Monday, 31 October 2016

Dabbling in the Young Kingdoms

I've been reading some of the excellent fifth edition of Stormbringer recently, the RPG based on Michael Moorcock's Elric stories. This is the version that Chaosium published back in 2001, but it holds up well. I'm mulling over the possibility of running some in the New Year. We're currently enjoying our Dracula Dossier campaign, and I've got a Deadlands game to run at Dragonmeet in the meantime.

One of the ways I've found useful to get my head around a new system and setting, is to generate some characters. This also saves time, as busy players don't need to spend valuable hours designing their own PCs. I managed to crack Night's Black Agents this way, and am doing the same with Stormbringer. You can also tailor character's accurately to their back story, which is fun.

Another option is to find an interesting adventure written for a different system, and simply convert it for use in the one you're wanting to learn. The final step is to write your own!

Stormbringer actually has a very straightforward chargen system, which is a joy compared with the likes of Pathfinder or 4E. I have, however, already modified it slightly, drawing on rules modules from the latest edition of Cthulhu By Gaslight and Mongoose RuneQuest. This has given me characters that are a little more fleshed out than they might otherwise be. I will probably generate five altogether, and here are my first two efforts.

Behbehani of Dharijor, 22 yoa, female, 5' 4", 100lbs

STR 14, CON 11, INT 13, DEX 16, POW 15, APP12, SIZ 10

Damage bonus: 0; Hit points 11; Magic points 15

Behbehani has very pale skin and grew up on a farm in Dharijor. She was sent to work as a servant in the household of a wealthy merchant in Gromoorva called Sorcius. He turned out to be a cruel and heartless master, and imprisoned her in his mansion. He also met regularly with clients from Pan Tang. Eventually, Behbehani disturbed a thief called Carkan who broke into Sorcius' house one night. She threatened to raise the alarm unless Carkan took her with him. He agreed, and the two have now escaped from Gromoorva.

Skills: Art (Courtly Manners) 45%, Art (Tell Story) 35%, Bargain 35%, Craft (Animal Husbandry) 35%, Disguise 55%, Evaluate 35%, Fast Talk 55%, Insight 35%, Listen 75%, Natural World 55%, Oratory 25%, Own Language 85%, Other Language - New Melnibonean 20%, Physik 60%, Ride 55%, Scent / Taste 45%, Search 40%

Weapons - Knife 45%, Axe 45%, Grain Flail 40%

Allegiance - Law 3, Chaos 1, Balance 0; Cash - 85 bronzes

Boon - Sidekick (Carkan the Thief)

Datix - the Tatooed Troubadour of Temoraz, 26 yoa, male, 6', 1", 205lbs

 STR 13, CON 15, INT 12, DEX 16, POW 17, APP 16, SIZ 15

Damage bonus: +1d4; Hit points 15; Magic points 17

Datix is a traveling minstrel from the Isle of the Purple Towns. Of noble background, he was turned out of his family's esteem when he refused to accept the title of heir to his father's estates in favour of his musical career. This followed the disappearance of his brother on a trading expedition to Dorel. Datix had relied on the patronage of wealthy admirers in Temoraz and further afield, but being ostracised by his family has forced him to take ship in search of his missing brother. Datix walks with a limp (from an injury sustained when falling off a table in an inn in Temoraz during a particularly lively performance), and sports beautiful tattoos up both legs, which he likes to show off by wearing a kilt.

Skills: Art (Lute) 55%, Art (Song) 40%,  Bargain 65%, Conceal Object 45%, Disguise 35%, Evaluate 35%, Fast Talk 65%, Hide 40%, Insight 65%, Natural World 45%, Oratory 55%, Own Language 60%, Pick Lock 25%, Search 40%

Weapons - Falchion 60%, Harpoon 45%

Spells - Suppleness of Xiombarg (1-3), Visage of Arioch (1-3), Wisdom of Slortar (1-3)

Allegiance - Chaos 3, Balance 1, Law 0; Cash - 150 bronzes

Curse - Limp (-1 MOV)


  1. Elric takes me my teens. Read tons of Morkcock's books back then. Tons. Sounds like an excellent project! BuRP gold book may be useful.

  2. I played a couple of sessions of Elric! -- as Stormbringer was called in 1996 -- in my younger days and had great fun, so I would be up for having another go.

  3. Probably won't be seeing this before February, maybe January. It can fold around the Delta Green.