Mongoose Old Bear said:
I think Ian (Sturrock) has found plenty that is 'pure' Howard. I'm just one of those people who feels that Sprague de Camp and Carter did credit to the character and helped advance the whole story.
Well, there's definitely enough in just Howard to do the game that way if we wanted to.
For me, de Camp and Carter did sterling work in keeping Conan in the public eye, but I dislike their edits of Howard and I really dislike the way they treat religion in the Hyborian Age, missing Howard's essentially existentialist stance on the whole issue -- which is pretty cool and unique for a fantasy RPG setting, incidentally.
I always felt their portrayals of Conan tended to descend into cliche too. Again this varied hugely, but there's a fair bit there that pushes the 'big dumb barbarian who thinks with his broadsword' idea of Conan which is distinctly non-Howard-like!
That said they were fairly competent world-builders and a number of their ideas about the Earth of the Hyborian Age do seem to fit pretty well with the original Howard. A lot of them don't, though, and they do seem to miss a fair few obvious extrapolations of Howard that would work really well. There's also the point that Howard consciously and self-admittedly left huge chunks of the world as effectively blank slates -- areas that were unknown to and largely unexplored by the civilised folk of the Hyborian Kingdoms. These can be a godsend of the GM as much as they were for Howard -- not too much need to adhere to a canon or any other consistency other than an internal one. If you want to add a new Black Kingdom where the people are cannibals who worship dragons and are superb slingers, there's nothing to stop you setting a whole adventure there without even letting the players know precisely where it is on the map. . .