A Little Guide on Converting Pretty Much Anything from D&D to AFG

Adventure Fantasy Game does not have any specific supporting product. Chthonic Codex is meant to be the first one, and It’s becoming a multi-year opus, the first volume to be released later on this year.

But it doesn’t matter. The beauty of AFG is that you can just shamelessly yoink material from D&D and run it straight. What follows is what I do, in my head, without thinking about it much.

IMPORTANT PART

The important message is not to worry. Just roll with it. You literally can’t do anything wrong. AFG is a frame and just think of hanging stuff on it. Feel the freedom of running on the grass barefoot, nae, scratch that, with no clothes on. Be Bold. Take Risks. Enjoy the Rush. Make It Awesome.

Oh, beside that hippy moment, the best way to run AFG is without any worry and help players do awesome stuff. Treat it with the ingenuity of a pick up game and watch events unfold in a campaign. Seriously. RPGs like AFG are supposed to be a crutch/aid more than some kind of formal system that you can run your world in.

The Cruchy Grisly Bits

Spells: The handbook covers spell conversions. The only thing needed to convert is the spell level: double it and possibly subtract 1. All spells cost 1 mana. Keep all details unaltered. It works totally fine. If it feels weird to you, you’ll be comforted by remembering that casters can’t cast the same spell twice a day.

Modifiers/buffs: I wrote AFG to have a low number of modifiers and to keep them low in number. So anything that gives +1 to hit or skills is ignored. +2 to +4 becomes +1. +5 to +7 becomes +2 and so on. I often ignore everything that in D&D would give a +2 modifier. Avoid damage modifiers or add an extra dice of damage for weapons if you really feel you need to.

Monsters: HD becomes the AFG level. FC = tier. Recalculate damage ignoring the D&D damage. Give it equivalent armour. Keep the decor. That’s it, move along.

Riiight, you want more directions. Fine.

  1. FEARSOME FIGHTERS: If the monster is presented with many attacks or is supposedly awesome in melee, give it additional hits equal to its level or to double its level, as a fighter (and recalculate the FC).
  2. POWERS and SPELLS: If it comes with a list of powers, just use them or treat it as a caster of the same level with the listed powers as spell list.
  3. MULTIATTACK: If a monster is iconic for having multiple attacks, give it multiple attacks (say, hydras) or, if they hit, allow for multiple rolls of damage: for example if an aurumvorax (9HD, but might be different) wins a FIGHTMORE round, it will deal 1d6+2d6 (because FC 2) = 3d6 with the bite, plus 4 wounds of 1d6 each to be applied separately against armour for the hindlegs raking in.
  4. DAMAGE: recalculate the damage as if it was an AFG monster, considering that Giant (ogre-sized and more) monsters have the Giant ability, and that giant animals have it too (like the Ur-Bjorn in the example adventure). And remember that when you roll multiple dice for a wound, it’s always “take best, +1 for each extra 5MORE rolled on damage”, so the aurumvorax bite with a roll of (6,5,4) will deal 6,+1 for the 5.
  5. THACO and FC: If you have THAC0, try maybe FC = (20-thaco)/3, round down. Or maybe just ignore and get the FC from the tier. Or use FIGHTMORE with a d20 as suggested in the optional rules. Seriously, you should try this in a D&D game once in a while.
  6. ARMOUR: AC is converted to armour type (say, AC 2 becomes Plate), then converted to AFG armour (Heavy). Ignore Dex modifiers. So:
9-8 -> none -> 0: none
7-6 -> leather -> 1: light
5-4 -> chain -> 2: medium
3-0 -> plate -> 3: heavy
< 0 -> awesome -> 4: “armoured” heavy. The only thing I used with protection 4 is the Harga Troll Guard (wearing magic heavy armour). But it’s the Harga Troll Guard, famous in the whole Spinalian and Esteran underworld. There’s only two things in the Codex with protection 4: the Grand Sorcerer Equestrian Guard (because they have magical plate armour) and the Bather in Tar (and the wise shall spend no more words on the latter topic).
Protection 5 does not lend itself to good gaming, I’d avoid it. I considered using it for a monster in an upcoming adventure you surely heard about, but more due to an excess of blubber than actual armour. 🙂
Protection, by the way, is the best way to represent just ginormous monsters with really, really thick skin/blubber. Brontosauruses might have protection 3. As a side topic, I find amusing how people underestimate the lethality of big herbivores, they’re mean spirited killing machines at times. Cows kill.
What I sometimes (often) do is crack open AD&D 2nd ed Monstruous Manual and use the monster straight away. Calculate FC, convert AC, then use the FC for damage as per the normal AFG rules and, if the moster has powers, well, it can use them. Easy. Chill. No Game Police.

Saves: Ignore the save type or, if you use the separate saves suggested in the handbook, ask yourself the following questions:

  • is it something that requires quick reactions and noticing things, like surprise? -> Roll on Alertness.
  • Is it something that indimidates, scares or demotivates? -> Roll on Morale.
  • Is it a physical attack, poison, petrification, tiredness, internal bleeding, mutilation? -> Roll on Toughness.
  • Is it a mind probe, charm, compulsion, attack -> Roll on Stubborness.
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On Walking, On Writing, On Experience, On Fear, On D&D, on AFG

I walk at least 1 hour every day. I walk because walking is easy and brings me from point A to B, and this is convenient because I have to go from home to work 5 days a week. I tried once to go to work on foot, the first step became a second step became a third step. Small easy increments, each one bringing you closer. The form of each individual step is not important as long they bring you closer to the where you are going. Measurable progress. The mind is free to think about the past day, how to torment your players, that unfinished boardgame or three in your drawer, the longing for that special person.

I do not write 1 hour every day. I write to ship RPGs and boardgames. I do not write every day because it’s hard and scary. Writing is hard because planting your thoughts into someone’s head with precision is not easy, and writing is about describing a line of thoughts to someone, and all of it builds on the route of the previous text, not only on the fact they you’re closer to finishing because you wrote more. The shape of the already-written text sustains what comes next. Existent text is responsible to sustain what comes next. Writing fully occupies my mind, partly with fear that what I write will not be good enough to prop up what comes next.

Walking is erosion, chipping distance off until it’s gone. It feels very good both while it happens and after. Walking is also making me lose weight. Which is cool and makes me hilariously pleased with myself.

Writing is building, a bit at time, so that the whole works when you are done.  It feels very good both while it happens and after. Not writing enough is also stopping me from releasing as many games as I could, which would make me even more hilariously pleased with myself.

Leveling in D&D is like walking. Loot 100 GP there, kill a gnoll, steal a ship, backstab an ogre. All XPs are good for leveling, take your time, you’ll get there, a step after the other.

Leveling in AFG is like writing. You can faff around and take the occasional stab at it, put a step after the other, but if you are not done, you’re not better off than before, as nothing stops you from undoing and redoing all the steps you’ve taken again and again and again.