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55 minutes ago, g33k said:

I presume that all the well-known BRP damage options -- Hit Locations, general HP's, Major/Minor wounds, maybe others I'm forgetting -- are ones that Chaosium still considers "part of" BRP, and might (hypothetically) use in some future BRP product; am I correct?

Yep. For example, a setting using primarily firearms probably doesn't hit locations and could use general HPs and another system for determining major/minor wounds. Similarly, a game involving reincarnating occult entities might have some totally new mechanics. Or we might have a different set of personality traits, etc. A game where all the protagonists are within the human norm might use more elements of CoC7. And so on.

But it ain't RuneQuest if you can't lose your left leg!

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17 hours ago, g33k said:

I presume that all the well-known BRP damage options -- Hit Locations, general HP's, Major/Minor wounds, maybe others I'm forgetting -- are ones that Chaosium still considers "part of" BRP, and might (hypothetically) use in some future BRP product; am I correct?

I don't think these are actually BRP specific damage options, most RPGs include all of them as optionals.  For example, hit locations generally just make the game more lethal for everyone involved, which isn't always bad, but are often exploitable by characters.  After all, if you can hit them in the head then you can aim for the head, right?  Oops, I just splattered that demon with my uber sniper rifle, sorry Mr. GM. 

The flip side, character instakills because the NPC happened to roll head (or other vital location, I haven't used hit location in BRP yet, easier to just roll damage, subtract armor and go with it).  Given that I'm running a Weird War 2 campaign based on Dust 1947 and the players are currently in the ruins of Zverograd (where pretty much every darn shot is Difficult because of all the cover unless one side or the other can pull off an ambush), what is the big deal then about going for a Difficult head shot?  Oh, it is "double Difficult" (1/4 chance)?  No problem, take extra aiming time, shoot a burst, etc.  It is all good.  Using generic damage means one shot kills are possible, but usually it takes several hits to put down a soldier.(average shot = 9 pts, average armor = 6.5), which works out about right, including having several characters have to sit out a couple of sessions to heal up because they got shot up.

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Hit locations can also make the game less lethal. With general HP characters can fight on until they run out of hit points, or, if the option exists, take a major wound. With hit locations it's possible to knock someone one (reduce head to 0 HP while the body still has HP) or disable an arm so that the opponent can't or won't continue fighting. And three or four points of damage spread out over various locations can often influence someone more than 3 or 4 points of generic damage. 

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I don't mind the existence of multiple games derived from BRP that interpret the system in different ways. The fact that so many different interpretations are possible shows how rich the core game engine is. It also indicates why it has survived so long. It is nice to have the Big Gold Book as the "Rosetta Stone" to allow seamless translation between d100 variants. But people don't play 'BRP' itself - they play in game settings built upon the system. Chaosium has chosen - for sound financial and artistic reasons - to focus their efforts on giving us solid interpretations of the system customised for specific settings. The advantage of this approach is that they can really polish the system to make it shine.  The disadvantage of this approach is that it leaves folks who want to use the system as a toolkit to build their own homebrew settings. But that's OK - we now have plenty of third-party variants focusing on this gap. This is where systems such as Mythras, Legend, OpenQuest, Revolution d100, or Rennaisance come into the picture. I don't see this as fragmentation so much as an elaboration of the common heritage. None of the other systems is likely to give us a fantasy setting as detailed as Glorantha, but then RQG can't easily be divorced from that setting either. I'd argue that at the moment, we have the best of both worlds - Chaosium producing their strongest material in two decades and a range of third-party d100 variants are covering the homebrew market. Why shouldn't everyone be happy with this outcome? 

And here's the real secret - BRP has always been a rules-light system. The core mechanics can be summarised in less than twenty pages. You don't actually need massive rulebooks. And if you really want, it is trivial to use things from one d100 game with another anyway. But don't tell anyone I told you that... 

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35 minutes ago, Prime Evil said:

And here's the real secret - BRP has always been a rules-light system. 

BRP is not a rules light system. It's a rules medium system that you can adjust to fit a particular genre or approach, and is straightforward enough - but it isn't rules light. Ghostbusters is rules light - you can summarise that on a page. 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Hit locations can also make the game less lethal. With general HP characters can fight on until they run out of hit points, or, if the option exists, take a major wound. With hit locations it's possible to knock someone one (reduce head to 0 HP while the body still has HP) or disable an arm so that the opponent can't or won't continue fighting. And three or four points of damage spread out over various locations can often influence someone more than 3 or 4 points of generic damage. 

Only if you force fully random hit locations, which doesn't fit outside of a D&D style of combat simulation where it is assumed many attacks are attempted during the round and X number of them get a chance to hit.  Games where you are actually shooting or swinging a weapon (like BRP) also need to allow for limited hit locations or specific hit locations.  Look at any martial art or shooting training where the student is taught to go for a specific place on the body, be it center mass for shooting, upper torso/head for striking melee forms or limbs/neck for grappling based forms.   Especially in melee, the actual restrictions on the human form tend to force the chest/head area to be the prime targets.

In either case, a couple of generic hits for a few points don't do much to a character, but the same two hits on the same location then cause death, crippling or severe  injuries requiring excessive recovery time.

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