Appendix N: Everything’s Coming Up, Conan!

Oak Hill RPG Club


Hot on the heels of our last two Appendix N features comes some very exciting news regarding everyone’s favorite Cimmerian.

Hold on to your broadswords, kids.

Amazon is developing a drama series based on Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian.

Let that sink in for a moment.


So, who’s behind the project?

First we’ve got Ryan Condal, who is best known for writing the Dwayne Johnson Hercules picture (not a feather in his cap from where I’m sitting), but he also had a hand in creating Colony for USA (plus), tried to get a Sixth Gun series made (double plus), and is writing a Logan’s Run reboot (hopeful).

Directing will be Miguel Sapochnik, which is more than I could have hoped for. Sapochnik is responsible for directing some of the very best episodes of Game of Thrones, including Hardhome, The Battle of the Bastards, and

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“Not just this minute”

Oak Hill RPG Club

clubiconOak Hill RPG Club hosted a public Dungeons & Dragons event last night at the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club Building. While there was not a huge turn-out, we did get to introduce two new players to the game and we’re hopeful that word will spread and these events will continue to grow and attract even more men and women to the hobby.

These sorts of things take time, but we were more than pleased with the night’s outcome.

We spent the first hour rolling characters and discussing the nuances of game play and rules, and then we were off, into the thick of it.

Our players assumed the roles of merchants and craftsmen from three neighboring villages, conscripted by House Stewart to defend Blackmire Pass from invading Mercer forces until the military could arrive.

Under the command of fourteen year old, Allenford Stewart, our militia was ill-fated from the start.

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APPENDIX N: Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Part II

Oak Hill RPG Club

conanunchainedToday marks the 112th anniversary of the birth of my favorite author, the legendary Robert E. Howard, and it’s no secret that Gary Gygax was a huge fan of Robert E. Howard as well.

The influence of Howard’s Conan on Dungeons and Dragons is undeniable. Fantasy roleplaying would simply not exist as it does today if not for the creation of the sword and sorcery genre and we have Robert E. Howard to thank for that.

Gygax first mentioned Conan in IFW Monthly in May of 1969.

gygax conan

That early Hyborian Wargame Society surely added fuel to the fires of creation in which Dungeons & Dragons was forged. Listed amongst others in the 1979 Dungeon Master’s Guide’s Appendix N, Robert E. Howard’s influence was all over the game. One need look no further than Conan’s last published adventure Red Nails, which featured a wilderness trek and battle with a…

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5 Years Ago Today…

Oak Hill RPG Club

Sometime in September of 2012 I made a somewhat innocuous comment on facebook, something along the line of “getting your old D&D mates back to the table for old time’s sake was the modern equivalent of getting the band back together“.

That sparked a discussion with my old chum Shaun Keenan and we decided to have a go at it. We reached out to the legion of diceslingers who had once battled kobalds, goblins, and worse as a part of the Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club, a group we had formed back in the near prehistoric age of the late 1970s.

So it was that five years ago today, on the 5th of January of 2013, a group of friends came together for a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Shaun made arrangements for us to use Ali-Caters in Marion, a sort-of abandoned tavern, complete with a dance…

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Days of Wonder, Knights of Valour

Fe20171008_114131w things are more thrilling than our annual trip to the Indiana Renaissance Faire. It’s one of the highlights of October for us.

This year was no different.

We arrived early and got to listen to some fine music before the gates opened, with performances by Drunk & Sailor, Kilted Kings, Red Rum, Lute & Lady Lawson, and my personal favorite, Chaste Treasure, an a cappella trio that harmonized beautifully.

Once inside, we browsed around a bit before taking in the Rogue Blades featuring Dave the Knave, Sir James, and Squire Paul. It was a sword-fighting comedy stage show, family friendly and with plenty of audience participation. Well worth a look, over-all, but that’s not what we were there for.

It never is, at least for Conn and me.

When made our way back into the market, examining swords, capes, hand-crafted journals, and enough fantasy and medieval bric-a-brac to fill a moderately sized man cave.

This is the point when I generally regret the perpetual emptiness of my wallet. That feeling quickly passes though as soon as we make our way to the Lyst.


Ah yes, the Knights of Valour Joust Troupe, our reason for traveling south. Shane Adams and Company always put on a great show. The warhorses are beautiful, the knights bold and fearless, and the host a charismatic showman.

I would go into more detail, but why when I can just show it to you —

Another amazing Ren Faire. Our fifth or sixth time, I think. Will we journey forth again next year? Possibly. We’ve discussed traveling even further south next year, for the Imaginarium Convention. We shall have to see how the dates align.

kofvI can assure you, however, that should we fail to attend, our hearts will be saddened. It won’t be the same if we are not to hear the Knights of Valour Battle Cry — “Helm Up and Charge On!”

Now, to our next order of business… Connor’s fourteenth birthday.

He arrived on the 9th of October, on Thor’s Day and Leif Eriksson Day, no less.

He is, as they say, a warrior born.

I know he has a future as a storyteller ahead of him, but I often times wonder if some sort of life wielding a sword might be waiting for him as well.


Bring me my broadsword…


I posted the following on Occult Detective. It seems more than appropriate that it be shared here as well…

This morning we travel south, across the beautiful autumn kissed landscape of mythic Indiana, until we reach the sights and sounds of the ancient world reborn for us at Fishers Renaissance Faire.

It will be grand to be surrounded once more by minstrels, merchants and maidens fair, but we most long to hear once more the cacophony of broken lances and the roar of the crowd as the Knights of Valour demonstrate their tournament prowess.


This has become an annual affair for us, one we so look forward to. That it so closely coincides with Connor’s birthday is an added bonus.

This will be a much needed escape from our daily troubles and the incessant grind of weighty real world matters. Immersing ourselves in the medieval realm of fantasy, our attention will be drawn instead to pomp and spectacle.


I, for one, look forward to the joust and to perusing the weapon tents. Nothing better than holding a yard of well-crafted steel in one’s hand.

So, huzzah, my friends. Expect a full report when Leif Eriksson Day dawns…