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Creating Balance in Conan Adventure

Hi. I’m new to this Conan 2d20 business, though I absolutely love the game. Coming from, amongst many other thibngs, D&D, with its convenient if slightly artificial CR mechanic, how do I best create balance in encounters i create in 2d20? Is there a rule of thunb you can apply to, say, how many Minions, Toughened, etc, you use? Or do you just let Doom handle it all? Surely there’s something to bear in mind during planning…?

If you look in the encounters chapter of the core book they give you an idea of an encounter based on the number of players you have.

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Bah! Challenge ratings are for squeamish millenials! Your players should expect the possibility of death in every encounter. Crom gave them the will to fight. You need nothing more:)

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It would be really difficult to balance. Stokar is right that the core book gives some good ideas on how to balance but once you start adding additional effects and options that balance becomes even more precarious. I have run encounters where the players outnumber the enemies and nearly die and encounters where they are horrendously outnumbered and massacre the enemies. Ultimately it does largely depend on how you utilize your doom and the type of encounter that you are going for. I plan my encounters based on the purpose they have. There is so much in the conan system that is designed to tell a narrative and encounters are usually swift and brutal. My advice would be to mold your encounters based on what the narrative needs and not as a way to try and consistently challenge your PCs.

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Most encounters in the system a good party usually has no trouble dealing with, while you as GM save up Doom to make that final encounter all the more difficult and memorable. Also you as GM will need to use terrain and the situation against the PCs on a regular basis or you’ll find they are powering through every challenge. Conan characters start considerably more powerful than D&D level 1.

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That they really do.

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Sorry I took so long to get back to this thread but thank you all so much for your very useful replies! I guess my trepidation isn’t so much down to missing something as an actual feature of the game. I’d better just get practicing!

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