This is the supplement to the first part … a companion which is all about STORMBRINGER supplements.
We have had some encouraging iTunes reviews … if you haven’t done one, then please do because it will tax all those Apple algorithms.
GAME-MASTERS SCREEN (4:46)
Blythy joins me in the Octagon Tower to look at some of the key supplements for the early editions of STORMBRINGER.
If you want an antidote to our gushing … then please listen to System Mastery for an alternative view.
ED’S BARGAIN SHED (43:07)
Eddy shares his ‘Bargainometer’ to help listeners build up their collection of early STORMBRINGER material.
SHOW AND TELL (56:31)
This is a new ‘occasional’ section where we look at our joint archives to help illustrate a subject. This time we are delving into the boxes labelled ‘Moorcockania’.
Here are a couple of useful links to help you begin your journey into the Multiverse and beyond …
If you want to read Moorcock’s tome that tackles the Inklings – then Wizardry and Wild Romance is still in print.
Colin Greenland’s extended interview in Death is no Obstacle is a bit harder to find.
I’ve created a Spotify playlist entitled Wondrous Stories so you can collaborate in a list of music that you played back in the day for #4rpgmusic
If you have never experienced the joy of Elric before and want to get a ‘flavour’ then the graphic novel The Ruby Throne is highly recommended.
If you want to learn more about The Final Programme, then head over to Hypnogoria where host Mr Jim Moon will guide you … “I have it on good authority that the world is going to end. I’m going home to watch it on television.”
Listener contributions and special thanks to our Patreon members.
If you want to listen to Rolistes Podcast with great Dragonmeet content … then tell Kalum I sent you …
Next time … get calculating your THACO because we are talking ADVANCED Dungeons and Dragons.
13 thoughts on “Episode 5 (Part 2) Stormbringer RPG Micro-Grog Pod”
I can sort of sympathise with Blythy’s feelings about ‘games within games’ as often they are much more trouble than they are worth but… only sort of.
I was never a real wargamer: those serious men with lots of figures who really cared about the kit a member of the Old Guard would be wearing at Quatre Bras. But I understood the appeal of being a general and getting to send minions off to die or come back covered in glory. There are scales of conflict beyond those of the heroes doing heroic deeds and arguably in most cases the deeds of the heroes are pretty puny and unimportant compared with the grand story.
Ideally what you want is a system that will give the players the sense of being there in the battle between armies or ships of the line, the sense of doing their bit and that their bit makes a difference. BUT I want it not to be all about the player characters: I may be going against the narrativist flow here but I want the players to be in doubt about whether what they did made a difference right up to the end. And I don’t want them to triumph every time even if they do succeed in their tasks.
So I need those mini-systems to preserve the sense of fairness that keeps my players from lynching me and for that I need those mini-game systems that annoy Blythy so much.
(Mind you, don’t get me started on the PENDRAGON battle system! Are you planning to do PENDRAGON some day fellas?)
And as to the possibility of an ELRIC movie… Much as I like the idea (I fancy myself in the role of a sinister Pan Tangian Socerer!) the problem is that unlike Corum and Hawkmoon which Moorcock wrote as series with a ‘story arc’ Elric’s saga was patched together out of various stories of various lengths and doesn’t have a ‘through line’.
As Blythy says the material in Elric is better but, I have to add, the structure is shite. And to quote William Goldman, in the movies story is structure.
As a movie, what bit would you do? The story of how he got chucked out of Melnibone? How he came back and destroyed his homeland? How he finally brought the world to an end?
I think you could do it as a TV series with a story arc from beginning to end of the material Moorcock has given us. Not a movie though. There’s just too much stuff that would have to be thrown away..
I’m a bit indifferent to the arguments around mini-games. I can see their value, but on the whole, as a Games Master I can’t be arsed with the effort involved. As a player on the other-hand, I’ve been involved in a few large scale battles that have been handled as a mini-game; on one occasion it has been great, all the other times it was a bit boring.
You’re right to say that the alternatives can be a little unsatisfactory as it seems that things happen on the arbitrary whim of the GM, rather than any sense of outside forces having an impact on the individual stories of the players.
We have a tendency to wave through these things in the name of narrative, but it would be fun to deal with these factors in a structured manner, so that the players can have a helicopter view of the wider forces at work.
A listener (Sam Vail) has sent us the details of a PBeM that he has devised for Traveller. Each turn deals with the machinery and logistics of running a large scale space ship and making it profitable and complying with the appropriate bureaucratic procedures needed to keep it working. I was struck with the thought that it would make a good supplementary mini-game between our online sessions. The sordid business of dealing with ‘the business’ is waved through to keep the narrative moving. If there was something that dealt with the detail of these transactions, it would make it more satisfying than me, as a referee, determining that the next cargo is imperative because the funds are running low.
As for Elric ‘The Movie’, you’re right, there is no way that it could be handled effectively within the constraints imposed by the capacity of the human bladder. I have been struck by it’s suitability for the long form TV series. Hawkmoon, Corum and Ekerose are probably more conventionally linear in their plot, but the characters are not as interesting. Perhaps there is scope for an Eternal Champion series if audiences could develop the capacity to flip-flop from setting to setting.
Elric’s exile and then home-coming and his struggle to maintain agency would make a gripping story arc combined with the epic episodic nature of his travels.
As for casting – I’m afraid your eyes are too gentle for Theleb K’aarna – please can you read for Dyvim Tvar, the lord of the Dragon Caves?
P.S. Pendragon is on the long list …
I think my view on the mini game within an RPG is coloured by some bad experiences. There was one in particular in which a GM used the mini game to sort of hijack the main RPG session. I suppose at heart I’m an RPG gamer. I’ve enjoyed some non-RPG games in my time but I’m not really a gamer in the wider sense. I’ve lots and lots of RPGs on my shelves but not many other games.
Mind you, I have been on the receiving end of RPG battles or large combats in which the GM’s desired outcome has been too obvious, and so I can see the need for some additional element of the game to decide these things. I sometimes think it’s better to give the players some task that will prove potentially decisive in the battle (storming a section of the castle, turning off the force field etc) and play that out, perhaps with rolls for the outcome of the battle modified by their success or failure of the task. When the counters representing units of troops come out, the game loses something for me.
On the subject of Elric the Movie, I think Mr Cule would make an excellent Theleb K’aarna, Dirk. I can see that when I win the lottery and start work on the film, the casting arguments will be endless!!
But Dyvim Tvar is my favourite morally ambivalent character … he needs gravitas!
I can do gravitas! I’ve got Range me!
I suppose it depends which of us wins the lottery.
With the blockbuster epic “History of the Runestaff” still in pre-production, I’d like to suggest Michael for the role of King-Emperor Huon. His voice has the “echoing through eternity” quality the immortal emperor needs. Plus he’s British. So he’s automatically a baddy.
Talking about comics and Moorcock, I remember browsing through “The Jewel in the Skull” (http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/1970sgraphicnovels/2014/09/25/the-jewel-in-the-skull) at my university bookshop in 1980.
I’ve only just listened to this episode while i was out for a run. Listening to Show and Tell, I had a sudden vague sense that I had once seen Hawkwind live when I was a teenager…btu I wasnt sure. Then you mentioned that Dumpys Rusty Nuts were support and that nailed it – i definitely remembered seeing that band because of the name (hairy biker singer if I recall). So it must have been that tour! Setlist.com suggests it was December 1985, Bristol Colston hall. So there you go…I didnt see any greengrocers in the wings.
Looking at Stormbringer prices the other day Ed has made more with his investments than most speculators. Rogue Mistress is being quoted about £75 now…is this your fault?
On the Moorcock essay about Tolkein, it heavily influenced Eskov’s Last Ringbearer, which flips the story to have the industrializing Mordorians persecuted and ethnically cleansed by the elves. Eskov owes a bit of a debt to Leiber too–the scenes set in Umbar are very Fafhrd/Mouser. I keep planning a game set in the *clears throat* milieu.