Gamers' Corner


Conan: The Roleplaying Game (Atlantean Edition)

Written by Damien

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The Hyborean Age
This is a shorter chapter, giving readers an overview of the landscape of Conan's world, and other themes to consider, such as where the inspiration for certain peoples may have, or did, come from.

This chapter is huge. Running from page 246 to page 281 - solid flavour text. This chapter deals with full detailing and explaining all the cultures of the setting, their military, their politics, their religion, etc. It wasn't a necessary chapter to include, but it's wonderful that they did - this is the kind of immersive, useful information that most RPG books lack these days.

A brief overview of religion in Conan's world, usually referred to as cults. This chapter deals with questions like "are the Gods real?" and how different religious-groups act. As well as tithes you have to pay to be part of a religion, and what help you can expect from your 'church' if you're a member of that particular religion.

The bestiary is shorter than that of most books, as you're assumed to mostly be fighting against evil sorcerers and soldiers, not monster after monster. Basic animals get stats and flavour text, then we get to monsters like giant spiders, demons, elementals, risen dead, and man-apes. Good, solid stats all across the board.

The last chapter of the book deals with helping a GM decide what kind of campaign he wants to run, and how to go about doing it. This chapter deals with the usual issues like pacing, experience, canon vs. improv, agendas, conflict, love, heroic death, honour - and the like.

Other Notes
Besides the chapters where you expect to find it, this book is simply brimming with flavour. Every page you turn to has some useful information about the setting. Although you'd think this makes the mechanics too embroiled with the setting to be useful outside of a Conan campaign - that's not the case. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, you can easily use these rules, slightly modified with some name changes, for any pulp-style sword & sorcery campaign. Readers should also be on the look out for the many, many quotations taken directly from the Conan stories of Robert E. Howard, which add a lot of flavour and style to the product.

So is it worth it?
Absolutely. If you're a fan of Conan, a fan of the older Sword & Sorcery style of game, or just a fan of games that don't have huge amounts of magic items and realy arbitrary rules to facilitate anime video-game style play, you'll love this modified version of the d20 system. Enjoy.

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