Conan combat for D&D

Netherek

Mongoose
I was wondering if anyone has attempted to use the Conan combat rules for D&D. I am currently running Conan and love the system, but I have plans on running Dark Sun in a year. I would love to use the combat rules from Conan, it makes for a gritty game and would be very nice in gladiatorial arenas. It's the blend of the High Fantasy magic that brings some issues, and would require some conversion work.

I'd appreciate any input as this is going to be quite a project...
 

René

Mongoose
Do you know http://athas.org/ ?

The guys are making a D&D 3rd adaptation - and quite professional. A lot of free stuff for download. Maybe it is a little help!
 

Netherek

Mongoose
Yes, I have been to Athas.org, I have all the downloads, but D&D's combat system just isnt' gritty enough for me. While their product is good, it just doesn't cut it for me. I love the combat mechanics from Conan, so I want to use that as a foundation for my DS campaign. I was wondering if anyone has attempted to use any Conan mechanics in D&D, and how it worked out, esp. with the magic system.
 

GregLynch

Mongoose
Netherek said:
I was wondering if anyone has attempted to use any Conan mechanics in D&D, and how it worked out, esp. with the magic system.

In one D&D campaign I played in before Conan came out, the GM had grown justifiably weary of the wimpy massive damage rules, so he introduced the Conan massive damage rules (along with a few other bits) once Conan arrived on the scene.

We quickly learned that Conan's massive damage rules plus D&D spell damage equals lots and lots and lots of Fortitude saves, many of which required a natural 20.

We never came up with a rules 'patch' for it, as we swiftly switched to a pure Conan campaign.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Netherek said:
Yes, I have been to Athas.org, I have all the downloads, but D&D's combat system just isnt' gritty enough for me. While their product is good, it just doesn't cut it for me. I love the combat mechanics from Conan, so I want to use that as a foundation for my DS campaign. I was wondering if anyone has attempted to use any Conan mechanics in D&D, and how it worked out, esp. with the magic system.
You should also have a look at OGL Ancients which has the same armor protection rules but also includes an "armor coverage" system that would probably fit splendidly with the Dark Sun setting where few people carry heavy armor.
This coverage is a bonus modifier to the DC to hit.

But there is more:
- Every armor provides a different protection from piercing or blundgeonning weapons.
- There is a Grievous Wound threashold corresponding to your Con.
 

René

Mongoose
A Conan-like DR-system is in WotC's Arcana Unearthed (or Unearthed Arcana?). There are also some variants for the standard D&S-spell mechanic (substituted by spell points). I found much of the book interesting, because it shows what D&D 3rd. ed. could have been if they had broken with some traditions...
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Also keep in mind that Parry and Dodge are means of buffing your DV and not directly translatable from Conan to D&D. I had a discussion with a buddy of mine about this and since Barbarian in D&D is close in feel to Barbarian in Conan, it works, but what do you do with a Bard? Scholar? Noble? It depends and may be something you have to work through for an evening with your group. You need those stats though for the system to work.
 

Azgulor

Banded Mongoose
Netherek said:
I was wondering if anyone has attempted to use the Conan combat rules for D&D. I am currently running Conan and love the system, but I have plans on running Dark Sun in a year. I would love to use the combat rules from Conan, it makes for a gritty game and would be very nice in gladiatorial arenas. It's the blend of the High Fantasy magic that brings some issues, and would require some conversion work.

I'd appreciate any input as this is going to be quite a project...

I have found it to be doable. I used Conan for my Kalamar campaign. Extrapolating PV, DV, etc. for the core classes that I was using (cleric, for example) was pretty easy given the range of Conan classes for comparison.

The biggest obstacle for me, was in a "traditional" D&D setting like Kalamar, using Conan-style sorcery didn't fit my picture of spellcasters for all of the races (e.g. elves). Fortunately, none of my players chose spellcasters and it didn't really come up. We're currently on hiatus, so I'm searching for additional magic systems to complement Conan's Sorcery.

In your case, however, Conan-style sorcery seems like it would be a good fit for Dark Sun's sorceror-kings and spell casters - so you don't have the problem I encountered. Also, if I recall correctly, Dark Sun was magic-item poor for the most part - again, no heavy lifting for the GM if using Conan.

Also, I think the Conan classes are more Dark Sun appropriate given the barbarity of the setting than the D&D 3.0/3.5 core classes.

The biggest hurdle I see is psionics. Perhaps certain sorcery styles replace psionics or you downplay the default assumption that psionics is relatively common. I don't own it, but I've heard good things about Green Ronin's take on psionics - maybe it can coexist with sorcery without too much trouble.
 

Netherek

Mongoose
Thanks for the input...

I am planning on using the magic and psi from 3.5, probably add-hoc PV and DV to many of the classes. I will design the gladiator using the Conan Barbarian class as a base template, and replace the fighter with Soldier. I will probably use MD of 50 while armor is still damaged on 20+. Problems I see would be material substitution, magic enhancements on weapons and armor, damage reduction for the various creatures, and on and on...

I thought about picking OGL Ancients, it looked like it would be nice to add to my collection.

What book is Green Ronin's take on Psi called?
 

René

Mongoose
Green Ronin: Psychic's Handbook.
The main part of the book is also included in the Advanced Player's Manual (which gives also a system to modify the standard races - it's useful to build your own Dark Sun races, if you don't like the ones from athas.org). This one is also available as pdf, I think.

Regarding magic weapons and armor: in my own Dark Sun campaign I gave the players magic weapons around 10th level, and even then only +1, complete magic armor they never got.
I houseruled that enchantment of any material doesn't make this material harder or more durable, i.e. it would be a waste of exp points to permanently enchant weapons made of bone, obsidian or rock only to get them break a few fights later - and since even metal weapons are of a low quality (the smiths have so little material for training they can't develop their skills like an Akbitanan smith in CONAN) they are not often enchanted today.
If you add the scarcity of arcane spellcasters, there will be VERY few enchanted weapons.
The main source for high quality or even enchanted metal weapons is the past of Athas, i.e. ruins.


My 2 cents.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I plan to do a conversion for Dark Sun using the Conan rules. I will be rebuilding the DarkSun charcter classes for the new system. So any sugestions would be welcome.


1 powerpoint = 1 foot of defilement sounds good. (for light vegitation)

any sugestions ?
 

Netherek

Mongoose
Sounds do-able though I wasn't considering using the Sorcery rules in my DS game, though it does have some merit. I am going to sketch a basic format over the weekend and go from there.

As far as magic items go in DS, there were magic items, weapons, and to a lesser extent armor, that were made from inferior materials, they just had to be masterwork or very hard to find special material like Drake bone, etc.

Using D&D's existing magic would require an overhaul where armor bonuses are concerned, armor bonus would be DR, but what about enhancements to weapons and armor? It isn't very clear in SoS...

How would one handle energy attacks? I thought about allowing DR to defend against Energy, but then how to deal with energy resistence. I thought about stacking the two...

Massive Damage is another issue that I am running into, though it might not be too much of a problem if DR stacks with energy resistence. Unfortunately armor would be destroyed pretty quick from a few fireballs and the like. Any ideas?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
You will have to rewrite all the spells you want to use anyway so just give them lower damage codes. Or you make them harder to cast.


As far as DR and energy I would say yes for elemental effects. I gues it all depends on what spells you want to use though.
 

Netherek

Mongoose
The main change in spells I see so far is that spells giving an armor bonus would be a DR, possibly DR+2, since that is what armor ratings seem to be...

Natural armor seems to be a bit confusing though, as there are discrepencies in Conan on that. Does it apply to both Dodge and Parry? That seems to be the case, but animals don't have parry or dodge, just defence. The animal defence value includes NA, but they have a Touch defence that doesn't include the NA, but flat-footed does.

Can anyone clarify why the difference in application between character and creatures???
 

Bushido

Mongoose
Netherek said:
I was wondering if anyone has attempted to use the Conan combat rules for D&D. I am currently running Conan and love the system, but I have plans on running Dark Sun in a year. I would love to use the combat rules from Conan, it makes for a gritty game and would be very nice in gladiatorial arenas. It's the blend of the High Fantasy magic that brings some issues, and would require some conversion work.

I'd appreciate any input as this is going to be quite a project...

I'm planning to use Conan RPG rules for my low-fantasy Forgotten Realms campaign.[/b]
 
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