A novice of the D20 system


I am currently plodding though the Core Rulebook for Conan, and planning on running a game in the summer. However, I have come across one problem. The book, in my opinion, seems to be written with 3rd edition D&D players in mind. Although I have GM'd a few roleplaying games in my time, the rule system for Conan seems to be extremly dificult to comprehend in places.
So with the over the top introduction coming to an end, has anyone else had any trouble deciphering the main rules? And does anyone know of any helpful websites/articles/anything for free which may help?

Thanks in Advance!
A friend of mine often comments that any given d20 product will either significantly deepen his understanding of the system, or else requires such an understanding just to read the product. Conan defently falls into the latter category, the game assumes you are already at least passingly familiar with d20.

Luckily the d20 system is not really all that hard to grasp. It appears really daunting on the surface because of all the interconnectedness but that is really one of the system's biggest strengths: modularity. Everything works the same, a climb check is not all that fundamentally different than a Bull Rush. Just remember two very important things:

The Core Mechanic: 1d20 + appropriate modifiers vs. target number. If the check equals or excedes the target number then the check is a success. This is always the rule. The trick is to remember which modifiers apply to which checks and when (this is what makes the system so daunting). Two things help with this. All modifiers are either a plus or a minus to the roll, you just sum everything up at the end (no cross refrencing charts). And a lot of the legwork can be done before the game begins. Have your players calculate their total attack and damage bonus with each weapon they carry before play starts and write that down on their character sheets. Same goes for grapple bonus, trip bonus, every skill and anything else you can think of. Finding a good character sheet can help a lot with that.

The Third Rule of Dungeoncraft: "Whenever you have no idea what the probablility of success should be for a particular situation, that probability is 50%." Use this for the first couple of sessions instead of stopping the game to look up an exact rule anytime your players attempt someting. As you get more comftorable with the basics you can start paying more and more attention to the exact rules as written until you only need the Third Rule for situations that aren't covered in the rulebook.

As for resources:
The d20 SRD has all the information you need laid out in a very straightfoward and minimalist manner. Just be carefull that you know where it differs from Conan.

Wizard's DnD FAQ will also answer a lot of common questions you probably have. Once again though, make sure you know where it differs from Conan.

Lastly, one of the best resources online is EnWorld. It has a strong focus on DnD but it also has some of the best minds around with regards to d20 gamming.

And last but certainly not least, you've got us! :twisted: I don't think you'll find a better collection of guys totally dedicated to Conan d20 anywhere. If you got any questions just ask, I guarantee answers. 8)
I have to say that, even as someone who's done some d20, the Conan rules are very opaque. The other day I was making my second character, and couldn't find a simple list of generation steps! It could be in there, but I couldn't find it. Add to that a combat section that is very hard to figure out, and you've got a recipe for confusing newbies.

I'm no expert, but perhaps we could provide some simple instructions in this thread? I'll start with character generation (somebody should correct me if I'm wrong here):

1. Roll six ability scores (4d6, drop lowest; or 8 + 1d10 method), without assigning them.
2. Pick a Race
3. Pick a Class
4. Assign the six rolled scores to the abilities, then apply Race & Class modifiers. Calculate Ability Bonuses (i.e., 11-12: +1, etc.)
5. Record on your character sheet any special abilities provided by Race & Class.
6. Select feats for your character
7. Select languages spoken
7. Purchase skills (remember the bonus skills Races receive)
8. Purchase equipment/select equipment kit

What I'd like to see is an official or unofficial "Quick-start guide" that provides a quick rundown on character generation, skill use and combat. Shouldn't take more than a few pages, and would be a real boon to new (or forgetful, in my case) players!
Zak Arntson said:
What I'd like to see is an official or unofficial "Quick-start guide" that provides a quick rundown on character generation, skill use and combat. Shouldn't take more than a few pages, and would be a real boon to new (or forgetful, in my case) players!
Check your e-mail.