Dark Horse Tower of the Elephant

Zul Daire

Mongoose
Well all three parts of the DH adapatation of TotE have been released and was wondering what some of the other posters had thought.

Since the third issue came out I went back and reread the Roy Thomas adaptation as well as the original story and the newly released adventure from Mongoose.

Whew, after all that its more like Rollercoaster of the Elephant but what a ride.

Possible spoilers below but hey if you don't know the story by now...

It was interesting to see the pacing of both comic adaptations. Roy Thomas only needed one issue to tell the story to Kurt Busiek's three. INMO both were great for their era but I have to say I really enjoyed Busiek's and Nords version and felt that Three issues was right on as the story took its time to tell without milking the material.

I did think the extra set of tusks above Yag's eye's were a little weird but no big deal and I liked the "Look back on history" while Yag was telling his story though the armor that Yags race wears in some points is a little weird (Wonder what kind penalty for spell casting that armor would require) but everyones miliage will very and it does not ruin the story for me or anything.

Yara also comes off looking like a giant king of old do to his stature but I wonder if that elder race also incorporated itself into Zhemri after or even during the reign of Elder Stygia and Acheron.

Just to nitpick Yara snaps awake pretty quickly and is standing right next to Cimmeria's favorite son while Conan is holdinghis sword in one hand and the heart in the other. If I was Yara, and mayb e he was being a little over confidant, but I would have kept a little more distance if there was some barbarian who made it into my most private sanctuary.

The scenes with the Kothian and Tauraus were great and come off as great characters despite their small roles in the series. There are alot of mixed thougts on Nord's art but personally I think his rough work really sets the atmosphere and energy of the series.

The adventure by Mongoose is probably one of the best published adventures I have bought in a while and the added stuff that does not appear in the stories but, obviously need to be fleshed out for a workable adventure, i think is the right amount without over doing it or being pretentious.

All in all a great series. For those that read the comic what did you think?
 
I really enjoyed it as well. The last one felt a little rushed, but even so, it was a great read and the visuals were top notch. The contrast between what Yag now and Yag in the past was superbly done.

All in all I've really enjoyed the Conan comic books.

Oh, and I agree with you about Tower of the Elephant, it is hands down the best adventure that I own. In my game, we should finish the Tower this weekend. After that I plan on writing some positive reviews for it.
 

Vincent791

Mongoose
I was very skeptical about this new run from Dark Horse, specially cause I've not seen any single issue, I saw first the hard cover.

Man! I'm glad I got it, IMO it's better than the old Conan comics I used to read, the art of Nord is perfect, it reminds me of Frazetta, and I feel it more Howard-esque than the Marvel run in the 80's, anyway, I love both!

BTW, the old comics from Buscema and Ernie Chan are awesome too!
 

GregLynch

Mongoose
RabidAntiShemite said:
Oh, and I agree with you about Tower of the Elephant, it is hands down the best adventure that I own. In my game, we should finish the Tower this weekend. After that I plan on writing some positive reviews for it.

You must own very few adventures. :)

Seriously, however, many thanks to you and Zul Daire both for the compliments. I'm always thrilled to hear when people enjoy something. I hope you like Heretics of Tarantia as well.
 
Zul Daire said:
Well all three parts of the DH adapatation of TotE have been released and was wondering what some of the other posters had thought.

Liked it.

It was interesting to see the pacing of both comic adaptations. Roy Thomas only needed one issue to tell the story to Kurt Busiek's three. INMO both were great for their era but I have to say I really enjoyed Busiek's and Nords version and felt that Three issues was right on as the story took its time to tell without milking the material.

Agreed- I always like to linger over stories than rush by.

Yara also comes off looking like a giant king of old do to his stature but I wonder if that elder race also incorporated itself into Zhemri after or even during the reign of Elder Stygia and Acheron.

Hmmm....probably. Zamora is actually older than Stygia and nothing would prevent the a few giant-kings fleeing east from the oncoming barabrian horde rather than south.

Just to nitpick Yara snaps awake pretty quickly and is standing right next to Cimmeria's favorite son while Conan is holdinghis sword in one hand and the heart in the other. If I was Yara, and mayb e he was being a little over confidant, but I would have kept a little more distance if there was some barbarian who made it into my most private sanctuary

After 300+ years of defeating everyone of his challengers, Yara had likely grown very overconfidant. Also, Conan could have killed Yara in his sleep easily- so Yara deduced that murder wasn't Conan's motive was likely curious at what the 'primitive' had to say.

The scenes with the Kothian and Tauraus were great and come off as great characters despite their small roles in the series. There are alot of mixed thougts on Nord's art but personally I think his rough work really sets the atmosphere and energy of the series.

Agreed- One of the best parts about DH Conan is the expansion of the more common elements of the Hyborian world as opposed to just focusing on the more fantastic. The contrast makes the fantastic in the Hyborian world that much more fantastic. I have to say though I agree that the third issue was too rough. Too many bare walls in the Tower- I mean c'mon Yara a few tapestries would lighten the place up! 8)- and the characters were cruder than the usual fine work. The first two were excellent though. Maybe the team just needs to slow down....

The adventure by Mongoose is probably one of the best published adventures I have bought in a while and the added stuff that does not appear in the stories but, obviously need to be fleshed out for a workable adventure, i think is the right amount without over doing it or being pretentious.

It's good. Though since I have an REH fan in the group I'd change the defenses. After according to the timeline in his Conanless run on the Tower Tauraus killed the lions w/ Green Lotus already before getting offed by the Guardian spider right? Rather than replacing something exotic what about just filling the courtyard with all abberations or undead constructed from the more common available members of the human race? Something immune to poisons. Watching that Green Lotus have zero effect on horrors slithering toward the stunned PCs would be worth it. :twisted:
 
Actually, I own quite a few adventures, Greg. :) This one was just really well written and put together. It probably helps that I just finished reading the Howard story as well as the comic adaptation...

I've got Heretics of Tarantia and from what I've read so far it outstanding.
 

Strom

Mongoose
I really liked the DH adaptation and thought it worked spread out over three issues. That took some stones from DH to do it that way. I really liked the Kaluta sequence - old school! :D

I have the Heretics ordered and hope top add TTOTE soon. 8)
 

Zul Daire

Mongoose
GregLynch said:
I hope you like Heretics of Tarantia as well.

I think its great! I like how simplestic the module is presented leaving the DM free to be creative. Its great on it own but it also offers a lot of versatility which is cool for an event driven module. Good twists and NPC's as well.

I don't know why but it made me think of the old DnD module "The Veiled Society" (Great potential plots for the use of Guilds and Politics) probably because I ran that one in a Conan campaign last year. Heretics also has the mystery, secret sect, and uses religious strife (which I love as a plot device) in place of the class wars of "The Veiled Society".

Also thought it could be dropped in any land or any realm by mearly changing the names of the gods and other aspects.

Being simplistic it only as two maps so DM's might need a back up maps handy but once again any generic setting the scenario calls for will do and the maps are included are the neccesary ones and looked good athough I always appreciate scale on a map.

The ole 5'-10' square grid always helps me out and maybe I need to pull out ROK to get dimensions on the city of Tarantia but pound for pound another excellent module.

Oh one little gripe about TotE which I now is not your fault but there is a real apparent lack of art in the last half of the book. No big deal as the meat of the adventure is the text and I would rather have good module rather than pictures but the first half the book was loaded with art compared to the second half. Awesome adventure though!!

Really looking forward to more adventures of this caliber. Scarlet Citidel, Hour of the Dragon would rule, Queen of the Black Coast, God in the bowl and some others where the main adversaries are not Stygian.

Not that I dont love Stygians!!! :twisted:
 

GregLynch

Mongoose
Zul Daire said:
The ole 5'-10' square grid always helps me out and maybe I need to pull out ROK to get dimensions on the city of Tarantia but pound for pound another excellent module.

Well, thanks again. :) Very glad you like it.

ROK would be good for Tarantia (it's good for everything), but Vincent's excellent Aquilonia, Flower of the West has more info on the seat of King C's power.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Zul Daire said:
GregLynch said:
Zul Daire said:
ROK would be good for Tarantia (it's good for everything), but Vincent's excellent Aquilonia, Flower of the West has more info on the seat of King C's power.

Ah Geez, of course it would and I have it at that!!
Very true. If you're like me, and you've retro'd your campaign back a couple decades, it can be harder unless you have access to the stories (that is, assuming you care about what happened when). In which case I use ROK as a model (my groups want nothing to do with western Hyboria, they all wanna adventure in Zamora and Turan and eastern Shem), and retro the info to the time period you're dealing with.

That's what I'm doing now with Shadizar; the GM book (first one I'm reading) is really nicely done. I'm amazed at how much influence Conan the Magnificent had to do with it (one of only a couple pastiche books I own, and finally started reading it again after 22 years as I'm reading the Shadizar GM book - nobody's writing seems to par up with Howard's IMO, but it's better writing for the most part than most pastiches). Like I wrote, Shadizar GM book is very nicely compiled.
 
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