Category Archives: Basic RolePlaying

Posts about, related to, or featuring content for Chaosium’s Basic RolePlaying system and related games such as Elric! and Stormbringer, Superworld, Call of Cthulhu, and so on.

What Fresh Pao Is This?

Well howdy there, anyone who still happens to have Strange Stones in their RSS readers! Yeah. I know. Long time, no blog. I just haven’t had anything I felt compelled to share. But I have been gaming some, at least:

  • The year-plus Call of Cthulhu campaign I was playing in just went on hiatus after, well, more than a year.
  • The Dungeon Crawl Classics game I started up with some friends has made it through three sessions and the fourth is going to happen, just a little delayed because of work schedules and new babies and such amongst the crew.
  • Another guy I know is talking about starting up a 1st edition AD&D campaign that I’m leaning towards playing in.
  • Oh, and I got to play in a session of Mythic Iceland (BRP) that was pretty cool.

And since it’s now October I find my mind turning to:

  • The Chill/Ghostbusters thing I always want to run around Halloween but never do (and probably won’t again this year)
  • The Thanksgiving game I’ve run the past few years with my oldest of gamer buddies (but probably won’t this year due to some logistical stuff)
  • The half-dozen or more games I want to run, kinda sorta (but probably never will, for assorted reasons ranging from lack of player interest to lack of time in anyone’s schedule and beyond)

But hey, I’m gaming at least semi-regularly and that’s a good thing.

In Other News
The Sword’s new album comes out in just two weeks. And the advance tracks I’ve heard have been tasty. So that’s exciting.

And speaking of music, I’ve been playing a lot of bass lately (I’ve been playing bass almost as long as I’ve been gaming), having taken up with an absurdist jazz punk art noise rock ensemble here in Austin. We’ve even, in spite of the expected limitations of the genre, had a couple of actual gigs and there are at least a couple of additional shows on the horizon. And some recording that should actually lead to some kind of released album of some sort. So that’s a thing or two.

What Now?
Well, I’m not going to shut the blog down or anything. There’s stuff here that people keep finding and enjoying (the mighty G-Man’s BoL adventures, if nothing else). And really, who knows when inspiration will strike and I’ll have to start posting like mad again or risk burning up from the inside? So there’s not really an answer to the question I’m afraid. I just decided I should poke my head in and say hello, yes, I’m fine, thank you, how are you? So I did.


p.s. I’ve been trying to read a lot more of the Appendix N classics lately, too. Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword is on my table right now. Just beneath it in the stack you’ll find Clark Ashton Smith, the smattering of Lovecraft I’ve never read, Beowulf, the recent non-Conan REH compilations, Vance, Moorcock, and more. Yay, books!

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Echo Chamber News Flash: Pulp BRP On The Way

ASTOUNDING ADVENTURES Front CoverChaosium just won’t stop with the awesome. They’ve now officially announced Astounding Adventures!, a 30s/40s pulp supplement for BRP. Dayum!

My favorite game of all time was Justice, Inc. the standalone, pre-unified Hero System box set for the pulp genre. Easily my most successful and longest-running campaign (as a GM) was a Justice, Inc. game featuring a couple of recurring characters and a rotating cast of extras. It was the right level of pulpy goodness without being too derivative of the classics of the genre.

Unfortunately, Hero has long since become too complicated for my lifestyle and gaming tastes. But BRP, as I’ve mentioned more than once, hits the sweet spot between fast & dirty enough for me as a GM and crunchy and complex enough for the folks I game with most regularly. So maybe it’s time to dust off my notes.

I’m not seeing a projected release date other than “2012” so I’m not going to start getting too worked up just yet. But I’m pretty confident I’ll be dropping my cash on this once it’s out. And hey, if nothing else, that’s a pretty sweet cover they’ve put together for this thing.

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BRP Characters: Two Vikings

Wherein your humble scribe, flying in the face of his current obsession with scifi settings, presents a couple of Vikingesque characters for BRP.

Olvir the Owl and his belovéd, the witch called Runa Foglsdottir, set sail in a longship with two dozen of the Jarl’s finest warriors with the twin goals of conquest and plunder. The sea, it seems, had other plans. Now only the pair remain, shipwrecked on unknown shores. As the storm clouds recede and night begins to fall, strange cries and howls can be heard from within the dense forest just beyond the shore. Runa recalls tales of a land walked by men who become beasts when the sun sets and the air is fresh with rain and the rocks sated with the blood of the drowned. But surely such things are only the mad dreams of feverish sailors. Surely.

Olvir The Owl
STR 16 CON 12 SIZ 17 DEX 15 INT 13 POW 13 APP 8 HP 15 MW 8 DB +1d6
Weapons: Battle Axe 75% (1d8+2 +1d6), Spiked Shield 45% (1d3 +1d6)
Armor: Chain (1d8-1)
Skills: Brawl 45%, Climb 70%, Craft: Shipbuilding 15%, Dodge 50%, Grapple 45%, Insight 35%, Jump 45%, Knowledge: Natural World 31%, Language: Gaelic 21%, Language: Norse 75%, Melee Weapon: Axe 75%, Melee Weapon: Spear 45%, Navigate 50%, *Persuade 35%, Pilot: Boat 61%, Research 45%, Sense 30%, Shield 45%, Spot 55%, Stealth 30%, Swim 75%, Throw 25%

Runa Foglsdottir
STR 9 CON 14 SIZ 13 DEX 15 INT 17 POW 18 APP 14 HP 14 MW 7 DB none
Weapons: Short Spear 55% (1d6+1), Spiked Shield 45% (1d3)
Armor: Ring Mail (1d6)
Skills: Appraise 35%, Bargain 25%, Disguise 21%, Dodge 40%, Fast Talk 35%, First Aid 37%, Insight 45%, Knowledge: History 51%, Knowledge: Occult 61%, Knowledge: Natural World 41%, Language: Norse 95%, Listen 45%, Melee Weapon: Spear 55%, Perform: Rituals 45%, Perform: Singing 35%, Persuade 45%, Research 45%, Sense 30%, Shield 35%, Spot 45%, Stealth 30%, Technical: Traps 21%
Spells: Bird’s Vision, Breath of Life, Heal, Make Fast, Make Whole, Moonrise, Muddle, Rat’s Vision

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BRP Aliens: The Vortskaraal

Wherein your humble scribe presents a race of humanoid aliens (or perhaps just an offshoot of humanity) for use in that non-existent sci fi setting for BRP.

Hailing from a remote planet with substantially heavier gravity than Earth-normal, the Vortskaraal are a fierce but primitive species. Superficially they resemble Humans, but they have adapted quite thoroughly to their environment and are much shorter, stronger, and hardier than Humans on average. Their native culture is roughly Iron Age in terms of technology, which reduces a number of the default values for the more advanced skills they might learn, though there is no reason that with enough time spent in in the wider universe that an individual Vortskaraal cannot improve those skills.

Regular contact with the Vortskaraal homeworld has been established and various non-native races travel and trade there with some frequency. Visitors to the Vortskaraal homeworld can function unassisted for a limited time on the surface before tiring, but those who expect to spend significant time there are advised to make use of technology to aid them in dealing with the planet’s demanding gravity. The Vortskaraal themselves are generally amused by the ExoLoaders and other mechanisms employed by off-worlders.

Vortskaraal warriors are often recruited to serve in various armies and militias throughout the Trobane Conferdate and beyond. These warriors are often valued and respected for their abilities in combat and their loyalty to their employers.

Vortskaraal, Stubby Space Vikings

STR 4d6+6 (20)
CON 4d6 (14+10)
SIZ 2d4+4 (9+10)
INT 3d6 (10-11)
POW 3d6 (10-11)
DEX 2d4+6 (11)
APP 2d4+3 (8)
EDU 2d4 (5)

Average HP: 22
Average Damage Bonus: +2d6

Skill Bases (where different from defaults): Brawl 45%, Climb 20%, Dodge DEX X 1, Drive 1%, First Aid INT X 1, Grapple 45%, Jump 5%, Knowledge 1%, Medicine 0%, Stealth 5%, Swim 5%, Technical 1%

Powers: Due to their increased density, Vortskaraal are quite hardy and resistent to kinetic damage. They are also much heavier than they would appear to be based on their height, which reduces the rate at which they can move in a combat round. Treat this as 10 levels of Density Control (increased density only) that is always on and requires no Power Points to fuel.

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BRP Character: The Psientist

Wherein your humble scribe presents a BRP character for a still non-existent 60s/70s style scifi setting. The Psychic Powers system from the Big Gold Book were used in the creation of this character.

Report On Psientific Findings Of Gate Survey C24359/D

I knelt for three days in fasting supplication before the ikon of the Grand Lexicographer, praying for her echoes to help me unravel the meaning of the pictographs our expedition captured holographically from the ruins on Khandax IV. The emanations from the toppled monoliths hinted at sickness and loss. A plague would explain the scenes evident within the ruins themselves, but the bi/psi scans reveal no trace of malignant organisms in the air, soil, or water of the planet. To be sure, if a virus was involved there is little reason to expect even a single specimen to have survived after having decimated its hosts so thoroughly. Yet even extinct microbes leave traces that can be observed by our instruments.

(General Koz, predictably, remains steadfast in his insistence that violence played no small part in the termination of the Khandaxian civilization. There is no evidence to support this belief, but that has never prevented military minds from seeing sentient hostility where none exists. Their belief blinds them; it shows them ghosts of war where none stand.)

I find that my core temperature has become elevated throughout my study of the pictographs and wonder if there is something to be discovered deep within the interplay of the writings and my biospionic feedback. There is no logical connection to be found in any of the artifacts or recordings that were brought back through the gate. Still somehow I feel in my feverish tissues that the answer lies within these images and items. Is it possible that travel through the gate has somehow erased a critical clue? I shall transmit these notes and the expedition’s data to the labs at Central University in advance of my own trip through to feelsee Khandax firsthand.

Djeyn Lar, Ailing Psientist
STR 10 CON 9 SIZ 11 DEX 12 INT 16 POW 18 APP 12 HP 10 MW 5 PP 18 DB none
Weapons: PsiPistol 30% (2d8)
Armor: PsiShield (10) *Requires POW vs Damage Total resistance roll to activate
Skills: Craft: Weaving 15%, Dodge 24%, Persuade 35%, Research 35%, Technical: Psitronic Computing Devices 25%, Knowledge: Anthropology 55%, Knowledge: Archaeology 55%, Science: Biology 55%, Science: Linguistics 45%, Science: Psychology 25%
Powers: Divination 38%, Eidetic Memory 38%, Psychometry 48%, Sensitivity 48%

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BRP Rogues Gallery: Danger Divers!

Wherein your humble scribe presents a quartet of NPCs for BRP.

Black Monster © Ledo Design - Click it, the guy's work is awesome!

Traveling the world aboard the Bergion, Captain Jack Brody and his crew search for treasure beneath the waves. They have recently taken on an expedition lead by the well-known French oceanographer Marcel Lemieux, who is accompanied by his journalist daughter. Danger awaits these bold adventurers as they seek… The Sunken City of Ys.

Captain Jack Brody, Adventurous Deep Sea Explorer
STR 17 CON 16 SIZ 16 DEX 12 INT 10 POW 11 APP 11 HP 16 MW 7 DB +1d6
Weapons: Medium Revolver 60% (1d8), Speargun 40% (2d4), Knife 55% (1d3+1+1d6), Fist 45% (1d3+1d6)
Armor: none
Skills: Brawling 45%, Climb 40%, Dodge 54%, Firearms: Revolver 60%, Firearms: Speargun 40%, Knowledge: Natural History 45%, Language: English 60%, Melee Weapon: Knife 55%, Navigate 40%, Persuade 35%, Pilot: Boat 45%, Spot 55%, Swim 70%

Chip “Lucky” Rodgers, Gruff But Lovable Mechanic
STR 12 CON 13 SIZ 15 DEX 14 INT 12 POW 18 APP 12 HP 14 MW 7 DB +1d4
Weapons: Heavy Revolver 50% (1d10+2), Speargun 40% (2d4), Knife 65% (1d3+1+1d4), Fist 45% (1d3+1d4)
Armor: none
Skills: Brawling 45%, Climb 50%, Craft: Cooking 15%, Dodge 58%, Firearms: Revolver 50%, Firearms: Speargun 40%, Grapple 55%, Langauge: English 60%, Language: Portuguese 11%, Melee Weapon: Knife 65%, Navigate 40%, Repair: Structural 85%, Spot 55%, Swim 65%

Beatrix “Betty” Lemieux, Plucky Journalist
STR 12 CON 13 SIZ 11 DEX 17 INT 13 POW 12 APP 15 HP 12 MW 7 DB none
Weapons: Fist 45% (1d3)
Armor: none
Skills: Art: Photography 65%, Brawling 50%, Dodge 54%, Fast Talk 65%, Insight 45%, Language: English 36%, Language: French 75%, Listen 35%, Persuade 45%, Research 45%, Spot 55%, Stealth 30%, Swim 55%

Dr. Marcel Lemieux, Brilliant Scientist
STR 10 CON 14 SIZ 11 DEX 13 INT 17 POW 13 APP 9 HP 13 MW 7 DB none
Weapons: none
Armor: none
Skills: Art: Photography 45%, Craft: Drawing 25%, Dodge 46%, Knowledge: Archaeology 35%, Knowledge: Folklore 35%, Langauge: French 75%, Language: English 21%, Persuade 25%, Research 75%, Science: Biology 51%, Science: Oceanography 81%, Swim 65%, Technical: Sensor Systems 55%

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BRP Rogues Gallery: Cyborg Bounty Hunters

Wherein your humble scribe presents a cyborg bounty hunter duo for some crazy 60s/70s style sci fi setting for BRP that doesn’t exist. I used the Super Powers rules from the Big Gold Book to build out the cybernetic enhancements, with a Character Point Budget equal to the characters’ highest unmodified characteristic (e.g., Heroic power level).

Traveling the backwaters of the Trobane Conferdate aboard the Paranotoreas, HARC-7 and 3V3 work together to round up escapees from the penal colonies. Their methods aren’t exactly orthodox – but they get the job done – so the Confederate’s enforcers tend to overlook the occasional shattered bone or plasma burn on the recaptured criminals. There are some within the establishment, though, who are more than a little concerned with the fact that neither bounty hunter appears in the official records of the Grand Census. It’s probably only a matter of time before the hunters become the hunted.

HARC-7, Cyborg Mercenary
STR 20 CON 12 SIZ 14 DEX 13 INT 11 POW 15 APP 14 HP 13 MW 7 DB +1d6
Weapons: Plasma Pistol 55% (2d10+2), Brawling 85% (1d3+1d6), 4 Plasma Grenades 45% (3d10/2 meters)
Armor: Adaptive Mesh (1d4+2)
Skills: Artillery: RailGun 11%, Brawl 85%, Climb 50%, Dodge 66%, Energy Pistols 55%, First Aid 50%, Grapple 65%, Knowledge: Natural History 25%, Knowledge: Streetwise 45%, Projection 46%, Spot 55%, Stealth 40%, Strategy 21%, Throw 45%, Track 30%
Powers: Duraplast Skin & Steel Plating (Armor: Kinetic) 5, Cybernetic Arms (Super Characteristic: STR +3) 3, Cybernetic Eyes (Super Sense: Super Vision, Infrared Vision, Night Vision) 9

3V3, Cyborg Space Pilot
STR 10 CON 14 SIZ 10 DEX 20 INT 16 POW 10 APP 16 HP 12 MW 6 DB none
Weapons: Plasma Pistol 45% (2d10+2), Stun Lance 75% (1d6 +stun)
Armor: Adaptive Mesh (1d4+2)
Skills: Bargain 25%, Demolitions 41%, Dodge 80%, Drive: GravSled 30%, Energy Pistols 45%, Heavy Machine: ExoLoader 11%, Knowledge: Streetwise 25%, Listen 45%, Melee Weapon: Stun Lance 75%, Navigate 50%, Pilot: Spacecraft 61%, Persuade 35%, Repair: Electronics 55%, Repair: Mechanical 45%, Spot 45%, Technical: Computer Use 35%
Powers: Cybernetic Blur Mode (Defense) 5, Cybernetic Fast-Twitch Muscle Response Enhancement (Super Characteristic: DEX +3) 9, Cybernetic Ear Implants (Super Sense: Sonar Detection) 3

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BRP Rogues Gallery: The Daughters of Daelwyn

Wherein your humble scribe presents a trio of characters for a completely non-existent sci fi setting for Basic RolePlaying.

Daelwyn L’Orreaux was the beautiful and gifted daughter of noted Ionian geneticist Dr. Hyrum L’Orreaux. She was murdered by jackbooted thugs in service to the Jovian Protectorate’s Minister of Defense, Evairyx Schim, in an attempt to force Dr. L’Orreaux to develop genetic supermen to lead the Protectorate’s warmachine. Daelwyn’s death drove her father to flee his native Io and take refuge amongst the free peoples of the Saturnian Association. There, in a private research facility well-hidden within Saturn’s ring system, Dr. L’Orreaux has created a trio of clones of his daughter to be trained as assassins to exact his revenge against the entire leadership of the Jovian Protectorate. Though these clones are near-perfect replicas of the original Daelwyn, each has manifested a slightly different personality, affinities, and set of psychic powers. Despite being well aware of their true nature, each considers herself a daughter of the original Daelwyn and the other two, thus, her sisters. They are fanatically dedicated to their father and his vision of vengeance.

Daelwyn II
STR 12 CON 13 SIZ 9 INT 14 POW 15 DEX 13 APP 16 HP 11 MW 6 PP 15 DB none
Weapons: Laster Pistol 45% (1d8), Brawling 65% (1d3)
Armor: Adaptive Mesh (1d4+2)
Skills: Brawl 65%, Dodge 55%, Energy Pistol: 45%, Hide 40%, Listen 35%, Martial Arts: Karate 20%, Knowledge: Espionage 35%, Perform: Ionian Harpsichord 45%, Pilot:Starship 30%, Spot 35%, Stealth 35%
Powers: Eidetic Memory 25%, Telekinesis 35%, Telepathy 45%

Daelwyn III
STR 12 CON 13 SIZ 9 INT 14 POW 15 DEX 13 APP 16 HP 11 MW 6 PP 15 DB none
Weapons: Laster Pistol 45% (1d8), Brawling 65% (1d3)
Armor: Adaptive Mesh (1d4+2)
Skills: Dodge 55%, Energy Pistol: 45%, Grapple 65%, Hide 40%, Listen 35%, Martial Arts: Judo 20%, Knowledge: Espionage 35%, Perform: Singing 45%, Pilot:Starship 30%, Spot 35%, Stealth 35%
Powers: Eidetic Memory 25%, Precognition 35%, Telepathy 45%

Daelwyn IV
STR 12 CON 13 SIZ 9 INT 14 POW 15 DEX 13 APP 16 HP 11 MW 6 PP 15 DB none
Weapons: Laster Pistol 45% (1d8), Sabre 65% (1d8+1)
Armor: Adaptive Mesh (1d4+2)
Skills: Dodge 55%, Energy Pistol: 45%, Hide 40%, Listen 35%, Martial Arts: Fencing 20%, Knowledge: Espionage 35%, Melee Weapon: Sabre 65%, Perform: Dancing 45%, Pilot:Starship 30%, Spot 35%, Stealth 35%
Powers: Eidetic Memory 25%, Empathy 35%, Telepathy 45%

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Elric! Rogues Gallery

Wherein your humble scribe, in honor of the upcoming new Magic World RPG, produces a couple of characters using the Elric! iteration of BRP.

Sayle, Fast-Talking Mercenary, Age 26
Law 3 Balance 0 Chaos 0
Goateed, generous, and garrulous, Sayle travels the Young Kingdoms as a sword for hire, with only a lock of his mother’s hair worn in a small leather pouch about his neck as a reminder of his youthful days in distant Argimiliar.

STR 15 CON 10 SIZ 13 INT 10 POW 14 DEX 14 APP 17 HP 12 DB none
Gold: 360
Weapons: Short Spear 60% (1d6+1), Thrown Spear 50% (1d6+1), Broadsword 55% (1d8+1)
Armor: Sea Leather, no helmet (1d6-1), Small Shield
Skills: Art:Tell Story 65%, Bargain 45%, Brawl 75%, Disguise 35%, Dodge 63%, Evaluate 35%, Fast Talk 60%, Insight 55%, Oratory 55%, Other Language (Melnibonean) 30%, Own Language (Common) 70%, Ride 80%, Search 40%, Shield 40%, Throw 50%

Vanaya, Resourceful Escaped Slave, Age 26
Law 0 Balance 0 Chaos 3
Her long, raven hair loose to hide the Jharkorian slave brand on back of neck, Vanaya wears her dead sister’s boots. She never speaks of her childhood, and has vowed one day to master all the magic she can to make her vengeance upon her family’s tormenters both dark and complete.

STR 10 CON 10 SIZ 8 INT 16 POW 17 DEX 13 APP 13 HP 9 DB none
Gold: 520
Weapons: Dirk 55% (1d4+2)
Armor: Soft Leather (1d6-1)
Spells: Heal, Make Fast, Span of Cran Liret (3)
Skills: Art: Conversation 50%, Art: Formal Dance 20%, Bargain 35%, Conceal Object 45%, Craft: Card Reading/Palmistry 65%, Disguise 35%, Dodge 61%, Evaluate 35%, Fast Talk 60%, Hide 65%, Insight 65%, Jump 25%, Move Quietly 45%, Natural World 45%, Oratory 25%, Own Language (Common) 100%, Pick Lock 25%, Potions 10%, Scent/Taste 40%, Search 40%

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