OD&D Conan

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Malcadon
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OD&D Conan

Postby Malcadon » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:29 pm

I found an interesting Conan "hack" for the Original D&D system called Age of Conan. I know few, if any folks here are familiar with (or into) the OD&D game, but someone might find it interesting (the core rules can be found here). Being for OD&D, none of these rules are final, and like the core rules themselves - its all house rules!

Even if you are not interested with any of this, you might find this useful. A Quick Primer for Old School Gaming is a simple guide for gamers who want to play the older games, but got into the game in the 3.x years. Its also has good advice for folks who want to play a minimalist game unrated to D&D (e.g.: playing the Hero Quest boardgame as a RPG lit).

One thing that was not stated, is the fact that Classes are not Archetypes into themselves. When you play a Fighter (Fighting-man in OD&D), you can be a Barbarian, Solder, Noble, Thief (Thieves was not apart of the original core rules), and so on, but no one is going around calling themselves a "Fighter". As noted with the Primer, you dont need special rules to cover everything, so the benefits of a Archetype is mostly fluff. So if you want a player's Barbarian character to be more distinguished then other Fighter-types, you - as the DM - could rule that he can go into a "berserker's rage" when the character is pushed into a corner. The benefits of Nobility can go beyond even what the Conan rules would allow (contacts, influence, and such), and without having to wait so many levels for a new benefit. Simply put, the classes is just a mechanical element, and everything else is just fluff.

If you are into old-school gaming, and unique Sword & Sorcery settings, that I suggest a book called Supplement V: CARCOSA (this is a useful add-on for it). This book takes inspiration from many sources (CoC, Elric, Wilderlands, Tékumel, Gamma World, Worms of the Earth, Out of the Æons, and others). Its a stark alien world with super-evolved beasts, strange technology, dark sorcery, cthuliods (and the Mythos), and humans so secluded and primitive, they are too insignificant to factor in the plans of all the dangerous thing in the world. The races of man are a color-coded race created by an extinct race of Snake-men. Such colors are as vivid as the colors of a rainbow - and then some. They even have the alien colors from David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus (Dolm, Jale, and Ulfire). The spells are non-mechanical, and would have the caster do complex and elaborate rituals for the spell to take effect. Most of the spells are Summoning types, and a few are Warding types. This game is as "sandbox" as you can get, and a lot of background details are left up to the players to full.

I hope you guys find something useful out of all this!
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Postby zozotroll » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:19 am

OD&D is what I started on. Not sure I could find many people to play it. But I would rather play that than a certain other edition that is a bit newer that that.
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Postby Spectator » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:03 am

Awesome!!!
In was kinda homebrewing this for the last 8 months, thanks for the point in the right direction, I'll keep you posted on my progress!!!
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Postby Jeffreywns » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:56 am

Would have loved to have had this available 30 years ago when I had most of the other books (pamphlets back then)! Very nice read, and a fun trip down memory lane.
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Postby rabindranath72 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am

Very nice, thanks for posting! I was working on a Hyborian Age game based on the Labyrinth Lord source text; I even converted some of the d20 Conan spells. But then lack of time prevented the completion of the project :( I hope to have time to resume it someday.
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Postby Hervé » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:31 pm

Very nice indeed.
The cheapest alternative to a time machine.
Thanks for posting. :D
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Postby Malcadon » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:17 pm

I'm glad you guys like it. Just to let you know, Swords & Wizardry has an open source file for the rules on their website, so you could alter it freely. The Conan rules have a lot to offer the older rules - cherry-picking rules is a normal part of the hobble.

I think I failed to understate to controversy sounding Carcosa. If you have read the link, you might notice how their are 2 versions - 1st edition and the Abridged. A few of the spells get really dark - "rape the puppy" dark! One of the spells that had a bad reaction was:
Summon the Amphibious Ones: This eleven-hour ritual can be completed only on a fog-shrouded night. The sorcerer must obtain the root of potency found only in ruined apothecaries of the Snake-Men. The sacrifice is a virgin White girl eleven years old with long hair. The sorcerer, after partaking of the root, must engage in sexual congress with the sacrifice eleven times, afterwards strangling her with her own hair. As her life leaves her body, 10-100 of the Amphibious Ones will coalesce out of the mists.
As nasty as that is, Carcosian Sorcerers are like the sick, twisted psychopaths you see on the news, and are often NPCs - but you can still play them. Not all Sorcerers are so evil, as Lawful Sorcerers are limited to Rituals of Banishing (note: alignment is morally ambiguous in this game, and it more based on pro/anti-cthulhuisom). It gets silly with somethings, but like Conan, its a mature game and it not that juvenile about things. If you are interested in the game, I suggest first reading the reviews on the above Carcosa link to see if you really want it. Beyond the controversy, it has a lot of unique rules to offer.

By the way, if you like minimalist rules with your rule-lite games, you should checkout Searchers of the Unknown - a one-page rulebook, with player stats no different then 1st ed condense monster stats!
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Postby Hervé » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:03 am

If you are into old-school gaming, and unique Sword & Sorcery settings, that I suggest a book called Supplement V: CARCOSA (this is a useful add-on for it).
The book looks interesting but the Scientology ad on their site kinda hurt my eyes...
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Postby zozotroll » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:39 pm

Looks interesting, but the only people that I know that might be interested are the ones playing in my current Conan game, and I dont want to shut it down just to change systems.
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Postby Daithi O'an tSionnaigh » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:42 am

I have the old Conan TSR boxset and I have to say I still love what they did with that game back then. 1985 was a great time for RPGing!
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Postby Spectator » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:02 am

I went to Piratebay.com and bit-torrent'ed the whole mess of AD&Dmodules including the TSR Conan (both adventures) and the Red sonja adventure. Great Stuff. There is a rules-lite revival going on.
Take a look out there.
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Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:51 am

Daithi O'an tSionnaigh wrote:I have the old Conan TSR boxset and I have to say I still love what they did with that game back then. 1985 was a great time for RPGing!
Ah, that was very very nice! Fast playing and very evocative; the rules for sorcery were very original. I have been working on adding elements from d20 Conan to that game, namely skill sets depending on race and professions.
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Postby Hervé » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:32 am

I loved the old Conan game, too. I liked the thing that your characteristics depended on your skills and not the contrary as it is in most games. The more you were trained in climbing, swimming and so on, the more your Physical Prowess would improve. It seemed far more logic to me than the "high stat gives skill bonus" usual stuff...

Spectator wrote:
I went to Piratebay.com and bit-torrent'ed the whole mess of AD&Dmodules including the TSR Conan (both adventures) and the Red sonja adventure.
I'm not so sure this is totally legal...
Anyway don't mix the AD&D modules and the Conan TSR modules.
TSR edited 3 Hyborian modules for AD&D:

CB1 Unchained!
CB2 Against Darkness
RS1 REd Sonja Unconquered

They also made 3 modules for their rule light Conan game:

CN1 Conan the Buccaneer
CN2 Conan the Mercenary
CN3 Conan Triumphant

The first two adventure were total crap (CN1 & CN2), but the last one, an adaptation of Robert Jordan's Conan Triumphant was quite playable.

As for the AD&D adventures, CB1 Unchained! is still really good, and still makes today one of the best campaign starters available, putting the characters in the roles of Turanian mercenaries, then Kozaks and finally Red Brotherhood pirates. On the other hand CB2 and RS1 were totally lame...

Note also that the original rules are still available freely on the internet:
http://www.midcoast.com/~ricekrwc/zefrs/
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Postby Malcadon » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:40 am

I could never get into the ZeFRS-styled games, because of the color-coded charts. Somehow, the idea of "Yes, I rolled magenta! Now I will cleave his head off, and bath in the crimson shower that is his blood!" sounds just wrong! (its an exaggeration, but you see my point) I rather use a percentile system like Chaosium or something.

I know I'm bring up Carcosa a lot, but that because it introduces two things that was really missing from D&D:

1) a system of magic that is not "Vancian", but centers around elaborate role-playing, and carries a strong S&S feel. I also like how the Sorcerer class can hold his own against a Fighter in combat - think Elric. I'm trying to apply the same basic sorcery design to make a list of spells that more world neutral, and with more variety then just summoning and banishing - a good number of which, are based on Conan & CoC spells. I'm just tired of dicking around with overriding game mechanics.

2) the use of super science, like what you see in classic sci-fi (like, A Princess of Mars), or comic books. It may seem odd that lasers and rockets are something greatly missing from D&D, but a number of classic sci-fi was influential to the game's creation - and the Swords & Planets genre is f**king awesome!

I'm not a fan of D&D wholesale - I just like to use it's loose frame work. When it come to gaming, I like to take stuff from all sorts of games, and use what works. My core philosophy is to keep things fast & simple, make things abstract & open-ended to cover anything in a free form way, focus more on the story development then slaving to the rules, use/barrow/steal/invent any rule/system/philosophy/fluff that would help achieve these goals, and most of all - have fun, dammit! So if you like bizarre settings, and the "Heinz 57" game system - you'll be right at home at my gametable! :wink:
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Postby andrea38 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:33 am

Hello guys!!


I've added links to your post BlU_sKrEEm, but was unable to find a couple. I recently saw the page for AD&D 3e, but can't remember where. I couldn't find Trikelu and have no idea what game "Sword and Sorcery" is (try Googling that for a quick and easy answer). Are you talking about Snorri's Epées & Sorcellerie, which translates as Swords & Sorcery in English?
Here's one to add to the list - The All-Seeing Eye, which is an "unofficial English translation of the first version of Das Schwarze Auge (known in English as The Dark Eye), the first German role-playing game".

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Postby Malcadon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:00 pm

andrea38 wrote:I couldn't find Trikelu and have no idea what game "Sword and Sorcery" is (try Googling that for a quick and easy answer). Are you talking about Snorri's Epées & Sorcellerie, which translates as Swords & Sorcery in English?
I think you are talking about "Tékumel", also called "The World of the Petal Throne". This is one of the oldest RPG settings around - predating Grayhawk (the first official D&D setting) itself! Here is a link (its quite a rich and beautiful setting).

"Sword and Sorcery" is not so much a game, as it is a genre - a style of fiction (this details what this genre is all about). I know Snorri (Nicolas Dessaux) from a number of old-school D&D sites - I also enjoy his minimal (1-page) rule set called Searcher of the Unknown. Epées & Sorcellerie is not so much a Sword and Sorcery themed game, as its a french-language "retro-clone" (imitation) of the original 1974 D&D rules - which mixes S&S and High Fantasy.
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Postby Malcadon » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:38 am

I have been keeping-up with Geoffrey McKinney blog (the guy who made that game I have been taking so much about on this tread) for info on his up-and-coming project. Although he is plugging his new creation, he list some great ideas on using more traditional D&D-type elements in settings like Conan and CoC. For the most part, he suggest leaving spells, magic items, and inhuman monsters as something strange, unique and highly mysterious, as well as makes some notes on how to go about it. He enjoys the same gaming style we play in, so I listed his blog as food-for-thought for making good use of high fantasy elements in a S&S/CoC setting without it feeling forced.

- Enjoy!
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Postby Spectator » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:46 am

Jiellen29 wrote:Hello guys!

I am newbie here,i want to join here and gather some info about this site,i really enjoy in this site...hope you will accept me here...
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God bless!!!!
Welcome, all fans of Conan are family.
Unfortunately, the message board has been kinda slow, but there is a wealth of topics in the hundreds of threads here.
Start there, and enjoy.

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