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What is the status of RQ6 Glorantha?


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4 hours ago, Prime Evil said:

This seems to be a strange decision, both from a creative perspective and a business perspective. Maybe Chaosium and Moon Design have a strategic plan mapped out for the Runequest brand, but communication has been handled badly. The sudden reversal of a previous decision is not the way to build consumer confidence that the brand is in good hands. Furthermore, the decision to break with Design Mechanism risks alienating fans who have invested time and energy into RQ 6... 

Spot on.

This decision has destroyed my confidence in the "new" Chaosium.  

Any public statement that they make in the future about their plans should now be viewed with scepticism, given that they may change their minds shortly afterwards.

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Ridiculous decision making. If you want to expand the fans and users of the RQ system you make a generic set of base rules - a non-specific set based on the superior RQ6 chassis, and then release

Yes, Design Mechanism has had a much faster release rate than we have ever seen from Moon Design. Caliburn is also wrong in suggesting that TDM is purely a two man operation. The two Thennla books are

Hey all - just a few quick comments before I head to the airport to head home: We are big believers in starting from first principles whenever we do a book, and in the case of RuneQuest, RQ2 is t

4 hours ago, MOB said:

It will be a new edition of the rules (RuneQuest), not RQ 2.1 or whatever.

What has yet to be explained is why anyone at Chaosium thinks that there is a real demand for a fourth version of RuneQuest in less than a decade.  Especially given all the positive reviews and support for RQ6.

Sure there are hardcore RPGers who are happy to read a new version of a game every month. But most gamers are not like that. And RQ is a niche game within a niche hobby.  

(It seems like the MD is determined to make RQ a marginal RPG for the sake of achieving Glorantha "purity" amongst its players, or something…)

Edited by Akrasia
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12 minutes ago, Akrasia said:

What has yet to be explained is why anyone at Chaosium thinks that there is a real demand for a fourth version of RuneQuest in less than a decade.  Especially given all the positive reviews and support for RQ6.

Well, there's certainly demand from me. While I liked RQ6 better than MRQ II, and liked MRQ II better than original MRQ, I'm still very excited by the idea of a Chaosium-published edition with input from members of the RQ2 and RQ3 teams; I'm hoping the new game will combine the simpler and more-systemic elements of RQ2 and 3 with some of the innovations from RQ6.

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26 minutes ago, trystero said:

Well, there's certainly demand from me. While I liked RQ6 better than MRQ II, and liked MRQ II better than original MRQ, I'm still very excited by the idea of a Chaosium-published edition with input from members of the RQ2 and RQ3 teams; I'm hoping the new game will combine the simpler and more-systemic elements of RQ2 and 3 with some of the innovations from RQ6.

Actually Akrasia asked the wrong question: the right questions is why was one plan announced at GenCon, elaborated on at Kraken and alluded to as recently as last Thursday, if (per Jeff's post from Sunday), the new plan 'is what we always do'.

Why say one thing, and then do something different?

Nick

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3 hours ago, Baulderstone said:

Yes, Design Mechanism has had a much faster release rate than we have ever seen from Moon Design. Caliburn is also wrong in suggesting that TDM is purely a two man operation. The two Thennla books are by Jonathan Drake. Book of Quests had a total of nine authors. Luther Arkwright has two additional authors besides Pete and Loz,  and four more people credited with "additional material by".

The upcoming Classic Fantasy is by Rodney Leary. There is also an upcoming book of Luther Arkwright adventures which is said to be in the style of Book of Quests. That suggests it will have a wide range of authors. Mythic Britain: Logres is being written by Paul Mitchener. TDM has also been receptive to letting third parties make their own products for RQ6.

Pete and Loz are entirely capable of growing a game beyond what they can personally write. 

And how RQ has residual bits of D&D in it, like 3d6 characteristics and hit points. 

Actually Loz describes their operation as a two man show, not me... I actually think RQ6 is by a siginificant margin the best fantasy tabletop RPG that tackles realism that there is, and I have the greatest respect for those who crafted it, and their creative output going forwards.

But that isn't the point.

On that second and related point, a common core system would have meant far more time to dedicate to alternate world and genres, rather than all the reinventing of the slightly different wheels all trying to do the same thing that is going to happen. Regardless of how many people are directly or indirectly involved in the various companies all doing different things, well, because...  there would have been more choice from the output of a unified system.

That's just maths...

There was a moment there it could all have come together and been the hub of a wheel of variant worlds all using the excellent core of RQ6, but now we'll have a mishmash.

The idea that Glorantha equals RuneQuest and visa versa is of course for it's original creators and owners to decide. But RQ6 is being dumped on, and it deserves far better treatment. Not only that, the system deserves better exposure to more worlds outside the detailed niche it is now being crammed back into.

So excuse me for mourning the BRP 2.0 that will now not be born. If it was a good idea then, it was twice the idea with RQ6 at the wheel...

Edited by Caliburn
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I understand, Caliburn. It's my hope that the game that was RQ6 thrives on its own, forming its own identity as as versatile d100 system. The RuneQuest name is a double-edged sword. It gives immediate recognition, but it also brings a lot of preconceptions. Having to establish a new brand is always a challenge, but TDM already has a solid base of fans to buy its offerings and spread the word. 

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7 minutes ago, Baulderstone said:

I understand, Caliburn. It's my hope that the game that was RQ6 thrives on its own, forming its own identity as as versatile d100 system. The RuneQuest name is a double-edged sword. It gives immediate recognition, but it also brings a lot of preconceptions. Having to establish a new brand is always a challenge, but TDM already has a solid base of fans to buy its offerings and spread the word. 

Paizo turned its association with WoTC and D&D 3.5 into Pathfinder (via the OGL etc...). That has been a highly profitable enterprise. I know its not a 1 to 1 comparison, but the similarities are there to that situation and this one. With RQ6's system re branded for TDM to license out to those who make settings, it could be the core of something special. I really hope they can make the most of their situation as we can never have too many d100 games.

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2 hours ago, trystero said:

 I'm hoping the new game will combine the simpler and more-systemic elements of RQ2 and 3 with some of the innovations from RQ6.

Given that I generally like slimmer core rule sets, if this can be achieved with many of the innovations that are in RQ6, then it'll be a great thing and I'll certainly be taking RQG it for a spin :D 

Otherwise I'm likely to keep using RQ6 for Glorantha as well as non-Glorantha settings. It will also come down to if my players can jump between systems or if they want to continue with one main system. 

Edited by Mankcam
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5 hours ago, Vile said:

Can't copyright a rules system. That's how we got MRQ1 and RQ6 in the first place.

The situation with rule systems is complex - it's true that you can't copyright the rules themselves (as they are merely mathematical formulae and procedural algorithms), but you can copyright expressions of those rules (i.e. the explanatory text surrounding the mathematical formulae, etc). Those d100 games released under the OGL - Legend, OpenQuest, Renaissance, the upcoming Delta Green reboot from Arc Dream, etc - license the wording of the game to third parties under an open licensing scheme. I can understand the desire of Chaosium to ensure clarity around their ownership of RQ brand moving forwards. The convoluted history of the RQ system shows the risks inherent in not fully controlling your own destiny - who would have thought that Avalon Hill 

Having said that, there may be creative reasons for the decision. RQ 2 is a "lighter" game than RQ 6, so maybe there was a desire to use "less crunchy" rendition of the rules for the new edition. I still think it's a step backwards in some respects, but the indications that they are going to incorporate some improvements from games such as Ringworld and Pendragon (still Greg Stafford's masterpiece) is a promising sign. It's a strange way to announce this though.

Chaosium need to move quickly to communicate their intentions clearly or rumors will take on a life of their own. 

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43 minutes ago, ReignDragonSMH said:

Paizo turned its association with WoTC and D&D 3.5 into Pathfinder (via the OGL etc...). That has been a highly profitable enterprise. I know its not a 1 to 1 comparison, but the similarities are there to that situation and this one. With RQ6's system re branded for TDM to license out to those who make settings, it could be the core of something special. I really hope they can make the most of their situation as we can never have too many d100 games.

To be fair, Paizo had the advantages that D&D 4e was not received well by the community and the 4e Game System Licence (GSL) was such a mess that it drove most third-party publishers towards Pathfinder rather than D&D. I don't expect Chaosium / Moon Design will produce a bad rule system, but they may drive other publishers towards alternative d100 implementations through this decision.

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41 minutes ago, Prime Evil said:

To be fair, Paizo had the advantages that D&D 4e was not received well by the community and the 4e Game System Licence (GSL) was such a mess that it drove most third-party publishers towards Pathfinder rather than D&D. I don't expect Chaosium / Moon Design will produce a bad rule system, but they may drive other publishers towards alternative d100 implementations through this decision.

Possibly, but it also gives all involved an opportunity to market to those outside the niche. We can all come strong with a d100 revitalization as it were and lure in players who only spend time and money on other games. \

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8 minutes ago, ReignDragonSMH said:

Possibly, but it also gives all involved an opportunity to market to those outside the niche. We can all come strong with a d100 revitalization as it were and lure in players who only spend time and money on other games. \

I wonder whether Design Mechanism could create a generic system based upon the RQ 6 engine. Luther Arkwright and the Firearms supplement suggest that it would be possible. Given that BRP seems top be going into quasi-hibernation for a while, there may be a niche for such a game. It would be awesome if Design Mechanism released a universal d100 system under the OGL, but I suspect they will want to keep tight control over any licensed products to protect their new brand.

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Design mechanisms products truly are Some of the best out there. Every person that I've gotten to play the game has been converted. I have had Player state I don't like Runequests crunchy systems or prefer D&D. But after only one or two good games sessions they completely change their mind.  If we could get more people to really play it, they could not  help but fall in love with it. And if they don't the only plausible explanation would be that there a disruptor pawn devoid of any real thought or motivation :-)

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26 minutes ago, Prime Evil said:

I wonder whether Design Mechanism could create a generic system based upon the RQ 6 engine. Luther Arkwright and the Firearms supplement suggest that it would be possible. 

I can say from experience that it's certainly possible to play games with various editions RuneQuest that are based on Traveller, Blade Runner, Aliens, Karl May, Time Tunnel, Greyhawk, Mystara, WWII, Biggles, Star Wars, War of the Worlds, A Plague of Demons ... etc. It's a highly adaptable base. :)

26 minutes ago, Prime Evil said:

It would be awesome if Design Mechanism released a universal d100 system under the OGL, but I suspect they will want to keep tight control over any licensed products to protect their new brand.

There is no need - it is already possible to write OGL D100 games, and there are a few out there (e.g. OpenQuest, GORE). The reason there are so many more D&D-style OGL games is not the OGL itself but the D&D 3.5E System Reference Document, which contains most of D&D's core elements like monsters and magic. Without the SRD it would be very difficult to legally "clone" so many old editions of D&D. D&D also has the advantage that anyone can say "Fifth Edition" or "the world's most popular roleplaying game" and expect most gamers to know what they mean.

The MRQ1 SRDs contain relatively little material of this nature - the names (but not descriptions) of some Gloranthan monsters, and the names (but not depictions) of Gloranthan Runes, just enough to allow third-party publishers to write adventures and such. However, a separate licence is needed to claim compatibility with RuneQuest or Glorantha, and Mongoose isn't in a position to give those out. Similarly, the Mongoose Traveller SRD is essentially worthless without the Mongoose Traveller Logo Licence, because there are no unique trademarked or copyrightable elements in there at all.

If anyone wants to write compatible products, the simple route is to ask Chaosium or The Design Mechanism about licensing. As a publisher that does leave you vulnerable to changes in the IP holder's policy, though.

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2 hours ago, Vile said:

There is no need - it is already possible to write OGL D100 games, and there are a few out there (e.g. OpenQuest, GORE). The reason there are so many more D&D-style OGL games is not the OGL itself but the D&D 3.5E System Reference Document, which contains most of D&D's core elements like monsters and magic. Without the SRD it would be very difficult to legally "clone" so many old editions of D&D. D&D also has the advantage that anyone can say "Fifth Edition" or "the world's most popular roleplaying game" and expect most gamers to know what they mean.

The MRQ1 SRDs contain relatively little material of this nature - the names (but not descriptions) of some Gloranthan monsters, and the names (but not depictions) of Gloranthan Runes, just enough to allow third-party publishers to write adventures and such. However, a separate licence is needed to claim compatibility with RuneQuest or Glorantha, and Mongoose isn't in a position to give those out. Similarly, the Mongoose Traveller SRD is essentially worthless without the Mongoose Traveller Logo Licence, because there are no unique trademarked or copyrightable elements in there at all.

If anyone wants to write compatible products, the simple route is to ask Chaosium or The Design Mechanism about licensing. As a publisher that does leave you vulnerable to changes in the IP holder's policy, though.

There is a growing body of OGL d100 systems out there with varying levels of compatibility with past and current versions of RQ. The Legend system from Mongoose is obviously the closest as it is a direct ancestor of RQ 6, especially if you include Blood Magic (which incorporates tweaks to the magic system later incorporated into RQ 6). Legend also has an extremely permissive compatibility license and pretty much everything in the rules has been released as OGC. However, it is by no means the only "open" implementation of the system - GORE and OpenQuest spring to mind if you prefer something a bit lighter than Legend / RQ 6 and Rennaisance lies somewhere in the middle. Plus there are more open variants in the pipeline - Revolution d100 is under development and Arc Dream are leaning towards releasing non-setting elements of the revised Delta Green under the OGL. And there is stuff like Magic & Flintlock from Solace Games that contains some clever mechanical changes to Rennaissance / OpenQuest that appear to be OGC.

The MRQ1 SRD does contain a few Gloranthan critters, but I vaguely recall that there was some question over whether Issaries agreed to release these elements as Open Game Content. Whatever the case, the community has wisely decided not to press the issue. In any case, it's all water under the bridge now and the guys from Moon Design will no doubt do an excellent job of adapting these critters to the next version of RQ.

Design Mechanism seem to be approachable when it comes to licensing, but obviously want to protect the quality of their brand. I'm not sure what Chaosium's position on licensed products is nowdays though - they used to have a number of third-party licensees for both CoC and BRP, but many of these have gone off in their own direction. I'm not sure what the implications for stuff like Cubicle 7's adaptations of Charles Stross' Laundry novels will be - is that licence still active or has it been rescinded? The decision to lock RQ so closely to the Gloranthan setting does seem to preclude third-part licenses for purposes not directly associated with the Gloranthan setting though.

Interesting question.

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3 hours ago, Belgath said:

Design mechanisms products truly are Some of the best out there. Every person that I've gotten to play the game has been converted. I have had Player state I don't like Runequests crunchy systems or prefer D&D. But after only one or two good games sessions they completely change their mind.  If we could get more people to really play it, they could not  help but fall in love with it. And if they don't the only plausible explanation would be that there a disruptor pawn devoid of any real thought or motivation :-)

RQ6 is actually crunchier than I usually prefer a system to be, however all the crunch serves a practical purpose in play, so it never seems to actually bog things down in play. It's all crunch that makes the game better. 

I've been thinking about this weekends announcement more this weekend. Considering the long list of items it is borrowing from RQ6, most of them central to the mechanics of the game (the way skills are determined, the way opposed rolls are made. etc), it looks like the system is still more based on RQ6 than RQ2 in any practical sense. It seems like they are distancing themselves from RQ6 more because Pete and Loz won't be involved than because of anything actually going into the rules.

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56 minutes ago, Baulderstone said:

RQ6 is actually crunchier than I usually prefer a system to be, however all the crunch serves a practical purpose in play, so it never seems to actually bog things down in play. It's all crunch that makes the game better.

What I'd like to see (and have considered having a crack at writing myself) is a modular system that starts off with an extremely streamlined versuion of the core rules but with optional subsystems that allow individual groups to select the level of granularity they want. BRP had this in theory, but the modularisation of the rule system never went far enough and complex dependencies remained between subsystems. I would like to see the different sections of the game decoupled from each other as much as possible so that you can crank up the crunch in one area without having a cascade effect throughout the rest of the rules. It would be difficult to achieve, but would be adaptable to different tastes.  

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12 minutes ago, Prime Evil said:

What I'd like to see (and have considered having a crack at writing myself) is a modular system that starts off with an extremely streamlined version of the core rules but with optional subsystems that allow individual groups to select the level of granularity they want.

http://basicroleplaying.org/forum/15-aeonengine%E2%84%A2/  ;)

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On 6.12.2015, 22.07.08, Mankcam said:

Well I'm good with all this, except I find it a bit raw referring to the next RQ as RQ4. RQ4 was MRQ, and MRQ2 was RQ5. Design Mechanism did the respectful thing of calling their independent edition RQ6. They even paid homage to RQ2 with a re-envisioning of the cover art, which was an excellent move. I think keeping that iconic artwork in some form will be good for the new game that DM put out, to help with product recognition, even if its a back cover or internal title page.

RQ4, I actually have a copy of that game. Crunchy, but good. Never got published though, due to the RuneQuest Sex Cult scandal that followed...

On 7.12.2015, 02.11.44, Mankcam said:

I am happy that Design Mechanism will be freed up to follow other pusuits, such as the Mythic series and Luther Arkwright, but I just hope they dont lose any commercial identity in the rebranding.

I think having the RuneQuest name was probably a big bonus when the system first got published, but now that people have seen the quality of their products I think DM will do just fine. Not having to publish under a license probably have its advantages too.

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3 hours ago, Trifletraxor said:

RQ4, I actually have a copy of that game. Crunchy, but good. Never got published though, due to the RuneQuest Sex Cult scandal that followed...

"RuneQuest 4" and "Adventures in Glorantha" are cursed names probably better never said in public again. For me RQahem was when I rebelled against detail levels in RPG. It was essentially "adventures in book-keeping" and sent me down a different path. It makes an interesting read these days (along with RuneQuest Slayers or whatever it was eventually called.) Those were dark, dark days in the d100 verse.

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5 hours ago, deleriad said:

"RuneQuest 4" and "Adventures in Glorantha" [....] It makes an interesting read these days (along with RuneQuest Slayers or whatever it was eventually called.) Those were dark, dark days in the d100 verse.

I've always been intimidated by RQ4 AiG (I've a playtest copy).

On the other hand, RQ Slayers actually looks like a fun little game of barbarian slayers in a dark primitive sword-and-sorcery world. I might actually play it. The funny thing is that it's a game that has zero connection with RQ. I wonder what Avalon Hill were thinking when developing that game. It has hit-locations. That's the one thing they kept from RQ! :D

 

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For "fun" I tried to sell some Cypher System gamers on RuneQuest/BRP/whatever ... and then I had to give it a name ... and then I had to explain the history.  Yikes.

This whole discussion has left me a bit confused, but from what I understand there will be five in-print heirs to the original RuneQuest:

  1. the future RuneQuest N, where N is either 4 or 7, which is a mashup of RQ2, RQ6, and a half-dozen other things.
  2. a "Basic Role-Playing" pamphlet extracted from the previous work (if that's still in the cards)
  3. Call of Cthulhu 7, which changes too much for some people yet hardly anything important.
  4. The rules soon to be formerly known as RuneQuest 6.
  5. OpenQuest 2, from the bastard Mongoose line, which IIRC had a Glorantha adventure and is connected to a publisher of HeroQuest Glorantha content.

That's not including other scions of Mongoose including Legend or the Renaissance line (SRD, Clockwork & Chivalry, Dark Streets, Pirates & Dragons).  Nor does that include the to-be-republished RuneQuest 2, nor the tons of Call of Cthulhu 2-6 material still out there, nor the lovingly preserved Big Gold Books and Magic Worlds, nor the silent legions of homebrew d100 systems, nor the upcoming Revolution D100 inspired partly (I suspect) by the aforementioned state of affairs.

sigh

Yes, I know it's been 37+ years since RQ 1, and specialized rule-sets have some advantages, but it would be nice to point to one thing and say "This Is The Game".

We just can't have nice things.

Or, as they say in the computer industry, the nice thing about standards is that there's so many to choose from.

Edited by fmitchell
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1 hour ago, fmitchell said:

...from what I understand there will be five in-print heirs to the original RuneQuest. . . . not including other scions of Mongoose including Legend or the Renaissance line (SRD, Clockwork & Chivalry, Dark Streets, Pirates & Dragons).  Nor does that include the to-be-republished RuneQuest 2, nor the tons of Call of Cthulhu 2-6 material still out there, nor the lovingly preserved Big Gold Books and Magic Worlds, nor the silent legions of homebrew d100 systems, nor the upcoming Revolution D100 inspired partly (I suspect) by the aforementioned state of affairs.

Of course, back in the day, there was only RuneQuest 1st/2nd edition... and then BRP, and Call of Cthulhu 1st edition, and Stormbringer 1st edition, and the three-game Worlds of Wonder set... and then Superworld and CoC 2nd edition and Ringworld and ElfQuest and RQ3 and (arguably) Pendragon and (definitely) Stormbringer 2nd edition and Hawkmoon... and that's all material published by Chaosium, not by third parties.

There have always been a variety of BRP games/flavours out there. Now there will be three, it sounds like: one for Lovecraftian horror (CoC 7th edition), one for Gloranthan fantasy (the new RuneQuest), and one generic (the BRP Essentials book). The others -- OpenQuest and Legend and whatever RQ6 ends up being called after its license expires and all of the other d100 games you mention -- aren't Chaosium's games, and I don't think their existence should prevent Chaosium from publishing the games they want to publish.

I guess I see that variety as a strength, rather than a weakness.

Edited by trystero
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1 hour ago, trystero said:

Of course, back in the day, there was only RuneQuest 1st/2nd edition... and then BRP, and Call of Cthulhu 1st edition, and Stormbringer 1st edition, and the three-game Worlds of Wonder set... and then Superworld and CoC 2nd edition and Ringworld and ElfQuest and RQ3 and (arguably) Pendragon and (definitely) Stormbringer 2nd edition and Hawkmoon... and that's all material published by Chaosium, not by third parties.

There have always been a variety of BRP games/flavours out there. Now there will be three, it sounds like: one for Lovecraftian horror (CoC 7th edition), one for Gloranthan fantasy (the new RuneQuest), and one generic (the BRP Essentials book). The others -- OpenQuest and Legend and whatever RQ6 ends up being called after its license expires and all of the other d100 games you mention -- aren't Chaosium's games, and I don't think their existence should prevent Chaosium from publishing the games they want to publish.

I guess I see that variety as a strength, rather than a weakness.

This. I came into BRP with Stormbringer in 1984, so there has always been a variety for me. 

My advice to fmitchell: You can just recommend a BRP game to someone without explaining the whole history. Pick the game that has subject matter that fits best with their interest. No need to drown your pitch in confusing detail.

D&D is the most popular RPG of all time, and when you factor in every D20 license variant and ever retroclone put out by the OSR, it makes the BRP/RQ family look tiny. The Storyteller system has plenty of variants in the rules throughout all the editions of its games, and those delineations are a lot murkier than the ones in BRP.

It;s only confusing if you try to make it confusing. 

@fmitchell

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