RPG Encyclopedia: B

Babylon 5: Roleplaying Game and Fact Book
1st ed by Matthew Sprange (2003) Mongoose Publishing
2nd ed (2006)
A sci-fi game based on the TV series "Babylon 5". It uses a variant of the rules from third edition Dungeons & Dragons (aka d20). The book is not a complete game, and requires the D&D Players Handbook for character generation, skills, and experience. It includes descriptions for six races and eight classes, plus modified combat rules and rules for telepathy and spacecraft battles.
The Babylon Project
1st ed by Joseph Cochran (1997) Chameleon Eclectic
A sci-fi game based on the TV series "Babylon 5". The rules are reasonably laid out, with a straightforward skill-based system. The combat system is fairly complex, with a hex-pattern hit location chart and a table relating damage amount and type.
1st ed by Paul Czege (2005) Half-Meme Press
A mini-RPG about a night of madness in 61 A.D., in the Italian harbour town of Puteoli. The god Bacchus and his satyrs have descended from the hills to induce an irresistable madness of drunkenness, violent crime, and lust. Three other gods are also present: Venus, goddess of love and lust; Pluto, who has come to see the most base crimes of men; and Minerva, enraged by the mindless brutality and of a mind to put a stop to it. The PCs have each been accused of a crime against the empire, and they need to find their lost companion and flee Puteoli before they are caught and killed by the soldiers that are looking for them. The game consists of rolling a handful of dice, with different dice representing the gods, the soldiers, the companion, and wine. Depending on which die is highest, the player is given directions to narrate the scene.
BARBAREN! The Ultimate Macho Role Playing Game
1st (German) ed by Frank Tarcikowski (2009) Vagrant Workshop
1st (English) ed by Frank Tarcikowski (2011) Vagrant Workshop
A satirical fantasy RPG that describes itself as going "far beyond the limits of good taste" - where the PCs are giant barbarian men filled with raging testosterone, and the rules focus on both fighting and seduction. Character creation is a mix of point-based and random-roll, and there is only one core attribute - Virility. All PCs have a Virility of 3. The players then split 25 points between the secondary stats Dangerous and Attractive, which are spent to take actions in fighting or seduction (respectively), and are lost by being being wounded or refused. Players roll 1d6 each for their initial pools of Aggro and Horny points that can be spent for bonus dice. They select 7 tricks - one-shot abilities such as "double strike" or "electrifying touch". Players also define 3 free-form Strengths (or 4 Strengths and 1 Weakness) along with 2 Character Traits, a Goal in Life, and 2-3 Bonds to NPCs (including desire, rivalry, and/or oath). Resolution is by rolling d6s equal to Virility, plus 1 die for describing the scene well, plus 1 die for using a tactical advantage, plus dice supplied by character aiding you, and modifying dice for Strengths, Weaknesses, or Bonds. Aggro points can be spent for bonus dice in fighting, and are gained through sex. Horny points can be spent for bonus dice in seduction, and are gained by fighting.
Barbarians of Lemuria
1st ed by Simon Washbourne (2008) Beyond Belief Games
Legendary ed (2009)
A swords & sorcery fantasy RPG, inspired by primarily by Lin Carter's Thongor of Lemuria series along with Conan, Elric, and Fafhrd & The Grey Mouser. It is set in an archetypal world (Lemuria) that is just recovering from a final war against the sorcerer-kings who had ruled for centuries. Along with humans, there are nomadic blue-skinned giants (Ceruleans), savage jungle-dwelling apemen (Grooth), and secretive birdmen (Haklaton). It uses its own system. Resolution calls for combining 2d6 + attribute - difficulty, where 9 and above is a success. Hero Points can be spent to re-roll dice, raise level of success, cheat death, and even change game-world facts (with GM permission). Character creation is limited point-based. The player distributes 4 points among the four main attributes (Strength, Agility, Mind and Appeal) and 4 points among the combat abilities (Brawl, Melee, Ranged and Defence); selects 4 careers from a provided list; then selects a place of origin and either one trait/advantage or two traits/advantages and a flaw. It includes a freeform magic system for sorcery, gods, and alchemy.
Barbarians Versus
1st ed by Nathan J. Hill (2005) Key 20 Publishing Mystic Ages Online
A mini-roleplaying game about medieval fantasy barbarians fighting reptilian invaders from beyond the stars.
Barony Fantasy Role-Play
1st ed by Joseph Hillmer, George Rahm (1993) Better Games
An oriental fantasy RPG, published in magazine format in three books. One book handles character creation and basic mechanics, one book walks GMs through developing scenarios, and the last one is on dragon battles. It uses the "Free-Style Roleplay" system from Crimson Cutlass. Reviewed in White Wolf #26.
Barrio Xino
1st ed by Sergi Latorre (2000) La Factoría de Ideas
2nd ed (2001)
A humorous Spanish-language modern-day RPG. The setting can be your own city and district. PCs are the everydays people who you can see at the streets, frequently dealing with the illegality. Pickpockets, cops, pimps, whores, students, etc.
BASH! Basic Action Super Heroes
1st ed by Chris Rutkowsky (2005) Basic Action Games
Ultimate ed (2009)
A superhero RPG with a simple system. Action resolution is by rolling 2d6 (with doubles open-ending), multiplying by attribute (1-5), adding modifiers, and comparing with difficulty. Skills are binary -- lacking a skill means -4 on the die roll before multiplying. In combat, if a hit is scored, the damage is the difference between a damage roll (usually Brawn + attack bonuses) and a soak roll (usually Brawn + Armor). Character creation is limited point-based. First, spread 7 points among the three attributes (Brawn, Agility, and Mind). Second, spread 9 points on powers. Third, pick a number of Agility skills equal to Agility, and Mind skills equal to Mind.
BASH! Fantasy
1st ed by Chris Rutkowsky (2005) Basic Action Games
A fantasy RPG using a variant of the system in BASH!.
Basic Role-Playing
1st ed by Greg Stafford, Lynn Willis (1980) Chaosium
1st ed by Jason Durall, Sam Johnson, Steve Perrin, Steve Hedrickson, Ray Turney (2008) Chaosium
This is a short universal RPG system, although as originally published it only supported fantasy or early history. The original booklet was intended as an introduction for beginners to Chaosium's RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, and Stormbringer games. These used roughly the same system which BRP explained. BRP is a percentile skill system: roll under skill(0-100) on percentile dice, or roll on the "resistance table" for attribute (3-18) vs difficulty. Character creation is random-roll attributes. In the introductory booklet, skills are fixed but can be improved with experience. In 1982, the booklet was packaged with 3 genre books in Worlds of Wonder.
Batman RPG
1st ed by Jack A. Barker, Greg Gorden, Ray Winninger (1988) Mayfair Games
2nd ed by Ray Winninger (1989)
A superhero RPG based on playing characters from the "Batman" comic series from DC Comics. It used a "lite" version of the DC Heroes system (aka MEGS).
Battleaxe RPG
1st ed by Donald E. Olson, K. Douglas Woolsey (2004) Sixteen Coal Black Horses
Reforged ed (2006)
A fantasy RPG set on the war-ravaged world of Mordredica, an ancient battlefield of the Gods and prison of the Forty Sorcerers. It is inhabited by races including human, elf, dwarf, orc, and wulfir (wolf-men). Character creation is a mix of random-roll and limited point-based. The six attributes (Vigor, Action, Conviction, Savvy, Imagination, and Fortitude) are each determined by (racial base) + 2d6, after which from 4 to 10 points can be moved between attributes. A profession can be determined by a die roll or choice, and a choice of Mastery (Warrior, Ranger, or Mage). Resolution is by rolling under a target number based on attribute using 1d20, with roll - target number for the level of success ("span").
Battle Born
1st ed by Joseph Hillmer, George Rahm (1992) Better Games
A sci-fi mini-RPG published in Space Gamer magazine, issue #1. It is based on a portion of the space marine RPG Era Ten.
Battlelords of the 23rd Century
1st ed by Lawrence R. Sims (1990) Optimus
2nd ed (1991)
3rd ed (1992)
4th ed (1993)
5th ed (1999)
A "deep space" sci-fi RPG that focuses on an Alliance of 27 alien races who desperately seek to ward off the threat of internal destruction while simultaneously exploring the vast uncharted regions of space. It uses a d100, skill-based system. Reviewed in White Wolf #35.
1st ed by Chris Norman, Jody Ellis (1988) Archive Gaming Pty Ltd
A generic fantasy RPG produced in Australia. It has no specific setting, though it does have a bestiary and references to various worlds of experience including natural, ethereal, hades, limbo, and cosmos. The system uses classes, levels, and experience points. Skills include general and class-specific, and are resolved by rolling under skill on percentile dice. Combat is resolved by skill rolls, with armor reducing the damage of hits. It includes a magic system where spells require power points, mana, or both - and may be subject to Karmic Influence, a luck attribute. The basic game has a bestiary with monsters including a giant carnivorous kangaroo.
Battlestar Galactica Role Playing Game
1st ed by Jamie Chambers, James Davenport, Sean Everette, Patrick Kapera, Nathan Rockwood, Floyd C. Wesel (2007) Margaret Weis Productions
A space opera RPG based on the modern television series created by Ronald D. Moore that started in 2004. It uses the "Cortex" system adapted from the Sovereign Stone fantasy system and Serenity RPG. Attributes and skills are rated in a a step die system with twelve ranks: d2, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d12+d2, d12+d4, d12+d6, d12+d8, d12+d10, d12+d12. Action resolution is by rolling attribute die plus skill die. Characters have six attributes (Agility, Strength, Vitality, Alertness, Intelligence, Willpower), along with skills and advantages. It also includes a plot point mechanic. Plot Points can be spent before a roll for an extra die (costing 1 per rank), after the roll to raise the total (costing 1 per +1), or to manipulate the story (scaled from 1-3 for convenient coincidence to 11+ for "saving your bacon").
1st ed by Jeff Siadek, Jason Siadek (2004) Gorilla Games
A mixed boardgame and role-playing game which integrates character actions with spaceship actions. Players track their characters' positions on the spaceship layouts (also used for boarding actions) and the ships' positions on the hex map. If you want the ship to turn or speed up, a character has to take an action to make it so. If you want the ship's guns to fire at an enemy ship, a character has to take an action to fire the guns. Character creation uses six species and four professions (Pilot, Marine, Scientist, and Engineer).
Battletech: A Time of War
1st ed by Herbert A. Beas II (2010) Catalyst Game Labs
A sci-fi RPG in the world of the Battletech boardgame, set in a 31st century where constant wars are fought by giant robots - a successor to the earlier Mechwarrior RPG. Resolution uses 2d6 + skill + modifiers vs. difficulty, possibly modified by burning Edge points before or after the roll. Character creation is limited point-based.
Beach Bunny Bimbos with Blasters
1st ed by Richard Tucholka (1991) Tri-Tac Games
A humorous sci-fi RPG of alien invasion (a take-off of BTRC's Macho Women with Guns). Martians are taking over, reviving the horrors of plastic flamingos and Disco, and only California beach bunnies can spot them (due to their uncluttered brains). It uses a percentile skill system (roll under skill on d100), with mixed random-roll and point-bought character creation.
Beast Hunters
1st ed by Christian Griffen, Lisa Griffen (2007) Berengad Games
A game for two players set in an original fantasy setting where tribal hunters stalk mythical beasts through jungles -- combined with mystic rituals and spirits.
Beasts, Men, & Gods
1st ed by Bill Underwood (1980) Imagination Unlimited Imagination Unlimited The Game Masters
A fantasy RPG. Character creation has combined classes and races (like original D&D). Advancement is level-based. It was a small-press offering published locally in Kansas.
Beat to Quarters
1st ed by Neil Gow (2009) Omnihedron Games
A role-playing game of naval action in the Napaleonic era. The resolution system is based on playing cards, where each player has their own deck of cards. The players draws a pool of cards based on stat to resolve an entire combat or other conflict, where each card that beats a randomly-drawn "Card of Fate" is one success. Play is structured around mechanically-defined missions. The system also includes mechanics for social advancement, ship-to-ship combat, weather, and grog. Character creation uses a lifepath system.
Becoming Heroes
1st ed by W. Austin Bookheimer, John LeBoeuf-Little, Kit La Touche (2011) Transneptune Games
A role-playing game designed for the genre of epic fantasy, with story-oriented mechanics. It uses freeform traits, which add to make a d6 dice pool used to resolve conflicts. In addition to determining success, players may still gain things if they lose a conflict and/or may get new traits to use later. Players also have beads for "destiny" and "doom". These are used to fuel threads (meta-story effects) or to modify conflicts. The character has an "arc" like Lost King for Aragorn or Dutybound for Frodo. If a player follows their arc, they gain benefits including new threads or more beads. Character creation is by picking 8 primary traits (descriptors of the character), 3 ties (relationships to other people), 3 circumstances (starting situations the character is in), 1 virtue (determining when to get beads of destiny/doom), 1 arc and 4 threads.
Behind Enemy Lines
1st ed by William H. Keith, Jr., Jordan Weisman, Ross Babcock, Eric Turn, Steve Turn (1982) FASA
2nd ed (1985) The Companions
A military RPG set in WWII on the Western front. The system is similar to the original Traveller rules.
Berlin XVIII
1st ed by Laurent Tremel (1989) Siroz / Ideojeux
2nd ed (1995)
A French-language dark-future RPG, where the PC's are police in a nightmarish city's worst bourough (Sector 18). This had several releases, the first ones being part of the Universom line.
Best Friends: A Role-Playing Game About Girlfriends And All Their Petty Hatreds
1st ed by Gregor Hutton (2006) BoxNinja
A game where the PCs are "best friends". There are five stats: Pretty, Cool, Smart, Tough, and Rich. Each PC's stats are set by how all the other players rate your character. Each player answers five questions for her PC, of the form "I hate _____ because she is (Prettier/Cooler/etc.) than me". Then the number of PCs who hate your character for how Cool she is becomes that PC's Cool stat.
Beyond Mortal Men
1st ed by Christopher Helton (2005) Battlefield Press
A superhero RPG rules system. This is strictly speaking a supplement for use with the Action! System from Gold Rush Games.
Beyond the Supernatural
1st ed by Randy McCall, Kevin Siembieda, Erick Wujcik (1988) Palladium Books
2nd ed (2005) Palladium Books
A contemporary horror RPG, using a variant of the Palladium System. It includes supernatural and psychic powers, plus a magic system (including ley lines).
Volume 1: Faerie ed (1977) L.W.Felstead Ltd
Volume 2: Combat ed (1978) Skytrex Ltd.
Volume 3: Magic ed (1978) Skytrex Ltd.
Volume 4 ed by A.R. Chandler, B.D. Cooper, G.D. Evans, J. le Grabbe-Phipps, D.R. Henderson, G.J. Philp, A.R. Williamson (1979) Skytrex Ltd.
Bifrost ed by K. White, K. Minear, S. Johnson, G. Highley (1982) Skytrex Ltd.
A medieval fantasy miniatures combat system and RPG, using a fairly complex system. Originally published as a series of four separate rulebook volumes. These were eventually expanded and combined into a single volume, published in 1982. In addition to combat and characters, the system covers planar travel and divine intervention. Volume 1 ("Faerie") is 74 pages staple-bound with a dark blue cover with white illustration of a dragon. Volume 2 ("Combat") is 36 pages staple-bound with a light blue cover with white illustration of castle. Volume 3 ("Magic") is 84 loose pages with a purple cover with illustration of wizard. Volume 4 is 90 pages glue-bound, with a yellow cover with a black illustration of a goblin-like creature. Volume 4 contains rules on unarmed, mounted, and aerial combat, horses, fatigue, firearms and literacy, plus creature descriptions.
Big Bang Comics Role-Playing Game
1st ed by Chris Carter (2006) Pisces All Media
A superhero RPG based on the series of comic books of the same name, a retro take-off series of many classic comics of the Golden Age and Silver Age, founded by Gary Carlson. It is a standalone game using a variant of the D20 System used by 3rd edition D&D called the Golden System. It uses the standard ability scores, levels, attacks and skills, and class mechanics -- while adding disadvantages ("Negative Feats") that allow a bonus feat, as well as a large selection of 200+ new feats including various superheroic abilities. The core book includes statistics for many of the Big Bang characters -- the Blitz, Ultiman, Knight Watchman, Thunder Girl, and others -- as well as background on the universe, gadget rules, mass combat and vehicle combat rules, and alternate dimensions.
Big Eyes, Small Mouth
1st ed by Mark MacKinnon (1997) Guardians of Order
2nd ed by David L. Pulver, Mark MacKinnon (2000)
A universal Japanese anime role-playing game, intended to cover subgenres from giant mecha to romantic comedy. It has a very simple system (the "Tri-Stat" system) with three attributes and ads/disads -- the base game has no skills. Action resolution is by 2d6 against modified attribute. The 2nd edition incorporated skill rules, lots of advantages/disadvantages, and mecha rules into the core rulebook.
Binary RPG
1st ed by Bertrand Triplet (1988) self-published
2nd ed (1990) Les Silmarils
A French-language universal mini-RPG with minimalist rules that fit on a single page. Character creation is either point-based or random-roll attributes. It included an advertisement for a Hollow Earth setting.
1st ed by Croc (1985) self-published
2nd ed (1986)
3rd ed (1989) Siroz / Ideojeux
Mk5 ed (1992)
A French-language post-apocalyptic RPG in the genre of Mad Max. The first game of Croc, one of France's famous game creators.
The Bizenghast Adventure Game
1st ed by Clint Krause (2008) KNRPG Productions
A urban fantasy/horror RPG based on the manga series created by M. Alice LeGrow and published by Tokyopop. The player characters are agents of the afterlife - including humans, inhumans, and spirits - charged with hunting ghosts, resolving their problems, and sending them on to the next world. It uses the "Epiphany Engine" game system. Resolution uses rolling under attribute on 1d20, and if the roll exactly matches the rating is raised by one (called an epiphany).
Black Seven
1st ed by Stew Wilson (2012) Zero Point Information
A roleplaying game in the genre of stealth action technothriller games like Deus Ex, Alpha Protocol, and Splinter Cell. The player characters work for an independent espionage organisation, Black Seven, set ten minutes in the future. Action resolution is by rolling 2d6 and adding an action number. A total of 11 or above is success, while 10 or lower is failure. It has an abstract system for breaking into Facilities without using maps. The Facility has a Threat Level ranging from 3 to 5, and failed rolls can affect the level via the temporary status traits Noticed and Exposed.
The Black Spot
1st ed by Mark Silcox (2009) Grasshopper Games
A horror genre storytelling game for 3 to 8 players inspired by the films of Sam Raimi, George Romero, and Wes Craven. It uses a special deck of 80 Plot Cards along with 8 Backstory Cards and 8 Escape! Cards. It also uses 1d20 but only for choosing a random name, trait, and occupation for each character. A single deck is assembled - taking Backstory and Escape! cards equal to the number of players, and Plot cards based on number of players and desired number of rounds. Each turn, every player is dealt a card and then each player in turn narrates for a short time following instructions for that card type. The basic game includes nine scenarios.
Blackwatch Technical Reference Manual
1st ed by Ted Greer, Peter Christian (1989) Different Worlds Publications
A spacefaring sci-fi RPG, about members of a freelance trouble-shooting organizations ("Blackwatch"). Besides humans, there are 4 alien races described. It uses a skill-based system, including rules for starship combat and robots.
Blade & Crown
1st ed by Rachel Kronick (2012) self-published
A fantasy roleplaying game using a detailed skill-based system. Action resolution is by rolling a pool of d10s based on skill, along with a single d12 that provides flavor for the result. Character creation includes 12 basic attributes along with freeform traits and social class.
Blade of Arcana
1st ed by Taro Suzubuki (1999) F.E.A.R.
2nd ed (2001)
A Japanese-language mythic fantasy RPG. It includes a special tarot deck with the basic rules.
Blazing Rose: A Story Game of Romantic Rivalry
Ashcan ed by Edward "Sabe" Jones (2009) self-published
A collaborative storytelling game for three to six players, about a group of friends vying for the affection of a common Beloved. It usese playing card mechanics, where conflicts are resolved using special trick-taking rules. Each player plays a card face-down and states a Hope, then reveal their cards. The player with the highest card not greater than their attribute takes the trick, then distributes the cards to the other players to change their Affection stat.
Bliss Stage
Ignition ed by Ben Lehman (2007) Tao Games
Interim ed (2009)
A post-apocalyptic sci-fi role-playing game for 2-7 players. The Earth has been occupied by alien invaders and all adults have been put into comas by psychic alien technology. The player characters are teenage resistance fighters (age 13 to 17) battling an alien occupation on a psychic plane using giant robots (ANIMa). A core part of the mechanics is that the robot's power comes from the pilot's relationships - especially sexual ones. Each relationship is measured by two ratings: Intimacy and Trust. It uses a d6 (or Fudge dice) dice pool system, broken into mechanics for missions and interludes. During a mission, the mecha pilot rolls dice equal to total Intimacy of relationships allocates them to categories. Damage may occur by inflicting Stress on relationships or Trauma. In interludes, relationships can be modified as well as Stress or Trauma relieved.
Blood: The Roleplaying Game of Modern Horror
1st ed by Norley Tucker, Stephen Osborn (1990) Underground Games
1st ed by James Desborough (2006) Postmortem Studios
A modern-day horror RPG where PC's face various film-based creatures including zombies, Angels of Pain (from Hellraiser), Candarion Demons (from Evil Dead), The Blob (from the film of the same name). It uses a percentile system. Character creation is d100 for each attribute, and skills chosen by a career package plus points based on attributes. The combat system is quite gory, with 400+ weapons and 25 critical hit tables. It is a 112 page book, with 2 scenarios to help you get started.
Blood & Honor: Samurai Tragedy in Old Japan
1st ed by John Wick (2010) Wicked Dead Brewing Company
A semi-historical game set in an unspecified period of medieval Japan. The player characters are generally samurai. It uses a dice pool system that adapts Aspects from the FATE system in Spirit of the Century. The player rolls a number of d6s equal to attribute plus 3 dice for each aspect invoked. If the total is over 10 or the opponent's roll, the character succeeds and the player can narrate what happens. There is also a wager system that lets the player remove a die for a chance at more narrative power.
1st ed by Rick Slawson, Troy Christensen (1989) TC International
A fantasy mini-RPG set on the barbaric world of Helboria. The PC's are warriors who explore this world, while killing stuff along the way. The combat system is based on a hex-map, and includes graphic descriptions with various critical hits. It uses "Bodily Mutilation Capacity" in place of hit points. Published in a set of 24-page rulebook (complete with a sample dungeon adventure), a world map, hex grid map, and counters. A companion game, Bloodchant, added spellcasting rules to the system.
Blood Dawn
1st ed by Lawrence R. Sims (1996) Optimus
A post-nuclear-apocalypse science fantasy RPG set 60 years after the devastation, in a world of "magic, mutations, and machines". The PC's are prophets seeking to restore civilization from the reigning barbarism. It uses a basic roll-under-stat with modifiers. Character creation is limited point-bought.
Bloode Island
1st ed by Todd Downing (1999) Deep7
XPG ed by Todd Downing, John Sullivan, Mark Bruno (2002)
Diceless ed (2004)
A mini-game of swashbuckling pirate action, set in a historical pastiche of varied periods from the Age of Exploration and the golden age of piracy. The original game used the 1PG rules from Deep7, where resolution is rolling 1d6 and getting under attribute or skill, where 1 is always success and 6 is always failure. Later editions used the "XPG" system and then later the Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying rules. The last includes new rules for Mojo and Naval Combat.
Blood Games: Occult Horror Role-playing
1st ed by clash bowley, Jason Ludwig, Wesley Fornero (2004) Flying Mice LLC
A modern-day horror RPG, set in an alternate reality where a evil demons are rampaging. In the past, a god-like figure ("Norandon") saved mankind from the demons, giving humans magic. However, Science has eroded the belief which is necessary for magic, via a process called "Nullity". There is no great conspiracy, but scattered hunters work for the Force of Light to fight vampires and demons. The rules use a percentile skill-based system. Character creation has random-roll attributes and a lifepath mechanic for each year over 10, which generates skills, metaskills, and attribute improvements. Characters may have a "path" -- which are supernatural powers of a variety of sorts. The second edition ("Blood Games II") uses a version of the "StarPool" system, where resolution is by rolling d20s equal to skill, where every result under attribute is a success.
1st ed by Croc (1991) Siroz/Ideojeux
A French-language heroic fantasy game, set on the fantasy continent of Tanaephis -- a violent and wild land.
Blood of Heroes
1st ed by Tony Oliveira, Ray Hedman, Joshua Marquart, Christopher Tatro (1998) Pulsar
A superhero/supervillian RPG. It uses the "MEGS" system from DC Heroes, where everything is rated in exponential "AP" values. Actions are resolved by rolling 2d10 on a universal table of offensive AP vs defensive AP.
1st ed by Elizabeth Shoemaker (2010) Two Scooters Press
A modern-day thriller RPG inspired by the television series "Burn Notice" as well as the Bourne trilogy movies. Each player creates one Professional - a spy/operative who have been blacklisted - and one Civilian connected to another player's Professional. Character creation is choosing a type of Professional (general "Lifer" or specialized "Artist") and distributing four values among the four attributes: Commando, Diversion, Pavement, Provocateur. Players also distribute a set of values among rated Relationships, as well as picking background details. The players collectively determine the job they did together that went wrong to get all the Professionals blacklisted. Play is divided into two large phases: Analysis and Operation. Resolution involves either taking a fixed number of successes equal to half of stat, or rolling d6s equal to stat where 4-6 is a success. All successes during the Analysis phase are kept as dice to be used in Operation phase. In addition, the number of success dice minus failed dice is a modifier to the next roll on that stat, called Momentum.
Blue Planet
1st ed by Jeff Barber, Greg Benage, John Snead, Jason Werner (1997) Biohazard Games
2nd ed (2000) Fantasy Flight Games
Revised ed by Jeffrey Barber, Greg Benage, Allan T. Grohe Jr., Greg Porter, Brian Schoner, John Snead, Mark Stout, James Sutton, Jason Werner, Andrew Whincup (2012) RedBrick LLC
A post-ecological-apocalypse game set on a lush alien world nearly entirely ocean-covered. The majority of the very thick book is a very detailed description of the world, history, and culture. It is set in a future where Earth discovers a wormhole just outside the solar system which leads to a waterworld dubbed "Poseidon". Colonization had just begun, spurred by the discovery of a longevity ore called "Long John". Contact is interrupted by a catastrophic grain blight on Earth, leading to 75 years of rough independent life for the colonists. The 1st edition rule system is a semi-complex percentile skill-based system. The 2nd edition has a completely new system which uses dice pools: roll d10's equal to your aptitude (1 to 3), take the lowest roll, and try to get less than your attribute+skill+modifiers. In both, character creation is semi-random attributes and point-bought skills.
Blue Rose: The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy
1st ed by Jeremy Crawford, Dawn Elliott, Steve Kenson, John Snead (2005) Green Ronin Publishing
A fantasy genre game set on an original world, Aldea. It is populated by various races including the ancient and mystical Vata, the Sea-folk; the Night People; and the Rhydan (psychic intelligent animals). The rules are a standalone system (the "True20" system) loosely based on the D20 System used by 3rd edition D&D, adding in rules variations from Mutants & Masterminds. There are only three core classes: adept, expert, and warrior -- and variety instead comes from more and more variety of feats. It also includes a wound track damage system based on a 1d20 roll to resist damage, and a new magic system based on feats, where spells cost fatigue. The combat system is modified to remove full-round attacks and attacks of opportunity, and adding some non-attack options.
Bob, Lord of Evil
1st ed by Kevin Davies (1993) Peregrine
A humorous RPG set in the "Dark Lands" with a techno- fantasy horror theme. The game is intended particularly for characters from other game universes to drop in for light-hearted adventures.
1st ed by Ashok Desai (2010) Sane Studios
A role-playing game of personal horror, set in the modern world including psychic phenomena such as ghosts, spirits, and psychics. The Bogeyman is contained within the minds of the player characters, controlled by the GM and released by three moments - sin, madness, or tragedy. The rules use playing cards, with each player needing their own deck and the game master needing two. Players each get a hand of five cards, and must play all five in separate tests before refreshing, unless they play a joker. Resolution is by card number plus stat versus a difficulty number. The rules include both physical and social combat and damage.
Bones the Role Playing Game
1st ed by Andrew J. Martone (2004) Peregrine
A fantasy role playing game in which characters, monsters, equipment, and obstacles are all represented by customized six-sided dice. These can be made by gluing printed icon sheets onto dice, marking on blank dice, or simulated with a computerized dice roller utility. Each die has icons such as "Universal Success", "Physical Success", "Mental Success", "Universal Hindrance", "Damage", and many icons for skills, magic, and special circumstances. Action resolution is by rolling your set of dice and counting applicable success icons, compared to the result of Challenge dice (if unopposed) or the opposed entity's dice (if opposed). Challenge dice have 2 out of 6 faces as "Null" which cancels one success. Character creation is open point-based of a sort: the player chooses icons for his four starting dice. One face is always "Universal Success", and one face is either "Physical Success" or "Mental Success", while the other four are freely chosen from the other choices.
The Book of Jalan
1st ed by Albert Bailey, clash bowley, Klaxon Bowley (2004) Flying Mice LLC
A fantasy game set on a Renaissance-to-Restoration era alien world where humanity has magic-like psionic powers. This is a standalone fantasy variant of the science fiction RPG Starcluster. There are four races: human, Alari (humanoids with supernaturally deep but engrossing memories), Khali (orc-like barbarians), and Bani (short, agile miners). It uses a percentile skill-based system. Character creation has either random-roll or point-based attributes; and a lifepath mechanic for each year over 10, which generates skills, metaskills, and attribute improvements.
The Book of LARP
1st ed by Mike Young, Gordon Olmstead-Dean, Miki Tracey, Mike Pohjola, Jeff Diewald, Ryan Markle, Sandy Antunes, Mike Beddes, John Kammer, John Kilgallon (2003) Interactivities, Inc.
A guide to writing and running live-action role-playing games (LARPs). It includes six sample games: "Trapped", "All the President's Zombies", "I Shall Not Want", "Michael Clambino's Fundraiser", "Humans vs Monsters: Diplomacy", and "Lost in the Stacks".
The Boomtown Planet
1st ed by Richard Parkinson (2005) Better Mousetrap Games Timeless Games
"Saturday" ed (2007)
A pulp style RPG set in the fictional city of Boomtown during the "Dirty 30s" of the U.S. -- with a focus on investigative reporting for its daily newspaper, the Planet. It is an over-the-top setting with ghosts and other supernatural influences, where there are only two countries: the corrupt Capital State and warmongering Klankeruberalles. It uses a dice pool system where you roll either your attributes in d6s (if you have the appropriate skill) or 1d6 (if you don't); and also declare odds or evens. The number of successes is the number of dice over the difficulty and matching your odd/even call. The six attributes are Strength, Endurance, Fortitude, Perception, Essence, and Agility. There is no character generation system -- only sixteen pre-generated members of the Boomtown Planet's staff.
Boot Hill
1st ed by Gary Gygax, Brian Blume (1975) TSR
2nd ed (1979)
3rd ed by Steve Winter (1990)
An early western RPG. It uses a mostly percentile resolution system. Character creation uses random-roll attributes (Strength, Coordination, Observation, Stature, and Luck) in the 1-20 range. Skills are point-bought with points based on your attributes. The third edition majorly changed the system, revising resolution to use only d6's and d20's instead of percentile rolls. There was a GM's screen and five 32-page adventure modules published for it from 1981 to 1984: "Mad Mesa", "Ballots & Bullets", "Lost Conquistador Mine", "Burned Bush Wells", and "Range War".
1st ed by Bruno Merandon (1992) Le Korrigan
A French-language pirate RPG.
Bounty Head Bebop
1st ed by JP deHénaut (2008) Heroic Journey Publishing
A sci-fi RPG set in a gritty near future where the solar system has been colonized, but lawlessness is rampant in the Solar Frontier. It is loosely based on the anime series Cowboy Bebop. It uses the "Inverted 20" system that partly derives from D20, but resolves by rolling 1d20 under a target number modified by ability, skill, and/or difficulty. Attributes are rated from 1 to 5, and derive Initiative, Movement, Saves, Wounds, and Vitality points. There are also skills - divided into General, Combat, and Specialty - as well as binary Edges and Flaws. Characters start with 3 Edges and may take 3 more by taking corresponding Flaws. The system also includes psychic/feng shui powers. Combat is simple, and you can optionally use the same roll for hit and damage.
Bram Stoker's Dracula
1st ed by Barry Nakazano, David McKenzie (1993) Leading Edge
A cinematic vampire-hunting game covering periods from medieval to the present, based on the 1992 film. It's mechanics include the accumulation of "Clue Points" which allow the PC's to progress to the "Search Stage" and "Confrontation Stage" with various random encounters along the way. The system has an extremely simplified version of the combat rules in Phoenix Command, which is still quite complex.
Brave New World
1st ed by Matt Forbeck (1999) Pinnacle
2nd ed (2000) Alderac Entertainment Group
A superhero game in an alternate timeline, where the heroes are "deltas" that are fighting against a repressive U.S. government. Powers are handled by pre-building power packages (10 given in the basic game). The system is a fairly simple open-ended attribute+skill dice pool (d6) vs difficulty, similar to the D6 or Icon Systems.
Breaking the Ice: A Game about Love, for Two
1st ed by Emily Care Boss (2005) Black & Green Games
A game of romance designed for two players. Each of the two players creates a character which is in some ways a reversal of themselves -- such as another gender, culture, or orientation. After playing out three dates, the players add up their characters' Compatibilities and Attraction Levels. In general, five or more of both is Love Triumphant, but players are encouraged to discuss things. Players take turns gamemastering the date for each other, awarding dice to roll for those Levels based on story events, cleverness, and agreeing to the GM's ideas. The game awards dice for letting complications mess up your character's date, or otherwise adding in twists.
1st ed by Jeff Mejia, James Stubbs, Todd Downing (2007) Deep7
A 16-page self-styled "beer & pretzels" RPG emulating fantasy barbarian movies of the 1970s and 1980s, such as "Conan" and "Hawk the Slayer". It uses the 1PG mechanics from other Deep7 games. Action resolution is rolling 1d6 and getting under attribute or skill, where 1 is always success and 6 is always failure. This game adds brief systems for "advantages" and "magic", and also includes nine 1-page adventures.
Bubblegum Crisis
1st ed by Benjamin Wright, David Ackerman-Gray (1997) R Talsorian
A cyberpunk RPG based on the Japanese anime series, including a lot of background information on the show. It uses the Fuzion system.
1st ed by Carl Smith (1979) Adversary Games
A pirate mini-RPG (16 pages), covering 17th and 18th centuries. The terse rules cover character creation, man-to-man and ship-to-ship combat, and treasure-hoarding.
Buck Rogers: XXVc
1st ed by Mike Cook, Michael Dobson, Jeff Grubb, Jim Ward, Warren Spector, Jeff Butler (1990) TSR
A sci-fi RPG loosely based on the comic and TV series, rewriting significant background. The setting is post-apocalyptic, with many dark elements. In 2456, Earth is devastated by war and recently freed from the tyrrany of Russo-American Mercantile (RAM) by the New Earth Order (NEO) and, of course, Buck Rogers. It uses a variant of the AD&D system with a more advanced skill system.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1st ed by C.J. Carella (2002) Eden Studios
A modern-day monster-fighting RPG based on the U.S. television series. It uses the skill-based "Unisystem" from Witchcraft, with open point-based character creation and resolution by stat+d10 vs difficulty. There are two basic character types: heroes (like Buffy) and "white hats" (like Willow and Xander).
1st ed by Brennan Taylor, C. Austin Hogan, David Sklar, A.J. Hernandez, Jeremy Simmons (2004) Galileo Games
2nd ed (2011) Galileo Games
A science fiction / space opera game. The first edition was published as a supplement for third edition Dungeons & Dragons (aka d20). It is set in a distant small galaxy. It includes ten races, including a colorful near-human race, the Arsurbans. There are six new primary classes, including Bounty Hunter, Space Pilot, Engineer, and Space Pirate. It also includes starship combat rules.
Bunnies and Burrows
1st ed by Scott Robinson, B. Dennis Sustare (1976) FGU
2nd ed (1982)
A rabbit-adventure RPG in the genre of the Richard Adam's novel Watership Down. It uses class-based character creation, including herbalists (capable of concoctions like "Snuffball" sleep grenades), seers, and empathic healers. It has a rudimentary skill system and even martial arts rules (the humorous "Bunfoo").
Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic
1st ed by Richard Tucholka, Chris Belting (1983) Tri-Tac Games
2nd ed (1984)
3rd ed (1990)
A light-hearted supernatural conspiracy game about agents of a super-secret U.S. government agency dedicated to hunting down evil supernatural creatures while also protecting innocent supernaturals by keeping them secret. The system is fairly complex, including extensive damage rules.
Burning Empires
1st ed by Luke Crane (2006) self-published
A science fiction system based on the graphic novel series Iron Empires by Chris Moeller. It is set in a far future where human civilization of eight vast interstellar empires is on the verge of collapse in the face of an alien invasion. It uses a variant of the dice pool system in Burning Wheel. The system is greatly expanded in the World Burning process to jointly create the setting, and a staged system that creates different types of scenes (Color, Interstitial, Building, and Conflict) in response to strategic maneuvers in resisting the alien invasion.
The Burning Wheel
1st ed by Luke Crane (2002) self-published
Revised ed (2005)
A generic fantasy system, with an unspecified default setting -- feudal medieval with the usual dwarves, elves, and orcs. It uses a dice pool system, based on rolling d6's equal to stat against a target number of 2, 3, or 4 (depending on the "Shade" of the stat tested). The number of successes then must be greater than the task difficulty. Character creation is based on generating a year-by-year lifepath according to profession. Attributes are bought from a pool of Mental Attribute points and Physical Attribute points based on age. Skills are bought with skill points accumulated via the lifepath. There are two mental attributes -- Perception and Will -- and four physical attributes -- Power (i.e. strength), Agility, Speed, and Forte (i.e. endurance).
Burros and Banditos
1st ed (unknown) Sierra Madre Games
A semi-roleplaying game set on the Mexican border.
1st ed by Paul Hume, Bob Charrette (1980) Tyr / Phoenix Games
2nd ed (1981) FGU
A fantasy RPG set in mythic Japan ("Nippon"), using a combined class and skill-based system.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Thu Apr 14 22:02:47 2016