Retro Reviews: Elric! (Chaosium, Inc.)

Occasionally, I will be posting old reviews I did for The Gamer (print only) magazine back in the 1990s, and consolidating them here.  You can also find these reviews on

If there’s one thing Chaosium has always understood, it’s that without unique characters, roleplaying tends toward stereotype. Without colorful individuals, a roleplaying game is particularly susceptible to bland cliché. Perhaps it is for that reason that Chaosium turns to literature for inspiration more frequently than other companies. Pendragon and Call of Cthulhu are two fine examples of literature made gamable. Based on Michael Moorcock’s anti-hero, Elric! (a.k.a. the second edition of Stormbringer) is Chaosium’s addition to the growing line of dark fantasy role playing games. The game’s tone is gloomy, of course. But rather than emphasize simply a doomed world, Elric! remains true to Moorcock’s novels by stressing a gorgeous, baroque setting tragic fate and the ultimate despair of its inhabitants.

Continue reading