New Weapons for the Conan RPG
Give 'Em What They Want
I have been enjoying reading and playing Modiphius’s Conan Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of. I already wrote a quick overview of the game with character creation and even a closer look at the rules as I review the 2d20 Conan RPG. Look above and you’ll see a picture of two of my younglings before we started out our first official night of gaming.
One of the greatest things about playing with my family is that they’re still relatively new to gaming. They each have their own style. My youngest really seems to enjoy it merely because it’s something we all do together. My wife was an athlete back in school, but my nerdism is contagious and she caught the bug of letting go and letting her imagination take over, which isn’t that much of a stretch for her as she was always a big reader. My eldest…. well, she’s a gamer, any type of game really. My son, he is a murder hobo, and the games give him an outlet. The point is: they all have their own reasons for gaming and thus their own styles and their own wants. Go figure, right?
A Sword is a Sword. A Gun is a Gun.
Over the years, while we haven’t played a lot of games, we have played a number of them—some together, some split up with our own groups, etc. I have come to be prepared for different requests coming from any of them. When they approach a new system, they are sometimes overly cautious. They want me to tell them what is possible, what they can be, what they can have, etc. They have mostly gotten over that now, because I always say: “Nope. Tell me what you want. We’ll find a way to see if we can make it happen. It’ll be easier.”
One of the things they often gravitate to is different types of weapons. They want this or that. It’s really cool. Maybe they saw it in a movie or comic or read about it in a book. Sometimes this requires supplements to come out. Sometimes what they want is right in the main book. Still, other times, it might be something I have to kind of write up.
This isn’t necessarily a hard task. However, a lot of games we play, what they are choosing as a favored arm for their character does not matter so much. How much damage does it do? Is it ranged or melee? Those are the basic questions, especially when you deal with games like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, even Fate. Right? A sword is a sword. A gun is a gun.
2d20 Conan Makes Weapons . . . Different
In Conan Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, however, weapons have different qualities. So, weapons still have considerations such as melee or ranged and damage dice, but there is more to it than that. Some are Vicious doing more damage while others are better for Parrying. Looking over the core book quickly, I see there are 27 different qualities possible, but not all are suitable for all arms. Volley, for example, is only possible with ranged weapons.
Don’t get me wrong. The Modiphius’s Core Conan Book leaves you with a lot of options. You probably don’t need anything beyond that. Because I have really gotten into the system, however, I couldn’t help but tinker. I thought of some weapons that were not here that I might like to see. The Katar (sometimes called a punch dagger, although a punch dagger is really something else) is introduced in Conan the Thief by Modiphius.
There are a number of supplements still to come out (I hope), but they either are not here or I haven’t gotten my hands on them yet. Still, I wanted some additional options at my table, either due to player request or because I think it might come in handy. So, I drafted up some weapons myself.
Now, official Modiphius versions of these might come out sooner or later. Until then, though, I have these. I’d be interested in feedback on them. Also, I am really interested to know if any of you have designed any of your own stuff for the Conan RPG by Modiphius.
Cat O’Nine Tales
The cat o’nine tales has historical basis as a tool for corporal punishment in the British services, but it has taken a great number of forms throughout fantasy literature and roleplaying games as well. Traditionally, this weapon is a shorter version of a whip with multiple layers tied and/or knotted together. Some versions have rocks or other sharp implements such as nails and glass embedded where the knots are, making the weapon even crueler. Personally, I can’t find reference to any real weapon with that added edge (pun fully intended), but sure for a roleplaying game set in the harsh age of Hyborea. Meanwhile, should I be concerned that this is what my wife really wanted for her scholar/sorcerer character?
Qualities: Grapple, Vicious 2
Okay, let’s face it, I am a bit of a martial arts buff. One weapon I always regretted not learning how to use was this: the three-section staff. It’s like a really big nun chuck crossed with a staff. It certainly isn’t easy to wield without some training. Want to learn more about its uses? The three-section staff article on Wikipedia is good. There’s a neat little video below to illustrate a few ways the weapon can be used as well.
Reach: 2 or 3
Qualities: Grapple, Parrying
Keeping with the Eastern weapons, the war fan is one I have had one of the aforementioned players request before. I think they may just be biding their time before asking for one in this game. The war fan was something that was used mostly for signaling in warfare by Feudal era samurai. However, weapon katas have been developed around it and we have seen them used in a number of movies and anime. In reality, they're typically useful more as distractions and might belong more in a thief's kit than as a weapon, but.... Some people really dig them.They were a key weapon by one of the characters in Mortal Kombat as well. So, while I don’t personally see the combat effectiveness of them, some people see the videos and games and think they are awesome. If they want to represent that awesome in one of my games, I am all the more for it.
Qualities: Improvised, Parrying, Hidden 2
Here is another one that has been mutated by fantasy and pop culture, but that’s okay. Like I said: I am all for awesome in my games. There are a few different variations of fighting claws out there, but the ones I am writing up here are more like the ones in the accompanying image—something akin to removable Wolverine claws. Come on, these are just neat. Who doesn’t want them in their game?
Qualities: Grappling, Parrying, Unforgiving 1