Help me kill Conan!

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Trodax
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Help me kill Conan!

Postby Trodax » Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:08 pm

So I started thinking about my next Conan game the other day, trying to come up with stuff I want to include. The plan is to set it in Aquilonia/Pictland cause' I've never had the picts in my game and they're just too cool to stay out any longer. Probably the PC's will start out as mercenaries on the pictish border, and then things will move on to Aquilonia proper, with the focus more on political stuff. If they behave well in the borderlands, they may very well end up high in favour with King Conan. I'll also be running Heretics of Tarantia somewhere in there.

Anyway, one storyline I'm thinking of pursuing is to have Conan killed off (yes, and I mean dead!) by some pretender to the throne (probably in liege with some Stygian Big Baddie, or whatever). It will then be up to the PC's to flee with Conan's son (a strong, but very young prince) and fight the bad guys to get him back on the throne (or perhaps just slit the boys throat and make a grab for the throne themselves :wink: ). So, to my questions:

Question 1
How would you kill off Conan if you were to do it in your game? What I mean is, what would be an appropriately heroic death for the big guy (you wouldn't want him to die of pneumonia, for sure)? Here are some options (give me more if you have them):
* He is poisoned to death.
* He is slain by an extremely skilful assassin (someone for the players to fear :twisted: ).
* He is slain by a whole bunch of assassins, being found dead with a pile of dead foes around him.
* He is slain by sorcery or a demon out of hell.
* He is betrayed, and stabbed to death in the back by a close ally.

Question 2
This is actually multiple questions… What other cool stuff could you see happening with this setup? Who could the pretender to the throne be? How would Nemedia/Ophir/Koth react to Conans death? What would happen on the pictish border? Give me your ideas and I will give you cookies. :D
slaughterj
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Re: Help me kill Conan!

Postby slaughterj » Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:14 pm

Trodax wrote:Question 1
How would you kill off Conan if you were to do it in your game? What I mean is, what would be an appropriately heroic death for the big guy (you wouldn't want him to die of pneumonia, for sure)? Here are some options (give me more if you have them):
* He is poisoned to death.
* He is slain by an extremely skilful assassin (someone for the players to fear :twisted: ).
* He is slain by a whole bunch of assassins, being found dead with a pile of dead foes around him.
* He is slain by sorcery or a demon out of hell.
* He is betrayed, and stabbed to death in the back by a close ally.
All of the above, and then some! He is betrayed by a close ally who has a horde of demonic assassins summoned, many of which are felled by Conan's bare hands! (And he's just "mostly" dead.)
Cut
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Re: Help me kill Conan!

Postby Cut » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:21 pm

Don't let him just fall of a big rock as they did with Captain Kirk in Star Trek Generations. Please. :(
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Postby VincentDarlage » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:35 pm

He should die a hero's death on top of a hill, mountain or castle tower.

Perhaps his second son could kill him and try to kill the elder son in a corrupt bid for power.

Be careful, lest his death be anti-climatic - like the aforementioned death of Capt. Kirk. He should be surrounded by a ring of corpses before the final blow is dealt to him. Perhaps his death leads to the saving of his older son.
Trodax
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Postby Trodax » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:54 pm

slaughterj wrote:(And he's just "mostly" dead.)
No!!! He must be utterly dead! No Fate points are saving his ass this time. :)
VincentDarlage wrote:Perhaps his second son could kill him and try to kill the elder son in a corrupt bid for power.
Mmmm, I like it...
The King
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Postby The King » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:12 pm

I would leave much mystery about his death, not showing it but bringing a remarkable event to life.
For instance, Conan fights in a dungeon which is an ancient volcan. By some process, the volcan becomes active and the mountain is blown up.

Or he is climbing a mountain and suddenly he looses his grip and fall in a (certain?) death.

If Conan dies, one thing is sure: Aquilonia becomes involved in a civil war where the "true" heir(s) of Numedides, the King who preceded Conan, will try to take the throne probably with help from foreign countries.

I don't think Nemedia would invade because it would probably unite all the Aquilonian nobles against its armies. So it would play in the shadows. Why not trying to put a puppet on the throne.

As to the cookies, please aren't there better bakeries in Sweden?
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slaughterj
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Postby slaughterj » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:18 pm

The King wrote:I would leave much mystery about his death,
Good idea!
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Postby sbarrie » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:38 pm

Betrayal and/or poison. Conan always wins against assassins, sorcerers and demons, after all.

Robin Hood's death by bleeding should be your yardstick, I think.
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Postby Strom » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:44 am

Great ideas all!

I'm of the mind that Conan should die at the hands of a younger version of himself - another Cimmerian. Preferably in Cimmeria on Ben Morgh where he falls from the cold, mist shrouded mountain never to be seen again.

After the civil war in Aquilonia you could setup another Venarium situation and try to extend Aquilonia's borders. Aquilonians vs. Cimmerians would be cool. Especially after the Cimmerian supplement.

If Conan died, the sky is the limit - you could skip ahead of the timeline and introduce Gorm as a major force in Pictland, uniting the tribes.... 8)
“Crom and his devils!”
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Postby Krushnak » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:32 am

after strom mentioned gorm and the fact that you want to include picts then how about this.

king conan has been touring the countryside strengthing the loyalty of his followers and quashing and upstart rebellions when he reaches the last town on aquilonia's western border, he plans to spend a few days there.... unfortunately the town is hit by a large raiding army of picts(coincedental?). conan his bodyguard and the warriors of the town hold out for aslong as they can but mere days before help can arrive they are finally overrun and everyone slaughtered. conan's dead body is found sitting atop a pile of pictish corpses, his sword still in hand and his body covered by numerous mortal wounds.

with the ascension of his eldest son to the throne an all out war with pict-land is set to begin.

you could even start off with the pc's being in the relief force riding like hell from the nearest town to aid the king when within sight of the town you see conan atop the ramparts hewing a path of red ruin through the picts before he comes to what looks like the pictish chieftain(a young gorm). after a brief but awe inspiring fight the pict gains the upper hand and conan finally succumbs to his wounds. the picts flee carrying what they can and the pc's reach conan's side just in time to hear his final words, asking them to guard his son for now more than ever he will need loyal allies.
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Postby Auggie » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:16 am

Or have Conan simply kidnapped and a doppelganger(?) of him placed on the throne. This 'Conan' is then, in turn, betrayed by someone close to him (who thinks it's the 'real' Conan) and is killed.

The PC's now get involved in revealing who put the doppelganger on the throne and put on a quest to find the 'real' Conan. They will eventually have the folks who put the doppelganger on the throne as well as the betrayers of 'Conan' after them.

The climax of the adventure would involve the PC's and the real Conan pitted against these foes. They win, everyone returns to Tarantia happy :D
"And they say I am a barbarian?! Thus far, my time amongst 'civilized' folk has shown me that I am less barbarian than they!" - Tharn Ausonn of Asgard
Trodax
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Postby Trodax » Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:57 am

Great ideas all! Thanks guys!
I really like the pictish connection from Strom+Krushnak; the scene Krushnak suggested sounds way cool.
The King wrote:As to the cookies, please aren't there better bakeries in Sweden?
For you, oh mighty King, I will bake a seven layered cake.
Auggie wrote:The climax of the adventure would involve the PC's and the real Conan pitted against these foes. They win, everyone returns to Tarantia happy :D
No!!! I will not let big C steal the show from my PC's! That muscular, charismatic bastard always ends up dominating every scene he walks into. He must die, I tell you! Die! :D
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Postby Lord Jolly the Scribe » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:20 am

Well, Conan could die in a glorious battle against Thoth-Amon. I kow some have already said that Conan has killed him, but I think it would be a great battle with Conan destroying him while dying beside him afterwards, his body spent after surviving the most utter and lethal attacks ever....Defensive Blast. :shock:

Or he just throttles him to death in a Crimson Mist then dies of his magically induced wounds.
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Krushnak
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Postby Krushnak » Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:50 am

yeah trodax if you've seen the 13th warrior then the death scene of Bulvei is what really inspired me. i actually like it alot myself and might use it for the next campaign i start.
Korppis
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Postby Korppis » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:37 am

Whatever you do, Conan's death should be both heroic and surrounded by mystery and even if he is really dead, his final fate should be left open for almost everyone.
For example, if he fells against a horde of enemies, maybe the site of his last stand is destroyed or one of his allies will find his body and bury (burn) it secretly.
Because of that, for most of the people it is uncertain what has really happened to Him or if he is really dead... (Also, maybe one of your players could get his sword after the body has vanished or something... enough to make rumours, that will latern turn legends, that Big C is still living somewhere ingocnito.) All that give people of aquilonia reason to belive that "One day when Aquilonia faces it's greatest danger, King Conan will return to save us..."
Oly
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Postby Oly » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:40 am

If your players know the stories reasonably well why not break canon and kill him at a point in the tales where he should have survived? Let the players adventures run alongside, but not directly involved with, Conan's for a while. Introduce cut scenes so the players can see what's going on elsewhere in the gameworld, use scenes from the books. Then pick the one where things will change, and kill him.

Hopefully you'll shock them :)

I did a similar thing with an old Star Wars campaign that I ran. It was in the run up to Empire Strikes back and I'd have plenty of cut scenes from the movies or books that I knew the players knew, they grew comfortable with them. Often they might also be there around the edges of a movie scene such as the briefing for the battle of Hoth.

Then I ran the scene with Luke & Vader at Bespin where Luke looses his hand. A couple of the players were even mouthing the dialogue at each other as I read it out. Vader reaches out his hand, Luke's meant to fall, instead he reaches out with his remaining hand and takes it.

Silence around the table with faces staring at me.

That then really launched the campaign in the direction that I wanted it to go in. The players were aware that everything was now up for grabs, they weren't just second fiddles to the "leads" but had the chance to really grab everything.

It hinges upon the players knowing the story well and some time where you comfort them into feeling that you're running the "normal" sort of campaign where certain things are canon. However it did work very well indeed.
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Postby Dpetroc » Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:06 pm

Go back to basics: An aged Conan goes to fight a Monstrous Threat (like a dragon out of Red Nails summoned by stygian sorcerers), and his comitas runs in fear leaving him alone to face the threat...like...say...Beowulf.

Look at Epic deaths to find an epic death.
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Postby The King » Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:20 pm

We can also have some humour that Howard himself sometimes included: Conan teaches his son how to fight with a sword; they're duelling. Then his foot slips on the silken carpet, he looses his balance, falls back head first... and crush his skull against a marble statue.
Last edited by The King on Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The King
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Postby The King » Thu Dec 14, 2006 2:22 pm

Trodax wrote:
The King wrote:As to the cookies, please aren't there better bakeries in Sweden?
For you, oh mighty King, I will bake a seven layered cake.
Now this sounds better. I would even brave the fierceness of the moskitos to come and visit you.
An American-style kitchen is a kitchen in the living room.
A French-style toilet has toilet in the living room.
My neighbours combine both styles.
Trodax
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Postby Trodax » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:05 pm

Korppis wrote:Whatever you do, Conan's death should be both heroic and surrounded by mystery and even if he is really dead, his final fate should be left open for almost everyone.
Hmmm, possibly. I want to make sure that the PC's don't just sit around waiting for him to come back, or go off on a fruitless search for him, though.
They should be the new heroes, not just small guys standing in the big mans shadow.
Oly wrote:I did a similar thing with an old Star Wars campaign that I ran. /snip/
That is very cool idea Oly!

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