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Posts posted by NickMiddleton

  1. 17 hours ago, Nokaion said:

    Basically the title.

    I've seen the option in the new BRUGE and in Magic World and in Cthulhu Dark Ages, but I have the impression, that it's a pretty frustrating rule because it's so random. So I've been asking myself why someone would actively want this rule in their game?

    With fixed AV and hit locations after determining whether a target is hit and what damage is done, there is still the variable of where they have been hit. With variable AV and no hit locations, there’s the same number of random rolls. But, with locational hit values and fixed AV, more outcomes producing impairing results (limb out of use, or destroyed etc); variable AV and no locational hit values allows GM and players more latitude in how they narrate and interpret the more results of a blow, with only Major Wounds directing how we imagine the outcomes to any specific degree.

    For games that need a greater degree of fluidity and speed in play, that are tonally more heroic / “pulpy” I would always choose variable AV and Major Wounds (and often Heroic hit points). I was originally a huge fan of hit locations when I first played RQ, but experience over the decades has taught me that they are a poor fit for many (but not all) the games I run: frequently too fiddly, impeding the flow of the game and too often throwing up weird statistical anomalies (e.g three rounds in, everyone has their left leg disabled).

    I am considering revising my BRP monograph Outpost 19 currently: and a major choice is whether I keep the hit locations in NPC stats, because they push the tone and feel towards BRPs more gritty and detailed orientated mode and I’m unsure now if that’s the best fit for the adventure and setting… It was originally partly inspired by the original Future*World which didn’t use them… but another major inspiration was the early Revelation Space novels of Alastair Reynolds, and hit locations and that gritty, detail focused style of BRP seem (as they did nearly twenty years back when I originally wrote it) well suited to the setting.

    Ultimately, like the overwhelming majority of these sorts of debates, there is no “objectively correct” answer, because it’s an aesthetic judgement.


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  2. On 5/12/2024 at 10:40 PM, joen said:


    I recently started running a campaign with the Elric!/Stormbringer 5th and realized that I kind of miss some things from a few years of playing Call of Cthulhu. The skills: Intimidate and sleight of hand.

    One of the PCs is a very menacing barbarian and sometimes he want to intimate people to get information. Another PC is thief who sometimes want to steal stuff from NPC's pockets or pouches without being noticed.

    So far I've asked the players to roll a APP characteristics roll (Charisma) and DEX roll to perform tasks like pick-pocketing and sleight of hand-actions.

    I know I can just add new skills to the character sheet, but I would like to know how the system is intended to handle these action, since there is no mention of intimidation or pick-pocketing in the rulebook, and they both are quite popular actions to perform in a TTRPG.

    I would would love to hear how you solve this problem in your games.

    In SB5 Fast Talk is the "one to one" communication Skill (where as Oratory is the "one to many"), and an adventurer gets a 10 point bonus for a successful Charm (APP x 5) roll - so from Intimidation for the menacing Barbarian I'd use Fast Talk with a bonus form a successful STR x 5 or SIZ x 5 (or APP x 5 - pick the most appropriate - small, non-athletic looking people can with the right attitude project a LOT of menace and threat...) As pointed out, in SB 5 sleight of hand is explicitly a specialization / subset of Craft and explicitly covers picking pockets / purse cutting.

  3. 22 hours ago, Pao said:

    Same as the title.

    What sort of automaton? What context: historical, steampunk, fantasy?

    Magic World has a set of “enchanted Clockwork animals” (page 226). BRP:UGE has some stats for Robots (page 239) that could be adapted.

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  4. 6 hours ago, sladethesniper said:


    I agree that having a long list of spells makes gaming easier, but seems to be so antithetical to the concept of "magic" as something wonderous, special, unexplained, etc...



    3 hours ago, Mugen said:

    I like having some freedom in magic, like in Ars Magica or the 2 Mage games, especially Mage:the Awakening.

    But I also think having no clear boundaries on what magic can do is a source of imbalance between players. Playing a mage or a non-mage is a completely different experience in the games I mentioned.

    That's also the reason why a game like Star Wars D6 started with only 3 Force skills and eventually gave Force users a list of powers they could use in 2nd edition, because once they had a certain skill level they were too powerful...

    Any system has to balance ease of use, for all players at the table, with the atmosphere and texture of play the mechanic's evoke. My experience with "improvisational" magic, from 2e Ars Magica "spontaneous casting" onwards is that managing it generally takes a  lot of GM and player bandwidth - if everyone at the table is comfortable with it, then great; if not, it can be a problem.

    And avoiding magic being formulaic / excessively predictable is a laudable goal, but again requires finesse and judgement or it can become a burden to the game. For some settings, magic being "science like"  is appropriate, and for some tables, magic being easily quantified and consistent is to the benefit of everyone's enjoyment...

    Completely off the cuff: I think a limited set of skills, or even a single skill with a list of specialisms / sub-domains, and then a set of spell lists as a set of guidelines is a good starting point. Ars Magica's distinction between formulaic spells and spontaneous spells. A set of lists of specific formulae in specific disciplines / categories to get people started (and provide a baselines for adjudication) and then skill rolls to allow variation. Sticking to the formula of a "known" spell is easy; push the formulae modestly (+/- 3 points in effect from a baseline) is routine ;  radically pushing the formulae (+/- 4 points in effect or mroe ), or coming up with an entirely novel spell is hard...


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  5. The old BRP QuickStart or here has a bunch of short adventures in different genres (at least one is fantasy iirc) and most would work as one shots and at least some have pre-gens: I wrote 2, and they both do. It’s not 100% BRP:UGE compatible, but it’s entirely usable with the latter.

    As regards fantasy specifically: I recently adapted Richard Watts seminal “Curse of Chardros” for Magical World as Ancient Shadows”, which is pretty much (but again, not 100%) compatible with BRP:UGE (and the Sorcery power system), but has no pregens. I bothered to convert it because I really rate it as a intro / starter scenario.

    User Hexelis posted a conversion of the old 1982 Magic World scenario “Vault of Sarkanth Han” to the more recent edition here: again, no pre-gens and not 100% but close to with BRP:UGE and specifically its Sorcery powers system.


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  6. ...I speculated about doing so years (... erm, possibly decades...) ago, and more recently (a few years back) I started noodling away at a Sword & Planet-esque BRP thing with touches of Spelljammer (ships powered by a variant of the Rune magic in Advanced Sorcery / Bronze Grimoire), but that morphed in to its own thing, and switched systems to become AGE powered.

    Its odd - I can think of resources for Greyhawk, Dark Sun and Eberron using BRP (or Mythras)  and as g33k says, "generic" D&D, but I don't recall ever seeing a specific Spelljammer  adaptation.


  7. I dislike adding additional rolls in to the flow of the game, which has always been my misgiving about augmenting skill, so I exclusively use the first method. I prefer the focus of the "drama and tension" to be on the primary roll, so a player makes a pitch to myself / the group of what skills / passions (or "passion like things" in the case of my usual house rules) and where I / we agree they make sense they get to add the special chance of the relevant skill / passion (maximum of one add from a skill and one add from a passion or passion like thing).

    Given the success of RQG, it clearly works for many, but it'll do no harm changing the details.

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  8. 1 hour ago, Sheelba said:

    I don't, at least not for the majority of the time. I intend having cultists as protagonists and part of the allure will be access to magic which doesn't require the kind of study which RQ3 sorcery demanded (or devotion to a God who deals in a contractual manner, or even the need to be part of a community in anyway). So this might fit in here, I'll have a look. But the current BRP rules appear so simple (from the point of the user) that I can't imagine needing to simplify further (although to be fair I haven't been able to read them in detail as they are so far from what I want I just give up every time I try so I'll likely just use CoC magic for cultists who don't have the magic systems the PCs have access to). And if my players can't understand a magic system then well and good, there is mystery in magic. 

    I looked at this some time ago and again it isn't what I want. I'm just going to be using RQ3 rules and deal with anything which doesn't smoothly fit into current BRP, I suppose. As with the others I very much appreciate the time you took to try and help me. It is nice to be reminded of the options and the more people suggest the more I find myself thinking through what I want and coalescing my thoughts. Thank you. 

    This might be of interest: 

    It’s  an overlay for the “full” version of BRP Sorcery system from Magic World & Advanced Sorcery but is entirely compatible with the concise version in BRP-UGE (and Magic World & Advanced Sorcery are useful adjuncts to that system). It owes a clear debt to RQ3 Sorcery, but is also highly streamlined compared to that, but might provided some ideas?

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  9. 10 hours ago, Mugen said:

    …RuneQuest 3 had stats for Orcs, Halflings and Dwarves in its Gateway bestiary. There's also an Elf, but it's a short and agile one, not the tall and noble Tolkienish elf from Warhammer.

    Their stats were reprinted in Mongoose RuneQuest bestiary, and also in Mythras.

    I guess they're also in Magic World.…

    Yup - I think pretty much everything from the RQ3 Monsters Book / BRP Creatures Monograph made it in to the 2012 Magic World book. I listed them for some reason here: 


  10. 14 hours ago, LivingTriskele said:

    The players are going to start with an equal amount of cultural bonus skill points to allocate over their respective chosen cultural skills.

    My question is A) what’s a good TOTAL amount of bonus points to allow for cultural skills per character, and B) what’s a good maximum of bonus points to be allocated per each chosen cultural skill?

    I’m considering a total of 40 bonus cultural skill points per character with a maximum +15% per combat skill and +35% per non-combat skills. Does that seem fair?

    In Magic World, my general touchstone / baseline for implementing BRP,  each Cultural classification gets a list of 6 - 9 skills and a player chose three from that list to give a +10 bonus (think in my tweaks of MW CG to bring it more in line with the BGB I scaled the adds for culture to +10 / +15 / +20 / +25 for campaign power level)... Your figures seem roughly similar, and I'd say they were perfectly fair.

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  11. 5 hours ago, The Old Dragoon said:

    Does such an animal exist? Or are there too many optional switches for BRP for any one print product, and folks tend to use the customizable GM screens with inserts?


    There are a bunch in the files section here that could be printed out and used with generic screens - I think most are for specific BRP games, or for the older BGB edition. This one's not bad: 

     and the InDesign files for it are I think also there.  But as you say - a single screen covering all the options in UGE is not really practical.

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  12. 31 minutes ago, Mugen said:

    My understanding is that this challenge is meant to help publishing games, and not supplements. Even though, of course, games contain material that can be used in other games.


    As part of submission, entrants will need to provide: 

    • A pitch for their game (both in long and short form).
    • A production budget for their game.
    • An outline on how the winnings from the BRP Design Challenge will help bring their game to life 
    • A competitor market analysis of their game, showcasing where it fits in the market as a product.
    • How the BRP rules have been used in their game. 
    • What makes their use of the BRP system, their setting, and/or the gameplay experience unique.

     (My emphasise)… as said elsewhere, it’s a VC-like pitch for seed funding new BRP powered games as commercial ventures. It doesn’t specifically exclude supplements, but it is very hard to see how such things would qualify.

    In so far as it stimulates an increase in the diversity and variety of BRP powered games, I’m intrigued to see what the outcome of the contest is. Doesn’t appeal to me at all, although it will be interesting to see what games result from this. But this, on the face of it, is not in the immediate future going to directly stimulate the publication of supplements one could adapt to one’s own games.

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  13. On 2/27/2024 at 10:18 PM, Renfield said:

    Using BRP, have a fairly generic implementation here.  STR    DEX  CON  INT   CHA

    But we also have, you know... skills.  Like... 50 of them.

    So why do we need CHA,  when I have 7+ skills that do various charisma stuff? 

    Does BRP really need those base attributes at all?

    They serve a function, in that they provide a quantification of a characters raw capability / natural talent distinct from the skills and knowledge they have acquired through their upbringing  and training, formal and informal. Whether that function justifies their existence for you only you can say.

    On 2/27/2024 at 10:18 PM, Renfield said:

    Are they there for when players and GM are like "I have no idea what you are doing, roll a attribute that sorta fits as generic catch all" ??

    We have been playing 5 sessions now and never needed to roll CHA as a action... the skills seem to have it all covered.

    Am I missing something here?

    There is a grand gala, which all the adventurers are attending. They are hoping to connect with the Crown Prince, who it is widely believed will be attending incognito, looking to recruit... Rather than relying on any particular skill, a GM could ask for everyone to make a Charisma check... Because they are not making a Bargain, issuing a Command, putting up a Disguise, picking the correct social mores (Etiquette),  Fast Talk-ing someone, Perform-ing a role,  Persuad(e)-ing anyone, flaunt ing their Status or Teach-ing anyone... they are trying to project their presence as appealing and hoping the prince will pick them.

    Now, one could easily see a way to look at interpretations of a specific skill that would serve instead, but equally one can see that a more generalized assessment of how charismatic a character is has value. Whilst many historical and real world figures we talk about as being "Charismatic" have specific talents in terms of the named skills that are in default BRP, many of them don't have obvious strengths in those specific areas, but do have a more generalized quality that draws attention, that lets them dominate or stand out in social situations that we happily gloss under "they are very Charismatic...".

    The key thing is that the characteristic rolls are very broad evaluation of qualities. So a GM should always give less information / benefit from a successful characteristic roll than from a successful skill roll. My go to example: any character can make an Idea roll to see that there are tracks on the ground. But only  a successful roll against the Track  skill should reveal anything about / from those tracks.


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  14. Yeah - this was never intended as a rigid tool for specific casting thresholds / limits: I stopped doing such things in my BRP games a long time ago; which is not to say one couldn’t build such a system from these suggestions of course.

    This is intended as an overlay to the existing MW / AS Sorcery rules to add a little more interest and colour. In the previous Sorcery document I uploaded there is a (very loose) sketch of a taxonomy of “types” and “orders” (as in “orders of magnitude”) for the full MW/AS published spell list. One absolutely could create specific skill level requirements to access specific types / orders of spells etc: but it’s not something I want in my games, so I haven’t done it.

    It’s a long time since I’ve run RQ3 sorcery, but my recollections of doing so and my house rules for it were unquestionably factors in coming up with this.

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  15. On 1/17/2024 at 6:09 AM, smiorgan said:

    But now I'm curious about the larger work.

    21 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

    Larger work? ORC related?

    Before the end of the original active phase of Magic World Ben had raised the idea with the informal mailing list of contributors (of which I was one) about a "Magic World Companion" book, modelled after the original RuneQuestCall of Cthulhu and Stormbringer  Companions Chaosium did way back when. I floated a few ideas, and sketched a few more; some of those sketches gradually morphed in to house rule notes in the the intervening years; during early lock down in 2020, casting around for things to do (I was still working full time from home, but was not socialising or F2F gaming) I started working on them, with a vague notion of doing something using the then still available Chaosium "Small Publisher's license" (couple of years previously Marcus Bone and I had chatted about doing something with that, but we both then got busy with other stuff).

    Basically, I have a Companion-esque compilation of addons, variants, revisions, supplementary material and a scenario that amounts to a 124 page book. I am currently mulling what to do with it - the "Small Publisher License" is no longer an option, but I am hopeful that something may happen on the Community Content Program front, but nothing has been formally announced as yet. The book has sat on my hard drive, basically finished, for most of the last year, so a few more months will do no harm.

    I'll take a stock of my options in the spring: retooling it all to be strictly ORC compliant currently looks like a lot of work that doesn't appeal; the free / at cost PoD via Lulu route remains viable in principle and is least challenging at this point, but if there is to be a CCP and it covers MW that's where I'd like it to be. One way or another I'll do something with it by the end of August this year.

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  16. 26 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

    Unrelated question: what is a “sea axe”? Is it like a viking long axe? I sure hope they don’t mean a seax 😄

    Kinda... it is a hangover from the original Elric! / Stormbringer text - which refers to a Sea Axe... as a smaller but still two handed axe, as opposed to the Lormyrean Axe (which is a BIG two handed axe). The illustration in SB5 suggests that a Sea Axe has a single bladed head, and the Lormyrean Axe is double bladed.

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  17. On 1/12/2024 at 2:38 PM, Ravenheart87 said:

    ...Your sorcery idea sounds neat too. And tempting, because the sorcery spell list is a bit more flavourful than the magic spell list.

    As previously discussed:

    ... and as noted, although written for the "full" Sorcery system in Magic World / Advanced Sorcery this should be entirely compatible with the concise version of Sorcery in BRP-UGE. The separate download I did on Sorcery in the Reaches (see downloads section) doesn't explicitly reference this, nor does this reference that piece, but they are definitely complementary.

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