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Chimera: A Fantasy, Modern & Sci-Fi Roleplaying Engine
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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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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: 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: 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 (7)
Customer avatar
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.
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.
Customer avatar
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Moritz H January 13, 2021 4:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm missing the part in the book tellin' me how to earn or spend fate points (aside the one line telling me to use it for a reroll). Is it just getting one (ore more with a perk) at the start or is there a rule for earn them?
Customer avatar
Victor H January 13, 2021 6:28 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Good catch! Ill make sure to update that error today. If you find other errors, don't hesitate to let me know.

All characters start with 1 FP and can gain more via a race, a perk, or a boon the GM gives them.
You can only spend 1 FP per turn.
FP are only used to make rerolls, but some perks allow you to spend FP in different ways.
FP renews at the start of each session.
Customer avatar
Moritz H January 13, 2021 7:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Nice one, thanks for that quick response :) ! I‘ll do so.
Customer avatar
Victor H January 13, 2021 11:18 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
File has been updated. Thank you for reporting this!
Customer avatar
Kerry H January 11, 2021 3:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a forum/message board somewhere to discuss this game?
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).
Customer avatar
Donald D January 08, 2021 8:35 am UTC
When will print on demand be available?
Customer avatar
Victor H January 08, 2021 12:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I don't have a time estimate yet, but it will significantly depend on user feedback. There are errors and issues bound to pop up that neither my playtesters nor I could detect. I want to polish this book as best as I can before committing it to print, and that will take time.
Customer avatar
K.J. R January 07, 2021 1:26 am UTC
Are there any plans to make a Roll20 character sheet for this system? I am super interested, but I am only investing in game systems that have a Roll20 character sheet during the pandemic.
Customer avatar
Victor H January 08, 2021 2:26 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hello!
There's one in the works for Astral, and I will upload a fillable pdf soon, but if enough people show interest for roll20, I will undoubtedly prioritize it over other VTT options.
Customer avatar
Martin R January 09, 2021 2:53 am UTC
I'd definitely prefer a Roll20 sheet myself, since it's the go-to virtual tabletop my players and I use.
Customer avatar
Victor H January 10, 2021 1:34 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I did a bit of researched and there seems to be two ways to go about it.

One is for anyone to make a case in the roll20 forums here: https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/7781132/sheet-request-thread-consolidated-mk-ii#post-9022033
which I will do as soon as it reaches at least best copper seller. That will give me time to prepare my pitch to the community.

The other method is to talk to roll20 directly, but I fear the game does not have enough traction for me to sit at the big table and try to strike a deal with them.
Customer avatar
Kerry H January 11, 2021 3:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
If you can pull it off, you should look at getting character sheets in the top 4 VTTs: Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Foundry VTT, and Astral. All 4 of those actually have provisions for a company to sell their rules and adventures etc via their platforms. With Astral being tied to DtRPG that most likely going to be easiest to get up and running I suspect.
Customer avatar
Victor H January 11, 2021 4:39 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I have one in astral, but its not publicly available yet. I could invite you to a game in Astral so you can create a copy for yourself. I am in the process of getting in touch with them to do it. (You can see a preview here: https://snipboard.io/e09jwO.jpg).

For roll20, FG, and Foundry ill need to have more support to have a dev implement it for me. The other option will be to pay someone to do it, which I am willing to do as soon as Chimera generates enough money to do so. Back in July I talked with a dev in roll20 to do the character sheet and the amount started at about 400 to get a layout similar to the one in the pdf (without taking in consideration the complexities of using the API to apply the mechanics of the game, which I am sure will increase the amount).

The pricing is beyond what I can afford at the moment but its fair to be honest, I know it requires hard work.
Customer avatar
K.J. R January 14, 2021 12:11 am UTC
Congrats on Chimera's best copper seller status! Here's hoping that will help with getting a Roll20 character sheet on the proverbial table.
Customer avatar
Victor H January 14, 2021 2:34 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Already submitted a request. You can read about here: https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/9656454/paid-sheet-for-d6-success-based-system-changedstars/?pageforid=9697512#post-9697512
Customer avatar
David J January 06, 2021 2:50 pm UTC
First, thank you for a fairly comprehensive Preview. So many sellers on DTRPG either omit Previews, or offer 4 page Previews that show nothing but the cover art and maybe a table of contents, LOL. Well done.

Second, this is an interesting set of rules. I can't afford it now, but I have this wish-listed for purchase later, when funds are more fluid. Nice!
Customer avatar
Victor H January 08, 2021 2:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you!

That is one of my gripes with some ttrpg products as well. I want to make it as transparent as possible, so everyone has enough information to make that the right decision before buying. In the days to come, I plan to release a short video explaining how to navigate the PDF (it's interactive) and also showcase some of the chapters not available in the previews.
Customer avatar
Victor H January 10, 2021 5:37 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
As promised, I added video with more pages to preview. You can read the content of each page previewed by pausing, viewing it in full-screen, and increasing the quality of the video.
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