After reading the reviews section of the latest issue of Black Gate on role playing games, I was left a bit flummoxed. On the one hand, role playing games have such a stigma attached to them, that even accepting-of-all-fiction me was a little wary, but on the other hand, it sounded like it could be fun. So, pushing aside any embarrassment, I went to Chaosium’s website, and printed out their free download of Basic RolePlaying Quick-Start Edition, a PDF copy of their $11 booklet. I had only small gaps of time to read, so the 50 page rulebook made good reading that I could set down and pick back up again.
The idea behind the Basic RolePlaying (here on out called BRP) system is that, using an easy to learn game mechanics system, you can play any type of game you like. The included short adventures gave a breath of this, with games taking place in the stereotypical fantasy settings, but also in post-apocalyptic environments, 1600s France, World War II, even a bank heist. The rules system (based almost entirely on percentages) was a very easy to learn system, requiring almost no memorization or searching for rules. I played a couple of test games with my girlfriend, and found the free adventures a little quick and a touch to simple, although I would imagine that is partly because they were free. The scenarios you pay for were exponentially longer than these 1-2 page things. However, despite their shortcomings, even they were fun to play around with a bit.
I think that, to get the full effect of BRP, I will need to pick up some other adventures from their website, and possibly a copy of the complete core rulebook, Basic RolePlaying. However, with limited funds, and the great expense of the core rulebook, it may be a little while before that happens. Until then, we will see what adventures may come my way, but I will make sure to keep an open mind towards role playing, and to look for BRP games. They were very easy to pick up for this brand-new beginner, and had enough to them to make me come back for more.