Capitalism in the Heroic Sword and Sorcery World

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

by Miggs69

For those of you keeping score this post is a non-Conan topic though it is exploring facts I plan on incorporating into the Hyborian Age.

I have a HUGE problem with buying magic items in a fantasy game. I’m specifically speaking in d20 / Pathfinder rules.

Now let me start off by saying that I completely understand that in d20 a character’s ability to combat a threat is partially related to the magic items she has at her disposal. Technically speaking it doesn’t really matter all that much what equipment said character has but in the unlikely event the party Wizard winds up with a suit of full plate mail +2 he should have the opportunity to exchange it for something he can really use. Personally I think this problem can be combated by careful placement of treasure but players like customization as well. As I’ve said in previous posts players LOVE hundreds upon hundreds of options. In a future post I will discuss min/maxing and how it’s actually pointless in the d20 system but back to the matter at hand.

Continue reading “Capitalism in the Heroic Sword and Sorcery World”

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When I was a Fighting-man… Part II

by Benito Gallego

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

So the theme of my last post was “What was Howard’s intention with the characters in his Conan Stories?” Since Howard predates RPGs (and was an influence on them) the only conclusion one can draw is that Howard didn’t have RPG statistics in mind. In storytelling the hero is always strong enough to succeed. She always has the right skill, or a bit of luck, to survive the villainous plot. In other words it doesn’t matter what skills Conan knew because the story was tailored so he always won. My intention with this post was originally to discuss just the Barbarian class to see it is appropriate for the Hyborian Age. Upon reflection that is a bit too specific, so let’s get through as many classes as we can.

Continue reading “When I was a Fighting-man… Part II”

When I was a Fighting-man… Part One

deviantART by Tensen01

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

Today I’d like to discuss the classes that should be available to player characters. So how do we begin? Well let’s start with my “keep it simple” concept.

The simplest way to do that is to just allow all the classes available to a d20 Pathfinder campaign. “All the classes?” I hear you ask. “Even the Gunslinger?!” you quickly follow. Well… No. We can’t allow all the classes. Some just flat-out don’t work. Not if we’re trying to create the atmosphere presented in REH’s stories.

I first looked at the Hyborian Age d20 Campaign Site for inspiration. It seems like they’re using standard 3E D&D (not Pathfinder) as a base. Apparently they chose the “Everyone gets to play whatever they want” method. Thankfully they left out the Paladin (because in absolutely no possible way does that belong in the Hyborian Age) as an option but they did add a few other classes to the mix.

Continue reading “When I was a Fighting-man… Part One”

A Barbarian of Barbarians …

Darren Goodacre
Darren Goodacre

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

… a tall man, mightily shouldered and deep of chest, with a massive corded neck and heavily muscled limbs… his eyes a volcanic blue that smoldered as if with some inner fire…

… he moved with the ease of a great tiger…

… the vitality and endurance of the wild were his…

… he was naturally intelligent, jealous of his rights, and as dangerous as a hungry tiger…

When reading any story involving Conan of Cimmeria it would be easy to over exaggerate his game statistics. Something like the following might be a casual reader’s impression:

Conan, Cimmerian, Barbarian 20, Thief 20, HP 520, Str 18, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 18

Continue reading “A Barbarian of Barbarians …”

Grisly Incantations

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

Since I plan on writing a post concerning magic in the Hyborian Age at a much later time I want to start collecting some opinions on the topic. I’m going to save my opinion on how the system should work until later but in the meantime I want to discuss some of my thoughts on magic.

deviantART by Benito Gallego

In “The Tower of the Elephant” the being Yag-kosha explained to Conan that he “…came to this planet (Earth) with others of my world from the green planet Yag, which circles for ever in the outer fringe of this universe.”

Yag-kosha further explains that the sorcerer Yara captured him and used him to do his bidding. “But he [Yara] was not satisfied with what I taught him, for it was white magic, and he wished evil lore…”

Yara is described as “… versed in dark knowledge… with guile gotten among the dusky tomes of dark Stygia…”

This one story reveals some pretty interesting possibilities. In fact I didn’t really pick up on this until I started looking at it from a position of game development. Yag-kosha makes reference to “White Magic”.  In the context of the story it implies that magic is not all “evil lore”. Therefore I would conclude that magic exists that is not evil.

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An Age Undreamed of…

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

h-thuria04

So I want to take this time to provide a short outline of the posts I intend to write. I think it’s important to have a plan especially with a project this big. There are already a plethora of d20 and Hyborian Age sources to reference. Hex Ox also reminded me of the d20 Hyborian Age Campaign site.  I will be reading as much of the material I can get my hands on for each topic and will present my thoughts at the end of each post. One thing I want to do is reserve judgment on a rule until after the readers have their say. We’ve all read the same stories but I’m certain some of you see things from a different angle than I do. We also can’t forget my golden rule; if it’s too complicated it’s probably wrong.

Many d20 products start of their game with the following format so I think I’ll follow it as well.

Continue reading “An Age Undreamed of…”

Hither came Conan… Part 3

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

So it’s already been a longer post than I intended it to be. In fact with all the suggestions for systems it has become very obvious that I lack the resources to purchase every game that might work for my ultimate goal. I want to thank all of you for your suggestions. Your interest in this project is very appreciated.

So I’m going to finish this post discussing the last 2 systems I have access to.

frankfrazetta-conan-the-destroyer-1971
The legend himself.

Continue reading “Hither came Conan… Part 3”

Hither came Conan… Part 2

Thoth Amon by Dave Simmons

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

First off let me apologize for posting this so late. I was sick last week and just didn’t have the capacity to focus on reading and writing.

Many readers of my previous post, understanding that I planned on tackling the topic of systems in this one, suggested a fair number of resources that might assist me in choosing an appropriate system. That being said I really didn’t have all that much time to read everything I wanted to get to. Instead I read reviews and forums on these games and did my best to get a working knowledge of them. It turns out that a lot of developers have already been influenced by the Hyborian Age.

Continue reading “Hither came Conan… Part 2”

Hither came Conan… Part 1

Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.

Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of.

Pencils by Cary Nord, colors by deviantART bek76

I am a serious fan of Robert E. Howard. I’ve read all of Howard’s Bran Mak Morn, Kull the conqueror, Solomon Kane, and Conan stories. So imagine my joy when In 2004 Mongoose publishing released CONAN: The Roleplaying Game. I cracked open the massive 300+ page tome and began to read. Imagine my surprise when I realized that besides the familiar names of characters and locations this book was nothing like the world and atmosphere Robert E. Howard presented in his classic short stories. I wondered if the writers ever actually read an original Conan story or if they just watched that dreadful Arnold film and decided to write a game. In the Game Masters section it actually suggests that from time to time you should strip the party of their gear, throw them in prison, and provide little to no explanation on how they got there. Their explanation for this was that it happened to Conan a lot…

No it didn’t.

Continue reading “Hither came Conan… Part 1”