EDIT: If you’re looking for a more thorough review of the new Conan RPG, check out my in progress multi-part Let’s Study review HERE.
So I just got done running the Quickstart of Modiphius’ Conan: Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of, which is currently entering it’s final week on Kickstarter.
I’ve always been a big fan of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories, so this game coming out is something of a dream come true for me. I missed out on the Mongoose line of Conan games, and I wasn’t exactly too keen on D20 back then, so this was a great way to get in on a line just as it was starting.
I also have a great amount of respect for Modiphius, and I’ve covered a lot of their earlier work including Mindjammer, Mutant: Year Zero, Achtung! Cthulhu, and Fragged Empire. Seeing them score the licenses for Conan (as well as John Carter) has made me one happy man.
However, I wasn’t too familiar with their proprietary 2d20 system, which is the same system they were using for Mutant Chronicles. And so it came to this, a run through of the Quickstart.
I won’t go into a rundown of the plot, for the sake of not giving out spoilers for new players who have yet to try it, but I will talk about the things I liked about it, and the things that might need improvement.
What I liked:
- Speedy Resolution – The 2d20 system resolves basic rolls easily enough, and the Momentum mechanic let’s everyone contribute to what is essentially a shared pool of awesomeness that anyone from the team can benefit from.
- Fast Combat – Scaling of threats from one-Wound Minions to more robust opponents help a lot in giving the players a lot of opportunities to feel like Big Damn Heroes.
- Varied Weapon Keywords – The system for weapons helps each kind of weapon feel unique in terms of how they could be best used. Not only is your approach in combat relevant, but your choice of weapon comes with functional benefits to match their aesthetic appeal. It’s more than just different damage codes.
- The Doom Pool – The GM’s Doom Pool mechanic is a great way to build tension as the players have a visual of just how much firepower a GM has to draw from. Careful Doom Pool usage helps in building an escalation of tension that helps the game feel like it’s approaching a climax.
What I felt needed improvement:
- More varied encounters – The Quickstart was an excellent way to learn the mechanics, but the situation was full of combat encounters, with few opportunities for problem solving or socials. One of the pre-generated characters was a diplomat, so I imagine that might not go over quite as well when he realizes that a lot of his skills won’t see use in the scenario.
Overall, I loved it, and was able to successfully run the game for 2 players with enough moments of nail-biting tension to make it worthwhile. Definitely would run this again to introduce new players to Conan!
If you haven’t checked it out, you can find the Conan RPG Kickstarter here. The value you get for investing in the campaign even at an all PDF level is incredible, so if you’re anything resembling a fan of Conan, you owe yourself to check it out!