Conan: Kull of Atlantis. RPG review

Conan: Kull of Atlantis, Modiphius, C2020, £12.99 GBP

Review by Seth Stauffer

Before Conan, there was Kull, Robert E. Howard’s precursor to the infamous Cimerrian. The barbarian that paved the road for Conan is formally adapted for gaming, and Modiphius’ supplement, Kull of Atlantis, allows gamers to explore the ancient past of the world of Conan.

This book stands apart from the rest of Modiphius’ Conan line. Rather than flesh out the world of Conan, it acts as an alternate setting. The contents encompass the Thurian Age, predating the Hyborian Age of Conan. It is here that Robert E. Howard’s barbarian Kull ruled, and it is here that players can explore a completely different world, while still using the same rules. 

There are numerous notes about how the rules should be modified to facilitate gameplay, and retain the feel of the Thurian Age. For example, the iron of Conan’s time is replaced with bronze. These kinds of changes make sense, and help keep the rules unique for this alternate world.

It’s important to stress that this book is a set of rules for running a game in the world of Kull, not Conan. It encompasses different characters, in a different setting, with different lore, a different history, and so on. While the notes on how to modify the rules are vital, it felt underdeveloped. It should be stressed that the source material for Kull is not as robust as that of Conan.  However, it gave the impression that the writers wanted to make Kull fit the rest of the game line, rather than simply explore the Thurian Age in its own right. This book was the same size as others in the game line, but it’s very different and should have been larger.  

In a way, this book is a radical departure from Conan. It has no impact on the world of Conan, and it seems reasonable for people to pass on it. At the same time, the book offers a unique riff on everything else in Modiphius’ Conan game line.  Everything you could want, albeit in an abbreviated fashion, is present. By making use of the same rules available in the core rule book for Conan, gamers can essentially try out what is almost another game entirely, in a very manageable size.

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