Martial Arts in Conan?

Are there Martial Artists in Conan? Because I think it’d be pretty cool to see in the game.

1 Like

Not in Howard’s stories. Perhaps in comics oe other Conan authors. But it won’t be cool to see that in CE. That games isn’t doomed to have any ridiculous tropes, like martial arts in fiction, implemented in it.


While I would like it (cestus and punch gauntlets at least) … The moment any unarmed, kungfu, karate, wuxia, ANYTHING is mentioned in something like this … GUARANTEED it will be met with equal, zealous, fanatical resentment.

Ignore the fact conan has bested opponents with his bare hands.
Ignore the fact that some slight of hand mentions in comics and written works that could be considered sorcery (or judo) could be argued as such. IGNORE THE FACT THAT WEAPON FORMS ARE MARTIAL ARTS.

Fact is … Most people balk at the idea of martial arts in Conan. Simply because they think of Kung Fu movies and not Pankration. They see it as just swinging big sticks around and not the riddle behind the steel.

P.S. You can still punch and kill things in game, just take your weapon off. Just no kicky for you. Oh wait, but there is a kick… WELL no backflips for you! Oh wait … Daggers have back flips. Well, um … no uhhhh… no KUNGFU NOISES! yeah! no kungfu noises for you!

P.P.S I’ll leave Jabaal Sags claws out of this for now.

sips iced tea

1 Like

We should have a cestus. We have very cool animations for punching in game already

1 Like

First Conan movie he used cestus


True, though admittedly that was in gladiator-style arena combat at extreme close quarters.

1 Like

Old time Conan fan here, mostly from the films for starters 30 years ago, then the comics. Then references to the books from games. Truth be told, the Conan Mythos has expanded and transcended R.E Howard. Yes, I said it. His child outgrew him.

This is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it shows the love the world has and how much work has been put into it from many other talented individuals as well.

That being said. First thing that came to mind when I even saw your post title was, “oh, that would be cool!”

Then I thought, oh, that will have many say “but its not Conaaan”…

Then I further thought, if they do it like some Bruce Lee Shaolin Chuckie Chan stuff, it would be totally wrong indeed.

So, my suggestion is, yes, they should add it. When they feel comfortable enough with adding new weapons and start balancing things again from scratch :stuck_out_tongue: As long as it feels primitive. We have Khitai in the game, and Yamatai. And as one said, there are more martial arts than just the east, whilst all the combat we see in the game with weapons is pretty much martial arts anyway.

I don’t see a reason why not. Again, just make it feel more primitive, and not what the modern arts became (and I include the Sengoku Jidai period as modern, being at the very least Feudal. When this game pre-dates even cultures of antiquity). Not having it at all in fact feels wrong. Just, need to again, make it feel primitive, like the routes of where it began.

I would be up for this more than adding magic. I dont want magic in this game. I want magic and sorcery to be rare, and feel like some unnatural existence (like it already does with the bracelets and other magical elements the whole story/world has). Seeing people stroll around hurling fireballs is the last thing I want to see.

Some form of summoning (like already added) or some spell that takes you like 2 mins to conjure a small meteor storm, or idk what else. Make it feel like it fits the world of Conan, and not just some WoW crap with toons running around casting their heads off hurling chained lightnings after chained lightnings like they are shurikens.

Speaking of which, give us javelins for Aquilonia please, but also, kunai will be very fun to be added to Yamatai too.

p.s, if I hear one more person talk about what was or wasn’t in R.E Howards work, last I checked, the game is not called R.E Howards Conan Exiles… It stands to reason that again, it will expand on the mythos and draw from a lot more than just the initial books.


Yes, there are a lot of martial artists, including Conan himself. His martial arts were usually focused on swords of various sizes and shapes - in addition to the iconic longsword he has used shorter one-handed swords, sabres and scimitars, and on a couple of occasions, axes.

Other notable mentions include Zaporavo, captain of the Wastrel, described in Pool of the Black One as follows: “There was no man in the world more deeply and thoroughly versed than he in the lore of swordcraft.” Conan beats him simply because he’s physically stronger and faster.

But, as the OP implicitly asks, are there unarmed martial artists in the world of Conan? Short answer: no. Because carrying swords and other weapons was permitted in most Hyborian Age lands, there was no need to develop unarmed combat styles independent of armed combat styles. Punching, wrestling, kicking, etc. were probably learned as part of armed martial arts training, as they were in the historical real world, with the general idea that most of the time, you’re going to kill the other guy with your weapon, but sometimes you end up grappling on the floor, or get an opportunity to punch or elbow your opponent in the face, or kick them in the nuts to break a bind, etc. All this is described in medieval European swordfighting manuscripts.

Stuff like karate evolved in cultures where people weren’t allowed to carry weapons.


Hmm, that is a very interesting take too. And looking at it that way also makes sense. Its like bringing a knife to a gunfight, and thus bringing just your fists to a sword fight. Its a good way to get a blade thrust through your eyesocket xD

1 Like

Indeed. I would also back any moderately competent swordsman against any (unarmed) martial arts practitioner in most scenarios unless they were heavily tilted against the swordsman in some other way. Which is not the same as saying (unarmed) martial arts are useless.

1 Like

Exactly. Simple fact: The point of a sword (or a spear, or an axe, or a mace) can move faster than a human body because of how a lever works. That, in itself, is a massive advantage of anyone with a wepaon against anyone without one.

Reach is another. Despite what she may have said, having a longer shaft matters. That’s why the spear has long dominated PVP, just like it dominated the battlefields of the real world. No matter how hard you can punch, it’s irrelevant if you have two feet of rapier blade coming out of your back by the time you’re within punching range. And it’s no good if you have the best rapier in the world if you get your head split open by a montante while closing in.

Which leads to the third point: damage output. Whether it’s blunt force trauma from a warhammer or getting your internal organs cut open by a sharp blade, weapons have the potential to cause massively more severe injuries than punches and kicks. Or rather, because punches and kicks can still kill you, weapons can cause lethal injury with considerably less effort. Guy Windsor of Sword School calls swords (and other weapons) “labor-saving devices” because it’s much, much easier to kill someone with a weapon than it is without one.

1 Like

Just to settle something here.

Martial means combat. Regardless of the weapon used.
Art is an aquired skill.

Sword fighting, spear fighting, shield use, hammer fighting, axe fighting, archery, etc… all qualify as martial art as soon as they are applied with any remotly aquired skill.

What is refered to here should be specified as unarmed martial art.


And since we’re splitting hairs here, a word from your friendly neighborhood etymologist to those people who live in the misunderstanding that “martial arts” somehow refers exclusively to Oriental stuff:

The word “martial” has its origins in the Roman god of war, Mars. Definitely a Western thing. (No, it’s okay to call Eastern combat styles “martial arts” as well, whether they’re conducted with bare hands, swords, spears, iron-studded baseball bats, farming tools or laundry poles.)


In age of conan, one of the expansion areas in khitai had a courtyard of fighters training unarmed combat, and their was a monastery were you fought a monk boss.

It’s all there, plus right now we have the backflip.

We have reach from swords, jumping superman style moves eith 1h axe and shield.

It could be done if enough people make a push for it, at a minimum, to get a developer response on live stream.

Id love to smash my knee into another player during PvP hours.

1 Like

I suspect the main reason why unarmed combat would not be further developed is the same reason that we can’t change armor appearances for RP purposes: PvP. Simply put, a key idea of the PvP design is visually identifying what someone is wearing/wielding for insight into their build and how to combat them.

However, if you come across someone who is bare-handed, how would you be able to discern if you’ve merely surprised them, if they’re on a corpse-run and unarmed, if they’re messing around, of if they’re Chuck Norris?

The only way I could see “martial arts” being viable (given the design philosophy) would be if new “weapon” types were introduced that included the MA combos and had some sort of visual tell to them like a bo-staff, brass knuckles, cestus, etc.

1 Like

The only man who was able to Numb Chuck Norris’s body was Bruce Lee. Then Bruce did a flying jump kick into Heaven because God wanted to learn Jeet Kune Do.

1 Like

Correct. He very much did.

1 Like

A Cestus, brass knuckles and other hand weapons (Cats Claw etc) were all very common throuhout history. There have even been historic references to bandages on hands coates in sticky stuff and covered in glass.

A cestus was considdered a very effective weapon in the gladiator arenas and while it maybe primitive. There were also many variations throughout.

The punching animations we have look good. The combos are very neat looking. They don’t have an Eastern flare to them. But more of a brawling style.

Personally I would add cestus weapons and just not change the animation. It is good enough


The lake of a headbutt combo-finish is disapointing though. :upside_down_face: