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Conversion Therapy

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

And if you think that’s the only song that’ll be stuck in your head today, just wait, I’ve got another for you at the end of this post (warning? threat? could go either way).

So, this week’s gaming session took an odd turn. We started the usual way (noshing and chit-chatting) when Single Guy Gamer (who’s not as single, these days, but he’s still the lone dude when it comes to our home game of 2 couples and him, so the name is sticking) asks about how well, say, a 10-year old could learn D&D with the current 4th Edition rules. Since he’s not been to the DDE sessions at the LCS and our home game is 2nd Edition, he was curious about some of the differences.

Describing our recent experiences I brought up the possibility that others had expressed about switching our home game to 4th Edition, too, since 4 out of 5 of us are already playing in it and having to switch gears and remind ourselves if we’re rolling high or low each time. The main question the guys had was how 4th Edition handled dual-class characters.

So we looked into it. And found that there is the option in the Character Builder to do hydrid characters, so our rouge/fighter high elf decided to see if it was even possible to recreate his character within the bounds of 4th Edition.

And it is!

So instead of actually playing last weekend, we spent several hours researching and rebuilding. Some things were pretty simple to find, others took a bit of work.

  • Deities might not all be there. Whether because of the backstory or theme you pick or just culling over the years, you might have to rechoose your deity as part of the conversion process. But, you know, no biggie–there’s historical precedence for that!
  • Gear might take some creative substitutions.┬áTeran (the fighter/rogue high elf from before) had acquired several magical/+ items in the 4 or 5 adventures we’ve done. Vlax (our cleric) may also run into this as he gets into the conversion process–namely his magical armor spell doesn’t seem to exist in 4th Edition as such. Oops.
  • Stats change as you progress in 4th Edition, so depending on where you convert your character (start over from Level 1 and take the benefits that leveling through the Character Builder affords or just go from where you are now), your details are bound to not match. Still, we’re trying to stick with the same basic premise, which might take strong-arming the CB.
  • You level up faster in 4th Edition. Especially if you, like me, are a Paladin where it took more XP to level than the rest of the party. At first we were going to use a percentage-based equivalent, but my sliding-scale has us deciding to go back and just add our earned points to the Level 3 starting XP (where we started in 2nd) and take it from there. While most of us were 4th level or close to 5th, I think we’ll all end up around Level 6 when we reconvene.

Bringing this back to food (the other half of our reason to be here), conversions can be a pretty sticky subject in recipes, too.

Reading European recipes requires, if nothing else, going from metric to Imperial measurements, which aren’t the worst thing unless you’re dealing with grams and don’t have a digital scale.

Converting from ounces to cups is great, as long as the original ounces were a measure of volume and not weight.

Plus there’s the various food substitutions (a stretch, but converting a high-fat food to a low-fat food isn’t as easy as it sounds in some cases) that you might try to do for reasons of health, preference, or availability.

You just have to know your ingredients.

And back to gaming, again.

Another conversion is happening now, with the end of the current DDE Season. It’s been quite fun playing with the changing cast of characters each week and our DM, Stacy, is amazing at what she does.

So amazing, in fact, that I decided to get her a little gift as a thank-you. She uses a dry-erase board to keep track of initiative and the HP of baddies, and her pen has been dying on her the past few sessions. While grocery shopping this weekend I saw a pack of the same markers (magnetic, with eraser tips, and in lots of colors)–easy peasy! I was going to call it a Thank You for Being DM gift, as she’s playing, not running, the next session (Todd’s actually going to take a turn at DM for the next season).

And then it went down hill from there.

Do you hear it in your head, yet? No, not the song of the Old Ones (but pretty damn close!). No, it’s the easy way “Thank you for being DM” fits into the Golden Girls theme song.

Oh yes we did.

This was the scroll that went with the sweet, practical thank-you gift:

Small gift wrapped in gold tissue with a scroll card tied with ribbon and a paper D20 tag

Thank you for being DM,
Through the Underdark and back again,
Your hurt was true on the Paladin, Mage and Rogue.
And if you slew our party,
Invited every drow you knew,
You would see the biggest crit would be on me,
And the Bard attacked would say,
“Thank you our evil DM”

badly 'shopped screen grab of the Golden Girls around a D&D mat and minis

I’m happy to report that it went over very well (turns out she’s a big fan of those Girls, so happy accident there!). I’m even happier to report that the dice cooperated with me, last night, and I managed to wield the killing blows on 2 drow (including the would-be boss) and 2 driders without even getting bloodied in the process. Redemption? Finally! (I pretty much sucked the entire season up until last night’s game.)

Until next week!

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