Fantasy Monsters and stretching Cannon

So I’m writing a long term Conan campaign, but I want a big nasty monster that poses a long term threat the characters have to journey in order to get the skills or equipment needed to battle the threat.

I keep thinking dragons, but that just feels off cannon, so I’m giving myself time to imagine something else that feels more in sync with the original short stories.

Having said that, who knows if Howard would have eventually put fire breathing dragons in Conan had he lived longer.

Anyone else been tempted to bring a classic elements of traditional fantasy to their Conan games, like dragons?

When I have run Conan style games I have looked more towards Greek mythology and used monsters such as the chimera as big threats.

It feels like it would fit into the world of Conan fairly well.

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I also think you should “Lovecraft” these things. I would imagine the classical monsters as those cultures’ best presentations of the Outer Weird.

I recently read the Savage Sword of Conan version of Carter and de Camp’s Conan the Liberator. The “satyrs” in that novel are disappointingly represented; they are diminutive forest Pucks with cute talk helplessly sacrificed to a sorcerer’s spell. They should be an animal and terrifying Presence that has resided in primordial forests since before Man slipped out of slimy waves. They should drive Men to madness with their flutes of Azathoth. That sort of thing.

At least, that’s my vibe.


Sad about those satyrs considering what they represented in Greek myth… :frowning: I wouldn’t let a satyr within sight distance of a house… let alone a hamlet, village, town, or city :slight_smile:

As far as beasties go I’m reading through Creatures of Rokugan and Bestiary of The Hyborean Age for d20 to convert some of them critters to Conan… mainly the demons. There’s also a piccy of each one

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Theres dragon prominently featured in the famous REH penned Conan yarn, Red Nails.

Theres a famous Solomon Kane story featuring «harpies». REH was a master of injecting the weird into the cliché.

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It’s called a “dragon” but it’s really a dinosaur-remnant.

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A Child of Set (see “The God in the Bowl”) could be a really formidable big nasty.

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I’m planning a long term campaign setting that would eventually see a monster so tough, normal weapons don’t effect it.

Cue the voyage to seek out Atlantean steel that MIGHT pierce it’s skin.

Definitely like the idea of Cthulifying a dragon. Will let you know what I come up with.

Anything can be anything anyone wants, of course, and one person’s Conan isn’t another’s.

But my Conan can’t contain “conventional” dragons. They have to be giant snakes or lizards.

And if they’re not that, if they’re the Big Bad… Well, then, merely beholding them should mean driving one mad. They can’t be pierced? They must have come from the Outer Dark, immune to the vacuum of space. They must be indifferent to the behaviors of men—or, at the most, enjoy toying with them, getting into their minds and tormenting them with bizarre riddles until they slay themselves.

I’m enjoying this exercise.

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I quite agree. I think if I avoid the quick and easy path, of throwing in fire breathing dragons, I’ll miss the opportunity to create something new and potentially better.

Art thrives on restrictions.

Its a dragon in a sense like Glaurung was. Or a Komodo dragon is.

I featured Yag Kosha’s kin (a falcon-headed humanoid) as entities in one memorable adventure. These beings are accomplished magical praeternatural entities. And whos to say theyre all benevolent?



You’re right! I unconsciously described Glaurung almost exactly!

Horrors of the hyborian age might be good to have a look at. The chapter on mutations is very handy for creating encounters to suit your need.


and any d20/3e/3.5 Monster Manual…

Wow. Cool idea. Sorry, but I’m nicking that!

By the way, Horrors of Hyboria is a great book. Lots of creatures, lots of monsters and lots and lots of ideas.


Horrors is one of the must have books for any long term Conan game, in my opinion.

I think I’ve decided on something that will work out to be far more terrifying than dragons, and fit with the setting a bit better.