'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Monday, May 7, 2018

Conan 2d20 RPG Overview: The Nemesis.

Welcome back to the blog everyone! I hope your weekend was full of friends and good times. My last few posts have focused on the adversaries, minions and toughened opponents, in the Conan 2d20 rpg. Today we are going to wrap up the final one of these classes; The Nemesis. What is a nemesis? Well the following quote gives us a little insight. No, it's not from Conan, in fact it's not even from Robert E Howard, but I think you will recognize it either way.


Do you know what "nemesis" means?

A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an 'orrible ****... me.
  • Bricktop,
    Snatch, 2000


A great line by a very bad man. It defines "nemesis" for us. In the Conan 2d20 RPG these are the personification of powerful entities. The nemesis class is the most capable class of foe your characters will face. They will present their largest challenge.

We talked about the town guard being minions and the sergeants being examples of the toughened classes. Continuing this example, the leaders of the guard, generals and the like, will be this nemesis class. Conan himself served as the leader of men in this capacity. These are the horrors in the dark, the witches, the wizards and the warriors of renown that Conan faced throughout his travels.

Ok so what does all this mean? The nemesis class is again going to have better equipment and attributes as compared to minions and toughened opponents. In addition the follow items are true of a nemesis.
  • The nemesis can suffer 5 physical and 5 mental harms.
  • The nemesis can react as per normal reaction rules.
  • The nemesis can spend 3 doom and gain a fortune point.
  • The nemesis often have a wide range of skills and abilities
  • The nemesis uses hit locations and armor just as a player does.
  • The nemesis is often leading multiple bands of foes.
  • The nemesis CAN lead a squad.
When it comes to special rules the nemesis is, in some ways, the simplest of the three classes. They work just like player characters. They become complicated in how they are played and their wide range of talents and abilities.

Now lets not get carried away here, if you drop a single nemesis down against a party of players, the nemesis will be lucky to survive a single round. These opponents become truly epic and frightening when they are leading groups of toughened or minions, forcing the players to engage their followers first.

Another thing to keep in mind is the one large difference between PCs and the nemesis. If the PCs want to buy 3 bonus dice and have no momentum, they can exchange dice for doom. If the nemesis has no doom they are unable to get bonus dice.

If your PCs are able to survive off of their built up momentum then the nemesis is going to be considerably weaker than one who has a fat pile of doom to draw from. This is something to keep in mind as players roll complications, if you are low on doom, it might be better to stockpile the complications till the final confrontation. Also keep in mind that any generated momentum by the nemesis can be stored as doom if it's not use right away.

The nemesis is a powerful entity in it's own right, but for it to really shine, it will need strategy and support. As always I love to hear comments and feedback, ideas and errata. As we go forward I wonder what else would be useful to go over? Till next time, KEEP IT WEIRD!

If you are interested in checking out the Conan system why not head over to DriveThruRPG and pick up a copy of either the Conan 2d20 core book or the Conan 2d20 quickstart pdf?

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