Thinking about picking this up to go with Dune, Fallout and A!C. Loving the system and I really like Conan.
How does this implementation of the system work in comparison to the other I listed (if you’re familiar with them. If not what would you consider need to know information)?
Also what would you recommend for purchase beyond the core rule book?
Thanks in advance for any information.
On the rules side Conan is more detailed than Dune, slightly more detailed than A!C, not as detailed as Fallout.
It runs similar to A!C, while Fallout is quite different and Dune is actually very different in the actual gameplay.
Conan is not so strongly narratively focused as Dune, there are only a few (weak) elements that you might recognize from Dune. Conan is not so focused on minute details, different damage types, and equipment and tinkering with equipment as you find that in Fallout.
The character development in Conan is very different to all three mentioned 2d20 RPGs. You get XP, usually by the 100s, spend those on acquiring new Talents, improving Skills and Attributes. There are no “levels” as in Fallout, there is much more detailed character development than in A!C where you only have coarse-grained skills and very few Talents.
I recommend the Core Book, the Horrors of the Hyborean Age as a “monster manual” and kit how to modify creatures to fit your adventures (this is more important for experienced groups, as it gets harder and harder to challenge Conan PCs, they start out quite competent and get even more competent from there).
Of the other books I found Conan the Barbarian universally well written and useful.
The other source books are often hit and miss (not that rare a miss, actually).
I cannot recommend The Book of Skelos which is supposed to shed more light on sorcery in Conan, but does quite a bad job at it - and introduces balance breaking new Talents and some that don’t work at all (as if the developer never bothered to figure out how the Conan rules work). This is the worst of the source books in my experience.
If you are into seafaring campaigns, Conan the Pirate is useful, if you want to focus on thievery and urban-centric campaigns, Conan the Thief is a good start, etc.
The usefulness of the source books depends on the kind of campaign you want to run.
That said, the Conan core rules are actually all you ever need. You can run campaigns for a long time only using the core book.
@FrankF thanks so much that’s really informative and helpful. I’ve liked the rest of the games so much I figure “how can you go wrong with Conan?” Lol.
Do you find the cards, tiles, maps and such helpful at all? I know they’re not necessary but wondered if you or anyone else found them particularly useful.
That is very much a matter of how you want to run your games.
I don’t use the cards during a game session at all. But I did use the Location cards for inspiration in adventure preparation - though having that as a simple table or list would have done the same job (maybe even better).
For Fortune and Doom I use for games at home tokens like poker chips, glass beads or such, and for group Momentum an oversized D6. In VTTs like Roll20 I like having Fortune and Doom as token “card decks”.