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Conan: Aquilonia - Flower of the West

Written by Damien


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Might & Majesty
The Aquilonian Military. Now this is a cool chapter for any military fans or combative-class lovers. After a general overview of the Aquilonian military, we get subsections on everything from war formations to the life of a common soldier. There's also information on signals in warfare, the aftermath of war, and the role of women in war.

Then we get into the really fun stuff: The actual descriptions of Aquilonia's army. Information on Knights starts it out, including care for horses, and care of equipment - two aspects that are often overlooked, but very important to a knight. Then a much shorter section on mounted men-at-arms, who are cavalry, but not part of the knightly caste. Following that is a very short note on archers (which are almost invariably Bossonian), and then a decent-sized note about infantry.

After the regular army is taken care of, we are provided with details about the two special groups of Aquilonia's military: The Black Legion, and the Black Dragons. The Legion is the King of Aquilonia's personal army, while the Black Dragons are his personal guard.

This was probably my favourite chapter, I could read the descriptions of plate-clad knights and mail-clad cavalry all day long. But even for those without a huge interest in the warfare aspect of Aquilonian life - the descriptions and details will do anyone well for a Conan game that takes place anywhere near Aquilonia or one of its outposts.


Pomp & Pageantry
Entertainment and diversions. Here's where you'll find everything or celebrating your bad-assness. Archery tournaments, jousting, the grand melee, and more (including a game called battleball). Strangely, there is very little in the way of actual rules for running these contests. It would have been nice if the book's other contents could have been shuffled around (as I've mentioned in other portions of this review) to allow for a little added content in this chapter. Actual rules for archery contests and jousting would have been nice. But don't get too upset - there's plenty of products out there with heaps and stacks of such rules, so they're not really necessary. But considering tournaments are the focal point of this chapter - rules for how to use them would have been nice.


Illnesses & Ungents
Medicines & health in Aquilonia. This is a quick chapter that gives you all the necessary rules for strange healing common to Aquilonia (such as blood-letting) and diseases, with their home remedies. Diseases are pretty extensive, but cover things such as black vomit, gangrene, small pox, shakes, measles, malaria, leprosy, and more. This chapter seems really, really out of place. These diseases could just have easily been in the Conan core book, as I'm pretty sure Typhoid Fever isn't specifically an Aquilonian problem. Regardless of whether or not it's in the right book - the rules are clear, and well-written.


Faith & Fervour
Aquilonian religions. This short chapter identifies the three major religions of Aquilonia - the worship of Mitra, Bori, and Asura. Each religion is divided into the benefits of worshipping the particular god, including requirements of worship, benefits, requirements of the priesthood, benefits for the priesthood, and typical punishments for disloyal priests. The chapter ends with almost two pages of discussion on the different clergies of Aquilonia. While not a bad chapter, it really seems as though this one could have fit just fine in the Conan: The Roleplaying Game core rulebook, rather than being put here. Regardless, the information is still good.


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