BTW, Faf and Mouser are no more "rogues" as you call it, Taranaich, than Conan is. Or Conan is as much a "rogue" as Faf and Mouser are. Certainly the Mouser is more specialized at thieving than most other things, He also dabbles in the occult, drinks profusely, is an excellent swordsman and dirksman. Fafhrd and Conan share many of the same qualities. Fafhrds a "barbarian" if you will. Extremely strong and large. Actually sports facial hair! An excellent climber (of mountains in particular), as well, is the mouser. Though of more urban skill. Excellent swordsman, brawler, archer, axeman. I guess you need to read more. Or less.
Too each his own. I'd say there is a more playful attitude to Fritz's stuff. Perhaps these stories tempo isn't as grim as you'd like?
I think the essential difference is that Conan was not just a rogue, he was a thief/barbarian/reaver/mercenary etc etc etc. Also I think I agree with you on it not being grim and dark enough for my liking. If there's a (relatively) dark and serious Lankhmar tale I'd quite like to read it. I'm going to try the one about the rats (forget it's name), see if that hooks me.
What's your opinion of the indifferent , occasionally murderous , maybe insane , drug-addicted & demon-possessed Elric of Melnibone ?
I can't tell whether Elric is a response to Conan or to Lord of the Rings, it seems like both. Anyway, Elric's one of those characters who annoys the hell out of me, but I actually like that about him. All the annoying traits - his moodiness, his recklessness, the fact that he's too much like an elf - make his character more interesting and unique. I particularly like the fact that he's practically disabled, being short-sighted, sickly and weak, before becoming the crazed killing machine with Stormbringer. I love the ending of Stormbringer in particular, the most downbeat and at the same time uplifting finale in fantasy fiction.
I like the Lovecraft's ideas more than Lovecraft's prose, which is a habit of mine. For instance, Olaf Stapledon's writing style in "Star Maker" is dry and dull and very difficult to read, but is still what I consider to be the single greatest work of imagination in recent times, bar none, due to the awesome proliferation of ideas.
Has anyone ever read "The Challenge From Beyond"? There will never be a more awesome round-robin.