Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Elements of the Young Kingdoms - The Other Stormbringer Rpg Campaign - Stormbringer Companion One, Demon Magic The Second Stormbringer Campanion, & White Wolf Temples, Demons, and Ships of War

 ""Stormbringer is a roleplaying game of action and adventure in the Young Kingdoms, the world created by noted author Michael Moorcock in his ELRIC novels. This is the first supplement produced specifically for Stormbringer."

And Yes I'm leaning heavily into Wayne's Books Stormbringer section here. 

"Within this book you will find two main sections: Additions and Scenarios. The Additions section contains creatures, heroes (or antagonists), and exotic treasures for use by the Game Master in Stormbringer adventures."

"The Scenarios section contains six far-ranging adventures ready for immediate play. The adventurers will travel the world over: starting from daunting Forest of Troos, through the Dragon Sea, into the Marshes of Mist, over the northern hills of Shazaar, and onto the Plane of Shadows. They must meet and master every foe imaginable, but the rewards are well-worthwhile for the few lucky survivors.""
In Eighty Three when the Stormbringer Companion hit the shelves & those of us clued in grabbed it with both hands. The Stormbringer Companion brought in brand new spells, monsters, even old school adventures, but what the companion actually did was introduce a series of adventures that could be played as a mini campaign. These six adventures really set the bar for the Stormbringer rpg which as I've said last time was meant for epic & mythic role playing. The PC's could be other aspects of the eternal champion long before our demon sword baring albino anti hero. On the second printing of the Stormbringer companion in Eighty five  a new contender entered the rpg market and this was Demon Magic: The Second Stormbringer Companion. Demon Magic: The Second Stormbringer Companion By Larry DiTillio & Kevin Freeman & Arno Lipfert & Mark L. Gambler  sported one of the most badass covers of an rpg supplements. And yet it clocked up again eighty pages of expansion for the Stormbringer first edtion rpg.  The byline for Demon Magic said it all; ""DEMON MAGIC is the second companion for Stormbringer, the roleplaying game of action and adventure in the Young Kingdoms.

Authorized by fantasy author Michael Moorcock, DEMON MAGIC includes all necessary statistics, maps, and plans, and contains many original illustrations. Among its contents are:
• The Velvet Circle: a scenario in seven chapters, which takes many sessions of play to conclude. The adventure includes a complete red-light district, with business notes and a plan of the Circle.
• Sorcerer's Isle: a shorter, more intense scenario to fill one or two evenings.
• Runes of Rathdor: analyzes and describes the properties of six magical runes discovered during the reign of the 42nd Emperor of Melnibone.
• Sanity for Stormbringer: introduces the optional characteristic of SAN into Young Kingdoms play.
• Six new creatures, six nationalities, seven new Demon abilities, and five new magic items."" 
While researching these two supplements I ran across this review on Amazon by Eric Brinkman from 2013 ;"This old school BRP-supplement, made in the eighties for the then dark fantasy Stormbringer RPG by Chaosium, is a tough nut to crack. For me, this game and supplement conveys tons of feeling from my youth when I was still discovering the wonderful pastime of pen-and-paper tabletop roleplaying. But what I have since discovered, through endless hours of reading and re-reading it (plus other books made for this RPG) and also playing it with my friends, is that it has a wildly unbalanced and over-the-top ritual magic system, but in spite of it (or because of it) - it works!

"Why?" you ask? Well, that is a little hard to describe. But I believe it has to do with the overall style that Chaosium's writers put into this and other material at the time. You hear a lot of praise for AD&D/D&D for the hobby these days, even to the degree that they put it in successful TV-series like Stranger Things. But what company have made it through all these years, and still is here to talk about it? Chaosium! Back in the day when these kind of supplements were produced, they implemented a certain sort of composition that made the Gamemaster who wanted to run them feel that the material was made in the style of the atmosphere of the source books (Elric-books by Moorcock). And still make it blend with the BRP system, or Basic Roleplaying. That is also why BRP or BRP-esque games still today is being used by many players and wins great prices and is a prestigious gaming system of note. That also made me, as a GM, able to relax and absorb the general feel of the background material for the scenarios. I have only ever run one of them, the "Sorcerer's Isle" adventure. I imagine "The Velvet Circle" is a very good mini-campaign, but I have yet to try it. It is the feel of old, dead empires and ancient curses that makes "Sorcerer's Isle" so good. The reek of an organised evil at work, both young and old, still going on and still making the general area of the Isle unsafe. In other words, perfect grounds for an investigative scenario. And all this also works so well with the demon-saturated world of The Young Kingdoms. Find it. You won't be disappointed." 
And I think that these two Stormbringer rpg supplements used together especially with other Stormbringer or Hawkmoon products or editions. This  really sets the 'Heavy Metal balls to the wall' demon soaked vibe that early Stormbringer rpg products bring to the table. Are these two Stormbringer rpg companions wildly unbalanced?! You bet your behind they are! Are they excellent for getting the adventure vibe of the Stormbringer rpg across. And couple Stormbringer companion one & two with a fantastic Stormbringer supplement that hit the shelves in Eighty Seven! We're talking about White Wolf: Temples, Demons, & Ships of War By  Stewart Wieck, Kevin Freeman, & Sandy Petersen

White Wolf brings home several Stormbringer adventure elements that I consider happening on the fringes of the Young Kingdoms and beyond;
""WHITE WOLF, a supplement for the Eternal Champion series of roleplaying games, presents many items of interest to gamemasters, particularly those wishing to run high-level campaigns. The book contains:
• Complete information, stats, and maps for three powerful temples of the Young Kingdoms. DARKSPIRE: Temple of Chaos is a mysterious and sinister place, with many dooms for the unwary adventurer. From this dark abode the twisted worshippers of Mabelrode, the Faceless God, bring fear to all who fail to bow down to the power of Chaos! The Temple of the Eternal Flame lurks in the fiery heart of an ancient volcano. This remarkable temple is dedicated to the worship of Kakatal, Lord of the Fire Elementals. The mighty fortress of HAVEN: Temple of Law stands defiant against the minions of Chaos, and offers refuge to all who flee their wrath. Its courageous guardians worship four great Lawful dieties: Donblas, Goldar, Arkyn, and Callandus. They stand ready to battle Chaos whenever called upon by the faithful.
• Escape From Yellow Hell, a high-level, ultra-magical scenario that will challenge even the most powerful adventurers. The adventurers must rescue a priest trapped in the Yellow Hell, a x5 Chaotic plane of the damned ruled by Zhortra, Lord of Chaos.
• WHITE WOLF also contains naval rules for the Eternal Champion series, suitable for any campaign, and new data on Elric of Melnibone (the "White Wolf")." 
What White Wolf brings to the table is Dark Spire, the Temple of the Eternal Flame, and Haven a fortress of Law. The most deadly for our group was the Temple of the Eternal Flame where our party lost seven characters. These adventure locations were used for gathering intelligence, power, and information on the adventures that appeared in the Stormbringer Companion one & Demon Magic.  And it's this flexibility that makes the Stormbringer material such classics in my book. The DM will sorta have to do some of the heavy lifting to connect these adventures together but it's not that hard with the Michael Moorcock mythos and literature as backup.. 

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