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Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:45 am
by Supplement Four
CTB Novelization - 3

-- The Sword: the crossguard is fashioned to resemble a stag's antlers; the two-handed grip is wrapped with string made from the gut of forest tigers; the steel pommel is fashioned into the likeness of the hooves of elk.

-- The scene on the mountain ties into the creation of the sword. The chanting and mystic rite serves to render the sword invincible.

-- The attack comes at dawn. It is graphic and bloody, in the book. Even children are described in the massacre. One little girl has her throat pulled out by a war dog that chased her down. Conan wasn't fishing, as shown in the film.

-- Nial is a hell of a fighter. He takes out several of the attackers.

-- Young Conan fights with a knife, hamstringing an enemy. He fights along side his father.

-- The invaders wear bronze and iron breastplates, and leather armor. Their weapons were iron. Which is interesting. This means that steel came into more wide-spread use during Conan's lifetime.

-- Conan's mother fights with a broadsword, and she is a vixen. Her name is Maeve.

-- The enemy is a Vanir raiding party and not a mixed force (including Picts) as shown in the film.

-- Unlike in the film, the Cimmerians actually beat back the Vanir. There is a lull in the fighting. Little Conan utters a prayer to Crom, but his mother tells him that Crom does not hear his prayers.
Crom is a god of frosts and stars and storms, not of humankind.
-- The Vanir withdraw outside the village, and the archers start to pellet the Cimmerians with blankets of brass tipped arrows. The Cimmerians had created a shield-wall, and it crumbled with men dying and shafts sticking from their vitals. Then, the Vanir loosed the hounds! It's a hell of a fight! As the Cimmerians dealt with the war dogs, the Vanir archers were ordered to let fly another flight.

-- I thought the Vanir would shun the bow, as do the Cimmerians, seeing the weapon as that used by women and children, or only for hunting.

-- Nial goes down when his leg is hit by an arrow. He becomes a pin-cushion. His hand is stapled to the ground by one of the arrows. Then, the dogs get to him to finish him off. What a way to go!

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:52 am
by Supplement Four
CTB Novelization - 4

-- Rexor directs the battle from a hill across the river from the village. No mention is made yet of Thulsa Doom. Is Rexor a Vanir?

-- This strikes me as strange, too: when it was obvious that they had lost (the must have failed a Morale check based on number of casualties), the Cimmerians surrendered. All but Maeve and Conan threw their weapons at their attackers' feet.

-- Maeve is out of breath from the fighting, not standing motionless as in the film. She leans on her broadsword. Her son, Conan, stands ready, knife in hand, a cub that bites. Maeve is half naked, as this attack happened before she and the rest of the village had risen for the day. One of her breasts is exposed having fallen from its covering as she fought. She did not find modesty now.

-- The Vanir raiders kneel as the commander rides towards the last two Cimmerians to brandish weapons, Conan and his mother. The Vanir chant his name.

-- Thulsa Doom appears!

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:18 pm
by Supplement Four
CTB Novelization - 5

-- Thulsa Doom's helmet is jeweled. He wears serpentine mail.

-- The Cimmerian captives are taken north, into Vanaheim.

-- Rexor and Doom leave the Vanir sometime during this journey. Captives speculate that the Vanir paid the two for their services in the raid.

-- It is Spring before the Vanir reach their destination, the walled Vanir town of Thrudvang.

-- The Wheel is a grinder. It grinds grain--mainly corn--to make flour and bread. The slaves that perish are fed to the dogs.

-- Years pass with Conan on the Wheel, day in and day out.

-- Conan has a head for languages. He becomes fluent in Vannish, listening to his captors, and he picks up some Aquilonian and Nemedian from fellow captives. But, Conan remains un-lettered. He cannot write. This is applicable to the RPG, given the languages a character can speak.

-- This is neat: Sometimes the text is broken by an italicized section where King Conan speaks to his chronicler about the events being told.

-- A famine came to Thrudvang. Plague killed all the slaves died except for Conan. To the astonishment of the Vanir, the one Cimmerian could turn the Wheel, and he did so for several days until new slaves were brought to the town. Word spread wide of this deed by those who traveled to Thrudvang to have their grain milled.

-- The coins used to purchase Conan were gold, coins of a square shape. The man who purchased the barbarian seems to be Hyrkanian. He does have red, ragged hair, and a beard, but also slanted eyes and wears armor of lacquered leather. His name is Toghrul (which is a Hyrkanian name).

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:53 pm
by Supplement Four

You are skilled at landing fear into the souls of your enemies. Demoralize Other is a use of the Intimidate skill.

Benefit: Demoralize Others is a standard action that can be combined with a (standard action) attack during combat. In addition, the demoralizing (shaken) effect can possibly remain in effect for a number of rounds. The demoralized character is allowed a check each round as a free action to shrug off the effect. The target rolls his modified level check against the original Intimidate throw at the start of his combat round. The shaken/demoralized effect continues if this roll is failed.

Normal: Demoralize Other is used as described under the Intimidate skill.

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:41 pm
by Supplement Four

When converting a standard D&D adventure, or an adventure from most other fantasy games, for use in a Conan game, the GM will most likely dispense with most of the "drops" that are common in such things. Things like +1 daggers, rings of invisibility, cloaks of protection, and what not are either dropped from the adventure completely or converted to their mundane counterparts.

One idea that a GM can use for magical scrolls is to change them to herbal recipes. There are lots of concoctions to be found in the various Conan RPG supplements that show items that can be created with the Craft (Herbalism) or Craft (Alchemy) skills. Plus, there are other, non-Conan supplements that feature lots of usable herbalism ideas.

So, when converting a D&D adventure for use with a Conan game, a GM comes across a scroll of magic missile, he might want to consider either dropping the item all together, or making it a mundane item (like blank parchment--which is rare and can be sold...or making the scroll a note that is a clue or "pull" to another adventure), or substituting the magic missile scroll for something like a recipe for the herbal drug, Grey Desert Lotus*.
Grey Desert Lotus

This is an herbal drug, which is treated in the rules like a type of poison that has beneficial effects but requires saving throws against harmful side effects. At the GM's option, repeated use of a herbal drug could cause addiction.

Grey Desert Lotus leaves are powdered and mixed with water. The drying and powdering process is what is covered by the Craft (Herbalism) throw. Anyone can mix the powdered result with water--Herbalism skill is not needed.

Drinking this mixture will boost Strength by +2 for 1d3 hours. A DC 15 Fortitude save must be made to avoid a penalty -1 Wisdom. One hour later, another save must be made and if this save is failed, the person becomes nervous and skittish (treat as shaken).

The shaken effect will wear off with the STR bonus. Any Wisdom damage will heal naturally after the concoction dissipates in the body with the STR bonus effect.

Craft (Herbalism)
DC 20
Average Market Price: 20 sp.
*Grey Desert Lotus is something I found in the adventure anthology called The Spider-God's Bride and Other Tales of Swords and Sorcery, published by Publishing.

Isn't that a much more interesting item to put into your game rather than a plain old Magic Missile spell? If the players are interested, herbalism could become a major focus in your campaign.

Note, though, that herbalistic items are rarely found for sale in many parts of the Known World. Civilized and uncivilized communities, alike, view herbalism as a finger of sorcery! Thus, one who dabbles in the effects of plants may find himself outcast or even hunted by society at large. Jealous priests look upon such things as either Holy--something reserved for the most Holy of their religion--or as Evil--something that needs to be smited from the face of the Earth!

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:28 pm
by Supplement Four

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:20 pm
by Supplement Four

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:01 am
by Supplement Four

RPG Notes

A good source of Conan material for your roleplaying game are the various novels and short stories (and comics), both those written by Robert E. Howard and those that are not.

Here are some notes from Chapter One of Robert Jordan's book, Conan The Invincible. You can see how a GM can take these notes and run with them, creating characters and situations for discovery by the players.

A GM can use these notes as a starting point. Or, the GM can continue with the note-taking, making an adventure faithful to the source material.


It shows a great picture of Morath-Aminee.


Built into the steep rock of the Kezankian Mountains. Its dark corridors of stone chiseled with serpentine shapes leads into the heart of the mountain. Tall doors open into a column circled room with mosaic floor—a serpent surrounded by what looks like rays of the sun. Captives bound and gagged near the walls.

There is an altar: a block of red-streaked black marble. The trough around the rim of the marble pours into a large, golden bowl.

Amanar chants, and red and golden mists form behind the altar, billowing and flowing like fire. Now, there is space there--where there was only wall before--behind the mist—deep space. Looking at it is like looking into the deep black of the Abyss. Roll Fear of the Unknown Check? Describe this to make the hair on the players' arm stand up.
“Morath-Aminee, O Eater of Souls, whose third name is death to hear, death to say, death to know, thy servant Amanar brings these offerings to thy sacrifice.”
Morath-Aminee: Not quite serpentine or lizard. Golden scales. A halo of tentacles. See the book cover. Long body with head. Snake tongue. Teeth. Eyes dance like red flames.

Amanar slits the man’s throat with a golden dagger. Sitha hands it to him.

The tentacles from the demon strike at the blood to drink, but they avoid Amanar and his amulet.
“Eat, O Morath-Aminee.”
The demon also sucks the soul of the sacrifice. The sacrifice realizes that he is not dying even though his life's blood is draining from his neck. He cannot speak with his throat slit, but his eyes tell the tale. He's losing something more than ust his life.


Who live in the Kezankians. The give the Bastion a wide berth. They even make the Sign of the Horns to ward off evil even at the mention of the place.


A Necromancer. He's darkly handsome and has a close, cropped black beard. Short hair with a white, serpentine streak. Red flecks in his eyes.

He wears a black robe with gold embroidered serpents that tie the robe a the waist. They swing up the back, entwining, over his shoulder to rest on his chest. Jewels for eyes.

Amanar’s Amulet: A golden serpent in the clutches of a silver hawk. This protects him.

Background: Amanar studied at the feet of the Black Ring mages in Khemi, Stygia. He read the dreaded Book of Typhon. It is said that no human mind can comprehend the terrible knowledge contained in the book, or even learn a single word of it without madness and death.

Amanar read a single page. Even this sent him running out of the city into the desert like a howling madman.

He cannot die because of what he read. But, he was mad, living in hell, ever wrestling with the evil knowledge that he had learned. He came upon the ruins of Pteion the Accursed and found there, bound for rebellion against Set, Morath-Aminee. He released the god-demon, bound it to his will, and protected himself with the amulet.

Sorcerery: To keep body parts, like hearts, fresh. On a golden plate.

No mortal weapon will harm him until his soul is taken from him. If you cut him, he does not bleed.


Description: Look like ordinary men from a distance. But, their faces are slightly pointed. Red flecks in eyes. Skin shows reptilian scales. Elongated hands have claws.

Armor: Ridged helm. Ring Mail.

Weapons: Spear. Tulwar on hip.

They eat fresh meat. They eat humans.


S’Tarra commander of Amanar’s Henchmen.

Thick, muscled arms.

Weapons: No Tulwar. Great, doubled edged-axe.

Re: [CONAN] GM's Closet

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:31 pm
by Supplement Four