I'm wondering on average how much you use monsters, demons and such in your adventures?
I used my first "monster" in the last game (PC group lvl 4/3, previously done 5 adventures) - a shambling boar-thing, a couple zombies and an enemy sorcerer. Before that I'd used an animated statue (adapted pastiche story "The Trail of the Bloodstained God") and before that I freaked out players in Zamboula when they met darfari slaves roaming the streets at night (I NEVER say: "You see 5 men coming at you with clubs in their hands": I used the utter darkness and their movements to make the group think
they were demons, so actual monsters are very new to my group. :twisted:
Does every story have a monster somewhere in it?
How often is the threat of the plot simply "human"?
How often is the threat human and NOT involving sorcerors/magic?
I guess you're asking about Howard's/others' stories. Howard used monsters fairly often, sorcerers more often (often where you see one, you see the other), but he used just man on man a couple times as well. Howard even wrote one story ("Red Nails") with dragons in it, but they were more like dinosaurs than typical pulp fantasy dragons.
I don't read stories by others, except for memory of the DeCamp/Carter/Nyborg pastiches for the Acer/Lance books done decades ago, but from what I hear other writers always have monsters in them.
What do you feel is "Conan-y"? in these respects?
Well, I'd say the feeling that the world is a very old and stark place, evil abounds and cultural politics are a quagmire for anyone not a scholar. There's no humans vs goblins, it's usually nation against nation or man against man. Usually a bit of conniving by Conan or one group of adventurers against a foe or other group of people. Their motivations are usually either politically based or simply hatred/revenge, the emergence of monsters are basically plot complications.
Monsters aren't populating dungeons, like DnD-type games. There's usually a monster which is a or the conflict the group must overcome in such stories, or maybe a couple of different monsters.
Scholars are politically motivated, not evil for evil's sake. So are enemy kings or tribes. Hope that helps (read: hope that wasn't too messy a post
) Remember, most important thing, especially if you're the GM, is do what you WANT to do, not imitate someone else. Make yourself and your group happy, that's all that matters.