Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Quest for the lost city of Empyrea in Frank Mentzer's Aquaria Setting.
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Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:55 pm

I am most likely to want to use Aquaria/Empyrea with 3rd Edition rules and books like Living Greyhawk Gazetteer and Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk.

I thought I was going to find it tricky to find sources but then there was some good news and some bad news:
  • Bad news: Some old D&D books are pretty expensive,
  • Good news: D&D Classics (now part of DMs Guild) are bringing back old books as Print on Demand versions,
  • More good news: Frank is bringing back Empyrea/Aquaria!
  • More bad news: Frank can not use any Aquaria elements created for the TSR products he created for TSR.
So, I'm wondering on my best options here.

Should I ignore old-school Aquaria stuff and just buy the new Empyrea stuff?

Should I try to get the old-school stuff and hope that Frank makes "holes" in the new material that allow the old stuff to fit?

Should I try to convert old BECMI stuff (or new BECMI stuff) to 3rd Edition?

Or should I try to retroconvert the new 5th Edition stuff to 3rd Edition?

(And would a Pathfinder stretch goal - a hypothetical one - be easier for me to work with than a 5e or BECMI Empyrea book?)
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Re: Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by ghendar » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:13 pm

By old school stuff you are thinking of Egg of the Phoenix and the R modules, correct? (is there anything else??) The R modules are quite pricey as you probably already know. Egg of the Phoenix is now starting to climb in value but much more affordable.

The hypothetical Pathfinder stretch goal might be your least work intensive option. I can't comment on converting from 5e to 3e or from BECMI to 3e.

[EDIT] You can get Egg of the Phoenix PDF on Drive Thru RPG for $4.95
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/170 ... ix-1e?it=1
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Re: Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by Havard » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:09 pm

ghendar wrote:By old school stuff you are thinking of Egg of the Phoenix and the R modules, correct? (is there anything else??)
Here's a list of things that Frank said are part of Empyrea/Aquaria from TSR, Eldritch Ent and other publishers.

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Re: Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by ghendar » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:36 pm

Ah, thanks. I forgot about some of that stuff
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Re: Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by Havard » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:47 pm

Big Mac wrote:So, I'm wondering on my best options here.

Should I ignore old-school Aquaria stuff and just buy the new Empyrea stuff?

Should I try to get the old-school stuff and hope that Frank makes "holes" in the new material that allow the old stuff to fit?
I'm leaning towards the second option here. Even if they aren't holes as such, I think combining older and new material can make for lots of wonderful discussions here on The Piazza. Combining seemingly contradictory material has been providing lots of interesting discussion in the Mystara community for ages. I am hoping the same will be true for the upcoming Empyrea material.




Should I try to convert old BECMI stuff (or new BECMI stuff) to 3rd Edition?

Or should I try to retroconvert the new 5th Edition stuff to 3rd Edition?

(And would a Pathfinder stretch goal - a hypothetical one - be easier for me to work with than a 5e or BECMI Empyrea book?)
I tend to think of rules as one thing and the setting of something else. If you prefer 3rd Edition, just convert to that edition. Converting from 5E to 3E should not be too hard, although any conversion to 3E will involve some work, at least if you aren't up to hand waving a bunch of stuff.

I dont think much of the specific Aquaria material is BECMI; most of it will be AD&D 1st/2nd Edition, but I suppose a whole bunch of BECMI material from the core rules and additional material by Frank might have been lifted from Frank's campaign or at least playtested there. Good thing for you is a bunch of stuff has already been converted to 3E. Check Pandius.com for Monsters etc.

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Re: Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by ExTSR » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:25 pm

It is important to note that the continents involved are widely separate, and have no regular interaction (the Solnor is larger than the Pacific, Technology is not available to help, and the Sef stand in the way, rulers of the Real World [as they call it; they have little regard for land-dwellers]).

This is an all-new story, not a re-use of the same old (wonderful) toys.
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Re: Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:07 pm

ghendar wrote:By old school stuff you are thinking of Egg of the Phoenix and the R modules, correct? (is there anything else??) The R modules are quite pricey as you probably already know. Egg of the Phoenix is now starting to climb in value but much more affordable.

The hypothetical Pathfinder stretch goal might be your least work intensive option. I can't comment on converting from 5e to 3e or from BECMI to 3e.

[EDIT] You can get Egg of the Phoenix PDF on Drive Thru RPG for $4.95
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/170 ... ix-1e?it=1
Thanks. I'm waiting for that to come out on Print on Demand. But I would also want to know what Jennell Jaquays changed in I12 Egg of the Phoenix. If Frank is going to revert to the pre-TSR Aquaria campaign, for his new Empyrea Kickstarter that's going to mean that some of Jennell Jaquays's canon conflicts with the new Empyrea canon. (I still might be able to use Jennell's stuff, but I'm going to have to know what I'm dealing with, so that I don't make blind mistakes.)

I'm hoping that DMs Guild put up the R1-R4 series of modules, so that I can buy Print on Demand copies of those too.
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Re: Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:16 pm

Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:So, I'm wondering on my best options here.

Should I ignore old-school Aquaria stuff and just buy the new Empyrea stuff?

Should I try to get the old-school stuff and hope that Frank makes "holes" in the new material that allow the old stuff to fit?
I'm leaning towards the second option here. Even if they aren't holes as such, I think combining older and new material can make for lots of wonderful discussions here on The Piazza. Combining seemingly contradictory material has been providing lots of interesting discussion in the Mystara community for ages. I am hoping the same will be true for the upcoming Empyrea material.
Well, my main issue with the old stuff is the high prices for buying dead tree copies.

If I'm going to have to pay a lot of money to get Aquaria stuff, I'd rather be putting that into Frank Mentzer's pocket, so that he can develop new stuff, that be putting it into the pocket of an eBay bandit. And I can't afford to fight collectors to get things.

So it might be that I just buy the new stuff and come back to the TSR stuff later. (I've still got a couple of Eldritch Ent products for Aquaria that I need to pick up. Again, I'd rather help Eldritch Ent than an eBay bandit.)
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Should I try to convert old BECMI stuff (or new BECMI stuff) to 3rd Edition?

Or should I try to retroconvert the new 5th Edition stuff to 3rd Edition?

(And would a Pathfinder stretch goal - a hypothetical one - be easier for me to work with than a 5e or BECMI Empyrea book?)
I tend to think of rules as one thing and the setting of something else. If you prefer 3rd Edition, just convert to that edition. Converting from 5E to 3E should not be too hard, although any conversion to 3E will involve some work, at least if you aren't up to hand waving a bunch of stuff.

I dont think much of the specific Aquaria material is BECMI; most of it will be AD&D 1st/2nd Edition, but I suppose a whole bunch of BECMI material from the core rules and additional material by Frank might have been lifted from Frank's campaign or at least playtested there. Good thing for you is a bunch of stuff has already been converted to 3E. Check Pandius.com for Monsters etc.
Pandius.com is good stuff. I think I'm going to keep an eye on the Kickstarter. It might be that, if it becomes stupidly successful, that they add support for other editions as stretch goals. And maybe I can throw in my hat for 5e, but switch out for Pathfinder, if that gets added. :)

I guess that the Kickstarter is now so close, that I'm not too likely to see cheap copies of the old books before it gets done.

(Considering that Frank said that the RPGA modules do belong to TSR, I might go see if I can bother DriveThru RPG and encourage them to put those adventures on sale - and make an Aquaria category, if they do not already have one. :twisted: )
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Re: Using Empyrea/Aquaria with 3rd Edition Greyhawk

Post by Big Mac » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:23 pm

ExTSR wrote:It is important to note that the continents involved are widely separate, and have no regular interaction (the Solnor is larger than the Pacific, Technology is not available to help, and the Sef stand in the way, rulers of the Real World [as they call it; they have little regard for land-dwellers]).

This is an all-new story, not a re-use of the same old (wonderful) toys.
Thanks Frank.

It sounds like the control mechanism that you and Gary worked out all those years ago means that I can use any sort of Aquaria/Empyrea stuff with any sort of Greyhawk stuff.

I guess I will stop worrying about it and just grab what is around.
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