Messantia: debate rules

Valaryc

Mongoose
no :)

on the other hand..my group is a cimmerian barbarian (uses his axe mostly for debate), a kothic borderer/thief (uses mostly his sneak attack for debate) and a kithan sorcerer (uses the other two for debate)

:lol:
 

Padre

Mongoose
Nope.

I didn't like the rules. Debate mechanics in a Sword & Sorcery game? Come on, there are much more exciting things to do in Messantia. I think espionage rules/guidelines would be a better choice. Besides, you can always role play a debate.

Anyway, I'd also like to see if anyone actually used the rules and how it went.
 

René

Mongoose
I can't see any use for such a ruleset in CONAN, too. It doesn't fit into the genre at all IMO.

What do you think about the three prestige classes (Merchant Prince, House Agent, Agent of the Crown)? What makes them special, are their social abilities /contacts, but this is something a NPC gets by the whim of the GM, a PC via roleplaying. And if the PC earns it this way, he shouldn't have to pay otherwise.
How do others see this problem?

And last, what did you with the adventure? I've got the impression it's a generic and standard fantasy scenario, i.e. change the termini Argos and Messantia into something non-Hyborian - voila, nobody will think it's CONAN. It lacks just the Hyborian feeling IMO.
One example is the use of monsters. There are five different species (Spawn of the Black Heart, Water Dragon, Grey Devil, Ghouls, Bone Golem) and most of them serve no story-inherent purpose, but act as sword fodder - it's not without reason that the core rulebook advises to use monsters rarily and only at the end of the story.
There are more standard fantasy elements which don't fit into Hyboria (at least as I see it), e.g. the chain & stake trap in the sewers, the masses of mercenaries who wait a few miles from the biggest city of the country (where the king resides!) and live by raiding the surrounding villages (don't tell me it's realistic that no official looks into this!).
 

Valaryc

Mongoose
i'm currently playing the messantia scenario...

you're right about the "flair". i've changed and improvised a lot to get a more "howard feeling". the mercenaries...hmpf...i cut their numbers and made them a lot more "conspiracy / anarchist / rebel" to underline the "golden skull" background.

my players are on the way to "meet the spawn of the black heart"... i think if you describe it properly you will get some "conan feeling".

i'm not shure about the water dragon....i don't know yet if i will use it or not.

anybody else with some experiences about this scenario ?
 

Valaryc

Mongoose
René said:
What do you think about the three prestige classes (Merchant Prince, House Agent, Agent of the Crown)? What makes them special, are their social abilities /contacts, but this is something a NPC gets by the whim of the GM, a PC via roleplaying. And if the PC earns it this way, he shouldn't have to pay otherwise.
How do others see this problem?

i think these 3 "prestige" classes are totaly useless for a player. they are suitable for a NPC "that needs stats".

i hope conan won't develop any more useless classes (like D&D or the prestige classes for Judge Dredd) but something with much more sense and usefulness!

but this might be a problem with some "freelance writers" that don't "live" in hyboria. i think we are lucky that Vincent uses his sorcerous abilities to open a demonic gate from his tower in arenjun to send us new sourcebooks :)
 

René

Mongoose
Judge Morbo said:
i hope conan won't develop any more useless classes (like D&D or the prestige classes for Judge Dredd) but something with much more sense and usefulness!

From all the up to now published Prestige Classes I found only one useful (Sorcerer of the Scarlet Circle), the rest was unnecessary or easy to build via multiclassing. I hope that future CONAN products will give recommendations how to implement a character idea via this method instead of presenting PrCs.
 

Valaryc

Mongoose
VincentDarlage said:
René said:
I hope that future CONAN products will give recommendations how to implement a character idea via this method instead of presenting PrCs.

That is my intention.


Now we have it in written form and you will have NO excuse vincent !!!!


:)
 
Hmmm! Given that I authored books 2 and 3 of Messantia, I have a couple comments:

1. On prcs...I am not a big fan of them either. I dislike the D20 system focus on Prcs and feel that what inevitably happens is many cool character concepts get buried and lost in the play mechanics of actually trying to reach that character level. As for the abilities and use of the classes, I strongly suspect most prcs are ultimately used by GMs for NPCs, and these classes work well to help define such characters. I am not especially fond of "crunch" abilities/feats, thus the prcs have more social-focus as befitting the theme of the setting.

2. With regards to "living in Hyboria"...hell yeah, I cut my teeth on Howard and all of my gaming has been sorely influenced by his writings (I was 10 when I discovered Howard and Lovecraft back in 1980). That said, yeah, Messantia is a little more scandalous, aristocratic and, well, "conventional" than other regions of Hyboria. Part of the reason, I suspect, was that Mongoose wanted a setting that provided such a niche in Hyboria for those players/GMs who needed it. As for myself, I was working on two supplemental books to another author's work (volume 1) which had already established the theme and feel of Messantia, so I just went with it. I had a lot more control over theme and focus in my other Conan book, Tales of the Black Kingdoms, which I feel is more representative of the spirit of the setting.

3. On the social-combat rules. Actually, I know people who use and anjoy them, but I prefer role playing such dynamics myself, although again, the focus of the project called for such rule options. Even in a more aristocratic setting like Messantia, I have a hard time imagining them coming in to use very often; perhaps they would be suitable for the court intrigue of a city like Agrapur....

4. Oh, and as for monsters: Some of those appeared originally in pastiches I used as source material (Conan the Guardian was one iirc) but frankly, I just love the theme of dark and vile Lovecraftian entities as the primary source and relationship to sorcery, and such beasts appear with alarming frequency in Conan tales....my own experience running my scenario led to sheer terror among the players as the intent is to have relatively low level PCs forced to deal with these abominations that are a manifestation of the deviltry afoot within Messantia. But one should definitely tone down the monstrous encounters if they don't mesh well with your pacing of the game; if your group, say, could slam through that game in 2-3 sessions, then the presence of these monsters might seem constant. In my group, the game spread over about 10 sessions, so when a supernatural encounter erupted it was a rarer event.

Thank you all for the various comments, guys! Should I prduce another Conan book again I will take it all in to consideration.
 
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