Conan D20 vs D&D



I currently play D&D 3.5 and I heard about Conan D20. I have no store in my area that sells it and for 50 Bucks I don't want to just order it. How is it different? Is the Core book just a bunch of Prestige classes or are things very different? It the book mainly fluff (not a bad thing) or does it have a lot of new rules. If this is a touchy subject I am sorry I am just trying to get the best bang for my buck. If is just a bunch of new classes and Fluff Then I may get the new Gamma World D20 books.

It is Conan OGL. It has new core classes (no prestige classes in the main rule book), a new magic system, new feats, new armour rules, altered combat rules, and an atmosphere derived from Robert Howard's 1930's Conan stories.
Conan is a lot of bang for the buck and very different from DnD. This is not just a splat book filled with a bunch of new, untested feats and half-baked prestige classes. Matter of fact there are no prestige classes and only a handfull of new feats (but those new feats are very flavorful). What you do get is a entirely new set of base classes, some new rules cocerning level advancement (skill points from Int can be spent on any skill, cap HP at level 10, favored class gives bonus feats instead of penalties) and a combat system that has been given a complete overhaul (armor as DR, AC split between two values (parry and dodge), harsher massive damage, weapon damage upgraded, spring attack for everyone, add base reflex save to Init). And, perhaps most importantly of all, DnD's Vancian magic system has been riped out entierly and replaced with a whole new system which is perfectly tuned to the gritty, risky, unwholesome, scarry, but not "low magic" style of Howard's world. This is something that DnD magic just cannot do for you, no mattar how much you house rule it. The bestiary section is a little light on monsters for my taste but it gives you the idea and it shouldn't be too hard to modify/custom build some creepy crawlies to kill all your players.

Long story short: $50 is a big nut to drop, especially with all the typos, but the book is massive, beautifully illistruated, and the rules themselves are rock solid (once you get past the aforementioned typos). This is not a supplement for your DnD game, but if you want a pulpy action filled Swords 'n Sorcery game then this is the best I've seen in a long time.
That means no non-human player races. Instead, players are defined by their human races and nationalities, which provide much the same benefit as the different races in D&D (+/- abilities, bonus feats, bonus skills, etc.) as well as firmly grounding you in the game world. Certain non-human abilities can be acquired through templates (bought with feats, usually), that grant you bonus strengths and weaknesses derived from your supernatural ancestry (demon spawn, for example, has several templates depending on the type of demon lord which tainted your bloodline).

Monsters are rare, but animals (beasts) are plentiful; most enemies you fight will be human. Armor provides Damage Reduction; it doesn't make you harder to hit. Different weapons perform better against armor.

Combat is deadly. There are no CRs. You have to know when to run!

Magic is rare, but powerful. Magic items are never found for sale and rarely made except for the intended user. Magic is almost always evil, always alien and always corrupting. You gain Corruption points for dealing with demons and evil wizards and these can have deleterious effects on your personality and eventually, your humanity.

Clerics are more of a social position than a character class (hardly any magical healing, BTW). Religion provides concrete benefits to the faithful and to the priests.

No alignments. Codes of Honor (civilized or barbarian) provide rigid behavior patterns in exchange for bonuses to Will saves.
Anonymous said:
I currently play D&D 3.5 and I heard about Conan D20. I have no store in my area that sells it and for 50 Bucks I don't want to just order it.

In short, buy i! :D

Seriously though, it is a beautiful piece of art. There's tons of new crunchy stuff, and the softer bits fit perfectly in with everything else and it is all so flavorful. If you like Robert E. Howard's Conan stories even a little bit, then get the game.

You can find it cheaper than $50 at places such as: StiggyBaby.


I would advise to buy it too .. but first wait a few months till Mongoose publishes a new edition with all the errata. For 50 bucks, you deserve better than what they currently sell, sadly enough.
As has be previously said, you should go out and buy it. While you may want to wait for a corrected version, you should note that stores may have difficulty keeping it in stock. My local gaming store has sold out twice already, and I am still waiting for Scrolls of Skelos to come in.

By-the-by, Conan is so refreshing from your normal D&D adventures, you may find those 3.5 books gathering dust.

Grim Wanderer
Buy it, you will enjoy it. Everyone in my gaming group has been playing RPGs for 15 or more years. We have tried just about everything out there. The Conan d20 has sparked a renewed intrest in the game for all six of us that has not been there for many years.