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DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?
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Author:  Skyscraper [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

I'm wondering if anyone has tried using 3E D&D monsters pretty much as is, or with little on-the-fly modifications, in their DCC games.

DCC (admitedly) uses D&D 3E as its basis. It has the same d20 system, same defense (AC) and saving throws, similar hit dice, etc...

One difference between DCC and 3E is of course the spells, so let's forget about spellcasting monsters for the time being.

The idea is that I'm homebrewing and being able to use 3E monsters with little or no work needed would be great. However, I'm not familiar with the math of DCC enough to be able to tell if it makes sense. For one thing, I seem to notice that the ACs in DCC are a bit lower, i.e. you have some 10-13 ACs where in 3E that's pretty rare.

Any thoughts?

p.s. : I'm aware that I could use 3E monsters if I want, that differences in math don't really matter for many, that balance is not an issue for everyone, etc... I'm looking for actual comparative comments here, not generic assertions that differences don't matter. Thanks :)

Author:  finarvyn [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

What I do is grab the key stats that I want and throw out the parts that I don't. For example, any reference to skills and feats I ignore but basic AC, HP, damage, etc numbers I keep.

I also grab AD&D monsters, C&C monsters, whatever happens to be handy. I don't worry about balance. If certain monsters are harder than others, that's okay with me. 8)

Author:  GnomeBoy [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

Fin, how do you make your choice of monster? Are you just going with your gut? Or do you look at any particular numbers in relation to the PCs' numbers...?

Author:  Merl [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

I don't know about 3e monsters, but with the Basic/Expert and AD&D adventures I've already got, other than reversing the AC, the only thing I do is give all monsters d12 for HD, since characters are significantly more powerful at each level than their earlier D&D counterparts (and it matches with monsters in early D&D getting the same HD as fighters).

We played through the entire Dyson's Delve using the DCC beta rules, with no other major modification to monsters, either in stats or in numbers, and it went fine.
I did have a little difficulty where the monster poisoned, paralysed or otherwise did some Saving Throw-required attack to characters, since I don't know a good way to translate the five Saving Throw progressions to DCC, so I usually just picked target numbers that seemed reasonable.
Carrion crawlers attacking from the ceiling proved to be a very good way for previously cocky characters to learn a thing or two about multi-tentacled paralysis being a threat (my players now specifically tell me they are checking upwards in every room...)

And I don't worry too much about balance, either. It's sometimes tougher, sometimes easier, but only the aforementioned carrion crawlers (and a particularly surprising group of gargoyles) ever really threatened a TPK.

Author:  reverenddak [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

I use all monsters AS-IS. Converting pre-3e monsters takes subtracting their AC from 19. Everything else from all editions can be used the same.

Since XP is rewarded on actual "Challenge", it really doesn't matter if an edition of the monster is "weaker" than it "should be". 0e/BECMI orcs will be weaker than AD&D orcs, and even weaker than 3e orcs. Treat them as different monsters/breeds. As with anything else, it'll take a bit to get used to the stats and relative strengths vs the PCs. But in a while you'll be able to look at monster stats and get a good idea of their "challenge levels".

Don't worry about math. DCC RPG characters are 1d3 times more powerful than other D&D editions. I say 1d3 because the range varies much more widely in DCC RPG than they do in D&D (all editions.) So there will never be some straight conversions that will work all the time.

For spells I use the simple Swords & Wizardry versions and you can find some quick ref sheets at Warlock's Homebrew: http://warlockshomebrew.blogspot.com/p/swords-wizardry.html And I use custom tables determine spell effects, see attached (originally found in #1 of Crawl).

Finally, for Saves and other numbers, I use this: (By the same guy to did the DCC RPG Reference Sheets.)
http://peoplethemwithmonsters.blogspot.com/2011/07/dcc-monster-helper.html

(p.s. I will be publishing the Monster Helper in the next issue of Crawl!)

Hope that helps!

Attachments:
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Author:  Skyscraper [ Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

Wow, thanks for all the comments! Cool stuff!

@reverenddak: do you mean that for spells, you simply use the whatever-version-of-the-spell-you-might-be-using, say a 3E spell or an AD&D spell, and modify its result according to the quick-ref table you posted here? If you find this works well, it seems like a very handy trick indeed. Do I understand that the players are then the only ones with the very powerful spell outputs from the DCC book, or do you make the occasional special NPC use those spells as well?

Author:  reverenddak [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

Use whatever spells you have quick access to. Reward XP on the magnitude of challenge vs. the stats. i.e. if the fight is challenging, reward an appropriate amount of XP, if it's a cake-walk, less.

NPC/Monsters are designed to survive about 5 or so rounds of combat. Any more than that is, honestly and personally speaking, boring. If it's an epic end battle w/ boss, there should be tons of peon and minion monster... tons, to extend the combat over a longer amount of time. Nickle and dime-ing a monster to death is tedious/boring. With that, make sure if they're a spellcaster that they have big spells (appropriate to their level) A fireball will be a SUPERNOVA, Magic Missile will be Magic Carpet Bomb, etc. at higher levels.

I used to let special NPCs use DCC RPG versions of spells. But I've simplified it a bit with some house rules and use simplified versions of spells that are scaled by the HD of the spell casting NPC/monster (shameless plug, Crawl! #3.) I don't bother letting NPCs have as diverse a range of spell effects as you would regular PCs, there's no point. I pick one basic "misfire" and one basic "crit", and have the spell effect be the typical effect. Much simpler to write our spell caster "powers" that way. I also use the same name to emphasis they're compatibility with counter-spells and spell duels.

A lot of the times I just wing it, and I favor or lean towards "cool" and "fun" when in doubt. If it makes your players cheer, clap, high-five or laugh you're probably doing it right.

Author:  Skyscraper [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

reverenddak wrote:
Use whatever spells you have quick access to. Reward XP on the magnitude of challenge vs. the stats. i.e. if the fight is challenging, reward an appropriate amount of XP, if it's a cake-walk, less.

NPC/Monsters are designed to survive about 5 or so rounds of combat. Any more than that is, honestly and personally speaking, boring. If it's an epic end battle w/ boss, there should be tons of peon and minion monster... tons, to extend the combat over a longer amount of time. Nickle and dime-ing a monster to death is tedious/boring. With that, make sure if they're a spellcaster that they have big spells (appropriate to their level) A fireball will be a SUPERNOVA, Magic Missile will be Magic Carpet Bomb, etc. at higher levels.

I used to let special NPCs use DCC RPG versions of spells. But I've simplified it a bit with some house rules and use simplified versions of spells that are scaled by the HD of the spell casting NPC/monster (shameless plug, Crawl! #3.) I don't bother letting NPCs have as diverse a range of spell effects as you would regular PCs, there's no point. I pick one basic "misfire" and one basic "crit", and have the spell effect be the typical effect. Much simpler to write our spell caster "powers" that way. I also use the same name to emphasis they're compatibility with counter-spells and spell duels.

A lot of the times I just wing it, and I favor or lean towards "cool" and "fun" when in doubt. If it makes your players cheer, clap, high-five or laugh you're probably doing it right.


If they dance the boogie-woogie, is that alright too?

;)

Thanks for the thoughts, that's great advice. I don't use XP, but apart from that, all of the above is applicable. Being able to mine older versions of D&D for monsters and spells for NPCs will really simplify my life a ton.

If I play at least a bit of DCC, I'll seriously consider following your shameless plug to its root and jumping onboard Crawl.

Cheers,

Sky

Author:  finarvyn [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DCC: compatablity of 3E monsters?

GnomeBoy wrote:
Fin, how do you make your choice of monster? Are you just going with your gut? Or do you look at any particular numbers in relation to the PCs' numbers...?
Mostly just a gut call.

The key number, obviously, is hit dice. In general I'd like to have the hit dice number be somewhat in line with the level of the characters. On the other hand, I ran a game the other day where a bunch of 1st level guys encountered a couple of ogres and they figured out really quickly that it was flight or perish. Once they leveled up a couple of times, however, they went out ogre-hunting. :lol:

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