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When I run my first BRP game


Atheorem

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I made a thread about magic items a couple weeks ago, and I've been building up on what optional rules and house rules I'll be using. I fear I'm already getting too far ahead of myself by designing options and things that aren't in the BGB. I should mention that I'm converting a Dark Sun campaign that I've been running since February (we use Savage Worlds to run it). I have a few questions I'd like to pose to more experienced BRP players and GMs:

1. We moderate combat in our Dark Sun campaign; and at times we can go a session without any combat at all, but it still comes up fairly often. Besides the Total Hit points option being flicked on, what mortality rates will we likely be dealing with using BRP?

2. I found a site where someone had worked in the six standard D&D core ability scores into BRP (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA). Since it didn't seem to disturb the system much, I thought it was a good idea. I won't be using EDU and APP has been replaced by CHA, as per Classic Fantasy. I've made a Willpower derived roll from WIS, and have factored WIS into skills already. Do you think this could hurt the game in any way?

3. What should I expect when we resume with the new rules in place? I might get shouted at for this, but we will actually be resuming practically in mid-combat. Last session a PC broke out of a cell during a retrieval process before he and the others were about to be thrown into a large lair of an Earth Drake. If this PC is facing more than a couple prison keep guards at a time, will he get chopped up in no time?

Edited by Atheorem
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1. We moderate combat in our Dark Sun campaign; and at times we can go a session without any combat at all, but it still comes up fairly often. Besides the Total Hit points option being flicked on, what mortality rates will we likely be dealing with using BRP?

This is HIGHLY dependant on individual skills. Also, MAGIC in BRP (at least on RuneQuest) trumps skills. If characters have access to healing, protection and buff spells, they can be 5x as powerful as when relying on skills only.

2. I found a site where someone had worked in the six standard D&D core ability scores into BRP (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA). Since it didn't seem to disturb the system much, I thought it was a good idea. I won't be using EDU and APP has been replaced by CHA, as per Classic Fantasy. I've made a Willpower derived roll from WIS, and have factored WIS into skills already. Do you think this could hurt the game in any way?

Not at all, but remember that magic resistance is usually based on POW. High WIS characters should have high POW once converted, and magic users (sorcerers and wizards) should have high POW too. (15 as a "specialist" and 18 as a "good one at that" is a good rule of thumb).

3. What should I expect when we resume with the new rules in place? I might get shouted at for this, but we will actually be resuming practically in mid-combat. Last session a PC broke out of a cell during a retrieval process before he and the others were about to be thrown into a large lair of an Earth Drake. If this PC is facing more than a couple prison keep guards at a time, will he get chopped up in no time?

Depends on the prison guards and the characters themselves. I don't know what level they had on DnD, but heroic characters should be 90-120% at least for a fighting class. A character like that, with a minimum of magic support has no trouble fending 2 average (30-60%?) prison guards. If they have magic (i don't know what magic you using) as per runequest, at that level (which is probably the level you want for about lv 7-9 on DnD) they are full fledged runelords and with some tactical planning they can take on hordes of mooks like that (though a failed parry followed by a lucky critical can end almost any character's career).

Also, DO NOT use RAW as most dungeons games; they are converted characters, you do not want a tpk on the first 10 minutes; go easy on them (for at least 2-3 sessions) while you all learn the rules. IMHO is better to have incompetent enemies using cool tactics, than competent enemies being downplayed.

Also, careful with the drakes! In high-level BRP games, survivability is (again) determined by magic; most "high end" creatures come from runequest and are designed for magic-wielding adventurers in mind. If you use a magic-light setting, this requires careful gauging (in DnD they may have more HP, but in RQ characters have magical healing, allied spirits that also cast spells, a lot of -damage sources, etc).

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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Thanks for the response, it's helping me gauge things a bit better. I think I can run with the "incompetent enemies using cool tactics" you're suggesting. It is better to start easy in these cases, story is more important anyway.

Depends on the prison guards and the characters themselves. I don't know what level they had on DnD, but heroic characters should be 90-120% at least for a fighting class. A character like that, with a minimum of magic support has no trouble fending 2 average (30-60%?) prison guards. If they have magic (i don't know what magic you using) as per runequest, at that level (which is probably the level you want for about lv 7-9 on DnD) they are full fledged runelords and with some tactical planning they can take on hordes of mooks like that (though a failed parry followed by a lucky critical can end almost any character's career).

We're running this campaign with Savage Worlds and have two seasoned characters and one veteran, all of whom are closer to the next rank up. Although the power curve in Savage Worlds isn't as steep as in other games. I could probably throw the Drake at them in SW and they would come out alright if they handled it properly. With BRP it's obviously hard to say for me, but looking at the SIZ scales and STR scales it wouldn't surprise me that they would likely get slaughtered with the resources they have now (unless perhaps I threw in the old 'loose and heavy stalactite overhead' or some similar environmental element).

Not at all, but remember that magic resistance is usually based on POW. High WIS characters should have high POW once converted, and magic users (sorcerers and wizards) should have high POW too. (15 as a "specialist" and 18 as a "good one at that" is a good rule of thumb).

Good point. I figured POW as a Wisdom-derived trait would make sense, the BGB states that POW is tied to intuition and leadership. But I didn't want to use WIS as the only thing POW was derived from. So I figure POW = WIS + CHA /2. "Power favors the wise and the bold", where raw presence and mental acuity provide the gateway into a high POW. So now all of a magic-user's mental scores play a role in his casting. This should keep the consistency, as all character core characteristics revolve around a 3d6+modifiers as of now...but I may up it to 4d6 drop lowest. I'd rather have flawed characters with both above and below average scores, however. I don't like it when a character is a prodigy in every core characteristic.

Edited by Atheorem
fixed POW formula
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If this PC is facing more than a couple prison keep guards at a time, will he get chopped up in no time?

I'm sure there are some "mook" rules for fighting lots of NPC guards/lackeys without getting bogged down or massacred. They're in the Dragon Lines supplement and might be in the downloads section on this site. Can someone help with that?

http://www.basicrps.com/core/BRP_quick_start.pdf A sense of humour and an imagination go a long way in roleplaying. ;)
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1. We moderate combat in our Dark Sun campaign; and at times we can go a session without any combat at all, but it still comes up fairly often. Besides the Total Hit points option being flicked on, what mortality rates will we likely be dealing with using BRP?

It depends on players being cautious, and how much healing magic is available. If you have few magic healers around, use the Fate Point option to allow rerolls of failed parries.

2. I found a site where someone had worked in the six standard D&D core ability scores into BRP (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA). Since it didn't seem to disturb the system much, I thought it was a good idea. I won't be using EDU and APP has been replaced by CHA, as per Classic Fantasy. I've made a Willpower derived roll from WIS, and have factored WIS into skills already. Do you think this could hurt the game in any way?

APP and CHA are 99,9% interexchangeable. WIS and POW are 90% exchangeable. You can make the formulas you want to interexchange between POW, CHA and WIS, but in the end, is the result worth the maths? Just assuming POW = WIS will work.

3. What should I expect when we resume with the new rules in place? I might get shouted at for this, but we will actually be resuming practically in mid-combat. Last session a PC broke out of a cell during a retrieval process before he and the others were about to be thrown into a large lair of an Earth Drake. If this PC is facing more than a couple prison keep guards at a time, will he get chopped up in no time?

In BRP, even ONE prison guard can kill you with one blow, if he rolls 01 and you fail your parry. Either you accept this, or you put safeguards in place (Fate Points in this case, as the guy is alone and no one can heal him if he gets criticalled).

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It depends on players being cautious, and how much healing magic is available. If you have few magic healers around, use the Fate Point option to allow rerolls of failed parries.

I forgot to mention that we will be using Fate points. If they are equal to POW points, it seems as though a typical PC will get about three uses before he risks going unconscious. Unless I have my subtraction messed up. Fate points are the equal of Bennies in savage worlds. I'm just wondering, will non-magic-using PCs find fate points more beneficial? If mages and psions are burning their POW points on powers and spells, that would mean they would have less access to fate points? Or are they separate pools entirely?

APP and CHA are 99,9% interexchangeable. WIS and POW are 90% exchangeable. You can make the formulas you want to interexchange between POW, CHA and WIS, but in the end, is the result worth the maths? Just assuming POW = WIS will work.

True. My formula is still up in the air. I guess not every powerful person (in BRP terms) needs to be a charismatic force to be reckoned with as well.

In BRP, even ONE prison guard can kill you with one blow, if he rolls 01 and you fail your parry. Either you accept this, or you put safeguards in place (Fate Points in this case, as the guy is alone and no one can heal him if he gets criticalled).

Healers are scarce on Athas. They do have an ex-Templar in the party who can perform healing spells, but he's still locked up. I'll take the lethality into account. In save worlds, there are such safeguards (not being able to take more than one wound at a time). BRP's hit points have less room for error. One thing I do like about that is that it makes armor and shields really worth something. I don't remember running a game where players took shields seriously.

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I forgot to mention that we will be using Fate points. If they are equal to POW points, it seems as though a typical PC will get about three uses before he risks going unconscious. Unless I have my subtraction messed up. Fate points are the equal of Bennies in savage worlds. I'm just wondering, will non-magic-using PCs find fate points more beneficial? If mages and psions are burning their POW points on powers and spells, that would mean they would have less access to fate points? Or are they separate pools entirely?

True. My formula is still up in the air. I guess not every powerful person (in BRP terms) needs to be a charismatic force to be reckoned with as well.

Healers are scarce on Athas. They do have an ex-Templar in the party who can perform healing spells, but he's still locked up. I'll take the lethality into account. In save worlds, there are such safeguards (not being able to take more than one wound at a time). BRP's hit points have less room for error. One thing I do like about that is that it makes armor and shields really worth something. I don't remember running a game where players took shields seriously.

Actually, in savage you get shaken if damage > thoughness, and then you get one wound PER raise, so with some unlucky exploding dice you may get 2 or more wounds :)

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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I made a thread about magic items a couple weeks ago, and I've been building up on what optional rules and house rules I'll be using. I fear I'm already getting too far ahead of myself by designing options and things that aren't in the BGB. I should mention that I'm converting a Dark Sun campaign that I've been running since February (we use Savage Worlds to run it). I have a few questions I'd like to pose to more experienced BRP players and GMs:

I'm more experienced with RQ than BRP, but they are virtually the same combat-wise.

1. We moderate combat in our Dark Sun campaign; and at times we can go a session without any combat at all, but it still comes up fairly often. Besides the Total Hit points option being flicked on, what mortality rates will we likely be dealing with using BRP?

I'd give PC Total Hits based on SIZ+CON rather than SIZ+CON/2 - it increases hit points per location (if you use Hit Locations) and increases general Hit Points.

You really need healing of some kind, whether it is healing magic, psionic healing or hi-tech medikits. Playing BRP without healing means that you'll get through loads of PCs.

2. I found a site where someone had worked in the six standard D&D core ability scores into BRP (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA). Since it didn't seem to disturb the system much, I thought it was a good idea. I won't be using EDU and APP has been replaced by CHA, as per Classic Fantasy. I've made a Willpower derived roll from WIS, and have factored WIS into skills already. Do you think this could hurt the game in any way?

Not really. However, WIS as a measure of Wisdom is different to POW as a measure of magical power. I'd have both, personally. If you miss out POW then you will need a way to cast magic - BRP uses Power points (PPs or Mana) to cast spells, you could use Wisdom Points or something similar, I suppose, but then why not use POW?

3. What should I expect when we resume with the new rules in place? I might get shouted at for this, but we will actually be resuming practically in mid-combat. Last session a PC broke out of a cell during a retrieval process before he and the others were about to be thrown into a large lair of an Earth Drake. If this PC is facing more than a couple prison keep guards at a time, will he get chopped up in no time?

Not necessarily - it depends on how skilled the guards are. If he concentrates on one guard, disables him and moves on to the other then he might be OK. If the guards attack at 30% then he'll be OK, if they attack at 70% he might struggle. His best bet might be to get out of the way or run away.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Using Fate Points will help. Allow them to reroll your opponent's attacks (especially if they roll a critical).

Having few healers will be tricky. Allow healing salves or potions, that way the PCs can take healing with them without the need for a healer.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Not really. However, WIS as a measure of Wisdom is different to POW as a measure of magical power. I'd have both, personally. If you miss out POW then you will need a way to cast magic - BRP uses Power points (PPs or Mana) to cast spells, you could use Wisdom Points or something similar, I suppose, but then why not use POW?

Just to clarify, we will be using both. It's just, for consistency with all of the other Characteristic rolls (effort, agility, stamina, idea, etc) WIS would need one as well. That's what the Will roll is. This is how I explain it in my house rules I've written up so far:

"Will(power) is figured like any other characteristic roll (WIS x 5). Will represents your character's discipline, ability to resist/cope with certain things (it will not replace certain resistance rolls, though), and to remain stoic in dire/horrific situations. A will roll might enable a character to carry on when his or her physical body is weary and broken (at DM discretion). Any rules entry that would have you make a derived characteristic roll to concentrate/focus or resist distraction is now replaced by Will. Such as Aimed attacks (page 212)."

I don't use sanity because it's not a major theme in fantasy games, but I still have PCs encountering things that might make them frightened or want to high-tail the hell out of places.

Not necessarily - it depends on how skilled the guards are. If he concentrates on one guard, disables him and moves on to the other then he might be OK. If the guards attack at 30% then he'll be OK, if they attack at 70% he might struggle. His best bet might be to get out of the way or run away.

I'm guessing I should probably start the PCs at a higher 'level' than these mooks, then. I was thinking of starting them with 325 skills as the BGB says is appropriate for heroic campaigns, but perhaps I should give them another 50-100 to represent their experience?

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Just to clarify, we will be using both. It's just, for consistency with all of the other Characteristic rolls (effort, agility, stamina, idea, etc) WIS would need one as well. That's what the Will roll is. This is how I explain it in my house rules I've written up so far:

"Will(power) is figured like any other characteristic roll (WIS x 5). Will represents your character's discipline, ability to resist/cope with certain things (it will not replace certain resistance rolls, though), and to remain stoic in dire/horrific situations. A will roll might enable a character to carry on when his or her physical body is weary and broken (at DM discretion). Any rules entry that would have you make a derived characteristic roll to concentrate/focus or resist distraction is now replaced by Will. Such as Aimed attacks (page 212)."

I don't use sanity because it's not a major theme in fantasy games, but I still have PCs encountering things that might make them frightened or want to high-tail the hell out of places.

I'm guessing I should probably start the PCs at a higher 'level' than these mooks, then. I was thinking of starting them with 325 skills as the BGB says is appropriate for heroic campaigns, but perhaps I should give them another 50-100 to represent their experience?

What level where they on BRP? I would give them about 10% per point of BaB (modified). So a fighter with weapon specialization, level 7 and +3 from STR would have 120%. May even throw base chance / skill modifier on top, depending on how low the skills end up.

Also, your WIS roll sounds awfully similar to a POW roll. WIS itself pretty much translates verbatim to EDU.

ALSO, check RetroQuest, you may end up stealing a house rule or two!!! Comes with poledancers from hell!

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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What level where they on BRP? I would give them about 10% per point of BaB (modified). So a fighter with weapon specialization, level 7 and +3 from STR would have 120%. May even throw base chance / skill modifier on top, depending on how low the skills end up.

Also, your WIS roll sounds awfully similar to a POW roll. WIS itself pretty much translates verbatim to EDU.

ALSO, check RetroQuest, you may end up stealing a house rule or two!!! Comes with poledancers from hell!

Do you mean Luck or POW rolls? I figured POW rolls could be for magical effects and Will rolls could be for mundane effects. Correct me if I'm wrong. If that's the case, perhaps I could just make WIS's characteristic roll the Know roll, since I'm not using EDU.

And again, we're converting from a savage worlds game, but we're just going to be using D&D characteristics in the BRP conversion (Dark Sun is a D&D setting, and I'm quite partial to those six core attributes).

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