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Chimerapedia Release

Chimera RPG’s new format

I’d like to direct your attention to a new product called Chimerapedia. “What,” you ask, “is Chimerapedia?” It’s this:

What It Is

Chimerapedia is an electronic version of The Chimera RPG formatted for NBOS’ The Keep campaign management tool. This format allows you to edit, update, and re-organise the rules however you like. The Keep also supports HTML and RTF exports, full search, and it integrates seamlessly with Inspiration Pad Pro and Character Sheet Designer.

Chimerapedia is not a PDF, so you can’t download it and start reading. Instead, you need to install The Keep, which acts as a “platform” for Chimera. Once you import Chimerapedia, you can use The Keep’s native tools to browse and manipulate the Chimera content.

As the Welsh Piper releases new rules, supplements, and revisions, you can update the Chimerapedia simply by importing the new material. The Chimerapedia Core includes an edited version of Chimera Basic, updated with material from The Welsh Piper site and other revisions. Other volumes will follow, each containing expanded rules and new content.

Why The Keep?

If PDFs represent the first generation of pen-and-paper RPGs offered in electronic format, The Keep represents the second. The difference isn’t just between static and dynamic—it’s about utility and keeping current.

Chimerapedia Core

Chimerapedia Core

My goal is to provide Chimera in an interactive format that lets you edit the rules, add your own tweaks, and automate common tasks like random table rolls and NPC generation. These features are doubly useful if you bring a laptop to the gaming table—now the rulebook isn’t just a reference, it’s a tool that lets you roll on random tables, do searches, or even make updates while you’re playing.

These are the functions that we’ve been told to expect from RPGs, whose rules invariably tell us to change what we want, and add house variants as desired. And for the creative GM, who creates his own tables, adds his own monsters, and develops his own settings, what’s more suitable than a ruleset whose format allows easy updates and additions?

But the dynamic format is also a time-saver: The Keep lets me spend my time more productively: writing material directly in The Keep without worrying about layout, artwork, and all the other ancillary tasks related to publishing PDFs. New content and revisions take minutes and hours instead of days and weeks.

Next Steps

The Chimerapedia Core will be supported by supplemental volumes, each containing either rule expansions (e.g., full Ability descriptions, new powers, etc.), setting material (e.g., Swords of Telm and The World of Trid), or campaign development tools (e.g., sandbox construction kit and tools written for Inspiration Pad Pro or Character Sheet Designer).

The Keep itself—rated 5 stars—is available on RPGNow and provides a solid campaign management platform you can use with any game. Welsh Piper customers receive a 15% discount code when they purchase Chimerapedia.

This is somewhat of an experiement—to my knowledge, this format is not used elsewhere. But I strongly believe in the potential, not just for utility, but also for GM productivity (myself included).

As always, comments and suggestions welcome!

  1. Greg MacKenzie
    February 13th, 2012 at 08:27 | #1

    The cool thing about NBOS The Keep is that it allows me to do the things that I’d wished I could do for so long. Say I’m making an adventure, I enter the topics, if I need to link to a rule, Chimera’s rules are right there and I can put in a hyperlink to the exact topic I need, no more searching through pages of rules for the exact thing. I’ve hyperlinked a lot of text in my adventures to rules and to topics in the adventure itself.

    A nice thing is that if I want to interpret a rule slightly differently I can make notes right there. I can even copy the rule if I want to keep the old one for reference, create a new topic, and edit the text to reflect how I’m going to interpret it.

    Graphics, PDFs, Character Sheets, etc. can all be held in The Keep. The built in die roller, for any sort of dice, is handy too.

    I can export any part of my topics in The Keep to HTML if I want to share it. I can even share my *.keep files, such as adventures.

    I feel that The Keep is unleashing my creative side, writing and subsequent edits are so easy to make compared to the way I have been working which frankly was a drag. What really puts this over the top for me is the free Inspiration Pad Pro software for creating automated tables. I’m still playing around with this idea but I’ve built some randomly generated wandering monster encounters which makes various encounters that are unique. I have yet to get into the Character Sheet Designer, but I understand it can also be used to make tables.

    Since NBOS makes a demo of their software, I discovered that you don’t have to buy in right away to see how it works. I must say that I’m pretty impressed with the way The Keep works and the way NBOS integrates their software, such as the Character Sheet Designer, and Inspiration Pad Pro. In a very short time I had converted my Gloomland adventure into The Keep. With hyperlinking and IPP tables, the adventure has transformed into something even more useful to me. Better yet, I’m having more fun with it since its opened some doors.

    Thanks for suggesting NBOS The Keep to me Erin, it’s really cool.

    Greg
    :-)

  2. Greg MacKenzie
    February 13th, 2012 at 10:20 | #2

    As part of Gloomland, in the Keep I’ve added a few tables which use Inspiration Pad Pro. I’ve created them with a text editor. Although I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this integration can do what I like about IPP is this:

    I might write an encounter like this, it’s static and fixed.

    A patrol of 1d8 Goblins moves towards you from the north, they are 2d6 x 10 feet away when they are seen. They are searching for treasure.

    However the content of this sentence can be made variable using IPP, here’s part of the code, which is pretty simple, [@Patrol] for example calls a subtable which has a list of what is in the patrol:

    A [@Patrol] moves towards you from the [@Direction], they are {2d6*10} feet away when they are seen. They are [@Activity].

    Table: Patrol
    patrol of {1d8} Goblins
    patrol of {1d6} Orcs
    patrol of {2d4} Kobolds
    patrol of {1d8} HobGoblins

    Table: Direction
    North
    South
    West
    East

    Table: Activity
    searching for treasure
    looking for intruders
    hunting for something to eat
    carrying a captive in a cage
    carrying a treasure chest
    tracking an escaped prisoner

    Our sentence, when the IPP generator is used comes up with various versions of the encounter using the lists. The results become more unique and I can choose from a range of possibilities:

    A patrol of 6 Goblins moves towards you from the South, they are 60 feet away when they are seen. They are carrying a treasure chest.

    A patrol of 8 Kobolds moves towards you from the West, they are 120 feet away when they are seen. They are looking for intruders.

    A patrol of 2 Orcs moves towards you from the East, they are 20 feet away when they are seen. They are hunting for something to eat.

    This keeps things fresh, particularly when I might want encounters for an area of wilderness. I don’t have to roll something up because IPP does the work for me. I’m sure this sentence could be made more detailed and variable, describing the weapons and armor, and or provide information or clues about the Gloomland adventure itself.

  3. May 24th, 2012 at 08:19 | #3

    This is what is getting me excited about gaming again. The simplicity of Chimera coupled with the utility of the NBOS software is nothing short of amazing. I’ve only skimmed the IPP so far, but knowing it will be there when I’m at the point in my world-building to start structuring a campaign leaves me eager to jump ahead.

    ~October

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