The AD&D 2nd Edition adventure The Rod of Seven Parts is one of my favourites. I’ve thought about converting it to 5th Edition and so when I saw this product, I thought it would be a great help.
What this product does is provide a nice reference for each encounter, offering suggested changes where the 2nd Edition rules need to be updated. Most of the monsters just point to the Monster Manual equivalent (giving page number), but the unique monsters and those not yet in available in 5th Edition get a conversion.
There is also a guide to running this in the Forgotten Realms, which may be helpful to some, but not necessarily what I was after.
However, I cannot overlook the typos, occasional spelling mistake and poor grammar, especially at the beginning of this product. For example, a couple of paragraphs from the first page:
The group finds themselves on their way or resting in (Calimport/The Dalelands) when the hear or are victim of a road side attack by Orcs, Orges and Trolls. These savage attackers hail from the nearby Marching mountains, moutains which your group are passing through. This will lead them to the Tomb of Siryl, long dead possessor of the first segment of the Rod of Seven Parts. Osakay the Dark Naga discovered the tomb and took up residence and with it the first segment. “Osakay” dug in against attack and prepared for an any incursion.
After an unsuccessful raid against the party, the party probably follows fleeing Orcs, Orges and Trolls and come upon the tomb where the vile creatures reside. Local residents know where the raiding probably came from in case the party is unsuccessful in their track or search.
Depending of the quality of their track or they degree of stealth they may face a ready band of cutthroats. Facing the whole tomb filled with hostile denizens right up until “Osakay” the Dark Naga falls before the party revealing the first segment of the Rod of Seven Parts.
The writing does improve later in the document and this seems to coincide to where there is a more direct reflection of the original text.
Monsters, magic items, traps/hazards and ability checks are all covered in the conversion and the ‘new’ monsters are a good representation of the originals, although sometimes they feel too similar to the source material and don’t take into account that this is supposed now be a 5th Edition converted monster. In addition, there doesn’t appear to have been much consideration of whether the individual encounters need any adjustments (more or less monsters, etc.) and so some of the encounters may not be well balanced; a little tweaking to suite your own group should solve this. Also, magic items appear to just be direct copies from the original text in many cases. For example, a longsword +3 is simply referred to as a +3 longsword. Based on 2nd Edition magic weapons having bonuses of +1 to +5, I would have expected this weapon to be +2 longsword. A handful of unique items do get a little more converting applied. If you look through the list magic items in this document, you will recognise the risk of having an overpowered party this presents and there is no advice on how to handle this.
Overall, a nice product that should save a fair amount of time, but I think that it will take a little more effort to make a truly effective conversion. Particularly for magic items, think of it as more of a reference of what is in the original that will probably want reviewing. A shame that the beginning is a little awkward to read because of the issues mentioned above but it will still be useful if you have the original adventure and want to revisit with 5th Edition. I may have slightly misunderstood the purpose of this document and by its own title, this is a conversion ‘guide’ and not a full conversion. I was going to give it 2 stars, but maybe I was expecting too much and so 3 stars it is.