Hi! I’m also new to Conan 2d20. Perhaps the community here can educate us together.
I can tell you how it’s going for me. I have exactly two players, which I think is manageable. I expect three might be ideal. We had a Session 0, in which we generated characters together. We did it entirely randomly, because we all enjoy that. I was hoping that some character direction would come out of that process. It sort of did. After character creation I improvised a flimsy scenario through which the characters might meet, and we began to pull on the rules a bit.
For Session 1 I introduced the episodic mode of play. I announced that six months had passed and narrated broad strokes leading up to the opening scene. My adventure was something I adapted from Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Charnel God.” It went pretty well.
The adventure was the source of my greatest anxiety. We three gamers are a bit old school. I’m not used to cutting out the boring parts, and I’m still resistant to minimizing opportunities in which PCs might leave the adventure. For this reason I’m too wary of using the published adventures, which seem to make many assumptions about what the PCs will or will not do. So I trusted myself and my players: I put them in an opening situation, and I was aware of what was happening elsewhere and what NPCs were doing, a bit like old school play.
After this I introduced Downtime activities and Carousing. It went well.
I’m still getting my head around if I enjoy full GM autonomy or not. In other words, I’m not sure yet if Doom constrains or frees me as a GM. I think I’ll use it almost exclusively as an NPC resource and most everything else I’ll just do (i.e. terrain effects and NPC reinforcements won’t require Doom).
Here’s my campaign journal if this is any use to you.