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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
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.

UNLOCKED: Beasts of the Hyborian Age & THOG Excerpt!

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We unlocked TWO books in two days in the Conan Kickstarter! Thanks to the cross-over with Monolith we have the Conan Board Game Sourcebook and have now unlocked the Beasts of the Hyborian Age at £255,000! Thanks so much for all the plugs and shares helping us get here we really value it so much!

The core book presents beasts, undead, demons, and supernatural horrors enough to overcome even the mightiest of heroes, but this sourcebook presents even more monstrous foes for gamemasters wishing additional challenges! Drawn from the whole of the history described in “The Hyborian Age” essay this catalogue also links Robert E. Howard’s lost prehistories with the dark cosmology of his good friend and fellow writer, H.P. Lovecraft. Full-color hardcover, 112 pages.

This is now an Add on at £15 and is included FREE in PDF with pledges including 'all the unlocked books in PDF' and in print as part of the Hoard of Yezdigerd, Secrets of Mount Yishma and Treasure of Tranicos pledges. 

FRED & LEO OF MONOLITH BOARD GAMES!

I had the honour of taking Fred Henry - the designer of the Conan Board Game and Leonidas Vesperini - the communications manager, through their first Conan roleplaying game. They ended up fighting Thog (see below) and we'll post the audio over the weekend but this is what they had to say of the game!

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Conan the Brigand is our next goal - with some surprises along the way!

We also unveiled the next furthest Stretch Goal at £380k - Conan The Adventurer - and yes this means it's included in print in the Secrets', Hoard' and Treasure's pledges!

To many Hyborians, the kingdoms to the south—Kush, Keshan, Darfar, Punt, Zembabwei, and the Black Kingdoms—are but a myth, while serpent-haunted Stygia is an all-too-real nightmare. This sourcebook covers the lands south of the Styx River, describing their accursed sands, dense jungles, and broad savannahs and veldts. Players can take advantage of new southern and Stygian character options, including new lifepaths, and the darkest of Stygian sorcery! 

STONE TOKENS UPDATE

We have confirmed that the stone tokens will be engraved and the engraving filled with a durable paint rather than painted. Here's the final design (samples to come)

Doom Tokens - Stygian Serpent in red on a sinister black obsidian stone Fortune Tokens - Phoenix in white on a dark grey marble stone (as seen before)

GEOMORPHIC TILES UPDATE

We have confirmed the tile sets are DOUBLE-SIDED - this means you are getting 32 different locations in each set at £20. 8 Large double-sided tiles and 8 medium double-sided tiles, giving you lots of options for adventure locations. That means the PDF Bundle gets you a whopping great 128 printable locations for just £30

CONTENT PREVIEW – THOG

“That was Thog, the Ancient, the god of Xuthal, who dwells in the sunken dome in the center of the city. He has always dwelt in Xuthal. Whether he came here with the ancient founders, or was here when they built the city, none knows. But the people of Xuthal worship him. Mostly he sleeps below the city, but sometimes at irregular intervals he grows hungry, and then he steals through the secret corridors and the dim-lit chambers, seeking prey. Then none is safe.” — Thalis the Stygian, “Xuthal of the Dusk”

Robert E. Howard’s admiration and eventual friendship with H.P. Lovecraft is well-known. It is documented through the vast realm of correspondence between the two men, and made public through their published stories. Through references to concepts, characters, and events in each other’s work, they inextricably linked their worlds — Howard’s sword-and-sorcery setting became fused with Lovecraft’s own baleful cosmology, that assemblage of ancient gods and a cosmic prehistory, later codified as the Cthulhu Mythos. Many other authors contributed to the Cthulhu Mythos, including Clark Ashton Smith, and Howard incorporated Smith’s elder god Tsathoggua — a toadlike demon-god — into his own fiction in the form of an entity called Thog.

Conan’s world is an ancient one, the Hyborian Age yet another in a succession of bygone and forgotten ages. Though these cycles are thousands or even tens of thousands of years old, this cycle of cataclysms and catastrophes is but the blink of an eye in the face of the grander, more terrible universe. Characters in Howard’s stories sometimes behold despairing vistas of cosmic blackness, suffering from these glimpses into the unimaginable scale of a horrifying and oft-indifferent universe. But it is not only the scale of the cosmos that is terrifying: far stranger things than man have walked, crawled, and slithered across the ages, lost in ruins and forgotten cities, now skulking in the secret corners of the earth. Some of these things have been worshipped as gods.

In the story “Xuthal of the Dusk” (also known as “The Slithering Shadow”), Conan and a freed Brythunian slave named Natala seek refuge in a seemingly-abandoned city in the deserts south of Kush. There, they encounter time-lost race of lotus-drugged madmen, all beholden in worship to a horrible, alien being they call Thog. Despite their incredible achievements and their advanced civilization, the folk of Xuthal allow this ancient and ghastly god to use them as prey, as as a source of amusement, and they have done so for thousands of years. To save Natala, Conan must pit himself against one of the most incredible challenges he has yet faced… the fury of the bestial god-thing known only as Thog.

Thog the Ancient 

The darkness was taking form. Something huge and bulky grew up out of the void. She saw a giant misshapen head emerging into the light. At least she took it for a head, though it was not the member of any sane or normal creature. She saw a great toad-like face, the features of which were as dim and unstable as those of a specter seen in a mirror of nightmare. Great pools of light that might have been eyes blinked at her, and she shook at the cosmic lust reflected there. — “Xuthal of the Dusk”

Here's a fantastic artwork of Thog by Tomas Giorello!

Born in a twilit plane of cosmic terror, a ghastly place where the physical world is fundamentally different from the world of men, Thog was driven by unimaginable lusts and deplorable hungers, raw needs beyond any hope of fulfillment. Seeing no means to sate those, Thog swam up from that cold, bleak place and into a grotto far beneath the surface of the earth, a place that existed in two worlds at once. From there, it discovered our world. Time and again over the millennia Thog crawled forth, up to the lighted surface… in search of something to quench its fiendish appetites.

Eventually Thog discovered humankind, and in these frail vessels, Thog found sustenance.

The passage of aeons is nothing to one such as Thog, and it remained unaware of the changes that transpired on the surface in the world of men, the cataclysmic shift of landscape and the rise and fall of civilizations. Thog regularly climbed up to the surface from its dark pool, first to a simple oasis in the desert and later to the city that been built around that oasis by the folk of Xuthal, who came from the east. Soon, but not soon enough, the people of Xuthal learned the terrible nature of what lay below them.

At first, the citizens of Xuthal struggled against Thog, using all manner of devices and artifacts of incredible power, but even armed with such wonders, they could not prevail against the god-monster’s might. They built up around its oasis a sunken dome to appease it, and allowed Thog to prey upon them, even going so far as to make sacrifices from their own numbers, lest it run rampant throughout the city and slay them all.

Faced with this existential horror, the people of Xuthal are resigned to it, choosing to escape into a lotus-drugged dream life, sleeping as much as they are able while Thog creeps among them and takes them, one by one, to feed its insatiable, ghoulish lusts. Xuthal’s population has dwindled from tens of thousands to mere hundreds, and eventually Thog will devour the last of them, and be forced to leave this forgotten place in search of new sustenance.

Hither Came Conan…

When Conan and the slave Natala arrive in isolated Xuthal, they encounter Thalis, a Stygian who has made the place her home, joining the sleeping folk in their ceaseless dream-journeys. Seeking Conan for her own, Thalis attempts to sacrifice Natala to Thog, but is taken in Natala’s stead, suffering the brunt of Thog’s indiscriminate tastes. When the god-monster returns, unsatisfied, to claim Natala, Conan leaps upon it, sword in hand. He battles it unto the point of near-death, causing Thog to plunge into the abyss, returning to the dark pool from whence it came. It is unknown whether Thog survived, or if it was merely one among many, perhaps even bearing offspring that might plague humankind in other places.

Thog the Ancient (Nemesis)

  • Agility 8 
  • Awareness 12
  • Brawn 15 (3)
  • Coordination 8
  • Intelligence 6
  • Personality 6
  • Willpower 8

Fields of Expertise 

  • Combat 5
  • Fortitude 2
  • Movement 3
  • Senses 1
  • Social 2
  • Technical 0

Damage

  • Vigour 20
  • Armour 5 (Viscous Form)
  • Resolve 10
  • Soak 4 (Eldritch Horror)

Attacks 

  • Barbed Tentacles (melee): Reach 3, 11[CD], Knockdown
  • Loathsome Writhing Mass (Threaten): Range C, 6[CD] mental damage, Area, Piercing 1 

Special Abilities

- Extradimensional Monstrosity: Thog is not bound by the normal limits of space and time, and thus gains two Standard Actions every turn.

- Huge Shimmering Slimy Mass: Thog’s ever-shifting body of tentacles and dripping jelly makes it difficult to land telling blows; Thog has 4[CD] Cover Soak to all attacks.

- Personal Doom 5: Thog has 5 Doom Points. These can only be used to benefit Thog directly.

- Fear 3: When first encountering Thog, all characters must make a Challenging D3 Discipline test or suffer 6[CD] mental damage, with the Piercing 1 quality.

- Flight: While it is unknown whether Thog walks, wriggles, flies, or creeps, Thog is essentially exempt from gravity and effects reliant on gravity like Knockdown.

- Inured to Cold, Disease, Poison: Thog takes no damage from cold, disease, or poison • Extra-terrene: Thog’s body distorts light and distance, making looking at and describing the beast accurately much more difficult. The difficulty of all Observation, Insight, and Ranged Weapons tests against Thog is increased by one step.

- Unnatural Brawn 3: Thog gains three automatic successes on Brawn tests. This ability also increases Thog’s Vigor by 3 and melee damage by +3[CD], both of which are included above.

Doom Spends

- Many biting mouths: When Thog hits a character with its tentacles, Thog can spend 1 Doom to make an additional attack with Many biting mouths (melee): Reach 1, 9[CD], Vicious 1. 

- Venomous Whip: Some of Thog’s appendages are razor-sharp flexible spines, much like the tails of a jellyfish. If Thog takes damage from melee, Thog can spend 1 Doom to make an immediate melee attack with Reach 3, 3[CD], Piercing 2, Toxic 3 damage. Thog cannot spend Momentum to increase this damage.

- Phosphorescent Blood: If Thog suffers an Injury, it bleeds a horrible sticky glowing blood. This can illuminate more of Thog’s horrible form, which allows Thog to spend 2 Doom in order to immediately make a Loathsome Writhing Mass attack.

Enjoy!

Chris, Modiphius

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modiphius/robert-e-howards-conan-roleplaying-game

Douglas Bailey, Mellekai, and 34 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Chris Birch, Modiphius 5-time creator on March 13, 2016

      @Scantrontb - i was down with a bit of flue this week so it slowed that down it's almost ready I have to check some of the items and weights before it goes live but we should have it by Tuesday I think

    2. scantrontb
      Superbacker
      on March 12, 2016

      it's getting kinda close to the end of the campaign... is there an estimate on when the link to the Pledge Calculator will be posted? i would hope that it is BEFORE the end of the campaign so as to allow the last minute corrections for add-on's/shipping etc, directly in KS, without having to jump thru hoops later on...

    3. Bluddworth on March 11, 2016

      @Chris, Thanks for the response, that is good to hear. It is so coincidental that Thog was included in this update, I just listened to the story on my audio copy of The Coming of Conan today!!

    4. Chris Birch, Modiphius 5-time creator on March 11, 2016

      @Asgo - there will be plenty of creatures and villains in the core book to keep everyone busy (and each supplement adds more to the mix) :-)

    5. Asgo
      Superbacker
      on March 11, 2016

      it has pros and cons, sure you don't have the full selection in monster descriptions, but the core rulebook probably won't be monster free, as the creature deck announcement indicates.
      On the other hand the second wave placement might offer a chance ot update and tweak the content to current developments in other sourcebooks. Since this depends a bit on the specifics of the book this is of course a bit guesswork from my side. :)

    6. Chris Birch, Modiphius 5-time creator on March 11, 2016

      @Bluddworth - the core book will have a large Bestiary as it is, this is just going to expand greatly on that.

    7. Bluddworth on March 11, 2016

      I'm glad to see the Beast of Hyboria has been unlocked, however what is a bit odd to me is that it is scheduled for the December Wave and not the July Wave??

      It is even described as a Core Book, it being essentially a Monster Manual, it is. How are we going to start writing adventures in July - November without it?

    8. Chris Birch, Modiphius 5-time creator on March 11, 2016

      @Jacques - yes - the text may get tweaked yet but yes it's an excerpt from the core book.

    9. Nathan Dowdell on March 11, 2016

      Area quality means that each Effect rolled on the damage inflicts that damage to one extra target within Close range of the primary target. You still target one creature with it, and getting a lot of Effects means you'll affect multiple opponents.

    10. Missing avatar

      Benn on March 11, 2016

      Area
      The attack affects a wide area, and can affect several targets at once. The attack automatically affects any target within Reach of the initial target, and then one additional target within Close range for each Effect rolled, starting with the next closest (GM’s discretion). If one or more Complications is rolled when using an Area attack, the GM may choose to use one of those Complications to have an ally within the area affected by the attack. Individual targets may attempt Defence Reactions against an Area attack, but resolve them differently – these targets attempt a D2 skill test, and if successful they are not hit by the attack. However, the success of one target does not prevent others being hit.

      Oh and as a by the by. In playtest killed 2/4 characters and drove 1 insane. The party used all of its fortune and spent a lot of time on the floor.

      If anyone runs an encounter with thog I'd love to hear the body counts.

    11. Jacques Evrard on March 11, 2016

      Is Thog preview from the core book?

    12. Missing avatar

      David Di Muro
      Superbacker
      on March 11, 2016

      @Douglas I'm guessing Area = attacks everyone in the Area. In this case it is close range threaten attack to all heroes in the Area. Just a guess but makes sense to me. And what a terrifying adversary this is!

    13. Blangis
      Superbacker
      on March 11, 2016

      Great update! If all is as mint as Thog's profile, this book is an absolute must have!

    14. Mark T
      Superbacker
      on March 11, 2016

      I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys do with the CROM guys now :) . It's awesome to see this banding together of different developers to really bring Robert E Howard's vision to life.

    15. Douglas Bailey on March 11, 2016

      Also, now I want to know what the Area quality does. :-)

    16. Douglas Bailey on March 11, 2016

      Loving the art and the description for Thog; I hope the whole Bestiary is like this.