Conan Plans Unveiled - Deepest Apologies

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The King
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Postby The King » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:37 am

Azgulor wrote:"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

You're way too civilized for my tastes, Herve.
It's funny to see a so-called savage making use of quotes, reading books, probably keeping a library and using a computer to express himself.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:46 am

Demetrio wrote:...it might be worth considering what sort of system would be best. Not in terms of how RQ, or SW or d20 would be the best basis, or just facile remarks like 'easy to play' and 'fast flowing'... but what sort of mechanics would allow decent experience systems to allow good length campaigns; good gaming at high, medium and low levels of play; straightforward mechanics that nonetheless allowed plenty of flavour; and a system of character creation that allowed creation of well-rounded and varied pcs but also easy creation of generic npcs (and strong guidelines as to the what sort of ability levels generic npcs should be presumed to have - most games see a discrepancy between what is defined as 'average' in the rules and whta is presented as average or geneic npcs).
Agreed Demetrio.

I dont mind talking about, or reading other peoples post about, systems and their relative strengths or weaknesses to simulate this or that setting. Thats interesting.

What isnt interesting is paranoid aggression towards anyone with a different opinion.

Getting back to games, I would freely admit that the RQ magic system would need a complete overhaul to descibe magic accuratelty, and playably, in the Hybrian Age. I think this is the problem with most 'generic' systems. If there is anything that singles out a fantasy setting, it is how that setting treats magic use.

I suppose closest to Hyborian Age magic, would be RQs treatment of sorcery. But, even then, RQs sorcery lacks the required 'flavour'. It would need a lot of work, as I say. I guess, a decent trasnporting of the OGL Cona magic system would work though.

I dont think, however, that either Mongoose nor Chaosium will end up with the Conan licence next time round, unfortunately for Mongoose.
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Postby Demetrio » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:04 am

I'm rather coming to the view that passive defence is a better mechanic than opposed rolls. Part of me likes opposed rolls (as a player) because I like to feel I have some control over my character's defence (illusory though it be). But the logical part of it acknowledges that opposed roles work against the pc in the long run (thanks Clovenhoof for pointing that out in previous threads).

So a roll to hit against a target number followed by a damage roll would seem to be the best combat mechanic to me.

And a reasonably concise skills set. I'm not quite sure SW is quite right in that regard but it certainly narrows things down considerably from both d20 and %ile.

I think you're right about the magic. RQ sorcery stank from the moment it was introduced, I think. The idea was kind of okay, it just somehow flopped for me. But it's not at all Howardian. CoC is muc closer in a way.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:22 am

Im not a fan of 'opposed' rolls, per se, but I do like a parry roll, and even followed by a variable armour roll. It can get long winded at 'runelord' status, but it reminds me of a kind of 'dance of death' where each combatant searches for that lethal opening in his opponents defence. (I like the gradual disintegration of weapons and shields too, unless they are magical).

This has the benefit too, of safeguarding decent characters from an overly lethal combat system. So a guy with, say 80% in attack and parry is exponentially more likely to win against a lesser opponent, barring a few unlucky slips here and there, which is fairly realistic and brings a bit of excitement to the proceedings.

RQ combat isnt really all that deadly for a competent character. Thing is, he can probably only get away with, say, one mistake, then he needs to take extra care. It IS pretty lethal for incompetent characters, though! But, if they are victorious in their early carreer, they can be there for a long time afterwards, as long as they dont pick on anyone they shouldnt.

In D20, by comparison, the system is ruled by a constant disintegration of hit points. There is an almost certain chance that a lesser opponent is going to lose against a better one, and, even if things go badly for the high level character, (unlikely), he is warned well in advance of his predicament. Less exciting in my opinion.

But, you know, D20 is great for other things. You can see real, but slow character advancement, the gradual accumulation of wealth and power is a real draw, and the whole thing seems 'character-centric', in that the system does everything it can to create an epic, long term campaign.
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Postby Demetrio » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:00 pm

Yeah, but if your defence number rose with your attack skill, you'd get the same effect I think, and save a roll. Though I'm hazy on how the mechanics might work at the moment I confess.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:03 pm

Demetrio wrote:Yeah, but if your defence number rose with your attack skill, you'd get the same effect I think, and save a roll. Though I'm hazy on how the mechanics might work at the moment I confess.
Hmm, I think, though rpg combat is enhanced by dice rolling. (Contrary to popular opinion apparently!).
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Postby Demetrio » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:24 pm

Yeah, instinctively I like to 'defend' my character by rlling a 'saving throw' against a hit.

But maybe it'd be better to allow pcs to have active defence and passive defence for npcs (to avoid loads of rolls for the GM?
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Postby Azgulor » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:35 pm

[quote="LucaCherstichbut Azgulor, that was a GREAT post!
(especially the quote)


You really express my same feelings, as I have expressed in all the past discussions: Love for Conan (although I loved Conan since I was a child, long before D&D), Love for D20, need of money to live, rpg is just a hobby, etc..
And I would add that I have no more time to learn (and make my players learn) new systems.
[/quote]

Thanks for the kind words. Like you, neither I nor my players have "learning a new system" high on their list of to-dos. Special thanks for finding Vincent's quote!
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Postby Azgulor » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:45 pm

The King wrote:
Azgulor wrote:"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing."

You're way too civilized for my tastes, Herve.
It's funny to see a so-called savage making use of quotes, reading books, probably keeping a library and using a computer to express himself.
Agreed. However, it seemed like the best option available. The limitations of the Internet...
Last edited by Azgulor on Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SnowDog » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:50 pm

Demetrio wrote:Yeah, but if your defence number rose with your attack skill, you'd get the same effect I think, and save a roll.
Or you could use attack skill with perhaps a (pretty) constant defense number. You can choose how much of the attack skill you want to add to your defense and how much you want to leave to your attacks. That way you can affect to your character's defense without rolling a die.

This also seem to work pretty realistic at least in theory. I base this to my admittedly limited experience in martial arts and sparring hand to hand combat. The more aggressively you attack the more open you leave yourself to counter-attacks. On the other hand you might be pounding the other guy so much that he has to defend the best he can thus avoiding all the attacks against you.

But anyway strict realism is not what we are after, I believe. What is important is how well to emulate the genre realism in Conan not real world realism.
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Postby BigSteveUK » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:52 pm

It was nice to see the license holders post and it did shed some light.

It’s a difficult situation for Mongoose do they try and produce some more D20 material to prove how brilliant they can do it or does it kind of put Conan on hold for 14-18 months.

With the film coming out it’s going to make Conan a more valuable license and also attract more competition.

Tricky, very tricky maybe SW & RQ could do a joint proposal thereby adding weight, fan base and splitting overheads.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:31 pm

SnowDog wrote:Or you could use attack skill with perhaps a (pretty) constant defense number. You can choose how much of the attack skill you want to add to your defense and how much you want to leave to your attacks. That way you can affect to your character's defense without rolling a die.
Rolemaster had this mechanic. If you were outclassed and had to wait for your mates, you could add your atteck onto your defense value. Like 'hiding behind your shield and weapon'. In fact, Iron Crown said if you use all your attack % for actual attack, youre crazy. This is a great idea and not too clunky. I use it as an option in my game, but, surprisingly, players always use their full attack bonus to attack. I think maybe I should ask them every round about how much they are going to defend for a little while, just to promote the benefits of the rule. Players have even more combat options, for very little complexity or bookeeping.

I have parry rolls for both my pcs and npcs. I think it works well. I also have overall hit points and variable armour values, (as in Stormbringer, and now BRP). Its a bit bloody, and theres a bit of dice rolling, but it works really well, theres never any argument and combat moves surprisingly quickly.
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Postby Pascalahad » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:00 pm

If the decision is indeed motivated by the extra profit that a future film might have on the license price, it’s at best a short-term goal, and certainly not adapted to the role-playing game market. No movie that I can think of, short of Star Wars, has ever generated enough attention to produce long-enduring rpgs. The Lord of the Rings, Men in Black, every iteration of Marvel and DC rpgs, (though not movie-related only, but which could have benefited from movie popularity, as when Mayfair released a “Batman rpg” following Tim Burton’s flicks), Aliens, Francis Coppola’s Dracula, Tank Girl (?)… Even franchises as popular as James Bond and Indiana Jones failed and have not been published in years. What make the license holders think it would be different with Conan ? How does they know the future movie even deserves such attention ? To the best of my knowledge they only have a director at the moment, Marcus Nispel, and no star signed, even if Roland Kickinger is rumoured as Conan. What’s to attract potential license buyers right now ?

Rpg publishers are certainly a different brand than toy makers and fast-food chains. If they are treated the same way regarding license price, the result is likely : we might never see a Conan rpg again.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:28 pm

Pascalahad

Interesting point. Thing is, I think certain licences are better than others. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine what three players are going to do with their characters in an rpg of Batman, for instance. Indiana Jones rpg is just yer average pulp system without Indy, too. Dracula, well, I guess you could be vampire hunters, but why not just play WoD?

Wheras, licences such as Conan, Elric, Hawkmoon, Middle-earth, Solomon Kane, etc., have got real potential for extended play possibilities, partly because of their settings in addition to a 'main character'.
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Postby Demetrio » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:52 pm

Yes, I think it's the setting that often makes a great rpg (and can lift even a mediocre one to playability, occasionally). That certainly applied to Star Wars too. But the setting has to be a wide one. A city (Gotham say) doesn't really cut it. And in the case of Dracula, well it's kind of a one-adventure (or mini-campaign) thing. You find him and kill him...

And with the exception of Star Wars, I think the really geat settings have a fair amount of novel/short story words backing them up. And settings with details. I feel Moorcock really kind of skimped on the background details of most of Elric's world in comparison to the other novelists you mention, which is, I think, why I've never really beeen too attracted. Melnibone is great, but the other places seem less fleshed to me, or at least less memorable (perhaps also partly because a lot of his Young Kingdom names were pretty crap really).

Middle-earth, the Hyborian Age, the galaxy far, far away, I can imagine them as interesting, exciting, vibrant worlds without their central characters. Whereas what's Gotham without Batman or the 1930s without Jones?

Actually, the 30s minus Jones could be a really intersting setting but I kind of feel CoC bagged that era (or the 20s anyway) first, with more of a kick.
Last edited by Demetrio on Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby warzen » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:55 pm

Demetrio wrote:And in the case of Dracula, well it's kind of a one-adventure (or mini-campaign) thing. You find him and kill him...
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Postby flatscan » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:56 pm

To Herve and PY, allow me to play devil's advocate. If Wizards of the Coast got the license and created the Conan rpg from 2010 on using a modification of D&D 4e, would you pump out the dough to get the books and just never play the game? That, to me, seems ridiculous. Howard's writing, especially that of Conan, is some of my favorite fiction to read. But just because the name "Conan" is slapped onto a book, movie, comic, whatever, doesn't mean I'm going to buy it. Whoever gets the license will not be making a 100% faithful to REH's writing game (this is true for Mongoose too). I've already invested a ton of money and bookshelf space to my Conan library. I'm not just going to buy whatever comes out because it says Conan on it. And there are some systems I just won't buy no matter what, because I don't like them. I don't care that you disliked the d20 system and bought the Mongoose game. That's your prerogative to do what you want with your money as it is mine to do what I will with my money.

Additionally, all the talk of RuneQuest at this point is moot. If Mongoose doesn't get the license then you're not getting RQ Conan. Chaosium couldn't afford it so no BRP Conan either. We've already heard from a Pinnacle rep and they don't sound like they have the man-power or money to support a full line of supplements. White Wolf? I dunno that they would even want it. You're quickly running out of contenders at that point. I've said it before and I'll say it again here, I hope Mongoose can retain the license. I don't care if they make an RQ version as long as they continue supporting the OGL version that currently exists. And no, I won't buy the RQ version if it comes into existence even if the OGL version is discontinued, because there's nothing about RQ I like. I make it a habit to not support products I dislike. Why does this offend your sensibilities so?
Last edited by flatscan on Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby flatscan » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:04 pm

Demetrio wrote:Middle-earth, the Hyborian Age, the galaxy far, far away, I can imagine them as interesting, exciting, vibrant worlds without their central characters. Whereas what's Gotham without Batman or the 1930s without Jones?
Kinda off-topic, but Hero games has used Millenium city as their main setting for their Champions game and it works. A single city can be large enough to support a supers campaign as the genre supports a superhero spending 90% of his crime-fighting days in a single city. And with a made up city, you can have it be whatever your game needs it to be. Look at White Wolf's vampire games. For years campaigns have been played taking place in a single city as different blood-suckers vie for control over the mortals they use as herds. Heck, entire Call of Cthulhu campaigns have been done in Arkham. I'd hold the reason a Batman rpg failed was not because of lack of setting, but because of general lack of interest in superhero games at the time it was published. Would it do better now? Dunno.
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Postby Demetrio » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:10 pm

I don't think Batman, James Bond or Jones have done that well because the concept is tied to a single character. You can hardly play a Batman game unless someone is playing Batman.

And while you can have rpg settings that are small scale, they're not as memorable, they lack the impact of a wide setting. But yes, Gotham City minus Batman is pretty much generic US city plus superheroes. You could have a nice campaign. But the setting doesn't have that feeling of being part of something greater
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Postby flatscan » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:12 pm

Demetrio wrote:I don't think Batman, James Bond or Jones have done that well because the concept is tied to a single character. You can hardly play a Batman game unless someone is playing Batman.
But that's exactly what the Conan rpg is. 99% of the games probably don't have Conan as a PC.

As to a small scale setting, I'll wager you haven't played or run a Champions or Vampire game. The setting can feel as "large" as you need it to. Gotham is not a generic superhero setting either. It's got a look and feel all its own. Compare it to Superman's Metropolis. The shadows are darker and deeper in Gotham. The crime is less technology based and more grim and gritty.
Last edited by flatscan on Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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