How similar will the EC books' rules be to MRQ?

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Postby atgxtg » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:22 pm

Vagabond wrote:Well, Yyrkoon seems to have become seriously unhinged as he delved
deeper. And I would question Saxif D'aan's sanity as well.
I would question any MElniboneans's sanity, as least by human conventions. Yyrkoon's going off the deep end was, I think, as much due to his relationship/rivalry with Elric that due to wizardry. Yyrkoon believed Erlric was unfit to rule, only to be shown evidence of Elrics superioty to himself in sorcery and swordmanship. It reeally must have done a job on his self worth.

Saxif Dan's sanity was certainly questionable by Melnibonean standards, as he fell in love, and knew remorse.

Elric himself isn't wound too tightly, and he is probably the nicest, most idealistic of the lot. At least in the beginning.


Elric wielded Aubec's sword, but did not wear his armour. Elric's armour
was hinted at being enchanted if not outright stated so.

-V
I'll have to reread my Eleric books (hurray, an excuse). I though the armor was Aubec's too. Still in Stormbringer RPG terms it doesn't make sense for him to use a "normal sword" or one that might be a lawful artifact. By story terms, I wonder why the Melnibonean Emperor would wield something so...distateful? Except maybe to imply that he didn't need a real weapon to deal with such inferior creatures (humans).
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Postby Loz » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:08 pm

Some of these questions are addressed in the 'Making of a Sorcerer' comics scripted by Moorcock. I urge people to read them; they're very good.

On the whole magic/sorcery front - I've done my best to address these issues in the game mechanics. Not from a balance point of view, but from a 'what sorcery entails - what the consequences are' POV.
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Postby Archer » Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:35 am

I have just one question, since I know Loz will make a very good work on handling the rest of the setting. Will Elric use the same HP per Hit Location system that RQ uses, or will it use a system more similar to that in Elric! and Stormbringer5? (which I felt was much much faster and more in line with combat in the books that Moorcock wrote, which is very fast and furious).
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Postby Loz » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:07 am

Archer wrote:I have just one question, since I know Loz will make a very good work on handling the rest of the setting. Will Elric use the same HP per Hit Location system that RQ uses, or will it use a system more similar to that in Elric! and Stormbringer5? (which I felt was much much faster and more in line with combat in the books that Moorcock wrote, which is very fast and furious).
As both games use the core RQ engine, it's HP per location.
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Postby Kagan Altar » Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:24 pm

atgxtg wrote:Part of the problem with magic in Stormbinger was that there waqs no reason not to use it. In the books Elric is reluctant to use magic. THey even had to give Elric demon armor when they wrote him up for the RPG just to keep him on par with the PC wizards.
I guess that problem was highly relative to particular gaming groups, since in all my years of Stormbringer campaigning, all the players I know were always weary of using the services, let alone summoning, demons.

Granted, I was the GM, but the point for me was that, well, these creatures were "demons", and thus always had an agenda of their own which could enter in conflict with the PCs' at any time. Same thing about Elementals and Animal Lords, which I played as otherwordly beings with operating modes and thinking completely out of the range of human understanding, much like in the books, and Law Virtues, which often first appeared to not be truly conscious but were manipulating slightly the PCs towards Law and Stasis using feelings, emotions, vibrations, temperatures etc to "contact" them.

I thus think that was mainly up to the GM to bring the flavour of the supernatural entities up to speed with the novels' feel within the game.
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Postby atgxtg » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:05 pm

While the style of play of each group certainly factors in. I never saw a sorcerer in SB1-4 that didn't have a demon weapon and some demon armor. Sure there were risks, but the perks were worth it. A +4D6 weapon was relatively easy to get, and was overwhelming with the way SB combat worked. Demon armor was worse, since it usually was powerful enough to make the wearer invulnerable to normal weapons.

Some escalation was required just to give the sorcerer a challenge.
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Postby Vagabond » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:40 pm

atgxtg wrote: I'll have to reread my Eleric books (hurray, an excuse). I though the armor was Aubec's too. Still in Stormbringer RPG terms it doesn't make sense for him to use a "normal sword" or one that might be a lawful artifact. By story terms, I wonder why the Melnibonean Emperor would wield something so...distateful? Except maybe to imply that he didn't need a real weapon to deal with such inferior creatures (humans).
The lines from the saga for Elric's armour are (and I paraphrase slightly
since it is from memory) that it was forged by sorcery and could possibly
withstand the runeswords. As far as Aubec's sword, well, I don't recall any
specific mention of why the royal Melnibonean line has Aubec's sword, but
I can provide interesting possible explanations. As a lawful weapon, it's
craftsmanship should be "perfect", especially since it is fit for a Champion
of Law. Perfectly balanced, perfectly honed, durable, etc. And, even able to
withstand "raw chaos" stuff since Aubec actually traversed Chaos stuff to
"create" new lands. Also, recall the Melnibone was not always deeply
entrenced with Chaos, they were originally neutral as evidenced by their
ties to the Beastlords and Elementals, and allied themselves with beings
of Law (The Old Ones) to actually forge the runeblades.

-V
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Postby Loz » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:09 am

Also, recall the Melnibone was not always deeply
entrenced with Chaos, they were originally neutral as evidenced by their
ties to the Beastlords and Elementals, and allied themselves with beings
of Law (The Old Ones) to actually forge the runeblades.
I'm not so sure that the Older Ones were beings of Law. They certainly forged the runeswords to destroy a race of gods, but its never clear which race of gods, or who the Old Ones were aligned with (if anyone at all). Melnibone, or the Mernii (see 'The Making of a Sorcerer') as they were known at that time, were Balanced aligned without a doubt, and the fledgling Bright Empire was largely a peaceful trading empire.

According to 'TMoaS' the Mernii borrowed - and refused to return - the Black Sword from the Pukwadji, who worshipped Grome. The hero White Crow took the black sword back to Grome and so forged the first of the elemental alliances. Later, Arioch began to tempt White Crow in various guises and was eventually invited into the world when White Crow accepted the Black Sword and used it in battle.

How the Black Blade went from The Older Ones and thence to Grome, perhaps via the Mernii, is unexplained and is probably one of those great mythic stories that should always be shrouded in mystery. It would certainly make a great Dreamquest for Melnibonean characters using the Dream Couches of Imrryr.

As far as Melnibone possessing and using Aubec's armour and sword - why not? He was a great hero, and Melnibone loves heroes. Despite their amoral nature it would be within them to recognise and honour a worthy opponent no matter what his allegiance.
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Postby Mugen » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:46 am

atgxtg wrote:Part of the problem with SB7s magic was that by going the Tunnels & Trolls route, and adding up the summoner7s stats for points for the demons, you ended up with no moderately powered demons. No sense in wasting the points. Besides, why should a summer get a more powerful demon just because he is a little taller than most the other summoners?
There was a rule in french edition to summon demons of different power levels.

Basically, you could choose the number of D8s to roll for the demon's POW, with 3 being the norm. Then you received 1/3 of your total stats per D8 to allocate to your demon's stats.

Of course, this doesn't help explain why a STR 18 and SIZ 18 sorcerer could summon "better" demons than Elric without drugs...
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Postby atgxtg » Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:18 pm

Mugen wrote:
atgxtg wrote:Part of the problem with SB7s magic was that by going the Tunnels & Trolls route, and adding up the summoner7s stats for points for the demons, you ended up with no moderately powered demons. No sense in wasting the points. Besides, why should a summer get a more powerful demon just because he is a little taller than most the other summoners?
There was a rule in french edition to summon demons of different power levels.

Basically, you could choose the number of D8s to roll for the demon's POW, with 3 being the norm. Then you received 1/3 of your total stats per D8 to allocate to your demon's stats.

Of course, this doesn't help explain why a STR 18 and SIZ 18 sorcerer could summon "better" demons than Elric without drugs...

Yeah. The problem was that Strombringer's magic system was written by Ken St. Andre, and fit in more with his Tunnels & Trolls stuff than with RQ.


I actually liked the idea of learning different breeds of demons rather than using characteristic points. It fits the EC mythos better. If they tie it to character tics then it should be based on POW, or maybe POW and CHA. Stats like SIZ shouldn't figure into it.

It also looks like there are actually a few differernt magic systems being used in the YK setting. THat would be nice to see in an RPG.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:22 pm

atgxtg wrote: It also looks like there are actually a few differernt magic systems being used in the YK setting. THat would be nice to see in an RPG.
I think that is the main thing I would like to see. Different forms of magic, and rules how to use them. This includes rules for pacts with daemons, elemental beings, and spirits. The type of magic Elric use through ancient pacts with the most powerful of these types of beings.
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Postby atgxtg » Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:27 pm

Loz wrote:
As far as Melnibone possessing and using Aubec's Armour and sword - why not? He was a great hero, and Melnibone loves heroes. Despite their amoral nature it would be within them to recognize and honor a worthy opponent no matter what his allegiance.
Why not? Basically because Aubec was a human, and thus a "lesser species" to the Melinboneans. Having the Emperor keep and wield the blade in combat seems to be beneath him.

Perhaps the law connection was the reason. If the weapon were an artifact of law, I could see the Melniboneans using it/keeping it to show how they mastered the forces of Law.

Now in Strombringer RPG terms, it doesn't hold up well, since the lawful greatsword (16 points of damage) doesn't match up to a weak demon blade. Strombringer rules were a bit lopsided.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:36 pm

Just because the melnibonéans see humans as "lesser" does not mean that they can not be facinated or admire their accomlishments. Much like we can be facinated with what other primates do. Especially when the mimic our behaviour and use tools.

As such, if Aubec was a human hero that earned the melniboneans facination in battle, wielding a weapon that is obviously aligned with law, why should they not keep it when he is defeated?

I do not remember any mentioning of that the line of emperors has used the blade in battle. I think the blade itself just has been inherted from emperor to emperor, as a war-trophy.

It makes sense for Elric to take a blade forged by a human with him when venturing into human lands. Swords like any weapon needs maintenance, and he is probably not going to find anyone in human lands that knows too much about melnibonéan swords, or the methods by which they are forged and maintained.

But I think we are overanalyzing the whole deal. The reason why he carries it into battle matters little. Elric is far from the typhical melnibonéan, and as such, he can probably be expected to do all sorts of things that seems "unreasonable" to other melnibonéans, even at a mundane level of decision making. Such as what to eat, drink, or what weapon to carry into battle.
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Postby atgxtg » Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:09 pm

Archer wrote: But I think we are overanalyzing the whole deal. The reason why he carries it into battle matters little. Elric is far from the typhical melnibonéan, and as such, he can probably be expected to do all sorts of things that seems "unreasonable" to other melnibonéans, even at a mundane level of decision making. Such as what to eat, drink, or what weapon to carry into battle.
True. Early Elric is very atypical. He might have chosen the weapon to try and show how he was going to change the relationship between Melnibone and the Young Kingdoms. Elric starts off so idealistic, it makes the sage that much more tragic. Elric wants to make things better, where everyone can happily coexist, only to find out that no one else wants that.
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Postby Loz » Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:44 pm

Why not? Basically because Aubec was a human, and thus a "lesser species" to the Melinboneans. Having the Emperor keep and wield the blade in combat seems to be beneath him.
I simply don't buy that at all. If it were the case, Melnibs wouldn't cross-breed with humans, and would've been more likely simply to exterminate them instead of maintain an empire over them.

Melniboneans are quite emotionally complex. They're not all insane, hard-hearted bastards like Yyrkoon (in fact, characters like Cymoril, Dyvims Tvar and Slorm and Magum Colim actually come across in very sane, rational terms). There's really no reason why they wouldn't take/keep/use Aubec's sword and/or armour; I don't think their attachments to Law have anything to do with it, but owning the weapons of a Great Hero, human or not, would be a source of pride and a symbol of victory.
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Postby atgxtg » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:01 pm

THere is a very strong, "humans are inferior creatures" theme to the Melnibonean mindset. Take another look at the early (chonoligically) Elric stories. Humans are not supposed to make eye contact with Melniboneans.

The reason for the crossbreeds, isn't because of any sort of respect/equality, but as a byproduct of sexual amusement, and/or to maintain the slave base. Humans are very much looked down upon.

Not that surpring, really. Practially all pre\modern cultures were confident in thier own superority, and that everyone else was somehow inferior. Different but equal is a relatively new concept.

THat they were not exterminated was because they had some use, as slaves, much the way a horse or dog could be useful. That they are not exteminated later, and won indenpendance was because the Melnibonean empire had grown weaker and more decadent.

Yyrkoon, thew amoral bastard, is more the rule than the exception. We are talking about a race of self centered, amoral, sadistic,drug addicts.
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Postby Loz » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:18 am

THere is a very strong, "humans are inferior creatures" theme to the Melnibonean mindset. Take another look at the early (chonoligically) Elric stories. Humans are not supposed to make eye contact with Melniboneans.
I don't disagree, but that doesn't negate the fact that Melniboneans are quite capable of recognising excellence in others, even if they are human. It might be grudgingly given, but even in their arrogance they're quite capable of recognising achievement.
The reason for the crossbreeds, isn't because of any sort of respect/equality, but as a byproduct of sexual amusement, and/or to maintain the slave base. Humans are very much looked down upon.
True to an extent, but Melniboneans are quite, quite capable of falling in love and developing genuine, lasting affection, even for humans. I simply do not believe that every single Melnibonean treats every single human as something on the level of a pet. That renders Melniboneans a cliche, and Moorcock was attempting to overturn trad fantasy cliches (although he did accidentially create a few as a result!).
Not that surpring, really. Practially all pre\modern cultures were confident in thier own superority, and that everyone else was somehow inferior. Different but equal is a relatively new concept.
Hmmm... not sure I agree there, either. The Romans, as arrogant as they were, recognised that the best way to conquer a culture was to integrate it rather than stomp all over it. They did that by recognising that whilst their own culture was undoubtedly superior, a lot could be borrowed from others. That happened with the Germanic tribes and the Britons. Forceful conquest costs money; cultural assimiliation costs a lot less and creates greater buy-in. There are ancient cultures (and some modern ones) that clearly did have such a superior position, but cultural equality is not as modern as you might think.
THat they were not exterminated was because they had some use, as slaves, much the way a horse or dog could be useful. That they are not exteminated later, and won indenpendance was because the Melnibonean empire had grown weaker and more decadent.
If the Bright Empire was as arrogant, amoral and insane as you say, they wouldn't have batted an eyelid at genocide. The fact is that the entire world wasn't put into slavery because, even with shed loads of sorcery, such mechanisms are difficult to sustain, especially for 10,000 years! To have ruled for as long as they did, Melnibone would have needed to co-operate more than subjugate. I don't doubt that they consider themselves superior in every way to humans, but empires that sustain themselves recognise that there has to be a certain degree of autonomy and recognition within their territories. Once the Dharzi war weakened their grip, sure, humans asserted themselves and took control of their own lands, but if they were all treated as slaves and animals, I doubt that would have happened, even with Melnibone's degeneration into decadence.
Yyrkoon, thew amoral bastard, is more the rule than the exception. We are talking about a race of self centered, amoral, sadistic,drug addicts.
That's something they became after the Dharzi war rather than were already. It wouldn't have ruled for 10,000 years if it was always the case. Yyrkoon is an extreme, rather than the rule, although many probably adopted certain aspects of his character.

To conclude, and bring this back to the original starting point, I believe Melnibone was quite capable (and did) recognise humans as something a bit more than slaves or herd animals. Aubec's achievements would be recognised as such by Melnibone which, for all its faults, is a sophisticated race that became a victim of its own ennui.
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Postby Vagabond » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:16 pm

Loz wrote: As far as Melnibone possessing and using Aubec's armour and sword - why not? He was a great hero, and Melnibone loves heroes. Despite their amoral nature it would be within them to recognise and honour a worthy opponent no matter what his allegiance.
Again, the armour was not Aubec's, only the sword. And, I agree about
honoring a worthy opponent, especially a Champion of Law. Also, who's
to say Aubec's sword did not have some special effect when used against
creatures of Chaos (which would explain why Aubec had it in the first place)?
If the emperors of Melnibone were constantly summoning/fighting/facing/dealing with
creatures of Chaos, having a tool specifically designed to affect Chaos would
be very useful indeed.

-V
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Postby Vagabond » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:19 pm

Mugen wrote:
There was a rule in french edition to summon demons of different power levels.

Basically, you could choose the number of D8s to roll for the demon's POW, with 3 being the norm. Then you received 1/3 of your total stats per D8 to allocate to your demon's stats.

Of course, this doesn't help explain why a STR 18 and SIZ 18 sorcerer could summon "better" demons than Elric without drugs...
This rule existed in SB1-4 as well.

As far as a STR 18 and SIZ 18 summoning a better demon than Elric without
the aid of drugs, Elric did have things going for him that any other sorceror
did not enjoy:

An extensive library of grimoires
The Actorios stone set in the Ring of Kings
More attuned to the Multiverse

-V

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