Conan- Drenai (david Gemmell) conversion


Is anyone here interested in collaborating on a conan Gemmell conversion. I think the conan rules are already 90% of the way there, and all that is really needed is a bit of work on monsters, weapons armour races...

I have already started as I am currently running a game in the Drenan setting, but using the conan rules. I was looking for people who may already have done a conversion but there doesn't seem to be anyone.

What I think needs doing

all major races. Most can be taken straight from conan.

Think it would need a couple more classes. a Thirty/dark templar Prestige class would be handy.

More army feats. I liked the Pikeman feat in the conan book. I think that could be appropriate to a few militaries

Feats that allow access to a single spell, maybe a healer, or spirit walking.

Need quite a few new weapons, and some more armours.
e.g. wooden laqured armour that the Kaitze use, Nadir armour,
and the Sabre.
I also like the idea of many differnent qualities of weapons.

all the same I think.

Shamen and Source and Sorcerer magics are the three paths.

Also remove the exploding mage rule.

Obviously Joinings
and lots and lots of mercenaries, thieves vagabonds, raiders, robbers.
Army troops, lancers... from various militaries

I am also keen on the idea originally in StarWars D20 of goon classes. You get all the stuff but no extra hitpoints. This means that your Dragon, or Legion troops can be very dangerous, but can still be taken out with one or two blows from the hero.
If I were running a Drenai campaign I would consider using the psychic powers system from Green Ronin's The Psychic's Handbook instead of the Conan sorcery system. It's practically written with Gemmel's style of magic/psychic abilities in mind...
I've also been working on a Conan RPG d20 conversion for David Gemmell's setting.

So far I have renamed a few classes and added a few abilities skills.
Example: Classes; Barbarian, Woodsman (Borderer), Noble, Outrider (Nomad), Corsair (Pirate), Scholar, Soldier, Thief, and Temptress.
I've also added certain abilities and flavor to each class to make them more "Gemmellesque" - which atm would take a bit more time than I have to type to list.

Races are difficult cause I am not sure which ones to use and port over to the "Drenai Saga" as I have called the campaign setting.
I have so far:
Drenai, Ventrian, Lentrian, Nadir, Chiatze, Naashanite, Sathuli, Vagrian, Kydor, Gothir, and Angostin.
I am sure there are more races but to catalogue them all would take away I think from the uniqueness of each I've done so far.

I've also had a lot of problems with the dieties, I am not sure how many pantheons Mr. Gemmell has written into his books so re-reading them and writing them down as I go is time consuming. I am thinking of just making about a dozen or so.

I'm also having different sorcerous paths for the different casters - sorcerers, witches, shaman (Nadir and other), temple priests (Source priests), Templars (Dark Brotherhood), and perhaps another to be written out.

Campaigns could take place in one of 6 ages:
The Time of Waylander
The Time of Gorben and the Immortals/Skilgannon/Druss
The Time of Legend (Druss/The Thirty/Ulric)
The Time of the Dragon (Tenaka Kahn)
The Time of Lost Heroes (Time of the Twins)
The Time of the Reborn (1000 years after the Time of Legend)

Either way, if you want to bang heads together and work out something let me know.
Another era not explored in the novels is...


The alternate Waylander era where the Waylander from the "prime" timeline goes into the past and stops his family from being slaughtered. Without Waylander to inspire him (through the taste of his blood or otherwise), Dardalion would never have formed The Thirty. Without The Thirty, the whole history of the world of Drenai would change!

And the player characters could be at the center of that change... they could be the catalyst that saves the world, and their descendants, and so forth. A multi-generational campaign that re-runs the adventures of the novels, but in different ways according to the actions of the player characters... so you still have the backdrop, but you don't have to worry about the history as it happened. And the players familiar with the setting won't feel cheated by it being different, because they will know exactly why it is different...
That's an excellent idea - alternate universes per campaign allowing characters to create their own Drenai Saga.

So far the only major problem I've run into is having people being "Talented" (i.e. having access to the Source) which I guess you could make a modified "Dabbler" feat, or "Natural Talent" feat so that an NPC or player character would have access to the Source (or an offshoot of the Wheel of Time RPG produced by WOTC of Robert Jordan's popular book series with the idea of a Wilder class or a variance of Scholar). The "inate or natural" Seers could be thought of to have sort of a Psionic gift, and I am loathe to even attempt to introduce a Psionic type character option to the almost perfect Conan RPG system. I personally dislike Psionics with a passion and the 3.5 version of them isnt a great option atm. So on that aspect I am still on the fence, since no other viable option has presented itself.


A great example of this would be Rowenna, Druss's wife. A natural Seeress with incredible power. She's obviously never been trained by a Source priest but has access to a great number of their abilities.

Also, Waylander and Cadoras - obviously Assassins are special characters who would fall outside the normal class definitions of the Conan RPG system to an extent. In the Shadizar Boxed set they present the idea of The Professional, which allows players to become an Assassin or whatever as a type of "job" or "occupation" progression route. While this is not to bad, I do not want to use Prestige Classes in this system since you can just modify with feats a character class or multi-class and get the same effect...almost. So I may just make that a type of title or lable given to someone who well assassinates people for money based on Reputation. That also, I'm on the fence with and haven't had time to put much thought into it.
You all may be interested to know that Kev White of Hasslefree Miniatures is sculpting a "Not Druss" figure. He presently has a poll on his forums for suggestions for the pose!

If you dislike the standard 3.5 system, you should definitely check out the psychic system in The Spyschic's Handbook. It is very different, and most excellent. I really think it captures the flavor of Gemmell-style Source powers better than the sorcery of Conan...
Alternate Campaigns:

Interesting. However I always thought when reading the books that the characters were always driven by someting (perhaps the source), so if Waylander hadn't met Dardalion, then someone else would have, because the source wants the thirty.

But that asside. I think there is a lot of work to do before we add in any alternate universes.

You interested in collaborating? I so far have been working solely on what I need for the game I am running which is in King Beyond the Gate time, as Ceska is tightening his grip on drenan.

I have Joinings, and have completely fluffed over magic.
I used races from the book and just transfered them into Drenan races.
So Hyborian = Drenai...

classes I left the same, but banned the Scholar class as I thought it inappopriate, and restricted the pirate class.

Magic is a real tricky one as allowing a player access to Sorcerer abilities would kinda screw the idea of a game up. Gemmell heros are always against the sorcerer, not with him.
However there are plenty of Source priests etc.. that are on the side of the adventurers in the books. that can do limited healing, or divination. Then the occasional powerful shamen (e.g. the Tattoo man) who is mainly there to drive the plot. But at least he couldn't rip people hearts out from a distance.

I'll post what I have already later.
ricardo440 said:
Alternate Campaigns:

Interesting. However I always thought when reading the books that the characters were always driven by someting (perhaps the source), so if Waylander hadn't met Dardalion, then someone else would have, because the source wants the thirty.

Ah, but that's the point. Instead of Waylander being the one who met Dardalion, the PC's were the ones who met Dardalion... or even, one of the PC Source Priests is the one who went on to found The Thirty!

This way, players don't have to be "second bananas" in a Drenai campaign. They can be the ones that are at the forefront...
Just to chime in here: I love the Drenai series - an excellent set of books, and I too have been pining for a campaign setting or game based on these stories. Conan is probably the closest out there in regards of tone and realism and I agree it would be a great basis for the game itself.

Onto changing timelines etc. Well with these new adventurers from Conan featuring storylines from the books themselves becoming quite big news, I still don't feel they should provide an impetus for ALL adventures. I personally much prefer a more general campaign setting where the events of the books are either happening, happened or going to happen. While a one off adventure reliving a short story is okay, modelling an entire campaign on a book is just ripe for disaster. I don't know, I just feel it's railroading at it's worst.

Anyway, I wish you luck in the matter. Hopefully Matt Sprange might take an interest ;)