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Chaosium Announces Lords of the Middle Sea Roleplaying Game is in development

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In 1978, hot on the heels of the release of the revolutionary White Bear, Red Moon strategy game and the RuneQuest roleplaying game, Chaosium Inc. released Lords of the Middle Sea. This was a board war game, set in the post-apocalyptic ruins of a flooded North America, in the year 2401. 

Lords of the Middle Sea was Lynn Willis's first Chaosium title. Lynn went on to become one of the longest-serving members of the Chaosium team, co-authoring or contributing to such revered titles as Basic Roleplaying, the second and third editions of RuneQuest, the original Masks of Nyarlathotep (with Larry DiTillio), Worlds of Wonder, Ringworld, Elric, Ghostbusters (for West End Games), and the fifth and sixth editions of Call of Cthulhu. Lynn Willis passed away in 2013.

Though the Lords of the Middle Sea game never found the success of RuneQuest or Call of Cthulhu, it sustained a dedicated fanbase and copies of the original game are collectors’ items.

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And now, 42 years later, Chaosium is proud to announce the development of Lords of the Middle Sea Roleplaying Game, a new tabletop RPG joining the ranks of Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, HeroQuest, Basic Roleplaying, 7th Sea, the upcoming Rivers of London, and other Chaosium titles.

Inspired by Lynn Willis's Lords of the Middle Sea board war game, in the RPG the player characters take on the roles of explorers, traders, adventurers, or others seeking to survive and thrive in an Earth barely recovering from world-wide collapse, nuclear war, and environmental catastrophe. 

In the Lords of the Middle Sea world settlements are few and far between, and civilization has just begun to establish itself. Technology ranges from steam-powered airships and watercraft, to high tech held by long-hidden enclaves that remained intact in their underground shelters. Each player group is centered around their ship, customized during character generation and during play, with its own quirks and drawbacks, strengths and weaknesses. The game’s structure rewards both episodic play and long-term campaigns.

With a core rulebook written by award-winning veteran game designer John Snead (Blue Rose, Eclipse Phase, Exalted, Mage: The Awakening, The Laundry, etc.), Lords of the Middle Sea utilizes a streamlined version of the Basic Roleplaying system, recently released under an Open Gaming License. The core rules will be followed by a gamemaster screen and an adventure sourcebook. Future supplements are being planned.

"As a sort of futuristic proto-Steampunk – before Steampunk proper existed as a genre – Lynn Willis's Lords of the Middle Sea was Chaosium's second original IP, after Greg Stafford's Glorantha. It's a pleasure to be bringing it back for a new gaming audience", said Chaosium president Rick Meints.

The game is being produced by the RuneQuest creative team of Jeff Richard (The Guide to Glorantha, King of Sartar, HeroQuest, etc.) and Jason Durall (BasicRoleplaying, RuneQuest, TheLaundry, World War Cthulhu, Conan, etc.).

No publication date has been announced.

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Jason Durall preps for one of the initial playtests of the Lords of the Middle Sea RPG

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Wow, this looks really good - a streamlined version of BRP, as well as a cool setting. 

Count me interested! 😎

Edited by Mankcam
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Sounds very good! Also, having John Snead involved is very promisinig - I really liked his "Worlds United" setting for Mythras.

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On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

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I like the logo

On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

And now, 42 years later, Chaosium is proud to announce the development of Lords of the Middle Sea Roleplaying Game

The family expands that's great

On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

a new tabletop RPG joining the ranks of Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, HeroQuest, Basic Roleplaying, 7th Sea, the upcoming Rivers of London, and other Chaosium titles.

Is Rivers also BRP based?

On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

In the Lords of the Middle Sea world settlements are few and far between, and civilization has just begun to establish itself. Technology ranges from steam-powered airships and watercraft, to high tech held by long-hidden enclaves that remained intact in their underground shelters. Each player group is centered around their ship, customized during character generation and during play, with its own quirks and drawbacks, strengths and weaknesses. The game’s structure rewards both episodic play and long-term campaigns.

The ship part is intriguing.

On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

With a core rulebook written by award-winning veteran game designer John Snead 

John Snead? Good.

On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

"As a sort of futuristic proto-Steampunk – before Steampunk proper existed as a genre –

Not my cup of tea but let's see

On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

The game is being produced by the RuneQuest creative team of Jeff Richard (The Guide to Glorantha, King of Sartar, HeroQuest, etc.) and Jason Durall (BasicRoleplaying, RuneQuest, TheLaundry, World War Cthulhu, Conan, etc.).

Uhhh. Shouldn't these guys focus on RQG instead?

On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

No publication date has been announced.

Please don't. Not until you are certain in which year it will be published

On 7/23/2020 at 7:44 PM, MOB said:

Lords of the Middle Sea utilizes a streamlined version of the Basic Roleplaying system, recently released

I understand it refers to the recently released SRD, but the streamlined version used in the SRD is basically the BRP Quickstart which has ben released over a decade ago right?

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On 7/24/2020 at 3:26 PM, DreadDomain said:

...

I understand it refers to the recently released SRD, but the streamlined version used in the SRD is basically the BRP Quickstart which has ben released over a decade ago right?

No, the new SRD differs from the rules in the Quickstart.

Granted, there's only so many differences possible between stripped-down versions of BRP ... 

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57 minutes ago, g33k said:

No, the new SRD differs from the rules in the Quickstart.

Granted, there's only so many differences possible between stripped-down versions of BRP ... 

Really? When I read the SRD, I really thought it was a slight* revision of the Quickstart. I will have to look at it again.

* And by slight I mean text edition here and there and cutting examples and stuff. 

Yea, went back very quickly and beyond the re-editing and culling of the text, there are a few small changes, most notably that one can take multiple defensive actions in a combat round.

Edited by DreadDomain

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3 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Glorantha has enough love already! ^_^

It's BRP which needs more of it! :P 

Loyd I completely agree with you however I don't think we are going to change Chaosium's mind. And I am not sure we should as they can probably make more money off Gloranthia. But I will politely mention that I'm not interested in Gloranthia while I am likely to buy any BRP title that comes up.

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20 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Glorantha has enough love already! ^_^

It's BRP which needs more of it! :P 

Between Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, and Pendragon, BRP-systems get a LOT of love. I think you mean a BRP game that is none of those.

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54 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I don't know that needed any clarification! 😅
But that is indeed what I meant... 😜

Well all of those games are also BRP.

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3 hours ago, Jeff said:

Between Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, and Pendragon, BRP-systems get a LOT of love. I think you mean a BRP game that is none of those.

I would say that BRP hasn't been so healthy since... ever perhaps?

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On 7/27/2020 at 8:19 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

Glorantha has enough love already! ^_^

It's BRP which needs more of it! :P 

All joking aside, I understand and agree with the desire to get more BRP.

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Have my copy of Lors of the middle sea in the garage some place.

All I can say is Im looking foreward to raiding a sunken library or action on one of the floating cities.

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I also have my copy in my garage. Never got to play it though. But am planning on buying the new book(s) when they come out. Will depend if I am still around, so I hope they don't take to long. 👴 WooHoo!

 

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