Take a moment to stop and absorb everything you’re seeing in the image above by world-renowned artist BROM.
Magnificent, isn’t it?
I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to dig into this as I’ve big fan of Conan, having enjoyed the many stories written by Robert E. Howard. There was this incredible intensity in those tales, and Conan wasn’t simply some dumb brute, but the epitome of the survivor. He was cunning, vicious, emotional, savage, and noble at the same time. The stories barely meandered, throwing Conan into danger and crisis from paragraph to paragraph, propelled by a manic sense of adventure that set my imagination alight.
And now, I have in my possession, a means to hopefully emulate, and convey the same sense of savage adventure to my players.
A Game and an Archive
Perhaps one of the most interesting bits of the Conan RPG outside of its value as a game, is the fact that it is the result of some of the most exacting research on Conan lore and “canon” truth as Robert E. Howard would have intended. Given the sheer amount of different takes on Conan from movies, to cartoons and comic books, there has been a bit of drift from the original material. This work attempts to cleave through the parts that have gone differently to stick to the closest vision of Conan’s world as the authors could make it.In some ways, you could say that it’s a bible of Conan lore.
Conan, the RPG begins with an introduction to Robert E. Howard, the author that brought Conan to life in the 1920’s. It’s a brief introduction, but one that touches on Conan’s appeal as a pulp hero, and his enduring nature across a host of mediums long after his original author’s death.
Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of then segues neatly towards a discussion of what tabletop RPGs are, and what is needed to play them. It’s quick and punchy and more importantly doesn’t sound condescending. It relays the information neatly and carries you forward to the next, and probably most extensive bit: Character Creation
Given the scope of Character Creation, I’ll be tackling this in my next entry, where we’ll look at the steps, and follow along as I put together my own hero to take on the horrors and splendors of the Conan world!