Sea Kings of the Purple Towns (1992)

Stormbringer never got a ton of support in terms of published adventures, just four books for the fourth edition. Thankfully, they’re all pretty great.

The most important thing about Sea Kings of the Purple Towns (1992), for me, is the cover. I love it – when Nick Smith is on his game, man is he great. I wanted this book badly in the 90s and never got my hands on it – it took years to find a not obscenely expensive copy. It was worth the wait.

The first half is a sourcebook, detailing the naval kingdom of Count Smiorgan Baldhead, a friend of Elric. Those who have read the Elric stories know the pivotal role the Purple Towns play, so having them detailed for the RPG is a valuable thing.

The book really shines with its adventures, which form a loosely connected, Purple Towns-centric campaign. The first scenario saddles the PCs with a tavern. The second is a wonderful scenario about some nefarious trade practices that is maybe my favorite Stormbringer scenario because it hinges on diplomacy, can potentially end without combat and eschews a lot fantasy RPG stereotypes. The third scenario is an epic, requiring the PC to defend a temple made of the bones of a dead god (where things can get weird in a very Moorcock way). The fellow on the cover is the big bad of the scenario and is delightfully psychopathic. Under the surface of all three of these scenarios are hints at a large scheme by the enemies of the Purple Towns. The fourth scenario ties it all together in one night of bloody carnage.

Gah, now I want to run Stormbringer!

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