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Content Conversion Guide (Pathfinder / 5E / P2E / OSR / DCC / d20 3.5)

Content Conversion Guide (Pathfinder / 5E / P2E / OSR / DCC / d20 3.5)

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Executive Summary

If you've ever wanted to take adventure content from one system and use it in another, this book has been designed to be of invaluable help. 

For D/GM/judge/referees, for game designers, for indie RPG authors, or for someone looking to investigate the mechanics of other TTRPG rules systems, this book is designed to be a massive accelerant to the conversion process and a window into the "secret sauce" that has made Infinium Game Studios products unique in their ability to be used across a wide variety of PC levels and difficulties.

Hardcover Edition Coming Soon!

I will have a hardcover version available for POD, probably in January.

Anyone who owns the PDF version will receive an at-cost discount code for FREE to order the hardcover once it's available.

Introduction

The Content Conversion Guide (CCG) is a book that walks through a process of converting adventure content from Pathfinder First Edition into five other tabletop roleplaying game systems:

  • 5E/Fifth Edition, 
  • Pathfinder Second Edition,
  • OSR,
  • Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC), and
  • d20 / v3.5

I've been pouring hundreds of hours into the most ambitious and largest fantasy bestiary project ever create: Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm.

To make that possible, I've invented a thorough approach to converting monster and other content from Pathfinder First Edition into 5E, P2E, OSR, and DCC formats.  Many backers, friends, and community members have asked for this heuristic, some way of taking the approach I've been employing, so that others can use it to convert ANYTHING Pathfinder into the newer rules systems.

What's Included?

  • Part 1 is How to Quad: Rules for taking a monster, NPC, trap, etc. in a single statblock, and adapting it into three additional statblocks, so as to support a wide range of PC levels and difficulties.  (Check out the free PDF introducing the concept of Quadded Statblocks if you're not already familiar with it.)
  • Part 2 is How to Convert: Step-by-step rules to take each statistic from Pathfinder, and how to adapt it into the other formats so the resulting monster "makes sense" and is usable.
  • Part 3 is the Conversion Mapping InventoryComplete lists for Spells, Feats, Weapons, Skills, and Poisons, with converted analogues for each in 5E, P2E, OSR, and/or DCC formats as appropriate.  Some of these do not have a good analogue in the newer rules systems, but for the majority, there will be entires.  Note that a separate Excel-based product contains the complete Conversion Mapping Inventory for more than 4,800 monster special abilities and attacks; it would take more than 3,000 pages to lay all of that out in book form so it's not feasible!
  • Part 4 is Creating New Quadded MonstersGuidelines and rules for how to take an existing monster as a starting point, and to expand its abilities and to create Quadded Statblocks for it so it's usable for any PC group

History & Scope

The Content Conversion Guide is the product of many hundreds of hours of exhaustive conversion, producing more than 20,000 pages of converted and published adventure content with more than 35,000 complete monster statblocks converted. 

It's also the product of more than three decades of tabletop roleplaying and D/GMing.

If you've ever wanted to take adventure content from one system and use it in another, this book has been designed to be of invaluable help.

By the Numbers

The real value, of course, is in the heuristic, the approach described that has been developed over a many years and tons of labor.

That said, it's also useful to assess what's in the book from a numbers standpoint:

  • More than 4,800 monster Special Abilities and Special Attacks (corresponding Content Conversion Monster Mapping Inventory only).
  • 70 reference tables, each color-coded by rules system target for ease of reference.
  • Complete mapping for each of more than 200 Poisons.
  • Complete mapping for each of more than 160 Weapons.
  • Complete mapping for each of more than 530 Spells.
  • Sample monsters: complete, converted, and quadded statblocks for more than 40 Monsters, across 5 Rules Systems: more than 800 Complete Statblocks in all.
 
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Reviews (1)
Discussions (23)
Customer avatar
Frank T January 09, 2021 9:26 pm UTC
Hi, does the book cover converting from OSR or DCC to 5e? I don't have Pathfinder but I still have 3.5 material. Any plans to do such a product?
Customer avatar
Jason P January 11, 2021 12:32 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Please see earlier comments/threads for more details, but the short answer is, "kinda".

Given the wealth of feedback requesting it, I have in mind system-specific versions of the Conversion Guide that are written with specific source systems in mind, so it would be easier to convert between any of the supported systems and any other.

That said, the heuristics described should provide enough information to "walk through" from any system to any other; it just might be more of a hassle than you'd prefer.

Hope that helps! Thanks for the feedback!
Customer avatar
Jason P January 06, 2021 2:43 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
FYI the hardcopy files have been approved, and proofs have been ordered. I'd estimate sometime in February, you'll be able to order either a hardcover or a softcover dead-tree version of the Content Conversion Guide.

Please note that anyone who already has the PDF version of the book at that time will receive a discount code for the hardcopies if they wish.

Thanks to everyone for making this an Electrum bestseller!

Onward!
Customer avatar
Luis R February 20, 2021 8:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
How can I get that code since I already own the PDF?
Customer avatar
Jason P February 20, 2021 2:05 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
It was sent to everyone who owns it already as of publication. If you've chosen not to receive notifications from DTRPG, shoot me an email at infiniumGameStudios [at] gmail.com
Customer avatar
Jason P January 04, 2021 4:26 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
This Electrum-bestselling Content Conversion Guide just got even better: version 1.1 is now available.

This updated edition is FREE for those who had the original, and includes:
--Expanded rules and mappings for Skill Checks for 5E, P2E, and DCC.
--New House Rule mechanics and mapping tables for Skill Checks in OSR games.
--Expanded rules and mapping tables for converting Trap DCs.
--Edits, tweaks, and corrections.

The corresponding Conversion Mapping Inventory XLS has also been updated to include skill mappings for 5E and P2E games (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/338297/Content-Conversion-Mapping-Inventory-Pathfinder---5E---P2E---OSR---DCC---d20-35).

Enjoy! And thanks to those who have commented below for the suggestions on how to improve the Guide; these free updates are because of your interest and feedback :)
Customer avatar
Cedric A December 30, 2020 10:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I grabbed this on a whim to check out how it handles PF-OSR conversions, and it seems pretty straightforward for the most part, but I've got a couple questions/notes. First, I notice that when discussing OSR AC, it's making the assumption that the OSR uses BD&D style AC rather than AD&D, which is slightly different (but only slightly, I think just adding 1 to the descending OSR table fixes it?), something that might catch up the unwary.

As for an actual question, I'm not quite sure how converting from HD from PF to OSR works, nor how it relates to tables 32 and 33. I'm trying to convert the Lesser Ooze Demon from the Tome of Horrors Complete, which has an HD of 3d10+9 (25hp). Following the instructions, I get a tentative OSR HD value of 3. Following that, because it's an outsider, I'm apparently supposed to give it a numeric bonus equal to it's tentative OSR HD value. So now I have a tentative OSR HD value and a numeric bonus, but I'm not quite sure how to actually use them. Looking at the...See more
Customer avatar
Jason P December 31, 2020 5:08 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I think your specific question regarding the Lesser Ooze Demon is a good example of the need to sanity-check the results, even the ones driven by rigor. Realistically, a PF HD of 3d10+9 should probably result in 1 or 1+X in OSR, but it's also a function of your purpose in using the monster and the "quad" of difficulty you're going for. Unhelpful I'm sure if you're seeking an explicit answer here :)

In terms of ability scores in OSR, yeah, flavors of old-school use and track different things. Long-term, I'm likely to develop a conversion guide specifically addressing the various flavors, but generally speaking, 5E's ability score ranges are roughly in line with what you'd expect to find in OSR so it should be a good tool.

Hope that helps!
Customer avatar
Cedric A January 01, 2021 3:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hm, I'm not quite sure. I'm just trying to convert them straight over so I've done a couple others as well. I went for the Greater Ooze Demon (10d10+80, 135hp) next, and based on your response I assumed I was supposed to use table 33, which /should/ come to 5+5? Then I tried the Jack-in-Irons Giant because of its high HD (26d8+204, 321hp), and I did the calculation (that'd be (HD/3)+2), which gave me an HD of 10. But checking the tables (table 32's OSR section seems to be the d8 section of table 33, but expanded), it said that a PF1e HD of 26 should be 13HD instead. I checked the example conversions in the back, but I wasn't able to find anything that cleared things up.

I guess I feel like the rules for converting HD to OSR are a little vague? The section gives you a calculation but doesn't really tell you what to do with it or how it relates to the tables. The samples also don't feel super useful, I think I'd rather have less fully done sample conversions, and instead have a few varied examples with...See more
Customer avatar
Tom V February 03, 2021 10:04 pm UTC
@Cedric A
Why aren't you just using the Swords & Wizardry version of the Tome of Horrors Complete? Lesser Ooze Demon from the Tome of Horrors Complete Swords & Wizardry version is listed as 4 hit dice. If that doesn't sound right to you can divide the average Pathfinder hit point total by 4.5 to give OSR hit dice. 25/4.5=5.56 which would result in a calculated 5+4 OSR hit dice.
Customer avatar
Cedric A February 06, 2021 5:13 am UTC
PURCHASER
Because I don't own it? 3e's my D&D love, so I bought it to use with that before I thought to go for something a bit more "down to earth" and started going for 1e/2e stuff, and then wanting to convert all sorts of 3e/PF1e stuff to work with that. Getting into the nitty-gritty, would you divide by 4.5, or since PF1e changes Outsider HD to d10s would you divide by 5.5 instead? Dividing by that gives me 4.54~ so... 4+4? 4+5? Further, calculations of that sort fall apart when you reach the higher levels of the 3e scale. I doubt a Jack-in-Irons Giant is 71.3~HD, and I'm sure my players wouldn't appreciate me trying to throw that at them; even the 3e hook horror comes out to 14.44~HD (10HD, 65hp, divided by 4.5, and they're using d8s like the original, compared to the original's 5HD).

I mean, I suppose I could go ahead and re-buy the Tome of Horrors, but that won't help me when I decide to convert something from, say, the 3e MM2 or FF.
Customer avatar
Mark Y December 30, 2020 10:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Really awesome conversion guide! For the first time, I feel like my enormous Pathfinder 1e investment is protected. I plan on continuing to play Pathfinder 1e for the foreseeable future -- but it's a great relief to know I can continue to use that material in other game systems, if needed.

I will very likely buy the printed edition when available! Thank you very much for this resource! Really great work!!!
Customer avatar
JEAN-MARC G December 13, 2020 8:49 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Jason, thanks for this guide which is very useful !. Two questions : 1) concerning Traps : i don't understand the rule to convert DCs (page 68). It says to use the rules earlier given in page 65 (using an ability score modifier and proficiency bonus), but for traps i only have for ie a given DC Perception and a DC disable device. How do we convert these DC in 5E ? ; 2) almost same question : when you have something like "a DC 25 Climbing check must be passed to climb along the facade of the tower.", any rule to convert that in 5E ?
Customer avatar
Jason P December 31, 2020 5:05 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Great question! I'm updating the file now actually with a few additional pieces of content. One of them is an expanded discussion on Skills, mapping them to P2E, and describing how to adapt the DCs involved. Stay tuned for an automatic FREE update :)
Customer avatar
Jason P January 04, 2021 4:27 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
All righty, please check out the latest version, which has been updated to make this piece of things even clearer. :) Hope you like it and thanks for the feedback!
Customer avatar
JEAN-MARC G January 08, 2021 3:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Great ! I just downloaded the update and checked. Thanks for this useful update !
Customer avatar
Claudio G December 09, 2020 3:20 pm UTC
Does this include a way to convert from PF2e to D&D 5e?
Customer avatar
Jason P December 09, 2020 3:30 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Claudio--"Mostly" is the accurate answer. The book was written from the standpoint of converting Pathfinder content to other systems; that said, most of what's covered should be easy enough to follow in terms of converting other ways around.

There have been suggestions in the comments below to have versions of the Guide that are written specifically around "how to convert from X", "how to convert from Y", and that may be something I explore.

Take a look at the preview to get a feel for how the topic is approached.
Customer avatar
JEAN-MARC G December 08, 2020 11:22 am UTC
PURCHASER
In spell list, control undead is missing
Customer avatar
Jason P December 08, 2020 12:58 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Jean-Marc... please refer to the intro to the spells mapping section for a description on the rationale here. In a future version I may attempt a more thorough and explicit "mapping of zeroes".
Customer avatar
JEAN-MARC G December 08, 2020 11:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
In spell list, darkness is missing
Customer avatar
JEAN-MARC G December 08, 2020 10:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
In spell list, Bull's Strength & Bull's Strength Mass are missing
Customer avatar
JEAN-MARC G December 08, 2020 9:05 am UTC
PURCHASER
I bought the Guide and I'm currently translating Rise of the Runelords for 5E. A question concerning Traps : i don't understand the rule to convert DCs (page 68). It says to use the rules earlier given in page 65 (using an ability score modifier and proficiency bonus), but for traps i only have for ie a given DC Perception and a DC disable device. How do we convert these DC in 5E ?
Customer avatar
Jason P January 04, 2021 4:27 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
All righty, please check out the latest version, which has been updated to make this piece of things even clearer. :) Hope you like it and thanks for the feedback!
Customer avatar
Dawn S December 06, 2020 12:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I like the book and the conversion rules look solid but it looks like you didn't understand pathfinder 2nd edition when making this.

for example the elder fire elemental lists immunity to critical hits, flanking, unconscious, and sneak attacks, none of which makes sense with how the system works. the way that's written makes it seem like if you crit you deal 0 damage, if it hits 0 hit points it keeps fighting until it dies (which is cool if intended), flanking should be flat footed, and sneak attack doesn't exist it's precision damage.

resistance to all physical attacks doesn't include a number for how much damage it can resist and vulnerabilities is written like a 5th ed vulnerability instead of 2e.

for the burn ability I would recommend looking at the persistent damage rules as what you have written conflicts with a pre existing system.

other than these issues the stat block seems right, just some criticism because I do like the product but it needs some...See more
Customer avatar
Jason P December 06, 2020 12:59 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks Dawn for the feedback! I will admit that the language from the Bestiary examples (and the monster converted abilities) is sometimes a bit P1E-heavy; there are likely ways to clean things up so as to more crisply align with P2E.
Customer avatar
JEAN-MARC G December 06, 2020 7:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
Customer avatar
December 05, 2020 6:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
As somebody who went through the painstaking task of converting Giantslayer to 5E and being obsessed with running cross platform content, this will be an invaluable tool. Thank you so much for putting this together. Can’t wait to start on the next AP.
Customer avatar
Marja E December 04, 2020 9:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I know this was written for conversion between class/level games. I prefer to convert to skill-based games.

I picked this up hoping that it would compare power curves, wealth, and some other pitfalls. Is 10th level from an AD&D adventure comparable to 10th level from Pathfinder or to 10th level from Dungeon Crawl Classics? And how to adapt to other systems without such high-power characters. Not seeing much about that. Especially when converting from multiclass characters from AD&D.
Customer avatar
Jason P December 04, 2020 10:35 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
The overwhelming focus is on monsters, traps, poisons, etc., that's for sure. WBL certainly does means something vastly different from one system to another, as does what a "class level" means. A level 4 DCC fighter is different than a level 4 5E fighter, that's for sure!

I could do a section more focused on PCs specifically, mapping classes and levels in one system to others... does that sounds like what you're looking for perhaps?
Customer avatar
Marja E December 05, 2020 1:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
PCs and NPCs. I realize the details would depend on the character, and it's more important to recreate their personality and general strengths and weaknesses than the details, but a guide for converting levels would be useful. Especially to and from older and retro games with uneven level progressions, and to or from general descriptions or even examples from history, legend, and myth.
Customer avatar
Jason P December 05, 2020 1:37 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Good call. I'm working on it already now; thanks for the inspiration!
Customer avatar
Lewis C December 06, 2020 12:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
Just wanted to say that you decided to do this and that you are looking at putting in the conversions going the other ways convinced me to get this.
Customer avatar
Marja E December 06, 2020 4:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you!
Customer avatar
Jason P January 04, 2021 4:28 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Quick update: the recently-updated version (as of Jan 4 2021 just now) now has a lot more description (3 add'l pages IIRC) on Skills and converting them across systems, and the mappings.

The increased focus on PC/NPC/classes will require more focus than I have right now... perhaps a KS soon however :)
Customer avatar
Faustino C December 04, 2020 6:12 pm UTC
When it says OSR, what does it really mean? Old School Essentials (OSE) aka B/X? Dark Dungeons aka BECMI? Swords & Wizardry aka 0e? Advanced Labyrinth Lord aka AD&D 1e? Castles & Crusades?
Customer avatar
Jason P December 04, 2020 7:17 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Great question, as it's sure not clear! "OSR" as you know refers to a subgenre of retroclones really rather than a single game system product. I designed the OSR output around a harmonization of many different presentations, and tried to present output and options that are broadly usable across many different retroclones. The result is probably closest to Old-School Essentials by Necrotic Gnome, but it should be easily usable in nearly all retroclone systems.

Hope that helps! Thanks!
Customer avatar
Kerry H December 04, 2020 7:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looks like B/X mostly. Interestingly enough, the legal disclaimers reference OSRIC.
Customer avatar
Jason P December 04, 2020 7:32 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Kevin--Yup, trying to do cover all possible legal bases. :)
Customer avatar
Faustino C December 04, 2020 7:59 pm UTC
Maybe you ought to do a content guide for conversion among so called "classic" gamesystems (B/X, BECMI, 0e, ad&d 1e & 2e?) aka OSR.
Just an idea, thanks for the reply :)
Customer avatar
Jason P December 04, 2020 10:33 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Faustino--I'm a big fan of, and am familiar with, LL, OSRIC, S&W, OSE, and others... I'd love to do an OSR-to-OSR kind of subsection in the future to help for the tweaks among those; great idea!
Customer avatar
Faustino C December 05, 2020 1:12 am UTC
More than a subsection, I think it would be better as a separate guide "Content Conversion Guide for OSR" or something like that, tbt I am surprised after all this years no one wrote such material (OSR predates Pathfinder by three years if I am not mistaken).
Thanks for reading.
Customer avatar
Jason P December 06, 2020 12:46 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Faustino--Were I to tackle something like that, I'd almost have to pick a handful subset of retroclone systems. OSE, OSRIC, 1E, DCC, S&W, and maybe LL would make the cut. Any others you would consider essential?
Customer avatar
Faustino C December 06, 2020 2:49 am UTC
I do not think I can say other systems are essential. Personally I would also like RC & 2e somehow covered, but do not have any statistical proof they are widely played atm and even if I had it is far too big the risk that you will become overwhelmed by adding too many systems and/or systems you are not familiar enough and abandon the project before completing it.
Thanks for entertaining the thought. :)
Customer avatar
Jason P December 06, 2020 1:00 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Faustino--It's my dream to offer a conversion from/to 2E; I know for *sure* there's a great deal of adherents still, and of course a metric TON of content, much of which has never really seen a dutiful update for decades (cough Hollow World cough cough Spelljammer cough), so that would be a huge asset IMO. It's on my radar!
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Electrum seller
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IGS-FTEG-CCG
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This title was added to our catalog on December 03, 2020.