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Chimera: A Fantasy, Modern & Sci-Fi Roleplaying Engine

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Chimera is a tabletop roleplaying engine suited to run fantasy, modern, and sci-fi themed games. Chimera uses flexible rules that allow you to put the fiction first, but with enough crunch to add more structure to the resolution mechanics if you so wish. 

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*** For better support, leave a message in the official forum.


The Core Mechanics

This chimeric beast heavily draws inspiration and mechanics from games such as Apocalypse World, games derived from the d20 system, Dungeon World, and Fate Core. You can see these influences in the core mechanics of the game.

  • Dice Pool: The Chimera Roleplaying System uses ten-sided dice to determine the success or failure of actions and circumstances presented during the game. Your dice pool is the number of dice you are allowed to roll to resolve a task's outcome. Your pool is composed of your ranks in the appropriate abilities (Action + Approach).
  • Abilities: Abilities are the bread and butter of all characters. They define what a character can or can't do and how well they can do it.
  • Actions represent the overall capabilities of your character to get things done. If actions are what you can do, the approach represents how you get things done. A situation might have different approaches, and you get to choose how things get done.
  • When To Roll: Whenever the outcome of a task is uncertain and has some real consequences, it is time to gather your dice and roll. As a player, you will make most of the rolls in the game.
  • What To Roll: To determine the outcome of your character's action, you roll a d10 per rank in the relevant abilities to form your dice pool. You roll and keep the highest die of them all.
  • Degrees of Success: How well or bad you do will depend on your result when you roll to determine a task's outcome. When you roll to determine an outcome and have at least a ten, it counts as a success. If the highest die from your roll is a nine, it counts as a partial success. If you roll and your result has no 10s or 9s, it counts as a failure

For The Players

In Chimera, you follow ten steps to build your character, allowing you to choose essential aspects of your avatar such as their background, race, extraordinary abilities called perks, their principles and goals, and their gear.

  • Race: There are over 20 races to choose from. Each race has a list of inherent and optional traits and perks to choose from to tailor your character to your needs. If the options presented do not suit you, the game has optional rules to implement that allows you to choose the traits that best fit your character, regardless of race.
  • Perks: There are over 100 perks to choose from. They can help you boost something you are already capable of doing or let you do things impossible for others, such as casting spells. You can spend XP to learn any perk you want as long as you meet the requirements and take some downtime to do it.
  • Equipment: Select from a vast selection of gear and services to build your character. Equipment can be enhanced in many ways. They can be made from different materials, possess other gadgets to increase versatility, refined craftsmanship to strengthen protection, or resist different types of damage such as ballistic and energy. Want to make a laser sword? Buy a sword and pay for the concealable and energy modifications, and you are good to go!
  • Wealth: Chimera uses an abstract wealth mechanic where the minutiae of keeping track of everything owned, bought, and how much money you have left isn't important. It can be used in any game, be it a fantasy, modern, or sci-fi setting where there is a fairly standard economy. It could also be used in an apocalyptic setting where keeping track of every resource you have left and living on the edge is part of the game's focus. It all depends on the interpretation given to wealth, as explained in the sections below.

For The GM

  • GM Toolkit: This book contains chapters aimed to help the game master know what their role is, understand their agenda, arbitrate the rules, and run the game. All delivered in a condensed manner for an easy read. It also includes guides to create adventures, campaigns, enemies, curses, diseases, and traps, give rewards, create character options, numerous optional rules, enemies to pit against players, and an example campaign setting.
  • Sell Your Stuff: Got a new awesome adventure, campaign setting, character option, enemy, optional rule, or cool supplement in general that you want to publish? Do it! As long as your content is original, you can sell it under a creative commons license!
  • Any Type Of Art: From elavorate illustrations to simple vector art, this book contains tons of example for artwork that you could immitate for your products.

What's Inside

The book is divided into two parts that contain chapters of various lengths.

Part 1

The following chapters are designed for both PCs and GMs.

  • Learn to Play: Everything you need to know about the rules that make up the Chimera Roleplaying System is found in this chapter. Make sure you read this first.
  • Characters: This chapter goes over everything related to character creation, character development, filling a character sheet, and how to build certain archetypes.
  • Races & Traits: The races & Traits chapter contains information about the races you can play in fantasy, modern, and sci-fi settings.
  • Perks: The perks chapter contains abilities that you can take that help you improve and expand the capabilities
  • of your character.
  • Powers: All the rules regarding powers and those who wield them are found in this chapter.
  • Wealth & Equipment: This chapter goes over the abstract system of owning Resources and Wealth, as well as equipment, and the services you can acquire with them.

Part 2

It only contains three chapters, but these are crucial for any aspiring GM.

  • Game Mastering: This long chapter goes over what is to be a GM, tips I have found useful throughout my years as a GM, and a toolbox for creating adventures, campaigns, and character options.
  • Enemies: This chapter contains an assortment of creatures to pit against the PCs in your game.
  • Example Setting: This chapter holds the notes of a small campaign setting hurriedly put together to test how well all Chimera elements worked collectively.
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Reviews (0)
Discussions (21)
Customer avatar
Michael F. T November 28, 2022 10:35 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I just downloaded the November 2022 update, but the one thing I looked for wasn't changed: I was creating a Ranger and saw that it is still Actions: 1,1,1,1,1 and Approaches 1,1,1,1,1.

Any thoughts on what the base -should- be?
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Customer avatar
Victor H December 08, 2022 1:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hello! Issue was brought to my attention on December 3rd and an update was issued the same day. Please confirm if you have received the update. If you have any concerns and need an expedited answer, you can contact me via dwarfare's email, reddit, or discord.
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Customer avatar
Michael F. T December 09, 2022 3:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you for the quick fix. Ranger looks good now! I really appreciate your listening to your customers.
Customer avatar
Hamilton R November 04, 2022 4:48 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Last year +, there was a request for a print version. Has that changed? Is there a plan for a POD version?
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Customer avatar
Gerard M November 04, 2022 6:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
They have said once they get the book into a place where there is few if not very little mistakes they will be looking into doing POD but for now it is digital only.
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Customer avatar
Victor H November 10, 2022 12:30 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
TL;DR - Unfortunately no. Well, yes, but not for this edition. Chimera not made with print in mind. Many issues with art. New edition on the works with better art, more content, and printing in mind.

I was having this discussion on reddit, but I will post what I said there:

Unfortunately no. Well, yes, but not for this edition. Allow me to explain, and buckle up because it's story time!
I recently learned that I'm what other indie devs call a hobbyist: someone who likes TTRPGs and sells related products. Still, their goal is not to establish themselves as indie publisher like Modiphius and Free League Press (to give some examples). I was happy with just putting stuff out there that people enjoyed and never gave too much thought about publishing for real until I came across dungeon world, thanks to a friend.
My first products were just dungeon world supplements, but as the years passed, I kept hacking the engine until it became its own thing. Friends suggested I should publish...See more
Customer avatar
Gerard M November 03, 2022 12:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
In the enemy making section, is it wounded or wounds, they are different for some. Might be a little mistake. And thank you for the AI file for the monster cards. -wink-
Customer avatar
Michael F. T June 26, 2022 7:55 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The new 10-skill character sheet is locked. Would you unlock it for us?
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Customer avatar
Victor H July 02, 2022 12:06 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi! Could you elaborate on what do you mean by locked?
What happened? What did you expect to happen?
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Customer avatar
Michael F. T July 02, 2022 9:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The previous character sheet allowed me to clock on afield and enter text, click on a box to 'check' it. This one does not.
Perhaps I should have said "form-fillable"?
I use Preview on the latest MacOS. I did a download just before entering my first comment as well.
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Customer avatar
Victor H July 05, 2022 4:36 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Got it. You can find one in our subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/dwarfaregames/comments/tfvmbn/formfillable_character_sheet/
Unfortunately, DT's watermark feature renders useless all form-fillable PDFs. My work-around was uploading them in a zip folder, but not many people liked that.
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Customer avatar
Michael F. T July 06, 2022 4:44 am UTC
PURCHASER
Alright. Thank you for responding.
Customer avatar
Cleston M February 15, 2022 2:51 pm UTC
Does the game have a character sheet available online? I'm searching but I can't find any...
Customer avatar
Matthew S February 05, 2022 11:18 am UTC
"* Click the full-size preview link to read the first 50 pages of the book!"

There is no full-sized preview
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H February 05, 2022 12:47 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you for letting me know! I have regenerated the previews and they should be visible again.
Customer avatar
Victor H October 19, 2021 5:24 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
After receiving feedback for the past 8 months, the following changes have been made to the game:

An appendix has been added to the book containing more optional rules and a toolkit for solo gameplay.
Skills have been reduced from 15 to 10. I made the decision after receiving complaints that some skills felt redundant or too punishing compared to others. Worry not; you can still use the old skills, which you can reference in appendix A of the book.
A new character sheet has been added (along with the old ones), reflecting the changes made to the core game. In addition, it has space to use three of the most used optional rules: Encumbrance, Humanity, and Renown.
Customer avatar
John L August 13, 2021 2:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Are there any plans for a print version?
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Customer avatar
Victor H August 28, 2021 2:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hello! Sorry for the late reply. Unfortunately there are no plans for a print version for the foreseeable future. Right now I am working on an updated based on feedback received through the months.
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Customer avatar
Stacie W May 06, 2022 11:23 pm UTC
This is a bummer. :(
Customer avatar
Victor H February 22, 2021 9:06 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Many have asked for an example of play. I have written one which you can read here: https://dwarfaregames.com/2021/02/chimera-example-of-play.html. It is a bit lengthy, but it covers various moves and situations that will probably pop up in your games
Customer avatar
Gene S February 01, 2021 6:33 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi again. I was wondering if you will be releasing a video playthrough of the system? If not, that would be awesome to see it in action.
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Customer avatar
Victor H February 02, 2021 1:33 am UTC
PUBLISHER
I considered doing this, but doing it with my group will just be a spanglish nightmare for others to hear/see. I am currently writing an example of play and will post it to dwarfaregames.com soon so everyone can have a better idea of how the game should run. If you have played any Powered by the Apocalypse games, you will have an idea of how to do it as well.

If you want to get notified about the article, you can subscribe to receive updates to your email, hang out in the forums, or look here for when I say its up.
Customer avatar
William F January 30, 2021 2:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I found the link. thanks! I can’t wait to dig into this baby! That expansive preview was a big help.
Customer avatar
William F January 29, 2021 5:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This looks really good. Too bad I missed the deal of the day price by an hour or so.
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H January 29, 2021 5:56 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
If you missed the deal of the day you can still get Chimera with a 40% discount by going to the forums.
Customer avatar
Gene S January 29, 2021 5:57 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Victor. can you run this solo?
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H January 29, 2021 12:41 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hello Gene.

Unfortunately the game is not optimized for solo gameplay. However! I have created a poll in our forums to gauge how many people would like to have this option. This could be done if it gets enough votes.
Reply
Customer avatar
Gene S January 31, 2021 4:47 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'd be happy to participate. Can you send me the forum link? I purchased the book.
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H January 31, 2021 3:18 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Go to dwarfaregames.com and then click on the talk bubble icon or on support (top right menu bar). It will take you to the forums.
Customer avatar
Mathias B January 16, 2021 7:30 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So far I like Chimera very much. I also noted the issue with SP, too. But nice to see the question answered so soon.
One suggestion: The rulebook (with 300 pages) would certainly benefit from an index. Would this be possible?
I'm looking very much forward to the PoD ;-)
Preparing for soloing this over the weekend.
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H January 16, 2021 11:56 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Glad you like it!

Yes, adding an index is possible, but it will take some time. I'll probably have it ready by the end of next week.
If you have any questions before, during, or after your game drop a message in the forums.
Reply
Customer avatar
Mathias B January 18, 2021 9:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
That's fine for me and soon enough. This will be mostly relevant for a print product.
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H January 19, 2021 3:52 am UTC
PUBLISHER
I had a "wait a minute" moment after replying. Indeed, indexes are mainly for print. I will still do it even if its not reflected on the pdf for when the time comes to commit this book to print. I don't want to give an exact date for the pod option for two reasons: I know there are more tiny mistakes/typos than the ones I and some of you have brought to light. I want to clear as many as possible. The other reason is I am not happy with all the art pieces in the book, and I am considering redoing some of them or paying a better artist to do it. The last bit is not my main concern, I will most likely prepare the book for print if I can get the book as close to being error free as possible.
Customer avatar
Daniel C January 15, 2021 7:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
On page 104 under Fool's Luck it says SP... I assume this is supposed to be FP? If not, what is an SP? Also does the Manifest Power Perk come with a free power? Because the archetypes seems to suggest that, but it's not listed in the Perk itself... at least not that I can see.
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H January 15, 2021 8:28 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hello! Yes, its meant to say FP. I'll correct that shortly.

As for gaining that free power, yes you do gain a power, but that information is listed on the Powers chapter on page 117. The last bit of the perk reads "See the powers section for rules on how to use and gain powers." When you go to powers, under "Gaining Powers" one of the steps is "Choose a Power Group & a Power." The third line from that section reads "Then you get to select a power from that same power group and add that power to your list of powers known."

In short:
You take the manifest power perk.
You go through the steps of gaining powers which are to choose a power source, choose a power group, and then choose a power from the chosen group.
Reply
Customer avatar
Daniel C January 15, 2021 8:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome, thanks! Loving the book so far! Can't wait for the PoD option.
Reply
Customer avatar
Daniel C January 16, 2021 2:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
Sorry, but got another question. How do you regain power points? The only place I see it mentioned is under short rest. Do you not regain Power Points on Extended Rests or Recovery? Just want to make sure that's by design.


Also, and this might just be outside the scope of the core book, but under transportation costs you give prices to buy transports are these supposed to be at an assumed Vehicle Threshold? If so how would my players go about purchasing a vehicle of a higher threshold? This might be important is Sci-Fi games where players might buy ships of varying sizes.
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H January 16, 2021 4:16 am UTC
PUBLISHER
No need to apologize, I should be the one apologizing since this slipped through the playtests. I will add a note on the Rest & Recovery section to clarify that you also regain all your Power during an extended rest or while recovering.

The description for vehicles under Transports is generic and only for readily available vehicles (a player should not have access to buy a star destroyer, for example unless that's something the GM wants). The GM can assign a vehicle's threshold using the thresholds on page 49. Players can increase a vehicle's threshold by adding mods to them (page 178), and by taken Ace perks.

If you have further questions, post them here: https://forum.dwarfaregames.com/ I want to eventually move discussions there since its easier for me to track. Sometimes drivethrurpg doesnt notify me when someone leaves a message.
Customer avatar
Kerry H January 11, 2021 3:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a forum/message board somewhere to discuss this game?
Reply
Customer avatar
Victor H January 11, 2021 4:17 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, you can post here: https://forum.dwarfaregames.com/

I think I made a reddit at some point as well (ill look for it).
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This title was added to our catalog on January 05, 2021.