Monday, March 5, 2018

Discovery of the Day

While noodling about on eBay this afternoon looking for cheap copies of old Conan modules, I happened across the most interesting thing - a book called Conan and the Prophecy, published by TSR in the '80s as part of something called "Endless Quest" books.
Probably not by the Bond actor.
Further investigation shows that this was a line of choose-your-own-adventure type books taking place in various TSR properties - mostly Dungeons and Dragons, but also including Star Frontiers and a total of three Conan books.

Details of the plots are a bit on the scarce side, but what information is available suggests that these books are based more on Arnold Schwarzenegger than Robert E. Howard. To be fair, though, this was pretty much right when Conan the Barbarian was first released, so this is to be expected.

Less expected is the pair of Tarzan books that are also part of the Endless Quest lineup.

Unless I missed something rather major, the presence of Lord Greystoke is something of a puzzler. Edgar Rice Burroughs is, of course, in the famed Dungeons & Dragons  Appendix N, but for John Carter and Barsoom, not Tarzan's Africa. I actually can't think of any RPG that's based on Tarzan particularly, though his archetype often comes up as a character option in pulp-genre games. I've only read a few of the Tarzan novels, but there's enough of them that now I'm wondering if it would make a viable setting (and what you would do there besides be Tarzan). I do know he visits Burroughs' version of the Hollow Earth at one point, but again I can't recall a Hollow Earth setting that is Pellucidar, specifically, rather than just being heavily influenced by it.

Sadly, all five of these books seem to be quite rare and expensive now, I know I'll be keeping an eye out at garage sales and thrift stores for them. Like their digital descendant eBay, you never quite know what you might uncover . . .

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