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Modiphius > Robert E. Howards CONAN roleplaying game
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The system's modification possibilities.

posted Feb 27, 2016 01:15:21 by Grivenger
When browsing RPGnet, I realised there was a new Conan RPG kickstarter. Having always been a fan of Howard's Conan stories, I quickly browsed the Kickstarter, saw the mention of the 2d20 system and browsed a little more. I am GMing a group with my own setting using DnD 5e, but I kept the magic system intact because it would be too much of a hassle to actually adapt it the way I would like.

The 2d20 sytem sounds very promising, especially the Conan version cause of some of the planned supplements such as Mass Combat and Ship Combat. Especially the idea of hit-locations intrigue me - I recently got introduced to them via Runequest 6. I think retro-fitting those type of rulesets into a DnD system never works very well. That's why I would like to adapt the 2D20 Conan system for my own setting and add 1 or 2 extra magic systems. My setting sits somewhere between low fantasy and high fantasy where magic is a dangerous power for the wielder to use.

I am wondering whether it would be easier to add some more character options and magic systems to Conan 2d20, instead of stripping DnD and then rebuilding it back with different magic systems. Furthermore, do the rules allow the addition of new races in terms of character creation?
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5 replies
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Sean Schoonmaker said Feb 27, 2016 10:52:26
The 2d20 system is pretty flexible, and it would be pretty easy to add custom material to it.

However, you should really think about which core system better suits your style of play. I think 2d20 is far better for cinematic action, so it's a better choice for me.

You should use the system that's the best choice for you - any system can be modified.
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papstemmanuel said Feb 27, 2016 12:39:44
In 2D20 skills are tied to attributes like in D&D. The big difference is, every skill has a talent tree. As far as I understand, spells would be the talents of sorcery skills (similar to wizards Star Wars Saga system). And spells seem to have a wider focus, meaning you cn tweak the effect of each spell. I could be mistaken of course, it is what I perceived so far.
If you download the quickstart adventure from rpg drive through there is a pict shaman listed on p44 with his spells:

■■ Sorcery (which is a skill): Anavenagar may spend Doom points as a Standard Action in order to create a range of sorcerous effects.

- Face of Fear(should be a talent): Costs 3 points of Doom. When
cast, one enemy in Medium range must attempt
a Daunting (D3) Discipline test or suffer 3
mental damage. Stun, Vicious 1.

- Spectral Knife(should be a talent): Costs 2 points of Doom. When
cast, Anavenagar may attack one visible enemy
in Medium range with an Average (D1) Sorcery
test (Willpower plus Knowledge). The target
may attempt a Defense Reaction as if avoiding a
ranged attack. If it hits, the spectral knife deals
4 damage with Vicious 2.

- Command Mighty Beast(should be a talent): Costs 3 points of
Doom. When cast, the caster may nominate a
single mighty beast (such as the panther, or the
chakan) within Medium range. The target creature
gains one additional Standard Action and a
bonus d20 on any skill test that action requires.
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Nathan.Dowdell said Feb 27, 2016 14:12:42
It's worth noting that NPC sorcery is typically written in a simpler form than PC sorcery - PC sorcery is quite an involved process to learn and risky to employ. NPCs don't worry about that sort of thing, and tend to just drink deep from Doom.

Mutant Chronicles has a couple of systems of supernatural power in the rulebook - the Art of the Light (the "good" magic used by the Brotherhood's Mystics and Inquisitors) and Dark Gifts (the "evil sorcery" of Heretics and creatures of the Dark Symmetry). The Art of the Light relies on skill tests (the Mysticism skill), talent trees to learn different types, with Momentum spent to boost the effects of a given spell (so a basic Strike spell from the Aspect of Kinetics deals damage comparable to a pistol shot, but spending Momentum boosts that, allows you to turn it into an area effect, etc), and allow you to spend Mental Wounds (the precursor to what is Resolve in later 2D20 games) for extra dice. Dark Gifts let you set the basic difficulty with each spell, and don't scale the basic effect with Momentum (so if you want a big effect, you have to risk a high difficulty), and failure causes mental damage, but you can use Momentum for side-effects and secondary effects. Further, Dark Gifts used by NPCs, can just pay Dark Symmetry points equal to the difficulty desired - speeds up play and makes monstrous foes even more potent, as some of them have a small pool of Dark Symmetry points just for their own use. There are others in the sourcebooks - Ki powers for Mishiman samurai, the rune-lore of some Imperials, and various mutant powers in the Mutants & Heretics book - but the two methods outlined above are the baseline.

Sorcery in Conan will be somewhere between those two in function, but if you're going for a more "high fantasy" feel to magic, the Art of the Light in Mutant Chronicles is probably a better starting point.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures

Rules questions and playtest feedback to nathan@modiphius.com
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Grivenger said Feb 27, 2016 14:53:25
Thanks Schoonmaker (Dutch?) and Papst, for the answer. Yeah, I am a big fan of Edge of Empire and Warhammer Fantasy 3rd edition. I think I prefer a more cinematic approach, but I also like the combat system the 2d20 seems to offer. It seems like a mix of the WFRP/EoTE system together with the ones used by Runequest 6th.

Trying to get my group to run the quickstart soon to see if the system is enjoyed. Has it been updated yet? I still have v2.

EDIT:

Did not see your reply Nathan, thanks for pointing me into the direction of the system used in Mutant Chronicles. The type of magic rules I would want to employ is sort of a high-risk, high-reward thing.
[Last edited Feb 27, 2016 15:03:07]
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papstemmanuel said Feb 27, 2016 16:48:02
You're welcome. Chris Birch mentioned the final update of the quickstart adventure will be released on Monday.
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