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Cubicle 7 to Publish BRP-powered RPG of Charles Stross' Laundry


NickMiddleton

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The Laundry series are more-or-less straightforward Lovecraftian spy thrillers filtered through a sarcastic narrator's POV and a focus on the dull, technical aspect of espionage. The main character is essentially tech support for a British version of Delta Green, and he is inevitably drawn into trouble.

Here are a few free Charlie Stross Laundry stories:

The Concrete Jungle (short story taking place after the first Laundry novel)

Overtime (a short story that appeared a few months ago)

Down on the Farm (I believe that this will appear in The Fuller Memorandum, forthcoming this summer)

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After seeing this and having enjoyed The Atrocity Archives, I started reading The Jennifer Morgue, which I am enjoying. However, with all the Lovecraftian references in the books, it makes me wonder why The Laundry RPG is being set up as a separate RPG rather than a supplement to Call of Cthulhu modern. Can we have a bit of information on what BRP rules that are being used that make it its own game?

Also, as this will be its own game, will it be available through larger vendors, like Amazon?

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After seeing this and having enjoyed The Atrocity Archives, I started reading The Jennifer Morgue, which I am enjoying. However, with all the Lovecraftian references in the books, it makes me wonder why The Laundry RPG is being set up as a separate RPG rather than a supplement to Call of Cthulhu modern. Can we have a bit of information on what BRP rules that are being used that make it its own game?

Also, as this will be its own game, will it be available through larger vendors, like Amazon?

I can't speak to the first question. However, Cubicle 7 books are sold via Amazon so you should be able to get it there when it's released.

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However, with all the Lovecraftian references in the books, it makes me wonder why The Laundry RPG is being set up as a separate RPG rather than a supplement to Call of Cthulhu modern.

First off, we wanted it to be a standalone game, an all-in-one core rulebook.

Making it a Call of Cthulhu Modern expansion wouldn't do it justice, when a big part of the setting is the spy/tech stuff, which Call of Cthulhu does not address. Ultimately, the tone is very, very different, and though there are plenty of Lovecraft references, the cosmology is quite different. Magic won't work the same way, the creatures are different, backstory and NPCs differ, etc. Remember that HPL actually exists in the world of the Laundry, and Dunwich is in the UK.

We could have kluged it into being an expansion of a book that technically isn't in print (to the best of my knowledge, there is no current Call of Cthulhu modern game out now), but it wouldn't have been a very satisfying publication. Also, releasing it as a support book for another book that may or may not be in print doesn't seem like a solid business plan.

Can we have a bit of information on what BRP rules that are being used that make it its own game?

I've streamlined a lot of the BRP rules, and eliminated almost all "optional" rules. APP is back to CHA. EDU is a core stat. Success levels are just "specials" (no crits), and the results are handled more consistently. Rules that weren't applicable were removed. Systems were stripped down where possible and made more consistent. No magic points, endurance, strike ranks, etc. Circumstance modifiers and difficulty modifiers are clarified far better than they were in the core rulebook. Spot rules are clarified and less crunchy, and those that don't apply aren't there.

In short, this is my idealized BRP 2nd edition, a faster and leaner iteration specifically aimed at the occult/spy genre.

However, the rules are clear enough that you could easily use the book as source material for Call of Cthulhu, or CoC for The Laundry.

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First off, we wanted it to be a standalone game, an all-in-one core rulebook.

Making it a Call of Cthulhu Modern expansion wouldn't do it justice, when a big part of the setting is the spy/tech stuff, which Call of Cthulhu does not address. Ultimately, the tone is very, very different, and though there are plenty of Lovecraft references, the cosmology is quite different. Magic won't work the same way, the creatures are different, backstory and NPCs differ, etc. Remember that HPL actually exists in the world of the Laundry, and Dunwich is in the UK.

We could have kluged it into being an expansion of a book that technically isn't in print (to the best of my knowledge, there is no current Call of Cthulhu modern game out now), but it wouldn't have been a very satisfying publication. Also, releasing it as a support book for another book that may or may not be in print doesn't seem like a solid business plan.

I've streamlined a lot of the BRP rules, and eliminated almost all "optional" rules. APP is back to CHA. EDU is a core stat. Success levels are just "specials" (no crits), and the results are handled more consistently. Rules that weren't applicable were removed. Systems were stripped down where possible and made more consistent. No magic points, endurance, strike ranks, etc. Circumstance modifiers and difficulty modifiers are clarified far better than they were in the core rulebook. Spot rules are clarified and less crunchy, and those that don't apply aren't there.

In short, this is my idealized BRP 2nd edition, a faster and leaner iteration specifically aimed at the occult/spy genre.

However, the rules are clear enough that you could easily use the book as source material for Call of Cthulhu, or CoC for The Laundry.

Makes sense. I did not realize that CoC Modern was out of print. Never really appealed to me but this one does. I am very happy it is a stand-alone and will not require a high "library use" skill roll to find things in multiple books. Just wish the release date was not as far away as July.

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  • 2 months later...

(...)I've streamlined a lot of the BRP rules, and eliminated almost all "optional" rules. APP is back to CHA. EDU is a core stat. Success levels are just "specials" (no crits), and the results are handled more consistently. Rules that weren't applicable were removed. Systems were stripped down where possible and made more consistent. No magic points, endurance, strike ranks, etc. Circumstance modifiers and difficulty modifiers are clarified far better than they were in the core rulebook. Spot rules are clarified and less crunchy, and those that don't apply aren't there.

In short, this is my idealized BRP 2nd edition, a faster and leaner iteration specifically aimed at the occult/spy genre.

However, the rules are clear enough that you could easily use the book as source material for Call of Cthulhu, or CoC for The Laundry.

Does it include a Sanity mechanic as per CoC?

RPGbericht (Dutch)
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Does it include a Sanity mechanic as per CoC?

A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to explain how Call Of Cthulhu works to a non-gaming friend, and after I'd rambled and expounded at some length, he interjected: "The Sanity Mechanics would be a great name for a band." And you know what? He's not wrong.

Seriously, The Laundry sounds pretty bloody good. Cheers for the lowdown, Jason.

APP is back to CHA.

Hurrah!

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I have yet to read the Laundry books and wanted to know if the RPG had anything interesting to offer besides the setting. Sounds like it would even be useful to streamline/structure the old Call of Cthulhu rules which, IMHO, have some fiddly and some inconsistent bits that the basic BRP book did not give me any solutions for. Using BRP I can only see CoC getting more complicated when I actually would like to simplify/streamline it a bit more. I am doubly interested in The Laundry RPG now!

RPGbericht (Dutch)
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  • 7 months later...

is this the most up to date thread about the laundry? If it isn't i don't want to start talking and look like a newbie (which i of course clearly am). :)

Morality is herd instinct in the individual. - Friedrich Nietzsche

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. - Rene Descartes

It is kind of strange watching your personal history become costume. - gadgetgir

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  • 2 weeks later...

is this the most up to date thread about the laundry? If it isn't i don't want to start talking and look like a newbie (which i of course clearly am). :)

All published BRP products get their own product thread. You can find it here: http://basicroleplaying.com/showthread.php/2083-THE-LAUNDRY-A-RPG-based-on-the-Laundry-Files-novels-by-Charles-Stross

It's a great book! :)

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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