Big Mac wrote:How useful would it be for helping me understand 4th Edition content that I want to try to retro-convert to 3rd Edition?
Big Mac wrote:Thanks for the answers.
From what Tim said, I'm wondering if the book would fail on my second point:Big Mac wrote:How useful would it be for helping me understand 4th Edition content that I want to try to retro-convert to 3rd Edition?
My main motivation for trying to work with 4e now, is to be able to understand it enough to convert 4e-specific monsters (associated with settings like Spelljammer) to 3e. And to be able to convert Nentir Vale to 3e (and use some - probably not all - of the 4e rules as campaign setting specific rules in a 3e game).
Zeromaru X wrote:If you want to understand Nentir Vale stuff, you should buy the Heroes of Fallen Lands and Forgotten Kingdoms books, because those are the books that have lore; plus the Monster Vaults (the two of them) for specific monsters of the Vale, or how generic monsters are depicted in the Nerath world.
Tim Baker wrote:The Rules Compendium would be pretty tough to read cover-to-cover. It's a reference book, and you might have a hard time even knowing what to look up if you're completely new to 4e. I'd suggest picking up one of the inexpensive 4e Essentials players book as a starting point (e.g., Heroes of the Fallen Lands). That will explain the 4e terminology in a way that's more approachable. If you still have questions after that, I'd be happy to point you toward another book. Once you understand the basic rules, the Rules Compendium is a handy volume to refer back to when you need to look something up.
agathokles wrote:But if the main point is converting monsters, perhaps the rules compendium might be more efficient. The other books deal only with PCs, and in 4e PC and monster rules are different (which is not so much the case of 3e).
Zeromaru X wrote:Beyond that, the Nentir Vale is a generic world. Beyond the core assumptions of the setting (the last great empire has fallen and the next great kingdom is centuries away, there are no unifying nations in the world, and civilized lands are points of light in the dark wilderness) no special rules exist beyond those in the core books (as demonstrated by the 5e conversion of races and gods related to the Nentir Vale in the 5e core books). The only section in Rules Compendium that have lore stuff, is the one that talks about the world and the planes beyond, but if you already have the first 4e DMG, you already have the information you need.
Alternatively, you can just read the introduction of my gazetteer (Points of Light on a Big, Dark World). I summarized the feeling of the Nentir Vale setting in that section.
Big Mac wrote:I hear about stuff like "healing surges". I'm not totally sure how they work, as I don't play 4e, but I'm guessing that a "healing surge" could be replicated in any other edition of D&D.
Big Mac wrote:I have heard this thing about 4e monsters not being run the same way as 4e PCs. So I guess that a different sort of conversion process might apply.
Zeromaru X wrote:Is the same, really. The first 4e DMG, the Dungeon Master Book (from the Dungeon Master's Kit) and the Rules Compendium have the same information about the World of Nerath, though the former books have updated info on the setting. If you have none of those, you should get the DMG just because it describes the city of Fallcrest. Or, if you can afford it, the DM's book, because the info is updated (and also have more detailed info on the Nentir Vale).
Tim Baker wrote:Big Mac wrote:I hear about stuff like "healing surges". I'm not totally sure how they work, as I don't play 4e, but I'm guessing that a "healing surge" could be replicated in any other edition of D&D.
Implementing mechanics such as healing surges in other editions is possible, but will have an impact on play. The D&D Next playtest went through several iterations to try to get a mechanic that was similar to healing surges in 5e -- the number of iterations hints at the challenge of adding this mechanic to a version of the game that's closer to 2nd or 3rd Edition than 4th. It's possible that someone else has done this work for 3.x, so you may want to do some Googling. If you come up with a solution of your own, I'd be interested to see it.
Tim Baker wrote:Big Mac wrote:I have heard this thing about 4e monsters not being run the same way as 4e PCs. So I guess that a different sort of conversion process might apply.
In 4e, monsters are closer to those found in 2nd Edition and prior than they are to 3.x. Monsters in 4e don't receive feats, for example. They aren't built using rules like those for building a PC. Monsters have a level, which is similar to older editions' hit dice, and their stats are self-contained. In other words, you never need to flip through books to find the spells that are referenced in a monster's stat block. Any spells are listed right there to make things simple for the DM.
Big Mac wrote:I'm a bit confused by this.
Are you saying that Dungeon Master's Kit is better than Rules Compendium, but neither contain Fallcrest and that the only source of Fallcrest is the original 4e Dungeon Master's Guide?
It seems to me, that if that is what you meant, that it would not be possible to buy just one of these books (unless I wrote off Fallcrest).
Big Mac wrote:My gut feeling about this is that (unless you are playing an Eberron game) the monsters/NPCs mostly get the same stuff as the PCs in 3rd Edition. So if the PCs get healing surges, the monsters would get them too. (Or perhaps healing surges could be restricted to sentient creatures, so that only some of the monsters get them too.)
Big Mac wrote:I've heard it said that this was one of the improvements of 4e. At the risk of making the 3e monster entries even bigger, I'm guessing that things like spells and abilities could be added onto the end of the stats. Perhaps a 2e Monsterous Compendium style (with every monster having it's own GM made PDF would be the way to compile the rules for each monster) would be the way to avoid book flipping. (I suppose that is what things like HeroLab are supposed to be for.)
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