It is possible to use or adapt Pathfinder (and 3rd-party Pathfinder) spells in 5e?

LatinaBunny

Moody Bunny
Validated User
Hello, there! :) I'm still really new to GMing, and I'm going to GM a D&D5e game in a somewhat homebrewed setting using the Starter Set Lost Mine adventure plotlines, but reskinning the content, and also using Cerulean Seas Setting and Aquatic Adventures Pathfinder books to make the setting more aquatic in flavor.

I'm keeping it simple by following the modules and making some alterations in flavor and monster encounters here and there (using most aquatic monsters from Monster Manual, Volo's Guide, or homebrewing my own with reskins).

I was wondering if I can use some of the Cerulean Seas spells (many of which are reflavored Pathfinder spells) and Pathfinder spells into 5e as is? Or should I try to find their equivalents in D&D5e? Or adapt them somehow?

It seems some spells are more narrative-based (not a lot of hardcore number-math mechanics), so I'm guessing I can just add them in...?

I don't know how Pathfinder's spell system works. Are they similar to D&D with spell slots and spells per day and such? Are they more powerful or weaker than D&D5e's?

What about monsters? How are monsters in Pathfinder compared to D&D5e? If I wanted to use a Pathfinder monster, how much should I alter their stat blocks?

Any Pathfinder-to-D&D5e tips would be greatly appreciated, thanks! :D
 
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DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
I was wondering if I can use some of the Cerulean Seas spells (many of which are reflavored Pathfinder spells) and Pathfinder spells into 5e as is? Or should I try to find their equivalents in D&D5e? Or adapt them somehow?
Not as is. Pathfinder/3.X spells are much more powerful and use very different assumptions. Ranges, durations, number of slots available to the casters are leagues apart.

What about monsters? How are monsters in Pathfinder compared to D&D5e? If I wanted to use a Pathfinder monster, how much should I alter their stat blocks?
Looking at the stat blocks in the MM vs one of the PF Bestiaries, they are also leagues apart (5e is much simplier in this regard). It would be easiest to take existing spells/stat blocks and making modifications before reskinning them. Or you could convert both spells and monsters by looking at the themes of the spells/critters you like and then building them entirely anew.

Now I will leave it to people who know the games better than I do.
 

LatinaBunny

Moody Bunny
Validated User
Not as is. Pathfinder/3.X spells are much more powerful and use very different assumptions. Ranges, durations, number of slots available to the casters are leagues apart.
~
Looking at the stat blocks in the MM vs one of the PF Bestiaries, they are also leagues apart (5e is much simplier in this regard). It would be easiest to take existing spells/stat blocks and making modifications before reskinning them. Or you could convert both spells and monsters by looking at the themes of the spells/critters you like and then building them entirely anew.

Now I will leave it to people who know the games better than I do.
Oh, ok, I see. Thanks! Hmmm... So I should modify the stats or homebrew my own monsters and spells.

I will check to see if there are any articles online, or if any of the D&D books, has something about creating your own monster or anything on dissecting the Monster Stat blocks. I wouldn't mind reskinning some of the D&D5e monsters to fit, but I could try making some as well.

Spells might be more trickier, but I can try to see if there are equivalent or similarly themed D&D5e spells to reskin...
 
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Razor 007

New member
Banned
I would say use Pathfinder Monsters and Pathfinder Spells, or use 5E Monsters and 5E Spells for simplicity's sake. That should help with overall balance.

But I use what I want to, when I want to. If things start getting crazy, I may fudge a roll or two to save the PC's from suffering on my behalf.
 

manwhat

Thoroughly mediocre GM.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Other than 1e/2e, DnD editions are like Final Fantasy games, basically. They have similar base concepts and themes but different implementations - what works in one doesn't translate to another.

Reskinning spells is always fine. I'm playing a very skeletonny necromancer in a 5e game and all his spells are bone/creepy themed. Maximillian's Earthen Grasp becomes a giant skeleton hand bursting out from the ground. Web becomes zombie arms bursting out from every direction. Sleet Storm becomes bloodstorm. In roll20 the description paragraph I have for the Toll The Dead cantrip, instead of a bell's toll, just says "The necromancer says 'You are dying,', and he is right."
 

LatinaBunny

Moody Bunny
Validated User
I would say use Pathfinder Monsters and Pathfinder Spells, or use 5E Monsters and 5E Spells for simplicity's sake. That should help with overall balance.

But I use what I want to, when I want to. If things start getting crazy, I may fudge a roll or two to save the PC's from suffering on my behalf.
Yeah, I want to keep things simple. I’m still a newbie with this tabletop rpg stuff. I’ll keep to D&D5e. Luckily, the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide (and some of DMG) has aquatic monsters and stuff.

Other than 1e/2e, DnD editions are like Final Fantasy games, basically. They have similar base concepts and themes but different implementations - what works in one doesn't translate to another.

Reskinning spells is always fine. I'm playing a very skeletonny necromancer in a 5e game and all his spells are bone/creepy themed. Maximillian's Earthen Grasp becomes a giant skeleton hand bursting out from the ground. Web becomes zombie arms bursting out from every direction. Sleet Storm becomes bloodstorm. In roll20 the description paragraph I have for the Toll The Dead cantrip, instead of a bell's toll, just says "The necromancer says 'You are dying,', and he is right."
I love your necromancer! Sounds so creepy! :D

That is a nice creative example of reskinning. Thanks for that. ^_^
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
or if any of the D&D books, has something about creating your own monster or anything on dissecting the Monster Stat blocks. I wouldn't mind reskinning some of the D&D5e monsters to fit, but I could try making some as well.
There are rules for making creatures in the DMG. As for more stat blocks to reskin, remember there are 4 monster books in print (MM, Volo's, Tome of Beasts and Fifth Edition Foes) and two more will be released sometime this year (another from Kobold press and one from WotC) as well as many pdfs. Which you would find useful for an aquatic campaign, I have no idea. Sorry.

Spells might be more trickier, but I can try to see if there are equivalent or similarly themed D&D5e spells to reskin...
Spells are easier as they have much shorter descriptions and statistics. You just need to pay really close attention to the spells in the PH to gain an understanding in how they work.

Also you may want to read this thread: https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?825133-5e-Is-balance-that-vital (esp post #44)
 

mrlost

Hi I'm Lost
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yes, its possible to adapt PF spells, 4e powers etc.

Compare this spell to the 3rd party Pathfinder spell Corpulent Bloat, the name is lifted off a 4e warlock power. EDIT I regularly adapt spells from AD&D, 3.5PF, and 4e as treasure for the wizards and warlocks in my 5e games. Most of these spells are not balanced. Power creep woo woo!
dire portent of Malbolge (warlock only)
1st level conjuration spell
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, F
Duration: Concentration/Special
The dire portent of Malbolge recalls how Glasya slew the former ruler of Malbolge whose rolls of fat still cover the Sixth layer of Hell like rancid hills and forces the target to make a Constitution saving throw, if they fail the save any non-magical clothes and armor the target is wearing bursts at the seams as their body triples in girth, size, and weight. Creatures subject to this spell grow one size category larger as their bodies fills with gallons of conjured fat from the Sixth layer of Hell. The victim of the spell suffers disadvantage on ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws that use Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution for the duration of the spell.
Creatures that succeed on the saving throw instead gain 1d10 temporary hit points. Regardless of success or failure, victims of this spell cannot take the Dash action until the spells duration has ended. The spell is so horrific that onlookers must succeed on a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw to avoid becoming frightened by either the victim of the spell or the warlock that cast it for 1 round.
Special: When cast with a 1st level spell slot, dire portent of Malbolge can last up to 1 hour as long as the warlock continues to concentrate, when cast with a 2nd level spell slot the spell lasts for 8 hours as long as the warlock continues to concentrate and if they succeed on the save the victim instead gains 2d10 temporary hit points. A 3rd level slot causes the spell to last a little over 2 and a half days or until the warlock decides to stop concentrating and if the victim succeeds on the save it bestow 3d10 temporary hit points. Casting the spell with a 4th level or higher spell slot seems only to increase the number of temporary hit points gained on a successful save up to a maximum of 5d10 temporary hit points with a 5th level spell slot.
So you are new, big deal. We were all new once. Go ahead and use spells from other games sure they might be OP or under powered but making mistakes and experimenting is how we learn.
 
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Ancalagon

Registered User
Validated User
Once you have a bit of experience and a good grasp of 5e spells, absolutely. I wouldn't do this from the get go - you have to get your bearings, understand how magic works in 5e. But after you have acquired that... why not? :)
 

WistfulD

Registered User
Validated User
There's nothing inherently wrong with using the thematic qualities of stuff from other materials to add to the 5e game. As for the specific spell text and rules from the Pathfinder spells? No. There are fundamentally different assumption in the game design process that effect whether a specific implementation would be something one could reasonably throw at the PCs.

Example: 3e/PF assumes that people will optimize their saves to almost never fail a spell save. Thus, the consequences of actually failing the save can be higher (such as the 'save or die' and 'save or suck' spells). 5e assumes that any individual cannot be assured to make most saves.

Likewise, 3e/PF, the PCs (through ubiquitous magic items and greater number of spell slots) will likely have available to them contingent negation spells like Negative Energy Protection or Freedom of Movement. In 5e, the likelihood that the party has such a spell prepared is lower, and the expenditure of the slot to cast it is greater.

So if you read a spell out of the PF book, and want to use it, you need to think about how it will effect the PCs, how they will counter or overcome it, and what it would do to a situation (such as combat, but also anything else) if it suddenly was brought to bear.
 
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