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Conan Exiles developer Video Diary, and "Interview"

Funcom has posted a Developer Diary for their Conan: Exiles upcoming survival game set in Hyboria (probably around Khauran). The beginning of the game looks very Conan. Combat and visuals also sound like they will be impressive. Not much in the actual game yet though. I'm still hoping they bring this game to the Xbox One's early access program.
Ark: Survival Evolved has gained a larger following on Xbox than on PC since it joined the program.

Also, an MMORPG website published an "interview" with the developers. The article just feels like a little new information more than an actual interview, but there is some interesting stuff on Ruins and Gods.
Check that out here:
http://www.mmorpg.com/mobile/features.cfm?read=10566&game=0&ismb=1
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Conan, the Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Savage Barbarian
Rambling Conan Blog bonus pt.21

Written by the great Roy Thomas, who definitely knows a lot about Conan, this book is sub-titled “The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Savage Barbarian.” The format is a large, hardback, coffee table style book. Cover price is $24.99. I picked it up used in great condition for $12.75.

There is a good introduction by Todd McFarlane, although it makes me wonder why Todd McFarlane? He made a nice line of Conan “action figures”, but he's not someone I associate with Conan fandom.

The front cover is done by Alex Ross. I'm about to blaspheme here, but I hate it. It's a terrible depiction of Conan and it annoys me every time I look at the book. The title page artwork is very nice, one of the few pieces I like from Ken Kelly. The rest of the book is a beautiful smorgasbord of Conan artwork. The book is chock-full of paintings, comic art, maps, etc. This is the absolute best thing about the book.

The book follows Conan's career across Hyboria (which annoyingly locks it down in the L. Sprague de Camp chronology), mostly focusing on the comics and REH’s stories. It's a bit hard to tell which stories the focus is on, because there is a total lack of any sort of reference notes. I would have loved mention of where the material was coming from at any given time (comic issues, REH stories, pastiche - given by name), but that doesn't happen. You literally have no idea where to look if you want to know more about a particular adventure. This really ruins it for me.

Unfortunately, the same goes for the art. There is gorgeous artwork throughout, but zero immediate reference to what the artwork was taken from our who the artist is. Another huge negative for me.

As far as the text goes, it's good, but not the depth I was hoping for. To truly be an “ultimate guide” it would have been better in a more encyclopedic format. I find “The Official Handbook of the Conan Universe” to be a much better guide for this reason, even though that volume is much shorter.

Honestly, the best use I can think of for this book is when I am creating adventures for Hyborian roleplaying. Open to nearly any page and get enough snippets or adventure seeds to get your creativity rolling.

I can't really recommend the book to an average Conan fan. If you are a huge fan of the Marvel comics, you will get more out of it. If you run roleplaying games set in Hyboria, you will get even more out of it. It's far from an “Ultimate Guide” unfortunately. For that, I would recommend the single issue comic “The Official Handbook of the Conan Universe”.

Hopefully the upcoming Modiphius Conan RPG, Adventures in an Age Undreamed of, will give us some good “guidebooks” to Conan and his world.
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I think that's the best use for this book. Something to grab and read a few entries, or flip through the awesome art. 
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Modiphius Conan RPG Update!
Some of the cool stuff you can expect in the Kickstarter

A new post on the Modiphius forums describes some of the things we can expect in the Kickstarter for the Modiphius Conan RPG, Adventures in an Age Undreamed of.
There is a fantastic collectors set, complete with leather Hyborian map & leather bound core book, which I am going to have to pool my silver pieces for. Definitely time to start building up the war chest for this Kickstarter!

The Kickstarter begins Feb. 16th!
Read the forum post at the link:
Come and join the discussion, just keep it friendly and fun!
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+Chris Birch​, thanks for the clarification. I was secretly hoping it was something I could cast my children into when they misbehave..but dice will do.

Just to be honest though, you guys had me at "Stygian Doom". Can't wait for this kickstarter!
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Conan movie update
According to The Arnold Fan website, the new Conan movie is written and looking for a director.
Arnold also used the title "Conan the Conquerer" when referring to the movie. The film was previously being called "The Legend of Conan".
Conan the Conquerer is the title that Robert E Howard's only full length Conan novel, Hour of the Dragon, was called when published after his death in book form. It kept this title, along with some of De Camp's insidious editing, until 1977 when it was finally published again under the original Hour of the Dragon title, with REH's original unedited text.

Arnold states that the new film will be about King Conan who has been sitting on the throne of Aquilonia for years, when enemies finally attack to overthrow him. This is the same basic plot as Hour of the Dragon. Hopefully all of this means that the script is based on REH's actual Conan stories.

Either way, its great to hear that this film is still pushing forward.

Follow the link to read the full story.
Fans of the world’s greatest bodybuilder / action hero were pumped to share an &ldqu...
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Just about to make a post about Exiles! I'm loving Ark: Survival Evolved. Exiles sounds like Ark in Hyboria... Which would be the best thing ever.
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I don't see the official news about the Conan Kickstarter date posted on here anywhere. I also didn't see it updated on the main webpage.
Here's my post about the email update.
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Hi we're posting on the main Conan forums and waiting on some nice graphics to do some general posts but thanks for keeping the fires burning!
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Modiphius Conan RPG Update

Modiphius just sent out an update about the Conan RPG and its Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter and the Quick Start rules were supposed to be this week, but as I was saying in my last post, it was feeling like a delay was imminent considering it was the middle of the week with zero news.

Anyway, the email update sets Tuesday February 16th as the Kickstarter launch date.

While I'm disappointed as a fan to have to wait another month, when waiting this month was agonizing, it is nice to have a promised date. I wish the Quick Start had still released this week... Or something, anything for those of us anticipating this launch.

I guess it does give me time to finish up details on the adventure I plan on posting for use with the Quick Start rules.

In other updates, I finally received the my new movie poster, making my set complete.
However, now I plan on nabbing each of the international posters, to really make the set complete! (See the second picture in this post)
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Yeah, I'm in the States, so I expect shipping to be costly. 
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Gather around the campfires and prepare to storm the walls of Kickstarter!
Rambling Conan Blog pt.18

This week +Chris Birch​ at Modiphius unfurled the new cover artwork for the Conan RPG, Adventures in an Age Undreamed of. The artwork is by Brom, and its awesome! Much more inspiring than the previous cover artwork, it really speaks pure REH Conan.

Prepare yourselves dog brothers, the Kickstarter is set to begin next week I believe, and will be accompanied by the release of the Quick Start rules. If you have any doubts, I encourage you to give the Quick Start a play. You'll hear the songs of heroes!

I've been running the playtest rules, updated with notes from the forums, in an ongoing adventure of my own making. It's been awesome. Heads fly, armor breaks, challenges are made. It feels like adventuring in REH's Hyboria.

I plan on releasing an adventure for the Quick Start rules once they are available. Stay tuned to this blog.

Some points of interest:
Weapons and Armor have their own qualities and game effects. Specialized characters are good at what they do. There are Benny type points that flow back and forth between players and GM, and can be used to really bring the narrative to life. There are minion/mook rules, a must in any Heroic game IMO. The game just feels dark, gritty, and bloody in play.

REH Purism
As I continue a reread of the Conan pastiche, it becomes more and more painfully obvious that nearly all of them are not worthy to be considered true Conan canon. I find that I am much more a Howard purist than I believed myself to be.
The Modiphius game is taking a purist approach, and that is very exciting. Cutting all the crap from the start, GM's can decide if they want to add details from non-Howard sources. It's a great approach.

So fellow Conan fans, its time to sharpen your blades, tighten your armor straps, and prepare to storm the walls of Kickstarter. Glory awaits!

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+Nathan Dowdell
Awesome news!
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Modiphius Conan RPG Update! Kickstarter time announced and 4 awesome artists added!

First off, the Kickstarter start time was announced as 12 noon GMT.
That means 6 am Central time, 4 am PST, & 7 am EST. Set your alarms!

And... just when I thought I could not possibly be more excited for this game, Modiphius proved me wrong by adding 4 fantastic artists to the project!
Simon Bisley, Val Meyerik, Daren Bader, & Liam Sharp. I'm familiar with all of their work, and its all great! These are classic artists that I've enjoyed for years. I can't wait to see what they add to this game. These are going to be beautiful books!

Here is the whole press release:
Four legendary artists join Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of team. London 09 Feb - Modiphius Entertainment, creators of award-winning roleplaying games like Achtung! Cthulhu and acclaimed table top and board games like Thunderbirds the 50th Anniversary co-op board game, are pleased to ...
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Conan the Phenomenon
Rambling Conan Blog pt.20

Written by Paul M. Sammon, Conan the Phenomenon is a book about the Robert E. Howard creation Conan, and his existence in all types of media. It is published by Dark Horse. I picked up my copy used, in excellent condition, for $8.

Paul M. Sammon is, among many other things, a Conan fan who worked on both Conan films. He has “crewed” many films, and written about several as well. I'd heard very good things about his Making of Blade Runner book, and was hopeful for this look at Conan.

The intro is a very interesting piece by Michael Moorcock, who is a much larger Conan fan than I had realized. His intro is an incredibly insightful look at the possible origins of Conan in the mind of Robert E. Howard. Great stuff right from the start.

Next is an intro by the author. I haven't read any of Paul M. Sammon’s previous work, but in the intro we find that he is a longtime Conan fan. He discovered Conan quite by accident, as did I. He voraciously devoured everything Conan, as did I. He ultimately became disillusioned with all the schlock being produced and left Hyboria for a time, as did I although not for as long as Mr. Sammon. Finally, he rediscovered the Cimmerian and realized he was still in love with him, as did I.

An overview of REH’s life follows. There are some great pictures here, and a good overview of information. There is a particularly insightful look at Howard's suicide, with a conclusion I agree with. Howard didn't kill himself because he couldn't live without his mother, but because her imminent death freed him from responsibility to her.

The next chapter follows the existence of the Cimmerian in literature. It details Conan's reemergence in books, and the people who kept him relevant after Howard's suicide. Nice information and great pictures in this section. One can clearly see that the true visual image of Conan from Howard's tales only emerged in artwork when Frazetta’s “The Barbarian” hit the cover of Conan the Adventurer. Frazetta invented Sword & Sorcery artwork, as much as REH invented Sword & Sorcery.

The next chapter details Conan's arrival in comics. My only complaint about this chapter is the lack of much artwork by Buscema. In fact, I would have loved to see some samples from all the Conan comic artists, side by side.

Chapter four details how Conan branched into films and television. It's fairly brief and a little outdated now, but still great stuff. Photos from the films and cartoons add nicely to the history.

Chapter five shows how Conan has reemerged in comics, video games, role playing games, and in book collections which have done away with L. Sprague De Camp's horrific editing of Howard's original material. Once again, this chapter is slightly outdated now, but still very interesting.

There is a side text which describes Howard Days, an event which takes place in Cross Plains Texas every year. I'd always wanted to participate in this meeting of Howard's fans. However, reading this side text really made me rethink giving any money to the town that treated REH like a misfit and outcast (until, of course, there was money to be made off of him, long after his death.) I'm sure this isn't the intent of this piece, but it resonated that way with me.

The book finished with an Afterword by the author, in which he gives his estimations on why Conan is so popular and has continued to exist all these years.

Overall, I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I read it from cover to cover, rather than flipping through. It's a great history of the character, with just enough depth.

I highly recommend it to any Conan fan.

Just be aware it is a history of the reality of the character, and not his fictional history.
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Conan Survival game announced!

I'm currently playing Ark: Survival Evolved on Xbox One early access program and loving it. What would make it better? If it took place in Hyboria. Well, FUNCOM, who made the Age of Conan MMO is going to be giving us an open world Survival game set in... Hyboria!
Here is the website:
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The official announcement!
Will we get the Quick Start slightly in advance of the Kickstarter? Probably not, but one can hope.
 
We can announce that the Kickstarter for Robert E Howard's Conan Roleplaying Game: Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of will launch Tuesday 16th February.

Tread the jeweled thrones of the earth or die in towers of spider-haunted mystery. Crom cares not!


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What If... Conan battled Thor & Wolverine in the Modern Day? (& the Conan RPG Kickstarter actually happened?)
Rambling Conan Blog pt.19

In the pages of Marvel's "What If" book, there were four alternate reality tales of Conan the Barbarian.

The first, issue 13, What If Conan the Barbarian Walked the Earth Today?
This is a great story, but then I'm a complete sucker for "man out of time/place" stories. It's written by the awesome Roy Thomas and penciled by Big John Buscema. Great art, great story, pick it up if you can.

Issue 39 featured What If Thor of Asgard had met Conan the Barbarian?
Written by Alan Zelenetz and drawn by Ron Wilson, this issue is a pretty good story, and decent art. Thor meets Conan in Hyboria at the time when Conan is a young rogue. The contrasts in Conan's roguish personality and Thor's altruistic personality are well written and enjoyable within the confines of a single issue. Conan of course thinks Thor is a golden haired AEsir from Asgard... Of the Hyborian variety.

Issue 43 proves well enough can never be left alone with What If Conan the Barbarian were Stranded in the 20th Century?
This story, written by Peter B Gillis and penciled by Bob Hall, begins enjoyably with Conan reverting to kind and treating New York like Shadizar, ripe for the robbing. There are some great bits with Conan learning the ways of modern society, paper money and such. There are also some embarrassing bits later on and it becomes a mess by the end. Still, the art is good and I appreciate that Conan was written roguish.

Vol. 2, Issue 16, features What If Wolverine had Lived During the Age of Conan the Barbarian?
Written by Glen Herdling & penciled by Gary Kwapisz, I didn't really care for this story at all. It's pretty basic, and mostly feels like an excuse to have the two battle a couple of times. Once to give Conan a chance to win, and once to give Wolverine a chance to win. Both are portrayed one dimensional, and by the end is just plain awful. In fact, it's like Marvel knew it was awful because at the very end there is a one page "What if Conan REALLY meet Wolverine" and it depicts the two of them sitting in a bar talking about being berserkers, and drinking.

If you get a chance to pick up any of these for a reasonable price, it's cool to see Conan interacting with other elements of the Marvel Universe, if nothing else. Definitely grab issue 13 if you get a chance.

Finally, I'm going to end this post with an update about the Modiphius Conan RPG.
I had hoped for this week's post to be about the RPG Kickstarter and Quick Start rules, as this week was supposed to be the release of both. However, It's Thursday and there have been zero announcements of any kind...

+Chris Birch​​​​​ did just inform me on Twitter that "There will be an exciting update very soon."

Also, +Jason Durall​​​​​ had this to say on the forums:
"we'll have an announcement very soon about the exact date the KS launches. The delays have been as frustrating on our end as they are on yours, but rest assured that we're continuing to develop the game, and all this means is that the gap between the close of the Kickstarter and the release of the game books will be that much shorter. 
The game is definitely on. Great things are in the making, we're locking down even more artists and writers daily, and work on the manuscripts for the core line of books is in progress."

I wish the information was flowing more by this point, as I've seen people get their hopes up and then get discouraged and frustrated with the silence. However, it is encouraging to hear that the Kickstarter delays will not delay the actual products release.
It's frustrating, but I'm still all-in on this RPG. I'm just trying to be patient as I wait for the "What If" to become reality.
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+James MacGeorge
Yes, it does! Almost changed my avatar to that pic at one point.
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Gamer, 80's Punk, Lifelong Conan Fan, & Pulp Hero
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Geek, Gamer, Lifelong Conan Fan, & Pulp Hero. Interests: Tabletop RPG's (13th age, Runequest, Delta Green & most classic old school RPG's),  Videogames (Xbox One), Boardgames, Pulp of all sorts, Occult, Physics, Zen.
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Tabletop Gaming since blue book boxed set Basic D&D.Videogaming since Pong.
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