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RQ6 in comparison to current BRP edition


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Hi everybody!

It might be that this question has been discussed before, in which case I humbly ask for apologies. Nonetheless I haven't been able to locate a respective thread on the forum.

Due to the fact that I'm currently (for the last couple of years actually) quite limited on budget and especially time, I request the wise advice of the community.

I have been playing some incarnations of BRP during my youth (all the editions of Stormbringer and Elric!, Elfquest, some Cthulhu, all of Pendragon, and Vikings) and do own them as well as some Runequest and Glorantha books from Avalon Hill, but never played them.

Now I would love to return to the world of d100 and take my current gaming group on a journey through the multiverse. But I don't know actually which edition is recommendable at the moment. As I understand from various reviews on the net all editions seem to have more or less identical flaws in some places while benefits in others. But I haven't found a direct comparison nor a review that clearly recommends one edition of the others.

So...is there anything anyone here could recommend for someone who is not interested in Glorantha itself but wants to play d100 in a semi-historic fantasy setting or classical fantasy (maybe even Middle-earth (yes, I know about the excellent downloadable content from BRP central!!!), Forgotten Realms or Warhammer)?

What would you recommend? Go for Legend? Go for BRP? Go for RQ6? And why? I have downloaded several of the currently very cheap stuff for RQ and BRP from Drivethrough but lack the time to really work through to make a decision. In the end I'm a physical type of person and need printed books.

If it's not too much to ask for I would be glad for a couple of answers.

These are the books I'm currently opting for:

RQ - Runequest6


Legend - Legend

Legend - Samurai of Legend

Legend - Vikings of Legend

BRP - Basic Roleplaying

BRP - Basic Gamemaster

BRP - Basic Creatures

BRP - Classic Fantasy

BRP - The Magic Book

BRP - Magic World

BRP - Advanced Sorcery

BRP - Monster Island (+Monster Island Compendium PDF)

I do already own BRP - Witchcraft

Thank you very much for your support.

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Hi Cloudlord,

I'm going to shamelessly plug RQ6. Because, well, this is the RuneQuest forum, I'm a moderator, and I can... :)

I would recommend that you download RuneQuest Essentials, which is a trimmed-down version of RQ6, but still contains an extensive and fully playable set of rules. It's free or you can Pay What You Like from Drivethru. While there, pick-up Land of the Samurai and Vikings from the RQ Archives: these cost $1 each, and are the direct predecessors of RQ6; you don't need to buy the Legend editions as the content is almost exactly the same. Land of Samurai was developed for Mongoose's first edition of RuneQuest but adapting it to RQ6 really is a doddle.

RQ6 is extremely good at historical, Sword and Sorcery and Sword and Sandals roleplaying. But it will also handle high fantasy too. The game has a lot of options and the advanced magic systems (RQ6 Essentials gives you a taster with Theism) can easily model the high fantasy of D&D. If you enjoy RQ Essentials, then you can upgrade the full rules later.

RQ6 varies a great deal from the previous iterations of the game. Although the core mechanics are similar, magic is handled much differently than in the Avalon Hill 3rd edition. Perhaps the biggest change is combat, which runs very differently, includes Special Effects that are an integral part of the combat process (and not penalty driven options), and works with a very different action cycle economy.

Anyhow, by getting RQ Essentials, Land of Samurai and Vikings from the below links, you'll save yourself $23.00.

We also have three full-priced books available too: 'Book of Quests', 'Monster Island' and 'Shores of Korantia'. All three are a mix of campaign settings and scenarios, Monster Island has an extensive bestiary of new, original monsters, and Shores of Korantia is very much inspired by the ancient, classical world.

In short, there's a lot out there, at a great price.



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Let me tell you what RQ6 gives me to run games and why It is my number 1 choice for fantasy gaming. RQ6 is complete in one large book including a large number of creatures and excellent advice. It is a toolbox that lets me customize the rules to match my own personal vision of how to run my campaign. I can choose the weapon classes to match the cultures and norms of my own world. I can set he level of magic to match my own vision of how it should work. Lots of concrete examples are given in the book. I like the special effects and the combat in general the assumption is you will fight until defeat, not until death. Characters are all personalized and the creation process encourages a back story. Also you will find the designers are very engaged with the community and care about their game very much so I feel a personal connection to RQ6. As Loz says, try the essentials at no risk and see for yourself if you like it.

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Edition wars have never been a thing with BRP. Because every single game and variant have more in common with each other than not. And they're all good.

As for the original question, RuneQuest will reign supreme for fantasy. It does it very well.

BRP also does it well, but not RQ-well. It does it Stormbringer-well. And that's another vote for RuneQuest 6; it does fantasy better than Stormbringer. And Stormbringer was pretty good! BRP is easier to tweak and play with, as opposed to RQ's more structured ruleset. It gives you tools for other genres than just fantasy, and absolutely earns its' place in any d100-library.

But for a historically-inspired fantasy game, I'd recommend RuneQuest.

Your list of books..

Legend -as Loz says, RQE is a contender. Legend has a slightly expanded magic section, and rudimentary cults, but RQE is otherwise an equally good or better package. The proper RQ-book is simply superior to Legend.

BRP - Basic Roleplaying, Basic Gamemaster, Basic Creatures, Basic Magic - if these are the monographs from Chaosium, I'd advice caution. Most of them are covered, and covered better, by the BGB and newer supplements.

BRP - Classic Fantasy - The BRP-mono is half a book(basicly the BRP-version of AD&D's Player's Handbook). It is still worth getting for its' innovative tweaks and massive spell lists. It is also worth mentioning that Classic Fantasy will be re-released in a full-fledged version under RQ6 next year.

BRP - Magic World, Advanced Sorcery - you know these if you've played Stormbringer. Very similar in terms of rules

BRP - Monster Island (+Monster Island Compendium PDF) - Yes. Think of this as a RQ6 Companion. And a good setting in its' own right.

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I think RuneQuest 6 is the best option of them all. The BRP BGB isn't really an 'rpg' so much as a collection of variant rules from the different RuneQuest-based systems, out of which you may build an RPG.

My reason for preferring RQ6 is that the book is very tightly put together and the rules are crunchy without excessive fiddling. It's also very easy to use Legend and Mongoose Runequest/MRQ2 resources (which are very cheap) with very little in the way of conversion. BRP or Pendragon would require some conversion (mainly in the realm of derived statistics and weapons/armor) but is possible to do on-the-fly for most 'd100' products.

Magic World is a great game, and simpler than RQ6. It's Stormbringer minus the Moorcock.

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Ok, to answer your question in a nutshell:

Choice of rule set: RuneQuest 6th Edition

Setting choice: RQ6 Shores of Korantia. (You can also look for MRQ2 Age Of Treason:The Iron Simulacrum to compliment this)

Setting choice if wanting a ready-made campaign: RQ6 The Book Of Quests or LEGEND's The Spider Gods Bride

That's my advice, for all the reasons already suggested in the preceding posts.

You won't be disappointed!

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Wow! So many and detailed answers. Didn't expect such a response and am very grateful for it. Thank you very much everybody!!!

As it seems I have no choice than to go for RQ6 then. But since I am a fan of the BRP I'll try to get a copy of that, too, just for my book shelf. But what does BGB stand for? (oh...the "Big Gold Book" - just found it through google. I'm not up to date anymore!)

So this will be my list of RQ/BRP acquisitions and I'm pretty sure that it will be possible to craft a nice campaign (and probably my own game world) from it:

These items are already on my shelf:

-RQ Deluxe Edition (AH)

-RQ Dorastor: Land of Doom

-RQ Shadows on the Borderlands

-RQ Lords of Terror

-RQ Vikings boxed set

-all of Stormbringer and Elric!

-Hawkmoon boxed set

-all of Pendragon

-all of Elf-quest

-BRP Witchcraft

-BRP Mythic Iceland (GenCon edition)

and the following as PDF:

-BRP Core Rules 2nd-4th Ed.(4th should be the BGB)

-BRP Basic Magic

-BRP Adventures

-BRP Rome

-In Search of the Trollslayer

-RQ2 Vikings

-RQ2 Land of the Samurai

-RQ2 Monster Coliseum

-Legend Core Rules

-Legend Spirit Magic

And as it seems I will then buy RQ6 to supplement the collection and The Book of Quests as well as Monster Island. As for Classic Fantasy I'll wait for the RQ edition then.

Since I loved Stormbringer I'll get Magic World out of sheer sense of completeness.

As of now I don't know about Shores of Korantia. If you like, please sell me on it...

So far I can only say thank you again. I'm looking forward o bringing RQ6 to my gamin table and my gamers. Hopefully it will be well received.

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I always thought it meant "Big Gold Book" referring to the current hardcover and softcover version of BRP that others have mentioned gives you the many options consolidated and some like super powers updated from the original sources/games.

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Well, I'm late to the party but I'll add my two clacks to the pot anyway.

I think every edition of BRP games tweaks this'n'that, sometimes in an attempt to accomplish a particular goal, and sometimes just because the author has a preference amongst all the variants out there. One collection of variants isn't better than another, it's a matter of taste. When making a choice of which version to run, you should always go with what you and your group might enjoy most.

If you enjoyed the Elric/Stormbringer books a lot, then I've heard very good things about Magic World. Personally I enjoy the earliest editions of Stormbringer.

I own Classic Fantasy. Obviously, the BRP version, not the yet-to-be-released RQ6 version. It's a great read and an endearing concept, to try and emulate D&D using BRP rules. It's also a great resource. I haven't actually used it in play, but if you like the concept I'd go for it.

You should certainly check out the latest pay-what-you-will download of RQ6, to decide if you want to give it a go. It seems very different from RQ2/3 to me.

Since you mentioned Middle Earth, I'll also mention another book I own, Age of Shadow. It's a 75 page softcover book, based on Openquest (a rules-lite version of BRP). The PDF is free, the softcover is only $5.99 at RPGNow:


It was written to play a campaign in Middle Earth, with the serial numbers filed off. The author had in mind something prior to the 3rd Age, but I see no reason not to use it for any Middle Earth time period you'd like. He wasn't thinking hobbits when he wrote it, but has since published hobbit stats on his blog. I highly recommend this, and am hoping to get a game going using this book soon.

Good luck with the campaign!

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You might want to get the Gloranthan Classics on PDF - all the RQ2 gloranthan cults and many of the packs, combined into 4 volumes of fun.

Vikings/Land of Samurai are good in MRQ2/Legend, the Legend has some rules tidying up, I think, but nothing drastic, so if you already have them then they are probably not worth rebuying.

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If you were going to grab the Vikings and Land Of The Samurai books then I would get the LEGEND hardcopies, but if you are just after pdfs then buy the MRQ2 versions from DrivethruRPG for only a$1 each. There are minimal changes to the books in terms of content and mechanics (almost identical), for that price its hard not to pick them up out of interest's sake.

I also heartily recommend the Gloranthan Classics if you want to get into Glorantha, although Design Mechanism is bringing out a RQ6 Adventures in Glorantha setting later this year. I'm a big fan of Glorantha, so I would be bias here. However I think you indicated earlier in the thread that you would rather steer clear from Glorantha.

If you wanted to play a Tolkienesque/generic high fantasy setting then also grab the free pdf of Age Of Shadow from DrivethruRPG. Baron also suggested this previously, so I'ld like to second that notion. It uses OpenQuest but all rules are contained in the core rulebook. For $3-$4 you can pick up the pdf campaign setting from DriveThruRPG as well. Its very straight forward but good for running a Middle Earth like setting, and with minimal adaption you could use it for Middle Earth.

Lots of choices for you. But to keep things simple you should probably pick up RQ6 and start from there

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Wow, thank you again for all these elaborate answers! You definitaley convinced me of getting RQ6 and I also ordered it through my local game store. I'm wondering how long it will take to get to me...it's always difficult and time consuming to order non-mainstream games from the states and usually is easiest if done through Noble Knight or similars. But shipping is a killer...

Anyhow my list for BRP/RQ will be as follows - thanks to you guys.

RuneQuest 6 as hardcopy

together with Magic World and Advanced Sorcery

RuneQuest Classic Fantasy as soon as it will be published

Legend Samurai and Vikings

What really caught my eye was the Age of Shadow, as indicated by some of you. It's wonderful! I will definitely pick up the Campaign Guide and the OpenQuest PDFs some time in the future.

For now I'm playing with the idea of doing my own fantastic campaign/world rolling more or less all genre supplements together into one multiverse-sort-of-setting. I'm currently running a Warhammer 1sr ED campaign and might be able to tweak it so far that the group will voluntarily leave the Old World in pursuit of a mad wizard ... and then be stranded among the myriad universes of the multiverse. I have never done something like that but it currently looks like fun. There was a great adventure for Stormbringer that I might use as a base for this: Rogue Mistress.

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Changed my mind and ordered RQ6 through the website of Design Mechanism. It's even a bit cheaper than getting it from a shop in Germany - and includes the PDF. So cool!

Am reading the PDF since yesterday. Thank you all again for this tip. RQ6 is really an advancement and solves mostly all the issues I have with games today. There might be but one thing I'll incorporate from Chaosiums Stormbringer - the way armor is treated with a die-roll mechanism. I always liked this very much and it's a great way to keep players from power-armoring while enhancing the worth of smaller weapons. Yet heavy armor still has it's worth but you just can't count on it like before (I always hated this "Oh he can't hurt me, he got only a dagger and I wear full plate..."

RQ6 is so gereric and yet detailed that it seems I can play almost anything with it without much work of customization. That is the greatest asset compared to other games that I know. Wonderful!

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First of all, I'm thrilled you've bought RQ and are liking what you're seeing. I really hope it gives you the play experience you're after.

I always liked this very much and it's a great way to keep players from power-armoring while enhancing the worth of smaller weapons. Yet heavy armor still has it's worth but you just can't count on it like before (I always hated this "Oh he can't hurt me, he got only a dagger and I wear full plate..."

I'm a huge Stormbringer fan too, but I would offer a word of advice on including variable dice armour in a RuneQuest game. The variable armour was deliberately introduced to get around the idea that Stormbringer characters don't have hit locations - just a pool of hit points, and also to emulate the OTT combat of the Elric saga. For this, it works very well. Remember though, that RQ works on hit locations, and there's no central HP pool, so you'll be introducing a layer of book-keeping as you'll need to track the die code for each location. The other thing to note are the Special Effects in combat, particularly Bleed, Bypass Armour and Maximise Damage. Without a fixed armour value, Bleed and Maximise Damage may become much more devastating than they would otherwise be - even for fully armoured characters. When you read the descriptions of these Special Effects, you'll see why.

Try it, and see how it works, but also try it RAW: you may find you don't need variable armour because the Special Effects tend to offer some considerable advantages regardless of the weapon type.

Welcome to the RuneQuest Tribe!

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I second Loz's advice and urge not to tinker with the armour system in RQ6.

If that mechanic appeals to you then the BRP MagicWorld book offers the best set of current rules with that uses the variable AP roll. It is a little counter-intuitive if you are using hit locations however.

RQ6 has a much more tactile flavour to combat, and if you alter the AP mechanics I think it will undoubtedly mess things around too much. Best advice is to run it as it is, it plays very well, and I don't think it falls into the same issues as RQ3 in regards to 'armour-tanking' due to the other features inherent within the RQ6 combat system.

Yep, give it a go as it is, I doubt you and your players will be disappointed ;t)

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Tahnk you for the links, Hkokko.

And thank you all again for the advice. I'll give it a shot with the rules as they are written. Maybe it's all fine then. Yet while reading them I had an issue or two I would like to discuss here. Unfortunately I can't remember them and need to investigate first before I can bring them up. It's been something about combat and something else about magic. So if you are intrested in helping a veteran-noob, stay tuned. I'll come back with more questions soon.

Anyhow things will get easier as soon as I have the hardcopy. I have never been a fan of reading electronically (what I have to do way to often, nowadays due to my job) but it's neat to have the PDF for reference and printing various excerpts to supplement play.

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Oh well now I remember one thing:

While reading the rules (haven't read them completely yet, and not page by page...so I might be missing a point here) and examining them for certain character possibilities (trying to figure out how to do a Witch the best way (mind that I have a copy of 'Basic Witchcraft') because my wife loves them and certainly would like to play one again), I stumbled across the 'Familiar' spells and wasn't sure about how they might work.

First if the Character learns that spell - does he learn each variation spell for the characteristics at the same time and just records and develops the different versions or does he need to learn each (characteristic)version seperately (like STR from this teacher but CON from another one if he doesn't have it available, too) and treat them as entirely different spells?

When using these spells to complete a uncomplete creature to turn it into a familiar the spell caster transfers his own characteristic points permanently into the familiar thus becomming ever smaller, more stupid, weaker and less agile? Can that be correct? As I remember it from Stormbringer this was the case for POW but POW could be regained fairly easy back then. How can I get characteristic points back these days? How can I get something like SIZ back? It seems like it's awfully difficult to create a familiar and the benefits fall way back behind the disadvantages...

There are still other issues I have with magic but they may arise from not having read the entire rules yet so I will do so first before asking more questions.

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