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.