Reincarnation/Recollection Mechanic

About to run Conan for the first time and I’m looking to do something a little… weird. Could use some major help finding and/or homebrewing a mechanic. Might be a talent, or a spell, or an item. Not really sure. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself…

Our group has been playing together most weeks for almost two years. Primarily D&D 5e with brief forays into other systems. In that time, we’ve all acquired, not a significant number of characters, but a solid half-dozen or so each that will probably otherwise never again see the light of day.

I want to use them.

My idea is to set up a fairly standard adventure. Maybe even… too standard? Carousing at a festival, attempting to cheat the (rigged) carnival games, drinking contest, turkey legs… Everything copacetic until the big announcement, the unveiling of a new statue, goes horribly awry. The statue is NOT the one that was erected. It is, in fact, some kind of adaptive golem. One that will, one by one, psychically attack the players, giving them fleeting first-hand visions of things their previous characters experienced in our other games.

Long story short, Asura needs them. She needs them now. She needs them strong. Stronger than they could ever be on their own. At least in just their one lifetimes. So, she’s going to unlock, if not the abilities, spells, weapons, etc of their previous characters, at least their knowledge. Their wisdom. Their experience.

In game, I want them to be able to use information from these other lives (not PAST lives, since we even played a one-shot Men In Black RPG) to gain some kind of advantage.

My first instinct is to give the players access to some kind of Sorcerous ability without the need to barter their souls and all of that, but so far haven’t found one that fits the bill. Ideally, something more interesting than rolling an additional d20 or re-rolling a failed attempt, and not as wishy-washy as getting to ask an open-ended question. Probably something with limited uses.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Is there something obvious I’ve overlooked or is this too weird of an idea?

IMHO, it sounds a little D&D, which is no bad thing in itself, cos D&D is great, but Conan, it is not.
Whilst I get the idea and I understand your desire to ‘tie in’ other characters your players have, and I actually think its a pretty coold idea, it isn’t how I would choose to run my first Conan game. You run the risk of creating a very non-Conan vibe right off the bat and that might make it hard for your players to ever really feel the game the way it’s untended to run. Personally, I hold no truck with restricting yourself to someone else’s preconceptions of how a game should run, but… I’d try it out first, because it might be much harder to do later.
The world of Conan is very distinct from most D&D settings, in some (IMO) very cool ways and the way sorcery works is particularly so. So, whilst there is the Atavistic Voyage spell, the closest to what you’re thinking of, I think, it can take a while for PCs to even get to learn a spell and it doesn’t necessarily ever have to happen.
Before you adapt the system to attempt this, my suggestion would be to run something short and simple. Get a feel for the system, for Momentum and Doom and the indifference of the gods, etc. The adventure in the Core book, ‘Vultures of Shem’ is pretty good for that.
Also, bear in mind that your PCs are already pretty solid in this sytem. Larger than life.
I hope I don’t sound negative. But this is a really cool game if you get the vibe right. But totally not D&D.


I should clarify. This isn’t our first time playing Conan. Just my first time running it. We’ve at least been through Pit of Kutallu, Vultures of Shem, and wrapped up a short-run homebrew campaign that ended in us framing Conan for regicide. Pretty sure we did The Red Pit playtest as well. Maybe one or two other pre-written adventures.

Like I said, I know this is kind of a weird fit. Not anticipating much more “fantasy” than the initial conceit, but you never know. If it happens, it’ll be something the players bring to the table.

Atavistic Voyage is a good call, and probably is the closest thing to what I’m looking for RAW. Even has a a way to reduce the Resolve cost. Still a little more passive than I would like, but beggars can’t be choosers. Hopefully there’s some further insipiration in Conan the Wanderer.

Got you.
Sorry, I did kind of think you were saying your group were totally new. In that case, ignore most of what I said! Done right, it could be a really cool idea for a campaign.

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A table of momentum spends maybe. They could make an insight or Willpower or Disciplen check and the spent their momentum. You could make the table ordered by different abilities (1 Momentum: a short memory, 2 momentum: a skill for one use, 3 momentum: a talent for one use, 4 momentum: A supernatural ability and so on). You could go wild and make a different table for every player with about a dozen momentum spends. Or you order the table by characters power level from which they can draw memories or abilities from (1: Eladriel, 2: Gror and so on). Just my 2 cents…

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