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Sell Me on BRP


Retreater

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I'm looking for a generic, rules lite system to use for a new campaign. I'd like to learn more about Basic. The campaign will have mystery/intrigue, sci-fi and horror elements, set in the modern time, with psionics.

Here's what I'd like in a system ...

Easy to learn

No minis/battlemat needed

No advantages/disavantages system (the GURPS system destroyed my previous campaign)

Inexpensive for the other players to begin

Some tactical depth

(What I'm most concerned about with BRP is the expense and tactical issues.)

I've played Cthulhu and the engine worked well for that genre. I wonder how BRP works compared to other generic systems such as GURPS, d20, and Savage Worlds.

Does anyone have information?

Thanks,

Retreater

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My settings usually are science fiction. I have used various BRP-based sys-

tems for them, for example Ringworld and Cthulhu, and currently I am using

a combination of BRP (roleplaying system) and Traveller (character history,

world building, technology).

In my opinion BRP is much easier to learn than GURPS and somewhat easier

to learn than d20. You do not need minis, there is no advantages / disadvan-

tages system, and it is at least not as expensive as, for example, D&D 4e -

all you need is the core rulebook, and I hope that there will be a "light" edi-

tion in the not so far future.

The tactical depth depends very much on your choice of the kinds and num-

bers of options you will use for your game. You can have it as easy and slim

as in Call of Cthulhu, but you can also give it considerably more depth.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Easy to learn

Yes. BRP's entire task resolution system is percentile based, and uses a d100. If you have a 50% Skill with crossbow, you have a 50% chance to hit something. Simple, huh?

No minis/battlemat needed

None needed.

No advantages/disavantages system

None present.

Inexpensive for the other players to begin

One book. Covers most all genres. $40 US? Or a lot less for the PDF. But seriously, how many books do you really need? The rules don't require a lot of ingame referencing for anyone but the GM, and his/her ever helpful sexy assistant.

Some tactical depth

Aside from choices players make in regards to weapons, armor, etc, tactical depth is something players bring to the table, not the other way around. See, when it is an everpresent danger that your character can be killed by a critical hit, you tend to use your noggin. BRP isn't one of those games where (and I mean no disrepect to 4E) your players will have tactical discussions such as this:

Fighter: I'll hit the ogre with Strength Unimaginable.

Arcjer: Cool! That stacks with Shot of infinite Boneage.

Wizard: Ok, I'll mop up with Rain of Horrible Death.

BRP has spot rules for a variety of maneuvers, but mechanical driven tactics require more effort from the GM, both in terms of setting up the scene, and applying the rules. However, if you follow these boards enough, you see a few of us discussing things like adding SW's elegant Trick mechanic to BRP, especially for Taunt, Intimidate, and Dex Tricks. But it isn't like you need our help. Read the Spot Rules, and you'll soon learn that they are nothing more than years of GMs like yourself logically applying the existing framework of BRP to special cases.

You can expand the Combat rules, and add a little more crunch, such as Hit Locations and Strike Ranks. Strike Ranks add some depth, especially if you think dagger wielding characters might be tactically disadvantaged against someone wielding a broadsword.

And there you have it.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Let me just reiterate that BRP is the most inexpensive system there is for players - because they don't need a rulebook! :cool:

The base mechanics are so simple and intuitive that all the information they really need is right there on their character sheet. After all, that's what they invented character sheets for. Anything which requires flipping through the book should be easily accommodated by aforementioned sexy assistant and the GM's copy of The Book.

Dreamscape Design: Crafters of the Finest Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Dreamscape Design: My Corner of BRP Central ... Mine, All Mine! 

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It may be heretical to mention it ... but GORE, the Mongoose Runequest SRD, and the old Worlds of Wonder version of BRP are all available as free PDFs at various locations on the web. So you could get your feet wet without spending a dime. Of course, these versions wouldn't have all the nifty options and refinements contained in the current $40 phonebook-sized BRP core rulebook. But you could quickly get a feel as to whether you like the general system or not.

And the money you saved on minis and battlemats can go toward printing costs. :D

P.S. Don't swat your sexy assistant with that core rulebook. It's pretty hefty, and you might get a critical.

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It should be noted, though, that the aforementioned sexy assistant is an absolute requirement to run BRP. If you don't have one, you can't play. Period.

Unless, of course, you hire one. But doing so can begin to erode the relatively inexpensive nature of the rules if your game sessions run more than an hour or so >:->

75/420

---

Geek blogging at http://strangestones.com

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I'm looking for a generic, rules lite system to use for a new campaign. I'd like to learn more about Basic. The campaign will have mystery/intrigue, sci-fi and horror elements, set in the modern time, with psionics.

Sounds like a fun idea.

Here's what I'd like in a system ...

Easy to learn

At its core, BRP has a simple skill resolution that takes a few seconds to learn, a simple combat system that takes a few minutes to learn and a number of magic options that take a few minutes to learn.

No minis/battlemat needed

None needed, but it can be played with or without figures/battlemaps as required/preferred.

No advantages/disavantages system (the GURPS system destroyed my previous campaign)

No advantage/disadvantage system in core BRP. However, some BRP games have advantages/disadvantages and some people like them. EWven if introduced, they would be optional and therefore could be used or discarded at will.

Inexpensive for the other players to begin/quote]

Buy the PDF. Copy it to Disk. Make some backups onto a number of CD-ROMS. Give each CD-ROM to a player and ask them to keep it safe in case you lose your hard disk.

Alternatively, the players could download the PDFs for reference.

BRP has a lot of optional rules and they have a lot of tactical depth. You have to work out which rules to use and which to discard, though.

If you akll buy the rulebook then it is not that expensive, although it depends on how much you feel constitutes expensive. Altenatively, if the players are happy with rules of PDFs you can make the PDFs available to them cheaply.

I've never played those games, although I played D&D years ago. BRP holds up well in most genres, although it works better for some than others. In the sort of game that you describe, BRP should work really well.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I just want to comment on the term 'tactical depth'. Now, the d20 school of thought is probably that a lot of rules options are what give a game tactical depth. Personally, I disagree entirely. Rules should make it easy for you to bring tactical depth to your games, but there is no need for the rules to circumscribe those tactics. We have, over the years, played some deeply tactical games with variations of the BRP engine. But the tactics come from innovative and imaginative use of a flexible system.

It's like the old saw about a ring of three wishes. You couldn't possible write a comprehensive set of rules to cover those wishes. What you do is say, ok, here's your character sheet and some dice, there's the GM who knows best, and away you go.

Damn, I'm sounding like my grandfather. :shocked:

Dreamscape Design: Crafters of the Finest Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Dreamscape Design: My Corner of BRP Central ... Mine, All Mine! 

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Inexpensive for the other players to begin...

Expense...hmmm. I can understand wanting to give your players a break. Every one wants to get the biggest bang for their buck. If you want something good however, you usually have to pay for it, which is why I want to pitch BRP as a seriously good deal. That being said, I want to agree with Soltakss and suggest purchasing a ".pdf" if you are worried about your players not being able to afford the cost of a bound book. At $28.00, how can you go wrong?

Thing is, even though dead tree BRP breaks in at just about $40.00 bones, which I know isn't chump-change, let's keep it in perspective and remember that it's a complete game set of exceptional quality and weighing in at 400 pages, that's a penny a page--a true steal :lol:

Further, let's compare this to the "complete" 4EDnD game set (not that you'd ever purchase it--but simply for the sake of the point), and hold on to yer wallet, pard, cuz yer in fer a wild ride!

DMG at 224 pages--$35.00

PM at 320 pages--$35.00

MM at 228 pages--$35.00

That's a whopping 772 pages for only $105.00. :o

I think your players would be hosed there, as you'd be. Even if they don't "need" the MM or DMG to play, that's still a hefty price tag for only part of a game system. Yes, yes...the art work is very colorful and well done, the covers are really hard, but what are you paying for? The artwork and the cover? I'd rather pay for game.

And lest your players think owning the PM is sufficient, let's not forget that the above prices don't include the Players Manual II--224 pages for another $35.00, the Advanced Players Manual--110 pages for $20.00 and last, but I'm sure not THE last, Dungeon Masters Guide II coming out in '09--at least another $35.00.

BRP, a complete quality game set at $40.00?

Priceless! :thumb:

Edited by Sunwolfe
grammar

Present home-port: home-brew BRP/OQ SRD variant; past ports-of-call: SB '81, RQIII '84, BGB '08, RQIV(Mythras) '12,  MW '15, and OQ '17

BGB BRP: 0 edition: 20/420; .pdf edition: 06/11/08; 1st edition: 06/13/08

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I'd like to add one more thing as far as price goes.

This may be particular to my previous groups, but one thing that was always encouraged was other players running games sometime in the future. One GM would finish his campaign, and then he would get to play. I know a lot of GMs that never (or never want to) play on the other side of the screen, but that just hasn't been my experience. If your group is anything like mine, there will be players itching to run games with a good rules system.

If all your rpg books exist in a big hippy community pile, to be used by any GM, then you have no problem. Otherwise, investing in a game like BRP has a lot of advantages. It offers wide support for a number of genres, is very flexible and can handle a lot of customization without coming apart at the seams, and is very transportable. As previously mentioned, it's also cheap, so aspiring GMs can purchase their own corebook and begin work on the next campaign for the group, without depriving the current GM of his rules reference.

Now I'd like to add two pieces of sober criticism, for balance sake.

BRP is not designed to achieve an arbitrary sense of 'game balance'. While games like GURPS, 4E, and others are obsessed with such a thing, BRP (like many games of old) is not. That means Elves are in many ways superior to Humans, without some mandated counter balance. A character with a higher INT than her fellow will have more skill points, without some arbitrary reduction in Hit Points or Luck. Most everyone who likes BRP finds this idea very satisfying in gameplay. Those who don't like it, can use the optional point buy rules presented in the book.

The second piece of criticism, is that BRP doesn't come with a default game world or implied setting. If you're a GURPS gamer, you know exactly what I'm saying, when I tell you that you'll want some source (game related, fiction, or otherwise) to help you apply the rules and mold your campaign. Thankfully, this isn't very hard. In fact, I own a half dozen GURPS sourcebooks specifically for their use in crafting BRP games. (Mars, Space, and Aztecs are some of my favorites)

The rulesbook has devoted several pages to outlining a number of genres, and provides suggestions for which optional rules to use, in order to best emulate such gameplay. Playing High Fantasy? Then you'll probably want to discard Hit Locations, and use the Skills Above 100% rules. Playing modern horror? Then the Education attribute, and Sanity rating would fit the genre nicely. etc. etc. The suggestions go on to suggest which skills might be more or less important, and which professions (think broad templates that guide a player's skill purchases) would be suitable to the gameworld.

Ok folks. Until next time.

Happy New Year.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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