D&D General GM's Closet for the CONAN RPG

Water Bob

-- NOTES --

The town of Seven Stones Ridge, and in fact, the Blue Fox clan, is run by the Duncohr family. What you see below are notes on the older NPCs.

The Duncohrs have been weaponsmiths for generations. Originally, the family were clansmen of the Grath. They led the clanwar that is referred to as The Separation, which broke off their village of Seven Stones Ridge from the Grath. The new clan is called: The Blue Fox.

The Cimmerian blue fox is a crafty animal. During the Separation, the men from Seven Stones Ridge did not fight in the usual face-to-face manner. The Cimmerian Way was thrown aside in favor of a more guerilla style of combat. It was the only way to fight a superior force. During the conflict, that lasted nearly two years, the Grath started referring to their foes as "Foxmen" or "Blue Foxmen". It is a comparison between the Stoner fighting style and the guile and ingenuity of the Cimmerian blue fox.

It also helped that the area of Seven Stones Ridge is pocketed by blue fox warrens.

The native Cimmerian word for the blue fox is "urro", and, thus, the clansmen call themselves Urrough, Foxmen, or Blue Foxmen, interchangeably.

Old Fionn is an ageing mastersmith. He founded Seven Stones Ridge. Maeoral, his wife, died during the Separation, and Old Fionn is embittered about her loss, even after 20 years. They had five sons: Finn, Dael, Eanbotha, and Eregerth. The fifth son, Cael, is Dael's twin, but that one is without honor. The clansmen will not speak about him or even acknowledge his existence.

Finn Elder is the current Chieftain of the Blue Fox clan. This is Caelis' father. Lyme, his wife, died during the childbirth of triplets. Caelis' elder brother is Branoc, and Caelis' twin, Padran, was still born. Padran is buried in the Mound of the Dead within the village.

Dael runs the Duncohr Forge with Finn Elder. His wife would not turn away from her family during the Separation and remained a Grath.

Dael's daughter, Brenna, raised Caelis and his brother Branoc, though she is only a few years older then they. Brenna is an herbalist.

Brenna married an Aesir boy that was sent to live among the Foxmen as an act of good-faith trade. Hrathnar owns the three horses in the clan. He and Brenna have a little girl they named, in the Aesir fashion, Freya. Hrathnar helps run the Duncohr Forge and urges expanded trade with other clans. Hrathnar taught you to speak the Nordheimer language.

Eanbotha is the Skywarrior. That's the War Chief position among the Blue Fox. His wife and children did not survive the harsh winter that occurred during the Separation. Since, he has made company with Nahn the Weaver, though he will not marry her.

Nahn is the mother of both Foilloch and Huogh.

Eregerth was a wayward Duncohr son. He had his fill of bloodshed, brother against brother, during the Separation. He killed too many of his friends. A decade agone, he left the clan to follow his wanderlust. He has since had many adventures and just recently returned to Seven Stones Ridge. He likes a good, hardy drink. And, Caelis is his favorite nephew. He has given Caelis a shirt of Turanian chainmail--a kingly gift, indeed.

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Water Bob


If you are a Howard purist, you probably like your Cimmerians to be poor, low-tech barbarians. I like to keep the fantastic element in this sword & sorcerery universe, and thus, I don't scoff at the idea that Cimmerians are master smiths that know a little something extra about steel. 1982's Conan The Barbarian rested on this premise, though it is not an original Howard idea.

Like this entire thread, pick and and choose what you like. Leave the rest.

There's a quick, off-hand remark about Cimmerian blue iron-ore in the Catacombs of Hyboria supplement. Here, I'm simply taking that idea and marrying it to the Riddle of Steel myth from the 1982 movie, using one of the rules that is already in the game.

The crafting rules on pg. 97 of the Core Rulebook (2E) discuss the creation of Masterwork and High Quality items. A special component is needed. I submit that this rare, blue iron-ore, found only in Cimmeria, is the component needed to make Masterwork Cimmerian weapons.

Cimmerian Blue Steel weapons are masterwork items that have a +1 damage bonus and a minimum hardness of 10.

REAL HISTORY NOTE: There is actually a precedent for this idea among the pages of real history. Pattern welded steel was developed in the Rhineland, but the secret of its manufacture was kept to only a few smiths in that region. Pattern welding is a process of braiding steel of various strengths so as to maintain the flexibility of softer steels while retaining the hardness and edge of denser steels. This is a similar concept to Damascus Steel, and it too tends to create a visual effect.

Charlemagne would eventually draft laws forbidding the trade of pattern welded steel to such tribes as the Vikings and the Avars, but when the Vikings acquired such blades, they also learned the technique. The Vikings would eventually improve upon these weapons to the degree that each blade be able to bend a full inch to either side and then return to its original state without warping.

At some point during the many wars of Europe, the secret of pattern welding was lost, and when the Vikings eventually began to fade as a world influence, so did the secret of pattern welding.

Water Bob

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Water Bob

Simple Unarmed Attack Weapon

These are long thick leather straps, sometimes made from horse reins, wrapped around the forearm, wrist, and knuckles, enabling the user to land more solid blows with his fist (also providing wrist support). These wrappings increase Unarmed Strikes made with the fist by one die code. This means that the warrior will deliver 1d4 + STR modifier damage with an Unarmed Strike.

Cost: .5 sp (2 bits)

Finesse: Yes
Damage: +1 die code to Unarmed Attacks
Critical: x2
Armor Piercing: --

Range Increment: --

Material: Leather
Hardness: 3
Hit Points: 8

Weight: 2.5 lbs.
Type: Bludgeoning



Simple Unarmed Attack Weapon

Sometimes, spikes or nails are added to the knuckle glove, resulting in a weapon that does normal lethal damage.

Cost: .75 sp (3 bits)

Finesse: Yes
Damage: 1d4
Critical: x2
Armor Piercing: --

Range Increment: --

Material: Leather/Metal
Hardness: 4
Hit Points: 9

Weight: 3 lbs.
Type: Piercing
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Water Bob


Leather clothing is found in all regions of the known world, and it is the most common form of protective clothing during the Hyborian Age. It is used in barbaric cultures, among the people of border regions, and even by those who live inside major Hyborian cities.

Curing is a process by which excess water is removed from hide, typically by use of salt. The leather is heavily salted then pressed into packs for a month. This process preserves the life of the skin, protecting it from spoiling.

Tanning: Since skins could often become coarse, odorous, and stiff with age, people have experimented with various oily substances, rubbing them into the hides to soften them. Eventually, it was discovered that certain kinds of tree bark contained "tannin", which is a substance we know today as tannic acid. This substance, when spread on hides, made the leather both pilable and durable. This process of manufacturing is called "tanning". Clothing fashioned from tanned leather is more comfortable and effective than that made of cured skins or layers of hides and furs. Tanned leather, during the Hyborian Age, is the basis for most types of durable heavy clothing and armor.

If you need basic hide armor in your game--just animal skins that are not cured or tanned--look to page 23 of Barbaric Treasures, where the Hide Jerkin is listed. Most of your leather armor needs, though, will be fulfilled by the Leather Jerkin entry in the Equipment chapter of the core rulebook. That represents typical tanned leather armor--usually a leather tunic and/or breeches. A leather jerkin is usually worn with wool or cotton pants, cloth kilt, or other types of leg covering--all qualifying as this type of armor.

With the Leather Jerkin commonplace, most Hyborian Age cultures turn to mail and layered armors for higher protection. But, a few cultures continue with the advancement of leather as a base material in the production of Heavy Hide. This armor consists of prepared, treated and tanned hides that could layer up to three inches thick. Sometimes lined with fawn, calf, or kid skin inside for comfort, this armor is bulky and stiff. In cold climes, fur is left on these hides allowing the armor to be as protective as winter clothing.

Medium Armor

Cost: 55 sp

Damage Reduction: 5
Maximum DEX Bonus: +4
Armor Check Penalty: -3

Sorcery Failure: 50%

Speed: 25 ft.
Weight: 25 lbs.

Material: Leather
Hardness: 5
Hit Points: 50

HYPERBOREAN HIDE - The people of northern Hyperborea are known to produce the most protective Hide Armor in the known world. This is a process of layering bear and mountain goat hides before soaking them in pine sap. The resulting stiff rigid leather sheets are then bent and hammered into wearable shapes that are often decorated with fur, teeth, polished wood, ivory, and the like. The game stats for this armor mirror that shown above fairly closely, but the damage reduction rating is increased to DR 6. The cost, too, is nearly three times as much as normal Heavy Hide armor. For more information, see page 47 of The Warrior's Companion.

If you need other versions of leather armor in your game (maybe you want to customize by culture), From Stone To Steel is a fantastic resource. That book will give you stats in standard d20 format. You'll have to convert to "Conanize" that equipment. For the Cost, I suggest that you make an educated guess, comparing whatever type of armor you are creating with the closest like armor in the game.

Sorcery Failure in the Conan RPG is much higher than the standard d20 Spell Failure percentage. I suggest that you compare the Max DEX Bonus and Armor Check Penalty to other armors in the game, then make a guestimation from there. Note that metal armors always have much higher Sorcery Failure stats.

The Speed rating for the armor will either be 30 ft. or 25 ft. All Light Armors are rated at 30 ft., while Medium and Heavy Armors are rated at 25 ft.

You will ignore the Armor Bonus column, of course, since armor in the Conan RPG does not make characters harder to hit. Figuring the Damage Reduction for the armor is easy, though, since all armors in From Stone To Steel are provided with a Hardness figure and item Hit Points. The DR for the armor will be exactly or close the armor's Hardenss. Even here, though, you must compare your armor with like armors in the game because I've noticed that some armors in the book have Hardness numbers that are probably too high for DR ratings.

Max DEX Bonus and Armor Check Penalty remains the same as listed in the book.

This is the process I used to create the Heavy Hide armor that you see above.

Water Bob

Just got tipped off to this Kickstarter.

It looks perfect for continuing support for your Conan games. The Pathfinder edition would translate easily to Mongoose's d20 Conan RPG engine.

Check it out. Primeval Thule


First Post
Thanks, Water Bob. And you're right--the rules are easily portable, and the setting is strongly influenced by REH in general and the Conan stories in particular.

Thule's other primary inspiration comes from the same source—Weird Tales magazine. There's a lot of H.P. Lovecraft in the setting...which gives proto-Conans plenty of tentacled horrors and Things That Should Not Be to hack into pieces with a sword of blue steel!


Water Bob


Some, but not all, understand the difference between traditional fantasy gaming and games set in a sword and sorcery universe. Conan's Hyborian Age is definitely of the latter.

Should you wish to use traditional d20 rules instead of Mongoose's excellent Conan Roleplaying Game (which, I see is becoming harder and harder to find, these days), try clicking here to see a set of rules that will help you shape traditional d20 gaming for sword and sorcery play.

Water Bob

Experience Points

Several posts earlier in this thread, I discuss how the Conan RPG is designed to be played at the lower levels. To encourage this type of gaming, I suggest that the GM be extremely stingy with XP.

In my own game, I use a simple system: A foe's base XP is 100 x Character Level. Therefore, a first player character will have to kill 10 first level enemies people before he reaches level 2. A 3rd level enemy is worth 300 XP.

After I figure the base XP, I might modify that total for circumstance. For example, if the PC had to fight a 4th level foe while the PC had nothing but his bare fists and a loincloth for equipment, I might double the XP award. Or, let's say a PC kills a enemy in is sleep. That XP award might be greatly reduced to 0 or maybe 10% of the base award, depending on the situation.

And, XP is divided among the various PCs and ally NPCs that take part in the encounter.

With non-combat encounters, I award XP with the knowledge of what it takes to gain a level (It ain't easy for a 1st level character to kill 10 foes of his own level!)

Using this system, I find that level progression is slow but steady, allowing the characters forward progress while still keeping the game gritty and among the lower levels.

Commoners actually pose a threat to the PCs for a long, long time, if the campaign is started with the PCs at 1st level.

Water Bob


The Cat's Parry (page 204 of 2E Conan) is an excellent combat maneuver that allows a defender to attack while he is defending, and thereby attain a bonus attack during the combat round.

How it works is this: A defender must use the Parry Defense (instead of Dodge), and the defender must announce that he is attempting a Cat's Parry.

When the Cat's Parry is attempted, the defender's Parry AC is reduced by -4, but if the attack is unsuccessful, the defender gets an immediate Attack of Opportunity against his attacker.

Bottom line: You lose 4 points of AC, but if you're not hit, you get a free attack.

Note that the maneuver doesn't work if the defender is hit. This way, characters with tons of hit points cannot abuse the maneuver.

Now, here's the kicker. The Cat's Parry is usually an advanced move. Barbarians, Scholars, and Temptresses have to be 8th level to use the maneuver, while Borderers, Nobles, Nomads, Pirates, and Thieves have to be 6th level.

Like the Riposte, though, Soldiers are singled out, able to use this powerful combat maneuver at 4th level. Along with the Riposte (discussed earlier in the thread), this gives Soldier-classed characters a significant combat advantage, especially since no character class is granted more than a single attack per round before 6th level (barring, of course, two-weapon fighting).

Considering that a large shield provides a Soldier with a +4 Parry bonus, the penalty for using Cat's Parry is akin to fighting without the shield. The Soldier can, of course, decide each round whether the Cat's Parry will be attempted.

If you also consider that the Conan RPG is meant to be played at the lower levels (see post earlier in this thread), where most NPCs are 10th level or less, and the vast majority are 3rd level or less, then, indeed, the Soldier's use of the Cat's Parry at 4th level is a true, hidden class bonus for Soldiers.

Water Bob


Survial is an important skill to types of characters in the Hyborian Age. It may not be as important to a Scholar or Temptress, but it's certainly one of the main skills for Barbarians, Borderers, Nomads and can be an important skill for any character that spends a lot of time outside city walls.

One of the many uses of the Survival skill is dubbed Get Along in the Wild, where a character can make a base DC 10 Survial check to hunt and forage for food if the character moves overland at half speed. Success on the check removes the need for food and water supplies for the character that day. For every two points by which the check result exceeds the DC, the character can provide food and water for one other person. The GM will modify the base DC to reflect the availabilty of food and water given the terrain and environment.

The DC 10 is used for typical wilderness terrain, such as the Pictish Wilds. Look to Hyboria's Fiercest for further guidlines on hunting and foraging.

A GM will want to keep some examples handy when players use their characters' Survival skills in this way in order to convey the atmosphere. So, what exactly are the things Conan would eat and drink while free-foraging in the wild?

From The Black Stranger, by Robert E. Howard

Conan seated himself at the board, filled a goblet and quaffed it before he answered.

"The first wine I've drunk since I left Conawaga, by Crom! Those cursed Eagles (Picts) hunted me so closely through the forest I had hardly time to munch the nuts and roots I found. Sometimes I caught frogs and ate them raw because I dared not light a fire."

The answer: Dew from leaves in the morning. Water from creeks. Wild honey. Roots. Frogs. Snakes. Squirrels. Plants and leaves. Rabbits. Nuts. Wild berries and fruits. Birds and their eggs.

Whatever can be found and is edible. The check includes identifying edible plants and roots.

Foraging for food like this means the character eats anything that he can find or catch quickly. In the snow, he may have to dig for roots. In the rocky desert, he may need to drain water from cactus. You get the idea.

Water Bob


Click on the link.

This is a set of notes that will tweak a standard AD&D game for use during the Hyborian Age. These rules are inspired by Appendix N of the AD&D DMG.

Check the Downloads page for a custom Hyborian Tales character sheet.

Water Bob


For the AD&D Second Edition fans, Thulsa has posted several adventures written by Wesley Connally. Each scenario is based on one of Howard's original Conan tales.











CLICK HERE here to see a character sheet that Wesley created for use with these adventures.

AND, CLICK HERE to view tweaks to the AD&D 2E rule system for use while gaming in the Hyborian Age.

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