Jump to content

Generic past life rules?


Recommended Posts

I’m currently trying to adapt the past life rules from Nephilim to generic BRP, using Enlightened Magic as a basis. I’m wondering if anyone else already did so or if there is already a past life mechanic scattered among the many d100-compatible books.

The simplest method would be to simply generate a whole character for each past life, but I’d like to simplify that so that it isn’t unwieldy in play.

I’d like to include additional sub-mechanics like measuring how well the PC recalls the past life, any legacy of the past life that survives to the present (basically like the perks/flaws/traits or similar mechanics in other systems), and the capacity to develop occult traits that don’t degrade between incarnations.

It’s a precursor to a full-blown adaptation and revision of Nephilim to modern BRP I’m planning, but I figured the past lives concept could easily be adapted for generic usage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the late reply - I've been mulling this one over.

To start off with I wouldn't make a character for each life unless you were going to play out that time and that could cause issues if you had people with different past lives. I guess one option is to play the past life stuff separate from your normal game sessions, but that could cause a disconnect between the past life and how it impacts on the present.

Here's a slapdash run down of what I would try. I have all the Nephilim books so your mileage may vary.

I really like the idea of having a mechanic to cover recall, I think a modified version of the allegiance system could work for that. You could generate the past lives in a similar way to Nephilim to see what significant events the person was involved in, and give each an past life score. The score for each past life would be independent. 

Then when confronted with something that relates to the past life roll on the allegiance score with modifiers to see if it triggers a flashback. Relay the memory and give a past life check. As the past life score progresses you get more of the relevant skills.


Past Life score at 25% could give you the language skills at full levels, the rest at 50% percent of their values. Vague control over the memories, and still difficulty recalling specific events. They don't feel like you yet.

Once the score gets to 50% you have all the skills and broad memories. You know this was a past life and these things happened to you. You remember a lot of your day to day life, but still have difficulty (must roll) to recall significant or traumatic events.

In terms of the occult skills you have them as latent knowledge that come to the fore when triggered. Once they have a reason to research occult techniques the knowledge starts bubbling up.

Sorry this isn't more polished - I'd need to work on it a bit more to get it playable. I'd also want to clean up aspects of the past life system:

  • Get rid of the variable number of skill points - a set number of skill points mean that each past life in equally valuable in terms of skills.
  • Flesh out the events more and make then relevant to the campaign at had.
  • Have reputational effects from the past lives. Other people who know who you were could react more (or less) favourably because of what you did.



  • Like 1

The sacred sentence of science: "I might be wrong: let's find out." - David Brin

My Blog: http://grevsspace.wordpress.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...