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.
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.
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!