Road of Kings

Neeklus

Mongoose
Exactly what does the Road of Kings supplement provide? The online description was pretty vague and the copy at my local store is sealed. Can anyone help by providing a rough outline of what is featured (rules, classes, scenario's etc)?

Thanks
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
It is a complete guide to the Hyborian world. It includes:

Lengthy descriptions of each country and the inhabitants, including their history and society, religion and current events.

Points of interest in each country (cities, ruins, etc.), and many adventure seeds for each country.

More detailed maps of many of the countries.

Some monsters and beasts from many of the countries.

Almost a dozen significant NPCs from the era of Conan, including the big guy at two stages of his career (3rd level thief, and 20th level king)

A lengthy section on GMing in the Hyborian world

More feats

The improved map (used in the Atlantean edition)
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
Neeklus, this may or may not matter to you, but be advised: Road of Kings includes a lot of material from pastiches and some less-than-Howardian sources such as the Marvel Comics series. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and Mongoose had to put something in there to cover gaps in REH's work. But some purists object, and some of the material is really jarring or seems out of place.

Despite those caveats, though, I'm glad I bought my copy, and I think you'll be happy with yours.
 

greenjelly

Mongoose
I wish people would stop crying about pastiche stuff being used. Howard did not get anywhere NEAR providing enough information for an rpg. Most people dont even know whats oward and whats pastiche, so its not an issue. If a purist doesnt want to use the pastiche stuff, they can make up their own, or never be able to travel to anywhere other than the places Howard mentions in the stories he did...
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
"People" aren't crying about it, if you'd care to read the whole of my post, spawn. I merely felt it worth pointing out that, because of the mixed heritage of the material used, there are some elements that are noticeably weaker or seem less well integrated into the setting.

Vincent, that comment was meant more as a knock against the source material than the book itself or its creator. You did the best that anybody could be expected to do with it, and I'm quite happy overall with the result you achieved; I wouldn't have said I liked it if I didn't feel that way.
 

Neeklus

Mongoose
Well while I am much more of a fan of Howards original tales, I feel its a bit...ignorant to ignore others peoples takes or views on his characters. Similar to many other titles and works often alien writers can inject something new into the story and it's inhabitants.

Either way, thanks for the warning ;)
 

greenjelly

Mongoose
They are crying about it a lot actually, go and check out a lot of the reviews for any of the Conan products, theres always a mention of how "they didnt stick to Howards works" or whatever, as if Mongoose has purposely gone out of their way to dilute the "purity" of Conan or something. People always feel the need to mention it every time the Conan RPG is mentioned from the posts ive seen here and on a ton of other RPG message boards.
 

Neeklus

Mongoose
People will find any reason to whine. And I sort of don't blame them. I mean take Star Wars for example - the new trilogy could be seen as a black mark on the greatness of the original. The same applies for Alien 3 and 4, Terminator 3. Some of us may feel it does no justice to the original yet its not our perogative to say what some people might or might not enjoy. I for one happen to enjoy the "diluted" Conan world that the Roleplaying game provides.
 

Mournstorm

Mongoose
Love Howard as much as I do, for the Conan game I come down on the side of the Non-Purists. To limit oneself to the original works alone is foolish insofar as an RPG is concerned. It limits the imagination, the setting, the game itself and thereby one's enjoyment.

Howard only gave us a small peek into his world of Conan. Others have taken his vision and made theirs AND ours. From a roleplay aspect alone there cannot possibly be anything wrong with that!

Pastiche? I love those lil cream cheese filled ones with the frosting :lol: ...
 

René

Mongoose
I'd like to take another approach: instead of inlcuding pastiche so regularly, Mongoose should come up with OWN Hyborian background.

A lot of the pastiche I know is of the lowest niveau you can think of; it often not even tries to stay true to REH's Conan (I got at the weekend the first issue of Darkhorse's comic reprints: "Zukala's daughter" & "Twilight of the grim grey god" have so little to do with the original CONAN that I got even a little bit angry: a D&D-like sorcercer with flashy spells and a cool Darth Vader mask in the first, real existing gods and golden magic armor in the second).

I think there are enough guys at Mongoose Hall who are not only creative, but also have the feeling for REH's Conan. If they'd write their own material, some RPG books would get better.

The inclusion of pastiche in RPG products gives me often a feeling of incompleteness: you get some information about specific locales / buildings / persons, but there usually remain wide gaps because of lacking information in the sources (=pastiche). I don't have the Shadizar box at hand: there I encountered some examples of this phenomenon.
 
René said:
I'd like to take another approach: instead of inlcuding pastiche so regularly, Mongoose should come up with OWN Hyborian background.

The inclusion of pastiche in RPG products gives me often a feeling of incompleteness: you get some information about specific locales / buildings / persons, but there usually remain wide gaps because of lacking information in the sources (=pastiche). I don't have the Shadizar box at hand: there I encountered some examples of this phenomenon.

There is remarkably little pastiche in Shadizar. Beyond the names of a few people and places, I had to invent practically everything else. I didn't give a key to every building/structure because a city the size of Shadizar would have 14,489 buildings and structures! Also, I didn't want Shadizar to be static. If a key says a shop is there, then a rules-lawyer or unimaginative GM will declare that is exactly where the shop is, no matter how many years have gone by. How many times have you seen businesses go out of business or relocate? It happens A LOT. I figure it happens even more in Shadizar.
 

René

Mongoose
VincentDarlage said:
There is remarkably little pastiche in Shadizar. Beyond the names of a few people and places, I had to invent practically everything else. I didn't give a key to every building/structure because a city the size of Shadizar would have 14,489 buildings and structures! Also, I didn't want Shadizar to be static. If a key says a shop is there, then a rules-lawyer or unimaginative GM will declare that is exactly where the shop is, no matter how many years have gone by. How many times have you seen businesses go out of business or relocate? It happens A LOT. I figure it happens even more in Shadizar.

Seems, I was not as clear as I intended: surely I'm not of the rules-lawyer-gang (and fortunately my players aren't, either) and a key to a lot of buildings would be indeed not a wise thing, especially in Shadizar.

Since I don't have the Shadizar box at hand, I can't give the examples I mentioned, but one thing I remember was the jewel merchant Samides (?): its entry gives a relatively detailed description of his house, but only a few things about his person / connections / enemies / family / preferred tactics etc. - which at least I would have found more interesting and useful.
When I read this entry, I got the (incorrect?) feeling that a pastiche was the source that lets Conan sneak in the merchant's house and steal something without giving much light to the merchant's background. This is what I meant with "gaps because of pastiche".

I'm sorry that I can't give more detailed examples, this is the only one I remember clearly.

P.S.: Just for clarification: my posts on this forum are not intended as a "They ripped me off with product xy".
 
I can't argue with that example. Let's call it a learning curve. I think I got a lot better with the NPCs in Aquilonia. Compare the descriptions of Conan the King and Zenobia in Aquilonia to the Road of Kings versions.
 

Faraer

Mongoose
René said:
I'd like to take another approach: instead of inlcuding pastiche so regularly, Mongoose should come up with OWN Hyborian background.
As Kurt Busiek's comic does. I think the pros and cons of both approaches are fairly clear, but resorting to the pastiches was certainly not the only choice, and neither is it 'ignorant' not to.
 

greenjelly

Mongoose
They cant do that because every single thing that an author added to the Conan world would have to be approved by the people who own Conan and it would take WAY too long, with a comic its easier, just send the story and approve it, with big hardbacks where everything would have to be approved it wouldnt work. If the vetoed something, then Mongoose has to come up with something else, and see if they like that etc. It could take months if it ends up in a cycle of things they dont like...
 
I really do not understand the furor. There is pastiche material in the books AND there is original material in there of Mongoose's (and my own) design. Surely there is room for both?
 

Faraer

Mongoose
I imagine the people who don't want the pastiche material used have seen the misuse of Robert E. Howard's work by de Camp and Carter, Milius, pastiche authors who didn't understand Conan or sometimes even try to; have welcomed Wandering Star's rehabilitation of Howard and the new Conan Properties' more Howard-centric use of the world and the character; and feel that the Mongoose sourcebooks seeming to put the pastiches almost in parity with the Howard stories is a retrograde step that treats usually third-rate profit-oriented product with far more respect than it deserves, tarring the original material by the association.

I partly agree with this position, and though I don't feel it strongly, I can easily imagine how people would.
 
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