Sword & Sorcery Heroic Roleplaying – Part 3 of 3

In Parts One and Two of our Cortex Plus Sword & Sorcery hack, we looked at modifying Marvel Heroic Roleplaying character creation for the Sword & Sorcery genre.

Now, in Part Three, let’s look at some of the seminal characters of the genre, as described by our modified rules.

Conan the Cimmerian

Steel d10 Guile d8 Lore d6

Cimmerian Wanderer
Quick to laughter, and to anger
Pantherish Grace

Power Sets

Cimmerian Heritage
Mighty Thews d8    Wolf-like Stamina d8
SFX: Hardy. Spend 1 PP to ignore Stress, Trauma, or Complications inflicted by cold or exposure to the elements.
SFX: Second Wind. Before you make an action including a CIMMERIAN HERITAGE power, you may move your physical stress die to the doom pool and step up the Cimmerian Heritage power by +1 for this action.
Limit: An Insult is a Challenge: Gain 1 PP and take d6 Emotional Stress when ‘civilized’ men casually offer insult to you or to an ally, especially when couched in flowery language.
Limit: Distrust of Cities. Gain 1 PP if you step up Mental Stress or Complications related to being in a city or urban area.

Weapon d8    Armor d6
SFX: Dangerous. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action, and step down the largest die in the pool by -1. Step up Physical Stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown any BELONGINGS power and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs. the Doom pool to recover gear.

Careers: Barbarian d6, Thief d6, Pirate d6, Mercenary d6


Savage Superiority
1 XP – When you display or express ignorance of ‘civilized’ customs.
3 XP – When a victory shows your barbaric heritage to be superior to ‘civilized’ ways, or when you take Mental or Emotional Stress from being defeated by ‘civilized’ means.
10XP – When you convince a superior ‘civilized’ opponent that savagery is mankind’s natural state, or when you choose ‘civilized’ life and settle in a city (even as its king).

King by Your Own Hand
1 XP – When you fight for or against the forces of a nation’s Sovereign.
3 XP – When you lead men into battle, or when your political cunning brings you success.
10XP – When you seize a throne by force, or when you decline the offer of a crown.

Elric of Melniboné

As depicted by Michael Whelan on the 1977 cover of The Weird of the White Wolf - Image via Wikipedia

Steel d6 Guile d6 Lore d12

Accursed Exile
Chosen of Arioch

Power Sets

Melnibonean Demonology
Sorcery d8
SFX: Eldritch Power. Step up or double any MELNIBONEAN DEMONOLOGY power for one action. If the action fails, add a die to the Doom pool equal to the power’s normal rating.
SFX: Bound Demons. Add a d6 and step up your effect die by +1 when creating Assets.
Limit: Growing Dread. Both 1 and 2 on your dice count as Opportunities when using MELNIBONEAN DEMONOLOGY.

Rune Sword d12
SFX: Dangerous. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action, and step down the largest die in the pool by -1. Step up Physical Stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: Soul Drain. For each step of Physical Stress done by a STORMBRINGER power, step down the wielder’s Physical Stress by -1 (to a minimum of 0), and add a d6 to the Doom Pool.
Limit: Inescapable. Change a STORMBRINGER power into a Complication and gain 1 PP. Add a d6 to the Doom pool or remove the Complication to recover the power.

Careers: Expert Noble d8, Sorcerer d6, Mercenary d6


Slave of Arioch
1 XP – When you beseech Arioch for some boon.
3 XP – When you accept a ‘gift’ bestowed upon you by Arioch, or when you accomplish a task set for you by Arioch.
10XP – When you defy Arioch, and go to war with Chaos.

The Search for Tanelorn
1 XP – When you make inquiries about the legend of the Eternal City.
3 XP – When you abandon something you value in order to pursue your quest for the Eternal City.
10XP – When you become a protector of Tanelorn, or when you see Tanelorn destroyed.

And, just because it’s topical:

John Carter, Warlord of Mars

English: Cover art by Frank E. Schoonover from...

Image via Wikipedia

Steel d10 Guile d8 Lore d6

Man of Two Worlds
Cavalry Captain
Woola, faithful Martian ‘hound’

Power Sets

Born of Earth
Leaping d8     Enhanced Strength d8    Enhanced Reflexes d8
SFX: Focus. If a pool includes a BORN OF EARTH power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
Limit: Barsoom. Shutdown BORN OF EARTH and gain 1 PP when you leave Barsoom’s lower gravity. Recover by returning to Barsoom.

Tools of a Warrior
Sword d8    Radium Pistol d10    Warrior’s Harness d6
SFX: Dangerous. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action, and step down the largest die in the pool by -1. Step up Physical Stress inflicted by +1.
Limit: Gear. Shutdown any TOOLS OF A WARRIOR power and gain 1 PP. Take an action vs. the Doom pool to recover gear.
Limit: Honor. Shutdown Radium Pistol and gain 1 PP when facing a sword-wielding foe.

Careers: Farmer d6, Expert Soldier d8, Noble d6


A Cause to Fight For
1 XP – When you declare yourself a neutral party in a conflict.
3 XP – When you deny a plea for assistance, or decline to join someone’s cause.
10XP – When you take up arms to fight for a cause, or when you walk away from a cause for good.

A Princess of Mars
1 XP – When you are in a scene with Deja Thoris.
3 XP – When you risk your life to aid Deja Thoris, or through your actions put her in danger.
10XP – When you marry Deja Thoris, or see her married to someone else.

Now, take up your sword, and stride out into an age of high adventure! What Sword & Sorcery heroes will you create? What adventures will your imagination bring to life?

Part four now provides sample threats, villains, monsters, and active adventure locations for your Sword & Sorcery adventures.

About DainXB

Casino Surveillance Professional, Freelance writer, RPG & Computer Gamer, Science Fiction & Fantasy Fan, Part-titanium cyborg.
This entry was posted in CortexPlus, Gaming, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Sword & Sorcery Heroic Roleplaying and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sword & Sorcery Heroic Roleplaying – Part 3 of 3

  1. You absolutely nailed it out of the park with this series of write-ups. Bravo!

    • Adam says:

      Amen to that. Keep it coming Dain.

      (PS: Rumor has it a Part 4 of 3 is in the works, offering stats for many S&S-themed opponents and obstacles, including a thrilling haunted and trap-filled ruined temple complex. Stay tuned.)

  2. L0N says:

    Very nice.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Assembly: Swords & Sorcery Hacking | The Gamer Assembly

  4. Pingback: Sword & Sorcery Heroic Roleplaying – Adventures: “Rogues in the House” | Exploring Infinity

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