Monday, July 4, 2011

Conversion Laziness

I like Dragon Star.
If you aren't familiar, Dragon Star is a campaign setting for D&D 3.0 that was put out by Fantasy Flight games sometime around 2002 or 2003. DS is basically D&D in space. Dragons rule an intergalactic empire, with each color of dragon getting 10,000 years to be at the helm of said empire. The default setting of DS takes place at the beginning of the red dragons' rule, with red dragons being first of the chromatics. This means that the empire has about 50,000 years of being ruled by evil dragons ahead of them.... (red, blue, green, black, and white) The drow are the secret police of the red dragons, orcs are legitimate galactic citizens, sorcerers are chic and wizards are looked down upon somewhat. (You have to learn your magic from books?)I'm not a big fan of the thousands of years of time scale, but that is easily ignored.

What I'd like is for Dragon Star to be converted to Pathfinder. This is unlikely to happen, as Fantasy Flight dropped all their d20 stuff with the advent of 3.5, if I recall correctly. Most of the races and classes were the same a 3.0 and could therefore be updated pretty easily, although there are some "modernizations" that would have to be converted. (For instance elves get +2 to Science{Biology} and monks can dodge bullets/lasers instead of deflecting arrows)The classes would have to be "filled in", a la Pathfinder's policy of no "dead levels." This would include filling in the two new classes introduced in DS, the pilot and the mechanist. I'd also have to convert Dragon Star's unique race, Soulmechs.

...the thing is, I'm lazy. I want an updated version of Dragon Star, but I don't want to do it myself. There was one website I found where a dude had begun the undertaking, but he hasn't updated it in over a year, and there really isn't that much done in the conversion process.

Another thing I would like to see is an adaptation of d20 Modern to the Pathfinder mechanics. There seems to be such a product available as a PDF, but y'all know how I feel about PDFs. I want a rule book, dammit. Mainly I want this because there was once a d20 Modern promotional mini-game called Shadowchasers (kind of a hybrid of D&D with Buffy the Vampire Slayer) that I ran a one shot of back in the day and always wanted to revisit. I'd want cleaned up mechanics (it predates the actual release of d20 Modern, having appeared in a Dungeon magazine), but I want to use the original article. (Which I still have. It was later turned into a setting in WotC's Urban Arcana sourcebook, but I prefer the simplistic charm of the magazine article, personally...)

...although, I'm not sure that Modern Pathfinder is really necessary. Josh is of the opinion that True20 could do it better. (I think he also prefers T20 to d20M) I own a copy of True20, having found it for a steal long ago, but I've only read about halfway through it. I think it could handle Shadowchasers with a little TCL, but then we get back to problem numero uno: I. Am. Lazy.

I have never finished a conversion from one game to another. I wanted to use FUDGE for both Steve Jackson's In Nomine and Dream Pod 9's Tribe 8. I wanted to convert RIFTS to Stars Without Number. It has been suggested to me that I convert RIFTS to some iteration of D&D (mostly to preserve my own sanity). I have not finished any of these projects, unfortunately... conversion sounds so easy until I actually sit down to do it.

For now, perhaps I should just focus on the two campaigns I am running and wait to work on the conversions when Mike takes over my Sunday slot. I can keep tinkering, a little at a time, in the margins of my battered notebook.


  1. Dragonstar was a great game that got messed up by timing. 3.5 and D20 Modern came out right about the time DS would have hit its stride. At least that's what I recall. I've briefly ponderend a Dragonstar Stars Without Number Conversion...

  2. Dragonstars Without Number... love it!

    BTW, to keep you updated: Kevin Crawford emailed me back and said that Mongoose is going to publish Skyward Steel and Polychrome with no new content, but they will likely be more expensive under Mongoose... he suggested that I snag print copies before fall if I want them for ten bucks. I intend to do so when I next get paid.

  3. Thanks for the info! I'll definately be picking those up soon. : 0