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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:52 am 
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Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of by Modiphius Entertainment

So what we have here is a licensed RPG made using a variant of Modiphius's in house 2d20 system and in consultation with a slew of Conan experts. What we get is a fairly good rpg for adventuring in the Hyborean Age.

Size and Presentation: We have a monster 410 page (not counting Index, acknowledgement, and quick play summary tables) glossy page hardcover book with good looking, full colour art. Characters from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural groups are depicted and many of them are women. There are a few Frazetta style pieces with fur loincloth Conan and skimpily dressed women, but most of the art depicts more practically dressed individuals, including women wearing full armour.

Fidelity to Source Material:
Extremely high, including faithfully representing what is almost certainly a typographical error in the description of a weapon from a Conan story. These people know their Howard. They do address the issues of Howard on race and gender, which he's actually pretty good on if you make allowances for context, basically by acknowledging the issue, explaining the context, and saying we aren't bound to obey the conventions of the pulp market in another age. The game makes clear that Conan style heroes aren't Arthurian knights and that the world dips its toes into Lovecraftian horror. Conan, of course, doesn't run screaming from horrors of the outer dark. He kills them.

Characters and Character Generation: Characters are created through a multistep lifepath system. The products of this system are good at what they do. They are the no bullshit, bigger than life heroes. They have a privileged place in destiny, they can have stats above normal human maximum, usually go first in the initiative order and only Nemesis class foes can take as many wounds as they can. The starting Conan character can break a 1st level D&D barbarian over his knee and tell the rest of the starting party to come get some.

Background Material: A huge amount of material is presented on the Hyborean world. From the deserts of Stygia to the mountains of Vanaheim to the hills of Ghulistan the nations of the world are presented in considerable detail. Since it is a lost, mythical precursor to many ancient civilizations, one also has the option of plundering actual historical information without being bound by it.

Game Mechanics: The system works by adding attribute plus skill to get a target number and rolling under that number with d20s. If the roll is equal to or under the skill focus number, you get two successes. 20s produce Complications. Baseline for PCs is 2d20s with extra d20s purchasable with Fate points, Momentum, and Threat. Momentum can also be spent to generate beneficial effects like extra damage, rerolls, or called shots.

Momentum and Threat are important and closely tied concepts. Threat is a GM resource and represents the forces of a cruel world that dooms men and pulls down civilization. Momentum represents to collective success of the group and the advantages they can capitalize on. Its built by extra successes and diminishes by one point every round as well as being capped at six points. As a result, you build it but don't horde it. You build it and spend it.

Threat is a GM resource and the GM starts with a bunch of it, so don't be shy about generating more because its so easy for him to get more. The players can generate Threat by making Momentum spends and paying for it by generating Threat instead of spending Momentum, which basically means you can purchase awesome by buying more trouble. The GM spends Threat on things like Momentum equivalents for bad guys, reinforcements, traps, bad luck, and other nasty shit. Between them, Threat and Momentum push the game into high gear.

Combat is basically opposed rolls of attacker versus defender, with attacker net successes generating hits (defensive rolls often cost or generate Threat). Damage is rolled, Soak is subtracted, the remainder is suffered by the defender. If five or more points of damage is inflicted or the defender has run out of Vigor, then an Wound is inflicted. That KOs mooks and fucks up tougher foes.

Psychological damage is handed in the same way, although obviously using different stat and mechanisms. There's a whole subsection of psychological warfare maneuvers ranging from the steely stare of a hardened killer to displaying the severed head of a mighty foe (requires killing a mighty foe, which is well within the abilities of most PCs) to terrible displays of sorcerous might (requires mighty sorcery, well within the reach of sorcerer PCs).

Magic: There is no starting Sorcerer archetype, but there is the opportunity to become proficient with sorcery for all starting characters (more so with several archetypes). The spell selection and number of starting spells are low, but the spells are powerful and versatile. In addition, there are alchemical Petty Enchantments which are quite handy. Sorcery is dangerous and demanding business and while much of it may be tricks or mummery, there is a core of awful power that true practitioners have access too.

Overall: If you want to roll through the Hyborean World, this is good for you. The RPG is very setting focused, so its a poor choice for generic fantasy adventures. The game has more focus than downtime events than I feel is ideal and the Talent list (purchasable abilities that are exception to the rules) is larger than ideal, but fortunately PCs start with a small number so it is manageable. Experience progression is on the slow to moderate side, but since PCs start as badasses that's not a problem.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:03 am 
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Oh this sounds interesting. Let me provide something for you though bro:


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