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  1. #11
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 09:28 AM 7/11/2002 +0200, Carl Cramer wrote:

    >On the other hand, the conversion manual is fr from perfect. Levels in 3E
    >seem to be slightly higher across the board. It used to be that only
    >spellcasters really learned anything new after level 10; now every class
    >continues to progress. So any conversion that is internally consistent can
    >work - that is any conversion that maintains the relative power level of
    >the different NPCs.

    3e`s XP award system gives experience levels more quickly than previous
    editions. It seems wrong that if one converted all the encounters a
    character had completed and he`d wind up higher than a straight conversion
    from 2e to 3e, but the "standard" conversion method is to reduce experience
    level by a third. I suspect this is an inconsistency that was based on two
    factors. First, the game designers probably weren`t all that sure what was
    going to happen with level 21+ characters at that point. Second, they were
    probably worried that 2e players converting their characters into 3e would
    find the powering up process too much of a change and react badly.

    In many cases "powering down" characters be translating them from 2e to 3e
    is a bad idea. This is particularly the case when it comes to
    awnsheghlien. The Manslayer or the Gorgon as a character with 21 total
    levels? Too weak for my taste. If anything 3e versions of the major
    awnshegh and characters in BR should be increased rather than lowered. I`d
    suggest as high as 50% more character levels in certain cases, though 1/3
    more is probably better average.

    Gary

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  2. #12
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    Gary wrote:
    > In many cases "powering down" characters be translating them from 2e to 3e
    is a bad idea. This is particularly the case when it comes to awnsheghlien.
    The Manslayer or the Gorgon as a character with 21 total levels? Too weak
    for my taste.

    Personally I see no need to "power up" the awnshegh to preserve setting
    balance. If we stick with Rhoubhe for the moment, a straight conversion to
    3e would give him 21 levels. Aeric Boeruine would remain at 12 levels, yet
    Ruins of Empire clearly states that Boeruine has nearly defeated the
    Manslayer. Now a 3e 12th level fighter would get his butt handed to him by
    a 21st level character - and Aeric is the highest level fighter in Anuire.
    So saying Rhoubhe isn`t powerful enough anymore lacks a degree of
    persuasiveness IMO.

    The same with the Gorgon. Leave him as a 25th level fighter. Together with
    his arsenal of magic items and blood abilities, no one in Cerilia could
    stand up to him in a fight.

    I just don`t see a need to up the power levels of the setting in order to
    "preserve" the setting. After all, one of the supposed characteristics of
    the setting is that higher levels don`t matter so much - that it is a
    comparatively low power setting.

    John

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  3. #13
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 12:41 AM 7/12/2002 +1200, John Harbord wrote:

    >Personally I see no need to "power up" the awnshegh to preserve setting
    >balance. If we stick with Rhoubhe for the moment, a straight conversion to
    >3e would give him 21 levels. Aeric Boeruine would remain at 12 levels, yet
    >Ruins of Empire clearly states that Boeruine has nearly defeated the
    >Manslayer. Now a 3e 12th level fighter would get his butt handed to him by
    >a 21st level character - and Aeric is the highest level fighter in Anuire.
    >So saying Rhoubhe isn`t powerful enough anymore lacks a degree of
    >persuasiveness IMO.

    If you can make a 21st level Rhoubhe work IYC then I say go with it. I
    think a 41st level Rhoubhe might be scarier. I haven`t had a party level
    up to the point where they could take on a 21st level character in 3e yet,
    but I have seen 3-5th level PCs deal with EL 12 encounters, so by
    extrapolation a 10th level party might be able to deal with a version of
    Rhoubhe "powered down" by the 2e to 3e conversion but YMMV.

    >The same with the Gorgon. Leave him as a 25th level fighter. Together with
    >his arsenal of magic items and blood abilities, no one in Cerilia could
    >stand up to him in a fight.

    There are several characters, particularly if combined together in a party,
    who could actually stand up to him in a fight. Sic the faculty of the
    College of Sorcery up against the Gorgon (particularly a version of him
    without wizard levels) and he`d be toast pretty quick.

    >I just don`t see a need to up the power levels of the setting in order to
    >"preserve" the setting. After all, one of the supposed characteristics of
    >the setting is that higher levels don`t matter so much - that it is a
    >comparatively low power setting.

    I`m not really concerned with any sort of higher purpose like "preserving
    the setting" or whatever. I don`t really know what that kind of thing
    means, to be honest, since it seems to be based on a highly subjective and
    ever-changing personal standard. Why not just use any 3e versions
    presented as examples and make whatever changes you want to them? I do
    that with most anything anyway....

    The goal of a 3e conversion should be that it`ll be useful to as many
    people as possible, so there are going to have to be compromises made with
    any individual`s personal preference. Personally, I don`t think the best
    way to go about that is to make 3e versions of BR characters look as much
    like 2e as possible, but I understand the effort to do so is in deference
    to the desire of many people to "preserve the setting" in that abstract,
    subjective way.

    Anyway, I`ve argued in the past that BR isn`t _really_ a lower power
    setting. It is low powered compared to (what I see as the rather juvenile)
    Forgotten Realms setting, and there is a major difference in that
    characters can become rulers before they reach their "name level" using the
    BR domain rules. Because FR has become the standard D&D setting <shiver>
    it seems like BR is low powered or that experience levels don`t make as
    much of a difference. However, it isn`t really. Character levels are of
    about the proper proportional significance in BR for my taste.

    Gary

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  4. #14
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    Hello,

    I don´t know if this has been said, but having Rhoubhe with 21 levels is
    not entering the realms of "epic levels"? (I think you can´t have more than
    20 normal class levels). But a long time since my last 3e game... Greetings,

    Vicente



    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Carl Cramér" <carl.cramer@HOME.SE>
    To: <BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM>
    Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2002 9:28 AM
    Subject: Re: Rhoubhe Manslayer writeup comments [12#781]


    > Using the conversion manual, he would indeed be a lvl 21 character. But
    this
    > should be a Wiz 15, F-6. That way, he gets a BAB of +13, which is siliar
    to
    > what he would have gotten as a F-16, and he keeps his spellcasting
    > abilities.

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  5. #15
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    Ok, just to clarify: The stuff posted in the Writer's Guild has nothing to do with the official conversion. The Writer's Guild is purely for those that wish to post their own material (i.e. non-official).

    Next, to the issue of converting monsters and awnsheghlien between editions. This is a more complex issue than has been addressed so far in this thread, I feel.

    Let's take a look at some of the elements of converting a major player -

    Classes: This would seem straightforward enough at first glance. However, classes are just a way of interpreting how a character relates game mechanically to the game world. In Rhuobhe's case, making him a ranger might be more appropriate than having him be a fighter - remember that rangers couldn't be evil in 2e - fallen rangers became fighters. Silly, yes. However, in 3e terms, it might be far more appropriate to make Rhuobhe a ranger than a fighter - it fits his character better, and has the added benefit of differentiating him a bit from the Gorgon (fighter/mage - almost all "power" characters in 2e became fighter/mages, for some reason - call it the Darth Vader/Doctor Doom School of Archvillainy). Staying true to the *character* of some awnsheghlien might actually thus require something beyond a simple 2e-to-3e revision of their statistics. This requires some interpretation, of course, but it should be blatantly obvious in many cases.

    Next, the issue of levels. 2e and 3e both are basically capped at 20th level. In the case of many awnsheghlien, they were multi- or dual-classed in 2e. This follows a very different set of rules in 3e. The aforementioned fighter/mage power combo was definitely nerfed, unless you bring in some l33t prestige class. The level of any given character needs to be examined in a wider context than simply converting that character by using the conversion manual intended for PCs, however. Let's take the Big G to begin with. Big G (not Gary, the Gorgon) is supposed to be the most powerful individual in the world, or just about at that level. He's described as being close to the gods in terms of power level. Mmm-hmm. Deities and Demigods provide stats for gods, and from those, we can extrapolate roughly how powerful the Cerilian gods would be. Next, in order to make Big G's background story work - he's killed a dragon mano-a-mano. Dragons are pretty mean in 3e. (And, incidentally, yes, the dragons in the official conversion aren't blueprints of the 2e cerilian dragons - they're comparable to the dragons in the MM, which means they are far beefier than before). So, a dragon. A dragon of any size has 400-700 hit points or thereabout, incredible AC, attacks, damage, and is the equal of a high-level spellcaster in terms of spellcasting ability. The Gorgon was all that in 2e. He should clearly remain the same in 3e. The point is simply that, number for number, he should compare to, and compete with, the biggest people on the block otherwise - dragons and gods. That doesn't make him invincible (haven't seen anything that's invincible yet, except perhaps the unerrataed Tarrasque and Azathoth), just very, very powerful.

    The implication I see here from some is that an NPC or character of extremely high level is somehow inherently "munchkin." That is overlooking some crucial elements of the game. The biggest level difference in the game is between 1st and 2nd level. Beyond that, level increases matter increasingly less for most characters (spellcasters could be considered an exception). The CR system breaks down on the upper levels - telling the difference between a CR of 20 and 22 or a 19th and a 20th-level fighter is actually much harder than telling the difference between a CR of 1 and 3 and a 3rd and 4th-level fighter. Why mention this? This is to bring the CRs of certain creatures in perspective - primarily dragons. The CR system is based upon character levels. However, past a certain point, it stops being equally relevant, when the levels are all tied to a single creature. A group of 16 20th-level fighters is probably a bigger threat to most than a single 30th-level fighter. A dragon of a certain age is easily the equivalent of a 20th-level fighter and a 20th-level wizard in one big package. However, the dragon's power, while versatile, is still limited by the possible number of actions per round. Thus, the dragon's effective power is less than what its variety of abilities might seem to suggest. The bottom line is - at extremely high levels, judging power relationships becomes increasingly hard. A monster that equals a 40th-level character or more can still have a CR in the 20s or 30s. ECL and CR are not the same here.

    Ok, so that's a very long and boring tangent. The bottom line, though, is that converting awnsheghlien isn't simply a matter of adding skills and feats - the characters themselves need to be examined and then rewritten/converted according to the new rules. A character of 20th level or above in 3e would be a bit of a pushover if he had only 88 hit points. He could, in fact, be killed by a single lucky critical hit.
    Jan E. Juvstad.

  6. #16
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 12:20 AM 7/12/2002 +0200, you wrote:

    >Let`s take the Big G to begin with. Big G (not Gary, the Gorgon)

    Clearly you have not yet felt the terrible weight of my deadly gaze....

    >The bottom line, though, is that converting awnsheghlien isn`t simply a
    >matter of adding skills and feats - the characters themselves need to be
    >examined and then rewritten/converted according to the new rules. A
    >character of 20th level or above in 3e would be a bit of a pushover if he
    >had only 88 hit points. He could, in fact, be killed by a single lucky
    >critical hit.

    Exactly. When it comes to BR characters (particularly awnsheghlien) I
    think the worst possible mistake to make would be to try to make 3e
    versions of the 2e descriptions. Much better to look at what that
    character is _supposed_ to be able to do and then work from that. In many
    cases that really means the epic level, even for characters that in 2e have
    not yet reached 20th level. The Spider in the original 2e materials is a
    13HD creature with 88 hit points. Pathetic. He`s been around for 15 over
    centuries! 3e characters can reach 13th level in under a year of game
    time. I`ve had PCs go from 1st to 6th level in under a month of game time.

    That`s not limited to the awnshegh. Should the High Mage get a
    boost? What about some of the elves who`ve been around for a very long
    time? The characters who have been around for a long time are the most
    obvious, but one should also take into consideration some of the more
    successful regents. Whether the Chamberlain has been around for a very
    long time or no, he still needs to be examined carefully, as might other
    characters. The Sword Mage should really just have some levels as a
    fighter, for example.

    Gary

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  7. #17
    Senior Member blitzmacher's Avatar
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    I just want to know who the poor fool was who found out how powerful these beings really are.
    Cattle die and kinsmen die,
    thyself too soon must die,
    but one thing never, I ween, will die, --
    fair fame of one who has earned.
    HAVAMAL

  8. #18
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    << If you can make a 21st level Rhoubhe work IYC then I say go with it. I
    think a 41st level Rhoubhe might be scarier. I haven`t had a party level
    up to the point where they could take on a 21st level character in 3e yet,
    but I have seen 3-5th level PCs deal with EL 12 encounters, so by
    extrapolation a 10th level party might be able to deal with a version of
    Rhoubhe "powered down" by the 2e to 3e conversion but YMMV.
    >>

    3rd- to 5th-level PCs beat an EL 12 encounter? How many PCs were in the
    party? Not just the basic four, right? Normally, if a party of the standard
    four PCs try to tackle an encounter with an EL more than four levels higher
    than their average character level, they get slaughtered.


    "Tooth for a tooth
    Eye for an eye
    There`s no more teeth
    And this is why"
    - Mudhoney, "Poisoned Water Poisons The Mind"

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  9. #19
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:32 AM 9/3/2002 +0200, Falcon wrote:

    >3rd- to 5th-level PCs beat an EL 12 encounter? How many PCs were in the
    >party? Not just the basic four, right? Normally, if a party of the
    >standard four PCs try to tackle an encounter with an EL more than four
    >levels higher than their average character level, they get slaughtered.

    IIRC, in that particular example it was four 4th or 5th level PCs and a 4th
    level NPC. The PCs had the tactical advantage, and the opponent had a few
    factors that weakened it from "normal" so I guess a DM might want to knock
    a level or two off its EL, but it was also the climactic battle of the
    adventure so the PCs had expended some resources as well. Using the tables
    straight out of the DMG it was an EL 12 encounter against about a level 5
    party. Point being that circumstances can make the CR/EL system
    inaccurate, and it`s possible for a party of 10th level (or so) PCs to take
    on a powered down version of Rhoubhe if they manage to manipulate the
    tactical situation properly.

    Gary

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  10. #20
    And this is a bad thing how?

    If the PC are smart enough to outwit him (should be very hard) they deserve
    a shot at killing him.

    I think the calculations were off slightly, not all that unbelievable.

    Surprise/advantage can knock as much as 4 off of an ECL. Added supplies and
    equipment should add a +1 minimum. So an ECL 6 vs ECL 8 is not unbelievable.
    ECL 5 vs ECL 12 = TPK unless the GM cheats.



    Later,
    Eosin the Red

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Gary" <geeman@SOFTHOME.NET>
    To: <BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM>
    Sent: Tuesday, September 03, 2002 8:24 AM
    Subject: Re: Rhoubhe Manslayer writeup comments [12#781]


    > At 10:32 AM 9/3/2002 +0200, Falcon wrote:
    >
    > >3rd- to 5th-level PCs beat an EL 12 encounter? How many PCs were in the
    > >party? Not just the basic four, right? Normally, if a party of the
    > >standard four PCs try to tackle an encounter with an EL more than four
    > >levels higher than their average character level, they get slaughtered.
    >
    > IIRC, in that particular example it was four 4th or 5th level PCs and a
    4th
    > level NPC. The PCs had the tactical advantage, and the opponent had a few
    > factors that weakened it from "normal" so I guess a DM might want to knock
    > a level or two off its EL, but it was also the climactic battle of the
    > adventure so the PCs had expended some resources as well. Using the
    tables
    > straight out of the DMG it was an EL 12 encounter against about a level 5
    > party. Point being that circumstances can make the CR/EL system
    > inaccurate, and it`s possible for a party of 10th level (or so) PCs to
    take
    > on a powered down version of Rhoubhe if they manage to manipulate the
    > tactical situation properly.
    >
    > Gary
    >
    >
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