Sunday, October 13, 2013

Conan the Barbarian RPG. FAE/D&D 3.5 conversion.

CONAN Fate Accelerated Edition

Know, oh Fate lover, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars. Conan FAE edition is designed for people who wish to adventure in the world of Hyboria. The land crafted by Robert E. Howard for his iconic sword and sorcery hero Conan of Cimmeria.

To properly use this hack there are three things players should have. First, a working knowledge of the Hyborian world as depicted by Howard, De Camp, Jordan, Thomas and the various others who brought Conan to life in novels, short stories and comics. For a PDF of this mod, you can find it HERE. And a bonus Character Sheet.  As another resource thanks to +James Forest here is a fantastic primer on the Hyborian world written by Rowan Walkingwolf.

Second, is a copy of the Mongoose Games Conan RPG (currently out of print). This game is in essence a blend of the 3.5 D&D version of Mongooses Conan setting, FAE and Fate. Concepts like Class and Race are described in the Mongoose RPG in great detail and are used as point of reference for several of the Aspects and Stunts in this game.

Third, is a copy of Evil Hats, Fate Accelerated Edition and Fate Core. This game uses some mechanics from both and players should have access to these rules in order to make sense of what is to follow.


The High Concept and Trouble Aspects remain the same. The three remaining Aspects are specific to Conan FAE.

Race – The varied peoples of Howard’s Hyboria are very distinctive. The reactions of a civilized Aquilonian will vary widely from a citizen of dark and mysterious Stygia. The land from which a character hails will have a great deal of bearing as to who she is and how she interacts with other cultures. This Aspect can easily be Invoked or Compelled for various social reasons that are obvious if you are familiar with Howard’s work.

Class – Players have several classes to choose from. Barbarian, Soldier, Thief, etc. This aspect describes who the character is from a professional point of view. Exactly like classes in D&D and in extension the Conan RPG. Feel free to elaborate on the classes as you see fit. For example a Scholar could be a “Priest of Mitra” or a Barbarian could be a “Savage Warrior of the Frozen North” or a Soldier could be a “Stalwart Gunderman Mercenary.”

Reputation – A brief description of what the character is known for or stands for. While high concept is the way the character thinks of herself, the characters reputation represents what others think of her.


Instead of the regular FAE approaches, Conan uses the standard statistic line from Dungeons and Dragons. Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma. Think of them as equivalents to Strength = Forceful, Dexterity = Quick/Sneaky, Wisdom = Careful, Intelligence = Clever and Charisma = Flashy. Constitution can be a form of Forceful but also works much like the Physique Skill in Fate Core, granting more stress and/or consequence boxes as described on page 118 of the Fate Core book. Wisdom also acts like the Will skill in Fate Core when it comes to Mental Stress boxes.

It is easy to simply transfer a characters Ability Modifier straight to the Approach bonus. For example a Strength stat of 18 in D&D has a bonus of +4 while a Charisma of 8 would be a -1. Those bonuses would carry over directly. If not converting from the Mongoose version of Conan follow the regular rules for Approaches in the Fate Accelerated rule book.

Stress and Consequences

Conan uses the Stress and Consequences found in Fate Core. There are two Tracks, Mental and Physical which can be boosted by the Wisdom (which acts exactly like Will) and Constitution (which acts exactly like Physique) respectively. The addition of the Mental track to the regular FAE system is done to accommodate the horror aspect in Howard’s world and should be used to track the consequences of being exposed to the myriad horrors of the outer dark that are part of the stories in Hyboria.


Players get three Stunts for Conan FAE. Players are encouraged to use the Feats and Class Abilities from the Mongoose Conan RPG as templates for Stunts. Here are a few examples.

Dodge – Receive a +1 to all Defense Actions using the Dexterity Approach.

Two Weapon Fighting – Receive a +2 to any use of the Dexterity Approach in an Attack action while wielding a light weapon in each hand.

Uncanny Dodge – Spend a Fate Point to roll a Defense Action even when the character is unaware of an attack.

Web of Death – When using a Defend Action that is successful, spend a Fate Point to apply the shift difference as an attack immediately against the attacker.


All players start with a refresh of 3. Extra Stunts can be purchased at a cost of one Refresh per stunt, maximum of two.


Great Weapons get a +2 shift for damage but grant the Aspect “Unwieldy”.

Armor gives you a -1 shift for damage. Heavy armor gives a -2 but adds the Aspect “Cumbersome”. A shield gives a +1 to any Defend action.

Akbitanan weapons have Akbitanan as an Aspect to represent their superior make.

That’s it. It’s that simple.