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peterb

d20 Spell Conversion

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As some of you may have noticed, I have in a few threads been fiddling around with how one might go about when transforming d20 spells into a d100 and BRP compatible format. I actually started a similar project several years ago and forgot all about it :) I wrote a rules set called Wizardry (published on the RQ and BRP mailing list in July 2004) and even made a rough mechanic transformation of quite a few D&D spells. I've picked up the trail where I left it and has edited a few more spells (at the present I'm on on the letter "E"). In any case I'd like to share my progress so far. Below you'll find links to a zip file with a rtf-file containing the converted spells. You'll also find links to my wizardry rules.

I'd like some feedback (if anyone would be so kind and take the time) on the conversion so far. I've edited A to D, so there should be quite a few examples of how I convert spells. I'm also posting this in the hope of recruiting some editing help. If we could assemble a group of people, each editing one letter (all the S's, T's and so on), we could fairly fast and easy get one set of converted spells done. If someone else would want to change the spell data (adding some of the data I removed for example) to fit their idea of an d20 conversion, it would make their task easier if they had a batch of spell descriptions that where already transformed and adapted to d100 and BRP.

Well, anyway here are the files:

Note: Wizardry was updated 2008-05-03

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Interesting. I'll take a look.

In the past, I've stolen/converted the AD&D spell system for BRP.

I've used Spell level equals MP expenditure plus a pyramid scheme. To know a second level spell you had to know two first level spells, etc. Make a Luck roll to get the spell off and include a MP:MP or POW:POW as needed for the spell.

I've also used spell skills, breaking it up into the various schools of magic: abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation. MP= Spell Level. For spells that had more than one school there was only one skill role, but it had to equal a success for the given schools. Say someone was casting a spell from the evocation and illusion school. Say they had evocation at 60% and illusion at 40%. Say they roll a 10. Their evocation critical is at 12% and their illusion critical is at 8%. Use the lesser of the two to determine actually success rate. Said PC would have gotten a Success, not a Critical.

The other caveat in the skill system was that for every spell you learn, you had to have 20% per spell level of the spell you wanted to learn. So learning a 4th level spell would require the PC to have 80% in all the schools that the spell entailed. Learning a ninth level spell would require an 180% skill.

It worked really well.

EDIT: For the skill system:

Special: Spell goes off, no MP loss.

Critical: Spell goes off, 1 MP loss.

Success: Spell goes off, normal MP loss.

Failure: Spell doesn't go off, no MP loss.

Fumble: Spell doesn't go off, normal MP loss.

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Hmm, I've just checked the RFT spell file and it didn't look that nice... I've updated my first post with a link to a zip file with all the spells in MS Word (2003) format if people happen to prefer that format...

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You should check out the GORE rules in the downloads section of this site. GORE has all (I think, or at least almost all) of the D&D spells converted to BRP terms.

BRP Central - Downloads - GORE

It might be interesting to compare and contrast the two efforts.

GORE have made quite a few translations, but not all spells are translated. The translation is also not done the same way, or to put it another way, does not follow the same algorithm. The authors of GORE has chosen a different way of translating d20 spells to d100 standards. Their way is not better or worse than my way. There are many roads that leads to Rome... :)

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As some of you may have noticed, I have in a few threads been fiddling around with how one might go about when transforming d20 spells into a d100 and BRP compatible format. ... I'd like some feedback (if anyone would be so kind and take the time) on the conversion so far.

A laudable goal. But I think your efforts would be better spent finding a magic system that used d20 spells without having to convert them.

My attempt at such a Magic System is here. And my (slightly tweaked, not massively converted) take on the AD&D spells are here. (The original text is mostly there, struck out if deleted. My changes are added in italics, so you can tell how much has changed, or rather how little. And my comments on the changes, if any, are added in square brackets at the end of each spell.).

In the past, I've stolen/converted the AD&D spell system for BRP.

Another laudable activity! ;) Your system looks good and simple. I like the separate skills per school (though I don't use that myself, I might be persuaded...). One problem with my system is a lack of compatibility - it doesn't use POW in the BRP sense (you gain more power points according to Magic skill instead). Presumably your system uses POW. But do you find that allows Mages to cast enough spells?

You should check out the GORE rules in the downloads section of this site. GORE has all (I think, or at least almost all) of the D&D spells converted to BRP terms.

It looks to me like GORE hasn't translated many spells at all. Am I missing something? Magic Missile, Sleep and Fireball are the absolute classic D&D spells - and it doesn't appear to have them ('Summon Fire' is a very pale attempt at Fireball, if that's what is intended). That's rather a cop-out, I'm afraid. The acid-test of a converted system would be how it handles them, I'd say.

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Wow there's a hell of a lot of work gone into this, well done.

Having said that I doubt I'd use it in my games, I prefer magic to be effects based, define the range and amount of damage or whatever a spell does and then the visual appearance is decided thematically dependant on the the individual wizard.

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Wow there's a hell of a lot of work gone into this, well done.

Ah, the hardest work is resisting the temptation to rewite the spells completely! But it is useful to have the original text there, changes annotated, for comparison purposes.

While we're on the subect of d20 Conversion - has anyone done converted versions of the d20 Feats (i.e. warriors special 'magic') ?

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Hey Peterb

I just read your system and it sounds really interesting. It might even be a fit for what I'm looking for (converting a world that was in d&d to brp).

Couple of questions that I think I missed in the read:

1) What is the base cost of a spell in FP? Is it only 1 regardless of the spell level?

2) What is the casting time of a spell?

Cheers!

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Hey Peterb

I just read your system and it sounds really interesting. It might even be a fit for what I'm looking for (converting a world that was in d&d to brp).

Couple of questions that I think I missed in the read:

1) What is the base cost of a spell in FP? Is it only 1 regardless of the spell level?

Yes. It used to be Spell Level + any manipulations. But as I read the conversions I did a few years back and did a few new ones I realized that all spells basically had the same default effect (10 m range, 10 min duration and 1 pt of damage). So it made more sense to give all spelsl a basic cost of 1fp + any manipulations. Some spells are more complex than others, that's way they modify the art skill.

2) What is the casting time of a spell?

I noticed that I forgot to add a note about that, so I need to update the text. The rule is found in the Spell Properties chapter of "Wizardry Spells":

The base casting time of any spell is the number of FP used times one second. Since the casting time is the same for all spells it’s not noted in the spell description. Depending on the Strike Rank system used you would calculate the total casting time by counting from the DEX SR and up or from the DEX value and down. In any case each FP used increases the casting time with one SR. The skill quicken can be used to reduce the casting time of a spell.

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I've just uploaded an revised wizardy document on my website (see links in the first post of the thread) to address the omission of rules for casting time.

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Magic Missile, Sleep and Fireball are the absolute classic D&D spells... The acid-test of a converted system would be how it handles them, I'd say.

Well, this is my translation of Fireball:

Fireball

Manipulation 3

Ranged, Passive, Temporal

This spell creates a fist sized ball of fire in the palm of the casters hand. The Wizard can "throw" the fireball at any target within range and sight, the ball will explode when it hits the target, doing 1 pt of general hit-point damage to the target and any other being (or item) within a 1 m diameter. As with all other cases when damage is applied directly to the general hit-points of a character, use the lowest armour value, e.g. a character which wears a closed helm and a chainmail hauberk has no armour on the legs and therefore takes full damage from the fireball, if he had worn leather boots he would have had one point of armour.

The target must be within the direct sight of the caster and the ball will fly straight at the target. The fireball is very instable, if the ball strikes something solid, such as a gate, en route to the target, the ball explodes. Throwing the ball at a target standing behind a bush or something similar will set the explosion of when the ball strikes the branches of the bush. If the target has moved, fallen down, died, etc. before the ball reaches him or if the tar-get managed to dodge the fireball, the ball will continue its flight in a straight line until it hits something solid, else if the ball passes outside the spells range the ball just disappears in a puff of smoke.

If the caster wants to cast the ball through a narrow opening, such as an arrow slit or down a chimney, then the caster needs to succeed with a Throw skill check. If the check fails the ball explodes when it hits the wall, chimney, roof, etc.

The damage done by the explosion can be increased by amplifying the intensity of the spell, see the amplify skill description for more details. The diameter of the explosion can also be increased by using the volume skill; each level of volume used increases the diameter by one meter.

The explosion can set fire to combustible items, use common sense, a weak fireball wouldn't set fire to a wet roof but a large (3d6 damage or more) would have a good chance of setting fire to almost anything combustible. Very strong fireballs can melt metals or even glass. The heat of a fireball (for the purpose of determining if an item catches fire) is halved when outside its radius; it is halved again outside more than 2 x radius in meters etc.

Spell Props: A tiny ball of guano and sulphur.

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Hey Peter. I must sheepishly admit that I've just printed out your pdf. First glance through looks good. I'll have a chance to really read it and comment latter.

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Hey Peter. I must sheepishly admit that I've just printed out your pdf. First glance through looks good. I'll have a chance to really read it and comment latter.

Great! Thanks. The version on the web is edited up to "F", I believe. In the copy I have at home I'm on "G".

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It worked really well.

EDIT: For the skill system:

Special: Spell goes off, no MP loss.

Critical: Spell goes off, 1 MP loss.

Success: Spell goes off, normal MP loss.

Failure: Spell doesn't go off, no MP loss.

Fumble: Spell doesn't go off, normal MP loss.

Pretty close to mine:

SUCCESS Normal effect, normal PP cost (1PP/level)

SPECIAL Normal effect, no PP cost

CRITICAL One effect doubled, no PP cost

FAILURE Half effect, normal PP cost

FUMBLE Roll on Magic Fumble Table (typically the spell fails and is lost from memory)

Well, this is my translation of Fireball:

It's just fine. But couldn't your system work without having to do this laborious translation?

Each 'level' of Amplify would give it another d6 of damage, for example. Is the non-linear scale of damage Amplification really necessary?

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