Conan: Shining Kingdoms – Sons of Vidarna By Modiphius, Price £3.49, Website
Review by Seth Stauffer
Warring factions are a perfect foundation for conflict. Political rivals with a history of blood? Brilliant! This is the backdrop for Sons of Vidarna, a new Conan one-shot from Modiphius. This isn’t the Montagues versus the Capulets. This is Robert E. Howard’s Conan, and the stakes are a bit more savage. Player characters will be working for House Sattari investigating a vicious plot for revenge, requiring them to track down the scheming mastermind in order to conclude the quest.
This is a fair challenge for players of all experience levels. Everything is tightly woven together, and there are some notable characters with great stories populating this inexpensive module. What’s great about this adventure is that it is the kind of material that scratches that itch for something straightforward, grim, and gritty.
One of the main components of this module is the setting. Pretty much everything takes place in slums referred to as The Maul. What would have really made this quest better would have been to play up the environment even more. What else populates skid row in the world of Conan? An adventure like this one is an opportunity to introduce players to a place they didn’t previously know, and that would have helped Sons of Vidarna stand out more.
As far as one-shots go, this one doesn’t break the mold, but that’s OK. It’s not necessary that every published product tries to recreate what’s expected. Sons of Vidarna is a tried and true formula that gives players a chance to trade blows with cutthroat thugs, explore harsh city streets, and uncover dark secrets. It would have been nice to learn more about the setting, but maybe it will be treated in future publications. This is a decent mission for a group that wants a “beer and pretzels” night at the gaming table. Kick in a door, punch first, ask questions later, and have some fun. If that sounds good, then perhaps your next game night is sorted.