Age of Conan in AD&D

Most of my Conan gaming posts have revolved around the original version of D&D, using Chainmail as the basis for the combat and rules systems. There are a lot of people out there, however, for whom AD&D is their preferred edition.

The good news is, it's quite possible to apply about 90% of my tweaks to OD&D in an AD&D sense. There are already Hyborian Age tweaks to Conan available in the TSR Conan modules Conan Unchained, Conan Against Darkness, and Red Sonja Unconquered.

These cover such things as Fear Factor, Heroism and Luck (with "Luck Points" filling a similar role to my own Fate Points), Healing, and an overview of the Hyborian World, including monsters, magic users and the like.

These, however, can be difficult to get hold of; instead, my own Age of Conan resources can, by and large, graft right onto AD&D, or for those who do have them, my own tweaks to the game can be applied directly on top of these to expand the presentation.


Instead of standard spellcasters, apply the magic system for my sorcery class, adding +4 to all target numbers for spellcasting to account for the use of a d20 instead of 2d6. Thus, a spell that would require a result of 7 to cast on 2d6, requires 11 to cast on a d20.

Use the standard ability modifiers under "Ability Checks" on page 39 of my Age of Conan pamphlet when making spellcasting checks--arcane spellcasters use Intelligence, and divine casters use Wisdom.

In this system, Druids, as well, could be used to represent nature magic, also casting on Wisdom. Illusionists could be used to represent Eastern mystics, using Charisma as their ability bonus.

Other Classes

Character classes are by and large as presented in AD&D. The Ranger is replaced by the modified one in my Age of Conan pamphlet (and most imporantly, does not cast spells), while the Bard is replaced by the Bard in the package. The Thief uses the standard AD&D Thief. 


The various Hyborian Races graft onto the standard AD&D human just as they sit.

Saving Throws

Saving throws us the AD&D method, with bards saving as thieves. 


Combat is scored exactly as standard for AD&D. 

Ability Checks

Ability Checks may or may not be a thing in your Hyborian Age game. If they are, use a d20 instead of 2d6, and increase all target numbers by 4, but keep the ability bonuses on page 39 the same. 

Other than that, AD&D translates over fairly straight.

There you have it, folks--brief guidelines on converting my Age of Conan and Secrets of Acheron books to the AD&D system for a Hyborian Age game!


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