Conan the Barbarian (2d20)

“Long ago in a distant land, between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas, an unspeakable evil was unleashed onto the land! But a mighty thew’d Cimmerian warrior wearing the jeweled crown of Aquilonia stepped forth to oppose it. Before the final blow was struck, the wizard Thoth-Amon summoned a creature from the Outer Dark, where the Great Old Ones’ evil is law. Now the king wishes to return to the glories of the past, and undo the future that is the 2011 Conan reboot.“
– Akiro the Wizard, circa 10,000BC

Hey so guess what arrived today.

Modiphius’ Conan RPG uses the 2d20 system, which is also used in my current tabletop group’s campaign, Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition. There are, however, isome small but important differences. Generally it is clearer, with small changes made because of extensive playtesting since the release of Mutant Chronicles; other changes are due to genre (from schlocky science-fantasy to Weird Tales pulp fantasy).Changes include an overhauled character creation, abstract damage systems (you take temporary ‘stress’ damage and can take up to five levels of ‘harm’ damage, instead of tracking hit points), and a surprisingly elaborate number of special “Displays” which attack enemy morale. I also feel that some re-wordings of the skill success system put the default emphasis on players making up cool details instead of just buffing their attack (which was the case in Mutant Chronicles).

2d20 is a weird beast; compared to D&D, it’s more narrative driven with some interesting unique concepts like Fortune (points that let the players do good stuff), Doom (that let the GM do all sorts of nasty stuff) and Momentum (spend your skill test successes on fun stuff). Conan does a better job of explaining these than Mutant Chronicles. I’m looking forward to trying it.

There’s clearly a lot of love for Conan among the writing staff, but I’ve only just gotten this so I can’t judge it in-depth yet.

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