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Introduction to the community and a question!


PoppySeed45

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Just wanted to say hello to everyone here and give a little introduction, though I should note I'm under the same handle over on RPG.net and I've seen a few familiar monikers here on these boards. Still, just for getting to know.

I'm a long time gamer, primarily GMing, for more than 25 years. As I've gotten older I've noticed there have been some changes in my gaming.

For example, for the last five years I thought that I was all about "story" and I went for games that gave narrative tools to the players to advance the story (mostly FATE and Burning Wheel). Now, in general, I like both games very well, but especially wit FATE, a lot of things are feeling very hand-wavy and wishy-washy. I wasn't feeling satisfied after gaming sessions. I did one shots of other games but they had various issues and the like.

Then, a month ago, I did a one shot of A Song of Ice and Fire. The system is very "concrete" and simulationsist; my players had a blast, dealt easier with conflicts, and as a GM, it was just so easy to run. In fact, I'd go as far to say that they engaged more with the system in that one session, than all the sessions of FATE we'd done over the past four months.

Of course, you may think that it's the system, and that's partly true (it's rather good in my opinion), but I think it's more that it was "concrete", that is, the numbers were more about things in the "world", than about abstract concepts that had to be fit and argued about for each situation (this isn't to say that all systems don't cause arguments, it's that the arguments in FATE are about how far to stretch Aspects, which really tires me out). This made me realize that I don't actually like "abstract" games better than more concrete ones (and thus, I'll probably will never pick up HeroQuest 2, for example).

Now, where does BRP fit into all this? Well, the current Diaspora FATE campaign I'm running winds down in one or two more sessions. After that, I'm sure I'll be running ASOIF RPG. But after that? I can't go back to FATE or other looser systems. Burning Wheel (and its derivatives), as much as I love them, are too complex for my current crop of casual gamers. I had GURPS but sold it long ago since I dislike, very much, the one-second combat round. I have Savage Worlds but something about it rubs me the wrong way - I THINK it's the heavy reliance on bennies, and the wonky and wild die results. I like ORE and have both Reign and Wild Talents, but again, the die system doesn't send me through spasms of joy.

And then I remembered the old days, when I played CoC and Stormbringer. Those were good systems, concrete, easy to adjudicate, and the like. So I ordered the gold BRP book, which just arrived yesterday. I haven't had a chance to really read it yet; just flipped through it to see the art (and let me comment, as a person of color, I liked that there were actually pictures of people other than "whites,"; that one of an "African" adventuring party is awesome).

So, the question is, am I right? Is BRP the "concrete" game I'm looking for? Where, if hand waving is necessary, it's at least made easy but interesting (one of the major issues with FATE was that handwaving usually came down to "it's an Aspect", and not much more mechanically).

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Yes, maybe BRP is the game for you. You will not need so much handwaving, and when handwaving is required, somewhere in the BGB you will find something that guides you in your ruling.

Thank you for coming here and for sharing your vision, and your players'. It is extremely encouraging, and extremely educational, to see that there are gamers who have tried complex, innovative systems such as FATE and Burning Wheel and still feel more comfortable with classics like BRP.

I especially loved this part:

I think it's more that it was "concrete", that is, the numbers were more about things in the "world", than about abstract concepts that had to be fit and argued about for each situation (this isn't to say that all systems don't cause arguments, it's that the arguments in FATE are about how far to stretch Aspects, which really tires me out).

I have come to think that there is a great misconception in the latest trends of game design, that is the idea that including many details that describe the "physical/social world" will make them more relevant than the narrative for your story. But this is not true: the details are there to help you in describing your world, and in feeling it real. They do not replace the narrative, they are the basis upon which you build it. Without them, some people feel more comfortable, but some others feel uncomfortable, they cannot suspend disbelief.

Please tell us more about your future experience with BRP. It will certainly help us improve the system and the games we build upon it.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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My guess is that it is, but rather than play psychologist, I'll tell you why I like it and the reasons I've heard from others as to why they don't like it.

I like it because it's very logical at its core, it's very simple to teach and learn, and it's very robust in that it can be bent in many different ways and not be broken. It also doesn't really have any dice gimmicks, so it tends to recede into the background of play, rather than be front and centre. I like that because the interaction between the players at the table becomes the focus, rather than the game system itself.

Hand waving, or making rulings on the fly, is very easy - in part because almost everything is run off D%, so mentally calculating the probability of success is dead easy. There are several subsystems to the game which lend some variety, too, and all of them are easy to grok.

So, for instance, if the PCs come across a door that they want to open in a hurry and you can't remember the rule for this, you can quickly come up with one of several ways for the situation to be handled.

You can have the PC roll to wrench it open STRx5% for an easy door, or STRx3% for a tough door, or STRx1% for a very tough door.

You can give the door a 'Resist Opening' skill and have the PC make an opposed skill roll against it, using STRx5% for brawn, or whatever skill makes sense to you.

You can give the door a STR and have the PCs match their STR against it on the resistance table.

You can give the door Armour Points/Hit Points and let the PCs batter it down with their weapons.

You can simply decide what the % chance of the PCs getting through the door is and have them roll against that.

Some of the above are less orthodox than others, but each method will work and none will break the game.

As for whether you'll like the game or not, the types of people I've run into over the years that don't like it usually fall into one of these groups:

1. People that have never played it but got fed up of people telling them how much better it is than D&D so they wrote it off.

2. People that like to have a very tactile game - one that feels more game-like with interesting dice rolling methods or dice trading. They seem to find BRP boring.

3. People with some specific need that BRP simply doesn't accommodate, like the need for bell curve distribution in the dice rolls (BRP does have a results bell curve, by the way, but let's not get into that) or the need for a roll-over system.

4. People who hate rolling percentage dice, for whatever reason.

5. People who want more explicit narrative tools in their games.

6. As Rosen alluded to, people for whom 'new' is inherently better usually see BRP as an 'old', and therefore inherently inferior, game. Usually 5 and 6 go hand in hand, in my experience.

If you're not in one of the above categories, I'm sure you'll at least 'like' BRP. You might even love it.

And when you do get that book and read it, remember that if there's something you find in the rules that you don't like, chances are someone has already come up with a different way of doing things that works great, so just ask around. There are probably almost as many BRP houserules as there are players. There are some advantages to playing 'old' games, afterall!

Edited by Thalaba

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

__________________________________

 

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Yes, maybe BRP is the game for you. You will not need so much handwaving, and when handwaving is required, somewhere in the BGB you will find something that guides you in your ruling.

Thank you for coming here and for sharing your vision, and your players'. It is extremely encouraging, and extremely educational, to see that there are gamers who have tried complex, innovative systems such as FATE and Burning Wheel and still feel more comfortable with classics like BRP.

[...] I have come to think that there is a great misconception in the latest trends of game design, that is the idea that including many details that describe the "physical/social world" will make them more relevant than the narrative for your story. But this is not true: the details are there to help you in describing your world, and in feeling it real. They do not replace the narrative, they are the basis upon which you build it. Without them, some people feel more comfortable, but some others feel uncomfortable, they cannot suspend disbelief.

Please tell us more about your future experience with BRP. It will certainly help us improve the system and the games we build upon it.

That I will, and thank you for the comments. Thing is, now that I've read a little (only first chapter) I feel even more that BRP is what I've been looking for. And I think you're right; a lot of games want to replace the narrative with these tools (many of which are quite interesting) but I'm finding that it's better if the story emerges, at least mostly, rather than something that comes out because you can "push" the story that way. If that makes any sense.

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And when you do get that book and read it, remember that if there's something you find in the rules that you don't like, chances are someone has already come up with a different way of doing things that works great, so just ask around. There are probably almost as many BRP houserules as there are players. There are some advantages to playing 'old' games, afterall!

I will at that. Naturally, it's one of the reasons I wanted to introduce myself. I figure some folks might be able to better pinpoint what I've been feeling the last few months games-wise.

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Is BRP the "concrete" game I'm looking for?

It may well be, or at least it and the other members of the d100 family almost certainly

have the necessary tools to create that game.

What I like most about BRP, in addition to what has already been mentioned by others,

is that the system can easily be modified to fit a specific gaming style or setting. It can

be made more complex through the use of the many available options, or it can be made

more rules light by using only the bare core of it. It is no problem at all to add elements

of other systems or to design house rules for elements one does not want because they

do not feel right for one's gaming style or campaign. So, if you decide that BRP may in-

deed be the game for you, you could take the time to look at the many other members

of the family, like Classic Fantasy, Magic World, Renaissance and so on, or the upcoming

science fiction game River of Heaven. They are all close relatives of BRP with their own

focus and interesting ideas, and good examples of the way the game can be tailored to

fit a specific concept.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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It may well be, or at least it and the other members of the d100 family almost certainly

have the necessary tools to create that game.

What I like most about BRP, in addition to what has already been mentioned by others,

is that the system can easily be modified to fit a specific gaming style or setting. It can

be made more complex through the use of the many available options, or it can be made

more rules light by using only the bare core of it. It is no problem at all to add elements

of other systems or to design house rules for elements one does not want because they

do not feel right for one's gaming style or campaign. So, if you decide that BRP may in-

deed be the game for you, you could take the time to look at the many other members

of the family, like Classic Fantasy, Magic World, Renaissance and so on, or the upcoming

science fiction game River of Heaven. They are all close relatives of BRP with their own

focus and interesting ideas, and good examples of the way the game can be tailored to

fit a specific concept.

Quite true, quite true. At least, that's what I'm hoping for. One of my other reasons for going for BRP is to get a system I can go to when I don't have a specific system to run it. I was going to be FATE but that just doesn't do it for me, as I said in the OP. Once I get some cash in hand, I plan on getting supplements and other implementations of BRP. The ones you mentioned sound nifty (though the first will be Rome, as I'm something of an amateur historian, and I REALLY like historical RPGs).

Actually, that's another thing I'm hoping - BRP looks like it would handle all my Historical RPG ideas just fine, and I really, really want that.

P.S. - By the way your text comes formatted, can I guess you're the same Rust on Citizens? If so, I'm Mencelus there (though I ought to change my name as I don't use the handle anywhere else). Interesting to find other known posters here as well!

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... though the first will be Rome, as I'm something of an amateur historian, and I REALLY like historical RPGs).

If you are more into the real history than into the Hollywood version of it,

there is a good chance that you will love BRP's Rome, in my view it is a true

masterwork. So are most of the other historical supplements, for example

Celestial Empire, Merrie England and Mythic Iceland.

P.S. - By the way your text comes formatted, can I guess you're the same Rust on Citizens?

I used to be, but I have not visited CotI for a very long time.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Quite true, quite true. At least, that's what I'm hoping for. One of my other reasons for going for BRP is to get a system I can go to when I don't have a specific system to run it. I was going to be FATE but that just doesn't do it for me, as I said in the OP. Once I get some cash in hand, I plan on getting supplements and other implementations of BRP. The ones you mentioned sound nifty (though the first will be Rome, as I'm something of an amateur historian, and I REALLY like historical RPGs).

Actually, that's another thing I'm hoping - BRP looks like it would handle all my Historical RPG ideas just fine, and I really, really want that.

The BRP system, the core system, is very easy to learn and your players should have no issues with percentages. As for the above bolded sentences?

I invite you to go to the Downloads section and check out an excellent BRP historical gaming setting: Warlords of Alexander.

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The BRP system, the core system, is very easy to learn and your players should have no issues with percentages. As for the above bolded sentences?

I invite you to go to the Downloads section and check out an excellent BRP historical gaming setting: Warlords of Alexander.

Checking it out now...looks pretty cool. Thanks for that.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm weighing in late here Stan, but I'ld just like to say that your experience with other more recent systems is similar to mine. I first played RQ/BRP back in the mid-late 80s, I never actually stopped playing it entirely, but certainly other systems crept into my gaming bookcase over the years, with White Wolf Storyteller forming a big part of that library. A few years ago I really got into Savage Worlds, but the 'wonkiness' that you describe turned me off after a year of GMing it, although I still love some of the setting books. I returned to BRP a few years ago, and I realised I have never felt so comfortable GMing than I do with BRP. My other favourite system is FATE, probably due to the narrative focus, yet surprisingly enough many of my friends have not liked it in actual gameplay.

BRP seems to appeal to many people once they get into it. I tend to GM with a lot of hand waving, as it is such a simple core mechanic that allows for this. But two of my players are very simulationlist and they also love the system, they love stating their guns up for Call of Cthulhu, they love the Hit Locations of RQ etc.

So in all my 28-29 years of gaming (good grief!) I have found BRP to have been my favourite system, and I curse when I think of how much money I could of saved myself on the multitudes of other systems that stock my gaming bookcase :) I pillage them now for ideas and occasional house rules, but I only tend to GM BRP these days.

So BRP tends to appeal to both 'simulationlist' and 'narrative' GMs, I'ld be surprised if you don't find home with this system.

Welcome to the BRP Community!

Edited by Mankcam

" 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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So BRP tends to appeal to both 'simulationlist' and 'narrative' GMs, I'ld be surprised if you don't find home with this system.

I fully do agree with that.

I'm coming from GURPS. Unlike you, StanTheMan, the one second scale didn't bother me. I'm a karateka, and the possibility of choosing every single combat technique made me very happy. GURPS will ever remain an amazingly great game in my mind. I love games where the rules fit to the reality, where you can almost feel what your character feels, when game results correspond to what you could expect if you really were there... And I love the bell curve of 3D6 too: everything in reality sounds to follow a bell curve (there are more average results than extreme ones).

But GURPS is complex. And not a just bit. So, during the game, players and especially the GM think more in terms of rule than it terms of story. And that bothered me more and more...

So, what? The Basic Role Playing system is the answer! Because it is between the two. Between very realistic and detailed rules, and pure storytelling systems. And, thanks to its amazing optional rules that you can add or remove as you want, things are even more flexible.

I'm sure you will love it very soon.

As Thalaba said it, the BRP system doesn't really make the results linear. Of course, a D100 is linear, contrary to 3D6 which give a beautiful bell curve. But in the BRP system, the D100 linearity is corrected by the difficulty modifiers: an easy task double your chances of success while a hard task halves them. If you really use that, the results are not anymore linear: they depend on what the player exactly do.

Example

The player character is searching a hidden message in a closet...

~ If the player content himself of telling: "I'm searching the closet.", he just make an ordinary roll. His Spot skill will determine his chances of success.

~ If the player tells: "I search this closet very carefully, taking all my time. I remove everything inside, one thing after the other, and search it before putting it on the bed. When everything will be on the bed, I'll even knock everywhere inside the closet to find a possible secret hidden box..." Then finding the hidden message becomes easy. Chances are doubled.

~ Finally, if the player says: "I search this closet as quickly as possible, while looking at the door to see if someone suddenly comes in...", the task becomes hard and the chances are halved.

As you can see with this example, the game is not as aleatory as it may first appear. Chances of success depends more on what the player exactly do than on dice rolls... Like in reality!

And everything remains very simple to handle. There is neither very specific rule for each eventuality nor complex calculation. So, the GM can focus on storytelling, and the players can focus on playing the role of their character.

The BRP system really fall in between storytelling and realistic role playing games. This may explain why so many people come back to it after trying other systems. And this is surely why you will love it: a game system that will offer you both "story" and "concrete"!

Welcome on board!

Edited by Gollum
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BRP is fantastic - it can handle every type of story. With a little tweak you are at demigod level, and leave it be its pure realism (as far as roleplaying games go).

Many roleplaying games do certain things better, FATE is much better for the pure narrative game, where players have to think both in game and meta, and GURPS is better at the simulation from its "endless" options that have been nicely researched. But BRP sits erfectly in the middle of every playstyle and its a very easy game, perfect for introduction to roleplaying, as the rules are so simple to follow.

Tea and Madness

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Thanks all again for the kind and hearty welcomes!

On my second read through now, and I'm pretty sure BRP will be my next game after the current one (starting a new group actually, and they've expressed a strong interested in A Song of Ice and Fire, so, we'll probably play that with the ACTUAL system; as I said, it's what led to my little recent epiphany).

For a bunch of other stuff, yeah, I think BRP's gonna do the job I want. I think. I've got an old setting a ran long ago in BW, and I wouldn't mind to transfer it to BRP, actually...

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Stan,

I think you will find BRP to be an excellent system with more "crunchy" bits for you and your players to sink their teeth into.

However, the BRP core rule book is a generic system with many optional rules designed to apply to multiple genres of gaming. It is important that you pick the genre and optional rules that you want to use.

Also, the rules for superpowers are not fully fleshed out at this time, but this may change is a superhero source book/monograph is released.

Just wanted to say hello to everyone here and give a little introduction, though I should note I'm under the same handle over on RPG.net and I've seen a few familiar monikers here on these boards. Still, just for getting to know.

I'm a long time gamer, primarily GMing, for more than 25 years. As I've gotten older I've noticed there have been some changes in my gaming.

For example, for the last five years I thought that I was all about "story" and I went for games that gave narrative tools to the players to advance the story (mostly FATE and Burning Wheel). Now, in general, I like both games very well, but especially wit FATE, a lot of things are feeling very hand-wavy and wishy-washy. I wasn't feeling satisfied after gaming sessions. I did one shots of other games but they had various issues and the like.

Then, a month ago, I did a one shot of A Song of Ice and Fire. The system is very "concrete" and simulationsist; my players had a blast, dealt easier with conflicts, and as a GM, it was just so easy to run. In fact, I'd go as far to say that they engaged more with the system in that one session, than all the sessions of FATE we'd done over the past four months.

Of course, you may think that it's the system, and that's partly true (it's rather good in my opinion), but I think it's more that it was "concrete", that is, the numbers were more about things in the "world", than about abstract concepts that had to be fit and argued about for each situation (this isn't to say that all systems don't cause arguments, it's that the arguments in FATE are about how far to stretch Aspects, which really tires me out). This made me realize that I don't actually like "abstract" games better than more concrete ones (and thus, I'll probably will never pick up HeroQuest 2, for example).

Now, where does BRP fit into all this? Well, the current Diaspora FATE campaign I'm running winds down in one or two more sessions. After that, I'm sure I'll be running ASOIF RPG. But after that? I can't go back to FATE or other looser systems. Burning Wheel (and its derivatives), as much as I love them, are too complex for my current crop of casual gamers. I had GURPS but sold it long ago since I dislike, very much, the one-second combat round. I have Savage Worlds but something about it rubs me the wrong way - I THINK it's the heavy reliance on bennies, and the wonky and wild die results. I like ORE and have both Reign and Wild Talents, but again, the die system doesn't send me through spasms of joy.

And then I remembered the old days, when I played CoC and Stormbringer. Those were good systems, concrete, easy to adjudicate, and the like. So I ordered the gold BRP book, which just arrived yesterday. I haven't had a chance to really read it yet; just flipped through it to see the art (and let me comment, as a person of color, I liked that there were actually pictures of people other than "whites,"; that one of an "African" adventuring party is awesome).

So, the question is, am I right? Is BRP the "concrete" game I'm looking for? Where, if hand waving is necessary, it's at least made easy but interesting (one of the major issues with FATE was that handwaving usually came down to "it's an Aspect", and not much more mechanically).

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Cthulhu Invictus is also a very good Roman supplement for BRP.

If you are more into the real history than into the Hollywood version of it,

there is a good chance that you will love BRP's Rome, in my view it is a true

masterwork. So are most of the other historical supplements, for example

Celestial Empire, Merrie England and Mythic Iceland.

I used to be, but I have not visited CotI for a very long time.

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