ZeFRS/Conan: The Painters of the New Kordavan School

Wherein your humble scribe produces a batch of characters for ZeFRS (the now-ancient clone of the old TSR Conan game) using Chris Kutalik’s ancient random ZeFRS chracter generation method. Because he just found the PDF lurking on his hard drive and he finds the system intriguing, that’s why. Character names were randomly generated using the Hyborian Names doc from Wizardawn Games.

Led by the magnetic Volmercer – and funded by his current enamorada, the beguiling Brythunian noble Albena – the painters of the New Kordovan School travel about Hyboria practicing their arts. They all have a certain way with with blade, which is fortunate given just how dangerous these times are. Though Decualuis has already surpassed his master’s skill with the brush, he remains a loyal follower and, despite his reticent nature and utter lack of inability to carry a tune, he still attempts to sing along to Volmercer’s bawdy drinking songs (much to the amusement of the crowd at the Red Stag – at least until they become annoyed). The Argosean warrior, Borerius, meanwhile, is tolerated mostly because his great size tends to ensure that recalcitrant clients pay for their commissioned works.


Volmercer / Zingara Artisan
Gambler, Miserly

Prowess 1
Acrobatics 2, Movement 5, Strength 5
Endurance 0
Damage 6, Magic Endurance 2
Fighting 0
Rapier 5, Dirk 4
Knowledge 1
Reading/Writing 4, Survival 2, Carpentry 4, Artisan (Painter) 5
Perception 0
Medicine 4
Insight 0
Hypnotism 2, Personal Magnetism 4, Minstrel 2

Equipment
Rapier, Steel Helmet, Bronze Cuirass


Albena / Brythunian Low Noble
Weakness to Drink, Fear of Animals

Prowess 1
Movement 12, Animal Reflexes 2, Throwing 2, Acrobatics 2
Endurance 1
Stamina 5, Damage 7, Will 2
Fighting 1
Broadsword 4, Dirk 4, Two-Handed Fighting (Sword & Dirk) 2
Knowledge 0
Artisan (Painter) 4, Reading/Writing 2
Perception 0
Picking Pockets 2, Observation 2
Insight 0
Animal Senses 4

Equipment
Broadsword, Dirk, 5 gold coins


Decualuis / Zamoran Artisan
Taciturn, Tone Deaf

Prowess 1
Animal Reflexes 3, Movement 4, Strength 3, Swimming 2
Endurance 0
Damage 7
Fighting 0
Saber 5, Short Bow 4
Knowledge 2
Blacksmith 4, Reading/Writing 4, Goldsmith 6, Artisan (Painter) 6
Perception 0
Observation 4, Picking Pockets 2
Insight 0
Animal Senses 2

Equipment
Saber, Cloak, Bronze Cuirass


Borerius / Argosean Warrior
Night Blind, Glutton

Prowess 1
Strength 10, Movement 3
Endurance 1
Damage 8, Poison Endurance 4
Fighting 1
Brawling 4, Spear 4, Cinequesda 3, Throwing Dirk 3
Knowledge 0
Survival 4, Artisan (Painter) 3
Perception 0
Directional Sense 4, Observation 2
Insight 0
Animal Senses 4

Equipment
Spear, Throwing Dirk, Chainmail Shirt

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8 thoughts on “ZeFRS/Conan: The Painters of the New Kordavan School

  1. Gaston's Hat

    When I quickly glanced at the title Painters of the New Kordovan School I thought I would see fluff and NPCs for some fictional Spanish Painting School. I like your idea of a wandering band of painters so I decided to convert the group to a possible Early Modern setting and to the Honor+Intrigue system. I’ll have a post on Thursday January 19: http://honorandintrigue.blogspot.com/2017/01/painters-of-new-cordovan-school.html

    Historical trivia that I did not know before your post. Apparently there sort of was a Cordovan School or at least a Cordovan Circle of painting in 17th century Spain.

    Reply
    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Can’t wait to see your H+I take on the concept, amigo! BoL/H+I are, of course, tops in my book and I might wind up transferring the idea to one of those as well. I’m thinking about using these character (plus a couple of others) for my submission to the North Texas RPG Con this year, and while I’m sorely tempted to use ZeFRS, I must also admit that the two BoL (with H+I influence) games I ran last year were mighty solid. So I would perhaps be a fool not to use those instead.

      I actually didn’t know there was a historical Cordovan Circle/School. It’s crazy what we wind up learning from this strange little pastime, innit?

      Also – dang! Your blog is dense and delicious! Cheers to ya!

      Reply
  2. G-Man

    Beware my savage brush!

    I’m from the Neo-Nemedian school myself, which tends towards the Rubenesque. But hey, it takes all kinds.

    Seriously, the idea of wandering artist troupe in the savage world of Hyboria is a brilliant idea. I never played Zefrs, but that character generation document looks pretty sharp.

    Reply
    1. the venomous pao Post author

      I suspect ol’ REH was a Rubenesque man himself, so you’re in good company, amigo!

      I’m glad, as always, that you’re digging the junk that falls out of my brain. Or, more accurately, that my brain picked up from the random generator. Three of the four characters straight up came out with multiple levels in Artisan and as I was deciding what type of artisan the painter thing came to me. So there you have it.

      The random gen doc is mighty sweet. I’ve never actually played ZeFRS, but when I rediscovered it amongst all my downloads it just grabbed me. It’s chart-based, a la Marvel Super Heroes (which I also never really played) and for some reason that’s resonating with my grey matter right now. I think I’m craving some sort of order to this messed up universe. But not too much. That would take all the fun out of things 🙂

      Reply
  3. Todd

    I’m looking to discuss some of the rules of ZeFRS/Conan. I’m looking to start up a game and I’m wondering how people have interpreted some of the rules. Is there a ZeFRS forum anywhere? If anyone is interested, please e-mail me.

    My main question (at the moment) is whether or not the movement reduction from armor and shields is applied when rolling for initiative. Thanks!

    Tod

    Reply
    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Hey Tod! Thanks for dropping by. The only forum I know of for ZeFRS can be found here (http://zefrs.proboards.com) but it is, shall we say, far from active. Still, posting there might get you an answer. You might also find something of interest here (https://sites.google.com/site/zefrsrpg/).

      For my part, I don’t think I’d bother deducting the reduction for armor/shields from initiative rolls. But if I decided to, I’d do so only if the total penalty for all items worn exceeded the Strength (or general Prowess) of the character. Even then I’d only make the deduction equal to the amount by which the combined penalties exceed Strength/Prowess. Of course at that point we’re getting into tracking fiddly numbers for an effect that, in my opinion, isn’t particularly meaningful and that kinda starts to run counter to the fast & loose spirit of the ZeFRS system.

      Reply
      1. Todd

        Thank you very much for the information. I had run across the ZeFRS Project page years ago but I couldn’t find it after a lot of searching. Must have had a bad algorithm day. Thank you for your input on the question too.
        –Todd

        Reply

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