Basic Roleplaying: Universal Game Engine

So, after all this time, the folks at nuChaosium decided to embrace the concept of a standalone core BRP book after all. Which leads us to BRP: Universal Game Engine. BRPUGE was released in PDF back in the spring and is now available in print. Buy it direct from Chaosium and you get the PDF for free with the print version. My physical edition just arrived, so here are a few thoughts and some pictures.

BRPUGE is nicely bound and:

  • has the now largely obligatory ribbon bookmark
  • is printed on crisp, creamy, uncoated paper
  • has charming new color & b/w art
  • is 99.44% a cleaned up & in-print version of the 2010-era Big Gold Book

All-in-all seems to be worth the money if you’re someone who plays BRP games. Or just wish you were. Or happen to be a BRP completist.

I have read that a few things have been excised from this edition (when compared to the aforementioned BGB), but I haven’t gone hunting to confirm or uncover anything specific. Supposedly Strike Rank rules as well as rules for treating Attack and Parry as two separate skills for melee weapons have been omitted. But I’ve never cared for SRs and splitting Attack/Parry is too fiddly for my tastes. So, meh?

On the whole it looks nice and feels good but it is not, strictly speaking, an essential purchase. However, if BRP interests you and you don’t have the BGB already (or if you want to communicate to nuChaosium with yer scratch that you think BRP is worthy of existing as a standalone book alongside its more integrated flavors like RQ and CoC), well, it becomes an essential purchase then, doesn’t it?

Additionally, I think this edition is covered under one of the post-OGL fiasco licenses so it could in theory be used to publish one’s own materials. But I’m not a lawyer and also not exactly burning it up over here producing RPG material to publish so, ah, do your own research on that, comrades.

My final verdict is that holding the book makes me want to play games with the system. And in the end, that’s enough. Now if I can just dredge up some players. Sigh.

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Gaming Tidbits

Just sharing some things, because I’m thinking geeky thoughts and don’t have a clear shot at a game at the moment.

  • Fantastical Medieval Campaigns – A new free New OD&D Retroclone
  • #RPGJubilee – An amusing thread on (an RPG-centric Mastodon server worth your time if you’re thinking of fleeing Twitter and looking for a nerdy home base in the Fediverse)
  • @[email protected] – Me on said Mastodon server
  • Andor is exceptional, y’all. Truly great. A slow burn early on, but so very good.
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Labyrinth Lord, Rise From Your Grave!

All three of you, if you missed it, will be happy to hear… Labyrinth Lord is coming back swinging. I’ll direct your attention to the words of Doctor Dan Proctor hisownself:

Labyrinth Lord second edition is set for release in Q1 of 2023. Its release will be concurrent with a new solo adventure (the writing stage is currently almost finished). These products will be released directly to the public, not via any fundraising effort ahead of time.

Later, there will be a second edition of the Advanced Edition Companion, and if the public desires it, these books will be compiled to create a second edition of Advanced Labyrinth Lord. All editions will remain in print, but clearly labeled with our vendors as to which books are first or second edition.

Goblinoid Games will continue to publish additional adventures and other works regularly going forward.

Between this and the other parts of the announcement (some of which were buried on Faceskronk, but surfaced on Reddit) it sounds like this second edition will move closer to the core “as written” B/X experience a la OSE since, as the intervening years have shown, the earliest RetroClones’ efforts to change thing around a little (e.g., 1st level Clerics getting spells, varied or dropped level titles, &c.) to avoid lawsuits are no longer needed.

In any case, that my original fav-o-rite clone of my original fav-o-rite RPG is being revivified makes me happy. Hopefully it puts a smile on your faces, too. Now let’s hope that Mutant Future gets brought along for the ride…

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A Trove Of 1d6 Tables

Wherein your humble scribe archives a passel of tenuously useful tables he originally posted on another platform.

1d6 Folksongs For Your Bard To Sing

Don’t just say “My bard sings!” Name that tune, slappy!

  1. The Faerie Queen’s Only Daughter
  2. Auld Maundie and the Lash
  3. The Death of Zacharias McGonigle McGee
  4. A Roundly Dancing Maid
  5. Ring! Ring! The Bells of St. Vincent
  6. Over Table, Under Table, Thunder in the Jar

1d6 More Folksongs For Your Bard To Sing

Start singing the first line if you really want to be in character…

  1. The Ballad of Lord LeMond
  2. Bear, Brownie, Boulder, Brook
  3. The Barmaid’s Broken Heart
  4. A Bird Calls for My Darling
  5. Bonny Maidens in a Row
  6. Bravely Forth, Ye Knights of Abbey Briar

Yet Another 1d6 Folksongs For Your Bard To Sing

Keep going, you’re roleplaying after all…

  1. The Old Rogue’s Lament
  2. Under the Moons the Elf Maids Danced
  3. A Lock of My Darling’s Hair
  4. The Fires of Bannywick Town
  5. Down the Docks (The Sailor’s Working Song)
  6. A Chatty Bird in the Old Oak Tree

1d6 Folksongs For Your Bard To Sing: The Next Generation

No wonder people hate bards…

  1. The Fall of Crawford’s Dell (The Birds All Sing)
  2. The Priest, The Sheriff, and The Ass (All Sound the Same to Me)
  3. She Went Again to Valdren Town (A’ Riding on Her Mare)
  4. Captain Quincy Can’t Quit Charging (His Arse is All Aflame)
  5. One Toe in the Dragon’s Mouth (The Other in the Mead)
  6. The Tired Soldier Soldiers On (The Tired Whore Keeps Whorin’)

1d6 Angry Gods

What lurks within that sealed cyclopean tomb?

  1. Vorth the Destroyer
  2. Ghee-Lahst, She Who Castrates
  3. Oid, Maker of the Scream
  4. K’uhl’mn’jhk from Beyond the Veil
  5. Sa’ireest’ah the Devourer
  6. The Eyeless Child

1d6 Pirate Parrot Names

Polly Schmolly

  1. Hector
  2. Consuela
  3. Dogo
  4. Veronique
  5. Sally Anne
  6. Bertie

1d6 Agent Codenames

Who was that dashing agent?

  1. Redhawk
  2. Dingo
  3. Capricorn
  4. Hammer
  5. Mustang
  6. Siren

1d6 Acronym Agency Names

Decipher these acronyms on your own time.

  1. HASTE
  2. LIGHT
  3. ION
  4. TIGER
  5. BLADE
  6. NIGHT

1d6 More Acronym Agency Names

Decipher these acronyms on your at your own peril.

  1. SHINE
  2. MIX
  3. STAR
  4. BOOK
  5. GUNN
  6. OWL

1d6 Super Spy Gadgets

Toys for all!

  1. Sonar wristwatch
  2. Laser cutter cufflinks
  3. Magnetic shoes
  4. Rebreather cigarette case
  5. Nightvision sunglasses
  6. Flaming breath spray

1d6 Tavern Names

Ya gotta meet the old man with a map somewhere.

  1. The Rose & Hammer
  2. Ghorfin’s Alehouse
  3. The Crow & Anchor
  4. Sister Bella’s Schoolhouse
  5. MacKenzie’s
  6. The Cod & Crown

1d6 More Tavern Names

And his brother, too.

  1. The Horse & Heath
  2. The Hawk & Hammer
  3. Hog’s Head Hoppery
  4. Halfling House
  5. Hildur’s Hearthside
  6. The Hag & Haddock

1d6 Uncommon Comestibles

Mutton? Feh!

  1. Manticore Cakes
  2. Flame-kissed Dragon Brisket
  3. Dragon Turtle Soup
  4. Roast Loin of Displacer Beast
  5. Deviled Roc Eggs
  6. Purple Worm Burgers

1d6 Unusual Coins

Generic round coins are so dull.

  1. Hexagonal platinum coins
  2. Triangular silver pieces
  3. Circular steel coins with holes in their centers
  4. Small copper cubes stamped with the letters R, E, G, I, N, A on the six faces
  5. Silver “beans”
  6. Square gold pieces, twice as thick as traditional gold coins

1d6 Magic Sword Names

Hey! What’s this sword’s name, anyway?

  1. Kjordusk, The Ice Fang
  2. Zojaladoon, The Glorious Blade of Harmony
  3. Jiradon, The Nightstriker
  4. Volstjan, Protector of Valdimstad
  5. Irijoichi, The Arm of the Shogun
  6. Ja’b’Allah, The Djinnslayer

1d6 Obscure Fictional Diseases

When you need a plague to threaten a world…

  1. Shavan’s Syndrome
  2. Rymal Fever
  3. Grennethal’s Nariatotosis
  4. Hanged Man Syndrome
  5. Alcori Fever
  6. Dervish-Mills Disease

1d6 Starship Names

And when you need a ship to deliver the cure…

  1. The St. Michael
  2. The Kafr ’Ana
  3. The Pashkievich
  4. The Legerwood
  5. The Stuart Eustace
  6. The Maria Rosa

1d6 More Starship Names

Or the name of a wreck to explore…

  1. The Fairchild
  2. The Hulstina
  3. The Guiliu
  4. The Allancastria
  5. The Debrene
  6. The Przedwojewo

Yet Another 1d6 Starship Names

Or the name of a patrol cruiser…

  1. The Al-Razik
  2. The Iris Simpson
  3. The Aepypodius
  4. The Mad Jackeen
  5. The Testament of Isaac
  6. The Miguel Najdorf

1d6 Starship Names: The Next Generation

Or the name of a friendly merchant…

  1. The Valcárcel
  2. The Anschütz
  3. The Lone Star
  4. The Mycenaceae
  5. The Devonshire
  6. The Oskar Kanehl

1d6 Mummy Names

If you know its name, it might not kill you.

  1. Akenenn Khem
  2. Barankh Hemsere
  3. Ihonsus Perem
  4. Sekhet Khuniu
  5. Heptutu Heph
  6. Khetep Setarit

1d6 Troll Names

Do these names apply to new trolls regenerated from a detached body part?

  1. Hrunth’ung
  2. Kikkalumt
  3. Gurdulun
  4. Oggum
  5. Bblutt
  6. Tdug

1d6 Hobgoblin Names

There’s never a “Ted” in the group.

  1. Krovek
  2. Sh’vaanith
  3. Orgum
  4. Druughal
  5. Novreth
  6. Lom

1d6 Flavorful Spell Names

You can make magic magical with a few magic words.

  1. The Healing Touch of Dath Myrra (Cure Light Wounds)
  2. Courage of the Faithful (Remove Fear)
  3. Briar Bind (Entangle)
  4. Djabid’s Dis-Integration (Magic Missile)
  5. Irresistible Visage (Charm Person)
  6. Eyes to See (Detect Illusion)

1d6 Stupid Royal Decrees

It’s enough to make a Paladin turn Chaotic, I tells ya.

  1. All magicians in the kingdom must wear red hats on Thursdays.
  2. Ducks are illegal to buy, sell, or trade, but not to own. Duck eggs are considered ducks for the purposes of this decree.
  3. Swords, axe blades, and any other edged weapon must be covered with sheepskin that has been dyed bright green.
  4. No one who tithes to the Church of St. Hubbins may sing in public.
  5. The tax on mackerel that has been salted is doubled, unless it is purchased from a royally-licensed vendor.
  6. Lute strings cannot be purchased on Sundays or Tuesdays.

1d6 Odd Magical Treasures

Better than a +1 hanky.

  1. A porcelain teapot that is always full of whiskey
  2. A lute that is perpetually in tune
  3. A pair of boots that never need polishing
  4. A comb whose possessor never needs to comb her hair
  5. A book that always opens to the last page that was read
  6. A hat whose wearer never gets wet, even when fully submerged

1d6 Offbeat Familiars

When all the ravens are spoken for.

  1. A Quaker Parrot
  2. A White Cat
  3. A Betta Fish
  4. A Bee Colony
  5. A Praying Mantis
  6. A Chicken

1d6 Character Obsessions

You quirky little adventurer, you!

  1. Collecting red things (armor, hats, etc.)
  2. Trying every “unique” beverage in the world
  3. Defeating the greatest living swordsman
  4. Not owning a tavern one day
  5. Having his/her name attached to a spell
  6. Bedding every known type of harlot

1d6 Odd Weapon Enchantments

Possibly useful, definitely unusual.

  1. Glows to indicate presence of drinkable water
  2. Wounds cause a debilitating itch
  3. Temperature changes inversely to environment
  4. Sings battle marches when swung
  5. Shrinks to 2” when sheathed
  6. Blood from wounds delivered pools and turns to carnelian (1gp per HP damage)

1d6 More Odd Weapon Enchantments

Maybe helpful, maybe just strange.

  1. Ignites paper on contact
  2. Freezes all water in a 10’ radius
  3. Glows in the presence of falcons & hawks
  4. Casts mirror image on itself whenever not worn
  5. Points to true East at sunrise & true West at sunset
  6. Glows perpetually, but dims in presence of dragons

1d6 Possibly Useful Pre-Adventure Expenses

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take This.”

  1. A spare pair of boots
  2. A bushel of wheat
  3. Three pails
  4. 10 pounds of sand
  5. A goose-down pillow
  6. 5 straws

1d6 Sorcerous Exclamations

The hoary hosts are busy right now. Please press 3 to speak to a representative.

  1. Shoregrin’s Teeth!
  2. By the Wicks and Flames of Leoditus!
  3. A Square upon Scorpius!
  4. By the Zall’s own Ziggurat!
  5. By Jarrin’s Fallen Fox!
  6. A Ghast aghast!

1d6 Colors From The Old School RPG Crayon Box

Now it’s just getting stupid.

  1. Otus Orange
  2. Gygax Green
  3. Blume Blue
  4. Moldvay Mauve
  5. Petersen Purple
  6. St. Andre Silver
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RPGaDAY 2019: 42 Confessor of Larx

Wherein your humble scribe presents one of thirty character backgrounds for Troika! he started as his RPGaDAY 2019 experience, but is only now getting around to continuing. Find out more about the rules he is using to govern said experience here. You might also want to know that today’s roll is: Critical (22)

42 Confessor of Larx

Among the many Gods of the Cataclysmic Millennium, Larx sits rather high upon the hill. Larx rules over many things, but most of all He delights in knowing the failures and transgressions of the creatures of the world. It’s your job to serve as His eyes and ears. Through you Larx partakes of his favorite form of sustenance. And through you he improves the lives of those who confess their sins truthfully.


  • Holy Truncheon (Damage as Mace).
  • Confessor’s Robes (counts as Light Armor).
  • 1d6 Pocket Gods.

Advanced Skills

2 Spell – Exorcism
2 Spell – Banish Spirit
2 Discern Truth
2 Condemn/Absolve
1 Truncheon Fighting


You may Test your Luck to Accept a Confession from any sentient entity. If successful, that entity gains 1 Luck (up to its natural maximum) as its soul comes clean. Further, you do not lose a point of Luck from testing. If unsuccessful, however, the entity loses 1 Luck and you lose 2 Luck for failing to please His Infinite Fickleness. You may only attempt to Accept a Confession from any given entity once per year. Larx doesn’t eat small meals.

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RPGaDAY 2019: 41 Beleaguered Bureaucrat (Burned Out)

Wherein your humble scribe presents one of thirty character backgrounds for Troika! he started as his RPGaDAY 2019 experience, but is only now getting around to continuing. Find out more about the rules he is using to govern said experience here. You might also want to know that today’s roll is: Calamity (46)

41 Beleaguered Bureaucrat

In a world where there are six cataclysms worth of insurance claims, planning board documents, construction permits, and Larx knows what else, there will be numerous individuals whose job it is to deal with that avalanche of record keeping. Most of them settle into a life of office politics and mediocre evenings like a pig settles into the muck. Others, though, never fully adjust to that lifestyle. Once you’d filed your last 27b/6 you just kind of snapped. Now you’re out here, living the life you’ve always dreamed of: open sky & open road, free from crushing weight of responsibility for the little things that hold society together, ready to make up for lost time. And with a little extra in your pocket for your troubles.


  • d666 embezzled coins.
  • Gold-Plated Ball Point Pen (Damage as Dagger).

Advanced Skills

3 Bureaucracy
2 Etiquette
2 Secret Signs: Bureaucratic Jargon & Marks
1 Awareness
1 Mathmology
1 Pen Fighting
1 Neglected Talent You Aim To Make Good On Now

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RPGaDAY 2019: 36 Priest Of The Bounteous Lord

Wherein your humble scribe presents one of thirty character backgrounds for Troika! as part of his RPGaDAY 2019 experience. Find out more about the rules he is using to govern said experience here. You might also want to know that today’s roll is: Plenty (35)

36 Priest Of The Bounteous Lord

The gospel of Urarg-Hab-Shaddon, The Bounteous Lord, teaches that there is more than enough matter in the universe and that the most sinful act is to contain & constrain. Thus, your calling is to liberate all forms of matter from the confinements of the world. Those who don’t understand that this includes coins from banks, gems from the unholy statues of heretical faiths, and delicious foods from restaurants are simply ignorant. Those who would stand in your way are simply intolerant fools.


  • A Staff, which is but one of an enormous collection.
  • Many layers of Robes and Vestments (counts as Light Armor).
  • A bottomless Tin of Biscuits, which cannot actually provide the mechanical benefits of a meal’s worth of food, but will leave everyone in the vicinity feeling full and happy.

Advanced Skills

2 Liturgical Oration
2 Spell – Grow
2 Spell – Shatter
1 Spell – Explode
1 Spell – Open
1 Evaluate
1 Locks

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RPGaDAY 2019: 35 Rhos Olastra Cultural Ambasador

Wherein your humble scribe presents one of thirty character backgrounds for Troika! as part of his RPGaDAY 2019 experience. Find out more about the rules he is using to govern said experience here. You might also want to know that today’s roll is: Critical (22)

35 Rhos Olastra Cultural Ambassador

“Always marginalized, often conquered, seldom appreciated.” is how the cultural anthropologists of the University of Welveng have described the Rhos Olasta. This small island nation has produced many of the great cultural works of the Cataclysmic Millennium. After throwing off the chains of their last oppressor, King Moesgoff VI dispatched his most successful warrior-poets into the world to spread the best of his country’s epics far and wide.


  • A genuine Rhos Olastra-made Sword.
  • A genuine Rhos Olastra-Made Shield.
  • A genuine Rhos Olastra-Made Harp.
  • 1D3 genuine Rhos Olastra-made Epics.

Advanced Skills

3 Poetry
2 Sword Fighting
2 Singing
2 Harp Playing
2 Etiquette

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RPGaDAY 2019: 34 Darskij Dweller

Wherein your humble scribe presents one of thirty character backgrounds for Troika! as part of his RPGaDAY 2019 experience. Find out more about the rules he is using to govern said experience here. You might also want to know that today’s roll is: Evolve (54)

34 Darskij Dweller

When the first calamity struck, the populations of whole cities were driven underground. There, over time – and accelerated by the unusual energies associated with that first disaster – the people became something altogether different what what they had been before. Perfectly adapted to their new environment, they seldom venture into the light of the dying sun. Those who do are themselves different from their hunched and pale cousins.


  • Colored Robes that indicate their clan of origin.
  • 1D6 Assorted Unearthed Treasures which may be traded for surface goods or knowledge with the right person.

Advanced Skills

2 Sneak
2 Burrowing
2 Strength
2 Claw Fighting
1 Tracking
1 Trapping


The hands of Darskij Dwellers have evolved to end in thick, heavy claws that assist them in constructing their burrows and warrens. In addition to allowing the Darskij Dwellers to dig (albeit slowly) through any material less hardy than steel, these claws do damage as a Modest Beast.

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RPGaDAY 2019: 33 Iconoclastic Detective

Wherein your humble scribe presents one of thirty character backgrounds for Troika! as part of his RPGaDAY 2019 experience. Find out more about the rules he is using to govern said experience here. You might also want to know that today’s roll is: Examine (24) [By way of rolling 64 & 6]

33 Iconoclastic Detective

Every police force, government agency, or local constabulary has a few clever detectives whose skills can solve the greatest of crimes. Those individuals naturally develop a sense of superiority that leads them to being quirky, difficult, or downright obnoxious. The rest of their compatriots harbor various attitudes towards them, but even the most generous are inevitably relieved when the detective in question finally encounters the crime they cannot solve. Nobody likes a showoff.


  • A magnifying glass.
  • A Pistolet and 2D6 Plasmic Cores.
  • An Overcoat (counts as Light Armor).

Advanced Skills

4 Investigation
1 Pistolet Fighting
1 Sneak
1 Evaluate
1 Locks
1 Mathmology
1 Tracking

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