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Savage Worlds Conan: Tower of the Ape Recap – Ep144

ToA Final Cover


This episode contains spoilers

In the beginning of 2013 we were given permission to use officially licensed Conan property for the purposes of an original production.

One listener contest, rigorous production schedule and hundreds of man hours later, the project was complete.

The Tower of the Ape.

The epic quest of Renyard, Valoc, Madhedai, Loviisa, Ronos, Odored and Mofir will live in our hearts forever.


If you have some input on this, leave a comment here, via email or on our Facebook page.

Cast –  Eric, Mike, Mark, Dan, Shannon, Jayson & Shawn


Intro: Eric

Outro: Eric

Items Mentioned:

Conan, Savage Worlds


  1. this_is_Dan
    this_is_Dan January 14, 2014

    Why is it that Shannon sounded so much better way back in August lol.

    Anyway, this one was a lot of fun… will be hard to top.

  2. PK Sullivan
    PK Sullivan January 14, 2014

    Hey Tablers,

    I loved Tower of the Ape. Openly Gamer Theater tends to be the only AP I can listen to and you just keep getting better with them. The editing you do must take an incredible amount of time so let me express my thanks on that. Pushing the game more and more into pure story, leaving in only occasional mentions of mechanics and putting the focus squarely on the characters really made for a compelling roleplay drama. It’s pretty clear that this was a pet project for Eric. His narration dubbed in really showed how much he cared about the project and emulating the genre.

    Keep up the good work!


    • Gamerstable
      Gamerstable January 15, 2014

      Thank you PK. Getting praise is always nice, when it is from someone that we admire it is even more sweet.

  3. Cuthalion
    Cuthalion January 15, 2014

    Tower of the Ape was awesome! I really enjoyed it, and it has its own niche separate from the regular actual plays I listen to. I have a couple comments and criticisms, but I wanted to start and end with gushing love. HOORAY.

    -It got a little hard to keep track of who was where and with whom, and who had and hadn’t met, and what’s going on again?
    -In particular, I constantly mixed up Renyard and Madhedai. I kept merging them into the same character in my head and being like, “Wait… Renyard’s the bonded, right? How did Madhedai end up here, again?” I’m really not sure why — their voices are distinct enough. I suppose they’re just both reserved and disciplined?
    -For much of the story, it felt like two separate dramas. I kept wondering when or if things would combine, but I guess this isn’t really a bad thing.
    -The narration was a lot of fun, but I kind of missed hearing more of the characters and even occasionally the mechanics. There was one episode (second to last?) where it felt like an audiobook rather than a drama. Again though, I still thought the narration was engaging.
    -Valoc(ias) is my favorite. I honestly never saw him as a bad guy, just a little shady and neurotic. Maybe if I’d been familiar with Conan? (I never saw a movie, played a game, or read a book of it. This is basically my first exposure beyond hearsay.) Even at the end, I didn’t read him as evil, just stupidly short-sighted. A party of Marks would be madness, but having one around is fun to listen to. I concur with the guy who liked his Star Wars character, and was pleased he did another… non-charismatic type.
    -I agree with Mark on Savage Worlds. Love the use of different die types as stats and skills, enjoy picking out edges and hindrances… but I hated the shaken mechanic, as it constantly resulted in melee fighters losing their turns; disliked the anticlimactic wound modifiers (which it sounds like you houseruled out), since the battle can become a foregone conclusion early on; and I’m not a huge fan of skill-based, rather than class-based, systems for multiplayer games, since there’s little niche protection. Those may not have been Mark’s exact complaints (except that he got shown up by the other wizard and thief), but I guess I see Savage Worlds as a mixed bag. Might be a good choice for that supers game you were talking about though — see Knights of Reignsborough for an example of a SW superheroes actual play.

    I thought all the characters were cool, and I’ll have to go back and look at the stuff surrounding the contest! I’ve enjoyed every Openly Gamer Theatre I’ve found from you guys so far, and I’m looking forward to the next one. Keep up the good work.

    • this_is_Dan
      this_is_Dan January 16, 2014

      Thank you for the kind words and objective feedback, I assure you we will be keeping it in mind when we begin our Call of Ctuhlu roleplay drama in a few months. Unfortunately I don’t think Mike or I will be doing character voices any time soon as we suck at them lol.

      • Cuthalion
        Cuthalion January 16, 2014

        Cool. And I think your regular voices work well, anyway. 🙂

  4. Baiyo
    Baiyo January 17, 2014

    Like I said on the Pinnacle forums, I really enjoyed the blend of narration and with actual play. That was some really nice editing work.

    Of course, the thing that interested me in the first place was your choice of the perfect game rules set for Conan- Savage Worlds. I know you’re moving on to Cthulhu for your next dramatized game, but I hope you’ll consider coming back to Savage Worlds with a setting like Deadlands, or perhaps a pirate-themed game.

  5. Brian
    Brian February 1, 2014

    ((Deep apologies for the late responces, but Dad in hospital and me out of state for several weeks backlogged some stuff.))
    I’ve spoken of the incredible production value and story already; just plain awesome.
    I wanted to point out that my ‘design’ of Valoc (off the top of my head that night), and the final result was one of my outright favorite parts of this saga. First off, yes I was thinking more of Jame’s Earl Jones then the comics or novels. There is a line in the film where he says ‘such a waste’ with this expression that totally enveloped my imagination. I imagined him saying it to Valoc just before abandoning him far too early. Had I played the character, I would have likely been darker and more consumed with bitterness and revenge. The first intro totally blew me away in its awesomeness as I got to see an equally interesting and totally different take then I anticipated. I loved the snivel and pathetic lothing sounding Valoc just as much if not far more then the idea in my head. I confess I felt his abilities might have needed a boost compaired to the others, but few get a new system to do what they want right out of the gate. All the character interactions were just fantastic for me, and I really would like to see more from them.

    My only question is a personal one. I also submitted a female assassin I was proud of, and was curious if anyone had an opinion of her. (Mute assassin with living whipdagger)

  6. Shrimpiclese
    Shrimpiclese July 29, 2015

    Just finished listening to the AP through again. It’s still my favorite that you have done. Fits that perfect mix of actual play and radio drama.

    Also… Savage Worlds is my personal favorite system. I love hearing it in action.

    • Gamerstable
      Gamerstable July 29, 2015

      Thank you Erik!

      Tower is special for me on a personal level. It’s no secret that the setting is near and dear to my heart, but TotA was also the first time I went out on a limb and included scripted narration. I wanted to harness Robert Howard in my writing as best I could, and am pleased with the result.

      A lot of my editing and arranging techniques had their birth with TotA. Not just music and FX, but my meticulous (read anal retentive) pacing edits. Not a lot of people know this, but I edit the pacing of everything that’s said. It is a painstakingly slow process, but a rewarding one.

      That said, listening to it is also bitter-sweet for me. As much as I love it, it was also the beginning of the end for Mark. Though the transition ended up as a positive for the show (Brandon and Brandi wouldn’t be on if he were still here), it’s hard to see a friendship die.


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