Press [Chaosium] BRP Design Challenge: What The Judging Panel Is Excited To See

Michael O'Brien

It has now been a few weeks since we announced the Basic Roleplaying Design Challenge. We have been overjoyed to see discussion both online and at conventions about the competition. We’ve been especially enthused to hear the budding ideas and inspiration that independent creators are bursting with for their submission.

The conversations have led us to create an extensive FAQ which you can read on our website. One question we keep hearing is: ‘what are you looking for?’ Of course, there is no single answer! We thought we’d share some thoughts from the judging panel on the kinds of projects they’re excited to see.


A Marriage of Mechanics & Theme​

The Call of Cthulhu Sanity mechanic reminds players that the human mind can only comprehend so much. The Traits and Passion mechanics in Pendragon reinforce that we are playing knights with personalities, and that our vices, virtues, and loyalties shift in response to our experiences.

We want to see how you’ve taken the mechanics of BRP and applied them in a way that reinforces the theme, mood, or setting of your game—remember, there are BRP versions of unique mechanics like Sanity and Passions!

Interesting Takes On Classic Genres​

We’re all nerds, and we all love Fantasy and Sci-Fi. There are so many other genres to explore in tabletop roleplaying games (especially with a flexible system like BRP!), but if your heart is pulling you toward one of the tried and true classic genres, we want to see how your version is unique!

When we say ‘unique’, we mean more than just “in my fantasy world, elves don’t have pointy ears.” Show us a setting that will remind us what we love about the classic Sci-Fi or Fantasy genre. Reveal to us a setting with stakes, drama, magic systems, or science fiction concepts that make us say “wow! I want to explore this world!”

Something Completely Different​

This contest is to foster new and creative voices, and that can mean genres we haven’t explored in existing BRP games, themes more universal than horror or adventure, and even attempts at the profound. While it would be amazing if each and every entry—and potential winner—had clear and widespread market appeal, this is also an opportunity to take a chance and make something for a broader audience than easier, more formulaic material.


One thing we aren’t looking for is how to adapt an existing game to BRP, such as adding levels, feats, classes, etc. BRP has flourished due to its open-endedness, and a rigid focus on reinventing the wheel, or going down well-trod paths, is not particularly interesting when it comes to getting noticed and finding an audience.

A Surprise!​

Beyond a type of setting or unique take on a mechanic, we’re excited to be surprised! Show us something we’ve not seen before, take the core BRP rules and apply them in a way that we haven’t thought of. A sure-fire way to catch our attention is for us to read your pitch and say “Oh, wow. I’ve never seen that before.”​

A Game With Room To Grow​

The BRP Design Challenge is not only for games that have a fully complete manuscript, spec art, cartography, and a draft cover—quite the opposite! We do not expect to see full manuscripts at all. What we are excited to see is potential, room to grow, and an understanding of how the money from the BRP Design Challenge might help your series of dot points turn into a fully fledged TTRPG!

Submissions for the BRP Design Challenge are open now, and close on May 31st at 11:59pm Pacific time.

Be sure to also look at our primer on designing games with BRP—We cannot wait to see your entry!

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