The Scrolls of Skelos, softback supplement for Conan RPG / d20
“In the Conan RPG, sorcery is a subtle but powerful force. An experienced sorcerer can cast spells undreamt of by wizards in other fantasy games, but he may need to sacrifice a dozen virgins, dose himself up with black lotus, cast the spell and then rest for several days afterwards, rather than simply being able to fire off magic whenever he chooses.
During Conan’s time, the Hyborian Age, much of the most powerful magic has been lost for centuries and more. The wizards of Stygia, Khitai and Vendhya are renowned for their arcane lore, but even they would find it difficult to match the power of the sorcerers of Acheron and Old Stygia at their height many thousands of years ago.
The dedicated sorcerer can still hope to attain such heady heights, but he must work for it. Calling up demon lords, hunting for crumbling scrolls in dusty tombs, searching out fiend-haunted isles in the Western Ocean, gathering magical herbs in devil-infested swamps beyond Khitai. . . the sorcerer who desires serious magical power must do all these things and more besides. A sorcerer who has a master, coven or secret society to teach him has something of a head start over a lone scholar, but may never learn more than his tutor knows. Even he will need to quest after knowledge if he wishes to achieve his full potential.
More so than any ancient artifact or scholarly teacher, arcane books can grant a sorcerer not mere fragments of the long-lost sorcerous knowledge of the ancients, but full-blown spells, magical formulae, and the secrets of the most powerful wizards of the old times. The book of Skelos is the most fabled and sought-after volume of them all.
A number of different arcane books are mentioned in the Conan tales. The most prominent is the book of Skelos itself, but the books of Vathelos the Blind are also noteworthy for their magical lore. Even certain more contemporary sorcerers such as Tsotha-lanti of the Scarlet Citadel have written down some information of note in their grisly-looking spellbooks bound in human skin.
The Scrolls of Skelos are twofold; both the volume you hold in your hands and that written by Skelos himself. This book is named for its most ancient forebear, and forms the first supplement for the Conan Roleplaying Game. Here you will find information on rounding out sorcerous characters in the game, whether run by players or the Games Master.
This includes additional sorcery styles and spells; full rules for creating permanent magic, including magical weapons and other sorcerous items; and a large section on the creatures of sorcery, whether the demons called up by scholars, the demon lords who act as their patrons, the strange monsters some wise men find in the wilderness and train as servants, or the weird aberrations crafted by certain sorcerers in their quests to make life itself.
The book is rounded out with a number of non-player character profiles covering those prominent sorcerers of the Hyborian Age who have not already been dealt with in the main rulebook, an overview of some of the weird religions practiced by certain wizards, new sorcerous feats and a sprinkling of scholarly prestige classes. There is also a Games Master’s section giving advice on handling characters’ relations with their demonic patrons, allies and servants, among other useful tips.”