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Conan: Aquilonia - Flower of the West

Written by Damien


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Governance & Law
Aquilonian politics and government. This hefty chapter details the Feudal Government and Manorial Economics - the two aspects that make-up most Medieval-esque governing systems. Everything is covered from the manor house and castle, down to typical staff, village management, and what rights a manorial lord has. The chapter goes on to describe the history of Aquilonia. While this does help to better understand how its government came to be, it seems like wasted space. This extra history lesson could easily have been condensed into not only other chapters of this book, but also into the Hyborean Age chapter of the Conan: The Roleplaying Game core rulebook.

After this history lesson we get more information on law, taxes, and labour. Following that are some sample NPCs, including Conan the King of Aquilonia, Zenobia (his wife), Conan's son, and a fair amount of other NPCs. It would have made for more fluid reading if the NPCs were saved for the chapter that details other NPCs. Not only would the reading have been smoother, but it would also allow a GM to quickly flip to one section for all his NPC needs. It's a minor gripe, but it is something irritating.


Gazetteer
As with the core book, this book has a huge Gazeteer. It runs from page 96 to page 136, and details everything from notable landmarks to every last province and notable cities of Aquilonia. The information is solid, and extensive, and is exceedingly well-written to be informative without putting you to sleep.


Feats & Manoeuvres
Ten new feats and eleven new manoeuvres are presented in this chapter. The feats are pretty good, with names like Drive Your Enemy Before You, Powerful Bull Rush, and Riposte. The combat manoeuvres section expounds on those in the core rulebook. Leaping Onto Your House, Sideswipe, Charged Jump, Snatch and Go, and more, are all presented here. They're all somehow involved with horses, so even if you're not playing an Aquilonian campaign - the player of a knightly or otherwise mounted character might just want to give this section a look.


Lords & Masters
Aquilonian prestige classes. At first, I was wary. Then, I was a bit afraid. This game is a good one, and the thought of it being overrun with crappy prestige class after crappy prestige class is fairly terrifying. I'm also of the strong opinion that most character concepts should be workable with the proper base class and feat selections. With that said, there's only 3 prestige classes in this book.

The prestige classes are Gunderland Mercenary, Gunderland Pikeman, and Poitainian Knight. Really, these concepts could easily have fit into the base classes as feat chains and skill choices. But they're also not bad prestige classes, and nothing I'd be overly aggitated about allowing in my own games. That's high praise coming from someone that doesn't like prestige classes to begin with.


Foes & Fiends/Serfs & Sell-Swords
These two chapters are so alike, one has to wonder why they were divided in the first place. Foes & Fiends focusing on some more monsters and abnormalities for your Conan game. Hydragons, The Lotus-thing, Satyrs, the Spider Thing of Poitain, and Wind Ghosts are all here. The next chapter (Serfs & Sell-swords) is a collection of pre-fab generic NPCs to use in your game. Did your players just attack the Aquilonian Knights and you didn't have their stats ready for an encounter? S'okay. The stats for a generic Aquilonian Knights are here. There are also stats for your basic prostitute, tavern employees, peasants, and the like.

Both chapters are very good, with quick but useful information. But really now, these two chapters easily could have been one longer chapter.


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