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Lloyd Dupont

BRP First Impression

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We have a D&D goup going on (I was GMing 2 of them before with various D100 rules and setting.. I am kind of rule hopper, I admit)

Anyway now another player is GMing a D&D published campaign, and we got 3 new players. I loaned them one of my BRP hardcopy... (we are planning to do my work-in-progress scifi campaign after that) And next week the players came back to me and said "wow this looks so complicated" (I think he was referencing character creation)..

Which made me sad.. :(

Anyway, I am preparing a scifi settings, with a 6 lines long character creation procedure, inspired from Magic World (which has nice and simple character creation)...

Any tip for easy character creation?
Just trying to make a good first impression! :)
Though, I think Magic World quite nailed it!

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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FIrst, explain to them that character creation is front-loaded, meaning you do the math during chargen and then just read the values during play. The derived characteristics will seem complex at first, and the tons of options in the BGB can definitely be overwhelming.


It's your job as the GM to pare it down for them. One of the things I do for newer players is use something from one of the Elric games. I disconnect characteristics from skill ratings, and bump up the personal skills. This cuts out a lot of math for them during chargen, and allows me to have a character sheet that lists skills alphabetically without categories. This is easier for new players to read.

Rolling for characteristics is another thing that can really speed up chargen. Point-buy is a bottleneck for something that doesn't matter that much.

Choose one and only one magic system, with a limited spell list. The analysis paralysis can get deep here.

Equipment packs. Make some, with groups of occupations in mind.

If you are using Knowledges and Sciences, make a list of the available ones. Same for repair types and crafting. If you want this to be part of your game, define it.

Most importantly, you need a chargen document for them. If you have them flipping around the BGB, they will get frustrated.

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You need to be quite clear which options you have switched on and which you have switched off if you're presenting BRP to a newcomer. Even if you go full-on crunch you're still not using every option. If you come to the book cold and think all those rules are there to be used at once, it can be pretty off-putting.

Or, as you say, you can go with MW (though I assume you'll have to tailor it to your SF setting?).

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48 minutes ago, Vile said:

Or, as you say, you can go with MW (though I assume you'll have to tailor it to your SF setting?).

It's definitely scifi...

But for profession description MW is like:
Each profession has 10 skill, pick a profession.
In that profession skill list:
- pick one, add + 60%
- pick 3, add +40%
- pick 4, add + 20%

much easier... :)

 

I might get away from skill modifier by category too.. it's too much thinking and for like -8 to +8% variation, in the most extreme case?
Plus player want to add extra percent if base characteristic changes.. which is not quite the same at base percentage and at 90+%....

I think I might go with simple flat, race based, starting value of 40%, 20%, 10%, 01%.... per category...

for magic no worries.. there will be a bit of psionic and that's it. Though there will be transhumanism though! :P 
(augmentation a bit like River of heaven)

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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40 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I might get away from skill modifier by category too.. it's too much thinking and for like -8 to +8% variation, in the most extreme case?
Plus player want to add extra percent if base characteristic changes.. which is not quite the same at base percentage and at 90+%....

I think I might go with simple flat, race based, starting value of 40%, 20%, 10%, 01%.... per category...

Yeah, that's one house rule I implemented some years ago - skill category modifiers (or even basing them on two characteristics) is too fiddly to calculate and re-calculate, for such a negligible impact. I just use flat skill base chances like in the original BRP booklet nowadays. Characteristics still do plenty of work what with derived stats (like hit points, damage bonus, etc.), characteristic rolls, and simply help with visualising a character.

So, you have an SF setting, is there a thread somewhere? 👀

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I am just asking little question here and there... ^_^

I might share the (not play tested yet) base document I am working on one day... but it's not nearly interesting enough yet! ^_^

It will be based on Master of Orion 2..
Already have character creation rule, race list...
but still working on power list, bio-augment list, vehicle list, environmental effect list... (that will be word document one, available to players)
(maybe equipment list.. not sure... might just make on the spot and not that many gadget apart from weapon already in the BRP book)

and the galaxy quarter document (so far only in my head, as I was wondering about the stapple kind of activity that would please me, and make the game intereting...). that would be word document two! :)

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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10 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

We have a D&D goup going on (I was GMing 2 of them before with various D100 rules and setting.. I am kind of rule hopper, I admit)

Anyway now another player is GMing a D&D published campaign, and we got 3 new players. I loaned them one of my BRP hardcopy... (we are planning to do my work-in-progress scifi campaign after that) And next week the players came back to me and said "wow this looks so complicated" (I think he was referencing character creation)..

Which made me sad.. :(

Anyway, I am preparing a scifi settings, with a 6 lines long character creation procedure, inspired from Magic World (which has nice and simple character creation)...

Any tip for easy character creation?
Just trying to make a good first impression! :)
Though, I think Magic World quite nailed it!

Bluntly, the "BGB" book for BRP is complicated - it is a compilation of the options and variants from multiple games and whilst there is a core "baseline" that's pretty straightforward (and quite close to Elric! / Magic World) it's not clearly and distinctly spelled out in isolation from all the options.

For a new player - give them the BRP Quickstart (or at least the rules part), and then say there's a BIG library of options from which you will use an appropriate subset.

IN D&D 5e terms,  the BGB is the core three books plus Xanathar's Guide to Everything and Volo's Guide to Monsters, and several of the Unearthed Arcana articles.

Oh, and as to what to do, you are doing it:  I've used the Magic World as the basis of all my BRP CG since I first read Ben's draft of it - it's streamlined, effective and avoids the awful decision paralysis that BGB CG and similar approaches can get mired in.

Re Skill Categories - I like them for CG and acquiring new skills, but I've always played that we apply them once, at CG / when a skill is first opened,  and then don't worry of the stat changes and thus the category modifier changes for existing skills. Creating a character and playing a character are two different engagements with the rules set.

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
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I kind of refused to see it before.. maybe because I got years of experimentation and perspective.. but maybe BRB can seem complicated, at first sight...
I am going to continue my simplification effort! :)

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Well, share it when you feel you have something to share - actually, just before, or you might never think it's "good enough"! 🤣

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I will +1 the notion that the BGB is "complicated," but note that it's a toolkit, not a ready-to-play RPG.

I will also +1 the notion that the BRP Quickstart is a better item to hand newbies as a "get started" document, then letting them know that there's a big ol' collection of options-and-variations in the BGB, and you'll be pulling some items from there, and elsewhere, to add into your own Homebrew.

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