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Thief-like characters in literature - Conan the Cimmerian

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To keep this brief, I was re-reading some Conan stories some time ago and for those who dont know him, he is the creation of Robert E. Howard, a barbarian who roams his world seeking for adventure. I got to know him by the comics when I was a teen and have been reading his stories ever since, specially the early stuff was amazing, with adult themed scripts and talented artists fleshing out scary and often cruel tales. Even though he was a skilled warrior, specially in the comics representation he spent a good part of his early adventures being a thief, and many of the stories in the first issues are of him being hired to aquire something or seeking to steal something valuable for himself. I would recommend anyone picking up a copy of the Marvel Essential Conan, the first 25 issues, where you can find some good thievery stories. One of these is The Tower of the Elephant, a very good and classic tale of a hero daring to seek out for a famed treasure and finding a lot more than he ever imagined (link below).

 

 

 

 

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Here's the full text: http://gutenberg.net...6/0600831h.html

Edited by RPGista

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I've still got my copy of that one, along with a few others. Brilliant work.

 

I've thought of that character from time to time when working on TDM...for instance, when thinking about what happens to all that loot our thief acquires.

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Conan wasn't a thief.

 

But he always seemed to be looting some exotic location :)

 

Savage Sword of Conan, I had a bunch of issues of that at one time.


Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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You should read the debates about Conan's class among D&D fans. They are neverending and tend to lead nowhere. :laugh:

 

The Grey Mouser (from Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar stories), though, is a clear-cut case. Here is a picture from Mike Mignola's excellent comic series:

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The original stories sould be required literature for Thief fans - Lankhmar is wonderful as a seedy, crime-infested metropolis (fun fact: the idea of a 'thieves guild' comes from these books), there are all kinds of weird ideas from intelligent rats to inter-dimensional merchants peddling trash disguised to look like treasure, and most of them are well plotted. Ill Met in Lankhmar is the one to start with.


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

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Yes, in Conan GURPS, which I bought at the time, they even have Conan's character divided in several "phases", the first one being a Thief when he was around 19 (that would probably be the age they thought he had in the first Marvel issues, where he is basicly a warrior-thief). I never read the D&D adaptations, or the new game(s), which appearently is quite recent. Stories like Devil-Wings over Shadizar, The Lurker Within (where Conan breaks into a museum of sorts), Beware the wrath of Anu, Rogues in the house, etc, are all mostly about his run as a thief (assassin in the last case), and are quite cool and full of inspiring moments for would-be mission creators.

 

I also used Conan's stories and character as a main inspiration for my first mission, thats where the gameplay comes from, like in most of the mentioned stories, furtivity will take you far but fighting/getting rid of enemies is also required (was NOT that popular a choice).

 

Will definintely take a look at this Grey Mouser fellow. ;)

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