new RQ Hawkmoon?

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new RQ Hawkmoon?

Postby Enpeze » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:49 pm

I found this thread at rpg.net

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=283811

any opinions?
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Postby iamtim » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:53 pm

I saw that too; I was going to reply, but I figured they wouldn't want to hear what I had to say. Heh.

My opinion is that RPG.net has a tendency to jump to conclusions over the most unfounded of rumors, and Amazon has posted some wrong stuff in the past.

So I'm holding out for something of an official notice.
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Postby Darran » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:07 pm

I saw it this morning as well. The book's writter for Chaosium, Lawrence Whitaker, does not know what is happening either.
The funny thing is Lawrence is also the organiser of the Continuum RPG conference where Matt and Charlie may have spoken about this.
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Postby iamtim » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:59 pm

Darran wrote:The book's writter for Chaosium, Lawrence Whitaker, does not know what is happening either.
Well, with all due respect to him, I don't know why he would. He wrote something for Chaosium and most likely got paid for it and transferred rightsto Chaosium. If that's the case, he's out of the loop and Chaosium has no obligation to tell him what's going on with it.
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Postby Archer » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:14 pm

Lawrence have been working on trying to get a Hawkmoon RPG from Chaosium out the door since '98 (if I am correct and my memory does not fail me), and it was going to happen with DarcSyde finally publishing it for Chaosium. And then nothing, nothing, nothing.

After having awaited Hawkmoon from chaosium, after talking with chaosium in trying to get to use thier system for my setting, but everything degraded into snail pace bureacracy, and after asking politely several times about the future of Stormbringer and getting the silent treatment from Chaosium, I have only one thing to say to Mongoose;
Go! Go! Go! Hit them with the equivalent of a ten ton truck....

I can not see Chaosium being able to continue their current extremly relaxed production schedule, or their unwillingness to allow people to use their system any longer, not if they dont want MRQ to steal their carpet from under their feet.

While I find Mr Lawrence's writing a bit dry sometimes, I suggest that if Mongoose are going to make a Hawkmoon setting for RQ, that they get him onboard.
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Postby atgxtg » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:05 am

Since CHaosium holds the writes to Moorcock's works they must be involved somewhere down the line. Perhaps this is that little surprise that Mongoose and Chaosium are working on that was hinted at elsewhere.
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Postby HyrumOWC » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:35 am

atgxtg wrote:Since CHaosium holds the writes to Moorcock's works they must be involved somewhere down the line. Perhaps this is that little surprise that Mongoose and Chaosium are working on that was hinted at elsewhere.
Unfortunately, according to Moorcock's website, Chaosium might not have the rights to anything.

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Postby Archer » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:12 am

atgxtg wrote:Since CHaosium holds the writes to Moorcock's works they must be involved somewhere down the line. Perhaps this is that little surprise that Mongoose and Chaosium are working on that was hinted at elsewhere.
Perhaps.
Unfortunately I know that M. Moorcock are not happy about the arrangement he did with Chaosium at all. He does not like how they portray Elrics world, he does not like the art, and foremost he does not like the way he has been treated after having signed the rights to Chaosium for a very long time (basically he has signed a deal he can not get out of in any way).

Read more about it on his own page (if the blog is still running).
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Postby Archer » Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:14 am

HyrumOWC wrote:
atgxtg wrote:Since CHaosium holds the writes to Moorcock's works they must be involved somewhere down the line. Perhaps this is that little surprise that Mongoose and Chaosium are working on that was hinted at elsewhere.
Unfortunately, according to Moorcock's website, Chaosium might not have the rights to anything.

Hyrum.
Ah, another person who has read M. Moorcocks anger over the license matter. Perhaps you have a fresher memory of the details and could enlighten us?

*a very tired archer who has not got any sleep due to a missing spider, 05.14 in the morning*
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Postby AKAramis » Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:56 am

Synopsis:
  • Mike Moorcock and Chaosium are working based upon a verbal agreement.
  • Mike strongly regrets licensing Chaosium
  • Mike claims Chaosium made up the exclusivity arangement whole cloth.
  • Mike considers the gaming market not worth the effort of litigating
  • Mike slanders and/or libels Chaosium repeatedly, but is unwilling to back it up with litigation to end the relationship.
  • Mike claims he's not gotten royalty statements in years. (Unprovable.)
  • Mike claims that D&D handled the property better.
  • Mike claims he's being ripped off by Games Workshop, D&D, and Chaosium, in that they are stealing from his works.
  • Mike thinks that electronic reprints of a book are separate from the underlying book, and the DTRPG versions are illicit. (Not yet tested in court.)
  • Mike implies that Mongoose are crooks, too, by association with Chaosium.
In short, if Mr. Moorcock isn't willing to sue over it, he's exposing himself to them and their issues. Since it was a verbal contract, it's going to be VERY interesting if they do go to court.

DTRPG's manager posted on Moorcock's forum that they'd be willing to pull down the material... all he had to do was prove it was illicit. I didn't see a response from Mr. Moorcock to that.

I suspect it's just bluster about having made a deal he's now unhappy with. In court, he's going to have to discredit S. Perrin, T. Krank, and Greg Stafford... Especially since he previously endorsed the RPG materials in various ways. He's ticked that the game has a massive adherent base, but his novels are not part of that base; most of them do not play, and many of the players have never read the books.

To be honest: I loved the Stormbringer game the few times I played it... I loved the Elrik Boardgame... but I found the Novels to be poorly written trash wrapped around a few really cool ideas.
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Postby atgxtg » Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:25 am

I wonder just how thing really do stand. I think this might be something to do with the way Chaosium has been over the last decade. THere really aren't that many of the old staff (the ones around when Moocock made the agreements) still with Chaosium. A lot of the staff has left to do other things, and IMO they company hasn't released anything worthwhile in years, say over a decade. They certainly haven't been as productive as they were in the late 70s/early 80s.

I think Moorcock was expecting Chaosium to do something with his stuff, and to be honest they never did that much. Strombringer has always been a second or third string product line (either backing up RQ, or backing up CoC after the AH deal went through). He is also correct, Chaosium hasn't done avery good job in portraying his world. THe early edtions did a cut & paste job on the cultures. THe latter ones just sort of play lip service.

Still, if it is a verbal agreement, and he has not been paid properly, it should be easy enough to get out of. How could anyone prove a perpeully binding verbal agreement in court? Money, on the other hand, is easy to trace. It's not hard to supeona records and tally up the checks.

I think Michael doesn't want to deal with Chaosium anymore.
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Postby Chardros The Reaper » Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:33 am

Aghhhh! This is vexing me! I wanna know what's going on!

First of all, I've been a fan of Chaosium for a long time...Call of Cthulhu is the first game I ever ran and Stormbringer the second. But honestly, Chaosium as done nothing with the license! I know it's not an easy business but come on, the demand is obviously there. Produce a book or two for the Eternal Champion...see what happens...and I don't mean an overpriced, underproduced monograph.

Second of all, I'm very pleased with RuneQuest. I ran my second game just last evening and my players and I are having a grand time with it, warts and all! The last time I had such a relaxed, natural GMing experience was, well, when I ran Stormbringer twelve years ago! I'm trying not to get my hopes up because I think RQ is a perfect match for the worlds of Michael Moorcock and I think Mongoose has the ability and willingness to do something with the license (if, it is indeed available).

Hopefully we'll get an official word on this sometime soon...
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Postby Loz » Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:50 am

iamtim wrote:
Darran wrote:The book's writter for Chaosium, Lawrence Whitaker, does not know what is happening either.
Well, with all due respect to him, I don't know why he would. He wrote something for Chaosium and most likely got paid for it and transferred rightsto Chaosium. If that's the case, he's out of the loop and Chaosium has no obligation to tell him what's going on with it.
You're quite right, of course, Tim. There's no obligation on either part.

But as soon as the RQ Hawkmoon book was unearthed on Amazon, I had about a dozen emails asking me if it was the Chaosium monograph, or if something new, or if I had no involvement whatsoever. Obviously, I'm as in the dark as everyone else.

Both Matthew Sprange and Charlie Krank were guests at Continuum, the con where this appears to have been discussed, and the con I was partly responsible for organising. I spoke with Matt and Charlie constantly over the weekend, and nothing about Hawkmoon was mentioned to me - despite my monograph being on sale at the con.

So no, there's no obligation on anyone's part to keep me in the loop. But as the person who'd just written and published a volume dealing with Hawkmoon, some communication would be nice, if just to counter the obvious speculation that's now snowballing here and elsewhere!

I've emailed Matt and Charlie to ask what's happening, so we'll see. Whatever happens, I wish Mongoose all the best with the project.

Lawrence
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Postby Loz » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:07 am

Archer wrote:Lawrence have been working on trying to get a Hawkmoon RPG from Chaosium out the door since '98 (if I am correct and my memory does not fail me), and it was going to happen with DarcSyde finally publishing it for Chaosium. And then nothing, nothing, nothing.
You're quite right.
After having awaited Hawkmoon from chaosium, after talking with chaosium in trying to get to use thier system for my setting, but everything degraded into snail pace bureacracy, and after asking politely several times about the future of Stormbringer and getting the silent treatment from Chaosium, I have only one thing to say to Mongoose;
Go! Go! Go! Hit them with the equivalent of a ten ton truck....
Part of the problem is that the EC line is a niche market and always has been. It was different in the early 80s when Stormbringer was first released; Moorcock's novels dominated the M section of the SF and Fantasy bookshelves, and Elric and co were getting fabulous press through bands like Hawkwind and Diamondhead.

But in terms of the games, they've always occupied a small niche and that's never really changed. Stormbringer, even at its height, was never a huge seller; just enough to warrant keeping it in print and ticking over into new editions. Then the CCG explosion rocked everyone's financial boat, and Chaosium experienced severe money issues (as did everyone save WotC) and lines that simply didn't sell much, like Stormbringer, had to go onto the backburner. The last thing you do when experiencing recession like that is throw money at a product that may only break even, or, at worst, make a loss.

Chaosium's through that patch, but the sales forecast for EC material has never been particularly rosy. I've discussed this with Chaosium many times and I know the score. The current raft of monographs has proved to be the best way of getting new material into print and keep the line breathing. And, if Mongoose can actively resurrect it and make the EC popular again, then that's a good thing all round: for Moorcock, his fans, us.

The relationship between MM and Chaosium isn't healthy, and I'm not dwelling on that here. There are complex arguments on BOTH sides, and clearly something needs to shift to break that stalemate and get things moving.

What I would say, though, is that Chaosium's inertia isn't due to them wanting ti simply sit on the licence and let it fester. It's been a combination of financial pressures, business pressures and a general lack of material to actively put out. As I've said, the games occupy a small niche in a vast market; they're not money spinners. Yes, they have a small, ardent following - but it's just that: small and ardent. It's difficult to make commercial decisions (which is what Chaosium ultimately has to do, and which Mongoose also has to do) if a product line has trouble paying its own way.
I can not see Chaosium being able to continue their current extremly relaxed production schedule, or their unwillingness to allow people to use their system any longer, not if they dont want MRQ to steal their carpet from under their feet.
There's been more EC activity in the past year or so than for many. Monographs on Law and Chaos; Old Hrolmar; Hawkmoon. That's not bad going. And clearly, if a deal has been struck with Mongoose, it shows that Chaosium still respects the line and wants to do something with it.
While I find Mr Lawrence's writing a bit dry sometimes, I suggest that if Mongoose are going to make a Hawkmoon setting for RQ, that they get him onboard.
Thanks! Better than my writing being 'wet'! But thank you for your kind words and support. We'll see what happens.
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Postby iamtim » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:13 am

Loz wrote:I spoke with Matt and Charlie constantly over the weekend, and nothing about Hawkmoon was mentioned to me - despite my monograph being on sale at the con.
I wonder if maybe they couldn't. Sometimes licensing deals are made under cover of NDA. Especially with all the various and sundry parties involved in this case -- Mongoose, Chaosium, maybe even Moorcock himself.

Note: I'm not saying that a courtesy notification wouldn't have been appreciated or even in order. I'm just saying there might be forces at work that dictate otherwise for the time being.
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Postby Loz » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:20 am

iamtim wrote:
Loz wrote:I spoke with Matt and Charlie constantly over the weekend, and nothing about Hawkmoon was mentioned to me - despite my monograph being on sale at the con.
I wonder if maybe they couldn't. Sometimes licensing deals are made under cover of NDA. Especially with all the various and sundry parties involved in this case -- Mongoose, Chaosium, maybe even Moorcock himself.

Note: I'm not saying that a courtesy notification wouldn't have been appreciated or even in order. I'm just saying there might be forces at work that dictate otherwise for the time being.
Absolutely. That's crossed my mind too.

Cheers.
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Postby Loz » Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:50 am

atgxtg wrote:
I think Moorcock was expecting Chaosium to do something with his stuff, and to be honest they never did that much. Strombringer has always been a second or third string product line (either backing up RQ, or backing up CoC after the AH deal went through). He is also correct, Chaosium hasn't done avery good job in portraying his world. THe early edtions did a cut & paste job on the cultures. THe latter ones just sort of play lip service.
I disagree (but then I would... :wink: ). I, and writers like Richard Watts, made a concerted effort to get the feel of the novels right in the Chaosium material we produced. There was no 'lip service' involved. 'Unknown East' and 'Atlas of the YK' took a lot of research, cross-checking and detailed writing and rewriting. The first edtion of Stormbringer took a few liberties, but when Elric! was released, there was a mission to reflect the Elric novels properly. I think (and it's absolutely your right to disagree!) Chaosium did a pretty good job.

Part of the problem is the shifting nature of the fiction though. The YK has changed considerably over time, with countries being written in and out with new stories, new cultures created and old ones changed. The current series of Elric comics, for example, appears to rewrite the geography of the YK and its history under the Bright Empire. I can't say how, because I haven't read them, but that's my understanding.

BTW, these aren't criticisms of MM or his approach. When he released 'Revenge of the Rose' he substantially changed the geography of the Unknown East just as I was writing the initial manuscript. I think what he did with RR was a terrific, but a headache from a game writer's POV. What I'm trying to show that reflecting a dynamic world like the YK in gaming material is fraught with difficulties like this, and portraying the novels can be like trying to hit a moving target.
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Postby AKAramis » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:08 am

MM mentions that the comics are different but fairly close parallel planes...
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Postby Loz » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:21 am

AKAramis wrote:MM mentions that the comics are different but fairly close parallel planes...
That's the beauty of the multiverse: you can freely contradict what's gone before and shift it to as subtly different plane!
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Postby AKAramis » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:22 am

Loz wrote:
AKAramis wrote:MM mentions that the comics are different but fairly close parallel planes...
That's the beauty of the multiverse: you can freely contradict what's gone before and shift it to as subtly different plane!
Such a useful concept for gaming that it would have arisen even if MM hadn't thought of it first!
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