Chaosium Announces New Basic RPG System

Chaosium has recently announced a new edition of their Basic RPG System, complete with everything designers need to create their own games.

Published: March 22, 2023 3:10 PM /


Promotional artwork of the new Basic RPG system rulebook

Chaosium has announced a new edition of its Basic RPG system. While the tabletop publisher is known for the cosmic horror of Call of Cthulhu or the Bronze-Age-inspired fantasy world of RuneQuest, both of those games are built on the Basic system. Now, new game designers will have the chance to make their own games, since this newest edition of Basic is being released under the new Open RPG Creative (ORC) license.

The New Basic RPG System announcement

Chaosium announced their new Basic RPG system on their official Twitter account. Officially titled Basic Roleplaying The Universal Game Engine, this new edition will include updated rules and mechanics. Furthermore, since the system will be one of the first to release under the ORC, founded by tabletop publisher Paizo in response to the highly contentious OGL 1.1, it can be used as the foundation for original TTRPG projects by other tabletop developers.

The Basic RPG system has been used by Chaosium for forty years. It is a d100 system that emphasizes quick and accessible mechanics as well as roleplaying and exploration. As for the system's flexibility for storytelling, it becomes apparent when looking at what the publisher has made with that system. Call of Cthulhu is all about making players feel like investigators in H.P Lovecraft's twisted world of eldritch horrors. Not only can death happen at any point, but the game also sports a sanity system where knowledge about what lies beyond leads to permanent effects on the investigator's mind. By contrast, RuneQuest is a fantasy TTRPG with an emphasis on various religious societies and a world where anyone had the potential to be a spellcaster.

According to Chaosium, this new Basic RPG system will be available for purchase at some point this upcoming April in PDF. It is unclear at this time if the book will receive a physical release.

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Ever since he was small, Tyler Chancey has had a deep, abiding love for video games and a tendency to think and overanalyze everything he enjoyed. This… More about Tyler