Basic Roleplaying

First created to power RuneQuest in the late 1970s, the Basic Roleplaying system serves as the backbone for several other games, including Call of Cthulhu. In BRP characters have attributes and skills, with a “roll under your skill” percentile dice task resolution mechanic.

BRP includes many optional rules, allowing players to incorporate more crunch where they feel it appropriate. It is supported by several setting books and other supplements. BRP is oriented toward realistic representation of a game world, and is particularly well-suited to extended campaign play.

Here’s how the publisher describes Basic Roleplaying:

From its origin, Basic Roleplaying was designed to be intuitive and easy to play. Character attributes follow a 3D6 curve, and the other Basic Roleplaying mechanics are even simpler. Virtually all rolls determining success or failure of a task are determined via the roll of percentile dice.

Three Things About Basic Roleplaying

  • Universal: The BRP system is a toolkit that can be used to replicate anything from the Wild West to medieval France to the alien invasion to time-traveling gunslingers and knights fighting magic-wielding aliens in the distant future.
  • Deadly Combat: Because it is focused on the creation of internally-consistent game worlds, combat can be extremely dangerous.
  • Percentile Mechanics: Success or failure are determined by a percentile dice roll. If a character has a 70% chance of success, a roll of 70 or lower succeeds.

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Reviews

  • “Basic RolePlaying is a solid, adaptable game system which is built on the excellent foundations put in place some decades ago.”Lev Lafayette, RPG.net
  • “It’s fun and quick to play, and it’s fun and quick to gamemaster.”Giovanni Tiso, Grev’s Space

Chaosium, the game’s publisher, is in the midst of producing a radically streamlined 32-page version of these rules, which will be called BRP Essentials. Read more about the transition here.

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