What started out as a minor tweak in September 2007 is now a full-on multi-genre RPG. The progenitor was Chimera 1.x, released in 2006, and subjected to many nudges and adjustments, all of which were intended to make the game less crunchy and more GM-friendly.
Why Update Chimera?
Chimera 1.x did most of what I wanted: it was easy to learn, highly flexible, and multi-genre. Yet the rules still weren’t transparent, and customisation took time. Character classes were too rigid. Traits weren't entirely consistent. New races, monsters, and NPCs took too long to create. In all, the rules weren’t as elegant as I’d hoped.
Of course, this was more of a problem for GMs than for players: Assuming the GM took the time to customise the campaign, players would see only the result, not the effort required to achieve it. In principle, this was acceptable, but as a GM, I wanted a better, faster, stronger foundation. Like Steve Austin, Chimera was rebuilt.
Long story short, I had a brainwave in 2007 about revising the Action Roll system. Since this was only the core mechanic, the changes cascaded to other areas, and, ultimately, the entire game was revised. Along the way, I realised that game design was more about promoting play than about flawless mechanics, and that the essential goal was translating the players' imaginations onto the tabletop with minimum headache.
In short, it was more important to create a system for busy GMs than to dazzle the RPG world with mechanics.
The result is Chimera 2.0. While Chimera’s guiding factors remain intact, the GM's job is made much easier: modular character kits; streamlined traits; simpler guidelines for creating new equipment, monsters, races, and NPCs; more logical skills and powers; and a revolutionary character advancement system.
When Can You Have Chimera 2.0?
Chimera 2.0 will be released on Monday November 23, 2009. Put the date on your calendar. Write a batch file so that, on Monday morning, your browser automatically goes to the Chimera RPG page and clicks on the Buy Now button.
Existing customers who purchased Chimera 1.x through RPGNow will receive a free upgrade (thanks for your support!). Subscribers to The Piper will receive a special subscriber discount. In fact, I invite you to sign up for our newsletter—subscribers get a free copy of the Chimera RPG Quick Start guide, which will help you decide if the full Chimera RPG Core Rules is a good fit for your gaming style.
I hope you enjoy Chimera 2.0. I promise that it’s easier to learn and plays faster than before. I also promise that GMs (and players) will have a vastly easier time translating their creativity into something that plays out on the gaming table.
With all sincerity, I wish you have as much fun playing Chimera as I’ve had shaping it. Thanks for your continued support.