Back when the new Conan RPG by Modiphius was released I contacted Chris Birch and asked him if he was interested in doing another interview with us. Here’s what Chris and Sam Webb, the line manager for the upcoming Star Trek game had to say…
Stargazer: Thanks for taking your time to answer our questions. I don’t think introductions are needed because Chris Birch and Modiphius have become household names in the RPG hobby during the last few years (Editor’s note: there’s also our interview with Chris from 2015 if you need a refresher). At the moment the Star Trek Adventures playtest is in full swing. Chris, can you tell us more about the playtest? In what phase of testing are you at the moment? What if someone missed the first few playtest opportunities, is there still a chance to enter?
Chris: I’m going to introduce Sam Webb our line manager on Star Trek here to answer a couple of the questions, Sam has a background in running RPG clubs, big LARP events in the UK and joined Modiphius last year as my assistant before moving on to direct the development of Star Trek.
Sam: The playtest is in full swing, as you say. We’ve had the core rules feedback, based on the first adventure we released late last year, while we’ve had feedback about the starship rules from the first full wave of adventures we released. What’s exciting about this playtest is it also introduces our Living Campaign, so as I speak we’re getting feedback on what choices groups made and then that will lead to an Admiral’s Communique about the final, crowd-sourced, actions that each crew took! We’ve just released the character creation rules for playtesters to try out and once feedback is back for that, it completes the playtest proper… but the Living Campaign will continue before and after the game’s release in August! At this stage we’re not taking more playtesters (there’s over 10,000 already!) but do sign up so you can get involved in the living campaign.
Continue reading Interview: Modiphius
This is what you’ve been waiting for, the conclusion of my Conan – Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of review! Usually my reviews are not that long, but this time I decided it was time to try something new. Please let me know in the comments below if you prefer this more in-depth approach to shorter first look posts.
Before having a look of the rest of the book’s content I have to talk about the artwork. I already mentioned Modiphius’ high production values in the first part of the review, but I just have to mention it again. You’ve seen the pieces I included in my review and I doubt you’ll disagree with me if I say that the artwork used throughout the book is not only gorgeous but also a perfect fit to the source material. The layout is a standard two-columned layout, the fonts chosen are highly readable. I’ve definitely seen fancier layouts in my time, but I get the impression that Modiphius focused on readability over fancy here. This was actually a wise decision because a lot of modern RPGs are often being accused of being hard to read especially if you’re eyesight is not as it used to be. Since we roleplayers are an aging demographic, it makes sense to keep things like that in mind. Nevertheless, the Conan corebook is a sight to behold. I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy!
Before delving into The Hyborian World and the remaining parts of the book, let’s have a quick look at equipment. Conan has a quite extensive chapter on equipment, including long lists of various weapons, armor, and other belongings. There are also rules for mounts like horses or more exotic ones like camels. Since Conan was also an infamous pirate for a time of his life, we also get rules for boats and ships. These are not too detailed, but at least allow you to make use of sea travel in your adventures.
Continue reading Review: Conan — Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of (Part 3)
This is part two of my review of Modiphius’ Conan – Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of. Last time we mostly focused on the character generation and the rules in general. This time we tackle Skills and Talents, as well as Combat and Sorcery.
But before talking about Skills and Talents I have to add something which I forgot last time. Aside from the character creation method I described in the first part of the review, there are two additional ones: there is a fully random character creation in which you roll 9d20, assign an order to the results and pick the options indicated by the dice rolls. Done. This is definitely a quick method of creating characters but not something I’d recommend. There’s also a method for creating larger-than-life characters which can go toe to toe with legends like Conan himself. Overall it’s obvious that the designers put a lot of thought into the whole character creation process. It reminds me a lot of the various lifepath character creation methods.
Let’s move on to skills and talents now. Conan includes a length list of skills including but not limited to Acrobatics, Command, Healing, Lore, Ranged Weapons, and Warcraft. Each skill grants the character access to a tree of relevant talents. You might know similar concepts from computer games. I also faintly remember that Exalted something pretty similar. These talents allow to further customize your character to your wishes even after character creation. I’ve included an example talent tree to the right. Tying talents to the various skills is definitely not a bad idea. It definitely helps players to find talents useful to them more quickly, because they just have to check those tied to their most important skills.
Continue reading Review: Conan — Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of (Part 2)