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How Could BRP Be More Popular...?


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Comparing BRP to the other systems I use, it seems to me the character design with BRP

is on the comparatively fast and easy side.

In Traveller the character creation is almost a game within a game, because the lifepath

system also creates much of the character's background history and contacts. The result

is worth the trouble, but the character creation takes some time.

GURPS with its many possible combinations of advantages and disadvantages is also not

exactly a fast and easy system.

And in my view D&D 4 is only fast if one creates a 1st level character, the creation of a

more experienced character can easily become very complicated and time consuming.

I find Traveller chargen to be a breeze myself, but it's an altogether different type of process to BRP. Aside from the random element in characteristic rolls, BRP is for the most part about distributing points over selected skills. This can take as long as you want depending on how finickity you are.

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I find Traveller chargen to be a breeze myself, but it's an altogether different type of process to BRP. Aside from the random element in characteristic rolls, BRP is for the most part about distributing points over selected skills. This can take as long as you want depending on how finickity you are.

There is a lot of truth to that statement. I recently started up a Pendragon (BRP realted RPG) campaign. About half of my players have played the game before and the rest are new to the game. Character creation took a lot longer than I expected. Surprisingly,it wasn't the newbies who were slowing things down. They went through things fairly quickly. The experienced players, however, took a lot longer, as they were very finicky in spending their skill points. They spent quite some time moving points back and forth, debating on if a 5% difference in Faerie Lore, Folk Lore, Awareness, Flirting or Hunting would be critical to their characters.

It was ironic that in the end the inexperienced players ended up covering some things that the "old pros" failed to consider.

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There is a lot of truth to that statement. I recently started up a Pendragon (BRP realted RPG) campaign. About half of my players have played the game before and the rest are new to the game. Character creation took a lot longer than I expected. Surprisingly,it wasn't the newbies who were slowing things down. They went through things fairly quickly. The experienced players, however, took a lot longer, as they were very finicky in spending their skill points. They spent quite some time moving points back and forth, debating on if a 5% difference in Faerie Lore, Folk Lore, Awareness, Flirting or Hunting would be critical to their characters.

It was ironic that in the end the inexperienced players ended up covering some things that the "old pros" failed to consider.

This is always an issue with even partial build systems; in the hands of the decisive, they can be very quick, in the indecisive very slow. Its why you get such radically different ideas of how long character generation in games like Hero is from talking to different people.

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Unfortunately, as the saying goes: "perception is everything".

dragonewts' corollary: "True perception involves the verification of an observation. Otherwise the result is only an assumption."

Edit: The real question is; Is Perception an opposed skill roll? :thumb:

Edited by dragonewt
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What I absolutely not understand is to claim that BRP Chargen is in any way complex or more complex than lets say DnD4. IMO this is not true. I can make a BRP Char in 5min or less. A DnD4 Character is NEVER ready in 5 min, rather 30min+. AND I need countless pages of the 4e PHB too for chargen. Not so in BRP. In BRP I need nothing except the charactersheet to make a character.

So for 4e I need 6 times the chargen time for mechanically creating a character.

For 4e I need the rulebook. (even if I am an experienced 4e gamer)

So what is exactly MORE complex in BRP than in 4e? This is beyond me.

I sometimes think that I played the last 2 decades a total different game than some of the posters here! :shocked:

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As has been mentioned, it depends a lot on the players. :)

Someone with a clear idea of the character he wants to play in a specific setting can

translate this idea into BRP stats quite quickly, especially if he does not care for a

few percentage points more or less here or there because roleplaying the character

is more important to him than "playing the system".

Someone with a powergaming min/maxing approach can turn the BRP character crea-

tion into a kind of fake rocket science and spend a lot of time to search for the "perfect"

combination of characteristics, skills and weapons to get the most "bang" for the least

points out of the system.

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Not so in BRP. In BRP I need nothing except the charactersheet to make a character.

I sometimes think that I played the last 2 decades a total different game than some of the posters here! :shocked:

In all fairness to "the posters here", you could have been. There are numerous BRP settings/books and all take varying amounts of time to create characters, and yes, require reference to the rule books. Yes, I can create a character for COC in 5 minutes. But it takes decidedly more time to create a spell using non-human character in a fantasy setting, as well as a super hero for a Superworld campaign. And don't forget equipment, some settings rely more heavily on it than others. In COC, I may buy a .38 revolver and be done with it, while in a fantasy campaign I may buy chainmail, a kite shield, broad sword, backpack, bedroll, riding horse, saddle, bit and bridle, saddlebags, rations, waterskin, and a crossbow with 12 bolts. With these purchases I have to note all the game information for each on the character sheet which requires referencing the various books (unless you have memorized all of the equipment lists), and this is itself time consuming.

And don't forget, character creation usually involves coming up with a satisfactory character background, at least in my campaigns. If you can do all of that in 5 minutes, I applaud you. :thumb: But if you show up at the table with a bunch of blank lines on your character sheet your going to be sitting in the corner finishing your character while everyone else is playing. ;)

When all is said and done, if you can do all that in 5 minutes or less, why cant you do it for D&D4? Where talking the same information.

Rod

Edited by threedeesix
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Hello every one

well for brp to be more popular i think we need to do the following:

(1) advertise ,promote promote promote. when i say this i am not refering to just Chaosium, but to us as well the fans,the players,

we need to post on forrums,twiiter,youtube,myspace,facebook, i think chaosium needs us as much as we need them! and this means that we all need to do are share. I also think chaosium needs a myspace page, a twiiter page,facebook, we needs such sites to get more people to come to chaosiums website, exposure is a key factor.maybe they have some of those sights im not sure.

i know the chaosium staff is working its butt off and last thing they need is more work and projects, so maybe we can do it!

Chaosium does not have the money that some other companies have as far as advertising ! so lets do are part to help spread the word!

(2) yes a lot of role players like the systems that allow power hungry ,obssesed characters, i use to be one my self when i first playyed rpg, but guess what i got bored of power hungry,nearly invicible characters! and i think alot of those people would change and play a more ellegant system, and give up thier power monger characters if they were exposed to it!

(3) we need more content, wether it be free ebooks,or published content we also need to see what is popular for teens to adults! Perhapps we need to do polls on what generes,movies ,anime,sci-fi, fannytasy, other things that is currently peeking demograpgic interest! i cant say im a expert and i really have no clue per say what peeks kids interest as far as specific genre's .

i really think we would get more players if they saw how elegant,and easy the BRP is !

perhapps we all need to brain storm this and work out a plan of attack !

Skull

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In all fairness to "the posters here", you could have been. There are numerous BRP settings/books and all take varying amounts of time to create characters, and yes, require reference to the rule books. Yes, I can create a character for COC in 5 minutes. But it takes decidedly more time to create a spell using non-human character in a fantasy setting, as well as a super hero for a Superworld campaign. And don't forget equipment, some settings rely more heavily on it than others. In COC, I may buy a .38 revolver and be done with it, while in a fantasy campaign I may buy chainmail, a kite shield, broad sword, backpack, bedroll, riding horse, saddle, bit and bridle, saddlebags, rations, waterskin, and a crossbow with 12 bolts. With these purchases I have to note all the game information for each on the character sheet which requires referencing the various books and is itself time consuming.

And don't forget, character creation usually involves coming up with a satisfactory character background, at least in my campaigns. If you can do all of that in 5 minutes, I applaud you. :thumb: But if you show up at the table with a bunch of blank lines on your character sheet your going to be sitting in the corner finishing your character while everyone else is playing. ;)Rod

All this is true, of course, but I think what people are objecting to is the assertion that people aren't playing BRP because character creation is inherently time consuming. The fact is that Selecting spells, picking out what equipment you have, and especially coming up with a character background are all rather independant of the system - they are a question of setting and the kind of game you want to run (detailed or not). The amount of time you spend on a character background for your political medieval fantasy in your homebrew world is going to be the same no matter whether you use D&D, Talislanta, Savage Worlds, Reign, or any of the other systems BRP competes against. Since BRP can be both fast and slow for making characters, it is up to the GM who is concerned about such things to choose the fast options, or better yet, if you want to run a one-shot at the local gaming store, the GM should make the characters up themselves and let the players pick from the pre-mades. 'Slow character creation' is not inherently a fault of BRP - it will do what you want - but for now, at least, the GM must do the work.

Remember that BRP is the tool-kit. Its up to the individual projects to tailor those tools to fit a particular niche. So perhaps there is a need for a product that streamlines character creation. Maybe that's another product that can be produced: BRP for One-Shots and Tournament Play.Why not?

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All this is true, of course, but I think what people are objecting to is the assertion that people aren't playing BRP because character creation is inherently time consuming.

I agree with this, but my response was to Enpeze's "amazement" that people here couldn't create BRP characters in 5 minutes or less just like him. I was stating that they can for COC, but not most BRP settings as most BRP settings require a little additional research when building a character.

The fact is that Selecting spells, picking out what equipment you have, and especially coming up with a character background are all rather independant of the system - they are a question of setting and the kind of game you want to run (detailed or not). The amount of time you spend on a character background for your political medieval fantasy in your homebrew world is going to be the same no matter whether you use D&D, Talislanta, Savage Worlds, Reign, or any of the other systems BRP competes against.

But this wasn't his point, his point was that BRP characters take 5 minutes or less and D&D characters take 30 minutes or more. On this I just happened to disagree.

Rod

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I guess this is worth repeating.

Just how complex a game is depends a lot on how familar the GM and players are with it, and how many copies of the rulebook are on hand.

Most claims of "X is easier to write up characters for than Y" usually are made be people/groups who are more familiar with X than Y.

Back in my RQ3 days, we usually had 3 rules books at the table, and two or three of us could do the category modifiers in their heads, and we had handheld computers programmed to do them as well. I could set up a group as fast as the local DMs could set up an AD&D group (and they used to ignore a lot of things). Even now, I find it faster to generate an RQ3 character with their x1-x4% per year to skills than breaking up the big chunks of skill points that I get with BRP. With RQ, there is no agonizing over how to split the skill points, it just going through the math. Years of experience with the system make it easy to work with.

In the old days, AD&Ders used to have trouble keeping track of all the skills that came with RQ, or an RQ spin-off game. Then D&D 3.0 came along, and included skills. Suddenly RQ was a lot easier for D&D players to grasp.

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Hmm, those 5 minutes to create a character ... :shocked:

Over the last weeks I have designed a number of detailed NPCs for my Varun setting,

and I think that I can meanwhile handle my modified BRP system for this setting quite

well. I use both a spreadsheet and NPC data sheets, so all I have to do is to decide

upon the kind of character the setting needs for a specific slot (e.g. "Nordican ambas-

sador to Poselok"), what skills such a person would need and be likely to have, to ge-

nerate the stats with the spreadsheet and to enter them and some few background

notes into the NPC sheet. It usually takes me about 15 minutes per character, and I

seriously doubt that there is a faster way to do it that also gives reasonable results.

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It usually takes me about 15 minutes per character, and I

seriously doubt that there is a faster way to do it that also gives reasonable results.

I can think of one way that would be faster and give reasonable results. Make an automated program for writing up characters and set it up to do a batch of them, then take the one that looks the most appropriate for the type of NPC you want. Assuming a decent program, you can probably find something suitable in a couple of minutes.

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If I try that, I need anagathics to become able to see the first character generated by the

program ... ;D

You shouldn't. Most decent character generators can spit out characters faster than you can write them up.

Years ago Cahosium used to sell a book, Foes (and give away a mini version, Fangs in the RQ2 boxed set) that was listings of randomly generated creatures/opponents for use in a RQ campaign. A GM could photocopy off a page of Trollkin or wolves for an adventure.

It shouldn't be hard to have a computer do an automated NPC writeup, or better yet a series of a dozen or so write ups at once.

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Hi,

The question here is, what groups have problems that BRP answers and other systems do not?

After all, one someone has learned D&D, why should they pay the costs involved in learning a new system? If you're in a group with mostly power gamers and butt kickers it is not clear that switching to a more realistic set of rules will be worth the cost of learning those rules. If anything, having a lot of the decisions made for the players by the class and level system, and having a clearly defined scenario - go into a dugngeon kill some things grab some loot and get out, may make D&D more useful to these groups than any of the advantages offered by BRP.

Other groups like to go for the newest thing ... they are easy enough to talk into trying something new and cool. Of course, since BRP has been around since 1984, it is not new and it doesn't have the kind of new features that make some groups consider Spirit of the Century or Exalted cool.

BRP does not have advantages. But if these advantages are not what GM's and players already know they want, it is not clear that it is really a great idea for non-BRP players to replace their game with a BRP game. So you have to figure out how to reach the small fraction of GM's and players that these advantages outweigh the costs of switching systems.

Ray,

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Good point, Ray. Which leaves two questions open:

a) What are the actual advantages (the selling points) of BRP over other systems? Strange to ask this question after 30 years, and that it has not been answered by one of the creators of the system, but here it is.

B) Once we have identified what the advantages are, how to selectively address the people who would consider them advantages?

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Good point, Ray. Which leaves two questions open:

a) What are the actual advantages (the selling points) of BRP over other systems? Strange to ask this question after 30 years, and that it has not been answered by one of the creators of the system, but here it is.

B) Once we have identified what the advantages are, how to selectively address the people who would consider them advantages?

Advantage: Less book keeping for the game master. When I use to run D&D3.0, we would have to stop at least a half hour early just to total all the experience points from the evenings encounters. Now I just ask those that have checked off a skill to roll for improvement.

As for a selling point, I have gotten many people interested in BRP and wanting to hear more, just by telling them the system doesn't use experience points. Then give them a little example of how skills improve. As the only system that you can say this about, it usually gets them interested in hearing more. When I owned a hobby store, this worked every time.

Rod

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Good point, Ray. Which leaves two questions open:

a) What are the actual advantages (the selling points) of BRP over other systems? Strange to ask this question after 30 years, and that it has not been answered by one of the creators of the system, but here it is.

Not quite so strange. Since new RPGs come out all the time and existing RPgs change, so would the answer. 30 years ago RQ had a skill based system that was gritty/realistic and quite different from most RPGs that were out at the time (most of them were D&D clones), and backed up with a unique setting, and some great supplements .

Today, BRP has a much harder time standing apart from the pack, in no small part due to RQ's successes. Even D&D took a page from RQ/BRP when 3.0 revamped things to use a skill system and task resolution system that were based somewhat off of RQ/BRP. Today there are lots of skill based RPGs, and lots of fanrasy games that use a unique setting or at least one that is not based off of Middle Earth.

So trying to list advantages while trying to keep my natural biases in check:

1- The system is very flexible and adaptable.

2-There is a lot of pre-existing material that is compatible with it (at least mostly compatible).

3- The system scales well for "high level play". (It doesn't get boring after a long campaign when everything get's high powered).

4- Since the game has fixed hit points and rates foes on more of a absolute scale rather than one relative to the PCs, it doesn't have the spiraling escalation problem hat makes it difficult to find suitable challenges as the PCs get more powerful. I trollkin is always some sort of threat, unlike 1 goblin in a level based RPG (just ask Rurik).

5-Much of the game can be excluded, allowing a GM to adjust the complexity in ways that can't be dome with many other RPGs. Hit Locations, Categories modiers,e tc. are all optional.

6-It has a helpful, dedicated and somewhat neurotic fan-base to help support it.

7-Skill check system makes character imrpovement easy and quick. No XP awards to calculate. Gradular progression makes it easier to design encounters for the characters.

B) Once we have identified what the advantages are, how to selectively address the people who would consider them advantages?

That would depend on just what those advantages are. I guess people could start by checking over my list and seeing how it could be used to target certain types of gamers.

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As many of you know, I'm not a RuneQuest grognard but a newcomer to BRP. I've been a Champions/HERO System fan for 20 years. As I've examined BRP, I have to say that it takes me just as long to create a character with one system as it does with the other. Sure, you can roll up the stats in a few moments (assuming you don't re-roll 'em five times to get a set you like), but assigning skill and powers points is just as laborious with BRP as it is with Champions. The BRP task resolution system feels an awful lot like the HERO OCV/DCV dynamic. Both games use DEX-based combat phases in a 10- to 12-second round. And BRP's POW-powered abilities resemble HERO's END-powered ones. For complexity they're roughly equivalent.

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You shouldn't. Most decent character generators can spit out characters faster than you can write them up.

Years ago Cahosium used to sell a book, Foes (and give away a mini version, Fangs in the RQ2 boxed set) that was listings of randomly generated creatures/opponents for use in a RQ campaign. A GM could photocopy off a page of Trollkin or wolves for an adventure.

It shouldn't be hard to have a computer do an automated NPC writeup, or better yet a series of a dozen or so write ups at once.

If any of the Grogs here know where the files ended up, there used to be a command line UNIX program on the SODA Archives that would spit out literally reams of pre-made NPCs complete with MrMan type hit location charts. I'm sure it ended up in the recycle bin, but I used to have a fan of 17" form feed about an inch thick.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
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