I’ve been meaning to post about this for some time. Many of you probably know this information, but I will post about it anyway. In any event, Chaosium is finalizing the 1st Edition of the Basic Roleplaying book. Basic Roleplaying is a complete rules system integrating 30 years of gameplay and refinement to allow play in any genre, from fantasy to sci-fi, modern horror to supers, and everything in between. From what Chaosium says, the final book will be released sometime around June 2008 and run somewhere in the range of 390 pages.
Chaosium’s description of the Basic Roleplaying book runs as follows.
This book comprises a roleplaying game system, a framework of rules aimed at allowing players to enact a sort of improvisational radio theater—only without microphones—and with dice determining whether the characters succeed or fail at what they attempt to do. In roleplaying games, one player takes on the role of the gamemaster (GM), while the other player(s) assume the roles of player characters (PCs) in the game. The gamemaster also acts out the roles of characters who aren’t being guided by players: these are called non-player characters (NPCs).
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. This means that there’s less fiddling with dice of different types, and the concept of a percentile chance of success is extremely easy for beginners and experienced players to grasp. There aren’t many easier ways to say a character has a 70% chance of succeeding at an activity.
As we wait for the release of the finalized 1st edition, Chaosium has released an Advanced Readers’ Copy of the book that was created as part of the proofing and correction process. It is currently on sale for $39.95 for general public purchase. The cover is an interim one and will be replaced for the final edition. If interested, you can purchase the Basic Roleplaying Advanced Readers’ Copy.