#RPGaDay2017 Day 12: What RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

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Day 12: What RPG has the most inspiring interior art?

One of my favorite things about rpgs is the artwork, how it informs and inspires, so this question is a tough one because there are so many great games to choose from.

Mulling over the games I own — all the various D&D, Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, The Riddle of Steel, Middle-Earth, A Song of Ice & Fire, and on and on — I’m going to settle on <insert drumroll>…

CONAN: ADVENTURES IN AN AGE UNDREAMED OF

Let’s face it, Modiphius really pulled out all the stops, hiring some of the best known, and Conan-connected, artists in the field. Take a look at some of Tim Truman’s work and you’ll see what I mean—

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Modiphius_Conan_Quick_Start_Rules_001

tim truman

Here are some more samples —

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ConanAdventuresinanAgeUndreamedOfArt3

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ConanAdventuresinanAgeUndreamedOfArchetypes

This is a book that positively drips with inspiration, from the remarkable cover art and throughout all the interior renderings. It’s a beautiful book and a terrific game.

Heck, I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

 

#RPGaDay Day 8: What’s a good RPG for a 2 hour session?

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Day 8: What’s a good RPG for a 2 hour session?

Any RPG can be adapted to a two hour time frame. I’m running a two and a half hour game on Mondays and a two hour game on Saturdays. Both are Dungeons & Dragons 5e. Of course, these are also “big campaigns” and our sessions are like tiny slices of a much broader narrative.

So, wrapping my head around this question, I think a game that is sort of tailor made for a two hour session is Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of.

Howard’s Conan tales were, for the most part, a series of short stories, written and published between 1932 and 1936. There was a single novel and three novellas among the original twenty-one yarns. The rest are all considered novelettes.

Conan’s world lends itself to lightning-paced narratives and the game mechanics in Modiphius’ adaptation is a terrific match for this, duplicating the same kind of visceral experience that Robert E. Howard wrote so well.

Two hours to kill? Conan fits the bill.

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Heart and Steel

man with a sword

“If that’s true, then answer this priest, why are we in these pits, hiding from some animal?” Conan asked “Someday, when all your civilization and science are likewise swept away, your kind will pray for a man with a sword.”

— Robert E. Howard, Rogues in the House (1934)

This quote was on my mind this morning after a particularly brutal longsword training session with Connor. He’s thirteen and a half now and beginning to be more than a handful. I’m still stronger and more experienced, but his endurance and speed are becoming a thing to be reckoned with.

A sword is an extension of one’s self, as much a part of you as the flesh and bone of your body, to be sure, but also of your will, spirit, and intelligence.

If all were to be swept away, and we were sword armed against the rising horde, I can think of no one I’d rather have at my side than Conn.

Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian

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At long last, the core rulebook for Robert E Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of by Modiphius has see the light of day, at least in pdf form. In addition, another book, Conan: Jeweled Thrones of the Earth, has been released alongside it.

As a backer, this is exciting news. We’ve been poring over chapter releases for months, with incomplete art and typographical errors. It’s nice to see it in its completed glory, even as a collection of pixels on a computer monitor.

Some of the art is uneven and I sort of wish they’d have just buried Tim Truman in money for all the interior illustrations. His work really pops in this.

The core book is strong, with in depth character creation mechanics and a rich and erudite examination of the cultures and homelands that make up Howard’s Hyborian Age.

thrones

Jeweled Thrones is an adventure book that most gamers will find indispensable. They are compiled chiefly of thinly-veiled pastiches of actual Conan adventures which maintains the flavor if not the overt originality. I think this is a good move on Modiphus’ part. By making it hew as close to Two Gun as possible you establish the world as intended and train those less versed in Howard’s words.

Skilled Gamemasters will be able to take the reins from there.

The core book is priced at $24.99 with the adventure book coming in at only $10.99. I know some people balk at prices like these for pdfs, but believe me, this is money well spent.

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While not originally a fan of the 2d20 system, it’s grown on me and I look forward to bringing the game to our Club.

I’m also excited to see the rest of the kickstarter material to be unveiled in the months ahead. There is a wealth of source books on the way, as well as dice, tiles, maps, and more.

It’s been a long time coming, but the wait is mostly over. The time of Conan is at hand.

Robert E Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of and Jeweled Thrones of the Earth can be purchased through DriveThruRpg

All fled—all done, so lift me on the pyre

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“What is death but a traversing of eternities
and a crossing of cosmic oceans?”

Robert E. Howard
(January 22, 1906 — June 11, 1936)

I’ve said it before and many times over: no author has influenced me, not only as a writer but as a human being, more than Robert E. Howard.

Today marks the eightieth year since ol’ Two-Gun took his life in Cross Plains.

He was a giant and his candle burned bright but short. As for me, I am thankful for the words he left us and for the many more inspired by him…

Rest in Peace.

A #ConanRPG Character Sheet to tide you over

On Friday Modiphius surprised their kickstarter backers with a little taste of the Robert E. Howard’s Conan RPG.

Now we’ve already had a healthy sample via the Conan QuickStart Rules, available FREE on Drive-Thru RPG, but this was something a whole lot more —an actual chapter from the Conan Core Book.

But it wasn’t just any chapter…this was the chapter on Character Creation.

I’ve got to tell you, I think rolling up characters this weekend is the most fun I’ve ever had generating a player character. It’s well-rounded, with a lot of in-depth content that delves not only into the mental and physical aspects of the character, but their psyche as well.

This is good stuff.

Anyway, all that said and done, I decided a character record sheet was in order so I “borrowed” the stylistic elements of the recent Dungeons & Dragons 5e sheets and added some Conan Pre-Test record sheet influences.

Feel free to use it as you see fit:

ConanRPGRecordSheet

CHRS

Roll20 ’em if ya got ’em

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Roleplaying has certainly evolved over the years and, of course, online play has taken the hobby even further. I was slow to appreciating sites like roll20 and fantasy grounds, and to be honest, my preference will always be an in-person tabletop experience, but I am coming around.

The biggest advantage is being able to play with friends that are not hometown adjacent. We’ve two Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club members who live out of State: Mike in Louisiana and Steve in Illinois.

Steve makes it to our monthly game sessions at the Odd Fellows Lodge, but I acknowledge that it’s a hardship for him. Mike comes up a couple of times a year, for which we are all grateful.

Roll20 is a fantastic alternative to gathering around the table. It affords these far-flung friends a place in the game, but it also adds those Club members who live upwards of thirty minutes away a chance to relax in the comfort of their homes and slay beasties in their pajamas.

A close second in the advantage stakes is maps and minis. I’m something of a Photoshop and Cartography  junkie, so being able to build custom maps and tokens and upload them to our roll20 gallery opens up a whole new arsenal to our game sessions.

Also, not lugging multiple crates to and from our Lodge is a major plus. It’s all there on my laptop, ready to go.

Roll20 also has built in player record sheets, journals, and a wealth of pre-gen tokens and encounter maps, all which can be accessed on the fly.

Add to that Modiphius’ announcement that roll20 will be supporting Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of and you can readily see why I’m finally coming to terms with our roll20 adventures.

Besides, I still get to satisfy my need for table play. Connor, my 12 year old son, is DMing for me on Wednesdays and on Fridays I DM an OHD&DC: Next Generation game with Connor, Brent’s son Kasey (13) and Brent’s nephew Jaden (11).

I will forever prefer being gathered around a table with my friends, but roll20 is a fantastic alternative that I am not only coming to terms with, but I am finally embracing.