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Trifletraxor

BASIC ROLEPLAYING - The Chaosium Roleplaying System

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basic-roleplaying.jpgThis tome of a book collects all the rules and options for one of the most original and influential role playing game systems in the world. From its origin, Basic Roleplaying was designed to be intuitive and easy to play. Character attributes follow a 3D6 curve, and the other Basic Roleplaying mechanics are even simpler. Virtually all rolls determining success or failure of a task are determined via the roll of percentile dice.

The core virtues of the system are as evident today as they were when it was first introduced. Primary characteristics of Basic Roleplaying that have emerged from decades of play, across many different varieties of the system are as follows:

• The system is remarkably friendly to newcomers. It is easy to describe the basics of the game system, and the percentile mechanics, to non-gamers.

• Players of other game systems often find Basic Roleplaying to be much less mechanistic and less of a barrier to the actual act of roleplaying. Less time spent on game systems usually equals more time available for roleplaying and thinking “in character.”

• Most of the information players need to know is present on their character sheets.

• Characters tend to evolve based on practicing the skills they use the most. They do not arbitrarily gain experience in skills and qualities based on ephemeral elements such as levels or experience ranks.

• Combat can be very quick and deadly, and often the deciding blow in a conflict is the one to land first.

• Basic Roleplaying is remarkably modular: levels of complexity can be added or removed as needed, and the core system works equally well with considerable detail as it does with a minimal amount of rules.

The internal consistency of Basic Roleplaying allows for rules judgments to be made rapidly and with little searching through the rulebook for special cases.

This book represents a first for Basic Roleplaying—a system complete in one book, without a defined setting. Previously, Basic Roleplaying has been an integral part of standalone games, usually with rich and deep world settings. Due to differences in these settings, Basic Roleplaying has had many different incarnations. Variant and sometimes contradictory rules have emerged between versions, to better support one particular setting over another.

Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying system reconciles these different flavors of the system and brings many variant rules together between the covers of one book, something that has never been done before. Some of these rules are provided as optional extensions, some as alternate systems, and others have been integrated into the core system.

By design, this work is not a reinvention of Basic Roleplaying nor a significant evolution of the system. It is instead a collected and complete version of it, without setting, provided as a guide to players and gamemasters everywhere and compatible with most Basic Roleplaying games. It also allows the gamemaster the ability to create his or her own game world (or worlds), to adapt others from fiction, films, or even translate settings from other roleplaying games into Basic Roleplaying.

By Jason Durall and Sam Johnson. 400 pages. Published by Chaosium May 2008.

Edited by Trifletraxor

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Please post clarifications and erratas to this thread, and it will be added to the above post.

SGL.

Edited by Trifletraxor

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Chapter 1: Introduction (p5-14)

Chapter 2: Characters (p15-45)

Chapter 3: Skills (p46-84)

p58 - First Aid.

  • “FAILURE” condition should read:
    Attempted treatments have no effect. The patient's condition does not change, and no further First Aid attempts may be made.

  • “SYSTEM NOTES” first sentence should read:
    Each application of First Aid applies to a single wound: once a First Aid attempt has been made on a given injury, whether successful or not, additional First Aid attempts on that injury have no effect.

Chapter 4: Powers (p85-168)

p94 - Magic - "Blast"

  • Sentence 3 should read:
    Under most circumstances, armor (non-magical) will absorb the damage, and the Blast spell can be dodged.

  • To clarify, normal armor and the Countermagic spell work against Blast; Protection and Resistance do not.

p138 - Sorcery - "Summon Demon"

  • Any references to characteristic D8's should be changed to D6's.

Chapter 5: System (p169-186)

Chapter 6: Combat (p187-210)

p191 et al - Clarification of Parrying Procedure

  • This section is to clarify how the BRP parrying procedure works in a different manner from the parrying procedure in 2nd and 3rd editions of the RuneQuest game. The new BRP parrying procedure is derived from the Stormbringer 5th edition rules.

  • A successful parry, whether with weapon or shield, deflects ALL damage from the incoming weapon; you don't roll damage and compare to the parrying weapon's HP, with the excess “getting through”. A Parry is an all-or-nothing affair.

  • Shield AP/HP are only used when dealing with damage done directly to the shield itself, as in an attack to try and destroy a shield or parrying weapon (p206); or when resisting Damage vs Shield AP on the resistance table when parrying a Crushing blow (p196), or when 2 or 4 HP of damage are done to the “parrying weapon or shield” on the Attack and Defense Matrix (p193).

p193 - Attack and Defense Matrix

  • Definition of the term “FULL DAMAGE”. The term “full damage” crops up several times in the Attack & Defense Matrix. Precisely, it refers to “the damage which that type of attack would normally do”. It is not the same as “maximum damage”: a Greatsword “full damage” would be 2D8 on a normal success, 2D8 bleeding damage on a special success, and 16 damage ignoring armor on a critical success. Damage bonus in all cases is rolled and added afterwards.

  • Asterisked Section at bottom of page should read:
    If the parrying weapon or shield is destroyed during the parry attempt, roll the attacking weapon's normal damage and subtract the points of damage used in destroying the parrying weapon or shield. The remainder is damage which penetrates the parry attempt to damage the defender (armor still protects). If the attacking weapon is destroyed during a successful attack, damage is still inflicted on the defender but the weapon is broken at that moment.

Chapter 7: Spot Rules (p211-236)

p223 - Spot Rule: Extended Range

  • This Spot Rule is deprecated. Instead, use the Missile Weapon Range Modifiers on p257, as follows:
    “At the weapon’s basic range, the skill chance is unmodified. At medium range (double the basic range), the chance becomes Difficult, and at long range (four times basic range) it becomes ¼ the normal skill chance.”

  • The Point Blank Range Spot Rule on p229 still applies: where range is less than DEX/3 in meters, attacks are
    Easy
    .

p235 - Spot Rule: Volley Fire

  • Clarification: The volley fire rules apply specifically to thrown/self-propelled weapons. These are almost always utilized at the rate of 1 attack per combat round, with the RoF used for volley fire. The Difficult modifier applies here.

Chapter 8: Equipment (p237-273)

Chapter 9: Gamemastering (p274-293)

Chapter 10: Settings (p293-324)

Chapter 11: Creatures (p325-367)

Chapter 12: Appendices (p368-389)

p381 - Attack and Defense Matrix

  • Asterisked Section at bottom of page should read:
    If the parrying weapon or shield is destroyed during the parry attempt, roll the attacking weapon's normal damage and subtract the points of damage used in destroying the parrying weapon or shield. The remainder is damage which penetrates the parry attempt to damage the defender (armor still protects). If the attacking weapon is destroyed during a successful attack, damage is still inflicted on the defender but the weapon is broken at that moment.

pØ - Forgotten rules - Riposte

A riposte is a hand-to-hand attack that immediately follows a successful parry. When your character becomes a master (a skill rating of 91%+) with a hand-to-hand weapon skill (or attack
and
parry if attacks and parry skill ratings are being handled separately), he or she can attempt to riposte attacks. To riposte, your character must have made a successful parry with a hand-to-hand weapon against a hand-to-hand weapon attack. If the parry is successful, he or she can immediately make a counterattack--a riposte--against the attacker. The riposte is resolved as a normal attack, and the original attacker can attempt to parry the riposte.

A riposte can be attempted once per successful parry made by your character, though each subsequent riposte is at a cumulative -30% (just as parries are so modified). The riposte does not take the place of a normal attack, but any penalties for multiple ripostes will modify your normal attack if has not already occurred. If your character has already attacked in a round, the initial riposte is at a cumulative -30% per prior attack.

Clarifications:

  • A shield
    can
    be used as a riposting weapon.

  • A Brawl attack (fist or kick, etc.) can be used to riposte.

  • The weapon riposting must be the weapon the parry is made with. Your character
    cannot
    parry an attack with one weapon and riposte with another.

  • When penalties for multiple parries or ripostes reduce a chance to 0%, no further actions of that type may be attempted in that combat round.

  • Multiple parries and ripostes accumulate penalties separately. Keep attack/riposte penalties separate from parry penalties - they don't stack together.

  • Each riposte attempt costs 1 DEX rank. If the character has not gone already in the round, his or her DEX rank is reduced by the number of riposte attempts. At 0 DEX ranks, no further actions can be attempted in that combat round.

  • A riposte can be parried and riposted in turn, and that riposte can be parried and riposted. Keep track of penalties and DEX rank costs.

Edited by Trifletraxor

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Defense - 1% per level (p. 147) versus 5% per level (p. 151). The answer from Jason is the lower value, but I started a little debate on this. So perhaps for the purpose of the errata an asterisked type answer, maybe?

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Two weapon fighting rule suggested by Rodney, backed by Jason:

I think it's errata material, but we need some more clarifications on handedness. This rules uses one skill for each hand, while the book have rules on handedness, with only one skill for a weapon and half chance when wielded off-hand.

Which rule should be the official?

SGL.

I can't speak for Jason, but it appears it was intended that the skill only started at half level (or Difficult) and could be improved as I noted in the write up. For example...

According to the Spot Rule Two Weapons on page 234 of Basic Role Playing, "attacks with the secondary hand are considered Difficult, if your character is not trained in the use of fighting using that hand (see below)".

Now, reading on, I do not see any reference to improving the off hand skill as the above would seem to imply, but in Stormbringer page 136 under Two Weapons it says...

"Skill for the second hand starts at half the current skill. Make a separate adventurer sheet entry for it". The fact that it starts at half the current skill and requires a seperate entry seems to imply it can be improved.

If this is mentioned elsewhere in Basic Role Playing than I missed it. I just extrapolated my write-up from those two sources and filled in the blanks.

So if I had to guess, I would say that starting at half the skill level and then improving the skill separately is the official method, however I can only speak so far as to Classic Fantasy.

Rod

Edited by threedeesix

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I prefer the simple rule that attacking with a weapon in the off hand is Difficult, and keeping the separate skills as optional. So if you get a special parry with your weapon or shield, you have a free riposte with your shield or main gauche, but your attack is at half percentile.

Note that if you use the house rule I proposed one year ago, that a weapon cannot be used to parry and attack on the same DEX rank (it is already so with Strike Ranks), then your opponent cannot parry the riposte with the weapon he used to attack - deadly but realistic.

Despite the fact that BRP does not have ads/disads, I think that rules for ambidexterous characters should be introduced to complement this spot rule.

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I have re-written the rule to make it more of an addition to the Two Weapon spot rule and less of a duplicate rule. This is how it will be written in Classic Fantasy. It essentially becomes two extra bullet points tacked onto the end of the Two Weapon Spot Rule.

Two Weapons (Addendum): The rules for fighting with two weapons are detailed in Basic Roleplaying on page 233. However several new rules have been detailed to further define the tactic.

• An offhand weapon may be trained and improved just as any other weapon skill. As noted in Basic Roleplaying, unless the weapon is a shield, parrying dagger, or some other weapon designed to be used in the offhand, the skill begins at half the characters normal skill level (Difficult). However from that point forward it may be checked for experience and raised through training as normal.

• Not more than once per round per opponent, a Special success on a parry allows the defender to make a riposte with the non-parrying weapon (or shield). The riposte is a free attack that does not count against the normal maximum number of attacks per round - it occurs on the DEX rank the parry was performed in, right after the successful parry. This extra attack can be parried or dodged, and armor defends normally against it. If the GM feels that a Special success is too frequent a chance for an extra attack, he or she may rule that a riposte requires a Critical parry result instead.

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I prefer the simple rule that attacking with a weapon in the off hand is Difficult, and keeping the separate skills as optional. So if you get a special parry with your weapon or shield, you have a free riposte with your shield or main gauche, but your attack is at half percentile.

I can appreciate that. Simple is good. However, in this case I think it would make more sense for not improving it to be optional as I cant believe any player that utilizes this tactic as part of his or her character concept is going to prefer not being able to raise it. The ranger in our playtest just brought his offhand weapon skill up to 97%, I'm not telling him to lower it. :)

Note that if you use the house rule I proposed one year ago, that a weapon cannot be used to parry and attack on the same DEX rank (it is already so with Strike Ranks), then your opponent cannot parry the riposte with the weapon he used to attack - deadly but realistic.

This would nullify the chance of a riposte on the same DEX rank that he or she attacked in, as the "free" attack must be made with a weapon other than that which parried. Plus, the combat round is 12 seconds long, DEX ranks are just used to add structure to what would otherwise be chaos. I appreciate your house rule and would use it if I ever changed the combat round to 1 to 3 seconds in length.

Despite the fact that BRP does not have ads/disads, I think that rules for ambidexterous characters should be introduced to complement this spot rule.

As per BRP page 234, "For a quick rule of thumb, if your character has a DEX

15 or less, he or she is either right- or left-handed. If your character has a DEX 16 or more, he or she can be ambidextrous if they choose."

Rod

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I can appreciate that. Simple is good. However, in this case I think it would make more sense for not improving it to be optional as I cant believe any player that utilizes this tactic as part of his or her character concept is going to prefer not being able to raise it. The ranger in our playtest just brought his offhand weapon skill up to 97%, I'm not telling him to lower it. :)

The point is that in the new BRP philosophy, optional is better.

The problem here is that, if the skills are separate, there is no reason why the offhand skill should start at half the righthand skill. Suppose you have 70% in Dagger and you fight with two sais. He uses a riposte and gets a check in his offhand attack, then raises it to 28% with his experience roll. Eventually he trains his main hand skill to 60%. Now, if he had not raised his LH skill separately, it would be 30%, but in fact it is now 28%. Or examine the case of a character which starts at 50% in katana, trains it to 70% and then starts using Musashi's two-sword technique. Which is his starting skill in the offhand, 25% or 35%? And if it is 35%, why did he get these 10 free skill points over another samurai that started play at 50% but was fighting with two swords from the beginning?

Worse, if you are using skill category modifiers, and your skill is not very high, the halved skill could be in fact lower than default+modifier.

If you want them to be separate skills, then the player should invest points in both at character creation, not treat the offhand as a default until some arbitrary point in his career when he gets an experience check in this. However, I have played such a character in RuneQuest 3 and can tell you one thinng: fighting with two weapons is really fun, but keeping track of several separate skills adds nothing to the fun.

A better solution would be to create a procedure to make a character ambidexterous and use only one skill, so that a character willing to use a two-weapon technique can do so at full effectiveness if he takes the time to achieve ambidexterity. But this procedure already exists, (although I do not find it really satisfactory) as a character with DEX 16 or skill over 100% already has his full skill in the offhand weapon.

This would nullify the chance of a riposte on the same DEX rank that he or she attacked in, as the "free" attack must be made with a weapon other than that which parried.

Okay, let me clarify this: the defender has two weapons and makes a riposte on the same DEX rank or Strike rank of the original attack. The attacker can only parry the riposte if he has two weapons, as he cannot parry with the same weapon on the same DEX/Strike rank. Or he can dodge it.

Plus, the combat round is 12 seconds long, DEX ranks are just used to add structure to what would otherwise be chaos. I appreciate your house rule and would use it if I ever changed the combat round to 1 to 3 seconds in length.

Unfortunately, it is more an amendment to a forgotten detail than a house rule. If you use Strike Ranks, it is already so in the rules as written, they most likely forgot to add this for DEX ranks. Furthermore, this rule does not represent the fact that you are hitting at second 8.5 in a 12-second rank, but the fact that you hit with the non-parrying weapon while your attacker's weapon is engaged by your other weapon.

We have tested this situation in real combat, and a two-weapon user can easily block his one-weapon-user opponent's weapon for just the time it takes to sneak in an unparriable attack.

Finally, you can rule that the parry is downgraded to a normal success if you want to make a riposte, so that the riposte becomes less common - you cannot use it against a special attack, and in some cases one can prefer to just damage his opponent's weapon instead.

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The point is that in the new BRP philosophy, optional is better.

This is true, however while I do like and agree with your ideas, I wasn't as much trying to create new rules as adding the elements of two weapon fighting that was present already in Stormbringer, but appear to have been inadvertently left out of Basic Roleplaying. A supplement that goes more heavily into combat and tactics would more than benefit from your ideas, but I just wanted to resurrect a forgotten rule.

Rod

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As Jason is the author of the book, and I'm trying to keep the errata as "official" as possible, Jason saying the riposte rules got missed out from the book and approving Rod's added rule means it's added to the errata.

Finally, you can rule that the parry is downgraded to a normal success if you want to make a riposte, so that the riposte becomes less common - you cannot use it against a special attack, and in some cases one can prefer to just damage his opponent's weapon instead.

Sounds like a good houserule.

Okay, let me clarify this: the defender has two weapons and makes a riposte on the same DEX rank or Strike rank of the original attack. The attacker can only parry the riposte if he has two weapons, as he cannot parry with the same weapon on the same DEX/Strike rank. Or he can dodge it.

We are talking two one-handed vs. one two-handed weapon here, right?

SGL.

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The two weapons fighting rules have been updated in the errata under the Spot Rules chapter.

I've tried to include it as smoothly as possebly, by exchanging two paragraphs. Jason, could you have a look at it and see if you approve or not?

SGL.

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My doubts about the offhand skill starting at half the right hand skill are still unanswered. Note that I am not against using two skills, just against giving the character a percentile higher than basic without investing skill points at character creation. I do not see any reason why the rule for using weapons in a similar class should not be used instead (see p. 258).

And I see no added value in not including the option of keeping the skill unique and having the riposte attack being Difficult. I see no point in making things mandatory, it just increases the number of houserules people will use. Note that using this option you just have to train your DEX to 16 or your skill to 100% to make the second attack at full percentile - less detailed than having two skills but better for those who want less bookkeeping.

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My doubts about the offhand skill starting at half the right hand skill are still unanswered. Note that I am not against using two skills, just against giving the character a percentile higher than basic without investing skill points at character creation. I do not see any reason why the rule for using weapons in a similar class should not be used instead (see p. 258).

And I see no added value in not including the option of keeping the skill unique and having the riposte attack being Difficult. I see no point in making things mandatory, it just increases the number of houserules people will use. Note that using this option you just have to train your DEX to 16 or your skill to 100% to make the second attack at full percentile - less detailed than having two skills but better for those who want less bookkeeping.

Isn't the parry analogy the closest here, as noted earlier?

In the use of parry there is the option to maintain a single skill for attack and parry or double the ranks to spend on both attack and parry as seperate skills.

So what is wrong with doing something similar with a third skill - riposte?

In other words treat it as a difficult combat maneuvre with the option to treat it as a seperate skill with base equal to half skill - similar to parry.

Yes it would appear to advantage learning it after main skill has been improved, but as an add-on this seems the simplest option.

Recognising the concerns for house-rules - BRP as it stands already has a lot of optional rules which people can manage, so another one that reflects existing rules should not be over-problematic.

Maybe BRP Central can collectively write a 'companion' monograph of errata, clarifications and suggested extra rules options...

Edited by leonmallett

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My doubts about the offhand skill starting at half the right hand skill are still unanswered.

I see that point now, it's not clear as it stands.

Note that I am not against using two skills, just against giving the character a percentile higher than basic without investing skill points at character creation.

You wouldn't have a higher basic skills without investing skill points using the opposite hand is the way I imagined it.

I do not see any reason why the rule for using weapons in a similar class should not be used instead (see p. 258).

Must have a look in my book when I'm back home.

And I see no added value in not including the option of keeping the skill unique and having the riposte attack being Difficult. I see no point in making things mandatory, it just increases the number of houserules people will use.

You have a point, but what do you mean with the riposte attack being difficult? Could you write up the option rule as if it was in the book?

Note that using this option you just have to train your DEX to 16 or your skill to 100% to make the second attack at full percentile - less detailed than having two skills but better for those who want less bookkeeping.

So if I used an axe in the left hand and a sword in the right, my use of the axe skill would be difficult until reaching the above criteria? (Thought were arguing against this option on the first read-through, with "this option" refering to Rod's rules.)

SGL.

Edited by Trifletraxor
Full backtracking.

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Official errata for Riposte arrived from the author:

Riposte

A riposte is a hand-to-hand attack that immediately follows a successful parry. When a character reaches 91%+ in a hand-to-hand weapon skill (attack and parry if they're being handled separately), he or she is able to attempt to riposte an attack.

To riposte, the character must make a successful parry while using a hand-to-hand weapon against a hand-to-hand weapon attack. If the parry is successful, he or she can immediately make a counter-attack--the riposte--against the attacker. This is resolved as a normal attack, and the original attacker can attempt to parry the riposte.

A riposte can be attempted once per successful parry made by the defending character, though each subsequent attack (the riposte roll) is at a cumulative -20%, just as if it were a parry. The riposte does not take the place of a normal attack, but any penalties for multiple ripostes will modify the normal attack.

- A shield can be used as a riposting weapon.

- The weapon parrying must be the weapon the riposte is attempted with. The character cannot parry an attack with one weapon and riposte with another.

- When penalties for multiple parries or ripostes reduce a chance to 0%, no further actions of that type may be attempted in that combat round.

- Each riposte attempt costs 1 DEX rank. If the character has not gone already in the round, his or her DEX rank is reduced by the number of riposte attempts. At 0 DEX ranks, no further actions can be attempted in that combat round.

- A riposte can be parried and riposted in turn, and that riposte can be parried and riposted. Keep track of penalties and DEX rank costs.

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Official errata for Riposte arrived from the author:

I like this, but just so I can be clear, is the -20% penalty for each additional riposte cumulative with the -30% for each additional parry or tracked separately?

For instance, is the first riposte at -20% as it follows a parry? And would the next parry be at -50% as it follows a parry and a riposte?

Finally, would it make more sense to have the penalty for each additional riposte be -30% as it is for a defense roll? This would be easier for players to remember.

Rod

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I like this, but just so I can be clear, is the -20% penalty for each additional riposte cumulative with the -30% for each additional parry or tracked separately?

For instance, is the first riposte at -20% as it follows a parry? And would the next parry be at -50% as it follows a parry and a riposte?

Finally, would it make more sense to have the penalty for each additional riposte be -30% as it is for a defense roll? This would be easier for players to remember.

Rod

I wonder if Jason meant -30% and not -20% as that follows the parry/dodge paradigm?

I say this because:

though each subsequent attack (the riposte roll) is at a cumulative -20%, just as if it were a parry.

This makes me think the sequence is

- parry roll

- if successful roll for riposte attack

with both the parry roll and riposte attack roll being at a culmualtive -30% per additional attempt.

Edited by leonmallett

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Chapter 4 (Powers) - Magic Spells

  • p95 cites the magic spell "Flame", whereas p97 calls it "Fire"
  • p95 lists Control as costing 1 per level in the summary, and 3 per level in the main spell description entry (on the same page)
  • p95 lists Ward as 1/level, whereas the description lists it as 3/level on p102
  • p95 cites the magic spell "Wound", whereas p102 calls it "Wounding"

Where there is a difference between the summary and the full description, I assume the full description prevails.

Foen

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Foen, I suppose you are asking this because you are working on the FG version of BRP. Please keep in mind that the magic system in BRP is less "written in stone" than in, say, D&D or WoD, and everyone customizes his magic by adding elements from Stormbringer or RuneQuest (see, for instance, BRP vs MRQ - RPGnet Forums ). Apart of having the basic spells available, it is better if things remain highly "pluggable" with regard to spells and powers, or they might become incompatible with many settings.

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