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Skip Navigation LinksHigh Fantasy HERO>Conversions>D&D>D&D 3rd Edition>Eight Conversion Steps>Trappings
STEP 5: Gear, Followers, and Property

D&D 3e to HERO System Conversion Steps

Step 1: Available Points Step 2: Characteristics Step 3: Character Race Step 4: Character
Step 5: Gear, Followers,
Step 6: Disadvantages Step 7: Finishing
Step 8: Character
Some D&D 3e Characters collect a lot of Magic Items in their careers. Others acquire holdings of various sizes, or attract personal armies flocking to march under their banner. Some others have special pets, servants, or companions such as a Wizard's apprentice or familiar, a Priest's acolyte, or a Knight's Paige. Fortunately the HERO System provides a multitude of ways to represent such things.
NOTE: If creating a new character consult the Character Creation guidelines instead of this Conversion Document.
Mundane Equipment
Mundane, aka Normal, Equipment, such as may be bought and sold in your typical store, does not cost Character Points (contrary to what some believe, only spectacular or special items must be bought with Character Points in the HERO System).
When converting a Character into the HERO System from D&D 3e match the items the Character has with equivalent items listed on the Fantasy HERO Equipment list. Similarly match your Character's mundane weapons and armor on whatever weapons and armor list your GM is using for Fantasy HERO, and you are done. For instance Chainmail in D&D offers a AC bonus, while Chainmail in the HERO System grants 6 PD / 6 ED but are considered to be equivalent to one another.
The Fantasy HERO Price list, the D&D 3e Price list, a custom list, or an arbitrary economy determined by the GM are all valid means of determining how much things cost in the campaign setting. You should check with your GM to determine what kind of economy (typically gold or silver based), Equipment list, and Weapons & Armor chart they intend to use.
The following chart will assist you in finding HERO System equivalents for your Character's D&D 3e mundane weapons by damage.
1, 1d2 1 pip Killing Attack
1d4 1/2D6 Killing Attack
1d4+1 1D6-1 Killing Attack
1d6 1D6 Killing Attack
2d4 1D6+1 Killing attack
1d8 1 1/2D6 Killing Attack
1d10 2D6-1 Killing Attack
2d6, 1d12 2D6 Killing Attack
1d20 3D6 Killing Attack
The following chart will assist you in finding HERO System equivalents for your Character's D&D 3e mundane armor by comparing Armor Class to DEF.
D&D 3e
(PHB3e pg 104)
(FH5e pg 190)
+0 0
+1 1
+2 2
+3 3
+4 4
+5 5
+6 6
+7 7
+8 8
Magic Items
Magic Items will be a subject of major concern for most converted Characters of higher level. There is a good deal of coverage given to this subject in the Campaign Guidelines area, but as a general rule Magic Items are built as Power constructs via a Focus of some form and with either the Independent or Non-Recoverable Charges Limitation applied.
All Magic Items are "separate" from Characters; all Magic Items can be taken away permanently from a Character, and except in occasions when a limited form of Independent (such as Usable Only by Wizards) or Required Skill Roll is used, all characters can use all Magic Items.
Generally speaking you should allow your GM to convert any Magic Items your Character is bringing into the HERO System. Converting such items is a simple matter of modeling the effects possible with the item in D&D 3e using HERO System Powers.
NOTE: This conversion resource takes the liberty of defining how Magic Items work and other parts of the Conversion assume that these guidelines are in place. The subject is covered in significant detail in the Magic Item Guidelines document which is intended primarily for GM's. Individual GM's may vary on how they want to resolve some or all of these issues, so check with your GM first. The GM has total control over Magic Item proliferation, commonality, and design. Magic Items can have a huge impact upon the campaign setting and should be carefully watched to achieve the desired balance of power.
Estates, Towers, Property, and Locations
Some D&D 3e Characters own some form of real estate, which are typically referred to as Demesnes in Fantasy HERO terms. For the most part property, castles, wizard towers, and the like should be built using the rules for Bases.
Fantasy HERO for the HERO System 5th Edition has been released, and it includes quite a bit of coverage regarding Bases in a Fantasy context, including options for Demesnes and other genre appropriate considerations.
Animal Companions, Steeds, Cohorts, Henchmen, Familiars
Some D&D 3e Characters have followers or companions that can be quite capable Characters in their own right. For the most part if such a secondary Character is unique or special compared to the norm, the Player Character should pay for them using the Follower Perk in the HERO System. However, there are options. Not all "followers" or "companions" need necessarily be bought using the Follower Perk.
The most straightforward (and expensive) method is to simply buy them using the appropriately named Followers Perk. Considering the mythical worth of Honor among Thieves, this is probably the safest option for a Thief with hanger-on's, as followers are much less likely to backstab you. This is the method to use for a cohort or similar.
Couple of Followers: 2 Followers (Base 50, Max Disadvantages 75)
Real Cost: 15 Points
Bunch of Followers: 128 Followers (Base 50, Max Disadvantages 75)
Real Cost: 45  Points
The GM might be persuaded to treat some Followers that don't really do anything for the Character directly as Story Elements completely under their own control.
GM Puppets: The NPCs who currently like me
Real Cost: 0 Points
Similarly, if you have nominal Followers associated with your Character but they don't actually do anything for them, then don't worry about them; they are likely just background flavor.
Stray NPC's: Stand ins and extras
Real Cost: 0 Points
If your Followers just hang out "back at the guild quarters" or "back at the fortress" or the like, and you only communicate with them when you need something, then the GM might let you buy them as Contacts. This might also work out for some more autonomous "knowledge workers" like snitches, fences, and procurers.
My Peon Peeps: Contact (Contact has: useful Skills or resources, Very Good relationship with Contact), Organization Contact (+2) (18 Active Points) 12-
Real Cost: 18 Points
If your Followers mostly just get in the way and/or force you to take action to fix their problems, defend them, pay them, save them from rampaging dragons and the like, they are probably DNPC's. However, because a massive Disadvantage can accrue quickly from this, most GM's would probably want to put a logical limit on it. This sort of "Follower" is solidly in the GM's purview for deciding when they are helpful (rarely) and when they are troublesome (more often).
Too many Points and too reoccurring: Dependent NPC: Followers 8- (Incompetent; Group DNPC: x64 DNPCs; Useful non-combat position or skills)
Real Cost: -40 points
About Right: Dependent NPC: Followers 5- (Incompetent; Group DNPC: "a bunch of DNPCs"; Useful non-combat position or skills)
Real Cost: -25 points
Money can buy you friends....until it runs out. The GM may allow you to convert some or all followers into hirelings, who are paid for in gold rather than character points. Since each setting is different, and role-playing could (and should) have a massive impact on this it is difficult to guestimate how much money is appropriate, but a simple rule of the thumb would be the Real Cost of each Follower (treated as an individual) in gold per year.
Friendship Tax: 128 Followers (Base 50, Max Disadvantages 75)
Real Cost: 0 points
Monetary Cost: ~5760 Gold Coins per year
Exactly as followers paid for using the Follower perk, hirelings have write ups, can take damage and be killed, and so on. However, they lack plot protection. Just like mundane equipment such as a rope or other trappings, they can be removed from play by the GM due to circumstances of the ongoing plot with no promise that they will be returned later. They might even be paid more by an adversary or competing interest to betray you! Roleplaying can and should have a significant impact on this sort of thing of course. The important thing to keep in mind is that hirelings are loyal to their purses, not their employer.
Animals deserve special consideration as they can be particularly important to multiple types of character concepts, ranging from a Cavalier's Steed to a Druid's menagerie of furry friends to a Witch's Familiar.
In the case of Companions that are just trained animals lacking mystical or extraordinary abilities, it should be permissible to buy a generic version using the Bestiary write up (or equivalent, such as a mildly improved version) for that type of animal with money rather than having to take them as Followers. Truly unique, exceptional, or significant animals should not use this option however; they are better represented as actual Followers...particularly if they are sentient.
Purchasing a trained or noteworthy animal in this way will rely heavily on the economics of the GM's particular setting and the relative exoticness of the creature in question. However, a useful rule of thumb is simply the Real Cost of each individual animal plus or minus a premium for how exotic or "special" the animal is relative to the market in which they are purchased.
D&D Animal Hireling Cost Multiples
Exoticness Premium
Very Common -10%
Common +0%
Uncommon +10%
Very Uncommon +25%
Rare +50%
Very Rare +75%
For instance, in a given setting a particular breed of horse from a specific region might be renowned as great runners, swifter than other breeds. If purchased where they are bred they might be sold as Uncommon, but the further away from that region the more exotic and thus expensive they would be relative to the going rate for a horse in that area.
Exactly as an Animal Companion paid for as a Follower, animals purchased as hirelings have write ups, can take damage and be killed, and so on. However, they lack plot protection. Just like mundane equipment such as a rope or other trappings, they can be stolen or otherwise removed from play by the GM due to circumstances of the ongoing plot with no promise that they will be returned later.
A player may still choose to take a mundane Animal Companion as a Follower, paid for with points, rather than treat them as a commodity paid for with money. In this case the GM should afford the player some latitude to distinguish such an Animal Companion in an appropriate fashion.
For instance if a Character were to pay Character Points for a Warhorse, then it would be appropriate for the GM to allow the player to take the Bestiary write up for a Warhorse and personalize it by making their Warhorse extra fast or strong or tough, or what have you.
Such animals will general display loyalty or affinity for the character that paid points for them, and have plot protection as they are not a general resource. The classic trope of the horse that comes when it is whistled for and wont let anyone other than their master ride them is of this sort.
Supernatural, abnormal, unique, sentient, or otherwise extraordinary creatures, beasts, animals, etc should be represented using the Follower Perk. Such Animal Companions generally have at least one significant ability that is unusual and / or powerful. As always the GM has final approval of any such entity converted into the HERO System.
Depending upon the individual Followers involved for your particular character you can mix it up. Take the useful heist-capable adventuring cohorts as followers, the slack-jawed knee breaker red shirts as hirelings, and the useless comic relief characters the GM is so amused by as Story Elements or DNPC's.
This will generally require additional Character Sheets for each Follower be created, but in some cases a Bestiary reference may be sufficient (such as for some Animal Companions or Steeds). Seek your GM's approval and assistance in creating these Companions and Followers.
Grandfather Clause / Free Points
For characters that are being converted into the HERO System Magic Items, Bases, and Followers that the character had in D&D 3e are not paid for in Character Points. Simply build them in the HERO System using the rules for Magic Item creation, Base construction, and Followers, calculate their total Cost, and add them to the character. 
The reason for this is simple; due to the wide range of difference between the possessions of D&D 3e Characters, it is not possible to forecast a Level to Point conversion that would accurately account for such variance. Also such things as the Leadership Feat, and various Druidic options for Animal Companions would be nearly impossible to squeeze in on the points available without inflating the conversion across the board.
Of course, the GM should approve all conversions of Magic Items, Bases, and Followers to prevent abuse.
As a rule of thumb a character with Magic Items, Bases, and / or Followers that tally up with a Real Cost equal to their ((Character Level-1) *10) or less are within acceptable limits for a High Power, High Magic campaign.
This total does not include Items like Scrolls, Potions, and other Magic Items built with Non Recoverable Charges. If a Character goes over that limit a GM might want to take steps to purloin some swag or make the Character pay for the difference.
EXAMPLE: Garza Fael is a 15th Level Fighter who has a Cohort, a gaggle of soldier followers, a magnificent steed, and a respectable Castle with a modest estate. Then of course there is his magical armor and sword.
Regardless, so long as the Real Cost total of the HERO version of all this swag is 140 points or less, Garza doesn't have to pay any Character Points for the converted HERO System equivalents.
You should adhere to converting what your Character actually had in D&D 3e; these phantom points are not intended to pad a Character out, they are intended to allow an as-complete-as-possible conversion without totally unbalancing the point totals of other Characters that do no have as many Magic Items, Bases, and Followers.
On the other hand if you feel your Character is placed at a strong disadvantage due to lacking a lot of material goods in D&D 3e, appeal to your GM's sense of fair play; perhaps they will throw you a bone.
When finished, add the cost of Gear, Followers, and Bases but keep the total separate from your Characters other abilities for now, and move on to Step 6.