CROM: Conan vs The Warlock Chapter 2

I actually played this chapter before, but in a surprise twist, with my wife! She doesn't like minis skirmish games, having been burned by too many complex rules (for her). But CROM has a combination of simplicity and fun, and she enjoyed it. Sadly, we lost the earlier game because Conan discovered a Blue Lotus that knocked him out unless revived by a companion. And my wife was still inexperienced in the game.

This is our second go.

Chapter 2: The Search

The traveling tinker Conan had rescued had an antidote for poison, and as Conan recovered from the effects, the survivors of the attack on the village told their tale.

Several weeks ago, the village had received news of someone called the Warlock maoving into their region. 

Then, a week ago, his minions showed up demanding the village pay him tribute. They refused.

Today's attack was the Warlock's reprisal.

The villagers beg Conan and Belit to save them from the Warlock and his minions.

The survivors they rescued were able to tell about how they saw signs of recent habitation in the hills to the east of the village. They were able to give some clues as to where the Warlock's lair could be.

Setup: Place 8 search tokens minus the number of villagers Conan and Belit were able to rescue in the previous chapter. Randomly seed the search tokens on a 3x3 grid, (e.g. rolling a d10 for placement). Terrain should have lots of difficult terrain to slow movement. Randomly set up The Hyperborean, and 2 skeleton minion groups (again with a d10).

Conan and Belit enter from one side of the table. Mark the other 3 sides with 1, 2, 3. This will be used to determine the exit for Conan and Belit after they have searched all tokens.


As usual Conan and Belit split up. The Hyperborean was lurking very close by in the ruins and he came out and mind blasted Conan, removing 1 die when Conan next activates. 

Belit ran off to search the nearest token... and flubbed the roll. Triple ones! 

Conan moved to close with the Hyperborean and in 2 attacks finished him off. 

The two skeleton groups advanced closer. The one with swords to Belit and the one with axes to Conan. 


Skeleton axes move closer to Conan. 

Skeleton swords move closer to Belit. 

Conan gets stuck in with the skeletons with axes. There’s a combat at the entrance to the ruins. Conan fells two skeletons ... then looks at the narrow gap and more of the shambling creatures milling about in the doorway. 

He curses and runs off to one side of the ruins. 

Belit disturbs a giant spider’s lair! This close to the Warlock, all monsters are under his control. 

She runs far away to another search token. 

The skeleton swords stumble after her. 


Belit searches and disturbs a giant scorpion!!!

She runs off into a ruined hut. 

All the skeletons close in on Conan and Belit. The spider makes for Belit. 

Conan searches the ruins and finds a potion! (Recover 4 dice lost to wounds). He runs to join Belit.


The spider goes first and charges Belit! She dances around it and stabs it right in between the eyes. (Rolls 2 sixes on 5 dice). 

One shot!

Then the scorpion follows in. Belit one shots it again!! (Rolls 3 sixes on 5 dice). 

While her combats are successful, she’s used up all her dice so can’t do anything else this turn. 

Conan searches and turns up... nothing!

He charges the nearby group of skeletons with axes. There’s only three left and he hopes to finish them off. 

He drops one. The second one hits Conan for 2 DAM! Conan attacks a third and final time using his remaining dice. Gets hit for 3 DAM!!! Conan has clearly not fully recovered from his earlier poisoning. 

He has no more dice left!

The remaining 2 skeletons now attack Conan. They deal him a total of 4 DAM. He only has 3 dice (HP) left!

The skeletons with swords shamble closer. 


Conan uses a die to gain initiative. 2 left. He uses his potion to regain 4 dice! With 6 dice he makes two attacks apiece on the remaining 2 skeletons with axes. 

Success! The skeletons collapse into a pile of bones. 

Belit runs towards the next search token... And finds some wine. 

She heads off to the final search token. 

The skeletons with swords pursue Conan (for what it’s worth). 


Belit runs up to the final search token. Finds no loot but does succeed in finding the location of the Warlock’s hidden lair. 

Exit 3. It would have to be the furthest point from Conan!

Belit heads off to the Warlock’s hidden lair. Conan follows but with only 7 dice doesn’t quite make it in time. 

The skeletons shamble after him. 


Conan follows Belit into the Warlock's Lair

As the heroes required 7 turns to enter the Warlock’s hidden lair, this will have consequences in the third and final chapter of this adventure. 


That went better than the previous game. My wife got a better grasp of the dice pool system and played better although I had to convince her to use 5 dice instead of 4 against the giant spider and scorpion!

So the bad guy minions in this chapter are here to delay the heroes as much as possible. Not so much to kill them. Our earlier plan went out the window when Belit discovered the giant spider so early in the game. But we were able to adapt. 

So we also discovered dice are fickle. Yes, Conan is mighty. Yes Conan has 12 dice to sling around. 

Conan can also roll like crap and get wounded by lowly 2 dice minions!

So as the CROM Companion says ... heroes are mighty but can also be squishy with some bad luck. Which Conan had in spades in this adventure. 

And because the following chapter continues directly in from this one, Conan can only recover up to half to his starting dice pool. Normally that would only allow him to get 9 dice in total but the healing potion helped out a lot and he’s back to his full 12 dice again. 

Even though the first 2 chapters felt very atypical Conan (avoided combat except when necessary and running around to search the tokens for survivors and clues) the final one will be an all out fight fest!

Let’s see what happens next...