Changes in Conan Second Edition

Contributed by: Thulsa (), with additional feedback from Trodax and Gareth Hanrahan.

This is a comprehensive list of changes between the Atlantean Edition and the Second Edition of the Conan RPG by Mongoose Publishing.

If you find differences between the two editions that are not on the list, please let me know.

Overview (p. 6)

  • Rules for generating ability scores with point-buy
  • Guidelines and advice for starting at higher than 1st level

Races (p. 13)

  • No additional races added
  • Minor tweaks to existing races:
    • Argosseans and Barachans get Survival
    • Bossonians get Survival
    • Gunderlanders get Knowledge (warfare)
    • Hyperboreans get Knowledge (arcana)
    • Taurans get Knowledge (nature)
    • Hykanians get Handle Animal
    • Picts get Move Silently
    • Zingarans get Bluff
  • All races now get Knowledge (local) as a background skill

Classes (p. 38)

  • Barbarians: Unchanged
  • Borderers:
    • Knowledge (rumours) as a class skill
    • May pick a region as a favoured terrain
    • Gets his terrain bonus as a Reputation bonus if he picks a region
    • May gain the trapping style of combat
    • Trapping style gains Stealth at 2nd level
    • Trappers can set traps at 5th level, giving him a number of Aid Another actions for free. Also gains Poison Use feat.
    • Trappers get Monster Slayer at 11th level
  • Nobles:
    • Knowledge (rumours) and Knowledge (warfare) as class skills
    • Entertainer social ability can ruin other people's Reputations (DC10 + 1/4 of target Reputation), reduces Reputation by half until the slanders are disproved or forgotten
    • Entertainer social ability can increase Reputation gains from deeds
    • New social ability: Increase Social Standing by +2
    • New social ability: Secrets, giving a +4 bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks against one person
    • Do You Know Who I Am? changed to work with new reputation rules
  • Nomads:
    • Knowledge (rumours) as class skill
    • Can choose a region as their favoured terrain, just like Borderers
  • Pirate:
    • Knowledge (rumours) as class skill
  • Scholar: Unchanged
  • Soldier:
    • Knowledge (warfare) and Knowledge (rumours) added as class skills
    • Improved versions of all formations added. They work just like the basic version, doubling all bonuses.
    • Extra formation at 19th level
    • Officer Ability: Gained at 5th level, allows the soldier to designate a number of people equal to his Int bonus to count as soldiers for the purposes of being in formations he knows. Only basic formations can be used, unless the targets already have the basic version of the formation, in which case the officer can order them into improved formations using this ability. The officer may affect one extra person at 9th, 13th and 17th level (so a 20th level officer could order around a number of people equal to his Int bonus +3). The officer must make a free action each round to order people around, they have to be able to hear him, no running around in fighting madness or fear, etc.
  • Temptress:
    • Added as a base class (with class abilities somewhat different from first appearance in Hyboria's Fallen)
    • Knowledge (rumours) as a class skill
    • Secret Art: At third level, the temptress picks a Secret Art. She can take Sneak Attack (+1d6 sneak attack), Sorcery (one sorcery style, base PP equal to 2 + Wisdom modifier) or Politics (can take Ally, Entertainer, Improved Standing, Refuge, Smear Others or Secrets from the Noble class)
    • At 7th level, she gets +1d6 Sneak Attack, or an Advanced Spell and the ability to get Power Points from sex, or another Political ability.
    • At 11th level, another 1d6 of Sneak Attack/Advanced spell/Political ability. If she's on the Political Secret Art path, she also gets Above Suspicion.
    • At 17th level, another 1d6 of Sneak Attack/Advanced spell and +2 BPP/political ability.
  • Thief:
    • Sneak attack changed (see below)
    • Knowledge (rumours) as a class skill

Fate Points (p. 75)

  • New uses for fate points:
    • Parry or Dodge: You can spend a Fate Point to get a Parry or Dodge with a +5 bonus even when you'd normally be denied a parry or dodge.
    • Reroll: You can spend a Fate Point for a reroll, but you must keep the second result.
    • Resist Terror: You can spend a Fate Point to resist Terror of the Unknown.
  • Left for Dead "cannot be used against effects that leave no possibility whatever of the character surviving, such as draw forth the heart"
  • New method to regain fate points (Foreshadowing):
    • At the start of an adventure, you write down /describe to the GM up to three situations that may occur in-game. If one of those situations happens, gain a Fate Point.
    • For example, imagine that the events of The Tower of the Elephant were the first adventure of Conan as a player character. Conan’s player might have Foreshadowed these events: a) Being mocked for being a barbarian (to show that the new character is a barbarian), b) Attacked from behind (showing the Games Master that he wants combat and nasty tricks), c) Making a new ally (to ensure that the party gets together). Conan would have picked up one Fate Point when mocked in the inn, another when he agrees to help the thief Taurus to steal the gemstone, and a third when he is attacked by spiders in the tower. He would not have gotten a fourth Fate Point when he allies himself with the demon Yag-Kosha, as he had already picked up the Fate Point for "making a new ally" by allying himself with Taurus.
    • You can change your Foreshadowed events after each adventure.

Rounding Out the Character (p. 80)

  • Mercenary Code of Honor
  • Tweaks to Reputation:
    • Now, the main source of reputation is your deeds. Each adventure is rated from 1 to 5 or more depending on how famous it is. You add all your adventures together for your Reputation score. Each adventure should also have type associated with it, which says what sort of Reputation that adventure gives you -- Bloodthirsty Warrior, Rich Man, Traitor, Hero, etc.
    • You also get reputation from Social Standing. Social Standing is rated from -2 (those bastards in another country) to 10 (god-king).
    • Both deeds and Social Standing change the further you travel, from -1 for a different country to -4 for a far land.

Skills (p. 86)

  • Knowledge (local) is now explicitly defined as only covering a specific region
  • Knowledge (rumours) is a new skill that covers the more general use that some people have previously used Knowledge (local) for
  • Knowledge (warfare) is a new skill

Feats (p. 119)

  • Slightly altered prerequisites for the Monster Slayer feat
  • Ranged Finesse now takes a Move action
  • Due to change in sorcery (see below), the Ritual Sacrifice and Tortured Sacrifice work somewhat differently
  • Opportunistic Sacrifice cannot be used in conjunction with Defensive Blast

Equipment (p. 142)

  • Damage for bardiche and greatsword is now 1d10+1d8 instead of 2d10
  • It's explicitly stated that you never add a Strength bonus when firing a hunting bow

Combat (p. 169)

  • Immediate Actions
  • New combat manoeuvers
    • Dance Aside (free five-foot step when dodging)
    • Masterful Disarm (knock weapon from opponent's hand and grab it in your off-hand)
    • Ranged Disarm (what it sounds like)
    • Distracting Arrow (-2 to foe's DV)
    • Force Back (send enemy reeling or do extra damage if he stands firm)
    • Improvised Attack (get a free attack on a second enemy, but only with improvised weapons)
    • Kip Up (stand up quickly)
    • Leave Them For Dead!: Cleave even if you haven't dropped a foe, but he gets an attack of opportunity on you
    • Lock weapons if you get exactly your foe's parry defence
    • Roll (avoid prone penalty)
    • Riposte (free attack if you parry really well)
    • Shield Slam (knock enemy's sword aside, or smash your shield)
    • Use the Battlefield (+2 stunt bonus)
    • Aim (full round action, +2 to next ranged attack)
  • Cat's Parry reduced to +3 parry bonus
  • When a character suffers Massive Damage, he is reduced to 1d10 negative hit points (from -1 to -10), instead of -10 directly
  • A sneak attack only deals its extra damage if the sneak attack either bypasses the target's armour or pierces the armor without adding extra damage
  • A much clearer description of what you add to your Initiative check, it's now explicitly a Reflex saving throw (so Lightning Reflexes is now actually a useful feat)
  • When someone tries to grapple you, you can use Dodge or Grapple to resist
  • Rules of Exploration (breaking items, cold, drowning, etc.) have been added from SRD
  • Condition Summary (blinded, stunned, etc.) has been added from SRD

Sorcery (p. 226)

  • Power points gained from sacrifice is not based solely on victim's hit points, but also virginity, animal vs human, etc. An ordinary person gives 1 PP/8 HP, for instance. Feats let you move down this table (tortured sacrifice, for instance, lets you move two steps down the table). The best sacrifice (a ritually prepared perfect offering) gives 1 PP/1 HP.
  • Rule of Success lasts for a full round after activated
  • Rule of Defense is an immediate action, cannot be used while flat-footed, can only be used in response to an attack. Each style has its own defensive blast, listed along with the other spells; the sorcerer gains the defensive blast from his first style for free, and must use advanced spell slots to select defensive blasts from other styles.
  • Rule of the Master: Thralls suffer Intelligence damage for excessive power point transfer to master
  • Overcharging spells: +1 to magic attack rolls for every extra power point spent on casting spell (note that this renders the Magic Power Attack feat from Scrolls of Skelos useless).
  • You can now attempt to cast spells from spellbooks if you don't have the Style. It's not recommended -- you can only cast spells with a casting time of a Full Round or longer, it costs an extra 1d6 Power Points, and requires a Knowledge (arcana) check with a DC ranging from 20 (basic spell you don't know) to 40 (mighty spell). If the check is failed, the spell is not cast and you suffer Runaway Magic.
  • Changed spells:
    • Carpet of Yimsha: Victims no longer stunned even if they succeed on save, added movement rate for carpet
    • Hypnotic Suggestion: Now lets you convince your target of some illusion
  • New spells:
    • Counterspells: Desperate Ward (defensive blast), Ward Dwelling, Ward by Will
    • Curses: Weapon Curse (defensive blast), Doom
    • Divination: Not This Day (defensive blast), Blessing of Fate
    • Hypnotism: Terrible Fascination (defensive blast)
    • Nature Magic: Animal Intercessor (defensive blast), Spirit of the Land, Command Weather
    • Necromancy: Chill of the Grave (defensive blast), The Dead Speak
    • Oriental Magic: Vanish (defensive blast), Willow Dance
    • Prestidigitation: Blast Wave (defensive blast), Conjure Item, Deflection
    • Summonings: Master, Aid Me! (defensive blast), Channel Demon

Poison (p. 278)

  • Each poison causes less damage, but triggers multiple saving throws (as many as 10 in some cases) with variable intervals.
  • A poison now lists its damage, the number of saves required, and the interval between saving throws. Each time you fail a saving throw against a poison, the damage goes up by one dice type.
  • When a character takes damage from an attack with a poisoned weapon, touches an item smeared with contact poison, consumes poisoned food or drink or is otherwise poisoned, he must make a series of Fortitude saving throws. The number and timing of such throws depends on the poison -– a fast-acting poison might require three throws in three successive rounds, while a slower, more long-lasting venom might require one saving throw every hour for twelve hours.
  • The first time a character fails a saving throw, he takes damage from the poison, which is normally ability score damage. Each time after that the character fails a saving throw against the poison, the die used increases by one step and he takes more damage. For example, a character is struck by a serpent whose poison deals 1d4 Constitution damage, and requires one saving throw every fifteen minutes for one hour. He passes the first saving throw, but fails the second, taking 1d4 Constitution damage. He then fails the third and fourth saving throws, taking 1d6 and 1d8 damage respectively, for a total of 1d4+1d6+1d8 Constitution damage.

Gazetteer (p. 299)

  • Terrain Features (ruins, deserts, mountains, etc.) added from SRD

Bestiary (p. 349)

  • Added statistics for 9 human generic NPCs
  • Added rhino
  • Stat blocks use the new format used by Wizards of the Coast in their latest 3.5 books