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?


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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  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Sheridan Oct 11 '10 at 1:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 11 '10 at 5:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm. Just using bullet characters in the code works a little better. Not ideal, but acceptable. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Sheridan Oct 12 '10 at 13:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$ – gomad Oct 29 '12 at 22:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ The new magic system is essentially all "computational magic", it's just that there are rules for doing "naked brain" computational magic. In general, the more magic effect you want, the more intelligence needs to be present in the invocation. It should be pointed out that going bare-brain is a REALLY good way to stop working properly (Krantzberg Syndrome and all). After all, computational magic is how magic works in the Laundryverse. \$\endgroup\$ – Vatine Feb 11 '17 at 13:43

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