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.

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Hex Crawl Alphabet: D is for Dwarves

Viking Myke has some wonderful stuff

OK, we know that next hex over has a dwarven settlement of some sort in it. First off, what’s the general purpose of that settlement?

Dwarf Settlement Purpose (d6)
1-3: Mining
4-5: Military
6: Mercantile

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A Change of Pace

Creative Commons photo by ankakay

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

So I’ve been discussing Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Age and how it might be successfully translated into a d20 Campaign Setting. I want to switch things up this time. I’m going to do that occasionally because there is only so many times a gal can type the name Conan before she gets sick of seeing it.

I’ve decided to start running my first RPG in eight years. Actually it’s probably closer to ten. I’m sure some of you understand. You get older, you work overtime, or the kids keep you busy, or you get married, or you move away. All your friends have the same issues so getting together for game night unfortunately falls to the wayside. Ask my closest friends and they’ll tell you that I’ve been promising to run something for so long now that they probably think it’s not actually going to happen.

Well I’ve already set a date and invited some friends to play. No it’s not a Hyborian Age game. The rules aren’t ready for that yet but when they are I’m going to need my best friends to playtest because only the people closest to you will put up with rolling a new character every other session.

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Hex Crawl Alphabet: C is for Castle

Sand castle by Sue McGrew

The PCs have stumbled across a castle in their travels. Who lives there? What are they up to? Well, I took a slightly different approach with this, and I thought the best ideas for what they are up to might come from the judge just thinking about what certain combinations of results below mean. For example, an overcrowded ruin might be home to a military force in need of a makeshift shelter. Interested to see if anyone finds these helpful or if there should be a bit more to this entry.

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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

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Hex Crawl Alphabet: B is for Bandits

deviantART by Robedirobrob

Fantasy wilderlands are downright infested by bandits, brigands, and burglars of all stripes. Here are a couple of tables to help generate bandit camps. I’ve only concerned myself with the hit dice of the bandit’s leader, but bigger camps will surely have a few intermediaries with extra HD as well.

1d20: Bandit Leader HD / # of Bandits

1-8: 2 HD / 10 bandits
9-14: 3 HD / 20 bandits
15-18: 4 HD / 40 bandits
19-20: 5 HD / 80 bandits

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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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Hex Crawl Alphabet: A is for Animals

I’ve already quoted Eliot’s apocryphal advice about great writers stealing in a previous post, but I’ve got to bring it up again here. Michael Curtis’s Dungeon Alphabet (also in PDF) is one of the most ostentatiously useful and fun system-neutral supplements even published; if you don’t own it, you should. So last night when I got thinking about how I hadn’t done any random tables in a while, I got some inspiration and decided on a project – the Wilderness Hex Crawl Alphabet. Not surprisingly, I found that I wasn’t the first person to have this idea. Jim Pacek published The Wilderness Alphabet in 2010. Based on a couple of reviews I read, I think that the list of subjects I came up should differ significantly enough from his to justify proceeding with the project (especially since I already came up with a few potential table ideas for each letter). So this is the first in a series of alphabetical posts featuring tables to assist with wilderness hex crawls.

deviantART by Sampl3dBeans

Let’s start with Animals. Many a rural region is home to mythic animal that features heavily in the oral tradition of the locals. When your PCs arrive in a new village, roll 1d10 on each column to see what legendary animal dwells in the nearby wilds:

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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.

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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.

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