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Means of comparing the various d100 systems for someone new to the d100 systems?

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I'm new to d100. I've spent some time looking at Openquest this month. I'm having trouble figuring out which game I should focus on as a beginner. At first, I thought maybe it was just my confusion, but I was inspired to post this after some responses to another of my posts and then seeing the conversation in this thread.

So, what is your best advice for someone new? What are the big differences between the various games?

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As I see it, there are no really big differences, which makes it a matter of

taste and personal preferences concerning the details which of the systems

one likes best - while they are different, I do not see that any of them are

"better". So my best (and unfortunately not very helpful) advice would be to

take a look at all of them in order to find the one you like most.

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The good news is that many of these BRP variations are free and available for download from this very site. You can get the Mongoose RuneQuest (1) SRD, GORE, BRP Quick-Start Edition, and the Renaissance SRD either in the download section or from discussion thread links. Variations among them include things like whether they use a total Hits pool or break it up by body part, whether they use Strike Ranks during combat, whether they use EDU and SAN.

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I'm new to d100. I've spent some time looking at Openquest this month. I'm having trouble figuring out which game I should focus on as a beginner.

So, what is your best advice for someone new? What are the big differences between the various games?

The first question I would ask is: What genre of game are you looking to run ? Fantasy, ScFi, Modern, multiple genres ?

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So, what is your best advice for someone new? What are the big differences between the various games?

I'm not sure how familar you are with the system, so I apologise if I'm going to be talking about things you already may know,

If you're after a comparison I can give you a broad overview of the various BRP-related systems, and I'll leave it for someone else to go into finer detail:

Basic Role Playing (Chaosium): This is essentially the core system. Due to it's size and yellow cover it is often referred to as the 'Big Golden Book' (BGB) within these forums. Chaosium established the D100 system with games like RuneQuest (1st - 3rd editions), ElfQuest, Worlds of Wonder, Superworld, Ringworld, Elric/Stormbringer and Call of Cthuhlu. Essientially all the same core system with various amendments for each genre. The BGB itself is a generic rule set which provides core rules similar to how the rules are presented in 'Call of Cthuhlu'. Provides a multitude of optional rules which you can mix and match as you please. A chapter on setting building indicates which optional rules tend to work best with various genres, quite useful for the GM who likes to build settings from the ground-up.

I think if you're after a 'one book all genres' approach then you can't go wrong with the BGB. It could be a little daunting for newcomers however, due to its size. Having said that the core rules themselves are reasonably simple, not 'rules-lite' but not complex either. The idea of using a % as the core mechanic really shines through everything, making the system easy to grasp for new GMs and players. Most of the BGB is taken up with additional rules (ie Magic, Spot Rules, Optional Rules), but you don't need this level of involvement to run with it.

If you feel a little ambivalent about the BGB I would download the pdf of the BRP Quickstart rules, its either free or very cheap (less than $5 USD) from the Chaosium site or from sites like Drivethru RPG. Chaosium has a great catalogue, primarily for 'Call of Cthuhlu', although there are a wide range of generic scenarios called 'Monographs' you can buy directly from the Chaosium site or in pdf via Drivethru rpg. Personally the 'Call of Cthuhlu' scenarios are pure joy to read, if very challenging to survive from a player perspective.

Some of the strength with having the BGB is that not only have you access to the current Chaosium source product range, but you can easily use it to play with any of the sources associated with their 30 yrs+ back catalogue. For instance you could play a RQ3 scenario using the 'Ancient' or 'Middle Ages' setting options in the BGB, or you could play a 1920s/1930s Call of Cthuhlu scenario using the BGB 'Pulp Era' options for instance. Not to mention that there are other licencee companies out there producing stuff for BRP (Alephetar Games spring to mind, very good content in their product range, focusing on semi-historical/fantasy earth settings, with titles including 'ROME', 'Crusaders of the Amber Coast', 'The Celestial Empire', 'Dragon Lines' and 'Merrie England').

BRP is the 'parent system', so for me, I simply can't get by without my copy of the BGB.

The Laundry (Cubicle 7):There is also a tongue-in-cheek variant of 'Call of Cthuhlu' called 'The Laundry'. The flavour is Douglass Adams/Terry Pratchett meets Lovecraft if such a setting can exist. The BRP rules are included in The Laundry book, so if you specifically like this setting then you don't need the BGB as The Laundry itself is quite self-contained. Most changes are in the way Magic is portrayed, and I really like how they do this. The range of supplements are sparse, but they are all well produced. The core rulebook is a nice hardcover with evocative art. Quite easy to read, as well as being very humorous. The Laundry is an acquired taste, one which I enjoy immensely.

LEGEND (Mongoose): If you're specifically after a BRP related system to do High Fantasy, Ancient World, Middle Ages, or Sword'n'Sorcery genres then this is the one to grab in my opinion. Mongoose Publishing bought a licence to bring out RuneQuest again, and this system is pretty much the result. The first Mongoose attempt, called RuneQuest (or MRQ, which would have been RQ4 if Chaosium had done it), was a little glitchy for many familar with the earlier editions of RQ or the BRP camp. The second edition (referred to as MRQ2, which really would be RQ5), was considered to be a great improvement in terms of game mechanics. The authors left Mongoose publishing, and the name 'RuneQuest' has now been changed to 'LEGEND', and the LEGEND core rules are pretty much MRQ2 reformatted, no actual changes in game mechanics. The MRQ2/LEGEND rules save a GM a bit of time if you want to use BRP for the above settings, as it is tailored to those genres. The LEGEND rules do not provide a setting, rather they provide a genre. The way combat is portrayed seems to capture the cut and thrust of melee, similar to the early editions of RQ but perhaps a little more streamlined in some ways.

In any case it is a great set of BRP-style rules, and there is a fair amount of Mongoose RQ2 back catalogue that is fully compatible, and also most MRQ1 products are more or less compatible as well.

The good thing about this is that the authors who left Mongoose have actually got the rights to produce RQ6 which should arrive late this year. Apparently it will be fully compatible with MRQ2 and LEGEND, but may have some minor rules changes.

LEGEND itself is a nice little digest-sized book so it is cheap on the wallet and handy at the gaming table. The other thing about this system is the great pdf titles available at Drivethru rpg at present - LEGEND core rules only costs $1 USD, and the fully compatible MRQ2 sourcebooks are going very cheap ($10 USD for eleven titles) so you can grab alot of source material quite quickly.

Renaissance (Cakebread & Walton): The primary setting for this system is 'Clockwork & Chivalry', which is the only setting I know that combines the English Civil War (think the Reformation Years) mixed with Magic and Steampunk, or in this case, Clockpunk. The setting was originally for MRQ2 rules, but since MRQ2's demise the authors decided to make their own stamp on the system. I haven't had time to look at the new system, but I did download it for free from Drivethru RPG. Looks reasonably compatible with all D100 systems, probably closer to MRQ2/LEGEND but I'ld have to really suss it out for a detailed appraisal. Perhaps if you're gonna focus on Steampunk settings then the 'Renaissance' variant of BRP would be good, especially considering all the gadgetry in their Clockwork & Chivalry setting.

OpenQuest (D101 Games): This is a likable little indie version of the BRP system, with a growing product range. Actually it is a nice build for playing a slightly more simplified D100 game that covers at the same genre that LEGEND is doing. There isn't a wide range of supplements, but the ones on the market are quite good, with some interesting settings to come. For those who use the BGB, the source scenarios for OpenQuest are closely compatible and not a problem for a BRP GM to run with. OpenQuest has caught the attention of many BRP gamers, and this system certainly has its merits. For a generic fantasy genre, the 'Age Of Shadow' setting produced for OpenQuest looks like it hits the spot. I have also read very good reports about the two current OpenQuest sword 'n' sorcery settings, 'The Savage North' and "Life and Death', and I think I'll grab these at some stage. Personally I can't wait for their upcoming Sci-Fi setting.

All of these above systems have their own links within this website, and you'll see a reasonable product blurb associated with each one.

There are some other indie or fan-made BRP-related systems out there, SimpleQuest, RetroQuest, and GORE spring to mind, and AEON is in the works. I'm not really familar with them, and I think they'ld probably cover similar territory to OpenQuest, with most differences being put down to personal taste. Some others in this forum have had experience with these systems, so they are better placed than myself to discuss their merits. I do remember having some forum input into RetroQuest at one time, but I don't know enough for a comparative analysis.

*****

So I guess it goes down to personal taste. For me it is the BRP BGB and MRQ2/LEGEND, depending upon the genre and what mood I'm in. I'ld grab the BRP Quickstart pdf and the LEGEND pdf and start from there if I was you. If you like LEGEND, look out for RQ6 later this year, it will be a biggie.

Edited by Mankcam

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Thanks for the replies.

The first question I would ask is: What genre of game are you looking to run ? Fantasy, ScFi, Modern, multiple genres ?

For my purposes I am interested in the flexibiilty for games to span multiple genres. Though, I would be interested to hear suggestions specific to one genre where there is perceived added value.

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Thanks, Mankcam, for your insight. That is precisely the kind of information I hoped to get from folks here. It would be great if anyone else would like to chime in with their preferences and rationale. In the meantime, I'll be taking a close look at Mankcam's post.

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For my purposes I am interested in the flexibiilty for games to span multiple genres.

BRP is designed to cover multiple genres straight out of the book, although each genre is only sketchily covered.

Though, I would be interested to hear suggestions specific to one genre where there is perceived added value.

Take the best bits of each system and use them all together.

OpenQuest is bringing out a Modern supplement, ideal if you want mercenaries doing an Arnie, RuneQuest covers standard fantasy really well, BRP has supplements for medieval adventures and Science Fiction, older BRP-style games cover other genres, especially horror. Take whichever rules you like and work them into a cohesive whole.

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Thanks, Mankcam, for your insight. That is precisely the kind of information I hoped to get from folks here.
You're welcome mate, glad to help :)

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So, I'm continuing to try to learn about these systems. I can see in the BRP Quickstart a resistance table on page 20.

Some actions require more than skill or natural ability: obstacles must be overcome for the character to succeed. In these cases, refer to the resistance table and call for a resistance roll. Resistance rolls pit characteristics or other measurable quantities against one other. For example, a heavy rock might be SIZ 15. To lift it, a character will need to roll his or her STR versus the rock’s SIZ on the resistance table.

Now, I'm going to compare that with what I see in the Age of Shadows pdf. Well, there is no resistance table. Age of Shadows has added skills they label as "resistances". However, it is not clear to me, for example, how to handle the lifting of the rock from the above quote. It seems like the rules are incomplete without the resistance table. I cannot find a reference to opposed characteristic rolls in Age of Shadows. (I believe that Renaissance is also missing the resistance table without explaining how to calculate if the hero can lift the boulder.)

Have I missed something?

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Some authors of d100 systems like the Resistance Table, others dislike

it an prefer another game mechanic. For example, lifting an object could

also be handled by the Encumbrance rules on page 180 of BRP. The use

of the Resistance Table or of an alternative game mechanic is one of the

typical differences between various d100 systems.

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So, I'm continuing to try to learn about these systems. I can see in the BRP Quickstart a resistance table on page 20.

Now, I'm going to compare that with what I see in the Age of Shadows pdf. Well, there is no resistance table. Age of Shadows has added skills they label as "resistances". However, it is not clear to me, for example, how to handle the lifting of the rock from the above quote. It seems like the rules are incomplete without the resistance table. I cannot find a reference to opposed characteristic rolls in Age of Shadows. (I believe that Renaissance is also missing the resistance table without explaining how to calculate if the hero can lift the boulder.)

Have I missed something?

I'm no expert on AoS, but it is based on OpenQuest rules and the Mongoose RQ1 rule set.

From my reading of OQ, Lifting is based on the skill Athletics ( Brute Force application). I think it is intentionally not detailing how much can be lifted. It would be up to the GM to judge the Difficulty level of the task. If the GM says lifting that boulder is Difficult then apply a -25% penalty to the Athletics skill to complete the action. So no Resistance table required.

For Legend rules/MRQ2 you use a skill as follows:

Brawn (STR+SIZ)

Brawn is used where physical force (pushing, pulling and lifting) needs to be implemented;forcing a jammed door, for instance, or pulling a cart free of a rut in the road.

An Adventurer can lift up his STR x1.5 in SIZ without making a Brawn roll. As a mass equivalent, one point of SIZ equals, roughly, 3.5 kilograms.

For SIZ and mass above this, the Adventurer needs to succeed in a Brawn roll and if successful he can lift up to three times his STR. If the roll is a critical success, then up to five times STR can be lifted.

If the Brawn roll is fumbled, the Adventurer risks injury: he must make a successful Resilience roll or sustain 1D3 points of damage to the Chest Hit Location (armour does not protect against

this damage).

Once again no Resistance table. So this rules set provides a bit more detail than OQ.

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However, nothing prevents you from using the Resistance table in your OpenQuest game.

It is really a matter of taste, both methods (specialised skills and the resistance table) have their pros and cons.

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The resistance table means there is only one roll, but its disadvantage is the fact that it is a table. Although you can calculate the roll*, some people find it a bit tricky to do in their head. The resistance table and opposed rolls pretty much do the same thing, so it's a matter of preference and you can use either method. AEON uses opposed rolls in an effort to minimise tables.

*Equal resisting force gives you a 50% chance, this goes up or down 5% for every 1 point the resistance is lower or higher than your characteristic.

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Thanks for the replies.

I see it now, but the change from making rolls based on the characteristics to never making such rolls threw me. All the characteristic rolls (listed on page 9 of the BRP quickstart) are never rolled in a game that is using specialized skills (and therefore is not using the resistance table) instead of characteristic rolls, right?

rust notes that this (the resistance table vs specialized skills decision) is one of the typical differences between D100 games. Can folks point out what the other typical ones are?

And thanks for the info on Legend. That they seem to flesh this issue out in more detail than the other games is intriguing. Does Legend seem to provide more details of that sort throughout the rules in comparison to these other games?

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Can folks point out what the other typical ones are?

Two other typical differences are the use of total hit points or location hit points

and the use of skill category bonuses (none, based upon one characteristic, ba-

sed upon two characteristics).

All the characteristic rolls (listed on page 9 of the BRP quickstart) are never rolled in a game that is using specialized skills (and therefore is not using the resistance table) instead of characteristic rolls, right?

They can still be used for all situations which are not covered by a specific skill

or as a kind of "saving throws" in difficult situations.

Edited by rust

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I think you should really pick up one of these systems (possibly one of the free ones; I'd recommend the quick-start or Renaissance, or rather both so than you can compare) and then try and start running an adventure. I think you would quickly grasp the basics of the system and then realise how easily you can tweak it to your taste.

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I was wondering about the deadliness of GORE compared to BRP? There are noticable differences in damage bonuses, as BRP just uses multiples of D6, while GORE uses D6, D8, D10, etc. And the damage some weapons do is different, such as 9mm guns do D10 damage in GORE as opposed to D8 in BRP. Has anyone played both and noticed a difference, or none, in the deadliness of either toward PCs?

Edited by Dredj

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There are noticable differences in damage bonuses, as BRP just uses multiples of D6, while GORE uses D6, D8, D10, etc.

While BRP uses only D6, the actual damage bonuses of BRP are higher than

those of GORE. For example, while in BRP a STR+SIZ of 41 to 56 gives a da-

mage bonus of +2D6, in GORE a STR+SIZ of 61 to 70 is required for the sa-

me damage bonus, and while in BRP a STR+SIZ of 150 gives a damage bonus

of +8D6 with an average result of 28, in GORE the same STR+SIZ of 150 gi-

ves a damage bonus of +4D10 with an average result of only 22.

And the damage some weapons do is different, such as 9mm guns do D10 damage in GORE as opposed to D8 in BRP. Has anyone played both and noticed a difference, or none, in the deadliness of either toward PCs?

While there are differences in the damage values of specific weapons, I do

not think that GORE weapons are generally more damaging than their BRP

counterparts. For example, in GORE an AK 47 has a damage value of 2D6+1,

while in BRP an Assault Rifle has a damage value of 2D6+2, and BRP's Sniper

Rifle does a damage of 2D10+4, more than any GORE rifle.

All in all I think that there are no real differences in the lethality of the two

games' combat systems.

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Thank you for your reply, Rust. I was leaning more towards GORE for my game as they give damage type by caliber of ammunition instead of just the gun used. Plus, it's free, so I can download it to any computer and print it out, if anything happens to the original print outs.

I am thinking of doing yet another survival horror campaign. And I think I might put some cyberpunk in it as well. Perhaps I'll use the Eclipse Phase setting for some Dead Space-like action. And maybe I'll just use OpenQuest rules, anyway. Assuming that OpenQuest rules doesn't make damage less brutal/gritty. Btw, does OpenQuest have charts/stats for modern weaponry? I understand it's a fantasy rpg system as of right now.

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Btw, does OpenQuest have charts/stats for modern weaponry?

The OpenQuest SRD does not have any modern weapons, but I do not know

whether there are any in another version of OpenQuest.

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I am thinking of doing yet another survival horror campaign. And I think I might put some cyberpunk in it as well. Perhaps I'll use the Eclipse Phase setting for some Dead Space-like action. And maybe I'll just use OpenQuest rules, anyway. Assuming that OpenQuest rules doesn't make damage less brutal/gritty. Btw, does OpenQuest have charts/stats for modern weaponry? I understand it's a fantasy rpg system as of right now.

OpenQuest has The Company coming out soon, a modern setting with a huge list of weaponry. Also possibly of use to you is the excellent Rubble & Ruin Chaosium monograph, which also has an extensive list of modern and post-modern weapons.

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I was just thinking it's a shame there's not a sell sheet style version, with a grid, to show the various versions side by side. The software industry and web hosting does this a lot. It would give an at a glance of what's in or how it's handled (like the damage base, or inclusion of "hero points", or use of background / profession vs. open point spend, OGL release, etc.).

Lot of good information in this thread, by the way. Thanks!

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I was just thinking it's a shame there's not a sell sheet style version, with a grid, to show the various versions side by side. The software industry and web hosting does this a lot. It would give an at a glance of what's in or how it's handled (like the damage base, or inclusion of "hero points", or use of background / profession vs. open point spend, OGL release, etc.).

Lot of good information in this thread, by the way. Thanks!

I was hoping to be pointed to something like such a chart when I posted and I agree that the lack of one is a shame. That being said the responses in the thread were helpful. When I get a chance to take a close look again, I'll start by refreshing my memory of what lies herein.

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