Stagnant

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Supplement Four
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Stagnant

Postby Supplement Four » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:35 am

One of the things that kinda bothers me about the Hyborian Age is that the political boundaries are stagnant. Howard has created such a vibrant, "real" place, yet there are no major wars?

Well, we hear about wars--read about them--but, once the tale is done, nothing is really changed politically. In Black Collosus, for example, a huge war takes place, yet the map does not change.

One could argue that, with the death of the evil sorcerer, that everything went back to "normal", I guess.

In Drums of Tombalku, too, Argos and Koth are at war with Stygia. Yet, nothing changes.

Again, Koth makes separate peace with stygia, leaving Argos powerless to fight Stygia. I wonder why Stygia didn't occupy parts of Argos?

And, where was Shem in all that mess?

There are plenty of other wars and conflicts cited in the Conan stories, but the only time I can remember the map being changed is the western border of Turan, extending out to encompass the Great Desert.

It would seem that other kingdoms would disappear, change shape, and show the results of conflict.
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Postby Spectator » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:00 am

Hmm, great thought.
I guess I can play Devil's Advocate a little, cuz I enjoy doing it.
1. Argos, was saved from an occupying stygian force, because it was too far away from Stygia to control effectively.
2. Argos was saved since the Stygians would have had to fight through western Shem, which could have been a hard slog, and to establish supply lines through that territory may have been imfeasible.
3. Vincent in his Book, STygia, mentions that the bulk of the Stygian army is equipped with Bronze weapons (I don't dig that, but...) the quantitative disadvantage would have prevented a successful Stygian campaign.
4. Stygia seems to be an inward looking nation content to keep its power base south of the Styx. (although why they allow the hybrid Chagas in Kush autonomy makes little sense.). If I were Emperor Ctesphon IV, I would make that into Stygian territory, burn Darfar to the ground and sell the people to every slave mart possible and invade Punt to get their gold.


To be more contradictory: I'd argure that Aquilonia's borders are not stagnant: Poitain was incorporated into it just a few generations before Conan's reign. The Westermark/Pictish Border is in a state of flux. The aquilonians tried to expand into Cimmeria as well.

Turan is constantly expanding against Brtyhunia and Zamora.

And in the Hyborian Age (I think) there is a Pictish Chief named Gorm that sweeps aquilonia into the Pictish realm.

To not be so Contradictory:
I'm not sure why Ophir with its gold mines was never annexed by Nemedia, Aquilonia, or Koth.

Nor can I comprehend that Koth would allow two breakaway provinces Khauran and Khoraja, exist.

Nemedia, one of the more powerful nations, would have been sensible to subdue ans annex Brythunia and then have the largest/ relatively homogenous/ and protected (by mountians) nation around.
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Postby kintire » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:31 am

Again, Koth makes separate peace with stygia, leaving Argos powerless to fight Stygia. I wonder why Stygia didn't occupy parts of Argos?
Argos was not powerless to fight Stygia. The mercenary army it sent south was cut off and destroyed, but there is no evidence that any of Argos' actual army was involved. Nor the navy, which is one of the world's most powerful.
And, where was Shem in all that mess?
There is no "Shem" politically speaking. Shem is a cultural designator. The area so referred to is a load of independent kingdoms with no single policy.
Stygia seems to be an inward looking nation content to keep its power base south of the Styx. (although why they allow the hybrid Chagas in Kush autonomy makes little sense.). If I were Emperor Ctesphon IV, I would make that into Stygian territory, burn Darfar to the ground and sell the people to every slave mart possible and invade Punt to get their gold.


Stygia is a decaying empire. Its borders are contracting under pressure from the Hyborians to the north, and more recently the Turanians. It has lost Zamboula a few generaations ago. It has no troops to spare for southern adventures, nor could it afford the garrison troops necessary to control the people if it did.
I'm not sure why Ophir with its gold mines was never annexed by Nemedia, Aquilonia, or Koth
Its surrounded by mountains, has an army of its own, can buy a lot of mercenaries with that gold, and its conquest would give a decisive advantage to the conqueror - which means that none of the three candidates will allow one of the others to do so.
Nor can I comprehend that Koth would allow two breakaway provinces Khauran and Khoraja, exist
Koth is a decentralised feudal monarchy in a constant state of internal strife and external struggle against Stygia. It has better things to do than attack trading states that pose no threat.
Nemedia, one of the more powerful nations, would have been sensible to subdue ans annex Brythunia and then have the largest/ relatively homogenous/ and protected (by mountians) nation around
Brythunia might have something to say about that. Conquering large and populous kingdoms isn't as easy as all that, especially with Aquilonia just waiting for the Nemedian army to be tied down on its eastern border...
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Postby kintire » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:36 am

More generally: its an interesting fact that unless something profoundly changes nations are quite persistant. Medieval Western Europe, Hyboria's analogue, saw a lot of boundary shifts and small states rose and fell, but England, France, Germany, the major Italian city states all stayed fairly constant throughout the period, as did smaller states like Scotland or Switzerland.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:06 am

We don't know if the borders never changed. Howard drew his maps very generally so he could have a basic place for kingdoms. He did add Khoraja and Khauran to the map later.

I change the borders to my map all the time based on wars and events in my campaigns, which causes additional wars to gain new ground or regain lost ground. But most changes are so small that the map is not significantly changed. However, sometimes something happens that is a little more major.

This is why I offered maps without borders on Thulsa's site:
http://hyboria.xoth.net/maps/vd_hyborian_age_clean.jpg
http://hyboria.xoth.net/maps/vd_hyboria ... _clean.jpg

That way gamesmasters can put in their own borders as the need arises. In my campaigns the borders are fluid, not static.
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Postby Supplement Four » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:45 pm

VincentDarlage wrote:This is why I offered maps without borders on Thulsa's site:
http://hyboria.xoth.net/maps/vd_hyborian_age_clean.jpg
http://hyboria.xoth.net/maps/vd_hyboria ... _clean.jpg
Hey Vincent,

A year or so ago, I remember someone offering to take your maps and make 'em real purty. You guys seemed to have been working on that.

What happened? Those were never completed?
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Postby VincentDarlage » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:59 pm

I gave him permission and never heard back from him.
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Postby Jacek » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:47 am

VincentDarlage wrote:This is why I offered maps without borders on Thulsa's site:
http://hyboria.xoth.net/maps/vd_hyborian_age_clean.jpg
http://hyboria.xoth.net/maps/vd_hyboria ... _clean.jpg

That way gamesmasters can put in their own borders as the need arises.
Great idea. How could I miss that?
Cheers,
Jacek
strategos14
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Postby strategos14 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:32 pm

i love all the conan supplements. even without color. in fact, i wouldn't care if there were no pictures at all and each book was written in pencil. it's the content that counts. the only thing i WOULD like more of, is detailed regional maps. like the one Vincent had in the Stygia book. Would have liked one in the Shem book. Had to make my own.
got enough world maps. i even like that they ARE conflicting. it's realistic that way. i want detailed maps of nations. give me map of Corinthia or something. Koth would be even cooler. MY KINGDOM FOR A SUPER ATLAS!!!
my cats name is conan
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Postby VincentDarlage » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:44 pm

Phobos
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Postby Phobos » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:09 pm

But not Stygia?
"What the Terhra woman wants
is the fire of combat;
Is the side of warriors
crushed by the sword.
It´s the blood,
corpses;
under corpses.
Lifeless eyes, severed heads:
these are the words
that please to her.
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Postby Spectator » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:43 am

Phobos wrote:But not Stygia?
LOL, go buy the book.
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Postby strategos14 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:16 pm

Nice! Ask and you shall receive. Thanks Vince.
my cats name is conan

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