Sword and Sorcery d20 Toolkit



has anyone else seen this page:


It's basically a set of optional rules, or "toolkit", released under the d20 license, which gives a DM several options when running a S&S campaign with the standard d20 ruleset.

Of course, we already have the Conan RPG, and the Toolkit seems to incorporate a lot of the ideas from this game, but it is a nice summary of things you need to fix if you want to use the standard D&D rules for a sword and sorcery campaign.

- thulsa


Thanks for the link! Even if the CONAN rpg has most of it resp. its own rules, some points are really good, especially this one:

"Level Limits

It has to be said that compared to many D&D characters, the heroes of S&S are not all that powerful. You may want to consider imposing a maximum level on the characters in your campaign. Level ten is a good one. Once the PCs reach this level, they can progress no further. They may retire to rule their fiefdoms or contemplate their long careers. Or they may continue in play, not progressing any further.

Why? This simulates the way most series work. Usually characters in books reach a plateau of power (one considerably less than a 20th level D&D character in many cases) and seem to stay there for adventure after adventure. This can be frustrating for players used to open ended progression but it does have the merit of allowing you to freeze the level of power where you want it to be and limiting the potentially catastrophic impact of god-like PC's on an ostensibly realistic campaign."

My PCs and I agree that they will retire / die an heroic death at ca. 12 level. We don't feel comfortable with super heroes.


Thanks for the link, thulsa!

And, René, I agree with you on the level-thing. I've never had really high-level PC's, but I can imagine that they'd be quite powerful (my current PC's are only at 5th level right now, and they're kicking all sorts of butt).

On the other hand, I think level 1 is a little on the weak side. Conan for me should be heroic, but not super-heroic, if you know what I mean. Level 3-10 seems like a decent range to me.


The toolkit seems great; I've skimmed it and liked it a lot. I'll read it as soon as I have the time, no doubt.

As for the levels question;

René said:
This simulates the way most series work. Usually characters in books reach a plateau of power

This happens everywhere, in books, comics, movies, etc. Some characters of the "hero" type never change because they are more like "archetypes". Case in point, compare Luke Skywalker with Han Solo. The first grows and changes a lot in the Holy Trilogy, while the second is the same Hero in all three movies, hardly changing at all but emotionally. This kind of characters (think of Robin Hood, Zorro, the Three Musketeers -but not D'artagnan, who certainly "grows up") begin their adventures the same way they finish them.

Using a "level cap" can simulate reaching a peak, but it's IMO bad design. Create an experience system just to stop it at some arbitrary point it's unnatural and dissapointing, and would make the players feel cheated.

Not that I have a good suggestion to simulate such characters, but I've been considering for a long time to design a rpg for hero type characters who doesn't include an experience system at all...


That is why I prefer the way the Conan RPG system has a character progress after 10th level. Makes more sense. I'm not a big fan of high-level games, so toning down the hp is a good compromise to the original suggestion.