Updated July 9th 2020
We did it! The Wings of Yag stretch goal is unlocked. See the Kickstarter announcement post for where we are right now, and do enjoy this preview.
Original post follows:
The $30,000 stretch goal for the Conan the Cimmerian: The Tower of the Elephant board game Kickstarter unlocks a brand new adventure for the Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of role-playing game, published by Modiphius. Right now, the clock’s at $27,180 with 13 days to go, so it’s likely this’ll happen.
We figured the role-players out there would be interested in this brand new adventure, so here’s designer Jason Durall with a sneak peek!
Have you longed to tread the jeweled thrones of the earth beneath your own sandalled feet? In Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, you can. Create your own original character and answer the call to adventure across all the Hyborian lands, from the desolate north, the distant south, the shining kingdoms of the west, or even the unknown east.
This deluxe roleplaying game, developed in close consultation with renowned Conan scholars and famous Conan artists, provides everything you and your friends need to explore the world of Conan the Cimmerian!
This adventure scenario has been developed to provide players with an introduction to Conan and to revisit the classic story featuring the barbarian hero. No mere walkthrough, this visit to the Tower of the Elephant has many surprises in store, unexpected twists, and challenges even the mighty Conan may not have been able to survive!
The Wings of Yag – a preview
“There is a fabulous fortune here, Taurus,” he whispered; but the Nemedian answered impatiently, “Come on! If we secure the Heart, these and all other things shall be ours.”– Robert E. Howard, The Tower of the Elephant
For countless years, the mysterious and bejeweled Tower of the Elephant has loomed over the accursed city of Zamora. Despite its beauty, it is wreathed in unsavory rumors and fearful gossip, more so than any other structure, notable in a city known for its depravity. Raised in a single night in an act of the most powerful sorcery, the Tower of the Elephant is a gleaming symbol of the power its sorcerous master Yara holds over the city and all who dwell within.
Despite the apparent dangers rumored to be inside, thieves covet the tower for its obvious wealth, its shimmering exterior giving promise of untold further riches inside. Many bold souls have tried, and their fates are spoken of with dread. Tonight, though, a small band of daring thieves will attempt to take from him Yara’s most potent possession, the so-called Heart of the Elephant, supposedly the secret of his immense power.
What secrets will they find inside, and will any of them survive the attempt?
“The Heart of Yag” is based on the classic Robert E. Howard Conan story “The Heart of the Elephant”, in which Conan the Cimmerian dares to loot a mysterious sorcerer’s tower and encounters incredible danger, alien and elegiac horror, and sorcerous vengeance.
Developed in tandem with the Conan: The Tower of the Elephant adventure boardgame, this adventure offers the opportunity for roleplaying enthusiasts to explore the tower as if in the sandaled feet of Conan himself, or as heroes of their own making.
As the players may already be more than familiar with the original Howard story and how it transpires, many elements of this adventure are original or altered to allow for surprises and unexpected dangers for those who expect a simple walkthrough of the story’s path. Sidebars throughout this adventure describe options for the gamemaster if a more traditional playthrough is desired.
The Conan corebook is required for use of this adventure, and the Conan the Thief sourcebook provides additional insight into Accursed Zamora, the Tower of the Elephant, and its fearsome inhabitants.
This adventure is suitable for a group of up to five player characters of beginning-to-moderate experience. If dealing with more, or more experienced, player characters, recommendations are made as to how to increase the danger to challenge them suitably. It is also recommended that the player characters be thieves, sell-swords, rogues, or those willing to steal for the promise of wealth, whether to enrich their own pockets solely or on the behalf of another.
For a smaller group or even a single player, the gamemaster may even allow one player to take on the role of Conan himself, from his thieving days as depicted on page 100 of Conan the Thief. Suitable companions from the Conan the Thief sourcebook might include Nestor the Gunderman (page 87) or Shevatas the Thief (page 89), or perhaps even Valeria of the Red Brotherhood (corebook, page 355). Others characters may also be suitable, including many of the characters provided by the Kickstarter backers and presented in many of the Conan sourcebooks.
Section One – The Maul
In the dark heart of the accursed city of Zamora, few venture into the Maul, where thievery and worse is a way of life. All manner of debauchery and revelry are found there, and its reputation is as unsavory as it is fearsome. Though the district itself is small, its torch-lit avenues are full of shadows, dangerous enough that only the bravest and most desperate walk within it. The city wardens give it a wide berth by night, and decent folk have no business there.
In a small unnamed tavern on a dead-end off Crookback Street, the player characters are there for reasons of their own—perhaps looking for work or between adventures. Though overall most would prefer that their conversations be private, the place resounds with the din of merriment, a crowd of ruffians and lowlifes as uncouth and diverse as any assembled under any roof.
In one of these dens merriment thundered to the low smoke-stained roof, where rascals gathered in every stage of rags and tatters—furtive cut-purses, leering kidnappers, quick-fingered thieves, swaggering bravoes with their wenches, strident-voiced women clad in tawdry finery. Native rogues were the dominant element—dark-skinned, dark-eyed Zamorians, with daggers at their girdles and guile in their hearts. But there were wolves of half a dozen outland nations there as well.– Robert E. Howard, The Tower of the Elephant
Amidst the crowd of native Zamorians there are a few Corinthians and Brythunians, and some from further afield: a Shemite counterfeiter, an Ophirian bounty hunter eying the crowd for his prey, a one-eyed Argossean mercenary in her bronze and linen harness, and a swaggering Zingaran bravo seeking to impress someone at the bar. The gamemaster should encourage the player characters to introduce themselves and describe how they fit in — or stand out — amidst this rough and ready group.
After they’ve established themselves, the gamemaster should have one of them catch the eye of a loud and particularly emphatic Kothian, his back to the bar, regaling anyone within earshot of his conquests in the subtle art of kidnapping. His ample cheeks flush with drunkenness, his voice bolstered by bravado, the braggart pauses in his description of his favored type of victim, thinking twice about revealing his trade secrets. He throws caution to the wind, finding few interested parties, and announces loudly that he’s looking for a few brave rogues willing to risk all alongside him: for he knows of the way into the mysterious, jewel-encrusted Tower of the Elephant.
At this, a few heads turn in his direction, and several people in the tavern look around nervously, and one moves their fingers, drawing a sign in the air to ward off ill-luck. The man’s attention turns to the player characters, conveniently standing (or seated) nearby, and he sizes them up, leaning in conspiratorially.
“I have need of some worthy souls who would dare to become rich beyond imagination. Are you those few? Or are you cowards like the rest of these gutterborn scum?” At this, he waves his tankard back, indicating the rest of the room. A bit of ale foam sloshes past the brim onto the sleeve of a tall Kushite, who glares down at him. He apologizes and continues.
“I’m Veltranis of Koth. Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”
The Wings of Yag is one of several new stretch goals announced. Check out the other ones here, and back the Kickstarter to get all this goodness for a measly $39…!