31 March 2012

BRP Central Hacked

Basic Roleplaying Central -- the best place on the internet to discuss BRP and download material for BRP games -- has been hacked, and likely will not be operational again for at least two weeks.

Greetings everyone! Yes the site has been hacked and infected with trojans, malware and whatnot. I'm currently travelling in Tanzania (nearly croaked on Kilimanjaro yesterday), and just discovered the infection today when I checked my email, where I found an email about a security patch update from vBulletin (the forum software) and several messages from BRP Central members about the situation. There's preciously little I can do about it now until I get home, except taking the site offline to avoid any further visitors to get infected, which I have asked my hosting provider to do immediately. I'll try to rectify the situation as good as I can when I get home. The site will be back up again, the question is only how much of the database needs to be discarded for it to be safely be opened again. Hopefully it will be back up again in about two weeks time. I'll send out an email to all members when it's up and running again. Sorry for the inconvenience! Trifletraxor.
What an unfortunate mess. Stupid hackers. Hopefully the site will be back and functioning in two weeks!

29 March 2012

Horror in the Deep

Zoom in.

Scroll down.

Way down.



Okay, make a SAN roll. If you fail, lose 1d100 sanity points; if you succeed, only 1d10 sanity points.


27 March 2012

Prophylactic of Eldritch Power

It certainly worked throughout my teenage years!

(Unfortunately, I do not know where this comic is from, or who created it. If any reader knows, I'd be grateful for the information. Thanks!)

22 March 2012

Magic World is Coming

A few years ago, having become somewhat disenchanted with the ‘d20’ system and 3.5 D&D after having run two long-ish campaigns using those rules, I started to reconsider Chaosium’s classic Basic Role-playing system (‘BRP’).

I had owned Elric! Since it was published in 1993, and thought that it was a great game. Alas, I never had the opportunity to run a campaign using it, or, for that matter, earlier versions of Stormbringer (I did run, however, some Hawkmoon games in the late 1980s).

Chaosium lost the licence to publish games within the ‘multiverse’ of Michael Moorcock (the worlds of Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon, and so forth) in 2007. Given the strength of the Elric! system, independent of its setting, I wondered why Chaosium didn’t simply scrub off all the Moorcock references, and publish the system as a ‘generic’ fantasy role-playing game.

Well it looks like that finally is happening! Coming soon from Chaosium: Magic World.

MAGIC WORLD is a self-contained fantasy roleplaying game using the classic "Basic Roleplaying" system. The game allows you to play characters in a world of fantasy, adventure, and excitement. The rules of MAGIC WORLD are simple to grasp, while having enough options and complexity to suit any gaming style. Characters grow in experience organically, without relying on artificial constructs such as classes, levels, etc. Any sort of fantasy character you can imagine, you can play. MAGIC WORLD contains:

· Full rules for creating characters in a world of magic and fantasy.

· A robust magic system with nearly one hundred spells. Any character may become a spell caster with the right combination of raw talent, and training!

· Detailed, yet streamlined skills and combat rules.

· Complete rules for nautical adventures.

· A bestiary of more than sixty creatures to use as foes for the characters, or as the characters themselves! Play as any species imaginable: Human, Elf, Orc, Centaur, Troll, Talking Beast, and more!

· Gamemaster advice, and resources.

· A gallery of enchanted items which might be found in your characters' adventures.

· A complete sample campaign setting, "the Southlands", to jump start your adventures.

· And more!

While the title hearkens back to the fantasy booklet within Chaosium’s 1982 box set Worlds of Wonder, the new Magic World, including its magic system, is based primarily on Elric!, albeit with some tweaks and updates from the recent ‘Goldbook’ version of BRP.

More information on Magic World can be found in this interview with the editor of the game, Ben Monroe (ak.a. ‘zomben’). And here is a thread discussing the game.

With OpenQuest, Legend (MRQII), and, soon, RuneQuest 6 available as well, there exists a wonderful surfeit of BRP-based fantasy role-playing games. I always liked the relative simplicity of Elric!, including its magic and allegiance systems, so I look forward to adding Magic World to ‘the stable’.

14 March 2012

San Francisco

I'm off to San Francisco for a few days!

While there, I hope to be able to visit Gamescape, my FLGS from 2003-2005. (I lived two blocks from Dolores Park in San Francisco for 2.5 years, so Gamescape was about a 25-minute walk from my flat.) Hopefully they still have a decent selection of RPGs.

I also would like to visit Games of Berkeley, but given my schedule, that's less likely.

10 March 2012

Crypts and Things Discussions on the Ethernet

Crypts and Things has been out for a few weeks now, and it has managed to garner a little bit of attention on the Ethernet.


  1. A review at DrivethruRPG
  2. A thread at Ye Olde Purple Site

It’s very gratifying to see that some other people ‘out there’ are enjoying a game to which I contributed in some small way!

Cheers, by Crom!

04 March 2012

The Journal of Edvund Yrvim - Entry 13 – Escape From Ryfel

With the corpse of Nhagren lying in the corner of his former apartment, and the blackened remains of the demon starting to reek, it clearly was time for us to depart. We marched unopposed out of the room.

Bōdric severed Malagan’s head, taking it with him to use as a grim ward to use against the remaining inhabitants of the citadel, all of whom feared the sorcerer more than any other person in Ryfel. Proceeding down the winding stairs, the surviving guards were suitably cowed by our manifest prowess, and complied with our command to take us to the sorcerer’s quarters.

In Malagan’s chambers we discovered two massive cages. The first contained a filthy and bruised Dorelite girl. A feral creature, it was clear that she had been mistreated in a most cruel manner. The other cage contained the supremely comely Cora-Dru, who tried in vain to conceal her nakedness from us. Seeing her again, I felt sudden quickening in my heart, and offered her my coat without hesitation.


What was this strange sensation?

Sporting a self-satisfied grin, Bōdric hoisted up the head of Malagan for both girls to see. They let out squeals of joy at this evidence of their tormenter’s demise.

We quickly freed the captives. Despite liberating her, though, the Dorelite girl snarled at us, and I worried that she might attempt some futile attack. Fortunately, Aneera managed to calm her, and quickly took the girl into her care. We eventually learned that her name was ‘Ebrina.’ Else of her origin I learned naught.

While my companions looted the sorcerer’s compartment, I discovered a hidden compartment behind a loose stone within the hearth. It was impossible for me to see what was in the compartment, given its location. Foolishly abandoning my usual caution, I plunged in my hand to feel what was there. My fingers graced a leather-bound book of some sort. Before I could extract the volume, however, I let out a surprised yelp, as my vulnerable hand had been stung! Out from the hearth came scurrying a repulsive chitinous scorpion!

Acting swiftly, I cut into my flesh, and sucked out the venom as best I could. The fact that I can write these words testifies that I acted quickly enough. Yet enough of the venom had entered by bloodstream to cause me great discomfort for several hours afterwards.

My brother kindly smashed the arthropod into a pulpy mess with his heavy boot.

Biting my lip in pain, I extracted my costly prize. The book proved to be nothing other than Malagan’s black grimoire! With a sigh of satisfaction, I placed it within my pack to examine later. No doubt the secrets contained therein would further enhance my already formidable arcane powers.

Adralat discovered a scroll made of tanned human skin. Looking at it warily, I discovered that it contained a rune of Chaos. Shuddering, I placed it with the grimoire in my pack.

Departing Malagan’s grim chamber, we commanded one of the guards to take us to the gladiator pits. There we released all the slaves that previously had been doomed to fight to the death for the amusement of their Pan Tangian overlords. Whooping with joy and flexing their mighty thews, the liberated gladiators seized what weapons they could find, and stormed out of the compound in order to extract revenge on their former captors.

We also liberated Lord Salamir. Looking at his daughter with weird ambivalence, and us, his liberators, with strange contempt, the haughty Melnibonéan aristocrat merely said, “Let us go now.”

[Lord Salamir]

We emerged from the gladiator pits into the main yard of the Pan Tangian fastness. The gibbous moon illuminated the scene. As we marched to the outer gate, we spied the fat form of Governor Boorg being tossed from the third tower by some of his former guards. Just deserts, I thought, for that grotesque tyrant. We noticed, as well, several fires breaking out within the manse. Pan Tang’s hold on Ryfel had been broken with the death of the sorcerer.

We found some horses near the gate. Mounting them, we departed as swiftly as we could. News of the demise of Nhagren, Malagan, and Boorg seemed to be spreading like a wildfire throughout the city. As we rode to the city gates, we witnessed newly emboldened townsfolk clashing with Pan Tangian guards. Anarchy was purifying the rotten city, like a flame on a mouldering corpse.

We rode north from the city throughout the night and into the morning, the glorious sea to our right. Despite our exhaustion from the night’s many trials, the rays of the emerging sun invigorated us. By midday we made it to our hidden ship.

Never again would my nostrils be assailed by the foetid odour of Ryfel!

As we boarded the hornet ship, Lord Salamir recoiled at the presence of the dozen human prostitutes, Aneera’s ‘sisters,’ whom we had liberated from the (now destroyed) Frozen Gem. (I noted with mild amusement that our badly battered slave Myluk had his arm casually wrapped around the shoulders of one especially fair wench. No doubt she was simply helping him to walk!) Adralat exercised his considerable diplomatic skills in order to dampen Salamir’s indignation, as Ulor and Brax guided our now crowded ship out to sea.

For the first time in days I looked at the azure sky with genuine joy. We had been victorious in our mission!

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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).