Opening with a brief outline of the sort of world Conan inhabits, the first chapter - Welcome to the World of Conan - goes on to explain that this uses a 'cut-down' version of the 2d20 ruleset of Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of and that the scenario has been written deliberately to introduce parts of the system as they arise - although there is a rules summary that the GM, at least, really ought to get to grips with before play begins. Pre-generated characters are provided, so the summary focuses on what the entries on the character sheets mean and how they describe the character, and how they are used in play. It makes for a good and well-organised summary, worth keeping to hand even once you're past the demo stage and playing the game on a regular basis (and, of course, particularly useful if new players join the group later on).
The adventure itself, The Pit of Kutallu, is set in the southern coastal jungles of the Black Kingdoms... and starts with the characters having fallen into the clutches of some slavers! If that isn't bad enough, the slavers' ship has been caught in a storm and is about to sink. From then on, it's a desperate struggle to the shore and then through the jungle to recover another slave who'd beguiled the party with offers of a big reward if they'd help her escape. Opposition is varied and challenging - and very much in the spirit of the original Conan stories - with a ruined temple complex inhabited by strange creatures, cultists of the evil persuasion, an otherworldly being worshipped as a deity and the ever-present pounding of jungle drums.
The adventure ends rather abruptly once the cultists are defeated, leaving the GM to determine what happens next and how the party gets out of the jungle and back to civilisation. A plan of the ruined temple would have been a useful addition. Only four pre-generated characters are provided but if your group is larger than that, there are others on the Modiphius website.
With an elegant overview of the game mechanics and an atmospheric if brief and incomplete adventure, this serves as an excellent introduction to the game.
Return to The Pit of Kutallu page.
Reviewed: 24 August 2017