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I understand that the Laundry RPG (based on Stross' books) utilizes a modified version of the BRP (Call of Cthulhu). What changes/differences with the BRP? Additions?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'm pretty much only familiar with BRP through Call of Cthulhu, and I don't actually own a copy of The Laundry yet, but I'll give a quick run-down of what I've been able to dig up.

  • Charisma stat replaces Appearance

  • No Magic Points

  • Personality Type is selected during character creation, adding an additional 20 skill points which are distributed between specific personality-appropriate skills. Personality choices include:

    • Bruiser

    • Leader

    • Master (as in craftsman)

    • Nutter (also starts with an insanity)

    • Slacker

    • Thinker

  • Laundry Assignment/Training is selected during character creation. Grants +10 bonus to several skills. (This is in addition to Call of Cthulhu-style professions.) Choices include:

    • Archives

    • Computational Demonology

    • Contracts and Bindings

    • Counter-Possession

    • Counter-Subversion

    • Information Technology

    • Media Relations

    • Medical and Psychological

    • Occult Forensics

    • Plumber (that being what the Laundry call their paramilitary clean-up operatives)

  • Wealth Levels instead of specific savings and income.

  • Some changes to skill list

  • The big mechanical change is apparently a new magic system. It covers traditional/ritual magic, Laundry-style computational magic, and "mental" magic (which is casting spells without external aid). As noted above, Magic Points are out, but casting now requires a skill check with a Sorcery skill.

  • Combat and investigation are streamlined, although I haven't seen anything about exactly how. Also, nice things were said about the sanity system.

  • Special Successes (rolling under 1/5 of your skill) replace criticals/impales. On attack rolls, they do double damage. Outside of combat, I think they're just extra good successes without any special rules.

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By the way, does anyone know a better way to do nested bullets? That space-before-a-sublist-but-not-after-it thing drives me nuts. – Matt Sheridan Oct 11 '10 at 1:38
It's an unfortunate interaction between how the markdown interpreter guesses your intent and how HTML represents different chunks of text. When you put a space between the other parts of your list, it thinks you want paragraphs inside your bullets, which results in a paragraph break just before a sublist starts. Your sublists have no spaces between the items, so they don't get marked as paragraphs and so there isn't a space after the sublist. Possibly fixable if SE is willing to muck with their stylesheets. – SevenSidedDie Oct 11 '10 at 5:39
Hm. Just using bullet characters in the code works a little better. Not ideal, but acceptable. – Matt Sheridan Oct 12 '10 at 13:59
I do have a copy of The Laundry and would like to point out that it also includes mechanics for requesting and receiving equipment and / or training from the agency as well as a system of audits and reprimands to model the total Laundry package. I can't wait to find a group that thinks that bureaucratic hijinks sound like fun. – gomad Oct 29 '12 at 22:07

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