I’ve been having a bit of a Magic the Gathering obsession at the moment. It is an extremely deep game with over ten thousand unique cards, each of which can be used as an idea for gamebook writing. Need a setting? Look at the lands. Need a magic item? Look at the artefacts. Want a horrible monster to pit against the hero? Look at the creatures.
Here, I present a pseudo quantitative conversion process for magic the gathering creature stats and fighting Fantasy stats. Here is how I calculated it:
I looked for creatures that appeared in both games which had stats that were pretty constant. I eventually settled for goblins, faerie folk, wolves, bears, minotaurs and giants which are prevalent in both worlds.
In Out of the Pit, a typical goblin has a skill of 5 and a stamina of 5. In Magic the Gathering, a typical goblin has a power of 1 and a toughness of 1.
In Out of the Pit, a typical wolf has a skill of 7 and a stamina of 6. In Magic the Gathering, a typical wolf has a power of 2 and a toughness of 2.
Magic the Gathering and Fighting Fantasy both have hill giants. In Out of the Pit, a typical hill giant has a skill of 9 and a stamina of 11. In Magic the Gathering, a typical hill giant has a power of 3 and a toughness of 3. Both games have stronger giants.
So what do we have? A power of 1 is the equivalent to a skill of 5-6. A power of 2 is the equivalent to a skill of 7. A power of 3 is a equivalent to a skill of 9.
A toughness of 1 is equivalent to a stamina of 5. Once creatures get a stamina of 6, they get a toughness of 2. Creatures with a stamina of 8 still get a toughness of 2 and once they get a stamina of 9, they get a toughness of 3. Creatures with a stamina of 11 still have a toughness of 3.
From these stats, I’ve extrapolated this conversion table:
It’s not perfect but it always gives close results. For example an FF sprite (skill 5 stamina 6) would come up as a 1/2 in Magic the Gathering instead of a 1/1. A zombie (skill 6 stamina 6) would come up as a 1/2 in Magic the Gathering when in reality it is a 2/2.
It does work for a giant octopus (skill 9 stamina 10, 3/3) and seems to give reasonable results even when it is a little off.
Also, this table assumes that the Fighting Fantasy creatures inflict 2 stamina points of damage per hit. If giants inflict more damage, then maybe they can have a higher power with a lower skill as each hit deals more damage.
As for abilities, we will need to use our imagination to translate them across. A wizard who knows the firebolt spell could easily be a prodigal pyromancer. Crossbow infantry’s ability is pretty easy to translate – give you adventurer a skill with a crossbow. Samite healers have an ability to restore stamina. Covert Operative’s unblockable ability may be the result of several skills such as hiding, sneaking and picking locks or the use of magic such as an invisibility spell. Looking at the flavour of the two games will allow you to translate spells and their effects across.
Until next week…