Thoughts & Things

Deities & Demigods – Part 3

I’ve been working on a lot of Wuxia campaign over the past… year? Wow, a whole year, but today I decided to do something a little different. Actually something completely different, and put together data one of my favorite anti-heroes: Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné.
I was first introduced to Elric in Pacific Comic’s Michael Moorcock’s Elric from 1983 by Michael Moorcock (Author), Roy Thomas (Author), P. Craig Russell (Illustrator), Michael T. Gilbert (Illustrator). The comic was outstanding!

Elric can be found in the rare 1980 Deities & Demigods 1st printing. But after that printing, he was sadly removed. Chaosium has Elric in Dragon Lords of Melnibone RPG that’s a pretty cool d20 version of Elric! Dark Fantasy Roleplaying in the Young Kingdoms. Fortunately, I own all of three books, and so I’ve done a mixed bag in building Elric using with the AD&D Book and Chaosium books. But first some background on Elric, and his special items:

Elric was the last emperor of the stagnating island civilization of Melniboné. Physically weak and frail, the albino Elric must take drugs (special herbs) to maintain his health. In addition to herb lore, his character becomes an accomplished sorcerer and summoner, able to summon powerful, supernatural allies by dint of his royal Melnibonéan bloodline. Unlike most others of his race, Elric possesses something of a conscience; he sees the decadence of his culture, and worries about the rise of the Young Kingdoms, populated by humans (as Melniboneans do not consider themselves such) and the threat they pose to his empire. Because of his introspective self-loathing of Melnibonéan traditions, his subjects find him odd and unfathomable, and his cousin Yyrkoon (next in the line of succession, as Elric has no heirs) interprets his behavior as weakness and plots Elric’s death.

As emperor of Melniboné, Elric wears the Ring of Kings, also called the Ring of Actorios, and is able to call for aid upon the traditional patron of the Melniboné emperors, Arioch, a Lord of Chaos and Duke of Hell. From the first story onwards, Elric is shown using ancient pacts and agreements with not only Arioch but various other beings—some gods, some demons—to assist him in accomplishing his tasks.

Elric’s finding of the sword Stormbringer serves as both his greatest asset and greatest disadvantage. The sword confers upon Elric strength, health and fighting prowess but must be fed by the souls of those struck with the black blade. In the end, the blade takes everyone close to Elric and eventually Elric’s own soul as well. Most of Moorcock’s stories about Elric feature this relationship with Stormbringer, and how it—despite Elric’s best intentions—brings doom to everything the Melnibonéan holds dear.

elric6The Ring of Kings

This large ring, made out of a single rare Melnibonean Actorios gem, has three main functions: it acts as a ring of many spell storings into which Elric can place any spell or spells he wishes; the ring aids him, as the royal heir, in summoning creatures from other planes to help him, and the ring also resembles a rod of rulership in that, after calling on these, he can demand their assistance and expect to get it. Long ago Elric’s royal ancestors forged pacts with the Elemental Lords and many of the Master Types.


This huge black rune-carved blade is actually a chaotic evil sentient being from another plane which takes the form of a sword on the Prime Material Plane. Stormbringer is possibly the most powerful magic weapon possessed by a mortal anywhere. Any creature killed by Stormbringer has its soul or spirit as well as its energy sucked out and devoured. No creature so killed can be raised, resurrected, reincarnated, or brought back in any manner whatsoever. Stormbringer transfers its stolen life energy to Elric in the form of strength and hitpoints.

Stormbringer is in all ways evil. Its purpose is to eat souls, thereby damning them to a horrible eternal death. Sometimes, in battle, Elric and the sword go into a killing frenzy, and slay everything within range, including Elric’s friends, whose souls the sword particularly enjoys

Elric VIII, 428th Emperor of Melniboné (champion eternal)

Medium Melnibonéan, Chaotic evil

Armor Class 18 (Melnibonéan plate), 24 with runesword
Hit Points 42 (28d8-84) without potions or runesword
Hit Points 182 (28d8+56) with potions, plus temporary hitpoints gained with runesword
Speed 20 ft, 45 ft with runesword
6 (-2) 20(+5) 4 (-3) 23 (+6) 25 (+7) 11 (+0)
15 (+2) with potions 14(+2) with potions
Saving Throws Intelligence + 12, Wisdom + 13, Constitution +8
Skills Arcana +12, History +12, Insight +19, Investigation +12,  Medicine +13, Perception +13
Damage Reduction When Elric has Stormbringer in his hand, the sword causes 50 HP of damage reduction for any type of damage.
Spell resistance. Elric has advantage on all saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses deep seeing 120 ft., passive Perception 23
Deep seeing functions as darkvision, but also superimposes a nimbus about each creature seen that is a reflection of its Wisdom score. This aura reveals the relative strength of the creature’s Wisdom ability score, but does not reveal an exact value.
Languages Common, High Speech, Mabden, Low Melnibonéan, High Melnibonéan, Mong, Opish, Orgjenn
Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)
Great Weapon Master. When Elric scores a critical hit, or reduces one creature to 0 HP, he can then attack another creature as a bonus action.
War Caster. Elric has advantage on Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration on spells when he takes damage. Elric’s spell-casting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 20, spell attack bonus +14). Elric prefers summoning spells and spells with animal control or elemental control effects.
He can innately cast the following spells, requiring only verbal components:
At will:  Counterspell, Darkness, Detect Magic, Dimension Door, Dispel Magic, Find Familiar, Fog Cloud, Mage Hand, Mage Armor, Misty Step, Produce Flame, See Invisibility, Shield, Sleep, Thunderwave, Unseen Servant,  Web
3/ day each: Conjure Animals, Conjure Minor Elemental, Conjure Woodland Beings
2 /day each: Conjure Elemental, Conjure Fey, Contact Other Plane
1/ day each: Conjure Celestial, Demiplane, Gate, Planar Ally, Weird


Multiattack. Elric can attack four times with greatsword/Stormbringer with a possible bonus attack if a creature is slain (critical hit or reducing a creature to 0 HP).

Great Sword. Melee Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft ., one target.  hit: 2d6 +2 slashing

Stormbringer. Melee Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft ., one target.  hit: 2d6 +2 slashing + 4d10 psychic damage. Add+1 to hit/damage for each soul consumed up to a maximum of +10.

  • For every creature slain, Elric gains 1 strength point. Elric’s strength can be increased to a maximum of 25.  Wounds mostly don’t affect Elric, since the runesword imparts temporary hit points that stack. Elric gains 1/2 the starting hitpoints of the slain creature as temporary hitpoints, and the only limit to the amount of hit points he can acquire is that the sword will only drain 200 souls before it becomes sated (this satiety lasts 8 hours). When this happens, treat Stormbringer as a greatsword.
  • The temporary hit points stack, and as such, are lost first when Elric takes damage. The strength & hit points gained are temporary, and will only last for up to 1 hour, afterward Elric reverts to his previous state.
  • When wielding Stormbringer, Elric’s movement increases to 45′ and his effective armor class is +6.
  • In battle, Stormbringer makes an evil, eager moaning, and gives off a weird black radiance. Creatures with less than 5 hit dice confronted with the black blade must save vs. charisma (DC20) or flee in panic.
  • If Elric is separated from Stormbringer, the runesword can be summoned by him, even from another plane.
  • Taking the soul of a high hitpoint creature, the runesword may not be able to transmute all of the energy. If the hitpoints that would be gained are greater than 200 HP (e.g. a Terrasque has 676 HP, therefore 338 possible would be gained), then Elric must make a Constitution save when this happens (DC  18). On a failed save, Elric is Stunned until the start of his next turn and only gains half of the temporary hitpoints. On a successful save, Elric will gain all of the hitpoints.
  • If the hitpoints gained in a single occurrence exceed 300 HP, then on a failed save, Elric is reduced to 0 HP and starts making death saving throws.

Bone Bow. Ranged attack +11 to hit Hit: 1d8+5

Legendary Actions

Elric can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. He regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.
Stormbringer – Dancing Sword (2 actions) Stormbringer leaps from Elric’s hands, and is then able to move in the air at a speed of 30ft and attack creatures. The sword attacks with a +11 to hit and causes 2d6+4d10 slashing damage. After attacking, the sword can be returned to Elric’s hand or continue attacking.
The sword has an 20 AC and 102 hitpoints, plus temporary hit points it gains from slain creatures. If the sword takes enough damage and is reduced to 0 HP, then it disappears from the plane it is on. The sword then reappears in 1 hour at Elric’s side in his scabbard if he is alive.

Cast a Spell (1 actions) Elric casts a spell from his list of spells. See war caster ability above.

The Ring of Kings – Summon Elemental Lord (3 actions) Elric can use the ring of kings to attempt to summon one of the Elemental Lords and his minions. There is a chance that the Elemental Lord summoned will not follow the commands of the bearer of the ring. With the Ring of Kings, Elric has a 70% chance of summoning any one of them (and their lesser minions), and an 80% chance of controlling them when they arrive. Without the ring, he has only a 20% chance to summon, and a 30% chance to make the summoned ones obey him

I’m always up for critiques, and look forward to your comments. Thank you. -Michael


[1E] Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Deities & Demigods: Cyclopedia of Gods and Heroes from Myth and LegendHardcover – January 1, 1980 by Rob Kuntz (Author), James M. Ward (Author), Lawrence Schick (Editor), Jeff Dee (Illustrator), Erol Otus (Illustrator), Eymoth (Illustrator), Paul Jaquays (Illustrator), David S. LaForce (Illustrator), Jeff Lanners (Illustrator), Darlene Pekul (Illustrator)

[2E] Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Legends and Lore Hardcover – November, 1984 by James Ward (Author), Robert Kuntz (Author)

[2E] Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Legends and Lore Hardcover – August 1, 1990 by James M. Ward (Author), Troy Denning (Author)

[3E] Dungeons & Dragons 3.0: Deities and Demigods Hardcover – February 1, 2002 by Rich Redman (Author), James Wyatt (Author), Skip Williams (Author)

[5E] Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook) Hardcover – September 30, 2014

[d20] Dragon Lords of Melnibone: Adventuring in a Dark World of Law & Chaos Paperback – August 15, 2001 by et al Charlie Krank (Author)

[Bonus] Elric vs. Drizzt