Module conversion for Conan

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The King
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:35 pm

Another thing: there are 2 settings which can be used in some way for Conan. Both are from Necromancer games again (many of their adventures are gritty and easily convertible because they don't provide many weird races/creatures like we can find in D&D).
- Bard's gate
- City of the invincible Overlord
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:11 am

Necromancer Games is out of business but Frog God Games replaced them. The did some reprints with both pathfinder and Swords and Wizardry rules (the latter being a D&D clone which should be somewhat less easy to adapt to Conan RPG). These reprints are much more than just an update of previously published adventures by NG and were developped into full campaigns like Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms and Stoneheart Valley.
They also very recently released a mega campagn (800 pages!) called the Northlands Saga Complete whose cover is very
Conan-like imo

These adventures can generally be considered as medium dark fantasy. Medium because of the D20/Pathfinder rules and dark because of the particular mood.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby Supplement Four » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:01 pm

I've thought about getting the Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms book and using it for my Conan game, but it seems more background material than adventure material.

When converting, you don't need more background stuff from another world, imo. It's for use with the Hyborian Age that we are converting the material. The adventure stuff is what I look for--adventures that convey the mood of Conan's universe.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:06 pm

Supplement Four wrote:I've thought about getting the Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms book and using it for my Conan game, but it seems more background material than adventure material.

When converting, you don't need more background stuff from another world, imo. It's for use with the Hyborian Age that we are converting the material. The adventure stuff is what I look for--adventures that convey the mood of Conan's universe.
From what I know, Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms is not so much background as a rewrite of 3 independant adventures to make a campaign out of them: Morrick Mansion + Aberrations + Crystal Skull. I have Morrick Mansion and Aberrations and they are very suitable for Conan (imo).

Of course as a campaign they probably added some background to locate the adventures but this shouldn't be to heavy. The original 3 adventures have 250 pages in all, whereas Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms has approx. 435 pages. But the whole layout is very different with very clear maps.

For instance, I bought the wonderful Northlands Saga Complete (800 pages) which was deliberately written with a low fantasy setting (I recommend it if you intend to play in Nordheim/Asgard. There are 8 regions which are briefly described, which can be a good thing because the North was never fully described. There is a small chapter on (Norse) gods but even then you can recognize the god of the frost giant from his name: Thrymr, which is very close to Ymyr in the pronunciation.
There are surprisingly very few new feats, magic items and some new monsters.
There is a big chapter at the end (over 100 pages) with all the maps (which are already present in the several chapters) and an important chapter with wandering monsters/people most of which making a lot of sense and could deepen the campaign.
The rest of the book is dedicated to the adventures from level 1 to 20.

The only drawback imo is the frequent reference to some Pathfinder books (i.e. bestiaries or the tome of horrors complete)
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:50 pm

I could also advise the Adventure path modules of Pathfinder, usually the first 3 books of most series (because the later are more about dungeon crawling) and would thus suggest:
- Jade Regent (Khitai campaign)
- Carrion Crown (horror campaign)
- Serpent's Skull (woud make an excellent Kull campaign)
- Curse of the Crimson Throne (urban campaign)
and may be
- Reign of Winter (Hyrkanian campaign).

The other series are too high fantasy for Conan imo.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:20 pm

I confirm that Jade Regent would make for an excellent campaign if combined with the Khitai sourcebook (there are onis and a jade emperor).

The 2nd book of Carrion Crown (Trial of the Beast) could be linked with the Conan Adventure "Conan and the Lurking Terror of Nahab". Both monsters are quite identical and both adventures are approximately for the same levels of adventurers.
The 4th book of Carrion Crown (Wake of the watcher) is specifially dedicated to fighting Lovecraft's monsters (Mi-Go, dark Young of Shub-Niggurath, etc.) while the outer gods and the great old ones are treated like usual gods with their specific entries (domains, sub-domains, etc.)

I am in fact surprised that some Pathfinder campaigns are very suitable for a Conan game.

Same is true with some Pathfinder adventures:
- Carrion Hill
- Mask of the living god (excellent infiltration adventure)
- From Shore to sea (a kind of deep ones conspiration)
- The midnight mirror
and probably some others.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby Supplement Four » Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:38 am

I was thinking of the old Basic D&D Expert modules X4 Master of the Desert Nomads and its sequel, X5 Temple of Death. I'm think they'd make for a good conversion to a Conan game--something along the lines of Black Colossus.

IIRC, the adventures are fairly high level in the 6-10 range, but this doesn't really matter. Use the story (adapted to the Hyborian Age, of course), the maps, and the situations. Replace the NPCs, bad guys, and critters with whatever level characters using the Conan RPG rules that you want. Make it a 1st level adventure, if you want. Take out a lot of the drops (no girdles or giant strength or anything like that) and the more fanciful, magical monsters (I wouldln't even replace them. I just take them out as Conan stories seem to have a lot less variety of monsters in them). The magical juggernaut is easily changed to a siege engine pulled by slaves or conscripts or soldiers.

It'd go perfect set somewhere in Shem, or Stygia, or Turan, or the Great Desert.

I notice that there is a lot of "givens" at the beginning of X4--a summary of what has happened to bring the characters to the beginning of the encounters. I good GM would turn this description into encounters and make his players play this stuff out.

I'm thinking of adapting it for Shem. The Shemmitsh gods certainly are interesting, and there can be a lot of religion in this adventure. Plus the Shem hardback would come in handy. I always like to take these things (published adventures), customize them, and add new encounters that I think up. Sometimes I take a piece of this adventure and a section of that module, add it to some fresh, made up stuff, all customized for the Hyborian Age, and I end up with a pretty cool adventure worthy of Conan himself.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:42 pm

Supplement Four wrote:I was thinking of the old Basic D&D Expert modules X4 Master of the Desert Nomads and its sequel, X5 Temple of Death. I'm think they'd make for a good conversion to a Conan game--something along the lines of Black Colossus.
It's true, many old D&D modules are fairly useful for Conan. I would say most of the Expert series in fact.
If you want to play in Shem, may be you should take a look at the module I9 - Day of Al'Akbar (AD&D) which is perfect for this region. There is a minor political plot.
I would also advise you to take a look at some the Al-Qadim AD&D setting (not all books are suitable, but the atmosphere is very Shemite).
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:01 pm

I highly recommend the Pathfinder Adventure Path "Curse of the Crimson Throne" which integrates particularly well into the Hyborian Age. Here is the pitch:

The king is dead! In the Varisian port city of Korvosa, the death of a monarch leads to chaos, and only the PCs can hope to save the city from its own darkest tendencies. As the rule of the young queen grows more and more draconian, it's up to a band of bold adventurers to stop the spread of tyranny before all of Korvosa is crushed beneath her iron fist.

In the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path, the heroes delve into the depth of urban adventure in order to stop riots, combat a plague, root out organized crime, and rescue political prisoners before escaping to the harsh badlands of the Storval Plateau, where only the friendship of the barbaric Shoanti and a weapon drawn from the heart of a gothic castle can give them the strength to return and depose the evil queen once and for all.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:50 pm

Believe it or not, I've often thought of taking the original DragonLance epic adventure and making it a Conan story. Sure, many would think that DL is too much standard fantasy, but I think...

-- That you could turn the story into one similar to Black Colossus. Instead of a mage at the center of the uprising, let it be a demon. Takhisis would be that demon. Change the look a bit, so that it's not a dragon and more of a multi-headed (snake headed?) horror out of Cthulhu.

-- Set the uprising in maybe Stygia or Shem, near some deep pit in the ground that reaches down to hell. Draconians will be a demon horde. Again, keep the stats, but change the look of them a bit. They could easily be monkey-looking, feral, primordial things with wings rather than dragonkin.

-- What might really be interesting is to have the uprising take a totally different tone and come out of Black Kingdoms. Hordes and hordes of Kushites, alongside demons.

-- Tone down the more magical aspects of the epic. But, keep some things. The trip to Xak Tsaroth in the first adventure is a trip to the ruins of a piece of ancient Acheron. Pax Tharkas is changed from a dwarven pass to a pass in Khoraja. Skullcap can stay the same--a skull shaped cavern (which was actually used in the 2011 reboot movie) and the resting place for a dead Acheronian mage that is now a lich. The floating dwarven tombs in the fourth adventure are just too cool to throw out. Make them floating tombs from Atlantis! Survivors of the Great Cataclysm.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:27 pm

I never thought of it (dragonlance) but there is indeed something which can be done with it. I'd rather think of serpent men in the time of Kull. However it seems this would imply some major work to adapt it because of the magic level. In Dragonlance, some things just can get be done without magic but the general plot could give some great adventures.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby Supplement Four » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:12 am

The Knights of Solamnia could be Knights of Pointain. Riverwind, Goldmoon, and the Plainsmen could be Picts.

I'd start the adventure in the Pictish wilderness, in Aquilonian held territory. Solace would be an Aquilonian frontier town.

You're right, though. It would take a lot of work.

Not that I don't already put a lot of work into my conversions.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby Supplement Four » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:17 am

What makes for an easier conversion?

A rule system that is close to that of the Conan RPG? Something that is d20 3.0/3.5? Even if it has high magic elements, lots of monsters, humanoids, and demihumans?

A game world with low magic and preferably all humans, regardless of game system?

In other words, is it rules--game system--that is harder to convert, or is it situations and scenarios that don't fit the Hyborian Age that is harder to convert?
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:00 am

I would never use Picts with Cimmerians though I can imagine Picts and Valusian and/or Atlanteans. Goldmoon, Riverwind and the plainsmen could also come from Brythunia or Hyrkania.
Knight of Solamnia as Aquilonian or Hyborian is an evidence.
But the draconian army is much easier to integrate if this is an army of serpent men trying to overthrow mankind and this would be better in the Thurian age where there are fewer nations which are all threatened at once and where the serpent men menace is a reality. Skullcap could even be the fortress which hosts the skull of silence, whereas the skull itself could be Fistandantilus.

Usual critters like orcs and goblins can be used as a degenerate race but specific creatures like dragons, beholders, mind flayers, dark elves and their allies, as well as sea creatures (sahuagins) are more difficult to include.
As to the magic, many AD&D spellcasters often use flashy spell like fireballs, magic missiles, lighting bolts and the like which are definitely not canon for Conan.

I don't know many games system but the D6 system from West End Games (which published an Hercules & Xena RPG) could be great. The Mongoose D20 for Conan was not bad but I dislike level and classes (even multiclasses). Besides, the system has to many modifiers. But this is just my opinion as it seems you like and know this system quite well. I still have to use my own conversion to the RuneQuest/legend rules and I am eager to give a try to the 2d20 system as well.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:44 pm

I heard that adventures from the Beasts & Barbarians game (Savage Worlds rules) were quite good and would perfectly suit in a Conan game.
Well, when the setting speaks of the ancient empire of Keron with greats sorcerers, it shouldn't be too difficult to imagine where the inspiration comes from.
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Re: Module conversion for Conan

Postby The King » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:05 pm

If you want to play during the area of the Empire of Acheron and have no idea, I can recommend the Arcanis setting, more exactly "Blood Reign of Nishanpur" and "City of secrets".
Nishanpur is the capital of Canceri, a theocracy governed by a triumvirate of priests which intrigues with and against each others very much like Xaltotun described. There are no non-human race in this nation. The population has no right excepted when people deliberately submit to one of the 3 gods. If this isn't the case, bandits can loot them openly in the streets while the guards wouldn't intervene.
Blood Reign of Nishanpur is an adventure which describes the beginning of a civil war in the city after the assassination of the leader by one of the factions.
City of secrets is a sourcebook which describes the city and also include an adventure.
I think it is perfect to describe the fall of Acheron and Python, its capital city.
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