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Adapting AD&D to Mystara.

by Håvard

I don't use AD&D in my Mystara campaign and I don't intend to do so either. Nevertheless, I have had some thoughts on the matter. Note that some of the information below contradicts information given in AD&D products for Mystara. The following is my own opinion only.

1. Alignment

Keep in mind that Mystara was created with a system using only the law/chaos axis of the alignment system. Adding another layer (good/evil) can create undesired effects. TSR seemed to have this problem in their AD&D products. I.e. Jaggar von Drachenfels became Lawful Evil, which contradicts most peoples opinion of that NPC. As a final comment on this issue, I personally suggest that you remove Alignments from the game altogether and have your players create personalities instead.

2. Classes

2.1. Warrior:

Fighter: no changes from the standard AD&D system. Paladin: There are no Paladins on Mystara. If you want to use them, I recommend that you create individual kits for followers of the various Immortals. Alternately you can have fighter PCs given certain abilities if the chose to devote their lives to an Immortal. Ranger: Rangers replace the D&D Foresters described in the Dawn of the Emperors, boxed set. In the known World they are usually only found near elven settlements in Thyatis. Foresters are humans who seek to learn the elven ways. Consider giving Rangers spells from the selection of the Elven Sorcerer kit, mentioned later in this article.

2.2 Cleric

Cleric: No changes from the AD&D standard Speciality Priests: I would suggest that these are far more common that clerics. Shawn Stanley has more info on the what benefits each religion has on his Homepage. Druids: There are no Druids in the Known World. There are druids in Robrenn on the Savage coast and there might be druids in the Hollow World.

2.3 Mage

Mage: No change from the normal AD&D rules. Specialist Wizard: There are no such on Mystara. If you want to play a necromancer, get your mage character involved with the Secret Craft of Necromancy in Glantri.

2.4 Rogue

Thief: No changes from the AD&D standard rules. Bard: Can be used normally. I generally think that they have too much spell power though. Maybe this should be limited. Darokin Merchant could be a Bard kit.

2.5 Psionicist

If they exist they replace the D&D Mystics. They exist in the mountains of Glantri, on the Isle of Dawn and in Sind. They are warrior monks and should learn appropriate proficiencies for such people.

3. Races

3.1 Human

Use the AD&D standard rules.

3.2 Dwarf

Use the Standard AD&D rules.

3.3 Elf

All elves in Mystara know some magic. I don't know how to simulate this in the AD&D game. Perhaps the players option books could be used to allow each elf character to know at least one school of magic. If not you can create a Fighter/Mage kit called Elven Sorcerer, who are able to cast some druid spells in addition to what a normal mage can. Half elves: There are no Half elves on Mystara. They are the stuff of legends. Human and Elf relationships can result in pregnancy but the children will be either human or elf with only a few traits of the other race. The same is the case for Half orcs, who are quite common in Darokin.

3.4 Gnome

I suggest that you use those presented in the Players Handbook. They are quite different from the ones described in Top Ballista, but that may be just as well. Keep in mind that gnomes are not a major race on Mystara.

3.5 Halflings

They refer to themselves as Hin. There are no Hairfoots, Stouts, or Tallfellows on Mystara. The Hin all have Infravision and the Resistance ability of Stouts.

4. Magic

Spells work as described in the standard AD&D rules. Magical Items are quite common. Immortals are described on Shawn Stanley's page. Mages do not refer to spells by the name of the creator. Especially if the creator is not from Mystara. i.e., Nystul, Bigby etc. More info on this can be found in the Glantri Kingdom of Magic, boxed set.