretty linear.

dancross wrote:
Dieter Zimmerman asked the same question in another thread. :wink: The advantage for the game in having a Resilience pool is it prevents automatic effects that could lead to instant death of party members. You remember the story from earlier editions of D&D...a sleep spell where everybody in the area of effect fails in a saving throw just killed the whole party. An influence of Incapacitation can be a death sentence too. A good number of effects are like that. So Resilience is a fail-safe against those sort of things. Of course you could remove magic-resistence from the Resilience equation, and put forth the rule that there's no such thing as an "instant death" hit even against a target that has no means of defending himself. Mind control, detect lies, blah blah...all of those things can affect the campaign in a negative way if they work to easily or quickly. But maybe my design was just paranoid 8)

Well, you can have the Ability checks happen each round. So even if the entire party is slept, it is only for one round. Then everyone gets another chance to save.

dancross wrote:
Honestly, I just thought "that musk ability doesn't sound like it would be too strong", so I gave it a D4. Also because it was a mundane animal. My reasons were not reached by means of any method other than preference. I know that doesn't help much.

I was afraid you wou say that...

dancross wrote:
I was looking at "Dungeon Fantasy" for GURPs on E23, and I thought, wow, Eldritch RPG could use something like that too, for those who want to convert from the classic dungeon romp.

I'll have to check this out.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:02 pm 
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Another conversion question: some creatures have a strength bonus to their damage.

Example: "Strong Ogre. 4 Hit Dice, 27 Hit Points, Attacks with a giant spiked club for 1d8+4 damage, or by slamming with his fist for 1d10+4 damage. All of his attacks are at +4 damage because of his extra strength."

So, how much extra PH would be added to represent the extra strength of the creature? +4?
My conversion would be:

Strong Ogre
TY: Standard / 35
TR: 2D4 +4 Melee (spiked club); 2D6 +4 Unarmed (fist); 1D4 Ranged; no arcane attack.
EA: None
HP: 80
RS: 6
BP: D4
Notes: All of his attacks are at +4 PH because of his extra strength.

Is this too much? I guess the basic question is: How well do damage in D&D and PH in ERP correspond?

[Edit: The CS would have to be adjusted because of the PH bonus. How?]


Last edited by dunbruha on Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:39 pm 
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A guideline would be fantastic. I'd be able to sit down and churn out conversions. Of course they'd need tweaked but still, it would be a nice to have.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:20 pm 
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I see the use of this, and I can understand how it would make converting D&D modules easier. However, if I just try and whip something up too quickly, off the top of my head, it's bound to suck. Keep the suggestions coming, and I'll confer with the development team.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:36 pm 
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dancross wrote:
I see the use of this, and I can understand how it would make converting D&D modules easier. However, if I just try and whip something up too quickly, off the top of my head, it's bound to suck. Keep the suggestions coming, and I'll confer with the development team.

Cool. Will do. It seems like every page of the module brings up a new question...


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:21 pm 
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OK, here's my next conversion question: converting penalties to AC.

Here is the description of another creature from the "Mouths of Madness":

"Batrachianoid . Hit Dice 1d8, HP 5. They attack with javelins and spears. Their special abilities include a hopping attack for double damage, though -4 to their AC, and a chameleon ability that gives them +5 to hide checks and +10 to surprise checks."

My conversion would be:

Batrachianoid (Boggiwog)
TY: Fodder / 4
TR: 1D4 Melee (javelin, spear); 1D4 Unarmed; 1D4 Ranged; no arcane attack.
EA: None
HP: 4
RS: 2
BP: D4
Notes: This humanoid with a frog-like head has a hopping attack for 2 D4 PH. However, after making this attack, it takes an extra 1D4 of PH if attacked on the next round. It also has 1D4 Stealth > 1D4 Hide >1D4 Aquatic. This increases to 2D4 Stealth > 2D4 Hide >2D4 Aquatic for Surprise checks.

Comments?


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:48 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
OK, here's my next conversion question: converting penalties to AC.

Here is the description of another creature from the "Mouths of Madness":

"Batrachianoid . Hit Dice 1d8, HP 5. They attack with javelins and spears. Their special abilities include a hopping attack for double damage, though -4 to their AC, and a chameleon ability that gives them +5 to hide checks and +10 to surprise checks."

My conversion would be:

Batrachianoid (Boggiwog)
TY: Fodder / 4
TR: 1D4 Melee (javelin, spear); 1D4 Unarmed; 1D4 Ranged; no arcane attack.
EA: None
HP: 4
RS: 2
BP: D4
Notes: This humanoid with a frog-like head has a hopping attack for 2 D4 PH. However, after making this attack, it takes an extra 1D4 of PH if attacked on the next round. It also has 1D4 Stealth > 1D4 Hide >1D4 Aquatic. This increases to 2D4 Stealth > 2D4 Hide >2D4 Aquatic for Surprise checks.

Comments?


I like it! I couldn't have done it better myself!


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:56 pm 
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Here's the first step toward figuring out level versus level questions...check it out.
Number of steps is number of die-rank increases at each level. There are five steps per tier. So max number of maxed out abilities at the basic level is the first bit of informatinon. Then max number of maxed out restricted and/or specializations/masteries (meaning a D12 at those tiers). From there it goes on to tell you how many full ADCs can be maxed out, all three tiers.

I don't consider the max of 0+2 steps at first level (which I don't personally use anyway).

Go here: http://www.dancross.com/erp/CPs%20and%20ranks%20by%20level.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:05 pm 
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dancross wrote:
Here's the first step toward figuring out level versus level questions...check it out.
Number of steps is number of die-rank increases at each level. There are five steps per tier. So max number of maxed out abilities at the basic level is the first bit of informatinon. Then max number of maxed out restricted and/or specializations/masteries (meaning a D12 at those tiers). From there it goes on to tell you how many full ADCs can be maxed out, all three tiers.

I don't consider the max of 0+2 steps at first level (which I don't personally use anyway).

Go here: http://www.dancross.com/erp/CPs%20and%20ranks%20by%20level.pdf

This is interesting, especially the "max steps" column. This can be used to estimate the "average" die-rank of a creature at a given level, which would be useful for conversions. But to calculate the "average" die-rank, we need to know the "average" number of abilities that a creatrue has. This of course will vary greatly, both with the type of creature and the level, but some simplifications can be made... For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to assume that a creature will have 10 different abilities (the abilities that are "mechanical": Agility, Endurance, Melee/ Ranged Weapons/ Unarmed Combat/ Arcanum, Reflexes, Resistance, and Willpower) plus 4 others. Maybe another number of abilities would be better, but this one makes the math easier... So, if there are 10 abilities, and the max number of steps per level is known, then the average number of steps in each ability is the max steps / 10. This result is the expected number of steps that a creature of a given level would have for an "average" ability. The next thing to do is to set a die-rank for each average number of steps. I filled up the Basic levels first, then Specializations, as shown below:

Level -- Average steps -- Average die rank
1 -- 1.5 -- 1D6
2 -- 1.7 -- 1D6
3 -- 2 -- 1D8
4 -- 2.2 -- 1D8
5 -- 2.6 -- 1D10
6 -- 3 -- 1D10
7 -- 3.5 -- 1D12
8 -- 4 -- 1D12
9 -- 4.5 -- 1D12 +1D4
10 -- 5 -- 1D12 +1D4
11 -- 6 -- 1D12 +1D6
12 -- 6.5 -- 1D12 + 1D8
13 -- 7 -- 1D12 + 1D8
14 -- 8 -- 1D12 + 1D10
15 -- 9 -- 1D12 + 1D12

So, this table can be used as a starting point for estimating the ability ranks of a converted creature. Example: suppose you have converted a hill giant (9 Hit Dice in the C&C book), and for some reason you need to have it sense motive of the party. Using the table, it would have an "average" of 1D12 + 1D4 in Scrutiny. Then you could decide if this needed to be modified.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:25 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
dancross wrote:
Here's the first step toward figuring out level versus level questions...check it out.
Number of steps is number of die-rank increases at each level. There are five steps per tier. So max number of maxed out abilities at the basic level is the first bit of informatinon. Then max number of maxed out restricted and/or specializations/masteries (meaning a D12 at those tiers). From there it goes on to tell you how many full ADCs can be maxed out, all three tiers.

I don't consider the max of 0+2 steps at first level (which I don't personally use anyway).

Go here: http://www.dancross.com/erp/CPs%20and%20ranks%20by%20level.pdf

This is interesting, especially the "max steps" column. This can be used to estimate the "average" die-rank of a creature at a given level, which would be useful for conversions. But to calculate the "average" die-rank, we need to know the "average" number of abilities that a creatrue has. This of course will vary greatly, both with the type of creature and the level, but some simplifications can be made... For the purposes of this discussion, I am going to assume that a creature will have 10 different abilities (the abilities that are "mechanical": Agility, Endurance, Melee/ Ranged Weapons/ Unarmed Combat/ Arcanum, Reflexes, Resistance, and Willpower) plus 4 others. Maybe another number of abilities would be better, but this one makes the math easier... So, if there are 10 abilities, and the max number of steps per level is known, then the average number of steps in each ability is the max steps / 10. This result is the expected number of steps that a creature of a given level would have for an "average" ability. The next thing to do is to set a die-rank for each average number of steps. I filled up the Basic levels first, then Specializations, as shown below:

Level -- Average steps -- Average die rank
1 -- 1.5 -- 1D6
2 -- 1.7 -- 1D6
3 -- 2 -- 1D8
4 -- 2.2 -- 1D8
5 -- 2.6 -- 1D10
6 -- 3 -- 1D10
7 -- 3.5 -- 1D12
8 -- 4 -- 1D12
9 -- 4.5 -- 1D12 +1D4
10 -- 5 -- 1D12 +1D4
11 -- 6 -- 1D12 +1D6
12 -- 6.5 -- 1D12 + 1D8
13 -- 7 -- 1D12 + 1D8
14 -- 8 -- 1D12 + 1D10
15 -- 9 -- 1D12 + 1D12

So, this table can be used as a starting point for estimating the ability ranks of a converted creature. Example: suppose you have converted a hill giant (9 Hit Dice in the C&C book), and for some reason you need to have it sense motive of the party. Using the table, it would have an "average" of 1D12 + 1D4 in Scrutiny. Then you could decide if this needed to be modified.


This is what I was hoping we'd get out of my spreadsheet, though you're ahead of me (and good job!). Remember I didn't take several things into account.

1. That there are restrictions on max rank at first level, plus no allowed masteries at first level (but this is optional in my opinion).

2. The basic ranks grant a D4 automatically, so remember max steps in the spreadsheet is steps above D4 (for the basic tier).

We are on the right track for converstion. What I'm hoping to do with this now is "assume" a few different builds, perhaps using the occupational ability paths as guides, and assume some focus in those areas. Then we should come up with average ability for different occupational classes. That, in turn, will make it easier to match monsters to certain character types, and adventure party mixes.

This is fun. I want to incorporate this sort of thinking (making it easier for GMs to get quick reference) into the basic monster works, but we're not quite there yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:20 pm 
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OK, I've been working on another method for converting creatures. This one is very easy--it just uses the Hit Points and Damage values of existing creatures. It also gives results with lower Hit Points (but maybe more powerful) than the Book method. Here it is:

---------------------------------

Type: case by case—use judgement

Threat Rating: Primary attack: use (damage dice listed for creature) + (level (number of Hit Dice)) + (any listed bonus to damage). Use judgement on other attack categories. [I added level to account for creature's increased ability to hit as they get higher in level.]

Hit Points: use maximum Hit Dice listed for creature.

Extra Attacks: use judgement, based on creature description.

Resilience: ½ of hit points (full value of hit points if magic-based creature).

Spell Points: n/a [creature will be dead before they are depleted!]

Battle Phase: based on movement: 20 feet = D3; 30 feet = D4; 40 feet = D6; 50 feet = D8, etc.

Notes: use judgement. Any listed bonus to an ability is equivalent to a “+” to that ability.

Challenge Score: use Hit Points. Extra attacks add ½ of Hit Points to CS.

-----------------------------------

Here are three example creatures. (I am using the C&C descriptions, but this should work for AD&D and d20 creatures too)

Example: “Wolf. Hit Dice 2d8, attacks with a bite for 1d4+3 damage. Move 50 feet. Their special abilities include a trip attack, superior sense of smell, and twilight vision.”

Wolf
TY: Standard (Level 2) / 16
TR: Unarmed: 1D4 + 5 (+2 for level and +3 for strength)
EA: None
HP: 16
RS: 8
BP: D8
Notes: Trip attack: If any PH gets through active defenses, foe is tripped (bypasses armor). Superior sense of smell: Scrutiny D12 for scents. Low-light vision.



Example: “"Batrachianoid . Hit Dice 1d8, HP 5. They attack with javelins (1d4) and spears (1d6). Move: 20 feet.Their special abilities include a hopping attack for double damage, though -4 to their AC, and a chameleon ability that gives them +5 to hide checks and +10 to surprise checks."”

Batrachianoid
TY: Fodder (Level 1) / 8
TR: Melee: 1D6 + 1 (Spear); Ranged 1D4 + 1 (Javelin)
EA: None
HP: 8
RS: 4
BP: D3
Notes: This humanoid with a frog-like head has a melee hopping attack for 2 D6 PH. However, after making this attack, it takes an extra 1D6 of PH if attacked on the next round. It also has Stealth 1D4 + 5 in aquatic environments. This increases to 1D4 + 10 for Surprise checks.


Example: "Strong Ogre. 4d8 Hit Dice, 27 Hit Points, Attacks with a giant spiked club for 1d8+4 damage, or by slamming with his fist for 1d10+4 damage. Move: 30 feet. All of his attacks are at +4 damage because of his extra strength."

Strong Ogre
TY: Standard (Level 4) / 32
TR: Melee: 1D8 + 4 + 4 (spiked club); Unarmed: 1D10 + 4 + 4 (fist).
EA: None
HP: 32
RS: 16
BP: D4
Notes: All of his attacks are at +4 PH because of his extra strength.

What do you think? I like it because conversion can be done on-the-fly. But is it too far off what it "should" be?


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:16 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
What do you think? I like it because conversion can be done on-the-fly. But is it too far off what it "should" be?


I think it probably works. Remember though that Resilience is half of the primary threat rank MRV (or 100% if primary threat rank is arcane), not half of final hitpoints (especially after mods!). In terms of damage, I don't think you can go wrong. If it's D4+5, for example, you could just as well make it 2D4+1 without any fuss. In the core rules I attempt to balance encounters based on comparing group PH, but there are many ways to do that.

Here's one radical way I was dreaming up the other day:

...determine creature HP based on the parties' lowest, average or max damage in a single round...

Something like:

    Fodder = one hit kills. This is the "minion" level.

    Standard (low) = each creature's HP equals PC group minimum damage/round. Weak creatures, much like fodder.

    Standard (high) = each creature's HP equals PC group average damage/round. Your average creature, probably dropped in two rounds.

    Exceptional (low) = each creature's HP equals PC group max damage/round. This is a tough creature, and encountered in numbers would be scary.

    Exceptional (high) = each creature's HP equals PC group max damage/round x 1.2 This is your big "boss" monster.

    Armor reduction can make any of these seem much tougher too.

so...a mountain troll...well, make him high exceptional HP. Done.
A tiger, low exceptional...it's a tiger! A human soldier, make him high standard if a leader and low standard if a lieutenant, and the rest are fodder.

But my developer Seth Clayton had this to say:

"I understand where you're going with trying to speed up combat... Against larger monsters it can seem like it takes a while to whittle them down....
Personally, I like the idea of getting somewhere in combat... Where every 2-4 rounds you drop an opponent...

I've found that the best use of ERP is in multiple combatants.... You don't need giant bad guys.... A half dozen medium ones are more of a threat.... Even a 3d20 monster who sticks around for 20 rounds pales in comparison to 12 2D6 monsters... They have about the same staying power (20 rounds or so), but they inflict more damage per round (24-72 vs. 3-60)... It also means that as the PCs get weaker, so do the bad guys (their damage goes down as their numbers drop).... That increases their survivability without diminishing the danger or suspense...
I would play on that... It's important, it's backed up by the rules, and it gives players a sense of accomplishment and despiration.... You take out one bad guy and you've earned yourself a break... But you still can't relax because there's another....

I would keep the toughness calculation the way it is... If anything, I'd reduce the multipliers... Maybe x1.5 and x2 instead of x2 and x4... Because you should encourage the use of multiple bad guys...
You can mix and match them as you see fit... Give the dragon a dozen goblins that it's enslaved (how often do you see that in adventures, but the dragon never uses them to the best effect?)... Give the seargant at arms a group of soldiers.... Hell, give a pack of goblins some wargs! Things will get very dicy very quickly.... And there are a lot of monsters/creatures that are social... Why wouldn't they work to-gether?
Forget about the D&D roots of 2d4 wolves... Make it a pack of 12 and they'll give the players something to be afraid of! Giant ants become devistating.... Goblins have always attacked in numbers... But now that means something... Your average 5th level fighter can't just clean up the town's goblin problem on his own... And tavern brawls? Now there's a reason the thief climbs under the table to hide....

Play to the strengths of your game... Don't worry about emulating the games you've played in the past..."


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:30 pm 
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dancross wrote:
I think it probably works. Remember though that Resilience is half of the primary threat rank MRV (or 100% if primary threat rank is arcane), not half of final hitpoints (especially after mods!).

True, but using half of threat rank seemed so low. But I'll try it.

dancross wrote:
    Fodder = one hit kills. This is the "minion" level.

    Standard (low) = each creature's HP equals PC group minimum damage/round. Weak creatures, much like fodder.

    Standard (high) = each creature's HP equals PC group average damage/round. Your average creature, probably dropped in two rounds.

    Exceptional (low) = each creature's HP equals PC group max damage/round. This is a tough creature, and encountered in numbers would be scary.

    Exceptional (high) = each creature's HP equals PC group max damage/round x 1.2 This is your big "boss" monster.

    Armor reduction can make any of these seem much tougher too.


So the big "boss" monster can be taken down by 2 good hits from one PC? That doesn't sound very big to me. Or maybe I'm not understanding your formula...


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:34 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
dancross wrote:
I think it probably works. Remember though that Resilience is half of the primary threat rank MRV (or 100% if primary threat rank is arcane), not half of final hitpoints (especially after mods!).

True, but using half of threat rank seemed so low. But I'll try it.

dancross wrote:
    Fodder = one hit kills. This is the "minion" level.

    Standard (low) = each creature's HP equals PC group minimum damage/round. Weak creatures, much like fodder.

    Standard (high) = each creature's HP equals PC group average damage/round. Your average creature, probably dropped in two rounds.

    Exceptional (low) = each creature's HP equals PC group max damage/round. This is a tough creature, and encountered in numbers would be scary.

    Exceptional (high) = each creature's HP equals PC group max damage/round x 1.2 This is your big "boss" monster.

    Armor reduction can make any of these seem much tougher too.


So the big "boss" monster can be taken down by 2 good hits from one PC? That doesn't sound very big to me. Or maybe I'm not understanding your formula...


No the boss monster would have hitpoints equal to the total party PH, all primary threat ranks added up. So for example...

Warrior primary threat Melee D10 > D8 polearms
Cleric primary threat Arcane D12
Thief primary threat Unarmed D6

Monster has 43 HP for that party. You'd only average the PH for the whole group for "Standard (high)" HP.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:24 pm 
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Another conversion:

Shadow
TY: Exceptional (Legendary -- undead) (Level 3) / CS 15
TR: special (see below)
EA: None
HP: 24
RS: 24
BP: D6
Notes: This creature is incorporeal, and can pass effortlessly through solid objects. It attacks with an incorporeal touch that causes 1D6 damage to Resilience (bypassing active defense pools and armor). Creatures reduced to 0 resilience as a result of an attack by a shadow become a shadow in 1D4 rounds. Magical healing can prevent this transformation. In darkness or dim lighting, a shadow is almost invisible, and is considered to have total cover. In normal lighting, it has no cover. It is instantly destroyed by sunlight.

What do you think? I am totally guessing on the CS... I remember there was a streamlined method of CS calculation, but I can't find it.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:12 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
Another conversion:

Shadow
TY: Exceptional (Legendary -- undead) (Level 3) / CS 15
TR: special (see below)
EA: None
HP: 24
RS: 24
BP: D6
Notes: This creature is incorporeal, and can pass effortlessly through solid objects. It attacks with an incorporeal touch that causes 1D6 damage to Resilience (bypassing active defense pools and armor). Creatures reduced to 0 resilience as a result of an attack by a shadow become a shadow in 1D4 rounds. Magical healing can prevent this transformation. In darkness or dim lighting, a shadow is almost invisible, and is considered to have total cover. In normal lighting, it has no cover. It is instantly destroyed by sunlight.

What do you think? I am totally guessing on the CS... I remember there was a streamlined method of CS calculation, but I can't find it.


Calculating the Challenge Score [revised]: Calculate a creature's CS score as follows:

Creature final HP equals base Challenge Score. Then, add up any modifiers to HP (not to both HP and RS) and consult the chart below, rounding up to find final CS score. Don't worry about RS modifiers, as they really don't factor into challenge in the same way. So, for example, a creature with 10 HP, x2 to RS, and x4 to HP would alter CS based only on the x2, and using the chart below, his CS would be 13. 100% is the highest modifier to CS.

x2 to HP = +25% to CS

x3 to HP = +50% to CS

x4 to HP = +75% to CS

x5 to HP = +100% to CS

By the offical rules to date your creature would look like this:

TY/CS 11.0
Threat Ranks
Melee n/a
Unarmed n/a
Ranged n/a
Arcane D6 > D0 > D0 ( 1 to 6 )
HP 24 ( Mod to HP x4 )
RS 24 ( Mod to RS x4 )
BP D6
Notes: Notes: This creature is incorporeal, and can pass effortlessly through solid objects. It attacks with an incorporeal touch that causes 1D6 damage to Resilience (bypassing active defense pools and armor). Creatures reduced to 0 resilience as a result of an attack by a shadow become a shadow in 1D4 rounds. Magical healing can prevent this transformation. In darkness or dim lighting, a shadow is almost invisible, and is considered to have total cover. In normal lighting, it has no cover. It is instantly destroyed by sunlight.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:09 pm 
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dancross wrote:
Calculating the Challenge Score [revised]: Calculate a creature's CS score as follows:

Creature final HP equals base Challenge Score. Then, add up any modifiers to HP (not to both HP and RS) and consult the chart below, rounding up to find final CS score. Don't worry about RS modifiers, as they really don't factor into challenge in the same way. So, for example, a creature with 10 HP, x2 to RS, and x4 to HP would alter CS based only on the x2, and using the chart below, his CS would be 13. 100% is the highest modifier to CS.

x2 to HP = +25% to CS

x3 to HP = +50% to CS

x4 to HP = +75% to CS

x5 to HP = +100% to CS

Shouldn't the example creature's CS be 18 (10 + 7.5)? (since its the HP modifier that matters (and it was x4, or 75%))


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:10 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
dancross wrote:
Calculating the Challenge Score [revised]: Calculate a creature's CS score as follows:

Creature final HP equals base Challenge Score. Then, add up any modifiers to HP (not to both HP and RS) and consult the chart below, rounding up to find final CS score. Don't worry about RS modifiers, as they really don't factor into challenge in the same way. So, for example, a creature with 10 HP, x2 to RS, and x4 to HP would alter CS based only on the x2, and using the chart below, his CS would be 13. 100% is the highest modifier to CS.

x2 to HP = +25% to CS

x3 to HP = +50% to CS

x4 to HP = +75% to CS

x5 to HP = +100% to CS

Shouldn't the example creature's CS be 18 (10 + 7.5)? (since its the HP modifier that matters (and it was x4, or 75%))


The base HP for this creature is 6. So it's 6 x 1.75 = 10.5, rounded up. The final CS is calculated from base HP, not modified.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:51 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
dancross wrote:
Calculating the Challenge Score [revised]: Calculate a creature's CS score as follows:

Creature final HP equals base Challenge Score. Then, add up any modifiers to HP (not to both HP and RS) and consult the chart below, rounding up to find final CS score. Don't worry about RS modifiers, as they really don't factor into challenge in the same way. So, for example, a creature with 10 HP, x2 to RS, and x4 to HP would alter CS based only on the x2, and using the chart below, his CS would be 13. 100% is the highest modifier to CS.

x2 to HP = +25% to CS

x3 to HP = +50% to CS

x4 to HP = +75% to CS

x5 to HP = +100% to CS

Shouldn't the example creature's CS be 18 (10 + 7.5)? (since its the HP modifier that matters (and it was x4, or 75%))


before you ask...clarification to text: Creature base HP equals base Challenge Score


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:31 pm 
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dancross wrote:
dunbruha wrote:
dancross wrote:
Calculating the Challenge Score [revised]: Calculate a creature's CS score as follows:

Creature final HP equals base Challenge Score. Then, add up any modifiers to HP (not to both HP and RS) and consult the chart below, rounding up to find final CS score. Don't worry about RS modifiers, as they really don't factor into challenge in the same way. So, for example, a creature with 10 HP, x2 to RS, and x4 to HP would alter CS based only on the x2, and using the chart below, his CS would be 13. 100% is the highest modifier to CS.

x2 to HP = +25% to CS

x3 to HP = +50% to CS

x4 to HP = +75% to CS

x5 to HP = +100% to CS

Shouldn't the example creature's CS be 18 (10 + 7.5)? (since its the HP modifier that matters (and it was x4, or 75%))


The base HP for this creature is 6. So it's 6 x 1.75 = 10.5, rounded up. The final CS is calculated from base HP, not modified.

But in the example, the creature has a base of 10 HP, plus a x4 to HP, for an additional 75% of 10 = 7.5. So 10 + 7.5 = 17.5 (round up to 18).


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 Post subject: Re: Converting creatures
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:07 am 
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Quote:
But in the example, the creature has a base of 10 HP, plus a x4 to HP, for an additional 75% of 10 = 7.5. So 10 + 7.5 = 17.5 (round up to 18).


You're right. It looks like the x2 was used as if it pertained to the HP and not RS in that example. It's now been fixed.


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