Could anyone help me in finding an instruction on how to convert a character from AD&D 2E to D&D 5E?

I need to know details like: THAC0, attack and damage bonus, bonus on skills, saving throws, etc. (basically all the important details to be considered for converting). E.g. AD&D Longsword +4 to hit / +6 to damage with THAC0 10. How does it convert to 5E? (the +4/+6 values are related to the strength and dexterity of the character, it’s not a magic weapon) Or attribute value: strength 18/76-90. What is it in 5E?

What I've already found is a conversion table for armor class. Also I came across the PDF "Conversions to 5th Edition D&D" which unfortunately was not very helpful in my case.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you include a link to this "Conversions to 5th Edition D&D" PDF you've found and maybe explain a little about why it isn't helpful so that we're all on the same page? \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Jan 13 at 11:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is this the PDF you're talking about? I'll reiterate by saying that giving us more details about how it's unhelpful to you would help us give you more helpful answers. From what I can read, at least most, if not all, of the details you want to know are covered by that document. E.g. why can't you just swap the AD&D longsword for a 5e longsword as suggested in the document? \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Jan 13 at 11:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Player character. Yes, you’ve linked the PDF I was talking about, thx for the link. \$\endgroup\$ – Zooloo Jan 13 at 11:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Zooloo please edit such clarifications directly into your question. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Jan 13 at 12:11

You remake it from the grounds up

AD&D 2E and D&D 5E are different systems, and any attempt at converting it through some table is never going to work. Your question is essentially "I have an apple, how do I convert it to a pear?"

You can certainly recreate a character by trying to stick to the same theme, but you should simply start from step 1 of character creation for a 5E character, rather than trying to convert all the values from 2E, because they'll simply never match.

Say you're trying to remake a 2E fighter. You'd start with a level 1 Fighter using the 5e character creation guidelines, and then take the options that best fit the theme of the 2E character you're trying to reproduce.

But you can't simply toss it through a table and end up with a proper 5E character.

As mxyzplk put it in an answer on comparing 2E and 5E:

There are definitely similarities between 2e and 5e — mostly conceptual and "feel" similarities. The individual mechanics are different — pretty much entirely, except for the basic "rolling to hit involves a d20! AC is involved! And there's saving throws of some sort!"

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer, but unfortunately it does not help me at all. I know about the differences as I played both editions for some time. Now I’m facing the challenge to use a character from 2e in 5e. I will do it and I’d like to do it as best as possible with you guys help. Therefore I’m asking here. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Zooloo Jan 13 at 12:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good answer for PC, terrible for NPC. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Jan 13 at 12:09
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Zooloo But this is how you convert a character, you make it again from the grounds up. There is no easy 'fix', the games are too different to simply parse it through a formula to get a 5e character on the other end. If you have a 2E fighter, you need to start with a level 1 5e fighter and pick the choices that keep the theme of the character you're trying to convert. No other way is going to give you a game legal character. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jan 13 at 12:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zooloo - the details you're asking for (THAC0, attack and damage bonus, bonus on skills, saving throws, etc) are all based on the level and the class you are converting from and the various stats. Each has an equivalent in 5E for a character of the same class and level. Same for saving throws, etc. e.g. you have a level 4 fighter - he has a certain THAC0 in 2E and a certain attack bonus in 5E. So just look it up in the PHB! \$\endgroup\$ – colmde Jan 13 at 14:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.