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I have always had a soft spot for percentile based RPG's. I am amazed that I am just now finding BRP. I am reading and rereading sections of the book and loving what I am seeing. My question to all you more experienced folks is:

Besides the basic rules, what optional rules/subsystems are you using, and why?

Also, if it helps or makes a difference to my question, I will be running low to mid fantasy style games.

I will thank all of you who read and/or respond to this post now, and let you all know anything you share will be greatly appreciated. 

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23 minutes ago, BunnyOfDoom said:

I have always had a soft spot for percentile based RPG's. I am amazed that I am just now finding BRP. I am reading and rereading sections of the book and loving what I am seeing. My question to all you more experienced folks is:

Besides the basic rules, what optional rules/subsystems are you using, and why?

Well for starters I tend to use BRP related games, such as Stormbringer, RuneQuest, or Call of Cthulhu for rules, and even whole campaigns. My reasons why are that most of the "core rules" in BRP actually originated in some previous Chaosium produced game, and such games tend to give very good sets of rules that work well together. For example, random armor works better with general hit points than with hit locations. Having the parent systems for a given rule also helps to understand why the rule was created in the first place and what the author was trying to accomplish. 

In some cases, the "package deals" of the preexisting RPGs can be better tolls to help me do what I want to to that the BRP rulebook, which contains rules that I won't be using for that particular campaign. For instance, if I wanted to run a fantasy campaign I probably don't need the info on modern or futuristic weapons, and might want to use Stormbringer or RuneQuest as my core system rather than BRP.  Of course, I'm fortunately in that I already have all three systems and so am free to cherry pick the features I desire for a given campaign. 

23 minutes ago, BunnyOfDoom said:

Also, if it helps or makes a difference to my question, I will be running low to mid fantasy style games.

That probably cover the vast majority of BRP based/related FRPGs. The real differences between the various games and rule system isn't so much with the amount of fantasy and magic, as with the level of detail and abstraction. Things like general hits points, vs. hit locations, using category modifiers or not, DEX ranks vs. Strike Ranks, encumbrance rules,  the number of success levels, and their application, and a host of other little fiddling details all impact how a game plays, often as much or even more that the specific setting. 

Now as to which rules and variations are best....well.....that depends on what you want to do....and can still vary between different gamers. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and style of play. For instance if I were to run a BRP Star Wars campaign, I'd run it differently that I would run a BRP WWII campaign. 

 

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I’m not @Atgxtg but I’m a big believer in Magic World which is basically the same as Stormbringer 5 with a few modifications. You can find a review here -> https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/16/16300.phtml

I like it because if includes just the rules you need for a compact mid fantasy game without all the complications other BRP rule sets interject. The only exception to that is that it includes rules for sailing which is a bit unusual (though Mythras also has sailing rules) which is something I use a lot. Also there’s loads of fan support for Magic World On this site which is a nice perk.

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Hi @BunnyOfDoom and welcome to the BRP family! :D

If you wanted a low to medium fantasy world, the magic I would use is Spirit Magic with maximum 1 pt. Intensity to represent small prayers, cantrips or small spirits that help you. And then sorcery or divine magic for professional magic users (which should be rare in that world).

As an aside, below you can find a list of all the settings ready to use for campaigns belonging to D100 games:

List of D100 settings

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15 hours ago, BunnyOfDoom said:

Besides the basic rules, what optional rules/subsystems are you using, and why?

BRP is pretty much a toolkit of various subsystems that can be used.

I like RuneQuest, so i use the RQ-like subsystems. However, there are a lot of people who like Stormbringer and use the Stormbringer-like subsystems.

the beauty of BRP is that you can mix and match without too many issues.

I like RQ-style Strike Ranks and Hit Locations, so I use those. I am not keen on a Wealth stat, although I have used it before. I also use the Spirit/Divine/Sorcery magic system rather than the ones in the BRP book.

If you like Stormbringer-style rules, then magic World is a nice set of rules, with a lot of sub-systems pre-chosen. 

 

Welcome aboard and I hope you find the flavour of BRP that suits you.

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17 hours ago, BunnyOfDoom said:

I have always had a soft spot for percentile based RPG's. I am amazed that I am just now finding BRP. I am reading and rereading sections of the book and loving what I am seeing. My question to all you more experienced folks is:

Besides the basic rules, what optional rules/subsystems are you using, and why?

Also, if it helps or makes a difference to my question, I will be running low to mid fantasy style games.

I will thank all of you who read and/or respond to this post now, and let you all know anything you share will be greatly appreciated. 

I am biased, as I wrote a piece for the line and did a bit to help Ben Monroe prepare the manuscript for release, but like others, I'd recommend Magic World.

It's a single complete work that covers low to mid fantasy really well, it's a rich enough implementation of BRP  to cope with a few one shots or multi year campaigns but streamlined and straightforward enough to be easy to explain and grasp. Its HIGHLY compatible with the BRP core book (aka the "Big Gold Book" or BGB) which is chock full of options. And as Soltakss says, BRP is pretty easy to mix and match with anyway.

Start with Magic World and get a feel for what you'd like to add / change / enhance.

There are multiple sources for additional approaches to magic - the piece I wrote is one of several in the only official supplement for Magic World (Advanced Sorcery) , there's the aforementioned BGB plus others.

In Magic World itself  I'd say it is worth taking the time to read it carefully and to absorb in particular the Spot Rules section and the Chronicler's Resources chapter - there's a lot of quite subtle, apparently simple stuff in those that are the foundation of making the game really work well.

Edited by NickMiddleton
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As for myself, I tend to mix a lot of things from cousin games Mythras and Revolution D100.

I like to have few skills (a dozen), but with specializations. That is, instead of disconnected Climb, Jump, Throw, etc. skills, I'd have a single Agility skill with optional specialties for those who want to focus on one or more aspects. That is, a professional Alpinist would certainly have a Climb Specialty, which he'll add to his Agility skill when climbing.

I like the generic conflict rules from RD100 and M-Space (Mythras in space), which is a rather abstract system where each protagonist starts with a number of points equal to one of his characteristics, and the goal is to make your opponent lose all his points through skill versus skill oppositions.

I also use the Pendragon and Mythras rules for skill oppositions, with a twist. If one protagonist gets a better success level, he wins. if both protagonists achieve the same level of success, the one with the highest number on his d100 wins. The twist is that usually, those kind of rules consider that if both fail, there is no winner.

Using the Resistance Table equation in oppositions as a baseline for chances of success (that is, Chance of succes = 50%+[difference betwwen both skills]), would work fine for me, too.

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16 hours ago, rsanford said:

I’m not @Atgxtg

I can verify that.;)

I'd also agree that Magic World is a good choice for a GM who want's a good generic FRPG based on BRP. Magic World is essentially Stormbringer with all the Michael Moorcock/Eternal Champion specific stuff removed. 

But...as I mentioned earlier a lot of thing comes down to personal preferences. I love Strombringer,  RQ3 and Pendragon. All are BRP based RPGs, but each has features the other lack. When I'm thinking about starting up a campaign, I go over the features I think I will need or want for that campaign, and then pick the game that I think is the best fit. Or vice versa.

Edited by Atgxtg
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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

But...as I mentioned earlier a lot of thing comes down to personal preferences. I love Strombringer,  RQ3 and Pendragon. All are BRP based RPGs, but each has features the other lack. When I'm thinking about starting up a campaign, I go over the features I think I will need or want for that campaign, and then pick the game that I think is the best fit. Or vice versa.

Completely agree here. First, choose the campaign and the mood (and the players), then choose a system that can fit with those parameters.

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2 hours ago, Kloster said:

Completely agree here. First, choose the campaign and the mood (and the players), then choose a system that can fit with those parameters.

Or do the opposite. Pick a game, and accept (and explain) the campaign, mood and style that comes with it.  

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9 hours ago, Mugen said:

As for myself, I tend to mix a lot of things from cousin games Mythras and Revolution D100.

I like to have few skills (a dozen), but with specializations. That is, instead of disconnected Climb, Jump, Throw, etc. skills, I'd have a single Agility skill with optional specialties for those who want to focus on one or more aspects. That is, a professional Alpinist would certainly have a Climb Specialty, which he'll add to his Agility skill when climbing.

I like the generic conflict rules from RD100 and M-Space (Mythras in space), which is a rather abstract system where each protagonist starts with a number of points equal to one of his characteristics, and the goal is to make your opponent lose all his points through skill versus skill oppositions.

I also use the Pendragon and Mythras rules for skill oppositions, with a twist. If one protagonist gets a better success level, he wins. if both protagonists achieve the same level of success, the one with the highest number on his d100 wins. The twist is that usually, those kind of rules consider that if both fail, there is no winner.

Using the Resistance Table equation in oppositions as a baseline for chances of success (that is, Chance of succes = 50%+[difference betwwen both skills]), would work fine for me, too.

Got to admit, Revolution’s way of doing skills is genius and one of the best things about the game. I would like to run a CoC game but use Paulo’s skill rules. Just need to create a character sheet.

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On 8/7/2020 at 8:27 AM, BunnyOfDoom said:

@Atgxtg, in your opinion which of the Chaosium fantasy settings, embracing my low to mid fantasy wants, would be most beneficial for me to start with?

BRP has quite a few flavours to choose from. Only focusing on current fantasy games that are self-contained:

On the low crunch side, Magic World is a good option and it has a primer of a setting at the back. MW is a repurpose of Stormbringer. Be aware that it is currently not supported.

Another option, is Toxandria that was just released on Drivethru. It also seem fairly self-contained with a primer for the setting and all the rules you need based on the BRP licence. It feels tighter tham Magic World and looks better (but that is subjective).

If you want more crunch, Lyonesse is a beautiful, complete game in one book. It is based on the series of novel by Jack Vance. It is based on Mythras. Of the three it is definitely the most complete.

Edited to add:

Perhaps, I should have added Runequest: Roleplaying in Glorantha in my list. The core book is a great primer to a very deep and rich setting and, although there is a lot more out there, the book is self-contained. It is not what I would call low to mid fantasy as magic is very present. Because the rules were a bit more restrictive in that regard, RuneQuest 3 (long out of print now), was a lot grttier and low powered. Of the bunch RQG is the most stunning to look at.

Further afield, you will have King Arthur Pendragon and Paladin that are also beautiful. It is on the lower side of crunch, both books are self-contained and resolution is on d20 rather than d100. The scope of both games is a lot more focused as all players are intended to play a knight of Arthur or a paladin of Charlemagne. No elves or dwarves pc!

In summary:

Deep settings: RQG, Lyonesse, KAP, Paladin

Primer: Magic World, Toxandria

Crunch: Lyonesse, RQG

Less crunch: Magic World, Toxandria, KAP, Paladin

The most complete in one book: Lyonesse

The easier to jump into: Toxandria

Edited by DreadDomain
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13 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Or do the opposite. Pick a game, and accept (and explain) the campaign, mood and style that comes with it.  

That's how I created my homebrew world : I loved RuneQuest 3 rules, but my attempts to make a campaign in Glorantha all failed miserably, as I was not able to understand it correctly with the published material. Plus, I felt like there was a huge disconnection between the lore and the rules.

So, I created a world that would conform to RQ3 rules and that I was sure to understand, as it was my creation.

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13 hours ago, rsanford said:

Got to admit, Revolution’s way of doing skills is genius and one of the best things about the game.

Yes, I used a variant of it in my, currently stalled, Dark Ages campaign and it works really well.

 

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On 8/7/2020 at 7:13 AM, BunnyOfDoom said:

Besides the basic rules, what optional rules/subsystems are you using, and why?

I have added a bit more about books/setting above but as for subsystems go, here is a few worthy of mention:

Skill modifiers (Mythras, RQG, Magic World): Not a super big deal but I like when characteristics impact skills. There are a few different ways to do it but my preferred methods are the ones from Mythras and the one from RQ3 (also found in BRP BGB)

Character creation that is driven by culture, community and age (RQG, Mythras, KAP): After I discovered how characterS were created in KAP and RQ3, I could never be satisfied by characters created in a void.

Personality, Passions, Reputation (KAP, Mythras, RQG): I love the texture it gives to characters and how they interact and fit into the world

Family background (KAP, RQG, to a lesser degree Mythras): As above, it ties the character to the setting.

Strike Ranks (RQ3, to a lesser degree RQG): I like SR when they are used as they were in RQ3 and summarised in the BRP Big Golden Book on page 199. It adds a lot of tactical elements to combat.

Combat special effects (Mythras): One, if not the, definitive feature of Mythras. With them, combat is much more than chipping away at hit points.

Abstract contest (Mythras):  Can bring a lot of tension to conflicts that are not physical fights.

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So, I came to BRP via RuneQuest, which is probably higher magic than you'd prefer.

A milieu that I really enjoy for the 'low-to-mid level magic' preference is Harn, by Columbia Games. It's an incredibly complete Middle Ages setting [roughly comparable to the Early Crusades era in Europe] with some of the best maps in gaming. And hands-down the BEST interior building /cave /dungeon maps.

Some caveats:

- Harn has its own game mechanics that its magic and religious systems are designed for. That'll take some conversion to set up.

- When setting up the Shek-Pvar [Harn's wizards], you'll have to have a real handle on the BRP Sorcery rules.

- For some people [myself included], the Sorcery rules can be pretty complicated. Other people I know absorb them just fine. I dunno, maybe I'm just thick in the head... :D

- Harn is *seriously* medieval... one of the basic articles you have to read and understand is on Manorialism [or as I call it 'Serfdom for Dummies - It's not as bad as you think!']. This is NOT the setting for the murder hobos that run around on Golarion or the Forgotten Realms.

Anyway, that's my two Clacks worth. You can find everything Harn on drivethru.

Edited by svensson
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If you're going the low-magic route, you could decree that magic is only for NPCs and usually the bad guys.  That way your players don't have to mess with it and your villains can simply do what they do without you having to delve into the mechanics too much.  You might provide an occasional magic item (ring, sword, lamp, etc.) but those things are rare enough to be the focus of a particular adventure.

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There are a *LOT* of free quickstart PDF's (and free SRD's, usually much larger) produced by publishers in the BRP/d100 "extended family" of RPGs.  Most of them can also be bought for minimal cost (generally $10-$15 range) if you prefer hardcopy. 

Many of these -- arguably, most/all of them -- are in fact sufficient to play an entire campaign, without needing the "full" rules.

I would take a look at these sorts of products, and decide if you actually need anything more.

BRP itself.  MW.  Mythras Imperative.  RD100.  etc...

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On 8/8/2020 at 8:01 PM, svensson said:

some of the best maps in gaming. And hands-down the BEST interior building /cave /dungeon maps.

Sorry for the thread-drift, but what makes the maps so good? JW.

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4 hours ago, Crel said:

Sorry for the thread-drift, but what makes the maps so good? JW.

The outdoor maps are color coded for terrain in an intuitive and easy to understand manner. Depend on the scale, you can every single settlement, mine, hunting lodge, etc. in a given region.

The interior maps code not just building /room features, but also includes construction materials of the walls, floor, and roof, what type of roof and at what height, stair cases [including circular stairs] are easy to read, etc. You can find some examples for free download at Lythia.com, the Harn fan content website. Map keys are available for free for download at drivethru.com.

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On 8/10/2020 at 11:58 PM, Crel said:

Sorry for the thread-drift, but what makes the maps so good? JW.

Seconding @svensson here. The maps themselves are not especially beautiful in an aesthetic sense, but they are lovingly made by people who genuinely love cartography: cross referencing is easy with map indexes and coordinates, digital maps have layers you can turn on and off, scales are always indicated, things tend to be consistent and plausible, etc. And of course, there's a TON of those maps. No Harn supplement has less than a couple maps, and things get detailed down to the single rooms and doors of the most important buildings (keeps, castles, or notable inns and stuff). It's awesome, but in a "awesome-for-people-who-love-spreadsheets-and-doing-taxes" kinda way. I know some other people who just shrug and don't care.

Edited by lordabdul
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