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Belgath

BRP misconceptions.

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I have been playing BRP RQ2 - RQ6 for years. In the last 6 years or so have run most of my games on Voice and video chat. I work mids shift so most of I my players are overseas. My son just ask my if would run a scary British role-playing game. I asked him what game he was talking about? Then he states "You know BRP British roll-playing The game and you're always playing with the British guys." I jest started laughing. 

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Well, he was not totally wrong. I have a sense that BRP is more European style of game and d20 is big hamburger-munching American style :)

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43 minutes ago, TheShadow said:

I did meet someone who thought it was pronounced "BURP" and was a derivative of GURPS.

We all used to call it "burps" back in the days when it was often referred to as the Basic Role Playing System.

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I've always just called it "Runequest," with BRP being the specialized niche rules for lesser (non-Gloranthan) games...    }:-D>

 

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9 hours ago, Vile said:

We all used to call it "burps" back in the days when it was often referred to as the Basic Role Playing System.

Well, BRP was never a particularly good name for a game; not as bad as GURPS but not great.

If you imagine explaining to a non-gamer what you are playing, if you say "We're playing GURPS (or Burps)" they would probably think it was some kind of coarse drinking game. (Which admittedly would not be so far from the truth for some sessions.)

I always pronounced it by acronym: BEE-ARR-PEE rather than "Burp". Never "Basic Roleplaying".

BTW, don't underestimate the importance of the game name. My gaming gang (used to Elric! and BRP) fell off their chairs laughing when they heard the name 'Magic World'. They didn't know anything about Chaosium's licensing history or the previous third-of-a-game by that name. They just thought it sounded like 'Happy elves in tinkly winkly town'. :) 

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BRP is my favourite system, but it's an awful name.

It's very clinical and stale sounding, and also incorrect, as the system is far from 'basic' by today's standards. For a simulationist system it's not overly complex, but it is a long way from being considered a 'rules-lite' or 'basic' system.

I always thought Chaosium were onto something with the 'Worlds of Wonder' title for their box set of assorted settings back in the 1980s, and I would of preferred if they had also considered using that title as the name for their core system. 

These days it would be referred to as 'WoW', and now 'Worlds of Warcraft' has that acronym. However I can live with two 'WoW's in the gaming industry.

Unfortunately BRP has stuck, although I wonder how hard it would be to rebrand the core system's name? The current crowd would have to live with it, but new players may be more attracted to a more evocative name.

Most players I know just refer to it as 'The RuneQuest System' or 'The Cthulhu System'. Occasionally I have seen it referred to as 'The Chaosium System' and sometimes just 'The D100 System'. Despite all it's years of existence, the name 'BRP'  is not on the tips of many gamers tongues, even if product titles like RuneQuest and Call Of Cthulhu are widely known.

Edited by Mankcam
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In France, BRP is better known as "Système Chaosium" or "Système Basic", because french magazine Casus Belli published a version under this name in the 90's.

Some people call it "Système d100", because of "Système d20" and "Système d6".

In fact, very few people call it BRP at all...

Edited by Mugen
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50 minutes ago, Mugen said:

In fact, very few people call it BRP at all...

A good enough reason to change it, especially if it has been referred to as BRP for almost three decades by the publishers, yet hardly anyone in gaming stores actually calls it that

(Excluding GMs who frequent online gaming forums :D)

The Chaosium System ( "Système Chaosium" ) or The D100 System ( "Système d100" ) both work reasonably well if Worlds of Wonder is off the table. I would go for WoW D100...

Edited by Mankcam
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8 minutes ago, Mankcam said:

A good enough reason to change it, especially if it has been referred to as BRP for almost three decades by the publishers, yet hardly anyone in gaming stores actually calls it that

(Excluding GMs who frequent online gaming forums :D)

The Chaosium System ( "Système Chaosium" ) or The D100 System ( "Système d100" ) both work reasonably well if Worlds of Wonder is off the table. I would go for WoW D100...

D100 Essentials? Chaosium Essentials? I'm looking forward to the release of BRP Essentials (no matter the name), I just wonder if either of these options has a nice enough "ring" to it to trip off the tongue and be instantly recognisable in conversation. 

Colin

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Always called it BRP as did those I gamed with, when that was a weekly occurrence. That said I never played it. Runequest all the way.

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I think that we are heading towards a scenario where Basic Rolepaying will be the title of the basic, stripped down version of the RuneQuest system. As it was originally.

CoC and RQ have evolved on partially divergent paths. I'm not sure it make much sense now to say that they are powered by the "same" system. I think that train passed when the old Chaosium decided not to base CoC7 on BGB (not sure if they actually did decide or it was strategy by happenstance). Now, that CoC7 is there and is very successful there is no chance of going back.

If I have understood correctly the strategy of the new Chaosium is going back to a situation where Chaosium published separate, setting specific, rulesets, which may share parts of the core engine. More a "family of Chaosium d100 games", than a sytem. Plus, they will publish also stuff that is not d100 at all (13A, HQ).

Honestly, I'm rather happy with that and looking forward to what they will put forth.

Edited by smiorgan

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On 8/8/2016 at 4:05 AM, jux said:

Well, he was not totally wrong. I have a sense that BRP is more European style of game and d20 is big hamburger-munching American style :)

I would not say that D20 is American.  I think it was a poorly thought out attempt to bring D&D play style to other genres.  It basically failed and IMO has hurt D&D because it allowed Pathfinder to exist.   

BRP is a skill based system, which almost all non-fantasy RPGs are in the US.  It may be more popular in the EU than the US, but CoC is popular here.  So I am not really sure what about it would make it an EU style game. 

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3 hours ago, steamcraft said:

I would not say that D20 is American.  I think it was a poorly thought out attempt to bring D&D play style to other genres.  It basically failed and IMO has hurt D&D because it allowed Pathfinder to exist.

D&D did that to themselves by forking D&D into a videogame. Pathfinder was the D&D that D&D players missed. Not that I've played it -- it's been Elric! or BRP for me since about 1994.

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6 hours ago, Questbird said:

D&D did that to themselves by forking D&D into a videogame.

Well, this is not the right forum to talk about this, but, really, this edition of this game was more than that.

15 hours ago, Iskallor said:

Always called it BRP as did those I gamed with, when that was a weekly occurrence. That said I never played it. Runequest all the way.

Even though I said few people call it BRP, fact is I am one of those few people :)

Edited by Mugen
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On 8/9/2016 at 6:08 AM, Mankcam said:

Most players I know just refer to it as 'The RuneQuest System' or 'The Cthulhu System'. Occasionally I have seen it referred to as 'The Chaosium System' and sometimes just 'The D100 System'. Despite all it's years of existence, the name 'BRP'  is not on the tips of many gamers tongues, even if product titles like RuneQuest and Call Of Cthulhu are widely known.

It was always 'The Chaosium System' to my group back in the '80s, perhaps because the other company house system we knew was 'The Palladium System'. 

My first three RPGs were all TSR: D&D, Gamma World, and Star Frontiers. All three had a unique system, so the concept of a house system wasn't something I automatically expected. It was boxed set era too, so you couldn't just browse through the book and notice it. The fact that Stormbringer, Runequest, Call of Cthulhu and Ringworld were all "the same game" was a slow reveal to us. Palladium never did boxed sets, so it was immediately clear they were all the same system, if no other reason that all portions literally copied and pasted from one another.

I honestly can't recall ever seeing the BRP name. Maybe I came across it, but it was just too generic to register as an actual brand.

"What are you playing?"

"Basic Roleplaying."

"Yes, I can see you are roleplaying, but what game?"

Basic Roleplaying is a flat, unexciting name, but it isn't actively bad. I think trying to rebrand would do more harm than good at this point. Ultimately, it's continued success is going to depend on the game released using the system. Focusing on the system as a brand too much might have held BRP back, as it might have encourage more out-of-the box compatibility instead of bending the system to each game. 

11 hours ago, steamcraft said:

I would not say that D20 is American.  I think it was a poorly thought out attempt to bring D&D play style to other genres.  It basically failed and IMO has hurt D&D because it allowed Pathfinder to exist.   

BRP is a skill based system, which almost all non-fantasy RPGs are in the US.  It may be more popular in the EU than the US, but CoC is popular here.  So I am not really sure what about it would make it an EU style game. 

I think D20 is simply the result of corporate committee thinking. They made a big list of things that people wanted in D&D, and they shoved them all well, whether they fit well with the other things on the list or not.

People liked skill systems, but the class/level system was still a sacred cow to many. You got a skill system where your skill were linked to your class and could only rise so high based on your level. That added a lot of complexity to character generation for very little freedom.

People wanted more customization. People felt characters leveled too slowly. They decided to fix both these things. They added Feats, and Class Abilities and Skills, and they made space between level gain much shorter. The result was overkill for casual players with characters being saddled with too many new abilities too quickly.

Another disconnect was Prestige Classes. Adding cool specialized classes that you could move into later was a cool idea. However, it clashed with the fact that the whole system had otherwise designed to open up player choices. Prestige Classes had strict requirements for entry. You needed to pick out the Prestige Class you wanted at character generation, then every character progression choice you made was dictated by getting to that Prestige Class. The whole character generation and progression process was made a lot more complicated to give you choices, then Prestige Classes were thrown in there to trap players into strict path. Organic character growth based on events of the campaign was discouraged. 

Then there were monsters and NPCs. Someone had the idea early on to make monsters work just like PCs. Great idea! Except that idea clashed with the fact they had just made PCs incredibly more detailed and complicated. Just statting up a room full of orcs became a chore. 

Moving onto Pathfinder, obviously part of Paizo's success was based on rejection of 4E. I also think a big part of it was that they had a better understanding of how to help GMs. WotC didn't give a damn about GMs during the 3E era. They had crunched the numbers and realized that there were more players than GMs, so why bother making things for GMs? Just keep cranking out books loaded with Prestige Classes and Feats every month, not really thinking through the fact that players really only can use so many build options over the course a of a campaign. 

WotC made a half-assed effort at making a few modules early on, but otherwise didn't show a lot of interest in giving GMs things to run. This was a real issue as the 3E, as it made being a GM much harder, as NPCs were so much more complicated to build and run. 

Paizo, with it's license for Dungeon, was knocking it our of the park with its adventure paths. While WotC was making books that were jumble of new mechanics for an already complicated game, like Sandstorm, Paizo was making things that a GM could just read and use at the table with relative ease. I think that earned them a lot of goodwill with GMs that came in handy when they released Pathfinder. 

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I seem to recall my games groups called them by the setting name. So Stormbringer was Stormbringer, CoC was Cthulhu and so on. We could see the close relationship between the systems but I don't recall ever calling them BRP.

Maybe that's as @Baulderstone says above, "Basic Roleplaying is a flat, unexciting name". However, the system itself "fades away" so you're free to immerse yourself in the game world, concentrate on the adventure and roleplay your character without having to wonder whether "STR in CoC is more important than in Stormbringer" or any of myriad other questions. And that's the best thing about BRP in general. When talking about names that have a "nice enough 'ring' to it to trip off the tongue" (my words, so my fault) we're getting into marketing-speak, buzz-words and "mindshare" in the RPG community. None of which I'm qualified to speak about. :( . How do you market something that's "invisible" (by which I mean "fades into the background) to the people playing it?

Colin

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2 hours ago, Baulderstone said:

I think D20 is simply the result of corporate committee thinking. They made a big list of things that people wanted in D&D, and they shoved them all well, whether they fit well with the other things on the list or not.

I really think D&D3 was, in the mind of its designers, a true attempt at making the game better, and more "modern". It was just not sufficiently playtested...

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2 hours ago, Mugen said:

I really think D&D3 was, in the mind of its designers, a true attempt at making the game better, and more "modern". It was just not sufficiently playtested...

Oddly enough, it was massively play tested.  WotC took more of it takes a village to build a game approach.  It wasn't corporate design per se, but rather all of the fans that wanted certain things in the game.  That is why it got built the way it did.  Additionally, the play testing served as PR.  Then it was followed by bringing in Gygax, but they ignored him and just touted him out to try and get 1E players on board.  It was a very slick production effort to make 3E a success. 

D20 is designed around the idea of splat.  Adventures do not sell very well.  You want books that all members of a group will want, not just the GM.  So, you end up with producing more rules, options, spells, classes, etc.  That is how you make money.  Adventures do not sell very well.  Only GMs will buy it and only a small number of them will. 

I do think one could make the plausible claim that BRP is 80's game design and WotC era D&D/D20 is modern game design.  I think BRP based games avoid the splat and therefore have to survive off of how 80's games survived - getting new players, replacing damaged books, and adventures. 

3 hours ago, ColinBrett said:

How do you market something that's "invisible" (by which I mean "fades into the background) to the people playing it?

Colin

Primarily settings sell, not systems.  BRP in terms of just the generic rules will not be something that is hugely popular.  Games built off of its rules can be.  D20 took off and then when people played it outside of D&D, it was a flop.  GURPS is only holding on because of loyalty that Steve Jackson has for its fans.  It borders on money loss. 

Cortex Plus came about through established IPs and then the generic rules.  It is not a flop, but I do not think it is that successful. 

Newish indie/narrative games that are generic have some limited popularity.  AWE was tied to a setting but was generic enough to be used for other games.  FATE is the only rule system not tied to a setting that enjoys contemporary success.  But, that took basing it off of another existing rule set (FUDGE), 10 years, and then licensing the Dresden Files to do it.  After Dresden, then FATE by itself became popular.  But, even talking about popularity is a misnomer.  FATE was a top 5 seller at one point, but it has no where near the sales volume of D&D/Pathfinder in a year. 

If you were going to talk up BRP for the rules, and you believe the rules fade away, then that is what you need to say.  You claim that it is rules-lite, flexible, avoids splat, and that it allows you to focus on the game and not the rules.  Of course once players see charts and lots of modifiers, they might not think it fades away. 

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16 hours ago, ColinBrett said:

I seem to recall my games groups called them by the setting name. So Stormbringer was Stormbringer, CoC was Cthulhu and so on. We could see the close relationship between the systems but I don't recall ever calling them BRP.

Yes, I do the same. I might say "We're playing Swords of Cydoria or Rubble & Ruin tonight", not "Let's play BRP"

16 hours ago, ColinBrett said:

Maybe that's as @Baulderstone says above, "Basic Roleplaying is a flat, unexciting name". However, the system itself "fades away" so you're free to immerse yourself in the game world, concentrate on the adventure and roleplay your character without having to wonder whether "STR in CoC is more important than in Stormbringer" or any of myriad other questions. And that's the best thing about BRP in general. When talking about names that have a "nice enough 'ring' to it to trip off the tongue" (my words, so my fault) we're getting into marketing-speak, buzz-words and "mindshare" in the RPG community. None of which I'm qualified to speak about. :( . How do you market something that's "invisible" (by which I mean "fades into the background) to the people playing it?

In design, typography, sound design, and user interface design something which 'fades into the background' is highly desirable and usually the result of quite a lot of effort behind the scenes.

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