Category Archives: Basic Roleplaying

Basic Roleplaying Quickstart PDF

One of the oldest RPG systems in existence is Chaosium‘s Basic Roleplaying System that powered games like Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest or Stormbringer. Last year Chaosium finally released a generic BRP rulebook that covers everything from fantasy to science fiction in one book.

If you are still unsure about whether you want to buy a copy of the BRP book or not, you should have a look at the free BRP Quickstart PDF. The 48-page PDF has been released just recently and contains character creation, rules (including combat), a couple of short adventures from various genres and even some monsters.

If you ask me, the BRP Quickstart PDF is one of the best quickstart products I have seen. Especially the fact that they added several adventures is a nice touch. You can download the BRP Quickstart PDF here at the Chaosium site. Please note that you’ll have to register an account there in order to be able to download the PDF.


A what and a what and a what? BRP is the Basic Roleplaying game I wrote about yesterday, RQ is RuneQuest (one of the games which used an early version of BRP and which is now available under the OGL) and GORE is a free game by Goblinoid Games created using the Runequest SRD.

So when I posted about BRP yesterday I didn’t reveal the whole shebang. Runequest was the original percentile system back in the day. Chaosium sold RQ to Avalon Hill and when AH was later bought by Hasbro further development of RQ was stopped. Recently Mongoose Publishing has acquired the rights to RQ and released the rules under the OGL. So we now have BRP by Chaosium and RQ by Mongoose. There are a few differences between both systems but material can be transferred from one system to the other without too much hassle.

And since RQ is available under the OGL, third parties can create derivative material, like Goblinoid Games did with GORE. While vanilla RQ is clearly a fantasy game, GORE like BRP can be used to run campaigns in multiple genres, making it a free alternative to Chaosium’s BRP. I still prefer BRP over the RQ SRD or GORE, but if you are looking for a free alternative, you should check out these links:

By the way, a good place to discuss all thing related to BRP and similar systems is the forum of the fan site Basic Roleplaying Central. There you’ll find a nice and polite community of gamers who enjoy all versions of the original percentile gaming system.

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?