Monday, January 13, 2014

Is D&D Next is Compatible With AD&D 1e "Out of the Box" - Wizards May be Saying So

Dungeons of Dread (S1-4) and Against the Slave Lords (A0-4) are listed as usable with D&D Next or have conversions for download.

When you follow the links for the two above, there are numerous download links, but none for conversions.

So, will the final version of Next be AD&D 1e (or a clone) with a bunch of bells and whistles as options?

Or is WotC incapable of having a website that is updated and accurate? They still have a link to the playtest documents, but you can no longer download them. Sloppy.

Perhaps this is more sloppiness. Or maybe it's an attempt to assimilate the OSR.


  1. I'd guess sloppiness. But then, I could just be being mean.

    I'm playing with the Next playtest documents now, and while you could easily run the classic modules as adventures, I think they would need a bit more conversion than you would need if using one of the retro-clones like LL or S&W. I'd guess it would be about the same as using them with C&C - possibly a bit more conversion necessary, but not much.

    So yes, you likely could just run the modules straight and convert on the fly, if you knew both the contents of the modules well and the Next rule set equally well.

  2. WotC has released D&D Next bestiaries for both those books, so they've already been converted to Next rules. In fact, the WotC convention packet right now is A0: Danger at Darkshelf Quarry from Against the Slave Lords, which comes with the 1e adventure plus rules to convert everything to Next.

    1. I was going to mention that those are included in the playtest.. They also took the original Caves of Chaos and converted it to Next.. I'm thinking there may be more to just re-releasing those old modules then to just satisfy the Old School peeps..

  3. 5E is balanced against the 1E/2E method of progression which means yes, it's easy enough to convert on the fly so long as you understand the two editions enough to make the right call (i.e. 1E save vs. poison means a 5E constitution check). I suspect that any monster which appeared in 1E will also appear in 5E in a similar "range of expected use" as well, based on the playtest bestiary.

    But yeah, what Lord Gwydion said: converting from 1E to 5E will be about as big of a deal as going from 1E to C&C. Maybe les since C&C still has SIEGE mechanics to create additional odd scaling issues and 5E's bounded accuracy and nearly flat progression means that you can have tougher, dirtier games at higher levels.

    As for the website: sloppy, I guess? The playtest packet had the conversion material for the modules in question, but they announced that was going offline a few weeks back, and I would have thought they'd disable/update references it to indicate such. OTOH WotC shuts down for much of December but it is January so....yeah.

  4. There are very detailed (from 7/TOH to 77 pages/AtSL) Bestiary Conversion PDF files for Against the Slave Lords and Dungeons of Dread in the last versions of the D&D Next Playtest Kit.

  5. Is this their (WotC) idea of a "new edition"..? To hammer out conversions of vintage material for a lightly revamped rules system? I find myself asking, why do I need to worry, when the originals are just fine the way they are?

    1. Actually I think you are looking at it from the opposite direction. Re-release the originals and the allow you to play them with whatever edition you like by giving you conversion documents.

  6. OK. That st least sounds better. It still begs the question of why one would want to change rule sets. In the past there has typically been something different about the new rules given as a reason to make the change, even going back to 1e vs. 2e. I guess that would be the real question.. If D&D Next is going to be released in tandem with these adaptations that are backward compatible for each old rule set, then why bother buying D&D Next, unless there is something really good about it to attract the customer base. That is something I have not seen in D&D Next yet. Didn't really see it with 4e, either.


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