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Elric and RPGs

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  • Elric and RPGs

    Please excuse me if this is in the wrong area, or has been covered elsewhere.

    As a long time RPG player and Elric fan, I have an extensive collection of those titles.

    However, I noticed in the FAQs that Mr. Moorcock mentioned some trouble with Chaosium, notably in regards to the liscensing and rights of Elric in RPG form. It appears to me that Mr. Moorcock does not seem pleased with their handling of the situation, which, even after the FAQ, still seems a little muddled to me.

    So, I ask: Does Chaosium actually hold the rights to Elric/The Eternal Champion in the RPG realm? If so, for how long and under what terms?

    Thanks to any who can answer.

  • #2
    Welcome Luke. Sorry the FAQs aren't as comprehensive as they should be. They're still very much a work-in-progress at the moment. (Which reminds me we should perhaps take another look at them soon.)

    In answer to your specific question, these threads may help answer it:

    Uncle Mike and Chaosium
    Caosium Stormbringer and Hawkmoon RPGs Online
    Elric, Elric, Elric
    Stormbringer RPG opinions
    hello michael -a name from the past

    There are others no doubt. A Search for "Chaosium beef" might throw up some other avenues of inquiry.
    Last edited by David Mosley; 08-30-2006, 12:47 AM.
    _"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."


    • #3
      Indeed, I've often found the situation to be a little annoying. I love Mike's work, and I love roleplaying, so the two seem to go hand-in-hand for me. However, it distresses me that any purchase of such a product will not benefit Mike in any way. That's just nonsense.

      Worse (from my perspective), I work as a freelance in the roleplay industry (I write and illustrate), and would love to do some work for games involving Mike's work, especially as many of the supplements released are of poor quality and sometimes factually incorrect - I'd like to help resolve that. However, the idea of working for a company that does not give Mike his due does not rest well with me - thus, I would never apply.

      In short, I find the whole situation a little sad and depressing.


      • #4
        Interesting links there (and funny to see some ooold posts of mine over on the WotC boards, heh heh).

        It's a real shame to see the Elric rpg material tied up with Chaosium, especially as that company is floundering somewhat. I've done a spot of rpg writing here and there myself (the 3e Dark Sun stuff for the most part) and would love to see a revamped line of Eternal Champion material. Sad thing is, though, I really doubt that the current state of the gaming market would support it. Maybe the movie (whenever it appears) might inject some life back into the line. Whatever the case, I'd sincerely hope that the rights could make their way into better hands.
        The name that can be named is not the true name.


        • #5
          So I read all of that stuff, and it seems fairly complicated.

          As far as I can see, though, MM only ever approved of Chaosium having the board game license. And they took it from there.

          Considering this, and the fact that Chaosium isn't really supporting the game much, couldn't he just make a deal for RPGs elsehwere?


          • #6
            There is an australian publisher under Chaosium licence: Darcsyde.
            In france, we have a fanzine Lance-Feu, mainly about Hawkmoom RPG...
            Free the West Memphis Three


            • #7
              I gather I'm not the only person to have trouble with Chaosium. They have done little to honour the spirit of an agreement which essentially was made many years ago before RPG was big business. Around the same time I was asked by D&D if they could also use my characters and concepts and, as with Chaosium, I said 'sure'. It was as simple as that. The next thing I know is that Chaosium is threatening to sue D&D, who backed off (which is why the Elric mythos is only in the first D&D book).
              Chaosium have not paid any royalties for many, many years and every time we attempt to straighten things out with them they essentially begin changing the goal posts. A classic trick of a dodgy company. I do intend to take action eventually, but up to now have preferred to spend my time writing books rather than pursuing a court case. However, steps are being taken. Meanwhile, it's not the fault of gamers that Chaosium are crooks, though the more stuff they can buy second hand, the less it will put money into their coffers. Eventually we hope to re-do the games and I will have more input.

              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


              • #8
                Well, if the games are ever redone, I would be very keen to be involved somehow. As I said above, I work in the industry and love your books - there isn't much else to say, really. In the end, I suppose it would depend upon who grabbed the licence.

                However, I won't hold my breath - I'm aware that these things can take time. Hopes and dreams often never see the light of day as something tangible, after all.

                We're all busy people.



                • #9
                  Agreed. I, too, do a little work in the industry, and I would love to do more than my homebrew conversions.

                  Thanks for all the info all- I truly appreciate it.


                  • #10
                    As well, I started to write some Young Kingdoms mythology, for I found that the Chaosium game missed it. Also, the BRPS system may not be the most appropriated...

                    That would be my honour to have a share on a new project.
                    Free the West Memphis Three