Chimera: Example of Play


The Cast

Kira, Gene, Robert, and Victor get together to play Chimera: A Fantasy, Modern, & Sci-Fi Roleplaying Engine. Victor takes the GM's role because he created the game, and no one else wants to do it (yet). Kira is playing Zanda, a fierce android that works for the Wayfinders, a group of caravaneers that help people reach their destinations and merchants to transport their goods in relative safety. Gene created Mikuul, an orc healer that serves as the doctor of their colony. Robert is playing Boek-Liber, an awakened spellbook that wants to unlock the secrets of the spells left behind by their previous master. You can read about the character creation process for Mikuul and Boek-Liber here.

The Setting

The group is playing in Worlds of a Thousand Moons, a small campaign setting put together to test how well all the elements from Chimera worked together. Members of species from all eras across the multiverse have been forced to live together, scattered across hundreds, if not thousands, of ruined moons controlled by a malfunctioning AI. You can read more about it in the book.

The story

A shipment by the Wayfinders full of supplies is late. Mikuul is worried their patients won't be treated on time, while Boek-Liber worries about all the resources they will lose if the shipment doesn't arrive. Zanda—the liaison between the rest of the players and the Wayfinders—comes to them with bad news: the shipment has been stolen, and no one knows what happened to the crew. Knowing the medicine is crucial to their colony's people, the group embarks on a journey to determine what happened to their cargo.

We join the group as they make their way through the thick jungles of Brooda, searching for the missing cargo...

GM (Victor): After traveling for hours through the routes you guys know the Wayfinders to take, you finally come to a clearing where you see a damaged hover-wagon crashed next to a tree and several bodies surrounding it. What do you guys do?

Zanda (Kira): Oh no! The hover-wagon has a computer system, right? I will go check on the logs to make sure this was our shipment. I say, "I will leave the body-checking to you, gentlemen," and go inspect the vehicle.

[ Victor checks the Handle Device & Use Computer moves ]

GM (Victor):  Once you get closer to the hover-wagon, you notice the vehicle has completely broken down, and the computers are off. You would need to repair it first before checking the logs.

Zanda (Kira): Damn it! Alright, what do I roll? Handle + Caution?

GM (Victor): Well, that depends. Are you going to take your time to do it, or are you in a hurry? Your choice will determine your approach. You will need to spend 1 use of your repair kit though.

Zanda (Kira): Hurry, definitely in a hurry. I don't want to stick around here for long. I am trained in Mechanics and got on my roll 9, 9, 6, 1. That's a partial success, right?

[Victor goes over the options on a partial success for Handle Device and chooses the most relevant ones]

GM (Victor): You have a tough choice to make. You do it, but it takes longer than expected. You do it, but you trigger an alert or security system.  You do it, but it will break down after a couple of uses. Which one do you choose?

Zanda (Kira): As I said, we are in a hurry, so the first one is not an option. Triggering an alert sounds really bad; we don't want to draw attention to ourselves. Let's go with the last one.

GM (Victor): Good choice! You see that the hover-wagon powers up, and the computer screen comes back online. I'll come back to you in a moment, Zanda. What about the rest? How about you, Boek-Liber? What do you do?

Boek-Liber (Robert): I'm just gonna hang back and watch these clowns play detective, but I am also lowkey on the lookout for any danger that might come our way.

GM (Victor):  That's fine. Well, Mikuul, what will you do? Are you going to inspect the bodies like Zanda suggested, or do you want to do something else?

Mikuul (Gene): I scratch my stubble for a moment while I think, and then I head towards the scene to inspect it. I have so many questions, but also in a hurry.

[Victor checks the Notice move]

GM (Victor): Let's see how many answers you get. Roll Discern + Speed. If you are not trained in Perception, then you roll with disadvantage.

Mikuul (Gene): What kind of doctor would I be if I was not perceptive? That's a success!
GM (Victor): Cool, you can ask up to two questions. What would you like to know first? You can check the Notice move for a list of possible questions you could ask.

Mikuul (Gene): Hmm, first one. What happened here? (besides the obvious, of course).
GM (Victor): Let me state what is evident to you first. The hover-wagon was attacked, and the people on the floor are dead. You see humans and also goblins among the corpses—."

Boek-Liber (Robert): I knew it. Goblin bastards!
GM (Victor): The bodies and the wagon were stripped of whatever they were carrying. From what you can tell, the goblins were the ones piloting the wagon, and they were ambushed by whatever group the humans you see here belonged to and took off towards the north.

Mikuul (Gene): Okay. Is there anything on their bodies that's unusual, or that could provide a hint as to who these attackers are?

GM (Victor): Well, you notice that some goblins have a tiny puncture near their necks. It is almost as if a dart hit them before being slaughtered. Most likely, they were hit with poison first.

Mikuul (Gene): I spend one use of my Medical Kit and draw out a portable blood-checker thing and some syringes. I want to take blood samples and determine what sort of poison they used. That's Handle + Caution, right?

[Victor goes through the Heal move real quick]

GM (Victor): Normally, that would be what you roll, but in this case, you would roll Discern instead of Handle since you are trying to provide a diagnostic. But before I continue, Boek, you haven't spotted any danger yet. Do you want to do something else?

Boek-Liber (Robert): Nah. Let them finish. I can show off how awesome I am later. I am content with listening for now.

GM (Victor): Alright, Zanda, the computer is working, but it will require some programming on your part to get the data you need. Roll Handle + Speed.

Zanda (Kira): I got a ten on one of my die. That's a success, correct? I check the logs, are the medicines listed here?

GM (Victor): Yes, you find what you were looking for, but you also noticed that other things were stolen that were meant for your colony, such as food and building supplies. Mikuul, make your roll.

Mikuul (Gene): That's 10, 10, 5, 1, 1, 8. Success! What sort of poison did they use? I share my findings with the group.

GM (Victor): You learn that they used a poison called Onyx Sight. It basically makes the victim blind. It was a miracle that the goblins could put a fight at all in such a condition.

Boek-Liber (Robert): I flip through my own pages. Do I have any information about this poison and what group commonly uses it?

GM (Victor): Let's find out. Roll Discern + Caution.

Boek-Liber (Robert): I don't play around, success!

GM (Victor): Through your master's notes, you find mention of the poison. The plant from where it is extracted grows in the north, where it is cultivated by a clan that bears the same name as the poison: Onyx Sight.

Zanda (Kira): Well, guys, we know who they are. They have our cargo, they left tracks, and we know in what area they are located. Let's wrap things up here and make our way to their camp. We can deal with the bodies on our way back. What do you guys think?

[The group takes a moment to discuss what they will do.]

GM (Victor): Alright, you have all decided that Mikuul should be following the tracks and leading the way. Mikuul, how would you like to do this?

Mikuul (Gene): Time is of the essence, but I think we should concentrate on avoiding being detected along the way. I am sure they will have scouts patrolling. I roll Move + Stealth, aaaand that's a partial success.

[Victor goes over the Perilous Journey move.]

GM (Victor): You have two options Mikuul, you will make it, but it will take longer than expected, or you arrive at your destination if you guys can overcome a complication that will present itself in your journey.

[Gene discusses their options with the group]

Mikuul (Gene): We want to arrive there safely, even if it takes longer.
GM (Victor): Good. After several hours of travel, you arrive at the edges of the Onyx Sight's camp. Night has fallen, and you are all very tired, even you Boek. Sustaining that hovering spell to move around is finally starting to take its toll on you.

Boek-Liber (Robert): I say we go in guns blazing and be done with this fast before I become a talking prop. What do we see? Is the camp guarded?

GM (Victor): The encampment is small but well lit. It is surrounded by thick, metallic walls at least 40 feet (12 meters) tall. Two heavily armed individuals guard the front entrance from watchtowers located at each side of the gate. You also notice that there's a tree branch that hangs a bit too close to one of the walls.

Zanda (Kira): Assuming it could sustain my weight, could I climb the tree and make my way to the wall?

GM (Victor): Sure, roll Move + Force. If you are not trained in Athletics, you roll with disadvantage.

Zanda (Kira):  I am! I get a success! Before I move to the branch, what do I see from here?

GM (Victor): From where you are, you can make out several structures made out of scraps of metal and wood. It seems everyone is asleep because you only see two spider-like robots patrolling the interior.

Zanda (Kira): I signal Boek & Mikuul to remain alert while attempting to make it to the wall by moving across the branch stealthily. My guess that would be Move + Stealth, and I need training in Acrobatics to balance myself on that branch, correct? 

[Victor nods]

Zanda (Kira): Damn it, I failed! Can I spend my Fate Point and reroll?

[Victor nods again]

Zanda (Kira): And I failed again... what happens to me?

GM (Victor): As you are about to stand up and hop to the wall, you feel the branch give out a little, which throws you off balance, and you fall to the ground inside the camp, and quite loudly, might I add. You take 6 points of damage.

Boek-Liber (Robert): I look at Mikuul and say, "Time to shine!" I move towards the guards in the watchtowers as I gather raw arcane energy from within. Once I am in range, I release this energy at the first guard that looks at me funny. I manifest the Harm power and pay that +1 Power to make it Forceful and push the guard out of their tower.

[Combat starts. Victor goes freestyle with the initiative.]

GM (Victor): Not so fast! Since you did not move stealthily, the guards get a glimpse of you before you cast your spell, and they shoot at you with their energy rifles. How do you react to that?

Boek-Liber (Robert): I make a barrel roll and dodge those hot bullets. That's a success! Can I manifest my power now? I got a partial success and deal 14 points of damage.

GM (Victor): You do it, but choose one.  The power has an undesired side effect. The power running through your body takes its toll. You lose 1 Power or gain one level of fatigue if you don't have any Power left.

Boek-Liber (Robert): Undesired side effect. I don't want to waste all my points so early in the fight. What's the side effect? What happens?

GM (Victor): Indeed, you hit the guard and send him flying, but you released so much arcane energy in a single blast that you collapsed part of the watchtower, and the guard flew so far that it landed on top of one of the buildings inside. If the camp wasn't alerted by your presence, they surely are now. What do you do Mikuul?

Mikuul (Gene):  I look at Boek with disapproval and run towards the other guard while it's being distracted by the chaos Boek unleashed. Once I am in range, I throw one of my axes at their weapon.

GM (Victor): No problem, but you roll with disadvantage since you are attempting a complex maneuver. Roll Fight + Force, and you must be trained in Shooting.

Mikuul (Gene):  I only have one rank in Fight and Force, but I have the Strong trait, which gives me advantage in my roll. I missed. I will spend my Fate Point to reroll. That's a partial; I'll take it.

GM (Victor): You disarm the guard, but both the rifle and your axe spiral past them and land somewhere inside the camp.

Mikuul (Gene):  I  yell to Boek "Take the other one down!" as I move inside the camp to look for Zanda.

GM (Victor): Alright, Zanda, you had a pretty rough landing. As you get up and dust yourself off, you notice you are now surrounded by the two spider-like robots you saw earlier.

Zanda (Kira): I am good at fighting with my fists, but I don't think my punches will do anything to these robots. Do I see anything that I could use as a weapon?

GM (Victor): You do. As you look around, you see that an axe and a rifle land right behind the robots (you also see a man landing on top of a small building, but that's not really important right now).

Zanda (Kira): I want to somersault over the robots and grab the axe. Acrobatic Stunt says it's Move + Caution, so, I will roll that. Success!

GM (Victor): You perform your somersault beautifully and land on the other side and grab the weapon. As soon as you do, you see Mikuul running towards you. Boek-Liber, what do you do?

Boek-Liber (Robert): Can we just say I knocked the guard down from the tower, and I move inside towards my friends? I'll spend the Power points and everything. What's the point of being awesome if the group cant see it?

GM (Victor): You know what? Sure, let's do that.

[Combat continues, but this time Victor switches to ordered turns. Mikuul has the highest initiative out of everyone, even the enemies]

GM (Victor): Mikuul, as you arrive, you see two spider-like robots there are turning around to face you and Zanda. What do you do?

Mikuul (Gene):  I tell Zanda, "Thats mine. Take care of it!" as I charge one of the robots—let's say the one on the right—and hit it with my axe! Since I am using a light weapon, I roll Fight + Speed on my melee attacks. I missed...

GM (Victor): You make your swing, but the spider-robot shoots the weapon out of your hand with its laser spidery-eyes. The weapon lands somewhere you cant see.

[Mikuul's turn ends. The robots go next since they have the second-highest initiative.]

GM (Victor): Mikuul, the robot that just shot your weapon away from your hands no lunges towards you and tries to tip you over with its body. What do you do?

Mikuul (Gene): I try to get out of the way. I failed. I think my luck is starting to run out.

GM (Victor): It seems like it. The robot knocks you over and overwhelms you with its body. On top of that, it drives one of its metallic legs right into your shoulder. Take 10 of piercing damage. The other robot shoots at you, Zanda. What do you do?

Zanda (Kira): I want to make a jump to land on top of it. Can I do that?

GM (Victor): Absolutely. Roll Move + Speed!

Zanda (Kira): Fabulous! I got a success! Yay!

GM (Victor):  Remember that they can attack multiple times. The spider robot starts moving and tries to shake you off—how do you react to that?

Zanda (Kira): This time, I am going to use my android strength to grab onto one of its plates and stay on top of it. That's Handle + Force, yes? That's another success! I am on a roll.

[The robots' turn ends. Boek has the third-highest initiative.]

GM (Victor): Boek-Liber, you just arrive on the scene and see a spider-robot ontop of Mikuul, and you see Zanda on top of another. What do you do?

Boek-Liber (Robert): It looks like she's on top of things... I blast the one that's on Mikuul. I want to deal damage and push it away from my friend. I got a success! they take 12 damage and roll off.

[Boek-Liber's turn ends.]

GM (Victor):  Zanda, you got on top of the robot. What do you do next?

Zanda (Kira): I want to rip open one of the plates and do some quick rewiring to shut this robot down. Can I do that?

GM (Victor): That's really clever, sure! First, you will need to make a Handle + Force roll to see if you detach a plate, and then you will need to make a Handle + Speed roll to shut it down. The Mechanics skill applies to this roll, but we already know you are trained. Roll away!

Zanda (Kira): That's a success on both!

[Zanda's turn ends, and with this the first round of combat. ]

GM (Victor): Awesome. You successfully deactivate the robot. As soon as you are done, you look up—you all do actually—and find yourself surrounded by a group of humans holding rifles, pistols, swords, and blowguns. Among them, an elderly woman stands out. She seems to be the one in charge. She is about to signal her troops to execute you all. What do you guys do?

Boek-Liber (Robert):  I stop hovering. I drop to the floor and close my eye. No one is going to harm a book (I hope).

Mikuul (Gene): I frantically look around. Is there anything or anyone here that could help us or at least take the time to talk?

GM (Victor): Make a Discern + Speed roll. Let's see what you find.

Mikuul (Gene): That's a partial success. What do I see?

GM (Victor): You do see anything useful, but you do see that there's a crowd gathering behind the troops. Some of them are children that look sick.

Mikuul (Gene): Sick children? I quickly address the elderly woman and say, "I am a doctor! I can help with your children! Let's talk about this!" I am going to roll Talk + Speed here since I want to say it before they shoot. I got a 10. That's a success!

GM (Victor): You see that the woman weighs your words for a moment before making a gesture to all of you to step into her quarters. What will you do now?

Spellbook model by Jacob Poole. You can see their work at