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NPC Level Conversion BECMI to 5eby Stefan Beate
Back in the day, there were differing guidelines given on how to convert levels.
If converting to AD&D1, then it was recommended that you take the levels up to 20 one-on-one, and over that one for every two (rounded up), so lvl 36 = lvl 28 (GAZ 7 gives this).
Converting to AD&D2 gave up to 14 one-on-one, and then one level for every 5 (rounded up), so level 36 comes out as level 20 (Dawn of Emperors).
The RC says levels up to 12 stay the same and after that, convert D&D levels on a 3-to-1 ratio. (rounded down)
As an example, Duke Stefan Karameikos would have been a F 15 in AD&D1, and either 15 or 13 in AD&D2, depending on which rule you use. (and is lvl 15 K:KoA)
Now, as D&D5 uses 20 levels as well, the older conversion is probably not useful anyway. But even so, there are two ways the conversion is recommended to AD&D/20 levels. 3e had the epic levels, which were a nice way of expressing experience beyond "normal" heroes. I haven´t seen such a thing for 5e (yet?).
Not surprisingly, most NPCs get much lower levels using the 4e to 5e guideline. This keeps the power structure of 5e intact, I´d think. Characters beyond level 30 originally are beyond 5e rules so far, so they would be exceptional anyways, without the need to run all the way to level 36 and continuing the tables for spellcasting into an area that might cause trouble for the game balance.
You could easily say that beyond level 20, each level gives you +1 prof. bonus, so that the new max. level 24 has +10 already. This would also keep hit point inflation in check. (a level 36 wizard would have 140 hp or so, not counting Con bonus). You might also alleviate the rule that scores cannot raise beyond 20, and give these epic characters one shot at raising attributes, say, at level 22.
Maybe the D&D3 epic level rules are worth another look also.
So, for the sake of it, I took GAZ1, and listed every NPC (and added the Radus from B6) from p. 42 to p. 59, with their original levels, the conversion levels of the RC, and the suggestion given for conversion from D&D4e (using 30 levels) to D&D5 (using 20 levels). As I´m too stupid to get a table layout done here, you will have to deal with this ugly heap of data.
Overall, the lower levels of the 4e conversion do have a certain charm, as they keep the overall power level low. According to the 5e idea of "tiers" (which was present in 4e as well, but with a different meaning), characters of levels 1-4 are apprentice adventurers, at levels 5-10 they are (locally) important, at level 11-16, they deal with whole regions or even continents, and at levels 17-20 they deal with "save the world" stuff. Transferring this to NPCs may not be fitting too good, but it is worth a try.
If I look at the levels below, I see three NPCs of the third tier: Lady Marianita, Lord Jowett and Flameflicker, all at level 12. Marianita is probably a special case, as Glantri is no ordinary place. For Lord Jowett, this seems right - the highest-ranking cleric of a whole nation is surely important for the whole country. This leaves Flameflicker, who might be considered a little too high for being "only" the head of the local thieves guild. The legend she made out of herself might be the point to give her that status, however.
Several NPCs are at the brink of the third tier: The duke himself, the wizard Teldon, and Bargle, all at level 10. With the duke, putting him into the third tier does seem fitting. The head of the ducal magicians guild, modest as this may be in comparison, surely has some regional importance. The main villain has this anyways.
The court, most of the leading clergy, and several local nobles fall well into the second tier, which seems about right. The Specularum clans have lower levels for the most part, speaking of their very localized importance, but then, the whole clan has to be seen as an entity.
Several NPCs are statted as Normal Men or Women originally. I chose to represent them via the NPC statblocks from the MM. They would have to be individualized as per their descriptions and skills, so the stat blocks are to be seen as a starting point only.
One thing I´ve noticed: The leveling speed in D&D5 might be quite fast, judging from comparing XP values in the MM to the advancement table in the PH. This somehow feels odd given the thoughts about the level tiers and their meaning relative to the world. As I have only very limited experience in actual game play in 5e so far, I might be a mile off the mark here. Still, it bothers me somewhat.
Name Original Class/Level RC conversion 4e to 5e guideline Duke Stefan Karameikos Fighter 15 Fighter 13 Fighter 10 Duchess Olivia Karameikos Thief 9 Thief 9 Rogue 6 Lady Adriana Karameikos Fighter 4 Fighter 4 Fighter 3 Lord Justin Karameikos Fighter 2 Fighter 2 Fighter 1
Lord Alexius Korrigan Fighter 6 Fighter 6 Fighter 4 Lord Zogrev Yarol Fighter 9 Fighter 9 Fighter 6 Admiral Lucius Hyraksos Fighter 12 Fighter 12 Fighter 8 Lord Bartran Cordelius Normal Man Normal Man Noble (MM p. 348) Lord Valdo Tisza Normal Man Normal Man Noble (MM p. 348)
Lord Cornel Osteric Fighter 7 Fighter 7 Fighter 5 Lady Marianita Magic-User 18 Wizard 14 Wizard 12 Jenkin Flinkfoot Halfling 6 Halfling Fighter 6 Halfling Fighter 4 Bolto Nordenshield Dwarf 8 Dwarf Fighter 8 Dwarf Fighter 5 Shalander Elf 7 Elf Fighter/Mage (4/4?) Elf Eldritch Knight 5 Gunter Schonberg Fighter 11 Fighter 11 Fighter 7 Aladan Voll Fighter 5 Fighter 5 Fighter 3 Abdallah ibn Hamid Fighter 11 Fighter 11 Fighter 7 Estella Whitehall Normal Woman Normal Woman Noble (MM p. 348)
Lord Olliver Jowett Cleric 18 Cleric 14 Cleric 12 Magdel Cleric 4 Cleric 4 Cleric 3 Alfric Oderbry Cleric 14 Cleric 12 Cleric 9 Aleksyev Nikelnevic Cleric 11 Cleric 11 Cleric 7 Sergyev Cleric 9 Cleric 9 Cleric 6
Edoard of Threshold Normal Man Normal Man Commoner (MM 345) Flameflicker Thief 18 Thief 14 Rogue 12 Teldon Magic-User 15 Wizard 13 Wizard 10
Aleksander Torenescu Fighter 1 Fighter 1 Fighter 1 Boris Torenescu Fighter 3 Fighter 3 Fighter 2 Anton Radu Thief 12 Thief 12 Thief 8 Antonito Radu (from B6) Magic-User 3 Wizard 3 Wizard 2 Cartha Radu (from B6) Fighter 6 Fighter 6 Fighter 4 Zweis Radu (from B6) Fighter 3 Fighter 3 Fighter 2 Baron Phillip Vorloi Fighter 3 Fighter 3 Fighter 2
Emilio the Great Normal Man Normal Man Commoner (MM 345) Luthier Sforza Fighter 5 Fighter 5 Fighter 3 Yolanda of Luln Normal Woman Normal Woman Commoner (MM 345) "Lord" Dmitrios Fighter 4 Fighter 4 Fighter 3
Lady Magda Marilenev Normal Woman Normal Woman Noble (MM p. 348) Baron Desmond Kelvin II Cleric 10 Cleric 10 Cleric 7 Mistress Sascia of Luln Fighter 12 Fighter 12 Fighter 8 Baron Sherlane Haralan Cleric 14 Cleric 12 Cleric 9 Aleena Haralan Cleric 12 Cleric 12 Cleric 8 Lady Halia Antonic Magic-User 7 Wizard 7 Wizard 5 Sir Retameron Antonic Fighter 9 Fighter 9 Fighter 6
Baron Ludwig von Hendriks Fighter 12 Fighter 12 Fighter 8 Bargle the Infamous Magic-User 15 Wizard 13 Wizard 10
Giving this topic some more thought, I will try to list the NPCs in the GAZ line with their original BECMI level and the converted level. There are several topics that need to be addressed here, as follows:
Level: Obviously, BECMI used 36 levels, while D&D5 uses 20. The guidelines given for converting D&D 4 to 5 (take 2/3 of the 4e level) does lead to some strange discrepancies, especially in spell-casting ability. This was discussed here.
I recommend rebuilding the NPCs according to the 5e rules, to keep them in line with the rules overall. Transferring stats from one rule system to the other will generate strange results, like high-level characters being seriously low on hp.
For my level conversions, I use what Hugin worked out here. It keeps the spellcasting levels of wizards intact, so if the NPC in question has access to 7th level M-U spells originally, he will have this access in 5e as well. The other levels are “built around” this fixed points. The levels found when applying this table will be used for the other classes as well, as cleric spellcasting varies too strong to be directly converted. Mikes notes on XP conversion are more relevant if you were to convert PCs directly. The NPCs are given their original levels with regard to their role in the world, not XP totals. Furthermore, classes are supposed to be more balanced in 5e, as the generic xp table used shows, so converting levels instead of xp totals should keep it closer to the RAI.
Classes: BECMI uses four human classes, and treats demihumans as classes unto themselves. Several class options are added in throughout the GAZ series, however, and need to be addressed for each individual entry. The rules additions for avengers, paladins, druids and mystics should be translated directly to the classes in 5e IMO, if they appear in any official source. The demihuman attack ranks are given with their fighter level equivalents (see the table at page 106 RC), so for the ease of conversion, I would take attack ranks as being equal to fighter levels for dwarves and halflings. I am aware that the fighter class is not an ideal substitute for the halfing, but then, it is close enough. Optionally, they might convert to rogues, if this seems more plausible.
The elf class bears special mention, as it combines wizard spellcasting with fighting, and has been converted as a multiclass character to AD&D. This does not apply to 5e rules, however. As the elf class is very iconic to BECMI/Known World/Mystara IMO, this needs to be addressed. There are several options:
- Use the D&D5 multiclassing rules. Unless you waive the requirements given on p. 163 PH, every elf needs to have two stats at 13 for this. Other than that, if you take just one level of fighter and the other levels as wizard, you get quite close to the BECMI elf. One level of fighter gives the needed armor and weapons proficiency, and as the prof. bonus depends on total level, this keeps the attack values and AC on par with fighters. The hp are lower overall, which also fits quite closely. Spellcasting ability is close to the original. Be aware that 1st level elven characters will only have one cantrip a day, which is weaker than original. For the sake of simplicity, I will use this.
- Use the Eldritch Knight archetype. This way, spellcasting starts only at 3rd level and is relatively limited. I personally do not see this as an adequate option.
- Build a new “elf” class, probably taking the bard as a base. HD and spellcasting progression fit already. Add medium armor and shield prof. (I see chainmail as being more fitting to elves anyway, instead of plate mail). Simple weapons (and the racial weapons), as giving them prof. with all martial weapons as well might be too much. Strip away all bard special abilities. Instead of knowing just a few spells, allow the full Wizard spell list. Keep the ability score improvement at the level given for the bard. Maybe have the elf choose at level 10: either progress as fighter with fighter HD and special abilities, or as wizard with wizard HD and full spell casting. Obviously, this is not playtested or balance checked at all. I´m not sure that this works without seriously unbalancing the game. I would have a close look at special abilities if I would build this further, or restricting spellcasting like for the bard.
- Build a “gestalt” character, allowing progression in fighter and wizard classes simultaneously, while requiring double xp. I´m not sure about game balance here.
5e classes: Fighters, clerics, wizards and rogues obviously do exist. Monks, druids, paladins are also possible, with the knight and the avenger needing some work by the DM to translate to 5e. Barbarians, bards, rangers, sorcerers and warlocks are not originally part of this world. Barbarians could easily be added in Norwold, and rangers might be used for the Forester. Converting existing NPCs to one of the non-standard classes will need to be adjudicated individually.
Note that 5e uses another approach to creating NPCs as well. NPCs are often represented by “monster stats”, which build upon the HD by size (d8 for medium creatures), and then add up special abilities. The number of HD does not always correlate to class levels, and I did not yet fully try to understand the design behind these statblocks, which I would use only if I need some generic NPC.
EDIT: Forgot about alignments. But I guess everybody knows that the three BECMI alignments are not the same as the alignment parts of the same denomination in 5e (or earlier editions of XD&D, for that matter). As this is a matter of personal interpretation, I will leave this out of the lists for the time being.
- Grand Duchy of Karameikos
- Emirates of Ylaruam
- Elves and Secret Crafts
- Principalities of Glantri
- Secret Crafts
- Kingdom of Ierendi
- Elves of Alfheim
- Elf Attack Ranks
- Dwarves of Rockhome
- The Northern Reaches
- The Five Shires
- Minrothad Guilds
- Orcs of Thar
- Republic of Darokin
- The Golden Khan of Ethengar
- The Shadow Elves
- The Atruaghin Clans
- Dawn of the Emperors
Grand Duchy of Karameikos
GAZ 1 Karameikos is probably the easiest to convert. It only contains standard NPCs (well, almost), and does not contain any special rules.
Note that I only noted the race if it is not human. Some NPCs are reflected by statblocks from the MM, whichever I found to be most fitting to their original description, and NM statblock. Duchess Olivia is a special case: I would tend to rebuild her using a "monster stat block", as I don´t think that rogue is really an adequate reflection of her character. I guess rogue was chosen initially to reflect that she has a lot of experience, and to make sure she would not fall to any casual attack.
Name Original Class/Level Conversion Duke Stefan Karameikos Fighter 15 Fighter 13 Duchess Olivia Karameikos Thief 9 Rogue 9 Lady Adriana Karameikos Fighter 4 Fighter 4 Lord Justin Karameikos Fighter 2 Fighter 2 Lord Valen Karameikos Thief 1 Rogue 1 Lord Alexius Korrigan Fighter 6 Fighter 6 Lord Zogrev Yarol Fighter 9 Fighter 9 Admiral Lucius Hyraksos Fighter 12 Fighter 11 Lord Bartran Cordelius Normal Man Noble (MM p. 348) Lord Valdo Tisza Normal Man Noble (MM p. 348) Lord Cornel Osteric Fighter 7 Fighter 7 Lady Marianita Magic-User 18 Wizard 15 Jenkin Flinkfoot Halfling 6 Halfling Fighter 6 Bolto Nordenshield Dwarf 8 Dwarf Fighter 8 Shalander Elf 7 Elf Fighter 1/Wizard 6 Gunter Schonberg Fighter 11 Fighter 11 Aladan Voll Fighter 5 Fighter 5 Abdallah ibn Hamid Fighter 11 Fighter 11 Estella Whitehall Normal Woman Noble (MM p. 348) Lord Olliver Jowett Cleric 18 Cleric 15 Magdel Cleric 4 Cleric 4 Alfric Oderbry Cleric 14 Cleric 12 Aleksyev Nikelnevic Cleric 11 Cleric 11 Sergyev Cleric 9 Cleric 9 Edoard of Threshold Normal Man Commoner (MM 345) Flameflicker Thief 18 Rogue 15 Teldon Magic-User 15 Wizard 13 Aleksander Torenescu Fighter 1 Fighter 1 Boris Torenescu Fighter 3 Fighter 3 Anton Radu Thief 12 Thief 11 Antonito Radu (from B6) Magic-User 3 Wizard 3 Cartha Radu (from B6) Fighter 6 Fighter 6 Zweis Radu (from B6) Fighter 3 Fighter 3 Baron Phillip Vorloi Fighter 3 Fighter 3 Emilio the Great Normal Man Commoner (MM 345) Luthier Sforza Fighter 5 Fighter 5 Yolanda of Luln Normal Woman Commoner (MM 345) “Lord” Dmitrios Fighter 4 Fighter 4 Lady Magda Marilenev Normal Woman Noble (MM p. 348) Baron Desmond Kelvin II Cleric 10 Cleric 10 Mistress Sascia of Luln Fighter 12 Fighter 11 Baron Sherlane Halaran Cleric 14 Cleric 12 Aleena Halaran Cleric 12 Cleric 11 Lady Halia Antonic Magic-User 7 Wizard 7 Sir Retameron Antonic Fighter 9 Fighter 9 Baron Ludwig von Hendriks Fighter 12 Fighter 11 Bargle the Infamous Magic-User 15 Wizard 13
To test the conversion, I took a closer look at a 7th level fighter and compared this to a 7th level elf (F1/W6). I did not include any ability score improvements nor feats.
Lord Cornel Osteric, 7th level fighter, Proficiency Bonus +3
Armor Class 15 (Bracers, Dex Bonus) (note: the powerful bracers giving AC 2 do not exist in D&D5, they "only" give +2 to AC.)
Hit Points 53 (7D10+7)
S 15 D 16 Co 12 I 14 W 12 Ch 15
Multiattack: Lord Osteric makes two attacks
Longsword +1 Melee Attack + 6, Damage 1D8+5 (Dueling style), Critical 19-20
Shalander, 1st level fighter, 6th level wizard, Proficiency Bonus +3
Neutral High Elf
Armor Class 8 or 18 (chain shirt +1, shield, dex)
Hit Points 41 (1D10+6D6+7)
S14 D 15 Co 12 I 16 W 10 Ch 16
Longsword, Melee Attack, +5 Damage 1D8+2 (or +4, if he chose dueling style as well.)
Spells 5 Cantrips, 4/3/3 Spells
So, we see that the elf lacks in fighting ability, with only one attack and normal crit range. But he also falls short one spell level, as the original NPC, being 7th level, does have access to 4th level spells. Obviously, the method to rebuild the BECMI elf with the 5e multiclassing rules does not reflect this as well as I thought. He easily fulfills the multiclass requirements, though. Perhaps building the "bard" variation is necessary, after all.
EDIT: if following that path, I would leave out the Martial Archetype as well as Arcane Tradition from the two classes. Otherwise, this will surely be unbalanced. I would retain the other fighter abilities, and have ability score improvements only like the bard.
Emirates of Ylaruam
GAZ 2 Ylaruam does not contain full NPCs stats, and gives only a few NPC class/level notes, mainly in the „Village of Kirkuk“ Section.
There are four new cleric spells included, and a cleric/druid subclass is described, the dervish. The new spells could form a new Domain, which would be themed for the desert/prophet motive given here. Other rules concern riding (perhaps this should be reflected with a desert nomad background, giving proficiency with riding and survival), and storytelling. The latter could be used pretty much as written, if the DM wants to. The dervish could be rebuilt as a variant cleric or druid.
The entries contain one error: on page 42, there is a dwarf listed as „D 14“, meaning a dwarf of level 14, which does not exist in BECMI. So, I take this to mean D 12 instead.
I chose to list only those NPCs listed by name or otherwise identified, entries like „Bodyguard (F12; 4 F8)“ are not included.
Name Page ref. Original Level Converted Level Khamil-ibn-Ravi 39 C 6 C 6 Daood the Wide 39 C 10 C 10 Nizam al Babrak 39 F 8 F 8 The Barber 39 M-U 3 Wizard 3 Blind Mussa 41 C 20 C 16 Mustapha ibn Ibrahim 41 F 15 F 13 Murad the Makistani 41 F 8 F 8 Hannarr the Dwarf 42 D 14 (?) Dwarf Fighter 11 Ramman al Saddam 43 F 16 F 14 Muammar al Saddam 43 F 13 F 12 Muktar al Saddam 43 F 10 F 10 Djamal al Saddam 43 F 4 F 4 Qadi Mehmet al Bechir 43 F 15 F 13 Qadi Reza al Anouar 43 F 12 F 11 Qadi Urabi al Hussein 43 F 11 F 11 Yasir al Achmed 48 F 24 F 17
Elves and Secret Crafts
The next post would be Glantri, of course. Besides having a huge number of NPCs, the "elf problem" is especially important here, as two elf clans are prominent here and the two rulers are also Masters of two of the Seven Secret Crafts.
After pondering this for some time, I will convert elves as follows:
- up to level 10, they will advance in both classes (Fighter and WIzard) at the same time, effectively making them gestalt characters, with D8 HD per level.
- after level 10, they will advance in one of the two classes. In Glantri, it is safe to assume that they progress as wizards (HD according to class).
- for the SSC, they will have to meet the regular level requirements for wizards, which I will take from G:KoM, rather than GAZ3. I will adjust the NPCs levels accordingly. (to be honest, I think it would have been a good idea to introduce the elf wizard in GAZ 3 already).
The SSC could be seen as an special wizard arcane tradition, but I don´t think that this would be a fitting conversion. The SSC are designed as an add-on right from the start, and I would want to keep them in that way. Besides, I think they are more powerful than the arcane traditions are.
If you want to use this for PCs as well, I would have them with D8 HD as well up to level 10. The player would have to make a choice at level 10, which will be irreversible, for one class or the other. I would rule out further multiclassing. The fighter should be a Champion and no other Archetype, or at least no spell-casting variant. For the wizard, I would leave it open to players choice (missing a generalist wizard there). For XP, I would have them earn double xp for each level up to 10, and normal xp for further levels. This would mean that they need to earn 128,000 xp for level 10, so single-class characters are at level 13 by then (the gap widens during level progress). Afterwards, I would add the normal XP requirements for the following levels. This does lead to the strange effect that the next few levels will be gained faster than the last few, and the elf will start to catch up with the other characters, but will still stay behind several levels for the most part. He would reach level 19 when the regular characters are level 20 already, if only by 5000 xp. Of course, you might have them earn double xp later on as well, but then, the level gap will widen to five levels difference very fast, which would make this option not attractive for play IMO.
To illustrate this, I made a short table comparing 5e xp and levels at various points. Note that not all XP totals do correlate with the exact amout of xp to reach a level. I chose the amounts to show the difference in progress.
xp total regular level double xp to level 10 double xp to level 20 6500 5 4 4 70000 10 8 8 128000 13 10 10 175000 15 13 11 360000 20 19 15
Principalities of Glantri
GAZ 3 Glanti is easily one of the most popular entries in the series, and has an abundance of NPCs listed. Of special note are the „seven secret crafts (SSC for short)“, which follow their own rules and expanded the magic system of the game at their time. These are not converted on this first take, but noted. The Brotherhood of the Radiance is also noted as RAD.
The secret crafts are abbreviated as follows
Secret Craft Abbr. Alchemy ALC Dracology DRA Elementalists (letter) E (A, E, F, W) Illusionists ILL Necromancer NEC Cryptomancer CRY Witches WIC
While looking at the XP requirements of the SSC, I came to the conclusion that the XP needed for each circle started by looking at the XP needed for the lowest level as a magic-user, taking 1/2 of that (or 1/4 of all level earned so far), and working from that start. So, taking that to 5e, the first circle would need 2000 xp, with the following needing 4000,6000,12000 and 18000 respectively (rounded to the next full amount). All in all, that would be 42000 xp, more than needed to advance from level 17 to 18. Originally, the xp sum of all circles would amount to 125,000 xp, 5/6 of the xp needed to advance from level 19 to 20 in BECMI. If you compare overall xp, originally it amounts to roughly 1/16th of all xp earned in regular level advancement to reach the 5th circle (125,000 to 1,950,000 xp). This would be only 16500 xp, all in all, vs. 42000 xp. So, this probably needs some adjustment. 1500,3000,4500,9000,13500 comes closer, but is still somewhat high. Nevertheless, these numbers might be a good compromise.
Glantris two elven clans are IMO best represented as high elves. The differences are mainly cosmetic in nature and are within the personalities, rather than any subrace.
The elves had some special rules regarding the SSC circles after level 10. After that, every Attack Rank beyond C/level 10 adds two levels for the purpose of meeting the requirements. So, for a BECMI elf to attain 4th circle, he would need to advance to Attack Rank F, and to become Master, he would need to have Attack Rank H. The xp totals needed are close to the M-U xp at the required levels, Rank F being the same as level 16, and rank H 50.000 xp short of level 20. (A peek at G:KoM reveals that the two princesses are simply cast as level 18 mages to fulfill the requirements, using the optional rule of additional levels for high prime requisite attributes.) These ranks are not explicitly noted in the GAZ, but can be deducted easily from the above, and are included in the lists to follow.
I chose to include the title of prince only, to keep it simple, and will leave out any other titles. I will list the princely families first, and the other NPCs in a separate list later.
The first three families are listed below.
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Uthar Aendyr 22 F 9 F 9 - Prince Volospin Aendyr 22 M 22 W 17 AE 5 Serena Aendyr 22 M 10 W 10 AE 3 Thylera Aendyr 22 M 4 W 4 - Lathan Aendyr 22 M 5 W 5 - Prince Etienne d´Ambreville 22 M 35 W 20 Rad Henri d´Ambreville 22 M 12 W 11 - Camille d´Ambreville 23 M 15 W 13 - Catherine d´Ambreville 23 M 13 W 12 - Jean- Louis d´Ambreville 23 F 12 F 11 - Claude d´Ambreville 23 F 10 F 10 - Richard d´Ambreville 23 F 10 F 10 - Isidore d´Ambreville 23 M 12 W 11 - Andre-David de la Foret 23 F 9 F 9 - Magdalene d´Ambreville 23 F 8 F 8 - Charles d´Ambreville 23 M 9 W 9 - Isabelle d´Ambreville 23 M 12 W 11 ALC 3 Gaston d´Ambreville 23 M 9 W 9 - Guillaume d´Ambreville 23 M 10 W 10 ALC 3 Janette d´Ambreville 23 M 9 W 9 - Simon d´Ambreville 23 C 35 C 20 - Marie-Helene d´Ambreville 23 F 15 F 13 - Princess Carnelia de Belcadiz y Fedorias 23 E 10(H) Elf F10/W16 WIC5 Carmina de Belcadiz 23 E 7 Elf F7/W7 WIC 2 Diego de Belcadiz 23 E 9 Elf F9/W9 - Hippolito de Belcadiz 23 E 9 Elf F9/W9 - Leontina de Belcadiz 24 E 6 Elf F6/W6 - Miguelito de Belcadiz 24 E 3 Elf F3/W3 - Sancho de Belcadiz 24 E 1 Elf F1/W1 - Maria de Belcadiz 24 E 2 Elf F2/W2 - Carlo de Belcadiz 24 E 6 Elf F6/W6 - Ricardo de Belcadiz 24 E 7 Elf F7/W7 - Yolanda de Belcadiz 24 E 5 Elf F5/W5 WIC 1 Blanca de Belcadiz 24 E 1 Elf F3/W3 - Alejandro de Belcadiz 24 E 8 Elf F8/W8 - Victoria de Belcadiz 24 E 9 Elf F9/W9 WIC 2
EDIT: I just noted an inconsistency regarding the required minimum levels for the SSC. So, I would convert the NPCs to the levels according to the table given earlier, which results in 4th circle needing 13th level, and 5th circle needing 16th level. So, I changed the level of Princess Carnelia to the minimum level needed for 5th circle. The SSC minimum levels would be 5/7/10/13/16.
And now, for the other NPCs from GAZ 3...
The von Drachenfels family: Prinz Jaggar (I noticed many years later that the name does allude to “Jäger” – hunter) is the Star Dragon. This does not exist in 5e, and is very much a BECMI concept. In G:KoM, I did not find just what dragon he is, but he is a 24th level Invoker in that description. The option to challenge the immortal dragons is gone from G:KoM, and I would keep it that way. Furthermore, this raises the issue of alignments regarding dragons.
Hildegarde von Drachenfels has two errors in her stat line in GAZ 3: the class is given as fighter, and she is said to be an earth elementalist of 5th circle. I would see her as a magic-user of 15th level and an EE of fourth circle.
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels 24 M 30 W 19 DRA 5 Hildegarde von Drachenfels 24 M 15 W 13 EE 4 Gertrud von Drachenfels 24 M 12 W 12 AE 2 Helgar von Drachenfels 24 M 8 W 8 DRA 2 Sigmund von Drachenfels 24 M 8 W 8 - Roderick von Drachenfels 24 T 5 R 5 -
The Erewan clan: as noted above, according to GAZ 3, elves need high attack ranks to obtain higher levels in the secret crafts. I chose to convert this as wizard levels, so 4th circle makes them W 13, and high mastery needs level 16. This does make the elves more powerful as spellcasters.
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Princess Carlotina Erewan 24 E 10(H) Elf F10/W16 CRY 5 Quenildor Erewan 25 E 9 Elf F9/W9 - Eleesea Erewan 25 E 10(F) Elf F10/W13 CRY 4 Norelia Erewan 25 E 10(F) Elf F10/W13 CRY 4 Bethys Erewan 25 E 10(F) Elf F10/W13 CRY 4 Thendain Erewan 25 E 6 Elf F6/W6 - Esmeralda Erewan 25 E 9 Elf F9/W9 WIC 2
The Gorevitch-Woszlany Family: The family members are undead creatures, but as this does not influence their spell-casting or other class abilities, it is not mentioned further.
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany 25 M 28 W 18 NEC 5 Boris Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany 25 M 18 W 15 NEC 3 Tatyana Gorevitch-Woszlany 25 M 12 W 11 - Mikhail Gorevitch-Woszlany 25 T 16 R 14 -
Prince Innocenti di Malapietras stats contain an error: he is three levels short of the requirements to be Grand master of Earth Elementalists. I adjusted his level accordingly. However, it might be that he should have been level 27, not 17, in GAZ 3, which would have been more in line with the other princes. In this case, he would be level 18. I included all three variants below. In G:KoM, he is said to have been a 19th level wizard, before being drained of six levels by his vengeful undead relatives...
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Prince Innocenti di Malapietra (orig.) 26 M 17 W 14 EE 5 Prince Innocenti di Malapietra (adjusted) 26 M 20 W 16 EE 5 Prince Innocenti di Malapietra (high) 26 M 27 W 18 EE 5 Giovanni di Malapietra 27 M 9 W 9 EE 2 Letizia di Malapietra 27 F 10 F 10 - Bartolomeo di Malapietra 27 M 7 W 7 - Agostino di Malapietra 27 M 9 W 9 - Lucrecia di Malapietra 27 M 10 W 10 EE 3
The McGregor family is pretty straightforward in conversion. Quentin was one level shy for his secret craft circle, I just added that level.
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Angus McGregor 27 M 12 W 11 NEC 3 RAD Brannart McGregor 27 M 33 W 20 NEC 4 RAD Duncan McGregor 28 F 28 F 18 - Barbara McGregor 28 F 4 F 4 - Sean McGregor 28 M 5 W 5 WE 1 Quentin McGregor 28 M 10 W 10 WE 3 Mary McGregor 28 F 12 F 11 - Bruce McGregor 28 C 28 C 18 -
The Virayana family held no surprises or errors.
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Prince Jherek Virayana IV 30 M 27 W 18 ILL 5 Lan-Syn Virayana 30 M 17 W 14 ILL 4 Aleah Virayana 30 T 17 R 14 - Waira Virayana 30 F 14 F 12 - Rejladan Virayana 30 M 9 W 9 ILL 1 Ralindi Virayana 30 M 9 W 9 ILL 2
The Vlaardoen family has one big secret: Anton is deceased, his place taken by Raknaar the Gold Dragon. I think the 19 HD adult version is more fitting than a 28 HD ancient, given that the NPC levels are lower overall as well. According to the story, he might be ancient, though.
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Prince Vanserie Vlaardoen XI 30 M 28 W 18 FE 5 RAD Wilhelmine Vlaardoen 30 M 23 W 17 FE 4 Juliana Vlaardoen 30 M 9 W 9 FE 1 Anton Vlaardoen (dec.) 30 F 22 F 17 - Raknaar 30 22 HD Adult Gold Dragon MM 114 -
Other NPCs. These are listed with level and secret craft and radiance only, no mention is made if they are undead, a werewolf or anything else. Refer to the individual entries to learn more. There are two thugs listed, one at 6 HD, one at 10. I point to the MM entry for assassin for both, even if this is not an appropriate representation of the 6 HD thug, for the sake of brevity. If this comes into play, the DM will need to work this out more closely.
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR John Beaumarys-Moorcroft 23 M 16 W 14 - Rannigar Budulug 24 M 18 W 15 - Fernando de Casanegra 24 E 9 Elf F9/W9 RAD Jakar Daron 24 M 12 W 11 ALC 3 Natacha Datchenka 24 M 12 W 11 - Rolf Graustein 25 M 14 W 12 ALC 3 Gilles Grenier 26 M 9 W 9 WIC 2 Harald Haaskinz 26 M 25 W 18 WE 5 RAD Margaret Hillsbury 26 M 14 W 12 AE 3 Youri Ivanov 26 M 10 W 10 NEC 3 Arbana Jerbat 26 M 9 W 9 AE 2 Urmahid Krinagar 26 M 15 W 13 ILL 4 Rowena Krollnar 26 M 10 W 10 FE 3 Franz Lowenroth 26 M 12 W 11 CRY 3 Malachie du Marais 27 M 10 W 10 ALC 3 Szasza Markovitch 27 M 12 W 11 WIC 3 Alasdair McAllister 27 M 13 W 12 RAD Eachainn McDougal 27 M 11 W 11 DRA 3 Myra McDuff 27 M 10 W 10 - Isabella de Montebello 28 M 10 W 10 WIC 3 Diane de Moriamis 28 M 11 W 11 ALC 3 Ezechiel Naramis 28 M 9 W 9 DRA 2 Aliana Nyraviel 28 E 9 Elf F9/W9 DRA 2 Shurav Orlovski 28 T 6 R 6 - The Dark Pingo 28 6 HD MM 343 Assassin - Wassam Qh´erabis 28 M 5 W 5 - “King” Ratibus 29 T 32 R 19 - Genevieve de Sephora 29 M 16 W 16 ALC 5 Song-Anh 29 C 18 C 15 - Antonio di Tarento 29 M 12 W 11 ALC 3 Mariana Terlagand (Narda Shelyn) 29 M 15 W 13 - Piotr-Grygory Timenko 29 M 9 W 9 NEC 2 Griseo Fulvina 29 M 16 W 14 - Rosabianca Fulvina 29 10 HD MM 343 Assassin - Emeth Urbaal 29 M 12 W 11 AE 3 Pieter Vandenhaar 29 M 11 W 11 FE 3 Sinaria Verlien 29 M 21 W 17 FE 4 Laszlo Wutyla 30 M 9 W 9 NEC 2 Luigi Zispaghi 30 T 5 R 5 -
Name page Old level Conv. Level SC/BotR Galladin 31 E 8 Elf F8/W8 DRA 1 Sergei Torenescu 31 F 4 F 4 - Scrutina Diaura 31 F 4 F 4 -
I will have a closer look at the xp and level requirements of the seven secret crafts before continuing.
So, the SSC are of course divided into five circles, each with minimum wizard level requirements and xp needed. I will take a look at the levels first. In GAZ 3, these levels are 5/7/10/15/20, while in G:KoM, they are 5/7/10/14/18. With GAZ 3, this corresponds to spellcasting level 3/4/5(two)/7/and one shy of 9. With G:KoM, this is level 3/4/5(two)/7/9. So, this is almost, but not quite, identical. To reflect this in 5e, you would get 5/7/10/13/16 or 17 as levels. As I´m talking GAZ conversion here, I will take 16, as shown above with the elven princesses.
The xp requirements are the same in both sources. To really get a hold of what this means, an in-depth analysis of xp values and so on would be needed, but for the time being, I will just compare the xp needed for level progression in both games. Up to level 6, the xp needed to advance are identical, so up to 2nd circle, the differences are minor. After that point, BECMI/RC doubles twice and then has a linear progression all up to level 36, needing 150,000 xp for each level after 8th. AD&D2 adds growing amounts of xp up to level 11, and then requires 375,000 xp for each level. To reach the minimum level needed for the 5th circle, the character needs 1,950,000 and 3,000,000 xp respectively. (Incidentally, level 32 RC and level 20 AD&D2 have the same xp requirements.) With AD&D2, the character needs less xp in relation to level xp the higher the circle is. I think that the xp requirements were simply c&p´ed from the older book into the newer source, with level adjustment for the lower levels in AD&D2, and that´s it.
The following table shows the xp needed for each circle, and the xp needed to the minimum levels from the next lower levels, with the 5e amounts listed for the sake of completeness.
circle xp needed level/xp RC level/xp AD&D2 level/xp D&D5 1 5000 5/10,000 5/10,000 5/3800 2 10,000 7/40,000 7/20,000 7/9000 3 20,000 10/150,000 10/115,000 10/16,000 4 35,000 15/150,000 14/375,000 13/20,000 5 55,000 20/150,000 18/375,000 16/30,000
So, the xp needed for the secret crafts do represent a significant fraction of the xp needed to reach the minimum levels. These are between 1/2 and roughly 1/7 with the RC totals, and 1/2 and roughly 1/11 with AD&D2 totals. The 3rd circle needs the lowest amount in relation, while the beginning and the end are most expensive. This is more significant with the RC totals than with AD&D2 totals. I think the xp totals were set to be internally consistent within the secret craft advancement rather than needed xp totals for levels.
Just taking the same amounts for 5e is way out of proportion, as these xp values are higher than the totals needed for level advancement, up to nearly double the amount. The original amounts are never higher than 1/2 the level amounts, so this should be true with 5e as well. Looking at the 5e xp table, this will get difficult, as the xp needed from one level to the next vary strongly, and sometimes even get lower again. (example: from 9 to 10, you need 16,000 xp, from 10 to 11, 21,000, and from 11 to 12, but 15,000, and then two times 20,000). Frankly, the xp table in 5e does not seem to make much sense at all IMO, now that I had a closer look at it. (Anybody with an idea why this is so?)
So, if we start at 5th level, this would be 1900 xp for the 1st circle. With the internal logic of the SSC progression, this would be 1900/3800/7600/13,300/20,900 xp
xp starting 1/2 5th level xp for level 1900 3800 3800 9000 7600 16,000 13,300 20,000 20,900 30,000
The first two circles hold up ok, but the later three are too expensive in relation, especially 4 and 5, as they amount to 2/3 of the level xp. Besides, I don´t like these xp numbers. So, I will rather design some numbers that seem to fit better, taking 1/3 of each level as a rough guideline.
xp design xp for level 1500 3800 3000 9000 5000 16,000 7000 20,000 10,000 30,000
I think this might work. To set that in relation, 10,000 xp in 5e are the amount given for challenge 13 monster, where we find such worthies as an adult white dragon, a beholder or an ultroloth. As the advancement speed is considerably higher for 5e (and 3e as well) compared to RC and AD&D, the faster advancement even with the SSC does fit into the picture IMO.
Kingdom of Ierendi
After reading the description of Aster of Reddenshire, I think he is better represented as a halfling rogue. Bargle the Wizards´ arcane tradition should probably be divination.
Name page old level new level King Palfrit 9 F 14 F 12 Queen Marianne 9 F 14 F 12 High Admiral Jarren Kindle 9 M 13 W 12 Gherynid 9 M 25 W 18 Bartolomeo Fiori 9 T 28 R 18 Hector Octavian 9 C 14 C 12 Aster of Reddenshire 24 H 8 Halfling R 8 "Mickey" (Haumelcia) Maituipua 25 T 12 R 11 Bargle the Wizard 25 M 7 W 7 Sambella 38 F 16 F 14 Gastenoo Longblade 39 F 20 F 16 Simon Saint-Pierre 39 M 28 W 18 Dak 45 F 16 F 14
Elves of Alfheim
The "elf problem" of course of major importance here, and furthermore, the introduction of the Elf Wizard makes matters more complicated. For an easy solution, I think that the special rule I described further above will do nicely. The addition of some druid spells to the elf wizard spell list is another thing entirely, and should probably left to the individual DM. I would see those characters as NPCs only, anyway. There is no statement about an hp increase, which the usage of numbered levels would imply, but this would not be "fair" to fighting elves anyway.
Shadowelves: for the time being, I will not notate them as anything else than elves. I´m not sure if they warrant their own subrace, but will look into this.
Attack Rank conversion: for ease of use, I will convert each attack rank to a fighter level. This makes them more powerful (Attack Rank M equals level 20 that way), but with the differences in xp vs. level vs. Attack Rank, this is a pragmatic approach, easy to use. I guess it won´t hurt all that much in the end.
Note that GAZ 5 notes these as "Attack Class" or "Fighter Class".
The GAZ notes that the xp requirements for levels differ between the normal magic-user and the elf wizard. I listed the xp, levels and spell levels below for reference. The (#) gives the number of highest-level spells. As the xp totals are in some cases not too far below the next level for the m-u, I also listed the xp needed for the next m-u level. The asterisk marks the instances where the xp requirements für the levels are the same for the elf and the m-u. We see that at start, the levels are close together in terms of power and xp requirements, but the m-u does of course advance faster. The gap starts to get bigger after level 7, with the m-u needing only half as much xp in total to reach the use of fifth-level spells (300,000 xp), and the moment the elf catches up to that spell level, the m-u advances to the next spell level. If a DM would want to highlight this, the 5e elf would need more xp to advance even beyond 10th level. I will convert the elf wizard to a level that keeps the spellcasting capabilities intact, so they have access to the same spell level as before.
xp total elf level elf spell level m-u level m-u spell level(#) next m-u level 8,000 3 2 3 2(1) 10,000 32,000 5 3 5 3(1) 40,000 120,000 7 4 7 4(1) 150,000 600,000 10 5 11 6(1) 750,000* 1,100,00 12 6 14 6(2) 1,200,000 1,600,00 14 7 17 7(2) 1,650,000 2,100,000 16 8 21 9(1) 2,250,000* 2,600,000 18 9 24 9(2) 2,700,000 3,100,000 20 9(3) 27 9(4) 3,150,000
The NPC list. Again, unnamed NPCs are not listed/converted. Some levels seem pretty high and are probably subject to revision at some point.
name page orig. lvl (Attack Rank) converted level notes Abdullah Hazarkan 39 C 8 C 8 Arloen Treelove 39 E 10 (D) Elf F 11/W 10 Beasthunter 40 E 10 (E) Elf F 12/W10 Benji Frankfoot 40 H 8 Halfling F 8 Boris Beerthumb 41 F 6 F 6 Brendian Erendyl 41 E 8 Elf F 8/W 8 Brightsword 41 E 8 Elf F 8/W 8 Carlisan 42 E 6 Elf F 6/W 6 Shadowelf Coolhands 42 E 10/W 18 Elf F 10/W 17 9th level spells Daisy of Desnae 43 E 7 Elf F 7/W 7 Dominicus Greybeard 43 C 14 C 12 Doriath Erendyl 44 E 10 (I) Elf F 16/W 10 Dorran Finehammer 44 D 8 Dwarf F 8 Draugin Smallhammer 44/53 E 10 Elf F 10/W 10 Durifern Widefarer 53 E 10 (D) Elf F 11/W 10 noted as E 9/Rank D Dyradyl Feadiel 53 E 10/ 14 Elf F 10/W 13 W level adjusted for spell use Master Edrecort 53 M 15 W 13 Elisabeth Hobnobby 54 T 6 R 6 Emmit Kelso 55 F 7 F 7 Engledoc Dewsap 55 E 7 Elf F 7/W 7 Gilfronden Erendyl 55 E 10 (F) Elf F 13/W 10 Shadowelf Grindolf the White 56 C 12 C 11 Jerovis Manag 56 M 8 W 8 Jorodrin Feadiel 56 E 10/W 16 Elf F 10/W 15 W level adjusted for spell use Lynnwyl Chossum 57 E 6 Elf F 6/W 6 Don Maximilian de Belcadiz 58 E 10 Elf F 10/W 10 Mealidan Mealidil 58 E 8 Elf F 8/W 8 Redsword Truetalker 59 E 10 (L) Elf F 19/W 10 Sharlikran 59 E 10 (G) Elf F 14/W 10 Shelingar 60 E 3 Elf F 3/W 3 Shurengyla 60 E 7 Elf F 7/W 7 Starwatcher 60 E 10/W 20 Elf F 10/W 20 "premier wizard in Alfheim" Taragin Oakbranch 61 E 10 Elf F 10/W 10 Urgham the Quiet 61 4 HD Orc MM 247 Orog for combat stats only Violet Pismire 62 T 9 R 9 Ugbruk Tallorc 84 E 5 Elf F 5/W 5 Shadowelf, looks like an Orc Mercentius 86 M 10 W 10 Fabius Valerosus 87 C 7 C 7 Hashaburminal 94 M 31 W 19
Elf Attack Ranks
I worked on attack ranks today. After working at a table leading me nowhere, which I realized after several hours (trying to equate xp totals and convert these to standard levels), I tried another approach. The attack ranks are given fighter level equivalents, noted in the RC. I noted these and the conversion results according to Hugins table in the row "standard conv." The next row resulted from the elf wizard conversion noted in the last two rows. I tried to convert the elf wizard levels to 5e wizard levels and keep the points where the spell levels are reached intact. This gave a different level spread. This in turn applied to elf lords and both dwarf classes is the "var. conv." row, with the halfling as a special case next to it. I will use the standard conversion for all but elf wizards, as the results are closer to what I think feels right. Note that xp totals are disregarded here. Also, I have no idea how to convert the Hin Master yet, and I don´t look forward to that...
Attack Rank Fighter lvl eq. standard conv. var. conv. Halfling conv Elf Wizard lvl Elf Wizard conv. A 7-9 7-9 7-9 7-8 - - B - - 9 - - C 10-12 10-11 10-11 10 10 10 D - 11 11 11 10 E 13-15 12-13 11 11 12 11 F - 12 12 13 12 G 16-18 14-15 13 13 14 13 H - 14 14 15 14 I 19-21 15-17 15 15 16 15 J - 16 16 17 16 K 22-24 17 17 17 18 17 L - 18 - 19 18 M 25-27 18 19 - 20 19
Dwarves of Rockhome
Note that the levels and attack ranks will be converted according to the explanation above, with attack ranks from dwarf-clerics converted to cleric levels instead of fighter levels. This is more in line with the 5e design. This time around, non-dwarf races are noted, so if no race is given, it is a dwarf. Some characters might be represented with NPC stats from the monster handbook, if the DM desires, for example Noris might be a noble, as could be several other 1st level dwarves mentioned below. Throic, son of Oic could be another class but fighter, maybe ranger, and Morur Blackheart might be a rogue.
name page orig. level/AR conv. level Dorto, Son of Doric 59 D 6 F 6 Koris, Daugther of Goris 59 D-C 8 C 8 Thoric Redhand, Son of Dorto 59 D-C 12/C C 11 King Everast XV 60 D 7 F 7 Bofin, Son of Bifin 60 D 12/G F 14 Noris, Daugther of Nais 61 D 2 F 2 Duris, Daugther of Nais 62 D 12/E F 13 Duric, Son of Kuric 63 D 5 F 5 Bifia, Son of Bifi 63 D 5 F 5 Thrais, Daughter of Thori 63 D 4 F 4 Kori Fire-Eye, Daughter of Filia 64 D 1 F 1 Dwalur, Son of Belfur 64 D 1 F 1 Dia, Daughter of Fara 65 D 1 F 1 Korin, Son of Orin 65 D 12/C F 11 Bali, Daughter of Fara 65 D 1 F 1 Balin, Son of Korin 66 D 12/C F 11 Balis, Daughter of Bali 66 D 10 F 10 Belfin Elf-Friend, Son of Dorfin 67 D 12/G F 14 Gilia Songsmith, Daughter of Toris 67 D-C 12/C C 11 Lord Constans Hyraksos 68 NM Human Noble, MM 348 Throic, Son of Oic 69 D 5 F 5 Morur Blackheart 69 D 8 F 8 Irena Piotrev 70 M 6 Human W 6
The Northern Reaches
The personality traits and especially the rune magic would warrant quite some thought to integrate into 5e. The rune magic might be represented by feats, if such are used in the game. The Wise Woman NPC class, actually a Magic-User with limited spell selection, but some cleric spells added, might be represented by the warlock in 5e, but for the time being, I will note them as wizards. Note that there are quite a lot of NPCs listed as Normal Men, NM for short. Instead of listing these individually, I would use the Commoner stats in the MM, p. 345, for non-combatants and children. For adults listed with arms and armor, I would use the Guard Stats, p. 347. I will only list individuals with class and level below. There is a number of NPCs described as Berserkers. I took the liberty to list them as Barbarians. Also, one NPC is called a skald, which I interpreted as bard, rather than cleric.
ame page orig. level conv. level King Hord Dark-Eye 32 F 28 F18 Asgrim the Bowed 32 C 21 C 17 Queen Yrsa the Young 33 C 8 C 8 Otkel Arnulfsson 47 F 3 F 3 Bera Eyvindsdottir 47 Wise Woman 2 W 2 Arnulf Sorenson 48 F 2 F 2 Aud Otkelsdottir 48 Wise Woman 1 W 1 Erling Otkelson 48 F 2 F 2 Thorunn Otkelsdottir 48 F 1 F 1 Njal Ottarson 48 F 2 F 2 Isleif Njalson 48 F 1 F 1 Eystein Eldgrim 48 F 3 F 3 Gilli Skamkelson 48 F 1 F 1 Hoskuld Hemmingson 48 F 1 F 1 Brynhild Hrodnysdottir 48 F 2 F 2 Harek Hard-Sailer 52 F 12 F 11 Gjaflaug Hjaltisdottir 52 Wise Woman 2 W 2 Hoskuld Harekson 52 C 4 C 4 Flosi the Fox 53 C 9 C 9 Jarrett Weldon 53 M 3 M 3 Einar Bjornsson 53 C 8 C 8 Lodin 53 F 10 Barb 10 Mord 53 F 9 Barb 9 Knut Kin-Slayer 53 F 8 Barb 8 Thorgest One-eyed 53 F 6 Barb 6 The Hook 53 F 5 Barb 5 Ofeig 53 F 4 Barb 4 Sven 54 F 2 Barb 2 Horsa 54 C 4 C 4 Bersi 54 C 3 C 3 Finn 54 C 3 C 3 Brand Bear-Heart 54 F 11 F 11 Thorgils 55 F 8 F 8 Skamkel the Hairy 55 F 5 F 5 Thrain 55 F 3 F 3 Hakon Hawk-Beak 55 F 3 F 3 Seamund 55 F 3 F 3 Olaf 55 F 2 F 3 Kalf 55 F 1 F 1 Arnor 55 F 1 F 1 Kalf the Dueler 55 F 12 F 11 (F 2) Skapti the Skald 55 C 2 Bard 2 Black Aggie 55 Wise Woman 4 W 4
The Five Shires
This has the class option of the Master, which is basically a cleric class set on top of the original 8-level advancement, with a special spell list. I won´t touch the spell list here. If you want to keep this class close to its original write-up, I would recommend the following procedure:
- the halfling in question needs to be of at least 8th level in any non-spellcasting class (or at least no full spell caster)
- he needs to accumulate enough xp to reach the next level, but instead of taking this level, he takes the first level as Master, which is basically a cleric, and treated as such. This means to reflect the xp needed from halfling 8 (128,000) to master 1 (200,000). These xp are lost once he advances as Master.
- he advances as cleric, but without gaining hp or additional weapon and armor prof., until he reaches a higher level as cleric than his previous class. These levels are only "active" if he is within the Shires. The xp needed start at first level again.
- once he has more cleric levels than levels in his previous class, these levels are working everywhere as cleric levels.
- once he reaches 17th level as cleric, he can use the full class abilities of all his classes everywhere in the world.
Example: a halfling reaches 8th level as fighter. He decides to study as Master, and needs to accumulate 14,000 xp towards that goal. Once he has those xp, he becomes a Master (=cleric) of first level in addition to his fighter abilities. The 14,000 xp are lost. If he advances to 9th level as cleric now, accumulatig another 48,000 xp in total, he would be a 8th level fighter/1st level cleric everywhere in the world, and a 8th level fighter/9st level cleric within the shires. From that point on, he would get additional hd/hp according to the cleric class. Were he to reach 17th level as cleric, he would function as 8th level fighter/17th level cleric everywhere in the world. (You might want to give him 1hp/level until he reaches 9th level, to keep with the original description. I think giving him just one hp for every level up to 20 is too harsh, as the 1hp/level rule is specific to the BECMI rules.)
The procedure is somewhat similar to the Dual-class procedure in AD&D, for reference.
If you don´t like this, treat the Master simply as a cleric (probably with a special spell list/Domain), and use the standard multiclassing rules given in 5e.
There are no Attack Ranks given for any NPCs described, interestingly. I tried to read out of the characterization if the characters would be fighter or rogues, with the default being fighter. Again, a race is only given if not a halfling. I converted the few halfling masters according to my idea outlined above.
Name page orig. level conv. level notes JAERVOSZ Dustyboots 21 H 8 F 8 "warrior of great reputation" MULTHIM Greybeard 21 H 8 F 8 MAERAGH Littlelaughs 22 H 8 F 8 "archer of deadly accuracy" DELUNE Darkeyes 22 H 8 F 8 SILDIL Seaeyes 22 H 8 F 8 Lord Brin Donthiir 22 F 4 human F 4 Sir GuldahanCordelius 22 F 4 human F 4 Sire Milaster 23 E 8 Elf F 8/W 8 Leethila Barburgh 24 F 5 human F 5 Lord Caine Malaric 24 F 4 human F 4 Thrildor Blackhammer 25 D 8 dwarf F 8 Lathsyr Albrondur 26 M 9 human W 9 Biss Araum 26 C 8 human C 8 Joam Astlar 26 H 8 F 8 Ulam Belchiir 26 H 5 R 5 "can move with great stealth" Sintyr Bulorno 27 T 4 human R 4 Spiira Quickmagic Coppertoes 28 H 8 F 8 Ammagil Dundershield 28 H 7 F 7 Armillian Duirmir 28 M 9 human W 9 Irmir Elgenblot 30 M 9 human W 9 Oglentyr Hillhallow 30 H 6 F 6 alchemist skills Meermeera Jollybars 30 H 4 F 4 Sperren Juthindar 31 C 5 human C 5 Shandysar Lollos 31 H 3 F 3 Jalassa Longwinkle 32 H 6 F 6 "of the long whip" Arcathae Mellothrin 32 D 11 human D 11 Loberlinn Mulgor 32 H 8/Master 32 F 8/C 19 Brace Nildahar 32 F 6 human F 6 Marintor Treeshadow Seashire 32 H 8/Master 7 F 8/C 7
This gives us a spellcasting progression with separate xp requirements, the Merchant-Prince of Minrothad. Learning that spellcasting has a number of requirements to even begin training, which I won´t repeat here, and requires 4-7 years of special training. At the end of that training, a skill is acquired that measures if the character in question can cast spells, and this skill needs to be at a certain level. This is probably best reflected by a feat in 5e, with a prerequisite of INT 13+ (the original rules say 12+, but 13+ is in line with the other 5e feats). This feat gives the advantage of Minrothad Magic as an INT skill, and allows the progress in spellcasting if INT + prof bonus is at least +6, meaning that with just having the minimal INT, you need to be level 13 to progress. I think this keeps the idea behind that requirement somewhat intact.
The Merchant-Prince xp table is close to the elf xp table, and has the same spell progression as the elf wizard, but without 8th and 9th level spells. The spell selection in the higher levels is severely limited. As 5e does not use variant xp progressions, I would require them standard xp in addition to the xp of their original class. I think the spell progression could be the standard full caster progression, even with the 8th and 9th level slots, even without having spells of that level. As the spell selection differs from other classes, it is probably not that important to keep the levels intact when converting. I think adding the M-P levels as multiclassing levels as per 5e PH p 164/165 might make this option too powerful - imagine a 9th level wizard, who would need 14,000 xp to progress to 10th level, and adding some M-P levels, say up to three, for just a few hundred xp, and suddenly casting as a 12th level wizard. So, I would keep the M-P spellcasting separate.
As an alternative, you might consider just having the M-P a full caster and require multiclassing as usual.
Note: I converted the NPCs in the Personalities section. The Merchant-Princes are converted according to my outline above, as separate spellcasting capability, not multiclassing. I put a multiclass listing in the notes section. There seem to be several errors with the stats, e.g., Nosmo Beldan is listed as having 93 hp, which is impossible for a F 14 with Co 15 (91 at max. rolls). It is even worse with Ulard Forster, who is a 12th level Elf with 61 hp. I corrected the level error in my conversion.
The elf merchant-princes bring my conversions to their limits - following my own ideas, they would have three classes here, two of which are spellcasters. This is over the top, but I will it standing until I have a better idea.
name page orig. level conv. level notes Marden Bailey 55 devil swine - not converted yet Nosmo Beldan 55 F 14/M-P 7 F 12/M-P 7 F 12/W 7 Harmon Caetros 56 M 3 W 3 Ormun Corser 56 C 15 C 12 Ariana Demerick 56 F 7 F 7 Saroso Elsan 57 E 10/M-P 15 Elf F 10/W 10/M-P 15 Elf F 10/W 10 Jesamin Fairhair 57 H 3 Halfling R 3 Rogue seems to fit better Ulard Forster 57 E 12 Elf F 10/W 10 Zeno Ironfist 57 D 2 Dwarf F 2 Linias Casan 57 E 6 Elf F 6/W 6 Oran Meditor 58 E 6 Elf F 5/W 5 Astra Meditor 58 E 6 Elf F 2/W 2 Ginol Meditor 58 E 7 Elf F 7/W 7 Brendel Meditor 58 E 7 Elf F 7/W 7 Rewen Verdier 58 E 6 Elf F 6/W 6 Murl of Vlaardoen 58 M 26 W 18 GAZ 3 EE 4 ?
Orcs of Thar
For a quick conversion, I will take the monster race levels, convert them and read the result as hd. For monsters above 1hd as regular monsters (EDIT:in the basic rules), I will add these. Spellcasting will be added as additional levels, not multiclassing.
Converting the race as class advancements to PC classes.
GAZ 10 introduced no less than eight races as classes, and adds spellcasting levels on top, with the extra xp required for the spellcasting levels added to the regular xp. Regular xp are different for each race, reflecting the relative power of the race. Furthermore, we have attribute adjustments for each race.
There are several things to consider here. The race as class concept is pretty much exclusive to the basic rules, and as the elf conversion I made earlier, it can a problem while converting. OTOH, in the MM, the various races are shown with varying HD, to reflect the challenge they represent. For orcs, this ranges from 2 hd to 11 hd in the examples given. This could be seen as a „racial class advancement“ of sorts, even if not meant this way. So, probably closer to the 5e spirit would be a conversion developing racial abilities and then adding regular class levels, probably as fighter (or a fighter variant, let´s call it the tribal warrior). Or I micht make an exception and design a racial advancement, using the size hd for hp, not regular class hd, which would keep these creatures closer to the MM stats.
The next thing to consider are the racial adjustments. The very concept was introduced into the basic rules here, along with max. values for INT and WIS. Now, adjustments are in the game, but only positive ones. Max. values are not race-specific, but rather set at 20 all across the board. Looking at the monster stats for 5e, however, it seems that the typical goblin had a streak of bad luck at character generation, with three stats at 8. I would keep the idea of 5e intact here and do away with negative modifiers. For the most parts, the modifiers sum up to +2 on one and +1 one another attribute. (EDIT: Look at the Svirfneblin as an example - the monster entry has quite high stats, while the PC entry in the SCAG gives only the usual +2/+1. The monsters are not built based on average stats, it seems) As the humanoids are not known for their mental faculties, I would default this to physical attributes. If nothing else seems fitting, +2 STR and +1 CON are ok. With the smaller races, I would set that to +2 DEX and +1 CON. Several of these monsters are said to be quite dumb, so an exception to the "no negative modifiers" could be called for, however.
Then we need racial abilities. For the most part, these can be extrapolated from the MM, like Pack Tactics for the Kobold, or Nimble Escape for the Goblin. Some of these might need a limitation as to how often they can be used, if these are player characters.
There are several races that have more than 1 hd to start with. The juvenile levels introduced in the GAZ don´t seem to be a fitting idea for 5e. I would start them at 1st level/1hd and progress from there, with an eye towards special abilities - you would not want a PC troll at first level regenerating 10 hp every round and with three attacks. This could be handled with feats, I think.
Finally, spellcasting - yet another instance of add-on spellcasting. Either another instance of multiclassing, or added on. The latter version would be more in keeping with the original GAZ, while multiclassing is more in line with 5e.
I decided to use the hd in the MM as basis and add the converted GAZ levels to that, if the creature has more than 1 hd in basic rules. Note that I just took wizard and cleric to represent spellcasting ability. Didn´t you always want to encounter an 18hd kobold ?
name page race/level converted hd Prince Alebane 11 Ogre 10 17 hd Ogre Atzanteotl (mortal form) 11 E 9 Elf F 9/W 9 King Doth 11 Goblin 15 13 hd Goblin Gaakie-Greensnout 11 Lizardman 12 11 hd Lizardman, Rogue Haa´k Hordar 12 Troll 12 17 hd Troll Hool 12 Orc 17/S 5 14 hd Orc/ C 5 Hutai-Khan 12 Hobgoblin 21/W 3 17 hd Hobgoblin/W 3 Kol XIV 13 Kobold 26/W 5 18 hd Kobold/W 5 Angus McClintock 13 numan M 21 human W 17 Moghul-Khan 14 devil swine, 9 HD not converted Nizam-Pasha 14 Gnoll 15 17 hd Gnoll Chief Ohr´r 14 Bugbear 16 18 hd Bugbear Zotl Tehuantipoca 15 Gnoll 19 19 hd Gnoll King Thar 15 Orc 29/S 12 19 hd Orc/C 11 Uruk Vaath 16 human M 30 see GAZ 3 Xilochtli 17 Orc 26/S 17 18 hd Orc/C 14 Ximanga 17 Orc 12 11 hd Orc/Thug(Rogue?) Xoteczuma 18 Hobgoblin 15/W9 13 hd Hobgoblin/W 9 Queen Yazar 18 Goblin 24/W 12 17 hd goblin/W 11 Zar 19 Kobold 20 16 hd Kobold
Republic of Darokin
This gives us yet another spellcasting advancement, and a new kind of XP, the "Merchant XP". This is a subsystem functioning pretty much independent from regular xp and level advancement, with the MXP being calculated from the profit the character has made in trading, which does explicitly not include selling loot from the dungeon. It is based on in-world trading values and stuff. I would recommend using the whole subsystem as is, as the merchant xp hinge on the values of trade goods in the world, so the speed of getting these MXP should be pretty much the same, no matter how the rules system works otherwise. If you rather cut deals than orcs, this class is for you. Note: Maybe this MXP system could be used for Minrothad merchants as well.
Note: changing the dwarf to a bard seems just natural, as he is described as entertainer.
Name page orig. class/level conv. level Jons Brandifirth 59 F 2/Merch. 11 Human F 2/Merch. 11 Millington Vonaday 59 C 1/Merch. 3 Human C 1/Merch. 3 Derek Vanisi 60 E 8/Merch. 5 Elf F 8/W 8/Merch. 5 Anders Pounder 60 F 5 Human F 5 "Rat" Arorat 61 T 6/Merch. 2 Human R 6/Merch. 2 Quint Bostitch 61 T 9/Merch. 4 Human R 9/Merch. 4 Ruthera Wocken 61 M 2/Merch. 13 Human W 2/Merch. 13 Corwyn Linton 62 F 7/Merch. 16 Human F 7/Merch. 16 Maggie Tremontaine 63 C 9/Merch. 3 Human C 9/Merch. 3 Rezak Zygar 63 M 12/Merch. 2 Human W 11/Merch. 2 Francino Falstead 64 D 5/Merch. 4 Dwarf Bard 5/Merch. 4 Boris Staffleheim 64 F 10 Human F 10
The Golden Khan of Ethengar
This introduces variant characters and the "new" shaman class. The horse warrior, bratak and hakomon might be best reflected with backgrounds and some class specialities. The shaman is probably best translated as a druid variant: Limited to non-metallic armor, no turn undead, speak with animals as an innate ability, shapechange, and a mix of cleric, druid and special spells. This is relatively close to the druid anyway, so I will translate these as druids.
Name page orig. level conv. level notes Akmad ibn Yussef 24 M 28 W 18 "regular" wizard Bakalgu the Destroyer 24 Hak. 26 W 18 Hakomon Batu Khan 24 F 10 F 10 Chibak 25 C 24 C 17 Cretia Chagatai Khan 25 F 24 F 17 Gimluk the horse warrior 25 D 12 Dwarf F 12 Huaji Khan 26 F 21 F 17 Hulagu Khan 26 F 23 F 17 Jamal 26 F 18 F 15 Kadan Khan/Jaku 27 M 16/16 hd spirit 16 hd spirit/W 14 Kadei & Koja 27 T 28 R 18 Kaunchi 27 Shaman 24 Druid 17 Kokachin 28 C 27 C 18 Yamuga Manghai 28 F 9 F 9 Moglai the Golden Khan 28 F 30 F 19 Oktai Khan 29 F 14 F 12 Ortu 30 F 9 F 9 Sabak 30 Hak. 28 W 18 Hakomon Temur Khan 30 T 24 R 17
The Shadow Elves
Here, the Elf Wizard and the Elf Lord are both important again. The elf lord is included in the 20-level-listing, with the Attack Ranks given as well. The use of numbered levels for the elf lord beyond 10 just maximizes confusion IMO.
On top of this, the Shadow Elf Shaman is added. This seems to be basically a clerical spell caster, with several requirements and a limited spell selection, but a few wizard spells and a few specials are added. Furthermore, the Shamans have a hierarchy in place. I wonder why this shaman has a 22-level spell casting advancement, and is said that "125,000 experience points per level past 22. Maximum shaman spell ability is gained at level 22." What would advancing a level beyond 22 do (besides changing a few spell parameters), and why 22 levels? The spell progression gives a few more spells, but then, not enough to warrant such a strange limit. Arguably, the same effect could have been reached with 20 levels as well. The mark of the shaman could be expressed as a feat.
Anyway, for conversion, I will use my table from above.
The shaman levels are added as cleric spellcasting levels, so a shadow elf shaman has effectively three, or rather two and a half, classes. This definitely strains the system to its limits and is surely not optimal. I´m very open to suggestions.
Something odd is going on again with the NPCs hp: there are several that have way more hp than any elf should have. This passage: "Hit Dice and Levels: Elf hit points are determined on one six-sided die for each level, with the normal additions allowed for high Constitution. Ninth level is the last level in which an elf gains another Hit Die. From there on, he gains 2 points per level with no additional Constitution bonus." seems to mean that shadow elves do indeed get 2 hp for each level up to the 20 given in the xp chart. This is a major deviation from the standard elf rules. (and BTW, did nobody catch the "cutting off both hands and using a ring of regeneration to regrow them afterwards" nonsense while developing this? Where was he supposed to wear that ring? His toes?) Furthermore, Porphyriel is given as a 21st level Elf wizard, which is not covered by any variant rules whatsoever. I chose to reflect that by giving her max. levels in both spellcasting classes, which would make her one of the most powerful mortal spellcasters in the whole world.
I did not convert the Immortals stats, as that would be pointless in 5e IMO. I converted their mortal levels, though.
Name page orig. level conv. level notes Garafaele Galeifel 41 E 10/Elf Lord 19 F 18/W 10 Kanafasti 41 E10/Elf Wizard 18 F 10/W 17 Porphyriel 42 E 10/Elf Wizard 21/Shaman 21 F 10/W 20/S 20 see above Tanadaleyo 43 E 10/Elf Lord 11 F 11/W 10 King Telemon 44 E 10/Elf Lord 15 F 15/W 10 Atzanteotl 44 E 9 F 9/W 9 Immortal Rafiel 45 M 35 human W 20 Immortal Falanen 47 E 10/Elf Wizard 14 F 10/W 13 Firnafel 47 E 7 F 7/W 7 Maflarel 48 E 7 F 7/W 7 Malshandir 48 E 3 F 3/W 3 Quanafel 49 E 10/Elf Wizard 16 F 10/W 15 Zindar 49 D 5 Dwarf F 5 Xatapechtli 50 E 10/Elf Wizard 14 F 10/W 13
The Atruaghin Clans
This starts out with an alternative method to generate stats that will lead to characters having higher physical and lower mental stats. To be honest, I would not use that, as it seems out of line with the game in general.
The various clans should be reflected by backgrounds and career choices, much as for Ethengar.
The shamani are best represented as druids, I think (again, much as with Ethengar)
Name page orig.level conv.level Eleya Moonstalker DM 22 F 10 F 10 Dyark Greycloak DM 23 T 14 R 12 Myrrh Mist Dancer DM 24 E 8 F 8/W 8 Hovar Duck Watcher DM 25 Shamani 18 Druid 15 Eelsha Spider´s Kiss DM 26 C 8 C 8
Dawn of the Emperors
First, we get the Forester variant. Well, this should work exactly as the elf. STR and INT 13 should be the requirements for this class combo. You might even require a feat to allow this. If you follow the logic laid out in the description of elves and the note for the forester class (adoption into an elf clan), I´d say gaining Attack Ranks (read: fighter levels beyond 10) would be ok. Gaining Elf Wizard levels probably not, but this would be a DMs call.
The Rake is probably an Archetype for the rogue.
I don´t think any other rules variants should be applied to 5e. For the most part, the two players guides contain edition-neutral information.
The NPCs listed below are human, unless noted otherwise. The pages refer to book 1.
Name Page orig.level conv. level Baron Babrak Biazzan 8 F 14 F 12 Baroness Gilla Blyskarats 8 D-C 12 Dwarf C 11 Count Geraldan Actavius 9 F 20 F 16 Dame Larandia Lymanoporus 12 Forester 10 F 10/W 10 (elf rules) Count Yldysyl Greenheight 13 E 10 Elf F 10/W 10 Duke Maldinius Kerendas 14 F 30 F 19 Commandant Thyarius Palykratidius 14 C 36 C 20 (Vanya) Duke Callastian Jowdynites 14 F 12 F 11 Duchess Triella Tien-Tang 15 M 36 W 20 Duke Callastian Retebius 16 T (Rake) 20 R 16 Duchess Mitasula Retebius 17 M 18 W 15 Sheik Tarik ben Nadir 17 F 12 F 11 Jamila ben Nadir 17 T 1 R 1
NPCs of Thyatis City
I chose to represent the empress with the commoner stat block, as her description did not point to any competence whatsoever.
Name page orig. level conv. level Thincol I Torion 23 F 36 F 20 Gabriela Torion 23 NM MM 345 commoner Eusebius Torion 24 F 18 F 15 Stefania Torion 25 T 15 R 13 Tredorian 26 F 4 F 4 Demetrion Karagenteropolus 26 M 36 W 20 Anaxibius 27 F 30 F 19 Helena Daphnotarthius 28 C 4 C 4 (Valerias) Tanarobi Nuar 28 Rake 6 R 6 Dylan son of Penn 29 F 3 F 3 Angelarian Canolocarius 30 NM MM 348 Noble Theodosius Cantinomeiros 31 T 8 R 8
Note: For the Dryad-Druid, I found in PC 1 that a dryad level 10 has 7 hd, to the normal 2 hd, so I took the difference of five hd and added that to the MM hd, arriving at 10 hd. You might as well add 10 levels of druid to the normal dryad, which would result in 15 hd, which would actually be closer to the power of King Drushiye. I don´t know how monsters with class levels are handled in 5e, to be honest.
Name page orig. level conv. level The Black King 41 M 36 W 20 The Black Queen 41 C 36 C 20 (Alphaks) Queen Elshetara 41 M 24 W 17 Lodun the Doomed 41 M 12 W 11 King Zyndryl 41 M 36 W 20 Matterdy 44 M 12 W 11 King Hugorth the Misanthrope 44 M 36 W 20 King Sildreth II 45 C 24 C 17 (Alphatia) Queen Kryndyla 45 C 36 C 20 (Kagyar) Mylertendal 46 M 36 W 20 King Drushiye 46 E 10/Rank K Elf F 17/W 10 Queen Mellora 46 Dryad D 10 10 hd Dryad D 10 Queen Eldrethila 47 M 30 W 19 Empress Eriadna the Wise 50 M 36 W 20 Zandor 51 M 30 W 19 Mariella 52 NW MM 348 Noble or MM 345 Commoner Tylion 52 M 36 W 20 Torenal 53 F 36 F 20 Asteriela Torion 54 M 4 W 4 Galatia Allatrian 54 M 2 W 2
NPCs of other territories
Name page orig. level conv. level King Heldeberan No-Man´s-Fool 61 M 36 W 20 Master Aiklin 61 M 36 W 20 Tristilia the Elfin 61 M 12 W 11 King Koryn the Harpist 62 T 36 R 20 Penn son of Bran 67 F 6 F 6 General Leila 68 C 30 C 19 (Tarastia) King Tastagarth Lunn 72 M 18 W 15 Baron Lornce N´Jozee 72 M 18 W 15 King Hastalan the Fair 72 M 36 W 20 Townsmaster Trumbull 72 T 10 R 10 Queen Stillian 73 M 24 W 17 Ramenhotep XXIII 73 C 15 C 13 (Night Spider) Aketheti 73 M 15, 16 hd M 13 (monster) Thane Uthgaard McRomaag 73 F 20 F 16 Count Phileus Furmenglaive 73 F 36 F 20 (werewolf) Countess Lyra Furmenglaive 73 C 36 C 20 (Protius)(werewolf) Countess Julia Kendasius 73 C 24 C 17 (Halav) Guildmaster Lareth Kubek 73 R 20 R 16 General Harantius Lycrandonion 73 F 36 F 20 Archduke Donegal Firestorm 73 F 30 F 19 Eruul Zaar 73 F 27 F 18 King Ericall 76 F 28 F 18 Lernal the Swill 76 F 6 F 6 King Yarrvik the Just 76 F 9 F 9 Archduke Teng Lin-Dieu 77 C 36 C 20 (Koryis) Archduke Nurokidu Nuar 77 Rake 36 R 20 Baron Norlan 77 F 18 F 15 Toriath the Black 81 F 12 F 11
So, that was that. In theory, the four Creature Crucible books would need conversion as well. There are a lot of race-as-class monsters inside these books, and conversion is not that easy, so this would be an individual DMs task to do this.
These conversions are only the bare bones. There would remain a lot to do to fully convert the Known World/Mystara to 5e. Namely
- Choosing or designing the Divine Domains for Immortals and/or churches
- looking into the class specialities in general, as each 5e class has a path to choose, and probably designing new ones
- writing localized backgrounds for each country, and perhaps even specific class backgrounds for countries
- taking another look at the "elf problem"
- converting humanoid and other races to playable characters
- checking the various shaman and similar classes for a closer conversion
- converting speciality spells given throughout the books
- finally, developing stat blocks for NPCs given with full stats
Quite a task. I´m not sure if I´m prepared to do that right now.
EDIT: Most of these things are campaign-specific, and should be placed the Mystara section.
As a conclusion, I want to recap the main points in this proposal for conversion.
The main point was to use the 5e rulesystem mostly as written, without too many additions. This led directly to the first problem: the level conversion. A 1-to-1 conversion would require extending the 5e rulesystem considerably, and was ruled out. The conversion recommended from 4e to 5e, taking two-thirds of the 4e levels, seemed fitting at first, but led to underpowered low-level characters. Further analysis of the rules systems revealed an important point: Wizard spell levels. It is of some importance within the game system that NPC wizards have the same relative power across editions. So, the conversion took that as the main point, and built the rest of the levels around these points. This does not work for clerics, as the spell levels vary more strongly between systems. In the end, the levels up to 11 are converted at a 1:1 ratio, with higher levels being converted at decreasing ratios, down to 4:1 beyond level 20. It is not entirely linear, though, as the aforementioned wizard spell levels were deemed important to keep them between editions. For regular human characters in the basic rule system, this is a straight process of reading the levels out of the table designed by Hugin.
In the basic rule system, there is the concept of "race as class", which is exclusive to this rule system. As far as the use of numbered levels is concerned, this could be converted as above, and works that way for dwarves and halflings. The elf is a special case, as the elf class is effectively a simplification of multiclassing elf fighter/wizards from AD&D, but with a life of its own. First of all, it has become somewhat iconic for Mystara that all elves are fighters and spellcasters, which is reflected in 5e, but rather weak with the high elf cantrip racial ability. Second, the multiclass rules in 5e (and 3e) do not allow parallel multiclassing, but only consecutive multiclassing, so any conversion does only work up to level 10/10, and implies much higher levels for elves than for other characters. An elf fighter 10/wizard 10 is a level 20 character, after all. This might be ignored if the system went only to level 10 for elves, but there are other complications added to that: First, demihuman attack ranks, which should not be ignored, and second, the elf wizard. The attack rank are added as an afterthought to the basic rules IMO (remember that earlier rules were at a certain point meant to lead over to AD&D, positioning the older basic rules as beginners rules only), and the elf wizard was introduced to expand the posibilities for that class/race. These rules expansions were part of the GAZ line and important to the game in general, so to ignore them would mean to lessen the game. A level conversion table to allow the inclusion and conversion of these rules parts was designed, again with an eye to spellcasting power, and an attempt to convert the attack ranks to fighter levels. The elf was effectively placed under a special rule, allowing this race to advance in two classes in tandem until level 10, and choosing one or the other after that.
Next, there are some instances of separate spellcasting progressions added to a characters regular class. These should be maintained with their own xp and spell progression separately, not as multiclassing, to keep the spirit of the game intact. They all require some conditions to be fulfilled to allow progression, and have special spell lists. In the case of elves, they might effectively add a third class progression.
Then there are several class variants introduced in the GAZ line, mostly spellcasters. These might be translated into the appropriate 5e classes, with some modifications.
Finally, the race as class concept was widened considerably, with GAZ 10 at first and the Creature Crucible line later. For conversion, building these NPCs as monster stat blocks seems to be most appropriate, translating levels into additional hd and adding special abilities. As PCs, they would need quite some work. I would recommend to use creatures with no more than 2 hd in the basic rules as PC races, and rule out those with too many special abilities, or too many hd as regular monsters. (No troll, treant, sphinx, sea giant or devil swine PCs in my game!)