Some game rulebooks provide core assumtipns for the world. I usually print these and put them on my GM screen to help me maintain a consistent tone.
For example, the Forgotten Realms in D&D has the following.
• Gods Oversee the World
• Much of the World Is Untamed
• The World Is Ancient
• Conflict Shapes the World’s History
• The World Is Magical
The Primeval Thule campaign world (heavily inspired by the writings of Howard, Leiber, Burroughs, and Smith) has the following.
• Thule is Barbaric
• The Wilderness is Savage
• Cities are Wicked Places
• The World is Mysterious
• Magic is a Secret Man was Not Meant to Know
• Ancient Evils Threaten Mankind
• Freebooters, Mercenaries, Opportunists
What do you think would be core assumptions of Howard’s Hyboria?
I’m thinking that the ones the Primeval Thule authors use are a good fit, though I might also add “Humans are newcomers” to the list.
The ones for Thule work pretty well, really. The setting is a pretty decent D&D riff on Sword and Sorcery though it could stand to shake more D&D trappings.
I would go for something like this:
•Hyboria is mostly civilized (with the exception of Nordheim, Hyrkania and the southern Black Kingdoms)
•The gods meddle in the affairs of mortals, evil gods do it much more than benevolent ones
•Cities are wicked places with danger but also opportunity
•The fantastical is more prevalent in the wilderness than in civilized places
•The majority of adventurers are shady types like mercenaries, thieves and the like
That’s a weird thing to say. D&D is a carbon copy of, amongst other things, Conan. The rules and setting otherwise are entirely divorced from anything D&D-like.
There is a huge difference between D&D style fantasy and sword and sorcery style fantasy. Primeval Thule, while a step towards S&S style still clings very closely to D&D in a few key areas specifically in regards to casters.
Does “Bikini Mail is the best armor” part of the Conan D20 paradigm?
(OK, don’t scream, it’s the fantasy part of heroic fantasy, but when I was a teen Red Sonja impressed me more than Conan in Marvel Comics)
No. As in the original REH Conan stories, heroes will wear armor, because else it will be a very short life and a miserable death for them. - Remember: you can sacrifice armor pieces to avoid taking a Wound. And as Wounds are quite the downward spiral, you want this option.
True by the Comics Code Authority she can’t sacrifice anymore armor.
Sonja’s +10 Armor Bikini Mail is such troupe now in fantasy art. They newer Red Sonja comics tried to give her a better amount of armor.
Going with the sensible garments as shown in this comic might be better than the 1st choice that Phil has Dixie in.
(What's New with Phil & Dixie Online Comics)
The last one of Phil in the above the also shows the problems with what Conan wears in the old Marvel comics.
It’s also safe to say that Sonja also has really good TN for Acrobatics and Parry. One of the latest issues of the Invincible Red Sonja has her commenting on ease of movement
Sacrificing armour leaves all sorts of possibilities in my imagination for such characters!