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Basic Roleplaying: Universal Game Engine

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Create. Explore. Play.

Basic Roleplaying (BRP) is a system of core rules for tabletop roleplaying. Whether you’re a seasoned roleplaying veteran or new to the hobby, Basic Roleplaying has everything you need for years of entertainment.

Female Vitruvian Warrior

"A definitive update of a definitive game system... one of the simplest, most flexible, most customizable engines in the tabletop gaming business."
— Andrew Logan Montgomery, Exploring the Otherworlds of Fiction, Magic, and Gaming.

"Sleeker and more beautiful while maintaining all of the best components of the original. Designing products for it should be a snap!"
— RPG Imaginings.

"Chaosium has put their best foot forward ... providing a familiar and well-regarded mechanical platform for a whole new swathe of game design talent."
— Cannibal Halfling Gaming.

"I've learned so much from this book... a must buy for game designers."
— J-M, Iconic Productions.

"BRP is in a perfect place for creators and GMs who want a stable mechanics for their own creations… I can’t wait to start creating with it."
— Never Mind the Dice Rolls 

What's Inside

Basic Roleplaying: Universal Game Engine is the complete guide to BRP—the same system that powers Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Rivers of London, and countless others.

BRP’s Universal Engine is available royalty-free for personal and commercial use under the ORC license. Use these rules, and focus on creating your worlds, scenarios and even books to sell!

This book contains the core system rules, as well as character creation, advancement, monsters and antagonists, as well as GameMaster advice.

A Seamless Core Mechanic

BRP Character Sheet Example

In BRP, success and failure are always determined by the roll of a D100. Comparing that roll to the relevant Skill, Characteristic, Ability, or Power, you succeed if you roll under the target number.

This means every stat on your character sheet clearly indicates to you the likelihood of success.

An uneven arm wrestling contest with the better person drinking while playing

Natural Character Growth

People touching an obilisk

Characters in a BRP game evolve based on what they do in-game. If you fire a gun, that skill may increase.

If you want your character to learn magic, get better at driving cars, lassoing horses, or even repairing a spaceship, then your character will do so by using those skills!

A Bear Shaman with a Torch

Deadly & Tactical Combat

A pair of gun-toting men shooting in the snow

The core BRP rules present easy-to-learn and equally easy-to-teach combat mechanics that allow players to react to attacks—you don’t just have to wait for your turn in order to have an impact on combat!

Conflict in BRP can be deadly, and every roll (attacking, fighting back, dodging or otherwise) is integral. This makes for a thrilling, high-octane experience with a system that does not slowdown the overall flow of play.

A bloody bare-fisted boxer who is still willing to continue the fight

Build The Game You Want

A two-katana wielding warrior leaping out at some terrified opponents

With mechanics for magic, psychic powers, mutations, superpowers, weapons, equipment, and vehicles applicable to any setting and genre, Basic Roleplaying: Universal Game Engine is adaptable to any world of your choosing—either previously established, or created from scratch.

A barbarian warrior in the far north

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Reviews (6)
Discussions (41)
Customer avatar
Py R April 01, 2024 4:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
Are there any plans to incorporate any further errata?
Customer avatar
Richard H October 06, 2023 9:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
Any more news about the possibility of a physical book?
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Customer avatar
Chris W October 10, 2023 8:19 pm UTC
The physical book is available to order on Chaosium's website.
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Customer avatar
Alexander D April 13, 2024 10:58 am UTC
Do you know the shipping costs??
Customer avatar
Christoph D October 03, 2023 6:02 pm UTC
Are there any relevant updates/additions regarding vehicle combat (e.g. spaceship combat) and/or vehicle examples (e.g. more spaceship examples). (I do not thinks so for what I've read so far, but I ask anyway.)
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Customer avatar
Christoph D October 05, 2023 6:29 am UTC
(Well I can use M-Space for this purpose.)
Customer avatar
Keith M September 24, 2023 4:46 am UTC
Regarding the Parry skill…

I see a few people complaining about the Parry skill saying it is no longer a separate skill but you use the weapon skill instead.

I may be mistaken but I see this differently, as an improvement in fact.

Firstly, why wouldn’t one use the weapon skill of the weapon one is parrying with? Have you ever watched a fencer? Is not their parrying and counterattacking with their rapier like two sides of the same coin? One does not function without the other. Surely training to parry with a hammer would not function quite the same when you pick up a rapier for the first time.

Secondly, does it not say that the weapon skill being used simply applies to the Base parry skill?
So one would then factor in their primary and secondary attribute bonuses (if using that rule).
After that, then one adds points to that skill at creation and it can level up during use as most other skills.

That seems much more...See more
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Customer avatar
Py R September 30, 2023 6:17 am UTC
PURCHASER
I think you misunderstood. At the moment, Parry is a separate skill--as in it is actually listed as a skill in the Skills section alongside all of the weapon skills. However, weapon skills are the primary means of parrying now, therefore we don't need the Parry skill anymore because it's redundant. The Parry skill was left in as a mistake.
Customer avatar
Luc L September 01, 2023 6:40 pm UTC
the font size is sooooo smalllll
Reply
Customer avatar
wade G September 09, 2023 3:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
Yup. Putting my eyeglasses on now.
Customer avatar
Jonathan D August 27, 2023 3:15 pm UTC
When will the print version be available?
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Customer avatar
Michael O September 08, 2023 9:33 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Next month - October
Reply
Customer avatar
Keith M September 24, 2023 4:18 am UTC
Thank you, I can hardly wait!!!
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Customer avatar
Guy A September 30, 2023 6:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It's October 1st. Really looking forward to print version! So cool!
Reply
Customer avatar
Cristian R October 07, 2023 9:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
what are the chances of solid book being sold through DriveThruRPG ?
Reply
Customer avatar
Michael O October 28, 2023 12:59 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
The print version is available at Chaosium.com. We have no plans to release a POD version at DTRPG.
Customer avatar
Ilias L July 17, 2023 6:08 pm UTC
This is a great version of the system. I would like to make a strange request though: would it be possible to make the font of the book a bit larger? I am getting to that age that it is not possible to read this size of fonts with ease, if at all.
Customer avatar
Dale E July 11, 2023 5:04 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there any chance people who already have the old BRP on Drivethru can get a discount on this one?
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Customer avatar
Michael O October 28, 2023 1:03 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
There is no discount for purchasers of the previous edition.
Customer avatar
Angelo C June 24, 2023 1:31 am UTC
I was wondering if this uses the same Superpowers system from The big gold book?
Customer avatar
Michael O June 21, 2023 8:21 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Basic Roleplaying: Universal Game Engine is a now Platinum best seller at DriveThruRPG! On behalf of the Chaosium team, thank you for your support of the new edition!
Customer avatar
Robert R June 15, 2023 11:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
BRP is what may be considered old school. But old school is very cool now, if that matters. To me it doesn’t. I play BRP because it’s a system that inspires my creativity and doesn’t get in my way.
I bought it. I’ll buy the hard cover. It’s a very playable system. It’s been working for decades.
The core system is lean and moves. Add what you want of the spot rules and you could play anything with great detail.
BRP has aged well and it’s good to see it in this new iteration.
Reply
Customer avatar
Keith M September 24, 2023 4:16 am UTC
Completely agree, it has always been my “core” system because of it’s intuitive nature, simplicity, and adaptability.
Customer avatar
Michael M June 07, 2023 10:00 pm UTC
I have the Basic Role Playing book is that different than this game engine?
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Customer avatar
Rory H June 09, 2023 7:20 am UTC
This is an updated version of that system.
Customer avatar
Michael O June 02, 2023 12:32 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
We've just added a new BRP Handouts Pack and Character Creation chart to the downloadable files:

– The 21 page Handouts Pack booklet contains helpful tables and references for GMs and players alike.
– The Character Creation chart is tabloid-sized (17" x 11") and outlines the ten steps to create a Basic Roleplaying character.
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Customer avatar
Keith M September 24, 2023 4:13 am UTC
I don’t seem to see primitive/historical swords listed in the weapons table for the Handout Pack…
Customer avatar
James W May 30, 2023 2:19 pm UTC
I am sad to see that the resistance table is alive and well. I was hoping for a generic version of the system used in Call of Cthulhu 7e which removes the need for the resistance table altogether. If this BRP had removed the resistance table, it would be nearly be THE perfect universal system. I would pick it up in a heart beat. Maybe in 10 more years we will finally see that.....
Reply
Customer avatar
Christoph D June 20, 2023 10:15 pm UTC
Actually, in my opinion, this is a quite intuitive and quick solution for opposed test (with "opposing values" on a d20 scale). Acutally you do not need the table at all. Both opponents have the same value: well, it's fifty/fifty for both. One of them is better than the other? He has a higher change of succeeding. On the d20 scale each point means 5%, so e.g. 13 vs 16 are 3 points difference = 15%; ergo: instead of 50%/50% now it's 65% for the "16 guy" or 35% for the "13 guy". One die roll to settle it quick and easy! No one needs the "table" to calculate this. I find this mechanic quite intuitive and quick and handy, but that's my personal opinion of course. How does CoCth7e handle suchs things?
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Customer avatar
Christoph D June 20, 2023 10:20 pm UTC
However, one could complain about the "linear design" towards the ends. So with 10 points difference, it is 0% vs 100%. Not even a small change to succeed for the inferior guy....
Reply
Customer avatar
Brenton H June 27, 2023 8:33 pm UTC
I mean, Magnus Carlsen is at least 10 points better than me at chess, and I think a 0% chance of beating him is probably correct. At some point, the dominant character will win functionally every time. I don't think I could beat The Rock at arm wrestling 1 time in 100 either.
Reply
Customer avatar
Christoph D June 28, 2023 9:09 pm UTC
I agree absolutely - I, personally, have no problem at all with "10 points better" (on a d20 scale) means you have NO chance. This is reality.
Reply
Customer avatar
Christopher T July 17, 2023 5:15 pm UTC
i dont get the beef over this
its a simple mechanic
Reply
Customer avatar
Alberto I August 19, 2023 10:32 am UTC
Resistance table is not a opposed skill roll resolution mechanic. It measures characteristics or other abstract quantities like magic points.
Reply
Customer avatar
Christoph D September 18, 2023 6:46 am UTC
Christopher T "i dont get the beef over this
its a simple mechanic"

absolutely! That's what I meant to express.
Customer avatar
Darren L May 23, 2023 7:03 am UTC
Will Chaosium come out with a soft cover of this updated version?
Reply
Customer avatar
Rory H May 23, 2023 10:18 am UTC
They will be releasing a hardback soon - if it is anything like their recent releases. Not sure about softcover.
Reply
Customer avatar
Michael O May 28, 2023 4:10 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
The physical book will be a hard cover. There is no soft cover planned.
Customer avatar
Colton L May 22, 2023 2:44 pm UTC
Haven't played a Chaosium game yet but is this the book I need to play call of Cthulhu 7th edition?
Reply
Customer avatar
Florian R May 23, 2023 4:32 am UTC
For CoC 7 you need „Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition - Keeper's Rulebook“ and maybe the „Call of Cthulhu Investigator Handbook 7th Edition“. There is also a starter set
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Product Information
Platinum seller
Pages
264
ISBN
978-1-56882-470-3
Publisher Stock #
CHA2036-PDF
File Size:
36.26 MB
Format
Original electronic Click for more information
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File Last Updated:
March 12, 2024
This title was added to our catalog on April 07, 2023.