Zamorian Thievery

sanseveria

Mongoose
I am a Conan fan, espescially recently, but I'm still new to the World of Hyboria, espescially as a campaign world. My question is this, there's a Zamorian thief in my party, and he's asking if there are any organizations like thieves guilds or gangs or whatnot in the county. (he hopes to use them as an allegiance of some sort). I got no problem making a guild of some sort up, but if there already something out there, I'd like to read it, including any opinions all of you may have.

Thanks,
SS
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
It's possible there would be small gangs of thieves with better organization than street thugs, but there are no large, well-established "guilds" like you'd find in D&D.

A thief's first (and often only) loyalty is to himself. Your player might have running buddies, but he should know that they'll all abandon him in a second if they can profit by it or escape the headsman's axe.
 
It's not likely. According to a letter Robert E. Howard wrote, Zamora is an absolute despotism where differing political opinions were not tolerated. Thus such an organisation might be seen as a threat to the king, and destroyed.

At best you might see small gangs, I would think. Howard's thieves tended to operate as individuals or in small groups. Certainly Conan never seemed to get in trouble with local thieves guilds. Although you will see rogues' alliances and small gangs, I doubt the king of Zamora would allow anything to get more organised than that - and he has spies everywhere as despots often do.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
An L Sprague De Camp novel makes mention of the Zamorian High Guild, but no details are given. I am no fan of de Camp's writings in general, but I do have a criminal organization of sorts in Arenjun.

The Mongoose book states that thieves have yet to organize into any cohesive guild, so it would seem that individual thieves run rampant throughout the Maul, perhaps joining together in bands of a dozen or so.

Really, having a guild makes things hard on thieves. They can't ply their trade without the blessing of the guild. They have to pay guild dues, protection money, try clawing their way up the guild hierarchy...a real pain in the butt for a wandering thief who doesn't plan to stay in town for years. And if they defy the guild...well, they're in for a LOT of trouble that the rest of the PCs (if they're not thieves) may not want to put up with.

If you want to dive into a full-blown guild, go ahead...but it's not necessary.
:)
 

Fearguis

Mongoose
The Red Hand operates out of Arenjun, if I remember correctly. I believe there's another group in Yezud, as well. These groups are not political powers, but they are definitely organized.
 
Fearguis said:
The Red Hand operates out of Arenjun, if I remember correctly. I believe there's another group in Yezud, as well. These groups are not political powers, but they are definitely organized.

The Red Hand? As in "caught red-handed"? LOL! :lol: Who thought that silly idea up? That's just too much camp for a Conan game. Batman the TV Show RPG though...

In Howard's work, the Red Hand was Strom's pirate ship in The Black Stranger. It wasn't a thieves' guild in Arenjun.
 

Fearguis

Mongoose
No, I'm serious! Either Robert Howard or Robert Jordan came up with that. I've got a book at home that deals with them. I believe they operated in the "Maul" in Arenjun. I'll see if I can find it tonight.
 

Johannixx

Mongoose
Fearguis said:
No, I'm serious! Either Robert Howard or Robert Jordan came up with that. I've got a book at home that deals with them. I believe they operated in the "Maul" in Arenjun. I'll see if I can find it tonight.

I'm pretty sure it was Jordan.
 

sanseveria

Mongoose
Thanks for all the relies, I don't think I'll have any real guilds, just small bunches of robbers cuttroaths and general troublemakers.
 
Fearguis said:
No, I'm serious! Either Robert Howard or Robert Jordan came up with that. I've got a book at home that deals with them. I believe they operated in the "Maul" in Arenjun. I'll see if I can find it tonight.

It would not surprise me if it was Jordan. That is the same guy who thought it was clever to name his Trolloc tribes 'Ahfrait' (Efreet), Bhan'sheen (Banshees), Dha'vol (Devil), Dhai'mon (Demon), Dhjin'nen (Djinni), Ghar'ghael (gargoyle), Ghob'hlin (goblin) and so on. I would not put it past him to call a gang of red-handed thieves "The Red Hand".

Didn't he use the Red Hand as an organisation in the Wheel of Time too?

Holy Robert Jordan, Batman!

On a more serious note, Robert E. Howard did use the Red Hand, but it was not a thieves' guild. It was Strom's pirate ship in The Black Stranger. (The Treasure of Tranicos for those that prefer de Camp's rewrites of Howard's material.)
 
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