CONAN Is Finally Here!

After appearing three years running in the 10 Most Anticipated RPGs of the Year list, it seems that Conan's streak has come to and end - because Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of has been released! You can get it right now from Modiphius' web store, and will be able to get it elsewhere from tomorrow. PDF only, for the moment. You can also grab a book of six adventures, Jewelled Thrones of the Earth. Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed of is based on Modiphius' own 2d20 system (which also powers their upcoming Star Trek Adventures game). The book is now available for review in the reviews area.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Water Bob

Adventurer
I believe that Meta-Gaming is bad and poor form and against what I consider pure roleplaying.

Quoting myself.

I should also say that, yes, there are all sorts of rules out there, and in the end, what we call RPGing is a game. There are games I like and games I don't. That doesn't mean that others are wrong if they like a game that I don't.

If you enjoy (universal "You") the 2d20 system, then, hey, knock yourself out.

I'll still be disappointed in Modiphius that they went with this game system, but I also recognize that some enjoy the hell out of it and are having fun with it.
 

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thzero

First Post
I believe that Meta-Gaming is bad and poor form and against what I consider pure roleplaying.

Players in an AD&D game should operate on the knowledge that their characters have--not on the knowledge that the player may get outside of the game.

If a player sees a new monster and decides to have his character run from it, it is considered poor form indeed if the player then changes his mind after having a peek at the GM's notes to see that the HD on the creature is low and easily beaten--not at all what the character was thinking through the player's play before the meta-game information entered the situation.

The same goes for the DOOM pool. The number of DOOM points the GM has to use should be hidden from the players so that the players cannot make in-character decisions based on the DOOM Pool's total. But, it's impossible to hide the DOOM pool as the players generate the points via their actions. Any player paying attention will know the DOOM pool count.

Yes, well if the players aren't basing character designs on what they as players know vs what the character knows, then whether DOOM pool is visible or not is not an issue. :)

But it also works inversely. Sometimes players forget (usually because of delays between games) important points, etc. of in-game knowledge that the character would remember (unless they have low INT of course) because in-game time its been a lot less time. So having the DM/GM/et al prompt players by rolling something like an INT check, or just calling out 'hey, you character remembers X' is meta-gaming a bit. Yes, it is information that the character would have known, but still.

I see some of the mechanical items in 2d20, and this version of Conan, more along the lines of.... hey the character, based on who/what it is, would do X if only he had a Y. Mmms, what would happen if I had a Y? If I don't have a Y, then the character would resort to X. But some of the mechanics all the player to "influence" and have Y be part of the world, so hey now character might be able to do Y. At least this is the type of scenario that has come up in some less mechanical games I've played in once or twice.

Does it cross meta-gaming? I don't think so but its probably open to interpretation.
 

Skywalker

Adventurer
If you enjoy (universal "You") the 2d20 system, then, hey, knock yourself out.

Sounds like a plan. To that end, given that you have stated your own preference unequivocally and presumably have no further interest in this RPG, would it be a good idea to take a step back and allow those who enjoy the system to discuss the RPG on the thread that announces the RPG's release?
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The artwork is a mixture of scantily-clad muscle-bound barbarians and some fur-covered ones
Hopefully lots of beef- and cheesecake and very little 2016-era political correctness :)

Though I gather outright titillation will have to wait until the John Carter game (hopefully Moephidus <> Disney in - frankly - every possible regard)

I'm more interested in the adventure pack than 2d20 rules; if anyone has linked to reviews I will be sure to read them (still only reading this thread at page 2 out of 6 here...)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Because the mechanics help and ENCOURAGES story-telling, and more enticing combat.
Please - let's not turn this into meta vs antimeta.

Just accept that some gamers will not touch meta with a stick; while others can't imagine playing without it.

Thx :)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
What I don't understand is why people won't give it a try just because of Doom points. It just seems like a knee-jerk reaction to me.

Please try for a session or two, then formulate your opinion. But I am seeing a ton of negativity in here when some haven't even read the book.
You don't have to understand it. You only have to accept it.

For some gamers (and they are not few) even the faintest presence of a metagame mechanic is enough to stay well clear of a game.

This is not the place to discuss this :)
 

Skywalker

Adventurer
I'm more interested in the adventure pack than 2d20 rules; if anyone has linked to reviews I will be sure to read them (still only reading this thread at page 2 out of 6 here...)

Take what I say with a grain of salt but I really liked it. Its not linked like Tales From Wilderland, but I found the quality to be close (which is pretty high) and more consistent. I would happily run all of the adventures it contains, and considered none to be a complete dud (unlike TfW's Don't Leave the Path).

There is a detailed Red Nails homage to start, which is excellent if obvious and should take 2-3 sessions. There is then a series of 6 one session adventures, one of which is the playtest adventure.

I personally liked Pact of Xiabalba and Ghost of Thunder River. They are both linear in nature but very evocative and well written for a one-shot. The book then finishes with a series of story seeds.

The book is as pretty as the corebook and has good cartography.
 

Skywalker

Adventurer
Hopefully lots of beef- and cheesecake and very little 2016-era political correctness :)

Actually, they seem to hit lots of beef and cheesecake and decent levels of 2016-era political correctness. The front cover is a great example of how to capture that essential element of Conan in a way that satisfies everyone IMO.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Metagame mechanics are common. That's the opposite of controversial.

So I ask again: why is it controversial?

Sorry Morrus but now I need to speak up.

If your definition of "controversial" is equal to "uncommon", we're discussing different things.

Including a mechanic is controversial if it drives away a sizeable portion of your potential customer base. The controversy is generated by frustrated people say "I wanted to love Starwaffle game but then they added metagame aspects to the game; now I can't use the game I wanted to love; why couldn't they simply have made a metagame-less game of Starwaffle?!?".

Or rather; the real controversy is generated by people unaware of the divisive quality of metamechanics, or simply by people that don't care and just try telling people what to think.

Add one spoonful of internet, and you have a real spicy shitstorm.

Controversy.
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
Sounds like a plan. To that end, given that you have stated your own preference unequivocally and presumably have no further interest in this RPG, would it be a good idea to take a step back and allow those who enjoy the system to discuss the RPG on the thread that announces the RPG's release?

You presume wrongly. I saw the title of this thread, and it interested me. I love Conan. I'm interested to see if there's anything I may want from the Modiphius game that would enhance my Mongoose game. I'm interested to see what others dislike about the game. I'm also interested to see what people like in the game.

So, there's no reason to step back and ignore it. I'll keep following it, from a slight distance, if you don't mind.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Because it is a trope that the source material embraces?
I think the point is, that to be palatable to the modern gamer, the system needs to present heroes of both sexes and persons in distress of both sexes.

This way, if you or I happen to run 80% male barbarians and 99% female persons in need of saving, that is our business. The game does not assume or dictate this. Sure, most pictures of heroes might be mountains of manly muscles, but the game itself does not say anything actively against a female hero rescuing a male Distressed One.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
You're stating a preference, being asked to analyze it and explain it, and just repeating the preference without explanation.
But why do you assume he needs to even explain himself?

Let's just accept that Conan the Game contains pineapple (to mix the metaphors), and that is enough for many people to decry it completely, no matter whatever strengths it may possess elsewhere.
 


thzero

First Post
You presume wrongly. I saw the title of this thread, and it interested me. I love Conan. I'm interested to see if there's anything I may want from the Modiphius game that would enhance my Mongoose game. I'm interested to see what others dislike about the game. I'm also interested to see what people like in the game.

With that in mind... the character creation system I think is interesting. Traveller-esque, but still kinda limiting IMO for what it was. If anything from it, other than purloining adventures to use, that might be what I'd consider.
 

thzero

First Post
I hope this thread will eventually past the Doom Pool and discuss the remaining 95% of the RPG. :)

I have no issue with the doom pool :)

Here is my crib of my house rules thus far...

Attributes. OMG... let's roll Strength and Health into one blob. But lets split out Agility and Coordination. Yeah, makes sense... really, yeah. I get it, there is a fine line between too many attributes or too few. But I'll have to seriously consider a house rule to break out one stat into two.
Homeland Traits. Wow only one in each homeland? Really? Everyone is the same in these countries?!?! Yeah, uhuh.
First House Rule... assign multiple traits to each Homeland. Maybe create more traits if there are not enough variety.
Caste Traits. Mmmms. So pick a caste (or roll) and then be assigned a flat set of 2 traits. Again, no thanks. And only one skill?! So every member a certain caste always has that ability? Are you kidding me!
Second House Rule... assign more traits to each caste so there are options... pick 2.
Third House Rule... assign multiple skills to each caste so there are options... pick 1.
Story. I like how traits are now defined here, but mentioned way back at the beginning.
Guess these are ok. Since it doesn't say in the explanation about story, just to roll, I'm assuming you get one story origin (editing?!).
I'd actually leave this section alone. It'd be nice to have more than 6 story points per each background, but I'd encourage people to make up their own if none fit and pick up a trait.
Archetypes... This is just terrible, terrible, terrible. Its like class-lite with none of the benefits and all the lock you into things with certain skills, traits, equipment. Oh, and so very very very unbalanced. Bleah. Ex: Scroundel has mandatory a set of Athletics, Parry, Persuade, and Society. Yeah right.... every scroundel will have those, NOT. Fences? Persuade and Society. Cutpurses? Atheletics for sure, maybe Parry. Spies? At least Society. And so forth. Could do that for every bleeping archetype.
Fourth House Rule.... Totally ignore Archetypes. Select a Career Skill and Talent. Select 4 Elective Skills (yes, this is less.. often you may have combination of case, archetypes, nature, education, etc, etc. that have the same skill so thats ok)
Btw, HONORIFICS & DUTIES should have been wrapped into Traits. A trade off.... you get a honorific, but it comes with duties. But getting one isn't "free".
Not sure what I'll do with Equipment until I get to that section.
Nature - I rather like this section. Often times the 'personality' gets no real in-game mechanical benefit, this lends it some.
However, mandatory has got to go.
Fifth House Rule... ignore mandatory, select 3 skills from the set of Mandatory+Elective (see Fourth House Rule).
Education - I seem to be repeating myself. Although I am ok with the equipment item; might be nice to have a set per each so there is some choice though.
Sixth House Rule... ignore mandatory, select 3 skills from the set of Mandatory+Elective (see Fourth House Rule).
War Story - ok, cool. Although 10 was all that could be thought of?! :/
I like the Personal Belongings and Garments, and Weapon ones... starts the character out with stuff like they've actually lived through some of the above, and not just whatever.
Seventh House Rule... well, take equipment from archetypes and expand it here. Not quite sure how yet, but...
Starting Gold - I just do not understand this one at all.
Eight House Rule... base it on caste, homeland in addition... but drop personality.
Personally I think the above allows characters to be quite varied...even within a trope (i.e. fighter or scoundrel).
Character creation was one area I'd hope to have some relief from d20 classes in the Mongoose version I like.

Eh, shrug... who knows. :) I gotta drag away some people from PF to play it. :/
 

Water Bob

Adventurer
I hope this thread will eventually past the Doom Pool and discuss the remaining 95% of the RPG. :)

Post away! I'll read it.

What-cha-got?



With that in mind... the character creation system I think is interesting. Traveller-esque, but still kinda limiting IMO for what it was. If anything from it, other than purloining adventures to use, that might be what I'd consider.

I'd read more of this, if you like to be more detailed.
 

thzero

First Post
Post away! I'll read it.

What-cha-got?





I'd read more of this, if you like to be more detailed.


Not really given it a lot of though. But Mongoose uses the old 3.X x4 skill points at first level. I'd think about either removing that and replacing it with a system in this game to make up make background, where you are from, caste, etc. have some input into the character instead of just on a whim for purer 'power gaming'. Maybe toss in a bonus feat? If getting rid of x4, some of the skills need to be merged (they need to be merged anyways, i.e. Listen/Spot, OpenLock/Disable Device, etc ala PF).
 

Paraxis

Explorer
This game seems very interesting, just downloaded the free quickstart rules to check it out.

For people with the whole game, how easy does it seem to DM, meaning encounter creation and balance, and ease of hacking rules or modifying creatures without screwing everything up.
 

aramis erak

Legend
But why do you assume he needs to even explain himself?

Let's just accept that Conan the Game contains pineapple (to mix the metaphors), and that is enough for many people to decry it completely, no matter whatever strengths it may possess elsewhere.

He was asked to by others (including the board's admin) to explain why; he then didn't explain, instead simply restating his (to me illogical based upon the evidence he's given) hate...
 

CapnZapp

Legend
There is also a difference with "indie" games that doesn't even make a blip on conservative D&D gamers' radars having meta, and a game like Conan, which is squarely in the center of many such gamers' zone of interest.

This too explains why there can be "controversy" regarding a type of mechanic that sometimes has not generated any controversy in the past.

All this GNS and Forge and Fate and Apocalypse World (and [insert your favorite meta mechanic game here]) is simply something that lots of D&D gamers doesn't even know exist.

D&D is simply the last bastion of pure unadulterated simulationism where mechanisms that control story are wholly unwanted.

Even Lord of the Rings gets a pass: everybody knows instinctively its a "special" brand of fantasy, and that older games such as Rolemaster (MERP) failed to evoke any distinct Middle-Earth atmosphere. By this I only mean to say that I understand why a game like The One Ring caused less controversy - it's specifically not meant for the hardcore sandbox "let the dice fall where they may" gamers.

There is much less acceptance for the notion that regular sword & sorcery "needs" such "intrusions".

Not saying anyone is in the wrong here. Not making any judgement (except on those making judgements ;) Just trying to explore why this is causing a controversy :)
 

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