Anyone got Hyboria's Fallen?

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Anyone got Hyboria's Fallen?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:57 am

Conan: Hyboria's Fallen (subtitled "Pirates. Thieves. Temptresses") costs more than £20.00 UKP, but I just saw that Paizo are selling Conan: Hyboria's Fallen for $8.00 USD, so it might be cheap enough for me to import this book.

But...

...is this any good?

I'm sensing that the "Hyboria's Fallen" name is going to make someone tell me that "they got this wrong", as there is no such place as Hyboria. But is that just the name being annoying to purists (which would not bother me) or did they get the stuff inside wrong?

Here is the blurb from Paizo (Amazon.co.uk had no blurb):
Conan: Hyboria's Fallen—Pirates, Thieves & Temptresses (OGL)
Mongoose Publishing

List Price: $24.95
Our Price: $8.00

Pirates. Thieves. Temptresses. The fallen classes of the Hyborian age live amongst the shadows, lurking and hiding in the dark recesses of every city. Civilised people often presume rules come from the gods or even from strange books wherein the "Truth" is written. Actions are either correct or incorrect and a culture of guilt arises from violating the tenets laid down by society. Societies who try to live by those rules breed shadows and these shadows are the fallen classes, by-products of all the impulses contrary to a given society's definitions of truth and order. Some consider the shadows evil, others see them as a necessity. Many long to give in to the shadows but pretend to condemn them. The fiercest—barbarians, nomads and borderers—are forces of nature impacting upon society. The finest—nobles, scholars and soldiers—are the creators and maintainers of society and 'law' itself. The fallen represent impulsive temptation—those who reject the 'Truth' insisted upon by the finest and challenged by the fiercest. To be one of the fallen is to be hunted by the so-called finest elements of society. To be one of the fallen is to have your deeds and beliefs treated as sinful, criminal or worse.

The first section of this book reveals a shadow few want to discuss: the temptress. Although there are males who fit the role of tempter, the fears of Hyborian society usually revolve around the women who break society's rules, the women who stand up to men, the women who refuse to give in to the laws dictated to them by the men who dominate their environment. They angrily label these women as 'whores' but this is an inaccurate label borne of man's fears, an attempt to belittle those who have the strength to stand up to the establishment.

The second section of this book discusses how the various cultures of Conan's age look at the pirate, thief and temptress classes. Advice is given on what skills and feats to emphasise for each culture's iconic brand of these three classes, as well as additional cultural information. In some cases, variant rules are offered to better portray these character classes in some cultures.

The third section of this book reveals the secrets of the fallen classes. Information on ability score options, archetypal roles, new uses for old skills, information on crime families and thieves' guilds are presented. Also, new poisons and rules regarding shock and surprise are given. New combat manoeuvres also provide for varied combat and character concepts.

The fourth section of this book shows how to mix and match the nine character classes to create new archetypes of the pirate, the thief and the temptress. Here you will find nymphs, vamps, sea captains, privateers, crime lords and many more.


I can't say I'm too excited about the idea of roleplaying temptresses, to be honest. It sounds cheesy to me. But pirates and thieves sound good.

Has anyone got this book?

Does it feel right for Conan? (And if not, is it still good enough for non-Conan games that it would be worth buying? Or would other pirate/thief stuff be better?)

Do the three architypes fit in together well? Am I wrong about the temptress being anything other than cheesy?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: Anyone got Hyboria's Fallen?

Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:39 am

Sadly these books don't always do what's "written on the can". The core book already provides Pirates and Thieves; what you get here is a bunch of multiclass combinations to create "new" archetypes; some of them are interesting, some less so. The setting information is interesting, but it's mostly built on the author's extrapolations; there simply isn't a lot to mine from Howard's works. The "information on crime families and guilds" sounds good on paper, but only two or three pages are devoted to it; again, mostly built on the author's extrapolations.
The Temptress is an interesting class (note it also works for males.) It's definitely something we see in Howard's yarns, but it's always in an adversarial role, so I'd probably consider it an NPC class (note I have never had players interested in it as a PC class, though.)
All in all, the most interesting bit is the Temptress class; if you don't care about it (and you might well not; just use a Noble/Scholar multiclass) the rest is forgettable.
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Re: Anyone got Hyboria's Fallen?

Postby rabindranath72 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:24 am

I forgot to mention that the Temptress in this book is different from the one in the Conan 2nd core book, in that the former is not a spellcaster, whereas the latter can choose to access sorcery as one his special class abilities. I prefer the more mundane version in the Fallen book.
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Re: Anyone got Hyboria's Fallen?

Postby Big Mac » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:05 pm

Thanks for the clarification.

(In case you were wondering if I took your advice, the $8.00 USD is still sitting in my bank account.)
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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