5e Slumbering Tsar and Rappan Athuk?

I know they would be colossal undertakings, but is there any chance either of these will be updated for 5e one day?

I guess there's always a chance. We're still trying to get Tsar updated for S&W, though (my understanding is that it's in progress). However, I can say that neither of those are high on our priority list for 5e right now. That said, if there's enough clamor for them it would make it much more likely.

As you noted both of those would be colossal undertakings not only in the conversion itself but also in the huge monetary and company resource costs associated with the conversion, layout, and printing. For books like that to be worthwhile from a financial standpoint there has to be a fairly large number of them printed, so there would need to be a significant market demand to justify such a printing. Right now we have not seen that level of demand. Of course, that could change and we would work to adapt accordingly. I can assure you that we like to sell as many of our books as possible, so there is no reluctance to do those from anything other than a cost-benefit standpoint. They're just so big and expensive that they have a pretty high bar for entry into production.

Bottom line: If you and enough others start hollering at us to do them, we'll definitely be listening.

I am in for a S&W version, I have the Pathfinder one already, but would buy again if you convert it....

Thanks for the response!

Makes perfect sense.  Having seen a few kickstarter publishing efforts, I'm impressed at the ambition of getting those two done (the upfront costs must have been painful!), and the subscription-system you used for Slumbering Tsar was a clever way of lining up pre-sales.

While I'd love to have 5e versions of those two on my shelf (I've just started DMing regularly again for the first time in ~28 years and I'm still pulling together material for the campaign), given the recent introduction of 5e it hasn't had time to build up much of a track-record with regard to long-term staying power or even really the size of the population that's adopting it.  So, yeah, putting up a huge chunk of change (and probably thousands of hours of staff-time) to get them out the door would be the height of madness, especially if you still have any unsold Pathfinder copies waiting in the warehouse for new homes.  

If things go well, maybe 5e will hit it big over the next few years, demand will grow, and in 2021 the time will be right for a kickstarter to launch one or both of them.  That's cool, I'm patient and honestly kinda what I expected.

In the meantime, I was wondering if there were plans on doing a .pdf version of them?  Updating is a lot of work and I could see still needing to put in a bunch of time on formatting so you'd be set for a potential future printing, but all told that's probably a lot less money out the door (and a lot less risky, business-wise) than the huge physical printing.  Seems like lower risk and return, though I guess it might be a cannibalization risk.

Anyway, you folks make good stuff and I wish you continued success.

Sure thing. Happy to give what info we can. We've got some more support for 5e lined up. I don't think it's been announced yet, so I can't say anything about it now, but we'll give you some more adventure options for your game.

Pdf-only would remove the print cost but still be a big resource hog on conversion and formatting. We'll wait and see how things go. If the demand it there, I'd love to do them as hardcovers!

michaelsandar's picture

Is there a timetable on the S&W conversion?  This is the first I've heard of it being in progress... and that's incredible news!!!  *happy dance*!

Not that I know of. I just learned about it myself, and I think it is a fan conversion that somebody has decided to do for us (don't quote me on that, my information is sketchy). But it will be cool to have when it's done. :-)

Omote's picture

Count me in as another supporter of S&W product conversions.


Hmm, IMHO I'd prefer if FrogGod kept its focus on Pathfinder first and S&W second. Adding even more systems would just dilute production efforts.

michaelsandar's picture

I'd prefer the other way around, S&W first, then PF... ;)
...but I understand. :)

PF is, so far, our main seller numbers-wise, but S&W has a very strong and loyal core. I don't know that I'd characterize either as being our main focus. For the most part we will be doing everything for both systems except where it just doesn't make sense. So I don't think we really have A "this one first over that one mindset." Our goal is to focus on both, and doing so hasn't interfered with our production efforts through dilution or otherwise that I have seen. Hopefully you guys are seeing the same thing.

Omote's picture

Even though I do not play PF, I have liked the effort put into the S&W side of the product line. I very much appreciate that, and so do my players.


I ended up just buying the Pathfinder version of Slumbering Tsar and since it'll be a while before my players are ready for it (not so much leveling characters, though its a slow moving campaign so that'll take a while too.  More that they're mostly either new or very rusty, and Slumbering Tsar would cut through them like a buzzsaw at this point.  Really, it'll proably have to wait until this campaign wraps up and I start up another one afterwards) I'm going to slowly convert it over to 5e a little bit at a time either in the book or in the .pdf.

I have to say, while the book wasn't cheap, it absolutely deserves its rep for awesome and was worth the price just on entertainment value alone.  I'm not done reading it, but virtually every section I've read so far has had at least one and often more parts that made blurt out "OMFG!  That's awesome!"  And lean back in my chair literally laughing out loud at the creativity and diabolical craftsmanship.  TSR's old Tomb of Horrors *wishes* it was this insidious, and it just goes on and on and on and on without ever taking it down a notch.

Wow! Thanks for the high praise, and thanks for buying it!

Count me in for a 5e conversion!

de.wit.matthias's picture

Jup, I'm also interested in a 5e conversion!

Yes, I would be very interested in a 5th edition version of Rappan Athuk.

Count me in for a 5E version of Rappan Athuk (and Slumbering Tsar....and any other Lost Lands stuff as well!)

I notice that the Quests of Doom kickstarter for 5E has 636 backers for a total of $63,937, where the PF Quests of Doom kickstarter had 545 backers at only $32,349.  It looks like 5E fans are hungry for awesome adventures!

Come and take my money!

People are clamoring for content to run 5e games. Please throw up a Kickstarter I'll be the 1st backer.

Duly noted. Thanks for all the feedback guys! :-)

Noob question, as someone coming back to the hobby after a VERY long time...

What would the conversion of RA to 5e involve? *Not* the physical and employee stuff that's already been mentioned. Really, how much effort would I have to put in converting the (very handsome) hardcover copy into a 5e format? How extensively would the critter power, encounter strength, and other details have to be changed, assuming they need to be? And what am I leaving out here?

Guess it's one of those situations where I'm not even sure what to ask. Any discussion would be welcomed!

michaelsandar's picture

Just spitballing here, but I'd be willing to say it would be easier to base the conversion off of the S&W version of Rappan Athuk.  Check each encounter area - both combat and skill / puzzle based encounters - and get a feel for what the threat level is using the 5e DMG guidelines.  Using those encounter building guidelines, you can build the 5e version at roughly the same difficulty level (or challenge rating).  You'll find (probably) that many of the encounters are either above or below the standard level of the dungeon.  That's ok, it happens from time to time in RA. 

There will definitely be a lot that needs changed.  I've done quite a few conversions from both PF and S&W to 5e, and both leave me feeling a little like I'm starting over.  BUT - 5e's encounter building system is pretty solid, and you can get the 'feel' of an encounter pretty close to the original.

The key is knowing the system whether S&W or Pf that you are converting from and the 5e system you are converting to very well. The effort and difficulty comes down to how meticulously you wish to be along with your mastery of the respective systems. S&W would be excellent for a conversion that you don't want to spend at lot of time on, not the best starting point for a publishable adventure used by others.  There are cool features in the Pathfinder version that are convertable but will require more effort.  Many of the monsters within are in MM or in Fifth Edition Foes. If not, change it to something that is within if you don't wish convert them.  Place DCs from 5 (very easy) to 30 (nearly impossible) as required per 5e DMG. Don't get hung up on having an exact calculation. The strength in S&W is its free-form nature which can be readily available to 5e. In particular, the S&W Challenge Rating (CR) is really only useful for the broad strokes and remember in S&W many of the more dangerous creatures required magic weapons in order to hurt them and also have magic resistance.  RA is also a good candiate because it is particularly stingy with magic items compared to the standard Pathfinder fare.

Under 5e, RA becomes a mostly challenging adventure to a deadly endgame instead of the ridiculously difficult "killer dungeon" for practically all under S&W (or 1e/2e AD&D). Pathfinder is easier but by no means easy due to the superheroic power level of the PCs (A great irony since many Pf fans accused 4e of the same thing) while 5e is at a solid middle ground between the extremes.

You both have been extraordinarily helpful! Thank you!

Not really sure how I feel about 5e's nerfing "requires magic to hit." Still thinking that one out. 

Our DM (who ran us through PF RA a few years ago) did a conversion to 5e that we played until we were defeated at the Upper Temple of Orcus.  Our group found the 5e conversion to be far more challenging than PF (the conversion of black skeletons to 5e foes Stygian Skeletons was a real wake up call).  Our group really enjoyed the additional challenge. We found that traps that are statistically no danger in PF were incredibly effective (Chamber of Eternal Slumber was an early wipe).

We also found that the short rest mechanic worked beautifully allowing us to press the dungeon more agressivly without the 15 min workday issue to everyones enjoyment.  Keeping fingers crossed that this gets a 5e conversion.  Playing it in 5e was like playing it again for the first time.

The very idea of seeing Rappan Athuk converted to 5e gets my excited.  I wouldn't dream of missing an opportunity to purchase this dungeon crawl for some crazy gaming sessions!  Here's hoping I will eventually get that chance!

I picked up the 5E starter box and found it hit a lot of my requirements for a d20 game;  it's got modernized mechanics and layout but it tries to hold to the old school "not everything needs a rule" sensibility.  It's definitely easier to run with smaller and fewer bonuses from multiple sources.

The way the 4E rollout punished third party publishers kept me from jumping on board right away, but after nearly a year I can say that 5E is probably going to be my system of choice when running a modern ruleset.  

I wish Hasbro wasn't the owner of this ruleset, but it's good.  I can't expect Paizo to ever want to lay their amazing IP on a foundation of another company's game system again, but I hope FGG and others will fill that void since they're not as comitted to a rule base.

I need published adventure material that is easier to strip out of the wotc campaign setting--too many compound proper nouns to convert. There are only so many Borbar Greenbottle and Chud Fizzlecaster encounters in the megalopolis of Gemcastle one can bear.  :)

Well, eventhough I'm going to give the DMG's tables a go for my own conversion you could really count on me and my money for BOTH RA and Slumbering TSAR.


Hell, I would buy them even if I no longer played...

Good to know, enanus. We haven't ruled out the possibility at some point in the future. Knowing that the market for it exists, makes all the difference.

Check this out:http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/9/2/9242155/out-of-the-abyss-into-t...

Are we on time to request Cyclopean Deeps conversion added to our current petitions??


Sure! :-)

I just bought the pf versions of RA and sword of air with the intention of converting and running them using 5e but now that I've bought them in wondering if the sword and wizards version would have been easier to convert. What's the collective opinion on this?

Shadow Demon's post above is very on point for your question.

I have the S&W version of Rappan Athuk (just got it this week, in fact!) and plan to convert to D&D 5E. I've barely scratched the surface, but I see very few issues with just doing this:

1. Pick the starting point and choose a dungeon level or two that are connected to this point. I.e., if you start in Zelkor's Ferry, pick The Mouth of Doom and one other connected dungeon level (or even Wilderness area dungeons, if that suits your fancy).

2. Make a cheat sheet for each dungeon level/area that lists Room: monsters, traps/puzzles, treasure. Keep it as shorthand as possible; no need for details at this level.

3. Comb through the cheat sheet, checking with the dungeon level/area's noted Equivalent Level, and if there exists a 5E monster statblock, trap, or treasure that fits, just go with a 1:1 conversion.

4. If it's a monster/trap/treasure with no existing 5E statblock, find the nearest equivalent...even if that means reskinning a monster ("Let's turn this Barrow Wight into a regular Wight, and that Bone Crawler into a Nothic or something"). Do a 1:1 swap.

5. If there's nothing equivalent, or the nearest equivalent is WAY out of whack in terms of challenge rating, and reskinning doesn't work, pick a monster with the right CR and swap out stats until it "feels right." Don't stress about using the Monster Building rules in the DMG to get exact scores.

Once completed for everything you've created a cheat sheet for, then and only then consider running the numbers through (a) the monster builder rules, and (b) the encounter building maths.

Remember that Rappan Athuk is very unforgiving, and not meant to be a "this fight is balanced to your expected level" type of dungeon. There are levels where 6th level players could fight a couple rats, a wererat or two, and then 8 6HD constructs that get near-automatic surprise; balance isn't really a big deal here.

The only other thing to consider with the S&W version is the "1 in 6 chance to find XYZ" that crops up all the time, based on S&W's "perception" rules. In those cases, I just recalculate as DCs:

1 in 6 chance = DC 18

2 in 6 = DC 16

3 in 6 = DC 14

4 in 6 = DC 12

That's clearly not math-correct, but I think it ports over rather nicely considering what 5E's ability score and proficiency bonuses do. You could easily base it on the situation (and your party), too, and go with something closer to 20/18/16/14 or whatever floats your boat. IMHO, the fights are punishing enough in RA, so making the traps and secret stuff a little easier to find is not a problem.

I plan on buying the Pathfinder versions of RA and The Slumbering Tsar for Christmas this year. I am kinda bummed at the amount of books I need in addition to play the 2 adventures though. Just picked up the Pathfinder Core Rulebook and Bestiary 1. If I'm understanding it correctly I still need to get The Complete Tome of Horrors, PF Bestiary 2 & 3, Advanced Players Guide, Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic. I may just go with the S&W version of RA and hope a S&W version of Slumbering Tsar comes out and use my 1st edition rulebooks. I'm very sick with Crohn's disease and money is tight. I would buy 5e versions of both adventures as I could as I've been able to keep up with 5e releases so far. Regardless, keep up the good work guys! =)


michaelsandar's picture

Tome of Horrors should cover all of the mosters... but I don't believe RA and Tsar took anything from Ultimate Combat, Magic, and the APG.  For that matter, if you want it, most of it is available on the Paizo site for free. :)

Thanks for the help! Much appreciated!

Irish, you don't even have to have TOHC to use Tsar. Every monster taken from that book has it's entire stat block included in the adventure text, and most even have their art included. Everything pulled from a Paizo source either has its entire stats included in the text or they are available for free online at http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/.

When you buy a FGG adventure for PF the only thing you should need to run that adventure is either included in the book or is available for free online. You should never have to spend additional money over the price of one of our books in order to be able to use it. As usual, one of our glorious posters will no doubt point out some corner-case exception to this ;-), but I can't think of one and that is, in fact, one of our core philosophies as a company--no hidden costs to use a FGG book--ever.

We would love for a new customer to go out and buy the TOHC and our other books (and many of our customers collect all of our books), but we absolutely don't intend to prey on our customers and trick them into having to buy more books just to use the ones they've got. We don't like that and don't think it's right. So you shouldn't be seeing that with our products.

I hope that's helpful for you and will make you feel a little better about your purchases. :-) Thanks for buying from us!


Thanks Greg! I'm hoping for Christmas to be able to buy Rappan Athuk, The Slumbering Tsar and The Tome of Horrors Complete. It's a ways off but that's what I'm asking for lol. I play D&D with some friends from HS (we're old men now, but started AD&D together in the 80's), and then DM a seperate game with my daughter. Looking forward to challenging those guys and my daughter with those 2 adventures for sure! Thanks for your time =)

Thanks Greg! I'm hoping for Christmas to be able to buy Rappan Athuk, The Slumbering Tsar and The Tome of Horrors Complete. It's a ways off but that's what I'm asking for lol. I play D&D with some friends from HS (we're old men now, but started AD&D together in the 80's), and then DM a seperate game with my daughter. Looking forward to challenging those guys and my daughter with those 2 adventures for sure! Thanks for your time =)

I'll definitely throw my support behind a 5e Rappan Athuk.

I started my group with a Pathfinder run of Tomb of Abysthor (as a forward operating base of the cultists), planning on going to RA from there (counting the temple there as 1 of FOUR power centers for Orcus).

5e hit just as we finished ToA (battle in the main temple was epic).  We decided to give our characters "amnesia" due to trauma from exploring the Cloister of the Frog God, converted them into 1st level 5e characters, and headed for the Mouth of Doom.  We're currently finishing up the Demon's Gullet, and about to head into the Font of Pestilence.

I've been converting my PF RA book to 5e on the fly, and it's been working well enough.  However, having the adventure already in 5e would be a HUGE help.  I would definitely support a 5e RA.

In any case, the red-bound hardcover Rappan Athuk is practically an RPG heirloom.  Masterpiece of design.  It will have a spot on my shelf for generations.  I eagerly anticipate my children begging their daddy to start running a family game of the grand-daddy of all dungeon crawls!

I'm also interested in a 5E conversion, but pdf only. I ran out of room for more physical books long ago :(

CAWright's picture

IF we do convert them they will, of course, be available as PDFs. :)

Where do I send my money? :)

Where do I send my money? :)

Details of the start of a community Wiki conversion of Slumbering Tsar to 5e are here - https://www.froggodgames.com/forum/slumbering-tsar-saga-5e-conversion-wiki


If anyone on this thread wants to help out then please check it out.

Odder's picture

S&W RA is AWESOME! The Hardback is literaly one of the best things I have ever bought. I also play 5E and would love a 5E version.

I think a kickstarter for coverting it would be the thing to do but if so PLEASE give us a lot of notice (as in months in advance) because swining THAT much cash is a lot harder for some of us these days.

I am definitely interested in 5E conversions of Rappan Athuk, Slumbering Tsar, Sword of Air, Cyclopean Depths, Razor Coast, Northlands, Stoneheart Valley, Lost City of Barakus, etc. I will support kickstarters, as needed, to help make this happen. I recently bought Borderlands Provinces, Adventures in Borderlands Provinces, and Quests of Doom Vol. 1/2. I'm hooked. 

I've got my Stoneheart Valley conversion for 5e done, just haven't cleaned it up, as it looks like crap and has all the adventure text within it, so its not fit for sharing quite yet! I'm hoping, as time allows, to be able to post a PDF (after approving it with one of the Frogs to make sure i didn't miss any IP that needs to be addressed) in the next month or so. Sword of Air will follow (still in process of converting).


Zach goes on the record talking about the Rappan 5e conversion!  Also some other stuff *NOT ANNOUNCED* - really watch this (link is from the Frog facebook page if you don't trust links on this forum - I wouldn't blame you)

I would not trust that Zach guy :) Though if you don't want to sit through my blathering about TSR modules here is the info about Rappan Athuk 5e.

There is much in the works with our biggest titles (like ToH 5e, Rappan Athuk and more) as well as brand new content. I think what is the most important thing you , as customers, should know  is we are actively thinking about you on these. The version of RA for 5e will not supercede the 2012 version- though it will be in color and have errata fixes. Any new content that may show up is, as of now, planned to be made available seperately and at a ressonable price to our Swords & Wizardry and Pathfinder customers.

An example  of what I mean is color maps. We are likely to launch a small Kickstarter in the summer (after the Blight ships) for high quality color maps in both a folio with 120+ 2-sided loose leaf maps and a matching bundle of  PDFs and JPEGs correctly sized for at least two different applications (VTTs and Projectors). This gets our existing customers the new 'luxury' maps for a book they own while giving us a headstart on the production of 5e.

That guy on that youtube talks about those kinds of things, don't trust him :)

Zach Glazar, Frog God Games