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About Akerbakk

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


  • RPG Biography
    I've been gaming for over 15 years - I cut my teeth on Rifts, picked up a bit of D&D 3.x, Star Wars, GURPS, WoD, and CoC/ BRP and most recently, Savage Worlds. I use a home brew BRP for just about everything now.
  • Current games
    Currently playing Vampire the Masquerade, 3 ed revised set in modern nights. Currently running BRP Star Wars (Set in Old Republic Era during Mandalorian Wars). In the pipeline/ conversion shop: BRP Iron Kingdoms, BRP Colonial Gothic, Savage Godlike, and can't wait for Savage RIFTS to get kickstarted this year.
  • Location
    USA (Augusta, GA)
  • Blurb
    Soldier, musician, educator, outdoorsman, and family man.

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  1. I think the intent behind an improvement roll each adventure is good: it is a moment for a character to reflect on significant actions and ponder their way ahead, or drill in those new lessons learned. I like doing checks at the beginning of each session. It's a great lead in from the last session, doesn't break the flow of the game, and can easily be done during "pre-game" when players are arriving, you're getting organized, food is on its way, etc. If the implementation as written doesn't suit you then I would absolutely change it. I would not go so far as an experience check every round. Combat skills would greatly outpace non-combat. I think immersion would suffer as well with constant mechanical breaks from the action. Based on what you are saying here, I might try an experience check after an encounter/ scene (you guys mount your steeds after clearing the dungeon/ bed down for dinner after playing politics at the dinner party - EXP check!) and see if that gets your people where you want them. Aim for 3 to 5 checks a session after major plot points or side quests in your game, when there is a natural pause in the action for someone to realistically think to themselves "how did x go for me? You could even limit combat skill checks saying that improvement comes from sustained practice under stressful conditions and let them pick 1 weapon per encounter to improve. I mean, come on. Realistically can you expect to get better with your axe when you only pull it once per fight for one wild swing in to hopefully get an experience check? No. Swing, parry, feint, swing again, hack, hack, hack, pry, hack again, coup de grace. Turn at next corner. Repeat. Only when you, victorious in your departure, covered in the gore of your enemies, a path of viscous fluids trailing you, your axe singing sweetly as it is holstered amidst the percussion of dripping enemy entrails do you have the opportunity to say to yourself "man, that went well." EXP!
  2. Greetings @DarcyDettmann and I'm glad you like the file! Each section talks about what is rolled to activate powers - Here is a redux for you. Wizardry: Spell College (Alteration, Augmentation, Forces, Illusion, and Mysticism) skills are used. They begin at INTx1%. Sorcery: Sorcery skill begins at POWx1% Divine Magic: Faithcasting skill begins at POWx1%. Psionics: Psionics (Bio-Feedback, Metacognition, and Psychokinesis) skills begin at POWx1%. Super Powers: Generally none, but attribute or skill may be required in certain instances, especially opposed tests. If the "Activation" Budget Modifier is chosen for powers, you may use a Characteristic roll, or develop a "power" skill with a granularity that you feel appropriate. Hopefully I answered your question - if not let me know. If you use fixed percentiles for your game, I recommend anywhere between 01% and 10% as the base rating. Modify for your gaming pleasure
  3. I like that kind of stuff too, it really helps to differentiate characters. I have used/ adapted the Stunts from the Blood Tide supplement in a BRP Star Wars game I ran a few months back. My players and I were pleased with the results, as we were able to model a Mandalorian and 2 separate Jedi with distinct fighting styles. Many of the stunts can be used as written, just renamed. I'd recommend adding new stunts to fit the weapons for the setting.
  4. I agree. I think you and @Gollum have made enough arguments for me to change my vote. I reread the CoC7 quick start this past weekend and was leaning that way to begin with - to the point that I am changing my house system to incorporate more CoC elements. Would love to see something new be put out from an official source on the topic of BRPE...
  5. I agree. That's why I wrote up Unified Powers. Check out the doc and see if it helps.
  6. I've had success with storytelling elements in my games. Admittedly those additions are "light" - Fate points allow the best of 3 rolls for a test if declared before the roll, or 1 reroll if used afterwards. They may also be used for minor tweaks to the scene. All must be in line with the character backstory and I have veto power. I run cinematic games with mook rules, powers, and stunts. It works for me and my group. I would rethink Fate points if I ever ran something with a grittier tone. Since BRP is a tool kit I don't think it ever hurts to add options. Storytelling elements are just one "slider" to scratch an itch, much like mini scales or hit location tables do for strategists and simulationists, respectively. It will probably be a matter of page count and scope of options afforded for whether they should be published in BRP Essentials.
  7. I created a "BRP for New Players" doc that is about a half-page long detailing a lot of these bits. It's ripped right out of the BGB on pg. 390 and altered with my houserules. Basic RolePlaying has only a few principles to keep in mind. Once you know these, you should be able to play: · Characteristics are usually rated 3-18 (the higher the better). Human average is 10-11. · Attributes and Skills have percentile ratings, from 01% to 100%+. You will roll a d100 (two 10-sided die) any time a rating is tested, with the goal of rolling at or under your character’s rating to succeed at the test. The higher your rating is, the better your character’s chance of success. o A roll result where the ‘tens’ and ‘ones’ match (ie: 77%) is a noteworthy result, upgrading a success to an advantage (best possible result) and downgrading a failure to a fumble (dramatic setback). o Bonuses or penalties may be applied to your rating depending on the test difficulty, conditions, or circumstances. These values are always in multiples of 10% and rarely exceed +/- 50% for extremely favorable (or unfavorable) circumstances. · When you run out of hit points, you run the risk of death. · Most powers use power points for fuel. When these run out, you fall unconscious. · Qualities are the crux of what makes your character and his story unique, and are powered by Fate points. They can be used to empower your character for success or a bit of good fortune (allow extra rolls), or bring some trouble his way (act in-line with the Quality or lose a Fate point). Everything else can be determined during the course of play, or explained as required.
  8. Blast has a range advantage over Energy Control. I think that was my justification. I struggled over that very issue when I started compiling this project. I'm open to suggestions to fix. I'd like to avoid reducing PP cost to keep in line with other offensive powers. Thanks for the catch on the page numbers. I'll upload a corrected version today.
  9. Well said! That is what inspired me to work out BRP Unified Powers in the first place. That, and to reduce the amount of literature to sift through when creating and powering a character. I've successfully used UP in Star Wars, Vampire the Requiem, and Iron Kingdoms adaptations to BRP. In each, minor tweaks were needed to get the flavor of each setting...about a page for each defining HOW powers work within the setting (usually hodgepodged from existing origins- for example, Jedi are Psis with bits of the Divine Magic rules slotted in) with a list of powers available to the characters. Pretty easy prep in my book.
  10. Hey all, I just dropped v1.2 For those of you interested in rolling on random charts for gaining super powers, you can now find them in BRP UP. Hope this makes gaming more fun at your table.
  11. I wrote a Unified Powers document a few months back. Unfortunately, it has only what is in the BGB with a few essentials from other game systems. It may be of limited use to you.
  12. I prefer real numbers in game, though I rarely track expenses except when characters are poor or wealth matters in game. I never really grasped Credit Rating as a skill... It feels like something that is more background oriented than anything. It's too easy to keep equipment lists with actual prices. Of course, abstract wealth really require bookkeeping at all...maybe I will give it a try.
  13. This is a great topic, and one that I have wrestled with as a GM while refining BRP to my tastes through my house rules. I prefer systems that emphasize the importance of Attributes without making them necessarily equal to points/ levels invested into skills. I think OpenQuest/ Legend/ Revolution do it best, with Attributes determining a modest base rating (very modest for some more difficult skills in OQ) and skill points being necessary to raise skills to a usable level. I think Savage Worlds and World of Darkness do it well too - each in their own way rewarding characters with better skill ratings or skill access with matching higher attributes while not pushing characters to only increase attributes. I dislike systems that ignore Attributes impacting skills, and shy away from systems that put Attributes and Skills on an equal footing. Despite my penchant for more cinematic gaming, I always feel there must be that element of realism with the Attribute/ Skill relationship. In spite of my initial gaming background of Palladium and GURPS, I am drawn to games with a moderate list of available skills. GURPS, especially its 4th edition, just wracks the character generation process and forces players to overspecialize. OTOH, games like Savage Worlds and D20 can feel like the skill lists are too broad for my tastes. To that end I like to see skill lists somewhere between "Large Swaths" to "More Specialized" from @sladethesniper's discussion above...around two to three dozen skills seems about right for me. A couple of fiddly tenets I have tried to purvey with skill generation/ management: 1. I HATE "skills" that aren't skills. Abilities that aren't the result of sustained study or practice. Skills like Lift, Persistence, Resilience, or the like seem like they should be handled by another mechanic, like Characteristic Rolls in BRP. 2. I like sub-specialties, but it’s tough to find the right balance between allowing a player to determine a character's niche of being a Private Investigator vs. over-specializing a character so they can only shoot S&W Model 36 .38 revolvers, look up information in two-story New Jersey libraries, or seduce 28-year old seamstress widows. I can easily see how to sub-categorize with weapons; In my games I allow Firearms (Energy Weapons, Heavy Weapons, or Small Arms) and Melee (Blade or Blunt Weapons). I have yet to figure out the perfect way to specialize skills like Knowledge, Drive, Repair, Craft, or Technology. About three sub-categories feels right for me, but again I run into the issues of over-generalizing, especially with Knowledge. To date, I've just hand-waved specialties to fit the character concept and it works okay (ie: a Spacer would have Repair: Star Drive and Repair Structural and be able to fix anything on a ship). It's not perfect, I can't fit everything onto a list, but it works for now. I wonder if anyone else has found themselves pondering these issues?
  14. Yes, I have had similar experiences with some players past and present. These instances have shown me that 'natural' consequences from the GM coupled with fellow players saying, "yeah dude, what were you thinking?" tend to set spaz players straight, especially if they play it right the majority of the time. Stuff you are already doing. I had another thought to share: Sandboxes are hard for me to run. I tend to get so into reacting to what the players do that I forget about my plot. If I do that too much then the players can lose focus (Oh yeah! We were supposed to investigate something about that manor on the north side of town...). They lose interest in the game, despite the fact that I have a good story-line ready to go, I simply hadn't been emphasizing the beats of the plot. If this happens for you, my advice is to balance creating an immersive, living world for players to interact with while also keeping them moving forward with the story you are sharing. Hopefully you are better at it than I! That's my 0.02 USD.
  15. Greetings fellow BRPers!When I first began gaming with Basic Roleplaying, I used the optional rule of "Step Six (Personality)" on pg. 21 to give player characters some extra oomph. As time went on, I tweaked the rule to allow greater player input and variation:Background A profession that fits your character's "pre-career" training, a secondary or former job, schooling, or other such description adhering to the character concept is considered your character's Background. Choose a fitting profession and add 20% to each skill.For Example: One character was a 'Maverick' type Military Officer. Rather than choosing Outsmart an Opponent as the Personality, the player chose a Background of "Pilot" reflecting his earlier years in the military (gaining a one-time 20% bonus to 10 selected skills), then the profession of "Soldier" which he invests his professional skill points into.Now, I am considering another change. Rather than giving players a full profession's worth of skill bonuses, I propose offering five skills from a profession, and flatly raising the skills to 50%. Effectively, this change gives players deeper bonuses in a fewer range of skills, and reducing math at chargen. I feel it also distinguishes the "backgrounder" from the "professional" with a handful of skills starting at a moderate level as opposed to an array of skills with a decent rating.I'm curious if any of you have experience with the Personality skills rule, or variations thereof. Furthermore, which of my Background skills rulings make more sense or present more pitfalls (10 skills with a 20% bonus, or 5 skills raised to 50%)? Perhaps there is a better option that a more creative soul can suggest?
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