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Jakob

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Jakob last won the day on November 22 2016

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About Jakob

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    Senior Member

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  • Website URL
    http://swanosaurus.blogspot.de

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  • RPG Biography
    Been a writer for German Edition of CoC; played lots of RPGs since 1984. Co-owner of fantasy bookshop Otherland in Berlin where we hold montly RPG nights.
  • Current games
    RuneQuest - Adventures in Glorantha; Lots of one-shots with different systems, among them OpenQuest.
  • Location
    Berlin, Germany
  • Blurb
    Loves reading new rules, hates learning them!

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  1. Jakob

    What is is about Stormbringer?

    Very nice article! Btw, shouldn't d101 games be just the right publisher for a brp game in the spirit of stormbringer?
  2. Jakob

    What is is about Stormbringer?

    While you're entitled to your opinion, I'm pretty sure that Moorcock would disagree. It's hard to believe that a person with such strong political views as him, who also happens to be obviously obsessed with English history, would write a story about an decadent (former) island empire with at least a passing thought about British imperialism. Probably, it was more than just a passing thought - just have a look at Moorcocks quite blatant take on the ecological and social evils of capitalism in "The Revenge of the Rose", or his use of the history of the Second World War in "The Eternal Champion" and "The Dream-Thiefs Daughter". Elric may be one of Moorcocks more subtly political works, but it is certainly a political work, at the very least by intention. The beauty of it is that you can also just read it as a haunting and unique work of Sword&Sorcery and still enjoy it tremendously. That is, of course, what the appeal of Stormbringer the RPG is mostly founded on (since mixing politics and RPGs often doesn't work out that well ...).
  3. Wow, this is all beautiful! I can't quite put my finger on the style of some of these works - i'd say they have something from certain animated movies, but not Anime and not Disney ... anyway, they seem to trigger childhood memories.
  4. Jakob

    What is is about Stormbringer?

    Yes, that's it! Sorry, I've seen that abbreviation so often in the last few years, I just use it without thinking.
  5. Jakob

    What is is about Stormbringer?

    I get what you mean with regards to Moorcock (even though I think you're getting carried away a little ...). That's what I meant earlier when I mentioned that Moorcock doesn't revel in the violence perpetrated by his heroes, and he doesn't depict it as necessary, either. Elric's actions are simply an outcome of him having grown up as the member of the ruling class of an empire. Even though he's pretty philosophical-minded and actually thinks about ethical choices, he has never developed an ability for true compassion and largely plays his role as harbinger of the apocalypse, killing everything and everyone he loves on the way. He might look cool, but in the end, he is mainly a tragic character, as tragic as the world he lives in. I think reading the first von Bek novel, which is set in the Thirty Years War, gave me a clearer grasp of what I feel Moorcock is trying to accomplish with his cynical anti-heroes. They're all "heroes" doing atrocious thing under atrocious circumstances; this is not justified in any way, it's not serving any greater good. It's just how heroism works. If there's one thing exceptional about these heroes, it's the fact that they tend to reflect to a certain degree on their actions, without being able to actually change anything meaningful about them.
  6. Jakob

    What is is about Stormbringer?

    @Joerg: That actually comes retty close to what I was thinking of ... no please turn it into a flashy product that I can buy! Midgard (the German setting) borrows a lot of Moorcockian element, but has a totally different tonality as a setting - that's why I'd actually prefer something that doesn't borrow too much Moorcock-mythology elements, but does it's own thing, but with a stormbringer flair. The whole order/chaos thing has been done to death in many contexts. Elements that I consider vital to the Stormbringer flair: The world is part of something bigger - a universe, multiverse, a cosmic order -, but in a tragic sense. In the end, everyone is at the mercy of that bigger cosmos This backdrop should be nearly or actually sfnal. The big powers are decadent. No EDO - creatures and non-humans are supposed to be original and often bizarre. Places that are emblematic of something - Nadsokor, Tanelorn, Melniboné - they all stand more or less explicitly for certain concepts of the world or of society. I actually have my own take on this as a setting. Hope I'll get around to sharing it later today.
  7. Jakob

    What is is about Stormbringer?

    I never read the Brust books, but I kind of wish someone would do a "spiritual sucessor to Stormbringer" thing. Different setting that catches its spirit, preferrably without just copying the Chaos/Order/Balance cosmology. It would probably be hard to do, but on the other hand, there seem to be tons of Sword&Sorcery settings out there that supposedly "get" the world of Conan without depicting it outright (I'm not that much of a Robert E. Howard fan, so I wouldn't really know ...). For some reason, I just don't really like playing in settings from literary/movie sources anymore, but I love settings that somehow get the "essence" of some source material while also doing their own thing. Like how "Ashen Stars" just gets "Star Trek", for me, but offers a different mode of play than one might expect from a Star Trek rpg. Not just filed-off serial numbers, but something that is truly in the spirit of Stormbringer, the whole package, setting and rules, and still set apart from Moorcock's universe.
  8. I don't know if it is okay to advertise for crowdfunding projects here - it's just that I'm desperate for this one to succeed, and it only has two days left: An Atlas of the Horizons The system has little relation to anything BRP (but still sounds neat), and the setting looks like a truly original, non-edo fantasy world with fairy-tale and science fantasy elements mixed in. I blogged about it here. If it's not cool to advertise here in this way, please let me know; I won't do it again.
  9. Jakob

    What is is about Stormbringer?

    The German translation of Stormbringer (I think it was first edition) was really my first contact with any BRP game (CoC followed shortly thereafter), and it also introduced me to the workds of Michael Moordock, so I guess I can't be thankful enough to this game. Rules-wise, it was an eye-opener, since until than, I had only been familiar with games where you level up, like MERP or the old German The Dark Eye. The idea that you didn't increase your hit points and that everything was "learning by doing" (and often failing) was such a big thing for me that I remember that moment of sheer incredulity even now, close to thirty years later, like it was yesterday. So, Stormbringer has a special place in my heart, even though I have to admit that I actually didn't like it that much. A lot of that was down to one player, who was also our GM most of the time, and who always had to play the arrogant badass types - in MERP, he played a Dark Numenoan, in AD&D 2nd, he was a Drow, and of course, in Stormbringer, he had to be a Melnibonean. (I kind of remember that we rolled for races, but I think he still ended up with a Melnibonean; or he was actually game-mastering and just had a Melnibonean NPC accompanying us as stand-in.) Anyway, I experienced Stormbringer as a game that catered to this very annoying aspect of his playing stile to the extreme. (I have to say that, apart from that, he was actually a great GM in many ways. But he also had a lot of authority in our group, and that made it difficult to challenge him on his often toxic PC/NPC choices.) So I ended up labelling Stormbringer as "one of these games for mean people" in my head. However, I played it years later with a different GM and noticed just how much I really liked the system and setting. If you leave out the high-powered nonsense, at least for PCs, it's just simple, gritty and fast in a way that RuneQuest could never quite be. Kind of the "quick and dirty" RuneQuest. I feel like OpenQuest does a pretty good job at replacing that for me, but Stormbringer really got me there. And yeah, Moorcock. I love his writing (sloppy as it might be), his ideas (overwrought as their execution might often be), his strong moral compass (reading Moorcock closely, you'll notice that he never revels in the darkness and violence of his worlds, but depicts them as a fundamental tragedy), and the role he played and still playes for the sf/fantasy community. I hadn't even heard his name before picking up Stormbringer, and he really changed the way I look at sf and fantasy.
  10. Jakob

    River of Heaven Companion?

    Looking forward to this. I love the RoH setting - one of the few rpg settings that feel like they come straight out of the kind of sf I like to read.
  11. Jakob

    Swords of Cydoria. WOW

    That's the great thing about looking randomly through this forum: You stumble on stuff you would have never, ever heard about that might be right up your alley. Most Tech-Fantasy-Settings I've seen yet have been a disappointment in one or the other way; and since Sarah Newtons new edition of Chronicles of Future Earth keeps me waiting, I guess I should take a closer look at this ... it's probably just the one book and nothing more ever came of it? I coulden't find any product called "Blade of Takasha".
  12. It's funny that that's the only thing that really stuck with me this long after reading the campaign ... probably it's really just such a radical scratch-off-the-record moment.
  13. I guess I'll just have to read a few of these reviews, then, to get a better picture ... Ken Hite and Dennis Detwiller are certainly two names that I associate with great rpg design. I just wondered whether the love for MoN might mainly be a nostalgia thing, or whether the campaign still feels exceptional and relevant. As I said, I'll probably have to give it another try. Still, if anyone feels like sharing what makes the campaign great for her or him, I'd appreciate that very much!
  14. Jakob

    Cubicle 7 and Call of Cthulhu

    I just meant in in a rules sense, as in "the stats in the books won't be usable for BRP games without some conversion hassle if they use Gumshoe". Of course, everything would still be compatible in a broader sense, expecially given the fact that actual Cthulhu games are usually played pretty rules-lite, in my experience. EDIT: Anyway, I just noticed that Delta Green is OGL, so they could probably just build their own rulebook for their Cthulhu range out of that.
  15. Jakob

    Cubicle 7 and Call of Cthulhu

    C7 has announced that they want to continue/reboot the respective game lines (Laundry Files, World War Cthulhu, Cthulhu Britannica) with some other rules system. It has been suggested they might do something similar to Delta Green by simply devising their own d100 system that would be closely compatible to CoC. It would feel strange, however - WWC is very close to what Chaosium is doing with CoC, anyway (and maybe that is one reason for terminating the license; with Chaosium becoming much more active, maybe they need to make sure that they are the ones who put out the products that are at the core of the CoC identiy). Having another d100 Cthulhu Mythos system next to CoC AND Delta Green that focuses on a strong integration of real world history/present and the Cthulhu Mythos just seems like one too much. Personally, I'd love them to license Trail of Cthulhu, but that probably won't happen, and of course, there would be no compatibility ...
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