Jump to content
finarvyn

Robert E. Howard's mythos

Recommended Posts

deuce

Lovecraft praised Robert E. Howard to his face (via correspondence). Of course, HPL could have cut off corresponding at any time (he didn't). In fact, the Old Gent initiated it all. 

 

That correspondence started 85yrs ago this year. Influences went both ways.

 

Here is a great tripartite series that looks at what Lovecraft said about REH to other people. Some surprises therein...

 

http://onanunderwood5.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-mirror-of-ech-pi-el-robert-e-howard.html

 

http://onanunderwood5.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-mirror-of-ech-pi-el-robert-e-howard.html

 

http://onanunderwood5.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-mirror-of-ech-pi-el-robert-e-howard_13.html

 

Virgil-Finlay-hpl.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DarkDesigns

Aside from Realms of Cthulhu for Savage Worlds (and possibly more so), I would heartily recommend The Savage World of Solomon Kane. It and its supplements really capture the spirit of the character and the world of Kane. The plot point campaign has some definite Lovecraftian influences. So, you get some great action, swashbuckling adventure and a good dose of horror, to boot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DeaconBlackfire

Solomon Kane is probably my favorite of all REH's characters. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce

Lovecraft praised Robert E. Howard to his face (via correspondence). Of course, HPL could have cut off corresponding at any time (he didn't). In fact, the Old Gent initiated it all. 

 

That correspondence started 85yrs ago this year. Influences went both ways.

 

Here is a great tripartite series that looks at what Lovecraft said about REH to other people. Some surprises therein...

 

http://onanunderwood5.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-mirror-of-ech-pi-el-robert-e-howard.html

 

http://onanunderwood5.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-mirror-of-ech-pi-el-robert-e-howard.html

 

http://onanunderwood5.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-mirror-of-ech-pi-el-robert-e-howard_13.html

 

Virgil-Finlay-hpl.jpg

 

 

HPL had some good ideas:

 

"A book of Conan stories would certainly be a very welcome item, & I hope such a thing can be published some day. It ought, I think, to be a pretty large & inclusive thing--& might form quite a problem to a publisher with limited equipment. It seems to me that for an immediate volume a collection of Howard's best stories--irrespective of their membership in the Conan cycle--would be the wisest venture. REH's best weird tales, without question, were the short 'King Kull' series--though perhaps some of the Conans & Solomon Kanes, plus the recent 'Black Canaan', fall into that category. Certain Howard enthusiasts ought to be consulted about the contents of such a book--[ E. Hoffman] Price being especially well qualified to pick selections.

 

 

Financing would be a rather hard problem (I'm utterly broke!), but a large number of small subscriptions secured through advertisements in the fan magazines might help. Your scale of estimated prices is very helpful in forming an idea of the problem--as is the set of paper & cover samples. A 100-page volume ought not to be impracticable in the end--& might conceivably hold all the 'King Kull' tales.

 

Art work can sometimes be secured quite reasonably--Utpatel having done four drawing from my 'Innsmouth' for only $15.00. A sketch or line drawing of REH would make a good frontispiece--& as a model I'd suggest one of the 1931 snapshots (I could lend a small print). These are more typical, I think, that the stouter, moustached snaps of REH's last days. But all these points could be discussed by the editorial board--pictures, title, scope size, selects, &c. I'd suggest your getting in touch with Price on the subject, & also with REH's father."

 

- Lovecraf to Wilson Shepherd, 5 Sep 1936, Letters to Robert Bloch & Others pp359-360

 

Obviously, HPL was quite keen on the idea of a volume of Howard's best tales. He expressed his appreciation for Black Canaan more than once. In fact, he may've helped brainstorm the plot (to a small extent).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cjearkham

 

HPL had some good ideas:

 

"...It seems to me that for an immediate volume a collection of Howard's best stories--irrespective of their membership in the Conan cycle--would be the wisest venture. REH's best weird tales, without question, were the short 'King Kull' series--though perhaps some of the Conans & Solomon Kanes, plus the recent 'Black Canaan', fall into that category. Certain Howard enthusiasts ought to be consulted about the contents of such a book--[ E. Hoffman] Price being especially well qualified to pick selections."

 

 

Indeed.  He'd handed Arkham House the outline for Skull-Face and Others:  5 Conans, 4 Solomon Kanes, 2 Kulls, 2 Brans, and a healthy handful of other great stories (including "Black Canaan"), with an intro by EHPrice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aklo

The OSR style RPG Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea may be worth a look. It's a cross of 2nd edition AD&D-style fantasy with weird fiction elements from the Likes of Lovecraft, Smith and Howard.

 

Wow! Didn't even know this existed! Am now ordering....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nclarke

There's  also Barbarians of Lemuria and Jaws of the Six Serpents which do an equally good job of Conan style Swords and Sorcery games.

 

Nigel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce

Indeed.  He'd handed Arkham House the outline for Skull-Face and Others:  5 Conans, 4 Solomon Kanes, 2 Kulls, 2 Brans, and a healthy handful of other great stories (including "Black Canaan"), with an intro by EHPrice.

 

 

Did Derleth have access to the Shepherd letter, I wonder? Or did he just make a lucky guess?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HomoLupusDomesticus

The OSR style RPG Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea may be worth a look. It's a cross of 2nd edition AD&D-style fantasy with weird fiction elements from the Likes of Lovecraft, Smith and Howard.

 

 

There's  also Barbarians of Lemuria and Jaws of the Six Serpents which do an equally good job of Conan style Swords and Sorcery games.

 

Nigel

 

Also of interest might be D101 Games' Crypts & Things OSR S&S game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce

Since the HPL-Houdini connection is back in the news, here is a little comment from Howard:

 

"Your mention of Houdini interests me. You blame him for being a showman when he might have been, in your opinion, a scholar, scientist, or philosopher. How do you know he would have derived more pleasure out of being a scholar, scientist or philosopher than he did as a showman? Now, don’t get to thinking again that I’m questioning the superiority of these things over showmanship. I’m simply questioning the assumption that any man would get more satisfaction out of being a scholar, scientist or philosopher, than he would out of being something else. As a born showman, Houdini was undoubtedly happier as the supreme artist of his profession, than he would have been in anything else. You don’t take differences of temperament into consideration. Because scholarship, science and philosophy are superior to other things, doesn’t necessarily mean that any man of intelligence would be happier following one of these pursuits than at anything else."

 

-- Robert E. Howard to H. P. Lovecraft, January 1934, CL3.186

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce

REH getting undue credit for DC's "Arkham Asylum":
 
https://davescorneroftheuniverse.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/the-secret-origin-of-dcus-arkham-asylum/
 
HPL created the Arkham Sanitarium (not "Asylum"). Howard had Justin Geoffrey (a character he created) die in a "madhouse", but that was likely one in the Catskills/upstate New York, which is where Geoffrey's family lived.
 
I'm glad "Dave" cornered Denny O'Neill as to the origin of DC's Arkham Asylum. Jack C. Harris appears to have been the one to throw it out there, but I have a hard time believing that Julius Schwartz and Wandrei had zero influence upon that happening.
 
On the other hand, time and again, various Lovecraft authorities have stated that HPL was the first to get Tsathoggua in print, ahead of Clark Ashton Smith. The former point is false, the latter is correct. Peruse these publishing dates:
 
Children of the Night (mentions Tsathoggua as the deity of a dark cult on the first page)
 
The Whisperer in Darkness (glancing mention of Tsathoggua)
 
The Tale of Satampre Zeiros (actual CAS tale, written in 1929, mentioning Tsathoggua)
 
[several texts need rewritten (as does the wiki entry).
 
Lovecraft-Smith-Howard.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
golfsale

I would heartily recommend The Savage World of Solomon Kane. It and its supplements really capture the spirit of the character and the world of Kane. The plot point campaign has some definite Lovecraftian influences. So, you get some great action, swashbuckling adventure and a good dose of horror, to boot.

I managed to get hold of the Savage World of Solomon Kane rulebook and the Path of Kane supplement. The scenarios seem to be short and lethal, especially the ones in the rulebook. Having had my witch-hunter character mortally wounded twice (once by a zombie and once by a giant rat), I'm actually more scared of getting into a fight in Solomon Kane than in Cthulhu!

 

Are the Savage Foes and Traveler's Tales supplements worth getting?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HomoLupusDomesticus

I managed to get hold of the Savage World of Solomon Kane rulebook and the Path of Kane supplement. The scenarios seem to be short and lethal, especially the ones in the rulebook. Having had my witch-hunter character mortally wounded twice (once by a zombie and once by a giant rat), I'm actually more scared of getting into a fight in Solomon Kane than in Cthulhu!

 

Are the Savage Foes and Traveler's Tales supplements worth getting?

 

I like Savage Foes but wasn't overly impressed with what I saw of Traveler's Tales. Also, Traveler's Tales is the only Solomon Kane RPG book that's not a nice hardcover ;-) My only problem is that after having experienced it as a player a couple of times I'm not all that enamoured with the Savage Worlds system. It's a fun and beautifully produced RPG though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kingdaddy

I'd also recommend Primeval Thule, an explicit mash-up of Conan-style fantasy with Lovecraft. Mi-go and other Lovecraftian entities are part of the background:

 

http://www.sasquatchgamestudio.com/products/primeval-thule

 

Note that this is a background, not a separate RPG. There are different versions for D&D, Savage Worlds, and 13th Age. You can get PDF versions of the books from DriveThruRPG.com.

 

 

The OSR style RPG Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea may be worth a look. It's a cross of 2nd edition AD&D-style fantasy with weird fiction elements from the Likes of Lovecraft, Smith and Howard.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
golfsale

I like Savage Foes

Could you tell me what specifically is good about Savage Foes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HomoLupusDomesticus

This review on YouTube about sums it up:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce

In a letter dated 28 June 1935, H. P. Lovecraft wrote this to Natalie Wooley (Letters to Robert Bloch and Others, p.205):

 

 

"Yes—Robert E. Howard is a notable author—more powerful & spontaneous than even he himself realises. He tends to get away from weirdness toward sheer sanguinary adventure, but there is still no one equal to him in describing haunted cyclopean ruins in an African or Hyperborean jungle. He has written reams of powerful poetry, also—most of which is still unpublished."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce
The eldritch monument in this REH poem can't be the Black Stone and its location has never been determined.

 

The Symbol

 

Eons before Atlantean days in the time of the world’s black dawn,

Strange were the kings and grim the deeds that the pallid moon looked on.

When the great black cities split the stars and strange prows broke the tide,

And smoke went up from ghastly shrines where writhing victims died.

 

 

Black magic raised its serpent head, and all things foul and banned,

Till an angry God hurled up the sea against the shuddering land.

And the grisly kings they read their doom in the wind and the rising brine,

And they set a pillar on a hill for a symbol and a sign.

 

 

Black shrine and hall and carven wall sank to eternal sleep,

And dawn looked down on a silent world and the blue unbroken deep.

Now men go forth in their daily ways and they reck not of the feel

Of the veil that crushed, so long ago, the world beneath its heel.

 

 

But deep in the seaweed-haunted halls in the green unlighted deep,

Inhuman kings await the day that shall break their chains of sleep.

And far in a grim untrodden land on a jungle-girded hill,

A pillar stands like a sign of Fate, in subtle warning still.

 

 

Carved in its blind black face of stone a fearful unknown rune

Leers in the glare of the tropic sun and the cold of the leprous moon.

And it shall stand for a symbol mute that men are weak and blind,

Till Hell roars up from the black abyss and horror swoops behind.

 

 

For this is the screed upon the shaft, oh, pallid sons of men:

“We that were lords of all the earth, shall rise and rule again.â€

And dark is the doom of the tribes of earth, that hour wild and red,

When the ages give their secrets up and the sea gives up its dead.

 

Robert E. Howard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
finarvyn

Lots to comment on here....

 

(1) I picked up a SAVAGE WORLDS rulebook and have started reading more about the game. Looks like it's not too hard to run and there is a lot of good material out there for the game.

 

(2) I bought a copy of THULE for 5E and it looks okay but didn't really grab me that much. It's mostly sitting on the shelf. :-(

 

(3) I like all of the SOLOMON KANE resources for the game, but I'm biased since SK is one of my favorite Howard characters of all time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rabindranath72

Hi Marv! It's nice to see you here, too :)

Although I don't have a preferred way to run things, I have used the following to good effect:

1) The d20 Conan game, with more Mythos stuff gleaned from the d20 CoC book (creatures and spells.) Some conversion is required as d20 Conan has some mechanical differences w.r.t. "standard" d20 stuff.

2) Stormbringer 4e for character rules (professions, equipment etc.), with CoC for Mythos stuff (creatures and spells). This combination works almost seamlessly. The Demon Magic supplement for Stormbringer has some suggestions for the use of Sanity in the game.

3) d20 CoC, with bits of equipment from D&D 3e; and using the suggestions for mixing 3e with CoC, in particular where it concerns Sanity (I'd expect people in the Hyborian Age to be more "resilient" to horror due to intrinsically more savage cultures.)

 

Note also there are Cthulhu Dark Ages and Cthulhu Invictus, which could also be used mostly "as is", although I haven't tried them.

 

Cheers,

Antonio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.