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A peek at the new Conan RPG

Pulp Pulpit

Modiphius Entertainment has released a new tabletop roleplaying game based on Robert E. Howard's groundbreaking sword-and-sorcery character Conan the Barbarian, who debuted during the 1930s' and continues to influence the fantasy genre. We chatted with Christopher Birch, who is a spokesperson for the company, about the product.

Could you tell me about the game's licensing, development and release?

Conan was licensed from the Robert E Howard estate following our work on the Mutant Chronicles roleplaying and Achtung! Cthulhu roleplaying games where we showed our attention to detail and quality of production. We have hired top Conan scholars to oversee the development and ensure this is the most authentic Conan roleplaying game yet, a seasoned team of writers from diverse backgrounds to add real flavor to the world and after a long period in development we had a spectacular kickstarter earlier in 2016 funding over 20 gorgeous color hardback books. The first books will be shipping to backers and then hitting retail in the spring of 2017

Who worked on the game?

A wide range of authors:

  • Timothy Brown (designer of the Dark Sun setting for Dungeons & Dragons)

  • Jeffrey Shanks (award-winning Robert E. Howard scholar and essayist Conan Meets the Academy, REH: Two-Gun Raconteur, Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction, The Dark Man: The Journal of REH Studies, Zombies from the Pulps!),

  • Jason Durall (Basic Roleplaying, Serenity, The Laundry, Achtung! Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu, A Game of Thrones RPG, The Lord of the Rings RPG, Supernatural, Silver Age Sentinels, Amber Diceless Roleplaying, and Lords of Gossamer & Shadow)

  • Mark Finn (Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, The Barbaric Triumph, The Dark Man: The Journal of REH Studies)

  • Vincent Darlage (Conan d20, Member of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association)

  • Kevin Ross (writer, editor, and contributor to Cthulhu by Gaslight, Dead Reckonings, Escape from Innsmouth, H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport, Dwellers in Shadow, New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, Call of Cthulhu Investigator’s Companion, The Dreaming Stone, and more)

  • Chris Lites (Dust Adventures, Fragged Empire, Paizo, Savage Worlds, Omni, Slate)

  • Lou Agresta (editor, developer, and designer of Razor Coast and Heart of the Razor)

  • Scott Oden (best-selling author of Men of Bronze, Memnon, and The Lion of Cairo)

  • Jeb Boyt (contributor to Blue Rose, Thrilling Tales, and other projects with Green Ronin, Adamant Entertainment, and Goodman Games)

  • Jesse Scoble (author and contributor to Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, A Game of Thrones Roleplaying Game, Dreaming Cities, A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying, Silver Age Sentinels, and many others, and writer for computer games such as Armored Warfare, City of Heroes, and Wizard101)

  • Sam Johnson (author and contributor to Miskatonic University 2nd edition, No Man’s Land, A Resection of Time, Dwellers in Shadow, Basic Roleplaying, The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game, Star Trek: Planets of the UFP, and computer games such as Shadowbane, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Pirate101)

  • Mark Carroll (contributor to 7th Sea and World's Largest Dungeon, Green Ronin's Mutants & Masterminds, and Modiphius' John Carter Warlord of Mars)

  • Anne Toole (contributor to Steamscapes: Asia and Rocket Age, and computer games such as The Witcher and Wizard101)

  • Jennifer Baughman (contributor to World's Largest Dungeon)

  • Miri Weaver (designer and developer on the Fallen Earth, Dexter, and Saturday Morning RPG CRPGs)

  • Richard August (contributor to Small Mercy and Codex Infernus)

  • Steffie de Vaan (contributor to Chill 3rd Edition, Promethean the Created 2nd Edition, Changeling the Lost 2nd Edition, Cavaliers of Mars, and Vampire: The Dark Ages 20th Anniversary Edition),

  • Other writers include Elle Goff and Rachael Cruz with more still to be announced.

  • Sally Christensen (Cortex Hackers Guide, Firefly RPG, Leverage Companions, Marvel Heroic) steps up as Line Editor to keep the rabble writing proper.

Is it based strictly on Robert E. Howard's work or is the scope broader?

Yes absolutely, and Jeff Shanks is ensuring that the new work taking place is very much in the spirit of Robert E Howard’s writings.

What distinguishes it from other fantasy RPGs?

There’s no elves, orcs and dwarves, this is Conan roleplaying as Robert E. Howard wrote it – savage pulp adventure battling ancient horrors in the Hyborian Age

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