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Stormbringer 1e v. 4e v. MRQII Elric

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I have Stormbringer's rules from the boxed set, the 4e rulebook and MRQII + Elric of Melnbone. Which one do you think fits the Young Kingdoms best? I mainly ask because, whichever I'm convinced of is the one I'll be using as a reference for my demon binding rules.

I have read them all at points, but only played 1e.

I also had a random question: I've seen Conan written up with a 15 STR, and Elric has a 25 on drugs or with Stormbringer. Elric is twice as strong as Conan? And it seems like Conan is more than twice as strong as ordinary men, is 15 accurate?

Edited by QueenJadisOfCharn
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Oh Queenie, one might also think you've read the book of perfect d100 trolls..

Is 4e Stormbringer or Elric! or MRQII/Elric the best demon summoning? Ha, that one still burns low and constant amongst my friends. Frankly I like the Elric!/Stormbringer5 rules, which think are nicely balanced, but loads of people love the points build system in 4e. Thing is, Moorcock kept writing YK books as the different editions were written, so in some ways 1e Stormbringer does reflect the books, as written to that point, and MRQII/Elric does reflect the books, as seen by Loz at that point!

Now, comparing characters from fiction against each other statted up in different game systems.. ha, that's as old as Alarums and Excursions (don't know, ask your grandpappy)..

The comparison is somewhat pointless but I'll say a few things: Elric is a souped up non human powered by a demon sword that transfers the souls and essence of the dead into him.. yup, he's going to be superhuman.

Conan is a man. Howard makes it quite clear he's an awesome specimen of a man, but he is also bested by others, and his skills and talents don't only lie in pure strength. So, I'd say that you could easily argue over STR 15, and I'd personally probably go with 17 for Conan.

But really, it doesn't matter.

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It actually wasn't a comparison I had in mind as a combination (as the black plated barbarian, demon summoning half-elf emperor), but when I started looking at the stats the main advantage Conan has is in weapon versatility, otherwise Elric is all around superior. And I agree that our Elf-King is not a man, he's something of an aberration even among his own folk, but I never got the impression of him being THATstrong, at least not until the blade sucked the POW out of some opponents. Actually, I was always a defender of the 'Elric is naturally fit and strong except for constitutional problems', imagine an athletic diabetic having dangerously low blood sugar. He's weak but not because of his muscles, if you get me.

As far as editions go, I much prefer Moorcock 30 years ago, so I'll go with 1e.

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Why would Elric need any other weapon but Stormbringer? Why would Stormbringer allow him to use anything else?

I'd put Conan at STR 21, SIZ 18, personally, Arnie-style.

Elric gets stronger when Stormbringer drinks souls - several stories show that really well. So, for me, his STR would vary. As for POW, he is an alien sorcerer, so his POW should be very high and 25 seems fine by me.

I'm nor familiar with later versions of Elric - I had Stormbringer and Mongoose's Elric, but that's about it. System-wise, I prefer Mongoose's version as it is basically RQ, but Stormbringer dripped flavour.

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I'd put Conan at STR 21, SIZ 18, personally, Arnie-style.
In my opinion, Arnie was too small! I always read Conan as 6'6" and well over 200lbs, in the Conan movies Arnold is 5'11" and 210lbs. He's extremely well defined, of course, but he's not actually very big in his films, he's 40-50lbs under his.bodybuilding days.
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I'd probably do it something like this.


STR 25

CON 20

SIZ 18

INT 17

POW 10

DEX 16

APP 16


STR 25*

CON 20*

SIZ 14

INT 28

POW 35

DEX 20**

APP 18

*5 each with drugs or sword

**10 without drugs or sword

They both would be good in a fight, but Conan would have a much wider selection of tools of war. Elric gets around very well when he wants to be stealthy or athletic, but Conan has him handily beat in this department.

Head to head though, if Elric has Stormbringer (and Stormbringer is cooperating) Conan doesn't stand a chance. Conan and Elric have strengths that compliment each other nicely though.

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Yeah, Stormbringer is a game changer. So are Elric's demons. Conan has good chances if they're both armored and Elric doesn't have Stormbringer or the Ring of Kings, but otherwise Elric is magicked up like mad.

The idea I had is that the emperor of the Big Empire is an immortal primeval pre-human (elfish) who's learned sorcery and war over centuries or millenia. Sort of Conan, Elric and Kane put together. This isn't his first empire, and it probably wont be his last.

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  • 2 months later...

Old thread I realise. I think the MRQII rules 'fit' better with the stories but the other versions have a following for a reason! Go with what suits the magic flavour and style of game you're looking for would be my advice. Your character sounds very interesting. Is he going to be the focal point of a campaign or some such? If so, please keep us updated!

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  • 10 months later...

It's hard to say which system "best" fits the books because 1) Elric was an anomaly within his world and 2) which books?  So far I've read only the original six books (or are they considered two or one now?), and what sorcery there was tended to be "summon a demon/elemental to serve you" or "drink this potion to get stronger".  Dreamtheft only entered into Moorcock's later books (I presume), and I don't know of any shamans in the series.


If you want to stick to "canon", I'd probably lean toward MRQII Elric, but really I'm not sure the average adventurer (if such exists) would ever use magic.  You'd end up with mundane characters in the system of your choice who occasionally confronted magical beings, mysterious artifacts, and "sorcerers" who used said beings and artifacts against the heroes.  In other words, not too terribly different from Conan.


On the other hand, I would go with the version that sounds more fun to you, and accommodates the character concepts you prefer.  Sorcerers casting hexes on their enemies and magical aid on their allies?  Magic World.  Cults, runes, and arcane summoning lore?  MRQII Elric.  NPC sorcerers only?  Pick Magic World or Legend (or RQ6!) without magic and wing it.

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Based on the discussion, tackling Elric in anything approximating a fair fight is obviously suicidal.  So instead of confronting him with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan, we need to confront him with Arnold as Dutch from Predator.  Dutch would probably be a (comparatively) meager STR 15, but he'd be armed with an arsenal of modern technology.  Scope out the Big E with night vision binocular goggles and blow him away at range with a TOW missile before he has time to do any demon summoning.  Hope he doesn't have a default resurrection spell in the works.  ;)

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