PC "level" Reqs for Adventures?

Hello all. I am new to Conan and 2d20 system in general. I have a history of other rpg systems, but 2d20 is new for me. I have been reading over material, the core books and some supplemental books and adventures. One thing that I have been trying to figure out is - how to balance the adventures? I know Conan PC’s dont have levels like, say a D&D PC… but none of the published material or adventures has any guidelines on how powerful the PC’s should be for that particular adventure. Take for example, the adventure included in the Core Rulebook. I get it - that is a starter adventure, so there are no real requirements. But then look at Jeweled Thrones of the Earth supplement. It states “Jeweled Thrones of the Earth presents six complete and ready-to-play adventures for
Robert E. Howard’s Conan” - but none of the scenarios give any guidelines on how powerful the PCs should be to run the adventure. In fact, absolutely none of the published material includes guidelines. What am I missing? Appreciate any insight.

All those stand-alone adventures are designed for a group of starting characters - usually a group of 3 to 5 PCs, all at 0 XP or with only a first Downtime under their belt.

For more experienced PCs, those with 1000 XP or several 1000s XP, you need to put some work into making those scenarios challenging for such a competent group.

Thanks for the reply. Does it give any guidance anywhere on how to do that though? how do you know what is a easy, what is a challenge, and what is insurmountable?

There’s nothing like CR for creatures or suggested DCs or anything. It is highly, highly variable and really experience is the best teacher. Generally (and I mean very generally) I consider a lesser threat to be things that have TNs of less than 10 and damage of 2-4 without qualities. Challenging threats would have TNs of 10-12 and damage of 4-6 with some qualities and tough challenges are TNs of 13+ with damage of 5+ and “bad” qualities like stun or persistent along with special doom spend abilities.

That’s just very, very, very rough and general.


Great, thanks for the insight. I found the section in the core rulebook that speaks briefly about how to gauge encounters, it says the following:
Gauging an encounter can be a challenge. Weak enemies lead to boredom, while too-powerful ones cause frustration. It’s important to pick foe suitable for the intended result. If a fight has no point, why have one?
If a journey is important, why have the player characters bothered by caravanserai guards on the way? On the other hand, an epic struggle against a fiend of the Outer Dark is anticlimactic if the battle ends too quickly. A rule of thumb is that an encounter’s opposition should be roughly equivalent to one-and-a-half to two Toughened opponents (or three to six Minions) per player character, modified as the scene requires.
The gamemaster should plan conservatively and adjust encounters based on the ebb and flow of gameplay, spending Doom to bolster foes where needed. Encounters do not always have to end in bloodshed: even Conan fled superior foes. Displays can also force enemies to back down, just as judicious social skills can resolve combats peaceably.”

Also remember that with the way initiative works you’re going to lose minions and probably even toughened opponents before they even get to act. Encounters are a bit more epic if you include some padding for that.