Friday, September 5, 2008

BRP Has Arrived

The BRP rulebook arrived yesterday. Although I wasn't able to give it more than a 20 minute lookover last night, what I saw looked good. A few highlights:

* For a 400 page softcover rulebook, it is remarkably compact. Several other large softcovers I have in my collection are as thick or thicker and don't have nearly the page count, so I think for the most part my worries over such a thick book being softcover are (for the moment) gone.

* The book looks good. I'm neutral on a lot of the art inside, but some of it is pretty nice. All black and white, which is fine by me. Although the book has plenty of that "So, you're new to RPGs, eh?" stuff here and there, it's obviously marketed towards people who (like most GURPS players) care more about the substance than tons of full-color art and cool page border graphics. This book is pretty dense and there isn't a lot of space wasted by over-complicated, snazzy layouts.

* For a generic, multi-setting rulebook, I think there's plenty to choose from in terms of generic skills, equipment lists, and abilities. There are five types of "Powers" - Magic, Psychic, Sorcery, Supers, and Mutations - plenty to at least build a solid framework for most types of settings. The equipment list also has a pretty good variety of generic weapon types, keeping it simple with things like "Light Pistol" or "Heavy Revolver" or "Assault Rifle". BRP isn't worrying about whether or not the gas-operated design and muzzle break on your M-16A2 is going to give you less of a Recoil penalty than the H&K G-36K...because it's aimed towards the kind of players who just aren't that worried about it. And as always, for players who want some extra detail, it would be trivial to make a little tweak here and there to give certain weapons a little extra flavor.

* There's a short but sweet Bestiary in the back of the book. Again, like the Powers and Equipment sections, BRP is giving enough examples and rules so that you can use what's in the book, and if you want, you can easily alter or create creatures to your taste. Like all things BRP, one of the beauties of the system is that you can strip it down or build it up as much as you like, and its easy to do what you like with it.

More to come, but so far, I like what I'm seeing. My next step will be to make up a few sample characters and see how they shape up.

Anyone else take a look at the rulebook and have comments, or does anyone have questions i can answer?


Brian Murphy said...

I used to play BRP years ago when we played regular games of Runequest with the occasional Call of Cthulhu one-shot. I'm seriously considering picking this up, even though those BRP days are sadly gone (new group, and it's D&D all the time).

My question is: How does the basic hand-to-hand combat system work? Are HPs fixed, or by location? Is there a defense or dodge roll? And how does the weapon breakage work? Is it based on RQ3, where if you exceed the weapon's HP total, you reduce it by one? All things I must know...

Badelaire said...

Hand to hand is mostly the standard BRP fashion - you act according to DEX rating, roll to hit, if you hit, your opponent rolls to defend, if you still hit, roll damage and apply vs. armor rating. There are optional rules for HPs via body location but that's not the default. As for weapon breakage, it just appears that with critical parries or fumbles and the like, you can reduce a weapons HPs - what you're talking about sounds more like the damage that can be done to shields.

In the end, it's designed (I feel) to be flexible enough that any older edition rule you want to implement, can be tacked on easily enough. So if you liked the way RQ or CoC or SB handled something better, go for it.