• Justin Handlin

Conversions to 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

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Crit Academy discusses converting old Dungeons & Dragons content to 5th Edition. Many of us have played through multiple iterations of the game, and through all that, we developed some beloved characters, monsters, and worlds. We walk through a guide published by Wizards of the Coast to help transition your old favorites to the newest version of D&D.

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Segment: Main Topic: Conversions to 5th Edition D&D

See full guide from Wizards of the Coast here!

This document provides guidelines for converting characters and adventures from earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons to the fifth edition.

Conversion of D&D material is more art than science. The aim of conversion is to arrive at something that feels like the older-edition version, rather than at an exact replication. The guidelines in this document are intended to help you create what you want, not to force your choices along particular lines.

Converting Your Player Character

Your DM sets the starting level of a converted character. For fourth edition characters, fifth edition level is two-thirds of fourth edition level, rounded normally instead of always down. For example, 25th level in fourth edition becomes 17th level in fifth edition. Level in other editions converts directly into fifth edition, but only up to 20th level.


Choose the race that most closely matches your character’s race. For instance, a wild elf in Faerûn is closest to the wood elf in the Player’s Handbook. Replace all racial traits with those from the fifth edition Player’s Handbook. Ignore traits that have no bearing on fifth edition characters, such as third edition’s favored class trait or other editions’ class limitations.

Racial proficiencies of like kind—skill, tool, or weapon can be swapped for their equivalents in fifth edition. You might swap skill proficiency for tool proficiency when the tool is a better representation of a skill from a previous edition.