Conan (Icons Writeup)

Conan

Prowess 6
Coordination 5
Strength 6
Intellect 4
Awareness 5
Willpower 5

Stamina 11

Powers
*Broadsword 5
*Depending on the situation, Conan may have access to battleaxes, clubs, etc. He does not typically use ranged weapons but will make do in a pinch. He also frequently has ropes that can be used for climbing.

Specialties
Athletics (Master +3 bonus), Business – Appraisal (+1 bonus), Investigation (+1 bonus), Leadership (+1 bonus), Linguistics (+1 bonus), Martial Arts (Master +3 bonus), Mental Resistance (+1 bonus), Military (Expert +2 bonus), Sleight of Hand (+1 bonus), Stealth (Expert +2 bonus), Underwater Combat (+1 bonus), Weapons – Ranged (+1 bonus), Weapons – Blades (Master +3 bonus), Wrestling (Master +3 bonus)

Qualities
Irresistible to women
Gains and loses money very quickly
Distrusts sorcery
Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!

Background

Conan is a Cimmerian, a barbarian of the far north; he was born on a battlefield and is the son of the village blacksmith Corin. During the battle in Cimmeria, his mother Greshan was fatally wounded by an enemy while attempting to save Corin. The weakened Greshan uses the last of her strength to give birth to her son and names him Conan before she dies. He grew up quickly: by age fifteen he was already a respected warrior, participating in the destruction of the Aquilonian outpost of Venarium.

After this he was struck by wanderlust and began the colorful and exciting adventures chronicled by Robert E. Howard and others, encountering various fabulous monsters, evil wizards, and beautiful wenches and princesses – he has traveled throughout the world and been a thief and outlaw, a mercenary and commander of a mercenary company, and a pirate. He begins building larger units of men, aiming for greater territorial ambitions, though his efforts are repeatedly thwarted, usually by the total massacre of his force excepting himself. But in his forties, he finally succeeds in becoming king of Aquilonia, the most powerful kingdom of the age, having strangled the previous ruler, Numedides, on the steps of the throne. In his sixties, Conan leaves his country—never to return—to seek new battles in the uncharted west, leaving Conan II, his son by Queen Zenobia (a former Nemedian slave girl), to rule Aquilonia in his stead. Although Conan’s adventures often result in him performing heroic feats, his motive is more than often his own survival, enrichment or rise to power and he thus displays many of the characteristics of an anti-hero.

BARRY HERE: I don’t agree with everything that’s said in this essay but it’s definitely worth a read. I’m a longtime lover of sword & sorcery and Robert E. Howard’s contributions but this is an interesting take on the genre and Howard’s place in it.

While I don’t quite buy John Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces theory, I do think that there are certain basic frameworks that stories can (but never must) follow, and which can yield a nigh-infinite variety of different permutations of the same basic ideas whilst leaving room for the author’s own themes and personality to […]

via Offutt’s First Effort As Editor — The Thoughts and Fancies of a Fake Geek Boy

Robert E. Howard’s Conan

Red-NailsI grew up devouring the Conan novels, both those written by his creator and the many pastiches that followed. Indeed, it was really Conan that inspired my lifelong love the pulps — which is kind of strange, when you think about how my writing career has been devoted almost entirely to the ‘hero pulps’ and not the sword & sorcery genre that Conan belongs to.

Over the years I’ve dived back in here and there to re-read my favorite Conan tales but recently I set out to make my way through the entire REH canon and it’s reminded me of which tales are my absolute favorites.

Topping the list is “Red Nails” (1936). This story has so much great action, a wonderful female foil for Conan and is just a wonderful ‘meat and potatoes’ adventure story. Coming in close behind, though are several others that deserve special mention: “The Tower of the Elephant” (1933), “Black Colossus” (1933), “The Slithering Shadow” (1933) and “Queen of the Black Coast” (1934). Really, there’s not a bad one in the whole bunch but my least favorite tales are probably the ‘King Conan’ era stories… something just doesn’t feel as lusty and bold in those tales. “The Slithering Shadow” isn’t one that I see pop up on many ‘best of’ lists but I quite enjoyed it – not one but two sexy females in the tale, a ‘lost city’ setting that is slightly reminiscent of the one in “Red Nails” and some terrific descriptive writing from REH.

The only downside to reading so much REH? Realizing how badly my own writing stacks up against his! The man was a master when it comes to adventure, suspense and on-the-fly characterization. He could make you feel like you understood a character in just a few lines. Yes, they tended to be rather simplistic characters but you still felt like there were depths to them that you just weren’t seeing.

Great stuff.

Yeah, I’d Like to Write That…

challengers-kirbyI was able to write one of my all-time favorite pulp heroes — The Avenger — for Moonstone. Twice!

I’ve also written The Green Hornet, G-8 and His Battle Aces, The Black Bat, The Black Terror and lots more. I’ve written sourcebooks that were all about Spider-Man, Marvel’s Avengers and a lot more…

But there are still some dream projects out there that I’d like to tackle:

Batman. I’ve read some good Batman prose novels but I’d love to handle Bruce Wayne and company just once. I think it would be a blast.

The Shadow. Taking on Walter Gibson’s signature character would be intimidating as hell but I’d jump at the opportunity.

Conan. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to live up to the passion of Robert E. Howard’s writing but I’d give it my best shot.

Airboy. I’m not too big on aerial pulp, despite having written both Richard Knight and G-8… but Airboy’s appearances in the Chuck Dixon comic book series made me a fan.

Challengers of the Unknown. I didn’t much care for the Ron Goulart novel that came out way back when… I like to think I could do better. The themes and characters are right up my alley.

Seekay. One of the greatest obscure pulp characters ever!

Norgil the Magician. Walter Gibson’s *other* great hero. I have a ton of ideas for this crime-solving magician.

The Phantom. Lee Falk’s classic hero would be a blast to write!

There are other projects that I’d love to tackle, too, but those are the ones that keep popping up in my heart and mind. Someday, maybe…

Robert E. Howard’s Conan

Red-NailsI grew up devouring the Conan novels, both those written by his creator and the many pastiches that followed. Indeed, it was really Conan that inspired my lifelong love the pulps — which is kind of strange, when you think about how my writing career has been devoted almost entirely to the ‘hero pulps’ and not the sword & sorcery genre that Conan belongs to.

Over the years I’ve dived back in here and there to re-read my favorite Conan tales but recently I set out to make my way through the entire REH canon and it’s reminded me of which tales are my absolute favorites.

Topping the list is “Red Nails” (1936). This story has so much great action, a wonderful female foil for Conan and is just a wonderful ‘meat and potatoes’ adventure story. Coming in close behind, though are several others that deserve special mention: “The Tower of the Elephant” (1933), “Black Colossus” (1933), “The Slithering Shadow” (1933) and “Queen of the Black Coast” (1934). Really, there’s not a bad one in the whole bunch but my least favorite tales are probably the ‘King Conan’ era stories… something just doesn’t feel as lusty and bold in those tales. “The Slithering Shadow” isn’t one that I see pop up on many ‘best of’ lists but I quite enjoyed it – not one but two sexy females in the tale, a ‘lost city’ setting that is slightly reminiscent of the one in “Red Nails” and some terrific descriptive writing from REH.

The only downside to reading so much REH? Realizing how badly my own writing stacks up against his! The man was a master when it comes to adventure, suspense and on-the-fly characterization. He could make you feel like you understood a character in just a few lines. Yes, they tended to be rather simplistic characters but you still felt like there were depths to them that you just weren’t seeing.

Great stuff.

Writers That Have Influenced Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!”

I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Continue reading → Writers That Have Influenced Me

Writers That Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Writers Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

Writers Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

From the Vault: Authors Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson