Module conversion for Conan

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Belkregos
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Postby Belkregos » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:19 pm

Bjorn the Barbarian wrote:I am seriously considering using the old TSR Lankhmar modules for part of my next Conan campaign. Low number of supernatural beasties and low magic setting, seems ready made for Conan adventures! :twisted:
I actually used that material for our campaign based in Arejun, some material from the novels as well
the silver eel, Thieves house, Krovas etc,
moved a bit away from the guild concept and it was more akin to organized crime syndicates, the mayor being modeled after the thieves guild of lankmar controlling major trade, racketeering, extortion, drugs, kidnapping , the rival organization was modeled after the assassins guild and had a front of mercenary organization providing private security for merchant houses
the shadow wars was full force and took out the bit of the rat people from the lankmar stories
it worked well, a lot of material to work with
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Postby Axerules » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:10 pm

The King wrote:I thought the CB1 was the one with Akivasha and Thoth-Amon and its silly random encounter with major NPCs of the saga.
It's only a code confusion but this module is still crap.

The other you mention is indeed very good (but thought it was the CB2).

However CN3 is IMO the best TSR ever did for Conan. With some works, this adventure can make for a great campaign.
I do agree with you, CN3 is the best Conan adventure from TSR. It included even minor changes to surprise those who had read R Jordan's pastiche (one of my players knew the book) . But as Hervé Daubet mentionned it, CB1 is very good. I made a few changes ( the manotaur became a man-ape, the summonings disappeared ) and it was really fun. The other ones like CN1 and 2 had only a minimal story as a pretext to go into a dungeon ( the ruined city in CN1 was in fact a huge dungeon-like setting, and the priests in CN2 were found in a complex underground grotto labyrinth ).
Last edited by Axerules on Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Harlock » Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:52 am

I think the old tsr "desert of desolation" series would be a very good option, or something along a similar vein.

Another old TSR adventure I liked where the think adventures which were actually collections of encounters & mini adventures that could be used as is or expanded into larger adventures. This would be especially useful for new gamers. Or for those like myself new to conan rpg and havent actively played any rpg for a few years.

What I believe is important relating to the 2 above ideas is that at least a couple adventures, even short ones be written with new players or low level characters in mind. I know I'm flogging an old horse here but thats one of the things the "old" TSR did right was just this sort of thing, that is adventures for different levels of play.
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Postby The King » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:58 pm

Just found this one which seems very "Conanesque": http://www.goodmangames.com/5015preview.php
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Postby Willowhugger » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:32 am

I think you could do a very Conan-esque Keep on the Borderlands. You need to move it to Aquilonia and have it be on the Frontier. The Keep Commander commands the player characters to root out a group of bandits in the region (Aquilonian deserters who live in the Settled region and use fear of the forests to avoid being hunted) then the Picts.

The Player characters then must go after the Priest of Darkness (Stygian or the Pict Gods) whom has been uniting Pict Tribes together like in Beyond the Black River. The player characters find nothing but Picts in the place until they face the Priests' own horde of undead in his cavern like home place ala "The Thirteenth Warrior."

Plus, you can have player characters murder women and children!
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Postby Hervé » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:15 am

The problem with all these old modules is that they tend to focus on dungeon exploring and monster bashing, rather than on a strong plot or mood. I tried a couple of adaptations, but most of them felt a bit like "playing D&D using the Conan rules" rather than have a real "hyborian" feel. Most of them need a lot of reworking to be enjoyable (just take a look at Thulsa's work! :) ).
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warzen
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Postby warzen » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:01 am

The Coils of Set, from Necromancer Games is supposed to be really Conan-like.

I also wonder is somebody could do something from X4/X5 and X10 (? "Red Arrow Black Shield"), the famous Master of the Desert Nomad series.
Of course, X10 will need a major rework, as the world is different, but it may be worth something.

W.
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Postby The King » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:55 am

warzen wrote:The Coils of Set, from Necromancer Games is supposed to be really Conan-like.
True, but it's heavy bashing (3rd edition rules, 1st edition feel).

There is also Shades of Gray (from Necromancer Games) with a direct reference to Lovecraft (Color out of space). It's a campaign and from what I read on Necromancer's forum I think it's more balanced.
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Postby The King » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:56 am

The King wrote:Just found this one which seems very "Conanesque": http://www.goodmangames.com/5015preview.php
BTW I bought this one. It's indeed an adventure that is usable for Conan.
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Postby Willowhugger » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:57 am

I feel this thread would actually benefit more if we focused on taking the *ideas* behind classic modules and putting them to use in a Hyborean setting. Really, any decent module will mostly incorporate it's setting into it and will be almost useless. So, post your versions of existing modules story-lines and what changes you'd make to have them fit the lands of Hyborea.

Against the Jotuns

[insert Northern land of appropriatenss] faces a threat that they have no comprehension of how to fight, for it is so utterly unlike anything that has happened before that they have very little defense against it. An army of Cimmerians supplemented by their rivals in the Asgard and yet again, THEIR mortal enemies in the Vanir have joined together to start pilling and destroying along the coast.

The player characters are assigned something fairly simple like collecting bounties on the heads of these scum and already that sort of thinking is hardly winning many favors with the tribes unaligned to this peculiar alliance (whom would be easilly enough swayed to attacking the clans were incentive offered).

In truth, the three tribes are nothing more than the unholy work of a set of Stygian exiles, minor wizards all, that have been put into the service of the Vanir Chieftain Sutrus. A corrupt and evil man, his clan was dying and sought some way to carve an empire. The Stygians have been using a special poisoned flower to make all three of the tribes more complacent as they have been persuaded to put aside their enimity....and gods.

This unholy alliance cannot last for eventually one of the tribesmen will throw off his drunken Lotus-induced stupor or scouts will discover the Midgard Serpent worship and black magic being performed, well before Sutrus the Drunk carves his Empire. In truth, the Stygians intend only to gather a sufficient horde to make them wealthy beyond belief before leaving the Vanir chief to hold the bag.

The transformation of Jotuns to humans makes the adventure much more suitable for low levels and the realization they're effectively brain washed might cause some small measure of guilt for the slaughter.
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Postby UberDog » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:18 pm

Belkregos wrote:Spoiler alert!
I just want to say that I admire The Myth of Sisyphus and agree with much of the philosophy therein. However, ultimately the redemptive quality of absurdity that Camus comes to is wrong IMO.

And Thulsa, I really like your site, I may adapt the Shrine of the Black Ones for my Conan game. Thanks for posting and hosting great Hyborian things.
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Postby Style » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:03 pm

Hervé wrote:The King Wrote
I like the CN series but the CB1 is crap. There is only (random) encounter with no connection.
I can't agree with you on this matter. I think CB1 is on the contrary one of the best TSR hyborian modules. It has a very "conanesque" plot and allows players to have a glimpse on some of the major factions of eastern Hyboria.
The PCs start as mercenaries for the Turanian army, then go Kozaki, join the Vilayet Red Brotherhood and end with a showdown with an evil sorceror.
Of course, like many old TSR adventures, the module needs some reworking and fleshing out but the basics are there. I used a revamped version as my campaign starter and it worked perfectly. I never used any random encounters during play (from what I remember there is only one random encounter table in the module-during the PCs stay with the Kozaki-and I didn't use it randomly but picked up encounters as I needed them to keep the adventure going). There's also few monsters in the module and all of them fit rather well in the hyborian world. Actually, most of them were taken from Conan stories, pastiche or not (the demon swarm that eradicates the Turanian army, the manotaur or even Bor'aq Sharaq that comes from the pages of Savage Qword of Conan...).
There is no dungeon crawling or abundance of magic items. This helps also to keep the hyborian flavor.
Agreed. I just read CB1, and I have to admit I'm very pleased. I love how the characters are given opportunities to take over a band of Kozaki and then later a band of pirates. The whole thing was so Conanesque.

The section on time spent among the Kozaki I felt was particularly excellent. I simply must use this at some time, either as part of running CB1, or worked into a different adventure.

The only things that I felt really needed changed were the D&D magic user and the manotar (which just didn't *feel* right to me). Both are easily fixed. Simply create a Conan sorcerer with what ever spells you like, and change the manotar to soemthing else. Maybe a man-ape, as Axerules suggested. Maybe something lovecraftian. A shogoth stalking the PCs through the labrynth would be sufficiently creepy.


I thought this was a good idea:
Willowhugger wrote:Against the Jotuns

[insert Northern land of appropriatenss] faces a threat that they have no comprehension of how to fight, for it is so utterly unlike anything that has happened before that they have very little defense against it. An army of Cimmerians supplemented by their rivals in the Asgard and yet again, THEIR mortal enemies in the Vanir have joined together to start pilling and destroying along the coast.

The player characters are assigned something fairly simple like collecting bounties on the heads of these scum and already that sort of thinking is hardly winning many favors with the tribes unaligned to this peculiar alliance (whom would be easilly enough swayed to attacking the clans were incentive offered).

In truth, the three tribes are nothing more than the unholy work of a set of Stygian exiles, minor wizards all, that have been put into the service of the Vanir Chieftain Sutrus. A corrupt and evil man, his clan was dying and sought some way to carve an empire. The Stygians have been using a special poisoned flower to make all three of the tribes more complacent as they have been persuaded to put aside their enimity....and gods.

This unholy alliance cannot last for eventually one of the tribesmen will throw off his drunken Lotus-induced stupor or scouts will discover the Midgard Serpent worship and black magic being performed, well before Sutrus the Drunk carves his Empire. In truth, the Stygians intend only to gather a sufficient horde to make them wealthy beyond belief before leaving the Vanir chief to hold the bag.

The transformation of Jotuns to humans makes the adventure much more suitable for low levels and the realization they're effectively brain washed might cause some small measure of guilt for the slaughter.
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Postby Hervé » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:56 pm

Yes, I had a great time running CB1. I fleshed out the mercenary part, addind a few encounters (the PCs were scouts ahead of the army) and using the "bad sergeant" cliché to harass my players. I took a lot of inspiration in The Hand of Nergal novel for the destruction of the Turanian army.

I left the Kozaki part more or less as written, added a couple of adventures with the Red Brotherhood (a treasure hunt inspired by Black Vulmea's Vengeance). The Manotaur did appear on a Conan pastiche, so I kept him (the Man Ape is already present in the sorceror tower). I also kept the summonings as arcane remains of Bhir Vedi spell that swept the Turanians, although I insisted on the fact the creatures seemed slower, weaker and more etheral. For those who can read french, I posted the whole stuff on the french editor's forum:
http://www.editions-ubik.com/forum/inde ... board=42.0
Look for the "Ombres sur la Vilayet" sticky. You'll also find some additionnal stuff like "Le Rodeur Dans Les Ruines", an old school introductionary adventure as well as my campaign notes for my Ancient Kingdoms:Mesopotamia (Anciens Royaumes) adaptation. The stat blocks are even in english!
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Postby afro-slav » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:16 pm

Gurps also produced a few Conan Modules also.

I was thinking of using the A series from 1st ed " The Slave Lords" modules.
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Postby Thorvang » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:50 am

afro-slav wrote:Gurps also produced a few Conan Modules also.

I was thinking of using the A series from 1st ed " The Slave Lords" modules.
Wow! Those were two of my suggestions as well! The Slave Lords series would require extensive conversion as far as encounters go, but could easily be set in just about any coastal nation in the Hyborian world ( although I think Argos, the Barachas, or Zingara would work best ). I heard the GURPS stuff was pretty good, too. I was also thinking that the 1E AD&D modules Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, Against the Cult of the Reptile God, Tomb of Horrors ( OUCH!! ), and Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh would work well for Conan, with some work, of course.
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Postby Style » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:26 pm

Thorvang wrote: Tomb of Horrors ... would work well for Conan
Seems like a pretty high magic dungeon to me, if I recall correctly. Too high for Conan. Teleportation traps, spheres of annihilation, and the like.

I've heard you can't make it through ToH with out at least some PC death, unless the DM pulls punches. Brutal.
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Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:16 pm

Yes, the CB1 and CB2 modules are really excellent, simple ways of using AD&D rules to play Hyborian games. I have used them in the past many times, and they always worked well.
The MUs/Illusionists do not bother me much. If one looks at which spells they have, it is none of the "flashy" D&D types. Actually, I collected all of the spells used in CB1 and CB2, and made a "Hyborian grimoire" of allowed spells (plus the ones in S4 (Lost caverns of Tsojcanth) for summoning demons and the like). It makes for a much grittier experience playing with MUs/Illusionists without massive attack spells, and without clerics.
The above, plus luck points and increased healing rates provide the basics for an enjoyable Hyborian game without tons of new rules.
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Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:20 pm

Oh, and the Manotor appears in one of the Conan pastiches (in the comic book Conan King Sized Annual #4). Not very Howardian, I agree (one more reason I do not like pastiches).
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Postby The King » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:36 pm

With some work, I'm sure Return to the tomb of horrors wouldn't be bad either.
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Postby Thorvang » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:35 pm

Style wrote:
Thorvang wrote: Tomb of Horrors ... would work well for Conan
Seems like a pretty high magic dungeon to me, if I recall correctly. Too high for Conan. Teleportation traps, spheres of annihilation, and the like.

I've heard you can't make it through ToH with out at least some PC death, unless the DM pulls punches. Brutal.
You're definitely right about the magic, but a lot of the magic is trap-like, and could be converted to physical traps instead. Some could be dropped altogether, and others retained as unexplainable, unholy sorceries from a darker age.....that kill you!
It is a party killer, and I would suggest one-off PC's as opposed to experienced characters built up from 1st level and loved by their players. I've played two brave (foolish?) groups through the module in AD&D and neither got very far.......TPK's for both!
It would take some work, but its a fun lesson for PC's that think they're tough!!! :twisted:
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