Saturday, 23 April 2011

AtoZ April - T is for Thulsa Doom

Spot the real Thulsa Doom

Was ever a potentially great villain ever more let down by his appearances?

Skull face; laughs off sword blows; belittling monologues; overcomplex schemes; designated nemesis and arch-enemy of an barbarian Atlantean king. That's gold standard pulp background that is!

Thulsa Doom is probably the prototypical pin-up boy for the classic D&D lich look (although Sauron still has the edge in trappings and cronies). By rights Thulsa (or 'Thulses' to his friends) and not some Ruritanian neurotic in a tin suit, should have a lock on the Doom surname in pop-culture. Instead the vengeful hand of the serpent gods is little more than a pop-culture footnote remembered from some 70s comics. He's second in the skull-faced villain recognition stakes to Skeletor. Even Klytus steals his shtick!

I blame Milius and Kevin Sorbo ...and Dynamite Entertainment with their Imaro Doom comics. Although Thulsa didn't really help himself with his cat ventriloquism misdirection antics in The Cat and the Skull. Have some self-respect man!

Poor old Thulsa Doom. Is it any wonder that he retired from the villainy lark to write a gaming blog under an assumed name?



The True Face of Thulsa Doom [Wondrous Item]
A full face skull mask with wickedly gleaming eye spots. Wearer must save vs. device or have their alignment changed to Ineffectual Overcomplicated Evil (or just Chaotic with trimmings in LL).

The True Face confers the following abilities:
  • Wards its wearer from harm as a cloak of protection (randomly determine power)
  • Hold person on all within earshot for as long as the wearer maintains a belittling monologue.
  • Teleport 1/day, conditional on the wearer being able to move through a doorway.
  • Lazer eye-beams! These cause a random effect generated on the Riskail Random Eyebeam Generator Table unless they are directed against snake cultists or a character who could be apostrophised as "black Conan". Against such wannabes and imposters the beams cause a well-deserved and agonising death, no save.

Skull-face Thulsa Doom: accept no substitutes.

I seem to have a thing for masks recently...

Pic Source
Odd Thulsa Out from forum
Hero Pose Thulsa from


  1. Well, in fairness, Skeletor is Thulsa Doom, sort of. I believe the whole He-Man thing came about as a result of losing the Conan toy licence and some quick reskinning.

  2. I also feel sorry for Kevin Sorbo, who apparently was not pleased to find himself playing Hercules the Conqueror.

  3. Invoke not the name of Doom! You play with forces you do not understand!

    Uh...I mean: good post!

  4. @kelvingreen so they just stripped it off anything remotely intelligent so they could sell toys of barechested guys with swords. makes sense actually.


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