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Magic World Thread over on RPG.NET

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2 minutes ago, K Peterson said:

Pouring out a 40 in memory of Magic World. Respect for what has passed away.

Thanks. It may be true that a picture is worth a 1000 words, but sometimes you need to know the language to understand the picture. I agree he could have been MORE bitter about that. 

Magic World is one of the rough gems of the latter days of old Chaosium. I quite like its ruleset: it improves on the already strong Elric rules with many little touches (like skill category modifiers, levels of success,), I like the fact that it inherits RQ3 monsters and Elric's demon magic, I like its very evocative little setting. I like it was Ben's labor of love.

Yet, its many typos, bland layout and (in my opinion) ugly art make it a low point for Chaosium in terms of production value. Also its title is problematic. It is a tribute to Lynn Willis and his Elric! rules and magic system (Sorcery in BGB), yet it takes the title of a booklet by Steve Perrin, in Worlds of Wonders, which proposed a different (and in my view excellent) take on magic rules (the Magic system in the BGB). Being a fan of both I am in two minds about that.

I understand the new Chaosium management is not in principle against revisiting Magic World, they just have other priorities for now. But, if they revisit it they might decide to take a rather different approach than the one in Ben's labor of love.  

 

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I didn't like it being called MagicWorld when it's quite different to the old MW from WoW. Naming it something different would have been a better way to go.

However compiling elements from SB and RQ3 was a nice idea to show how fantasy could be done with the BGB. I particularly like the streamlined character generation, that was so cool, and the fact that only one book was necessary. The Advanced Sorcery supplement was great, but it never felt like you had to have that to play MW,it was very much supplemental material. 

So that was nice from a consumer perspective.

I think perhaps my favourite part of MW was Ben's enthusiastic presence on the forums and elsewhere; he really made you want to grab an old Basic D&D scenario and run it with the MW rules. The spike in fan based material that followed was also impressive, I think tooley1chris really outdid himself here!

MW was a short lived but great phenomena which may have only primarily had life within these forums and a few offshoots. I am glad to have witnessed it, and I hope Ben Munroe shows up again in the RPG industry, this time supported by a budget worthy of his enthusiasm.

 

Edited by Mankcam
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3 hours ago, Mankcam said:

I didn't like it being called MagicWorld when it's quite different to the old MW from WoW. Naming it something different would have been a better way to go.

However compiling elements from SB and RQ3 was a nice idea to show how fantasy could be done with the BGB. I particularly like the streamlined character generation, that was so cool, and the fact that only one book was necessary. The Advanced Sorcery supplement was great, but it never felt like you had to have that to play MW,it was very much supplemental material. 

So that was nice from a consumer perspective.

I think perhaps my favourite part of MW was Ben's enthusiastic presence on the forums and elsewhere; he really made you want to grab an old Basic D&D scenario and run it with the MW rules. The spike in fan based material that followed was also impressive, I think tooley1chris really outdid himself here!

MW was a short lived but great phenomena which may have only primarily had life within these forums and a few offshoots. I am glad to have witnessed it, and I hope Ben Munroe shows up again in the RPG industry, this time supported by a budget worthy of his enthusiasm.

 

Well, IIRC, the original intent was to recreate WoW as modern independent games. We got Magic World, but there were machinations in Ben's mind to push for Superworld and Future World as well.

SDLeary

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I bought MW because my go-to game is Elric! and that's long been out of print (though I have two copies and there are a couple more in my gaming gang's possession). MW seemed to be the successor, but I haven't played it. Mostly because Elric! still totally works for me and my impression was that MW was mostly Elric! without the Moorcock approval. Also, my gang laughed at the name Magic World when I bought it. Other games we've been playing are usually BRP (or ex-BRP) variants such as Classic Fantasy, Swords of Cydoria and Rubble & Ruin; and also some non-BRP oldies like Dragon Warriors and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (which is mostly d100 anyway). 

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For old Chaosium, without the rights to RQ's name and the Elric license, Magic World filled the niche of a fantasy implementation of BRP. Now, Chaosium is putting out a new RQ that goes back to the roots of the BRP tradition. So, that niche is gone.

I'd love to see MW reborn as a supplement of the the new trimmed down BRP Essentials. Specifically targeted to beginners and younger gamers. Something like 64-96 pages including the Southern Reaches and 2 introductory scenarios. With beautiful art, character and monster cutouts and a colored map. That would rock.

On a side note, the fact that the new RQ will be based on RQ2 is a great plus. From what I have seen, lovers of BGB/ Elric!/ RQ3/ ElfQuest/ Stormbringer/ CoC6, whatever will have zero difficulty in cannibalizing stuff from the new RQ, which is much closer to older Chaosium games than MRQ/ MRQ2/ RQ6 or even CoC7

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29 minutes ago, smiorgan said:

For old Chaosium, without the rights to RQ's name and the Elric license, Magic World filled the niche of a fantasy implementation of BRP. Now, Chaosium is putting out a new RQ that goes back to the roots of the BRP tradition. So, that niche is gone.

I have to disagree there, I think MW and RQ7 scratch entirely different itches.

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3 hours ago, Vile said:

I have to disagree there, I think MW and RQ7 scratch entirely different itches.

I see what you mean here. It depends on how fine grained you want to be and whether you adopt a fan or business perspective. I was thinking in broad strokes and from the perspective of the company: old Chaosium was like "Hey, we don't have a fantasy rpg anymore, so why not put out MW as a low budget side project". New Chaosium's thinking is more "We have limited resources and we are doing RQ7, and 13A Glorantha, based on a hugely succesful d20 game, we are re-doing Mythic Iceland, which won a Ennie and has Vikings in it.  So, we will think twice before putting out a generic-looking fantasy game unless we are sure it has a clear niche market worth the hassle".

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Right, I can see where you're going there. It's debatable whether generic rules are or are not a good business decision without more hard data, but the Chaosium has never been about generic rules (even when it did have them), and that doesn't look likely to change. The rules-tied-to settings has always been more its style.

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As a life-long D&Der who came to d100 gaming very late (like in the last 2 or 3 years) MW was the only ruleset that immediately clicked for me (I think the first I ever read was RQ6 picked up in a Bundle of Holding).

Sure it has its rough spots (art and layout) but without it I don't think I could have ever considered warming to the idea of running RQ6/Mythras or perhaps Chaosium's new RQ4 (or whatever the hell it's going to be called), MW was the perfect game at just the right time to show me a better way to run a game. Whatever game I run in the future I'm sure I'll take parts of it with me; e.g. I suspect I'll keep the (Con+Siz)/2 HP convention and the variable Armor over hit locations, because I like it that much.

Much respect to Ben Monroe for what he was able to put together. A real pity new management couldn't figure out some way to keep him on and keep supporting MW, but that's life I guess.

Edited by Nick J.
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On 12/8/2016 at 9:33 PM, Nick J. said:

Much respect to Ben Monroe for what he was able to put together. A real pity new management couldn't figure out some way to keep him on and keep supporting MW, but that's life I guess.

Definitely. A huge lot of respect. He did a great job in putting out a very enjoyable game, working in very unfavorable conditions - as he makes even clearer in the rpg.net. thread.

 

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A further random thought about Magic World. I've entertained for sometime the half-baked idea of running 'Wrath of the River King' with MW:

http://paizo.com/products/btpy9m6h/discuss?Wrath-of-the-River-King

using the fluff in Heroes of the Feywild to generate the background for the PCs, merged with an alternate version of the Southern Reaches

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/121710/Players-Option-Heroes-of-the-Feywild-4e

with a generous helping of Corum thrown into it...

http://www.darcsyde.org/Corum/ 

Just a crazy idea.

 

 

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On 8/13/2016 at 5:33 AM, Nick J. said:

Much respect to Ben Monroe for what he was able to put together. A real pity new management couldn't figure out some way to keep him on and keep supporting MW, but that's life I guess.

Unfortunately, a MW-led recovery was not going to save Chaosium, and we had to divert our attention and resources to our core lines (Call of Cthulhu, Glorantha) to get the company back on its feet. But, as noted in the announcement, we'll keeping selling the existing MW stuff on chaosium.com and are happy to see licensed or fan MW material coming out.

(Although he wouldn't have been working on MW, last September after the Hayward warehouse was closed we teed up with Sandy for Ben to be the editor of the new "Tales of Sandy Petersen" line of books for Call of Cthulhu ("The Derelict" etc) if he was interested. However Ben said he had other non-Chaosium stuff he wanted to go on to, and so Mike Mason is now looking after that project.)

 

Edited by MOB
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On 8/17/2016 at 2:58 AM, MOB said:

Unfortunately, a MW-led recovery was not going to save Chaosium, and we had to divert our attention and resources to our core lines (Call of Cthulhu, Glorantha) to get the company back on its feet. But, as noted in the announcement, we'll keeping selling the existing MW stuff on chaosium.com and are happy to see licensed or fan MW material coming out.

(Although he wouldn't have been working on MW, last September after the Hayward warehouse was closed we teed up with Sandy for Ben to be the editor of the new "Tales of Sandy Petersen" line of books for Call of Cthulhu ("The Derelict" etc) if he was interested. However Ben said he had other non-Chaosium stuff he wanted to go on to, and so Mike Mason is now looking after that project.)

Yeah, I gathered Ben had moved on from the RPGnet thread. Anyway, I don't harbor any ill-will toward Chaosium's new management. Businesses aren't charities and you all had to do what you think is best (and I'm looking forward to the new RuneQuest).

Edited by MOB
corrected sentence in quote
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