Red Sonja in Conan RPG: Phase 2 (the stats. p.4) CC Welcomed

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Supplement Four
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Postby Supplement Four » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:58 pm

kintire wrote:I quoted two there. Valeria and Red Sonya, and you can probably add Belit as well.
Only one applies, though. Valeria. Red Sonya is not a Howard character form the Hyborian Age, and Red Sonja is not a Howard character (she was born in the comics).

And, Belit really isn't a master swordswoman or anything like that. She just captained a ship where her crew was fantatical about her.
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Postby kintire » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:01 am

Only one applies, though. Valeria. Red Sonya is not a Howard character form the Hyborian Age
What you said was:
In Howard's writings, there are no women that can compete with men physically
Red Sonya applies.

Also we have no information about Belit one way or the other. We never see her in a situation where engaging in combat herself would be appropriate. In any case, commanding a highly successful corsair vessel is not the traditional definition of "feminine strengths".

Not to mention, of course, that we learn in Black Colossus that Cimmerian women routinely fight, and probably the other northern women as well.
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Postby Supplement Four » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:07 pm

kintire wrote:What you said was:
In Howard's writings, there are no women that can compete with men physically
Red Sonya applies.
No, because the context of the post you took that quote from obviously referred to Howard's writings of the Hyborian Age. When we talk about Howard's Conan, we're not talking about Howard's El Borak nor Howard's Red Sonya.


Also we have no information about Belit one way or the other.
We have the story Queen of the Black Coast, and nowhere in Belit's appearance are we given the impression that Belit is a strong fighter. Even in her introduction to Conan, it is his crew that is fighting, not Belit.
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Postby kintire » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:02 pm

No, because the context of the post you took that quote from obviously referred to Howard's writings of the Hyborian Age
A complaint you didnt make when Boneguard talked about Sonya and Dark Agnes in the next post...

It doesn't matter. Valeria fights, Cimmerian women fight. That makes the point just fine.
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Postby Supplement Four » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:52 am

kintire wrote:It doesn't matter. Valeria fights, Cimmerian women fight. That makes the point just fine.
I don't think that it does, but it's not like we need to agree on this. I didn't disagree with Boneguard because we seem to be in agreement on this topic.
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Postby kintire » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:07 am

I don't think that it does, but it's not like we need to agree on this
The statement "In Howard's writings, there are no women that can compete with men physically" is false: there are several. Even the statement "In Howard's Hyborian Age writings, there are no women that can compete with men physically" is false: Valeria can, Cimmerian women can, and there is a good possibility that other barbarian women and/or Belit can.

Therefore, Red Sonja is not non-canon because she is a fighting woman. I too have reservations about the chainmail bikini, but in her chain shirt and trousers mode she is perfectly reasonable. She is also not non canon because of her divine blessing. In Howard's Hyborian writings gods rescue their daughters, curse those who offend them to become iron statues animated by moonlight, resurrect entire cities that once worshipped them and were destroyed, direct Queens to champions that can defend their kingdom and materialise to fight heroes, take sacrifices, and get killed. Choosing a champion is perfectly in line with that.

It is worth noting that in Howard, the difference between a "God" and a "Demon" is purely in the quality of their Public Relations machine.
I didn't disagree with Boneguard because we seem to be in agreement on this topic
I daresay, but it set the context of the discussion as referring to more than just Hyborian writings. And it seems perverse to discuss Red Sonja of Hyrkania while disallowing any reference to Red Sonya of Rogatino, on whom she is based.
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Postby Supplement Four » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:13 am

kintire wrote:The statement "In Howard's writings, there are no women that can compete with men physically" is false: there are several.
No matter how you go about it, there are not a lot of women--Velaria is the only one I can think of--in Howard's writings of the Hyborian Age that can compete with men on the battlefield.

You have to stretch to Red Sonja of the comics and Red Sonya of Howard's non-Hyborian Age writings to even give more than one example.

Dude. Just admit it. Howard didn't write about D&D women who are equals to men in combat. There are no vast armies of women fighters. There is no famous or infamous group of Women fighters, like Amazons or women free companies. And, except for Valeria, there aren't any strong women fighters in Howard's Conan tales.
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Postby kintire » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:31 pm

No matter how you go about it, there are not a lot of women--Velaria is the only one I can think of--in Howard's writings of the Hyborian Age that can compete with men on the battlefield.
Amalric twisted his yellow mustache to hide a grin. Evidently Conan supposed Yasmela intended to strap on a sword and take part in the actual fighting, as the barbarian women often fought.

"The women of the Hyborians do not fight like your Cimmerian women, Conan,"
So apparently "Barbarian" women regularly fight. Cimmerians definitly, and probably the other "Barbarians" too.
You have to stretch to Red Sonja of the comics and Red Sonya of Howard's non-Hyborian Age writings to even give more than one example.
And Dark Agnes, of course.
Dude. Just admit it. Howard didn't write about D&D women who are equals to men in combat. There are no vast armies of women fighters. There is no famous or infamous group of Women fighters, like Amazons or women free companies. And, except for Valeria, there aren't any strong women fighters in Howard's Conan tales.
Dude, just admit it. Howard was quite happy to write about women warriors. He had Valeria and Red Sonya as major characters and Dark Agnes as the main protagonist. He also mentions that Barbarian women routinely fight. He didn't have many, because he was writing fantisised historical fiction, and historically most (though by no means all) warriors were men.

And in any case, all this stuff you have just this minute introduced about "vast armies" and "women free companies" is utterly irrelevant. Red Sonja is a single chosen champion: there is no suggestion in any of the works about her that she is anything other than unusual.
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Postby Supplement Four » Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:34 pm

kintire wrote:So apparently "Barbarian" women regularly fight. Cimmerians definitly, and probably the other "Barbarians" too.
Sure they fight. So do the Cimmerian children.

But neither is in the class of a male Cimmerian warrior. That's the point.
Dude, just admit it. Howard was quite happy to write about women warriors.


He wrote some strong female characters in his Hyborian Age, but not as warriors.

Look at his many descriptions of patrons in taverns. Nary a formidable female warrior exists. If they were common, they'd show up a heck of a lot more often than just in Red Nails.

No sir. When it comes to combat, Howard wrote about a male dominated world. Howard would make his women characters strong in other, more feminine, areas.
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Postby Supplement Four » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:20 pm

@the OP: I'm reading through the Dark Horse reprints of Marvel's Chronicles of Conan, and it looks like Red Sonja is back in vol. 7.

Image
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Postby kintire » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:35 am

Sure they fight. So do the Cimmerian children.

But neither is in the class of a male Cimmerian warrior. That's the point.
Cimmerian (and "barbarian") women routinely strap on armour and weapons and go to war (as Pictish women did). That's what we know. That bit about not being in the class of male warriors is something you just made up.
If they were common, they'd show up a heck of a lot more often than just in Red Nails
Only you have ever brought "Common" into this. The authors of the various incarnations of Red Sonja never suggested women warriors were common. Reading Howard dispassionatly, it seems they are common among the northern barbarians but extremely rare in the southern, more civilised lands.

Still, I see you have at least slid from "In Howard's writings, there are no women that can compete with men physically" to "there are not a lot of women ... in Howard's writings of the Hyborian Age that can compete with men on the battlefield". Thats enough to let Sonja in!
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Postby Boneguard » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:01 pm

Supplement Four wrote:@the OP: I'm reading through the Dark Horse reprints of Marvel's Chronicles of Conan, and it looks like Red Sonja is back in vol. 7.

Image
I know I spotted that so I bought 4 and 5 together :)

I'm almost finish with a De Camp/Carter Conan book then I start reading some Sonja stuff...followed by more Conan, then some Red Sonya and Dark Agnes, then all of Kull and all of Bran Mak Morn.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:00 pm

kintire wrote:Still, I see you have at least slid from "In Howard's writings, there are no women that can compete with men physically" to "there are not a lot of women ... in Howard's writings of the Hyborian Age that can compete with men on the battlefield". Thats enough to let Sonja in!
You're not that dumb, are you, to think that we (before you entered and took over the conversation) were talking in generalities. We were talking about women in Howard's Hyborian Age. Then you come along, attempting to confuse the issue.

The bottom line is still the same one before you posted. Howard's Hyborian Age is not populated with strong women warriors. Men do the fighting.

Can there be an exception here and there? Sure. Anything is possible, especially in a fantasy setting. But, if you're looking for a general rule (which is what we were talking about), women don't fight.

Now, I'm done talking about this with you because debating this with you is like debating with "I-didn't-inhale", and "Oral sex isn't sex" Bill Clinton.

So...all done now. Thanky, thanky. Goodbye!
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Postby kintire » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:45 pm

You're not that dumb, are you, to think that we (before you entered and took over the conversation) were talking in generalities.
Its an open thread, on a public messageboard. If you want privacy, thats what the messages are for.
We were talking about women in Howard's Hyborian Age. Then you come along, attempting to confuse the issue.
Actually, you are attempting to confuse the issue, but unfortunatly on messageboards it doesnt go away! What you, and I, were talking about to start with was:
I don't find Sonja to be "canon" -ish at all. IRL, when it comes to swining swords and blocking blows with a heavy table top-like shield, it's a man's world. Howard wrote it that way. In Howard's writings, there are no women that can compete with men physically.
So, specifically Sonja, and "Howards writings have no women"
Can there be an exception here and there? Sure. Anything is possible, especially in a fantasy setting.
Excellent. So Red Sonja can be that exception, and hence is "Canon-ish".
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:42 pm

kintire wrote:Excellent. So Red Sonja can be that exception, and hence is "Canon-ish".
Question for you, Kintire. If you were traveling through the lands of the Hyborian Age, how likely would it be that you would meet a female fighter that would be a challenge for Conan or any of the strong male fighters that Howard has described in his Conan tales?

Would you say this likely? Rare? Very Rare? Very likely?

Pick one of those four responses: Very Rare; Rare; Likely; Very Likely.
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Postby kintire » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:18 am

Hmm. I would say "Rare". It would be locational though. Taking a strong male fighter (Conan complicates the question by being formidable enough that at least late in his career meeting anyone or anything strong enough to challenge him without superior numbers is Very Rare) I would say that in Cimmeria or Nordheim you might make it up to Likely, whereas in Turan even Very Rare is probably optimistic. In the Hyborian kingdoms I would put it as Very Rare among the locals, rising to Rare in unsettled or border regions, or where they have arenas.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:21 pm

kintire wrote:Hmm. I would say "Rare". It would be locational though.
Therein lies our problem. The answer is "Very Rare" no matter where you are in the Hyborian Age, whether women fight with their men or not, because we are talking about a woman that is a challenge for a strong male fighter in Howard's Hyborian Age.

Since Veleria is the only one we can point to (and given Howard's description of places in his stories), strong women fighters are hardly ever, very rarely mentioned. I would believe that there's another Veleria out there, but that person would be an exception--a very rare quantity.

Our problem is that you are apt to believe that strong femal fighters are more numerous in Howard's Hyborian Age than we have any reason to believe.

I'll give you this, though: In many ways Howard's Hyborian Age mirrors the real world, and since there have been, here and there, a female warrior that can challenge men, if you look at it from that angle and not the things Howard wrote, the answer to the question is probably somewhere between "Rare" and "Very Rare".
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Postby kintire » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:55 pm

Therein lies our problem. The answer is "Very Rare" no matter where you are in the Hyborian Age, whether women fight with their men or not, because we are talking about a woman that is a challenge for a strong male fighter in Howard's Hyborian Age.
S4, you don't get to make these magesterial baseless statements: you are not the final authority on Howard. You have to actually support your remarks. In particular, you have to confront, rather than duck, two facts: Firstly, Howard's Hyborian Age cultures are based on real world historiacal cultures: the Cimmerians on the Celts, the Hyborians on medieval Europe, the Turanians on the Ottoman Turks, etc etc. We can therefore use the data from those cultures, with which Howard was familiar, as a benchmark for what he would have intended.

Thus we can say that about 1 in 20 to 1 in 10 Cimmerian women will be full time warriors (10% of Celtic female graves contain weapons, chariots, torcs and other accourements of the warrior, of which about half contain weapons that have actually been used). We know from historical records that women fighting in medieval times was reasonably common in defence of towns under siege, but much rarer (though not unheard of) in actual armies, and that the fighting manuals of the time include provision for women who are fighting in judicial or honour duels. I am less familiar with the history of Turkey, but I know of no examples of women warriors in fact or fiction.

Second, and more directly relevant, we know that Amamlric in Balck Colossus comments that Cimmerian women, and probably women of the other barbarians too, regularly strap on swords and go into battle. Battle, not desperate defence of a house.

And in any case, once AGAIN, that is not "the problem". The problem is that you used to believe that there was NO fighting woman in Howard's writings, and thus Red Sonja was out of step with Canon. I am glad to see you now concede that point. I suppose it is typical that you have refused to admit the fact, and are now pretending I was claiming Hyboria had female armies. Ho Hum.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:05 pm

kintire wrote:S4, you don't get to make these magesterial baseless statements: you are not the final authority on Howard.
I don't? Hm. News to me! :D

You have to actually support your remarks.
There's plenty of support--in fact, it's THE support that the average person would agree with in a court of law.

Thus we can say that about 1 in 20 to 1 in 10 Cimmerian women will be full time warriors (10% of Celtic female graves contain weapons, chariots, torcs and other accourements of the warrior, of which about half contain weapons that have actually been used). We know from historical records that women fighting in medieval times was reasonably common in defence of towns under siege, but much rarer (though not unheard of) in actual armies, and that the fighting manuals of the time include provision for women who are fighting in judicial or honour duels.
You're thinking waaayy too much about this. And, you're describing what YOU WOULD DO if you were in charge of the Hyborian Age.

What you need to do is just look at Howard's Hyborian Age stories. He wrote several of them, and there is just one formidable female fighter described among all the thousands and thousands of words Howard wrote.

Don't speculate on real world history. Look at how Howard described the Hyborian Age in his stories.
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Postby kintire » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:31 pm

And, you're describing what YOU WOULD DO if you were in charge of the Hyborian Age.
Oh, the irony... you have at least noticed Valeria now i see!
Don't speculate on real world history. Look at how Howard described the Hyborian Age in his stories.
What an excellent idea
Evidently Conan supposed Yasmela intended to strap on a sword and take part in the actual fighting, as the barbarian women often fought.

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