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You guys noticed how "RPG" like Elric is?

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  • You guys noticed how "RPG" like Elric is?

    If you're lucky enough to have the first edition of the AD&D sourcebook Deities & Demigods then you'll remember that Elric was actually included in it, as well as other creations (like Lovecraft's shoggoths, etc.) Later editions of the book, unsurprisingly, had the copywritten material excised.

    I used to have one of those old first editions -- I sought one out just because it had Elric in it -- but I haven't seen it in years, trapped in a storage box somewhere. On quiet nights, I sometimes think I can hear a high keening sound from the closet. I'm sure it's just the wind. 8O

  • #2
    You're right! That does sound like RPG. That's what role-playing games brought to the gaming world - existentialism.

    I've said before, I wonder how many of us in our thirties actually first became aware of Michael Moorcock from that edition of Deities and Demigods. Not really something to be proud of I suppose, but I'm man enough to admit it. ;-)

    The copyright issue that got the Melnibonean and Lovecraft mythos removed from the Deities and Demigods book was Chaosium claiming they had exclusive deals, which they didn't. From what Michael has posted elsewhere, they've not paid him anything in decades for the Stormbringer game.
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    • #3
      Should just byatch-slap Chaosium back into the last cycle of the Multiverse if y'ask me! Maybe Games Workshop could do a better job? They've already borrowed shed loads of stuff, why not give them the whole lot? :lol: :D :lol: :D :lol: :D
      Hmmm... Just remembered Chaosium and GW did team up on an Elric game some time back- even got it sat in a box somewhere.


      • #4
        I thought 'twas Gary Gygax and TSR who published the earrrly AD&D stuff, no?


        • #5
          D&D, and later AD&D were published way back in the day by Tactical Systems Retail Limited (TSR), and were written by E Gary Gygax and, what's his name, the other guy, Dave Something or other... Arneson? Anderson? (the equivalent of the other guy that was with Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon- who? Exactly...). I believe they were inspired partly by 'conventional' tabletop recreations of historical battles and the fantasy literature of the day- a vast majority written by Mr M (and others I guess ) In the early days little consideration was given to things like copyright ownership and exclusivity, and while (A)D&D was the most successful RPG there were tons of others. In an early companion to the main rulebooks, TSR published a book called Deities and Demigods, as a means to provide background and substance to campaigns by detailing various religions and gods and pantheons which could be used. This book included, I believe, various pahtheons of real life origin, along with a number of literary based pantheons. The latter included the Lords of the Higher Worlds (Lords of Law, Dukes of Chaos) from the Eternal Champion Saga, as well as the Cthulhu Mythos figures (with which I am presently unfamiliar, but those books are on the list... :) ). At this time, as competition was building for the hearts, minds, and Souls of closeted role-playing geeks ( :lol: just kidding :lol: ) between RPG companies, Chaosium decided to throw the copyright ownership card into the ring. They had contacted MM previously with the intention of creating RPGs set in some of MM's worlds- Elric and its expansions, and I believe there was a Corum one too? MM had agreed, maybe, or something, and Chaosium assumed they had exclusivity. Chaosium had words with TSR, and Deities and Demigods was reprinted sans Moorcockian and Lovecraftian reference. Chaosium, meanwhile, have been a bunch of jerks over the following years, and owe MM a ton of royalties. They still apparantly have this exclusivity, and reprint old material in virtually unchanged form to fit in with the RPG system du jour, eg Dragon Lords of Melnibone a few years back, which I bought only for the Elric material and realised when I got home I already had it all. Meanwhile, across the pond, a company was rising in England called Games Workshop, created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone (of Fighting Fantasy fame (before GURPS))which at the time focussed on RPG and Wargaming stuff in general, and hadn't yet created Warhammer or WH40K, and sold games by other companies (now they create their own games and just steal from other companies You should have seen them apologise when a 'hired colour text writer' blatantly ripped off Terry Brook's Wishsong of Shanarra opening several years back- basically they changed only the names!!! I have the WD magazine it was published in if anyone wants a laugh!). What was the point of this again?!? :? 8O :? 8O :?


          • #6
            I actually have the first editoion of deities and demagods with elric and the melniboneans in it! that book goes for a couple hundred bucks now because of the copy right laws, they had to stop the printing of it. elric has a big influence on RPG'S and on DM's minds in my opinion


            • #7
              8th Son - Your history is pretty close to accurate except for a few minor points. According to Michael, Chaosium never had an exclusive deal with him.

              What's more, they did grant some sort of permission to TSR to use the Melnibean and C'thulhu Mythos (they also publish call of C'thulhu) because they were thanked in the book for it. Apparently (and this is conjecture on my part based partially on gossip columns in Chaosium's defunct Dragon-like magazine Different Worlds) they decided to take advantage of the floundering financial situation at TSR (which led to bankruptcy and eventually selling everything to Wizards of the Coast) to play hardball and rescind on permission to use the two mythos. Too bad for gamers everywhere, and especially Elric fans, eh?
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              • #8
                Not only does he still inspire on RPG's companies Like Blizzard are making Elric like clones such as the main character in War Craft 3 Arthas with his soul devouring Frostmourn, or Sepheroth off of Final Fantasy 7. If you think about it there are a ton of characters with simularities to his and even the Online Role playing game Lineage 2 has the Stormbringer sword in it. Honestly I think its a shame that people can t come up with something on their own accord especially game makers.


                • #9
                  Ya read the bit where I said

                  Chaosium assumed

                  That's all sort of pieced together from bits I've read here and there, mostly here. All a little bit before my time, really...

                  I know what you mean about MM 'inspiring' other characters here and there. Whenever I encounter an example I do try to continue reading (or playing) with an open mind, but it always seems to result in one less 'star' than I might otherwise have given it, if ya know what I mean.

                  What is it they say, "1% inspiration, 99% perspiration"?

                  The perspiration must come from stealing the inspiration.


                  • #10
                    Someone stole stuff from Terry Brooks Shinnara series? I guess turn about is fair play.


                    • #11
                      I'll go now and see if I can find the magazine... Then you can compare... hang on... (rushes upstairs, begins to flail madly amongst boxes of old White Dwarfs)

                      Back Soon!

                      Hmmm... Can't seem to find it, gonna have to look more closely through ALL of them...


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dead-Air
                        The copyright issue that got the Melnibonean and Lovecraft mythos removed from the Deities and Demigods book was Chaosium claiming they had exclusive deals, which they didn't. From what Michael has posted elsewhere, they've not paid him anything in decades for the Stormbringer game.
                        For what it's worth, there's a thread here which indicates that Chaosium owes money to quite a few people.


                        • #13
                          Erekon writes, "Honestly I think its a shame that people can t come up with something on their own accord especially game makers."

                          Actually I kind of disagree on this point. I don't think game designers should necessarily be held to the same standard as authors when coming up with character types and ideas as a lot of their players just want to have a go at playing something they've read. I do think that when a character is used from someone's work commercially that it ought to be credited and royalties paid if it's a direct representation (let alone what Chaosium is doing with an entire game system set in someone else's world.)

                          As a GM, I don't like to create settings or characters based directly on any author's work, but that's just my style. Many others do, there are so many Star Trek campaigns online for instance that you'll find that primarily if you look for RPG in general. A lot of people are having fun with it, so as long as nobody is getting rich off someone else's work, why shouldn't they?

                          The fact is, most people who get into fantasy role-playing initially want to either recreate the adventures they read in Tolkein or Moorcock. It only follows that there would be similarities in the game systems. Appropriation has been a valid form of expression in every other art form for thousands of years, and games are even more just about having fun.
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                          • #14
                            Inspiration is ok, but it's just the blatant ripoffs and, what was it... Frostmourne? Things like that. I actually have Warcraft 3, but I've never played it much. Might have to go back and play it through just for that!

                            You could have an albino character in a book called Bob (the character, not the book :D ), you could have a soul-stealing sword called the Bob-blade, but not an albino called Bob who wields a soul-stealing sword called the Bob-blade.

                            Understandably there are only so many original ideas, and if you look deep enough (and have read enough) you can see influences all over the place, perhaps unintended ones. Perhaps it's just reading too much into things... seeing coincidences that aren't there.


                            The trick is knowing which work may have influenced which other work. As we all know, Pratchett's Unseen University is a rip-off of Hogwart's! :lol:


                            • #15
                              Law and Chaos.

                              [quote="Dead-Air"]The whole "planes of existence" concept in AD&D was taken straight from the Multiverse, and the alignment system is obviously a direct derivative from Michael's creations. Before the Elric saga, fantasy had plenty of good vs. evil, but Law and Chaos were not to be found.

                              The Law and Chaos alignments might have been inspired by Gygax reading Moorcock, but Moorcock got the idea of Law and Chaos from Poul Anderson's 'Three Hearts and Three Lions'.Check it out Fanboys! :)