My Conan Game

ahzad

Mongoose
Getting ready to start our first serious Conan game this weekend. We've done a few one offs to see how it was, everyone liked (except magic but that's discussed in another thread). I was going to wait until Shadow of the Sorcerer, busy in real life don't have the time to put into a my own adventures so i typically take packaged adventures and put my spin on them, lookout if i ever win the lottery it'll be like i was in school again and will be gaming all the time :D Anyway November (I think that was the release date) is to far off and I got to roll me some dice.

I'm going to run them through The Black Stones of Kovag-Re, but I'm waffling were to start the players off. I want to come back a bit more west then Zamora. I've given great thought to Aquilonia b/c I've got a lot of detail thanks to the book, and I know I'll involve them as mercs skirmishing against the Picts, but it seems a little to civilized for me. So back east I go and come to Corinthia, Koth, and Ophir all are nice and central located and ancient lots of adventure material in ancient, but of the 3 Corinthia seems the most civilzed so out it goes. I was liking Koth a lot but I read the last paragraph in the Road of Kings entry for Ophir and I found my starting point . Ophir ancient, and fractious with merchants in Lodier mentioning the phrase 'Ia Xuthalla' in nearly every conversation. What's not to like?

I'm going to set the Black Stones in the Karapash Mts. the pass will cross into Nemedia. Any suggestions on Ophirian sounding names? I need to rename the town, Oleska, Bogdan, Juliana, Iovinivus, Lubomyr, and Vesna. This would be easier if I would've settled on Aquilonia it's listed in the relocating section :)

For those that have ran this adventure is there any thing I should be on the lookout for? The party wil all be 1st level and there should be at least 5-6 players, once it was out I was doing a Conan game I had to turn folks away there's a lot of folks wanting to play this fine game.
 
I ran 'The Black Stones of Kovag-Re' in Aquilonia, by the mountains to the south of Pointon (sp). The Pass of the Goat transversed the mountains and led to Argos. I than just used the Aquilonian names the adventure suggested.

This worked especially well as Barrabus the Stout (Oselek in the original adventure) had a unit of Bossonian Archers to call on for the final battle to force the PCs into the cave. My PCs were 2nd and 3rd level, so a little more "persuading" to fall back was called for. I drew up a cave that had a few choke points and curves that the PCs and NPCs could hold for a few rounds before having to fall back, which fit perfectly with the final narrative before the Stones came alive.

It worked pretty well and the players loved the adventure.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Hey, good luck starting off! I'm at work now, so the only resource I have is a word doc on my desktop for Ophirean names, these names came from different Conan stories:
  • Male: Amalrus, Chelkus, Pelias, Theteles
    Female: Livia, Olivia, Rufia, Tina, Vateesa
Location sounds good. Only "warning" I'd give is to not underestimate the ability of a player group to surprise you. Thinking back on how my group handled the adventure, *they managed on this occasion to overpower the guards sent to bring them to the palace (though they agreed to go there, to see who sent the soldiers), *they did investigate the quarters and questioned the guards at the gates, then went out and avoided the little town by taking the perilous path(log fall trap et.al.) (though I made it hard for them to discover it). *Arriving there, they refused to investigate, so then I had Oleksa and his men show up, but rather than be forced into the caves they rushed up the mountainside to engage the soldiers, and I had to re-finagle the whole thing. I ended up pulling up an ending more or less along the lines: Oleksa went mad from the stones, the players cut off his head, took it back to his palace, tossed it to Lubomyr's feet before beheading the servant (still miffed about the whole introductory soldier bit), then deciding to flee the city but not before raiding a horse-merchant.

I'm warning you only that players will do things you wouldn't necessarily expect them to, because they have free will, are often extremely stubborn, and despite a proclaimed love for pre-published adventures, those I've played with at least always complain at the arrangement of them. Well, others haven't written wierd experiences like this, so your group may not deviate at all, but just wanted to keep you from assuming they'll follow the adventure as is.

Anyway, keep an open mind, strive to let them have fun, and enjoy. :)
 
Bregales' point is another reason why I substituted Bossonian Archers in instead of the normal 1st level soldiers with hunting bows that the adventure recommends. I also made it a point that the slope of the 'bowl' was steep enough that the archers would have gotten two rounds of shots off at the PCs before they could even engage in melee.

I agree with Bregales that PCs will do their own thing. The trick is to provide subtle encouragement for the PCs to follow the adventure as planned.
 

urdinaran

Mongoose
Not to stray off the subject...

But has anyone done anything about the horribly bad plot hook at the beginning of the adventure? I would like to run it for my group, but my players aren't that stupid.
 
My players saw through it right at the beginning, but they thoroughly disliked Barabus (Oselek) enough that they wanted to find the runaway couple to help keep them safe from the despot.

Another way to try and run it is to make Oselek look like a victim and remove any of the clues that give hint to a willing runaway bride, and soften some of the description that hints at Oselek being such a greedy tyrant. By the time the PCs learn that she wasn't kidnapped and that they have been hoodwinked, Barabus would be there to kill them.
 

ahzad

Mongoose
Well we started and we are off to a good start. The party consists of 1st level Barbarian (cimmerian), Borderer (forgot what he is), Thief (zamoran), and a 3rd level scholar (khitian).

I left the Black Stones in Zamora and the party took the mission to 'rescue' the missing bride. They did very well and tracked the bandits to the lair, setting off every trap along the way and killing 2 of their horses. It was fairly easy for them until they started to engage the bandits they all got hurt to some degree or the other. Bogdan called for a parley b/c of the decent showing they were putting forth. I lighty forested the valley and the party took advantage of that to conceal their true numbers. Anyway Oleska showed up right on time w/ his troops, Bogdan and the party entered into a truce, and retreated into the cave, except for the barbarian and borderer who thought it would be good idea to climb trees. We left it on a cliff hanger, so we'll see if climbing trees was a good idea :D

In the middle of the game I had the idea for the players to take their PCs and build them all the way out to 20th level, so they will have 20 characters, all the same PC for every level. The idea is so I can play a bunch of games at various levels bouncing around much the same as REH did when writing the stories. This game doesn't seem to have as much emphasis on continuity as other RPGs so I thought it would be an interesting experiment. But then that's really a group thing isn't it?. I figure that death may be the one factor that will make things go wonky but I'll deal with that spector when it rears it's head. Plus I get a lot of ready made NPCs for me :D
 

Bregales

Mongoose
ahzad said:
Well we started and we are off to a good start. The party consists of 1st level Barbarian (cimmerian), Borderer (forgot what he is), Thief (zamoran), and a 3rd level scholar (khitian).

I left the Black Stones in Zamora and the party took the mission to 'rescue' the missing bride. They did very well and tracked the bandits to the lair, setting off every trap along the way and killing 2 of their horses. It was fairly easy for them until they started to engage the bandits they all got hurt to some degree or the other. Bogdan called for a parley b/c of the decent showing they were putting forth. I lighty forested the valley and the party took advantage of that to conceal their true numbers. Anyway Oleska showed up right on time w/ his troops, Bogdan and the party entered into a truce, and retreated into the cave, except for the barbarian and borderer who thought it would be good idea to climb trees. We left it on a cliff hanger, so we'll see if climbing trees was a good idea :D
Sounds like your group did a really good job/had a good time. You'll have to write after you finish the adventure and let us know how it finally finished.
ahzad said:
In the middle of the game I had the idea for the players to take their PCs and build them all the way out to 20th level, so they will have 20 characters, all the same PC for every level. The idea is so I can play a bunch of games at various levels bouncing around much the same as REH did when writing the stories. This game doesn't seem to have as much emphasis on continuity as other RPGs so I thought it would be an interesting experiment. But then that's really a group thing isn't it?. I figure that death may be the one factor that will make things go wonky but I'll deal with that spector when it rears it's head. Plus I get a lot of ready made NPCs for me :D
I think that's a pretty good idea. One of my players did that right after our first adventure on his own, although I must admit I have run adventures from 1st level to present(ly 5th), but I jump from location to location. The last adventure started little over a year after the previous one, to allow back story to give leading information to the group to get them ready.

Well good luck. Sounds like your group will get along pretty well (if the Khitan can deal with the unusual behaviors of the Cimmerian barbarbarian and the borderer! :) That group should allow for good role playing as the various cultures try to get along without too many surprises from each person's behaviors.
 
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