What is Basic Roleplaying?
The first Basic Role-Playing (BRP) book was created to introduce brand new players to the world of Fantasy Roleplaying. Lynn Willis and Greg Stafford's iconic 16 page booklet was included in most early Chaosium boxed games to help a GM with first time players in their gaming group. Over time BRP became the term used to describe the basic core system behind all of Chaosium's RPGs. It might be more accurate to speak of a BRP "family of games" that includes Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, Mythic Iceland, the Laundry, and others.
What happened to the big gold rulebook?
After Chaosium lost the rights to RuneQuest, a version of BRP (the BRP Gold Book) was developed to fill the vacuum. Now that RuneQuest has returned to Chaosium, the Gold Book is no longer necessary and will remain out of print. For those of you who still want a copy of it, Chaosium will continue selling the PDF of the BRP Gold Book on our website, and start selling it as a print on demand book on Lulu and DrivethruRPG.
So is BRP dead?
No! In fact, we are in the process of finishing up a new edition of the BRP core rules, called BRP Essentials. This is a 32 page booklet containing the core elements of the BRP system. Future publications will build upon those core rules and tailor them for their needs. We have several such books in development, including a hardboiled detective book (which is emphatically not Call of Cthulhu in terms of style or needed rules) and an updated version of Mythic Iceland (with a campaign pack in the works).
But what if I don't like RuneQuest or Call of Cthulhu?
Chaosium will be producing new products based on the new core BRP rules that are neither RuneQuest nor Call of Cthulhu. Of course, we will be producing a lot of Call of Cthulhu and RuneQuest
In addition to Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, and other BRP products, Chaosium also publishes HeroQuest, 13th Age in Glorantha, and a line of board games. We have a lot of new material in the pipeline, with more on that soon!