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I wish for BRP Essentials to be ...

I wish for BRP Essentials to be ...  

127 members have voted

  1. 1. What system would you like Chaosium's proposed BRP Essentials to be based on?

    • The Big Gold Book
      65
    • Call of Cthulhu 7
      9
    • Chaosium RuneQuest
      24
    • Magic World
      17
    • Worlds of Wonder
      10
    • HeroQuest
      2


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12 hours ago, Jeff said:

I have LONG wanted to write a campaign set in the time of the 30 Year War, which lets us have Rosicrucians and the Invisible College (why might they permit/be responsible for/be unable to stop the horrible endless war?), Athanasius Kircher's strange Egyptology, Wallenstein's astrologers (including Johannes Kepler), the Three Musketeers and schools of dueling, gambling, mercenary companies of all nations and sects trying to survive by fighting for whoever pays (and otherwise "making war pay for war"), all against the backdrop of the Four Horsemen despoiling the center of Europe. 

If you ever Kickstart this, you can consider my pledge a foregone conclusion. I'm pretty sure you could unload a copy of this on Kenneth Hite without to much effort as well. 

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Honestly, I only wish there was just one communal brand for all the disparate BRP/D100 games out there. Individual games could vary the system in different ways, but the consumer would still be informed of the genealogical ties.

I get that RuneQuest is a standalone setting and game now (again!) and that is fine by me, but I'd like BRP Essentials to be a unifying force as much as anything. I'm tired of seeing more and more core rule books for the same basic language. Make more standalone games, linked by one all encompassing brand.

 

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2 hours ago, TrippyHippy said:

Honestly, I only wish there was just one communal brand for all the disparate BRP/D100 games out there. Individual games could vary the system in different ways, but the consumer would still be informed of the genealogical ties.

I get that RuneQuest is a standalone setting and game now (again!) and that is fine by me, but I'd like BRP Essentials to be a unifying force as much as anything. I'm tired of seeing more and more core rule books for the same basic language. Make more standalone games, linked by one all encompassing brand.

 

I'm not sure if I am actually disagreeing with you, or simply using terminology differently, but I am glad to have multiple brands, by which I mean companies or game titles. While Chaosium has created a rich variety of products over the years, I don't think BRP games could have ever reached their full potential without spilling out to other companies.

To give a concrete example, When Pagan Publishing began putting out The Unspeakable Oath in the '90s, it added a particular new flavor to Call of Cthulhu that I don't think we would ever gotten from Chaosium. That is by no means a slam on Chaosium, as they were on an absolute roll in the early '90s. I still regularly wake up in tears at the fact that I lent out my Kingsport book and never got it back. But having both Chaosium and Pagan Publishing brands of CoC was an absolute delight to me at a time when it was about the only game I running. 

To some degree, I think having more brands out there also gives more chance to draw people in to the BRP ecosystem. I think more people are drawn to a particular title than they are to system, at least initially. Hainv both Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green out there provides two inroads to BRP, and once someone is in the door, they are going to look sideways at was else the system has to offer. 

I think the only issue is when a specific brand, like Runequest gets spread too thin over too many editions too fast. We are going to have four editions RuneQuest in ten years, which to the casual consumer, is a huge turn-off, even if it is, in actuality, fairly easy to use books between at least those first three editions. It erodes confidence that you can buy that corebook without getting hit up for a new on in only two and half years. A new edition was the absolute last thing RuneQuest needed to improve its image in the larger gaming community. 

Now, I know that it isn't like the way WotC has a policy of completely redesigning their game regularly so they can sell core books over again. Everyone working on the new edition of RuneQuest are true fans putting together their vision of what it best for the game, as was the case for RQ6. It's just a problem of perception for people that aren't already part of the scene.

But getting back to my main point, I think the more recognizable brands using BRP, like CoC, Delta Green, RuneQuest, etc.. the easier it is to pull people into the system. Nobody will ever hesitate to buy RuneQuest because it used a system very similar to CoC, but with some differences. But once somebody is playing CoC, they will be more likely to give RuneQuest a look and vice-versa.

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I'm not really sure we are disagreeing as such. Maybe we are, but my major point is that I wish the BRP community would stop cannibalising itself.

I've no problem with having a degree of competition with a variety of games, and note that different developments in systems would come of that, but when you have competing 'core rules' it just lends to confusion. Especially, as you note when there are multiple editions in a short period of time.

It's not a case of wanting their to be less game brands, like RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, Delta Green or whatever - I want more of those - it's just when we see games trying to set up varying system brands that are actually 90% the same as the others. I'd like more games to be made standalone, with maybe just some recognisable icon on the cover to indicate they are 'BRP' or percentile ('D100'?).

 

 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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I am tending to agree with both views here - proliferation is good, and simple product identification is also good.

I definitely would have liked to have a core mechanic rule set like GURPS or D20 does and have various licencees work with it regarding genres and occasionally rules variations. I think that this makes it easier for newbies getting into systems and also for game hobby shops to know what to line their shelves with.

However it's pretty hard to re-write history, and now we have a proliferation of genres, settings, and actual rule sets all within the 'BRP Family'. It's great for those of us 'in-the-know' and keeps the hobby creative and interesting, but I am a little worried that it's a mess for those on the outside.

You only have to peruse posts in open forums like RPGNet to see how confusing it sometimes is for those trying to work out what is BRP.

Having said this, I don't think that many players really care all that much about actual rules and game mechanics; just as long as they aren't restricted in their actions. Most players are more into genres and/or their own characters, which is how it should be.

It's the new budding GMs out there that have to work out which system is for them, and that's where I think more simple product identification could come into play. Maybe a 'BRP Family' icon/stamp on game books is not such a bad idea; it worked very well for D20 OGL.

 

Edited by Mankcam

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I guess "d100" isn't a bad name for the extended Chaosium / Mongoose / Design Mechanism / Alephtar / etc. clan.  After all, the D&D-like games are called "d20", but unrelated games use d20s (e.g. Cypher System, HeroQuest, King Arthur Pendragon).

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I do agree with TrippyHippy. Having a lot of games with rule variations is a good thing, especially when these rule variations are necessary to recreate the atmosphere of the genre being played ... But a problem arise when you have several different "basic set", different "essential" rules. And, sadly, that becomes to be the case with BRP ... Eventually, two game masters will have less and less in common, and it will become harder and harder for them to share things (adventures, characters ..) without having conversions to do, exactly as if they were playing different role playing systems.

GURPS succeeded to use the same rules with different game worlds and genre. The fourth edition is now 12 years old and those who played with the 2004 Basic Set go on playing with it: it didn't change at all. A lot of optional rules have been added. But the core rules are always the same. Savage Worlds can also be played in different genre, including lovecraftian horror (Realms of Cthulhu), but it remains the same game with the same character's attributes and skills and basic rules.

The D100 community may be bigger than GURPS' or Savage's one, but if it is split and split over several different "essential" rules, it will eventually disappear.

And, of course, we can't change the past. But we can try to change the future. And try to avoid things like those who happened with the D20 community. The Open D20 License was a great idea, at the beginning. Now, Pathfinder's players don't share anymore anything with D&D's or True D20's one. They still all use the D20 system. But they are not anymore a communities. They are several separated communities. The only thing who "saved" them is that they were the biggest role playing game community at the beginning.

I doubt the D100 community could survive such a split. I would like it. But I doubt.

Edited by Gollum

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I always find these discussions about the differences between different flavours of D100 (see what I did there ;) ) and the need for a D&D like dominant brand very "half-glass full" and a bit glum.  

From my experience as a D100 (see I did it again ;) ) publisher and the feed back people give me either directly or indirectly via forum posts is that the vast majority of d100 (gosh there it is again! ;) ) GMs and players are happily mixing and matching different flavours of D100, being aware of both the bigger and dominant Chaosium RQ/BRP/CoC and the various other D100 flavours.

Its not rocket science :)

 

 

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I am only going to comment on my own experience but I feel like there is a validity to it. 

The idea of a d100 "brand" means something to us, here and over the years to role players who delve deeper into the nuts and bolts of the game. They know that RQ and CoC used the same system, more or less, but they may not even be aware they were once made by the same company (long ago). The basic rpg customer, is not drawn to the d100 system in particular as much as they are drawn to individual brand names. D&D or D20 is a system reference, where RQ or CoC is a game reference. It is a different mindset even though many of them use RQ to run their own non-Glorantha worlds or CoC encompasses many time periods and styles of play,

Now OqenQuest has changed that slightly as has Legend as they are designed (I think, correct me if I am wrong) to empower not a specific world, but take advanatge of what was being down anyway for any world  you wanted. What I am doing with Skaerune' is a slight step towards the historical, but it will (hopefully) only be the first Q21 game that I do and Q21 will (again I hope) offer players the ability to play in any world and genre they want. 

So I suppose what I am saying is that the generic system is not what draws the average gamer to d100 games. It is what has been done with them over the years in a myriad of tweaks and genres that draws gamers to games powered by a percentile or d100 system.  So making more d100 games does not cause , in my experience, complaints that the "system" is different from one d100 to the other. People just accept it and game on.

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5 hours ago, Newt said:

From my experience as a D100 (see I did it again ;) ) publisher and the feed back people give me either directly or indirectly via forum posts is that the vast majority of d100 (gosh there it is again! ;) ) GMs and players are happily mixing and matching different flavours of D100, being aware of both the bigger and dominant Chaosium RQ/BRP/CoC and the various other D100 flavours.

Its not rocket science :)

 

For most people, no, it is not rocket science, However, some people like their rules a certain way and having different stat blocks, for example, completely throws them. 

 

I think the people with the most problem are publishers of various D100 games, some of whom see other publishers and supplements for other D100 rules sets as competitors.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I think the people with the most problem are publishers of various D100 games, some of whom see other publishers and supplements for other D100 rules sets as competitors.

This is unfortunately true in some circles. The d100 line needs to support each other and at times it seems to try and undercut one another. Although some of our companies have tried to mend bridges, it has been a tough road to do so.

As for the differing d100 games, obviously having just publishing Eternity Realms I greatly support the different systems. I think that with more flavor it can draw more people into it. Why I say that is if players want to use certain elements from one system they can with little problem. Some may want a core system but when the d20 OGC came out, many companies started using it and a lot got cross used in different systems, even if it wasn't designed that way. I think more systems is a good thing, but I may be biased here. :D

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20 hours ago, Mankcam said:

Maybe a 'BRP Family' icon/stamp on game books is not such a bad idea; it worked very well for D20 OGL.

It's a very different situation though. When the D20 license was created, WotC was the sole company making games for the system. There was a clear company is a position to extend the rights to use the system and logo. With D100 games, we have already have passed that point. No company is in a place to create a logo and make others use it. 

There is also the issue of quality control. One reason the D20 OGL was seen negatively was that it allowed a lot of terrible product to come out under the logo. When a logo is an indication that there is a good chance the product is garbage, it diminishes the logo's value. 

Getting all the d100 companies to come together and agree on a logo and the rules for using it would be difficult. For the logo to have any value, it would need to have restrictions on its use. That would mean companies coming on board would be giving up some power of their creation. 

11 hours ago, Gollum said:

And, of course, we can't change the past. But we can try to change the future. And try to avoid things like those who happened with the D20 community. The Open D20 License was a great idea, at the beginning. Now, Pathfinder's players don't share anymore anything with D&D's or True D20's one. They still all use the D20 system. But they are not anymore a communities. They are several separated communities. The only thing who "saved" them is that they were the biggest role playing game community at the beginning.

I doubt the D100 community could survive such a split. I would like it. But I doubt.

That seems overly negative to me. The split into alternate rule systems was underway by the time Call of Cthulhu and Stormbringer were released in 1981. Yet, here is BRP, still existing all these years later. 

5 hours ago, ReignDragonSMH said:

So I suppose what I am saying is that the generic system is not what draws the average gamer to d100 games. It is what has been done with them over the years in a myriad of tweaks and genres that draws gamers to games powered by a percentile or d100 system.  So making more d100 games does not cause , in my experience, complaints that the "system" is different from one d100 to the other. People just accept it and game on.

That's my experience. Out in the general RPG community, I hear people put of RQ by the continual edition changes, but I don't hear anyone out in the general community complaining about RQ differing from CoC. 

I'm a little puzzled that some people are pointing at GURPS as a model. How many GURPS products were even printed in 2015? How many are on the schedule for next year? Haven't they dwindled down to a PDF only model? The D100 scene feels a lot healthier to me. 

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29 minutes ago, Baulderstone said:

I'm a little puzzled that some people are pointing at GURPS as a model. How many GURPS products were even printed in 2015? How many are on the schedule for next year? Haven't they dwindled down to a PDF only model? The D100 scene feels a lot healthier to me. 

I don't know if you can call GURPS's PDF-model "dwindled": they have a monthly magazine and a steady stream of supplements.  PDFs allow SJG to deliver smaller supplements which would be impractical to put into print, and at less risk (as so many other companies have discovered).  Add to that Steve Jackson's iron grip on GURPS quality (whatever you think of the system) and the fact that Munchkin is their big cash cow that could easily squeeze out other projects, it makes sense for them.

D100's history makes that approach impractical, but there are still a few lessons to learn.  First, it helps to collect all the similar or identical stuff in different books and publish a single, cleaned-up version.  GURPS started with Compendiums for 3rd edition, then folded them into the main books for 4th.  That's probably not going to happen to the same extent in the D100 world, but it would be nice if everyone used either Dodge or Evade, Persistence or Will, Endurance or Stamina, etc.  And, as I've said before, a "BRP Elaborations" book would be a great follow-on to "BRP Essentials" once Chaosium gets back on its feet.

Second, maybe smaller PDF releases aren't such a bad idea.  Monte Cook Games is doing the same with their "glimmers" for Numenera and The Strange.  Chaosium has its own Web store, and once the CoC7, RQ2, and RQ(k) work is out of the way they could produce new Cthulhu / Glorantha / "Essentials" content in smaller bite-sized pieces without committing to a print run.  At the very least an Onyx Path style "translation guide" for older material (if it's still available on PDF) would be welcome.  If the D100 publishers don't go all Palladium, maybe even translation guides between publishers might help.  Yes, skill translation is just a big table (usually), but characteristics, attributes, combat rules, and magic/power systems aren't always so easy to translate.

Finally, with no one company in charge, I hope the D100 publishers at least talk on a regular basis.  Forking the system may be necessary, and even healthy -- Mutants & Masterminds is better for abandoning many d20 conventions -- but unnecessary changes just frustrate your customers.  Dodge vs. Evade is a trivial example, I know, but you know Mongoose changed the name just so there would be one less thing to sue over.  It would be nice to bring your Pirates & Dragons crew to Monster Island without poring through the whole setting for anything that takes some work to translate.  (Not that I've ever tried it; maybe it's OK.)

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13 hours ago, soltakss said:

For most people, no, it is not rocket science, However, some people like their rules a certain way and having different stat blocks, for example, completely throws them. 

I think the people with the most problem are publishers of various D100 games, some of whom see other publishers and supplements for other D100 rules sets as competitors.

Yes. At the beginning, Pathfinder was just another D20 option. Now, it is a direct competitor of D&D.

And there is another problem, too. If one publisher want to design a campaign or game world world with the D100 system, which essential rules will he choose? BRP, BRP Essentials, Legend, OpenQuest, Revolution D100, RuneQuest, ... ? By choosing, that publisher will only interest part of the community instead of interesting the whole D100 community. Of course, some Revolution D100 game masters will look from time to time what OpenQuest publishers do, and vice versa ... But not all, because there will be conversions to do before playing.

While someone who plays GURPS or Savage Worlds is potentially interested by all GURPS or Savage Worlds products, no matter the publisher, because he knows that the rules remain the same (except some optional ones) ...

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11 hours ago, Baulderstone said:

That seems overly negative to me. The split into alternate rule systems was underway by the time Call of Cthulhu and Stormbringer were released in 1981. Yet, here is BRP, still existing all these years later.

I may be very pessimistic, here, indeed. Contrary to what I believe, the different essential rules may attract more players to the D100 system, and someone who tries a BRP Essential game may want to try an other D100 system after that ... But I doubt. I sometimes glance at what other publishers offer, thinking that it is very interesting, but, eventually, I only buy BRP products. And I suppose that a RuneQuest Essential fan, for instance, rarely buy a BRP product.

Please, don't see my posts like a criticism. They are not. They are just a worry. The worry of someone who feels danger coming, because he saw it happening in other communities. The D20 system, for instance. But not only. The community of the French roleplaying game Mega has also been split so much that it doesn't really exist anymore now*.

_____

* Hopefully, Mega's original authors are working on a new edition which will surely gather it together again.

Edited by Gollum
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8 hours ago, Gollum said:

And there is another problem, too. If one publisher want to design a campaign or game world world with the D100 system, which essential rules will he choose? BRP, BRP Essentials, Legend, OpenQuest, Revolution D100, RuneQuest, ... ? By choosing, that publisher will only interest part of the community instead of interesting the whole D100 community. Of course, some Revolution D100 game masters will look from time to time what OpenQuest publishers do, and vice versa ... But not all, because there will be conversions to do before playing.

While someone who plays GURPS or Savage Worlds is potentially interested by all GURPS or Savage Worlds products, no matter the publisher, because he knows that the rules remain the same (except some optional ones) ...

Concrete example: Dark Streets for Renaissance (C&W) and Colonial Lovecraft for CoC (Sixtystone Press).  These should compliment each other but it is doubtful that they will due to the needed conversions.

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8 hours ago, Gollum said:

I may be very pessimistic, here, indeed. Contrary to what I believe, the different essential rules may attract more players to the D100 system, and someone who tries a BRP Essential game may want to try an other D100 system after that ... But I doubt. I sometimes glance at what other publishers offer, thinking that it is very interesting, but, eventually, I only buy BRP products. And I suppose that a RuneQuest Essential fan, for instance, rarely buy a BRP product.

I see all D100 systems as variants of RuneQuest anyway, so happily buy things from all of them.

It helps to have the different sets of rules. so that stat blocks and skills can be understood, so I have copies of pretty much all the D100 rules systems.

As for supplements, I tend to buy Gloranthan and Alternate/Mythic Earth supplements, as those are what really interest me. I have bought SciFi supplements, but have not bought many supplements set in other game worlds. For me, what is important is the setting, not the rule system, as I can easily convert between BRP, RQ, OpenQuest and Legend.

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18 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I see all D100 systems as variants of RuneQuest anyway, so happily buy things from all of them.

Which is funny because I see all D00 systems as aspects of BRP.  BRP is a description of a type of game.  I also happily buy things from all of them. :D

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Dodge vs. Evade is a trivial example, I know, but you know Mongoose changed the name just so there would be one less thing to sue over.

Actually, no. Pete and I changed it for MRQII (if you check MRQ1, you'll see Dodge is in the basic skill list) because we changed the way dodging/evasion work mechanically to better fit with the new combat rules. This whole idea that Mongoose changed things to avoid being sued is just baloney. They had a legitimate license for RuneQuest and obviously had to rewrite core text to avoid standard copyright issues with BRP and earlier RQ editions - but no one was going to sue anyone for anything.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

I see all D100 systems as variants of RuneQuest anyway, so happily buy things from all of them.

It helps to have the different sets of rules. so that stat blocks and skills can be understood, so I have copies of pretty much all the D100 rules systems.

As for supplements, I tend to buy Gloranthan and Alternate/Mythic Earth supplements, as those are what really interest me. I have bought SciFi supplements, but have not bought many supplements set in other game worlds. For me, what is important is the setting, not the rule system, as I can easily convert between BRP, RQ, OpenQuest and Legend.

I'm really happy to read that my experience is in minority and that several others buy books from different editors. Being sure that my worry is nothing more than a pessimistic idea would be great news for me.

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2 hours ago, Chaot said:

Which is funny because I see all D00 systems as aspects of BRP.  BRP is a description of a type of game.  I also happily buy things from all of them. :D

Yes, and one of the greatest features of the Big Golden Book was precisely taking rules from different D100 role playing games (Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Stormbringer ...) and to offer them as optional rules ... of a still very consistent system! Of course, it is impossible to do something like that in 32 pages only ...

So, I join to all others who would like to have a big book of optional rules for the BRP Essentials. It could precisely be the right time to talk about other D100 publishers and to make the split community a more unified community.

Edited by Gollum
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On 1/3/2016 at 9:04 AM, Gollum said:

I may be very pessimistic, here, indeed. Contrary to what I believe, the different essential rules may attract more players to the D100 system, and someone who tries a BRP Essential game may want to try an other D100 system after that ... But I doubt. I sometimes glance at what other publishers offer, thinking that it is very interesting, but, eventually, I only buy BRP products. And I suppose that a RuneQuest Essential fan, for instance, rarely buy a BRP product.

_____

* Hopefully, Mega's original authors are working on a new edition which will surely gather it together again.

I buy, and I have bought, gaming books made by Chaosium, Mongoose, Alephtar Games, and the Design Mechanism. I follow a d100 blog, wherein its author describes how he ran the campaign included in Crusaders of the Amber Coast (a supplement written for BRP), using RuneQuest 6th, and he didn't have a single problem. In my opinion, all d100 games are very compatible, and there is no risk of breakup.

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