Material from non-Conan stories by Robert E. Howard


This thread is for plots, situations, settings, descriptions, characters, and ideas from Howard's stories other than those of Conan. Of course, you can get much more detail, context, atmosphere and enjoyment by reading the stories themselves. I've listed the books where they've been published in square brackets.

This kind of adaptation was also done by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, and by Roy Thomas in the Conan the Barbarian comic. I think it's a lot more legitimate to use this material in a private roleplaying campaign than to publish it in Conanized form.
Description: A Shemitish city such as Nippr or Shumir
from "The House of Arabu" [Wolfshead, Eons of the Night, The Ultimate Triumph], describing the Sumerian city of Nippur c.3000 BC
The party were proceeding leisurely down the broad white street, gaped at by the common folk who bobbed their shaven heads as they passed. The sun was not long up, but the people of Nippur were well astir. There was much coming and going between the booths where the merchants spread their wares: a shifting panorama, woven of craftsmen, tradesmen, slaver, harlots and soldiers in copper helmets. There went a merchant from his warehouse, a staid figure in somber woollen robe and white mantle; there hurried a slave in a linen tunic; their minced a painted hoyden whose short slit skirt displayed her sleek flank at every step. Above them the blue of the sky whitened with the heat of the mountain sun. The glazed surfaces of the buildings shimmered. They were flat-roofed, some of them three or four stories high. Nippur was a city of sun-dried brick, but its facings of enamel made it a riot of bright color.
Adventure capsule: People of the Black Cliffs
from "People of the Black Coast" [Black Canaan, Beyond the Borders]

The PCs are shipwrecked or otherwise stranded on an island with vast black cliffs rearing up from the beach that exert an evil mesmeric effect. The island is inhabited by giant spider crabs, hyper-evolved with great inhuman intellects, physically weak but with psychic weapons. If they find a PC alone they will surround, attack, and try take the body for unknown purpose or research. They have a secret way leading up the tiers of cliffs to the crab city of horror, and are weak at dawn.

(In the story, the crab-people take the protagonist's fiancée and he seeks a doomed vengeance, finding himself the beast against more developed beings. The Conanesque version has the PCs slaughter the crab-people in the city, where they find what more mysterious horror?)
Psychic crab people!? :shock:

I don't want to go back to Forgotten Realms. :lol:

Seriously though, that's just too weird for my tastes, but the good thing would be the huge crab bake after the party has clobbered them senseless! :wink:


Weird is the operative word. As you can imagine, it comes down to the detail of the prose/DMing, which I haven't conveyed in that brief paragraph. But even adventurers brave enough to overcome their fear of the monstrous sea-shadowing cliffs and the crab-things wouldn't eat them for fear of contagion with their unearthly substance.

Of course, giant crabs are also topical, though these are bigger than horses.
Yup weird indeed. I hadn't heard about the giant crabs, but that they were in fact introduced to Europe by Stalin makes me think this is some weird kind of Unknown Armies plot... :twisted: