[CONAN] GM's Closet

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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:45 am

CTB Novelization - 3

-- The Sword: the crossguard is fashioned to resemble a stag's antlers; the two-handed grip is wrapped with string made from the gut of forest tigers; the steel pommel is fashioned into the likeness of the hooves of elk.

-- The scene on the mountain ties into the creation of the sword. The chanting and mystic rite serves to render the sword invincible.

-- The attack comes at dawn. It is graphic and bloody, in the book. Even children are described in the massacre. One little girl has her throat pulled out by a war dog that chased her down. Conan wasn't fishing, as shown in the film.

-- Nial is a hell of a fighter. He takes out several of the attackers.

-- Young Conan fights with a knife, hamstringing an enemy. He fights along side his father.

-- The invaders wear bronze and iron breastplates, and leather armor. Their weapons were iron. Which is interesting. This means that steel came into more wide-spread use during Conan's lifetime.

-- Conan's mother fights with a broadsword, and she is a vixen. Her name is Maeve.

-- The enemy is a Vanir raiding party and not a mixed force (including Picts) as shown in the film.

-- Unlike in the film, the Cimmerians actually beat back the Vanir. There is a lull in the fighting. Little Conan utters a prayer to Crom, but his mother tells him that Crom does not hear his prayers.
Crom is a god of frosts and stars and storms, not of humankind.
-- The Vanir withdraw outside the village, and the archers start to pellet the Cimmerians with blankets of brass tipped arrows. The Cimmerians had created a shield-wall, and it crumbled with men dying and shafts sticking from their vitals. Then, the Vanir loosed the hounds! It's a hell of a fight! As the Cimmerians dealt with the war dogs, the Vanir archers were ordered to let fly another flight.

-- I thought the Vanir would shun the bow, as do the Cimmerians, seeing the weapon as that used by women and children, or only for hunting.

-- Nial goes down when his leg is hit by an arrow. He becomes a pin-cushion. His hand is stapled to the ground by one of the arrows. Then, the dogs get to him to finish him off. What a way to go!
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:52 am

CTB Novelization - 4

-- Rexor directs the battle from a hill across the river from the village. No mention is made yet of Thulsa Doom. Is Rexor a Vanir?

-- This strikes me as strange, too: when it was obvious that they had lost (the must have failed a Morale check based on number of casualties), the Cimmerians surrendered. All but Maeve and Conan threw their weapons at their attackers' feet.

-- Maeve is out of breath from the fighting, not standing motionless as in the film. She leans on her broadsword. Her son, Conan, stands ready, knife in hand, a cub that bites. Maeve is half naked, as this attack happened before she and the rest of the village had risen for the day. One of her breasts is exposed having fallen from its covering as she fought. She did not find modesty now.

-- The Vanir raiders kneel as the commander rides towards the last two Cimmerians to brandish weapons, Conan and his mother. The Vanir chant his name.

-- Thulsa Doom appears!
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:18 pm

CTB Novelization - 5

-- Thulsa Doom's helmet is jeweled. He wears serpentine mail.

-- The Cimmerian captives are taken north, into Vanaheim.

-- Rexor and Doom leave the Vanir sometime during this journey. Captives speculate that the Vanir paid the two for their services in the raid.

-- It is Spring before the Vanir reach their destination, the walled Vanir town of Thrudvang.

-- The Wheel is a grinder. It grinds grain--mainly corn--to make flour and bread. The slaves that perish are fed to the dogs.

-- Years pass with Conan on the Wheel, day in and day out.

-- Conan has a head for languages. He becomes fluent in Vannish, listening to his captors, and he picks up some Aquilonian and Nemedian from fellow captives. But, Conan remains un-lettered. He cannot write. This is applicable to the RPG, given the languages a character can speak.

-- This is neat: Sometimes the text is broken by an italicized section where King Conan speaks to his chronicler about the events being told.

-- A famine came to Thrudvang. Plague killed all the slaves died except for Conan. To the astonishment of the Vanir, the one Cimmerian could turn the Wheel, and he did so for several days until new slaves were brought to the town. Word spread wide of this deed by those who traveled to Thrudvang to have their grain milled.

-- The coins used to purchase Conan were gold, coins of a square shape. The man who purchased the barbarian seems to be Hyrkanian. He does have red, ragged hair, and a beard, but also slanted eyes and wears armor of lacquered leather. His name is Toghrul (which is a Hyrkanian name).
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:53 pm


You are skilled at landing fear into the souls of your enemies. Demoralize Other is a use of the Intimidate skill.

Benefit: Demoralize Others is a standard action that can be combined with a (standard action) attack during combat. In addition, the demoralizing (shaken) effect can possibly remain in effect for a number of rounds. The demoralized character is allowed a check each round as a free action to shrug off the effect. The target rolls his modified level check against the original Intimidate throw at the start of his combat round. The shaken/demoralized effect continues if this roll is failed.

Normal: Demoralize Other is used as described under the Intimidate skill.
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:41 pm


When converting a standard D&D adventure, or an adventure from most other fantasy games, for use in a Conan game, the GM will most likely dispense with most of the "drops" that are common in such things. Things like +1 daggers, rings of invisibility, cloaks of protection, and what not are either dropped from the adventure completely or converted to their mundane counterparts.

One idea that a GM can use for magical scrolls is to change them to herbal recipes. There are lots of concoctions to be found in the various Conan RPG supplements that show items that can be created with the Craft (Herbalism) or Craft (Alchemy) skills. Plus, there are other, non-Conan supplements that feature lots of usable herbalism ideas.

So, when converting a D&D adventure for use with a Conan game, a GM comes across a scroll of magic missile, he might want to consider either dropping the item all together, or making it a mundane item (like blank parchment--which is rare and can be sold...or making the scroll a note that is a clue or "pull" to another adventure), or substituting the magic missile scroll for something like a recipe for the herbal drug, Grey Desert Lotus*.
Grey Desert Lotus

This is an herbal drug, which is treated in the rules like a type of poison that has beneficial effects but requires saving throws against harmful side effects. At the GM's option, repeated use of a herbal drug could cause addiction.

Grey Desert Lotus leaves are powdered and mixed with water. The drying and powdering process is what is covered by the Craft (Herbalism) throw. Anyone can mix the powdered result with water--Herbalism skill is not needed.

Drinking this mixture will boost Strength by +2 for 1d3 hours. A DC 15 Fortitude save must be made to avoid a penalty -1 Wisdom. One hour later, another save must be made and if this save is failed, the person becomes nervous and skittish (treat as shaken).

The shaken effect will wear off with the STR bonus. Any Wisdom damage will heal naturally after the concoction dissipates in the body with the STR bonus effect.

Craft (Herbalism)
DC 20
Average Market Price: 20 sp.
*Grey Desert Lotus is something I found in the adventure anthology called The Spider-God's Bride and Other Tales of Swords and Sorcery, published by Xoth.net Publishing.

Isn't that a much more interesting item to put into your game rather than a plain old Magic Missile spell? If the players are interested, herbalism could become a major focus in your campaign.

Note, though, that herbalistic items are rarely found for sale in many parts of the Known World. Civilized and uncivilized communities, alike, view herbalism as a finger of sorcery! Thus, one who dabbles in the effects of plants may find himself outcast or even hunted by society at large. Jealous priests look upon such things as either Holy--something reserved for the most Holy of their religion--or as Evil--something that needs to be smited from the face of the Earth!
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:28 pm

Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:20 pm

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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:01 am


RPG Notes

A good source of Conan material for your roleplaying game are the various novels and short stories (and comics), both those written by Robert E. Howard and those that are not.

Here are some notes from Chapter One of Robert Jordan's book, Conan The Invincible. You can see how a GM can take these notes and run with them, creating characters and situations for discovery by the players.

A GM can use these notes as a starting point. Or, the GM can continue with the note-taking, making an adventure faithful to the source material.


It shows a great picture of Morath-Aminee.


Built into the steep rock of the Kezankian Mountains. Its dark corridors of stone chiseled with serpentine shapes leads into the heart of the mountain. Tall doors open into a column circled room with mosaic floor—a serpent surrounded by what looks like rays of the sun. Captives bound and gagged near the walls.

There is an altar: a block of red-streaked black marble. The trough around the rim of the marble pours into a large, golden bowl.

Amanar chants, and red and golden mists form behind the altar, billowing and flowing like fire. Now, there is space there--where there was only wall before--behind the mist—deep space. Looking at it is like looking into the deep black of the Abyss. Roll Fear of the Unknown Check? Describe this to make the hair on the players' arm stand up.
“Morath-Aminee, O Eater of Souls, whose third name is death to hear, death to say, death to know, thy servant Amanar brings these offerings to thy sacrifice.”
Morath-Aminee: Not quite serpentine or lizard. Golden scales. A halo of tentacles. See the book cover. Long body with head. Snake tongue. Teeth. Eyes dance like red flames.

Amanar slits the man’s throat with a golden dagger. Sitha hands it to him.

The tentacles from the demon strike at the blood to drink, but they avoid Amanar and his amulet.
“Eat, O Morath-Aminee.”
The demon also sucks the soul of the sacrifice. The sacrifice realizes that he is not dying even though his life's blood is draining from his neck. He cannot speak with his throat slit, but his eyes tell the tale. He's losing something more than ust his life.


Who live in the Kezankians. The give the Bastion a wide berth. They even make the Sign of the Horns to ward off evil even at the mention of the place.


A Necromancer. He's darkly handsome and has a close, cropped black beard. Short hair with a white, serpentine streak. Red flecks in his eyes.

He wears a black robe with gold embroidered serpents that tie the robe a the waist. They swing up the back, entwining, over his shoulder to rest on his chest. Jewels for eyes.

Amanar’s Amulet: A golden serpent in the clutches of a silver hawk. This protects him.

Background: Amanar studied at the feet of the Black Ring mages in Khemi, Stygia. He read the dreaded Book of Typhon. It is said that no human mind can comprehend the terrible knowledge contained in the book, or even learn a single word of it without madness and death.

Amanar read a single page. Even this sent him running out of the city into the desert like a howling madman.

He cannot die because of what he read. But, he was mad, living in hell, ever wrestling with the evil knowledge that he had learned. He came upon the ruins of Pteion the Accursed and found there, bound for rebellion against Set, Morath-Aminee. He released the god-demon, bound it to his will, and protected himself with the amulet.

Sorcerery: To keep body parts, like hearts, fresh. On a golden plate.

No mortal weapon will harm him until his soul is taken from him. If you cut him, he does not bleed.


Description: Look like ordinary men from a distance. But, their faces are slightly pointed. Red flecks in eyes. Skin shows reptilian scales. Elongated hands have claws.

Armor: Ridged helm. Ring Mail.

Weapons: Spear. Tulwar on hip.

They eat fresh meat. They eat humans.


S’Tarra commander of Amanar’s Henchmen.

Thick, muscled arms.

Weapons: No Tulwar. Great, doubled edged-axe.
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:31 pm

Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:17 pm

Random Sword & Sorcery Tables


1 curved dagger
2 Dao-Khee
3 caravan or caravanserai
4 jewelry or gem
5 pirate ship
6 corrupt advisor
7 sewer tunnel
8 temple guardian
9 feat of desperate strength
10 cursed artifact or weapon
11 burglary or kidnapping
12 treachery or betrayal
13 naked female captive
14 perverted aristocrat
15 Amoth
16 sorcerous trap
17 drunken orgy
18 ancient law that demands a life be taken
19 blood-red
20 gladiatorial pit
21 mad magician or ancient mummy
22 old god from the stars
23 Pathar
24 maze of city streets
25 barren wildlands
26 savage or neanderthal
27 girdle of silk
28 elaborate human sacrifce
29 double-crossing
30 smuggler
31 peacock feathers or ostrich plumes
32 ancient chariot
33 spider or spiderweb
34 escape under of cover of night
35 well-guarded fortress
36 oath or exclamation
37 human vice or addiction
38 living for the day
39 port
40 concubine or temptress
41 black
42 dungeon
43 high priest
44 pyramid or ziggurat
45 forbidden tower
46 local guide
47 chance meeting
48 chieftain or prince
49 ghoul
50 pantherish grace
51 poisoned weapon or drink
52 cannibal or head-hunter
53 tent city
54 masked nomad
55 winged demon
56 slaver or kidnapper
57 arrogant noble
58 tyrannical government
59 wealthy merchant
60 secret society or hidden complex
61 carnivorous ape
62 king of thieves
63 slave
64 yellow
65 grinning bronze or ivory idol
66 inhuman skull
67 Zhuul
68 lotus-flower
69 two-handed sword
70 fist-sized gem
71 blue and gold tapestry
72 prison
73 ambush
74 sleeping giant snake
75 Ykhanthra
76 duel
77 eunuch
78 marketplace or bazaar
79 incense-burner
80 voluptous princess
81 raiders or brigands
82 steaming jungle
83 forgotten tomb
84 shipwreck
85 scroll or book
86 battle or battlefield
87 were-beast, she-wolf or half-human hybrid
88 strange stone or metal
89 pygmy or dwarf
90 wine or drunkenness
91 cult or secret organization
92 revenge or blood feud
93 heresy or persecution
94 murder or slaying
95 mystic from the East
96 perverted or degenerate entertainment
97 Urkhab
98 T’ntaa
99 cold iron
100 lost or degenerate civilization

1 oath or honor
2 blood
3 mammoth or elephant tusks
4 legend or lie
5 dying or inherited curse
6 betrayal or deception
7 temple prostitute or temple virgin
8 plague
9 servitude or captivity
10 banishment or exile
11 king of kings
12 desert or wasteland
13 corruption
14 dragon or giant reptile from a lost age
15 moon or moonlight
16 tentacled monstrosity
17 arcane or sacred ritual
18 snake-people
19 heir or chosen one
20 childbirth
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:26 pm

Delete. Dupe post.
Last edited by Supplement Four on Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:26 pm

Player's Guide to Xoth

This could be useful to a Conan campaign. It's a Pathfinder based Player's Guide to the private gaming world of Xoth, which is the sword & sorcery campaign of Morten Braten (a.k.a. Thulsa).


Venture in the footsteps of Conan the Cimmerian, Satampra Zeiros of Uzuldaroum, Imaro of Nyumbani, and other fabled thieves, reavers and slayers!

Enter the City of Stone and slay the high priest of Jul-Juggah! Plunder the ancient gold of Namthu! Seek the fabled jewel of Khadim Bey, but beware the nameless horrors of the Al-Khazi desert!

Fight the dread adepts of the ape-god, or succumb to the pleasures of the Moon-Juice of Yaatana! Or perhaps you will perish by the curses of Ur-Kharra, the long-dead sorcerer-king of Elder Kuth?

One section of this Player's Guide that I find useful is the three page description that defines Sword & Sorcery game (as opposed to typical high fantasy gaming).

-- Out With Alignment

-- Monsters are Monstrous

-- Magic is Mysterious

-- Combat is Deadly

-- Wounds Heal Quickly

-- Treasure Should Be Spent

-- The Tale is its Own Reward
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:53 pm


Way back when, when I ran my long-term campaigns playing AD&D and AD&D 2E, one of the rules I used was that character level advancement usually (not always) required some sort of mentor/teacher/trainer. This could be some grizzled old war veteran who could teach a new move, or this could be some long, lost grimoire that revealed new spells and new secrets about the true nature of the universe. Sometimes, it was an angel/avatar/servant of some god sent to the faithful to guide them along their spiritual path.

The one thing all these methods of learning had in common was that they cost money. They took up tie and resources.

I note that the Xoth Player's Guide above suggests stiff payment for training. That book suggests this as a method for keeping the PCs low in coin, in the true Sword & Sorcery style.

For a Conan campaign, I suggest that the GM consider training as an option but not to assign any hard and fast rules to them. It is clear, at least to me, that Conan improved by himself through his many careers. There was no master thief that mentored him Shadizar, but Conan probably learned the use of the bow from someone during his journeys.

I suggest, from time to time, use trainers, mentors, and teachers in your game--but don't require it for every level advancement. If a player wants is character to have a specific Feat, then maybe a teacher is required for that one feat. Or, maybe a Nomad classed character wants to multi-class into a Pirate. Obviously, that's a strange combination, and the GM is within his rights to require the character to spend some time at sea among pirates. Maybe, in your campaign, the players become slave gladiators, or maybe northern pit fighters, or maybe soldiers in some mad king's army. The GM can skip time, advancing the campaign's timeline a year or two (or even play out the PCs time as a mercenary), allowing this to open up the Soldier class as a multi-classing option.

Books can be found that will help characters learn a new language. An old, one-eyed thief can be employed to teach a character how to pick locks.

What I'm suggesting here is to not just allow character to improve by themselves all the time. That should be the norm, but use common sense. If a player wants to pick up the Herbalism skill, but doesn't have a background that fits the character knowing that skill, then the GM should step in and require a teacher. Maybe the GM can even make an adventure out of it.

And, as suggested by the Xoth Player's Guide, learning new things can be very expensive--depending on how the learning is applied or how much a teacher requires in compensation.

No rules. Keep it organic and part of the story.
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:40 pm


When a character advances a level, I award them their new hit points and bonuses due to that level. My thought is that the character has earned that through the acquisition of experience points.

What I don't do is allow new Feats and skills to magically improve the character. The character is eligible for a new Feat, now that he has attained the level, but the character may not have learned enough for the Feat to take effect. If the Feat is a combat feat, and the character has done a lot of fighting over the time of his previous level, then I automatically make that Feat available to him. But, if the character wants a Feat, like Improved Unarmed Strike, and I can't remember the last time the character attempted an unarmed strike, then the character needs to train.

For skills, I do the same. I just use common sense. If a character never climbs but wants to put some new points into his Climb skill, then he needs to start practicing.

Once players get the hang of this, they'll start practicing skills or finding trainers before they advance in level. Otherwise, they'll have to practice and/or find a trainer during their current level.

If a character wants to multiclass into a class where he has no experience, then the character has to do the same. A Scholar classed character cannot multi-class into a Soldier class without at least practicing weapons, getting used to wearing armor, etc. And, this usually requires a trainer to show the character how to fight. Again, if the player thinks of multiclassing his Scholar into a Scholar/Soldier at level 4, then at level 3, the player needs to have his character seek out training.

What About A Roll?

I typically just use common sense about Self Improvement, but if you want a roll, then pick the most appropriate character attribute and roll that or less on a d20. Success means that the character advances. Failure means that the character needs training before advancement is possible.

This works especially well with skills. Let's say that a Nomad character levels up and wants to use some of his new points to improve his Survival skill. That's a no-brainer for me. Survival is a Nomad class skill. I'd allow the improvement automatically. No training needed.

But, let's say that same Nomad wants to start a brand new skill--a skill he hasn't improved before--like Craft (Swordsmith). Mundane skills like these are Nomad class skills as well, but this Nomad has never improved the skill. He doesn't know much beyond what his innate knowledge gives him from his INT score.

In this case, I would probably require the Nomad to gain training from a smith. But, let's say that the Nomad's background was that he spent time among the Meadow Shemites, and the player says that there's at least a chance that he picked up some knowledge from a smith in one of those City-States.

In this instance, I might let the dice decide. Besides, dicing is fun! Craft (Swordsmith) is governed by INT. So, just throw a d20, looking for the Nomad's INT or less. If the roll is successful, then no training is required. The Nomad has the required background knowledge. If the roll fails, then training is required before any skill points can be applied to that skill for that character.

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