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I wish for BRP Essentials to be ...

I wish for BRP Essentials to be ...  

141 members have voted

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

    • The Big Gold Book
      74
    • Call of Cthulhu 7
      11
    • Chaosium RuneQuest
      24
    • Magic World
      18
    • Worlds of Wonder
      11
    • HeroQuest
      3


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What I wish BRP Essentials to be similar product as Savage Worlds Explorers Edition is. Core mechanics that do not have to be dealt with in specific setting books. So there should be basic combat, skill check, magic rules. Sample gear for medieval, modern, future. And it should be as light as possible.

So other setting books should have BRP Essentials as prerequisite and it will have only rules that differ or are extended to Essentials edition. I don't want to read about how to read d100 dice or about skill checks in every BRP book if it is the same.

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Greetings! First time poster, though a long time lurker. I rarely post on any forum as in most cases it would end up being a me too situation. However, in light of all the changes at Chaosium etc. it has put me in a spot where I am unsure which d100 I want to use. I voted either Magic World or RQ2 at the time the pole was introduced. Now I am uncertain. I posses a bad photo copy of RQ2, plus MQII, & Magic World, plus have pdfs of OpenQuest 1 & 2Basic. I have in the past owned RQ3,MRQ I & the BGB. I have also at one point owned Harnmaster 1-3 (which is another d100 derivative for whoever did that family tree!) as well as FASA star Trek. I really love the mechanic of percentiles and the more simulationist style of the rules coupled with characters based on skills rather than levels (though it has its place).

The problem is the fracturing of the game system as singular identity. As with jux above, I would love for BRP Essentials to become a catch all basis for all d100 gaming with character creation rules, equipment for ancient/medieval, modern and futuristic and a unified Powers System which simply has a different names & sources depending on setting. Ie. power source can be the gods, from within, Psionics, superpowers, the Force etc. 

My wish at this point would be for what i listed just above plus with the skill style of RQ6 etc, while keeping the skill list concise. A varied but concise multi genre equipment list and powers. It needs to be a book where I can pick it up and play any setting right out of the gate. Supplements to enlarge on various genre/setting specifics.

Now much of this has been stated from the Powers that be, yet there is already the fracturing with RQG. My impression is that RQG is BRP Essentials with a Glorantha focus rather than a variant ruleset but that doesn't seem wholly clear. For many here it seems we associate RQ with fantasy BRP rules but not necessarily with Glorantha. Perhaps a firm statement from the Powers that be stating RQ is BRP Glorantha and Essentials for Generic/Homebrew fantasy,modern, futuristic. Do i really need CRQ2 or RQG if what a really want is a more generic ruleset for multi-genre use? Will that be Essentials? I don't feel like I need all of those!

 

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One thing I do not like in Savage Worlds are the generic powers. Hate that. It takes the spirit out of it. So I would disagree with the idea of unified Powers System which simply has a different names & sources depending on setting. But I would be ok if essentials had just a basic magic school with 20 spells that would do your fantasy stuff.

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It is clear that the new Chaosium team are re-imagining the RuneQuest rules from scratch. There may be many elements from old and current games, but it's being constructed from the ground up to be a rules set for Glorantha and a true direct successor to RQ2 in a way that even RQ3 wasn't, but also informed by modern BRP derivatives. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what they come up with, but what it certainly won't be is a cut and paste of rules from the BGB or any current single rules set.

I didn't do the poll because I think it's missing the point. It's a selection of options from the past. RQG and the new BRP it spawns will be new rules sets that will have to stand on their own terms. I think this is going to be a fundamental reboot of BRP.

I can't wait to see what they come up with. I've not been as interested and excited about a Chosium release since the 80s.

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh
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Simon, I am afraid that you are missing the point, instead - no offense intended, not being informed is not a sin. When this poll was set up in september, the decision to not base the new Chaosium RQ on an existing ruleset (the chosen option was RQ6 at the time) had not been made, yet. This is what the Powers that Be have made known to us at that time. So this poll, as formulated when it appeared, DID make a lot of sense, as Chaosium was at the time exploring the option of using a consolidated base for its new incarnation of RuneQuest instead of rebuilding from scratch.

Your excitement in waiting for something new and never seen before is of course quite understandable. Chaosium has promised something extraordinary, there is no doubt about it. It is just that this poll predates that promise by several weeks.

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On 12/16/2015 at 8:53 AM, jux said:

One thing I do not like in Savage Worlds are the generic powers. Hate that. It takes the spirit out of it. So I would disagree with the idea of unified Powers System which simply has a different names & sources depending on setting. But I would be ok if essentials had just a basic magic school with 20 spells that would do your fantasy stuff.

In Savage Worlds's defense, you aren't supposed to just take the powers as-written. You're supposed to dress them up with trappings- giving them your own twist and all that. It's one of the advantages of the system to me.

I would love a unified Powers System, myself. It encourages creativity and playing outside of your comfort zone, in my experience. That said, I find Supers work best when they have their own power list. If only due to Superpowers tending to be different than fantasy magic and the like.

Though my reading has been limited, I think the BGB is the best book to base BRP Essentials on, since it's the most generic/universal of the books I've read, while having the rules that I prefer. That said, my time running BRP and its family is very low- I've ran about seven sessions altogether. But, I've been running RPGs for a few years now, in a variety of systems. I find BRP and Savage Worlds to be my favorite systems, though GURPS Lite and Unisystem are also very nice. GURPS Lite and the SW Test Drive Rules are a good basis for "Quick-Start Rules" as is, obviously (haha), the Quick-Start BRP Ruleset.

I feel like Essentials will probably be simplest form of chargen (no Fatigue or Sanity, likely, as well as little to no optional rules like Total Hit Points), a more concise skill list, the simplest combat options, unified powers (if only to save space- it's 32 pages after all), some tips and tricks for running different genres, and a small bestiary. I personally wish they made it an even 40 pages, but that might just be me. I'm sure that whatever comes will be done well and will hopefully entice more people to get into the BRP family.

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I just don't see how it can be worthwhile if the page count is down to 32 pages. Might as well have a 10 page-or-less free pamphlet pdf to download off the home page instead, 

Even though I'm a big fan of RQ6, I usually prefer simplified rules for core rules. I love the size of Renaissance, OpenQuest Basics, and even GORE.

I would like BRP Essentials to be a quick few pages of basic rules within 10 pages (or less), and only available as a free pdf download from the Chaosium site. Effectively a replacement for BRP Quickstart. Would not need magic at all, and have a minimalist weapon list, and it would not even need set skills, just have 'skill suggestions', etc.

I would also like a pdf and print set of rules called BRP Core (or something to that effect). This could act as a replacement for the BGB, but in a smaller page count, something like 100 pages would suit. A nice slim hardcover about the size of Renaissance would do the trick nicely.

But that's just my wish list.

Edited by Mankcam
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There's a lot you can do in 32 pages.  (Just look at GURPS Lite.)

Since you need only 10-12 pages to explain the core concepts of BRP, you have 20+ pages for RQ-esque combat rules, multi-genre skill and equipment lists, and some useful GM advice.

Let's hope they don't 1) fill space with the traditional "what is roleplaying" section, 2) use big type and a lot of hand-holding like the 16-page "BRP" pamphlet, and/or 3) fill up most of that space with art and a long-winded adventure.

As I said in another thread, I'm still hoping for some kind of eventual BRP Elaborations book with all the optional rules and resources from the Big Gold Book.

Edited by fmitchell
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I agree that you can actualy do a lot in 32 pages. Enough to cover essential rules for, perhaps, ancient and modern character generation, combat and equipment. That should be plenty to get on with.

Im afraid I don't have the general fondness for the BGB though. I find generic systems like that too flavourless and lacking context and balance. When you develop a set of game mechanics and stats for a specific setting you can calibrate everything from the skills list, weapon stats, vehicle stats, etc to achieve the balance you need for that game. The game balance I would want for a SF Call of Cthulhu setting though might be completely different from the balance I'd want for a Star Trek like setting, which would be very different again from what I'd need to recreate Star Wars. No one generic set of SF rules and stats would work for all those styles of games. That's especially true if they are provided as a disjointed selection of uncoordinated chunks of rules.

I'm afraid that's how I find the BGB. It's actualy not useful to me to run many genres of game. Taking SF as an example it provides a skills list and some stats for certain specific flavours if SF. but if I did a BRP Star Trek game and a BRP Aliens game, the overlap of identical mechanical material between each other and the BGB would likely be fairly small. Generic systems just have to make too many compromises for my tastes.

Savage Worlds can get away with it better because it's explicitly a system for pulp action adventure. But BRP aspires to be useable for a more varied spectrum of uses, and it can only do that by sacrificing pure adherence to a single set of unvarying mechanics and allowing for more customisation and tuning for different settings.

 

 

Edited by simonh

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3 minutes ago, simonh said:

Im afraid I don't have the general fondness for the BGB though. I find generic systems like that too flavourless and lacking context and balance.adventure.

I like to add my own flavor and context... you know, creativity.

Balance is generally overrated. If the monster looks to be more dangerous than you can handle, run away and get help or come back with better equipment... in that way adventures balance themselves.

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10 hours ago, fmitchell said:

There's a lot you can do in 32 pages.  (Just look at GURPS Lite.)

Yes. There is a lot in GURPS Lite. But no magic, psychic powers, super heroe powers or anything like that... Because there was no place to put them. The old version, GURPS Lite for the third edition, had some magic spells. But so little ones that they were uninteresting. So Sean Punch and Scott Haring (GURPS Lite's authors) were right to remove them.

Likewise, there is a very little list of equipment in GURPS Lite. Nothing about explosives, hand grenades, ultra-tech weapons, vehicles ...

Having said that, BRP rules are much more easy to explain than GURPS ones. Especially for combats. So, there could be more in a 32 pages BRP Essentials than in GURPS Lite*.

_____

* Which is still a very great introduction to GURPS.

Edited by Gollum

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9 hours ago, simonh said:

I'm afraid that's how I find the BGB. It's actualy not useful to me to run many genres of game. Taking SF as an example it provides a skills list and some stats for certain specific flavours if SF. but if I did a BRP Star Trek game and a BRP Aliens game, the overlap of identical mechanical material between each other and the BGB would likely be fairly small. Generic systems just have to make too many compromises for my tastes.

What you say here is absolutely right. Two different stories, even in the same kind of world, can have so different atmospheres that it is impossible to play them with exactly the same rule. Because there is not only the problem of universe (past, present, future, with or without fantastic elements like magic ...). There is also the problem of genre (harshly realistic, quite realistic, heroic, crazily cinematic, super-heroic ...).

So, a game which allows to play every possible kind of stories has to be generic as well as universal. And it is possible. This is indeed what means GURPS : Generic Universal Role Playing System. It really allows to play Star Trek (heroic SF) as well as Aliens (harshly realistic and horrific SF), Star Wars (magic SF) or any other kind of SF stories ...

And the BRP System Big Golden Book also allows it.

To do that, you just need optional rules that can be switched on or off, depending on the genre you want to play. Fate/Chance/Power points which can be spent to allows heroic actions. Fatigue rules, sanity and a bleeding system for harshly realistic games. More or less points for creating characters. And so on.

Is it possible in 32 pages only? I don't think so ... GURPS Lite, for instance, stay in a line between realism and heroism.

Now, even with such limited rules, the GM can still make things vary, depending on how he chooses the difficulty of actions, and the required rolls. In an Aliens-like story, for instance, bullets will be impossible to parry and the GM will surely ask a will roll to be able to combat an alien. While in a Star-Wars-like campaign, characters will be able to dodge blasters by jumping on the floor or behind a cover, and they will never be frozen by fear when meeting an horrible monster ... That are little tricks than can allow more or less realism/heroism in a game and really have an impact on the genre and the atmosphere of the game.

Edited by Gollum
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9 hours ago, simonh said:

Savage Worlds can get away with it better because it's explicitly a system for pulp action adventure.

There is still a book, Realms of Cthulhu, which allows to play horrific Cthulhu campaigns with Savage rules. I didn't play it, but I have it and it is surprising to see how a pulp and heroic game can also be used to play harshly realistic adventures with just little changes.

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On 12/20/2015 at 5:44 PM, fmitchell said:

....

Let's hope they don't 1) fill space with the traditional "what is roleplaying" section, 2) use big type and a lot of hand-holding like the 16-page "BRP" pamphlet, and/or 3) fill up most of that space with art and a long-winded adventure.

....

In the previous quick start, there was a short Musketeers adventure.  That would be a good one to use again for BRP Essentials.  Musketeers are not fantasy, which would be good to show that BRP is not just a fantasy system.  But, Musketeers would show the system can handle swordplay, obviously critical to a fantasy system.  And, as it is Musketeers, it would also show the gunplay rules.  Thus it would be a good compromise between presenting the action of RuneQuest/MagicWorld and Call of Cthulhu as well as showing that BRP does a nice job with straight history. 

 

Edited by Mysterioso
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1 hour ago, Vile said:

Musketeers are good, though I personally prefer a Hundred Years' War setting for sheer variety.

Gunplay is limited with the Hundred Years' War.  Going the other way to the Western, it has a similar problem but swordplay being short that way. 

Now either would be fun. But with fmitchell's point being one of keeping the sample scenario slight but focused to keep the page count in BRP Essentials primarily focused on rules, Pere Dumas seems to be the best situation.

The only other thing that I can think of that would have such quick recognition by folks coming in from either/or the RuneQuest/MagicWorld and Call of Cthulhu backgrounds and would offer a chance for gunplay and swordplay in the same adventure would be a knock-off Sharpe scenario and even then I don't know if that has the same recognition as The Three Musketeers.

Edited by Mysterioso

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7 hours ago, Vile said:

Did I write Hundred Years' War? Why, yes, I did. But I meant to write Thirty Years' War!  :P

Hmmm.... Here's a little side project I'm working on as time permits.

Quote

“In the year of our Lord 1618, a great comet appeared during the autumn month of November. To see this was terrible and amazing, and moved me such that I began to write, for I thought that it would signify and usher in something great, which has indeed occurred, as the reader will herein find sufficient record.”

—The Zeitregister of shoemaker Hans Heberle

 

Scenario Overview

A comet did indeed streak over the Holy Roman Empire in late 1618 and it was a herald of things to come. Not just the horrific Thirty-Years War, but terrors from the darkest recesses of a man’s mind. A large chunk of the comet breaks off as it flies over Europe and lands in the Schwarzwald. There it’s found...

 

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My Magic World games of late have been set in an ersatz Thirty Years War setting... mostly because I like the Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventures... and because it also shares the feeling of Warhammer Fantasy and Confrontation to some degree. I think it's a great fit for the sort of stuff that goes on in most fantasy RPGs... which claim to be 'medieval' but usually feature a lot of stuff that came long much later.

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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. 

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