Thursday, April 12, 2012

Conan and the Cheap DM - Updated Repost

At the Underdark Gazette, I posted a series on running famous fantasy worlds, using only resources freely and legally available on the net. The first one was Conan and the Cheap DM, for which I later posted a 2nd part, after finding additional useful info.
I've consolidated those posts, updated the links and added a thing or two.

Conan and the Cheap DM: A Guide to Free Resources, for Running the Hyborian Age

A few years ago, the thought occurred to me that there were so many free resources available on the web, that enough material could be garnered to run several of the most famous fantasy worlds as RPG settings. So, with nothing better to do, I set about to see what all I could find. I started with R. E. Howard’s Hyborian Age and quickly found more than enough!

So, here’s a list of resources, for DM’s who might be interested in dropping a group of players into Conan’s world!

Our first stop, is Jason Vey’s Classic Edition Fantasy Resources Page. There, you will find his OD&D supplements: The Age of Conan and The Secrets of Acheron, as well as a DM screen for the set! These feature rules for running an OD&D campaign in the Hyborian Age and the main focus is on adapting the game to Howard’s setting. There’s not a lot of info on the milieu itself, but definitely of use. Contains an excerpt of Howard’s essay The Hyborian Age.

Next we come to The Hyborian Age page, by Thulsa. This site has everything you need! Gods, Demons, a Gazetteer and Maps! Plenty of Maps! Not to mention magic items, famous sorcerers and other personages. The crunch is d20, but if you’re playing an Old School game, it’s easy enough to make your own and truth to tell, you would probably prefer to anyway! The site also reproduces Howard’sThe Hyborian Age essay and a ton of other stuff I haven’t mentioned. Including rules for using Black Lotus!

Vincent Darlage’s Conan d20 site is another fantastic resource! Lots of info on important NPC’s and a ton of really, really cool Weird Tales artwork and covers!

I’m not sure how complete it is, but the Conan Wiki has a Gazetteer and more.Thulsa’s Gazetteer, above, looks to be far superior, but you still might find the Wiki useful. 

Speaking of Wiki’s, you might find the Age of Conan Wiki, to be worth your time. 

Amra the Lion has several goodies, including a Gazetteer, Maps, Audio of R. E. Howard Conan stories and more!

Mongoose Publishing has a free Map of the Hyborian Age available for download, here. Another version from Mongoose, can be found here.

For some scholarly information, you may find Mysteries of the Hyborian Age by Dale Rippke, to be inspiring.

This one looks fun! Someone put up the Hyborian Age Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe. It’s rather large and contains a ton of Marvel Pictures! For those who aren’t sticklers for purity, an excellent resource!

Hyborian War is an archive of an old Play-by-Mail game, which contains Kingdom Reports and what-not, which you may find useful. No idea if this is still going on or not. The various kingdom reports have some detailed maps of the regions and are in pdf format.

Dragonsfoot # 13 has an AD&D Conversion of Thulsa’s Tower of the Elephant adventure.

Conan: Savage Hyboria is a Savage Worlds Conan conversion, which might provide some useful tidbits.

Here's a Castles & Crusades fan made Conan Supplement by David Bell. I couldn’t find the hosting page, so it's a Direct Link. And here's a thread at the Troll Lord Games forums, with some more conversion work.

And check out Andrew Picciau’s page for his Hyborian Adventures True d20 supplement. A 34 page PDF. Also, there's a 16 page Bestiary, here. Not sure if it's by the same author, or not.

the venomous pao hosts a couple of BoL Hyborian Age adventures, written by G-Man.

Of course, Howard’s stories are the richest source of Hyborian knowledge. Scroll down this Project Guttenberg index, to find a ton of Kick-Ass R. E. Howard Adventures!

Another copy of R. E. Howard’s The Hyborian Age, at Manybooks. Read online, or download as a PDF. The Author’s Page for Mr. Howard, has more R.E.H. Goodness!

And if You Haven't Chosen a System, Yet...

There's always ZeFRS – The Retro-Clone of the rules from TSR’s old Conan RPG by David Cook. You can download it here.

Or, the free version of Barbarians of Lemuria, might just hit that sweet spot, system-wise!

Well, that was Easy!

There you go! Everything we need to run the Hyborian Age and then some!

Got any Hyborian Resources, I've missed? Leave a link in the comments!


  1. Nice collection James! I went through my files and it looks like you've got everything I've been able to find over the years.

    1. Hi arcadayn. And awesome blog header! I've never seen that Frazetta piece before.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It might be worth noting/adding that Steve Jackson Games published a number of licensed Conan books for GURPS, including a sourcebook and solo adventures. Just a few weeks ago, they made PDFs available for sale on their e23 site, but took them down a few days later due to "technical issues". It's hoped that they'll reappear soon. In the meantime, I guess keep checking

  3. Great list of resources! I know I have a few of those from back when you posted them on UG, and I'm grabbing the rest now. Thank you!

    Here's a link to a French sf/fantasy forum with TONS of Conan artwork. It'll take a while to load, but there are 5 long pages worth of stuff there-Frazetta, Vallejo, Ken Kelly, Barry Windsor Smith, and many more:

  4. I used several of these sources for my Conan campaign using Hero system. Great Stuff!

  5. I'm late to comment, but appreciate your mentioning the BoL Hyborian adventures. The Venomous Pao is hosting my latest addition, "Ghosts of Acheron" on his incredible blog Strange Stones. Check it out at: