GM Screen: initial reaction


MightyCthulhu said:
I can't wait to pick up the rest of the Conan products (Conan AE, Pirate Isles, and GM screen.)

Sadly (for me) Pirate Isles was sold out by the time I got there Saturday. However I did pick up the AE and the GM screen. I love the Map in the GM screen. I only wish I could get a copy rolled (not folded) like the LotR maps Decipher did for the fan club.

The art of the GM screen is very evocative featuring covers from core book, RoK, SoS and Across Thunder River. The interior looks a lot like any other d20 screen with the edition of the Conan specific formulae. My only gripe lies here. The formulae are all the some font, and not clearly separated, so at first glance it just looks like a big blob of bold text. Not very easy to read. The Map is the new one from the Core AE book and Rok BTW.
isn't Tarantia supposed to be on the Road of Kings? there still seem to be errors in the map being used in the Conan books.
So, there's old art on the outside and all the type is the same size on the inside? :?

I was hoping for an inspiring new art piece and a well laid out interior...
BullBear said:
So, there's old art on the outside and all the type is the same size on the inside? :?

I was hoping for an inspiring new art piece and a well laid out interior...

I'm not sure what do describe what they did with the art. The panels are "blended" and there are watermarks of the Conan RPG logo and pieces of the cool new map over the panels, which makes is feel more like 1 piece. I think the overall effect is very cool. If I did not want a poster sized version of the new map, I don't think I would have bought it tho...
Not to put too fine a point on it, but considering all the provinces, pastiche, novels, comics and so on that contradict themselves I think its fair to say there will NEVER be a perfect map of Hyboria, so nitpicking about it isnt going to get you anywhere really :)
you're right that there are so many contradictions in the Conan stories that there isn't a single map that's accurate, but for the sake of gameplay Mongoose should have settled on a definite map, since the text in Road of Kings directly refers to geographic details that don't always match up. If the book text says that the road runs through certain cities, then the map should reflect that. If there was a worry about having a map that conflicted with the text, then they should have used a map that was less specific and allowed GMs to fill in the details as they wished.
I suppose thats true, but maybe they hit upon some text that absolutely described something as being in a different spot to where it was so they changed it, or it could be ambiguos as to where a town is etc.

You can always change the stuff from Road Of Kings to match up with the map too, its a bit of a pain, but Mongoose has done a pretty great job with the Conan stuff so far (editing withstanding :) ) so it seems a bit unfiar to nitpick on the map, considering how difficult it would have been to put together, thats all :)
I like the Road of Kings map, both as an illustration and for the thought behind it, but I think a prerequisite to any such 'expanded' map should be to first create a definitive (single-page, monochrome) map of what Howard himself established: based on the three maps he drew, not going beyond northern Stygia or the Vilayet, and perhaps with speculative but closely inferred placings in grey.

I'm still baffled by why the pastiche writers introduced all these damn mountain ranges between every country, and why the Mongoose people went with them.
Well, typically and historically, nation borders were based on some sort of natural obstruction such as a river or a mountain range. So, when looking at a map with national borders, it's easy to infer that either a river or a mountain range being the cause of it.

An interesting article on the subject of the origin of political boundaries can be found at
I actually surmised that to be the rationalle behind the red, fuzzy line on the Conan RPG maps. It makes it more of a vague indicator of boundary, as most, if not all, political boundaries are.

In real life there isnt a wide, black line demarkating the US from Canada, for example...:lol:
Back on topic....GM screen is pretty blah. Basic stuff, actions....yadda, yadda. Nothing spectacular excet the art :!:
See now...I picked up the Kingdoms of Kalamar screen and it's litterally 20 pagres of just screen!!! It flips open and folds out and every stinking table you'd ever need is right there and more. The Conan on is fine, but average and for the price.....I'm indifferent...
BullBear said:
So, there's old art on the outside and all the type is the same size on the inside? :?

I was hoping for an inspiring new art piece and a well laid out interior...

You have any idea how much it would have cost to produce this with a four section piece of coloured art specially commissioned for the project?
Dude...the art rocks! I love the reprise of the book covers because it looks like a photomontage of a movie that way. With the title superimposed within the art, it looks exceptionally sweet and was a simple approach to making the screen a chesive part of the whole (all other releases thus far).

My gripe is that the interior is just the basics - nothing grand. An extra fold or even a loose insert with Spells, Feats, each of the toxins/drugs summarized etc. would have bee extra sweet. Instead, it's just run-of-the-mill.

The map is awsome, so that was a nice surprize and well woth the still $15 price tag, but the available rules/charts inside the screen were slightly under-whelming.
thulsa said:
So... how big is the poster map? (Dimensions?)

- thulsa

I don't have it handy, but it is something like 22" x 36", I believe.

I took mine to Office Max and had it laminated for $5 - making it an unbelievable game table accessory, and now waterproof to boot.
Great idea, Jason. Yeah...the mapo is better than swell (all the grousing some folks have over geography aside). It's the same as that in the interior cover of the rule book, but 22.75" x 33" aproximately.