Red Sonja material?

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Red Sonja material?

Postby Havard » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:23 pm

I know there was a Red Sonja module in the TSR line. I guess for the most part though, Red Sonja is featured in the Bridget Nielsen movie and comics. How much does this material add to the Conan setting? Is there something from any of that material that you would include in a game?

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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Boneguard » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:03 pm

If I recall corectly, the adventure takes place in Hyrkania and it's pretty much stand alone. The adventure itself wasn't too bad either.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby rabindranath72 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:35 pm

Boneguard wrote:If I recall corectly, the adventure takes place in Hyrkania and it's pretty much stand alone. The adventure itself wasn't too bad either.

Correct. But since Howard himself didn't describe much about Hyrkania, pretty much everything must be created by the GM. Also, Red Sonja is apocryphal as a Conan character as it was created by Roy Thomas (Howard's Sonya is not the same character).
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Havard » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:03 pm

Does the TSR adventure go into much detail of Hyrkania? Are there other non-Horwardian sources that do?

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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Big Mac » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:50 am

Havard wrote:I know there was a Red Sonja module in the TSR line. I guess for the most part though, Red Sonja is featured in the Bridget Nielsen movie and comics. How much does this material add to the Conan setting? Is there something from any of that material that you would include in a game?


Someone called Boneguard (maybe our Boneguard :) ) wrote a topic called Red Sonja in Conan RPG: Phase 2 (the stats. p.5) CC Welcomed on the Mongoose forum for Conan back in 2010. It mentions some additional sources that you might be interested in...but I don't see any more RPG sources.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Boneguard » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:36 am

Yeah it's me. I still have her somewhere. But unfortunately, there's only 1 RPG source to my knowledge
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Havard » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:49 pm

How much do non-RPG sources add to the Red Sonja mythology? Is anything from the Movie or Comics something that can be used in RPGs?

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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Boneguard » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:45 pm

That's not quite the right question. The real questions is how much of the RPG add to the Canon.

Red Sonja is loosely bases on Black Agnès from REH medieval stories. She first came to live in one of the earlier issues of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian comic books. Then got her own serie (with one crossover arc with Conan the Barbarian comic). The serie began in Hyboria then kindda went away from it. The 6 novels are very generic with few Hyboria references. Same goes for the Movie and TSR's AD&D module.

So Red Sonja canonicity is somewhat fuzzy. And non-RPG stuff can be harvested as much or as little as you want. I used most of it when I stated Red Sonja for the Conan RPG.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:12 pm

Maybe you want to have a look at this, in search of more inspiration: http://longboxgraveyard.com/tag/conan/
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:15 pm

Theres is a discussion about converting Red Soja to Pathfinder RPG on the Paizo forums, if anyone is interested.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Yaztromo » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:03 pm

‘Red Sonja’ Animated Feature Announced at San Diego Comic-Con: http://fandom.wikia.com/articles/red-sonja-animated-feature-san-diego-comic-con?utm_source=wikia&utm_campaign=recirc&utm_medium=rail&utm_content=4 perhaps can be a suitable source of inspiration.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby genghisdon » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:47 pm

Havard wrote:Does the TSR adventure go into much detail of Hyrkania? Are there other non-Horwardian sources that do?

-Havard


Mongols, Huns, Avars, Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Khazars, Magyars, etc :take any central Asian nomadic groups you like. The d20 game has plenty of materials. Red Sonja seems a fairly poor fit, actually, but I guess the same could be said for Conan & Cimmerians. It is, no doubt, because she was a different character to start with, a mash up of Red Sonya of Rogatino ( Polish-Ukrainian/16th century) & Dark Agnes de Chastillon (Frenchwoman/16th century), as pointed out above. As such, she'd have made more sense being Nemedian, or from the area of the Kozaks (plus natural hate for Turan is built in, good for Sonya. Perhaps Brythunian/Kozak)

Turks work well for Turan, but so do any of the others that become more advanced/settled.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby JamesMishler » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:14 am

IIRC, the Conan comic books posited a section of hilly and mountainous regions on the eastern shores of the Vilayet where a vaguely dark-age Russo-Slavic-like culture was found, mingled with the various nomadic elements and exiles/long-lost wandering tribes. Kind of like the Border Kingdom north of Nemedia. The cities were caught between the Turanian and Hyrkanian pincers, with Iranistan and Vendhya to the south, and always playing the greater forces off each other while squabbling among themselves...

A very D&D-esque kind of setting, really...
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:19 pm

JamesMishler wrote:IIRC, the Conan comic books posited a section of hilly and mountainous regions on the eastern shores of the Vilayet where a vaguely dark-age Russo-Slavic-like culture was found, mingled with the various nomadic elements and exiles/long-lost wandering tribes. Kind of like the Border Kingdom north of Nemedia. The cities were caught between the Turanian and Hyrkanian pincers, with Iranistan and Vendhya to the south, and always playing the greater forces off each other while squabbling among themselves...

A very D&D-esque kind of setting, really...


Did they ever make a map of the Conan comic world, showing where places like this were located?
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby JamesMishler » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:02 am

There are no good maps of the area... here are a couple that give a basic idea, but none of them agree on locations or exact geography.

I would not be surprised if there was a decent map of the region in a "Savage Sword of Conan" comic from way back when, but those kids of add-ons generally never made it into the moder Dark Horse trades...

Here's a list:

http://www.conan.ch/conan/maps/mapcolour.jpg

This first one is the official maps from Marvel, and as Red Sonja was actually a Marvel creation and not Howard's that is as official as you can get! During the time of Red Sonja, the eastern shore of the Vilayet north of the Zaporoska was a pathwork of satrapies and independent cities and such; the extent of Turan on the map is as of the end of Conan's era, and Turan expanded further west and east in later days.

http://hyboria.xoth.net/maps/vd_hyrkania2.jpg

IIRC this is Vincent Darlarge's interpretation of the region.

http://grimfinger.net/HWKingdomMaps/HyrkaniaMap.png

This is the map from the old Hyborian Age PBM wargame.

http://www.waynesbooks.com/images/graphics/rs1comb.jpg

This is from the Red Sonja Unconquered module; essentially an adaptation of the TSR Conan RPG map with a few more details. I'm not sure if they had a better map in the booklet or on the gatefold cover, as they did with the AD&D Conan modules; this is the only Hyborian module from TSR that I do not have...

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/pdf/conanmap.jpg

This is the old Mongoose map, included for completion sake. It is so wrong on so many things, but here it is anyway... As they did not have the right to use Red Sonja, their materials did not include any proper references to any of the materials developed by Roy Thomas and company... Similarly the similarly wrong map from GURPS Conan does not include any of the eastern Vilayet cities or geography, showing the steppes to extend all the way to the waters of the Vilayet.

http://blog.starocotes.de/wp-content/up ... nanmap.jpg

This HUGE map is in German, but is otherwise gorgeous, and shows a lot of things not found on any other Hyborian map, including a lot of locations from comics AND the later pastiches.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_LfCfl6PL6Gg/S ... /Turan.jpg

Finally, thus map shows Turan's real control at the start of Conan's era... they slowly turn the Vilayet into a Turanian lake, but that happens during Conan's rise to power.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby JamesMishler » Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:42 am

The more I think of it, while a lot of people have complained about Howard placing the Zaporoska river and the Slavic-based Zaporoskans to the east of the Vilayet, rather than say between the Vilayet and Brythunia which would have been more like in the RW (which *is* where he placed the Kozaki, BTW, the Hyborian Age analogue of the Cossaks), when you study his post-Hyborian age histories it makes a lot of sense.

At the time of Howard's writing (and even to this date), there has been much made of the more direct connection between the Slavs and the south-eastern Indo-Europeans, i.e., the Scythians, Iranians, and so forth. Thus it would have been natural for Howard to place the Hyborian-era analogue/ancestors of the Slavs in or near the steppes, right next to the big inland sea.

The Zaporoskans would be descended from one of the last migrations out from the Hyborian heartlands, the same migration that ended up with the Hyborians carving out the Kothian principalities of Khauran and Khoraja, and from the same branch of peoples that settled among the Shemites of the south and eventually merged with those peoples to form the Iranistani.

The Zaporoskans are merely the southern-most branch of the eastern-most Hyborian peoples; from this cradle, they migrated north, inot the hilly and forested lands between the steppes and the inland sea. There they founded their own tribes and kingdoms, never really united, and thus usually easy prey for the Hyrkanians and later Turanians.

Survivors after the destruction of the Hyborian era remained in the region and merged with the mixed tribes of Cimmerians, Aesir, and Vanir who settled the steppes north of the Black Sea and became the ancestors of the modern Indo-Europeans... (well, by Howard's account).

I should also note that, though later pastiche writers made the Brythunians out to be Slavic, Howard very clearly intended them (mixed together with some further-mixed Vanir and Aesir tribes, and later Cimmerian-descended tribes) to be one of the many ancestors of the Celts, ancestors of the "Brythons" or British (i.e., the Welsh and the other Brittonic Celts). These would be descended from the earliest drifts back to the west, which mixed old Brythunians, Aesir, Vanir, Cimmerians, and even Picts, who then settled Doggerland, and were separated from the mainland tribes when the isles separated from the continent... with most of the tribes on Ireland being descended from Cimmerians, and those on the isle of Great Britain descended from a more mixed variety of tribes... (in Howard's histories, of course)...
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:05 am

Interesting sidenote to this thread: the guys at Paizo just announced a new comic from Dynamite entertainment that is essentially going to be a cross-pulp and fantasy mashup featuring several of the Pathfinder iconics meeting John Carter and Tars Tarkas of Mars, Tarzan and... Red Sonja. Looks like it might be a lot of fun.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/07/19/pathfinder-to-meet-red-sonja-john-carter-and-tarzan-at-san-diego/

I haven't read any of the Pathfinder comics beyond the very first (which I didn't like, and having picked up a couple of issues of Jim Zub's Thunderbolts, I think I know why), but this one is written by Erik Mona of Pathfinder and D&D fame, and whose prose I have enjoyed so I think it might not suffer the same writer issues as the other Pathfinder series.

(I should also note that, IIRC, Zub hasn't written all of the Pathfinder comics, but I still haven't ever read any of them).

In any event, it might be worth taking a look at for the Red Sonja portion. There's also supposed to be a character writeup for her in one of the issues in PF format.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Alzrius » Tue Oct 04, 2016 5:45 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:In any event, it might be worth taking a look at for the Red Sonja portion. There's also supposed to be a character writeup for her in one of the issues in PF format.


For those interested, Paizo is doing a regular blog about the licensed characters and how they're statting them up, with Red Sonja being the first. Updated every Wednesday, they've already talked about Sonja's chainmail bikini and choosing her class.

That first one was quite interesting, particularly since several posters noted that Pathfinder already has armor whose game statistics can function as per chainmail bikini just fine (e.g. the haramaki armor in Ultimate Equipment), even if the description would need to be reflavored.

Also, for those who don't know, a tidbit on EN World (which was lost in their recent server crash) showed us that Sonja will be a level 7 ranger, with a special class archetype ("sword-devil").

EDIT: The newest Paizo blog, which discusses Sonja's armbands, tells us that Sonja will actually be 8th level, not 7th. It also drops an odd hint regarding Pathfinder Society Organized Play...

SECOND EDIT: The latest blog overviews the rest of Sonja's equipment, including how she can walk around a snowy landscape in a metal bikini and not get cold.

FINAL EDIT: The last blog on Red Sonja in Pathfinder covers her sword-devil archetype.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:40 pm

JamesMishler wrote:There are no good maps of the area... here are a couple that give a basic idea, but none of them agree on locations or exact geography.

I would not be surprised if there was a decent map of the region in a "Savage Sword of Conan" comic from way back when, but those kids of add-ons generally never made it into the moder Dark Horse trades...

Here's a list:
<snip - amazing list>


Thanks for all that research James. And thanks for the commentary on how reliable each source is.

My understanding of Conan is so poor that I probably couldn't run a purist campaign right now, but the sort of thing you wrote could save me years of research and stumbling into dead ends.
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:42 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:Interesting sidenote to this thread: the guys at Paizo just announced a new comic from Dynamite entertainment that is essentially going to be a cross-pulp and fantasy mashup featuring several of the Pathfinder iconics meeting John Carter and Tars Tarkas of Mars, Tarzan and... Red Sonja. Looks like it might be a lot of fun.


They are doing a new Conan RPG and a new John Carter RPG (that I believe is compatible). I wonder if they might eventually get around to doing a new Red Sonja RPG. (Or if the purists in the design team will veto that idea.)
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Havard » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:17 pm

Big Mac wrote:They are doing a new Conan RPG and a new John Carter RPG (that I believe is compatible). I wonder if they might eventually get around to doing a new Red Sonja RPG. (Or if the purists in the design team will veto that idea.)


Might also be a rights issue? Not sure who owns the rights to Red Sonja, but since she was not created by Howard it could be a separate thing?

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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby JamesMishler » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:59 am

Conan "rights" are owned by Fredrik Malmberg through Cabinet Entertainment (which apparently bought out Paradox); though what rights they own exactly is up for debate. They have trademarks on a lot of the names, and on all the the various pastiche versions of the stories, but pretty much all the the Conan stories released during Howard's lifetime are now public domain, in the US and elsewhere... but that's all for lawyers to figure out... Sooo... I guess you can use and derive stuff from those works as long as you do not use any trademarked names... however that is supposed to work...

As for Red Sonja, she was created by Roy Thomas at Marvel, is owned by Red Sonja LLC (how they got that from Marvel, I am not sure... it apparently became severed from the Conan licenses following the Conan Properties era, is my guess, or later maybe during the whole Stan Lee Media debacle).

According to Wikipedia:

"On June 6, 2006, comic news site Newsarama reported that Red Sonja, LLC (which holds rights to the Roy Thomas version of the character) filed a lawsuit on four counts against Paradox Entertainment (which claims rights to Red Sonya as part of the Howard library, though no renewal record for The Shadow of the Vulture exists) in US Federal Court in April 2006. The four counts are claims of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.[20] The lawsuit was settled in January 2008, on the second day of the hearing, for a sum of $1 each. Red Sonja LLC paid $1 to Paradox for the rights to Howard's Red Sonya and permission for the Red Sonja stories to continue being set in Conan's Hyborian Age. Paradox simultaneously paid $1 to Red Sonja LLC for the exclusive print-publication rights for The Shadow of the Vulture now that one of the characters belongs to Red Sonja LLC.[21]"

So that's how that all works... though of course, anything from the Hyborian Age that is in the public domain is free game to use, if you want to tempt a lawsuit from Cabinet Entertainment...
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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby Havard » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:40 pm

Thanks for the clarifications on IP status James! I had heard about Fredrik Malmberg's acquiring of Conan, but I had not considered the fact that the stories are now public domain. It is frustrating that corporations use lawyers to try to try to keep IP out of the public domain. I understand that they want to protect their investments, but I dont like to see the principles about IP falling into the public domain undermined.

It is too bad that Red Sonja was separated from the Conan lisence, but at least none of this prevents us from using Red Sonja and the associated lore in our Conan home campaigns :)

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Re: Red Sonja material?

Postby rabindranath72 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:18 pm

I had an email exchange with Mr. Malmberg a few years back:

Dear Mr. Malmberg,
I am writing to have a clear understanding of the Intellectual Property definition of Conan Properties International:

CONAN® and/or CONAN THE BARBARIAN® and related logos, characters, names, and
distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Conan Properties
International LLC unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

What is it meant by "names and distinctive likenesses"? While I understand that character names may be covered by IP, it would seem hardly the case for names like Cimmeria, Hyperborea etc., which also have clear historical significance, and certainly predate any use R.E.Howard may have done of the words.


This was his reply:
Dear Dr. Eleuteri,

thank you for your email. Historical names and places, if used in their historical context, are obviously not something we claim any rights into. It is when used in the setting and environment in which R E Howard describes them that they can be protected.

If you have any doubt, or further queries, feel free to email me again.

Best Regards

Fredrik Malmberg


So...if you ask me, it's all "fried air" as we say in Italy. If I had the time and the money to pursue it, I'd challenge them. The writings are in the public domain, there's no way to escape that.
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