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Stormbringer vs elric vs elric of melnibone


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What's peoples thoughts on the pros and cons of the different versions? I started running stormbringer again last summer after a break of 35 years

For our group it felt a bit clunky so I moved to elric. Feels a bit smoother. To me anyway. Now I'm reading the elric of melnibone game which is basically elric with RQ2 rules. Seems, pretty decent. What do the rest of you think?

Edited by Skurn
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I am hugely fond of Elric! - it is pretty much my favourite incarnation of BRP, and it is mostly focused on the era of of the Elric saga (original early 1960's novellas up to circa 1980) that I actually enjoy; I'm not a fan of the 1990's and more recent additions to the saga. But, even in its re-packaged form of Stormbringer 5th edition in the early 2000's, it wasn't hugely accurate even to that portion of the saga... ...leaving aside the philosophical conundrum of "canon" for a series by an author who's fundamental approach is antithetical to the the sort of codification and coherence the notion of "canon" rests on.

MRQ2 is not a flavour of D100 I particularly enjoy: for all it fixes the IMO huge flaws of MRQ1, it does so by adding detail and intricacy in areas I no longer find such things satisfying. But the Elric of Melnibone game and its supplements do the best job of all the D100 versions of capturing that problematic "canon" of the Elric saga I alluded to above.

Basically. if I was to ever run a game in the Young Kingdoms again, I'd use the Elric! rules, with heavy borrowings from Elric of Melnibone for the setting, magic and cosmology. And frankly, whatever particular flavour of D100 rules one prefers, Elric of Melnibone is the best starting point.

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9 hours ago, NickMiddleton said:

I am hugely fond of Elric! - it is pretty much my favourite incarnation of BRP, and it is mostly focused on the era of of the Elric saga (original early 1960's novellas up to circa 1980) that I actually enjoy; I'm not a fan of the 1990's and more recent additions to the saga. But, even in its re-packaged form of Stormbringer 5th edition in the early 2000's, it wasn't hugely accurate even to that portion of the saga... ...leaving aside the philosophical conundrum of "canon" for a series by an author who's fundamental approach is antithetical to the the sort of codification and coherence the notion of "canon" rests on.

MRQ2 is not a flavour of D100 I particularly enjoy: for all it fixes the IMO huge flaws of MRQ1, it does so by adding detail and intricacy in areas I no longer find such things satisfying. But the Elric of Melnibone game and its supplements do the best job of all the D100 versions of capturing that problematic "canon" of the Elric saga I alluded to above.

Basically. if I was to ever run a game in the Young Kingdoms again, I'd use the Elric! rules, with heavy borrowings from Elric of Melnibone for the setting, magic and cosmology. And frankly, whatever particular flavour of D100 rules one prefers, Elric of Melnibone is the best starting point.

Nick get's it exactly right here. I find the Elric! and Stormbringer 5 rules just right for me, but Elric of Melnibone can't be beat for setting description. You really need both.

 

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On 2/19/2021 at 6:51 PM, Skurn said:

What's peoples thoughts on the pros and cons of the different versions? I started running stormbringer again last summer after a break of 35 years

For our group it felt a bit clunky so I moved to elric. Feels a bit smoother. To me anyway.

Not sure which version of Stormbringer you are comparing Elric! with. Stormbringer 5 and Elric! are basically the same game. Elric! has a better layout, some of the art in SB5 is better and I prefer how the nations are integrated into character creation in SB5 (by giving clear, languages, culrural weapons and cultural skills pointers). I also prefer the extra detail given around cults and gods.

Stormbringer 1 to 4 are also very similar. The nation a character comes from have a lot more impact (with bonus and penalties to characteristics) and skills having skill categories and modifiers (which I prefer even if I am not too excited about how they are implemented in SB1-4). Along the way, editions move away from Sanity and to Elan before they end with Allegiance in Elric!/SB5. All in all, Elric!/SB5 feel more streamlined and realised compared with SB1-4. Magic World is a direct successor to SB5.

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Now I'm reading the elric of melnibone game which is basically elric with RQ2 rules. Seems, pretty decent. What do the rest of you think?

EoM is a supplement to Mongoose RuneQuest II (aka MRQ2, which became Legend but also evolved into RuneQuest 6, later renamed Mythras). This line of BRP is possibly the crunchier but also possibly the most internally consistent. A feature or a bug? Totally depends on your preferences. EoM doesn't look as nice as Elric! or SB5 to me but the material inside is very good and feels more "developed" than Elric!/SB5 so even if you might prefer the Elric!/SB5 rules, you should still look at the setting (including gods and cults) contained in it.

If I would start a Stormbringer game, I would hesitate between:

1) Stormbringer 5 + Elric of Melnibone with:

  1. Skill categories and modifiers (from Magic World or RQ3)
  2. A reworked Major Wound table where the tens die indicate severity and the digit digit indicate location (so when you aim at a location and get a major wound, you only roll the tens die for the severity)
  3. Fixed armour points instead or rolled (maybe)
  4. The riposte rule from SB1-4
  5. The skill distribution at character creation from Magic World

2) Mythras + Elric of Melnibone.

Edited by DreadDomain
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Our current game is Elric!/SB5 with the following stolen from EoM:

  • Cults
  • Pacts
  • Runes

And the following stolen from Mythras:

  • Passions
  • Background Events
  • Luck Points

Spells as described in the rules are kind of deprecated, but one player still wanted them so there they are, though I might begin to introduce some consequences for using them, and they seem far too simple and easy to use in SB5 and it's too much like RQ battle magic.

I decided to ignore Allegiance (or at least it's effects) in favour of Pacts but there's something I like about it so I might add it back in some fashion, even if it's only to provide an indicator of the character's past choices and leanings.

The game originally came about because one of the players wanted to play SB specifically (Mythras is my normal go-to system), so we're keeping its core rules like armour rolls and ripostes because otherwise I don't think it would be SB without them (hopefully Luck Points will help avoid the bad-armour roll TPK's from classic SB! 🙂)

It's early days yet though, so we'll see how we go and what needs smoothing out or dropping.  It's just nice to be back in the Young Kingdoms again!

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4 hours ago, Stormwalker said:

Our current game is Elric!/SB5 with the following stolen from EoM:

  • Cults
  • Pacts
  • Runes

And the following stolen from Mythras:

  • Passions
  • Background Events
  • Luck Points

Spells as described in the rules are kind of deprecated, but one player still wanted them so there they are, though I might begin to introduce some consequences for using them, and they seem far too simple and easy to use in SB5 and it's too much like RQ battle magic.

I decided to ignore Allegiance (or at least it's effects) in favour of Pacts but there's something I like about it so I might add it back in some fashion, even if it's only to provide an indicator of the character's past choices and leanings.

The game originally came about because one of the players wanted to play SB specifically (Mythras is my normal go-to system), so we're keeping its core rules like armour rolls and ripostes because otherwise I don't think it would be SB without them (hopefully Luck Points will help avoid the bad-armour roll TPK's from classic SB! 🙂)

It's early days yet though, so we'll see how we go and what needs smoothing out or dropping.  It's just nice to be back in the Young Kingdoms again!

It looks like a very good combination. For Riposte, I would tend to wave the requirement to have two weapons (but that's just me). To reduce lethality (if it is a goal), you could use the CoC rule that upon reaching 0 HP, the character is dying only if a Major Wound was inflicted (in this combat or before if still untreated). If no Major Wound was inflicted, the character is simply unconcious (but still bloody and battered). Of course, once incapacitated, anyone could just kill the character with the appropriate means (no need for a Major Wound).

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23 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

It looks like a very good combination. For Riposte, I would tend to wave the requirement to have two weapons (but that's just me). To reduce lethality (if it is a goal), you could use the CoC rule that upon reaching 0 HP, the character is dying only if a Major Wound was inflicted (in this combat or before if still untreated). If no Major Wound was inflicted, the character is simply unconcious (but still bloody and battered). Of course, once incapacitated, anyone could just kill the character with the appropriate means (no need for a Major Wound).

I tend to waive the two-weapon riposte too - I imported it into my RQIII game back in the day to help with the high-level combat stalemates ... I like the CoC rule - seems like a good option if we end up too close to a TPK too often 🙂

Edited by Stormwalker
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SB2 was very fun and simple, but had the problem of being an early BRP incarnation, and very unbalanced. You either sucked at everything, or were a half-god Melnibonéan with skills above everybody else thanks to your INT, and demons.

Elric! had less incompetent characters, but that's the only thing I liked in this game. I was really not fond of the way magic was handled, among other things.

EoM for MRQ1 had an approach to magic that was closer to SB2, based on elementals and demons, which I liked, but didn't allow binding, which I liked a lot. However, the game was based on a system that was not well-rounded, to say the least.

EoM2 was based on a far better ruleset, and included rune magic in its core rulebook.

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