Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Discuss the World of Warcraft campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.
The Book-House: Find Warcraft/World of Warcraft products.
Post Reply
User avatar
Deckenpuppel
Orc
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:53 am

Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Post by Deckenpuppel » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:59 am

Hello guys,

I am going to start a new campaign set in the WoW in a few weeks. I am, however, a huge fan of the Pathfinder ruleset when compared to earlier/other versions of D&D, and would also like to use these rules in my new campaign. Obviously, this causes some difficulty when it comes to classes (and feats/spells etc., but that's for another day).

Some of the classes pose no or little problems at all, mostly the "non-magic classes" like the fighter, barbarian, rogue and maybe monk, which can be pretty much just left as they are, at least in my opinion. What I am currently struggling most are the full casters, meaning priest, shaman and druid as well as mage, warlock and necromancer. I am trying to stick relatively close to the Pathfinder coreclasses in designing these in order not to totally wreck the balance (if there ever was any), so the classes will be based on the cleric/druid and the wizard (sorcerer is out). If it is any help, I am also going to use the Blackfang strain/mana system, so limited choice of spells-known and spontaneous casting for all.

For the necromancer and warlock, I am currently planning of simply treating them as specialists for their respective schools. The necromancy school can pretty much stay as it is, once a few trademark spells from the warcraft universe are worked in, and everything fel related will be put into its own fel/nethermagic school. Still need powers for this respective school so, probably going along the lines of fel-companion for at least the minor power. Non necromancers and warlocks of course cannot start with spells from this school, and while it is possible for them to learn those, it always marks the beginning of going down a very dark and dangerous path with all the social stigmata attached to dabbling with such sinister powers.

I am pretty much open to ideas, though, and should anyone come up with a better plan, or ideas and insights for adapting the other classes for pathfinder, I would very much appreciate it.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23744
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:43 pm

Deckenpuppel wrote:I am going to start a new campaign set in the WoW in a few weeks. I am, however, a huge fan of the Pathfinder ruleset when compared to earlier/other versions of D&D, and would also like to use these rules in my new campaign. Obviously, this causes some difficulty when it comes to classes (and feats/spells etc., but that's for another day).
I'm sticking with 3e myself, but good luck. :)

I guess the most important thing you need to decide is what to convert from: Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game or World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game. The Warcraft RPG seems to be more like 3rd Edtion D&D than the WoW RPG, so I'm guessing that it would be easier to convert that to Pathfinder. If you want to use the modified stats of WoW RPG, I guess there would be some element of converting Pathfinder rules to the WoW RPG involved. That would seem to be more of a two-way conversion (where you meet in the middle) to me.

However, if you wanted to raid concepts from the MMO information (of which there is a lot on Wowpedia) you might want to use the MMO class names, and rename Pathfinder classes or drop any Pathfinder classes that don't have those names.

I made a List of WoW RPG Classes if that helps. That list has the base classes, prestige classes and other classes from both the Warcraft and World of Warcraft tabletop games (mostly linked to Wowpedia articles). There are some changes between the two games with classes converting into PrCs, PrCs converting into classes, new classes appearing and classes vanishing. Perhaps you could make your own list (or copy that list and modify it) and work out the total number of classes that you want to have in your Pathfinder version.

It is actually possible to link to individual posts in the same thread (see the Spelljammer Acronyms thread for an example) so if you made a list and then posted one post per class (even if you just post "to be added") you could kind of turn a thread into a mini class handbook. Then you could write what needs to be tweaked for each class. I suggest you write the name of the book the original class is in, plus the page number, so that people can read the original material, along with your conversion notes. (You might also want to add links to relevant pages in the Pathfinder Reference Document, and maybe link to appropriate articles on Wowpedia.) When you have the thing finished, you could make a class conversion netbook that people could print out and put with their 3e Warcraft/WoW RPG books.
Deckenpuppel wrote:Some of the classes pose no or little problems at all, mostly the "non-magic classes" like the fighter, barbarian, rogue and maybe monk, which can be pretty much just left as they are, at least in my opinion. What I am currently struggling most are the full casters, meaning priest, shaman and druid as well as mage, warlock and necromancer. I am trying to stick relatively close to the Pathfinder coreclasses in designing these in order not to totally wreck the balance (if there ever was any), so the classes will be based on the cleric/druid and the wizard (sorcerer is out). If it is any help, I am also going to use the Blackfang strain/mana system, so limited choice of spells-known and spontaneous casting for all.
Have you tried comparing these classes to the closest possible 3e SRD classes, to see how specific abilities compare?

If, for example, a WoW/Warcraft class had the same saving throws as a 3.5 cleric, I think it would make sense to give the Pathfinderised version the same saving throws as the Pathfinder cleric. And if a WoW/Warcraft ability was slightly better than a certain ability for a 3.5 wizard, then I'm guessing you would want to try to make a Pathfinderised version that was slightly better than the same ability for a Pathfinder wizard.

Perhaps if you made some sort of "shopping list" for every class, you could deconstruct it, compare power levels to 3.5, and then reverse-engineer from the Pathfinder rules to work out a converted version that is "balanced" with the rest of Pathfinder. However, I don't think you should worry too much about "balance".

I like what you say about the non-magical classes. I actually think that Warcraft/World of Warcraft should be a campaign setting - not a variant ruleset. Making a ton of tweaks to how Warcraft/WoW classes work means that a GM has to spend time ensuring that newbie players understand the setting's house-rules instead of spending time ensuring that newbie players know a bit about the world. I think that increases the "surface tension" that would be players have to break through in order to "buy into" the game. One of the reasons I liked WotC's SRD and the idea of 3PP campaign settings, was the idea that there would be a player base that could just pick up a new world and start playing. (If you are going to toss out some of that compatibility and try to make a bespoke game, you might as well just reverse-engineer the rules from the MMO game, make a tabletop version of the MMO rules and be done with it.)
Deckenpuppel wrote:For the necromancer and warlock, I am currently planning of simply treating them as specialists for their respective schools. The necromancy school can pretty much stay as it is, once a few trademark spells from the warcraft universe are worked in, and everything fel related will be put into its own fel/nethermagic school. Still need powers for this respective school so, probably going along the lines of fel-companion for at least the minor power. Non necromancers and warlocks of course cannot start with spells from this school, and while it is possible for them to learn those, it always marks the beginning of going down a very dark and dangerous path with all the social stigmata attached to dabbling with such sinister powers.
Both the Necromancer and the Warlock only appear in the WoW: RPG, so if you want to use them, I guess you need to convert from those rules.

They both seem to chain from the Arcanist (along with Inscriber and the Mage), so I guess that if you look at how all of these things fit together, you could just do something similar with Pathfinder rules.
Deckenpuppel wrote:I am pretty much open to ideas, though, and should anyone come up with a better plan, or ideas and insights for adapting the other classes for pathfinder, I would very much appreciate it.
I think you really need to work out what you want to do, before anyone can help you. You said, for example, that you want spontanious casting. That is one option nailed down. You need to find the other options and either make decisions or ask for advice on which option might work best.

If you can do that, you can give yourself a "Sherlock Homes Scenario" where "whatever remains must be true". ;)
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

Ivellius
Hobgoblin
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:04 am
Gender: male

Re: Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Post by Ivellius » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:00 pm

This is really late but my two cents.

Not being familiar with Pathfinder, I'm wondering what, exactly, you feel is needed to adapt. From what I know of the system, WoW RPG classes are actually quite similar to Pathfinder in that they have many more class features and variants associated, especially when it comes to casters. Is there a reason you can't just change the minor things (like how skill points work) and take them as-is?

User avatar
Deckenpuppel
Orc
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:53 am

Re: Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Post by Deckenpuppel » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:03 pm

Hey Ivellius, glad to see that you're still around.

To answer your question, my general impression is that Pathfinder classes in general are more powerful than their D&D core counterparts, and in general more able to "do stuff" in that many classes get additional little options/abilities that they can use occasionally. Like when a mage specializes in a school, this provides him with certain special abilities, not just an additional spell slot. In my experience, these really help set a character apart from other characters of the same class, and help my players get into touch with their characters more. Also, the mechanics are very simple and yet effective, and I feel that they are just much more polished than D&D 3.5 and the WoWRpg. I have to admit, though, that I never actually played the WoWRpg myself, so my impression could be totally wrong.

Another reason for me wanting to do this is that I don't like how the healer and arcanist paths water down the distinctive fluff associated with the magic classes. Sure, they are all divine/arcane casters at heart (then again, not always when you think about the orcish shaman becoming warlocks) but I really feel that these classes come more into their own when regarded as separate things. I mean players usually don't decide to play a healer without thinking which actual branch of the divine they are going to tap into, do they? So I feel no real advantage in keeping those.

Last, but not least, my personal iconic mental image of what the classes are about have changed over the years together with certain changes made in the mmorpg, and in many cases the WoWRpG classes just do not feel "right" any more, so I am trying to rectify that. Since have my group is not really familiar with the world of warcraft, I thought I might as well present its inhabitants in a way that is also most rewarding for myself.

User avatar
Arrius Nideal
Ogre
Posts: 242
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:46 pm
Gender: male

Re: Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Post by Arrius Nideal » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:35 am

Regarding Pathfinder-izing the WoWRPG:

I myself have been utilizing some of the ideas that helped form Pathfinder into what it is now, namely the following.

1: Introducing CMB and CMD to the combat system.
2: Modifying skills to be in line with the +3 to class skill idea, and removing opposed level checks for several skills.
3: Standardizing class progression.

However, my way of doing so was not converting Pathfinder's Fighter into WoWRPG's Warrior. I've been granting several classes variant features, and performed a skill overhaul that modified several things like how enchanting items work, how to incorporate gathering and crafting skills from the computer game to tabletop, and how to clean up mass combat and settlement rules to replicate the RTS. I've also introduced WoW's take on Mythic levels, except that they are specializations inspired directly from the video game, with a CR adjustment equal to 1 per Specialization level.

But here's a sample of what I did:

Warriors gain an ability called Combat Practices at level 5, improving every 3 warrior levels. This ability grants the Warrior one of the following abilities:

1: Technological Aptitude: Count TS as if each Warrior level = 1/2 Tinker level, gain Use Technological Device as a class skill, +1 skill point per level--of if using the skill changes, gain the Engineering super-skill, with 1/2 hit dice progression.
2: War Mount: Gain an intelligent mount as if a Mounted Warrior (The Prestige Class is therefore obsolete)
3: Martial Mana: Gain the ability to cast several combat spells.
4: Alchemical Warrior: Gain the Alchemy super-skill, with 1/2 hit dice progression.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23744
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:07 pm

Arrius Nideal wrote:1: Introducing CMB and CMD to the combat system.
Excuse my ignorance, but what is "CMB" and "CMD"? :?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Arrius Nideal
Ogre
Posts: 242
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:46 pm
Gender: male

Re: Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Post by Arrius Nideal » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:26 pm

Combat Maneuver Bonus or Combat Maneuver Defense. It's a unified 3.5 maneuver mechanic that was adopted to Pathfinder upon publication.

CMD is basically AC versus maneuvers like bull rush or trip, and CMB is basically the attack roll.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23744
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Class Adaptations for Pathfinder

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:56 pm

Arrius Nideal wrote:Combat Maneuver Bonus or Combat Maneuver Defense. It's a unified 3.5 maneuver mechanic that was adopted to Pathfinder upon publication.

CMD is basically AC versus maneuvers like bull rush or trip, and CMB is basically the attack roll.
Thanks for the clarification.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

Post Reply

Return to “World of Warcraft”