Literary Inspiration

In preparation for launching my first Conan campaign, as well as because it’s just plain fun, I decided this summer to re-read all the Conan stories in chronological order of his life, including the pastiches. And while some are indeed pretty bad and deviate significantly in tone and character from REH’s works, some are pretty entertaining. And even the bad ones sometimes have interesting villains, often with spells that would work quite good for this game. For those who are interested, here’s a link to various chronologies:

Personally, I’m following the William Galen Gray one because it’s the most complete. I’m up to the Andrew Offutt trilogy, with Conan and the Sorcerer having just arrived at my house via e-bay today. I’m also re-reading the Kull tales and some of the Red Sonja stories written by others in the 1980s. I may delve into the comics/graphic novels once I
finish this long list.

Many of you are no doubt aware of these lists, but I thought it might be fun to share for people who are newer to the Hyborian Age and/or are interested in adventure ideas.


As a child, local publisher released a series of books that contained short stories about Conan. Not full collection, but enough. I grew up with those stories and keep the books until today. One glance is enough to spark the flames of my imagination.

Now I am on a quest to find all works related to Conan and have them on my kindle. Lists are good :slight_smile:


Hiyas, by Crom!

I hear R Jordan’s are pretty good.

I would like to add Dan Jones’s The Templars and The Wars of the Roses to this list as inspirations.

TWoTR, of course, has themes and personalities that could fit into many of the nations of the Hyborian Age (certainly Aquilonia and Nemedia immediately come to mind, but it wouldn’t be too far out of place in Argos, Corinthia, Zingara, or Hyperborea). Templars just screams Khoraja, Koth, Khauran, Zamora, Shem, and even Stygia.

Besides being well researched, both are in essence narrative histories so more character-focused than facts/dates/names. Highly recommend simply on their own but do make for great sources of plots, world-building, NPCs, etc.

And since I’m plugging Dan Jones, I’d also recommend his Plantagenets. Would be an excellent source for all things Aquilonia.

Expert question here: How accurate are the Hyborian War resources? I noticed that in Conan the Pirate, for example, the King of Argos is Atreus, but elsewhere (and from what I remember) the King of Argos is Platonio Milo?

Don’t forget the Karl Edward Wagner story. I believe he was commissioned to write it as a movie script.
He also has his own S&S character Kane.

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I’ve just started reading the Jordan books, and I’m really enjoying the experience: it feels like the best aspects of Howard combined with the best aspects of Jordan.

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I just finished Defender… I’ve enjoyed him so far, and despite the decidedly Jordanesque phrases that get thrown in there, I really liked it. I think what I enjoy most is the length - with Howard (and understandably so considering what publications he was submitting to) I always felt like I didn’t get enough!