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Chaosium Releases Basic Role Playing SRD

Chaosium has released the Basic Roleplaying System Reference Document (SRD).

brp-logos-with-tm-black-and-red.png

The Basic Roleplaying SRD is based on Basic Roleplaying, the simple, fast, and elegant skill-based percentile system that is the core of most Chaosium roleplaying games, including Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, SuperWorld, and others.

Under the provisions of the Basic Roleplaying Open Game License (OGL), designers can create their own roleplaying games using the Basic Roleplaying rules engine, royalty-free and without further permission from Chaosium Inc.

For further details and to download the SRD document, see our Basic Roleplaying SRD information page.

This uses an opening gaming license, but not THE Open Gaming License (the commonly used one published by WotC nearly 20 years ago). It is based on similar concepts, but this uses the BRP Open Game License. A notable difference is that instead of "Product Identity") (which in the original license typically includes trademarks, proper names, a handful of iconic monsters, etc.), this license used "Prohibited Content" which expands that to include mechanics, or "substantially similar" mechanics to some selected features of the rules system. For example, part of the prohibited list includes:

"Augments: The use of one ability — whether skill or characteristic — to augment another ability of the same or a different type, in a manner substantially similar to those of the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha rules."

Obviously you can make similar mechanics without using this license, but if you use this license you agree not to use mechanics similar to those in the prohibited content list.

The prohibited content list also contains Le Morte D'Arthur, and the Cthulhu Mythos.
 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
I can see where they are coming from. They just don't want Call of Cosmic Horror game to their Call of Cthulhu game that could be seen as similar to how Pathfinder is to D&D.
 

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M.T. Black

Explorer
I think this is a great initiative by Chaosium. At the moment, I can go to DTRPG and pick up a game labeled 5e and know broadly how it works. The same with games labeled for the OSR. Having games labeled for the BRP has the same advantage.

Someone above complained about having to put a logo on the cover, but I think it is a selling point. I am far more likely to buy something labeled "BRP" than something marketed as "percentile-based RPG." There is a market here - not everyone wants to design their own rules system from scratch, but nor do they want to necessarily use a D&D-based system.

There is always a fair bit of naysaying around things like this, whether it be a new license or a new platform. I've seen plenty of that commentary while publishing under the DMs Guild and also (separately) using the 5e SRD. However, there are people out there who see the potential of this and will do very well out of it. I will be looking at products that bear the BRP logo with great interest.
 


M.T. Black

Explorer
Someone is going to have their work cut out for them since all of the BRP magic systems are prohibited...
On the other hand, there is an opportunity here for someone to create a "Sorcery for BRP" supplement, kinda like Kobold Press did with "Deep Magic" for 5e. I suspect even a short supplement on the Under $5 ribbon would get some attention if released soon.
 

Dreamscape

Crafter of fine role-playing games
You could create almost anything with this and put the logo on it, as long as you avoid the prohibited list and are cast-iron confident that you can read Chaosium's mind as to what "substantially similar" means.

Interesting that they don't define "BRP" or "Basic Roleplaying" as prohibited content.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
You could create almost anything with this and put the logo on it, as long as you avoid the prohibited list and are cast-iron confident that you can read Chaosium's mind as to what "substantially similar" means.

Interesting that they don't define "BRP" or "Basic Roleplaying" as prohibited content.
Thats interesting. I just quickly checked it --

"All trademarks, registered trademarks, proper names (characters, deities, place names, etc.), plots, story elements, locations, characters, artwork, or trade dress from any of the following: any releases from the product lines of Call of Cthulhu, Dragn Lords of Melniboné, ElfQuest, Elric!, Hawkmoon, HeroQuest, Hero Wars, King Arthur Pendragon, Magic World, Nephilim, Prince Valiant, Ringworld, RuneQuest, 7th Sea, Stormbringer, Superworld, Thieves’ World, Worlds of Wonder, and any related sublines; the world and mythology of Glorantha; all works related to the Cthulhu Mythos, including those that are otherwise public domain; and all works related to Le Morte d’Arthur. This list may be updated in future versions of the License."

Do the terms "BRP" or "Basic Roleplaying" appear in any of those books? It seems unlikely that it wouldn't, but if it does it looks like it qualifies as a "trademark... from any of the following".

(I mean, obviously they're giving you explicit permission to put it on the cover in the form of that logo).
 

This is the best quote so far:

This uses an opening gaming license, but not THE Open Gaming License (the commonly used one published by WotC nearly 20 years ago).
We concluded we couldn't necessarily rely on the legal validity of the WotC OGL being upheld by a court for anything other than in conjunction with WotC's IP. That's a key reason why we created our own license for our system.
 


Could anybody dare to create a new system mixing Chaosium system with d20? For example adding body mass/size as mew sub-abilitie score.

Could I to publish a different system for madness/sanity based in the mental health by Unknown Armies?

* What is the ability score in Chaoisium system for checks to search clues/perception?
 


So long as it's not substantially similar to the CoC sanity rules, then you can create your own sanity/madness/shock/stress rules.
Time ago I created this house rule.

 



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
So essentially they don't understand anything and got it entirely backwards?

Okay.
You're being a jerk again, @CapnZapp. It's tiring having to monitor you all the time.

(Edit -- and wow! 16 warning points? That's twice the record I've ever seen. How did you manage to mount that many up? We'll be dicussing this in the mod forum).
 

Very happy to continue assisting EN World readers here:)
I was just hoping for an update to the BRP book so that is matches any changes made in newer versions of CoC or other games that have modified the BRP rules. By any chance, have I just missed seeing an errata pdf or something that takes care of this?
 

I was just hoping for an update to the BRP book so that is matches any changes made in newer versions of CoC or other games that have modified the BRP rules. By any chance, have I just missed seeing an errata pdf or something that takes care of this?
Most Chaosium RPGs use a variation of the Basic RolePlaying System, which started with RuneQuest. Call of Cthulhu, StormBringer, SuperWorld, and others followed. BRP is a stand-alone product that sits the core of all these games, but we have not modified the base BRP rules as featured in the 'Big Gold Book'.
 


imagineGod

Adventurer
Bloody Hell! Nobody is forcing anyone to use the BRP from Chaosium.
It is just there for folks who want it, okay. Peace!
 


TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Bloody Hell! Nobody is forcing anyone to use the BRP from Chaosium.
It is just there for folks who want it, okay. Peace!
It’s looking to be increasingly irrelevant, to be honest. Chaosium can’t really control other BRP spinoffs already in use by other companies, and putting out a document like this at this time seems a bit desperate. I’m not really sure who will use it or, indeed, who its aimed at.
 

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