'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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Monday, December 11, 2017

Stairs descending into darkness, a 3x3 tile

New video up on the youtube channel on creating a set of descending stairs with some actual depth.

Hope you enjoy it and it provides some inspiration!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Conan 2d20 Sorcery Example: Dismember.

**NOTE** It has been clarified that the below is not the way Dismember works. Consider this an optional rule interpretation now. The Sorcery FAQ is located here

Conal cautiously worked his way into the ancient Stygian tomb.  He came here in search of the treasures of Menkmek Amon, once said to be a powerful wizard, but now long dead and entombed here. 

Those Conal spoke too said he was a  Necromancer, but what is this childish belief in sorcery in this day and age.  Deep within the tomb is said to be Menkmek's most prized possession, a giant blue sapphire, said to be from Python itself.  The lure of the jewel far outweighed any thought of childish beliefs in the magic of long dead wizards.

Finally his torch illuminated the door to the final chamber and he pushed inside.  His touch slowly illuminating parts of the ancient sandstone tomb as he swept the fire across it.  Alcoves with long dead warriors on guard for eternity and after what seemed like an eternity the sarcophagus and above it, the blue sapphire of Python.

As Conal approaches the tomb he hears the sound of grating stone, and the distinct sound of metal and bone.  Wheeling with the torch he sees the two skeletons raise rusty blades and step towards him.

Fear grips Conal as the dead things stagger towards him, and then a commanding voice from the darkness causes him to turn momentarily away from the skeletons to see the open sarcophagus and the long dead wizard risen, holding his lotus staff, “You have chosen to die today.  You have defiled my resting place.  You will join my guardians.”
With the words spoken in this dark place the skeletons lurch to end his life.

Fortune 3. Melee 13/2. Parry 11/2. Acrobatics 9/1.  Vigor 12. Resolve 9. Disc. 10/2  Armor 2. Courage 1.
Two Handed Sword: R3, 2H, 5CD(+2 for brawn), V1

Melee 11/2. Parry 11/2. Vigor 9. Resolve 8. Armor 2. Fear 1. Night vision
Pitted Sword: R2, 5cd, Parry
Battered Shiled: R2, 3cd, 1h, KD, Shield 2

Menkmek Amon(N)
Melee 8/0. Sorcery 16/5. Ranged 12/2. Vigor 10. Armor 1. Doom Hrld. Dread Creat 3. Night vision
Dagger: R1, 3cd, H1, Parrying, Thrown, Unforgiving
Spell: Dismember

Start of combat:
Doom=3(fortune)+1(Doom Herald)=4
Momentum 0

Round 1:
Conal is affected by Fear 1
Conal rolls 2d20 against his discipline.  Rolls 3 and 5 = 2 successes = 1 momentum.
Conal swings at the first skeleton and rolls 5d20.  2 dice from doom and 1 from momentum.
Difficulty=2 due to the darkness of the tomb.
Rolls: 5,10,6,9,16=4 successes=2 momentum.
Conal rolls 7cd for damage: 4,2,1,1,3,4,2, spends 1 momentum to re-roll misses. 6,6,2
Damage roll = 2,1,1,2,6,6,2=12 Damage.
Skeletons have 2 armor + shields 2 = (5,6) = 2 = 4 Soak.
Conal swings the mighty great sword against the first skeleton, the blade crushing deep into the animated bones, it barely slows and keep coming despite the crushing blow.
Damage=12-4soak=8.  Skeleton = 9vigor-8=1Vigor
Skeleton also suffers a single wound.

Round 1:
Skeleton 1

The first skeleton swings at Conal and rolls 4d20, taking 2 from doom.
Difficulty=2 due to reach. Conal attempts to parry(+1 Doom), D2.  Rolls 4d20 as well. 1 momentum, 1 doom.
Skeleton 1 Rolls: 6,2,10,5=5 successes=3momentum
Conal Rolls: 16,17,5,8=2 successes=0 momentum
Skeleton rolls damage, adds Penetration 2 (see page 118) for 1 doom.
Rolls: 1,5,5,1,6 – Penetration 2 = 5 damage
Conal has 2 armor soak which is negated by the penetration spend.
The Skeletons blade swings down in a deadly arc catching Conal below his breast plate causing him a grievous wound.
Conal Vigor=12-5=7.  5 Dmg in a round = +1wound.
Skeleton 2 rolls 4d20, taking 2 from doom.
Difficulty=2 due to reach. Conal attempts to parry (+2doom),D3. Rolls 5d20, adding 4 to doom.

Skeleton 2
The Second skeleton advances, it's blade cutting a deadly arc towards Conal
rolls: 5,13,19,1=3 successes=1 momentum
Conal rolls: 5,3,9,14,4=4 successes=1 momentum
Skeleton pays 1 doom to break tie.
Skeleton rolls damage, adds Penetration 2 for 1 doom.
Rolls: 5,6,6,5,2 – Penetration 2 = 6 damage.
Skeleton adds 1 damage to the total = 7 damage.
Conal has 2 armor soak which is negated by piercing.
The second skeleton crashes down on Conal, who nearly knocks the pitted sword to the side, but misses it by the breadth of a hair.  The old sword cuts deeply into Conal.
Conal Vigor = 7 – 7 = 0.  Conal suffers 2 wounds.  One for vigor being reduced to zero and 1 for suffering 5 vigor in a single attack.
Conal spends a fortune point to ignore the effects of the 3 wounds he has suffered.

Menkmen Amon prepares to cast Dismember and uses a minor action to focus.
Menkmen Amon uses his standard action to cast Dismember. (D1)
Menkmen Amon is a Dread Creature 3 and gains an additional 3 doom.
Menkmen spends 3 doom to gain a fortune point.

Menkmen spends 2 doom to gain two dice and spends the fortune point to gain a 3rd rolled as a 1.
Menkmen rolls 4,14,3,16 = 6 successes = 5 momentum.
The spell successfully cast with 5 momentum, Menkmen adds.
Wounds of Sorcery: Vicious 2 = 2 momentum
Overwhelming Agony: Gain Intense = 2 momentum
Brutal Force: Gain 1cd = 1 momentum.

The energy seems to coalesce around him in tendrils so dark they are clearly seen in the darkness of the tomb.  With words of power, Menkmen strikes out at Conal with the summoned energy in an attack to end his life.
Menkmen spends 2 points of Doom and uses a swift action to attack Conal with the summoned energy. The attack is Difficulty 2.
Menkmen again uses 3 doom to gain a fortune point and spend it for an extra d20.
Menkmen then spends 2 more doom to gain an extra 2 dice.
Conal attempts to dodge the force from beyond.
The dodge is difficulty 2.
Menkmen rolls his 4d20+fortune: 9,7,7,2,1=7 successes=6 momentum
Conal spends a fortune point and as well rolls 5d20, adding 2 to the doom pool.
Conal rolls: 6,9,19,2,1=6 successes = 4 momentum
Menkmen wins the struggle, gaining 2 doom.
The force of the otherworldly energy strikes Conal and he feels things grabbing at him and pulling, hands reaching and tearing at his flesh.
Dismember = 4cd+1 = 5cd, Piercing 3, Intense, Vicious 2.
Rolls: 4,4,5,6,4.  Spends 1 doom to reroll.
Rolls: 2,6,3,5,6 = 2,(3),0,(3),(3) = 11 damage piercing 3. 
Conal takes 1 wound for suffering damage at 0 vigor.
Conal takes 1 wound for suffering 5 or more vigor damage.
Conal takes 1 wound due to the intense.

Conal screams in agony as the dark tendrils reach around him and pull, tearing flesh from bone, limbs from sockets and bringing agonizing death.
Menkmen smiles a deathly smile as he watches another intruder die horribly seeking what is not his.  Another guardian of the tomb will soon be on watch…………………..

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Conan 2d20 Traps of DOOM!

I started a traps document awhile ago and then moved on to other things. I never finished it. Recently, as you may have guessed, I picked it up again and started looking through it. I decided a more modular approach might make it more interesting, as well as a defined methodology of detecting trap and it's trigger.

To that end I created the following document, which I call, "TRAPS OF DOOM". None of these have been used in game yet, so I don't know that the doom spends are exactly correct. If you do use them, please drop me some feedback so I can have a look and make any necessary revisions!

And without further ado....

Traps of DOOM!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Conan 2d20 NPC Skill Map.

I was recently watching some guys playing their first Conan 2d20. The prologue section they play involves them running players using NPC stat blocks. During this time the GM would ask them to make skill checks and they would be confused as to what was what and what went where.

The NPC stat blocks, you see, list the basic attributes as normal, but then list 7 sets of expertise such as Combat, Movement etc. These are each generalized sets of Expertise and Focus for the various skills.

For example an NPC might have Agility: 9 and a Coordination: 8 listed in their attributes, and an Combat of 1 listed in their Expertise block. In order for the NPC to roll a melee attack they add the 9 from agility, where the melee skill is, and the 1 from the Combat to get a TN of 10 and a focus of 1. Likewise a ranged attack skill lives under coordination so we need to add the coordination to the combat skill to get our TN of 9 with a focus of 1.

For basic skills like Melee and Parry you get to know them pretty well and quickly, but for some of the others it can be a bit of a pain and for the first time player, it's quite the learning curve. After 11 games and constant participation on the forums it still drives me crazy.

The following 3x5 card maps these Expertise blocks to the Skills, which are then annotated with the ability score.

Need to make a survival check for the NPC? Survival belongs to the NPC fortitude Expertise block and uses awareness as an attribute.

I hope this is a helpful tool for everyone!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Conan 2d20 Skills Flow Chart

I've been working on a skill flowchart to help remind people how they can add dice to their pool as well as a reminder on how skill tests function in general for Conan 2d20. I can't say this is a final version, but it's a workable version. It was designed to print on a 3x5 card, although I have't tested that yet......

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pillar of Skulls!

New terrain project up on the YouTube channel. This week we are building a marble pillar adorned with 4 skulls and chains. It is a cool craft and great addition to any dungeon! Check it out!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Conan 2d20 Talents Spreadsheet

Conan 2d20 has a plethora of talents, and they can be hard to find sometimes.  They are also spread across multiple books.

I put together a spreadsheet, hosted on google, listing all of these talents.

The sheet currently includes Core, Thief, Barbarian and Mercenary.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Episode 41: Portals of Doom!

New video on the youtube channel on building wall sections with removable panels.  I hope you find it useful!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

3d Printing useful or not?

Awhile ago I picked up a 3d printer from Gearbest. It was the Anet A8, an inexpensive/cheap acrylic frame printer below $300cad. It is a basic FDM model, a clone of the Prusa system.

I have printed in ABS and PLA, and frankly I have gotten nicer prints with the ABS, but it is trickier to work with and has nastier fumes, so I am now working largely with PLA.

My latest video is an overview of printing miniatures (I needed 8) for a scenario using statues/golems.

For me the answer to the question, is that it is useful, though not a replacement to regular modeling and miniatures.

Have a watch and don't forget to leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Unknown Isle: Skull peak.

With my next session only a few days away I needed to put together the central piece for what will either be the climax of the evening, or very close to it. I have known what I wanted from the beginning of this part of the campaign.

The players are essentially shipwrecked on a mysterious island. There are hints of magic, there is a giant stockade, a small tribe of natives, an ancient city, apes and of course dinosaurs. On the peak of this island rests a skull cavern.

I had initially sought to carve this from foam and got a decent way into the rough cut of that carving, then I was in Michaels, and being as Halloween is the next major holiday I got a foam skull for about $5cad. It's scale was close to what I was building and would allow me to just short cut around the caving of the skull I was working on.

I didn't have time to film the construction, but I thought I could take a few photos and build a blog post around it. I hope you all enjoy it and find it useful.


You will need......

Razor knife or hot wire cutter.
Hot glue gun.
paint brushes.

A foam skull.
XPS or similar.
PVA glue.

The Skull in question. Foam, ~$5cad at Michaels.
Take the XPS, trace the skull foot print and cut it out.
Bevel the edges and make a cut inwards for the cave.
The skull sitting on it's rocky base.
Using some scrap foam, cut out to boulder shapes.
The front of the skull cave.
Using tinfoil build up around the skull.  Glue it with hot glue.
Test fit the skull and make sure you are happy.
I could have used more tinfoil, but it worked out.
Using some paper towel, water and PVA I applied some body to the piece.
Generally, wet the paper towel, place where you want and brush watered down PVA over it.
After it had dried I added some more shape with tinfoil to make it more rocky.
The other side of the skull.
Add more towel and glue over the new foil armature. 
The more of this you add the stronger it will be, but the longer it will take to dry.
Once the towel and glue is dry, give it a nice black base coat. 
Mod Podge and black paint.
Next base the whole thing in whatever color of stone you want.
I used a dark brown here.
Using a highlight color sponge paint the entire structure to bring out the texture.
You can use 2 highlight colors here for more depth.  Sponge the first darker highlight
on about 60% coverage and the next brighter highlight at about 10-20% coverage.
Add fake greenery liberally, yet sparsely over the skull.  I also glued in a couple of
plastic crystal gems I got at the dollar store.
And the skull peak in place on a rocky plateau ready for some adventurers to come and seek it's mysteries.

This was a fairly quick craft. I managed to build it over a course of a week spending a few minutes here and there on it.  It adds quite a lot of character to the scenario and a dramatic center piece for your game. 

I hope you enjoyed the idea and found it useful.  Feel free to browse the blog for other ideas, or leave a comment below with your thoughts on this project.

And of course come check out the You Tube channel over at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvCRyMzJoQBnjb-Qq5Rng_Q


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Episode 34: The Rope Bridge.

The rope bridge is a classic in adventure scenes. It even has it's own entry on tvtropes.org, have a look, http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RopeBridge

Do you have one or two built for your D&D, Pathfinder or other RPGs? If not you have come to the right place. I am going to show you how to build a pretty simple bridge from basic materials: a bamboo matt, some XPS Styrofoam, chipboard and glue.

You can build it exactly like I did, or you can use this as inspiration and go your own way. The sky is the limit, or maybe the depth of the chasm is limited only by your imagination.

The video is available now on my YouTube channel, so swing by and have a watch!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Black Coast: Mitra's Justice

As the Conan RPG rules become solidified for Modiphius I look toward the start of a campaign. I have always enjoyed the tales of the Black Coast and the Black Kingdoms and have decided to start my players in those humid and mysterious realms.

First we need to get them there. I have taken a look at a few videos on this matter, and really need to blame Black Magic Craft for his ship, it made me want one.

As I have worked on this things have changed here and there. I had no real plans going forward with this.

For sailing the rough oceans and trade routes of Argos I decided I wanted something a little bit more substantial, and so I give you a build for the mighty ship, "Mitra's Justice".

This ship will probably be a stand in for a lot of ships of size for the campaign, and I do plan on building a smaller one as well, more like what BMC created to work as a pirate vessel.

In the end I suspect I would do some things different, especially when it comes to the wood planking, but overall it is a very cool piece to have used in the campaign and once I get another ship complete it will allow for some extra cool miniature based scenarios.

I hope you all enjoy the build!

This is 1/2" blue Styrofoam.  It measures about 19" long and 5.5" wide.  The figure is a Reaper Bones Miniature.  This will form the basis for the ship.

Next I cut out the quarter deck and the forecastle deck.  The quarterdeck is doubled to give it a little more height.

Next, working with foam core, I began work on the sides by first measuring 1/2 the total hull length with a long sheet of paper and then transferring it, as well as the deck measurements. 

Once these measurements were transferred I cut them out to create the two sides of the hull.

Peeling the paper from the outer side of the foamcore first I then used a sharp knife to score the foam core so it would flex around the blue foam.

This was done at the front and back of the ship.

Next, using white glue I started gluing the main ship decks together.

Once the decks were together, I glued the hulls to the deck using more white glue with pins to hold everything in place.
I decided to change the boat up and add some fortifications to it.

Adding the back structure for the fortifications.

Foam core cut to make the base of the walls.

Everything dry fit.

Items are glued with white glue.

Cut cardstock into 1cm wide strips and hot glued to the hull.

Ship planking coming along.

Cutting boards for the fortifications and adding texture.

Ship wall planks ready to go.

Ship with most of it's external texture pieces.

Adding railings with gaps for gang planks.  Melted holes into the foam and hot glued the dowels into place.
Railing complete with a figure for scale.
Adding a back keel using foam core, test fitting foam core size.
Adding some basic texture to the back keel.
I decided to add an extension to the back to create the illusion of a larger cabin.  Have I mentioned I had no real plan?
Back view of the ship.
Foam extension glued onto the hull and keel.  This will also give us the advantage of having a stronger keel.
Adding wood planks around the cabin extension.  I will probably add some windows around the cabin as well.
I was unsure how I wanted to texture the decking.  I decided on individual planks.  Main deck
Forward deck planked.
Working on the rear deck.
Rear deck finished, now to work on the remaining exposed foam.
Back deck more or less completed.  Will still need a ships wheel.
Closing up the front.  Used regular and skinny popsicle sticks to add a stepping system to allow everything to match.
Cutting matching grooves into the deck hatch so it can still attach.
Main deck hatch glued into place.
Remaining parts of the ship covered in wood.  Temporary door placed for photo.
Cut and texture two identical popsicle sticks long enough to reach from the main deck to the top of the quarter deck.  Also cut out 5 or so bamboo skewers approximately wide enough to allow a miniature to climb the ladder.  Evenly mark spots you want to glue the rungs.
Glue the rungs in place with hot glue.
Add a dab of hot glue to the tops of the rungs and attach second stick, make sure the bottoms are even so the ladder will stand.
Attach, or don't, the ladder to the main deck and quarter deck of the ship.
Beginning to paint it all with a black base coat.
Was still missing something.  Quick look at some reference photos and I added this front piece to finish the look.  Foam and carved wooden dowel.
Finished the black base coat.
Adding a dark brown over the base coat.
Wooden planking of the ship.
Dry brushed with a lighter brown and adding nail details with a sharpie.
Mast.  Washers encased in a craft stick box glued to a carved dowel.  Cotton string added to the base of the mast.
Ship all together in a mock scenario. Pirate miniatures from Monolith's CONAN board game.