After years of hearing rave reviews I FINALLY bought a copy of Openquest.
I'm basing the review on a quick read through... not actual play.
Things I like about it:
It's descended from Runequest and Call of Cthulhu and the general BRP family of D100 games. Some of my favorite RPGs share that lineage. So that's a big plus right from the start.
Openquest's system sits on the lighter end of the spectrum RPGs. Its author's intent is that it be fast and versatile, and from what I've seen so far, it is. That should make it easier to teach to newbies and faster to just 'pick up and play', as the book puts it.
I also like the writing. It's got that clear, friendly, and conversational tone that makes me feel at home while I'm learning a game. Like I can put my feet up on the coffee table and raid the fridge if I want to. No golden tablets of truth being passed onto mere mortals here... the designer WANTS you to make the game your own. Everything is very clearly explained, with examples.
Openquest covers various levels of play as PCs advance in power. So even though they might start as dirt farmers, there is stuff in place for when they become powerful rulers and can start oppressing the new crop of dirt farmers.
There are already several settings and and adventures for Openquest... as well as rulebooks that take Openquest into other genres such as science fiction and historical adventures. So it's well-supported.
I haven't noticed a lot of typos or obvious errors either. So that's always a good thing.
Things I don't like about it:
Well, not so much 'don't like'... since I knew about them going in. There are just a few rules here and there that I'll be tweaking... matters of taste.
Openquest's experience system feels like a step down from Runequest's/CoC's 'use a skill to improve a skill.' So I'll be using something closer to how Call of Cthulhu has done it.
I'll probably also want to hold onto the traditional BRP Resistance Table/Formula.
I suspect the default power level of Openquest is a bit more 'heroic' than I'm usually drawn too. It shouldn't be too hard for me to adjust that as needed if it still feels that way in play. It's probably just that starting PCs are a bit more capable/well-rounded than I'm used to in something like older versions of Runequest.
Things I'm just 'meh' about:
Not a big deal, but I know others might care more than I do.
Visually, outside of the cover art, which I LOVE, the illustrations and general appearance of the game is... capable. Nothing amazing... but also nothing distracting. No graphic flourishes to dazzle your eyes. No full page bleeds of photorealistic art. If you're the sort who collects RPG rulebooks for the visuals... this ain't your sort of thing. If (like me) you just want it for the rules and how it plays at the table... then it really doesn't matter.
Anyway, I put off buying Openquest for far too long... and now that I have it and am digging into it, planning a game of it... I'm really glad i've got it.