Sunday, March 6, 2016

5E: Classic Modules Today

As I've recently started dabbling in converting a module for my own use, here is a bit of community news that caught my eye on G+ today. Stan Shinn and company have embarked on a big project called Classic Modules Today where they are organizing an effort to help others convert old B/X and 1E modules into 5th Edition via the new DMsGuild portal. They've already done a few modules like B4: The Lost Temple and B3: Palace of the Silver Princess. They provide all the tools and support you need to get started as well as maintaining a "dibs" system so that no two authors will clash over a chosen project. It's all pretty slick:

"Do you love classic D&D modules? So do we! Here’s what we’re doing in a nutshell:
We’ll provide free conversion tools and standards for you to create early edition conversions of classic D&D modules.
We don’t make money off of conversions you sell yourself; you keep all the profits!"

"These are conversion guides, not completely converted adventures. You should still need the original module to run these adventures. Completely converting an adventure (rewriting each scene) is likely not possible without further conversation or licensing from WOTC. What we’re doing is converting magic items, monsters, traps, and other key statistics, and giving some notes on running the adventure. If you have ideas about extra encounters or other changes to the adventure, put them in a separate section, maybe called “Extending the Adventures” or “Alternate Adventure Ideas’ but have the core conversion notes be such that DMs can run the adventure as it was originally written, but in the Forgotten Realms."

I've never been one to put much work into adventure writing/publishing, but I am slightly excited at the prospect of so many Greyhawk modules being converted to 5E, something we never got much of in 4E (outside Perkins' eDungeon mods). Check out this link to a list of modules they've already put up on DMsGuild for download and which have been vouched for; a ton of them are Greyhawk classics. And yes, they have to be Forgotten Realms compatible, as per their FAQ:

Question: Does it have to be set in the Forgotten Realms?

Answer: Per requirement from WOTC, we’re converting all adventures to be in the Forgotton Realms. We put the Forgotten Realms setting fluff and optional adventure ideas in their own sections and DMs are free to use or ignore that material.

That's not too bad then, though you certainly know I won't use my time to convert stuff for FR use. However, the upshot here is that if CMT can uphold quality and consistency among a community of dedicated fan-authors then when/if Greyhawk does truly get released to the public, there will already be a climate of peer-based work, to ensure old and new stuff alike will be worth patron's generous donations.

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