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In my longest-running group, our old nWoD Storyteller (GM) is returning to town for a few days and we have decided to include him in our regular AD&D 2e game. I need to convert our 2e characters to nWoD for a single session in the nWoD setting.

I will be handing him a moderately dangerous antagonist NPC that should be a difficult but even match for the party of five AD&D 2e Planescape PCs (each between 12th and 17th level). However, the antagonist that our long-lost RPGer will be playing is designed in a modern nWoD setting.

This is partly as a fun escape for my players, partly inspired by the concept of crossing over between modern Earth and the Dungeons and Dragons campaign world originally seen in the old cartoon show, but mostly as a temporary honor to our old GM. It is easy enough to explain what will have been a strange and risky journey to a land of foreign and alien dangers on a modern horror-based Earth since our campaign is already in 2e Planescape and last we left off the PCs were just arriving in Sigil.

I am trying to find out: How do I convert AD&D 2e Planescape PC stats and abilities to modern Hunter stats in WoD? These are important considerations for this question:

  • Each Hunter PC should not gain new powers or abilities compared to their AD&D 2e counterpart
  • Each 2e PC should convert to a dampened array of powers in nWoD as a Hunter to balance how weak even mortal Hunters with a moderate amount of experience are compared to many supernaturals in WoD
  • Each Hunter PC should have mostly anachronistic and irrelevant nWoD Talents/Skills/Knowledges that require a core understanding of modern Earth (no Drive, no Law, no Medicine, no Occult, etc.)
  • I need to convert 2e stats to nWoD attributes
  • I need to convert 2e Weapon Proficiencies and Non-Weapon Proficiences to nWoD Talents/Skills/Knowledges
  • I need to convert 2e class abilities and spells to usage by WoD Hunters somehow, even if greatly reduced in power
  • I need to convert other important Hunter stats from 2e stats
  • I need to convert HP in 2e to Dodge or related in nWoD (nWoD Health should not be remarkably affected by the conversion to mortal Hunters)
  • Resources and items will not be converted
  • Psionic and racial abilities will not be converted and there are no wild mages in the group
  • 2e characters (please either address these directly or answer in general 2e to nWoD Hunter conversion terms, more clarification available for specifics about each character): 12th level Elven Fighter/Mage/Thief, 14th level Elven Ranger, 14th level Human Fighter, 15th level Human Cleric, 17th level Human Fighter
  • 2e PCs will be converted to nWoD PCs using the nWoD Hunter: the Vigil system
  • Other nWoD resources are okay to reference, such as Witch Hunters and Second Sight

How do I convert AD&D 2e Planescape characters to nWoD Hunters?

I searched and found a related question that was locked: What RPG worlds/systems work best together in crossover combinations?

I looked on the meta discussion for this thread, and see that my question may be appropriately-defined and asking for a specific-enough solution that will solve a problem: "Good Azlanti Dungeon Adventure?" v. "What RPG worlds/systems work best together in crossover combinations?"

This question does not intend debate, list answers, arguments, or extended discussions.

Thanks for any help!

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Before I can answer, I need to know if you mean cWoD Hunter (Hunter: the Reckoning) or nWoD Hunter (Hunter: the Vigil). The latter is going to be much easier to do, but if it doesn't help there's not a lot of point in writing an answer that includes it! –  Lord_Gareth Mar 12 '13 at 7:40
    
Clarification edited in. @Lord_Gareth, we will be converting to nWoD Hunter (Hunter: the Vigil). –  James Broyles Mar 12 '13 at 8:29
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By "2e skills," I take it you mean Non-Weapon Proficiencies and the like? I recall that D&D before 3rd edition didn't have a robust skill system. –  Jadasc Mar 12 '13 at 12:16
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Also: do you have access to books besides the H:tV book and the World of Darkness core rules? Books like Witch Finders and Second Sight might be useful for converting magical ability. Otherwise, I'll be reskinning powers that exist in those two books. –  Jadasc Mar 12 '13 at 12:25
    
@Jadasc, edited for more clarity. I will be converting Weapon Proficiencies and Non-Weapon Proficiencies to Talents/Skills/Knowledges. Also, additional resources such as Witch Finders and Second Sight are acceptable references, please use any nWoD resource that may be appropriate and helpful if it avoids reinventing the wheel. Thanks for the help. –  James Broyles Mar 12 '13 at 17:02
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First off, let me say that I firmly support the idea behind this question, even if it's going to be MAJORLY difficult to pull off.

Mechanically, converting the physical Attributes will be the easiest, as you can say that a 10 Strength in AD&D equals 2 dots in nWoD. (Both are considered to be average human strength). Constitution would count towards Stamina, Dexterity to Dexterity, etc. You're going to run into some issues with the Mental and Social nWoD traits though, as there are nWoD areas that aren't covered by AD&D. Basing Perception off of Wisdom would be a good start, and Wits might be some combination of AD&D Intelligence and Dexterity. The non-Charisma Social traits are going to be based off how the AD&D characters were role-played and described.

Once you get beyond that, however, it's going to be a lot more difficult. I'm not extremely familiar with H:tV, but you're going to find that the Hunter abilities that it presents are not going to come close to the number of spells or the versatility that your AD&D spellcasters have.

You should also consider just using ST/DM fiat when it comes to some of the powers. I know that in Hunter: the Reckoning the Healing power was three dots into one of the Hunter power trees. You'd probably want to rule that the Cleric just HAS that ability and also whether it makes sense for them to have the other two dots.

The best bet for Hunter powers might be to pick and choose which individual powers each character should have and ignore any lower dots that don't make sense. Also, pay attention to the rolls needed to activate such powers. There may be a Hunter power that duplicates the Cleric's Flame Strike spell, but it might require a Dexterity + Athletics roll, which the character may be lacking in.

The way that I would handle the whole this is to create 'newbie' Hunters and then give them a certain amount of freebie points per AD&D level. You might say that each level is worth 10 freebie points, so that the 14th level Fighter would have an additional 140 freebie points over and above the normal character creation rules. You could rule that these points could only be spent on things that make sense for the character. (The thief should put some of them into Stealth, the Cleric should put at least a couple into Medicine, etc.)

Story wise, one possible way to play this would be that the PCs aren't physically transported into the nWoD from Sigil, but their spirits inhabit the bodies of existing Hunters in the nWoD. By the power of DM MagicTM, they can still recognize each other, even if they look completely different. That could explain anyway any differences in abilities, durability, etc. that they may experience while in the nWoD.

These could be general guidelines for converting Attributes between systems. Your mileage may vary. I wasn't sure if there were a lot of stats at or above 18, so I was a little more conservative.

AD&D:9 or below = nWoD 1 dots
11 to 14 = 2 dots
15 to 16 = 3 dots
17 to 18 = 4 dots

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Typically, the only way to faithfully "convert" a character from one system to another very different system is to re-imagine them as a new character made from scratch in the new system.

Ironically, trying to convert them by-the-numbers is likely to be less faithful than a character created from scratch in their image. There are parts of AD&D 2e that won't translate to nWoD, and those would give you headaches trying to convert one character, let alone five. There will also be nWoD character features that have no counterparts in AD&D 2e but would suit a PC well, and those would be easy to overlook or neglect in an attempt to convert them.

Think of it more like a movie adaptation of a favourite book: the characters are going to be recognisable as themselves, but they're going to be different in a bunch of ways because the medium is different.

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+1, but I will go with a combination of this and Discord's answer for my purposes. I'll mostly stick to a "spirit of" rather than "letter of" conversion, but Discord's stat conversion chart makes a lot of sense to help get me going. –  James Broyles Mar 12 '13 at 21:26
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