A Guest Article on the History of Stormbringer in Spanish by Jose J. Rodriguez
“¡Sangre y almas para mi señor Arioco!” Blood and souls for my Lord Arioch!
In the late 70s some Spanish gamers started to play role playing games thanks to some English and French editions. RPG’s popularity grew in the next years, and in 1985 Dalmau published the first RPG Spanish edition – Dungeons and Dragons. It’s said they were overambitious and printed too much red boxes (around 20,000), and therefore they lost money.
However, RPG fandom didn’t stop growing. Joc Internacional (Barcelona, Spain) published the RuneQuest Spanish edition, and it grew an immediate hit. Actually, RuneQuest was one of the most popular RPGs played in Spain, and percentile skill-based games were very well received by the Spanish gamers. In order to exploit that success Joc Internacional published many Chaosium books as La llamada de Cthulhu (Call of Cthulhu), Stormbringer or Pendragon. They created its own percentile skill-based game too – Aquelarre (a Spanish Dark Ages RPG), but that is another story for another time.
Stormbringer was published by Joc Internacional in 1990. It was a translation from the Stormbringer 4th edition by Eduard Garcia and Marta Casals, and it was very similar to the American edition. However, the covers and interior art of the supplements were created by Spanish artist Das Pastoras, who nowadays is known by his art in Castaka, a French comic written by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Stormbringer was not a big hit as RuneQuest or La llamada de Cthulhu, but it obtained enough support as to convince Joc Internacional to launch some supplements. The first one was El canto infernal (that could be translated as The Hellish Song) in 1991 – an adventures and rules’ collection from Different Worlds Magazine. It was translated by Garcia and Georgina Casals.
Two new books were published in 1992. Demonios y magia (Demon Magic adapted to the 4th edition) translated by Garcia and Casal. El octogono del Caos was (Octogon of Chaos) was translated by Eduard Garcia and Marta Cirera.
The Stormbringer twilight started that same year when many fantasy games were eclipsed by the AD&D 2nd edition Spanish edition. Joc Internacional concentrated in El señor de los anillos (MERP) and other dark themed games as Nephelims. Therefore in 1993 were published no supplements to Stormbringer. Next year just appeared a GM Screen illustrated by Das Pastoras.
A new supplement appeared in 1995 – El lobo blanco. It was a translation from White Wolf: Temples, Demons & Ships of War but included the adventure “Dificil herencia” (“Difficult Legacy”) written by Julio Lillo and Eduard Garcia, who were the translators, too. They both translated Hechiceros de Pan Tang (Sorcerers of Pan Tang) the next year.
In 1997 Joc Internacional was losing market (World of Darkness was a great hit and other publishers offered better editions) and having financial problems (they started to publish card games and got overambitious). They tried to launch some new books as Elric: Juego de rol de fantasía oscura en los reinos jóvenes, the Elric! RPG Spanish version translated by Max Romero and Jordi Casas, and supervised by Garcia. It was a shoddy work – poor quality translation, worse paper quality, and more expensive than other books. Joc Internacional went bankrupt not much later.
A new publisher relaunch the game in 2002 – La Factoria de Ideas (Madrid, Spain). The game kept up the name Elric but it was really the Stormbringer 5th Edition Spanish version. Cesar Ayala did a great work with the translation. In the next years La Factoria de Ideas published much of the Stormbringer books that were not published by Joc Internacional.
Nowadays it is really hard to find a copy of these games. They are collector’s items and a Stormbringer basic book in good condition is not cheaper than 60$.