BECMI adaptation

A Complete 3.5E conversion of all things Mystara.

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rabindranath72
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BECMI adaptation

Post by rabindranath72 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:48 pm

I have been mulling over this idea for quite some time; now, seeing as the current Mystara 3e project addresses things from a different perspective, I think I may not be wasting my time by doing this :)

Essentially, the idea is to port to 3e (3.0) the setting and campaign elements described in the Mentzer Boxed sets.
On the BECMI side, it means there is no "Mystara" per se; the main setting would be the Known World, with the map described in the Master Set. The setting elements gleaned from the rules would be either converted to 3e, or adapted to a close representative in the 3e rules. Anything which is not considered essential would be removed and/or not translated. The idea is to use the core 3e rules as a skeleton on which to add BECMI elements.

The setting being somewhat "hard coded" within the rules, would imply a one-to-one port with the corresponding rules-elements in 3e, plus possible additions; e.g. the Elf, Dwarf and Halfling classes would be instances of the 3e elf, dwarf and halfling without further specification. But half-elves, half-orcs and gnomes would be allowed since they seem plausible from a setting perspective. Likewise, paladins and druids would be accessible from 1st level, despite being high level options in BECMI. Whereas a conflict of rules arises, the 3e rules would take precedence.

Another key feature would be the lack of spell-granting gods. Cleric powers would be driven by ethos. Using the ideas in the Manual of the Planes and Deities and Demigods, the BECMI cosmology would be defined in 3e terms. Only the five abstract spheres would grant domains for clerical spellcasting. Immortals (gods in 3e parlance) would possibly enter the game only at the highest levels of play, or as the object of reverence at low levels, but without any practical impact in the day to day life of clerics or paladins or rangers.

In essence, this a "bottom up" approach to design which will hopefully be easier to handle than the "Mystara" view of the setting. The project will be driven by "use." Since I set my games only in Karameikos and Norwold, anything beyond these would be useless to me. This approach obviously does not preclude the addition of elements in the same vein as the Gazetteers line.

Any suggestions or ideas are obviously welcome.

Cheers,
Antonio

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Big Mac
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Re: BECMI adaptation

Post by Big Mac » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:51 pm

Interesting idea Antonio.

It does sound like what you are proposing might be a fork from the current project (I don't know enough Mystara-fu to be certain) but I don't see why the option can't be considered.

As for the name Mystara, I don't see why that could not be applied. Mystara is a hook to bring people over to the project. If it is better known that "The Known World" it isn't really logical to ignore it. Maybe it hails from the 2e era, but that shouldn't stop you thinking of the word as a PR tool that can be thrown into the guerilla marketing kit when the netbook is complete and you need to find the 3e fans and get them interested enough to take a look at the netbook.

To the target market (3e fans) the term BECMI is probably fairly meaningless. I think it is well worth looking at the best of BECMI (as you suggest) and given that the 3e FRCS and 3e DLCS both alter the planes from the Great Wheel model, I don't see why it would be wrong to create a 3e version of the BECMI cosmology. (In fact someone here might already be doing that.)

For the benefit of the crossover fans, I think it would be worth designing a 3e BECMI cosmology that can be combined (somehow) to fit with the Great Wheel stuff. That is totally unnecessary for a Mystara/Spelljammer crossover, but would be essential for a Mystara/Planescape crossover and would be helpful (at the least) for a Mystara/Ravenloft crossover. I believe that Frank Mentzer was saying that he designed the BECMI cosmology to somehow sit around the cosmology of Manual of the Planes (I may be mistaken, but that was the impression I got) so a small sidebar that shows people how to join the dots would be useful.

Apart from that, I'd say that the BECMI cosmology (and any alternative options that the 2e Mystara version put in) would be something that would make this conversion work much better with old material (like adventures).

I think that in general terms, what you are suggesting is almost exactly the same as what the other people here are trying to do. I think they are trying to add in some of the later Mystara stuff, but considering that this includes Savage Coast/Red Steel I'm guessing that would be of benefit to most Mystara fans.

I know there were some separate issues with the advancement of the timeline (in WotI I think) but perhaps that sort of thing could be relegated to a follow up sourcebook. I think that is already happening.

If I am wrong, it would help if you could point to specific threads here with concepts that you think are problematic to porting the concept of BECMI over.

BTW: I'm guessing that the Immortals stuff might go into a Mystara version of the Epic Handbook rather than the main project.
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Re: BECMI adaptation

Post by dimple » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:36 pm

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Havard
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Re: BECMI adaptation

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:39 pm

rabindranath72 wrote:Another key feature would be the lack of spell-granting gods. Cleric powers would be driven by ethos. Using the ideas in the Manual of the Planes and Deities and Demigods, the BECMI cosmology would be defined in 3e terms. Only the five abstract spheres would grant domains for clerical spellcasting. Immortals (gods in 3e parlance) would possibly enter the game only at the highest levels of play, or as the object of reverence at low levels, but without any practical impact in the day to day life of clerics or paladins or rangers.
It should be noted that this is one interpretation of BECMI's handling of Clerics, not the only one. Frank was purposely vague on this, as he has stated elsewhere.

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