Thursday, November 3, 2022

GURPS Conan - Queen of the Black Coast playthrough - Session 4

Another possibly short session of QotBC. Session 3 is here.

Crew Morale 3

Plot Word: GUARDED

Current Time: Morning

Roll-and-4-tick boxes entry. I roll 2d and get a 9. Page flip.

We plunge deep into the jungle but don't find water. We can return or try again. Let's try again. Back to 170, down to 3 boxes remaining. I roll 2d again. 5. A large black log blocks us . . . IQ-2 vision roll. For Conan that's a 14. I roll a 5. That's no log, it's a battlestation creature! We choose to attack it with missile fire.

It's a giant lizard. We're 10 hexes away, and I have N'Gora, 10 spearmen, and Conan with a throwing spear. It's a jungle lizard, which has HT17/20-25. So, how many HP? It doesn't say. I'll give it 25, the maximum. It will attempt to flee if it loses equal to or more than half its HP.

Conan throws first, skill 16 + 2 Acc + 3 aim, -3 for vitals, and I roll a 13. It had PD 1 and Dodge 6 for a 7. I roll a 9 and it's hit for 1d+5 impaling. I roll a 6! That's 11 damage, -2 DR, so 9 x 3 = 27. It's already at -2 HP.

I'll skip the rest. 11 more spears mean it's likely to die, and if not, it'll run away. Either way we win.

We end up not finding water. Back to try again. 2 boxes left. I roll 2d. 6.

Hearing roll required - +1 for Danger Sense and +1 for Combat Reflexes (really?) For Conan this an 18. I roll a 13 and make it. A large hyena - astounding in size - rushes us. Each crewman has to make an IQ+Morale roll to avoid being mentally stunned.

N'Gora: 14. 13, made it.
Crewman #1: 12. 9, made it.
Crewman #2: 12. 10, made it.
Crewman #3: 12. 6, made it.
Crewman #4: 12. 16, missed it. Mentally stunned.
Crewman #5: 12. 9, made it.
Crewman #6: 12. 8, made it.
Crewman #7: 12. 13, missed it. Mentally stunned.
Crewman #8: 12. 11, made it.
Crewman #9: 12. 9, made it.
Crewman #10: 12. 13, missed it. Mentally stunned.

So 8 out of the 11 are okay. Page flip!

It's us vs. a hell hyena. It's not far from the lead, where Conan is.

I'll have to resolve the fight tomorrow, it's late. I'm at Entry 86.


- There are some odd rolling choices in this adventure. That said, I like how most combats and traps and issues have a roll attached - if you have poor senses or make poor preperation choices, you are more likely to be at a disadvantage. Want to explore with your sword out? You might drop it when you fall and need to grab a ledge. Don't make an IQ roll? You don't think of protecting the water supply.

- I also like how player actions determine crew morale, which affects later rolls. It gives a real feeling of influence. I made need to do that for NPCs in the future - roll their Morale, and then have player actions directly affect Morale and force a roll with it when it matters.

- I pretty much had to try to make this hard. This isn't the first time I had to fight my way out in the adventure, but multiple times I've just looted a lot of loot and then left, happy with Belit and loaded. It seems like it should be a little more difficult to convince Belit, who has Greed and Overconfidence, and difficult for Conan, who has Impulsiveness and Fanaticism (Love for Belit) to even try to leave without ekeing out the most loot.

- I've used Hell Hyenas and the giant lizard and giant snake stats many, many times. In 3e, they were tough.


  1. The giant lizard has HT17/20-25. "So, how many HP? It doesn't say." But it implies. The range is 6 wide, suggesting you roll a die and add 19. Still the fights all seem way too easy for Conan. One hit and a giant monster is dead, and Conan doesn't miss. I find the skill rolls to complicate the encounters. They feel much more like my distant memories of Conan than the "win initiative, attack at a massive penalty, instant kill" combat flow that inevitably happens.

    1. It's just coincident, though, that it's a 1d6 range. Ranges of 3, 6, 10+ HP aren't uncommon in 3e GURPS, so you can't easily randomize them.

      I agree the fights feel too easy. But I suppose it depends on the Conan that you're reading. There is a lot of "Conan splits his skull in one blow" in the ones I've recently read.


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