Robert Jordan pastiche

Evil_Trevor said:
Oly said:
One memorable piece was "But I am not such a dog as to leave a white woman in the clutches of a black man." I find that kinda strong when seen through my modern eyes.

I have no difficulty with the above quote which reads to me as if it is being spoken or thought by a character.

I think Conan says it in The Vale of Lost Women- one of REH's oddest adventures though a favourite of mine. He is referring to leaving a Hyborian woman in the clutches of a Kushite tribe that has already killed said woman's brother horribly and whose cheif has ravaged her repeatedly. In that setting Conan's intent an act of mercy. Leaving her among those kind of people no matter what color skin would be most unkind.

Conan also says something similiar in The Black Stranger. When Conan, a group of Barachan Pirates and Zingarian Freebooters are surrounded by Picts Conan has the option of just leaving them there to die. They were after all waiting to kill and betray Conan. Instead he says something like "A white man doesn't leave other white men to these type of people." Somewhat noble from Conan's point of view but I'd have left them there. The enemy of my enemy is my soak unit. 8)
 
Evil_Trevor said:
Not entirly sure here if you're following the plot, for his time Howard was very, very, non-sexist and non-racist much more so than almost all of his contempories. I don't even think Raven is objecting to the fact that Women are portrayed as being on the recieving end of violence, that is part and parcel of bieng an adventurer. The issue is the overuse of sado-masachistic imagery and sexual violence.

Correct. In a Conan story I expect somewhere along the line someone's going to try to sacrifice a woman to a dark force 75% of the time. Goes with the territory. But Jordan went over the top in Trimuphant with the imagery. If you don't believe me track it down and just read the prologue. A similar but less overt and intense scene happens in another of his pastiches I read. A third one of his pastiches I read contained virtually no sexual overtones than a bit of slap and tickle between Conan and a noblewoman so Jordan didn't constantly do this sort of thing. What was going through his head while writing Trimuphant I have no idea, nor maybe do I want to know.

I am not saying I hate Jordan's work, etc. His pastiches aren't my favourite that's all.
 

Castel

Mongoose
Even your smallest enemy may reveal itself to be your greatest ally... One fine example is gollum from "lord of the rings" when he fall into the volcano... best help ever...

(i´ve got to start taking notes of these things for my campains)

One question... is there a "must read" pastiche ?

One that really caught the howard flame?
 
JORDAN is a fine writer + is among my top 5 best Conan pastiche writers.
+ he writes the sexiest buxom temptress scenes. magnificent titilation!
but he also writes some of the silliest, inconsistant, crazy female characters in his conan books aswell. they seem written just to flatter + amuse male egos. which is to be expected in conan tales.
[it was clever how he deliberately leaves any sex out of his 1st WOTime book + it becomes a best-seller?! ] i congratulate him on his talent + his huge success.

but JOHN MADDOX ROBERTS is the best writer of grim conan! [his version of Conan is the nearest to that of REHoward ] 8)
--
i dont like OFFUTs conan books. they are mostly very poor, boring, dull + corny tales. yuk.
--
please see conan.com forums for reviews + ratings of almost every Conan book. :)
learn to enjoy the best + leave the cr ap till last..
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
Remember, REH said that Conan was descended from the same line as King Kull. Conan was aware of these legends, and although he spoke of himself as a barbarian, he in fact had pretensions of nobility in the way he conducted himself. The Cimmerian's code of honor reflected some of this. He did seem to respect many of the black men he fought beside, but he evidence an attitude that his race was just a tad bit more noble and thus more honorable than other races. He probably saw the other white races as offshoots of his kin, so he had somewhat of a "racist" attitude. I couldn't say if this was REH's view of the world, but I will claim it was Conan's. This does not mean Conan viewed the black races as inferior, but just not as "noble" as Cimmerians or their distant kin. I know the distinction is hard to grasp, but that's the best I can do.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
I got Jordan's Conan the Magnificent when it first came out in paperback along with Poul Anderson's Conan the Rebel. Funny thing is that, in reading the GM book of the Shadizar boxed set, and realizing that much of it contains information from Conan the Magnificent and decided to read it again, the first time I've done so since 1984.

I'm really not impressed with the story, and wouldn't recommend it as a Conan story. It reminds me why I don't tend to like pastiche writers. Before the angry responses come, let me say that I also read the first book of the Wheel of Time series and was infuriated with the poor, protracted writing (his usage of "Just" just appearing just like just 16 times per page, at least that's just how it just felt). BUT, I think Magnificent is a much better written story, it's just not a CONAN story. Conan acts fine if he were Sinbad, or maybe one of the English soldiers in Gunga Din. But he's way too civilized to be a barbarian newly arrived in Zamora; and while I like Jordan's writing that Conan cannot ever understand women, his actions are too civilised and gentlemanly to feel correct to me.

The women in this story are pretty well written, in a stereotypical way. Their actions are predictable in a "Perils of Pauline" sort of way, but isn't that expected as a convention of the genre? As for Eldran the Brythunian, I get the impression that he was the character Jordan was most interested in writing, and used the story as a way to deal with a character he was much more interested in. There are just too many elements in this story that feel out of place compared to Howard or even de Camp/Carter/Nyberg stories (the hillmen, the monster, it's inability to be harmed by weapons save the bane weapon -- I KNOW THE FLAME KNIFE also has a bane weapon, but Jordan just doesn't really explain any cosmic works affecting the beast, it's just untouchable because it is). Conan's sense of humor, his foreplay, even his reactions to taunts or bribes or such would work well in something like Sinbad or Tales of the Arabian Nights, but just don't feel like, well, like Conan.

I DO however like most of the way Shadizar is depicted, it's flavor, most of the atmosphere its well-laid. Interestingly the king is practically unmentioned, neither are it's religions, but the nobility depicted through the Lady Jondra are, well, interesting.

There's me two cents woith. In conclusion, it's interesting to read Conan the Magnificent if you have the Shadizar boxed set and want to read where much of the source material comes from, but I don't count it as a great Conan story. It IS a good adventure/fantasy story, if you substitute another person of the Hyborian world for Conan.

End of line.
 

Castel

Mongoose
From what i´ve read from REH (not much i must admit)
I can say, yes conan world is racist, sexist and full of violence... the last time i checked it was called "human nature", and also "Real World"
I think REH inspired himself with the stories of the ancient world...
Conan world is a though place to live...Now law is stronger than the one of the sword... so that explains the violence.
Racism is explained with the normal fear and deslike of the unkown, if i quite recall it´s not just about blacks, it´s also about picts, vanir and other people that conan didn´t like.
Sexism it a cultural heritage of our latin ancestors, men are usually stronger than women so they controled women, and that became the rule (thats why i continue to say that the temptress was a great idea), but not all are sexist in conan, the nordheimer have a tradition of women fighting, and they are at the same level than the men.

About the black people, they were considered like the picts to be savages, not barbarians... thats what made conan deslike them in that way.
(I still remember reading an article of final 17th century in wich people were questioning if the black had a soul, and if it sould be refered as a he and not it, something like that, and the interesting think is that in mid darkages there were people making that same questions but about women)

It´s part of our heritage, its something we must be remembered... and i think that REH was himself rascist and sexist, but not as much as some were... but he did recognize the valor that all kinds of humans had.
 

Strom

Mongoose
Evil_Trevor said:
The issue is the overuse of sado-masachistic imagery and sexual violence.

I always try to remember that Robert was a professional writer and he was smart to realize what sold and what didn't. The amazing thing is he was able to create such unique story-lines to incorporate around the sexual imagery and violence.

But he's way too civilized to be a barbarian

This is where most - if not all - Conan pastiche writers fail. The inability to capture the barbaric nature of Conan in civilization. It must not be easy because you read Howard's Conan and everyone else's Conan seems subdued or muted. Kurt Busiek has captured a young barbaric Conan very well in the new Conan comic from Dark Horse in much the same way Roy Thomas did in the 70's with Marvel's Conan. I honestly believe it is a matter of trying to stay true to the source material which both of those men appear to have done.

That said, as a fan of Conan I crave new adventures from the Cimmerian and so I've read quite a few of the pastiche stories and must say the best IMO are from Wagner, Maddox, Jordan, and Hocking. Plus Vincent's RPG books are great additions to the mythos!
 
Castel said:
Even your smallest enemy may reveal itself to be your greatest ally... One fine example is gollum from "lord of the rings" when he fall into the volcano... best help ever...

Yeah, but this is Conan. There is no final Euchristic moment where good vanquishes all- here evil just kind of peters out slowly as it exhausts its resorces. To survive the Hyborian you have be at least a little nasty yourself. Asking help of the elves isn't an option. 8)
 
Strom said:
I always try to remember that Robert was a professional writer and he was smart to realize what sold and what didn't. The amazing thing is he was able to create such unique story-lines to incorporate around the sexual imagery and violence.

To me the story line was kind of weak. IMHO it resembled a pornographic work in that is seemed the plot existed soley to display the S&M ritualistic torture scenes and of course two beauties fighting for Conan's attention. [It is Conan after all] But while that sort of work sells well, it's not really writing but exhibitionism in text. The rest of the story where about the Ophurian royalty was jockeying for position with the upcoming death of their king was barely touched on and insignificant. To me it seemed like it was just thrown in there because Jordan's contract required a B-plot in the story.

But he's way too civilized to be a barbarian

This is where most - if not all - Conan pastiche writers fail. The inability to capture the barbaric nature of Conan in civilization. It must not be easy because you read Howard's Conan and everyone else's Conan seems subdued or muted. Kurt Busiek has captured a young barbaric Conan very well in the new Conan comic from Dark Horse in much the same way Roy Thomas did in the 70's with Marvel's Conan. I honestly believe it is a matter of trying to stay true to the source material which both of those men appear to have done.

I think the writers of the more visceral and primitive storylines in the comic genre would have a better insight into a barbaric nature.

That said, as a fan of Conan I crave new adventures from the Cimmerian and so I've read quite a few of the pastiche stories and must say the best IMO are from Wagner, Maddox, Jordan, and Hocking. Plus Vincent's RPG books are great additions to the mythos!

Agree on Wagner, Maddox and Vincent. Haven't read Hocking.
 

Evil_Trevor

Mongoose
Castel said:
Sexism it a cultural heritage of our latin ancestors, men are usually stronger than women so they controled women, and that became the rule

I beg to differ here

History and mordern attitudes are severly distorted a result of relativley modern (post medieval) events particularly the rise of Isamic and Christian religons and their interpretation. Particularly victorian-age scholors were apt to write history and interpret archeology in terms that would not 'offend the sensabilitys of the noble reader' often choosing to re-interpret obvious evidence, my favourite example from the exavations of Pompeil is the commont one well-meaning chap makes on uncovering a illustration of female gladiators "These romans had vivid imaginations" or some such twaddle,

I don't know how this progressed over the pond but since most early americian settlers were puritans it must have carried accross very strongly.

The strong western oppresion of women is a 18th/19th/20th century abberation. The worst is in 'Islamic fundamentalist' nations of the same period and the 21st century.
 

Castel

Mongoose
The strong western oppresion of women was what?
18th century?
You´re joking right?
Man ruling over women was one of the oldest laws defined, in the caveman times, there where three social styles, Men ruled, women ruled, they were equal, guess from wich tipe our society comes from (i speak of the western one)... yes the 1st.

And as far as i know, pompei like all the other cities of the roman empire, it were men who had power, it were men who had jobs, and women were considered a possession and condemnd to only serve as slaves, hores or mothers.
And don´t give me the example that women were fighting in the "Circus", i don´t think you can messure freedom in the slaves killing for their survival.

'Islamic fundamentalist' nations have the same opinion our dark ages ancestors had...
In ancient times we were the "fundamentalists" defendind our cross, and they were the evolved civilisation who was destroyed...
Seems that the roles have changed...
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Castel said:
The strong western oppresion of women was what?
18th century?
You´re joking right?
Man ruling over women was one of the oldest laws defined, in the caveman times, there where three social styles, Men ruled, women ruled, they were equal, guess from wich tipe our society comes from (i speak of the western one)... yes the 1st.
Forget Robert Jordan, have any of you read Tom Robbins? Skinny Legs and All's story playing with the seven veils is a wonderful look at how feminine nature (in religion) was corrupted by male societies (how Isis was perverted by Judeo-Christian theologians). Robbins writes in an absurdist medium, but raises wonderful questions all the time about how we came to live in the societies we live in today. Then again, the book stars a conch shell, painted stick and spoon as well as the transformed Salome, so it's more ridiculous than Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but much better written and full of amazing ideas. And yes, he writes about sex better than Playboy! (I had a professor of medieval literature who wowed me when he said on the first day of class "Read Robbins! That guy writes about f***ing as well as Chaucer or the Harley lyricists! Well, after I made sure I'd heard him right, I realized I had to agree. But now I'm getting off-topic.
Castel said:
And as far as i know, pompei like all the other cities of the roman empire, it were men who had power, it were men who had jobs, and women were considered a possession and condemnd to only serve as slaves, hores or mothers.
And don´t give me the example that women were fighting in the "Circus", i don´t think you can messure freedom in the slaves killing for their survival.
Many early societies (as well as our present-day ones) were male-dominated, but not all. Early greek tribes were ruled by matrons, it is thought they shifted to male dominance around 3,000 B.C. There were a couple Indo-Turkish societies that were governed by Women as well as the peoples of Ur I think (hard doing this at work -gee I should get back to work shouldn't I? :lol: ) in pre-Crete. As a Christian, the thing I love about Jesus was that he loved all people and women were not below men but had a compassion men seldom acknowledged (look at raising Lazarus after Martha and Mary's lamentations, Mary Magdelene, & etc.). The Jewish society of that time was a male society where women were not allowed in temple as they were "unclean" and while Jesus didn't break the Jewish theological laws he spoke often about what was wrong with laws of men even as he worked fulfilling the old prophesies. Anyways, to get back on topic again.... :oops:
'
Castel said:
Islamic fundamentalist' nations have the same opinion our dark ages ancestors had...
In ancient times we were the "fundamentalists" defendind our cross, and they were the evolved civilisation who was destroyed...
Seems that the roles have changed...
Yep. Considering the advances made by moors in early Spain, the arabic mathematics and sciences and Turkish and arabic feats of engineering were amazing, so much has been lost. Oh well, it is the way of things.
 
Guys, far be it from me to be the voice of reason about this particular subject but we are getting off the original topic again. I think most people here can agree that sexism exists and that's it has been around for a while. But I made a New Years resolution that I'd play nicer on the board and I don't want to break it two weeks into 2006. 8)
 

Strom

Mongoose
Raven Blackwell said:
To me the story line was kind of weak. IMHO it resembled a pornographic work in that is seemed the plot existed soley to display the S&M ritualistic torture scenes and of course two beauties fighting for Conan's attention. [It is Conan after all] But while that sort of work sells well, it's not really writing but exhibitionism in text. The rest of the story where about the Ophurian royalty was jockeying for position with the upcoming death of their king was barely touched on and insignificant. To me it seemed like it was just thrown in there because Jordan's contract required a B-plot in the story.

I agree with you on Jordan - I was referring to Robert E. Howard though. Sorry I wasn't clear on that.

I think the writers of the more visceral and primitive storylines in the comic genre would have a better insight into a barbaric nature.

Seems so. Plus the format is perfect for the quick S & S adventure. Longer S & S stories in prose can work - Hour of the Dragon and the Elric and Corum books come to mind as good examples.
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
I really love his Conan the Triumphant which has everything Howard usually included: court intrigue, secret cult, a war between many factions for the kingdom of Ophir and Conan inbetween as the commander of a free company for said kingdom

CN3 (Official Game Adventure Conan Triumphant) is a module for my game of Conan. The module is the best of the three created for this game. It has maps of the Kingdome of Ophir, city of Ianthe, and 17 scenarios to play. I've not gotten all the way through the module, but it follows the book pretty closely. Unfortunetly, it is not written for d20 Conan. (See, I do care about you guys!)
 

Bregales

Mongoose
dunderm said:
I really love his Conan the Triumphant which has everything Howard usually included: court intrigue, secret cult, a war between many factions for the kingdom of Ophir and Conan inbetween as the commander of a free company for said kingdom

CN3 (Official Game Adventure Conan Triumphant) is a module for my game of Conan. The module is the best of the three created for this game. It has maps of the Kingdome of Ophir, city of Ianthe, and 17 scenarios to play. I've not gotten all the way through the module, but it follows the book pretty closely. Unfortunetly, it is not written for d20 Conan. (See, I do care about you guys!)
I haven't looked on this board in a while, but I have all three CNs in .pdf format as well as the original physical modules, and I scanned CBs in word. If anyone has them in either format, and they care to take the heavy work to convert them, then they could be used in OGL format. Mind you, hyboria.xoth.net has done so for the CB modules, but you still need the originals to reference changes on web.
 

The King

Cosmic Mongoose
Bregales, This scenario you're talking about is the best that was done for Conan. With some works one can create an excellent campaign.
 

Mark Dunder

Mongoose
The biggest effort would be in creating the NPCs for OGL Conan. Once that is done, it's only a matter of a few Skills picked for the Talents listed. But I'm not 100% sure the module I'm talking about is the same Conan Triumphant module Bregales has. Mine was written by William Carlson.

The module features an interesting Mass Combat system, which I believe your Conan has also?

This module has a nice jigsaw like city design system, where you can just piece together any city.

Anyway, I need to get more dedicated players, for a real campaign.

I would try it online, but I have no experience with that, and wouldn't want to botch it.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Hi have the TSR7403 product, module CN3: Conan Triumphant module with the (stiff as usual) Boris cover of Conan, sword in hand, blond girl with horned helmet facing the three eyed minotaur.

I have the three CN modules on pdf as I wrote. I've never read this one, but have used the other two (tsr7401 CN1 Conan the Buccaneer.pdf & TSR7402 - CN2 - Conan The Mercenary.pdf) as well as the CB:1 & CB:2 AD&D modules (Conan:Unchained! and Conan: Against Darkness!) - am currently going over my OCR scan of CB:2 so the electric word doc conversion looks exactly like the physical original, I'm converting for a friend who also collects Conan products (Mijoro on these boards). The .pdfs are between 2 and 5.5MB of memory, the word docs are about 2.3MB and add another Meg for the pdfs of the scanned maps. I know the pdfs are available on some hard to find websites and stores (friend got me the pdfs), the physicals on ebay every now and then or amazon (I listed all products on my Amazon Listmania list, that's why I wrote that I have all TSR products, again if there were others someone please tell me!:p

Dude, I've written several times on other posts that I bought the TSR Conan boxed set the first time I saw it in the game store in Syracuse NY where I grew up. I tried on four separate occasions to get players interested, but everyone hated the talents and d100 resolution, so at most I've only played it 5 times with two guys who did want to give it a try. As far as I know, these are the only TSR modules for Conan games or adventures, that's why I wrote I have every one. If there were others, then I'm sorry and would love to find them.
 
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