Mike Mearls, D&D Product Manager for Wizards of the Coast, did a multi-hour Ask Me Anything interview on Reddit. Here are the key points related to converting Early Edition modules.
Question: For the old 1e D&D modules like ‘B4: The Lost City’, is it OK to post a simple 2 page conversion document? If so, could one actually publish commercial conversions of the old 1e modules, so long as they don’t actually copy blocks of text, but have all-original text which refers to copyrighted (but non-trademarked) characters and titles in the old 1e module?
Answer: “That would have to be through the DM’s Guild, since we haven’t released the old modules as open content. The best fit for the Guild would be to augment your conversion notes with guidelines for using the adventure in the Forgotten Realms. Remember, wholesale copying without adding original work is not the intent of the program.”
Question: Can I convert a classic published D&D adventure (Pharaoh, for example) and publish that on the Guild? If I can’t do it whole cloth, can I create a conversion document for it, that points to the material?
Answer: “Yes… and it would be even better if you can set the adventure in the Forgotten Realms.”
Question: How will WotC help consumers find quality? There are ratings, but even this early in it is hard to find content of a certain type (only adventures, short side-treks vs long adventures, character options vs equipment, player vs DM material). Are there plans to change this?
Answer: “This will continue to be a challenge… perhaps some well known community D&D blogger can help us out… do you know one?”
(Editor’s note: This is exactly what we want to do on ClassicModulesToday.com!)
Question: As quoted on the dmguild site, “Your work can use any of the fifth edition D&D rules published by Wizards of the Coast, plus decades of published material for the Forgotten Realms setting”. Does this mean we can convert past NPCs, spells, monsters, items, etc. to 5e for our adventures?
Answer: Yes, you can convert older material.
Question: We can use ANY WotC published product, including online-exclusive-content, if we publish for the Realms as opposed to sticking to the SRD strictly. Is this a correct assumption?
Answer: “Within the Guild, you can use any Forgotten Realms RPG product and non-setting specific RPG material.”