Friday, 5 December 2014

More Barbarians of Hyboria

Following on from my last post on the topic, here are some more Hyborian races / birthplaces for characters, using the Barbarians of Lemuria background traits. BoL characters get one Boon for free, can take a second along with a Flaw, and finally can get a third of they spend two Hero Points. I've tried to cover all the boons and flaws included in the BoL rulebook at least once, so that a player


Covers the inhabitants of the city states that lie between the Hyborian kingdoms and Styygia. It includes everything from Asgalun on the Western Ocean to sand-girt Zamboula on the very borders of Turan. Although the city dwelling Shemites are distinguished from their nomadic cousins as Meadow Shemites, I've lumped them all into the same background, giving sufficient scope for both nomadic and urban characters.

Boons: Detect Deception, Learned, Plains Tracker, Sling, Thieves Tools. Flaws: City Dweller, Feels the Cold, Greed, Landlubber, Untrustworthy.


This category covers the many civilized kingdoms established by the Hyborian race, including the likes of Nemedia and Aquilonia, and lesser realms like Koth and Argos. They are united by a common language and cultural background and share similar political systems. I've tried to sum them all up in a single character background, but it may they will need to be differentiated further.

Boons:  Artistic, Attractive, Carouser, Etiquette, Great Wealth, Learned. Flaws: Arrogant, City Dweller, Combat Paralysis, Greed, Poor Eyesight.

Borderer (Bossonian, Gunderman, Border Kingdom)

This is a sub-class of the Hyborian stock, and covers those peoples settled primarily on the frontiers of Aquilonia, including the Bossonian Marches and Gunderland. These are tough pioneers, hardy people who are carving a new life for themselves out of the harsh wilderness, constantly in fear of attacks from Picts or Cimmerians. 

Boons: Beast Friend, Hard to Kill, Keen Hearing, Forest Tracker, Bossonian Longbow, Thick Skin. Flaws: Country Bumpkin, Drunkard, Landlubber, Missing eye/ear, Taciturn.


An ancient and decadent race of blue-skinned giants that practice sorcery and dwell in ancient citadels in the snowy fastnesses of their land. They are not a playable race in d20 Conan, but I like the way they are presented in the Dark Horse comic series (which portrays them as occasionally traveling to other lands and even serving in mercenary companies).

Boons: Fearsome Looks, Hyperborean Strength, Giant Weapons, Hard to Kill, Magic of the Sorceror Kings, Nose for Magic. Flaws: All Thumbs, Feels the Heat, Lumbering, Poor eyesight, Unsettling


One of the oldest civilizations in Hyboria, and heirs to the foul and sorcerous legacy of lost Acheron, Stygians are famed for their knowledge of magic and evil rites. The country is ruled by its inbred aristocratic elite and founded upon a slave caste.

Boons: Artistic, Escape Artist, Magic of the Sorceror Kings, Night Sight, Nose for Magic, Poison Immunity. Flaws: Arrogant, City Dweller, Cravings, Delicate, Curse of Set, Untrustworthy.


Ancient Vendhya is a mysterious land lying to the south of the Himelian mountains, and separated by them from much of the warfare and politics that plague the kingdoms of Hyboria. Vendhyans are recognised for both the wealth of their lands and the ancient wisdom of their crumbling temple cities.

Boons: Artistic, Beast Friend, Blind Combat, Escape Artist, Fighting Knife, Great Wealth, Power of the Void. Flaws: Arrogant, Cravings, Delicate, Feels the Cold, Poor Recovery.


Zamora sits between Turan and the Hyborian kingdoms. It is a highly populous realm with some of the biggest cities in the Thurian continent, including Shadizar the Wicked and Yezud, holy city of the Spider God. Many of Conan's greatest adventures take place in Zamora.

Boons: Blind Combat, Carouser, Etiquette, Escape Artist, Thieves Tools, Zamorian Agility. Flaws: City Dweller, Drunkard, Greed, Missing Eye/Ear, Untrustworthy.


Interestingly, Zingara is not classed as a Hyborian kingdom by the authors of Conan d20. Perched on the coast of the Western Ocean, its people are known as great traders, navigators and sea farers, but it is often at the mercies of more powerful Hyborian realms like Argos and Aquilonia.

Boons: Born Sailor, Keen Eyesight, Learned, Pirate Killer, Night Sight. Flaws: Arrogant, Delicate, Drunkard, Missing Limb, Poor Recovery.

And that's all folks! I've expanded on the d20 Conan races by adding Hyperborean, but I just felt they ought to included having read the Dark Horse comics, which I recommend. I may modify these going forwards, but first they will need a play test. More Barbarians of Hyborian when I have time...

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