Roll20 is known as a virtual tabletop platformer where fans of tabletop RPGs can play their favorite games online with their friends. I use it twice weekly to play Dungeons & Dragons myself, but many use it for other games like Pathfinder and Call of Cthulhu. However, Roll20 has decided to step up their game and have now released their very own RPG called Burn Bryte.
Burn Bryte has been designed to take full advantage of everything Roll20 can offer, and it sounds pretty cool. You and your party will be characters living together on a spaceship in the Olaxis Galaxy, which is described as “a place of tenacious creatures and magic-powered tech.” What makes Olaxis special is that it’s the last galaxy that the Burn, “[a] bright orange existence-consuming phenomenon,” has yet to devour.
In Burn Bryte, players will be able to roleplay their characters and do in-person missions, but you’ll also be able to work with spaceship battles in customized spaceships! Thanks to Roll20, you’ll be able to do all of this with simple button clicks and easily track resources. There are also safety cards that will be available to help players anonymously communicate with their GM and other players know if a line has been crossed, if the game needs to slow down, or if the game just needs to stop.
So, how does Burn Bryte work? On his blog The World Builder, James Intracaso (co-designer of Burn Bryte) outlined some of the core mechanics the game uses. One of the principles was that players don’t roll for success. Instead, they roll for failure. A character passes any roll assuming they do not roll doubles. That is the only way to fail a roll. Now, how many dice does the player roll? That depends on how complex the task is. The kind of die is determined by what skill is being used. Characters will have different dice associated with different skills. For example, your Computers skill may have a d8 while your Medicine skill only has a d4 and your Athletics skill is a d12. You then roll a number of dice equal to the complexity level the GM gives you (lowest is 2) and as long as you don’t get doubles, you pass. This reminds me a little of Call of Cthulhu’s use of the percentile die a little.
Combat is a little more complicated, and I’m not sure I fully understand it, so I definitely recommend reading Intracaso break it down. However, from what I can gather, the GM will tell players what the enemies are doing as the first thing. Then, players can take actions in any order as many times as they want until they fail. Finally, the previously declared enemy actions resolve.
One of the things that has me intrigued is the fact that all failures result in some kind of consequence. This could be something like setting off an alarm when you fail to pick a lock, or exerting yourself too much and becoming tired. You could even accidentally undo all your previous progress on something.
I’m very excited for Burn Bryte. I think it could be a great new RPG system to try out. If you’re interested, Burn Bryte is available for pre-order now and will launch on July 7. If you want to see it played before you try it, Roll20 is also launching Burn Bryte the Show. This will be an actual play show utilizing the new system. You’ll be able to watch it on Twitch.
A ragtag crew of adventurers will travel the stars of Olaxis and try to outrun the end of existence. Our heroes will play through Burning Daylight story and take on a mysterious cult that worships the Burn. Keep watching this blog for more upcoming information on the new show!
Other developers for Burn Bryte include Jim McClure, Kat Kuhl, and Darcy Ross.