'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

Corrupt Cliffs

Corrupt Cliffs
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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Forest Huts

Simple to build forest huts! Hope you find it useful.

Gift Idea 2016!

Need a last minute gift for that gamer in your life? THERE IS STILL TIME!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


While following and participating in discussions on the new 2d20 system, and the concept of the DOOM mechanic, it was brought up that it could be used to build tension. As the players are adding to the doom pool and using it to build successes it is always in the back of their mind that the GM has this resource and it will eventually come back and haunt the PCs.

It is a cool mechanic.

While playing the system I found that while using a screen it prevented the players from seeing just how much DOOM that had accumulated. I had tossed around ideas in my head including a drawer like system that you could pull to your side, add doom, and push back to the PC side of the screen.

My final solution, which has not been used in a game yet, but I think has some cool potential.

It is a simple solution. 3x5 note card. Divide into 4 segments, draw skulls on them, fold them over. PCs add to the doom pool? Now that can clearly see how many skulls they have accumulated that may bite them in the ass.

What do you think? leave a comment below and let me know!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

28mm Horses for RPGs (and other games)

Horses are important in a medieval fantasy world. They allow your PCs to travel fairly quickly and provide a way to transport goods from town to town.  However if you use miniatures they can be on the expensive side.

You can go this route from litko: http://www.litko.net/products/Horse,-Character-Mount-Marker-kit.html#.WFLq2v7n_uo

Mounted characters from Reaper run around $10+ https://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/horse/

A Pre-painted horse might run you $6 or $7+  http://www.miniaturemarket.com/pbrdi-025.html


If you swing by your local Dollar Store you might find something like I found in the party favour section.

I found this bag of 10 horses for $4 CAD.  They are of course un-based, and I wasn't 100% sure about their size. 

But for the price I had to give them a shot. I have a few Mongol rifle guys and they have slightly smaller mounts, but next to a regular 28mm figure they were not unbelievable.   They have an ok selection of colors, and with the exception of one of the poses (2 horses) they all stand very well without bases.

And next to a Paizo pre-painted? Pretty much exactly the same size. $4CAD for 10 horses. Enough for a party of 4 adventurers, with 6 left to pull carts or work as pack animals. Great deal for horse figs!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Conan 2d20 play aids

After playing the first run through of Modiphius's new offering to the Hyborian Age, with Conan 2d20 I thought I would share some tools I used.  Mainly a simple and I do mean SIMPLE momentum pool and using note cards to track a mob as well as a Nemesis.  And how I use note cards to equip NPCs on the fly if needed.

Our hero in this example is attacked by a mob of 5 skeletons.   It's not the most complicated thing to record, but this is how I go about it.
I start with a blank note card and write the creature across the top.  "Skeleton Mob".  Next to that I write in the Armor Soak, and Shield Cover Soak if it is relevant.  You can place a spot for courage if that matters. I then write the total vigor for each mob member on the next line.  Finally I write down the numbers from 1-5 for each of the creatures in the mob.  
Hero rolls to hit!
Rolls Damage! 7!
Skeleton rolls shield.  3 cover +2 soak = 5 total soak.  Suffers 7-5 = 2 damage
Mark 2 'X's under the first member of the mob.  If you use Xs and Os you can track physical and mental damage.

And I use a similar card to track a Nemesis.  Although I would suggest having this prepped before hand as it is a little more time consuming to prepare, although not that much

As you are running a game and you need to be able to create an NPC with some weapon, armor and shield you can delay your game by looking through the manuals finding the relevant stats.  Instead I keep a generic human set of stats and a set of weapon, armor and shield cards handy so I can spend a few seconds getting the stats together vs digging through the book.

Finally the method I use to track momentum for the players involves a somewhat decorative bowl, some markers and a notecard.

Momentum markers and the pool.  I put notes on there for the players as well.  Max 6.  -1 end of round/scene.
The pool with 5 momentum

At the end of the day, anything we can use to help track and move the game along smoother should help to make the session more enjoyable.  I hope you find some good ideas or inspiration to help you run your game sessions.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Gibbering Darkness: Conan 2D20

He stepped lightly into the stone chamber, his sword gleaming in the light of his torch.   His small party of explorers seeking treasure and knowledge in the dark places of the earth.

His eyes took in the room, and the unnatural darkness that hung there, darker than the torchlight would penetrate causing the hairs on the back of his neck to stand.  "What do you see?", came a voice from behind him.

"Nothing....", he replied uneasily as he moved further into the room, "There is a darkness here......"

The rest of the party moved in, all proven warriors in there own right, all had seen more than most human eyes could comprehend.   Now they all saw the darkness hanging a dozen or so feet in front of them, obscuring the rest of the room.

Then they heard it, unintelligible noises, voices, non-sense.  Bjartur, whispered a prayer to himself as he saw the first of the shapeless forms slide out of the void towards him, before he could react he was beset on all sides by blackness, ethereal cold clawing at him.  He screamed even as he swung his sword.  The steel blade passed through several of them as if they were smoke, but even as it passed into the formless shapes they vanished back to the void.

Birta, muttered, "by Mitra", under her breath as her sword cut an arc through the black formless things, sending the remainder of them back to whatever darkness had spawned them.

Bjartur's arms and body ached with the cold of unnatural wounds, he gasped in agony, looking up at the unnatural darkness, the gulf to another place flickered and vanished.  The room was silent beyond the sounds of their own breath.......


In Conan, monsters and NPCs die quickly.  Without players feeding into the DOOM pool, a GM may find it difficult to provide challenges to the players.  A brand new fighter may have the ability to add to the momentum pool while maintain swift actions most rounds.  It is possible this fighter could kill a Toughened opponent in the beginning of combat.

What to do?

I give you an idea for a creature from beyond.  Small formless demonoid beings that spew forth from a tear, or portal opened by a dark sorcerer, or perhaps a natural occurrence?

They are minions and spring forth from the void in a mob.
They are Dread Creatures starting with 1 doom, so they can gain initiative.
They excel in melee with an Agility of 14 and a combat focus of 2, with dark ethereal claws, reach 2, 8CD and Vicious 1 and Piercing 2. 
They have no armor soak.

They won't last long in a fight, but they will probably put the fear of Crom into your heroes.

This is untested at this time, but I wanted to get the idea down, they may end up doing too much damage.  The general idea is something small, easily killable that can generate doom and actually make the characters realize that they are also pretty fragile.

Slightly modified version after some dice rolling.  Damage reduced.  Agility and Focus updated.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Tomb of Fehim Khan, play through: Part 1.

I ran the first part of the adventure tonight. It ended up taking a little longer than we had, but the players all stayed an extra hour to get further into it. I will take that as a win.

The Thea, Celemont, Tolmos, and Tibus all came to know each other sitting in a tavern on the norther segment of Agruphur, sharing stories of past exploits and simply not being Turanin.  After hearing the name of a local Turanin boogey man they set out to find the local hermit who might know something. On the way to the Hermit the party was attacked by a mob of hyenas which they quickly dispatched.

Hyenas attack!
Once they had finished off the hyenas they made there way to the hermit who would not come out of his hut and kept yelling for the players to go away. They finally did, but not before learning that the Tomb was indeed in the area and nearby on the top of a large mountain in the area. The players arrived at the base of the mountain at dusk and chose to camp out, this went by without incident and they were able to find a quick way up the mountain.
Camped at the base of the mountain.

At the top of the mountain in a clearing the came across an ancient oblesik. After searching it and applying lore they determined the carvings were Stygian, or at least proto-stygian, probably from before a time there was a Stygia. Just past this obelisk was a cave.....in short order that were faced with a cave lion!
Attacked by a cave lion.

Death of the cave lion.
After some minor exploration and the removal of the lion pelt, and hiding of the corpse to prevent wild animals from being attracted to the area, they tied of their horses and made their way into the cavern. After a short distance they found a shaft leading down further, and after a short climb found themselves in a short corridor opening into a long room. Either side lined with armed skeleton statues.
The first corridor.
Predictably when investigated the skeletons drew steel and attacked the party. Apart from a few minor injuries the skeletons were defeated and our heros moved on to the next corridor of the tomb. This next room had a vaulted ceiling a few doors out of it and was lined with columns.

The columned chamber
Finding nothing of interest they moved through the door and found a room full of crates! Treasure! In his haste Celemont entered the room and barely avoided a spear dropping from the ceiling. Despite the dangers of this room they found little of interest here.

The annex

Finally they moved down the long hallway at the end of the columned hall and opened the door. They found a long room here, either side flanked by stone coffins and set against the far wall on a dais on ornate sarcophagus. After investigating and trying to open the smaller coffins and failing the party advanced and upon trying to open one of the coffins closer to the sarcophagus, they were confronted with a scraping as it opened and Fehím Khan stepped out and admonished them for coming to his tomb, he then called forth his mummy guards and attacked!

Entering the tomb chamber.
This ended up going poorly for Fehím Khan, quickly Celemont drew steel and attacked him, meanwhile Thea and Tolmos dropped back and fired arrows, and finally dispatching 2 mummies. Tibus throwing an orb of exploding fire damage one mummy and lit it on fire. Finally Celemont turned and dispatched the remaining mummies. After searching the bodies they found an amulet around Fehím Khan's neck which Celemont took.........
The death of Fehím Khan
To be continued......

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Name Inspiration for Conan Games

This isn't a blog post trying to organize all the names in Conan, but instead provide some links to websites that contain various cultural names from our modern world that can help provide a basis for names from the Hyborian Age for RPG or other games.

I am also including my version of Howard's original map sketch super imposed over Europe so we can more easily see the countries and cultures that were founded on top of Howard's world.


Turkic Names

Persian Names

Spanish Names

Celtic Names

Norse Names

French Names

German Names

Eastern European Names

Mongolian Names

Chinese Names

Indian Names


Monday, December 5, 2016