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Decided on BRP as my Core d100


QueenJadisOfCharn

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I decided to venture into d100 recently, and with a stack of practically every variation printed or OGL I went over them, creating a character and looking over magic and battle rules.

In the end, I came down to three systems for use as my core: BRP BGB, RuneQuest 6 or OpenQuest. I eliminated OpenQuest because I like skills by weapon and hit locations and adding them on seemed like superfluous work when I had 6 other games with those features. RuneQuest 6 intruiged me, but the combat seemed a wee bit too cinematic for me, on the other hand I do like the Cult system of RQ6. What ultimately decided it was the list of equivalent skills in the back of the BGB, which makes it easier to put creatures and features from other d100 games. I will, however, be using RQ6 cults essentially RAW.

Edited by QueenJadisOfCharn
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I'm actually going to use some of the Classic Fantasy spells for Sorcery.

Actually, the CF spells are additions the BRP Magic, not Sorcery which uses a different system.

Rod

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"D100 - Exactly 5 times better than D20"

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I tend to use BRP BGB with a lot of options, as I originally got into the system through RQ3 in the 80s, and the BGB allows me to continue along without too many dramatic changes. My players know these rules as well, so its less disruption. Actually if it wasn't for them, I would probably use RQ6 instead. However, its pretty easy to port rules into the base form of BRP, so I often have elements from RQ6, MW, OQ, CF and other supplements.

Its a great system that appeals to both simulationalist and narrative play styles, you won't be disappointed!

" 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 have been thinking about using the BRP book myself. I have both Magic World and latest RuneQuest and love them both but personally I land somewhere between those two and I am so torn so I have decided to use BRP as a base in the future as it contains all the options needed to tailor my favourite game. ;t) But all games are so closely related that I see no problem using stuff from one game in another. For example we are currently running the Book of Quest campaign with RQ6 but I have decided to complete the campaign with BRP instead letting them create new BRP characters that take over where the RQ characters left off. ;t)

Edited by Chorpa
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I have been thinking about using the BRP book myself. I have both Magic World and latest RuneQuest and love them both but personally I land somewhere between those two and I am so torn so I have decided to use BRP as a base in the future as it contains all the options needed to tailor my favourite game. ;t) But all games are so closely related that I see no problem using stuff from one game in another. For example we are currently running the Book of Quest campaign with RQ6 but I have decided to complete the campaign with BRP instead letting them create new BRP characters that take over where the RQ characters left off. ;t)

I have Magic World, RQ6, Stormbringer and, like you, I find myself wanting to use this and that from here and there; I feel like BRP establishes a good baseline of then kind of gritty play I want, to which I can adapt elements I want - RA6 cults, spells from Renaissanceuxe, Call of Cthulu and Magic World.

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I am enjoying using RQ6 right now and I shall focus on that rule set for a year. But then I may switch to a BRP game, or an OQ game. The nice thing about d100 is that they're all close enough that you can switch easily, but I also find, and this is important, that they're a bit too close to run in parallel without getting confused.

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I also find, and this is important, that they're a bit too close to run in parallel without getting confused.

That's something that tends to be under-appreciated, and it counts across all games systems. There are some that are just not different enough if you are running or playing in a lot of games. D&D 3.5E and Pathfinder should never share spots on a calendar, for example. RQ6 and BRP are different enough in my opinion, but just barely.

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The dilemma I have with the various BRP/d100 games is that there are a number of finicky-little changes between games and editions that can make it annoying as well as confusing to play them. The group gets used to this-and-such way of resolving this thing, but three different versions could easily be found in the three different games you decide to run.

I think there are a few places where those bits are changed deliberately in order to foster a specific mood in the game, but the majority are just the preferred 'house rule' of a particular author.

Which is why I've been trying to assemble, on and off, a document listing a comprehensive informed choice between the various methods of resolving this-and-that when I run a BRP-family game. But really, there are so damned many, it's a task that still hasn't seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

The only other option is just to go with the RAW every time you play a different game/edition in the family. <sigh> Which is almost worse for experienced players than it would be for players new to the family.

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I think there are a few places where those bits are changed deliberately in order to foster a specific mood in the game, but the majority are just the preferred 'house rule' of a particular author.

Also, I think that some games have introduced slightly different rules to differentiate themselves from the other games. Which is even worse.

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the majority are just the preferred 'house rule' of a particular author.

I disagree: its also a little disingenuous. Any decent game designer - and the BRP/d100/RQ line has had some very good ones - don't introduce new rules either for...

to differentiate themselves from the other games. Which is even worse.

Or just because they're favoured house rules. I think that most rule changes are made from an informed standpoint, with good reason, and with considerable forethought. That doesn't mean a particular rule is always right, works well, or is suited to all play styles: but I think its disingenuous to suggest that the different iterations of BRP are a case of 'because the authors could'. That isn't true at all (with the exception, perhaps, of RQ3 which, by Greg Stafford's own admission, threw every house rule they were using into the mix). The vast majority of the time, rules variations are introduced to suit the play style or advance the mechanics of the game. Its certainly true of RQ6, and I know its also true of Stormbringer, Elric, Magic World, OpenQuest, Cthulhu, Ringworld, ElfQuest and so on.

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I have no problem with anyone else having an opinion. Honestly. And every author has choices to make.

If you put together a doc, as I've tried and discarded, that lists out all the different versions for each aspect of the game, it will balloon out of control into something that could dwarf the BGB. In fact it would essentially BE a 'complete' BGB. You'll see the seemingly endless fiddling with all kinds of things. And honestly, many of them are changes that just don't make that much of a difference, and others are simply a matter of preference. A house rule is a house rule, done for a reason by a GM, tested in play and then tweaked or discarded. Should one of those GM's works be published, that version isn't necessarily better or worse than anyone else's. But it is a preference. And as they've snowballed over the years between games and editions, they've become that much harder to keep track of.

For instance, I've tried sorting through different BRP/d100 games and editions just trying to make an educated choice between some of the following variations: Stat generation, Stat effects on Skills, Damage Bonuses, Rolls for Experience Gains, how to determine the increase in Skills due to Experience Gains, Attack % / Parry %, Skill Breakdowns, Minimum % for Skills, Defense vs Dodge, Task Resolution (including the infamous Resistance Table), Armor as Static vs Variable, and I won't even get started on the Magic Systems.

Take an example. Static Armor values versus Variable. Runequest 2's were static. Stormbringer's were variable. Runequest 2 had Hit Locations, Stormbringer didn't. Mix and match all you want, but ultimately is one set of variables more “gritty?” More “realistic?” Does it matter? Is one more suited to the “atmosphere” of Melnibone, and one more suited to the “atmosphere” of Glorantha? It just comes down to preference, who thinks what is cool.

And it's OK for there to be different preferences. But can you consider one set of choices to be 'more appropriate' to a particular product than some similar set of choices? In general, they'd have to be aspects that really mattered for that product. For instance, Openquest's mission is to make a “rules-lite” version. Most of their changes, I would agree, were to achieve that goal. But I would have to disagree with someone saying, “I changed the way you gain experience because I want players in THIS world to have more uncertainty about their rate of advancement than they would in THAT world.” I think it would be disingenuous of them to expect me to take that sort of statement seriously.

If I want to plan out a year's worth of gaming for my group, and I set out Cthulhu and Ringworld, it's OK for my players and I to have to work through radically different rules. If the changes made actually support the different genres. Stormbringer, Runequest and Lankhmar, except for magic should play the same; with respect to skills, task resolution, combat, equipment and experience. I don't accept that changing any of that, a little here and something else there, is somehow necessary to make Melnibone, Glorantha and Lankhmar 'feel' different from each other.

To sum up my opinion, subtle variations in published products are the equivalent of house rules. I'd prefer not to see them, they only contribute confusion. Major changes, such as those required for Ringworld, are fine when they contribute to a different emulation, in this case, science fiction. It was fine when we only had Runequest 2 and Stormbringer. We could switch from one game to the other, and mix-and-match any variations to our preference. Nowadays, that's a mind-boggling proposition.

Again, all my opinion. And I expect everyone else to have their own. We have plenty to choose from in this family of games. That can be good, and it can be bad.

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I've never been a serious follower of CoC, but isn't that what one of the objections to the different editions was - that they weren't really all that different? Although in those days the objection was more on a financial basis, if I recall correctly. Perhaps that shows a different demographic, that these days we can afford to complain about the necessity for new editions from a technical rather than monetary perspective! ;)

Interesting what Loz has to say about RQ3 and house rules, I'd never heard that before. Perhaps that's one of the reasons why I still prefer RQ2 from a 'product' perspective, even though I do like some of the changes introduced by RQ3. RQ2 has always seemed more integrated to me.

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Take an example. Static Armor values versus Variable. Runequest 2's were static. Stormbringer's were variable. Runequest 2 had Hit Locations, Stormbringer didn't.

This is actually a really good example of the informed decision-making I'm referring to. Stormbinger's variable armour was introduced because it was decided that locational hit points wouldn't be used. The reason for that was to speed-up game play to reflect the fast, furious and pulpish combat of the Elric books. Its also why the Major Wound Table came into existence. All three - variable armour, single HP pool, and MW table - are deliberate game design decisions to emulate the feel of combat in the Elric saga, while still utilising the core RQ system.

These weren't house rules: they were carefully engineered mechanics aimed at a particular play style. Just about every BRP/d100 game iteration has followed a similar pattern. I think its easier to tell the house rules, because they tend to lack careful application and fall apart in play (RQ3 Fatigue Points, for eg, or RQ3's sorcery rules).

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That's something that tends to be under-appreciated, and it counts across all games systems. There are some that are just not different enough if you are running or playing in a lot of games. D&D 3.5E and Pathfinder should never share spots on a calendar, for example. RQ6 and BRP are different enough in my opinion, but just barely.

Let me say I'm very happy to have this problem!

I clearly remember a time between 1997 and 2005 when CoC was the ONLY BRP title in print (if we except the spotty re-release of Elric! as Stormbringer 5ed and the heroic publication of Corum around 2000). In that long forgotten era it had even become cool to dismiss/ridicule BRP as a system in forums such as RPGnet. People would say it was outdated, clunky, roll-under (at the time it was perceived as an inherent flaw) and with "too linear probabilities" without a "nice bell curve"...and similar nonsense.

I also remember that the publication of WFRP2 changed the perception of percentile systems overnight. I suspect that WFRP2's success could have inspired Mongoose's decision of reviving RQ.

Speaking of BRP variants, I consider WFRP1-2, Dark Heresy etc. as distant relatives or bastard offspring of BRP on a par with Pendragon. Interestingly, CoC7 by moving to % characteristics has taken a big step towards the WFRP design.

Edited by smiorgan
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This is actually a really good example of the informed decision-making I'm referring to. Stormbinger's variable armour was introduced because it was decided that locational hit points wouldn't be used. The reason for that was to speed-up game play to reflect the fast, furious and pulpish combat of the Elric books. Its also why the Major Wound Table came into existence. All three - variable armour, single HP pool, and MW table - are deliberate game design decisions to emulate the feel of combat in the Elric saga, while still utilising the core RQ system.

These weren't house rules: they were carefully engineered mechanics aimed at a particular play style. Just about every BRP/d100 game iteration has followed a similar pattern. I think its easier to tell the house rules, because they tend to lack careful application and fall apart in play (RQ3 Fatigue Points, for eg, or RQ3's sorcery rules).

That's very true. And that's why I'm not going to use MRQ2 (or RQ6) for my Elric game. I'd rather bolt Loz's excellent rules for pacts and summonings onto an old Stormbringer or Elric! ruleset.

Most d100 variants have their flavor. For instance, RQ6 seems to me like the 'Pathfinder' of d100 games. And I mean that as a big compliment. It's true to RQ origins but modern, carefully designed and awfully complete, just a little bit rules-heavy.

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I am enjoying using RQ6 right now and I shall focus on that rule set for a year. But then I may switch to a BRP game, or an OQ game. The nice thing about d100 is that they're all close enough that you can switch easily, but I also find, and this is important, that they're a bit too close to run in parallel without getting confused.

I think this is the closest thing to the absolute truth in this thread.

If you know one BRP-game, you know them all. They all function more or less the same way, and produce more or less the same results when you play them. The details that differ between them might be devillish details, but details nontheless.

The only thing you need to know is what kind of details you want, and run with the game that suits. Once you've run a few games, you can start to mix and match.

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I don't see BRP based games as introducing house rules or differentiating themselves for the sake of it. I just see all BRP-based games as operating under a root language that continues to evolve.

I'm pretty new at the system but it seems like one can also easily replace or ignore anlot of rules. Major Wounds or Hit Location tables are basically interchangeable. BRP resembles 0-2e D&D and its spinoffs (Hackmaster, OSR games) in that rules are largely drag and drop. Outcomes may change bases on subsystem variations, but readapting them if you want is also easy because they have a similar set of terminology, range of results and shared systems.

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