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.)
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.