Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

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Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:16 pm

So I've finally gotten back to a project that I'd started ages ago, namely "reverse engineering" the 2E Red Steel rules back to the BECMI system. I've made some pretty good progress with the monsters so far (the biggest issues there being cutting down the Compendium entries to better fit a more Cyclopedic-size; the other thing I thought might be troublesome was converting treasure tables, but that actually proves fairly simple).

Right now, though, I'm in the process of trying to figure out what to do with the Red Curse rules. At this stage, there are several options I can see:

1) Ignore them, and just use the Dragon articles (172-173) for Cinnabryl use, as the Red Curse mechanics are technically tied to the changes brought about by the Day of No Magic.
2) Update the 2E rules into a BECMI-friendly format
3) Update the Dragon articles to reflect options available in 2E

I'm strongly tempted to go with #1, as I prefer the original Cinnabryl article over the Red Steel changes for a variety of reasons. Notably, I like how they represent the "dark side" of the relentless search for power, which seems very synonymous with what the setting represents. On the other end, the Red Steel rules feel more like post-apocalyptic mutant wasteland themed, which- and I love me some Gamma World- I just don't love as much for Mystara or the Savage Coast.

That said, I'm currently leaning towards #3, and just adding powers to the Cinnabryl Contamination tables to reflect some of the many options that are in the Red Steel rules that aren't in the original articles. Some of the powers are more or less direct 'ports (Crimson Fire, etc.) and some are close enough for government work. Some of them are unique to both systems currently, but I feel as if even the much shorter entries in the Dragon articles have more flavor to them in a way, rather than feeling like spell effects with a bit of a boost and fresh coat of paint.

#2 is my least favorite option, as might have been gathered, though I am considering at least making a cursory attempt at incorporating the powers from the Dragon Articles into there, or else trying to convert the Affliction rules and detriments to BECMI for people who might prefer them.

I didn't see anything here or on the Vaults offhand, but I might have missed something. Has anyone else tried something like this before?
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Re: Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by paleologos » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:47 am

Sounds like a great project! Can't wait to see the finished product.

When I ran my BECMI/Gazetteer group through X9, we used the Dragon articles (172-173) for Cinnabryl use. This was around the mid-1990s, so Red Steel wasn't out just yet. Worked well for our group, but I can't remember the details.

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Re: Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by Big Mac » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:00 am

Good luck with this!
Cthulhudrew wrote:1) Ignore them, and just use the Dragon articles (172-173) for Cinnabryl use, as the Red Curse mechanics are technically tied to the changes brought about by the Day of No Magic.
2) Update the 2E rules into a BECMI-friendly format
3) Update the Dragon articles to reflect options available in 2E

I'm strongly tempted to go with #1, as I prefer the original Cinnabryl article over the Red Steel changes for a variety of reasons. Notably, I like how they represent the "dark side" of the relentless search for power, which seems very synonymous with what the setting represents. On the other end, the Red Steel rules feel more like post-apocalyptic mutant wasteland themed, which- and I love me some Gamma World- I just don't love as much for Mystara or the Savage Coast.

That said, I'm currently leaning towards #3, and just adding powers to the Cinnabryl Contamination tables to reflect some of the many options that are in the Red Steel rules that aren't in the original articles. Some of the powers are more or less direct 'ports (Crimson Fire, etc.) and some are close enough for government work. Some of them are unique to both systems currently, but I feel as if even the much shorter entries in the Dragon articles have more flavor to them in a way, rather than feeling like spell effects with a bit of a boost and fresh coat of paint.

#2 is my least favorite option, as might have been gathered, though I am considering at least making a cursory attempt at incorporating the powers from the Dragon Articles into there, or else trying to convert the Affliction rules and detriments to BECMI for people who might prefer them.
I don't know enough to have an informed opinion about this, but here is an uninformed opinion. ;)

This needs to be fun for you (and you are not getting paid to do this) so I suggest that you create the option that you would most like to use in your own games. However...

...if you are aiming to make a PDF that will help a lot of other Savage Coast, and your question is about finding out which one works for most people, I would suggest that you consider using "Sidebars" instead of making that choice.

In other words, go with your gut (and option 1) but create a Sidebar that shows people how to do option 3 and option 2.

I don't know, but I suspect that fans of the Red Steel 2e stuff might appreciate having option 2 available.

(And if option 3 and option 2 would be too large for a Sidebar, you could maybe make a PDF including option 1 and then create a separate Web Enhancement later on, to provide those rules as swap-out options.)
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Re: Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by Robin » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:05 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:So I've finally gotten back to a project that I'd started ages ago, namely "reverse engineering" the 2E Red Steel rules back to the BECMI system. I've made some pretty good progress with the monsters so far (the biggest issues there being cutting down the Compendium entries to better fit a more Cyclopedic-size; the other thing I thought might be troublesome was converting treasure tables, but that actually proves fairly simple).

Right now, though, I'm in the process of trying to figure out what to do with the Red Curse rules. At this stage, there are several options I can see:

1) Ignore them, and just use the Dragon articles (172-173) for Cinnabryl use, as the Red Curse mechanics are technically tied to the changes brought about by the Day of No Magic.
2) Update the 2E rules into a BECMI-friendly format
3) Update the Dragon articles to reflect options available in 2E

I'm strongly tempted to go with #1, as I prefer the original Cinnabryl article over the Red Steel changes for a variety of reasons. Notably, I like how they represent the "dark side" of the relentless search for power, which seems very synonymous with what the setting represents. On the other end, the Red Steel rules feel more like post-apocalyptic mutant wasteland themed, which- and I love me some Gamma World- I just don't love as much for Mystara or the Savage Coast.

That said, I'm currently leaning towards #3, and just adding powers to the Cinnabryl Contamination tables to reflect some of the many options that are in the Red Steel rules that aren't in the original articles. Some of the powers are more or less direct 'ports (Crimson Fire, etc.) and some are close enough for government work. Some of them are unique to both systems currently, but I feel as if even the much shorter entries in the Dragon articles have more flavor to them in a way, rather than feeling like spell effects with a bit of a boost and fresh coat of paint.

#2 is my least favorite option, as might have been gathered, though I am considering at least making a cursory attempt at incorporating the powers from the Dragon Articles into there, or else trying to convert the Affliction rules and detriments to BECMI for people who might prefer them.

I didn't see anything here or on the Vaults offhand, but I might have missed something. Has anyone else tried something like this before?
NIce project!! :shock: :o :lol: :mrgreen:

To my opinion
I would go for option 1
That has Bruce Heard's work in it (upon which the 2nd edition version was based but corrupted it(in my humble opinion).
Though the different poisoning/affecting effects in AD&D2 version will be the most different to apply...all those 'damned' legacies...I'd prefer the abilities Bruce told.
Not only it has more fantasy feel and mystery, but it is also much easier to apply
The AD&D2 version though gives much more background and these could best be merged.
Good luck :P

I have here the tables of Bruce Heard's Dragon article Ready here for easy reference/help.
Table1 Essence of Cinnabar Contamination
Contamination|Doses of Essence|#of abilities| Subject Degree 0|0|No special abilities|Foreigner Degree 1|0 |No special abilities| Normal Native Degree 2|2|1 ability | Enhanced Contamination Degree 3|3 |2 abilities | Enhanced Contamination Degree 4|4 |3 abilities | Enhanced Contamination Degree +|+1|+1 ability | Enhanced Contamination
Table 2 Abilities granted by Essence of Cinnabar
1d12 |Contamination Degree 1-4|Contamination Degree 5-7|Contamination Degree 8-9|Contamination Degree 10+ 1-3| #3|#3|#3| #3* 4-5| #3|#3|#3*|#4 6-7| #3|#3*|#4|#4 8-9| #3|#4|#3| #5 10-11 |#3|#4|#5|#5 12+| #3*| #4|#5|#6
* choose freely from one ability from table 3, except Power Fluke.
Table 3 Special abilities from Essence of Cinnabar Degrees 1-4
1d20| Ability| description 1| Altered Dexterity| This permanently adds +2 to the character’s Dexterity up to the biological maximum of 18(reroll if 18 has been reached). Use :constant once activated. 2| Altered Strength| This permanently adds +2 to the character’s Strength up to the biological maximum of 18(reroll if 18has been reached). Use :constant once activated. 3| Amber Paralysis| The character paralyzes one non-magical creature on contact for 1d6 rounds. A successful save negates this ability. Use :at will constant once activated. 4| Anti Magic 1| The character becomes immune to the effects of one 1st level spell (Clerical or Magical). The first eligible spell affecting the character automatically triggers this ability and alerts him of the activation. The character may cast all spells normally. 5| Cinnabar Skin| The character develops a touch skin, improving his natural Armor Value with +2. This benefit may be combined with normal and magical Armor protections. 6| Cinnamorphism| The character gains a form of anti magic due to the Essence of Cinnabar. It reduces damage from magical weapons at the rate of 1 point per degree of contamination. 7| Crimson Fire| The character causes any creature he hits with a Red Steel weapon to glow with Faerie Fire. 8| Detect Cinnabryl| The character can detect and locate Cinnabryl or Essence of Cinnabar within a 30’ radius. This ability is similar as a Locate Object spell. 9 |Enhanced Corrosion| The character gains the ability to steal iron molecules from a ferrous object he is touching, in order to heal any single wound on a nonmagical creature, causing a permanent oxidation of the ferrous metal. The process rusts 50cn of non magical iron or steel per point healed. 10| Enhanced Life Force| The character’s life force is permanently enhanced, providing an extra 1d4 hit points per degree of contamination. The ability remains active for each new degree of contamination reached subsequently. Use: constant once activated. 11| Fiery Mesmer| This power causes a victim who looks the character in the yes to stare blankly until slapped or attacked in some way. The attempt takes one round. A saving throw vs. spells negates the effect. 12 |Immunity to Fire| The character becomes immune to up to 10 hit points from all (non)magical fire. 13 |Immunity to Elecktricity| The character becomes immune to up to 10 hit points from all (non)magical electricity. 14 |Immunity to Paralysis | The character becomes immune to Ghoul’s paralysis or other paralyzing poisons. 15| Infravision| The character permanently gains infravision if human, or detect invisible if Demi-human or Humanoid, or if infravision was acquired earlier. Use:: infravision is constant once activated. Detect Invisible lasts one Turn and can be used only once a day. 16 |Repel Metal| The character develops an anti magnetic energy that repels any metal (Iron, Steel, Tin)projectile of 60 cn or less. An attacker wielding a metallic weapon attacks with a -2 to hit. 17 |Ultravision| The character’s vision is altered allowing him to see 60’ into the Ethereal and Astral Plane. 18| War Cry| The character gains a powerful metallic voice. His war cry causes an immediate morale check to all opponents within hearing distance ( at least 20’ under battlefield conditions). 19| X-vision| The character’s vision is altered to receive x-rays, allowing him to see the silhouettes of objects up to 6’ through rock, iron, or wood. 20| Power Fluke| Roll twice on this table ignoring scores of 20, or roll once more on this table and gain a +1 bonus to all future rolls on table 2( Character’s choice).
Table 4 Special abilities from Essence of Cinnabar Degrees 5-7
1d12| Ability| description 1 |Anti Magic 2| The character becomes immune to the effects of one 1st or 2nd level spell (Clerical or Magical). The first eligible spell affecting the character automatically triggers this ability and alerts him of the activation. The character may cast all spells normally. 2| Amber Sharpness| The character gains the ability to cause slashing or piercing weapons made of Red Steel to vibrate in such a way as to negate any opponent’s nonmagical protection due exclusively metallic armor. Thus, Red Steel cuts right through the metallic armor and negates thus the Armor Value. 3| Cinnabryl Implant| The character can instantly deplete up to 1 ci., implanting the Cinnabryl molecules in his body for later use in supporting any abilities derived from Essence of Cinnabar. This allows the character to maintain the required contact with Cinnabryl without carrying the precious metal itself. The absorbed molecules function like depleted Cinnabryl in all respects. The implanted Cinnabryl depletes before material Cinnabryl does, if the character is carrying both an object of Cinnabryl and holding implanted molecules simultaneously. Use: at will, though implanted molecules must dissipate before this power can be used again. 4| Crimson Skin| The character’s skin turns silvery red, providing partial immunity to damage from any natural or manmade weapon. In this condition, the character ignores 1d6 hp of nonmagical from each successful physical attack, to a minimum of 1 hp damage per attack. 5| Gaseous Form| The character and his equipment turn gaseous, allowing to fly 90’ per Turn and pass through very small openings (key holes, cracks, porous rocks, etc.). 6| Heroism| This ability produces effects identical to those of a potion of Heroism. If the character is a Spellcaster or a thief, ignore this ability and roll another one on this chart. 7| Immunity to Energy, 10’| Negates u to 10 hp of natural or magical damage based on fire or electricity within a 10’ radius centered on the character. 8| Invulnerability| This ability produces effects identical to those of a potion of Invulnerability. 9| Neutralize Cinnabryl| The character instantly causes all Cinnabryl within 10’ around him to become totally inert and stop depleting. This negates all special abilities drawn from Cinnabryl until those affected move out of the area of effect. The ability-neutralizing effects apply to the character using this power as well excluding this ability itself, which lasts a Turn. This power doesn’t affect someone using a Cinnabryl Implant ability. 10| Pyric Brand| This ability creates a burst of red light equivalent to a light spell, blinding for 2d6 rounds all creatures facing the character within a 10’ radius (or a 30’ radius in the dark). A saving throw vs. spells is required to prevent this blindness. Use: once a day, duration instantaneous. 11| Quick Silver| The character gains the ability to accelerate his reactions, allowing movements at twice the normal speed and twice as many melee or missile attacks ( but not spell attacks) as normal permitted. 12| Regeneration| The character regenerates lost hit points at the rate of 1 hp per Turn. At 0 hp, the character passes out normally but could withstand up to 10 hp of additional damage before actually dying. Beyond this limit no regeneration is possible. Use: Constant once activated.

Table 5 Special abilities from Essence of Cinnabar Degrees 8-9
1d8| Ability| description 1| Anti Magic 3| The character becomes immune to the effects of one 1st, 2nd or 3rd level spell (Clerical or Magical). The first eligible spell affecting the character automatically triggers this ability and alerts him of the activation. The character may cast all spells normally. 2| Contaminate| This character surreptitiously contaminates one living creature with Cinnabar (no save). The contamination takes one day per level or HD of the victim, as long as the character can remain within 10 yards of the victim for at least a full round per round each day, and partake of the same food or beverage each day. The attempt fails if one of the above is interrupted. The character knows when the contamination takes effect only when the skin of the victim takes a reddish color; the victim reaches degree 1 of contamination. Use: at will, one victim at a time until the attempt fails or succeeds. 3| Counter Drain| The character causes a level draining creature to drain its own hit Dice each time it would affect the character (no save). If the Undead is counter drained to 0 hp, the character gains 5% per drained HD of recovering one lost point of Constitution (Never more than originally biologically (thus not magically enhanced) had before contamination). 4 |Life Sublimation| A Demi-Human(oid) character using this power ages 50 years in order to regain one lost point of Constitution. The character can use this ability at will; however, the character will not necessarily know what his exact lifespan is. The spells drains 75 years from Halflings, 150 years from dwarves, and even 550 years from Elves, instead. 5| Planar Phase| The character can enter the Astral Plane and remain there for up to 6 hours. While there, the character can see into the Prime plane up to 60’ from his position (concentration needed). 6| Power Storing| At the character’s discretion, before damage is rolled, he can instantly absorb magical energy such as Magic Missiles, Fire Balls, or lightning bolts cast at him (only energy based magic, not variant of these spells with a more material effect). The character can later released the absorbed energy through a Red Steel weapon, when successfully hitting an opponent or an object. The energy causes a bonus of 1 point of damage for each HD absorbed. The energy otherwise remains stored in the character up to one hour, after which it dissipates. Energy can be absorbed only once a day at the rate of 2 HD per degree of contamination Unabsorbed HD of energy that remain cause damage to the character normally. 7| Red Blur| The character can move up to 10’ each round at blinding speed, either automatically dodge all physical attacks that round or to pass through solid obstacles (e.g. Walls and doors) without damage to either obstacles and the character. The character can’t dodge and attack in the same round. He may move through obstacles and attack normally. 8| Scarlet Storm| The character creates a red shimmering force filed to repulse opponent. The field pushes away inanimate objects of less than 2000cn and all man-sized or smaller creatures, shoving them up to 60’ away on a 30’ wide and high (no save). Any immobile obstacle in the victims’ way inflicts 1d6 points of damage on the victims. Larger creatures must save vs. spells to move toward the character, and do so on half speed.

Table 6 Special abilities from Essence of Cinnabar Degrees 10+
1d6| Ability| description 1| Alchemical Ego|The character instantly creates a double of himself. The new character is in all ways identical to the original at the time of its materialization, including age, contamination degree, abilities, memorized spells, personality, etc. The double acts as the character’s twin (as if charmed). The twin remains in existence up to one hour. The twin vanishes when its tie is up unless the original character died, in which case the original character becomes the character, and the body of the original vanishes. This ability doesn’t duplicate equipment. If the original character dies, equipment carried remains on the floor. A temporary twin can’t create an Alchemical Ego of himself while the original character is still in existence. This ability can be used once a week at most. 2 |Anti Magic 3| The character becomes immune to the effects of one 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th level spell (Clerical or Magical). The first eligible spell affecting the character automatically triggers this ability and alerts him of the activation. The character may cast all spells normally. 3 |Cinnabar Vampirism |The character may partially “cure” a victim of Cinnabar contamination. The victim must save vs. poison or permanently lose one degree of contamination. The process restores the use of one special Cinnabar ability ( except Cinnabar Vampirism) that the “Vampiric” character has already used that day. The victim must be physically touched for this ability to work. 4| Enhanced Longevity| The character instantly gains 3d10+6 years of life expectancy. Further the character may use this ability each time his degree of contamination increases. The gain is permanent as long as the character remains contaminated with Cinnabar. Therefore the use is constant while contaminated once activated. A Demi-Human(oid) character using this power ages 50 years in order to regain one lost point of Constitution. The character can use this ability at will; however, the character will not necessarily know what his exact lifespan is. The spells drains 75 years from Halflings, 150 years from Dwarves, and even 550 years from Elves, instead. 5| Scarlet Gaze| The character causes any non-magical , living creature within his field of vision (a 30’ long, 45 cone) to age 2d6 years per round of exposure (or 6d12 for Demihumans). The victims roll Intelligence checks for each round, until one succeeds and warns the others. Victims otherwise do not realize what is happening unless someone specifically notices this tiny scarlet flicker in the character’s eyes. A saving throw vs. Death ray will then half the effect of the scarlet gaze (round Down). 6| Symptomatic Switch| At one point of his life, the character gains the ability to cause all further doses of Essence of Cinnabar to reduce Charisma instead of Constitution. Two points of Charisma are lost for each new dose absorbed, causing odious deformities or disfigurement, repulsive body odour, detestable voice and behavioral alterations, etc. At a Charisma of 2 or less, the character becomes an evil and chaotic creature of horror, a dangerous wretch hated by all, and is in no control of is life any more, as the immortals of Entropy will then notice this evil character. This ability can be used only once in a lifetime, at the character’s discretion, once made the decision to switch is irreversible. When this ability is already in possession of the character reroll.
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Re: Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by BotWizo » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:56 pm

I dmed X9 when it first came out, and I was running our home campaign.
Personnally it is more complication than I want to deal with now so I ignore it. (I am talking about a campaign I am dming for my kids)


The gist of what Big Mac wrote is what I would write next but he beat me to it.

If you think its fun and worth your effort than do what path is best for you.

Have fun and I will definitely read any updates you are willing to post, I like reading and digesting all the Mystara content here on the Piazza.
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Re: Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by Havard » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:24 pm

Okay first of all, this is a really interesting topic!

I have been struggling with these questions myself. Truth is, I am not 100% happy with any of the official systems. I love the concept of the Red Curse, but it also presents some fairly big problems.

Curious to see where you will take this. :)

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Re: Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:24 am

Thanks for the feedback, all. I appreciate the suggestion of keeping to what interests me the most; I confess that I have gotten bogged down in the past with projects by trying to make them able to appeal to too many interest groups, and thus end up losing interest or just at a loss for how to proceed.

Still a work in progress, but I will keep you all apprised of my progress, on both the Monstrous Compendium conversion as well as the Red Curse/Cinnabryl update.
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Re: Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by Irondrake » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:20 pm

This is great to hear. I've always avoided using the Red Steel sourcebooks because they were AD&D 2nd Edition. But if they were converted to BEMCI (my only choice for D&D and what I am running now), then I'd be very eager to make use of the Savage Coast in my campaign.

For what its worth, I also vote to use option 1 in regards to Cinnabryl use.

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Re: Red Steel to Savage Coast: Converting to BECMI

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:09 pm

Havard wrote:I love the concept of the Red Curse, but it also presents some fairly big problems.
Are there any threads/resources that discuss these problems? I only know what I read in a Wikipedia article. :)
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