I have mentioned before that I intend to run Red Hand of Doom for my group of friends that are not fans of 4E in about six months time. Since they are into Pathfinder, I figure I will give it a shot to run in Pathfinder. Last night I spend some prep time working on stat blocks for the bad guys in the adventure, and in doing so, sprinkling some things that I really like about 4E DMing into them to make my life easier without totally unbalancing the encounters.
Simplified Stat Blocks:
- Only include what is needed for combat. This means dumping skills, spells, feats, magic items, mundane items, etc that won't be used in combat
- Use 4E style recharge mechanics. Instead of something recharging in 2d4 rounds, it will recharge on a 6 (as an example... I need to work out an odds chart to figure this out more but). The idea is you don't have to remember if it recharged or not, only that it had been used
- Break down objects into the following categories: Senses, Offense, Defense, Spells, and Statistics
- Make everything uniform across all stat blocks, and color code the Offense and Defense areas for easy reference during play
- Simplify the attack block by using icons from 4E
- Adding check boxes for spells, magic items and powers that have been consumed
That stat block for the Hell Hound is something that I could work from in the heat of a game and not have to reference a single book.
Going beyond the stat blocks and thinking about the adventure itself, there are several areas where I think a Skill Challenge would be an excellent addition to the campaign. The cost for failure could be something as simple as it takes an extra day to do something (this is a big deal in Red Hand of Doom). Example might be trying to find Vraath Keep, or negotiations with the Tiri Kitor, or the forest giant. Traps and hazards abound in this adventure too, it will be fun to rework those into a more 4E style of play (thinking of the Ghost Lords Den here).
The conversion is slow going, I have done the first two encounters only, but time is on my side for now.
(Here is a more advanced stat block to see what a spell caster will look like)