What Has RoK Done To Your Campaign?

E Nicely

Mongoose
So here's the deal. My Conan campaign is scheduled to run 8-10 sessions, I play in a group where we run 2 different games on alternating weeks each player taking turns GMing a 6-10 session game, 2 GMs running ata time. The fourth Conan session this week. I had done a campaign outline for 8 sessions and wanted to feature the "standard" Hyborian kingdoms as the locales. Ran Kovag-Re first, then on to Koth to gaurd a caravan (and an undercover Acheronian on his way home with Stygian slave girls who were nobility to serve as breeding stock in a big Acheronian plot). The Acheronian almost wiped the PCs out, but that's a different matter.

From there I had intended the players to hang in Ophir for awhile and get involved with some intrigue. Then on to Nemedia and eventually Aquilonia, with the players falling further afoul of the Aceronians.

But then I bought Road of Kings. After reading the Ophir entry I saw the potential for political intrigue but when I read Corinthia's entry the campaign outline exploded. Corinthia has way too much stuff to ignore. So the players will venture there in a 2 part adventure, plenty of work for mercenaries. And werewolves. Some of them the "true" kind who happen to be Corinthian nobility. On to the Corinthian Senate in part 2 to expose yet another evil plot.

Then who knows? Nemedia next with some dealings with the Acheronians. I'm going to have to do a second "Book" of adventures (a new campaign) when my turn to GM comes up again. Simply too much good source material to ignore. The Pirate Isles supplement will figure in, the second part of the campaign will take place in part on pirate ships, and might end up in the East.

And none of the above is a complaint. I love books like RoK. Sorry about being long winded.

So I guess the point of this thread is: has RoK changed your campaign? Are your players now headed for lands where you never intended them to?
 

sanseveria

Mongoose
So I guess the point of this thread is: has RoK changed your campaign? Are your players now headed for lands where you never intended to ignore?

Did it change my game? no, I don't think so...

I do think it enhanced the game. It made the game a bit more credible. My prep time has been reduced significantly, not having to create quite so much background for the places.

Overall, I believe RoK has improved my game, but I wouldn't say it changed it.

SS
 
Now instead of playing a mindless, PrC loving, WOTC licking, nerf herding DnD'r, I can learn about the backgrounds of my human race, and play as a civilised person would.

Yes, I know that SoS has 3 PrCs. The number 3 is a lot less than 3 billion that dnd has.
 

E Nicely

Mongoose
Jason Durall said:
Pushed it back, as I'm still waiting for my playtest copy and don't want to begin a campaign without it in hand.

I had intended to hold off until RoK's release as well, but just couldn't wait.
 

E Nicely

Mongoose
Odovacar's Ghost said:
Now instead of playing a mindless, PrC loving, WOTC licking, nerf herding DnD'r, I can learn about the backgrounds of my human race, and play as a civilised person would.

Yes, I know that SoS has 3 PrCs. The number 3 is a lot less than 3 billion that dnd has.

Ya gotta love it. The core classes are more than enough to play with. Save the prestige classes for NPC's.
 

nidhog

Mongoose
It has saved me alot of prep work for my game. My only problem is that I now want to expand my campaign even more. So it looks like a six session mini-campaign will fill out to about twelve or so sessions. Just in time for the Across Thunder River campaign to be published.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Lowly Uhlan---

There is a pastiche entitled CONAN THE FEARLESS, by Steve Perry, that takes place entirely within Corinthia (detailing the city-state of Mostandinos). It even has a werepanther senator that might help you with your campaign plans, as he figures quite prominently in the book as a villain. :wink:
 

E Nicely

Mongoose
Iron_Chef said:
Lowly Uhlan---

There is a pastiche entitled CONAN THE FEARLESS, by Steve Perry, that takes place entirely within Corinthia (detailing the city-state of Mostandinos). It even has a werepanther senator that might help you with your campaign plans, as he figures quite prominently in the book as a villain. :wink:

Thanks, Chef. I was thinking about starting a thread to ask for some good pastiche stories to read, looks like I've got the first one for my list. 8) Gotta love lycanthrope senators!
 
In my humble opinion, one of the poorest pastiches. I really liked some of the ideas and Lemparius made a half decent concept for a villain but I struggled to empathise with the characters and some of the scenes just did not 'feel' like Conan to me. In particular, I blamed Perry's picture of Cornithia - I just did not feel that it had the essential historical verisimilitude and grit that epitomises Howardian Hyboria.

I actually found Lemparius more threatening in his human form and armed with his steel fang knife than as a panther. The augmented attributes and reflexes worked well enough and the showdown with Conan in Lemparius' palace was, for me, the highlight of the book. I really didn't like the way that Lemparius was made to look weak / pathetic by Perry after this confrontation (the scene with Djuvula made quite a sorry mess of the villainous image of Lemparius).

Just an opinion and I don't want to tread on anyone elses toes, but I really think that Perry's Corinthia is somewhat adrift of the image and atmosphere conjured up by the majority of the other Hyborian literature. I see Corinthia as almost a blank canvas and somewhere ripe for political intrigue and civil uprising.
 

E Nicely

Mongoose
Steel fang knife? I guess I now know what kind of weapon tonight's main villian will be using!

And that's the thing with reading pastiche's. I read only a couple of non-Howard stories years ago (there was one by Poul Anderson, a good writer that I had read previously, not bad) and most of the DeCamp/Carter stories. But It seems like it's similar to reading Star Trek novels. I am a huge Trek fan but most of the novels suck and I no longer read any of them. I'm kind of hesitant but I think I'll keep an open mind and try a couple of Conan books anyway.

But there's pastiche material in RoK so I figure that checking out some of the non-REH stuff is a good idea. I really loved reading the Roy Thomas comics as a kid, that's material I am happy to see included in RoK.
 

toscadero

Mongoose
The problem with pastiches is that they are not always consistent with the overall feel. I too have enjoyed books by Poul Anderson. However, it was his attempt at doing Conan that turned me away from reading the pastiches. There were little details in his book that gave me the impression that he had done little research beyond reading Queen of the Black Coast to aid in writing his book.

Because of his book, I've missed out on reading any of the books published since the early 80's. If there are any great ones I wouldn't mind hearing suggestions for future reading.

As for the Road Of Kings, I pre-ordered mine on e-bay and am still waiting for my copy. Apparently the company I ordered from has no idea how to pack and ship a product. At this pace, I will probably own Pirate Isles first. :cry:
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
FYI: Most used book stores have tons of the Conan pastiches on the shelf, and all for a couple of bucks apiece. That's how I bought my collection (aside from the Robert Jordan ones back in the early 80s when I bought them all new and liked them BETTER than the old Ace twelve volume Conan set --- which I probably wouldn't have read if weren't for Jordan).
 

E Nicely

Mongoose
toscadero said:
The problem with pastiches is that they are not always consistent with the overall feel. I too have enjoyed books by Poul Anderson. However, it was his attempt at doing Conan that turned me away from reading the pastiches. There were little details in his book that gave me the impression that he had done little research beyond reading Queen of the Black Coast to aid in writing his book.

You're totally entitled to your opinion. But Anderson did do a good job with the characterization of Conan. Gave the story some validity IMO.

Anyways, hope you get your copy of RoK soon, it kicks some major ass.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Lowly Uhlan said:
toscadero said:
The problem with pastiches is that they are not always consistent with the overall feel. I too have enjoyed books by Poul Anderson. However, it was his attempt at doing Conan that turned me away from reading the pastiches. There were little details in his book that gave me the impression that he had done little research beyond reading Queen of the Black Coast to aid in writing his book.

You're totally entitled to your opinion. But Anderson did do a good job with the characterization of Conan. Gave the story some validity IMO.

Anyways, hope you get your copy of RoK soon, it kicks some major ass.

I've got to say that Anderson's Conan book was the ONLY unreadable pastiche I've ever bought (though Roland Green came very, very, close). I made it maybe 20 pages into Anderson before putting the book down in disgust. I thought he was totally offbase to put in direct conversations between mortals and gods and the whole concept just seemed silly to me, as well as being something no other pastiche novelist has done to my knowledge. The bad guys seemed like cookie cutter comic book villains, lacking any real depth... Just my impression. I hardly ever stop reading a book once I pick it up, so that says how much I disliked this book. I even tried to pick it up again, and stopped at around the same point. Just rubbed me the wrong way.

Maybe Anderson is a good sci-fi author, but after this book, I'll be running the other way the next time I see his name on a book. Still, if you enjoyed his book and found it useful to your campaign, then more power to you. :wink:
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
Iron_Chef said:
Maybe Anderson is a good sci-fi author, but after this book, I'll be running the other way the next time I see his name on a book.

You would be doing yourself a huge disservice, here as his Three Hearts and Three Lions and The Broken Sword are classics of the fantasy genre, and his Hrolf Kraki's Saga and The War of the Gods are excellent Viking-themed fantasies.

All of these books are much better than his Conan pastiche.
 

toscadero

Mongoose
I will probably pick up some of the pastiches from a used bookstore as Iron Chef suggests. If I'm dissapointed, I'm only out a few bucks. If I find a gem, then it was worth the money. I wasn't meaning to knock all pastiches, but I did get away from reading the others because of one book. And I have enjoyed some of Poul Anderson's other books.

The funny thing is that, as in all things, people find different aspects of Conan pastiche to dislike. You will find one person praising a pastiche author while another is lambasting him as the worst to take up a pen. It was not so much the story, but just little details that bothered me in the book.

It seems that the topic of pastiche might have hijacked the thread for a while, so back to the topic: I just got an e-mail from the company that sold me Road of Kings. They said they had a small supply problem and will mail out my book today or tomorrow. I read that to mean that they lost my order and are shipping a copy that has been sitting in their warehouse for several weeks. Either way, I'm thrilled that I should have my copy by early next week.

How has RoK's altered my campaign? I've had to make stuff up or pull it from memory for the past three weeks while waiting on my copy. And I don't mind a bit of pastiche in the book if it helps fill in some blank areas.
 

Belkregos

Mongoose
BY BORIs STRONG ARM!!!
Finally!
Thanks for the tip,
I've been scouring all the city’s books stores looking for red nails and finally I have the book in my hands, thanks to the wisdom of the Iron Chef!
I went to several used book stores today and finally I found a treasure pile of old books, I left the book store with the following jewels
Red Nails, the people of the black circle, the hour of the dragon, Conan the liberator, Conan the buccaneer,
I will read all of Howard’s work first then Spangue,
Who do you guys recommend I go for after?
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Belkregos said:
BY BORIs STRONG ARM!!!
Finally!
Thanks for the tip,
I've been scouring all the city’s books stores looking for red nails and finally I have the book in my hands, thanks to the wisdom of the Iron Chef!
I went to several used book stores today and finally I found a treasure pile of old books, I left the book store with the following jewels
Red Nails, the people of the black circle, the hour of the dragon, Conan the liberator, Conan the buccaneer,
I will read all of Howard’s work first then Spangue,
Who do you guys recommend I go for after?

First off, I'm really glad my advice proved so helpful. I have found used bookstores an invaluable asset in completing many of my book collections, such as Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, James Herberts' 70s horror novels, and of course, Conan (although I only own about 23 Conan pastiches in addition to REH's People of the Black Circle, Coming of Conan, and the old Ace twelve volume set featuring REH, deCamp, Carter and Nyborg). Also snagged all REH King Kull in one book.

For other pastiche authors, I'd recommend John Maddox Roberts, Karl Edward Wagner, John C. Hocking and Robert Jordan for Conan pastiche authors who deliver fun, sexy, violent adventure consistently. John C. Hocking's Conan And The Emerald Lotus (his only novel) is the best pastiche ever written, as far as I'm concerned, followed by Karl Edward Wagner's Road of Kings (his only Conan pastiche). I really enjoyed the other two authors many pastiches as well. Jordan's best (best first), Conan The Invincible, Conan The Defender, Conan The Triumphant, Conan The Unconquered, Conan The Magnificent, Conan The Victorious). Maddox Roberts classics are Conan And The Treasure Of Python, Conan And The Amazon, Conan The Rogue and Conan The Marauder. I also enjoyed Leonard Carpenter's Conan The Warlord. Not a big deCamp fan, though.

Oh, and sorry if it a thread hijack took place; I was only answering questions asked or posed. The pastiches are relevant, as they appear in ROK and are helpful in fleshing out people and locations to Conan GMs, as well as helping get players into the "proper" Conan mindset. :wink:
 

E Nicely

Mongoose
Iron_Chef said:
Oh, and sorry if it a thread hijack took place; I was only answering questions asked or posed. The pastiches are relevant, as they appear in ROK and are helpful in fleshing out people and locations to Conan GMs, as well as helping get players into the "proper" Conan mindset. :wink:

No worries.

Last nights session went well, the next will take the players to the city state of Polopponi.

One cool use for RoK came last night. One of the players had to build a new character since his old one had been killed in the previous session. He built a Noble/Soldier from the Border Kingdoms, and he's one of the players that hasn't read a lot of Conan stories. Having RoK's material on that particular kingdom helped him a lot when he was devising his character concept. Especially with the Border Kingdoms, which aren't covered that well in the core book. Nice having a seperate book to hand a guy and say "Give me a character background, tell me what city and nation you are from". Works great for the not-so-versed-in-Conan types. A minor change to the campaign, but a signifigant one.
 
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