[CONAN] GM's Closet

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:43 pm

KINGMAKER!

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An adventure path for Pathfinder was published some years ago that set the players up in a sandbox wilderness area. The players are free to go anywhere they want. There is no over-all plot or story arc, though there are some interesting stories to discover. The PCs are given a charter to explore the area and eventually settle parts of it.

When I first saw this, I purchased it. I thought it would be an excellent base to use, transplanted to the Pictish Wilderness. The PCs would get their charter from Aquilonia, of course, and the PCs would try to explore and tame the lands of the Picts.

I still haven't converted the adventure path for play during the Hyborian Age, but I mention it here in case you like the idea and want to run with it. There are lots of pics and maps about Kingmaker on the net. There's a free Player's Guide that can be downloaded from Paizo. And, I understand that the adventure path is being turned into a computer roleplaying game.

From a Conan point of view, the players could become Aquilonian barons, granted a section of land annexed by that kingdom, through this adventure. Two books that would be extremely helpful to you are ACROSS THUNDER RIVER, the Conan RPG sourcebook that covers the Aquilonian border and Pictish Frontier, and AQUILONIA - FLOWER OF THE WEST.

Robert E. Howard wrote a few pages centered on Aquilonia in an essay he titled NOTES ON VARIOUS PEOPLES OF THE HYBORIAN AGE. You may be able to find this on the net. I read it in my copy of THE COMPLETE CHRONICLES OF CONAN by Robert E. Howard. It is also included among other published collections of Conan tales.



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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:30 am

HAGGLE!



Sometimes, in a market, it is fun to roleplay out the encounters with merchants. I encourage that type of play. But, there are other times when you just want to dice and encounter and keep the game moving. When to do this is up to the GM. It is he who is trusted with keeping his finger on the pulse of the game, monitoring the ebb and flow, always keeping the game interesting.

If you want to dice haggling real quick, then just use the Diplomacy skill, for what is Diplomacy but a negotiation? Have both sides of the barter roll the skill. If the merchant wins, then the difference between the skill rolls is considered the agreed upon increase in price.

For example, if the PC rolls 17, and the NPC merchant rolls 23. Then the agreed upon price is 6% higher than the item's base price.

NOTE 1: To make things easy, just round to 5%. Every 5 points rolled above the PC's haggle roll means +5% to the base price. That will give you a decent window (4 points above or below) to agree upon a price that is exactly equal to the base price. In the example, a merchant roll of 17-21 would mean that the base price is agreed upon. If the merchant's roll is 22-26, that means +5% on to of base. 27-31 would be +10%, and so on. It's just easier to add or subtract 5 or 10 percent rather than having to figure 7% of this and 9% of that.

NOTE 2: The base price is not necessarily the price shown in the equipment list. Remember, those prices are for base models. If you want Merchant Quality or Noble Quality, then increase the base price accordingly.

NOTE 3: Some areas of the Hyborian Age will have wider swings. Instead of 5-10-15-20 percent, and so on, think in 10-20-30-40-50 percent categories.

If the PC wins the Diplomacy toss, the the math is the same, except the price swing goes in the PC's favor. You will figure discount below base price.





ROLEPLAYING

You can also use this quick dicing method even if you are roleplaying the encounter. Have the player make his roll. Then, you roll for the merchant. The result is something you should use in your roleplaying of the merchant. If the PC wins, then let that influence your roleplay in that you will play the encounter, allowing the PC to get the better hand. And, the differences in the tosses will tell you where to guide the final price.

If the merchant wins the toss, then use the roll in the opposite fashion. Roleplay the merchant as a hard negotiator, and try to end the bargaining close to the price indicated by the dice roll.



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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:31 am

ARGOSSEAN BASE DWELLING



This is a description of a basic dwelling in Argos. As with all other items, more expensive, better furnished abodes are available to those who can afford them.

Walls are typically made of unbaked brick or adobe. Where wood is less expensive, wood will be used. The floor is covered by wood or by cheap cut stone and mortar. The roof is almost always wood braced tiles. Flat roofs are made like floors, with wood and brick.

Most often, the apartments are designed with at least two large windows, one on each side of the room. Shops usually are seen at the street level with apartments above them. The windows allow air circulation to blow through the home. Some of these windows use barred wood shutters. In the poorest of homes, the widow can only be closed by pulling a cloth curtain across the window. Safety measures in this case include tying the curtain closed and attaching small bells to the curtain that will alert the dwellers of a thief moving or cutting the curtain in order to gain entry. During wind storms, the city quarter will sing with the sound of these bells.

Sometimes, there is a communal hallway linking apartments, with a single, heavy wood door (bolted) opening to the elements, and lesser wood doors used to enter the apartments off the hallway.

Rooms have no rugs. Walls are bare. Though, there may be a wooden shelf here or there. A wooden table is common. Apartments can be single-room affairs, or there may be adjoining rooms. Doors are not used. Instead, a tapestry is used to separate rooms.

Chamber pots of baked clay are not items of the house. They are owned by the guild. They are put outside the home, and the guild will pick them up, leaving another, clean pot.

Beds are typically piles of straw (with cloth atop that) or cloth, on the ground. There is usually at least one oil lamp, but oil is expensive, so it is only used when necessary.

Often, sections of the home are dedicated to a profession--a work table with tools or a spinning wheel in the corner. Finished goods are taken to the bazaar to be sold.

A brass or iron brazier stands on the floor for cooking. Above it is a wooden vent. Usually, this takes up one wall. There's a bin to hold charcoal. A cabinet holds dry meat, cheese, warm milk, fruit, and maybe bread. There may be a grain cupboard and a large water satchel or barrel. And, a flat table used to prepare foods. Clay is used for most small containers and plates. Utensils are iron or wood.

There may be a community cold locker, underground, where blocks of ice are used in an insulated room to keep items cold. There may or may not be a charge to use the cold room.

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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:17 am

CERAS OUTPOST 30' TOWERS and OUTER WALLS


CERAS OUTPOST WALLS

These walls are made of granite blocks, averaging one foot thick and 20' high. Spikes, caltrops, broken glass set at base of walls on the outside, out to 5-10'. Hardness 8, HP 90, Break DC 35. Climb DC 15.

On the inside, the wall ramp is 15' above the ground, and there is a 5' battlement along the ramp. The battlement murder slits provide 9/10 cover to archers. Moveable wood ladders are sometimes used to access the wall ramp.





CERAS OUTPOST 30' TOWERS

The tower is also constructed of granite block, in three sections. The tower is 30' high and 20' in diameter.

The Ground Room is 15' high, where 5' in the ceiling is given to drawbridge or portcullis machinery. There is stone stairway that runs along the wall opening in the floor of the room above. Two trap doors in the ceiling use a pulley system to raise and lower supplies easily. A thick, iron-bound and barred door opens into the outpost.

The Ramp Room as twin, opposite doors opening onto the wall ramp. The room is 10' tall. There is a single trap door in the ceiling that allows access--via iron ladder attached to the wall--to the tower battlement.

The Tower Top has a 5' battlement. An arrow trough allows easy access to ammunition--this is set in the battlement apron. There is a movable pulley tripod that is used to bring up heavy supplies. This is folded and stored in the Ramp Room when not in use. Some towers have Billistae or Light Catapults. A small ground tent and blanket pallet is used when two guards share the Tower Top. One stands on duty while the other rests in the shade provided by the tent.
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:41 am

CHARACTER CLASSES IN ARGOS



BARBARIANS

They are very rare in Argos, but there are pockets of lost communities in the kingdom. Hillmen of the Red Hills are classed as Barbarians. Some live on the islands off the coast of Argos. Most are mixed breeds with the Zingarans or the Shemites.

Gladiators are also classed as Barbarians, and they make up the highest population of the class in Argos.



BORDERERS

Another rare class (though not as rare as the Barbarians) are the Borderers. Many of them are multi-class. Many serve as soldiers or scouts on the borders of the kingdom. The class is also used for explorers.



NOBLES

These are a common class, though limited in number, in the feudal interior of Argos and in the coastal cities as well.



NOMADS

The lifestyle of a Nomad is rejected by almost all Argosseans. The Nomads that exist in the kingdom are usually foreigners.



SCHOLARS

Argos thrives with Scholars, especially in the coastal cities. They come from all walks of life, from the wealthy merchants to the slave teachers. Many are associated with the Church of Mitra.



SOLDIERS

Though Argos is shy on large armies, Soldier classed characters are seen almost everywhere, from city guards, to the kingdom's border guards called the Guardians, to those Soldiers that serve the noble lords of the interior. Mercenaries abound in the kingdom.



PIRATES

These characters are extremely common in the coastal cities, on the Great Western Ocean, and on the Barrachan Islands.



THIEF

A common character class except the most traditional style of thief. The Argossean culture despises those that steal the wealth of others. Thus, any traditional thieves in the kingdom are usually foreigners. And, if they are caught, they face harsh penalties.

Thieves in Argos tend to be kidnappers, fences, pirates or merchant men, smugglers and the like. By a wide margin, Thieves are more common to the coastal cities rather than interior Argos.



TEMPTRESS

Because of the way Argossean women are treated in society, a woman's typical route to power is through control of powerful men. Slave or noble, of the merchant class or a commoner, Temptresses thrive in the coastal cities of Argos.
Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:32 am

TAKING CARE OF ARMS & ARMOR



Some GMs may think this is a fussy rule, and those that feel that way should not feel compelled to use it. I've taken the rule from page 61 of the Argos and Zingara supplemental book. I like the rule in that it serves as a way to deplete PC's wealth. There isn't a lot of coin to go around, to begin with, in this game. GMs should keep found treasures to an extreme minimum as that's the way the Hyborian Age is portrayed in the stories. In this sense, the game's universe is akin to the Dark Ages. There are no piles of coin and gems waiting for the PCs to discover them as there are in many D&D adventures.

I also don't think this rule is fussy, either, in that it is only done once a game month. The rule will have PCs buying olive oil and whetstones for their swords, extra straps of leather and metal buckles for their armor, and the like.

Every character who has a proficiency is considered to know how to take care of the items covered by the proficiency. Simply have the character make a DC 10 INT check every month to fully maintain the character's gear.

Also, about once a month, charge the character (try to remember to do this while the character is in town or at a trading post) for the supplies needed to maintain the equipment.

If the character has an appropriate crafting skill, then use that at a DC 5.

No Fuss: And, this roll can be rendered moot by automatic success. That can be gained because of a character's bonus on the roll. Or, if the character Takes Ten on the throw. In this case, consider the weapons and armor taken care of normally and just charge the character for the items used on a monthly basis.
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:19 am

ABBREVIATED PARTIAL ARMOR RULES


There is a partial armor system presented in the Barbaric supplements. But, there is also a simple, abbreviated system presented in the Argos & Zingara hardback. This is meant for gladiators, since they rarely use full sets of armor and usually have nothing covering their torsos. But, a GM can use this very simple system in the game as well.

ARMORED SLEEVES

If a character wears an armored sleeve, then give him +1 Parry AC and +1 Damage Reduction.

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Note, in this pic, Conan is wearing an armored sleeve with no other armor. He receives +1 Parry AC, and +1 DR, but the DR 1 rating is meaningless for most weapons--since any weapon with AP 1 or higher will halve the DR rating, dropping fractions, to DR 0. But, the sleeve is useful against bare fisted attacks as well as those few weapons that do not have an Armor Piercing rating.

But, just wearing a helm with the sleeve will bring the character's total Damage Reduction up to DR 2, which makes the sleeve a lot more useful.



GLADIATOR HELMS

These helms are specifically made for the arena. They are usually decorative, and they are three times as thick, and three times as heavy, as standard military helms. They are not suited to long term use, in case any of your players get any ideas. If a player insists (not roleplaying, but trying to get the extra helmet bonus), then give him a fatigue check after 2-4 hours and every 2 hours after that. The heavy helm will make a character's neck sore, and he'll be considered fatigued for the rest of the day.

In the arena, these provide +2 DR if open faced or visor up and +3 DR if visor down.

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OTHER BITS OF ARMOR

Other types of piecemeal armor (such as armored shin guards) do not have enough impact on the game's combat system to warrant a bonus. Use this stuff for show/roleplaying.
Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:17 am

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:18 am

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:20 am

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:21 am

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:22 am

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:23 am

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:24 am

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:20 pm

SOLDIER WORK



Argos does not maintain a large, standing army like most Hyborian nations. Instead, the kingdom uses a system of small units. An invader, if it survived or bypassed the large mercenary army, would find itself pitted against several smaller companies of troops as it moved across the land.



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MERCENARIES

Argos is a rich kingdom, and in times of war, mercenary companies will be hired to defend the realm. Most of these will be assuri mercenaries from the Meadowlands of Shem, but pikemen from Gunderland are also favored to a lesser degree. Pointainian companies of Knights are used as well.



THE GUARDIANS

The Guardians are a type of border patrol maintained by the crown. Service is determined by lot, and many citizens serve early in their lives. But any free citizen could be chosen for duty from age 17-60. The Guardians act as scouts as well as man the border watchtowers.



MANOR MERCENARIES

The interior of Argos is a land divided by the nobles. Each noble House maintains a small army to defend the fief. Some of these fief units become quite large and gain fame throughout the land, such as the White Falcons of the Falcon Barony. These units will hire out as mercenaries within Argos itself, never taking long term contracts or traveling outside the kingdom.



NAVY

Argos maintains the largest navy in the known world. All told, the navy consists of about 500 vessels, where 200 of these are warships. 20 warships defend the port of Messantia alone. Others patrol the Argossean coast and make port in each of the Coastal Cities.



CITY GUARD

Most of the vast Coastal Cities maintain a Watch. The City Guardsmen of Messantia is quite a large force by itself.



ROYAL GUARDSMEN

The Royal Guardsmen are truly an elite force, based in Messantia, charged with protecting the king. This small army consists entirely of high level Soldiers, level 4-6. The Kings Hand is a special unit among the Guardsmen that serve as the king's personal body guards.

The Royal Guardsmen are loosely associated with the Guardians, though the two units operate completely independently.



HOUSE GUARDS

Some of the larger Merchant Houses maintain fairly large forces charged with protecting the House and its holdings.



THE ARGOSSEAN "ARMY"

If the need arises, the King of Argos can call in his feudal bannermen and have units from all of these armies mentioned here banded together to form a grand army for Argos. Even without mercenaries, the king can field a force of 5,000-10,000 men.



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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:22 pm

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:24 pm

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:25 pm

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:27 pm

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Supplement Four
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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Postby Supplement Four » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:28 pm

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