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Prestige Class Conversion
FROM: D&D 3e
TO: HERO System 5th Edition
NOTE: Some rudimentary knowledge of the HERO System rules is necessary to understand this conversion document.
D&D 3e introduced the idea of "Prestige Classes" (pClasses), mini-classes with niche abilities that were only accessible to Characters that had some level of progression in one or more of the base Classes and met certain prerequistes.
In general its a good idea, helping to overcome the cookie-cutter limitations of a Class and Level system. However in practice there was a huge glut of Prestige Classes quickly introduced in supplements, third party publishers, and fans (I made dozens of them myself, for instance). However, there was no real quality control, playtesting, or internal balancing to speak of applied.
Thus in short order, pClasses became one of the leading contributers to game inbalance. Characters with the right pClass or combination of pClass were just flat out better than other Characters, with abilities that gelled together to form combos that granted huge power ups.
Also, as the sheer number of pClasses available grew, it soon escalated into a situation that only a GM with ridiculous amounts of time and resources could even hope to keep abreast of them all, much less consider all the different ways the abilities of a particular pClass might interact with every other ability of every other Class and pClass and Spell and creature in the game.
In the end many GM's reverted to a hardline stance of only pClasses in the core rule books, or kept a list of pClasses they had reviewed and approved for play. Of course this introduced other problems, such as using material that featured NPC's that had levels in pClasses the GM didn't allow, but it was still far more manageable of a situation.
GET ON WITH IT ALREADY
All that aside, the question you know doubt are wondering is, how does this conversion resource help me to convert Characters that have levels in Prestige Classes?
Well, unfortunately, there is no practical way for this conversion resource to offer conversions of every single pClass published, or even a majority of them. In the end after starting to do the work it was decided that it just wasn't worth the time and effort to bother with.
For starters Prestige Classes, while a good idea for a hide bound class & level system like D&D, are absolutely meaningless in a buy whatever you can afford point system like HERO.
Furthermore the idea of "prerequisites" doesn't exist in the HERO System; the points involved in purchasing new abilities forms sufficient entry bar, and any cultural, organizational, or societal entry obstacles are better handled via roleplaying.
At their root a "Prestige Classes" is just another Profession Package Deal in the HERO System, and basically any of the hundreds of Profession Packages presented on this site can be used as such. A player can just pick a Profession Package that has abilities they want, find someone to teach them anything in it they can't pick up on their own, and proceed to spend Experience Points on the abilities in that Package.
EMAIL IT TO KILLER SHRIKE FOR CONVERSION
When dealing with Characters that you are converting into the HERO System that already have Prestige Class levels, its a relatively simple process to determine HERO System equivalents to the abilities of the pClass. However, if you are experiencing difficulties with a particular pClass simply send an eMail to Killer Shrike including all the information about the pClass and he will provide a conversion of it for you.