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The BGB isn't complicated. I've read other rpg's that were a lot more complicated for beginners yet they seem to do quite well. aka 3.5. If you start introducing introductory products for generic BRP settings, you may start to find that the BRB starts to lack in sales, even more so than now. True it has a loyal following here, but a lot of gamers aren't going to spend money on some "advanced" book full of rules they probably won't use. Using the BGB as the core book and publishing setting books around it will cause the book to have more sales.

3.5 is a fairly internally consistent rulebook. The bgb is not internally consistent. It presents a ton of options, some of which are completely incompatible with each other. That would confuse a new person to no end. Even other generic rules like Savage Worlds are internally consistent because it was designed from the ground up. The BGB came ex post facto.

Most of us on these forums learned BRP through Runequest or CoC or Superworld or Worlds of Wonder or ElfQuest or Pendragon etc. Those are all settings that contained the necessary, internally consistent, rules. I know that if I was confronted with the CoC setting book that references a ton of random pages of the bgb, I'd still be playing D&D.

For all the awesome in the BGB, it's not friendly to newcomers.It's for the old hands who already know the system.

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3.5 is a fairly internally consistent rulebook. The bgb is not internally consistent. It presents a ton of options, some of which are completely incompatible with each other. That would confuse a new person to no end. Even other generic rules like Savage Worlds are internally consistent because it was designed from the ground up. The BGB came ex post facto.

Most of us on these forums learned BRP through Runequest or CoC or Superworld or Worlds of Wonder or ElfQuest or Pendragon etc. Those are all settings that contained the necessary, internally consistent, rules. I know that if I was confronted with the CoC setting book that references a ton of random pages of the bgb, I'd still be playing D&D.

For all the awesome in the BGB, it's not friendly to newcomers.It's for the old hands who already know the system.

So what do you think of Magic World? I have only been involved with D100 since September last year but when I made the move from D&D I was looking for the easiest way to break in. I bought RQ6, BGB and Magic World all at the same time but now 9 months later I have read Magic World twice and still haven't finished the others. I admit I found the BGB daunting and even more so RQ6 but Magic World was a dream and in my opinion easier to break into than either D&D 2e or 3e. And I think that's true despite it including only modest setting info.

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What Rsanford said!

I've come from a LOT of years of AD&D, and 3.5 and when I picked up Magic World I found it very intuitive and easy to grasp. The BGB was fairly easy for me as well, as long as I left out all the spot rules at first and worked them in as I got more comfortable. That said,

CJ isn't wrong. When I first started reading BGB my questions were often answered by people referencing other BRP materials that I didn't currently have. That was a little frustrating.

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So what do you think of Magic World? I have only been involved with D100 since September last year but when I made the move from D&D I was looking for the easiest way to break in. I bought RQ6, BGB and Magic World all at the same time but now 9 months later I have read Magic World twice and still haven't finished the others. I admit I found the BGB daunting and even more so RQ6 but Magic World was a dream and in my opinion easier to break into than either D&D 2e or 3e. And I think that's true despite it including only modest setting info.

 

Magic World is a great example of taking options from the BGB, marrying it to a setting or genre, and turning everything into a coherent, playable game. I really like Magic World. I do think that the percentile system that underlies BRP makes more sense to me than some iterations of D&D, but the BGB doesn't present it in an easily grokked fashion. That's what Magic World does. It's the game that pulls people in. Then, once they're hooked and understand the basic principles of BRP, they might decide they want to tinker which means they grab the BGB.

 

All that being said, I also like the BGB, for what it is, a collection of BRP options. I've built some fun games from it since it was released. 

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Re: making monographs stand-alone books that don't require the BGB.

 

I understand the appeal of this but practically it's not very cost effective. By that I mean each book would be $40+ and would cost more to print. I know some wouldn't mind but that doesn't really appeal to me personally.

 

I have an Openquest  book called "Age of Shadow." It's 75 pages long, and has all the rules in it -- a complete rpg. PDF or POD, and it was $12 softcover, now on sale at Drivethru for even less. Just as Ben mentioned, all BRP-related games take what they need of the basics, and tweak as necessary. It's not required to print every option from the BGB toolkit; a bargain-priced stand-alone book is very do-able.

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I'll echo what some others said above with respect to learning how to d100 after being a lapsed D&Der fifteen or twenty years ago. MW was the only set of rules I immediately understood intuitively.

Similtaneously I picked up RQ6, OQ, BRP, and MW on PDF and MW turned into my Rosetta Stone for understanding the others.

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Re: making monographs stand-alone books that don't require the BGB.

I have an Openquest book called "Age of Shadow." It's 75 pages long, and has all the rules in it -- a complete rpg. PDF or POD, and it was $12 softcover, now on sale at Drivethru for even less. Just as Ben mentioned, all BRP-related games take what they need of the basics, and tweak as necessary. It's not required to print every option from the BGB toolkit; a bargain-priced stand-alone book is very do-able.

True and I never said these books would include every rule or option. Just that you'd be repaying to read stuff you've read already in other books. There would be neat additions but of it will be a repeat of what you already have.

I respect everyone's opinion on this so I'm just going to bow out of this particular topic. If we get back to the monographs or the OP then I'll speak up again.

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The bgb is for tinkerers. Those who want to get under the hood and build their own things. However, like most things designed for tinkering, it's not an entry level product. It has nothing to entice the average, never-roleplayed-before consumer. They're looking for exciting settings with realized worlds. If they had to buy a setting book and try to parse the bgb for just the rules they need, they'd move in to something else.

My biggest problem with the BGB is the first 'B'. It's just too Big for my taste, for the core rules I use from it. Magic World is better, but the size and quantity (ie. 1) of the old Elric! rulebook is just right for me. (That publication also contained statted NPCs, a small bestiary, an adventure and setting information for the Young Kingdoms.) But I find I usually only need to reference a few pages of the BGB anyway.

 

Swords of Cydoria and Rubble and Ruin are two others I've bought physical copies of which are of similar size and therefore pleasing to me.

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What Rsanford said!

I've come from a LOT of years of AD&D, and 3.5 and when I picked up Magic World I found it very intuitive and easy to grasp. The BGB was fairly easy for me as well, as long as I left out all the spot rules at first and worked them in as I got more comfortable. That said,

CJ isn't wrong. When I first started reading BGB my questions were often answered by people referencing other BRP materials that I didn't currently have. That was a little frustrating.

I took the same path. I came from AD&D to Elric! (one of Magic World's parents) and found it not only easy, but easy to never go back to D&D.

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The above, though I'd also add those of us who have returned to RPGs after years too. 

 

I did the exact thing described with Dragon Lines, which, BTW, is not a monograph written, illustrated, and edited by the author but a full-on professional publication.  Maybe when I was 16 and knew all the rules forwards and backwards, it would be great.  At 46, with more than one job and a child, flipping around the BGB and post-it-noting it felt a lot like doing taxes and not fun.  Dragon Lines is a GREAT book if you're totally comfortable with all the chapters of the BGB.  Not being that, personally, despite really wanting to play a Wuxia game, I'll never end up using it and would not buy a follow-up book despite how well done Dragon Lines is. I believe there are other people of my age that want to get back into RPGs.  The BGB does not work for that despite how easy D100 is to grasp. 

 

And here I have to chime in (hoping not to derail this thread more than it has already been derailed). Not only because Dragon Lines is one of our products, but also because my book BRP Mecha does something similar to what Charles did with Dragon Lines.

When preparing a genre supplement for BRP, there is a choice to be made: write down the exact set of optional rules you would use for that genre/setting, or provide a choice of all the options a player could possibly want to include in the game. The former leads you to a thin manuscript that is easily packaged with a subset of the rules, while the latter is only compatible with leveraging the wide array of options you find in the BGB.

BRP Mecha is easily trimmed down to a small set of rules (okay, two: one for super robots and one for real robots) that are strongly consistent and produce a well-defined game experience. While testing it, I checked it heavily for consistency, and in fact if all switches are turned the way I suggest, it is indeed a game of its own with a limited resemblance to BRP. I have tinkered with the idea of a stand-alone version (without the Chaosium logo), and I have not ruled it out, yet.

Why did I keep it BRP, in the end, after the big effort I put into making sure it could work as "a game of its own"? Well, the point is that I know very well that most members here love to tinker with their rules, and make their own version of almost anything. So I know perfectly that - even if I am sure that the game will not betray its user if he or she plays exactly the way I recommend - almost no one will do exactly as I recommend. And even if I had only included a small set of rules representing exactly how I would run a mecha campaign with d100, most users would have personalised it!

At that point, I found it more functional to keep the book a collection of options that players will loot as they wish for insertion in their game - something that was probably more appealing for the average member of this board. This, of course, might not be the case with the average modern-day roleplayer, who comes from other experiences than us old grognards d100 fans.

 

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Right!  That's the great thing about BRP. As Paolo (RosenMcStern) mentions above, he just needs to put in the core material to make his supplement work. People who want to add more crunch (or "fiddly bits", as my pal Ron used to say) can go to the BGB, and grab options to their heart's content. They don't need to stress out over wondering if they're going to break the game, or if Option B will work with Supplement A. Just grab the rules you want, and try them out.

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Yes I kinda like the option of having a big bumper book of generic core rules, and having slimmer drop down supplements for it. A bit like GURPS or Savage Worlds in that respect.

It's not for everyone's tastes though, and I can see why some setting lines are self contained. Obviously Lovecraftian Horror is a setting unto itself, so I can see why Call of Cthulhu is self contained. I was initially surprised to see Magic World done this way, as I thought it was going to be an expanded version of the previous MagicWorld rules. However the Stormbringer rules have been pretty popular so I can see why that route was taken, and many people feel that MagicWorld is a good entry to BRP. I personally don't use its core rules, but like many of its bolt on mechanics so I am eager for it to continue.

I guess I would be unhappy if BRP did not have some version of the BGB in print; it just seems logical to me that a core rule book should always exist, separate to genre or setting. Perhaps two entry points may be good, a BGB and a BRP Lite (similar to the Quick Start, but a bit more comphrensive, I'm not sure...perhaps a more simple system like what FATE did with FATE Accelerated...I always liked the very early BRP booklets that came with RQ2)

Anyway it's going to be interesting to see which path Chaosium takes now. Another crossroad in the company's history, but at least they have what many companies don't, and that is a great bunch of game mechanics perfectly suited to this hobby. These rules appeal to both simulationist and narrative sides of the tabletop RPG camp, and that is a great asset to have.

It's all down to promotion now

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" 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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And here I have to chime in (hoping not to derail this thread more than it has already been derailed). Not only because Dragon Lines is one of our products, but also because my book BRP Mecha does something similar to what Charles did with Dragon Lines.

When preparing a genre supplement for BRP, there is a choice to be made: write down the exact set of optional rules you would use for that genre/setting, or provide a choice of all the options a player could possibly want to include in the game. The former leads you to a thin manuscript that is easily packaged with a subset of the rules, while the latter is only compatible with leveraging the wide array of options you find in the BGB.

BRP Mecha is easily trimmed down to a small set of rules (okay, two: one for super robots and one for real robots) that are strongly consistent and produce a well-defined game experience. While testing it, I checked it heavily for consistency, and in fact if all switches are turned the way I suggest, it is indeed a game of its own with a limited resemblance to BRP. I have tinkered with the idea of a stand-alone version (without the Chaosium logo), and I have not ruled it out, yet.

Why did I keep it BRP, in the end, after the big effort I put into making sure it could work as "a game of its own"? Well, the point is that I know very well that most members here love to tinker with their rules, and make their own version of almost anything. So I know perfectly that - even if I am sure that the game will not betray its user if he or she plays exactly the way I recommend - almost no one will do exactly as I recommend. And even if I had only included a small set of rules representing exactly how I would run a mecha campaign with d100, most users would have personalised it!

At that point, I found it more functional to keep the book a collection of options that players will loot as they wish for insertion in their game - something that was probably more appealing for the average member of this board. This, of course, might not be the case with the average modern-day roleplayer, who comes from other experiences than us old grognards d100 fans.

 

 

Just to be clear, PLEASE know that Dragon Lines is a GREAT book.  Chances are if you're on this forum, you are not like me and thus are perfectly fine with multiple books on the table.  If you're in anyway interested in spinning your fantasy Wuxia, Dragon Lines looks more than able to do it.  I apologize if I gave any different impression.

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I'll echo what some others said above with respect to learning how to d100 after being a lapsed D&Der fifteen or twenty years ago. MW was the only set of rules I immediately understood intuitively.

Similtaneously I picked up RQ6, OQ, BRP, and MW on PDF and MW turned into my Rosetta Stone for understanding the others.

Yeah me too. I started with RQ6 and even though it may be the best written book RPG I have ever read it was slow going with, from my perspective, lots of moving parts. Since I have read MW I have gone back to RQ6 and BRP and am making good progress. I recently ordered Delta Green and I am hoping that my knowledge of MW will allow me to run a game despite not having CoC (I don't require the game to have the exact right flavor as long as it's fun). We will see!

Thanks to Ben (author of MW) and all the wonderful people on this forum that have helped me in my transition from D&D to a more enlightened system. I wish it hadn't taken 34 years :-(

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Check out our homebrew rules for freeform magic in BRP ->

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Just to be clear, PLEASE know that Dragon Lines is a GREAT book.  Chances are if you're on this forum, you are not like me and thus are perfectly fine with multiple books on the table.  If you're in anyway interested in spinning your fantasy Wuxia, Dragon Lines looks more than able to do it.  I apologize if I gave any different impression.

I had not read any negative comment in your post. I just wanted to explain why we chose - willingly - a route different from the one you were suggesting here.

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It sounds like there's a lot of love for Magic World, at least from the small number of folks posting in this thread. 

 

Given that, here's what I'd like to see in a Chaosium product line. 

 

BGB: (Done.) The uber-manual for developers and GMs running multiple-genre or unusual genre campaigns. Would be nice if this got revised at some point, but I think this is a lower priority than a lot of other projects. Long-term, I'd like to see the Powers section more integrated, with a Character Point purchase system for Mutations and perhaps other powers, just as there is for Superpowers. That would make it easier to run cross-genre campaigns and would simplify character creation. I think the BGB will continue to be popular even if Chaosium brings out more genre-specific core rules--when people want to add some spice to their genre-specific campaign, they'll turn to the BGB.

 

Core Rules Manuals that are Genre-Specific, including expanded bestiaries, sample adventures, and complete rules:

 

Call of Cthulhu. (Done.)

 

Magic World (Done.)

 

Super World (Wouldn't take a lot of work to revise and update this--I'm pretty happy with the rules as is--Chaosium should try to come out with this sometime in the next 6 months, and my spidey-sense tells me they might already be planning this) 

 

Space World: Classic space opera, ala Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, Traveler; starship rules, combat in space, alternate races for character creation, much larger alien bestiary, rules for different planetary environments. Psychic powers might go here, but see also below. (Lots of work, but I think this would be a popular genre)

 

End of the World: Rubble and Ruin and similar post-apocalyptic products collected, revised. More balanced Mutation rules. Lots of improvised weapons. Might even try to integrate Mutations and Psychic powers. (Medium amount of work; some material already exists.)

 

Cyberpunk World: Dystopian future with rogue AIs, shadowy corporate and quasi-governmental organizations, hacking skills, near space, nanotechnology, cloning, lots of equipment, expanded rules for AI and robots. Might make sense to incorporate this into Space World or End of the World for a new edition of Future World, but I think they're really different genres. Psychic rules might fit here. (Medium amount of work; lots of stuff would need to be created, but I think this would be smaller than either Space World or Post-Apocalyptic World.)

 

Supplements that would require either the BGB or one of the core rulebooks: These would include sample characters, bestiaries, maps, and adventures, but would not include a complete set of rules.

 

Dinosaur Land: two expanded bestiaries, one for the Mesozoic (Age of Reptiles), one for the early Cenozoic (Rise of the Mammals), adventures, suggestions for bringing in characters from different genres--time travelers from Future World and Super World; dimensional travelers from Magic World.

 

Micro Land: Tiny people, giant ants. See Dr. Shrinker, Land of the Giants, numerous folk mythologies. Bestiary, scaled size rules, adventures.

 

Steampunk Land: airships, mechanical AIs and robots, pulp adventures. 

 

The Silk Road: Historical setting that might include martial arts and sorcery.

 

Tons of other stuff, too numerous to mention, many of which are already published. Adventures, bestiaries, equipment, oddball genres and settings that don't fit into any particular category, alternate histories, all of which are dependent on the BGB or one of the core rulebooks. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't like rules sets that are not stand-alone books, though. I don't want to have to flip through the BGB along with whatever spiffy new book I just got, when I'm at the table.

I wanted to go this route when I wrote BRP Classic Fantasy, however I was allotted 200 pages. Soon after starting the project, I could see that after including all of the rules required for things like character creation, game mechanics, combat, advancement, etc., that very little room would be left for the material I needed to include. Maybe as little as 50 pages.

Instead, I treated it as a true supplement. The chapters in BRP Classic Fantasy correspond exactly to their BRP counterparts So you could easily flip to chapter 3 of each book for all of the required rules for instance. The second volume would have pretty much complemented the second half of the BGB.

I personally like this approach as it simplifies the process when your at the game table and time is of the essence. So while I actually agree with you, and prefer stand alone games too, its not always possible.

Rod

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"D100 - Exactly 5 times better than D20"

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The chapters in BRP Classic Fantasy correspond exactly to their BRP counterparts so you could easily flip to chapter 3 of each book for all of the required rules for instance.

That's a great idea, by the way. Makes combining PDFs easy. Now, if only someone had thought to 3-hole punch all the BRP books and include instructions on how to disassemble them with scalpels and re-integrate them into 3-ring binders ... then everyone could have destroyed their books just like I did with my first Moldvay and Cook/Marsh!

:(

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That's a great idea, by the way. Makes combining PDFs easy. Now, if only someone had thought to 3-hole punch all the BRP books and include instructions on how to disassemble them with scalpels and re-integrate them into 3-ring binders ... then everyone could have destroyed their books just like I did with my first Moldvay and Cook/Marsh!

:(

The publishers of the Harn game world tried that approach - making everything fit into 3-ring binders. I've tried the same thing with my campaign notes in the past. However, in my experience it does not work: material just accumulates beyond the ability of a single binder to contain.

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