I’ve got a proposal for crowdsourced fan content with benefit to WotC.
In a nutshell, I could organize a community of folks to create free, fan-based 5e conversion guides for 1e/2e/BX classic modules. Conversion guides would be 1-3 pages, be peer-reviewed, follow a standardized format (ideally with some sort of D&D official ‘fan work’ branding), and could be linked to from DnDClassics.com. I believe this would increase 5e players’ interest in buying classic D&D modules without cannibalizing sales of new adventure products. We could also time the initial release on this so that the new site and first ten or twenty module conversions could be released around the time you release the fan content license next year. End state would be to have conversion guides to all 200+ classic adventures, and maybe expand to include 3e and 4e adventure conversions.
If WotC is interested, I would volunteer to be a community organizer in the style of Robert Adducci and DnDAdventurersLeague.org. The new web site could list all classic modules where D&D conversions exist, with links to DnDClassics.com to buy the module and download (for free) the conversion guide. The site would be not-for-profit, and not get any commissions off DnDClassics.com sales. Alternatively, this site could be part of Enworld or DnDClassics.com. I’ve got several specific ideas on how to run this community effectively and incentivize folks to do conversions.
Conversion Guide Contents
A conversion guide would list things like a concise summary of the adventure; a glossary of people, places and things; which spells need a different 5e spell replacements; guidance on certain 1e rules adjudication; reference to the Monster Manual page for monsters; and custom stat blocks for monsters or boss NPCs which don’t have MM stats. Basically you could read the actual classic module once, then refer to the 1-sheet conversion guide and run the adventure with no other work needed.
If this project moved forward, I could write a conversion ‘bible’ with submission guidelines and templates, all of which could be overseen / approved by WotC staff.
Licensing & Deprecation
There could be a license which specifically gives conversion license details similar to this conversion policy for 3.x/d20 conversions on Enworld’s site:
You could optionally have a deprecation clause in the license where any classic modules which WOTC published for 5e require the fan-conversion version to be take off-line and reference instead the new 5e product equivalent.
I did a sniff-test on interest on Google+ and already have a a couple of dozen volunteers:
Anyway, Mike & WotC, let me know if you’d like my help on this or something similar. 🙂
— Stan Shinn