Converting a Pathfinder adventure path?

It looks like I'm going to get a chance to finally run Numenera for a group at work. Hooray! However, I'm looking for more of a campaign, rather than just a series of episodes like I'd get with running the published adventures.

I do know about The Devil's Spine, but it doesn't appeal to me for some reason I'm not sure I can explain.

So in looking around, I found another set of adventures I have which I've always wanted to play through - the Iron Gods adventure path for Pathfinder. Fantasy characters wandering around crashed star ships, buried for thousands of years, digging through relics of the past.

Hey, wait a second!

So anyway, I'm thinking of taking Iron Gods, stripping out Golarion, and setting and running it in Numenera instead. So questions for the peanut gallery:

Has anyone else tried this, either with Iron Gods or Pathfinder in general?

Am I completely nuts?

I've run The Strange fairly successfully, but this is my first brush with Numenera. Any recommendations on things I should specifically add to call out the flavor that this isn't just a D&D scenario?




  • I have not read, nor played the pathfinder games and this one specifically so bear with me, please.  You are not nuts, or we all are, not sure which.

    Get the basics of the setting, jungle, plains, mountainous region, etc.  Take a look at the maps of the ninth world and compare.  When I started my current campaign I was looking for more of a pulp feel that the Numenera game wasn't giving me.  And I found a set of adventures that were published for an Egyptian Pulp game and converted them.  Most of the adventures were set in a desert landscape so I picked the Cloudcrystal Skyfields in the ninth world to set my version.  The Skyfields by themselves offered a plethora of weird to use in my game without having to create new.  I then looked through the published MCG material for other things and adventures also in that region and started pulling liberally from them to flesh out the area, for locations, encounters, monsters, and NPCs  Because of this my game now feels like a Pulpy Final Fantasy thing.  Badguys around every corner, monsters in the wastelands, weirdly beautiful places to be, over the top special effects and so on.

    If you haven't already, I suggest investing in the Ninth World Guidebook, Sir Arthur's Technology Compendium and the Weird Discoveries.  I dug through these and the core book a LOT while converting, just for the setting stuff and encounters.

    One of My big issues, and it will probably be one of yours too, was explaining away the magic and magical items.  Magic items I had to convert to powerful cyphers and artifacts, something that would fit the area, Numenera and my newly forming lore.  It was difficult, not everything converted, nor should it.  A +2 Sword really doesn't have a place in Numenera.  But a Disruption Blade does.  (That's in the artifact section of the core book btw.)  Magical locations I had a more difficult time converting having to find semi-logical numenera to place around the joint to make it work.  Handwaving only goes so far.  Your badguys that use magic will have to be converted in to some form of Nano or Jack depending on the spell list and you'll have to judge how difficult to make them afterward.  I found that I underestimated the difficulty of my badguys when I started my campaign and have had to beef them up a touch as to not have my PCs just waltz through them.

    The Amber Papacy (the aeon priests) is a good thing to think about for call-outs, and their dark cousins the Convergence.  It gave the civilized areas of my game a different feel. 

    There is a lot of weird to play with.  Use it.  Use it all.  Get a big ol' bucket of it and dump it all over your workspace.  But remember it won't be or shouldn't be weird to the people that live there.  It will be weird to the PCs because they probably aren't from there.  Numenera, though set in the FAR future, is still the re-dawning of human civilization, plenty of wilds to get lost in even in the settled areas like the Steadfast. And just enough weird to make them reconsider staying in town.

  • Stolentime, thanks for your thoughts, this was very helpful.

    One of the reasons Iron Gods in particular appealed was because it's basically already a Numenera adventure. It's set in a land where a starship crashed a couple thousand years ago. It's surrounded by barbarians and full of androids, robots, and delving through buried ruins which are actually pieces of that crashed ship.  The big bad is an AI from the ship that's trying to bootstrap itself into divinity.

    I think my biggest issue is going to be figuring out how to deal with the clerics of said boostrapping divinity, but I think I can come up with something.

  • I think you made a good choice; I thought about using Iron Gods for Numenera as well. Pathfinder APs have the benefit of having very cool stories and well-developed NPCs. I am actually running the IG AP for Pathfinder Rules.

    I think you're biggest problem will be converting the NPCs and challenges to something suitable for your party. if you're running the entire series, then it makes sense to tailor encounters to 1 tier per book (book one for tier one, book two for tier two, etc.)

    If you go with that then you must determine what is the expected PF level and the CR of the encounter and then make something similar for your Numenera PCs. For example, if in PF the party is supposed to 2nd level and the encounter is Challenge Rating of 4, then you know it's meant to be a 'hard' encounter so then you must figure out what a hard encounter is for your tier 1 PCs so probably 1 level 5 creature or 2-3 creatures of level 3 or 4.  This won't be perfect but it will help you. Numemera is a lot harder to balance than PF so you'll have to be flexible.

    I haven't read the entire AP since I only plan to run the first two books but let me know if there's anything that you need help with.

    Good luck and let us know how it went.
  • It's an AI right?  Then give it limited access to the Datasphere.  A different supplement called, Celestial Wisdom is all about the other AI's living in the Datasphere, and a little about the cults and religions that have formed around those "Old Gods".  I just picked it up so I'm still trying to figure out how to incorporate it into my game but it has a lot of good ideas and datasphere centric cyphers and artifacts as well.  Like I said I haven't read the Iron Gods, but it does sound right up the Numenera alley, so it might help.  I would give the clerics cyphers and artifacts found or recovered (possibly made with the AI' guidance) from the ship to cover their divine magics.  If your bootstrapping AI does have access to the datasphere, giving the world a few more "real world" access points to the datasphere to act as shrines or places that their cult can gather might be a good thing.  Depending how long the ship has been on earth would probably determine how wide spread the religion is and how far that AI's influence can be felt.  A couple thousand years?  Knowledge of the god or the ship's ruins might be pretty wide spread.  I'm excited for you, it sounds like it's going to be a good game.  I'm with Fabian, keep us up to date and let us know how it goes!
  • Thanks for the encouragement, folks! I started the game last week, but the first session was mostly character creation. I actually used one of the instant adventures as a warm-up / ice breaker for the group, as they'd never played Numenera before. Once they finish that up (probably only one more session) we can move on to Torch and start the adventure path. I'm setting it just north of the Beyond on the main world map. It seems like a good area that I can make look like Numeria (the country in Pathfinder's world where Iron Gods is set) without too much trouble.

  • Rock on!  Character Creation is the bane of every game, whether its D&D, Numenera or Call of Cthulu.  MCG took a lot of time to try and streamline the process but it still seems to take forever.  Just remember no game plan, no matter how well constructed, lasts past it's first encounter with the player characters.  Keep the players in the loop of where you want the story to generally go and they will hopefully help you get there.  And on occasion let them lead the way with world building and encounters so that they feel they are playing the game with you rather than against you.  "The Sun Below" adventure for Numenera (I mention it because it was the first time I saw this method in print) has a sequence near the end of the second part that has the players create a "Montage" of their escape for prison.  Each player comes up with an obstacle that the characters have run in to, the next person at the table comes up with a story of how the group overcame that obstacle.  This goes around the table until the everyone has had a chance to describe an obstacle and its solution.  This Montage method has been adapted by a lot of GMs to making travel from location to location, town downtime between adventure sections and so on, more memorable for the players as well as "speeding up" some of the slower sections of the games.  No XP needs to be handed out during the montage, but if the story is really good... 
  • Where is 'The Sun Below' adventure from? What product?

    Also, I totally agree about letting players be an important part of the game. I do this all the time.

    In my current PBP game, we just finished The Nightmare Switch and will be playing The Devil's Spine so I gave the players a couple of pointers of how transition between adventures and asked to run with it.

    I was very impressed. The results can be found in the link below if you're interested.

    Game on!
  • The Sun Below is a pair of third party Numenera supplements made by Dread Unicorn Games.  Two adventures in the same hollow earth, "City on the Edge" and "The Sleeping Lady."  I'm currently running "City on the Edge" with my group as a side adventure. 
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