• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

Sell me on Conan! as seen in the current Bundle of Holding.

Tensen01

Go, Play; For Justice!
Validated User
I am considering purchasing the two basic level bundles. However, looking over the quickstart and another free supplement, I am concerned that several skills (e.g. Craft, Lore, Thievery), maybe too broad for my tastes or that something is missing from the two free products to give me a sense of how skills can be fined tuned. I am also wary that there is no perform skill for dancing and playing instruments.. How would the game differentiate between the following thieving characters?

Mouse: Mouse is an urchin living on the streets of a city in Aquilonia. He is quick, but not Acrobatic. Due to his relatively small size and slender frame, he is great at sneaking into and out of places by squeezing through narrow spaces and escaping bonds. He is a skilled liar (but not at all intimidating), stealthy, and par excellence as both a cutpurse and pickpocket. He is also possesses great knowledge of street life in his city and can navigate life on the streets. However, he has no skill in detecting or disabling traps nor is he skilled in picking locks or forging documents. In noble society he would be a fish out of water.

Elanna: Elanna is the youngest daughter of a noble. She is educated having been taught history, religion, a musical instrument, singing reading/writing and language. She is also knowledgeable about navigating court life, diplomacy, and is trained in painting, embroidery and weaving (but not other crafts such as metal working). Over the years, she has been breaking into the room of guests visiting her father's home, and stealing a coin or two or small items that nobody will miss as well as reading journals and documents. As a result, she has become a skilled at picking locks, stealth, lying (convincingly denying her thievery), and has taught herself to forge written documents. However, she has no skill or training at cutting purses, picking pockets, or sleight of hand. She is somewhat shy and non-imposing (not intimidating) and is not particularly skilled at climbing either. Unlike Mouse whom has no knowledge of navigating noble society, but is streetwise, Elanna is not streetwise but is comfortable in noble society.

Edwin: Edwin is the eldest son of a powerful merchant. Like Elana, he is educated having studied astronomy, history, logic, philosophy, religion, mathematics, music, reading/writing and is trained to speak multiple languages. Bored with his life, he would sneak out at night and break into businesses and dwellings for a thrill. He also would spend time in seedy areas where he made contacts and connections (e.g. fences). Over time, he became quite skilled at climbing, stealth, opening locks and finding/disarming traps. Eventually, he caught the attention of the city's thieves' guild whom honed him into an elite cat burglar. Despite his training, he has never developed skill as a cutpurse, pick pocket, or forger. Given his dual life, Edwin is able to navigate the social circles of both the upper society of the city and the streets.
Okay well, when making your character there are several different steps, each one part of the character's background:

1. Homeland: Homeland provides their base language as well as a Talent Specific to their homeland and not available outside homelands.
2. Attributes: They would likely have slightly different Attributes
3. Caste: They would each be a different Caste; Outcast, Petty Noble, Merchant. Which gives them Caste Specific Talents as well a single appropriate skill, and their Social Standing
4. Story: Their Caste gives them access to a specific character Story, with 6 available for each caste. This is some Fluff as well as a Trait.
5. Archtype: Okay so out of the base book they would likely be the same Archetype: Scoundrel, as it's the "Thief/Rogue" Archetype. But here's the Thing, the Archetypes are basically just Skill and Talent Packages. You don't get anything in they that you can't have access to at a later date in character creation. So they could also be Noble Warriors or Scholars, you'll just hafta pick up the thief stuff with your Spare points at the end. CONAN The Thief also has several other Theify Archetypes: Assassin, Bloody Right Hand, Fence, Highwayman, Master Thief, Relic Hunter & Spy
6. Nature: Get an Attribute Point, some Skill points and a Talent
7. Education: Skill Points, Talent and some Gear. There are also 10 new Thief Educations in the Conan The Thief book
8. War Story: How war has affected you personally, gives you skill points
9. Finishing Touches: This is where you spend your "leftover" points as well as determine derived stats.

So as you can see there's a lot of elements to your character. And one thing the Quickstarts don't mention is that every Skill has a branching Talent Tree, so even two people with similar skills may have taken different talents within that skill.

As for Lack of Dancing and Perform... It's specifically Conan remember. I can't really think of a Single Conan story where he dances or performs. In the end they'd likely just be personality rolls, maybe Society? Possibly Persuade for Performance.

Also with the "She can forge and pick locks but can't pick pockets" I think you're expecting a level of granularity that isn't really part of Conan. If she doesn't know how to Pick Pockets... well then you never have her pick pockets. This is not different than any other system that just has a "Thievery" or "Sleight of Hand" skill that isn't broken down.
 
Last edited:

Hunter 21

Registered User
Validated User
Can I just say I'm loving the way these books are written?

Everything is evocative and even things like the trading and building archetypes shout "Yes, this character lives in a world of high adventure!(Anvil of Crom starts playing):) Now get out and start treading thrones!" at the top of their metaphorical lungs. The things read like the authors were just really jazzed to be writing about the adventure the reader's going to be having and all the cool stuff the players are gonna be able to do. There's just so much gusto seeping out of every page, I'm loving it!

After reading I'd totally play a smith or mason, spreading my makers mark from the battlements of Aquilonia to the blades of Iranistan!
 

Ficino

Rascally Rabbit
Validated User
Horrors of the Hyborian age is well made, good list of monsters, some fun templates to create variations on monsters...

The Conan game is well worth it, fun system, great supplement, definitely one of the best Kickstarter I have involved in as a backer.
Thanks for the information! It's always helpful to get insights from someone who has used the books.
 

Francis Helie

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Okay well, when making your character there are several different steps, each one part of the character's background:

1. Homeland: Homeland provides their base language as well as a Talent Specific to their homeland and not available outside homelands.
2. Attributes: They would likely have slightly different Attributes
3. Caste: They would each be a different Caste; Outcast, Petty Noble, Merchant. Which gives them Caste Specific Talents as well a single appropriate skill, and their Social Standing
4. Story: Their Caste gives them access to a specific character Story, with 6 available for each caste. This is some Fluff as well as a Trait.
5. Archtype: Okay so out of the base book they would likely be the same Archetype: Scoundrel, as it's the "Thief/Rogue" Archetype. But here's the Thing, the Archetypes are basically just Skill and Talent Packages. You don't get anything in they that you can't have access to at a later date in character creation. So they could also be Noble Warriors or Scholars, you'll just hafta pick up the thief stuff with your Spare points at the end. CONAN The Thief also has several other Theify Archetypes: Assassin, Bloody Right Hand, Fence, Highwayman, Master Thief, Relic Hunter & Spy
6. Nature: Get an Attribute Point, some Skill points and a Talent
7. Education: Skill Points, Talent and some Gear. There are also 10 new Thief Educations in the Conan The Thief book
8. War Story: How war has affected you personally, gives you skill points
9. Finishing Touches: This is where you spend your "leftover" points as well as determine derived stats.

So as you can see there's a lot of elements to your character. And one thing the Quickstarts don't mention is that every Skill has a branching Talent Tree, so even two people with similar skills may have taken different talents within that skill.

As for Lack of Dancing and Perform... It's specifically Conan remember. I can't really think of a Single Conan story where he dances or performs. In the end they'd likely just be personality rolls, maybe Society? Possibly Persuade for Performance.

Also with the "She can forge and pick locks but can't pick pockets" I think you're expecting a level of granularity that isn't really part of Conan. If she doesn't know how to Pick Pockets... well then you never have her pick pockets. This is not different than any other system that just has a "Thievery" or "Sleight of Hand" skill that isn't broken down.
There is a Skald Talents for Bards in The Barbarian source book. It helps with Persuade and Lore. A bard can inspire people with songs, music or storytelling, I would personally say ok to someone telling me they dance.
For Craft as mentioned by Tensen Talents would make a difference, Masons get a special talents, so do armorsmiths. The rest would character concept.

Conan has 25 skills, which already a lot as far as I am concerned. I no longer play games where 25 is not enough skills.If I never see Use rope as a skill ever again, it will be too soon. That being said would adding a Performance skill break something? It wouldn’t, neither would asking players to pick a General category of Craft (ex. Metal, Leather wood etc...)
You can always add Talents to existing tree without issues or create stand alone talents.

The system can easily add some granularity if someone wishes to do so, but you won’t get Aftermath out of it without some serious rejigging.
 

Cargocultist

Registered User
Validated User
I've kickstarted the game but it took me until now to finally muster the courage to run it at my local rpg club, and I'm happy I did! Players are loving it.

Something that has probably been said a million times, but it's worth repeating: it plays much smoother than it reads. Not to mean that it's poorly written, but that it seems much crunchier than it is when you're actually playing it. Recommendation: In the first instance read the rules from the quickstart, or from the Pit of Kutallu module. They are less spread out than in the core book and you can get an initial feel for the game quicker.

I would recommend the bundles of holding even if you never planned to run Conan with 2d20, because it's a great wealth of background and well thought setting material that you can use with whatever other system you prefer - but I'd advise to give 2d20 a shot. At first there are several new concepts to get your (and your players) head round, but it doesn't take long to get how it works and after that it runs like a treat.

This is what I like most about the system - you can decide exactly how crunchy or how narrative you want to go; I have a table of players that aren't particularly into tactical combat but love roleplaying and storytelling, so we're making great use of the Fortune token spend that allows players to insert story elements into the sessions. On the other hand, I have friends who are very tactical-combat-oriented who'd go bananas for the possibilities offered by the different weapon qualities, momentum spends to break guard to exploit different weapon reach etc.

Another nice thing is that all the new stuff in this system are concepts (momentum, doom, fortune, zones) rather than numerical modifiers. If you have people at your table who stare at you with a WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME expression if you ask them to add +2 to their x in skill y, they'll be fine in this game because you can instead present them with non numerical decisions - do you want to spend momentum, give doom to the gm... etc.

The one lamentable thing about Conan by Modiphius is that they haven't published any campaign for it - but there is some excellent stuff from past systems (I strongly recommend the Messantia expansion for - I think - Mongoose Conan. and the brilliant Betrayer of Asgard campaign - my second favourite campaign for any rpg, the first being Masks of Nyarlathotep).
 
Last edited:

Witness123

Registered User
Validated User
Hi everyone,
Thanks for the replies. They have been helpful as were the suggestions to look at the character generator. Hopefully, I will post more detailed replies tomorrow after my dentist visit.
 

CoreyHaim8myDog

Registered User
Validated User
Can I just say I'm loving the way these books are written?

Everything is evocative and even things like the trading and building archetypes shout "Yes, this character lives in a world of high adventure!(Anvil of Crom starts playing):) Now get out and start treading thrones!" at the top of their metaphorical lungs. The things read like the authors were just really jazzed to be writing about the adventure the reader's going to be having and all the cool stuff the players are gonna be able to do. There's just so much gusto seeping out of every page, I'm loving it!

After reading I'd totally play a smith or mason, spreading my makers mark from the battlements of Aquilonia to the blades of Iranistan!
We thank you!
 

CoreyHaim8myDog

Registered User
Validated User
I've kickstarted the game but it took me until now to finally muster the courage to run it at my local rpg club, and I'm happy I did! Players are loving it.
...

The one lamentable thing about Conan by Modiphius is that they haven't published any campaign for it - but there is some excellent stuff from past systems (I strongly recommend the Messantia expansion for - I think - Mongoose Conan. and the brilliant Betrayer of Asgard campaign - my second favourite campaign for any rpg, the first being Masks of Nyarlathotep).
Campaigns are coming. They were always slated for later waves so we could get the core books out first. I think we have three slated right now.
 
Top Bottom