Adapting 'classical' modules to Conan


With the lack of Conan adventures on the market, I recently found myself turning to my collection of old ‘classical’ AD&D modules (1E mainly, but also bD&D) and wondering which one could be ‘adapted’ without ruining either the adventure or the setting.

Unfortunately, the answer is: not many.

Let’s face it, the number of modules corresponding to the following criteria aren’t legion:
- most (if not all) opponents are humans
- few magical items (if any at all)
- few (if any at all) ‘monsters’
- treasure is allowed as long as the players have little chance of running away with (most of) it

Keeping that in mind, I think I found a match: B4 The Lost City.

It’s an isolated location, filled with (degenerate) drug-using humans living in the ruins of a once-mighty city and worshipping a demonic-monster that is slowly eating them to extinction.

Heck! This is almost like Akhlat and Xuchotl all rolled into one! Perfect!

You can place it in any desert, although Shem looks tempting because the inhabitants could easily be ex-Acheronians (or ex-Stygians).

Of course, one would have to eliminate hobgoblins and such, as well as the magical items, but doing it doesn’t ruin the feel of the adventure and is easily done.

I am aware that the city was ‘upgraded’ to 3.5E in Dragon Magazine #315 but I don’t much care for the (nearly) epic version of Zargon found in that article. The original adventure was for lvl 1-3 PC and that suits me fine. Having a ton of hit points isn’t mandatory for Zargon as long as he is (nearly) invulnerable to ‘normal’ weapons. I’ll have to provide a (difficult) way for the players to defeat it, probably through a one-shot magical item hidden on the Isle of Death and guarded by ghouls (something capable of casting Incantation of Amalric’s Witchman comes to mind). I especially appreciate the fact that killing Zargon ‘for good’ involves doing something special with his remains.

It would almost be worth it to have the players succeed only to stumble on the city again years later and discover it was all for nothing!

I have started working on the conversion but I was wondering if anyone had already attempted it. For that matter, I am curious to know what other modules are considered a ‘good fit’ for the setting.
A campaign which is converted by the author himself on this own homepage, is Ancients Kingdoms: Mesopotamia.

You will find matching threads on this forum.

I own this book and will use it in my campaign, when the characters are about 9th / 10th level.
Most of the modules from the "I" series could be easily adapted once you replace weird races by humans or the like.
Imagine also the 4 adventures of the A series (the slaves lords) as the dark sorcerors of Yimsha or a similar "brotherhood".
The N series (for beginners) are often great too because of the low magic setting. I remember the module "to find a king" (from the N3) where the only monster is a griffin, the rest being humans of a plot trying to stage a coup.

This is also the same with the Al-Qadim setting (though it's more difficult because the magic level is higher).
There was a similar thread going on here: Converting 1st Edition D&D to Conan

In it, I had posted the TSR 1st ed. and TSR Conan rpg adventures:
Bregales said:
There were some TSR Conan specific titles as well. (from the TSR Conan:Role Playing Game, 1985: the CN modules don't use character levels)
*The Tower of the Elephant (short adventure included in boxed set)
*CN1: Conan the Buccaneer
*CN2: Conan the Mercanary
*CN3: Conan the Triumphant
And Conan modules for AD&D 1st ed.:
*CB1: Conan: Unchained! (I wish now I hadn't gotten rid of this one, you could play Conan, Juma, Valeria, or Nestor-lvl 10-14)
*CB2: Conan: Against Darkness (never had this one-lvl 10-14)
These would take some work to adapt, especially the CN modules as that game system was unlike dnd-type or OGL based games.

Anyway, hope this helps.
The module CONAN THE TRIUMPHANT (based on Robert Jordan's novel) is really very good, with lots of material and maps for Ophir (including a cool "city block" map feature that allows you to have instant detailed maps for adventures in several locations of ANY city!). The other Conan modules from the old skool game didn't do much for me, but there were some tidbits, like maps of a temple of Set, Tower of the Elephant, etc.

GURPS CONAN might also be useful, IIRC.

As for classic D&D/AD&D modules, I'd agree that The Lost City is excellent (it's also one of my favorites), as is To Find A King.

S1: Tomb of Horror is another ---only a couple of monsters (mutant gargoyle, demilich, zombie) but has a lot of magical traps. Could be adapted to Conan as an undead sorcerer's lair. Tone down the magic some, replace with more mundane but no less fiendish traps.

Ravenloft comes to mind. That castle map is gorgeous! You could simply make the vampire into an evil sorcerer or noble and fill his castle with human guards and traps instead of undead. You could even keep part of the plot about how the villain thinks one of the PCs is the reincarnation of his or her long lost love and kidnaps them, LOL.

N1: Against The Cult of the Reptile God is a favorite of mine. You could replace the troglodytes in the swamp with human cultists and the naga with the God In The Bowl, or simply a high priest of Set. It has a nice village map with a river through it (like The Village of Hommlet had).

Hope these ideas help! :wink:
You know, I think I have the Lost City and never really read it!? I was given a couple adventures from Dragon mags by one of our early players who thought they'd fit, and I think I got a beat up Lost City about that time. I guess I'll have to look at it! :)

Thanks for the advice about Conan the Triumphant, I'd used the earlier ones but hadn't tried that one, so will give it a look as well. I've never gotten any GURPS Conan adventures.

I think a site like ebay would be your best friend trying to find these kinds of modules.
The Conan GURPS adventures were, if memory serves, solo adventures (like the old choose your own adventure books, LOL). I don't recall either of them being particularly good, but then I never played them. I meant that the old Conan GURPS sourcebook might have some good adventure ideas in it, or maybe an actual adventure.
Iron_Chef said:
The Conan GURPS adventures were, if memory serves, solo adventures (like the old choose your own adventure books, LOL). I don't recall either of them being particularly good, but then I never played them. I meant that the old Conan GURPS sourcebook might have some good adventure ideas in it, or maybe an actual adventure.
Yes they were solo adventures. Though the second one (with Belit) was quite poor, it was a direct adaptation of the short story by Howard.
The first one was also an adaptation (Conan the wyrmslayer) but I think it's a story by de Camp. I recall this one was particularly good because the design of the maze in the caverns was excellent : Conan doesn't make map where he goes (non sense for such a guy) and this solution was quite clever.