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The War-hammer-hound and the World's Pain (plus the Runestaff)

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  • The War-hammer-hound and the World's Pain (plus the Runestaff)

    The blog "Realm of Zhu" is devoted to various fantasy RPGs and occasionally examines the books that inspired them. The following post reviews "The Warhound and the World's Pain" and considers whether it had any specific influence on the Warhammer RPG along with a digression or two about how elements from the story could be incorporated into RPG play.

    Thematically, Moorcocks characters and warbands seem to contain their opposite through subverted iconography. Demons in the service of God, Priests in the service of Demons. Etching this into a game system would be interesting Character design mechanics, a balance of Feats and Failings, Virtues and Vices. This in turn could structure visual, narrative and gameplay aspects. Handfuls of Perry Miniatures English Civil War kit-bashed with North Star Cultist warbands painted in various shades of mud, all very #Inq28 and #Aos28, Hieronymous Bosch and Ian Miller inspired gribblies. There is a neat if blasphemous skirmish wargame in there somewhere.
    Realm of Zhu reviews and considers The Warhound and the World's Pain.

    There's also a similar review with RPG considerations for the History of the Runestaff:

    The second edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle was dedicated to Moorcock, Tolkien and Phil Barker. The influence of Moorcock in early Warhammer is everywhere, from incidental art clearly depicting Elric to the eternal struggle of Chaos and Law and back again.

    There are specific motifs that stem from the Hawkmoonian milleu - the use of real-world geographical cues being a fundamental one, as are the punning references to contemporary pop-culture and political figures, which abound in early Warhammer. The entire 'expected to be good guys are actually bad guys' trope of the Empire in 40k reflected in Gran Bretan except Moorcock has the decency to have actual good guys who fight oppression, so the whole universe doesn't descend into the hate-thy-neighbour fascist philosophy like 40k does.
    Realm of Zhu reviews/considers The History of the Runestaff.
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