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The Comae Engine

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$2.50

CREATE BETTER STORIES

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. 

Please note that Comae Engine is in a late beta. It is highly playable, but is still open for changes. If you have any suggestions, they are more than welcome. You can leave comments below.

The most recent version is v0.97.


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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 (8)
Discussions (15)
Customer avatar
Mark C January 14, 2023 5:57 am UTC
PURCHASER
Will the Comae Engine have an "open content license" or something similar to the Mythras license? I've done some OSR publishing in the past and think this is a set of rules I'd like to use in the future.
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R January 16, 2023 8:40 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Mark, there will be a license for third party creators, but I'm not sure yet what it will contain. It will be either an open license or similar to the Mythras Gateway. Feel free to email me if you have any suggestions about the license or if you have a project idea you want to share. My email is clarence.redd (a) gmail.com
Customer avatar
Artikhun R January 12, 2023 10:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
Don't know where can I submit this but I found "Unarmed 1d3" typo in page 36.
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Customer avatar
Clarence R January 12, 2023 7:58 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Artikhun, I couldn’t decide whether to make Unarmed 1d4 or 1d3 (ie. 1d6 divided by two, rounded up). I finally went with 1d3, but I’m still not sure.
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Customer avatar
Alex G January 20, 2023 11:05 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'd like to see non-lethal combat - an emphasis on throws, pins, restraints, and even sleeper holds, where Unarmed can do a lot more than just plink away at the target's BODY stat, 1d3 at a time.
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Customer avatar
James C January 28, 2023 1:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
+1 on non-lethal combat!
I sold a few games today so I immediately wanted to get this. Great game engine! I really like what you've done with it ... I have actually been working on something eerily similar ... I guess now I don't need to finish it ;) I'd love to see a POD option eventually (I have M-Space with Elevation and Odd Soot in PDF and Print versions). I'm also curious to see what licensing you will use. I usually use CC-by or CC-by-nc-sa. But something like the Gateway license might work well - depending on what you are really looking to achieve with it.
Customer avatar
serge G January 02, 2023 9:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
hello, as you use doubles to mark special result, and as rolling low is good, why don't you read the dice from 00 to 99 instead of 01-100 ? This way everyone, not just characters with skills over 11% can score a special result ?
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Customer avatar
Clarence R January 03, 2023 8:02 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Serge, thanks for the suggestion! I will give it some thought, but I actually like the idea that it's impossible to get an exceptional roll with a really low skill. I see it as a feature.
Customer avatar
William H December 30, 2022 7:45 am UTC
PURCHASER
I just downloaded the PDF and it seems on page 29 under "Conflict Example" there's Lorem Ipsum filler. Not sure if this is a mistake or intentional.
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Customer avatar
Clarence R December 30, 2022 7:05 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks William, I have written a real example this week and will update the PDF in a week or so. Stay tuned!
Customer avatar
Jeffry W December 29, 2022 6:59 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm trying to submit this book on DriveThruRPG. How do I see what the dimensions of this book are/will be?

I know FrostByte Books are odd sizes sometimes in the past.

Thanks.
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 29, 2022 4:18 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Jeffry, I'm not exactly sure what you are asking, but the dimensions of the book are 8.5"x5.5". Perhaps not the most common format around, but it's like those slightly bigger, swanky pocket books you see sometimes. Only with a lower page count. For home printing, it should fit on both letter and A4 papers.
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Customer avatar
Jeffry W December 29, 2022 11:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Sorry I was unclear. That was exactly what I was looking for though. Thank you.
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Customer avatar
Clarence R December 30, 2022 7:03 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Haha, no problem Jeffry!
Customer avatar
Timothy W December 28, 2022 6:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Will there be a print on demand option available? would it be possible to get a print friendly version with only black text on white pages?
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Customer avatar
Clarence R December 29, 2022 4:09 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Timothy, there will be a print version as soon as the beta version turns to v1.0. I'm not sure yet how long it will take to iron out the final wrinkles, but I'm aiming for a spring release.

A version with black text on white pages is certainly possible. Would you prefer if the images are kept as they are or converted to B&W?
Reply
Customer avatar
Timothy W December 30, 2022 9:14 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the response Clarence. As for the pictures, i dont think it is too important to me whether they are color or not, I will be printing them black and white regardless, but other purchasers might have different opinions on the matter. My main concern was how books with different color text and background colors/patterns dont print very well and use more ink than is necessary.
Customer avatar
Benjamin N December 18, 2022 7:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Will the solo version of these rules be available this year or early next year?
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 19, 2022 4:39 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Benjamin, the manuscript for the solo rules, TREY, is finished and halfway through layout. It will not be released this year, but hopefully early next year.

Just to be clear, TREY is a standalone book with a separate game mechanic. It's a perfect companion to Comae Engine, but it can be used alongside any RPG rules. Comae Engine in itself will remain unchanged and all necessary solo mechanics will be added by TREY.
Customer avatar
Colin C December 18, 2022 5:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
Does the system provide options that actively support Theatre of the Mind play, e.g. zone-based movement/more abstracted ranges? Does it include a lot of bean counting (e.g. tallying every currency unit used, counting each round of ammunition, calculating encumbrance to the lb./kg and movement modifiers, etc.) or are these abstracted?
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 19, 2022 4:30 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Colin, Comae Engine is quite abstract overall. Encumbrance, ammunition and exact movement are not tracked at all.
Customer avatar
Candle N December 15, 2022 10:32 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Content creator check the page 29 please.
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 16, 2022 5:54 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Candle, thanks for the heads-up! The placeholder text will be replaced in the next update - hopefully to be released in early January. Comae Engine is still in beta (see book description) and some things are not quite finished, simply because I wanted more feedback. I believe you will be notified automatically here at DriveThru when the new PDF is available.
Customer avatar
Néstor C December 09, 2022 1:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Clarence.
As owner of Revolution D100, Mythras, M-space and Odd-soot could i ask what is adding comae engine to worth a separate purchase?

Might the extended conflicts has been improved? What means focus, tag and lenses?
Did you may extended the passions to states, so as result of an extended conflict one might become "discouraged 35%" or "broken leg 56%"?
Does Comae engine comes with lore? Is it mostly rules? How different are they from, for example Mythas Gateway?


Thanks!!
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 10, 2022 7:25 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Néstor, from a mechanical viewpoint you have everything you need. Lenses in Comae Engine is new, however, and works a bit like combat manoeuvres, but for any type of conflict. And Lenses are easy to port to, for example, M-SPACE. But the big advantage of Comae Engine is that it combines all the best parts of Mythras, M-SPACE and Odd Soot, combining them into a highly optimised and streamlined set of rules. It's easy to pick up and play in just a few minutes, in almost any genre and with new players or grognards.
Customer avatar
Antonio S December 09, 2022 8:23 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi, Clarence,
Can you clarify the experience rolls of the character improvement section?
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Customer avatar
Antonio S December 09, 2022 9:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
Besides, what's the purpose of the first roll of the clever lens if it deals no damage. I understand the narrative reason, but mechanically there's no point in rolling. Or maybe the PC can take damage? Or I'm missing something.
Reply
Customer avatar
Antonio S December 11, 2022 12:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Why did you skip me and avoided answering me?
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 11, 2022 1:47 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hey Antonio, sorry about that! I had to think a bit and look through my notes before answering your questions. I will try to reply later today. I won't forget you : )
Reply
Customer avatar
Antonio S December 11, 2022 2:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ok. Thank you! :-D
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 13, 2022 3:23 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hey Antonio, sorry for taking so long to reply! And thanks for your patience.

The basic idea of impovement is that a character gains 1d4+1 points in a single skill after a scenario.

For example, with Awareness at 37% you roll 1d4+1 [3+1=4] and add the result to the skill: 37+4=41%. Erase 37% and put 41% instead on the character sheet.

If the player tried to play according to their Willpower Focus (for example, Willpower //Avenge Friend) the PC gets a second experience roll of 1d4+1 to raise any skill.

But as PCs grow more powerful, they might want to improve in other areas as well.

To do so, they will have to save up experience rolls from several scenarios and spend them on Tags or Conflict Pools. Then, the saved dice rolls are forfeited in exchange for an upgrade (ie. the dice are never rolled for these improvements).

A new Tag “costs” xx experience rolls.

Raising a conflict pool one step “costs” xx experience...See more
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Customer avatar
Antonio S December 13, 2022 10:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you, Clarence. I will appreciate your further elaboration of the rules. For relatively newbies in RPG such as myself, it should be clearer to fully enjoy your game.
Customer avatar
GUNNAR O December 08, 2022 12:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The improvement system might need some work. I think characters with high skill should improve slower. Or maybe low skills should improve faster.

Thats all the complaints I´ve got. I really enjoyed this and have already recomended it to my group.
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 08, 2022 3:01 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you Gunnar, I'm happy you enjoy Comae Engine so far. I will check the system for XP and see if it can be more nuanced. And thanks for recommending it to your group! You can always drop me an email (clarence.redd (at) frostbytebooks.com) if you have more suggestions.
Customer avatar
GUNNAR O December 08, 2022 12:16 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The character sheets also contains a survival skill that maybe isn´t supposed to be there.
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 08, 2022 2:58 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks, good catch! I will add to my to-do list for the next version. Hopefully it will be ready in a few weeks.
Customer avatar
GUNNAR O December 08, 2022 12:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
This needs more explanation for magic imho, otherwise I think I got it for the most part.
Reply
Customer avatar
GUNNAR O December 08, 2022 1:15 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Also why would one wear light armor?
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 08, 2022 2:57 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Gunnar, thank you for all the comments! Exactly what I need to make the rules as good as possible. Magic will be covered in a follow-up plugin. But if you want to set started, most magic systems from classic d100 systems are easy to use straight away. Most of them are tied to POW. M-SPACE, Odd Soot and Mythras alone has a handful of different magic systems to choose from.
Customer avatar
Sebastian K December 08, 2022 5:44 am UTC
PURCHASER
Can you please translate the Conflict Example on Page 29 into English and update the PDF file?
Reply
Customer avatar
Shawn M December 08, 2022 6:44 am UTC
PURCHASER
That's just "lorem ipsum" placeholder text that the designer is using until the final text is complete. Note the product description "Please note that Comae Engine is in a late beta. It is highly playable, but is still open for changes."
Reply
Customer avatar
Clarence R December 08, 2022 2:52 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Sebastian, I'm sorry about the placeholder text on page 29! It's a generic Latin paragraph used by graphic designers before the main text is finished. It doesn't say anything related to the book. But I will replace it with an actual example in the next update in a few weeks.

Until then, check this excerpt from Odd Soot with a few examples:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bckoplb7ivpsrf3/Conflict%20Examples%20-%20Odd%20Soot.pdf?dl=0
Reply
Customer avatar
Sebastian K December 10, 2022 12:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Shawn,

thanks for the info :-)

Best regards
Sebastian
Reply
Customer avatar
Sebastian K December 10, 2022 12:42 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Clarence,

thank your for the the link and good work, keep it up :)

Best regards
Sebastian
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