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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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GaelMaverick

Villager
Came across this new release on FB. With Hasbro behinds it, and if they do it right, I believe Pathfinder place, as the second most-played system, can be in danger in some years from now.
 


GaelMaverick

Villager
That depends on the publishing of a opened licenced. Lots of 3PPs have used Pathfinder and later 5th Ed. Essence20 is better for settings after the invention of the modern firearms.
Yeah, surely there is the OL indeed and you are right, but as I can see Hasbro open to it if this goes as good as it might be, I see the potential.
 

WotC with D&D 5th Ed sells crunch (feats, subclasses, magic items, new spells..), modules and original fluff/lore/background.

Essenc20 is now mainly brand power. We know nothing about future sourcebooks beyond the core titles. Here Renegade Game Studios has to offer something better than the homebred ideas by the fandom (new characters, for example). Why not a sourcebook about an alternate timeline where martians attacked the Earth for the first decades of the XX century, the invasion failed and thanks the reverse engineering there is a different 40's where Cobra-La is the evil empire invading part of Asian Far East and North-East Europe?
 

GaelMaverick

Villager
WotC with D&D 5th Ed sells crunch (feats, subclasses, magic items, new spells..), modules and original fluff/lore/background.

Essenc20 is now mainly brand power. We know nothing about future sourcebooks beyond the core titles. Here Renegade Game Studios has to offer something better than the homebred ideas by the fandom (new characters, for example). Why not a sourcebook about an alternate timeline where martians attacked the Earth for the first decades of the XX century, the invasion failed and thanks the reverse engineering there is a different 40's where Cobra-La is the evil empire invading part of Asian Far East and North-East Europe?
Because I like Power Rangers and Transformers more than this (most likely because of nostalgic feelings) and maybe others too?
 

barasawa

Explorer
I love the idea of different dice for different skill levels. Kinda weird the power rangers thing says "you can't die" but still might be interesting.
Well, when you take a kids show from Japan, and dumb it down and even further reduce anything "negative" for the American "OMG YOU CAN'T SHOW THIS TO KIDS" crowd, you end up with something where nobody really dies. Even when it's obvious they've died, they say various euphemisms as a weak way of saying they didn't really die, but you probably won't even see them again. (ie: "They've gone to another dimension...", among others)
There's a reason when in the One Piece animes first English dubbed releases they changed the name of Captain Smoker, and removed all his cigars he's constantly chomping down on. It's also why when Luffy got an ale/grog/beer at the bar, they had the English voice ask for a milk.
No joking. (That's just one of the easy examples I can quickly recall, but the American censors alter a LOT of stuff.)
 

There's a reason when in the One Piece animes first English dubbed releases they changed the name of Captain Smoker, and removed all his cigars he's constantly chomping down on. It's also why when Luffy got an ale/grog/beer at the bar, they had the English voice ask for a milk.
No joking. (That's just one of the easy examples I can quickly recall, but the American censors alter a LOT of stuff.)
This is pretty much the reason why I was completely turned off from One Piece.
 


barasawa

Explorer
This is pretty much the reason why I was completely turned off from One Piece.
I watch the Japanese versions subtitled.
I don't get into the sub/dub argument, both have advantages, and neither is actually more accurate as it depends on who's translating.
But the fansubbers don't usually have the time and resources to do dubs anyway. (No idea of fansubbers voice acting skills anyway.)
 



teitan

Legend
Looking at the covers, not sure how I feel about the Tformers game because it's Cyberverse designs. I'd rather a G1 game but maybe they will do a sourcebook to follow the different continuities? Unlikely but I'd love to do a game in the Masterforce/Victory era.
 

Undrave

Hero
Looking at the covers, not sure how I feel about the Tformers game because it's Cyberverse designs. I'd rather a G1 game but maybe they will do a sourcebook to follow the different continuities? Unlikely but I'd love to do a game in the Masterforce/Victory era.
It's not Cyberverse, it's the Evergreen Designs. Cyberverse was heavily based on them, though. Cyberverse Windblade doesn't have the same chest and I don't think she has the sword either.
 

No death?! If characters can't die then what is the point of roleplaying?!☠️
Power Rangers don't use their blasters, they don't form Megazord until the situation is dire, and they don't die. It's the rules of the show.

When's the last time you saw a G.I. Joe be tortured and thrown into a POW camp by Cobra agents? It's a kid's cartoon, and they're pushing these games for children and nostalgic Millennials who want to relive Saturday morning cartoons.
 

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