Thursday, November 8, 2012

Converting from D&D3.0 to Pathfinder

  After ten or more years of playing D&D 3.0, we're finally upgrading to a new system - Pathfinder.  We never adopted 3.5, mostly I believe because of the cost involved.  We all had better things to invest in than another set of books.  4.0 to me, sounded like lets play World of Warcraft with pen and paper, so I never pushed to make that jump either.  Pathfinder has been out for awhile now under the Open Gaming License and is often referred to D&D 3.75.  That suits our style well.

While there are Pathfinder character generators out there, I haven't tried them yet. This post or more likely series of posts will walk through manually converting from D&D 3.0 to Pathfinder.

Useful Tools

Since I've been playing off of my tablet, I've saved the D&D 3.0 Character Sheet (eTools) as a PDF and then used Acrobat Reader's new editing capabilities to make notes on the document.  The Pathfinder character sheet is included in the PDF version of the core rules, and is also freely available from Piazo.  Piazo also has a nice downloadable PDF of Conversion Rules from D&D3.5.  I haven't found any discontinuities in those conversion rules while working with 3.0.

Piazo Links  (as of 11/09/2012)
Character Sheet
Conversion Guide
There is also a PDF on Character Traits available from Piazo.  These have the flavor of the Regional Feats from the Forgotten Realms source books.  Our DM, Mike has not indicated that we can have these, so I'll ignore them for now.

Another very good link to online information on Pathfinder is the Pathfinder_OGC web site.
And if you don't have it already, go out to Adobe and download the latest version of Acrobat Reader

Starting the Conversion

D&D 3.0 Character Sheet Header
eTools Header
The header contains very basic information about the player and the character.  Few changes are required in this area.

Pathfinder Header
 All that I've needed to do is advance the level count and  add the size and gender.  I added the homeland  "Tavern" and filled in the hair and eyes based on the miniature I use.

Ability Scores

eTools Ability Scores
Pathfinder Ability Scores

Do a straight transfer of the ability scores to the Pathfinder sheet.  Notice that the character's wisdom has jumped two points.  This is a new racial modification in Pathfinder for dwarves.  The modifier progression is the same in both systems.

Hit Points, Speed, Armor Class, Initiative and Saving Throws

eTools Hit Points
  Here we see the old statistic block.  You notice that I had edited the PDF to reflect Mike's ruling on Hit Point gains on advancement. (1/2 Hit Die + 1 + Constitution Modifier).  The new statistic block is more compact.

Pathfinder Hit Points

As I've advanced to Level 3, my hit points are now 21 + 1/2(8)+1+4 = 30.

Note that Hit Die sizes have increased for Bards, Rangers, Rogues, Sorcerors and Wizards.  They receive an extra 2 HP at first level and 1 HP at every succeeding level.

Speed, not a statistic we usually worry about.  eTools gave us a very minimalist box.  Pathfinder expands it considerably.
eTools Speed

Pathfinder Speed

I believe that the SQ in the Pathfinder boxes stands for 5 foot squares, but I haven't found the reference yet.  Notice that my speed has gone up from 15 to 20 in Pathfinder.  There's a reason for that: a new Dwarven Racial Trait - Slow and Steady, dwarves' speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.

eTools Armor Class

Pathfinder Armor Class

Notice in the eTools format where it's been edited to reflect the suit of Plate Armor I picked up during the last adventure?  Now notice that my Armor Class in Pathfinder is lower than the Full Plate value in eTools, yet higher than the crossed out Chainmail value.  Pathfinder Clerics no longer have the Heavy Armor feat.  I've had to change back into my Medium Armor chainmail.  Good thing I haven't had a chance to sell it.  That's why it's lowered, but Pathfinder adds one to most armor classes, so my chainmail is now a +6 instead of a +5. Pathfinder also adds a convenient box for AC Modifiers.

Pathfinder Spell Resistance

Way at the tail end of the eTools stat block lives Spell resistance, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the armor you're wearing.  Pathfinder has broken it out into a separate block.

eTools Initiative

Pathfinder Initiative
 No changes in Initiative.

eTools Saves
 The only differences between these blocks are the increase in my reflex save for going from 2nd to 3rd level and I filled in the modifiers that eTools had left blank.

Pathfinder Saves

That's enough for one post.  My next post will feature Attacks, Weapons and Armor.

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