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Wizards of the Coast Lifting Moorcock's multiverse?

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  • Wizards of the Coast Lifting Moorcock's multiverse?

    As most gamers already know, Dungeons and Dragons: Manual of the Planes is a book that attempts to map out the multiverse. It doesn't use any of his characters or places that I know of, but it could be considered a non-Moorcockian multiverse, that is the concept is the same, but none of his IP is translated or stolen from what I can see.
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x...dacc/882420000

    Wizards of the Coast refer to their product line as their Magic Multiverse.
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x...ucts/storyline

    Staff writers crank out articles that reference their multiverse.
    http://search.atomz.com/search/?sp-a...+The+Gathering

    A new set of Magic cards called Ravnica will be set in Wizards of the Coast's multiverse.
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x.../expansion/rav

    Vendors are being sent marketing material that integrates the multiverse into their pitch:
    http://www.cardkings.com/shopping/in...&products_id=6
    Ravnica: City of Guilds is set in an exotic new location in the Multiverse and will introduce a new storyline, striking creatures, and innovative game mechanics. Ravnica features 306 black-bordered cards, available in standard and foil versions.
    So I ask you all, is this lifting? Mike, is this the sort of stuff that pisses you off? Have they found a way to walk a line that means everyone gets sued or you just let it slide? Or is this a case of taking from the pot and adding to it?

    Greetings to the Magic players who happen upon this post. Spread the word about this site if you don't mind. I play the game and enjoy it. We want to ensure that as many players posssible learn about Michael Moorcock's Multiverse. Mike new some people at Wizards at one point. You can learn more about the up and coming Elric movie here: [broken link]

    Keywords: magic Magic the Gathering Ravnica Wizards Wizards of the Coast TSR WOTC multiverse moorcock Universal elric movie
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 12:03 PM.
    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

  • #2
    Re: Wizards of the Coast Lifting Moorcock's multiverse?

    Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
    Ravnica: City of Guilds is set in an exotic new location in the Multiverse and will introduce a new storyline, striking creatures, and innovative game mechanics. Ravnica features 306 black-bordered cards, available in standard and foil versions.
    I don't know for certain, but this sounds a little like a re-vamping of the old 'Planescape' environment that TSR devised before they were swallowed by by WotC. Although Planescape eventually got phased out (aiui) in favour of more traditional RPG worlds, it did give rise to one of the greatest CRPGs (Computer Role-Playing Games) ever imo - Planescape: Torment.

    Had WotC kept the term 'the Planescape' in preference to 'the Multiverse' I don't suppose we'd be having this conversation. ;)
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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    • #3
      Sounds dodgy. Oh, well. No doubt it was an aspect destroyed!
      :twisted:
      Miqque
      ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

      Comment


      • #4
        Personally, I don't see much wrong in what Wizards of the Coast are currently doing, but a mention of Moorcock in some of their publications seems to be due.

        While "Manual of the Planes" tries to map a cosmos with multiple planes of existence, its mapping does not resemble the multiverse described in Mike's books (which is much less "mapped").

        I still remember that in the first edition AD&D Player's Handbook (from the 70s) Gary Gygax listed several Moorcock books in the list of recommended readings in the appendices :)

        I also remember the Melnibonأ©an mythos being part of the Deities & Demigods manual for the original AD&D. This mythos section (along with the Cthulhu one) was later removed from the book because of some copyright infringements. Mike, do you know more about this? I supposed there's a story behind it. Was it Chaosium who demanded this section to be removed?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Oren Douek
          I also remember the Melnibonأ©an mythos being part of the Deities & Demigods manual for the original AD&D. This mythos section (along with the Cthulhu one) was later removed from the book because of some copyright infringements. Mike, do you know more about this? I supposed there's a story behind it. Was it Chaosium who demanded this section to be removed?
          Oren, you might find some answers in this thread > [broken link]
          Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 12:02 PM.
          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by demos99
            Originally posted by Oren Douek
            I also remember the Melnibonأ©an mythos being part of the Deities & Demigods manual for the original AD&D. This mythos section (along with the Cthulhu one) was later removed from the book because of some copyright infringements. Mike, do you know more about this? I supposed there's a story behind it. Was it Chaosium who demanded this section to be removed?
            Oren, you might find some answers in this thread > [broken link]
            Thanks! And that link leads to [broken link] which pretty much tells the entire story :)
            Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 12:02 PM.

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            • #7
              My only beef is with Chaosium, still! The idea of alternate worlds isn't my invention, just the multiverse and how it's structured, which is closer to the way modern theoretical physics sees it today. I just happened to hit on the idea a bit early.

              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Wizards of the Coast Lifting Moorcock's multiverse?

                Originally posted by demos99
                I don't know for certain, but this sounds a little like a re-vamping of the old 'Planescape' environment that TSR devised before they were swallowed by by WotC.
                Actually, the 'Manual of the Planes' existed long before the 'Planescape' stuff.

                It was published late in the 1st Edition days. Was just a detailed listing of the planes available to the AD&D worlds: Seven Heavens, Happy Hunting Ground, Nine Hells, The Abyss, The Elemental Planes, etc.

                The only real Moorcock reference was in the Deiites & Demi-Gods editions that had the Melnibonean Mythos included.

                Though, I think D&DG also used 'The Multiverse' on one of their diagrams in the back.
                Madness is always the best armor against Reality

                Comment


                • #9
                  A lot of Companys are using the term "Multiverse" in regards to their collection of universes. DC and Marvel both have used it recently.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm not familiar with WotC's new version but from a quick survey, as Demos and McTalbayne have noted, it looks like they are using the term multiverse as a generic term to describe a revamped version of the latest incarnation of the standard multi-plannar environment for D+D. The original version of this was an extension of the original D+D alignment system, with it's nine derived alignment stereotypes, which owed for inspiration it's Law/Chaos axis to Mike's early work (with possibly some influence from Poul Anderson).

                    I dug out my copy of the old AD+D Dungeon Master's guide from 1979. The following is excerpted from the writer Gary Gygax's Inspirational Reading section in one of the appendices, after a list of recommended inspirational reading, which includes Mike's name as well as that of Poul Anderson, Tolkein and many others:

                    Originally posted by Gary Gygax
                    The most immediate influences upon AD+D were probably de Camp & Pratt, REH, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, HPL, and A. Merritt: but all of the above authors, as well as many not listed, certainly helped to shape the form of the game
                    So I believe that Mike's work did influence the D+D planar environment (as did more traditional mythology), but at a much earlier stage back in the late 70's. I think it's more of a case of some stuff that Mike put into the pot back then, re Law/Chaos and sentient swords and artifacts etc, getting into the mix.

                    So just as Tolkein's influence provided D+D with some of it's racial archetypes, I've a strong hunch that Mike's early work provided D+D with the inspiration for some of it's alignment archetypes (along the Law/Chaos axis) and therefore some of the planar environments that were derived from that.

                    PS Demos, I have to agree re the Planescape stuff. A sophisticated CRPG like PT is going to be very hard to beat.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Gary Gygax wrote about the different planes in his Gord the Rogue books too,mostly the abyss though. There was some kind of shadow realm there also if I remember right.

                      If Mike says it is ok for them to use it, it is fine by me too! haha :)


                      Is the artwork on the back cover of the first edition Dungeon Master's Guide the city of Immyr? I heard somone say it was because of the pastel colours of all the buildings in the painting.

                      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                      - Michael Moorcock

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lemec
                        Is the artwork on the back cover of the first edition Dungeon Master's Guide the city of Immyr? I heard somone say it was because of the pastel colours of all the buildings in the painting.
                        I think it's supposed to be The City of Brass, in the Elemental Plane of Fire, and the big red critter is an Efreet.

                        As I recall, there's a caption on one of the front end pages that states that.

                        Even the later editions that had the Jeff Easley painting 'Abandon Hope . . .' (the robed guy opening the Massive Doors) have that caption on the page.
                        Madness is always the best armor against Reality

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Deepfixer is correct. On the back page illustration, the city floats on a cloud above a red burning sea. The buildings are various shades of amber, brass, yellow etc and the style of architecture is a kind of combo between Arabian and Aztec. The only really pastel colour is the sky, which is a kind of pastel green.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ahh, cool. It's been awhile since I looked at the DM's guide. Thanks for all the information.

                            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                            - Michael Moorcock

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am a magic player, but I was a Moorcock reader first (I do own the old D&D manuals with Moorcock and Lovecraft entries 8) Terming 'Dominia' a multiverse is cheeky, but then it is such an apt word.

                              MtG is such a success that WotC have hordes of employees working at the design, art, supporting novels and marketing of the game. I've only read one MtG novel, and I'm in no hurry to read any more. I don't think Michael is under threat there.

                              In the game WotC distinguish 'flavor' from mechanics, and both at times are Moorcockian. The flavour is what distinguishes one plane from another, but each borrows from familiar fantasy archetypes (dragons, warriors, gods, spirits, swordplay, spells). At times this can seem Melnibonean, but you can also see Sinbad, Slaine, Kurosawa etc.

                              The mechanics are where things are closest. Instead of Chaos, Law and Balance, MtG is polarised into Red, Green, Blue, White, Black and Artifact (the 6th colour). WotC use a 'color wheel' to define the attitudes, psychology and abilities associated with each colour. Red is pretty chaotic, White is lawful, while Green closely embodies nature, harmony and the spirit plane. Control, aggression, evasion and other properties are distributed around the wheel. You have legends which are typically granted higher powers. Players are represented in a game by a life total, and the unique decks they construct act as their agents. There are often ways to bring in support from outside the game, seem familiar?

                              I could probably go on making parallels all day, but when it comes down to it I think MtG is more fantasy genre than Moorcock bootleg. I know they've also made an effort to distance their flavour from both copyright work and from real life material - I guess a lot of those WotC guys must be lawyers

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