The 1977 edition of Chaosium’s ELRIC game was a simple ziploc edition with a big color map by William Church. The 1981 updated and revised box set also had a big color map by William Church. They are not the same map.

The later map is completely re-drawn. That was the first thing I noticed when I placed these two long out-of-print sets side by side. I’ll have the usual set photos after the comparison shots.

The Maps

Left: 1977 map | Right: 1981 map

I like the maps’ bright colors. As noted above, William Church drew both maps, though it was colored by others (Steve Oliff and Charlie Krank, respectively). In my opinion, the 1st is the more beautiful map, though the 2nd is better-drawn for actual play.

There are real differences in how the lands and islands are depicted. Look at the Forest of Troos, or the Boiling Sea and the island of Ashaneloon. The Sorcerer’s Isle is not even present on the 1977 map.

The Books

The 1977 Elric rulebook has more art. Steve Leialoha is credited with the art in the 1e book, and it’s quite good. Though these comparisons are at roughly comparable sections of the rules, you can see quite a bit changed from one edition to the next.

The Counters

The 1977 Elric set has a full sheet of 1″ square counters, of the personalities representing the players, opponents, and other markers. Plus a small sheet of ½” counters. But there was also two heavy paperstock sheets meant to be cut unto more play pieces.

The 1981 box shifted everything to counters. Lots of them. 4 full sheets of 1″ counters. Much of the character art is the same from on set to the other.

Elric game (1977)

Elric board game, 1st edition

1977 … Greg Stafford … The Chaosium


  • ziplock bag (not a boxed set)
  • rules booklet (16 pages)
  • play map (same size, different cartography than the more common 1981 edition)
  • 10 colored cardstock cutout sheets, with factions & play pieces.
  • 80 1-inch counters (1 sheet)
  • 126 1/2-inch counters (including 5 blanks)

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Elric Game (1981)

Elric: Battle at the End of Time [BOX SET]

1981 … Greg Stafford & Charlie Krank … Chaosium 1003-X

• 16-page rule booklet
• 22″ x 34″ color map of the Young Kingdoms
• 320 counters

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See Also:

Stormbringer (Elric RPG) 1st edition box sets (1981-2): Thick ‘n Thin

Stormbringer (Elric RPG): Big changes from one 4th edition printing to another

HAWKMOON RPG (1986): Science & Sorcery in Earth’s Far Future with Elric’s alter-ego