Darkness & Dread

Jason Durall

Darkness & Dread, a new d20 sourcebook from Fantasy Flight Games, seems to be focused on running dark fantasy. I wonder if it might make a good resource for Conan campaigns.

Here's a link: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/dd47.html

Has anyone seen it yet? Any thoughts?

Note: I've only seen the preview and heard good things about it on rpg.net - but I'm curious if anyone else has seen it or knows if it would indeed be useful.
www.fantasyflightgames.com said:
New rules for madness, fear, and other psychological effects

Sounds Lovecraftian, which is only one step from Howardian. Sounds good. Fear rules are a little light in Conan.

New monsters utilizing the fear rules

Iffy. Many d20 monsters rely quite heavily on D&D spell effects.

A complete pantheon of insane, god-like beings that grant their followers powers and madness

Sounds good. D&D by default has more magic, so these abilities may need to be toned down. Some of these abilities should be integratable into the Scholar class. Thumbs up to insane god-like beings.

New prestige classes, feats, and spells designed for survival in a dark fantasy campaign

Prestige classes no. Feats can be tricky. The spells should be convertible on a case-by-case basis.

Information on integrating the horrific into your world setting

Not necessary. :)

Too bad the download doesn't have any meat to it. The Abomination and Godling section looked okay, but I'd like to see more before I'd order it.
As it so happens I own a copy of the book...

Yes, much of it can be used for a Conan game

Classes: not so much, since it focuses on the core classes and its own classes. The classes presented in the book are very much underpowered in comparison to core D&D, and realy dont belong in a Conan game.

It has its own health/hp system desinged to make combat more deadly, but Conan does it a bit better.

Fear Ratings are perhapse the best aspect of this game that can be ported over to Conan, it give rules for how high to make the FR, as well as a nice list of Quirks and Disorders to inflict... that is to enhance the RP experience of a charcter.

the section on research and investigation doesnt quite fit in with a usual Conan game (how often did we see Conan stop to research a monster weakness before going off to battle it?), still it can be used as a guide for scholars researching a new spell or magical relic.

Like Fear Ratings the section on Black Magic fits well into a Conan game, it provides several "pacts" that a character can make with a daemon or god. these pacts provide a benefit as well as a price (one grants you a +4 profane bonus to bluff and diplomacy checks but requires a will save to avoid using the skill for "destructive, devisive, or otherwise evil manner."

the section on creatures is also easily ported over to Conan, the abomination template is a good way to turn those ordinary Monster Manual creatures into something worthy of REH. and the section on Goddlings is an exelent way to create those creatures that Conan encountered but could never destroy.

the rest of the book is devoted to running a dark fantasy or horror game, and can be of some use to a GM (though not greatly). The adventures in the back could be used as part of a Conan game with some conversion.