Converting D&D modules to Conan?

There are only a few published adventures for Conan 2d20, but there are A LOT of D&D modules from the early days to the current edition(s) available.

As I am not that good in coming up with my own adventures, I was thinking about converting some D&D modules into Conan 2d20 adventures.

Of course, as a first step the multitude of humanoid races would have to be mapped to human characters from different cultures of the Hyborian Age. Then the ubiquity of magic would have to be toned down quite a bit. - But this is, in my view, a rather easy task.
My concern is about the overall structure and the actual plot (or in case of sandbox modules the plot hooks) of a D&D module to work with Conan.

Now my question to the ones who know their D&D and their Conan well:
Which D&D modules would you consider to be well suited for a Conan conversion?

What makes a D&D module suitable for a Conan conversion and what might present problems if you try to run it using Conan 2d20?

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The classic AD&D modules D2, D3, & S4 had a Conan based conversion for the Mongoose Conan RPG and that are pretty easy to convert to the 2D20 Modiphius version. The conversions are titled HD2 The Shrine of the Black Ones, HD3 The City of the Spider-God, HS4 The Lost Caverns of Acheron. has a PDF you can download of Conan conventions guide for thee module they published XP1: The Spider-God’s Bride for the Mongoose Conan RPG. And it isn’t hard to use that to convert it to the 2D20 Modiphius version.

The conversions aren’t just of the change stats type. They actualy make changes some minor and some major to fit the conversions into REH 's Hyperboria.

See the link for more info on all the adventures I mentioned.


I know the Adventures of the Hyborian Age, they are designed to very closely play through the classical Conan stories. Most of those stories my players know quite well.
The original ones (like the Spider-God’s Bride) I do have and have adapted some of those for my games already. Those capture the Sword&Sorcery fantasy tropes quite well.

Here I was more curious about original D&D modules to be converted to Conan 2d20. As I said, there are quite a lot of them around after 40+ years of D&D. I would like to “mine” them for my Conan games and have some suggestions for suitable candidates for conversions.

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I’d also suggest checking out adventures from Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. They are explicitly tied to Conan & weird fantasy and have no demi-humans. Most plots & settings are perfect; some are already based on Conan stories.

Now for classic AD&D, I1-I2 would be great for Conan. X4-5 also come to mind as having distinctive Conan vibes. C1 could work too.


Adventures from other Sword&Sorcery fantasy RPGs I already have looked into.

I’m more interested in typical D&D-like fantasy modules to be converted to Conan games.

X4 and X5 I have thought about, I1 and I2 I’ll look into.
C1 is a classic I have played with different rules systems already, so this will work, too.
B4 does have a very typical Conan feeling, too (like Red Nails).

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is essentially house-ruled AD&D. You can play it as straight up AD&D. So if it’s the system and the vibe you’re looking for, it’s very easy. And since it has heavy HPL & REH influences, many of the monsters therein are already statted up for Conan. I’ve actually converted the other way (Conan to AS&SH) so I know it’s an easy conversion and the races, gods, feel, etc., are already present in AS&SH. To me this is the easiest route for adventures with the proper “feel,” unless it’s just that you want to use your old D&D adventures, which I totally get, since I re-purpose stuff all the time.

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A1-4 (the Slavers series), although I’d make some modifications generally making them less location specific. Like a lot of original modules, they are pretty densely populated and can simply descend into a combat grind.

B10 (Night’s Dark Terror) is a solid module that you could place as an interlude or as part of a travel scenario.

As above D1-2, at least on the face of it, should easily fit.

The entire I series seems like they could. I only know I1 and agree with @Hyrkanian.

As a break from AD&D, I think 4e’s Keep on the Shadowfell could work, along with Reavers of Harkenwold. I’d streamline KotS, especially the Keep itself to reduce the grind.

Completely away from D&D, I think The Enemy Within campaign (in addition to The Oldenhaller Contract) would make some interesting Conan adventures. Clearly, bring the time periods in line but the underlying ideas would be great for mining ideas, if nothing else.

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When converting I always look to convert the plot/theme as opposed to a room by room remake. As such I think one could get pretty great mileage out of Isle of Dread using the Exiles sourcebook.


I look for adventures with elements of horror and mystery. I try to avoid pure dungeon crawls, because a vast bulk of skills tend to go unused in them. The guy whose talents are all in Persuade, Sailing, Survival and Animal Handling will have very little to do in The Tomb of Horrors. Plots involving intrigue, overland travel, a general variety of settings and situations is good. When rewriting them, I focus on bringing the Doom mechanic to a prominent role in the plot. If the old module says “This event happens after X hours have passed,” I change it to “Spend Y Doom to make this event happen.”

Another thing I look out for: most D&D adventures lean on two devices for creating action: traps and combat. A lot of them have way too much combat for a Conan scenario. In my opinion, traps and combat often end up feeling obligatory and monotonous–especially in the classic modules.

Conan gives GMs much more to work with for action scenes. Hazards can be anything that would fit naturally into the environment; they give writers and GMs the chance to make the environment shine out as an antagonist in its own right, rather than “This hallway is randomly trapped with a swinging scythe because it’s time for some dice rolls and damage now.”

So, I look through areas and replace traps with hazards. A random spring-loaded pressure plate becomes an angry scorpion hiding in some rocks, or a sharp draft that extinguishes torches and creeps the PCs out for mental damage. The odd mechanical trap might still make it through, but in my opinion they are used so excessively in D&D that they become quaint.

Combat too often needs an overhaul. This game gives writers a very easy time designing flexible combat scenes, and GMs have plenty of tools to correct scenes that turn out too easy or too tough. So, when I’m rewriting a combat scene, the first thing I do is ask myself if combat even belongs in this part of the story. Like I mentioned before, D&D tends to throw a lot of random fights at players, because it doesn’t have many other tools in its belt. Too much combat in Conan will make the pace suffer. Trust me, I’ve made this mistake. Often, I can just take out a needless fight scene and replace it with an unsettling setpiece or narrative, an event that might generate Doom, a hazard, or an obstacle that isn’t outright dangerous but might require a skill test or two.

Then, I look at the CR relative to the intended party level. A trivial encounter in D&D (CR = APL-4) gets redesigned into 1 Minion per PC, or a single Toughened foe. Slightly tougher but still easy becomes 2 Minions per PC, slightly harder becomes 4 Minions per, or a Squad with a Toughened leader. And so on. I include advice for GMs on ways to use Doom to increase the challenge.

Finally, I find most boss battles need to be revised. A scary monster in a room does not cut it for a Conan boss scene. There need to be environmental hazards, a ticking clock, a damsel to rescue, etc. The more chaotic, the better.


I am currently running Isle of Dread for my group. I pulled out the non-human denizens of the island and made them large animals or particularly vicious pack hunters. They encountered natives, who in D&D were anthropomorphic cats, and I made them cat-worshippers.

My concept has been that the island is full of pre-cataclysm monsters that Kull might have faced but Conan never would have. But I’m also working towards a story arc that crosses over with John Carter using a tribe of renegade Therns who invaded Kull’s world and caused the flood that sank Atlantis. That will feed into Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and full on fights with Martians.

I plan to run all of the classic modules made by Goodman Games as Conan adventures.


A follow-up thought, after some rumination:

When converting an adventure from any other game, we should take special care to include mental attacks in Hazards and action scenes. A cut-and-paste scenario from a game that doesn’t incorporate a system like Trauma will usually not include threats to the characters’ sanity or perceptions. That means no opportunity for the high-Willpower fighter with Courageous to show off his mental expertise.


Do you have titles? I am hoping to take over a gaming group as gm and have been looking at all my none d&d games, for something to run. I was hoping the 2d20 Conan adventure would be out now.

I think the old Expert Adventure Quagmire would be a great fit for Conan.


I’m not suggesting you buy them here, but the four current “Original Adventures Reincarnated” by Goodman Games are:

Into the Borderlands (B1 In Search of the Unknown and B2 Into the Borderlands)
The Isle of Dread (X1 The Isle of Dread)
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (a Gygax convention module)
The Lost City (B4 The Lost City)
Castle Amber (X2 Castle Amber– coming soon)

Apparently in April they’re releasing The Temple of Elemental Evil which is kind of exciting. I really like these as reprints and updates alike, and while I’m not a fan of Dungeons and Dragons, I understand its place in our hobby.

Not a d&d fan either, the only game I own if that ilk is 13th age. I have the originals on the list, do the new versions add anything?
I was thinking Cult of the Reptile God could be good.

That is the one I’m currently planning to include in my ongoing Conan campaign.