Echo Chamber News Flash: Chaosium To Release New Magic World

This just in… Chaosium will be releasing a new version of Magic World this summer! Here’s the skinny:

MAGIC WORLD is a self-contained fantasy roleplaying game using the classic “Basic Roleplaying” system. The game allows you to play characters in a world of fantasy, adventure, and excitement. The rules of MAGIC WORLD are simple to grasp, while having enough options and complexity to suit any gaming style. Characters grow in experience organically, without relying on artificial constructs such as classes, levels, etc. Any sort of fantasy character you can imagine, you can play. MAGIC WORLD contains:

* Full rules for creating characters in a world of magic and fantasy.
* A robust magic system with nearly one hundred spells. Any character may become a spell caster with the right combination of raw talent, and training!
* Detailed, yet streamlined skills and combat rules.
* Complete rules for nautical adventures.
* A bestiary of more than sixty creatures to use as foes for the characters, or as the characters themselves! Play as any species imaginable: Human, Elf, Orc, Centaur, Troll, Talking Beast, and more!
* Gamemaster advice, and resources.
* A gallery of enchanted items which might be found in your characters’ adventures.
* A complete sample campaign setting, “the Southlands”, to jump start your adventures.
* And more!

The best part of this is that little “self-contained” bit. That should mean that the Big Gold Book isn’t needed, and that this little gem can be a proper gateway drug to the majesty that is BRP. That’s a whole lot of new spells for, presumably, the “classic” Magic World system (which is the “Magic” system in the BGB), too. I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing.

UPDATE: In case you don’t wind up reading the comments, I figured I should point out that it’s been revealed that the magic in Magic World will be the Sorcery system from the Big Gold Book (which is the system that appeared in Elric!) with additional spells added in from other Elric!-y sources. The whole game is, in fact, a reworking of the Elric! rules presented as a complete game. This is marvelous news and I’m just giddy at the prospect of having something like this from Chaosium. I think it’s exactly what BRP needs.

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11 thoughts on “Echo Chamber News Flash: Chaosium To Release New Magic World

  1. the venomous pao Post author

    Oh, and yes, I had heard some hints & allegations that such a thing was coming, which is what fueled my recent interest in the Worlds of Wonder box set. Nothing super insider (heaven knows I’m no insider!) or anything, just a few posts here and there that pointed in this direction. I’m just glad to see it’s real and happening much sooner than I thought it might be.

  2. G-Man

    This is good news. The recent Legend and various new iterations of RQ are a bit too complicated for me (though I played both RQ 2 and RQ 3 back in the day–and my characters have the bloody stumps to prove it), but a more stripped-down version of fantasy BRP would be nigh-perfect.

    Now if they could only get a release date for Jason’s Interplanetary.

    Would the magic system be more like the sorcery rules in the gold book?

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      It’s wonderful news indeed. My hope is that it’s so well put together and dead simple (and complete in one book) that it can really scratch the “make a character and go” itch that seems to be part of the gaming zeitgeist (in my weird corner of the world, anyway). Legend does indeed look nice, but something simpler is, to my mind, what’s really needed for BRP to catch fire anew.

      I don’t know what’s been holding Interplanetary back, but I too hope they can get it out the door. I’m torn, though, because as much as I love a good, dense sourcebook I think I’d like to see Interplanetary come out also as a complete, self-contained game that doesn’t need the full BGB to play. I love the BGB, but I’ve heard and read lots of people express confusion or dissatisfaction with it precisely because it’s such a toolkit. So that’s part of what’s really firing me up about this new Magic World.

      I’d suspect that the magic in MW will be an expanded version of the BGB’s Magic rules, rather than the Sorcery rules. Those magic rules are pretty much dead-on versions of the old Magic World’s approach, and though I personally prefer the Sorcery system, there’s something fantastic and simple about having the magic rules match the skill rules in execution that just makes MW perfectly playable for everyone, newbie & veteran alike.

  3. Ben Monroe

    Yup, it’s the Sorcery spells from Elric!/BGB; not the “Magic” stuff. The intention of this game was to create a system that’s just as self-contained as it could possibly be. Part of what I wanted to do was create a smaller ‘intro-BRP game’; something less daunting than either Call of Cthulhu or the BGB.

    Polishing up the existing Elric! material was a natural for this.

    For what it’s worth, at DunDraCon last month, I ran a spontaneous pickup game of BRP for some guys. None of them had played this, or Elric! before. Indeed, one of them had only ever plays Star Wars D6. We made characters around the table, and then just began the mayhem.

    Time from deciding on a story/theme for the game, to finishing characters was approximately 20 minutes. This was with 6 guys, and only one copy of the rules (my printout), and me explaining how to do it to them all.

    Making PCs in this game is a snap, and I hope faster than in other BRP games. However, you lose none of the details you’d get in any BRP system. I simply removed the core concept of having (eg) 300 skill points to spread around. Instead, you start with +60 to one skill, +40 to three skills, +20 to four skills for the skills from your occupation. You get a bunch of skill points for “hobby skills” as well, broken up in a similar way.

    I found it made it a lot easier for players to think, “What am I best at? Then what else can I do well? What am I not great at, but better than the average joe?” than to nickel and dime placing all those skill points.

    That being said, the option is also there in the rules to give you a lump sum allotment of points, and then you spread them out however you want. I think it works really well.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Awesome news across the board! And thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and insight, Ben.

      I agree whole-heartedly with the idea of a more condensed and self-contained BRP that isn’t as overwhelming as the BGB could certainly be to folks new to the system. And doing so in the fantasy genre is, of course, the ideal gateway to the system for most folks. I hope Chaosium is able to support the new Magic World well going forward, ideally with adventures and settings rather than with rules options and other bloat.

      The DunDraCon game experience sounds quite nice, and I think the packaging up of skills in those kinds of parcels is exactly what BRP needs to help ease its introduction to new players (and streamline things for old hands who just want to get to playing). Historically that’s been my only complaint with BRP character creation and I’ve often used this kind of approach both as a GM and as a player. But it’s also good that the option to nickel & dime is in the core rules for MW as well. Some folks out there would certainly balk if it weren’t.

      I truly cannot wait to get my hands on your book, dude. Thanks again for stopping by and filling us in!

      1. Ben Monroe

        There are two supplements I’ve finished so far:

        Advanced Sorcery is a ton of other magic stuff from the other Elric! supplements. Most of the text of the Bronze Grimoire, as well as the ‘modular demons’ stuff from the Elric! core rules. The Drugs from “Melnibone” have been repurposed as “Herbalism”.

        After that, there’s a little GM pack, with a screen, booklet, and some extra record forms (for keeping track of mobs of bad guys, etc.).

        After that, I don’t know. I do know that the Chaosium dudes are excited about this game, and hoping it does well. If it does, expect to see more supplements of various sorts. I do have an idea for a “Magic World Companion” book, which would include all sorts of things.

        My hope, related to your ‘rules bloat’ comment above, is that new rules will be logical, organic, and modular extensions to the core. The core rules plays -fine- as it is. I’d like to see new rules that enhance that, but aren’t necessary to enjoy the game. Mass battles and domain management, for example. Certain chronicles could really use those, and fun rules for doing that would be cool. But there’s no reason to make that the central part of the system.

        Likewise, I think (for example) that at this point, there are -more- than enough sorcery spells. And if someone were to create more, I’d hope that they create a bunch of them, and turn them into a little themed article (say, using Sorcery in a primarily agrarian society) instead of dropping a new spell in here and there to act as a macguffin in a scenario.

        But, in any case, time will tell. I’m glad to see people getting excited about this book. I’ve been working on it in my spare time for about two years now, and I was very worried that the old school BRP grognards and Elric! fans would get up in arms when it was announced. Very happy to see that’s not the case!

        1. the venomous pao Post author

          Both supplements sound dandy, Ben. My only question is whether the Bronze Grimoire sorcery spells are in the core book or the Advanced Sorcery book. Either way is cool, of course. I’m just curious since I’ve gotten both impressions over the course of the day.

          Fingers crossed the game does gangbusters for Chaosium and we get to see your Companion book plus all kinds of other great stuff.

          I’m also glad the reception has been good so far (it damn well should be, but grognards are an unpredictable lot). Here’s to hoping it keeps being positive. I personally promise to punch the naysayers in the gut 🙂

  4. Ben Monroe

    Doh! Sorry that was confuddled.

    All of the “Sorcery” spells from the entire Elric! range, have been compiled into the Core Rules. THe demon summoning stuff has been streamlined (essentially, in the core Magic World book, you can summon only a greater or lesser demon) in the core rules.

    The expanded demon summoning stuff, as well as all ‘non-sorcery spells’ magic from Bronze Grimoire, the Unknown East, etc. has all been plopped into the Advanced Sorcery book.

    Hope that makes more sense.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      Awesome! That’s what I was really hoping would be the case, Ben. You’ve truly read my mind and put together what I’ve been dreaming of with this one, amigo.

      Thanks again for sharing the news.

      1. Ben Monroe

        Not a problem! I’m so happy this is being well-received. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

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