GM'S GUIDE TO CREATING HYBORIAN AGE ADVENTURES

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
GeneRayburn25.jpg


Iron Chef here! That's one spicy meatball in my picture. Speaking of spicy, here's a way to "spice up" your Conan RPG game. I've compiled a bunch of ideas, house rules links and adventures to make your GMing life easier. As you read through this thread, you'll see what I mean and why the girls all call me "The Incredible Hunk!"

GeneRayburn6.jpg


Given the differences between the flavor of Conan vs. D&D, and the vagueness of the setting, I'm thinking that making a GM's Guide to creating Hyborian Age adventures would be a helpful aid, in addition to the small section in the rulebook. The Harn (TM) Forum has a similar project underway here:
Part 1: http://www.harnforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1723
Part 2: http://www.harnforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1792
As well as a thread on instant plots for the HarnWorld setting here:
http://www.harnforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1487
And 101 encounter ideas (pdf) here:
http://www.lythia.com/dloads/swords/encounters.pdf

Something like these, but adapted to the Hyborian Age setting, should prove to be of enormous help to GMs new to Conan. Post your ideas and links here!
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Here are quick links to my initial contributions to making the GM's life easier (or at least, more interesting, in the case of the Femme Fatale!):

INSTANT CAMPAIGN #1 (Shem to Zamboula to Zamora)
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1226
INSTANT CAMPAIGN #2 (Nemedia to Aquilonia)
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1306
FEMME FATALE CLASS (5 level version on p.1, 20 level version on p.2)
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1195
This class can serve as the springboard for many adventures, with the femme fatale serving as an employer, adversary, "treasure" for the party or motivator for the main villain's actions.

I'm not content to rest on my laurels, however, so look for new material from me soon! 8)
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Here's a thread on RPG.Net discussing various combinations or settings you can use Conan The RPG for:
http://rpg.net/showthread.php?s=c57f7c470f3985d79b57e1a49efba52a&threadid=103026

Another RPG.Net thread on what additional d20 material to use with Conan:
http://rpg.net/showthread.php?s=c57f7c470f3985d79b57e1a49efba52a&threadid=103759

And this one, on what uses to put Conan rules besides Conan's setting.
http://rpg.net/showthread.php?s=c57f7c470f3985d79b57e1a49efba52a&threadid=103822
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Perhaps most importantly, here is a link to a Conan site that fills in most of the blanks the Conan RPG gazetteer suffers from (not that it isn't well done, but it's just not enough information for me). It makes it a lot easier to get inspired by a location the more you know about it. The site goes into a lot of detail and incorporates much of the 1970s/mid-80s pastiche material, thank Crom! I need to GM Conan now, and not having the full details of the Road of Kings book at my fingertips is a real pain. When players ask me questions about something not covered or not detailed enough, it sucks to say "I have no idea." I'll still be buying the Road of Kings (which I hope will have detailed city maps and regional blow-ups), but this is the immediate fix I need to run the kind of anal-retentive attention to detail campaigns I favor. Instant data at your fingertips on every nation's history, geography, notable people and places, economy, society, current affairs, law, religion, mana levels, armed forces, etc., including most of the countries cut from the Conan RPG's gazetteer (Kambuja, Kosala, Pathenia, etc.).

HYBORIAN GAZETTEER
http://www.conan.no/modules.php?op=modload&name=pages&file=dummy&filnavn=modules/pages/land/index.php
ART GALLERY
Also, there is a large gallery of Conan art on the site, useful for GMs and players as hand-outs or character portaits: http://www.conan.no/modules.php?op=modload&name=Gallery&file=index
------------------------------------------------

A HYBORIAN ENCYCLOPEDIA (an exhaustive reference, includes Howard's originals and every single pastiche writer's creations): http://www.dodgenet.com/~moonblossom/Cgaze.htm
 

emirikol

Mongoose
All:

I uploaded a Conan adventure format with Stat Blocks here:

www.yahoogroups.com/group/d20conan/files

http://www.enworld.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1384398#post1384398

There is no function for attachemnts here is there?

jh
 

GrayPumpkin

Mongoose
Thanks, though personally I much prefer the sketchier approach the main Conan sourcebook has taken. If I want more details I can take them from Howard or simply just make it up as I go along. I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m not all that hyped up for Road of Kings.
Still, thanks for posting this as it does have some intresting and details, though much of it is right out of Gurps Conan. A fact which they freely site, which is nice to see.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
And I'd be remiss not to mention the following excellent Conan sites:

SCARLET BLADES (has Hyborian Lore, instant NPCs, maps, more, all for the new Conan RPG): http://www.scarlet-blades.com

THE HYBORIAN AGE d20 (has instant adventures including Tower of the Elephant and Slaver's Caravan, name list, famous sorcerer list, more)
http://hyboria.xoth.net/

CONAN/RED SONJA d20 (d20 stats, conversions from stories and old TSR Conan adventures, maps, more, adding new Conan RPG support)
http://enworld.cyberstreet.com/hosted/adilbrand/conan.htm
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Just found this section of http://www.conan.no that has an alphabetical listing of people and places in the Conan stories. Click on each letter to go to that section of the guide.

http://www.conan.no/modules.php?op=modload&name=pages&file=placesdummy&filnavn=modules/pages/hybage/places.php
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Here's an example of the kind of quick adventure help I'm talking about. Please post any similar quick GM's helpers you come up with!

HYBORIAN AGE ADVENTURE SEEDS #1

ZAMORA
BORDER CROSSING GONE BAD

The party attempts to cross the border into Zamora and encounters a royal fort.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
As you ride for the Zamoran border, a crude fort appears on the horizon with low walls of mud-fired brick. From its single, stumpy tower, the royal colors of Zamora flap listlessly in the lazy breeze.

The party are spotted, the brass horn sounded, and a file of twenty mounted Zamorian troops issue forth to greet them.

Zamorian Customs Inspector: Noble 2 (max ranks in Appraise, Search and Sense Motive and Skill Focus in Sense Motive).
Zamorian Sergeant (Veteran): Soldier 3.
Zamorian Troopers (17 Veterans): Soldier 2.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
A file of riders issue forth from the the gate of the fort, the morning light shining off helmet and armor and spear-point. One rider bears a royal banner, its long pole resting in a socket on his stirrup. Foremost among them ride a pair of officers in cuirasses of bright steel, colorful plumes nodding from the crests of their gilded helmets. As you approach, the horsemen behind the officers move from file to line formation, spreading out to block the roadway. They halt, and the officers hold up admonitory hands, signifying that you should do likewise.

"Whence come you and what is your business?" asks the leader as the other officer reaches into a satchel tied to his saddle and removes scrolls and writing materials to record your answers.

"State your name and race."


The junior officer makes a note of each person on his scroll, while the leader perhaps makes an insulting comment about the stranger's race or appearance (if they are not obviously wealthy or nobles).

Inspector: "Have you any goods to declare?"

He is required by law to ask this, even if the party are not obviously merchants carrying trade goods. Trade goods, if present, will be taxed at the rate of 10% of their total assessed value, according to the inspector's Appraise skill check.

"We must see if any of them are on our Apprehend and Detain list," the second officer reminds his leader, who glances at him in irritation.

At this point, several of the troopers begin discussing among themselves that one of you looks passing familiar, and may be wanted by the crown for a hanging offense. Zamora keeps several lists of undesirables and wanted men at each border fort: one is the "kill on sight" list and the other is the "apprehend and detain" list.


The inspector, hearing this talk, orders the PCs to be detained and brought back to the fort for questioning, so that their identities can be verified. There are several options to avoid a fight to the death here:

1. Maintain their innocence, but bribe the inspector and his patrol no less than 10 sp per man, with 20 for the sergeant and 50 for the inspector. They will allow that perhaps the party are not on their list but as they have no way to prove whether they are wanted criminals or not, the party will be pemitted to retreat back the way they came. However, entry to Zamora will be barred to them on pain of death.

2. Hypnotize the inspector with sorcery into believing the PCs have no resemblance to the wanted men in question. The PCs will be allowed to enter Zamora unmolested, and the inspector will even forget to ask for the border fees and taxes.

3. Come quietly. The accused PCs will be stripped of weapons, armor and equipment and locked into cells while awaiting the arrival of a magistrate from Shadizar. They will receive rough treatment from guards. At the GM's discretion, and based on their behavior, non-accused party members may be passed through the border, denied entrance based on the company they keep, or arrested as suspected bandits.

Anyone crossing the border is subject to crossing fees and road taxes. Those permitted entry are issued a numbered bronze border pass stamped with the seal of the crown of Zamora. The pass is issued to the leader of the PC's party, with the warning that it must be presented upon demand to any Zamoran official or guard, and that the person holding the pass is responsible for the conduct of everyone in his party. The pass must be surrendered upon leaving the country.

ZAMORIAN BORDER CROSSING FEES AND TAXES:
Border crossing fee: 2 sp per person.
Border Pass Deposit (refunded upon leaving the country): 10 sp.
Road Tax: 1 sp per person, 5 sp per mount, 10 sp per wagon.
These fees and taxes are only assessed for entry into Zamora; there is no charge to leave the country.


OPTIONS:
If the party flees, they are pursued relentlessly for up to 10 miles. If the party attacks, the Zamorian sergeant sounds his brass horn and more troops come to their aid from the fort, twenty at a time. The fort contains a total of 100 mounted soldiers, including a commander who is a level 5 soldier. The total of 100 includes the 20 who have ridden out to meet the party. Those who attack a Zamoran customs inspector or a Zamoran patrol are to be put to death. Those who commit these murders and escape are added to the national "Kill on sight" list.

If the party is imprisoned, the GM has several options:

1. Let the magistrate come so the party can prove their innocence. The magistrate takes seven to ten days to arrive and the PCs are judged guilty until proven innocent. PCs who are on the "kill on sight" list but maintain they are not the persons so charged and surrender quietly are not killed on sight but held for "official identification" after the magistrate arrives (with witnesses to identify the guilty, if possible). As the accused have no goods, they have little to bargain with...

2. While the party awaits the arrival of the magistrate, the fort is attacked by a superior force and the PCs are either turned loose to help fight the mutual menace as a last desperate measure by the commander, or are rescued by the opposing force. The opposing force may be made of Kezankian or Karpashian hillmen, bandits (perhaps their leader is also imprisoned in the fort), or an evil sorcerer who believes the imprisoned PCs know the location of a valuable magical treasure. The PCs may have to "prove" themselves to their benefactors before being released.

This encounter adapted from CONAN AND THE AMAZON, by John Maddox Roberts.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
HYBORIAN AGE ADVENTURE SEEDS #2

FEATHERS FLY AT THE RED EAGLE


The party are strangers in town and inquire of a street vendor where they might find lodging and a meal. This encounter is suitable for anywhere outside Zamora (or modified for use inside Zamora by removing reference to Arpad's cheek brand or changing its country of origin).

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"I think men such as you will served best at the Red Eagle," the vendor says pointing toward a low stone building with one side painted with the huge, crude image of a splay-winged bird, its beak cruelly hooked. "It is the favored hangout for rogues and thieves. There are few men of any other sort in this town, but the hardest cases go to the Red Eagle."

The PCs go toward the inn.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"As you draw nearer to the building, the gathering darkness reveals lights glowing in many of its small windows. There is sufficient twilight left to see that it has ben covered with an improvised roof of thatch. A well and several ater troughs stand before the building, and a number of horses, mules, asses and camels drink there or stand chewing their cud or nudging one another in lethargic boredom."

The PCs enter the inn.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"You duck beneath the low lintel of heavy timbers and enter, descending four steps until you stand in the Red Eagle's main room. Candles and slall totches provide adequate illumination, revealing that the furnishings are of the most varied sort. There are some long tables with benches, smaller round or square tables surrounded by chairs, and low, drum-like tables for those who prefer to sit upon the straw-covered floor.

At one end of the room is a bar made of a heavy stone slab laid atop massive blocks. Behind it stands a man only slightly less massive, with tree-trunk arms and legs and a belly that strains the limits of his leather apron. His shaven pate is tattooed with brightly coloerd flowers, and an unswept mustache frames a broken nose gleaming with jeweled studs. Behind him, kegs, wineskins and clay pots are arranged on shelves amid flagons, clay cups and leather jacks.

The place is crowded, with men seated around every table. Dice rattle in cups, and the counters of a half-score games of chance change hands along with the wagers. To one side, men cast daggers at a crude woden target. The drinkers seated just beneath the target ignore the weapons whizzing over their heads.

Most of the men pause in their activities to study you, and then, satisfied, return to their pursuits. At least one, however, seems offended by you. As you pass his long table, the man leans out and makes an insulting show of studying you, his nose wrinkling in obvious distaste.

"By the eight hairy legs of Zath! What will you be allowing in next, barkeep? The goats and the asses?" He sneers loudly, making his ugly face even uglier. His scrubby beard fails to hide the mark of the thief branded upon one cheek by a Zamorian executioner.

"So long as this stranger has money to pay, Arpad, your dislike of my new guest matters not to me. But if you will fight, you must abide by the rules of my house and take your grudge outside. There will be no killing in the Red Eagle this night!" says the man in the leather apron, picking up a massive cudgel and rapping its iron-banded business end upon the bar for emphasis.


Here allow the PCs to react how they wish. To avoid a fight, the PC must successfully use his Intimidate skill to make Arpad back down. If the Intimidate check is unsuccessful, Arpad rises to his feet and demands to fight the PC one on one. Indulio, the barkeep, will force the pair outside, saying "I've no objection to men killing each other, but they must do it outside." Most of the inn will file out, form a circle around the two duelists, and place wagers on the outcome.

If it looks like Arpad will lose the fight, his two friends join in to even the odds. If Arpad is killed before they can enter the fight, they charge in to avenge him.

Arpad: Zamorian Thief, 1-2 levels higher than the PC he challenges.
Arpad's 2 cronies: Zamorian Thieves, same level as the challenged PC.

If the Intimidate check is successful...

READ LOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"Arpad backs down grudgingly. You notice the Zamorian dog flashing you dark looks that intimate he will likely seek his revenge later, after he has drunk enough to become truly ill-tempered. His villainous looking companions are clearly chafing him for his unmanly avoidance of a fight he had picked, and their raucous chiding clearly grates on the man's nerves."

Arpad's desire to assuage his wounded reputation will become overwhelming within an hour of the incident, if the PC is still present. If the PC is absent, Arpad will wait until the next time he sees him again, and this time, he will not be intimidated.

The PCs order for food and drink, and Indulio the barkeep takes the opportunity to come sit with them and inquire of their travels and of any news they might have. He will pay in room and board for news he can resell to other adventurers, local criminals, or other interested parties.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"Your meal is brought to one of the low tables and set before you by a slave girl with an iron ring encircling her neck. She sets a a platter of smoking beef ribs upon the table. A second slave brings cheese, fruit and a stack of flat, tough loaves."

OPTIONS TO EXPAND THE ENCOUNTER:
This is a good time to introduce new NPCs you may want to hire or join the PCs, who will be impressed with the PCs ability to kill Arpad. The Red Eagle makes a good "home base" while staying in the town; Indulio is friendly (but brooks no nonsense or trouble-making) and a good host. He knows much of the local gossip, but charges fairly for it (or deducts it from the PCs room and board if they are getting it free). Fights between disgruntled or boastful patrons occur outside nightly, and the PCs can make a few silvers from wagering rightly upon the outcome. Enemies of the PCs can seek them out in their rooms there, as well, for a midnight assassinations. Or perhaps a lovely femme fatale (see my class for game mechanics) sets her sights on one of the PCs as a likely champion, dupe, or thrall.

This encounter adapted from John Maddox Roberts' CONAN AND THE AMAZON, where the Red Eagle is located in the thief-town of Leng along the Brythunian border near Zamora.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
HYBORIAN AGE ADVENTURE SEED #3

ROLL OF THE DICE


The PCs are interested in a bit of fun, looking for information, or in need of drink, food or lodging. They enter the Wyvern, a gathering place for local scum. You can place this encounter in any large city or town.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"All conversation ceases as you enter the Wyvern. Scarred, branded, and tattooed faces turn toward the landing where you stand. The one-eyed, slit-nosed and earless watch with close interest. After a moment sizing you up, the men turn away from you and conversation resumes.

This looks like an ill-advised place in which to turn your back. If you wish a table where you may keep your back to the wall and your eye on the rest of the patrons, there are vacant seats at a rear corner table. The three men sitting there are look no more verminous than the rest, and appear to be dicing in good spirits."


If the PCs approach the table, the men pause their gaming to look up warily. The rule in such places is that one must politely ask to join a party first, and not just sit down, else they invite a swift death for their presumption of companionship, no matter how villainous or disreputable. If the PCs ask if they mind if they join them, the men smile and indicate that they should take a seat.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"A man with a black spider tattooed on his brow and one with a copper nose strapped over a gaping hole where once there had been a nose of flesh and cartilage look at you, then look to a third man. This third man is even more colorfully mutilated than the others. One of his legs protrudes stiffly, its knee mangled beyond use. One armends in a wrist stump that is neatly patched and cauterized. You judge it to have been lopped off for theft in some land where that punishment is favored. The man is also wry-necked, his head canted at a permanent angle so that his right ear almost touches his shoulder.

"Join us," he says in a surprisingly deep, rich voice. "We are honored to have a new face at our table." He rattles dice in a cup and grins crookedly, revealing blackened teeth. "The game is Shemitish Suicide. The wager is two silvers. Are you in?"


THE GAME:
Shemitish Suicide is played with four dice, each side marked with icons of blue stars on three sides, red daggers on the fourth and fifth, and a golden eagle on the sixth. The object is to roll as many golden eagles as possible. Each player gets one throw per game. A roll of four eagles is a perfect throw and is traditionally called "The Goddess" or "Ishtar's Claws." A roll of four daggers is the worst throw, and is called a "Shemitish Suicide." The game was developed in the Shemite city-state of Eruk (known as "The Eagle") many years ago and has gained in popularity until it is a fairly common sight throughout Shem and surrounding countries.

HOW TO PLAY: Either have each participant roll 1d20 and add their Charisma modifier to the result, with the highest roll winning (a 20+ is considered a "Goddess" throw, and anything less than a 6 is considered a "Shemitish Suicide"). Alternately, you can have each player roll 4d6. 1-2 counts as a dagger, 3-5 as a star, and 6 as an eagle.

WINNING: At this table, an opening bet of two silvers can win you six plus two per additional player. The men give the PCs first toss. They expect the PCs to play more than one hand, and will become angry if the PCs win and refuse to allow them a chance to win back their losings. This can escalate into a fight if the GM wishes. All three men are experienced thieves and cut-throats and will attempt to flank PCs for sneak attacks. Their levels are whatever you feel may be appropriate, but probably between 3rd and 5th.

One of the men introduces himself and his two friends, neither of whom seems overly interested in engaging in conversation not directly related to the game.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"That is Spider," says the wry-necked man, managing an angled nod toward the tattooed Zamorian, "and that is Copper-Nose," indicating the other, a Hyborian---Kothic---by the look of him. "I am called Falx the Lucky, formerly of Shem."

If the players inquire as to how someone so badly mutilated could be termed "lucky," Falx replies:

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
Falx grins and taps his twisted neck. "Had you been hanged and lived to tell of it, you would count yourself lucky, too."

If things go congenially, these three can also be hired as bravos to carry out dark deeds for the PCs (or their enemies) at a rate of 20-40 sp per man per night (half upfront). They have no code of honor but will attempt to perform their assignment to the best of their ability and report back; however, if badly wounded, they flee before superior foes and abscond with their downpayment without bothering to report back.

These three men know a fair bit of local gossip and rumor, but are close-mouthed unless several rounds of drinks (or a bottle) are bought to loosen their tongues. They do not part with important information for less than is considered fair market value, and the PCs will need to make successful Bluff or Diplomacy checks. The men do not respond to Intimidation except with violence. Spending a night drinking and dicing with them costs the PCs 1d4 x 10 sp and 4 + 1d4 hours of their time (depending on their luck) but adds a +3 bonus to Gather Information checks.

The three are in need of a name for their band, and will ask the PCs their advice, offering them a free mug of ale if they come up with the best name that the three can mutually agree upon. Copper-Nose favors the "Copper Heads." Spider suggests "The Spiders." Falx supports the "The Lucky Men." Have the PCs make a name suggestion and roll a Diplomacy check against each man. The highest roll is agreed-upon as the name the three will adopt for their band. If the PCs are villainous looking enough, and pass a Diplomacy check, the three will offer them a position in their fledgling band. From there, the group can be hired for some nefarious task of the GM's design---kidnapping, slaving, assassination, theft---leading to more adventures. The three will gleefully betray each other or the PCs if the right opportunity to "cash in and check out" comes along, but otherwise make agreeable companions in villainy.

This encounter adapted from CONAN THE ROGUE by John Maddox Roberts. Embellishments to the dice game and opportunities to expand the encounter beyond gambling are my creation.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
HYBORIAN AGE ADVENTURE SEED #4

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING...


This encounter can take place in any upscale tavern or inn in any large city, but I have set it in Zamora. To use it elsewhere, simply swap out the Zamorian references.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"At once, you see a likely prospect to sate your wenching lust this eve. A young beauty of no more than twenty winters, with brass-dyed hair and gilded brass breastplates. Her round eyes of twinkling brown set in pale flesh tell of her Hyborian ancestry mixed with conquered races. A necklace of rubies---garnets, more likely---hangs between her breasts. She sits alone, the pink tip of her tongue wetting her lips, and smiling seductively at your approach."

The PC and the girl, who gives her name as Kiliya (Hyborian femme fatale 3), flirts outrageously, feigning the utmost enthusiasm and interest for the PCs's stories, as she tries to get him to buy her more wine. She allows him to place his hand on her thigh, which sweats deliciously under his hand. She knows men, having been made a woman at fourteen and plucked from the streets by a fat merchant of eight and forty. Her fortunes have slipped a bit since his death and she was cast out by his wife. Her current lover, Kagul, an officer of the City Watch was younger, with better prospects than most his age, and his virility still on him. She wrestles with whether or not to dump him for the PC if he looks to be more virile and with better prospects. She is waiting for her lover now, and seeks to pass the time pleasantly with some "harmless" flirting and free wine.

Just when the PC thinks he is going to get her to go share a room with him, she says:

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"Every night, some men of the City Watch come here. I think we shouldn't be here when they do---"

At this point, some men of the City Watch appear, including her lover, Kagul, their leader (Zamorian soldier 3).

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"You see Kiliya's gaze flash toward the door, where a half-dozen City Watchmen have appeared at the bar. The corseleted, helmeted leader has a fancy dragon-headed hilt rising above his sword sheath and swaggering black moustachioes beneath his long nose. Tall, lean, lithe, not ugly though blade-marked upon one cheek, the watchman sees you, seems to recognize the girl, and approaches angrily in his gold-purfled blue tunic.

"Ho there, dog!" he snarls in challenge, "That is my woman, and where is your hand? If you would depart with both hands, put them in sight and explain yourself."

The man's hand rests on his dragon-hilt meaningfully and he studies you with the experience of a practiced swordsman, looking for weakness."


Kiliya pits the two against each other, but quickly sides with Kagul if he is injured and screams for Kagul to kill the PC! More watchmen will tramp in 5 rounds after the fight starts. Regardless of the outcome, Kiliya will have nothing more to do with the PC. If Kagul is killed, the PC is arrested for murder. If Kagul is merely knocked out, a retired general named Stahir sitting in the crowd comes to the PC's aid, calling off the Watch and placing the blame on the young hothead Kagul, who he promises will be punished for provoking the fight.

This encounter can end with the PC fleeing for his life, making new friends or employers, or anything else the GM can dream up.

This encounter adapted from CONAN AND THE SORCERER by Andrew Offutt, which takes place at the Shadiz Inn in Arenjun, Zamora.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
There are at least one or two of these colorful encounters in every Conan pastiche that are not dependent on the main plot and thus easily adapted to Conan RPG use. I'll be adding more later. What do you guys think of these adventure seeds? They can be simple side-treks or the start of something more... :twisted:
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
HYBORIAN AGE ADVENTURE SEED #5

JOINING THE FREE COMPANIONS


This encounter can be used anytime the PCs try to join a mercenary company (also known as a Free Company). Mercenaries are often referred to as Free Companions or Freelances.

One possible adventure set-up involves Prince Ivor of Koth seeking to usurp King Strabonus with the backing of Turan. Ivor is popular, and has Turanian gold to field three thousand mercenaries, becoming a thorn in the king's side in the outlying provinces of Koth. Ivor promises land and commissions to those who help him topple the tyrant. He has many different, rival bands of mercenaries working for him. Most of these number around 100 troops.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"You come between two rows of tents, to see before you a square-based, pyramid-topped pavilion where hangs the banner of a gold axe on a black field. Three ruffians loiter in front of the canopied entry to the tent---hard-looking men all, half-naked in the afternoon sun, and each with a weapon ready to hand. Sullen-eyed, they watch your approach."

If the PCs inquire as to if the leader is inside, one of the men answers rudely:

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"No, he is not. Hundolph is away. I am Stengar, commanding in his place." He tosses a severe look at his companions, then faces you again. "What would you have with our captain? State your business."

The PCs state they are looking to hire on as mercenaries. Stengar and his fellows eye them critically, and, as an audience of their fellows slowly gathers, put forward the belief that the PCs are not worthy of joining Hundolph's band.

READ ALOUD TEXT IN BOLD
"We have a good reputation here; to put it another way, we of Hundolph's are the best. A posting with Hundolph's troop is so highly prized, even by footloose ruffians such as you---because, out of all those who seek to join our band, we accept only half." Stengar folds his arms across his chest and gazes around at his companions with a self-satisfied air, as if he has explained something. Finally, he turns to you and repeats himself: "One half, and one half only---the survivors!"

Stengar throws up an arm and beckons to someone outside your field of vision. "Come forth! Here is your match!"

You wheel to the sound of thuding footsteps and a low, inarticulate yell as the crowd of onlookers raises a lusty cheer and wagers are made.


At this point, a number of would-be mercenaries (soldiers equal in number to the PCs wishing to join) attacks them in earnest. One, a Kothian ex-woodcutter named Lallo, wields a greatsword (power attack, weapon focus) and challenges the party's toughest appearing warrior.

Hundolph, a graying Brythunian mercenary captain (late of the internal wars between city-states of Corinthia), steps in to stop the fight after a number of rounds (preferably before anyone is killed) and fines all his men five coppers for the unauthorized fight. If the PCs acquitted themselves in battle well, they are hired on the spot---earning the enmity of Lieutenant Stengar and his two companions, sergeants in the Company.

Adapted from "Conan The Renegade" by Leonard Carpenter, which details the struggle for power between the rebellious Kothian prince and his king.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
HYBORIAN AGE WILDERNESS ENCOUNTER TABLES

Initial Status of Any Encounter
Refer to the NPC Reaction Table in Conan The RPG
(p.92), modified by PC actions, to determine the
initial attitude of NPCs encountered. Subsequent
motives may then be deduced from the NPCs'
general attitude toward the player characters.

Wilderness Encounters
Roll 1d12, add +2 if the encounter occurs at night.

DESERT
1 Waterhole (20% chance of an Oasis)
2 Sandstorm
3 Caravan
4 Nomads
5 Skeleton
6 Snake, Giant
7 Hyena Pack
8 Survivor
9 Camel
10 Sorcerer
11 Ruins
12+ Monster or Special

FORESTS
1 Poachers
2 Borderers
3 Fire
4 Bear
5 Deserters
6 Ruins
7 Bandits
8 Wild Game
9 Edible Plants
10 Wolves
11 Boar
12+ Monster or Special

HILLS
1 Hillmen
2 Waterhole
3 Heavy Rains & Wind
4 Deserters
5 Bandits
6 Ruins
7 Hillmen
8 Bear
9 Noble Army
10 Wolves
11 Hillmen
12+ Monster or Special

JUNGLE
1 Barbarians
2 Waterhole
3 Snake, Viper
4 Skeleton
5 Great Cat
6 Heavy Rains & Wind
7 Wild Game
8 Edible Plants
9 Barbarian War Band
10 Ruins
11 Sorcerer
12+ Monster or Special (Lotus)

MOUNTAINS
1 Barbarians
2 Waterhole
3 Snowstorm
4 Rock Slide
5 Heavy Rains & Wind
6 Bandits
7 Rock Slide
8 Bandits
9 Barbarian War Band
10 Barbarian War Band
11 Eagle, Giant
12+ Monster or Special

PLAINS
1 Noble Army
2 Mule Train
3 Free Company
4 Village
5 Festival
6 Noble Army
7 Bandits
8 Travelers
9 Fire
10 Angry Mob
11 Bandits
12+ Slavers

ROADS
1 Angry Mob
2 Caravan
3 Caravan
4 Mule Train
5 Travelers
6 Refugees or Pilgrims
7 Free Company
8 Noble Army
9 Slavers
10 Bandits
11 Assassins
12+ Special

STEPPES
1 Waterhole
2 Nomads
3 Caravan
4 Dust Storm
5 Wild Game
6 Nomad War Band
7 Nomad War Band
8 Edible Plants
9 Wild Horses
10 Ruins
11 Sorcerer
12+ Special

SWAMPS
1 Waterhole
2 Snake, Giant (Large Viper)
3 Snake, Giant (Large Viper)
4 Edible Plants
5 Spies
6 Wild Game
7 Bandits
8 Bandits
9 Hermit
10 Ruins
11 Sorcerer
12+ Monster or Special (Lotus)

TUNDRA
1 Barbarians
2 Heavy Rains & Wind
3 Snowstorm
4 Wild Game
5 Elk
6 Deer
7 Edible Plants
8 Barbarian War Band
9 Bandits
10 Wolves
11 Wolves
12+ Monster or Special

UNDERGROUND
1 Waterhole
2 Skeleton
3 Bear
4 Badger
5 Edible Plants
6 Snake. Giant
7 Spider, Giant
8 Cave-In (blocks passage of GM's choice)
9 Cave-In (blocks passage of GM's choice)
10 Spider, Giant
11 Sorcerer
12+ Monster or Special

Definitions of Encounters
Angry Mob: 1d10x10 armed peasants who 1) blame
foreigners for their troubles; 2) are revolting against
new higher taxes; 3) are searching for one or more
criminals to lynch (possibly mistaking the PCs for the
criminals); or 4) searching for a missing child. Roll for
crowd reaction.
Assassins: 1d10 innocuously disguised thieves
attempt to befriend the PCs and accompany them on
their journey. At an opportune moment, which could
be several days later, the assassins attempt to sneak
attack the PCs, murder them, steal their possessions,
and then vanish into the night. There is a 10% chance
the assassin leader is level 1d3+3 and wanted by a
nearby ruler with a bounty on his head (1d4x100 sp).
Badger: There is a 20% chance of finding 1d4+1
badgers.
Bandits: 1d3x10 thieves attempt to ambush and sneak
attack the characters or extract payment for passage
through their area. The bandits are armed with hunting
bows or light crossbows; all have Point Blank Shot,
Rapid Shot, and Precise Shot. There is a 10% chance
the bandit leader is level 1d3+3 and wanted by a
nearby ruler with a bounty on his head (1d4x100 sp).
Barbarian War Band: 1d10x100 barbarians are out
1) carrying out a blood feud on a neighboring clan or
tribe, 2) ambushing all trespassers, 3) extorting bribes
from those wishing to cross their territory. If not
immediately hostile, roll for NPC reaction.
Barbarians: 1d10 barbarians are out 1) carrying out a
blood feud on a neighboring clan or tribe, 2) hunting
wild game, 3) are non-combatant women and children
gathering roots, nuts or berries. Roll for NPC reaction.
Bear: There is a 20% chance there are two bears.
Boar: A wild boar charges the PCs.
Borderers: 1d10 borderers are 1) tracking wild game,
2) tracking fleeing bandits, 3) tracking rampaging
barbarians, 4) returning home from a successful day
hunting. Roll for NPC reaction.
Camel: A herd of 5d6 wild riding camels is seen.
Caravan: A party of 1d10 merchants or nobles
carrying 1d10x1000 gl in rare goods, guarded by
1d10x10 troops (roll only once for all three values).
Cave-In: Listen check DC 15 to get an advance
warning 1d4 rounds before the ceiling caves in.
Balance check DC 10 to be able to move when the
cave-in starts, Reflex save DC 15 to avoid cave-in.
Cave-in renders victims prone, helpless and
suffocating in addition to 4d10 damage.
Deer: A herd of 4d6 deer are encountered.
Deserters: 2d10 hungry, half-crazed soldiers who
have deserted from the army. Roll for NPC reactions.
Dust Storm: Vision and movement reduced to 50%.
Missile weapons are -4 to hit and all range increments
are reduced to 50%. Tracking becomes impossible.
Eagles, Giant: 1d3 of these beasts swoop to attack.
Edible Plants: One or more indigenous edible plants,
roots, fruit trees or berry bushes are nearby; Spot (DC
15) to locate.
Elk: A herd of 4d6 Elk are encountered.
Festival: A religious festival beseeching a god for 1)
peace, 2) prosperity, 3) health, 4) happiness with a
10% chance that it involves human sacrifice.
Fire: 75% chance the PCs only see a fire, 25% they
are actually caught in it.
Free Company: 1d6x10 mercenary soldiers who are
1) Journeying to next job (hiring), 2) In service to a
nearby ruler (hiring), 3) In between jobs (not hiring),
4) Fleeing a job gone bad (not hiring). Roll for NPC
reaction.
Great Cat: 1d2 great cats are discovered. These are
panthers or sabretooth tigers in the Pictish Wilderness,
leopards or lions in Kush, or tigers in Vendhya and
Khitai. For lions and tigers, use stats for a sabretooth
tiger, but remove puncture, tooth breaking, and reduce
bite damage to 2d6+3, AP 8.
Heavy Rains & Wind: Movement and vision cut in
half. All rivers unfordable. Missile weapons are -4 to
hit and all range increments are cut in half. Tracking
becomes impossible.
Hermit: A lone eccentric suspicious of strangers.
There is a 50% chance the hermit is a retired borderer
(level 1d6+1). There is a 20% chance the hermit is
actually a witch (Scholar level 1d4+1).
Hillmen: 1d4+1x10 hillmen are out 1) carrying out a
blood feud on a neighboring clan or tribe, 2)
ambushing all trespassers, 3) extorting bribes from
those wishing to use their pass. Roll for NPC reaction
if not immediately hostile.
Hyena Pack: 1d4x10 hyenas shadow the party and
attack if they outnumber them 3 to 1.
Monster or Special: GM’s choice (lotus plants, traps,
etc.), or one or more monsters appropriate to the area
are encountered, such as a Bodiless Slimer, a Black
Fiend, a Child of the Dark, an Elemental, 5d4 Ghouls,
a Ghost Snake (Pictish Wilderness only), a Ghost, a
Grey Ape, a Man-Ape, 2d10 Risen Dead, 1d2
Sabretooth Tigers, a Smoke Serpent, a Son of Set or
Greater Son of Set, a Spawn of Dagoth hill, an
Uncanny Steed, a Vampire, or 1d4+1 Were-Beasts.
Mule Train: From 3d10 mules carrying from
1d10x1,000 GL worth of goods (gems, precious
metals, raw ore, swords) guarded by 5d10 soldiers.
Noble Army: From 3d100 troops who may or may not
work for the lord whose land they are on, and who
want to know the PCs' affiliation. If the PCs are
working for an enemy lord, the NPC reaction is
unfriendly at best, but probably hostile.
Nomads: 1d4+1x10 nomads are 1) carrying out a
blood feud on a neighboring clan or tribe, 2)
ambushing all trespassers, 3) extorting bribes from
those wishing to cross their land. Roll for NPC
reaction if not immediately hostile.
Nomad War Band: 1d10x100 nomads on the warpath
for either civilized folk or a rival tribe. If not
immediately hostile, roll for NPC reaction.
Poachers: 1d10 desperate men who assume the PCs
are looking for them. Roll for NPC reactions. All
diplomacy checks suffer a -4 penalty.
Refugees or Pilgrims: 1d10x10 refugees or religious
pilgrims pass by. Roll for NPC reactions.
Rock Slide: Listen check (DC 10) to notice 1 round
before it hits. Those still in the area must make a
Reflex save (DC 15) and are pushed off the cliff to
whatever doom waits below if they fail. If there is no
cliff, they are instead buried, as by a Cave-In.
Ruins: One or more ruins are discovered: 1) tower, 2)
house, 3) village, 4) city, 5) burial ground, 6) fortress.
The ruins may be home to subhuman savages, bandits,
cultists, a hermit, sorcerer or monsters. Wizard tower
or city ruins often draw sorcerers seeking magical lore
and artifacts from ages past.
Sandstorm: Vision and movement reduced to 25%.
Missile weapons are -4 to hit and all range increments
are reduced to 25%. Tracking becomes impossible.
Skeleton: A long-dead body is stumbled upon. There
is a 20% chance that it has 1) some useful equipment,
2) a treasure map and/or journal, 3) a weapon, 4) a
warning about a nearby danger.
Slavers: A slaver and 1d2x10 soldiers. There are
1d4x10 slaves held in wagons or walking in a coffle.
The slaver may wish to sell slaves to the PCs or
acquire the PCs as slaves. Roll for NPC reactions.
Snake, Giant: A single snake is encountered, either 1)
a tiny viper, 2) a small viper, 3) a medium viper, or 4)
a large viper. In swamps, the snake is always a large
viper. In Kush, Stygia, and Vendhya, the snake will be
a cobra (see p.311). There is a 10% chance in the
Pictish Wilderness that the snake will be a Ghost
Snake. In Stygia, there is a 10% chance that the snake
is a Son Of Set and a 5% chance that it is a Greater
Son of Set.
Snowstorm: Vision and movement reduced to 25%.
Missile weapons are -4 to hit and all range increments
are reduced to 25%. Tracking becomes impossible.
Everyone exposed to the weather takes 1d6 cold
damage per hour.
Sorcerer: A sorcerer (Scholar level 1d4+ 5) and
1d2x10 henchmen (level 2 soldiers) are here seeking
1) Rare plants (such as drugs, lotus, or poison), 2)
Forbidden lore or treasure, 3) Sacrificial victims for a
power ritual or demon-god, or 4) to seek out a rival or
take service with nearby ruler. Roll for NPC reaction.
Spider, Giant: A giant spider ambushes the PCs.
There is a 50% chance that 1d4+1 giant spiders are
present.
Spies: 1d6 thieves begin shadowing the PCs. They
may be assassins, bandits or bounty hunters hired by a
rival or enemy to keep tabs on the PCs or ambush
them as soon as they achieve some specific goal.
Survivor: A lone raving madman, the sole survivor of
a doomed expedition, accosts the PCs. If given food
and water, he may or may not come to his senses.
There is a cumulative 10% chance each day of
permanently regaining his lucidity.
Travelers: 1d4x10 Commoners on their way to a
nearby village, market or city. Roll for NPC reactions.
Waterhole: Clean, drinkable water. Wild animals and
natives flock to these places, making them dangerous.
Wild Game: A lone deer, lizard, rabbit or other
non-dangerous but edible creature is nearby (Spot DC
15 to notice).
Wild Horses: A herd of 5d6 wild riding horses.
Wolves: 2d8 hungry wolves shadow the party and
attack if they outnumber them 3 to 1.[/b]
 

tagnetti

Mongoose
Iron Chef, This is fantastic. You should get in touch with the guys from Signs and Portents as this would surely make a nice edition to any Conan gamers library. Also can you explain the npc's attitude thing. I've never used nor heard of that, Granted I am fairly new to Gm'ing in general as I've run Conan as much as anything else.

Thanks
 
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