[CONAN] GM's Closet

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Supplement Four
Cosmic Mongoose
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:28 am

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:13 pm

Ideas from CONAN and the Shadows of the Sinn

Female Characters

The Hyborian Age is dominated by men. Rarely is a woman described as all armored up, swinging a heavy sword, in battle, keeping their own, right next to men. It happens, sure, but it is rare. Valeria comes to mind—both incarnations of her (from Howard’s story Red Nails and the more battle oriented thief from the 1982 movie). Even then, it can be argued that Valeria (either version) is more of a finesse fighter than she is a strength fighter. Red Sonja comes to mind, too. But, Sonja’s power is imbued in her by her goddess. Her power is not natural.

In spite of this, I don’t advocate using any type of modifiers for female characters. The same 4D6, drop lowest, total and arrange to taste process should be used for both female and male characters in this game.

But, once the six totals are rolled, consider putting the lowest total into STR for female characters. This thinking will keep the gritty reality edge on the game that is a common part of the atmosphere of the Hyborian Age.

This is not to say that the women of the Hyborian Age cannot be strong. They are usually strong in other ways. The Temptress class in the game is devoted to strong Hyborian Age women.
Supplement Four
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3804
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:28 am

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:56 am

Supplement Four
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3804
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:28 am

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:16 am

Ideas from CONAN and the Shadows of the Sinn


When creating a sandbox, players are likely to go in directions for which the GM is not prepared. For that reason, I create contingency NPCs and encounters.

Below, I have developed two Cimmerian NPCs. They're from the mythical north and have made it as far as Raize. They are clan-brothers. And, they don't speak the language.

I put a lot of detail into these NPCs. This type of detail will help me use the characters in a wide range of circumstances. I get a feel for the people--who they are.

I think, with these, I may have the PCs meet these two rogues early--maybe in a tavern, or on the road. Then, I'll keep them for the PCs to run into them a second time.

For example, let's say that the PCs are thrown into the dungeon. Well, I can have one of these two Cimmerians already in the jail, and have the other engineer an escape--taking the PCs along with them.

These guys can also develop to be foes. Let's say that the PCs sneak into a building in the city where I am not prepared. They can run into these two Cimmerians--maybe outside. Maybe inside, already robbing the place. Maybe the Cimmerians will tell the PCs to leave.

The point is to have something that can be a very interesting encounter (and the detail lends itself to roleplaying) ready to throw into the game easily at a number of different places in the game when I need to buy time because the players have gone "off the map".

I don't know how I'll use these two NPCs. But, when I need them, I have these two very interesting NPCs (who will be strangers in the south) ready to go.

Morghun Clanson
3rd level Barbarian

Sex: Male
Age: 22
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 183 lbs.
Handedness: Right

STR: 16 (+3)
DEX: 14 (+2)
CON: 8 (-1)
INT: 11
WIS: 11
CHA: 7 (-2)

HP: 17
Fate: 3
XP: 3,000

Parry: AC 14
Dodge: AC 14

Initiative: +4
Fort: +2
Ref: +4
Will: +4

BAB: +3
Melee: +6
Finesse: +4
Ranged: +4

Code of Honor: Barbarian

LANGUAGES: Cimmerian (native), Nordheimer, Aqualonian, Pictish, Hyperborean, Nemedian. (This character is not literate in any of these languages.)

PROFECIENCY FEATS: Simple Weapon Proficiency (All), Martial Weapon Proficiency (All), Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Shield Proficiency.

BARBARIAN FEATS: Track, Two-Weapon Combat, Endurance.

1st LEVEL FEAT: Toughness.
3RD LEVEL FEAT: Two-Handed Power Stroke*.

*This feat is found in The Barbaric Warrior supplement. It requires STR 15+ and Power Attack, and the benefit it brings to the character is that it allows double STR bonus applied to damage when using two-handed weapons (normally, 1.5 times STR bonus is used).

ABILITIES: Versatility, Bite Sword, Crimson Mist, Trap Sense.

24 class skill points: 4 - Climb, 6 - Listen, 4 - Move Silently, 4 - Survival, 6 - Intimidate


+11 Climb
+2/+4 Hide w/ bonus in native terrain
+6/+8 Listen w/ bonus in native terrain

+8/+10 Move Silently w/ bonus in native terrain
+6/+8 Survival w/ bonus in native terrain
-2/+0 Spot w/ bonus in native terrain

-2/-4 Bluff w/ penalty if verball based
+0 Craft (Herbal)
+0 Craft (Brewer)

-2 Handle Animal
+10 Intimidate
+3 Jump

-2 Perform
+0 Profession
+3 Swim

+2 Ride
+0 Craft (Jeweler)
+0 Craft (Tattooer)

+0 Craft (Etcher)


+2 Slight of Hand
+0 Sense Motive
+0 Search

+2 Open Lock
-4 Diplomacy
+2 Knowledge (Local - Blue Foxlands of Cimmeria)

+0 Appraise
+2 Balance
-1 Concentration

+0 Craft (Alchemy)
+0 Decipher Script
+0 Disable Device

-2 Disguise
+2 Escape Artist
+0 Forgery

-2 Gather Information
+0 Heal
+2 Use Rope

+2 Tumble
+0 Knowledge (various Knowledge skills)

CLOTHING: Wears a billowy Cimmerian leine and a deer skin vest to cover his chest and soft leather trews for his legs. On his feet, he wears soft leather knee-high, wool lined, boots. Loin cloth. Thin rope belt for the loin cloth; a waist belt for the trews; and a wide, outer-belt over his leine at the waist. He wears a thin-metal hoop earring made of non-valuable metal in his left ear, and on this hoop slides two teeth--one from a wolf and one from a human. On his weapon hand, he wears a ring made of lacquered tree vine.

EQUIPMENT: Cimmerian Mantle on his shoulders. A belt pouch, empty a the moment, is attached to the wide belt that covers his leine. Also attached to this belt is a leather scabbard for his Cimmerian Dirk**. In his hands, he carries Stake, a giant war spear custom made for him by his clan's chief and weaponsmith, Finn Duncohr.

**This weapon can be found in The Dagger article of S&P issue 81.

Stake is a high quality weapon and thus receives the +1 bonus to both Armor Piercing and Hardness of the standard war spear. This is a heavy, massive weapon made of lacquered and fired Cimmerian oak hardwood. Steel coverings ornament the shaft at intervals, used as an extra step to protect the wood when deflecting blade blows. The entire weapon is decorated in Cimmerian spiral etching.

DESCRIPTION & BACKGROUND: Morghun is a tall, somewhat lanky (but well muscled) Cimmerian. He's got long, rough-cut black hair that he usually wears loose, bangs down in his eyes. The first thing you will notice about him are the swirling blue tatoos that decorate the entire right side of his face, from his forehead, down his cheek, past his chin, onto his neck and right shoulder. These tatoos are of the knotted, flowing designs popular among Cimmerians. If you look closer, you will see that he is blind in his right eye. A white, clouded orb stares back at you. The tattoos cover the multiple scars of some animal attack that must have mauled him in his youth. If Morghun grimmaces at you, you'll see that he's missing a front tooth.

Morghun is a member of the Blue Fox clan. He hails from a village at the base of the Eiglophian mountains in north-central Cimmeria. As with all warriors of his clan, he left his village at age 15 on his deasghnath (Cimmerian. Pronounced DEE-as-ga-nath). This is a ritual hunting expedition, performed alone, in which a boy leaves his clansmen and returns to them a man. This is how men become recognized as warriors in his clan.

Morghun tracked and found one of the big ice wolves in the foothills of the Eiglophians. The wolf mauled Morghun and nearly killed him, leaving him blind in his right eye and exposing his lung to the elements. But, Morghun persevered and came staggering back into the village, nearly bled to death, carrying the wolf's head.

It took almost a season for Morghun to recover. Unable to move from his injuries, the cold months of the Cimmerian winter crept in and bit deeply into his chest. Spitting up blood and mucus, the wolf nearly killed him again, this time from beyond the grave.

Many believed that Morghun would never see summer. But, the lad did. Finn Duncohr, the Foxman's chieftain, declared him to be named "Clanson" as Morghun had displayed the ultimate quality to which all Cimmerians aspire: He never gave up in the face of certain defeat.

Finn, a master smith, created Stake and presented it to the new warrior. Finn knew that, with one eye, the boy would have to learn to fight from a distance. Any foe that made his way close, into Morghun's guard, would have an advantage attacking from the side of Morghun's blind eye. The war spear Stake would be used to fight foes from a distance.

GM Note: Morghun's injury is reflected in his CON score. I actually rolled his hit points, and as fate would have it, I rolled low for levels 2 and 3 (he was given maximum hit points at level 1 per the game's rule). This also supports the character's injuries and physical state.

This character has been given a special -2 circumstance modifier to Spot checks while he recieves a +2 circumstance modifier to Intimidate checks due to loss of his eye and his appearance. In addition, the skill ranks applied to Intimidate have been maxed. Also, a decision was made to max out skill ranks in the Listen skill as those with a visual handicap will usually rely on their other senses to compensate.

Morghun coughs all the time. Many times, long coughing fits will result in him spitting up blood. He does not laugh for fear of breaking out into a fit, and he has become quiet. He says little, and this boosts his intimidating bearing.

Morghun's father is a leatherworker. Morghun became an etcher, producing the fine, detail work seen on some Cimmerian weapons and leather goods. After he lost his eye, Morghun first turned to jewelry making. In his left ear dangles a metal hoop that pierces two teeth. One is from the wolf that handicapped him, the other is his own front tooth pulled out of his head by that same wolf. Where his cough and eye and face always make him think of the engagement, the earring, with the teeth constantly clinking in his ear, reminds him that the encounter with the wolf was a victory.

The ring of woven tree vine that Morghun wears on his weapon hand is the first piece of jewelry he ever produced.

In times of late, Morghun has switched occupations yet again. His one eye strains from the demands of etching and creating jewelry, but he has put the skill to use tattooing his fellow clansmen. The tattoos are the same shapes that he used to etch, just on a bigger scale.

But, he found that he could not keep food on his plate by relying on tattoos. Recently, Morghun has switched occupations yet again. Since the engagement with the wolf, Morghun has experimented with brewing different concoctions to ease his cough. This has led to him becoming a brewer. His beer is his most profitable seller though its taste and quality is indifferent at best.

Of late, Morghun has picked up a taste for gambling though he has no skill in it nor does he understand much about gaming. This is why his belt pouch is empty. When Morghun gambles, he does it for the thrill. He doesn't place a high value on coin or other valuables. If he wins a coin, he's just as likely to pierce it and turn it into a necklace with a piece of cat gut then he is to spend the money.

In sum, Morghun Clanson is a tall, forboding figure. Quiet. Leering at you with his one good eye. Scratch scars and swirling tattoos covering half his face. And, that long, obviously well made war spear in his grip.

That is, until he smiles at you, his front tooth missing, proffering a leathern jack of his latest brewed beer of questionable quality.

Though shallow on hit points, this character can be quite offensive in battle. He will strike with Stake, doing 1d10 +6 damage if he hits. He can use Power Attack to increase damage, if necessary. And, Stake is considered a finesse weapon (with an improved Armor Piercing rating of 3), should Morghun combat heavily armored foes. At the beginning or end of his turn--whichever is appropriate--he will use his 5 foot step to increase range to 10' in order to bring Stake to bear on his opponent. Morghun rarely relies on his dirk as a weapon, using more as a general knife and hunting tool.

Although I didn't give the character any armor, I sure thought about it. I would make this a game goal. This character, gaining a chain shirt, even, would go a long way towards his surivival. Something quick and immediate might be a simple leather jerkin. Some Cimmerians tend to shun armor, though. Thus, this is what I've done with this character. I'm sure he could change his outlook, the way Conan did, once he learns more of the civilized south!


Cian McDowd
2nd level Barbarian

Race: Cimmerian
Sex: Male
Age: 19
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 168 lbs.
Handedness: Right

STR: 16 (+3)
DEX: 15 (+2)
CON: 9 (-1)
INT: 10
WIS: 11
CHA: 8 (-1)

HP: 16
Fate: 3
XP: 1,000

Parry: AC 13
Parry with Shield: AC 16

Dodge: AC 13
Ranged Dodge with Shield: AC 16

Bracers = DR 1
Bracers + Helm = DR 2 (As pictured above)

Mantle = DR 2
Mantle + Helm = DR 3

Mail Hauberk = DR 6 (+3 Max DEX, -4 Armor Check Penalty)
Mail Hauberk + Helm = DR 7 (+3 Max DEX, -4 Armor Check Penalty)

Initiative: +5
Fort: +2
Ref: +5
Will: +4 (+6 vs. Fear) (+7 vs. Corruption)

BAB: +2
Melee: +5
Finesse: +4
Ranged: +4

Speed: 30 ft. (25 ft. when wearing hauberk)

Code of Honor: Barbarian
Allegiance: Blue Fox Clan = +2 CHA check bonus
Base Reputation: 3
1st Level Deed: +1 Reputation - Left Ox Clan for Blue Fox Clan
Social Standing (Barbarian): +0 Reputation
Current Reputation: 4 = +0 Reputation based checks

LANGUAGES*: Cimmerian (native), Nordheimer, Aqualonian, Pictish, Hyperborean.

*This character is not literate in any of these languages. Literacy can be obtained at no cost to the character except for time needed to learn to read and write and an effort on the part of the character. Literacy actions are governed by the GM.

PROFECIENCY FEATS: Simple Weapon Proficiency (All), Martial Weapon Proficiency (All), Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Shield Proficiency.

BARBARIAN FEATS: Track, Two-Weapon Combat.

1st LEVEL FEAT: Toughness

**This Feat is taken from The Barbaric Warrior supplement. It allows the character to use the Fighting Defensively routine at a -2 attack modifier instead of the standard -4 penalty.

BARBARIAN CLASS ABILITIES: Fearless, Versatility, Bite Sword, Crimson Mist.

20 skill points: 3 Climb, 1 Craft (Carpenter), 4 Listen, 1 Handle Animal, 1 Hide, 1 Move Silently, 1 Profession (Lumberjack), 1 Ride, 4 Spot, 3 Survival.

-1 Bluff (-3 verbally based)
+10 Climb
+0 Craft (Herbal)

+0 Craft (any mundane)
+1 Craft (Carpenter)
+4 Listen (+6 in native terrain)

+0 Handle Animal (Trained)
+3 Hide (+5 in native terrain)
-1 Intimidate

+3 Jump
+3 Move Silently (+5 in native terrain)
-1 Perform

+1 Profession (Lumberjack) (Trained)
+3 Ride
+4 Spot (+6 in native terrain)

+5 Survival (+7 in native terrain)
+3 Swim


+0 Appraise
+2 Balance
-1 Concentration

+0 Craft (Alchemy)
+0 Decipher Script (Not Trained)
+0 Disable Device (Not Trained)

-3 Diplomacy
-1 Disguise
+2 Escape Artist

+0 Forgery
-1 Gather Information
+0 Heal

+2 Knowledge (Local - Blue Foxlands of Cimmeria) (Trained)
+2 Knowledge (Nature) (Not Trained)
+0 Knowledge (various Knowledge skills) (Not Trained)

+2 Open Lock (Not Trained)
+0 Search
+0 Sense Motive

+0 Slight of Hand
+2 Tumble (Not Trained)
+2 Use Rope

NOTES: At 3rd level, look at obtaining the Great Fortitude Feat to boost his FORT save. Look at non-trained skills. At 4th level, as Cian gains a +1 bonus to any attribute of his choice, look at placing that in CON and gaining +4 hit points retroactively.


On the journey from Seven Stones Ridge in the far north, Cian wears heavy leather breeks, deerskin boots, and a heavy cloth kilt. Up top, he wears a long sleeved cotton liene (billowy shirt). Around his shoulders, he wears his heavy bear skin mantle (heavy cloak).

All clothing items are High Quality (Craft DC 15 to create/repair) except for the mantle, which is of Superior Quality (DC 20 to create/repair). See the clothing rules on page 3 of Tito's Trading Post.

Miscellaneous clothing items include: Breeks and weapon belts. Cloth loinclout.

01.0 lb. Leather Breeks
01.0 lb. Boots
----- lb. Liene
03.0 lb. Mantle
00.5 lb. Belt
01.0 lb. Weapon Belt
----- lb. Loin Cloth
00.5 lb. Cloth Kilt


Cian wears an Aesir mail hauberk, albeit dented, scratched, and repaired. The set fits well Cian's shape. And, the young warrior was proffered a new Asgardian horned steel helm. See the Armor section of the stat block above.

When Cian became clansmen to the Blue Fox, he chipped a piece of stone from one of the teeth of the prachaun grule--the ancient circle of seven monolithic stones that gives the Foxman clanholme its name. This, he shaped into the image of a tooth. With a piece of gut leather, he hung it around his neck for all to see. As an animal bears it's teeth when it fights, so now would Cian, with a tooth of stone carved from ancient and sacred rock. When the Aesir presented Cian with the new helm, he had the stone tooth fashioned to a ring that hangs from the left side of the helmet. No longer would the tooth be hidden under heavy clothing or armor. All would see it when he donned the helm and entered battle. See the illustration of Cian above.

Note that Cian will not always wear this armor, especially the hauberk. The mail sits heavily upon his shoulders causing fatigue. See the rule on page 41 of Tito's Trading Post.

The only piece of true armor that Cian brought with him from his clanholme is the wooden targe for which he bartered just before leaving Seven Stones.

Cian wears leather bracers on his wrists. These serve as armor (see the piecemeal armor rules in either the Barbaric Warrior or Barbaric Treasures supplements) but can only be combined with other piecemeal armor items. See the Armor section in the stat block above.

35.0 lb. Mail Hauberk
03.0 lb. Steel Cap
04.0 lb. Targe
----- lb. Bracers


As the Foxmen set off from Seven Stones, Hrathnar shoved a long, heavy war spear into Cian's hands. When needed, he was to use it to punch at the snow to ensure footing.

War Spear: 1d10 Damage. x3 Critical. AP 2. Hard 7. HP 4. Reach/Finesse Weapon. Simple Two-Handed Melee Piercing Weapon.

Cian's main weapon is an old, well-used broadsword that he's had almost as long as he's been a warrior. It's a no-frills, soldier's weapon that Cian took from dead fingers in the aftermath of his first large battle. Though plain, the weapon is strong, keen, and quite capable. There is no doubt that this is a warrior's weapon meant for the single purpose of slaying foes.

Broadsword: 1d10 Damage. 19-20/x2 Critical. AP 3. Hard 10. HP 5. Finesse Weapon if wielded two-handed. Martial One-Handed Melee Slashing Weapon.

Cian still carries the first real weapon he acquired as a child, long before he became a warrior. After his 4th winter, Cian's father gave him an antler-handled dirk. Today, Cian still frequently uses it as a utility knife and off-hand weapon. It is not balanced to be thrown. The dirk can always be found on Cian's person, usually in its scabbard at Cian's waist. The Cimmerian Dirk can be found in S&P.

Cimmerian Dirk: 1d6 Damage. 19-20/x2 Critical. AP 2. Hard 10. HP 2. Finesse Weapon. Simple Light Melee Piercing Weapon.

He wars a finely balanced axe to dispense his wrath. This weapon is carried with its handle through a metal hoop fastened to Cian's weapon belt.

Axe: 1d8 Damage. x3 Critical. AP 1. Range Increment: 10 ft. Hard 5. HP 3. Finesse Weapon. Martial Light Melee Slashing Weapon.

05.0 lb. War Spear
02.5 lb. Broadsword
02.0 lb. Cimmerian Dirk
02.0 lb. Axe


Cian's mantle features three inside pockets. He doesn't usually put anything in them as he's learned that any substantial weight throws his cloak askew. But, he does carry some flint and steel, and some fire starter made of dried brush, hemp, and horse hair. The weight of the cloak is much more substantial than all of these things combined (although there's plenty of room left in these pockets should he ever need them).

On his belt (not his weapon belt) hangs a single pouch. In this, he carries a whetstone.

Draped across his torso is a waterskin.

----- lb. Flint and Steel (in mantle inside pocket)
----- lb. Firestarter (in mantle inside pocket)
00.5 lb. Belt Pouch (on breeks belt)
01.0 lb. Whetstone (in belt pouch)
04.2 lb. Waterskin (water weighs about 8.5 lb. per gallon)

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