1ed DnD Monster Conversions

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Joined: 2015-10-22 00:25
1ed DnD Monster Conversions

I'm currently trying to convert a host of 1ed monsters not in B/X (at least, I can't find them in B/X), and while I came across a thread in here about it I'm still a bit stumped about some things.

There is no morale score for 1ed monsters, so what should I use?

How does movement rates in 1ed convert, exactly?

For XP, should I just cross-reference the 1ed monster's HD to the chart in ACKS core and then assign asterisks accordingly? (the XP amount for 1 ed monster is variable depending on the exact amount of hp).

Saves: What do I do for the monster's save? I tried to discern things by HD and the monsters in ACKS, but I didn't quite pick up on any sort of pattern.

And, any ideas in how to convert the 1ed # appearing to ACKS Dungeon Encounter # appearing?

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.






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I don't know 1E, so I can't answer all of the questions.

If 1E has no morale score, I'd simply assign one based on your own perception of their stability. In general, I'd default to something between -2 and +2; anything more or less than that is exceptional.

For XP, that is what I would do. Count up their special abilities, assign asterisks, and use the chart to figure out their XP value. Remember to check their treasure type too. In ACKS, a good default treasure type has an average value of 4 times the monster XP. (This of course can be altered; it's a guideline, not a rule.)

Monster saving throws (especially unintelligent monsters) default to saving as a fighter of half their HD. (ACKS Core page 151). This is something that you can change at your discretion. If you give them saving throws that are exceptionally stronger than the default, I'd consider it a special ability, but anything remotely close to 'fighter half their level' in save values is fine without being a special ability.

Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

If you have access to 2e books, the monsters in second edition were rated on a 2d10 scale. (Greyhawk Adventures also uses this scale, as it was a transitional "1.5e" book). The only monster morale in 1e is on page 67 of the DMG (50% base, +5%/HD, +1% per hit point adder). They get modifiers per the henchman rules on pages 36-37 of the DMG, and use the chart on page 67 if they fail.

# Appearing in the MM should generally be the Wilderness Enc number. Dungeon Enc seems to have three ways of being modified: no change (Ankheg), dropping from xd6 to 1d6 (Bee, Giant Killer goes from 5d6 to 1d6), or dropping from 1dx to 1dy, where y is the next smaller size from x (Boar goes from 1d6 to 1d4). Occasionally it will go from xda to ydb, where y = x-1 and b is the next larger size from a (Beetle, Giant, which go from 2d6 to 1d8 or 2d4 to 1d6).

Unintelligent monsters, as mentioned before, should save as fighters of half their HD. Intelligent monsters save as a class of their HD (not halved). Usually it's fighter, but some monsters may fit better with other classes (in ACKS core, the Faerie, Nymph, and Halfling save as Elf, while Gnomes save as Dwarf; a certain Product Identity species known for their craving for brains might save as Mage). The Dwarf's Hardy People ability should give a good idea of what can be done as a special ability for saves.

Normal movement in 1e is 12", so that should convert to 120'/40' in ACKS. Take AD&D movement in inches and multiply by 10 to get ACKS feet per turn, then divide by 3 to get combat movement per round. There will be occasional oddballs, like the Clay Golem's 7" movement.

Joined: 2015-10-22 00:25

Cool deal folks, that was very helpful.

As far as the damage the monster inflicts, and the # of attacks should those be good to go, as is? Should I make certain AD&D monster damage expressions that are 2-5, for example, into 1d6?

And, say, for weapon attacks, perhaps add a static modifier to the damage die if the monster is exceptionally strong, or weak? (like the ACKS minotaur and kobold, respectively).



Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Attacks should be good to go. Damage (in my opinion) should generally be translated as identically as possible, so 2-5 would be 1d4+1, while 2-8 would be 2d4 and 3-10 would be 1d8+2 (the troll is a good example - it does 5-8/5-8/2-12, which would be 1d4+4/1d4+4/2d6). The way I normally work it is to subtract enough to make the minimum damage 1, then see if it works as a die; if not, then I subtract enough to get to minimum 2, etc (so, 5-8, subtract 4, becomes 1-4, so the claw is 1d4+4. For 2-12, subtracting makes it 1-11, which doesn't work, so it stays 2-12, which works as 2d6). I don't remember there being any damage rolls that were impossible to get with normal polyhedral dice.

Most creatures shouldn't get a damage bonus with weapons. The AD&D MM explicitly calls out a few (hobgoblin leaders get +1 and chiefs get +2, while minotaurs get +2), but damage bonuses tend to be rare and small.

Joined: 2015-10-22 00:25

Ah, good to know, thank you very much. My conversions are coming out nice.

   As far as surprise, I notice that some AD&D monsters have their ability to surprise based on a percentage chance, whereas, with ACKS the mosters give out a static penalty for creatures to avoid surprise (every such modifier I've so far seen has been -3). So, I was wondering how to convert this percentage chance into a static modifier penalty. Does it seem to be -3, or nothing? If so, what should be the percentage chance of the AD&D monsters be (the threshold) so that it receives this -3? Or are lesser penalties viable? (e.g., -2, -1). And if so, what sort of tit-for-tat conversion should I use?

   Thanks again.

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Every pip on the d6 is a 16.67% chance.

I'd have to see some examples to do better on this, but 1E Bugbears have a 50% chance of surprise. 

Normal surprise in ACKS is 1-2 on a d6, or ~33.34%. 

For Bugbears to inflict a 50% chance of surprise on a PC, that means they invoke a -1 penalty to surprise rolls, so that a d6 roll of 1-3 (50%) (1d6-1 =~ 1,1,2,3,4,5) is a surprise result.

+2 bonus = 0% (really unsneaky)

+1 bonus = ~16%

+0 penalty = 33%

-1 penalty = 50% (bugbears, leopards)

-2 penalty = ~67% (giant pike, giant snapping turtle, minotaur lizard)

-3 penalty = ~83%

-4 penalty = 100%

The monsters I listed above were from a quick text search for "surprising" in the 1E MM. The turtle/lizard were listed as surprising on 1-4, which is a 67% chance.

James K
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Joined: 2014-06-06 17:22

Bugbears give out a -1 to PC surprise rolls, so I'd just use whatever modifier will most closely match the percentage.

Joined: 2015-10-22 00:25

Ah, thanks for the insights concerning Surprise, it's very helpful.