To cash in on the popularity of Conan: The Barbarian in the 1980s, TSR released a series of Conan-themed adventure modules, including Conan-specific adventures and Red Sonja adventures. The resulting modules paid tribute to the Conan films and Howard's novels without actually being much fun. They were a perfect fit for Steve's barbarian affection. Conan: Unchained, released in 1984, was the first of the Conan tie-in modules.
Zack: This must be exciting for you. Like the gaming equivalent of getting to meet an idol.
Steve: I'm stoked. I feel like I've been training. Fantasizing strategies and babe techniques. I've spent many a rainy afternoon in my bedroom in my youth watching a sun-faded Conan VHS and swinging around my kendo stick.
Zack: Man, you and a Conan VHS. I bet you had to ride the tracking button on that tape like you were in a focus group for fur diapers.Steve: So my question for you dude is are YOU prepped for this? Because once we dive into the realm of Conan, into the Hyborian Age there is no turning back.
Zack: I guess. The extent of my knowledge of Conan is what's best in life, Grace Jones, and the fact that every comic or book cover with Conan had him either fireman's carrying a nearly naked woman or protecting her from some horde of skeletons or lizard men.
Steve: That's about average Conan knowledge. I guess it will do. The important thing to remember is that Conan hates magic. It's like the opposite of his barbarian honesty. Also there aren't a ton of monsters in Conan. Like you will have some minions or demons, but it's not like D&D where you fight orcs 24/7.
Zack: That would be hateful. Orcs are people too.
Steve: Well okay, you have a tolerable Conan knowledge. Just follow my lead and you'll be fine.
Zack: If I followed your lead I would be drinking rootbeer out of a two-liter and listening to Sepultura.
Steve: Which would be fine.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Cons: causes bad nightmares. I used to have to eat beef until I passed out to have these kind of terrors, but this machine does it for me every time I fall asleep inside it.
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.