I bought (.pdf, have you seen the shipping costs that Chaosium quote for transatlantic shipping?!) the new version of Magic World, which is basically a reprint of Elric! stripped of it Moorcockisms. And very nice it looks too; a clean, relatively simple d100 fantasy game. The first supplement, Advanced Sorcery, is due soon - again it is largely a reprint of Elric! material, in this case The Bronze Grimoire.
Chaosium should note* that they are selling .pdfs of Elric! on DriveThruRPG for a couple of quid cheaper, at current exchange rates, than Magic World. And, of course, that nothing short of free is quite a cheap as Legend, which itself is basically a reprint of Mongoose RuneQuest II stripped of its Gloranthaisms. And speaking of Elric, with Legend you could run the Mongoose version of everyone's favourite albino (outside the one played by Mel Smith in The Princess Bride), as all(?) their Elric of Melnibone stuff is on DriveThruRPG for less than £10 a book...
But as Brian Butterfield would say, "that's not all". So, what do we have on the d100 fantasy scene at the moment? Well, we have OpenQuest 2e on the way (I backed the IndieGoGo campaign, and am looking forward to seeing the improvements/additions that Newt Newport has made to this system). Slightly more complex than that, we have Magic World from Chaosium. An extra level of complexity is added - mainly by virtue of its 'faction' system - by Renaissance (now available in a Deluxe form), built on OpenQuest and Legend. One level more complex again is Legend, with its Combat Action 'economy' and system of Combat Manoeuvers And then we have the big boss of d100 fantasy gaming, RuneQuest 6, which I haven't had a chance to look at yet, though I expect it to be stunning, if I bit too much for my current tastes.
I own OpenQuest (and soon will have a copy of 2e), Magic World, Mongoose RuneQuest II and Legend, and Renaissance (in the free SRD and hardback Clockwork and Chivalry 2e form). I also own the Basic Roleplaying 'big gold book', will probably buy RuneQuest 6 if it ever appears with a UK supplier, and have a number of out-of-print d100 fantasy systems (I particularly like my GW-produced RQ3 books). With all these extant systems, and given the fact that many of them are OGL (and those that are not appear keen to licence third parties to produce supplements), this is a vibrant, lively time for d100 fantasy gaming.
Well, if there are many other gamers are as daft as me, willing will buy umpteen different versions of d100 fantasy, of course the d100 scene is vibrant! I can't quite decide which is my favourite d100 engine for fantasy gaming (which is yours?). "No, really?", I hear you say, shocked. "I had no idea that you suffered from gamer ADHD", you gasp. However, the intercompatibility of these systems - and the nature of the d100 system itself - not only its modularity, but the simplicity and consistency of the mechanics - means that GMs can pick and choose the best bits from each of these systems. Sadly(?), between Magic World, OpenQuest, and Renaissance, there is little need for Hammerstein! as yet another d100 system. But hopefully this flowering of d100 fantasy systems will stimulate the production of d100 fantasy adventures and other supplements for use at the table.
*Hopefully, if Chaosium did take note (though given that they don't even notice e-mails, it seems) I'd hope this would not mean an end to the sale of the classic Stormbringer/Elric! .pdfs - we wouldn't accept other kinds of books being deliberately kept out-of-print, and the resurrection of out-of-print gaming books is one of the great success stories of recent RPG history - or an increase in their price, but rather a more reasonable .pdf pricing structure at Chaosium.com.
[Extra: Of course, this is not the limit to d100 fantasy built on a BRP(ish) chassis. In the pipeline are both AEONS, built on the D100II SRD, and Classic Fantasy (originally a BRP supplement) is being rewritten as a 'Legend compatible' complete game.]
We may get Call of Cthulhu 7 this year too.ReplyDelete
I find RuneQuest a bit complex for my tastes -- one of the things I like about BRP is its simplicity, so RQ rubs me the wrong way a bit -- so I have been looking forward to Faux Elric!, but it doesn't appear to have landed on these shores in physical form yet.
I know what you mean - I love my RQ3 books as books, filled with art from the GW stable of late 1980s artists, and MRQII had some great ideas, but I'd rather run something simpler, such as OpenQuest or Magic World.Delete
I'm expecting that I'll feel much the same about RQ6 - a lovely book packed with good stuff, but as a game something that I'd have to dial back the complexity.
Faux Elric! is essentially Elric! - much of the text is identical (I've been comparing the two), so if you've got Elric! you've just got someone filing off the Moorcock for you and bolting on 'classic' fantasy monsters. Which is no bad thing, though when I've been re-reading some Stormbringer stuff (the GW Stormbringer hardback is another lovely book, but mine is falling to bits) I realise how much I like the *game version* of the Young Kingdoms, which is not something I say for very many RPG adaptations of fiction.
"...I realise how much I like the *game version* of the Young Kingdom"Delete
Probably because it is the Moorcockisms that have bled into Warhammer, Fighting Fantasy, etc. that are the bits I enjoy about other fictional universes, and the *game version* of the Young Kingdoms produced by Chaosium seems a lot more 'fun' than the version that I remember the actual stories themselves.
I know what you mean. To this day I don't think I've finished a Moorcock story, but I loved Elric! back in the day.Delete
That said, one of the things I liked about Elric! -- and mid-90's Chaosium in general -- was the graphic design of the books, so I'll miss that in Fauxlric!.
Yes, Fauxlric! is pretty 'vanilla'. Almost all the text is identical; the 'Art' skill still includes 'Torture' as well as 'Poetry' for example, but I think the price of 'companions' of varying quality is missing from the price lists. I think the main change is in the character generation system, which has got a much simplified dash of RQ3 in there, using culture and professions to do much of the work of assigning skill points. I'll have to dig out Elric! again and check the char-gen system it used, but I don't remember it being so straightforward.Delete
" love my RQ3 books as books, filled with art from the GW stable of late 1980s artists". I dig the art, for itself, but heck Ian Millers hugely stylised, meticulous linework and intaglio is a very poor match for the bronze-age Runequest IMHO.ReplyDelete
Too young for RQ1+2, I never really realised that RQ was set in a different 'historical' era than all the other fantasy games out there.Delete
Ian Miller, though is an acquired taste. I had a hardcover of the Tolkien Bestiary (or whatever it was called - I've seen it reissued under different names) since I were just a nipper. It's got Ian Miller and John Blanche in there - neither of whom I 'got' at the time, but now very much 'get'. I recently was sent Ralph Bakshi's Wizards from Lovefilm and was pleasantly surprised (I hadn't read anything about it before adding it to the rental list) to see a lot of Ian Miller's work in that.
Always liked Miller, even as a child, something just so insanely concentrated and grotesque. Those B&W barrow-wights in the Bestiary are pure metal, but I couldn't imagine him doing the Green Dragon Inn and Fatty Bulger!Delete
Bakshis Wizards eh? It's been a while but that is fun. Have a look around for the Cobalt 60 comics by Vaughn Bode, if you haven't seen that - the Necron 99 character heavily based on it.
My older brother took me to see Wizards in the late 80's. I loved it, but it probably wasn't appropriate for an eight year old. I've not seen it since.Delete
In the accompanying 'featurette' on the DVD, Ralph Bakshi talks about his desire to make a movie for kids that would be an antidote to the sweetness he saw in Disney films...Delete
He managed that!Delete
AEONS is indeed in the pileline, though a looong pipeline it's turning out to be! However, my BLUEHOLME™ interlude is not a total loss for the D100 community as there are several valuable lessons I've been learning from delving into the original D&D editions.ReplyDelete
My interest bounces between class and level and d100 skill-based games. Our most recent gaming has been with DCC RPG, and before that, a mix of Labyrinth Lord, Basic/Expert D&D and Lamentations of the Flame Princess (I'm a big fan of the Specialist - I always wanted a D&D thief that 'worked' - AD&D2e was the closest I'd got before that).Delete
I like the cover for Blueholme Compleat, by the way.