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Sell me on GURPS and BRP.

Soulquest50

Registered User
Validated User
Hi fellow gamers,

because of a post recently about a possible resurgence of big generic rpg. systems, GURPS and BRP were mentioned by some. I have never played GURPS but know that back in the days (when that is might be in the eyes of the beholder) that was a quite popular rpg. As for BRP: I did never play that system in its original configuration, but RQ2-3, Pendragon and, to a lesser extent, CoC. Why isn´t BRP seemingly so popular - and correct me if I am wrong - as the big d20 elephants in the rpg. room?


Best regards,

Soulquest50
 
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Propagandor

Square-Cube Law Compliant
Validated User
GURPs has a relatively straightforward core mechanic (3d6, roll under your skill) and there are a lot of really cool supplements. In a way it's more of a toolkit than a traditional RPG as their are some many optional bits you could include and it's up to a GM to decide which bits you want in your RPG. Personally I think it's best before for historical and fantasy settings as once automatic/semi-automatic weapons take over the system bogs down a bit
 

Heimdallsgothi

Bifrost's Guardian
Validated User
Gurps is very breakable for a skilled min maxer. Most point based systems are. But with a mature group staying within the lines, GURPS lets you play just about anything, and does it pretty well overall

BRP is technically dead for now. Chaosium is releasing a new Runequest: Glorantha which is based on RQ 2-3.

TDM had the Runequest 6 license, but after Chaosium was about to go under, recoverd the RQ name and now we have Mythras.
RQ6 is Mythras now
Now Mythras has M-Space for Sci Fi, After the Vampire Wars for Urban Fantasy, Mythic Britain, Mythic Constantinople and Mythic Rome, then add Luther Arkwright and Parallel lines for a sliders world/dimension hopping vibe and you have Mythras doing BRP things with more support in a year than Chaoisum offered in a decade.
All told both games are very different in design and concept, Mythras/Runequest/BRP running towards more human norms than GURPS does
 

g33k

Registered User
Validated User
Hi fellow gamers,

because of a post recently about a possible resurgence of big generic rpg. systems, GURPS and BRP were mentioned by some. I have never played GURPS but know that back in the days (when that is might be in the eyes of the beholder) that was a quite popular rpg. As for BRP: I did never play that system in its original configuration, but RQ2-3, Pendragon and, to a lesser extent, CoC. Why isn´t BRP seemingly so popular - and correct me if I am wrong - as the big d20 elephants in the rpg. room?

Best regards,

Soulquest50
Note that the original game is RQ, not BRP.,,
  • First came RQ1 (reasonably considered to be "version 0.9" of RQ2).
  • Then came RQ2, the "classic" edition (returned to print via KS a few years back as "RQ Classic" -- and RQ1 became available again as a stretch-goal of that KS).
  • Then came BRP (but it was just little tiny booklet)
  • Then came a plethora of products.
  • THEN came BRP in the "Big Gold Book" edition (collected from the afrementioned plethora).
I think the success of BRP suffered some from strategic and marketing "errors" (only evident AS "errors" in our 20/20 hindsight) made in the '80s and '90s; but also it is arguably not quite as generic as Champions / Hero and as GURPS are. "Superworld" is the top power-tier, and it really doesn't handle the high-end supers that well.

Back in the day, RQ was a strong #2 behind AD&D(1e).

But in Europe, the RQ/Stormbringer/BRP/etc family was MUCH more influential, arguably at and in places above the level of D&D for years...
 

ORtrail

Registered User
Validated User
I just never got into the mechanics of GURPS, but own a dozen of the world/setting books. Those are quality work.

BRP is only MOSTLY dead. You can still get the PDF version of the Big Gold Book, but yeah it has been moved to the back burner in a big way while Chaosium is focused on Runequest and CoC. There are flavors of D100 games, such as OpenQuest that are being actively supported.

For both GURPS and BRP, the closer you are to normal human power ranges (and super heroes not beyond Spider-Man) the better the game systems work. I've had the chance to introduce several people to table top RPGs, and understanding a percentage chance is really easy to grasp. Hunting through the skill lists can be a bit much at first, but BRP (and GURPS to a bit lesser degree) is newbie friendly in most flavors (you can get crunchy with hit locations and armor rolls).
 

NPC Brown Cow

Registered User
Validated User
Note that the original game is RQ, not BRP.,,
  • First came RQ1 (reasonably considered to be "version 0.9" of RQ2).
  • Then came RQ2, the "classic" edition (returned to print via KS a few years back as "RQ Classic" -- and RQ1 became available again as a stretch-goal of that KS).
  • Then came BRP (but it was just little tiny booklet)
  • Then came a plethora of products.
  • THEN came BRP in the "Big Gold Book" edition (collected from the afrementioned plethora).
I think the success of BRP suffered some from strategic and marketing "errors" (only evident AS "errors" in our 20/20 hindsight) made in the '80s and '90s; but also it is arguably not quite as generic as Champions / Hero and as GURPS are. "Superworld" is the top power-tier, and it really doesn't handle the high-end supers that well..
The best description for BRP BGB is a Rosetta Stone for translating between the various implementations of the system at the time. It also being useful to make a custom BRP is a bonus.
 

g33k

Registered User
Validated User
...
BRP is technically dead for now. Chaosium is releasing a new Runequest: Glorantha ...
RQ Glorantha is out, now. I just bought it last night. But otherwise, this really, REALLY isn't true.

The BRP "Big Gold Book" is still for sale in print and PDF. Multiple BRP-based games (CoC7, RQG, and soon Mythic Iceland 2e) are available from Chaosium, with more games in the pipeline (but not ready to announce).

So, um. Not dead.

What is true is that Chaosium has no current plans to support a "generic" version of BRP: every new BRP game will be a setting-specific game, with complete rules (customized as-needed per setting, such as Sanity in Cthulhu and Runes in Runequest) in the core game, not needing ot referring to a generic-RPG ruleset.

For the foreseeable future, their announced products will keep them scramblingly-busy. If they ever get time to take a breath, I hope they will consider gathering the new innovations in the BRP line into a new "BGBv2" -- but I'm not holding my breath!
 

littlemute

Registered User
Validated User
Hi fellow gamers,

because of a post recently about a possible resurgence of big generic rpg. systems, GURPS and BRP were mentioned by some. I have never played GURPS but know that back in the days (when that is might be in the eyes of the beholder) that was a quite popular rpg. As for BRP: I did never play that system in its original configuration, but RQ2-3, Pendragon and, to a lesser extent, CoC. Why isn´t BRP seemingly so popular - and correct me if I am wrong - as the big d20 elephants in the rpg. room?


Best regards,

Soulquest50
BRP stuff is more complicated (or rather, seems so), and I would argue that it IS popular since CoC is a popular game still and Paranoia, Star Frontiers, WFRP and many others use basically the BRP system, even if they are not officially BRP.

Why isn't it the most popular? When I was a kid playing D&D, the college kids were playing Runequest, and then CoC came out and we jumped on that bandwagon in late middle school (about age 13) and used it for rum running 1920's gangsters more than the Cthulhu parts, but no one knew about RQ except seeing the box in the hobby shop next to the D&D books. It's sort of like when we were listening to Eddie Hagar Van Halen in Jr. High School, the college kids were listening to Slayer, or RUN DMC (grade school kids) and NWA (college kids). D&D was targeted to a younger crowd (I can show you the advertisements) and RQ was for the 'adults'. A similar thing today is Fortnite (a stupid game that kids love) and PUBG (an awesome game that kids don't like at all). Fortnite will probably come out on top because of the demographic it is trying to target, and that's similar to what happened with D&D and BRP.

Anyway that's all long in the past, and D&D is much better now with 5E and Dungeon Crawl Classics than AD&D, Basic, 2E, 3E and 4E and pretty much equates with roleplaying for everyone that isn't in the hobby (ie Roleplaying is D&D, like tissues are Kleenex), yet BRP has advanced to it's ultimate form at this point: Mythras.

Selling you on BRP: again my main squeeze is Mythras (Runequest 6) which I think is the best and even better since it's now Runequest without Glorantha (not that Glorantha is bad, it's just that the system sort of got stuck there a bit and was never truly generalized until relatively recently). I've played Stormbringer,Luther Arkwright, CoC, and the new Runequest. Mythras has extremely exciting and choice driven combat, which is crunchy but resolves quickly. You have to read through it a bit to understand opposed rolls, but it all makes logical sense. You try to roll as high as you can UNDER your skill level on a D100. So a fighter making an attack who has a skill of 60 that makes a perfect (non critical) attack with an exact 60 roll, will still be beaten out by a fighter with a 92 skill who rolls a perfect (non critical) attack at 92 because the 92 is higher than the 60. The best part in combat, if you hit your attack and your opponent misses their parry, you get a special effect. If you critical your attack (0-5% most of the time), and your opponent fumbles their attack (96-100), you get three special effects, which will (almost always) end a fight right there. The devs were SCA dudes so they spent a lot of time actually (fake) fighting and this shows in their combat system.

In the system, pure fighters are VERY powerful in the game, so I think it's more along the lines of what Gygax was shooting for with Vancian magic to reduce the run away power of magic users. The magic systems are varied, with theism, sorcery, a sort of hedge magic and mysticism (sort of kung fu stuff), along with Animism which is a spirit-magic that is probably most difficult to grok of any of them, but makes things more interesting when you get your magic power from sentient entities that may not always be happy with the way you are channeling their power.

XP is SUPER easy with "experience rolls" given out each session for stuff. You can spend these to increase your skills. You roll your skill and if you roll over it, the skill goes up by X points, if you roll below, it goes up by 1 point.

Skills in BRP are pretty standard roll under your skill modified by some level of difficulty set by the GM.

Character creation is long and therefore despite how deadly the combat is, you don't want to be mowing down characters like in Lamentations or Basic D&D, it's closer to WFRP where the players know there will be deaths, but it's never going to be a meatgrinder.

BRP isn't for everyone, some gamers don't like any crunch and just want to roll dice only when they absolutely have to, but if you are looking for a system that will satisfactorily emulate sword and sorcery, sword and sandal, any historical, star wars (there's a secret expansion to RQ6 that has jedi paths and all that jazz), and early modern to modern (the system handles gunplay well) and sci fi, BRP is great and from my experience, Mythras is the best of the bunch.
 

NPC Brown Cow

Registered User
Validated User
RQ Glorantha is out, now. I just bought it last night. But otherwise, this really, REALLY isn't true.
BRP (aka BGB) as a PRODUCT LINE is currently dead. The last BRP Monograph was a single released back in 2015, but before that the last was 2012.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
Learning the basics of GURPS opens up a world of rpg supplements I don’t think any other game system can match. From there you can basically convert a fair bit of stuff to your system of choice, or just use it in GURPS.

I’m a HERO head, but I’ve still got some GURPS books. And now I can buy PDFs from Steve Jackson and Drivethru. Quality, well done books on a wide variety of subjects, fictional, historic, and genre. Can’t beat it!

Oh, and isn’t there GURPS Discworld now?
 
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