Hyborian Survival Guide – Part I

March 31, 2010

Lessons learned from journeying through the treacherous lands of Age of Conan.

1. Do NOT piss off the women.

You do so at your peril. Hyboria is home to the most ruthless, blood-thirsty women I have ever met. And I’m not just talking about the warriors either. Take Mr. Fabio in the above screenshot, for example. I found his wife standing at an Old Tarantia street corner, fuming because he ran off with a skanky tavern wench.  “Well, I can go and try to convince him to come back,” I offered. “Yes, please do so,” she said, “but that’s not all, I also want you to kill his little whore of a mistress.”  Me: “Wow, isn’t that a little extreme? I mean, I could rough him up a bit for you, or maim him if you really want him to pay, but really, there’s no need to take someone’s li–” Wife: “NO DAMMIT KILL HIS WHORE!!!” Me: “Okay, okay, chillax, I’m on it.”

2. It’s everyone for themselves.

You would think after rescuing someone from a life of slavery or worse, they’d show a little gratitude, maybe help you fight a little. Not these prisoners. No sirree, you let them out of their cage and they’ll just run off, letting you take care of the ambushers by yourself. Also, the guards posted around villages and cities? Purely for show. Picture this: a hoard of raving lunatics are chasing after you, itching to tear you limb from limb. You run as fast as you can towards the closest village and make it through the wooden gates. Think you’re safe now? Guess again. The guards will stand around and watch as the enemies beat the living snot out of you, right there in the village center.

3. A career as an undertaker is as recession-proof as you can get.

I have three words for you: Dead bodies everywhere. One thing I really want to do is go up to Conan and tell him, “I love what you have done with your kingdom, your majesty! There’s just something so…cadaverous about it!” I swear, you can’t walk three feet without tripping over a half-decomposed, fly-ridden corpse. Beautiful as Hyboria is, it must reek to high heaven. I’ve seen bodies piled in a corner, hanging from rafters, chained to walls, tied to tree trunks, skewered on pikes, cooking in cauldrons, drowned in fountains, rotting in gibbets…everywhere but buried in the ground where they’re supposed to be! No wonder the crows are so fat in these parts.

4. If you’re going to die, for the love of Crom, try and have the presence of mind to kick it somewhere more convenient.

Dying is always a pain in the ass, and it’s especially true in Hyboria. While you’ll always resurrect at the nearest spawn point, there’s no guarantee that the spawn point in question won’t be high on a cliff with no direct way back down, or right smack in the middle of a fortress crawling with enemies. Sometimes, it’s better just to eat the half-hour death penalty and not bother running back to your tombstone, because it’s just not worth it.


  1. 3. A career as an undertaker is as recession-proof as you can get.

    That made me think of Yojimbo/A Fist Full of Dollars:
    “What happened? Why so glum? Your business should be booming.”
    “No. When the fighting gets this bad, they don’t bother with coffins.”

    Also, either you made a mistake with the picture for #1, or that is a really manly women. If the latter, and that really is a woman… well, on principle I don’t approve of cheating, but I could definitely see why the husband did it.

    • LOL no mistake, but that’s actually the husband of the angry housewife I was tasked to find. I’ll make that clearer in the text.

  2. I’m enjoying these articles. Makes me want to give AoC another (would be fourth) try. I’ve never gotten out of Tortage on any of my play attempts.

    • Cool, I’m glad I can inspire. Though while they added a lot of improvements in the game, I don’t think they made many changes to the Tortage experience so I’m not sure a fourth go at it would make your like it any better 😛 Unless of course it was the classes you played that didn’t appeal to you, in which case maybe a class change would do the trick.

      Anyway, it’s been a loooong time since I last played Tortage, but I remember it was quite instanced and single-player focused. I know that turns a lot of people off, and I think I was actually a little turned off myself, but I sort of pushed myself through it knowing that the game beyond will be a little different.

    • I’ve been trying to figure out why it didn’t click with me. I think it boils down to not being enough of a Conan fan. With LotRO, I’m a huuuuge Tolkien nerd so it’s much easier for me to keep interest in the came. With AoC, it seems like I’ll subscribe, try it out for a day or two, and then forget to login again for the rest of the subscription period.

  3. […] Survival Guide – Part I Jump to Comments In keeping with a great tradition, my own tips to surviving the Hyborian […]

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