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Getting Started - Designing Games

Looking to design your own game?
You create the world, we've got the rules!

Basic Roleplaying

Create your own games with Basic Roleplaying

Basic Roleplaying: Universal Game Engine contains all the core rules for character creation and advancement, deadly and tactical combat, magic, psychic powers, mutations, superpowers, weapons, equipment, and vehicles applicable to any setting and genre.

We’ve created fabulous and widely-acclaimed games based on different worlds of myth and fantasy using the BRP: Universal Game Engine. Well-known Chaosium games including Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, and even Pendragon all run on the chassis of Basic Roleplaying.

And we want you to you create your own game based on the Basic Roleplaying (BRP) system!

Customize your Rules

With Basic Roleplaying you can customize the system with the large set of optional rules. Use only the rules you need, and ignore the rest!

  • Want a grittier and more lethal combat? Add in options like Hit Points per Hit Location and Fatigue Points to really challenge the players.
  • Want heroic characters without the detail? Use Total Hit Points with Major Wounds to create tougher characters that can still take threatening damage.
  • Is religion important? Bring in Allegiance and Passions to model complex religious systems.
  • Horror? Well, Sanity is for you!

And you scale your characters by power level from normal humans to to epic characters able to go toe-to-toe with the gods themselves!

The BRP-powered game that one designer creates would look completely different than one by another designer, and yet players will fine it easy to move between thanks to the common system.

A barbarian in the front north stands beside a huge frozen sword

And adventurer fighting a snake

Build your Setting

One of the cores of any game or campaign is the setting. With the ability to easily customize BRP, players can rely on knowing the core game mechanics, but experience settings from the mundane to the fantastic, from the prehistoric to the far future. Leveraging the equipment lists by era and the optional rules, a game designer can tailor Basic Roleplaying to model any setting you need.

Writers and game designers can take their original settings, or see if they can license an existing one, to produce their own setting book. They can choose not to include any rules and rely on the core Basic Roleplaying: Universal Game Engine book separately, or include the rules that they need!

Augment other BRP-based games

A gamemaster creating their own house campaign can easily adapt any BRP-based product to another one. They can bring in creatures from RuneQuest into a BRP game, add Allegiance to a Call of Cthulhu game, or make other similar changes.

This creates an opportunity for game designers to create products that will work with all BRP games. Some of these ideas could include:

  • A tome of sorcery spells that emulate a certain magical style
  • A bestiary of creatures to challenge players in a post-apocalyptic world
  • A detailed equipment guide for a cyberpunk game
An adventurer descending down a rope in front of some ancient ruins

A 3D-modeled person watering some Euro coins so they will grow

Sell your BRP-based game royalty-free thanks to the ORC License

Released under the Open RPG Creative (ORC) license, Basic Roleplaying: Universal Game Engine is available for you to create your own games, royalty-free and without further permission from Chaosium as long as we are given appropriate credit.


  • Basic Roleplaying ORC Content Document - RTF (Rich Text Format)
  • Basic Roleplaying ORC Content Document - PDF

You can read more about the ORC License here.