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I wanted to start a discussion for those of us in the hobby using a BRP system as to how you feel the current state of BRP systems are as a whole, and how we as a community can solve some of the percieved issues surrounding BRP to bring more people into the system. Personally I'm unhappy with the state of BRP as a system and although it's the only system I run I'm frankly worried about the future of the products surrounding the system. Although open license systems will always exist having a big, officially branded system is always great to attract new players. 

 

I feel the biggest issue facing BRP is fragmentation. For fantasy alone you have two major systems under Chaosium (Runequest / Heroquest). Runequest is further split into Runequest Gorlantha and Runequest Classic. To make matters worse both Heroquest and Runequest have Gorlantha labeling. While it's easy for those of us inside the hobby to understand the differences for those looking to explore BRP this extremely confusing. Throw Runequest 6 / Mythras into the mix, and you have 3 very similar sounding systems all currently in publication. Then you also have discontinued products like Magic World that also occupy some space in the BRP fantasy universe. 

 

To make matters worse BRP doesn't really have a currently in print Sci-Fi system. You have M-Space which is a sort of official Mythras Sci-Fi spin off, Fractured Hope and Swords of Cydoria, two great settings and frameworks but they require the BGB, and... Uh... Yeah. That's about it. 

 

I still feel the BGB is the best incarnation of BRP to date, containing everything you need to run a variety of campaigns and then using supplements and monographs to delve into more specific topics. However, big BRP developers would rather spin off into their own completely self contained books (IE Mythras) than create supplements under the big unifying Gold Bible. Plus, the BGB is now officially dead as well.

 

So we have no unifying product currently in print, a bunch of fractured, splintered spinoffs of spinoffs for currently in print Fantasy products, and no hard official Sci-Fi setting. The saving grace of BRP for my group is I own just about every supplement created in the last few years and everything my players need to play is on only a few sheets of paper. If this was not the case BRP would basically be a dead system for my group and we'd simply rely on open D100 systems.

 

How can we grow the BRP system as a community with the current state of products available and combat the confusing, splintered, and half out of print landscape of BRP offerings? We've been hearing rumblings about a fix from Chaosium for years and there's still none in sight. How can we grow this community and introduce others to the hobby when even after a player enjoys a session with me I can't really point them to a easy to understand, in print system they can buy and enjoy for themselves?

 

 

Edited by Robsbot
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I don't personally see this variety of ideas as a flaw. Early in my gaming, house systems were becoming the norm, close enough to easily shift between games, but there were differences between them. Chaosium was an early user of this model. CoC vs RQ vs Stormbringer, the games were different but 30 minutes and a player could be brought up to speed from one of the others.

 

The generic craze came along a few years later, I was initially a big fan of the idea and still like the concept, but I've cooled on it a bit. A problem occurs when people think generic means you must use the rules the same way all the time whether a dark and gritty game or a lighter weight game.

There are also complaints about there being too many options to choose from making it hard for a new gamer to sort it all out. I think this is actually a pretty fair complaint. The BGB would be pretty overwhelming for someone new to BRP and particularly so for someone new to gaming.

  

Rather than fragmenting, I see the various versions just as options. The BGB itself is nothing more than a collection of options from the house system days. All the different varieties of BRP we are seeing are really just narrowing the options available to fit their particular niche and making it easier for a GM to get going.

The differences between all of these games is pretty minor, I can't see most of them taking more than a single session for a player familiar with one to pick up the changes in another.  Using the levers analogy many use when discussion generic systems, Mythras is BRP with all the levers in the on position, RQ has most in the on position, some of the simpler games like Magic World and d100 have turned a lot of them off. 

Edited by Toadmaster
clarification
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4 hours ago, Robsbot said:

Plus, the BGB is now officially dead as well

Reports of the death of the Big Gold Book are greatly exaggerated:

Softcover: https://www.chaosium.com/basic-roleplaying-softcover/

BRP Quickstart: https://www.chaosium.com/brp-quick-start-edition/ 

Free PDF: https://www.chaosium.com/content/FreePDFs/BRP/CHA2021 - Basic RolePlaying Quick-Start.pdf

(BGB is not currently available in hardback)

TOADMASTER: The differences between all of these games is pretty minor, I can't see most of them taking more than a single session for a player familiar with one to pick up the changes in another.

Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest and most of our other RPG lines use BRP as the basis of their rules. Our view is once you’ve learned to play one of these, you've learned to play the others.

 

Edited by MOB
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5 hours ago, Robsbot said:

I wanted to start a discussion for those of us in the hobby using a BRP system as to how you feel the current state of BRP systems are as a whole, and how we as a community can solve some of the percieved issues surrounding BRP to bring more people into the system. Personally I'm unhappy with the state of BRP as a system and although it's the only system I run I'm frankly worried about the future of the products surrounding the system. Although open license systems will always exist having a big, officially branded system is always great to attract new players. 

...

How can we grow the BRP system as a community with the current state of products available and combat the confusing, splintered, and half out of print landscape of BRP offerings? ... How can we grow this community and introduce others to the hobby when even after a player enjoys a session with me I can't really point them to a easy to understand, in print system they can buy and enjoy for themselves?

The way that I have always built support for a game is by playing it, demo'ing it.  Find a FLGS or game-club, run some BRP there!

Hell, CREATE a game-club!  I've created 3 clubs (2 at schools), and several non-club "gaming groups" -- just a group of players.  My most-recent group began with an arc of D&D (because it was what they all knew) :   hey kids, the first taste is free!  Lure them in... When that arc was over, I announced that the next game *I* was running would be in a different system.  It was many sessions later before anyone mentioned D&D again!  4 different GMs (2 had never GM'ed before; one had never played before our group got her gaming).  Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands, Ars Magica all got their licks in.

I expect the next game *I* will be running -- the next we will be playing -- will be RQG !

Go forth and GAME!

Edited by g33k
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First of all I'm glad that BRP is not just in the hands of one game company any more, and would still be around in some form should, Cthulhu forbid, Chaosium disappear.  Secondly, why should we be burdened with spreading BRP like it is some kind of religion? Surely we're running, or playing, it for entertainment and not because we're proselytisers. Most of us can barely get a game together what with juggling our work and family life, let alone act as spreaders of the faith beyond our usual gaming hours.

Edited by Conrad
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12 hours ago, Robsbot said:

I wanted to start a discussion for those of us in the hobby using a BRP system as to how you feel the current state of BRP systems are as a whole, and how we as a community can solve some of the percieved issues surrounding BRP to bring more people into the system. Personally I'm unhappy with the state of BRP as a system and although it's the only system I run I'm frankly worried about the future of the products surrounding the system. Although open license systems will always exist having a big, officially branded system is always great to attract new players. 

I think that the current trend at Chaosium is promoting RuneQuest, Glorantha and Call of Cthulhu as brands for people to recognize, and not BRP. BRP is the minimum common factor among games, and still a Chaosium trademark, but nothing for which they wish to generate a strong brand loyalty.

Quote

I still feel the BGB is the best incarnation of BRP to date, containing everything you need to run a variety of campaigns and then using supplements and monographs to delve into more specific topics. However, big BRP developers would rather spin off into their own completely self contained books (IE Mythras) than create supplements under the big unifying Gold Bible. Plus, the BGB is now officially dead as well.

As MOB has clarified, it is not dead. However, I do not think that Chaosium wishes anyone to create supplements for the BGB anymore. The latest news we had from them was that they wanted submitted products to contain a core version of the rules, so that they can become stand-alone games. It was the company basic policy in the 80s, and it has been put back into effect. Please note that the previous policy, until 2015, was the exact opposite: you could not include the rules in your game, you had to reference the BGB.

While I agree with you that it is probably the best incarnation of BRP currently in print, you must accept the fact that the BGB is in no way considered a “unifying Bible”. This GURPS-like approach that you seem to prefer is something the current management has always rejected as a bad policy. So it is not just a matter of developers’ preference: the options may simply not be on the table.

Quote

How can we grow the BRP system as a community with the current state of products available and combat the confusing, splintered, and half out of print landscape of BRP offerings? 

You are asking for two things here:

1.    Grow the BRP system as a community. You already got some ideas from the community here. However, Chaosium is likely to support your idea only if you leverage the brands which they want to leverage (RuneQuest, Mythic Iceland, Call of Cthulhu…) and not “BRP as a brand”. MOB can perhaps state this more correctly than me.

2.    “combat the confusing landscape of BRP offerings”. Now that would be actively try to drive users away from other games that they seem to like. Do you think that the BRP community, which includes plenty of people who prefer other variants, would agree with this ?

I can understand why you write this, and the source of your frustration. But there is a sad fact that you should acknowledge: what you are looking for is legitimate, but against the stated policies of both the owner of the BRP trademark and the other independent producers of BRP “look-alikes”. Asking for people to find a way to counteract this is asking people to counter the plans of the game companies they wish to support. I doubt you can find much support for this idea, regardless of whether you are correct or not.

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3 hours ago, Conrad said:

First of all I'm glad that BRP is not just in the hands of one game company any more, and would still be around in some form should ,Cthulhu forbid, Chaosium disappear.  Secondly, why should we be burdened with spreading BRP like it is some kind of religion? Surely we're running, or playing, it for entertainment and not because we're proselytisers. Most of us can barely get a game together what with juggling our work and family life, let alone act as spreaders of the faith beyond our usual gaming hours.

Tut, tut.  OF COURSE we want to proselytize and spread BRP like a religion. That's what advertising and marketing and free market capitalism are all about.  It's why Chaosium's latest products are all color (All-singing! All-dancing!) all the time.  It's why you are a bad dad if you don't buy your kids Little Caesar's Pizza, are uncool if you drink Coke instead of Pepsi, and are downtrodden and unsanitary if you don't use Stay-free Maxipads.

So switch to BRP, the only role-playing system guaranteed to combat unsightly Cthulhu-itis, freshen your Broo, and put the myth back in your characters' mythadventures!  Anything less is Ducking your responsibilities as a GM.

"Just the Prax, ma'am.  Just the Prax"

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17 hours ago, seneschal said:

are downtrodden and unsanitary if you don't use Stay-free Maxipads.

So switch to BRP, the only role-playing system guaranteed to combat unsightly Cthulhu-itis, freshen your Broo, and put the myth back in your characters' mythadventures!  Anything less is Ducking your responsibilities as a GM.

"Just the Prax, ma'am.  Just the Prax"

Dammit Seneschal, I don't even know where to find those Stayfree-Maxipads! I'm stuck using rugosely squamous and cyclopean R'lyeh Brand slime pads! Also, if Chaosium were to pay me, handsomely, to promote BRP I would happily walk around Nottingham dressed as  the BGB! 🤣 

Edited by Conrad
Not squamously rugose, or gibberingly gibbous enough!!
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It's also worth pointing out...

17 hours ago, Robsbot said:

I feel the biggest issue facing BRP is fragmentation. For fantasy alone you have two major systems under Chaosium (Runequest / Heroquest). Runequest is further split into Runequest Gorlantha and Runequest Classic. To make matters worse both Heroquest and Runequest have Gorlantha labeling. While it's easy for those of us inside the hobby to understand the differences for those looking to explore BRP this extremely confusing. Throw Runequest 6 / Mythras into the mix, and you have 3 very similar sounding systems all currently in publication. Then you also have discontinued products like Magic World that also occupy some space in the BRP fantasy universe. 

Many companies have multiple lines/systems.  Take EvilHat...  mostly Fate, but they also offer Monster of the Week (a PbtA game), and Gumshoe-driven Bubblegumshoe; and even within their Fate line they have multiple variants on sale.  Take OnyxPath... mostly Storyteller, but Scarred Lands is D&D (originally d20, now 5e), Pugmire is another D&D-variant, and the "Deimos" system for Cavaliers of Mars.  And of course Storyteller has many variants:  both WoD & CoD plus Scion, Trinity, Exalted, etc... Etc etc etc.   They are all obviously doing the wrong thing.

I think it's an asset to both Chaosium and Glorantha to have both a narrative-centric ruleset like HQ and a crunchy/simulationist ruleset like RQ.

You also missed complaining about 13G:  "13th Age in Glorantha" (13th Age is another d20 variant) being the THIRD completely-different gamesystem (alongside RQ and HQ) to run Glorantha.

And in addition to Mythras from TDM, we must also suffer OpenQuest &c from d101, the Renaissance line from C&W, RD100 from Alephtar,  MRQ Legend, RDP Q21, d00Lite, GORE, Open Basic, and likely more I've forgotten or overlooked.

The problem is obviously even worse than you thought!

===

Seriously:  the stuff that seems to be bothering you is actually a reflection of the strength of BRP and its presence within the overall RPG market.

(And for the record, HQ has both a generic engine (HQ2) and a specific Glorantha version, each as a standalone product.)

Edited by g33k
too much empty whitespace!

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16 hours ago, g33k said:

Heck if they buy me that T shirt I'll wear it. Are you reading this Chaosiumites? I take a Large SIZ. 😉Another company made an awesome Arkham Astronomy Club "The stars are bright" T shirt that I'd love to wear too, hint hint! 👍

Edited by Conrad

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16 hours ago, g33k said:

Glorantha.

And in addition to Mythras from TDM, we must also suffer OpenQuest &c from d101, the Renaissance line from C&W, RD100 from Alephtar,  MRQ Legend, RDP Q21, d00Lite, GORE, Open Basic, and likely more I've forgotten or overlooked.

The problem is obviously even worse than you thought!

===

Seriously:  the stuff that seems to be bothering you is actually a reflection of the strength of BRP and its presence within the overall RPG market.

(And for the record, HQ has both a generic engine (HQ2) and a specific Glorantha version, each as a standalone product.)

 

 

 

 

It does seem to me that BRP is a bit like a religion in that it has schismed repeatedly. What we don't need is purges by fanatics bent on restoring orthodoxy. Though I like the BGB, and would like to see more supplements done for it.  

Edited by Conrad
Heterodoxy is for heretics!

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28 minutes ago, Conrad said:

It does seem to me that BRP is a bit like a religion in that it has schismed repeatedly. What we don't need is purges by fanatics bent on restoring heterodoxy. Though I like the BGB, and would like to see more supplements done for it.  

Don't you oppress me by telling me that I can't oppress other people and tell what to think and how to play.

 

 

(In deference to the fact that e-posts don't convey subtext well - especially when I make them - that's not a dig at or accusation of the OP, it's a straight up piss take)

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On 5/23/2018 at 3:52 PM, Robsbot said:

To make matters worse BRP doesn't really have a currently in print Sci-Fi system. You have M-Space which is a sort of official Mythras Sci-Fi spin off, Fractured Hope and Swords of Cydoria, two great settings and frameworks but they require the BGB, and... Uh... Yeah. That's about it. 

You missed d101 Games' OQ supplement, River of Heaven.  Luther Arkwright (also TDM/Mythras) is sci-fi.  And there's a bit more in Chaosium's Monographs (including the Icarus setting now in Cthulhu Through the Ages... but this is a valid complaint, IMHO.

Honestly, though... I don't find sci-fi to be the place where BRP-derived systems shine:  in combat, modern weapons already render all humans into "mook-level" characters -- mostly we drop in one hit.  Not necessarily dead, but hors de combat.  And the weapons are only getting more-effective.  This isn't the play-space where BRP shows to best advantage, IMHO; it's no worse than d20Modern or other D&D versions, but it doesn't stand out as notably better, either.

Still, given various other products in the extended BRP family, it seems like something Chaosium could look at.  A solid sci-fi entry would nicely extend Chaosium's RPG offerings.  All they need is time and staff...  And/or a freelancer who submits a killer product that Chaosium finds they HAVE to print..

Edited by g33k
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8 hours ago, Conrad said:

It does seem to me that BRP is a bit like a religion in that it has schismed repeatedly. What we don't need is purges by fanatics bent on restoring heterodoxy. Though I like the BGB, and would like to see more supplements done for it.  

 

I know there was some turmoil way back in the RQ3 days and again with MRQ, but that largely seems to have passed with long time players now able to play the variation they like best.

Compare that with a group of D&D players all coming from different editions trying to put a game together. About the only thing they have in common is the dice.

 

If BRP is a religion it is one of those really soft core ones that vaguely mentions some stuff about being nice to people, and not taking things that don't belong to you. The members are mostly there for the food and socializing, with an occasional disagreement when somebody orders pizza with pineapple or anchovies on it (not both, as I'm pretty sure that will cause the start to be right). 

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BRP is alive as long as people are playing it.

So thank you. Life has been busy but I think I may have some time to squeeze in a short BRP campaign this summer.

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11 hours ago, Conrad said:

Heck if they buy me that T shirt I'll wear it. Are you reading thic Chaosiumites? I take a Large SIZ. 😉Another company made an awesome Arkham Astronomy Club "The stars are bright" T shirt that I'd love to wear too, hint hint! 👍

There's this one, from the Chaosium Redbubble merch site:

1620239658_ScreenShot2018-05-25at1_22_25pm.png.7e0e2b31b98e1a21a821beabb89a25c1.png

 

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4 hours ago, MOB said:

There's this one, from the Chaosium Redbubble merch site:

1620239658_ScreenShot2018-05-25at1_22_25pm.png.7e0e2b31b98e1a21a821beabb89a25c1.png

 

Now all you need to do is proudly sponsor me to wear it at multiple roleplaying events in the UK! 😉

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On 5/24/2018 at 12:52 AM, Robsbot said:

I wanted to start a discussion for those of us in the hobby using a BRP system as to how you feel the current state of BRP systems are as a whole, and how we as a community can solve some of the percieved issues surrounding BRP to bring more people into the system. Personally I'm unhappy with the state of BRP as a system and although it's the only system I run I'm frankly worried about the future of the products surrounding the system. Although open license systems will always exist having a big, officially branded system is always great to attract new players. 

 

I feel the biggest issue facing BRP is fragmentation. For fantasy alone you have two major systems under Chaosium (Runequest / Heroquest). Runequest is further split into Runequest Gorlantha and Runequest Classic. To make matters worse both Heroquest and Runequest have Gorlantha labeling. While it's easy for those of us inside the hobby to understand the differences for those looking to explore BRP this extremely confusing. Throw Runequest 6 / Mythras into the mix, and you have 3 very similar sounding systems all currently in publication. Then you also have discontinued products like Magic World that also occupy some space in the BRP fantasy universe. 

 

To make matters worse BRP doesn't really have a currently in print Sci-Fi system. You have M-Space which is a sort of official Mythras Sci-Fi spin off, Fractured Hope and Swords of Cydoria, two great settings and frameworks but they require the BGB, and... Uh... Yeah. That's about it. 

 

I still feel the BGB is the best incarnation of BRP to date, containing everything you need to run a variety of campaigns and then using supplements and monographs to delve into more specific topics. However, big BRP developers would rather spin off into their own completely self contained books (IE Mythras) than create supplements under the big unifying Gold Bible. Plus, the BGB is now officially dead as well.

 

So we have no unifying product currently in print, a bunch of fractured, splintered spinoffs of spinoffs for currently in print Fantasy products, and no hard official Sci-Fi setting. The saving grace of BRP for my group is I own just about every supplement created in the last few years and everything my players need to play is on only a few sheets of paper. If this was not the case BRP would basically be a dead system for my group and we'd simply rely on open D100 systems.

 

How can we grow the BRP system as a community with the current state of products available and combat the confusing, splintered, and half out of print landscape of BRP offerings? We've been hearing rumblings about a fix from Chaosium for years and there's still none in sight. How can we grow this community and introduce others to the hobby when even after a player enjoys a session with me I can't really point them to a easy to understand, in print system they can buy and enjoy for themselves?

 

 

Of course BRP is alive. It is the engine behind Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest Glorantha, RuneQuest Fantasy Earth, and three other games in development. What we are not doing is trying to make a one-book fits all version of BRP,  but instead tailor the engine to the setting and genre. Cthulhu and RuneQuest deal with different things, have different types of characters, and have different versions of BRP. But both are BRP games.

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I like one book with many options that are stated as such. Why? I have setting ADD, and while it is not too difficult to go from horror to sci-fi to fantasy using different books, it is a change. Also, the players in my group resist me when I want to limit or change rules-as-written.

Edited by Greg
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As someone relatively new to BRP (but not RPGs), I understand the sentiment of the OP as far as having the equivalent of BGB v2.0. For me, there are some missing pieces that need filling in (there's not a lot and I've made posts about them here) as opposed to some massive rework. It does seem hard for someone to "break in" to this game when there needs to be rules clarification and the answer turns out to be "Just do it like in RQ3." I'd even be happy with a BGB errata or update supplement.

I'm not as concerned about fragmentation and don't think a GURPS approach is necessary. In fact, we can see how that played out at sjgames and I think BRP is in a healthier position not being dependent on a single company.

On the otherhand, I don't see why there couldn't be active promotion of the existing BGB with encouragement towards taking submissions for new supplements to keep the generic system a living thing. I do think that BRP is skewed towards fantasy in a hobby already awash in fantasy and would like to see more rules/supplements coverage for other genres.

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3 hours ago, Greg said:

Also, the players in my group resist me when I want to limit or change rules-as-written.

Do what I do. Tell them that you're using a published rule but it's from an obscure book published in '76 that is going for $230 on eBay. Assure them that you remember the rule correctly from your cousin's collection. Then ask them if they feel like adventuring today.

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Curses. I'm rendering some video files as I type. Led to a double post. So let's use it, shall we?

Next, tell your players that you are very interested in instituting Sanity rules and that all further NPCs will come from the Malleus Monstrorum

 

Edited by Chaot
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2 hours ago, dieselpunk said:

It does seem hard for someone to "break in" to this game when there needs to be rules clarification and the answer turns out to be "Just do it like in RQ3." I'd even be happy with a BGB errata or update supplement.

120% agreed. I think BRP is best when the base is simple and you start layering on options. I try to think of it as basic rules, then spot rules, then special abilities. I try to keep the work on my side as simple as possible. BRP can be incredible fast during play. That's what I strive for. My games do tend to be slow but it's like anti-wargame. Combat takes about fifteen minutes. The rest is talking and decision making. Sometimes I feel like I could leave the table for a while and let the PCs sort things out.

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On 5/25/2018 at 6:22 AM, Jeff said:

Of course BRP is alive. It is the engine behind Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest Glorantha, RuneQuest Fantasy Earth, and three other games in development. What we are not doing is trying to make a one-book fits all version of BRP,  but instead tailor the engine to the setting and genre. Cthulhu and RuneQuest deal with different things, have different types of characters, and have different versions of BRP. But both are BRP games.

I, for one, would like to know more about RuneQuest Fantasy Earth. I'm ambivalent about RuneQuest Glorantha, not because I don't think it's a fine game but because Glorantha is not the world I want to play, and I don't need to revert to RQ 2.5 rules when I still have the BGB. But a fantasy earth, somewhat like the generic setting of RuneQuest 3 but with rules closer to the BGB would be of great interest... if that's what "RuneQuest Fantasy Earth" means.

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