Actual Play Report



Well I am 3 sessions (2 episodes) into my Conan chronicle called “The Hand that Rules the World”. A journal can be found at the wiki

My experiences so far have been very positive. The first session was a modified version of Black Stones of Kovag Re renamed “The Blooded Stones”. I changed Bogdan to be an evil mesmerist who was bewitching Oleska’s wife to find the secret location of Kovag Re’s temple. I thought that the story as written had too many parts to maintain the drama and the romance seemed a little too obvious. The scenario brought the PCs together in an unexpected way, being apprehended by the local militia whilst being all hung over, involved in barroom brawls etc. The players got into the swing of pulp action quickly, learning that though combat was deadly, fate points could be used to as a comfort blanket to reduce the chance of death. This encouraged them to do some crazy things, such as a single PC sneaking into the bandits’ camp to steal back the woman and confront Bogdan. The ending with the Black Stones was suitably scary and nearly every NPC and location in the scenario went insane, died or was destroyed by the end .

I managed to throw in a few cut scenes (like those seen in Howard’s work) to establish what was going on in the plot outside of the PC’s knowledge. This worked very well and certainly helped the story move at a fast pace rather than needing to pause for IC exposition.

The second episode was a double session called “Howls in the Night”. Set several months after “The Blooded Stones” the PC had fled Zamora to Brythunia. There they were attacked by large black wolves and saved by some warriors from a local village. At the village, they were involved in all kinds of strange events. They came to understand that the Lord’s wife was exploiting a nearby ancient temple of Vosegos (an ancient wolf demon) to curse all the Lord’s sons and daughters in revenge for forcing marriage onto her. She used the milk of Vosegos obtained from a statue to turn his children (and others) into wolves. Each of the players (all ate whilst in the village) suffered from serious wolf hallucinations and suspected that the whole village was actually werewolves. Toward the end the PCs also began to transform earning them a Corruption point.

This episode went very well. There were a number of combat scenes. I am using a variant whereby Massive Damage Saves are triggered on Criticals not 20 Hp of damage. It seemed to work very well especially when combined with the use of Fate points. The chance of death feels more omnipresent but without making the combat all that more deadly in practice.

I am really enjoying the d20 system. I am planning on doing a flashback to events between the above two episodes at a later date due to some comments made by the PCs of events that occurred. The use of “Levels” means that we can revert the PCs back to earlier stages of the career relatively easily.

All in all, it’s a lot of fun.