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.


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.


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

log in or register to remove this ad

log in or register to remove this ad


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.

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

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

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.

Related Articles

Remove ads

Latest threads

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases