Elric of Melniboné

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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby RangerDan » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:07 am

torus wrote:What is surprising to me, given the obsession with licensing official settings, is that there haven't been more computer game derived tabletop RPGs, i.e. like Dragon Age.
Well, as the younger medium, many computer RPGs were originally based on tabletop versions (Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights). It took a while for very succesful original IPs to start popping up.

Also, considering the small size of the RPG market vs. movies or video-games, I think developers only take the plunge if the core property was a smash-hit (like Dragon Age), especially as in their minds they would have to compete with rpg juggernaut d&d.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby torus » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:19 am

RangerDan wrote:Also, considering the small size of the RPG market vs. movies or video-games, I think developers only take the plunge if the core property was a smash-hit (like Dragon Age), especially as in their minds they would have to compete with rpg juggernaut d&d.
Agree, but to the extent that (tabletop) game developers are still spending money on licences, I would think that computer games are a better option than books, and perhaps better even than movies and TV shows. Unlike a lot of TV and movie fans, computer gamers are already in the gaming mindset, and a tabletop RPG is in some ways a natural extension of the gaming experience.

I don't play computer games but the ones I am aware of that seem natural candidates are Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Mass Effect, Halo, Diablo, Half-Life... But I know it has been done, e.g. Warcraft, so perhaps it isn't as successful as I assume.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Olaus Petrus » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:42 pm

tarkhan bey wrote:As do I. I really enjoyed Secrets of the Steppes. You will be a worthy successor to Pete and Loz, assuming that Mongoose retains the EC license.
I hope that too. Mongoose's Elric books (including the most recent one) have been much more loyal to Moorcock's books than what Chaosium's Stormbringer books were and if the license goes to someone else there's no guarantee that they won't start inventing really idiotic stuff like Chaosium's Goldar, Lord of Commerce.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby havercake lad » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:46 am

Olaus Petrus wrote:I really hope that the license stays with Mongoose. I haven't started hosting Secrets of the Steppes yet, because I've been waiting Talons of Winter (first part is really good, but you really need the second part for the full experience) and I wish that we shall see future Elric releases of the same quality.
Well thanks for the compliments on Secrets of the Steppes guys. The two Elric Legend books I wrote were actually the two halves of a projected source campaign hardback I'd envisaged before the Legend book format started. The second, as yet unpublished book, is the meat in the sandwich as it has a full sandbox campaign that can draw from the two books. The individuals I used as playtesters who have read the first draft of Talons think it the superior book.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby RangerDan » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:11 am

torus wrote:Unlike a lot of TV and movie fans, computer gamers are already in the gaming mindset, and a tabletop RPG is in some ways a natural extension of the gaming experience.
I can't say that I entirely agree. While superficially similar ("games") I think computer games and table-top RPGs are fundamentally different experiences. One is very much a solo affair, with the player almost always in the spotlight ("I save the world"), while the other is a social experience that involves (usually) cooperation and sharing the spotlight.
torus wrote:I don't play computer games but the ones I am aware of that seem natural candidates are Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Mass Effect, Halo, Diablo, Half-Life... But I know it has been done, e.g. Warcraft, so perhaps it isn't as successful as I assume.
I do agree that games for these would be great, and I know that in some cases they do exist.

Fallout almost had a d20 table-top version but the IP circus between Interplay and Bethesda apparently killed it before publication. It got released later with the IP-related stuff cut out in a game called Exodus RPG but if you look at the cover art it's clearly meant to be Fallout. Don't own it so I can't speak to its quality. I don't think it did well as the publisher seems to have gone belly up.

I'm pretty sure a Diablo tabletop version for d&d was published as well, though I don't recall the details.

Elder Scrolls and Mass Effect seem pretty much made for table-top versions, and I agree it's a pity nobody took a chance on them yet. I guess that with Bethesda working on their Elder Scrolls MMO and EA/Bioware thinking about a Mass Effect movie, they don't want to do anything to complicate the licensing.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby tarkhan bey » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:37 am

Just wondering why you thought Goldar was so idiotic Olaus?
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Olaus Petrus » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:08 am

tarkhan bey wrote:Just wondering why you thought Goldar was so idiotic Olaus?
He really doesn't fit well with Moorcock's Lords of Law and besides that he has one of the lamest names ever. I think that as a god he would be more suitable to some other universe and pantheon.

In general I think that Chaosium's interpretation about gods, Multiverse and magic was less loyal to the source texts than Mongoose's interpreation. And while I like Stormbringer as a game, I really disliked some of their interpretations. Although I admit that these particular topics are always subjects to different interpretations, because Moorcock doesn't always give details and sometimes his different accounts conflict with each other.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Loz » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:36 pm

He really doesn't fit well with Moorcock's Lords of Law and besides that he has one of the lamest names ever. I think that as a god he would be more suitable to some other universe and pantheon.
Ken St.Andre introduced Goldar to provide a triumvirate of gods to balance against the plethora of Chaos Lords. At the time Stormbringer was released, the saga had only mentioned Donblas and Arkyn as Lords of Law; Miggea hadn't been thought of yet. Pozz-Man-Llyr has a very tenuous connection with the saga through Corum, and I think he was mentioned in passing in the original Stormbringer game.

Goldar's not the most inspired name, but as a deity he kind of fit with the acquisitive nature of some of the Young Kingdoms (Purple Towns, mainly). When Elric! came out, Goldar was ditched, and Richard Watts introduced another couple of Lords of Law, based on stories that had come out since Stormbringer's publication.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Olaus Petrus » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:12 pm

Loz wrote:
He really doesn't fit well with Moorcock's Lords of Law and besides that he has one of the lamest names ever. I think that as a god he would be more suitable to some other universe and pantheon.
Ken St.Andre introduced Goldar to provide a triumvirate of gods to balance against the plethora of Chaos Lords. At the time Stormbringer was released, the saga had only mentioned Donblas and Arkyn as Lords of Law; Miggea hadn't been thought of yet. Pozz-Man-Llyr has a very tenuous connection with the saga through Corum, and I think he was mentioned in passing in the original Stormbringer game.

Goldar's not the most inspired name, but as a deity he kind of fit with the acquisitive nature of some of the Young Kingdoms (Purple Towns, mainly). When Elric! came out, Goldar was ditched, and Richard Watts introduced another couple of Lords of Law, based on stories that had come out since Stormbringer's publication.
I think that at least 4th edition material mentions Pozz-Man-Llyr as god worshiped in Tarkesh. I know the history of Stormbringer and I know that there was a shortage of the Lords of Law and I don't mind if game designers invent original gods to fill the pantheon. I might have expressed myself in too harsh manner, but something about Goldar always rubbed me in the wrong way. While commerce is important in the Young Kingdoms the Lords of Law don't exactly seem to be people who are particularly interested about gold and trade (not even in the early Elric and Corum stories). I always excluded Goldar from my own campaigns and I also heavily limited the availability of magic weapons and armour).
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Loz » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:36 pm

I think that at least 4th edition material mentions Pozz-Man-Llyr as god worshiped in Tarkesh.
He's mentioned as far back as first edition, but its only a passing reference: there's no real detail given.
I know the history of Stormbringer and I know that there was a shortage of the Lords of Law and I don't mind if game designers invent original gods to fill the pantheon. I might have expressed myself in too harsh manner, but something about Goldar always rubbed me in the wrong way. While commerce is important in the Young Kingdoms the Lords of Law don't exactly seem to be people who are particularly interested about gold and trade (not even in the early Elric and Corum stories). I always excluded Goldar from my own campaigns and I also heavily limited the availability of magic weapons and armour).
I never used Goldar in any of my SB campaigns, either. He was a clumsy addition at best; at worst, it was easy to become amazingly powerful Elan-wise by worshipping Goldar. All you had to do was bury 1 bronze piece in exchange for 1 point of Elan (or some other daft ratio).
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby danskmacabre » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:02 pm

It'd be a shame to see Elric go as a supported game here, but I'm not that surprised if it does disappear from Mongoose's shelves, which it appears to have done.
It's a hard sell to convince people to play it unless they're fans of Michael Moorcock and they are getting increasingly fewer.

Still, I have loads of Elric material to work with if I ever get to run it again and all the Elric Rules books published here and at some stage or another and most of the RPG stuff for Elric NOT published here.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:27 am

danskmacabre wrote:It'd be a shame to see Elric go as a supported game here, but I'm not that surprised if it does disappear from Mongoose's shelves, which it appears to have done.
It's a hard sell to convince people to play it unless they're fans of Michael Moorcock and they are getting increasingly fewer.

Still, I have loads of Elric material to work with if I ever get to run it again and all the Elric Rules books published here and at some stage or another and most of the RPG stuff for Elric NOT published here.
Agreed. However, there are new ebook editions of Moorcook's work coming soon from Golancz, and these may revive interest in his works. Moorcock is one of those authors who fall in and out of fashion as each new generation discovers his books.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Olaus Petrus » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:36 am

Prime_Evil wrote:
danskmacabre wrote:It'd be a shame to see Elric go as a supported game here, but I'm not that surprised if it does disappear from Mongoose's shelves, which it appears to have done.
It's a hard sell to convince people to play it unless they're fans of Michael Moorcock and they are getting increasingly fewer.

Still, I have loads of Elric material to work with if I ever get to run it again and all the Elric Rules books published here and at some stage or another and most of the RPG stuff for Elric NOT published here.
Agreed. However, there are new ebook editions of Moorcook's work coming soon from Golancz, and these may revive interest in his works. Moorcock is one of those authors who fall in and out of fashion as each new generation discovers his books.
My impression has always been that Moorcock is one of the better known fantasy authors. At least around here he is better known than major authors like Fritz Leiber, Clark Ashton Smith (I find it weird that many know Lovecraft and Howard but are unfamiliar with Smith) or Karl Edward Wagner. Naturally he isn't as famous as Tolkien and George R. R. Martin (HBO's TV-show has made also his books very popular).

However we have to admit that fantasy literature isn't part of the mainstream culture and general public doesn't know many authors and they have weird idea that fantasy novels are children's stories.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Hionhurn » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:50 pm

Any target date set for a decision on the fate of Eternal Champion related lines?
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby TrippyHippy » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:26 am

I think the problem is twofold.

Firstly Elric seems to have through a lot of revisions in recent times, including the development from the old Chaosium Stormbringer/Elric series (now owned by Mongoose, incidentally). Each of these revisions have lent a degree of confusion amongst the market, while at the same time diluting it. Why get new books, when the old books often seem to cover the same material and are still widely available on PDF? Why pick up Elric of Melnibone, if you can still pick up Elric or Stormbringer? It's not as if the new version is any more supported than the old ones.

Secondly, Micheal Moorcock was the coolest fantasy writer in the world during the 1970s and 80s - but now he tends to be regarded as a highly respected writer by older fantasy aficionados alone. Not many newer gamers are really aware of his stories anymore, and they aren't readily available in high street book shops. I still love his stories - but then I still have Hawkwind vinyl albums to listen to as well!

I note that Moorcock apparently fell out with Chaosium due to his perception that they were not giving his settings the support needed. However, in a compressed and struggling RPG market it may just be a reality that it's just not that big a license anymore to make much money. I'm not privy to the full details of Mongoose sales but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby Prime_Evil » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:12 am

TrippyHippy wrote:I think the problem is twofold.

Firstly Elric seems to have through a lot of revisions in recent times, including the development from the old Chaosium Stormbringer/Elric series (now owned by Mongoose, incidentally). Each of these revisions have lent a degree of confusion amongst the market, while at the same time diluting it. Why get new books, when the old books often seem to cover the same material and are still widely available on PDF? Why pick up Elric of Melnibone, if you can still pick up Elric or Stormbringer? It's not as if the new version is any more supported than the old ones.
I think there's also a branding issue - Mongoose has had a hit with Legend in comparison with MRQII and hasn't really capitalized on that fact. Maybe it would be a good idea to re-release the Elric rulebook and a couple of important supplements with prominent Legend branding? Perhaps it would be possible to do this in PDF format initially to see if this helps to sell the game to a broader audience or whether the only audience is the pool of Moorcock fans...
TrippyHippy wrote:Secondly, Micheal Moorcock was the coolest fantasy writer in the world during the 1970s and 80s - but now he tends to be regarded as a highly respected writer by older fantasy aficionados alone. Not many newer gamers are really aware of his stories anymore, and they aren't readily available in high street book shops. I still love his stories - but then I still have Hawkwind vinyl albums to listen to as well!
Older fantasy aficionados are disproportionately represented in the RPG community these days simply because RPGs aren't attracting many new recruits. Moorcock's major works have been in print more or less continuously since the 1970s, but he is a mid-list author and that segment of the market has been decimated over the past two decades. During the 1980s, the rise of large book chains (Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc) at the expense of specialist bookstores made it harder and harder for mid-list authors to find an outlet - the large chains preferred to bulk-order blockbuster fantasy series such as David Eddings and Robert Jordan that could guarantee a quick turnover. In addition, the 1979 Thor Power Tools ruling in the US made it unattractive for bookstores to stock slow-moving mid-list authors - this ruling meant that publishers and booksellers could be taxed for the cover price of any unsold inventory sitting on their shelves or in their warehouses. Fortunately, the rise of ebooks has meant a revival of the mid-list that Moorcock is well placed to benefit from...except that his works were not available in any of the major ebook formats until recently.
TrippyHippy wrote:I note that Moorcock apparently fell out with Chaosium due to his perception that they were not giving his settings the support needed. However, in a compressed and struggling RPG market it may just be a reality that it's just not that big a license anymore to make much money. I'm not privy to the full details of Mongoose sales but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case.
I get the feeling that the RPG market has improved slightly from the dire straits it was in 2-3 years ago, but still isn't very healthy. As much as we may not like the thought, a lot depends upon whether D&D Next is a hit...
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby havercake lad » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:56 am

Re: The material I started writing for Mongoose Elric RPG. I deliberately chose locations not featured in earlier printed RPG products. There is a also whole southern hemisphere that was recently added by MM to The Young Kingdoms which I have penciled in for future writing if the RPG license keeps going with a company.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby danskmacabre » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:53 pm

Prime_Evil wrote: Agreed. However, there are new ebook editions of Moorcook's work coming soon from Golancz, and these may revive interest in his works. Moorcock is one of those authors who fall in and out of fashion as each new generation discovers his books.
It's not just that.
It's a very Dark fantasy setting, with no resurrection, very little healing, very non-standard magic items, gritty lethal combat, not really heroic gaming at all, non-standard magic system that for the most part isn't that powerful compared to other RPGs.

Now I love it for all these reasons and on the occasions I've actually played it (as opposed to usually running it) it's been a great experience, but to many Gamers, this is a big departure from most Fantasy RPGs.

As to the availability of the novels, well here in Australia, specifically Brisbane/Australia often see Moorcock's books on the shelves, so I guess they sell.
Not sure who's buying them tho, as apart from older people (late 30s+) , most people I suggest Elric/stormbringer to haven't read or even heard of MMs books.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby DamonJynx » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:42 am

danskmacabre wrote:It's not just that.
It's a very Dark fantasy setting, with no resurrection, very little healing, very non-standard magic items, gritty lethal combat, not really heroic gaming at all, non-standard magic system that for the most part isn't that powerful compared to other RPGs.

Now I love it for all these reasons and on the occasions I've actually played it (as opposed to usually running it) it's been a great experience, but to many Gamers, this is a big departure from most Fantasy RPGs.
+1 big time. Couldn't agree more.
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Re: Elric of Melniboné

Postby binder » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:35 am

I see that Elric isn't even mentioned on the links under Roleplaying Games on the main site any more (although the PDFs are still available over at Drivethru).

Any news on the state of the licence, Matt? Shame if it goes, especially as it would mean the end of Eternal Champion RPG support for the foreseeable future.

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