'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'

-Robert E. Howard
Beyond The Black River

Friday, October 27, 2017

Conan 2d20 NPC Skill Map.

I was recently watching some guys playing their first Conan 2d20. The prologue section they play involves them running players using NPC stat blocks. During this time the GM would ask them to make skill checks and they would be confused as to what was what and what went where.

The NPC stat blocks, you see, list the basic attributes as normal, but then list 7 sets of expertise such as Combat, Movement etc. These are each generalized sets of Expertise and Focus for the various skills.

For example an NPC might have Agility: 9 and a Coordination: 8 listed in their attributes, and an Combat of 1 listed in their Expertise block. In order for the NPC to roll a melee attack they add the 9 from agility, where the melee skill is, and the 1 from the Combat to get a TN of 10 and a focus of 1. Likewise a ranged attack skill lives under coordination so we need to add the coordination to the combat skill to get our TN of 9 with a focus of 1.

For basic skills like Melee and Parry you get to know them pretty well and quickly, but for some of the others it can be a bit of a pain and for the first time player, it's quite the learning curve. After 11 games and constant participation on the forums it still drives me crazy.

The following 3x5 card maps these Expertise blocks to the Skills, which are then annotated with the ability score.

Need to make a survival check for the NPC? Survival belongs to the NPC fortitude Expertise block and uses awareness as an attribute.

I hope this is a helpful tool for everyone!

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