Conan Western?

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Postby Mattparody » July 3rd, 2013, 8:48 am

Second or third time listener, first time forumite.
Really enjoy your cast and this new season.
Firstly, you guys mentioned a Conan Western game. Could I get more details about that in some way? It sounds EPIC.
Lastly, how come nobody has yet referred to Karat as a real-life Hellboy?

Keep it up! :D
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Joined: July 2nd, 2013, 1:55 pm
Location: Ridge, NY
Character Name: ALWAYS GM

Re: Conan Western?

Postby Kevin? » July 3rd, 2013, 10:32 am

Over two summers I ran two short campaigns using the Conan d20 RPG, but set in a Western setting. I changed some of the rules significantly: weapons were totally re-done to include guns and lassoes and such, armor was thrown out and replaced with "accoutrements" (hat, thick coat, etc), and you added your Wisdom bonus to ranged attacks. But otherwise, we just kept to the Conan rules, which are meant to replicate pulp-action fantasy, and apply pretty well to pulp-action Westerns!

The first campaign took place in Cremation Valley, a re-skinned Yellowstone. I even used the Yellowstone map. Cailin played an eight-year-old Scholar (the Conan magic-user) who was possessed by a demon. Sam was a marksman named Cobb. Another friend of ours played a nobleman-in-disguise-as-a-thief. Eric was a strange pale assassin named Prospero. And Dan played for one or two sessions as a Native American barbarian named Wigwam, of course.

The campaign took on a kind of Twin Peaks feel, as the characters wound up protecting a town from all sorts of supernatural threats. They tracked a giant bear through the ancient remains of a pre-Native American society (still guarded by the ancestors of Neanderthals), and Prospero was killed when he was thrown by the bear into a geyser. Thad's evil uncle Michael Hammond kept coming after him to use his power for EVIL. There was one epic adventure when the characters were escorting a judge from one town to another. They were suddenly swarmed by a stampede of wild horses, and then bandits started jumping from horse to horse to fight them. I had cut out all these little horses, and each round they moved randomly, so that the map was constantly changing. Eventually, Thad summoned a demon named Mr. Hands who just kind of tore the bandits apart. Pretty cool stuff.

The second campaign, one year later, had Ed, Sam, and sometimes Cailin playing in it. This was a sequel, called "The Last Frontier." It took place in the Southwest on the US / Mexico border. During the Cortez's conquest of the Aztecs, the Aztecs had unleashed a curse upon the land. This magical, deadly jungle spread over all of central America. Frontier towns now used it to mine magical materials. Cailin played Thad again, a little more grown up, Sam was an army sniper, and Ed played a general who I always imagined as a Theodore-Roosevelt-Rough-Rider type. The characters wound up fighting a mountain mystic with a golem made of BEE HIVES, took down a jungle god, and had a day of quickdraw duels with the reanimated corpses of an old gang of bandits.

One thing I added to this campaign was that the town was full of different organizations with different Influence scores. Each organization could give the characters a bonus. For example, if the Apache Tribe had the most influence, the characters gained a +2 to Initiative. But if G.R.A.I.L. (Guide for the Research, Acquisition, and Investigation of Lore) had the most influence, the characters gained +2 to Craft (Alchemy) and to Knowledge skills. The characters could "dedicate" each adventure to an organization, giving it more influence. About half-way through the campaign, the town grew in size, and I paired all the organizations together; the two most influential organizations bonded and changed the town in their imagine. The characters had most helped G.R.A.I.L. and Gault's Gang (a sort of Al Swearengen stand-in), so the town became a black market for magical trade and research!
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