Cities of Hyboria and Catacombs of Hyboria for BoL

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Teodric
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Cities of Hyboria and Catacombs of Hyboria for BoL

Postby Teodric » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:42 pm

I have started out a hyborian campaign in Barbarians of Lemuria and I am using the Return of the Road of Kings setting book. But I am trying to find out wich other books that has as little crunch as possible but more usable stuff of campaign- and setting info. So I have spyed some of theese books

Cities of Hyboria
Catacombs of Hyboria
Ruins of Hyboria
Adventures in the Hyborian Age

I am looking for stuff that could be used for fastplay och getting-started right-away for adventuring. Of course I have to convert stats from Conan d20 to BoL and thats not a problem per se, but I want as little of it as I can (since Im not trying to make a full conversion of these two games but just what as much of usefull setting/campaign stuff for BoL in the Hyborian Age).

Could the listed books be a good buy?
Supplement Four
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Re: Cities of Hyboria and Catacombs of Hyboria for BoL

Postby Supplement Four » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:29 pm

Teodric wrote:Cities of Hyboria
Catacombs of Hyboria
Ruins of Hyboria
These three books use the same format. The front part of the book provides a simple system (roll or pick from a table) for creating cities, catacombs, and ruins respectively. Ruins is regarded as the best of these books because of the on-the-nose detail that Vincent put into it, speculating on the green stone that routinely appears in Howard stories and such.

The last half of the book are examples of the book's topic. These can be adventure locations for your game. Some of them are from known sources from the Conan universe, like Kuthchemes from Howard's story Black Colossus in the Ruins book. Other locations are completely made up, like Seven Stones Ridge in the Cities book (which I'm using for my campaign, if you've seen the thread).

There are some d20 Conan stat blocks here and there, but I'd say a majority of the material can be used in the game you described. Even the dicing system used to create random cities/ruins/catacombs in the front of each book is not specifically "d20", althought the d20 is used to roll on the tables.

The Adventure book is a collection of adventures set all over the known world during the Hyborian Age. If you've seen any of the published Mongoose Conan adventures, or seen the ones in S&P, you'll have a good idea what these are like.

I'd say that Catacombs/Ruins/Cities are much less "system specific" than the Adventures book, but you may be able to convert all four of them to your game.
Cimmerian Bard
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Postby Cimmerian Bard » Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:07 pm

I can only speak for Ruins of Hyboria, being it's the only one of the four listed that I own. And, yes, it's great for this type of stuff -- spur-of-the-moment one-offs, side treks, and the like.

Also, the last third of the book provides some excellent detail for the general architecture of Stygian temples, tombs, palaces, houses, and the like, as well as hints of other cultures too (Shemitish, etc.).
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Re: Cities of Hyboria and Catacombs of Hyboria for BoL

Postby VincentDarlage » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:21 pm

Teodric wrote:I have started out a hyborian campaign in Barbarians of Lemuria and I am using the Return of the Road of Kings setting book. But I am trying to find out wich other books that has as little crunch as possible but more usable stuff of campaign- and setting info.
Most of the books I wrote have surprisingly little crunch in them. I like setting info better than more and more rules. Other than quickly-ignored feats and a few other tidbits here and there, all the setting books I wrote (Across the Thunder River, Aquilonia, Stygia, Argos & Zingara, Shem, Faith & Fervour, and Ruins of Hyboria) would fit your criteria pretty well.

You'd probably want to avoid the Hyboria's F series as being too crunchy.
strategos14
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Postby strategos14 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:32 pm

I say get them all!!!
my cats name is conan
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Postby Hervé » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:49 am

Along with (Return to) The Road of Kings, Ruins of Hyboria and Across The Thunder River are truly the 'must have' books of the Conan range. Cities and Catacombs, while interesting, do not reach the quality of Ruins. Vincent managed to perfectly capture the REH spirit in that book.
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Postby rabindranath72 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:06 am

Hervé wrote:Along with (Return to) The Road of Kings, Ruins of Hyboria and Across The Thunder River are truly the 'must have' books of the Conan range. Cities and Catacombs, while interesting, do not reach the quality of Ruins. Vincent managed to perfectly capture the REH spirit in that book.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:45 am

Hervé wrote:Along with (Return to) The Road of Kings, Ruins of Hyboria and Across The Thunder River are truly the 'must have' books of the Conan range. Cities and Catacombs, while interesting, do not reach the quality of Ruins. Vincent managed to perfectly capture the REH spirit in that book.
Thank you, Hervé. :D
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Postby rabindranath72 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:16 pm

Ruins of Hyboria is simply brilliant; I have used it with other games, too; always to very good effect.
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throrII
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Postby throrII » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:41 am

Ruins is a great book (thanks Vincent). Cities, however, is sub-par in my opinion.

First, Cities does not even use the same format (based off the DMG) for generating cities that have been used in every previous Conan rpg publication (Compendium, S&P, etc). Concepts such as wealth level, available currency, number of guards/soldiers, are all absent.

Second, the system used for Cities population creation is way, way, way too small of numbers. An overcrowded metropolises in the book has a maximum of 45,000 people, whereas we are told that Tarantia has over 80,000 inhabitants, and Aghrapur has 160,000!! That same
"overcrowded" metropolis has a maximum of 740 structures.

The book also makes no reference to cargoes (utilized in Pirate Isles, Free Companions, and Shem).

All in all, it seems like a book for another rpg, due to the lack of continuity with other Conan products.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:52 am

throrII wrote:Second, the system used for Cities population creation is way, way, way too small of numbers. An overcrowded metropolises in the book has a maximum of 45,000 people, whereas we are told that Tarantia has over 80,000 inhabitants, and Aghrapur has 160,000!! That same
"overcrowded" metropolis has a maximum of 740 structures.
I like the book OK. It could be better. But, I will mention that, in the front of the book, it does say that the city creation system is meant to focus on the smaller, more player-friendly towns and villiages. The book is not mean to create Tarantia or Aghrapur.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:29 pm

Supplement Four wrote: I like the book OK. It could be better. But, I will mention that, in the front of the book, it does say that the city creation system is meant to focus on the smaller, more player-friendly towns and villiages. The book is not mean to create Tarantia or Aghrapur.
It wouldn't be that hard to make a system that creats settlements from small hamlets to major metropolises... and it could mesh in with everything else in the Conan system. Unfortunate it didn't go that route, I guess.
Last edited by VincentDarlage on Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Supplement Four
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:06 pm

VincentDarlage wrote:I wish I had been asked to write it.
I'd bet money that I'd like your version of the book one thousand times better than the one that was published. I'm sure I'm not alone in that thinking, either.

I was underwhelmed by the book.
I'm getting some use out of the book. I don't like to totally trash a book unless I find it completely useless. Since I've been building my campaign over the example Cimmerian town of Seven Stones Ridge in the book, I'm getting a lot of use out of it--my money's worth.

But, you're correct. The city building system is weak. I used it to define more details about Seven Stones Ridge, along with the clan population chart in the Cimmeria book. I did get a surprising outcome--that most people in the town were age 30 or younger. I got that from my story background as much as from the city rules, though.

I would have liked a better product, but for what it is, it's not totally unuseable. It's just not as good as I'd like it to be.

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