Share this project


Share this project

This is Conan roleplaying as Robert E. Howard wrote it – savage pulp adventure battling ancient horrors in the Hyborian Age
This is Conan roleplaying as Robert E. Howard wrote it – savage pulp adventure battling ancient horrors in the Hyborian Age
4,352 backers pledged £436,755 to help bring this project to life.

Cinematic Combat Example - And Something Fun...!

Posted by Chris Birch, Modiphius (Creator)

Hi all we're producing more examples of play for the Conan Kickstarter to help you understand how fun the 2d20 system can be. Taking you from full blown combat to the more cinematic end of the spectrum. Here's a one round cinematic combat scene to show you how quickly things can go! 

Example of Play 2 – Tavern Brawl.  

Setup - Amala, Blade for Hire, and Edric, Grizzled Veteran, against a four-man mob of Guards. Amala and Edric are waiting for their fellow rogues in a backstreet tavern having lightened the load of a particularly deserving merchant‘s wagon. Unfortunately they were followed…

Amala and Edric both have two Fortune points left, but no Momentum, and the GM has only two points of Doom.

Round 1 

Cornered in a dingy little tavern by a guard patrol, Amala and Edric have no choice but to fight. Edric steps up first, sword drawn, and lunges at the guards, trying to catch them off-guard. The first guard is cut down, and Edric uses the shock of this to shove the dead guard into the others, and vault over the distracted guards in the confusion. 

Edric spends a Fortune point, and he adds two points of Doom for (two) extra dice. He makes a melee attack [a standard action] with five d20’s: 

  • Rolling 1 (from the Fortune point), 2, 5, 11, and 17
  • Four of those are equal to or less than his Melee TN of 13 [gaining one success each]
  • Two of them are also equal to or under his Melee Focus of 3 [gaining an extra success each]

He’s got 6 successes overall. It’s an Average D1 test, so he passes, and has 5 Momentum.

  • Edric rolls for damage with 5d6, getting 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 
  • The 1, 5 and 6 cause a point of damage each for 3 total [his weapon has no weapon qualities triggered by the 5 or 6 so it’s just straight damage]
  • He spends 2 Momentum on Bonus Damage to boost his damage to 5 [adding 1 point of damage per Momentum spent], enough to kill the first guard.
  • He then spends another Momentum to Withdraw from the fight, and moves across the room to the door unhindered. 
  • Edric now gets creative and asks the GM to use the other two Momentum to knock over the mob of Guards, on his way out, it’s reasonable considering his actions and sounds great so the GM agrees. 

Amala, taking advantage of the furore, dashes towards the confused guards. Running towards a guard still picking himself up, she steps lightly up onto his back, and kicks off, using the extra height to reach the beams below the ceiling. Swinging back-and-forth to leap across the crowd, she kicks out, dazing the guards below with a well placed boot to the face, and then leaps forwards to the door, where Edric now stands. 

Amala wants to try and get up and over the guards, and attempts an Acrobatics test to leap for the rafters. The GM decides that this will be a Challenging D2 test, and Amala follows Edric’s example, spending a Fortune point and buying two dice by adding (two points) to Doom.

  • She rolls 1 (from the Fortune point), 1, 4, 16, and 18
  • Three dice are under her Acrobatics TN of 13 [gaining one success each]
  • Two dice are equal to her Acrobatics Focus of 1 [gaining an extra success for each]

This gives her 5 successes overall, which results in 3 Momentum. Amala successfully jumps off the guard and as she swings across the beams, she kicks out… 

She spends two of the Momentum on a Swift Action, making a quick additional improvised attack, which the GM tells her is a Challenging D2 test [a Swift Action increases the difficulty by one step].

  • She uses her one remaining Momentum for an extra d20 for the Swift Action.
  • Her Improvised Attack [with the boots to the face] is Reach 1 compared to the guards’ swords (Reach 2). Because they are Prone and have lost their Guard, Amala gains an extra d20 for her Reach being 1 less than theirs.
  • Now with four dice, she rolls 6, 7, 13, and 16
  • Three dice are under her Melee TN of 13 [for one success each]

Successful, her boots connect with several guards heads with 2 Momentum.

  • An Improvised Attach only rolls two dice for damage, but she gets a 5 and a 6. 
  • There's damage because it’s Improvised, but it triggers the Stun quality, and leaves the guards Staggered [those guards are going to be out of it for a turn].
  • She uses one Momentum to Withdraw from the fight, and moves to the door.
  • Amala likes to leave a good impression so she asks the GM if she can use the remaining Momentum to toss the barkeep a coin for his trouble and the GM agrees, he’ll remember her favourably. 

With the guards dizzy and disoriented, Edric and Amala dash out of the door and down the street, getting a decent gap between them and their pursuers… or so they believe. Their raucous and noisy exit has drawn other attention, and dark eyes survey them from the rooftops, stalking them from above. Though the Guards can’t pursue straight away, the GM spends three points of Doom to introduce another pursuer, a mysterious figure on the rooftops who gives chase immediately. Edric and Amala’s night is about to get very interesting… 

So as you can see encounters can move really fast. Later on we'll be exploring more examples of play to help you understand the various concepts of 2d20. 

And something fun...

We were out filming something fun today which we'll unveil when we get to £220,000. It involved this... and a great suit of leather armour! 

Tomorrow we'll be discussing what you can expect in the card decks and we're lining up two pieces of incredible news this week!


Chris, Modipihus

Morgan Stjernstrom, RDP, and 29 more people like this update.


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Manuel Llano Baltar on

      I have all Conan RPG up to date, from TSR's to Mongoose and GURPS. I can say that is the worst combat system in all of them. Bunch of D20's? Come on! Remembers me the flawed Marvel Heroic Roleplaying system. I will get the book as a collector but I am afraid I'll never use it as a RPG.

    2. The JollyGM on

      Oh yeah, love the system design thus far. The concept of player interaction and descriptions is a nice touch and will help encourage the "Theater of the mind" aspect. Few other systems use that style/flavor of mechanic, and each of those systems i truly enjoy! This looks like another one i will enjoy!

    3. Chris Birch, Modiphius 7-time creator on

      @Chip if you try explaining a FATE scene with all the terminology you will have an equally or more complex sounding piece. Just as fate is very simple to play once you understand the concepts so is 2d20 (and I'd argue simpler)

    4. Matthew Widener on

      Great write up. This is exactly what I'm looking for.

    5. Douglas Justice on

      Nice! Thanks for the write up

    6. Chip Dunning on

      After playing the Quickstarter twice and reading the examples I had to back my pledge down quickly. The artwork is looking good and the background material I expect to be meaty - but damn the 2d20 system blows chunks. In a world that cries out for a blistering narrative system the game becomes die counting and tweaking. Its a shame really.

    7. Jaret Morgan on

      Love this example, it was a great read! And yes, thanks for all the numbers and spelling out exactly how its working, much easier for me to follow along with the "math". Although I hope to see our heroes get into a little trouble in a future example; they have made quick work of their opponents so far.....!

    8. Ron Niabati on

      Great example… Thanks!
      Interesting how 4 Doom points were added by the players, but the GM didn’t get to use any Doom during the encounter (the Guards were out of action before they could react).
      If I was the GM, I would’ve used the extra 4 Doom to make the two players “most wanted” by the town guards because of how they blatantly humiliated the guards, despite being outnumbered two-to-one. Consequence of player decisions… Awesome System!

    9. Missing avatar

      heath delashmit on

      awesome example ! thanks for putting where the numbers came from into the example for those like me it is a big help :)