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Essence20: The New RPG System Which Powers Hasbro Licensed Games

Renegade Game Studios announced last year that it would be making official tabletop RPGs of various Hasbro properties, including Power Rangers, GI Joe, and Transformers. This week, they revealed the d20-based Essence20 game system which will power those games.

essence.jpg



Elisa Teague from Renegade spoke to Forbes about the system.

“The Essence20 Roleplaying System is a d20 based system that uses what I call a ‘fashion plate’ system for character design, drawing from three aspects: what type of person are they, what is their function as part of the team, and what experiences have they had in their life prior to becoming a hero?”


The system has three elements: Origin, Role, and Influence, and uses different dice for different skill levels.

"When rolling Skills Tests and Attack Rolls, a player will always roll a d20 plus the applicable die for the type of roll they are making, resulting in a total that must exceed the Skill Test’s Difficulty in order to succeed. Essence20 also includes a ladder mechanic, where if a character has specialized in a particular Skill, they may roll their Skill Die plus every other die type under it, choosing the highest die result to add to their d20 roll. A critical success is made when any Skill Die shows its highest number, giving a huge chance of rolling crits, mathematically, and of course, then being able to roleplay those epic results in the most heroic way possible!"



In Power Rangers, characters don't die. They can be defeated and taken out of combat, but the threats they face are not lethal. The core book covers the period of the show when Zordon was the Power Rangers' mentor. The main villains are Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa.

power_rangers_art.jpeg


This weekend, at Renegade Con, they will reveal more information.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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teitan

Legend
Seems silly though. It's like if Sony decided to publish their own video games, but not go through Sony Interactive to put on the PlayStation, but instead create a new video game system with nothing to do with the PlayStation.
Like, why not capitalize and synergize with the largest RPG company in the world? Why not bring in D&D fans to your other properties and create cross-over appeal with those other companies to later try D&D?
It's just ... well, it makes no sense.
Makes perfect sense. Hasbro puts no labor or money in. They just get the licensing fee and don’t have to pay anyone for the labor. Not a very good analogy. It’s more like Tom approaches Showtime about wanting to do a game based on Dexter and gives them money for it. All showtime is investing is a lawyer to go “approved” when Tom submits his product, which is significantly less than the money a company like Hasbro would need to develop and publish the books and get them on the shelves.
 


Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
Hey all! Elisa Teague, here, the Senior Producer of Roleplaying Games over at Renegade Game Studios!

I'm happy to field any questions you may have about our new and exciting upcoming RPGs, but I want to make sure there is no confusion: Essence20 is an RPG system designed and published by Renegade Game Studios, and we have no affiliation with WotC and D&D, despite that we happen to license a few of Hasbro's other brands for our games.

These new games are not a "6E preview" but instead a whole different system, designed specifically to work well with these types of brands and neither are planned as an extension nor competition to D&D 5E, a system I love dearly but is just for a different fanbase. I hope that clears up any speculation, but if you have more questions, PLEASE tune into Renegade Con this weekend (starting today at 3pm PST) where we will have tons of panels and info about our new games and the premiere episode of our Power Rangers RPG actual play (tonight at 8pm PST) on twitch.tv/PlayRenegade

So glad to see all of the excitement!

Elisa Teague
@geekypinup on Twitter for any questions! :)

Thanks for sharing!​

I added those three games to The world's most complete directory of tabletop RPG depictions of fictive worlds which originated in other media.
Looking forward to seeing the system! Looks to be refreshingly math-lite, while using the fun polyhedral dice (not to mention the d2!).​

 





Dire Bare

Legend
Let's pray there's a failure to launch.
Nah. Why would I wish misfortune on others?

I wish Renegade and their upcoming RPGs all the success in the world. If any of their games end up not being to my tastes, that's okay, it's not all about me. There are a lot of games out there to play instead.

I am very excited to see how G.I. Joe and Transformers are developed, however! Previous morphing robot RPGs I tried just didn't do it for me.
 


If I can ask and I hope to be enough polite:

Any new about My Little Pony, and any sourcebook about any forgotten franchise? Inhumanoids, for example.

Will Essence20 easy to be adapted into d20?

Leveling-up and enemies with Challengue-Rating/XPs reward? Or the stats of the enemies and monsters frm Essence20 to be translated into d20 System with a right XP reward/Challengue Rating level.

Will they be kid-friendly for parents playing with their children? Will be rules easy to be learnt by the pre-teen players?
 




Voadam

Legend
I'm happy to field any questions you may have about our new and exciting upcoming RPGs
Do the new games use D&D style AC and/or saves?

Do the new games use levels and level based hit points?

How mechanically similar will combat be to 5e in general?

How closely compatible is the intention for using things like bad guys from the worlds in a 5e game?

How closely compatible would starting characters from the different lines/games be mechanically? Would a starting transformer and a starting power ranger and starting etc. be generally comparable in combat or do they start at different power levels?

Thanks

Thanks.
 

Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
Sounds neat but a d20+ another die plus possibly a cascade of dice and keep the best of the non-d20 and look for max on each of those dice is going to be slower at the table than d20+ mod and look for a 20.
I see your point, but I think dealing with massive sneak attack damage math can be much worse.
 

KS_Collector

Villager
Renegade Game Studios announced last year that it would be making official tabletop RPGs of various Hasbro properties, including Power Rangers, GI Joe, and Transformers. This week, they revealed the d20-based Essence20 game system which will power those games.

View attachment 142854


Elisa Teague from Renegade spoke to Forbes about the system.

“The Essence20 Roleplaying System is a d20 based system that uses what I call a ‘fashion plate’ system for character design, drawing from three aspects: what type of person are they, what is their function as part of the team, and what experiences have they had in their life prior to becoming a hero?”


The system has three elements: Origin, Role, and Influence, and uses different dice for different skill levels.

"When rolling Skills Tests and Attack Rolls, a player will always roll a d20 plus the applicable die for the type of roll they are making, resulting in a total that must exceed the Skill Test’s Difficulty in order to succeed. Essence20 also includes a ladder mechanic, where if a character has specialized in a particular Skill, they may roll their Skill Die plus every other die type under it, choosing the highest die result to add to their d20 roll. A critical success is made when any Skill Die shows its highest number, giving a huge chance of rolling crits, mathematically, and of course, then being able to roleplay those epic results in the most heroic way possible!"



In Power Rangers, characters don't die. They can be defeated and taken out of combat, but the threats they face are not lethal. The core book covers the period of the show when Zordon was the Power Rangers' mentor. The main villains are Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa.

View attachment 142855

This weekend, at Renegade Con, they will reveal more information.
This is amazing, definitely one of the big surprises of the year.
 



Dungeonosophy

Adventurer
Thanks Elisa, for offering to answer questions. Sorry for any snarky static here in our ENWorld community--there's always that sort o' thing.

Questions for Elisa:
(Though Renegade knows the IPs better than I, I'll include some reference links so that less-familiar readers could follow along.)

1. Will there be any sort of 5E two-way conversion document? Even if it's just a one-page appendix, or a web enhancement; and even if it's kind of an "eyeballed" sketchy method, it might be of interest to a lot of people.

2. What about also a Tails of Equestria two-way conversion document? :) (In collaboration with River Horse games)

3. First things first. Yet if Transformers, Power Rangers, and G.I. Joe do well, has Renegade considered adding other Hasbro licenses, such as Micronauts and Rom the Space Knight? Could the "less popular" IPs be bundled together into a Hasbro Universe RPG book?


4. Transformers has probably the most detailed, clear, and complex system for identifying and naming parallel timelines of any IP in the world! Does your game support multiple (or all?) Universal Streams, or is it set in a particular continuity?


5. If the game features only one Universal Stream (continuity), is that a newly amalgamated continuity crafted by Renegade Game Studios? Or does it adhere closely to the continuity of an existing Universal Stream?

6. Do you have access to all Transformers IP (e.g. cartoon, live-action films, various comic book licenses, crossovers with Star Trek, etc.)?

7. To my knowledge, Power Rangers and G.I. Joe don't have official "Universal Cluster" designations yet, from the perspective of Vector Prime's nomenclature. Could you give them designations?


8. Since you're licensed by Hasbro, I wonder if you could sneak in an official designation for the D&D Multiverse, vis-a-vis the Transformers Multiverse? (Since the Start Wars Universe is referred to as Lukas, that might inspire a comparable name for the D&D Multiverse.) Lukas 577.25 Beta - Transformers Wiki

9. Will the games contain maps of the Transformers "Galaxy" and Power Rangers "Galaxy", as spatial entities? Y'all could really break some ground by crafting a beautifully detailed map of the Transformers Galaxy (at least as it exists in one Universal Stream), in the same way that the Star Wars Galaxy was evocatively depicted in the Star Wars RPG. Of course, the Milky Way Galaxy (and whether Cybertron is even located there) greatly differs in various Universal Streams. But don't you think the Animated Cartoon galaxy might be most "mappable", since it has named "realms" (e.g. Autobot Commonwealth, Decepticon Empire)?

10. Similarly, would it be feasible for your RPG to bring the Universal Streams (and "Multiverse," "Megaverse," and "Omniverse") into a visually graspable map?

Something like the Map of the DC Multiverse?: Unlocking the History of the Multiverse


11. Will there be mention of how Transformers, Power Rangers, and G.I. Joe share a Megaverse? Since each IP would refer to this Megaverse using its own name (e.g. Transformers Megaverse, Power Rangers Megaverse, G.I. Joe Megaverse), what would the name be for this shared RPG presentation? The Renegade Game Studios Megaverse?

12. How about sneaking in a name for the M:tG Multiverse too? :) It's all one big happy Hasbro family right? :)

13. What about stats for Vector Prime?

14. And Unicron? :) (No, my fellow ENWorlders, not a "unicorn", nor am I wishing for a pony. hehe)

In gratitude,
-Travis H.
 

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