What changes would YOU make to Conan Second Edition?

Clovenhoof

Mongoose
My votes for changes to Conan 2nd include, but are not limited to:

- Remove or redo "Sneak Attack Style" to use d6 excusively. Maybe allow an extra d6 when using a particular style. My reasoning is a metagame one: everybody has piles of d6 readily available, but you usually only have one or two d8. So rolling up like 7d8 of damage can be really annoying.
IMO that's also the reason why in D20 sneak attack is done by d6 in the first place.

- tweak the way Defense works; the basic idea with the dodge and parry progressions is fine, but I still think combatants of similar level hit each other too easily.

- THF seems too powerful, reducing the big mean two-handers by one step would seem reasonable (like 2d8 for Bardiche and Greatsword).

- Do something for TWF to make it more useful. TWF already got the shaft in SRD unless you have extra damage sources (like Sneak Attack). With Conan putting so much more focus on Damage Reduction, TWF is even worse despite the reduced penalties.
I like the idea of the flat Str modifier application for instance.
Another option would be to make Two Weapon Strike a standard manoeuvre.

- I also second the motion to allow Str for Intimidation.

- and just on a side note: absolutely NO elves or dwarves, I am appalled that this was even suggested. That wouldn't be Conan anymore. If you want fantasy races you can make your own setting.
 

Trodax

Mongoose
This might have been mentioned already in this now very long thread:

* Make the rolling of hit points less random. I really like what they did in Iron Heroes where all classes have d4+modifier hit points. Basically, you could do:
d6=d4+1
d8=d4+2
d10=d4+3

Clovenhoof said:
- and just on a side note: absolutely NO elves or dwarves, I am appalled that this was even suggested. That wouldn't be Conan anymore. If you want fantasy races you can make your own setting.
:D This one was a joke from my side (maybe should have put a smiley on it, though :wink: ).
I absolutely love the Conan setting as it is, and will place myself in the first wave of screaming barbarians coming over the walls of Mongoose Hall with sword-in-hand if anything with pointy ears or below five feet in height is a part of Conan 2nd edition. :D
 

DreadDomain

Mongoose
I won’t get into details and fixes that some of you already pointed out and will just list a few design/content changes I would like to see in Conan 2nd Edition :

Content
1- Include all the races as playable characters (Iranistani, Khauran…)
2- Include the Temptress
3- I’d like the skill options from the F-est serie included in the core book. Intimidate based on different ability comes to mind but there are others to consider.
4- I have no problem about reworking some skills but I would like to have the list reduced just for the sake of reducing it. I like to have an interesting list of skills to choose from.
5- I’d like the character write-ups reworked a bit. I’d like to see the Abilities, the Saves, the Skills and the Feats at the very top of the write-up instead of midway.

Design
1- I’d rather have a Movement stat based on size and ability scores instead of on races only.
2- I’d like to see BAB, BDB and BPB replaced by skills. BAB would be replaced by weapon skills (by type of weapons), BDB by a Dodge skill. The easiest way would be to base Parry out on the individual weapon skills. These combat skills would work exactly as other skills as they would be limited by levels and classes (class or cross-class skills). Obviously that would require more skill points at each levels. Weapon proficiencies could become obsolete. Or not.
3- I’d do the same with the Magic Bonus and replace it by a skill.
4- I’d be tempted to drop the ability scores altogether and only keep the bonuses. Or not.
5- I’d be tempted to drop favoured classes.
6- I’d tweak the levels of damage. I always thought the Disabled level was pretty useless since you have to be dropped to exactly zero to get there. I would prefer the Disabled level to be a range as well. Something like when you fall 10% your Hit points or when you fall below half your constitution score or something.
 

Clovenhoof

Mongoose
2- I’d like to see BAB, BDB and BPB replaced by skills. BAB would be replaced by weapon skills (by type of weapons), BDB by a Dodge skill. The easiest way would be to base Parry out on the individual weapon skills. These combat skills would work exactly as other skills as they would be limited by levels and classes (class or cross-class skills). Obviously that would require more skill points at each levels. Weapon proficiencies could become obsolete. Or not.

I don't see this happening in a D20-based game. It would be possible, but it would be such a major change. For one thing, you'd have to assign two separate pools for weapon skills and all other skills, or suddenly the Rogue will be the best fighter.

You might want to check out an RPG of German origin called DSA, or The Dark Eye (TDE) in English. It is now in its 4th edition which is rather different from 3rd, but I used to play 3rd years ago. afaik, TDE4 abolished levels, somewhat similar to Shadowrun. Anyway, let's look at TDE 3:

- You choose a Class like Warrior, Magician, Rogue, Witch, Hunter etc., this class is for keeps, no multiclassing is possible. However, classes are little more than "starting packages" anyway, mainly determining initial skill and, if applicable, spell bonuses, and a bonus or penalty to magic resistance. [The classes are not really balanced either; for instance the Silvan Elf is so much better than the Hunter that it hurts.]
- You have Base Attack/Parry Values, which are determined by your attributes (abilities) and level, and modified by your weapon skill.
- There are a number of weapon skills, working like categories, like Axes, Sabres, Piercing, Swords, Two-Handed Swords, Missile, Thrown, to name the most important.
- Other skill categories are "Physical", "Lore", "Craftmanship", "Nature" etc.
- At each levelup you get (usually) 20 skill points. Skills can also have negative values. Any weapon skill can only be increased 1 point per level; most other skills can be increased 2 or even 3 points per level. However, in TDE3, these skill points are "attempts", you have to roll dice and beat your current skill value to increase it. This rather sucks and was abolished in 4th ed.
- You have to split your weapon skill points into offense and defense, for example if your Base Attack is 8, Base Parry is 8, you have Sword 6, you can distribute these 6 points evenly on Attack and Parry, or weight more towards one and sacrifice the other.
- Because this isn't complicated enough, each weapon also has an organic Attack/Parry modifier. IIRC the weapons had to be compared at the beginning of each combat to determine final modifiers, but I'm not sure about this, it's been about 10 years since I played it.

So to make a long story short, a system based on weapon skills already exists. The Attack/Parry system is both unrealistic and extremely tedious, since it results in a lot of rolling. The skills as such aren't half bad, it's probably more realistic than a flat attack bonus for any weapon you're proficient with, but personally I don't think it adds a lot to the game.
 

Foxworthy

Mongoose
Clovenhoof said:
2- I’d like to see BAB, BDB and BPB replaced by skills. BAB would be replaced by weapon skills (by type of weapons), BDB by a Dodge skill. The easiest way would be to base Parry out on the individual weapon skills. These combat skills would work exactly as other skills as they would be limited by levels and classes (class or cross-class skills). Obviously that would require more skill points at each levels. Weapon proficiencies could become obsolete. Or not.

I don't see this happening in a D20-based game. It would be possible, but it would be such a major change. For one thing, you'd have to assign two separate pools for weapon skills and all other skills, or suddenly the Rogue will be the best fighter.

I've been lead to believe that either Mutants and Masterminds or True20 do make attack a skill. I'm not ahuge fan of the idea myself but it can work in d20. The problem is that unless you increase skill pools individual weapon skills wouldn't work well.

One of my favorite systems is Pendragon which uses attack as a skill. The biggest complaint I here is that one person traine din a sword has no skill what so ever with a mace.
 

DreadDomain

Mongoose
Clovenhoof said:
I don't see this happening in a D20-based game. It would be possible, but it would be such a major change.

I don't think it would be a major change but I do agree that it is a significant departure from d20.

Clovenhoof said:
For one thing, you'd have to assign two separate pools for weapon skills and all other skills, or suddenly the Rogue will be the best fighter.

Of course some thought would need to be done but I don't think a seperate pool would be necessary. First the Class/Cross-class skill categories would take care of Thieves being better fighter. Second, I wouldn't make Attack skills for individual weapons but for groups of weapons making less skill points necessary.

Clovenhoof said:
You might want to check out an RPG of German origin called DSA, or The Dark Eye (TDE) in English.

I started gaming more than 20 years ago with none other than l'Oeil Noir (the french translation of TSA2) and I do have TDE4 on my shelf.


Clovenhoof said:
So to make a long story short, a system based on weapon skills already exists. The Attack/Parry system is both unrealistic and extremely tedious, since it results in a lot of rolling. The skills as such aren't half bad, it's probably more realistic than a flat attack bonus for any weapon you're proficient with, but personally I don't think it adds a lot to the game.

To be fair, TSA is only one system possible. Other weapon skill systems exist and are much better. My intention wouldn't be to recreate TSA at all. Personally, I'd rather have the Parry Bonus directly connected to the Attack skill instead of being a separate skill. It could be as simple as making the Parry Bonus equal to the Weapon skill rank minus three (or four or whatever playtesters feel is right). A Soldier with 16 ranks in one-handed martial weapons would have a Parry Bonus of 13 when using these weapons.
 

DreadDomain

Mongoose
Foxworthy said:
problem is that unless you increase skill pools individual weapon skills wouldn't work well.

Yes, skill pools would need to be increased.

Foxworthy said:
One of my favorite systems is Pendragon which uses attack as a skill. The biggest complaint I here is that one person traine din a sword has no skill what so ever with a mace.

True. Such a thing is easily avoided though. For example, GURPS utilize a very comprehensive system of default from one skill to another. Without going that route and trying to utilize what already exists in d20, an option would be to use the weapon proficiencies. Any weapon you are proficient with could default to half your best weapon skill.

So for argument sake, let's compare a 13th level Soldier and a 13th level Thief who both maxed out only one type of weapon.

The Thief would have 8 skill ranks in (let's say) light martial weapons and from that would automatically gain 4 skill ranks in any simple weapons and one-handed martial weapons.

The Soldier would get 16 skill ranks in (again let's say) one handed martial weapons and from that would automatically gain 8 skill ranks in any simple weapons and light, two-handed and ranged martial weapons.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
I don't think weapon skills in D20 will work just based on the way the combat system opperates as a whole. I could see weapon category bonuses being gained as feats, granting cumulative +1 or something each time, but that's about it. By "weapon category" I mean "Martial Two-handed" or "Exotic One-handed Melee", etc. - nothing very broad.

Harnmaster uses skills for weapons (Pendragon is based off of it, as I recall) and allows for some use of "off weaponry" because base skill levels are based on character attributes. In other words, if you have good combat related atts, then you'll have a decent skill level in most weapons but excell in the weapons where you spend further skill points.
 

Clovenhoof

Mongoose
Well, the idea with the feats sounds more practical. However, I would sort the categories by the concept of the weapon, like axes, swords, maces etc. -- in game terms, baybe sort them by size and damage type. For example "single handed bludgeoning", "light piercing" or "two handed slashing" regardless of simple or martial nature of the weapon.
Just an idea, probably in need of refinement. For me it's just theoretical since I don't plan to implement such feats in my game.
 

slaughterj

Mongoose
Foxworthy said:
Clovenhoof said:
2- I’d like to see BAB, BDB and BPB replaced by skills. BAB would be replaced by weapon skills (by type of weapons), BDB by a Dodge skill. The easiest way would be to base Parry out on the individual weapon skills. These combat skills would work exactly as other skills as they would be limited by levels and classes (class or cross-class skills). Obviously that would require more skill points at each levels. Weapon proficiencies could become obsolete. Or not.

I don't see this happening in a D20-based game. It would be possible, but it would be such a major change. For one thing, you'd have to assign two separate pools for weapon skills and all other skills, or suddenly the Rogue will be the best fighter.

I've been lead to believe that either Mutants and Masterminds or True20 do make attack a skill.

MnM does that in a sense, but here's a brief overview of how that works:

- Attack bonus is capped by level and costs 2 points per +1 (Melee or Ranged Focus is only 1 point for +1, and even narrower Specialization is 1 point for +2)
- Defense bonus is capped by level and costs 2 points per +1
- Regular skills (e.g., Knowledge, etc.) is capped by level+5 (similar to DnD/Conan level+3) and cost .25 points per +1

So while it all comes from a common pool of points in MnM, there are differing costs and caps.
 

DreadDomain

Mongoose
Sutek said:
I don't think weapon skills in D20 will work just based on the way the combat system opperates as a whole.

Would you care to explain? I don't get what you mean.

Sutek said:
I could see weapon category bonuses being gained as feats, granting cumulative +1 or something each time, but that's about it. By "weapon category" I mean "Martial Two-handed" or "Exotic One-handed Melee", etc. - nothing very broad.

This could work but I fail to see the difference between that and making them skills. I would appreciate if you could jumpstart my brain :)
 

DreadDomain

Mongoose
slaughterj said:
MnM does that in a sense, but here's a brief overview of how that works:

- Attack bonus is capped by level and costs 2 points per +1 (Melee or Ranged Focus is only 1 point for +1, and even narrower Specialization is 1 point for +2)
- Defense bonus is capped by level and costs 2 points per +1
- Regular skills (e.g., Knowledge, etc.) is capped by level+5 (similar to DnD/Conan level+3) and cost .25 points per +1

So while it all comes from a common pool of points in MnM, there are differing costs and caps.

Yes, I would like something like except that I would make the base cost +1 in a skill cost 1 (and multiply the other cost accordingly) just to avoid spending fractional points.
 

Clovenhoof

Mongoose
DreadDomain said:
This could work but I fail to see the difference between that and making them skills. I would appreciate if you could jumpstart my brain :)

You'd have to create a number of weapon skills -- using Sutek's example you'd get about 11 different skills (Simple, Martial, Exotic and Light, One-Handed, Two-Handed, plus Ranged Missile / Thrown).
And you'd have to set a cap how high a skill can be boosted relative to the level.

So you'd also have to assign each class a Weapon Skill pool separate from the regular skill pool. Like, a fighter-type gets 8 points per level, the others maybe 5 points, whatever.

Basically you have two choices:
- limit the skill cap so that the best weapon skill is similar to regular BAB -> chars will be marginally better than normal with a few weapons and worse with the rest of the weapons. Over all, they rather lose out.
- or make the limit less restrictive, allowing for insane attack bonuses with certain weapons. However, attack bonuses get high enough even without such tweaking -- as we recently stated, two 20th-level fighter-types have a 75% chance of hitting each other. What more do you want? Now allowing to increase the attack even further is certainly going to break the game.
 

Foxworthy

Mongoose
Sutek said:
I don't think weapon skills in D20 will work just based on the way the combat system opperates as a whole. I could see weapon category bonuses being gained as feats, granting cumulative +1 or something each time, but that's about it. By "weapon category" I mean "Martial Two-handed" or "Exotic One-handed Melee", etc. - nothing very broad.

Harnmaster uses skills for weapons (Pendragon is based off of it, as I recall) and allows for some use of "off weaponry" because base skill levels are based on character attributes. In other words, if you have good combat related atts, then you'll have a decent skill level in most weapons but excell in the weapons where you spend further skill points.

Harnmaster was published after Pendragon, but that just a nit pick, not trying to offend.

The big question with wepaon skills is whther or not the added complexity adds or detracts from the game. Conan is supposed to de-emphasis the DnD focus on equipment. By adding weapon skills you will have players focus more on one type of weapon.

This leads to the same problem that weapon spec. has that players may not have the weapon the focused on which can be bad. It's one thing for the players to lose a small bonus once and a while but if a player becomes half or no skilled in fighting that's really going to be bothersome.

Maybe we should spin this discussion into another thread?
 

DreadDomain

Mongoose
Clovenhoof said:
You'd have to create a number of weapon skills -- using Sutek's example you'd get about 11 different skills (Simple, Martial, Exotic and Light, One-Handed, Two-Handed, plus Ranged Missile / Thrown).

This is also what I am suggesting. Use the Weapon proficiency groups more or less.

Clovenhoof said:
And you'd have to set a cap how high a skill can be boosted relative to the level.

Again, not much to create there. As a starting point you can just use the existing Class Skills and Cross-Class skills limits. It should be quite obvious which class deserves to have the Class skill limit.

Clovenhoof said:
So you'd also have to assign each class a Weapon Skill pool separate from the regular skill pool. Like, a fighter-type gets 8 points per level, the others maybe 5 points, whatever.

I agree you have to boost the skill pool level but I disagree you don't have to make them separate from the already existing skill pool. Why make it complicated?


Clovenhoof said:
Basically you have two choices:
- limit the skill cap so that the best weapon skill is similar to regular BAB -> chars will be marginally better than normal with a few weapons and worse with the rest of the weapons. Over all, they rather lose out.
- or make the limit less restrictive, allowing for insane attack bonuses with certain weapons. However, attack bonuses get high enough even without such tweaking -- as we recently stated, two 20th-level fighter-types have a 75% chance of hitting each other. What more do you want? Now allowing to increase the attack even further is certainly going to break the game.

They are more choices. For example,
1) Let's say you categorized the weapon skills as Class skills for Soldiers and Cross Class skills for Thieves;
2) Now boost the Skill pool of all the classes accordingly. Soldiers would have a higher boost than Thieves for example to counteract the loss of automatic increases in all the weapons. make sure to give enough skill points so the Soldiers could max out two or three weapon groups (of course they could take from the already existing Skill pool to increase more groups but that would penalize the progression of the other skills). Increase the skill pool of the Thief so he can max-out one weapon group.
3) Make sure to includes defaulting for weapon group proficiencies. Earlier I was suggesting that all weapon group you are proficient with could default to half the skill ranks of your best weapon skills. You feel it isn't enough? Make it 2/3 or -4 even.
4) As was recently stated, two 20th-level fighter-types have a 75% chance of hitting each other. Why do you assume that we can not sort this out? I already suggested making the Parry Bonus dependent on the Weapon Skill. Let's say the Parry Bonus is -2 your skill rank in the weapon skill. At 20th level, two soldiers who maxed out at least one weapon skill would have a Weapon Skill of 23 and a Parry of 21. Everything else being equal, on a roll of 8 or better they would hit each others (they would hit 65% of the time). You feel it is too much? Make it even simpler. The Parry Bonus is equal the Weapon skill rank. They would then hit 55% of the time (the more I think about it, I even prefer this. Simpler).

The added value in my opinion is customization. A Soldier could decide to really max out his weapons (the fighting machine) while another one could decide to specialize in only one and putting skills points elsewhere (the balanced one). A third could decide to keep all his weapon skills equals without taking away from his other skills (the generalist). Three Soldiers of the same level but with different abilities. The other advantage would be to dig a bigger gap in fighting abilities between fighting classes and non-fighting classes. A Scholar would no more think of taking a Barbarian head-on.

But my real interrogation was " What different does it make if Weapon Bonuses are increases by skills as I suggest or with Feats like Sutek suggests?
 

DreadDomain

Mongoose
Foxworthy said:
The big question with wepaon skills is whther or not the added complexity adds or detracts from the game. Conan is supposed to de-emphasis the DnD focus on equipment. By adding weapon skills you will have players focus more on one type of weapon.

If this is a concern, make the defaulting between Weapon Groups bigger. Your best weapon skills minus 4 skill ranks perhaps.
 

Foxworthy

Mongoose
DreadDomain said:
Foxworthy said:
The big question with wepaon skills is whther or not the added complexity adds or detracts from the game. Conan is supposed to de-emphasis the DnD focus on equipment. By adding weapon skills you will have players focus more on one type of weapon.

If this is a concern, make the defaulting between Weapon Groups bigger. Your best weapon skills minus 4 skill ranks perhaps.

Here's the question though, does making weapons or weapon groups skills instead of the current feat/BAB add to the system or detract?

The system currently has weapon proficiency groups, (the starting free weapon feats) and when one isn't skilled in using a wepaon they take a -4 penalty.

The diffrence now is whether you want BAB as a skill or as it is.

For a class based system the way it is works best. What's the point in playing a soldier in the skill system if a thief could become just as good at fighting?

Sure you could put caps on how skilled a thief could become but then all you are doing is allowing characters to trade skill in combat with other skills.

All this does though is complicate the game, and I haven't seen one reason why it would be more enjoyable to play the game with these added in. Or one argument that it's more in line with REH.

The system is set up now for ease of use. If you know how to use a weapon use it to the full extent of your class. If not take a four point penalty.

It's simple.
 

Clovenhoof

Mongoose
Right, that's another problem: how, for example, would you handle the Barbarian's versatility? The Barb is supposed to wield all weapons from the Greatsword to the kitchen sink equally effective. So no weapon skill choices for him.
You'd go through all the trouble of first devising a working weapon skill system, and then have to find a way again to make the Barbarian use all weapons equally well, i.e. negate the weapon skill system for this class. You'd have to fix a problem that you didn't even have in the first place, before meddling with the system that is.

Which reminds me of the words of wisdom: If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
 

slaughterj

Mongoose
DreadDomain said:
slaughterj said:
MnM does that in a sense, but here's a brief overview of how that works:

- Attack bonus is capped by level and costs 2 points per +1 (Melee or Ranged Focus is only 1 point for +1, and even narrower Specialization is 1 point for +2)
- Defense bonus is capped by level and costs 2 points per +1
- Regular skills (e.g., Knowledge, etc.) is capped by level+5 (similar to DnD/Conan level+3) and cost .25 points per +1

So while it all comes from a common pool of points in MnM, there are differing costs and caps.

Yes, I would like something like except that I would make the base cost +1 in a skill cost 1 (and multiply the other cost accordingly) just to avoid spending fractional points.

Well, two things:
1. There aren't fractional points in MnM, but rather, you spend 1 point and get 4 ranks of skills (all in 1 skill, or spread around).
2. In MnM's Masterminds Manual, they offer an optional skills list that combines many skills into one (similar to Iron Heroes, but a bit different grouping, and an idea I quite like), and suggest that 1 rank in those enlarged skills could cost 1 point.
 

DreadDomain

Mongoose
Foxworthy said:
Here's the question though, does making weapons or weapon groups skills instead of the current feat/BAB add to the system or detract?

It is a rather personnal question. For me, it would greatly enhance the game.

Foxworthy said:
For a class based system the way it is works best.

In your opinion of course. ;)

Foxworthy said:
What's the point in playing a soldier in the skill system if a thief could become just as good at fighting?

Class skill, Cross Class skill... Already in the system...

Foxworthy said:
Sure you could put caps on how skilled a thief could become...

Of course since all the skills work like that so far. Making Combat skills would just follow how the skills actually works.

Foxworthy said:
Sure you could put caps on how skilled a thief could become but then all you are doing is allowing characters to trade skill in combat with other skills.

In a previous post I said "The added value in my opinion is customization" so yes, it would give greater freedom to the players in how their characters grow and evolve. To me that is a plus. Obviously, it isn't for you.

Foxworthy said:
All this does though is complicate the game, and I haven't seen one reason why it would be more enjoyable to play the game with these added in.

Again, it is a matter of taste. Some prefer more freedom in character creation and developpement, some prefer to take another level, add in the numbers and start throwing dice.

Foxworthy said:
Or one argument that it's more in line with REH.

Oh please... We are talking very minors mechanics here used during character creation mostly. I would probably laugh my head off if someone was trying to convince me that his view (one way or another) was more in line with REH.

Foxworthy said:
The system is set up now for ease of use. If you know how to use a weapon use it to the full extent of your class. If not take a four point penalty. It's simple.

Sure it is. I just don't like it. There is nothing wrong with it like there is nothing wrong with the fact you like it otherwise. Look, I am not trying to convince you that my view is superior or something. It is a game style and game styles are very personnal. Just be adviced that you will not convince me either.

This topic is about how we would like the game changed and I gave my opinion.
 
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