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Mixing some MRQII concepts with BRP

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I really badly want to use the BRP system pretty soon to run an urban fantasy game with vampires, werewolves, wizards, etc. running around in the modern world. I am currently playing MRQII in the Glorantha setting for a fantasy game and absolutely love that set of rules.

One thing I'm not fond of from the big gold book for BRP are the levels of success. More specifically, I'm not fond of the extra level of success BRP contains known as "Special Success." In MRQII you only have fumble, failure, success, critical success. I like this notion better because it is simpler. I also did not like in BRP that to get a critical success you must roll 5% of the target number and it is also like that for fumbles. In MRQII you get a critical success every time you roll within 10% of the target number and only fumble on a roll of 99-100 unless your skill is above 100%. With BRP I feel like on some rolls I will need to consult the little chart that shows the target number and lets you know if you rolled a fumble, failure, success, special success, or crit.

If I take these simple parts of MRQII and transplant them into BRP do you all think this would cause an issue? Have any of you made these changes? How do you like the changes?

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Just a quick history lesson - older editions of RuneQuest always had "special" and "critical", it is a Mongoose simplification to have just one level of "improved" success. It's a change that I like, though.

Actually, a number of BRP games have done without the special - CoC, Stormbringer, Hawkmoon...


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It will work. However, in settings that rely heavily on firearms, having bullets do extra damage only on a critical will decrease the chances to take a tough opponent down. CoC has no specials, but it does have impales. I suggest you use the MRQ (sorry Wayfarer) combat manoeuvers in combat, to counter this nerfing effect.

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I am completely aware MRQII did away with the special level of success from previous BRP instances - I prefer it this way.

Not quite. Nick is correct here. The "special success" was dropped as far back as Sormbringerr, which introduced the success levels and percentages you see in MRQ. So it isn't a new idea from MRQ.

In fact, I think that the Stormbringer/MRQ success levels are one of the many OPTIONAL RULES in the BRP book. Somewhere.

So you could certainly use the 10% critical chance and drop special successes in BRP, if you want. I believe there are some folks around who have already done so. No big shakeup.

The only real issues I can see would be with game mechanics in play, for instance:

1) Critical hits are very deadly in BRP. Not quite as bad as in RQ (uh, Chaosium RuneQuest, just to clarify), but still deadly. Doubling the chance might kick up the mortality rate.

2) Dropping specials would also drop the "impale" special effect that some weapons have. This would make some weapons much less effective. Missile Weapons would be particularly hurt by this. Some of this would be offset by the increased critical chance, but you might want to consider doubling the critical damage of impaling weapons.

3) Critical can bypass some defensive magic, which could once again increase game lethality. So you might want to nerf critical hits a little to offset thier increased frequency.

Lastly, what do I think of the change? Well, I wouldn't do it. I don't find "specials" to be more complicated to figure out and work, and I do prefer the additional diversity they provide to game play. But that's just personal preference. I'm not going to tar and feather you if you drop specials.

If you are a big Wayfarer (sorry, I just couldn't resist) Glorantha fan you might want to look at some of the old RuneQuest Gloranthan products set in the Third Age. They are old, but they might be new to you, and they are easily adaptable to BRP. I think you will find that much of what you like about Wayfarer Glorantha predated Mongoose Publishing.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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The spirit of the BGB is to use what you like, or modify to taste, IMHO. In almost every BRP game I've played (except Runequest 2 back in the day) we've had it stripped down to 'Hit, Miss, Critical at 10% or less, and Fumble on 99 (for skills under 50%) or 00 (for skills at 50% or better).

Granted this as for games like Hawkmoon, WoW Super World, and some homebrew time/dimensional travel and pulp heroes stuff and with players new to the "Chaosium system". Once you get the 10% idea, no matter how you modify a roll, the players understood what they needed for a critical success. No looking at charts or tables.

Of course we went with "double damage, no armor" for a critical success, so even tough enemies were left hurting rather quickly.

As long as everyone understands and is cool with the agreed upon rules, you should be fine handling things as you want.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Actually I have been doing the opposite - using the BRP Critical and Special Rules, but porting over the MRQ2 combat manuvers for variety. This seems to work pretty well so far. So I can't see it being an issue in reverse.

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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