View Full Version : Conan RPG: Good? Bad?

2009-12-31, 11:40 AM
The title of the thread is pretty self explanatory. I recently heard a little bit about the Conan RPG for a d20 system and, needless to say, it piqued my interest quite a bit. So I'm looking for tips from the playgrounders on it, as well as some info.

Is the system 3.0 or 3.5?
What are the major differences between the Conan RPG and regular D&D? (Ruleswise, I know damn well there's no elves or the like)
How does magic work? (I heard it was altered a bit so the game is more melee centered)
Does Permanent Damage detract from the game's enjoyment at all?
What order do people suggest getting the books in?

Anything like that would be greatly appreciated if I got an answer for. Heck, just fun experiences from the setting would be nice.

2009-12-31, 01:56 PM
I myself am not familiar with the system, but this Wikipedia article might be a good starting point to get some more information.


2010-01-01, 04:45 PM
I was moreso looking for personal experiences from players and DMs of the system, I've already looked stuff up on it on my own.

2010-01-01, 04:54 PM
I've looked through the mini-rulebook my friend had any rolled up a character but never managed to play but the first thin I noticed is the distinct change in style. It had a built in rule that every month or so half your wealth gets wasted on getting drunk and partying. This is supposed to also apply to items and such so you basically are expected to start each adventure from scratch. Spellcasting makes you go insane if I recall and has other downsides aside from the extreme social stigma.

Mundane equipment is more important since armor now gives DR/- instead. Being ganged up on is REALLY bad and a handfull of mooks can kill someone a few levels higher (especially since the money goes away so equips are probably about the same). They allow you to use STR instead of DEX for AC and can change it from turn to turn so now DEX can be almost completely a dump stat for some melee characters. Since mundane equips are so much more valuable (no hoarding money and all) then the Noble Class is fun for its massive extra gold (just about the only way to get a horse too....).

Also there are prices for slaves...

All in all most of the changes evoke a more melee focused less magical dangerous setting.

2010-01-01, 05:11 PM
I've run it for a group for a few sessions, and plundered lots of the ideas to make changes to my own D&D games. It's works brilliantly as a Conan game, but lots of the combat rules would help make fighters rock like they oughta in D&D.

It's based on 3.5, but there is also a 3.0 version out there.

The combat system is more complex: armour is DR, you can try to miss the armour, bypassing the DR using your DEX mod, or bash through it with your STR mod all weapons have an armour piercing value usually weapons do more damage than in D&D combat is more dynamic - there are lots of combat moves that allow the battle to shift around, forcing foes back, dodging aside from attacks, etc you choose whether to parry or dodge attacks (generally, you will be better at dodging and finesse attacks, or parrying and strength attacks, and you'll stick to one or the other)
The magic systems is full of beefy Conan flavour it's a whole new system, with power points for spell casting and its own Conan-derived spells sacrificing things (including virgins) gets you more power sorcerous power ranges from subtle to city destroying

Classes are well done.

Races are controversial. As you may know, the world of Conan is based on some pre-historic Earth. All characters are human. The different nations and races have different advantages and disadvantages - which this game puts rules on, and describes using the rather uncouth terms that the original texts used.
I found it uncomfortable to read some of the descriptions - they can easily be taken as racist, as there are definite real-world parallels between the races described in Conan and reality. The only saving grace is that the prejudicial insults are thrown at all races relatively equally.

It may be best to leave out the racial bonuses and penalties, but this will take some effort and editing.

2010-01-01, 06:20 PM
This game is FUN. If you are into running an old-school sword and sorcery game, you wil have a lot of fun with this system. It also makes magic dangerous again, as corruption makes for some awesome roleplaying possibilities.

Without spells and abilities to solve every little thing that comes up, players really have to have cunning and think on their feet. Combat is dangerous, and rewards players who think outside the box, giving it that cool old-school high adventure feel.

2010-01-01, 06:44 PM
Spellcasting makes you go insane if I recall and has other downsides aside from the extreme social stigma.

So don't tell everyone you are a spellcaster?
Can you multiclass like in 3rd or is it like in AD&D/4th stuck in one class?

2010-01-01, 06:48 PM
So don't tell everyone you are a spellcaster?
Can you multiclass like in 3rd or is it like in AD&D/4th stuck in one class?

DISCLAIMER: I haven't read the rules in over a year. I may be wrong...

Well if I remember right spellcasting isn't tied to a specific class but is impossible to be a good caster unless you are in the scholar class. So you could be a skillmonkey with a single spell if you wanted I think...

Not positive. I do remember trying to figure out how I could give my Noble Horseman that one spell that blows doors open...

As for Multiclassing I'm not positive but I don't think so.

2010-01-01, 07:13 PM
So don't tell everyone you are a spellcaster?
Can you multiclass like in 3rd or is it like in AD&D/4th stuck in one class?

Nice try, fella. As the powers from beyond corrupt you more and more, you begin to show physical signs of the corruption as well. Some are more benign than others, but almost all are quite distinctive.

You can multiclass just fine.

2010-01-01, 09:24 PM
You might consider the Riddle of Steel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Riddle_of_Steel), rather than d20. I don't know where you can get it though, perhaps one of those sites where you buy PDF's because this is probably out of print.

2010-01-01, 10:00 PM
The Conan D20 RPG is great. Aside from the obvious (setting, fun combat) I particularly like how it handles races (favored classes, skills), how everything is measured in silver pieces (simple, but flavorful change) and that the weight of the various weapons appears more realistic than regular D&D.

I am not a fan of its magic system, but I accept that it does work in the context of the Conan stories.

2010-01-02, 12:20 AM
Unfortunately I'll be sticking with the d20 version because that is what I heavily prefer. How does corruption work in the Conan RPG though? If someone is able to give me an example of such, it'd be helpful.

Also, which supplements would be must-haves?

2010-01-02, 02:30 AM
From what I recall, combat is extremely lethal in Conan d20:
-You don't gain additional HP after L10
-Whenever you take more than 20 dmg with 1 hit, you are required to pass a fortitude save, otherwise you automatically drop to -1.

2010-01-05, 04:11 PM
Attribute boosts are more common, as well. That was probably the one thing that turned me off about Conan D20. Have you taken a look at any issues of Signs & Portents? It is a free electronic magazine that Mongoose put out every month or so to support their products, and which sometimes has Conan D20 material in, which might give you a better idea of how an adventure might play out.