Welcome to The Chimera Roleplaying Game!

This is Chimera Basic, designed to show the game’s simple mechanics and modular guidelines. Chimera is a flexible, rules-lite engine that promotes your creativity over game rules. From fantasy to sci-fi, and everything in between, Chimera provides an easy-to-learn framework for all your roleplaying adventures.

You can use the Basic guidelines to create any number of characters, settings, and campaigns. If you like what you see, check our Web site ( for supplements that expand on these rules and make it even easier to run games in any setting.

Chimera: the Nutshell

Chimera is a roleplaying game wherein players assume the roles of characters they make up, in a setting created by a Game Master (GM). That setting could be any time or any place: a land of medieval fantasy, a science-fiction future, apocalyptic Earth, America in the 1930s, any historical period, whatever is appealing.

Player Characters (PCs) are characters in the setting whose actions are decided by the players. To help define their role in the setting, all PCs choose classes, or professions, which is essentially their “day job.” Each class is defined by its Abilities, which cover things that characters of that class are good at (e.g., scholars are good at academics, veterans are good at fighting, burglars are good at sneaking about, etc.). Abilities cover any action a character might attempt during the game, and characters can pick Abilities outside their class, though non-class Abilities are harder to master.

The characters’ job in the setting is to go on heroic adventures: stopping evil forces, recovering lost riches, or exploring the vast unknown. Whenever you want your character to do something during an adventure (like fight a monster, hack a computer, or charm the border guard), you make an Action Roll (AR) with the Ability you’re using. If the roll equals or exceeds the Target Number (TN) assigned to the action, you accomplish what you wanted to do. Otherwise, you fail, and the GM usually determines what happens as a result.

As your character completes adventures, he earns opportunities to improve his Abilities, increase his experience levels, get new Powers, even develop special advantages called Perks to give him an edge in certain situations. Your character can increase his chances of improving by taking special risks, called Clutch Situations, essentially going above-and-beyond what’s necessary to complete his (and his companion’s) adventuring goals.

An adventure can last many game sessions; your character “wins” if he completes his mission and survives to adventure some more. Over time, your character can become an accomplished hero in the GM’s setting.

Using the Basic Rules

Chimera’s mechanics support any conceivable genre, allowing you to create campaigns based on traditional or historic settings, your favourite books and films, or your own creations. Chimera Basic is easy to learn and easy to play, while providing realistic outcomes that aren’t bogged down in detail.

To make the most of Chimera, use the Basic Rules as guidelines instead of absolutes. During development, we concentrated more on what happens instead of exactly how it happens—necessarily, some details are lost (or even deliberately ignored). Our goal is a game that allows fast, yet reasonable, action resolution, with enough flexibility for players to tinker, tweak, and customise to suit their own style.

That said, if your style demands more detail, you can add it—Chimera’s flexibility lets you inject as much realism as you want, generally without “breaking” the system. However, the game doesn’t necessarily play better as a result. In fact, you may find that extra details slow things down and make actions more cumbersome to resolve.

As it stands, Chimera Basic provides a solid foundation for immediate and relatively complete play. If you need more, we encourage you to modify what you like—it’s your game and your setting.

What You Need to Play

Chimera Basic contains all the guidelines you need to get started, plus a blank character sheet and several templates for the Game Master. You’ll also need paper, pencil, and polyhedral dice (the “standard” RPG dice numbering 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 20 sides, and, on occasion, a 30-sider). You’ll need one person to be the Game Master, and at least one player to run a character (though groups of 3–5 PCs are usually best—aside from having a stronger party of characters, Chimera is more fun when there are more players).

How To Get Started

Read through Chimera Basic to learn how to play. As you learn the rules, you’ll see how easy and flexible Chimera is, and how you can use it to run all your RPG campaigns.

Don’t forget to visit our Web site ( for free adventure scenarios, optional rules, Game Master tips, and other Chimera content. While you’re there, why not sign up to our discussion forum ( for conversations with other Chimera players, product announcements, extra goodies, and subscriber-only content.

We hope you find Chimera exciting and fun—take it for a spin and see if it serves your imagination as well as we think it will. Good gaming!