Grade the Basic Roleplaying System

How do you feel about the Basic Role-Playing (BRP) System?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 20 21.7%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 38 41.3%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 21 22.8%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 3 3.3%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 10 10.9%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

Staffan

Legend
It's essentially an early TTRPG core system, starting with, I think - I've never seen it - Stormbringer, and then RuneQuest (which I've liked a lot, but only gotten to play a little over the years). In the early 80s it was packaged as BRP in boxed sets and became one of the first core systems presented as such.
I'm pretty sure the descent goes Runequest, then BRP as the generic version, and then a myriad of different versions for use in Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, Elfquest, Pendragon, etc.
 

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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I'm pretty sure the descent goes Runequest, then BRP as the generic version, and then a myriad of different versions for use in Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, Elfquest, Pendragon, etc.

1978 Runequest
1980 BRP System
1981 Call of Cthulhu and Stormbringer both came out
1982 Worlds of Wonder
1983 Superworld
1984 Elfquest
1985 Pendragon
1986 Hawkmoon (Stormbringer spinoff)

the 90 got weird and then they got the rights back in the 2000s
 

Kannik

Hero
This is one of my favorite systems. I've never played RuneQuest or ElfQuest, but I've been a regular player of Call of Cthulhu for the better part of 30 years. The percentile-based skill system is the most elegant and straightforward way to handle most aspects of roleplaying, in my opinion.
I've only played in the system for a brief toe dip into CoC (and if Troubleshooters is considered an offshoot then I have that game but haven't played it yet -- alas, for I really want to! A Tintin RPG! All the yes!). However, my first RPG was a d100 based system, with Top Secret (and later Top Secret/SI), which shaped a lot of my gaming views. I even have a d100*. That said, I'm not super keen on using actual d100s anymore, if only for that I don't see a great value in that level of granularity over the 5% steps that a d20 affords (and I'm more partial to bell curve dice now as well). Though, that said again, the interesting dice mechanics that the Troubleshooters uses to modify the rolls for advantage is kinda neat, and would be a plus/require a true d100 roll, so if it's got an interesting reason to use d100 then I'm still in.

For the system as a whole, I'm not really a fan of the horror/cosmic horror genre and so I didn't dig too deep into the CoC/BRP rules and so while I didn't bump off the system when we played I also don't feel I know or grok it enough to really give it a fair shake and I voted "I haven't played it."

* And, like everyone else, I've only ever rolled it 3 times: once when I got it, the first time in play to watch it go halfway down the table and then work to determine which tiny number was up, and the third time where it rolls off the table, hits the floor, splits open, and spills the beads inside it everywhere. I glued it back together, but back to using d10s I went... :p
 

Staffan

Legend
1978 Runequest
1980 BRP System
1981 Call of Cthulhu and Stormbringer both came out
1982 Worlds of Wonder
1983 Superworld
1984 Elfquest
1985 Pendragon
1986 Hawkmoon (Stormbringer spinoff)

the 90 got weird and then they got the rights back in the 2000s
Right, but I think counting "descent" past the generic BRP is problematic (except for new editions of the same game). Pendragon is certainly later than Call of Cthulhu, but I wouldn't consider it a descendant as much as a sibling.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Right, but I think counting "descent" past the generic BRP is problematic (except for new editions of the same game). Pendragon is certainly later than Call of Cthulhu, but I wouldn't consider it a descendant as much as a sibling.
Yeah Id agree with that they do have connection due to the d100 but BRP is a much more simplified beast than Runequest and different again from Pendragon.

so certainly judge each on its own merits or BRP as solely the CoC system …
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Despite loving Call of Cthulhu, I don’t really enjoy BRP that much. It’s too convoluted. Too many skills. Sliced too thin. It feels slow and creaky in play. Sometimes that’s great, mostly it’s not. Having your profession and a % which was an umbrella for all related skills would be so much better. Combat is archaic and slow. Don’t even think about looking at the automatic weapon rules, you’ll lose SAN. Cthulhu Dark does 90% of the same stuff in something like 4-6 tiny pages. Still prefer the old Resistance Table to the new version. I love some other % roll low systems, like Delta Green and WFRP 2E. It’s the implementation here that grates. Still voted pretty good.
 


aramis erak

Legend
I don't mind it at all...
Several games I've run were knockoffs - most notably FASA Trek - but did a few things differently. Also, Twilight Imperium - the early 00's FFG knockoff... wasn't bad, but wasn't great, and seemingly presumed you'd have set up a map yourself (but stopped short of saying to use the board game to create your campaign map)... I have often shotcutted non-BRP games driven solely by 1d100 for skill or less as "YAPS" - "Yet Another Percentile System."

As far as actual Chaosium BRP games? Played Stormbringer, RuneQuest 3, CoC. Run RuneQuest 3, ElfQuest. I've read but not run Ringworld. I do wish Chaosium would rerun that... before Niven dies.

I love Pendragon, and it's a 1d20 derivative. I've run 4th and 5th a bunch, I've done a 1-shot of 1st; I've used the 1E landholding system in 4th. I've read, but not run, Pendragon Pass, which uses the Pendragon Engine for doing Glorantha (the RQ setting).

It's worth noting that HeroQuest/HeroWars are a different 1d20 derivative of RQ/BRP, but works somewhat differently from BRP core and from Pendragon.

Oh, and Mongoose's RuneQuests are technically not BRP, but knockoffs. Greg Stafford didn't license the system mechanics to them, only the setting. They're passably good adaptaions

BRP as written is pretty deadly, and has a lot of bits that many don't much care for...
  • The armor by hit location is fine; many dislike HP by location, especially since it means tracking both losses to each location as well as total HP lost.
  • The Strike Rank system, at least in older games. Many find it unintuitive
  • The experience checks mechanic - as good as it is, I've known a bunch of people who "«bleep»ing hate it, man!" It's often changed in the knockoffs to other methods. Such as FASA Trek allowing a d10 raise after completing a mission.
  • The math for various success levels... divisions of modified skill on given task
    • Crit: 1/20th the adjusted skill or less
    • Special Success 1/5 the adjusted skill or less
    • Fumble: 1/20th the failure chance... so 100-((100-adjusted skill)/20) to 100...
    • Note that these figures are from the Avalon Hill version of RuneQuest 3rd edition, Book 1, pages 34-35. there is a convenient table on page 34... and in the tables booklet... but that's a slowdown in play.
  • The multi-digit additions and subtractions commonly used.
 



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