Conan and Arcana Unearthed

VincentDarlage said:
Hadrathus appears on page 109 of The Scrolls of Skelos. Another good guy.

Is he? I toyed with an alternate view of his role in "The Hour of the Dragon". Perhaps the common view of the Cult of Asura isn't as far off as it seems. Could it be that he simply presented himself to Conan as one of the good guys to get Conan's trust to get him to defeat a powerful rival and get his hands on one of the most powerful magic items in the world? Now as a trusted comrade to the leader of the most powerful Western nation, what could his real goals be? 8)

Raven, who trust no one really 8)
 
Arkobla Conn said:
This just doesn't cut it for us. I'm the only one who OWNS the rules! I buy all the books (giving me a pocket version and the original to go with the atlantean) but you are talking about people with wives, children and full time jobs. I want a game that is complete. Sure, it should be flexible enough to allow you to do this, and then you get a flavor we won't get, but I need the game to be playable at all levels.

I agree about the time constraint- I am unmarried and a Lovecraft-type scholar about learning things for fun, but I certainly don't have time for all I need to do for a game. Those of you with a more active life have it worse.

I very much agree that MOST of the campaign is magic shy, but if a player wants to use magic, then it's my job as the GM to create situations where it becomes logical to the story. (heck, why do any group of 5 people roam together for a long period in Conan's world??)

My two sorcerous characters are Stygians who were low level flunkies whose masters lost out in a power struggle with Thoth Amon. They fled Stygia with demons at their heel. They stick together for mutual protection, earn a little gold and to learn from the other sources of magic in Hyboria world. They even nurse thoughts of revenge.....:twisted:

The system should 'limit'...the story should.

You mean the system 'shouldn't' limit, right? 8)

Raven, whose grammar is so bad she shouldn't be pointing these things out.
 
Arkobla Conn said:
but if a player wants to use magic, then it's my job as the GM to create situations where it becomes logical to the story. (heck, why do any group of 5 people roam together for a long period in Conan's world??) The system should 'limit'...the story should.

I can see two options here.

1) You, as GM, decide to modify the established setting. As the Conan game doesn't allow for players using magic at this level, because the setting it is based upon doesn't, then you as GM need to take it onto yourself to change the system. It's your system at the end of the day, so if you don't like what the rulebook says, just change it. It's all d20-based, so throwing out the Conan magic rules in favor of another system is relatively easy to do.

2) You, as GM, inform the player that as long as they are happy with a limited spell selection and eventually growing purple tentacles out of the back of their head, there's no problem :)

Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm a bit defensive of the game because it's doing just what its meant to do, and providing rules to do non-Conan-type things would risk it not being the Conan RPG any more, but just a clone of the D&D rules with the Conan background tacked on. To be fair to the Conan game, it isn't up to a Conan RPG to provide a set of complete RPG rules that allow anyone to do whatever they want, its up to the Conan RPG to provide for gameplay in the established Conan world. If you don't like the mechanics in the Conan world, you can't really expect the Conan RPG to include alternatives. The system (as in the rulebook) does limit... because it's supposed to, in order to recreate the Conan world. The system (as in d20) doesn't limit - you can mess about with it to your heart's desire and create what you and your players want.

Okay, enough of me being unhelpful - time for something that hopefully *is* helpful :)

Take the D&D Sorcerer class (use the SRD if you don't have the books) and use it just about verbatim. You may have to tweak it a little here and there, but it shouldn't need too much doing to it. At the end of the day it's your game, your universe, your mechanics, so its perfectly okay to do this.
 
mthomason said:
Arkobla Conn said:
but if a player wants to use magic, then it's my job as the GM to create situations where it becomes logical to the story. (heck, why do any group of 5 people roam together for a long period in Conan's world??) The system should 'limit'...the story should.

I can see two options here.

1) You, as GM, decide to modify the established setting. As the Conan game doesn't allow for players using magic at this level, because the setting it is based upon doesn't, then you as GM need to take it onto yourself to change the system. It's your system at the end of the day, so if you don't like what the rulebook says, just change it. It's all d20-based, so throwing out the Conan magic rules in favor of another system is relatively easy to do.

2) You, as GM, inform the player that as long as they are happy with a limited spell selection and eventually growing purple tentacles out of the back of their head, there's no problem :)

Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm a bit defensive of the game because it's doing just what its meant to do, and providing rules to do non-Conan-type things would risk it not being the Conan RPG any more, but just a clone of the D&D rules with the Conan background tacked on. To be fair to the Conan game, it isn't up to a Conan RPG to provide a set of complete RPG rules that allow anyone to do whatever they want, its up to the Conan RPG to provide for gameplay in the established Conan world. If you don't like the mechanics in the Conan world, you can't really expect the Conan RPG to include alternatives. The system (as in the rulebook) does limit... because it's supposed to, in order to recreate the Conan world. The system (as in d20) doesn't limit - you can mess about with it to your heart's desire and create what you and your players want.

Okay, enough of me being unhelpful - time for something that hopefully *is* helpful :)

Take the D&D Sorcerer class (use the SRD if you don't have the books) and use it just about verbatim. You may have to tweak it a little here and there, but it shouldn't need too much doing to it. At the end of the day it's your game, your universe, your mechanics, so its perfectly okay to do this.

I hope I'm not taking it the wrong way...but....if you have SCHOLAR as a player class, then it should be Playable, yes? You state the game / setting doesn't allow for magic at that level. Why then is it even in the game? My supposition is that because you knew some people would want it!

Listen, I'm not asking for DnD magic. I'm not asking for incredible effects, etc. I'm asking for a balanced system from beginning of a PC's career (IE 1st level) to when he gets to the 'powerful' stuff. How could a thoth amon get to where he's at using the options available? Someone would have skewered him long before he came to power. And I don't believe he resorted to a war spear either. (verbal skills, sleight of hand, escape artist, yes yes yes...spears??? nah.)

Don't be defensive...remember, we LOVE your game...but we'd LOVE it more if there was more flesh in the middle. You are pumping out source books 1 per month. Do a better job at Scholars will ya? It's a cop out to say - go get Sorceror. Sorceror is not what I want. Nor do I want all the associated spells.

I just want a natural progression of spells using the flavor you've created for a scholar to progress to the higher levels. Is this really too much to ask? I think when you put the NPC characters together at the high levels where they belong...it fits...I just don't think you can show an elegant progression and also make the argument that this person would have survived and relied on those spells while retaining an interest in his profession.
 
Arkobla Conn said:
I hope I'm not taking it the wrong way...but....if you have SCHOLAR as a player class, then it should be Playable, yes? You state the game / setting doesn't allow for magic at that level. Why then is it even in the game? My supposition is that because you knew some people would want it!
Ah.. It isn't my game, I don't work for Mongoose except in a freelance capacity on bits and pieces. I'm just a player when it comes to Conan :) Just thought I better clear that up before anyone thinks im guilty of impersonating an official Mongoose-type :D

My guess (and its just that) is that the Scholar class is designed to represent an "amateur" magic user, of the kind that the game designers believe is the best fit for a player character wanting to use magic in their intepreation of the Conan world, and not a full-blown magical type.

Arkobla Conn said:
Listen, I'm not asking for DnD magic. I'm not asking for incredible effects, etc. I'm asking for a balanced system from beginning of a PC's career (IE 1st level) to when he gets to the 'powerful' stuff. How could a thoth amon get to where he's at using the options available? Someone would have skewered him long before he came to power. And I don't believe he resorted to a war spear either. (verbal skills, sleight of hand, escape artist, yes yes yes...spears??? nah.)

I can see where you're coming from on this, and quite possibly the answer is "the game is missing something you need". The best way I can think to approach this is as a "sticky plaster" over a hole in your game for now. Its quite possible that one of the other two Conan class books coming out will give you something that fits your needs better of course. If they're still in development (as opposed to being finished and just in the queue for publishing), then quite possibly someone is watching this very discussion and thinking seriously about adding in something that allows the very option you're asking for, which at the end of the day is just why this kind of thing needs talking about on the boards.
 
Oops. Forgot to actually get to the point in my last post :)

So, with the problem at hand we have a GM whose needs aren't being met by the existing rules. My last suggestion of using D&D sorcerer was a bit overkill, so the only real option remaining I can think of is a trawl around other d20 games for a class that works near to your needs. It's not an ideal solution, but the immediate problem seems to be how to meet the needs of your particular game and make your players happier. Maybe the stock D&D classes aren't what you want either, but theres a wealth of compatable gaming material to choose from as a short-term fix. Alternatively, "tweak" the existing Scholar class to your tastes - maybe graft in some bits and pieces... potentially as simple as a selection of a few additional spells from D&D to give them a bit more choice, or as radical as replacing the entire magic system with something from an alternative source. At times like this I wish I had my Conan rulebook handy so I could check... oooh, lookie here, the Pocket version. Isn't it just the most useful thing? :D

Maybe what you need is a change to the Power Point system? Give scholars more points, or remove the points altogether and replace with a daily spell allowance instead. Or make casting dependent on an attribute test with a failed roll meaning no more spells that day (idea stolen from the Mystic class in the classic Dragon Warriors RPG). Unfortunately whatever you do is going to mean some work on your part, but remember at the end of the day the rules aren't set in stone - so if you feel the Scholar class isn't powerful enough at higher levels, add to it. Think about it a little while, decide what it is you have a problem with, and make it better. Then come and post it here because theres undoubtedly others who can use it too :)
 
Thanks for the suggestions Matt...and I did think you were Mongoose ;)

I have the ability to 'plaster' up my scholars...just not enough time in the day. That, of course, is my problem...

We are making do and having a blast, so this is really less of a issue than it was a few months ago.

I'll start to ponder and hopefully post an alternate here.
 
Arkobla Conn said:
I have the ability to 'plaster' up my scholars...just not enough time in the day. That, of course, is my problem...

How about posting up a few ideas on the sorts of things you need, and maybe a few helpful types will dive in and help out with some of it? :)
 
mthomason said:
Arkobla Conn said:
I have the ability to 'plaster' up my scholars...just not enough time in the day. That, of course, is my problem...

How about posting up a few ideas on the sorts of things you need, and maybe a few helpful types will dive in and help out with some of it? :)

That, I can do...Stay tuned...it may be a few days (fishing derby with sons, Arena football game, etc), but I'll get there.

Thanks!
 
Well, I don't have anything more than a small spell list and a few general notes about the AE v1.1 Sorcery rules for my campaign (8)), but if given a week or two I can cook them up into an understandable system for those interested in trying it out...

Raven, who changes things
 
Find Old Bear's Grim Tales conversion, posted to this forum. It seemed very playable, it fit the setting, and it allowed you to draw upon any d20 spell.

You may also want to check out "The Psychic's Handbook", published by Green Ronin. It's not very Hyborean, but if you wanted to recreate something like the Belgariad, it fits the bill prefectly.
 
Well, I've gone and done it- the rough notes on the alternate Sorcery system I use are under the topic 'Raven's Rules of Sorcery 1.1'. Hope you enjoy it. Try ignore the whining of a certain ghost.

Raven
 
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