Basic Roleplaying

Basic Role Playing coverIf you ever played Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest you know Basic Roleplaying, the Chaosium Roleplaying System. Recently Chaosium released a generic BRP book that is meant to be a generic roleplaying game system that can be used to power any game regardless the genre. The people at Chaosium took the basic system that powered their games for a long time, added optional rules from it’s various iterations and put it all into a massive 404-page book. Although the attribute scale is 0-21 it’s mostly a d%-based system. All skill and combat rolls are done with percentile dice.

I recently picked up a copy of that book and I love it. Since I first played Call of Cthulhu I admired the simplicity of the underlying system. Later I bought a copy of RuneQuest, Elric and Hawkmoon and added them to my collection of BRP-driven games. I often thought about using the system in Elric or CoC to run games in other worlds and genres but in the end I always used other systems. But now this is finally much easier to pull off since the Basic Roleplaying book is a great toolbox if you want to build your own version of the BRP system.

I will definitely use the BRP system in the near future (I am still thinking about the SF setting I wrote about in my Goals for 2009 post). Even using it for a one-shot should be simple enough since it has everything you need to play, even including monsters and NPCs for several different genres. And even if you don’t plan to run a homebrew campaign or the like, you can still use a lot of the optional rules in your CoC game for example.

By the way, I first heard about this fine book in Kurt Wiegel’s video review:

Has anyone of my readers actually used BRP to run his homebrew campaign or a conversion? What are your thoughts? How easy is it to pull off something like that?

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

3 thoughts on “Basic Roleplaying”

  1. That's probably a good idea. If you don't stray to much from the classic genres you can probably run a game without having to adjust the rules too much. And the BRP system is so easy you can explain it to everyone in just a few sentences.

  2. I've been eyeing the BRP, but ended up buying Savage Worlds instead, as I think it better fits my GMing style. In Sweden, the equivalent to Dungeons & Dragons (Drakar och Demoner, translating into Dragons and Demons, 0 points for originality) was basically a Runequest ripoff, complete with ducks and everything. This means that the BRP is as canonical among older Swedish gamers as OD&D seems to be among Americans.

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