Play Unplugged Review – Basic Roleplaying (The Chaosium System)

Play Unplugged has a view up of the Basic RolePlaying system. The review isn’t basic, but the RP is.

From the review:

Play Unplugged gets back to basics with a look at Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying (setting not included).

  • jedijon

    I read this review – and I’m absolutely befuddled why the reviewer wanted to revise their opinion of the game from a C (prior editions) to an A+ based on their descriptions of what’s changed.

    It seemed like they’re just playing a d20 game now instead of a percentile roll under–I mean…it IS a percentile roll under system, it’s just that at every critical juncture (opposed rolls? It wasn’t clear from the review), you divide stats by 5. I’ve played Rogue Trader and I think that sure could just be d20, this seems the same. What’s the difference between 20 and 100? One is five times the other. You’re either getting meaningless stat bumps on your way to your next multiple of five…or…

    So, you probably get the picture now. And as for a fix to the dodge skill unbalancing combat. Their fix – tables and yikes! Why not just have dodge modify the attackers skill level -5, -10, or -15 based on the dodging character level of “dodge proficiency”? You could roll that first, then attacks that rolled really low (read well) would still connect, and you’d have a static dodge percentage without having to consult a table.

    To me it sounded like a clunky system that would slow down frequently with anything but the very expert player–and nothing I’d ever want to DM. Unless I read something entirely incorrectly, my rating would have stayed a ‘C’.

    • Soulfinger

      The review is not particularly clear about how the Basic System works, so your confusion is quite understandable. A review of Basic is hardly newsworthy to begin with, considering that this edition has been around for 4 years and older editions have been unearthed in neolithic burial mounds. So yeah, shoddy review that’s about 4 years too late. That said, Chaosium’s Basic RPG is phenomenally good. The best way to immerse yourself in it is to try out their Call of Cthulhu RPG, which uses the same system. If you don’t end up liking the system then at least you get to enjoy an extraordinary setting.

      • Hi Soulfinger,

        I’m Enrico, the owner/editor at Play Unplugged. I certainly won’t debate the “newness” of the game. The writer (Jason Vey) had received the newer edition and was interested to see if much had changed. He wasn’t a fan of previous editions and after reading this latest edition, liked the changes enough that he asked if he could write a review of it for the site. If one of my freelancers is excited about something, I generally give them some latitude.

        I’ll pass on the comment about system description (as well as Jedijon’s), but I’m not understanding what makes the article “shoddy.” Constructive criticism is always welcome. We can’t get better in a vacuum, but just deriding the article doesn’t really help myself or our freelancers get better.

        Well anyway, I’m sorry to hear this article wasn’t your cup-of-tea. I hope our future offerings are more to your liking.

        Thanks for the feedback,