Converting D&D Stat Blocks to WFRP 2E

D&D stat blocks run along these lines:

OrcHD 1; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 by weapon, usually spear (1d6) or scimitar (1d8); Move 9; Save 17; AL C;CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

and I need them to look more like:

Ork Stat Block - WFRP 2E

Well; sorta.  A lot of the stuff in that target (WFRP) statblock just doesn’t matter; if it did, it’s significant enough that we wouldn’t be using a quick conversion to get it, or it’d be inferrable from the context the source (OSR) statline is presented in.

Do we really care that Orcs have Ride or Swim, Scale Sheer Surface, etc.?  Maybe… but if we did, we’d probably already know that.

WS, BS, S, T, Ag, Int, WP, Fel – Is this NPC poor/average/above average?  If their HD is < 5, use 20/25/30, set one stat to 40.  If their HD is >= 5, use 20/30/40, set one stat to 50.

A – Calculate W, divide by 10, rounding down.

W – If their is HD < 5, use ((HD-1) *4) + 12 If their HD is >=5, use ((HD-5)*6) + 30.

SB, TB – Derived from S, T.

M – Divide the listed Move by 3, rounding up.

Mag – 0 if not a spellcaster.  Fruity spell-like abilities or whatever don’t count for this; just let that stuff go off.  If they’re an honest-to-Chaos spellcaster: divide their HD by 3, rounding up, capped at 4.

IP, FP – Not relevant.

Skills – Most will be irrelevant or inferrable.  If they’re sneaky, they should have Concealment & Silent Move, for example.  If they’re fighty, they should probably have Dodge Blow (every WFRP NPC certainly seems to).  I wouldn’t even bother writing it down.

Talents – These are all irrelevant or inferable.

Armor Points – (AC-12)/2 for LotFP, rounding up.  (10-AC)/2 for S&W descending, rounding down.  Use your instincts about locations; some locations might have fewer Armor Points than this.

Weapons – Melee , Thrown Weapons: damage is SB + (# dice rolled -1).  Other Ranged Weapons: damage is # dice rolled + (die type/3), rounding down.  Infer whether or not the attack should be Impact (and maybe Tiring or Slow), Fast (and maybe Precise), Shrapnel, or Snare.

This is fuzziest, sloppiest part, honestly.  Use your gut.

Obviously, this isn’t perfect.

Comparing the results of the WFRP 2E Orc statblock to what I get when I convert the S&W statblock gets me:

     WS  BS  S   T   Ag  Int WP  Fel
WFRP 35  35  35  45  25  25  30  20  
S&W  30  20  30  40  20  20  30  20 
     A   W   SB  TB  M   Mag IP  FP
WFRP 1   12  3   4   4   0   0   0
S&W  1   12  3   3   3   0   -   -

WFRP Head 1, Arms 1, Body 3, Legs 0
S&W  All 2

WFRP Choppa (+4 Round 1, +3 after)
S&W  Scimitar (+3, Impact)

The Orc is dumber, slower, weaker, clumsier, less tough and a lot worse at shooting (because, come on, Warhammer Orcs & Orks are bad shots).  The converted Choppa probably does a smidge more damage in the first round.  But that’s okay; If I cared that much about it, I’d build the NPC from the ground up.  All I’m trying to do here is convert one set of stats to another with a minimum amount of effort.

Not perfect, but good enough.

Another example:

Hill GiantHD 8+2; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 weapon (2d8); Move 12; Save 8; AL C; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Throw boulders.

     WS  BS  S   T   Ag  Int WP  Fel
WFRP 33  25  69  59  18  14  24  14  
S&W  40  30  50  40  20  20  30  20 
     A   W   SB  TB  M   Mag IP  FP
WFRP 5   48  6   5   6   0   0   0
S&W  4   48  5   4   4   0   -   -

WFRP Head 0, Arms 0, Body 1, Legs 1
S&W  All 3

WFRP Hand Weapon (+6, Impact)
S&W  Hand Weapon (+6, Impact), Throw Boulders (SB+4, Impact, Shrapnel)

I’m comparing a Warhammmer Giant to a Hill Giant.  The differences here are somewhat greater: but not by too much.  The only real problematic (>10%) differences here are in Strength and Toughness… but even then, they’re mitigated by damage and armor; the numbers work out the same.

Also, although I’m primarily coming at this from an OSR-y point of view (I’ve got some Lamentations & Swords & Wizardry modules I’d like to run and maybe I’d like to run them with WFRP 2E), I think it’d hold well enough for other versions of D&D.  Things probably get a little wobbly with the 3.x stack, but I think it’d hold up okay enough (using Level instead of HD, etc).

I don’t have the time on hand to do this properly, but I feel like I have to at least post a half-assed JsFiddle link that does the calculations for you: here’s the page and here’s the fiddle.

Thoughts?  Comments?

  • krae

    Each 1HD should give +5WS from whatever baseline you set; a 1HD monster has about a 50% chance of hitting an unarmored opponent, a 6HD has a 75%. Some exceptional combatants list in their stat block “attacks as an N HD creature”, which means, among other things, an improved hit probability (i.e. improved WS).
    WS and BS can be averaged or whatever you want… there’s just the one ThAC0 in D&D.

    • That’s certainly one way of doing it; it’s actually the first approach I looked at.

      To-hit in D&D isn’t _exactly_ equivalent to WS in WFRP 2E, though. For one, the former is hitting & getting through armor and the latter just hitting. More significantly, it doesn’t scale nearly as linearly.

      For example: the Giant above. A Hill Giant is 8 HD, so it hits an unarmored opponent 85% of the time. A Warhammer Giant (for which I think a Hill Giant is the best analog), has a WS of 33%. Conversely, the Hill Giant will do an average of 9 damage, which will pulp a 1st level fighter.. while the Warhammer Giant will do an average of 13.2 damage (putting aside Ulric’s Fury, etc), only 7.2 of which will get through Johann Schmidt’s TB 3 & Body Armor of 3), which is just a hair over half of his Wounds. That doesn’t seem quite as bad, but the Hill Giant’s making one attack and the Warhammer Giant’s making 5. Before you start factoring the situational modifiers WFRP calls for, the WFRP Giant is hitting about twice as often but killing about the same number of starting characters of a fighting-man disposition.

      So, like I said: they’re not quite equivalent. And the things that drive that non equivalence are why I’m more comfortable with and would rather use WFRP.

      Flipping through the Old World Bestiary turns up much flatter curve in terms of WS increase. By distribution, WSs in the 30’s is probably the most frequent, despite being spread across a fairly varied range of HD-worth of creatures.

      Heck, there’s a pretty big distribution across equivalent sorts of creatures: Trolls, Minotaurs, Manticores are all 6HD, but are WS 37, 42, 54 respectively.

      WFRP Dragons have a WS of 59, though I’m not sure what HD version they best map to.

      It’s also a weird curve: the vast majority of things are in the 20-40 range, a couple in the 50 range, and then a hop up to the 60 range for some serious badasses. I think 66 is the high-water mark in the OWB. I’m not sure that I’ve seen any in the 70 range, but all of a sudden Greater Daemons are in the 80 range (90 for the Bloodthirster!). So it’s not a slow linear curve, it’s not a logarithmic curve, it’s like this weird, burpy and jagged progression up.

      Anyway, that’s how I settled on the rules above: If I’m allowed to say “fiction first” without sounding too Dungeon World-wanky, I figured that letting how the NPC should work drive the stats and then use that to set the value based on HD band. I came up with numbers that looked right-ish for 1HD creatures, numbers that looked right for high-HD creatures (the Giant, Griffons), interpolated what stuff looked like in between, and spot-checked my results against other entries.

      It certainly falls apart past 10, but at that point it’s kind of out of WFRP-appropriate territory.

      On reflection, there’s probably a case to be made for rolling up some math around WS, S, and A to some number that maps to HD (“For each HD, you get 40 points, you can spend a point for 1% of WS or S or 20 points for +1” or something, but that leads down a path towards something far more fiddly than what I want, which is something I can say “HD is this, it’s good/okay/poor at X, so X is Y.”

      (Sorry if I rambled a more than bit: I kind of wanted to talk all this sort of thing out, but didn’t want my thinking out loud to clutter up the actual conversion rules.)

      • krae

        Fair points, all. I hadn’t considered the damage negation at all, in fact!