Roleplayer #15, August 1989

Conan Beyond Thunder River

From the Cutting-Room Floor

by W.G. Armintrout

Conan Beyond Thunder River is packed from cover to cover with adventure. And still, not everything I wrote could fit in. Here is some of the material that had to be cut – but which you may find useful.

You Want To Do What?

You desperately want to try Conan Beyond Thunder River with a character of fewer than 400 character points? Obviously, an adventure meant for Conan will be a killer for a wimpy 100-point starting character (or even a weakling 200-point character).

Therefore, you'll need a handicap, a simple modifier – 1 or 2, for instance. Apply your handicap in any or all of the following situations:

Combat encounters: Whenever you fight Picts, reduce the number of opponents by your handicap. If the text says you are up against 4 savages, and your handicap is 1, then you fight only 3.

Skill rolls: Apply double your handicap as a penalty to Pict skill rolls, especially for Stealth and Tracking. Conan was up against the very best in Pictland – your foes aren't as skilled.

Search rolls: When journeying through the wilderness, subtract your handicap from the die when rolling for random encounters.

Reaction rolls: Add your handicap as a bonus when making reaction rolls for non-player characters.

Recruitment: Add your handicap as a bonus when rolling to see how many soldiers volunteer to join your force. In your case, the soldiers at Fort Tuscelan are more naturally inclined to patriotic service than Conan found them.

It is suggested that you apply a modifier of 3 for a 100-point character, 2 for a 200-pointer, and 1 for a 300-pointer. Still, all this is only a jury-rigged solution – I didn't write this book for "normal" characters. If this isn't enough to get you out alive, you'll just have to cheat . . .


This reference chart had to be dropped from the final book. It contains no new rules, but summarizes some of the important information from the Basic Set.

If you have been asked to keep track of time, use the "Time Required" figures to update your current Time score.

TechniqueWho Can Do ItEffectTime Req'd
  (p. B111)
anyoneheals 1 HThalf hour
first aid
  (p. B111)
requires successful
First Aid skill
roll** or default
1d-3half hour
no aid
  (p. B112)
but no HT
is regained
# of hours =
# of negative
HT points

* minimum of 1 hit always healed. Not cumulative with bandaging.
** on critical success, victim regains maximum HT possible; on critical failure, victim loses 2 additional HT and bandaging has no effect.
*** if HT is fully negative, roll against HT. If successful, awaken in 12 hours. If failure, go into coma.

Skills and other Notes

Loot. When you win a fight, you may loot the victims. If your Plot Word is ALERTED, only take the easiest-to-grab items: weapons and money purses, but not armor. If you don't have this Plot Word, you may loot to your heart's content (if you spend much time at it, you should update your Time score accordingly).

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