In this question, I was presented with the following equipment from D&D 3.5 (that does not exist in 5e despite its usefulness) :

This red silken cord is strong and springy. With a tug, the connected longsword flies into your hand.

A weapon cord chains your weapon to your wrist, so if you drop it (or are disarmed) you merely need to tug on the weapon to bring it back to your hands. You can pick up a dropped weapon connected by a weapon cord as a swift action.

The cord is a little cumbersome, on account of having a weapon dangling from the end of it. When attacking with other weapons while a weapon hangs by the cord you take a -1 penalty for light weapons, -2 for one-handed weapons, and -4 for two-handed weapons. Other items can be attached (such as wands) as a weapon of equivalent size. Attaching or removing a weapon cord is a standard action.

If you have Two-Weapon Fighting you can pull but both weapons as part of the same swift action.

The weapon cord has 0 hardness and 10 hp.

Market Price: 300 gp Weight: — lb.

I know that Wizards published these general guidelines to convert equipment from older editions to 5e amongst other things :


Equipment should be swapped for fifth edition equivalents. The DM handles the conversion and distribution of gear that isn’t in the Player’s Handbook.

For the DM: Equipment Conversions As DM, you can allow characters to retain any gear and loot with which you are comfortable. Swap magic items for fifth edition equivalents. The rules in the “Starting at Higher Level” section of chapter 1 in the Dungeon Master’s Guide are a fine way to establish a character’s starting wealth and gear in a fifth edition campaign. In most cases, the high magic option is the best choice for representing treasure distribution of previous editions. For mundane equipment, most such gear converts easily, since it has pragmatic (and narrative) effects rather than broad mechanical ones. Use existing equipment as guides, and when necessary, create mechanics appropriate to fifth edition. Remember to use advantage instead of flat bonuses. Also, try to limit mechanical effects to at or below those of common magic items.

But I don't believe it's enough to cover everything.

What about prices ? Should an item worth 10gp in 3.5e be also worth 10gp in 5e, or less/more ?

What about swift actions mentioned in certain equipment descriptions ? Are they equivalent to bonus actions in 5e ?

The point is : I'd like additional guidelines to make better older-edition-equipment conversion to 5e. Does any exist ?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For the cord, the most tricky part is converting the "swift action". \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 9:06

1 Answer 1


What you have is what we've got at this time. At the moment the article you quoted from the conversion PDF is all there is about item conversion from the official side. But as 5e grows, the first part of it will become more relevant, as WotC and 3rd party publishers will release more items that are equivalent to earlier editions' items.

On the other hand, 5e makes a big deal out of being itself more guidelines and the GM being the rules, so it is not "What did WotC say" but "what do you decree, GM?"


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