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The Comae Engine

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Take d100 Roleplaying Back to its Core

Comae Engine charts a new path for the classic rules, retooled from the ground up for more creative and flexible storytelling. But keeping the grounded approach they are known for.

At the core is a versatile conflict resolution system. Combine mysteries, social conflicts, puzzles, stunts, combat - and most other challenges in modern storytelling. You can play almost any story, in any genre.

Comae Engine is a freestanding game, with close ties to M-SPACE, Odd Soot and Mythras. And if you are familiar with any classic d100 games, you will feel right at home. 

The most recent version is v1.0.


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Who is Comae Engine for?

  • You like d100 games but prefer quick and simple rules, without losing flexibility. 
     
  • You want to create tense scenes without always resorting to violence. Social conflicts, chases, research and complex tasks play important parts in your scenarios.
     
  • You feel limited by traditional RPG’s focus on combat, but prefer rules you are accustomed to.
     
  • You enjoy d100 RPGs as they are, but sometimes need a barebones version to play with family and friends. 
     
  • You play solo RPGs and need simple d100 mechanics to keep the story nimble.
     
  • You prefer simple rules, but want more complexity in key areas, like magic, superpowers or starship design.

If any of these sound like you, Comae Engine is worth checking out.

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Reviews (13)
Discussions (35)
Customer avatar
james H April 24, 2024 4:35 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi, I just got the game and it's really cool. I do have some questions though.

1. One of the examples mentions Yra's BODY + POW average. I couldn't find anything about building a pool out of multiple conflict pools so I'm wondering if after the conflict ends the remaining points would be divided amongst those conflict pools or dealt to both.

2. Along the same lines, if a group is using a combined conflict pool then how is 'damage' sustained after the conflict ends? Are the remaining points divided amongst the group, or are their personal pools unaffected?

3. Some of the lenses let you apply damage to pools that aren't the main combat pool. I'm assuming if any conflict pool drops to 0 the character is out of the conflict. Is this correct?

Sorry if any of this is in the book and I missed it. I'm looking forward to playing it.
Customer avatar
Graham S April 04, 2024 9:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I really like The Comae Engine. It appeals on a lot of fronts. It's short and honed for maximum effect for minimum crunch. Simple, familiar and loved d100 resolution. A focus on conflict and not combat. Flexible approach to contests, what they are, which pool is at stake, how long they take, narrated consequences. Highly configurable to whatever game you want to play, introducing your own Focus and Tags will direct play in genre defining ways. It lightly accounts for things like weapons and tools, but you can branch and extend in areas if you want that level of detail; nothing will break. Want detailed starships? How about some lengthy spell lists? Fine, bolt them in! I converted the core of GDW's 2300AD to Comae in an afternoon. Fantastic.
Customer avatar
James C April 03, 2024 12:20 am UTC
PURCHASER
As a publisher, I can’t leave a true review on DriveThruRPG. This is my way around that.

I’m a grognard who cut his teeth gaming in the 70s. As such I also have a background in old-school wargames (with miniatures) leading to something of a simulationist fetish in terms of the TTRPG systems I ended up playing. I started with the original White Box with its several Little Brown Booklets and Chainmail and went on to play AD&D, Aftermath, Burning Wheel, DragonQuest, GURPS, Hero System, Morrow Project, Rolemaster, RuneQuest, Space Opera, Traveller, etc.

That said, fast forward to the present and I find myself with a great deal less free time, less spare-change, and a desire to play without unnecessary overhead spent learning a system, teaching it to others, or preparing for a session.

That is where The Comae Engine comes in. Built off the backbone of RuneQuest via Basic RolePlaying, Mythras, and Mythras Imperative it feels very familiar. However, eschewing the bulk and...See more
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Customer avatar
James C April 05, 2024 1:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Just nominated The Comae Engine for a Crit award in the Best Indie TTRPG category. Good luck!
Customer avatar
James N March 27, 2024 9:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Am I overlooking the healing rules?
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Customer avatar
James N March 28, 2024 1:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
Wait, no. Just blind. Pg 30.
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Customer avatar
Clarence R April 02, 2024 3:24 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Haha, you make my support duties too easy : )
Customer avatar
Garry M March 13, 2024 5:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Will Comae support a Delta Green style game? Would it need any alterations or new sub-systems eg Sanity?
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Customer avatar
Clarence R March 21, 2024 3:48 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Garry, Delta Green would be a good fit! Both Mattias and I use Comae for paranormal mysteries in the Cthulhu vein. So far, Comae lacks specific Sanity rules, but the POW Conflict Pool is easy to use. I usually roll for Willpower. If it's successful, my character is fine. If the roll fails, I roll for sanity loss. Depending on the situation this could be anything from 1d2 up to 3d6 or so. When POW is halved the PC will start to feel weird and maybe gain some mild disadvantage (check Odd Soot for inspiration). At zero POW, problems will get serious.
Customer avatar
James C March 11, 2024 3:35 am UTC
PURCHASER
Have had the pdf for a while now. Just ordered the softcover. Looking forward to receiving the physical edition!
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Customer avatar
Clarence R March 16, 2024 11:15 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you James for your support! I hope your book arrives quickly.
Customer avatar
Juan B March 07, 2024 3:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Congratulations for the release of v1.0.

Will be there a printer friendly pdf version?

Thanks.
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Customer avatar
Clarence R March 08, 2024 10:03 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you Juan! Yes, I will create a printer friendly version as well, but it will take a few weeks.
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Customer avatar
Juan B March 08, 2024 10:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks!!
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Customer avatar
serge G March 15, 2024 4:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
great !
Customer avatar
David K March 07, 2024 2:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
Good Evening, I was very excited to get the email for the Comae Engine book release and I just ordered the soft cover book and i was wondering how to get the PDF version..... Then on closer inspection of my order after not being to find the included PDF i realized I clicked the wrong softcover order spot, that i needed to click the one toward the bottom (same price). Is there a way i can still get the PDF (a link i could download it from perhaps, or if you could email it to me)?
Thanks,
David dakuz55@yahoo.com
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Customer avatar
Clarence R March 08, 2024 10:04 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi David, no problem! As long as you have a receipt we'll sort it out. Drop me an email at clarence.redd (at) gmail.com.
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Customer avatar
David K March 08, 2024 6:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you Clarence, I sent you an email with my Drivethru order receipt.
Much Appreciated.
Customer avatar
Gary F October 02, 2023 11:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
When does full version come out.
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Customer avatar
Graham S March 06, 2024 12:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Today! :-)
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Customer avatar
Clarence R March 08, 2024 10:05 am UTC
PUBLISHER
It took a while but now it's finally here : )
Customer avatar
Pascal D September 09, 2023 7:13 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hello, I would like to know if the comae engine is appropriate to run call of cthulhu adventures ? It seems action oriented, but can it do it ? How lethal is combat ? Can we model sanity ? Thanks !
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Customer avatar
Clarence R March 08, 2024 11:01 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Pascal, sorry for the late reply! I often use Comae Engine for supernatural mysteries and it works really well. Also, Odd Soot is set in 1920s in a setting not too far removed from classic Cthulhu. Combat can be lethal but it's easy to dial down damage if you want. Sanity mechanics is not included in the book, but there is a POW Conflict Pool that works in a similar way.
Customer avatar
Brian C August 12, 2023 4:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
Rules clarification question: when you have multiple characters rolling for an Extended Conflict, does only the character with the highest roll get to roll damage? For example, if you have three player-characters fighting a monster, and one of the player-characters rolls highest, does only that character get to roll damage for the combat round? In other words, no matter how many participants are in a conflict, only a single participant gets to roll damage in any given round? Is that correct?
Customer avatar
Robert R June 29, 2023 8:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I have to comment on the artwork you chose. It just doesn’t seem to go with this work. Individually, TCE and the artwork are interesting, even remarkable. But I just don’t see how they go together. This is just an observation. I almost didn’t buy this because of the graphic and somewhat strange cover art. Am I missing some kind of connection or did you just like the art? Just curious.
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Customer avatar
Clarence R June 30, 2023 5:45 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Robert, good question! I’m not sure I have a reasonable answer, but I’ll give it a try. It’s a bit long, so bear with me.

To me, the images in Comae Engine tell of characters experiencing strange, eerie and unexpected events. All of the drawings could be scenes from an RPG scenario (or any other story) that I would be more than happy to play. They not only state the fundamental storytelling phrase ”What if…”, they also fire up my imagination by asking ”Then what happened?”

And that’s what I wanted to create with The Comae Engine as well. I needed a roleplaying game that could tell many different types of stories, without leaving classic RPG rules behind. That way, I can still play a dungeon crawl if I want (probably not) but also investigative, social or just plain weird scenarios with rules I’m comfortable with. I’m not sure I have succeeded, but this is the closest I’ve ever got. With a host of detailed conflicts to choose from, I have changed the way I play,...See more
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Customer avatar
Robert R July 03, 2023 4:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
What an interesting and thorough reply. I didn’t think the cover was ugly. As a matter fact, the artwork is compelling I just didn’t see how it worked with your game, but after reading your reply and the depth of your analysis, I get the feeling that you have a creative heart and that includes for the artwork. I see now what you want to convey.
I really do appreciate the care you put into your reply. And I’m quite pleased with my purchase of The Comae Engine. Happy gaming.
Customer avatar
Krzysztof J May 14, 2023 8:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
Love your work!
I got a question about conflict in "many vs one" scenario. In extended conflict rules you stated that in combat round everyone is making one check. Keeping in mind that every roll in conflict should be opposed check, how to run conflict where team of PC's are conflicting with one NPC?
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Customer avatar
Clarence R May 17, 2023 1:44 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hey Krzysztof, good question! It usually depends on the situation. In melee combat I usually allow for two vs. one, with -20% for the outnumbered fighter. With some clever use of Lenses by the PC, I might even push it to four vs. one in a cinematic setting. In social conflicts, I only allow for a single opponent in a round, as everyone can't talk at the same time. Instead, those taking part in the conflict take turns coming up with arguments and rolling. Further, in some physical challenges - like pushing a huge rock blocking an exit - all PCs combine their Conflict Pools, but make individual skill rolls vs. the rock. The PCs who rolled better than the GM deals damage to the rock's Pool, but those who failed or rolled below the GM reduce the PCs' combined Pool. In essence, it's often best to use common sense and discuss the conflict's setup with the players.
Customer avatar
Robert R May 12, 2023 2:09 am UTC
PURCHASER
Some interesting work you’ve done here. Nice break down. Very useful and fun. However, the raster character sheet is awful. Please upload a scalable PDF for us. :) Thanks.
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Customer avatar
Clarence R May 17, 2023 1:24 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Robert, I'm happy you like it! I have put in a great deal of time and energy to age the character sheets to perfection : ) But I have the spotless original somewhere on my HDD, so I'll add it to the downloads section of FrostByte's web page. Not sure how scalable it is though.
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Customer avatar
Robert R June 29, 2023 8:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks
Customer avatar
Tobias D April 26, 2023 8:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the Update. Could you please make a correction on page 42? The text under "Firearm Combat" is a repetition of the text under "Search for Clues".
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Customer avatar
Clarence R May 17, 2023 1:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Tobias, the misplaced text should be correct in the most recent version, 0.98b.
Customer avatar
Ryan D April 07, 2023 11:33 pm UTC
The pitch sounds pretty good, I have some questions though.

Are the base percentage of skills two attributes added together? (like mythras)

Do you increase your skills through failure? (like delta green)

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Customer avatar
Clarence R April 10, 2023 3:26 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Ryan, I’m happy you like what you see so far! Skills are not based on two characteristics as in Mythras, but use a skill pyramid instead with fixed base chances, to make character creation really quick. On top of skills, you add Focuses for specialisations.

For PC improvement, I’ve kept it simple. After every session, PCs get to raise any skill of the player’s choice. If they have followed their Willpower Focus (similar to Passions) they get a second XP roll. You can tie them to failures or checkmarks if you want, but it’s not specifically stated in the rules.
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Platinum seller
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54
ISBN
978-91-986534-2-7
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