I have a Pathfinder homebrew campaign that I want to run for 5th edition D&D players. Naturally, I will swap out monsters as needed (though I templated a lot of them, so that will get interesting). However, the boss fights tended to be with NPCs, often using Pathfinder’s Occult classes.

I was hoping to continue to use the NPCs with consolidation of skills, DCs, advantage vs bonuses, and removal of most magic items. Given the Pathfinder attack and damage bonuses, should the 5th Ed players start at a higher level, and, if so, how could that be determined? Someone wrote up ‘benchmarks’ for what numbers PF characters should ideally hit for attack and damage; something similar for 5E could prove a useful comparison.

It isn’t likely to be a very mechanics-heavy campaign, or else I might do a proper conversion or swap out villains.

The PF campaign ran in person with 4-6 players at level 3, all extreme power gamers. The new group will be less involved in mechanics, and the campaign will be play by post. Player count is uncertain but at least 4.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Could you clarify what exactly you're converting (the PCs? the enemy NPCs?), and which system you're converting from and to (i.e. is the thing being converted from Pathfinder to D&D 5e, or vice versa)? It's not entirely clear to me from reading the question, though maybe I'm just tired. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 10:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking how to convert pathfinder NPCs into the 5e system? \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


You basically can't

For a simple comparison: the D&D 5e Tarrasque has 25 AC, 3 more than the second best AC monster. PF's Tarrasque has 40 AC. Due to the bounded accuracy of D&D 5e your players won't get near the extremely high modifiers of Pathfinder; at lower levels you might use monsters as-is (remembering that they'll be way stronger on 5e than on PF), but after some levels PF monsters will hit every time and won't be hit except on a critical hit or natural 20 roll on a d20. If you want to use PF monsters you basically need to use them as inspiration to make a new monster on 5e (DMG p. 273 -285) or find the 5e equivalent if avaliable.

The NPCs are the same. Their attack bonuses will go way beyond what's possible in 5e, and their DCs and skills will do likewise. I doubt removing magical items will make a big difference, since usually magic items on NPCs won't be game changers. If they are, (a staff of magi or something like that), by removing it you are both changing the feel of the encounter and removing a treasure for the PCs.


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