Looking through my Fantasy Path box set and enjoying the quaintness of the graphics I struck on the idea of seeing what they would look like updated with modern graphics. A quick scan into Photoshop, some manipulated photo textures and some other Photoshop tricks and here is how it came out:
For comparison here is the original tile:
I had always been intrigued by the Dark Sun setting and did enjoy reading it and admiring the art. Brom really blossomed as an artist during this period.
It was with some trepidation I purchased the recently released Dark Sun campaign setting for 4th edition DnD. I must say so far so good. The production values are extremely high. The art is excellent, and it is making for some engaging reading. It remains to be seen if I'll make an attempt to run a game in this setting as my current Swords & Wizardry campaign (which has morphed into a Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition campaign) is still going.
Fantasy Paths included 28 tiles:
6 small 2" by 4" tiles
4 rectangular 2" by 8" tiles
12 square 4" by 4" tiles
4 long 4" by 8" tiles and
2 large 8" by 8"tiles (rooms)
Unfortunately I missed out on these in my youth. Chaosium products were exceedingly rare where I lived (I only knew of Call of Cthulhu from ads in Dragon magazine). But I picked up the entire series on clearance at a convention once and have quite enjoyed them since.
They included a little 4 page adventure designed to use the tiles and numbered chits that could be used as a randomizer (psuedo dice) or as markers for the locations of characters and items. Also included was the introductory basic role-playing rules booklet, as it seems every Chaosium product of this era did. Making this box set a 'complete' RPG.
Afterthought. BRP (Basic Roleplaying) is considered one of the best RPG's written and is still well supported online, in particular basicroleplaying.com has a lot of excellent and free resources. Chaosium tried valiantly to create the ultimate generic rpg rules yet never quite had the success that GURPS had. I suspect one problem was the name: Basic Roleplaying. In middle and high school my friends and I wanted little to do with anything called "basic", which is partly why Advanced DnD was so appealing. Had it been given a catchier name and more widely appealing products, who knows how much more successful it could have been.
There are hints of Roman and comic-book superhero influences, and that mocking laugh as he points is not like any image of Conan I've ever seen.
It makes me wonder if it is possible to re-envision Conan. Perhaps by researching real barbarian dress forms, and seasoning it with a bit of REH's imaginative descriptions. And if you did that, could anyone recognize it as Conan? Or is Conan's form permanently marred by the common perception of who he is?