I am looking to run an old D&D 3.5 adventure. I have never played D&D 3.5 so I am unaware of the level scaling for player characters.

The book states it is for 18th level adventurers however that was D&D 3.5. I have a decent understanding of 5e but nothing for 3.5 and thus had to homebrew the creatures based off of some info I know from other people as well as similar monsters from around that area.

I feel 18th level 5e would be too easy, for what I have read of this module and the numbers I am seeing, this is meant to be a hard module - 6 players of 18th level and most Encounters are denoted as EL (Encounter Level) 24+. Whist we love a difficult combat that burns most spell slots and takes a whole session to burn though, having that every session would ruin the fun.

The Adventure is The Lich Queens Beloved


1 Answer 1


First: it's not a matter of simple conversion. D&D 3.5 and 5.0 are completely different games, even if they use same "names" for things, such as AC, Feats, Skills, etc.

Second: you said it's an 18th level adventure for D&D 3.5. Thing is power level in D&D 5.0 is EXTREMELY low. D&D 3.5 PC's at level 18 is something that would be level 50 PC's in D&D 5.0. Except D&D 5.0 don't have such levels because it's meant to be an introductory game with very ground level power and close to no optimization options available to a player.

What I'm getting at here is: D&D 3.5 adventure "as is" would be beyond impossible for D&D 5.0 characters, no matter what you do as part of intended conversion. My only suggestion/solution would be to recreate it from scratch: encounter by encounter, trap by trap, balance each using D&D 5.0 rules from the start. Use D&D 3.5 adventure only for maps and story.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Feared as much - well the upside is I basically did that anyway so heres hoping its just balanced correctly \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 21 at 3:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you may be overstating things here. 9th level spells are still 9th level spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Jan 21 at 4:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 They really aren't though. You can't compare implosion, because there is no 5E equivalent, but compare Weird: in 3e it's two saves or die to everything within 30 feet. in 5e it's save or debuff, then save or DOT, with much lower DCs. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Jan 21 at 15:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 - Not really. The saving throws between the two are vastly different. 3.5 has such huge power scaling by comparison. Example: A CR 20 9th level caster dragon in 3.5 is a Very Old dragon. It has Breath weapon DC (30), a +36 to attack, +22 to Fort, +16 Reflex, and +19 Will save. By comparison, a 5e CR 20 dragon has: Breath weapon DC (22) a +14 to hit, and Dex +6, Con +13, Wis +8, Cha +10 for saves. And the thing about 3.5? It's only Very Old. The scaling is insane. A Great Wyrm has almost double the 3.5 numbers. It's crazy. 9th level caster 3.5 is way stronger than 9th 5e. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24 at 5:12

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