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So, how flawed is BRP ... ?


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:) No, I still like my BRP. I am just curious about what people think is wrong with the system, or what needs fixing.

I will start with my 'bugs':

- no good vehicle rules

- no vehicle creation rules

- no starships

- the shield rules seem to be odd and always rise questions

- weapons. These different Base Skill values annoy me

- damage. Unless someone comes up with a good weapon damage creation system, what is the difference between 1d8 and 1d8+1 ?! How to judge this? Why not simply make broader categories with the same damage roll?

- non lethal damage is missing

- SIZ is not consistent and

- ENC is a muddy mess

- Fatigue rules are missing (?)

So, that's it from my side. Nothing that really hampers the fun or usage of the system, but still annoying. Sometimes I think about the simplicity of "Barbarians of Lemuria" and wonder how easy that system is and still works. BRP in times seems to have a rule for everything, but then other important parts lack rules.

Maybe I am just a bit grumpy today ... O:)

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- no good vehicle rules

- no vehicle creation rules

- no starships

I've lumped all of these together, because I don't care. I fudge all that stuff. I played too much FASA Star Trek and WEG Star Wars Miniature Battles to give a damn about detailed vehicles and vehicle creation rules. I am old now, and do not care. If there was a simple but well designed set of rules that encompassed all three of those bullet points in less than 6 or 8 pages, I would be happy. Otherwise, who cares? I run a post apocalypse future game off and on that it's pretty much an unspoken rule that both players and GM can make stuff up as long as it's within reason.

- the shield rules seem to be odd and always rise questions

- weapons. These different Base Skill values annoy me

These two have never been a problem for me or people I game with.

- damage. Unless someone comes up with a good weapon damage creation system, what is the difference between 1d8 and 1d8+1 ?! How to judge this? Why not simply make broader categories with the same damage roll?

Been doing this since shortly after I got the zero edition book. (We did it in RQ3 years ago, so it was less work than it seems like it would be).

- non lethal damage is missing

Is it? They generally tell me if they're trying to not kill. I just use the d20 nonlethal damage rules as a ballpark template.

- SIZ is not consistent

None of the physical stats scale well. I stopped caring in the mid 90s.

- ENC is a muddy mess

Never use it.

- Fatigue rules are missing (?)

Really?

So, what do I hate?

-Resistance Table

-(at this point in time, and IMO) Super powers system is lacking.

-POW battery rules are vague. I like that for my own games, because I just wink and nudge, but I can see it (like the vehicle rules you mentioned) being a pain with the right group of players who want to use a different system and are trying anything to get you to switch.

121/420

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:) No, I still like my BRP. I am just curious about what people think is wrong with the system, or what needs fixing.

Hmm - with the caveat that these are somewhat subjective, and easily confused for a third option - omissions from a game that aspires to be totally generic...

- no good vehicle rules

- no vehicle creation rules

These are omissions, rather than flaws or things that need fixing. There ARE vehicle rules, just not particularly detailed "gear head" ones. Personally, the lack of them doesn't bother me but there's clearly a market for at least a monograph on vehicles for BRP

- no starships

See above. In the same vane, a planetary creation system for BRP would be nice.

- the shield rules seem to be odd and always rise questions

Yeah. The more I've dug in to the shield question the more I've realised we (the play testers) dropped the ball. The rules in the BGB work, they just don't work the way many expect (or think) they do, and as a result the distinction between off -hand parrying weapons and shields is much subtler than in previous BRP games. Given a chance it is something I'd change, and I generally do run different rules in my own games.

- weapons. These different Base Skill values annoy me

- damage. Unless someone comes up with a good weapon damage creation system, what is the difference between 1d8 and 1d8+1 ?! How to judge this? Why not simply make broader categories with the same damage roll?

Again, don't see these as flaws particularly. I'd like to see a more detailed set of weapon stats, organised by historical / cultural / technological capability (so a GM cold just pick a "renaissance era" weapon list without worrying weather rapier and gladius belong together). Weapon damage is a tricky one - I'm not sure BRP is actually that fine grained that is makes a huge difference, and given it has two different armour options (fixed and variable) as well as two hit point options (locational and non-locational) I'm not sure it would help THAT much to tidy things up...

However, the obsessive in me WOULD like to revise weapon damage so that wherever possible weapons do EITHER one or two dice of damage, without adds (similar to the RQIV:AiG weapons table). I'd also go further and change the Damage Bonus table (to a linear progression or 1d2, 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1d14, 1d16 etc)

- non lethal damage is missing

Don't believe in the concept of non-lethal damage, and there are knock-out rules already.

- SIZ is not consistent and

- ENC is a muddy mess

- Fatigue rules are missing

I know SIZ frustrates many people, but I LIKE it's ambiguity. It's a fudge factor and it serves as a constant reminder that these are tabletop RPG rules, NOT a precise analytical schema. My solution to the ENC / fatigue issue is well known...

The only areas I think need additions are large scale stuff: there are passing reference / brief notes on stuff like large scale battles etc, but it would be good to have a more detailed and robust system for running PC's in a skirmish or battle situation, for running companies or countries etc that all interface with the existing skills and such. I'm not sure I'd always use them, but there are occasions when I would and they would be a worthwhile addition to the rules.

As revisions to what we have I'd love to see Jason's original Power's chapter revised and expanded as FULL modular "build your own" power system. I love the "off the shelf" option we actually went for in the BGB, but there's clearly a market for the alternative. I'd also like to see, possibly as monographs / PDF only things, "modules" of rules - a fully BGB compatible and derived "light" combat system for example: a book that describes combat JUST using the rules from the BGB that will produce the lightest, fastest combat system and another for the most detailed BGB derived form of combat etc. Some accessible, easy to digest demonstrations for GM's new to BRP as to HOW you tweak the system for particular feels / genres.

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
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- no good vehicle rules

- no vehicle creation rules

- no starships

Technically, these details, like mass combat, are not intrinsically needed in a RPG. Although they are always handy if present.

- the shield rules seem to be odd and always rise questions

This is the only point where the system actually has bugs.

- ENC is a muddy mess

- Fatigue rules are missing (?)

Most players do not use these rules in any system. No matter how well written the rules, the majority of players hate tracking Enc.

-Resistance Table

Like it or not, it is the only realistic way to solve some problems quickly. Using skills, like in MRQ, yields unrealistic results or forces you to adjudicate penalties on the fly. Just think of poison rules...

being a pain with the right group of players who want to use a different system and are trying anything to get you to switch.

In this case, the problem is not the rules but the players. Tweaking the system is not the answer: either change players, or change system.

All in all, there is only one real flaw: two-weapon use.

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- no good vehicle rules

- no vehicle creation rules

- no starships

I really would like to have these, but it is not difficult at all to use the vehicle and starship rules of other games with BRP.

- the shield rules seem to be odd and always rise questions

At least for my preferred historical settings they do not make much sense.

- weapons. These different Base Skill values annoy me

- damage. Unless someone comes up with a good weapon damage creation system, what is the difference between 1d8 and 1d8+1 ?! How to judge this? Why not simply make broader categories with the same damage roll?

I have no problem with this, but combat is rare anyway in my campaigns.

- non lethal damage is missing

Not completely, see Stunning as a temporary non-lethal damage.

- SIZ is not consistent and

Yes, indeed, and I really wish there were different values for mass and volume.

- ENC is a muddy mess

- Fatigue rules are missing (?)

Yes, a good system for Fatigue would be nice.

All in all, in my view BRP does quite well as a generic system which is aimed more

at fantasy and historical settings than at science fiction, at least as well as the

competing generic systems. And, again in my view, it has the advantage that it

is quite easy to modify the rules, add house rules, or use elements of other ga-

mes with BRP. It is a toolbox, there are some less than functional tools, and some

tools are missing, but I have not yet seen a toolbox which would be better for my

purposes.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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* Fatigue and ENC is a bit fiddly, but if you have MRQ2 you can port a system like that into it, which is a little better.

* Damage works fine for me actually

* Vehicle rules a little tedious and done better in other rpgs. Not an issue for my games though, and not really a core rules issue, best covered in a supplement.

* Shield rules could be a little better, and I agree that two-weapon combos need to be looked at

* SIZ not consistent, but no big issue in my sessions

* I actually like the Resistance Table, but I find it odd that we have Characteristic Rolls as well (I understand why, but they are so similar that it is a bit messy). I would prefer one or the other - possibly the Resistance Table

* The magic system seems to repeat it's Powers uneccessarily. I would prefer one core set of Powers (aka Savage Worlds) with various styles, magic types etc applied to them for character. Maybe more should go into the whole set-up for magical powers, along the lines of the GURPS Thaumaturgy Book (a great supplement for any system really). This would not take any flavour away from magical types, but the flavour should be merely important trappings which sets the Powers apart, but have one core mechanic for how they work. Or something like that.

Other than that, its still my favourite system, and has been since the mid 80s. Played others but always go back to a variant of BRP, so it must have charm in there somewhere...

" 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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I would echo the comments that since the BGB is an attempt at producing a generic system leaving things out is not a flaw. That is also true of the decision to include loads of things I don't have any need for. Rules for starships would be one more thing I would be very unlikely to use. And the book weighs in at a hefty 400 pages already.

If you do rules for a specific genre and setting, like the authors of MRQII were able to do, for example, being tightly focused is a big advantage in writing. But I have learned to enjoy the task of adapting the generic rules to a specific setting. It gets my creative juices churning, and among other things, it makes me really think about the rules and the setting and how best to combine them. If someone else had done that for me, I'd have to "house-rule" all the decisions he made that I don't like.

My avatar is the personal glyph of Siyaj K'ak' a.k.a. "Smoking Frog."

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I think BRP is fairly flawed, but not for most of the reasons given. (most of those are subjective, and not actual flaws). I think the flaws lie in the toolkit nature of the game. It is hardly "Basic" (or if it is, I:d hate to see what "Advanced" Roleplaying looks like).Another flaw is that as the game is cobbled together from various predecssors, not all the subsystems (such as the various powers) are entirely compatible with each other. To be fair, they were not designed to be.

But neither the above comes as a suprise, and I think even Jason mentioned then before BRP was released.

As for the lack of vehicles rules, I suppose I derserve the balme for that. I've been toying around with soem design rules since before BRP was released. I just haven't worked on it for awhile. I even got some peliminary starship design rules.

SIZ is somewhat consistent. At least in the 8-88 range that is most commonly used during play. Each +8 SIZ doubles the mass, and each +1 SIZ is about a 9% increase on the previous SIZ). I wish Jason has\d not used Worlds of Wonder , CoC, and Elric! as much as he did and relied on some of the other systems a bit more. The SIZ table from the boxed Superworld set would have given us a consistent SIZ table, and avoided some of the problems we ended up with.

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

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I've got to admit to not seeing these 'flaws' at all. The whole system is flexible enough to skip round the knurly bits.

Vehicle creation rules seems like it would fit perfectly into a specialised mono, but if i did it i'd probably just translate Car Wars.

Likewise planet creation would be Traveller.

Never had a problem with shields, but then I have always assumed seperate attack and parry skills for all weapons and shields, works for me.

I like the different base skills for weapons. I think it makes sense, some weapons are easier to use than others.

I don't dislike the damage either. but then when I wrote Aces High I was very guilty of thinking 'i like this weapon it will do this damage' without any logic in some places. I'm working on an updated weapons list but in that I break weapon damages down into 1d4,1d4+1,1d4+2,1d6,1d6+1,1d6+2,1d8... etc based on caliber, barrel length and... stuff. Gives me excellent granularity and allows me to differentiate between very similar weapons.

I've not looked too deeply into the SIZ issue, and I have to say it doesn't bother me greatly.

ENC - Only ever really used it to limit the amount of stuff that players carry but with Fatigue I made it quite important for Aces High.

I like the system, no I LOVE the system. I know it quite well and feel confident in ignoring bits or making other bits up on the fly but then I have been playing one or other iteration of this system for 26 years!

BRP has less flaws than many other systems that I have played and I really like the flow of the game play.

I find combat quick and deadly in whatever period you decide to play in, whether you use Dex Ranks or Strike Ranks.

I like the resistance tables - they make opposed rolls simple to visualise.

I like the skill stat modifiers.

...

I like it alright! Stop dissing my favourite system X(

Mr Jealousy has returned to reality!

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I like it alright! Stop dissing my favourite system X(

I hope you are not really trying to tell me that you like that crappy, shoddy, un-

imaginative, bug-ridden and ... oh, wait a moment, this is the BRP forum ... =O

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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GURPS Lite and Action! System don't have vehicle rules, either. But since BRP is one of the oldest RPG systems still in print and its iterations have covered the 20th Century (Call of Cthulhu) as well as Ringworld, Superworld and Futureworld, I'd hope that we'd have workable vehicle rules ... somewhere. I mean, Mini Six originally was only 8 pages, and it managed to squeeze them in and give suggestions on how to build your own vehicles. I've tried to dope out vehicles via the Big Gold Book's equipment section but gave it up as a bad job. Unlike GURPS Lite and Action! System, the BGB isn't a quick-play product. :_( I know you RuneQuest grognards are satisfied with literal horsepower, but I'd like to be able to pull off dramatic James Bond/Speed Racer car chases, thrilling Star Wars/Battlestar Galactica space dogfights, or "make it so" during grand Starfleet/Heliumetric navy battles. Why bother to invest all those character points in Drive or Pilot skill if my stalwart heroes effectively have to wing it afterward?

SIZ just throws me. It works well for human-scale characters but once you hit cow size you're essentially winging it, too. Not a problem for players, but irksome for a GM who likes to supply them with interesting critters.

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, I'd hope that we'd have workable vehicle rules ... somewhere. I mean, Mini Six originally was only 8 pages, and it managed to squeeze them in and give suggestions on how to build your own vehicles. I've tried to dope out vehicles via the Big Gold Book's equipment section but gave it up as a bad job. Unlike GURPS Lite and Action! System, the BGB isn't a quick-play product. :_( I know you RuneQuest grognards are satisfied with literal horsepower, but I'd like to be able to pull off dramatic James Bond/Speed Racer car chases, thrilling Star Wars/Battlestar Galactica space dogfights, or "make it so" during grand Starfleet/Heliumetric navy battles. Why bother to invest all those character points in Drive or Pilot skill if my stalwart heroes effectively have to wing it afterward?

Maybe I should dust off my Vehicle Rules. Or at least update my conversion rules. Statting yup real world vehicles is pretty simple.

SIZ just throws me. It works well for human-scale characters but once you hit cow size you're essentially winging it, too. Not a problem for players, but irksome for a GM who likes to supply them with interesting critters.

Why are you winging it at cow SIZ? Why not just follow the progression? The SIZ progression is consistient up to around SIZ 90 or so. Prior to that, it is a simple doubling progression.

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

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"Why are you winging it at cow SIZ? Why not just follow the progression? The SIZ progression is consistient up to around SIZ 90 or so. Prior to that, it is a simple doubling progression."

Perhaps it is because my cows aren't Progressives. They're a pretty stodgy, conservative lot, set in their cud-chewing ways. =O

I can fudge some things by looking at sample critters in the BGB and Basic Creatures. At larger SIZ-es, using mass rather than height works better ... but then I'm having to guesstimate how many kilograms Gammera the Invincible or Optimus Prime weighs. So I'm back to winging it. Some systems (Hero System, Action! System, Classic Traveller) give me detailed guidelines for figuring beings and things of larger-than-human tallness and mass. Other systems (Mazes and Minotaurs, Mini Six) have generic size ranges (Tiny, Small, Medium, Larger, Gigantic, Super-Size Me Baby!). BRP's SIZ method doesn't quite do either. You say it's a feature. I'd say it's a bug ... except then I'd have to guesstimate smaller-than-human mass, too! O:)

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"Why are you winging it at cow SIZ? Why not just follow the progression? The SIZ progression is consistient up to around SIZ 90 or so. Prior to that, it is a simple doubling progression."

Perhaps it is because my cows aren't Progressives. They're a pretty stodgy, conservative lot, set in their cud-chewing ways. =O

I can fudge some things by looking at sample critters in the BGB and Basic Creatures. At larger SIZ-es, using mass rather than height works better ... but then I'm having to guesstimate how many kilograms Gammera the Invincible or Optimus Prime weighs. So I'm back to winging it. Some systems (Hero System, Action! System, Classic Traveller) give me detailed guidelines for figuring beings and things of larger-than-human tallness and mass. Other systems (Mazes and Minotaurs, Mini Six) have generic size ranges (Tiny, Small, Medium, Larger, Gigantic, Super-Size Me Baby!). BRP's SIZ method doesn't quite do either. You say it's a feature. I'd say it's a bug ... except then I'd have to guesstimate smaller-than-human mass, too! O:)

Well, some estimation is always going to be needed with doing up stats.

I find the sqaure-cube law very helpful.

That is, is you double the height, width, and depth of an object 8or critter), you should multiply it's lifting ability by 4 (+16), and mass by 8 (+24). You can pro-rate that so each +1 height is worth +2 STR and +3 SIZ.

It hold well up to SIZ 88 or so, where they stopped using the fixed progression.

If it help's I did have some notes for working up SIZ by volume (and/or density). It might help with ballpark figures.

If we dropped the CoC SIZ values after SIZ 88 and just continued on with the normal progression, things like battleships and daikaiju would be a LOT easier to stat out.

Edited by Atgxtg

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

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Yes, it's a beauty to play BRP. The best thing about all the "bugs" is, once you play the game they either do not come up or do not bother anyone. It is only when you look at the rules without playing them ... Sometimes they look strange or not right, but while playing, everything can be houseruled very fast. :P

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There is a difference between what are (in my opinion) the failings of the Big Gold Book and what are the failings of the BRP system. For example I'm not keen on the Resistance Table but I play TGFKARQII which does without the Resistance Table. Similarly I prefer 10% criticals and always rounding up to the default system presented in the BGB. So there is generally a form of BRP that works for a particular set of preferences.

On the most fundamental level the only issues I have with BRP are that I find the breakpoint between sub-100% and 100%+ to be awkward and there's never been a skill contest system (i.e. stealth vs perception) that has felt natural. Finally, for a "Basic" game it gets awfully detailed at times, especially when it comes to 'high levels.' Otherwise I find it a beautifully intuitive system 95% of the time.

On the other hand the Big Gold Book is probably precisely the opposite of what I would have done if I had been Chaosium.

Edited by deleriad
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On the other hand the Big Gold Book is probably precisely the opposite of what I would have done if I had been Chaosium.

Yes, it is rather a strange beast, isn't it? Not the first thing I would have thought of if the intent was to revive the BRP system. I originally expected it to be a new edition, taking the best options from the past and making them better (and keeping the page count lower). The BGB does work, but I still think I would have preferred the former.

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The BGB does work, but I still think I would have preferred the former.

For my purposes the BGB was almost perfect. I have been using a modified Call

of Cthulhu system for a very long time, and for me the BGB was a huge collec-

tion of useful bits and pieces I could add to my system, more a box full of inter-

esting material for the improvement of my system than a system on its own.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I originally expected it to be a new edition, taking the best options from the past and making them better (and keeping the page count lower). The BGB does work, but I still think I would have preferred the former.

You say this because you expect that Jason's judgement about "best" options and making them "better" would have been coincident with your own judgement. But what if he had chosen something different?

With the current format, the BGB is "a good BRP for everyone". With another format, it would be "the best BRP for someone, a missed opportunity for everyone else".

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