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Ideas about a 5E conversion of B10by Case ee
I read this old module about three years ago for the first time and got the chance to run it at an FLGS about two years ago. I’m using this thread as a depository of ideas how’d I run such a campaign if I get the chance to run it again.
I haven’t played in a few years since I don’t have the schedule for it, so in the meantime I futz. I’ll be editing this post whenever I get a good idea and remember to write it down.
Please share any modification and experiences that you have with this module. Any constructive criticism, thoughts, or ideas are much appreciated. I like using Mystara because it’s a fleshed out setting with a wealth of free info and anyone that I play with knows next to nothing about it. Despite being 30+years old, it’s a new setting to any potential players. This also allows me to create or change things about the world without the players having false assumptions.
I have divided my ideas into two general categories: House rules and Campaign ideas.
1 Race and Class Options*
3 Death Saves
6 Book keeping of Mundane items
A Mystara Hombrew
B Influential NPCs
C Neutral or Allied NPCs
D Evolving Sukiskyn
E Replacing Random Encounter Tables
F Beyond B10
1 Race and Class Options
The races and classes listed below reflects a Mystaran campaign starting in the Karameikos region.
I gave each possible race/class a rating according to the likelihood of running into that type of adventurer. The system is labeled like this: Very Common, Common, Uncommon, Rare, Very Rare, Unique.
No multiclass, unless specifically stated.
(Hill sub race only. Rare). Resistance to Poison replaced with Magic Resilience.
Advantage on saves against being frightened
Advantage on Con saves against magical effects and spells.
- Fighter- very common. Champion and Battlemaster only.
A Fighter may multiclass to:
- Cleric- very rare.
All Elves lose the Trance ability.
Callori (High Elf. Common).
- Bard. Very rare. College of Lore only.
- Cleric. Rare.
- Fighter. Very Common. 1) Eldritch Knight subclass 2) Battlemaster or Champion sub-class MUST multiclass with wizard and keep both classes within two levels of one another.
- Paladin. Unique. Oath of Ancients only.
- Ranger. Uncommon
- Rogue. Uncommon. Arcane Trickster subclass only.
- Wizard. Very common
Vyalia (Wood Elf. Very Rare.)
- Cleric. Common
- Druid. Unique.
- Fighter. Very Common.
- Paladin. Unique.
- Ranger. Common
(Hin subrace. Rare)
Hin from Mystara PHB replaces Stout and Lightfoot.
The hin of Mystara are a stout and proud race. They value freedom and family more than anything else. Frequently attacked in the past, the Hin have become known for their stealth. Located primarily in the Five Shires, with a large presence in Minrothad, the hin are on friendly terms most nations and races save Glantri.
Magic Resilience replaces lucky ability.
*Advantage on saves against being frightened
*Advantage on Con saves against magical effects and spells.
*Constitution score is increased by 1.
*Bonus skill: Stealth.
- Fighter- Common. Champion and Battlemaster only.
- Rogue- Very Common. Thief subclass only.
May multiclass Fighter and Rogue
(Thyatian and Traladaran subraces only. Very Common)
- Bard- Rare.
- Cleric- Very Common.
- Druid- Unique
- Fighter- Very Common.
- Paladin- Unique.
- Ranger- Rare
- Rogue- Very Common.
- Wizard- Very Common
(Rock Gnome subrace only. Unique.)
- Fighter- Very Common.
May multiclass into:
- Cleric- Very Rare.
- Rogue- Common. Thief or Arcane trickster only.
- Wizard. Rare. Illusion or Transmuter Schools only.
Dragonborn: Not available.
Half Elf: A half elf will take on the traits of either Elf ancestry or Human Ancestry. Player’s choice.
Half Orc: A half Orc will take on the traits of either Orc ancestry or Human ancestry. The former will be shot on sight, not an available player race,while the latter will probably come from the bottom rung of Traladaran society or raised secluded from civilization.
Tiefling: Not available in this region.
Races from other WOTC books, such as Volo’s Guide, are not available while adventuring in this region.
I stole the basis of this idea from bookBarbarian. Long rest usually happen within “civilization” and require 24 hours. Once the group leaves civilization, then they have one 8 hour Long Rest that they can use. A “wilderness“ long rest recharges after a “civilization” long rest.
Requires one hour. No limit.
3 Death Saves: If/when a PC drops to 0 hp, then they will also acquire a level of exhaustion.
4 Followers: At 4th level the PCs gain the ability to attract a follower. Followers will use the stat blocks for NPCs found in the Monster Manual and other sources. At 4th a PC may have ½ CR Follower and at 6th level a PC may have 1 CR Follower. While within civilization, a Follower costs 5gp per day, while adventuring in the wilderness the pay increases to 50gp per day for ½ CR and 100gp per day for 1 CR. In my prior campaign, the PCs reached 7th level after defeating the BBEG.
Ideally, a Follower is hired to help protect the PC while traveling. This allows the adventurers to conserve their resources while in the wilderness, especially resources that require a long rest. Followers will not normally enter a dungeon. Coercion or an exceptional bribe is required. Loyalty rules will apply (DMG page 93).
One random Follower’s loyalty would be tested by the Iron Ring (with coercion and bribes) when the group spends time in Rifflain or Threshold. This loyalty test would happen “off camera,” but it will affect another encounter in the future (probably an ambush on the party of some sort).
I have not determined how these Followers will be acquired and which ones will be available. I’d like to somehow tie this into a PCs intelligence score; meaning that the higher a PCs int score, then the higher the likelihood that the PC will get the type of Follower that she wants.
5 Alignment No need for alignment, but feel free to pick one. As a DM, I use it as a general description of NPCs/Monsters until further info is needed.
6 Bookkeeping of Mundane Resources: Things like food, ammo, and encumbrance will not be closely tracked. I like the resource management aspect to DnD, but I’d rather focus on the resources dependent on short and long rests.
A Mystara Homebrew: The “Known World” map will literally be the known world. This map will rarely be used, but it may help in character creation and some of the history stuff that comes up in B10. Anything added to that will be through players’ input, or else only added as needed. The sources are a mish mash of the module, the pandius site, Gazeteers, and whatever the group adds.
B Influential NPCs These are the NPCs that affect the adventure and setting, but will probably not be seen; unless things go off the rails… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Duke Stephanos Karameikos: The trusting Duke’s in a tight spot with Baron Ludwig and he is just coming to grips with it. The Duke still maintains a positive public opinion of The Black Baron because he does not have the power to stop him. Improving and protecting the roads between Specularum, Kelvin, Rifflain, and Threshold are his current major projects. Not only will it strengthen relations and trade with potential military allies (Calorri Elves and Rockhome), the roads will prove useful with troop movements should it come to a civil war. Stephanos refuses to seek help from Thyatia, since he has only recently taken autonomous rule of the region from the Thyatians.
Baron Ludwig: He has Iron Ring Slavers covertly operating in Eastern Karameikos alongside search efforts for the Hutakken Valley. Although he is stronger, he’s still not powerful enough to move against the Duke.
Great article on Fort Doom
Baron Kelvin: He has heard rumors of the Black Baron, but pays it little mind and believes the Duke’s façade. Kelvin is currently more concerned with building infrastructure and resolving the constant tension between Thyatian natives and Traladarans, than to be bothered with court intrigue in Specularum.
Coven of Hags These vindictive beings represent the powers of Entropy in Karameikos and are ancient enemies of the Elves.
C Neutral or Allied NPCs These are the NPCs that (probably) won’t stab the PCs.
Replacing Loshad: Last time I ran this, I cut out Loshad and didn’t have a problem. Next time around I’d like to replace him with an Elven Nature Cleric from the Lindenelm Tribe; a small tribe of isolated elves located east of Karameikos. The tribe is shunned by other elven tribes for a shameful act of greed thousands of years ago. The Cleric is a “lone wolf” of sorts with a missionary zeal. She’ll sporadically appear at Sukisken to provide aid to the villagers and info for the PCs. She’s a staunch enemy of the Entropic powers in Karameikos. She’ll provide info and healing, but will not adventure with the group. Alignment: Chaotic Good
Side note: If you have compelling reason(s) for keeping Loshad, i’d to hear it
Stubbs Plattermann Halfling, 98, male. Proprietor of the The Silver Swan Inn within Rifflian. Though past his prime, Stubbs still attends to his business with shrewd vigor. Walks with a cane that he uses to gesticulate more than anything else.
Stubbs will be the first NPC the group meets. During session 0, a PC (perhaps more than one) will be nominated to be connected with Stubbs. The campaign will begin with the group gathered around Stubb’s large dinner table at his home. There are a dozen in the Plattermann Clan, including his wife, adult children, and grandchildren.
Over a hastily made afternoon meal, Stubbs explains that a messenger from a local Thyatian noble arrived this morning calling for adventurers to save his son who was kidnapped by Kobolds.
This is the Plot Hook for Beneath the Ruins of Firestone Keep, a 1st level dungeon crawl from DM’s Guild. I’ll change the Orc bodyguard to a Hobgoblin emissary from Xitaqa. Golthar could use the Kobold Alchemist’s knowledge to create grenades and potions.
After the adventure’s done, Stubbs will inform them that his brother Burlum has another job for them. It’s a simple job. All they need to do is escort some prized white horses from Sukiskyn back to Rifflian.
That’s when they meet Stephan.
Alternative start: Use the Red Box Adventure and the PCs will get their first taste of Bargle The Infamous.
Burlum Male, Halfling. Stubbs’ twin brother in every way. Proprietor of The Platinum Gazelle Inn in Kelven.
Kuzma Pyotr’s mother. 66. Although Pyotr makes the day-to-day decisions, he defers to Kuzma if she voices an opinion or objection. Kuzma has dabbled in Druidic magic. She has one offensive cantrip, a healing spell, and can perform some practical rituals (when the mass grave for the goblins is covered, she will cleanse the area of foul odors). She knows a lot of dark local lore (think Old Nan of Winterfell from Game of Thrones)
Pyotr Sukisyn Clan Leader. 40, human, male
Darya Wife of Pyotr, 38.
Taras Pyotr’s Eldest son. 20.
Alfana Tara’s wife. 19
Irina Pyotr’s daughter. 17.
Matvey pyotr’s son. 10
Masha Hako’s widow. 18
Stellios male servant. 63.
D Evolving Sukisken Sukisken will evolve throughout the campaign; beginning with the siege, then changing and growing as refugees arrive. Every time the group returns from a quest, there will be something different (e.g. repaired buildings, burial sites for villagers, mass graves for the goblins from the siege, creating makeshift housing for refugees, a refugee group’s arrival with news of the enemy, etc).
E Replacing Random Encounter Tables I’ll be replacing the Random Encounter Tables in the module with my own using the style provided in the 5e DMG (page 87.). I did this on the previous campaign and it went well.
F Beyond B10 What happens after? Who knows? At this point I don’t much care, but a couple of ideas have popped into my head.
X1 Isle of Dread. From a railroady-sandbox to the original sandbox that started them all. Ties in nicely with expanding the Mystara world for the PCs. Dropping Rory Barbosa’s letter, the Adventure Hook for X1, amongst some bandit treasure would be easy enough.
*My ideas stolen from these sources:
- Mystara Player’s Handbook by Glenn Welch
- BECMI to 5E Karameikos Conversion by Stefan Beate.
- Dwarf/ gnome history by Giulio Caroletti in Threshold Magazine Issue 14
- Highforge gnomes for 3e by Joaquin Menchaca
- Magic Resilience From reddit: To get the feeling of magic resistance you want, add the following effects:
Advantage on saves against being frightened
Advantage on Con saves against magical effects and spells
Keeps the classic feeling of the Dwarf, in my opinion, that their resistance to magic comes from their hardy bodies and fearless minds.