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Harshax

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I am getting ready to run some classic D&D modules, but I want to do it with BRP. Here's what I've done to emulate D&D specifically:

1. Hit Points = SIZ + CON

2. I've created an interesting alternative for generating Characteristics for the core races (using d8's or d6's whenever necessary to get the proper range): Half Orcs for example get 3d6+2 for STR, CON, 1d8+10 SIZ but only a 2d8 for INT, POW, and CHA. Their DEX is 3d6.

3. Short & generic/broad skill list. (Essentially the 26 skills in Savage Worlds, minus Guts, plus Dodge)

4. Luck Points = Magic Points. Gives some tactical options to the non-spellcasters.

5. Combat Actions from MRQ. I want character to have access to multiple attacks sooner.

6. Using Magic to cover arcane magic. Divine Magic works similarly to RuneQuest Divine Magic, but I'm using the single spell list.

I am not at all interested in the introduction of D&D "classes" into BRP, but I would like to introduce a number of advanced skills that can emulate certain class abilities. These advanced skills can be learned from various guilds or orders. These organizations require certain commitments from the character, aside from the costs for training these advanced skills. So while characters are free to design any character they wish, and still evolve in the traditional BRP way (with experience checks), they have to make certain decisions with regards to how they wish to specialize. It will be possible to be a member of many guilds at once, but doing such a thing may limit a character's freedom significantly. Also, I'm toying with the idea that the Wizard's Guild will never accept as a member an applicant who is active in the thieves' guild.

All that said, I need help coming up with names for these skills. Care to give me a hand?

This is what I have so far.

Fighter's Guild

[Multiple Attacks]

Increased via training only. The character is allowed another combat action with his weapon, as if he had a high Dexterity, whenever his melee attack skill check is also lower than his [Multiple Attacks] skill. The character is still limited to a maximum of 4 Combat Actions per round.

Ranger's Order

[Favored Enemy]

Increased via training only. The character has studied advanced fighting techniques against a particular species. The character gains bonus damage of +1d6 whenever his melee attack roll is lower than his Weapon Skill and his [Favored Enemy] Skill.

Thieves' Guild

Only guild to offer training in Pick Pockets, Open Locks, and Find/Remove Traps.

[Read Scrolls]

Increased via training only. Rumor has it that long ago, thieves stole rudimentary texts used by the Wizard's Guild to teach literacy in magic. This skill allows a thief to successfully cast arcane magic from scrolls. This skill can only be learned up to 60%.

Wizard's Guild

This guild teaches the rituals for creating familiars and wizard staves.

Edited by Harshax

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Fighters [Multiple Attacks] - I agree with your approach here and use something very similar myself. (It's modelled on Martial Arts but gives extra attacks rather than extra damage). I call it "Expertise (<weapon>)".

Rangers [Favored Enemy] - Mmm, interesting - I may nick that one!

Thieves - I let Pick Pockets (aka Sleight) give extra back-stabbing attacks. (But not as elegantly as Fighter's 'Expertise', just as a crude number - reminiscent of OD&D's damage multiple.)

Wizards - For these I have a number of different magic-related skills, giving rise to special abilities, including some rather like yours.

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Those are some really great ideas, I like them alot! I'll have to look along those lines when I work on using BRP to replace my current DnD campaign. I think I'll restrict the guild membership as well, although not sure where I'll take it yet.

As far as naming the skills, for the magic users' skill what's wrong with something like Arcane Knowledge? Then you could also have a literacy skill, Arcana or something similar which is needed to read scrolls but is only available to thieves and magic users?

I'll mull the other names over and let you know if I come up with anything.

Skunk - 285/420 BRP book

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...but is only available to thieves and magic users?

The question is, what is it that makes a character a "Thief" or "Magic-user" (or "Fighter" or "Cleric" or whatever)? And what stops all characters being a blend of all of them?

Possession of a "key" skill for each class/profession, I'd say. And there should be something other than just "guilds" to stop/minimise proliferation and consequent multi-classing. Or is that a campaign decision? But I think there should be something else, like an "hours in the day" principle, preventing (or at least limiting) characters from developing too many disparate "key" skills. Thoughts?

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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I did something like this using a mash of Elric! and Magic World. I ran a bit of The Lost City. I striped the system down to very basics. It was great, but unfortunately, we had to stop because people moved out of the area.

I'd like to run Tomb of Horrors in a similar vein. Difference would be that the players would have one major PC each and I'd stat up some mooks for the players to run. Extras that get to die horrible deaths. Sounds like fun to me.

70/420

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As far as naming the skills, for the magic users' skill what's wrong with something like Arcane Knowledge? Then you could also have a literacy skill, Arcana or something similar which is needed to read scrolls but is only available to thieves and magic users?

I decided long ago that 'Read Magic' was not a spell, but a literacy. High level D&D thieves learned to decipher scrolls because they gained access to the textbooks stolen from the wizards' guild long ago. These same texts have been incorrectly copied, stolen by rival guilds, nearly destroyed by wizards seeking revenge, or simply incomplete in the first place, which is why thieves always suffer a high failure/mishap chance when reading scrolls.

Possession of a "key" skill for each class/profession, I'd say.

Key skill is what separates a collection of enthusiasts and a guild of professionals. We may all be great at Fighting, but the Fighter's Guild keeps trade secrets that make them far deadlier in combat.

And there should be something other than just "guilds" to stop/minimise proliferation and consequent multi-classing. Or is that a campaign decision?

Ultimately, I think it is part campaign decision, part economic. All the special skills can be improved via training only. So attempting to improve multiple guild skills should be very costly. I don't want to go the same route for guild membership as exists for cult membership in RQ, eg. 10% time and money for Initiates, 30% time and money for Adepts, 90% time and money for priests. This is Dungeons & Dragons. The best route, I think, is to require characters to perform a quest for the guild at certain break points: 50%, 75%, 90%, etc. As mentioned previously, there is a background reason why you might avoid membership in more than one guild: wizard and thief for example. Other guilds might be in conflict due to certain circumstances which make great stories and make the character's life a living hell. :)

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Here's the current details for ability score generation. I altered course from the book, because I'm trying to emulate D&D, and have found the book's stat blocks to be more gloranthan. I've freely mixed d8s and d6s to achieve the right range (as I perceive them) for attributes. What do you think?

One of the things I've tried to avoid, is skills that go higher than 20. It's a personal preference, nothing more. If however, you think my personal preference is getting in the way of emulating the attribute ranges found in the 1e PH, let me know. Thanks.

RACE          STR     CON     SIZ     INT     POW     DEX     CHA

Dwarf12       2d8+2   2d6+8   1d6+6   2d6+6   3d6     3d6     2d8

Elf           3d6     2d8     2d8     3d6+2   3d6+2   3d6+2   3d6

Gnome         2d8     3d6     1d6+4   2d6+8   3d6+2   3d6     3d6

Half-Elf      3d6     3d6     2d6+5   2d6+6   3d6     3d6     3d6

Half-Orc      3d6+2   3d6+2   1d8+10  2d8     2d8     3d6     2d8

Halfling2     2d8     2d6+6   1d6+3   2d6+6   3d6     2d6+8   3d6

1 A Dwarf adds 6 to STR + SIZ when determining Damage Bonus

2 Dwarves & Halflings add 6 to SIZ + CON when determining Hit Points

Edited by Harshax

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Key skill is what separates a collection of enthusiasts and a guild of professionals. We may all be great at Fighting, but the Fighter's Guild keeps trade secrets that make them far deadlier in combat.

Martial Arts styles for example. That doubling of the damage dice can be very deadly.

SDLeary

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...Possession of a "key" skill for each class/profession, I'd say. And there should be something other than just "guilds" to stop/minimise proliferation and consequent multi-classing. Or is that a campaign decision? But I think there should be something else, like an "hours in the day" principle, preventing (or at least limiting) characters from developing too many disparate "key" skills. Thoughts?
I like having the campaign world put constraints on what is possible. In part, because I hate the D&D book-based approach to what each character can do.

I don't have a problem with key skills, or limited hours in the day. Those both work for me -- they are constraints and not absolutes. So you can say, "To learn this crazy feat, you need to have Arcane Knowledge at 100% and the only cult that you know who teaches it is the Magic cult" without having to say, "The only way to learn this feat is to belong to the Magic cult."

Ah. Rereading what I wrote and what you wrote, I'm guessing we're coming from the same place. I just like having the unusual skills only available from campaign-world organizations. I find it ties characters into the society and makes things more 'real.'

FWIW, the hours in a day limit only matter when there is a deadline. Otherwise, characters just take the time they need to learn the skills, whether it's 2 weeks or 4. In my worlds, the constraints are usually money and finding a teacher.

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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I'd agree that the both of you are pretty much saying the same thing. The relationship of responsibilities to various guilds is worth a lot of thought, and can help flesh out a campaign immensely.

Examples:

Fighter's Guild: Members must be available for conscription by local lords.

Duelist's Guild: Members may be assigned duties by Guildmaster to duel on behalf of nobles, businessmen, etc.

Diviner's Guild: Members may not swear fealty to any landed noble. (May directly conflict with Fighter or Duelist Guild responsibilities)

Assassin's Guild: May be assigned murder contracts by Guildmaster (May limit association with all other Guilds)

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Ah. Rereading what I wrote and what you wrote, I'm guessing we're coming from the same place.

Absolutely. (I read what you said, and was nodding all the way!)

Incidentaly, the "Hours in the Day" principle, as explained to me years ago, is slightly different from what you might be thinking. It's not the time taken to learn a skill - but the time required to maintain a skill. Not part of the game system, but an assumed part of the characters' daily life. They have to practice the skills they already have - just to stave off atrophy. Too many disparate skills, doesn't leave enough time to practice them well enough. It seems to me that principle could be invoked to limit the "key" skills a character could acquire (in addition to the nice campaign-specific guild rivalries/incompatibilities, naturally!)

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Incidentaly, the "Hours in the Day" principle, as explained to me years ago, is slightly different from what you might be thinking. It's not the time taken to learn a skill - but the time required to maintain a skill.

Oh! [insert light bulb] I thought you were both referring to time commitments to guilds. I see that hours per day may be an excellent idea!

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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I see that hours per day may be an excellent idea!

It is. Can't claim it's my own, though.

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Ideas for the Assassin's Guild

[Apply Poison]

This skill allows the practitioner to safely apply contact poison to objects such as blades and traps.

[Alchemy: Poisons & Antidotes]

Improved via Training Only. The ability to identify, harvest, and produce toxins and counter-toxins.

[Death Attack: Species]

Improved via Training Only. Victims must make CON Rolls vs. Damage Roll on the Resistance Table if the assassin's attack is from complete surprise, and is lower than their skill in Death Attack.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Incidentaly, the "Hours in the Day" principle, as explained to me years ago, is slightly different from what you might be thinking. It's not the time taken to learn a skill - but the time required to maintain a skill.
I had one of those in an early version of my house rules (probably cribbed from someone else). I finally decided it was too much accounting and not much fun, so I removed it. But I don't have a problem with players mini-maxing their characters to be good at everything

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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I quite agree it'd be too much accounting to work out exactly. I'm just suggesting the principle could be invoked to justify (and enforce) "class"-style character differences in campaigns which don't want everyone to be a jack-of-all-trades.

Because if it were enforced only by supposedly all-powerful guilds, then it could break down through political machinations, military coercion or similar disasters, such as player-characters becoming guild-masters...

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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I quite agree it'd be too much accounting to work out exactly. I'm just suggesting the principle could be invoked to justify (and enforce) "class"-style character differences in campaigns which don't want everyone to be a jack-of-all-trades.
That's why I originally put it in my houserules. But then I realized that I didn't have a problem.

What I've found:

> When all the characters are green, everyone is bad at everything, so everyone tries everything in an effort to just 'get it done'

> In the middle stages, everyone attains a passing competence with all of the basic skills, and characters begin to develop areas of focus based on their interests, abilities, and alliances.

> In the latter stages of the campaign (where we are now), the downsides of screwing up are so huge that the most competent-in-that-area characters take on each challenge, with others helping and supporting as they can or as they get forced to. Because skill advancement is so slow, characters are realling focusing on their strengths.

I don't think a skill deterioration rule would have changed any of the stages very much.

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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We're I not trying to emulate something more serious than D&D, I'd think some kind of maintenance routine would be called for. HarnMaster does this.

I think the most important obstacles from a D&D perspective will be money and availability. Do I have the money to spend on training? Who can train me?

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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I don't think a skill deterioration rule would have changed any of the stages very much.

I'm not advocating a skill deterioration rule here, just the assertion "You can't have Magic and Martial Arts* skills because there aren't enough hours-in-the-day for you to practice them both as much as you need to".

(* Or Holiness/Allegiance or Sleight/Backstabbing or whatever)

Incidentally, I'd have thought that rule would have affected them at the 'Green' stage - because they couldn't have had any skill in specialisms other than the one they'd initially chosen (except by GM kindness). But if you don't mind, that's fine.

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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I guess I still don't understand. Are you saying there's an unstated set of ur-skills, something like "Martial," "Priest," "Shaman," and "Sorcerer" that are prerequisites for other (explicit) skills? And you can only have one (or a few) of the ur-skills?

I totally don't play it that way. Everyone can take the martial skills. Anyone who binds a fetch can become a shaman. Anyone who rises high enough in a cult can learn divine spells. I even let characters learn sorcery during the course of play.

That flexibility is one of the things I like about BRP over class-based systems.

But it sounds like you do it differently.

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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I totally don't play it that way.

And all power to you for that! It just so happens that in this thread we are discussing 'ur-skills' and pseudo-classes, that's all. :)

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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I am not at all interested in the introduction of D&D "classes" into BRP, but I would like to introduce a number of advanced skills that can emulate certain class abilities. These advanced skills can be learned from various guilds or orders. These organizations require certain commitments from the character, aside from the costs for training these advanced skills. So while characters are free to design any character they wish, and still evolve in the traditional BRP way (with experience checks), they have to make certain decisions with regards to how they wish to specialize. It will be possible to be a member of many guilds at once, but doing such a thing may limit a character's freedom significantly. Also, I'm toying with the idea that the Wizard's Guild will never accept as a member an applicant who is active in the thieves' guild.
Ok, bowing out. Somehow, given this part of the original post, I didn't pick up that you were looking for a way to emulate the ur-skills.

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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I think "ur-skills" simply means super-skills, like the phrase "key skills" mentioned earlier. But with negative connotations of wrongness.

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Regarding class-based BRP, there are two issues.

First is the jack of all trades syndrome, where everyone becomes good at everything, a typically RQ/BRP problem. What I would do, and have done, is to have a limited number of experience rolls available in each session, that way the players must choose which skills to focus on. I do this by having Experience Points (actually Hero Points which can be used as Hero Points or Experience Points) which the players can spend, with 1 XP allowing one skill gain attempt.

Second is the character class system, where a fighter should be good at fighting and not thieving, a magic user whould be good at casting spells and not scouting around in the wilds. Normally, this is not an issue with BRP because everyone can, in theory, do anything they want. However, with a BRP-based D&D then classes are important.

The easiest way around this is to give each class two skill lists, the first is a set oc core skills that are spcial to the class, the second is a set of skills that are typical for the class, and to make it easier to improve those skills, or more difficult to improve other skills. If you use the restricted experience gains as above then skills not your class's lists cost 2 XP to improve rather than 1 XP. You could even say that skills from another class's core list cost 3XP to improve. If you don't use restricted improvement, then assign a bonus or penalty to class/non-class skills, so I might get a +10% bonus to improve skills in my preferred list, -10% to improving skills that are not in any core list and a -20% to improving skills in another class's core list.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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