Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of Review

Become a king by your own hand in this great Conan tabletop rpg

I entered my adventure as a rather inexperienced role-player, having only sliced up a few goblins and bandits in a couple of other games. However, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of requires little previous understanding of role-playing, and with a group of three novice adventurers we set upon a pre-made scenario.

The character creation for all of us took about two hours, and the characters felt satisfyingly powerful. The attributes such as Brawn, Agility and Intelligence govern your skills and are all basically familiar to players of Dungeons & Dragons. They start from values simulating the average human characteristics, and you will add to those during character creation. As befits a Conan game, you never detract from those values. The heroes are not weak in any way, they are simply good at some things and excellent at others. By determining your character’s background, such as education and caste, you will receive various talents. For example, my hero’s merchant background would have allowed him to work to pay for his revelries, should he have run out of coin.

The game is built around a 2d20 dice system, where you normally use two dice to try to succeed in tasks. Whether a single die rolls a success or a failure depends on your skills, and the number of successes needed depends on the task. One of the core elements of the game is a fun mechanic called Momentum. Extra rolls of success add to your Momentum pool, from which you can draw extra dice to add to your next rolls. The momentum does not stay there forever, which means the it keeps flowing in and out of the pool. It feels extremely satisfying to decimate your enemies and gain a handful of Momentum, which can be very useful for your own character or other members of your party. The DM has a Doom pool which works in a similar fashion to the advantage of your enemies.

Our Momentum pool. One stone equals one dice of Momentum.

The scenario we played had us delve deep into a dungeon filled with ghouls. Two of us managed to keep the enemies at bay while the third one named Drusus pushed through their ranks to attack the high priest of the ghouls. The priest turned out to be tougher than it looked, and the hero took quite a beating. As his last effort, he tried to push his foe into a pit and into its death. Even though my own hero, Eteokles, kept filling the momentum pool, poor Drusus miraculously failed with an impressive pile of dice and met his end. Eventually, Eteokles killed the high priest and saved the day.

The core system of Conan feels quite beginner-friendly, and the Momentum system adds a healthy dose of group mentality which may be a nice, new angle even for experienced players. Whether you’re a fan of the original Conan or looking for a game with fast-paced violence, this game can deliver an enjoyable experience provided you’re stocked with a handful of d20s.

Developer: Modiphius Entertainment
Publisher: Modiphius Entertainment
Release date: January 31, 2017