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Chaosium announces end of Magic World product line

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Well, since everything in that thread is pure speculation and not an official announcement. All we have to go off for now is Chaosium's comments from GenCon that they are "in talks" with MM.

If Chaosium is able to reboot Stormbringer I suspect it would be easier to market than Magic World and might keep the flame alive by going back under its original banner.

I for one would be thrilled to support a new Stormbringer since I missed the boat back in the day and those old books and supplements go for a pretty penny and I can't even get PDFs. Presumably backward compatibility would be retained to some degree, allowing MW and Advanced Sorcery plus all of the fan-made stuff to be retained.

 

We'll see I guess?

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Yep.

To paraphrase someone else "Magic World is Stormbringer with all the Morcockisms stripped out."

Personally I'd call that a feature. 

If I recall correctly it seems that trying to work with Morcock and using his IP proved to be a major headache for Chaosium. 

Still, if the plan is to bring Stormbringer back, the first step would be to remove/de-emphasize MW. 

I agree that the Stormbringer brand is more marketable than generic MW, however. 

Still hoping for that Worlds of Wonder reissue. 

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I'd be surprised if Moorcock is all that big of a draw these days... unless there's some huge blockbuster movie version of Elric on its way to generate some name recognition.

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The new ELRIC graphic novels by Titan Comics are exceptional, and even Morcock has stated that he feels this interpretation of his setting is a big improvement on his original material.

They are very dark and cutting edge, and I could see HBO producing these versions in a high quality television series akin to Game Of Thrones.

If something like this happens then rpg companies will be scrambling for the Young Kindoms copyrights again. However as it stands, I dont think the Elric novels are big with the Gen Y crowd at present.

Given this, Chaosium may be better not spreading their resources too thin -  the Gloranthan and Lovecraftian settings probably should remain the main focus at the moment.

 

Edited by Mankcam
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17 hours ago, Nakana said:

If I recall correctly it seems that trying to work with Morcock and using his IP proved to be a major headache for Chaosium. 

I was told that it was merely a case of diminishing returns. Sales of Dragon Lords of Melnibone and the retitled Elric! version of Stormbringer were extremely low. 

I had been working on a big Multiverse hero sourcebook called The Eternal Champion, but was asked to put it aside and focus on BRP as sales just didn't justify more stuff in the game line.

 

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I wonder if the MW licence will be a sort of Open Game Licence in the style of the WoTC OGL.

 

Edited by Rich Tom
The edit was gramatical.

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36 minutes ago, Rich Tom said:

I wonder if the MW licence will be a sort of Open Game Licence in the style of the WoTC OGL.

 

I would be very surprised if that were to happen.

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2 hours ago, Vile said:

I would be very surprised if that were to happen.

I'm honestly surprised Chaosium hasn't done this yet. The biggest thriving rpg companies have all at some point used or published under the OGL. It's beneficial since it helps raise A TON of attention to said product lines.

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On 9/1/2016 at 7:47 PM, auyl said:

I'm honestly surprised Chaosium hasn't done this yet. The biggest thriving rpg companies have all at some point used or published under the OGL. It's beneficial since it helps raise A TON of attention to said product lines.

It wouldn't surprise me if they have this under serious consideration for the upcoming "BRP Essentials."  There are already several d100 SRD's out under OGL; I'm guessing that the biggest challenge would just be making sure it stood out !   But, having already done it?  With what product?

I doubt they want to OGL Glorantha!  And thus neither the KS'ed "RQ Classic" nor upcoming new RQ "Now with RUNES!" edition would be a viable OGL candidate.  And of course they are a mere "licensee" for the Cthulhu Mythos, so they CANNOT put it under OGL.  But an "Essentials" SRD could very-nicely boost BOTH product-lines (and an Elric/Stormbringer reboot, fwiw).

In fact, as I think about it, I WOULD be surprised if they HAVEN'T given serious consideration to an OGL release of Essentials...  No telling what they'll decide, of course, but my bet is that it's (at least) "on the table" in a very real way!

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Quote

And of course they are a mere "licensee" for the Cthulhu Mythos, so they CANNOT put it under OGL.

Well OGLs that I've seen are generally rules with the setting removed, so it's unlikely you'd see them put the settings into one anyway.

Having said that, it hasn't been litigated to my knowledge, but Lovecraft's material is generally considered to be out of copyright. There's a likely-spurious claim from Arkham House, but they don't seem to be defending it or sadly doing much of anything else these days. Derleth and others works are, I believe, still under copyright and off the top of my head, there's a few critters that appear in Lovecraft, but are only named by Derleth or others, so you may need a license for some of the names we commonly know. But that could be worked around. Byakee become winged-ones or whatever.

On OGL rules in general, I don't get the impression that Chaosium likes the concept, which is a shame because you can't copyright rules systems and given the number of d100 games that are operating outside of license, it's obvious that the cat is out of the bag. It seems to me that OGLing the BRP would effectively focus attention back on Chaosium rather than diffuse it and is unlikely to cost them any sales. 

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I was saddened to hear this news.  I really enjoyed what Magic World did.  My friends never really understood my love for Magic World.  They often said "you play D&D, why do you need another fantasy system"?  As much as I love D&D, it was my first game, and the new 5th edition, Magic World, along with its predecessors, have something D&D will never have...the BRP system!  

Characters in Magic World, and BRP in general, are so flavorful as is the combat and creature design.  I was hoping this line would have continued with a setting book for the Southern Reaches and more supplements like the Advanced Sorcery title.  It really had potential to become something on its own.  However, it is good to see that Chaosium is open to folks contributing to the system and that people love it as much as I do.  And the fact that the pdf will be available is great too.  Just means I need to protect my physical copy! Heh.

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I'm not clear on what the situation is for fan created content... DIY stuff. Could a person just put 'D100' content, avoid using the name 'Magic World' or other specifics... and be good to go? Kind of like what all the OSR bloggers and such are doing. It seems like Magic World has way less IP to worry about than D&D... no iconic monsters or spell names or setting characters to tempt.

 

Edited by Simlasa

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It wouldn't be hard to do really but as was said, there's already many other variations of similar systems already out there. Never been a fan of the name MW but I get why it was used. 

If I were to personally take on such a project there are changes I might make as well, though not many.

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I just used BRP Gold Book and Magic World to roll up two characters for different genres. With the Gold Book I rolled up a Traveller character. I used the original Traveller LBB for Characters as a guideline including following enlistment rules which provided additional skills. Came up with a planet-side, street level assassin.

Magic World I decided to create a Thief suitable for the AD&D World of Greyhawk. Simple and straight forward per Chaosium's genius of including two page flow charts for character creation. 

With form-fillable character sheets here available online all was a snap. I really like the straight forward approach of Magic World. It is a smart generic fantasy system that I would gladly use to game any Sword and Sorcery inspired campaign. Perfect for your own inspired fantasy setting and/or dying earth sword and planet type adventures.

Deserves support. 

 

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On 25/08/2016 at 11:50 AM, Jason Durall said:

I had been working on a big Multiverse hero sourcebook called The Eternal Champion

 

Now this I would be interested to see, very much.

Hopefully it would focus more on alt. settings instead of wasting space with up everything.

Edited by RogerDee

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On 9/5/2016 at 6:20 AM, Numtini said:

Well OGLs that I've seen are generally rules with the setting removed, so it's unlikely you'd see them put the settings into one anyway.

Having said that, it hasn't been litigated to my knowledge, but Lovecraft's material is generally considered to be out of copyright. There's a likely-spurious claim from Arkham House, but they don't seem to be defending it or sadly doing much of anything else these days. Derleth and others works are, I believe, still under copyright and off the top of my head, there's a few critters that appear in Lovecraft, but are only named by Derleth or others, so you may need a license for some of the names we commonly know. But that could be worked around. Byakee become winged-ones or whatever.

On OGL rules in general, I don't get the impression that Chaosium likes the concept, which is a shame because you can't copyright rules systems and given the number of d100 games that are operating outside of license, it's obvious that the cat is out of the bag. It seems to me that OGLing the BRP would effectively focus attention back on Chaosium rather than diffuse it and is unlikely to cost them any sales. 

 

This would explain how everyone and anyone is currently getting away with producing the near-overkill plethora of Cthulhu games for a multitude of systems. By contrast, R.E. Howard's Conan stories are still in copyright (and will probably be forever as they fall past the Disney Line that will be the eternal limit of the public domain) so there is only one Conan game out at a time.

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15 hours ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

....By contrast, R.E. Howard's Conan stories are still in copyright (and will probably be forever as they fall past the Disney Line that will be the eternal limit of the public domain) so there is only one Conan game out at a time.

Not in Europe or Australia they aren't (the original Wierd Tales versions anyway): precisely the issue is that the copyright status varies between jurisdictions and much of Paradoxes defense has relied on Trademark of particular characters. 

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks13/1303751h.html

cheers

Nick

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