Conan RPG from TSR

I have been playing RPGs since 1978, when D&D was about the only one being played, and I have collected over 100 RPGs since then. I fell in love with David Cooks RPG system back in 1984 and have modified and added to this system for a long time.

Anyway, I am thrilled to know that a lot of people feel good about this system as I think it is potentially the best system ever designed.

I use this system as my general RPG, and have created numerous races (such as Beastlings) and classes (77 so far). This I have done by adding new Talents (such as Animal BODY), and expanding upon other aspects of the game system.

This game is so customizable, that you can use it to play any genre.

Any of you that are interested in my additions, should get ahold of me.
After reading the posts on this thread, it brings back memories of the time my buddies and I played this. We even recorded our gaming sessions on cassette tape (wish we had digital voice recorders back then). I was gm and I loved this system at the time for all the reasons mentioned above...simple, customizable and fun. What we loved most was that it wasn't level-based. (I dislike level systems. I eventually fell in love with GURPS). The players actually enjoyed learning new skills AND languages. The combat system in my opinion was leagues ahead of AD&D. I've started purchasing the Mongoose Conan books. I'm new to the d20 system, but it seems a major improvement over AD&D (of yore). Haven't gamed in over a decade and I'm excited to start up again with my buddies who've always wanted to finish the Conan campaign we started. Who knows, if I don't like the d20 system, I may just use the Mongoose Conan books for source material. They are great books.


"Be stronger, fly higher, don't be afraid..."
I've been customizing TSR Conan for some time now. I put up a few things on my site, but plan to bring out the entire game completely modified.

By modified, I mean a new Resolution Chart, a new damage system (no more damage points), and a completely reworked Talent Table. Also, I have pre-designed backgrounds to help in quick PC creation. Soon I hope to have all this up so you can check it out. I will put all of it into PDF also.

Click on my WWW button and it will take you right there.
I've bookmarked your site. I like some of the talents you've added. Would like to see more detailed explanation. But I guess you're working on that. It's too bad that this game never made it that far. It had potential.
You'll be very happy with my version. I plan to bring many of the OGL Conan features to the game, to make all of their modules more usable. I will be adding many of their skills and feats to the game. Although at first I had not intended to, I will be using 5' to the inch scale. This scale is used in the original game, but I had used the 1/72 (25mm) scale in many of my other games. But that scale is not compatible with many of the modules put out for Conan. I will use the 1/72 scale (which I call the "Pica" scale) for my own gaming, but not for this version of the game I have redesigned.

I now call the game; Talent Role-Playing System, and abbreviate it as TaRPS. It will always be a "free" RPG. It will not be tailored exclusively for Conan, nor will it reference Conan or the Hyborian Age at all. I will link to Conan sites, and this will give a good hint as to what would be the recommended genre for the game.

I am working daily on getting this done, and I am closer and closer.

Thanks for your interest.

Oh, yeah. The new site will also be up soon. I will let you know on this thread and on my signature.
Hey I am interested in the play by mail game using the old TSR rules. I worked at TSR at the time we developed them. I worked for the RPGA and did play test on the game. Would love to play.
Hey I am interested in the play by mail game using the old TSR rules. I worked at TSR at the time we developed them. I worked for the RPGA and did play test on the game. Would love to play.

I've never played by mail (or e-mail), but wouldn't mind giving it a try. How do you do random rolls? (see how ignorant I am?)

For the first try we could do CN3, Conan Triumphant. I know that one pretty good. I could also put maps on the web or have them as PDF downloads.

I'm also working on a campaign I call "The Warlord of Koth." Takes place towards the end of Conan's career as the King of Aquilonia.

I really envy the fact you worked at TSR and was part of all that. Which games did you play test? I couldn't tell exactly if you meant TSR Conan or the PBM or both.
I worked at TSR during college as a freelance editor and designer. Then I worked for the RPGA in it's founding years. While there I also worked with and helped write the Oriential Adventure line. I got to play test and work on everything from the orginal Dragon Lance, to Forgotten Realms. It was fun, just didn't pay well.
dunderm said:
I've never played by mail (or e-mail), but wouldn't mind giving it a try. How do you do random rolls? (see how ignorant I am?)
Here's a website that rolls dice, you determine which die type, how many, etc., and give email addresses to email the results to:

I've used it a couple of times, and it works very well.
Sounds like this might be a go, then.

The adventure is not written exactly like the book, so even if you had read the book, there will still be mysteries and stuff that may surprise you.

The scenario has 6 pre-generated PCs, including Conan. So even if you had not played this game, nor have the rule book, it should not be a problem. Anyone wishing to play this scenario, but want to make up their own PC, will get 150 points for PC creation, plus the normal Weakness bonuses.

"The Legend of Avanrakash and Al'Kiir"
In ages long past, the Avatar of Al'Kiir, god of lust, pain, and death, dwelt upon Earth. His priestesses trafficked in human sacrifice of the most horrible kind. The fairest maidens were married to the god; the best warriors fought madly for his amusement. The people cried for release.

That's the first paragraph in the adventure. So if anyone still wants to give it a go, let me know.
I picked up the adventure "Conan the Buckaneer" and will adapt it for d20 in the near future

I'm very interested on how that works out. I see the main problems you would have is in character and monster conversions. Unless you have TSR Conan game, I wouldn't try that. And even if you do, I wouldn't try that. TSR Conan has character concepts beyond the limits of the d20 system. Just pick equivalant ones from d20, that should work just fine. It's the storyline you want anyway.

But here is a creature from this module, the Wolves of Sar'wik.

Strength - 15
Movement - 10
Animal Reflexes - 10

Bite - 20

Damage - 20
Magic Endurance - 10

Bite: +1 Damage

Simple? Or so it seems.
Got side tracked this weekend, had to go see the "start" of the Iditarod in Anchorage. That was fun, but got only one picture, stupid battery went dead.

Well, didn't upload pages to my website, but am hammering out the game.

Will attempt to upload entire TSR Conan game in original format as PDF. I will attempt to do this like tonight, maybe. Cross your fingers.

Will also upload letter from WotC, saying that they have no interest in licensing or selling TSR Conan, due to cost envolved to find all the individuals who have the rights to the game. You'll see the letter.
The Evil DM said:
I just picked up a copy of the Conan RPG from TSR. It looks very sparse but the combat system looks interesting. have any members here played it and if so what did you think of it?

I just picked up a copy of the TSR Conan game as well off of Ebay. It looks pretty cool. It came with a whole module "Conan the Buccaneer," which also looks really cool. I'm not sure if the game usually comes with this module, or it was just thrown in by the guy I bought it from on Ebay, but it looks pretty good. I'm just starting to read thru the game, but am excited about what I'm seeing initially. We'll see.
The three Conan modules came separately, Conan the Mercenary was the second one, and Conan Triumphant was the third. Nothing else was ever made for this game. Conan Triumphant CN3, added Mass Combat and Random City development. CN3 added one new magic Talent, Necromancy, and four regular Talents; Artisan, Berserk, Forgery, and Slight of Hand.

Here's the Berserk Talent discription, which you will want to have in the game.

BERSERK (Insight)
Your character is able to enter a hypnotic state of fighting rage in which he attacks furiously without noticing normal wounds (Specific Wounds are handled normally). He need not check once his Damage Talent reaches zero or less to see if he remains conscious. He automatically remains conscious until his Damage Talent reaches a negative score corresponding to his Berserk Rating. For example, a character with a Berserk rating of 5 does not fall uncounscious until his Damage Talent reaches -5. Once this score is reached, however, the Berserker is automatically dead. A Berserker must make a successful Resolution check in the Orange range against his Berserk rating to enter a Berserk state (only one attempt per Turn). He must also make a successful check against his current Damage Talent rating to leave the Berserk state (an Orange or Red result indicates success). A Berserker who has not left the Berserk state must continue fighting. even if the only opponents available are friendly. If his Damage Talent is negative when he leaves the Berserk state, the Berserker automatically falls unconscious.

Have fun! I have a site for this game, and am putting more info up on it. Click on my WWW button.
For some reason, Nisus Writer, that I am using to make PDFs with, is not coding the file right. When I upload, and then download to check it out, it claims there is not enough data. So until I can figure this out, I'll just put the TSR Conan RPG pages up as JPEGs, hope that's ok with you all for now.
I'm going to wait for the weekend to put up the pages (that ID ten T error, bummed me out).

In the meantime, there's an improvement to the game written by William Carlson for the Dragon magazine issue September of 1986, called "Combat complexity." I'm only giving you the very basic idea, the article is 2 1/2 pages long. This change to Specific Wounds completely replaces the original rules.

There are 7 Aiming Points. You declare one when you attack. Formally, any color result was a hit. Some AP are harder to hit, Table 1 shows below:

Table 1: Aiming Points
Body part - Aimed - Random Roll

Right leg - O/R - 01-09
Left leg - O/R - 10-20
Gut/rear - Y/O/R - 21-40
Chest/back - Y/O/R - 41-70
Left arm - O/R - 71-79
Right arm -O/R - 80-90
Head - R - 91-00

Any color result other than those listed gives you a random hit. White as usual is a miss, and Red always gives Specific Damage. Which brings me to the next part.

Impact bonuses have been added to give your weapons a better chance of doing Specific Damage. The Impact Bonus is listed as 0, 1, 2, or 3 shifts in the color result towards a potential Red result. But the Impact Bonus cannot be used for determining if you hit. Also, on top of the weapon's Impact Bonus, a character gets an additional Impact Bonus for every 15 points of Talent that was used to make the attack.
An Avoidance Rating is provided to defend against this new chance of killing your foe. For every 15 points of Animal Reflexes or General Prowess Talent you have, you get a point to your Avoidance Rating. Also, each point of Armor Protection equals it's Avoidance Rating. So your armor can protect you against Specific Wounds, even if your Talents can't.

There is still one last chance to avoid Specific Damage as shown on Table 3 below. I have changed all occurances of Carlson's use of the word "save" to either avoid, or avoidance.

Table 3: Specific Wound Avoidance
Aiming point - Roll vs. this Talent to avoid

Head - Current Damage or Gen. Endurance
Chest - Stamina or Gen. End.
Gut - Strength or Gen. Prowess
Arm - Movement or Gen. Prow.
Leg - Movement or Gen. Prow.

Specific Wound effects differ depending upon the actual rolled color result. Tables 4 and 5 below show the effects of a Specific Wound. The numbers in parenthesis are points of damage. Damage done with Specific Wounds, are recorded separately from normal damage, due to how it is healed. I will go over this in detail later in this post.

Table 4: Specific Wound effects for Brawling
Aiming Point - Green(1) or Yellow(2) - Orange(3) or Red(4)

Head - Stunned 1 turn; O/R avoids - Unconscious; O/R avoids
Chest - Stunned 1 turn; any color avoids - Stunned 1 turn; Y/O/R avoids
Gut - Stunned 1 turn; any color avoids - Stunned 2 turns; Y/O/R avoids
Arm - No specific effect - Drop object held; any color avoids
Leg - No specific effect - Knocked down; Y/O/R avoids

Note: I changed the effects for SW to head on Table 5 below. Originally, it was Y/O/R.

Table 5: Specific Wound effects for other types of combat
Aiming Point - Green(1) or Yellow(2) - Orange(3) or Red(4)

Head - Stunned 2 turns; O/R avoids - Unconscious; O/R avoids
Chest - Stunned 1 turn; Y/O/R avoids - Stunned 3 turns; O/R avoids
Gut - Stunned 2 turns; any color avoids - Unconscious; Y/O/R avoids
Arm - Drop object held; any color avoids - Unusable; any color avoids
Leg - Knocked down; Y/O/R avoids - Unusable; Y/O/R avoids

I have changed Carlson's method of healing. The original method called for healing all normal damage before Specific damage could be healed. I figure the body is putting all it's resources into healing up the worst damage just to live.

General Endurance Rating +1 equals the amount of damage that can be healed per day. Magic or other methods may increase this amount. For the first day of healing, only the worst Specific Wounds are healed, with the player choosing which one. This allows a possibility for the player to revive their character, and possibly continuing sooner with the adventure. After that, each day alternates healing normal damage and Specific damage, with the player choosing what wound and amount of damage is being healed. The total damage caused by a Specific Wound must be healed before the effects wear off. This means a character with a healing rate of 3 points per day, and who has a Specific Wound to the head of 4 points, would not revive until the third day.

I hope some of you get the chance to use this alternate Specific Wound rules.

One last thing, go ahead and make up the Impact Bonus for your weapons yourself. You may also want to change it's Weapon Bonus and Initiative Bonus. Have fun!