the year 1982, Earth’s destiny was forever altered by the swing of a
hammer. A simple mining operation led to an unprecedented discovery: the
Infinity Stone, a stone with an impossible number of facets, emanating
an intense inner glow and inscribed in an unknown language. This
beautiful, alien object changed everything, for it was a window to other
realities, allowing glimpses of what might be or could have been. Years
of exhausting--and sometimes disastrous--experimentation culminated in a
discovery beyond imagination: the stone opened a portal to a mystical
world teeming with life, full of clean air and azure skies. In this
world, our fantasies
were reality. Legendary creatures roamed the land and sky while elves,
dwarves, and orcs inhabited the land in place of humans.
It is in man’s nature to explore the unknown, to know what lies beyond, and so blindly humanity plunged...
Welcome to the world of Emergence.
On Kython, multiple genres intermingle to create a world that is
exciting, fresh, and yet strikingly familiar. Sections of Kython are
nearly indistinguishable from the world in which we live. There are
cars, houses, trains, cell phones, and even the internet. This creates a
comfortable starting point to begin your explorations on this foreign
planet. However, within this unassuming framework exist all of the
elements of science fiction and fantasy that make those genres exciting.
Magic, power armor, and advanced weaponry fill the world with new
possibilities around every corner.
As you venture into the world of Kython, the line quickly blurs between
science fiction and fantasy. Castles, wooded fortresses, skyscrapers,
and industrial complexes cover the landscape, while smartphones,
cybernetics, and flying beasts are part of everyday life. The world of
Kython boasts a rich diversity of settings to satisfy nearly any game
style preference. Whether you prefer gunfights while blasting down the
highway at 100 mph, fighting demons in a corrupted ruin, battling savage
hordes to defend a village, or storming a skyscraper fortress to defeat
an evil necromancer, all of these adventures and more are waiting for
you. On Kython, these traditionally separate game styles come together
in a way that is exciting, intuitive, and fun. The only limit is your
Be sure to visit ourUPDATES page, where we highlight the newest additions to our Kickstarter!
Want your hands on some awesome Emergence artwork FAST? We have a new $1 pledge benefit! Receive a high-res desktop background by Dusty Crosley, the Kython landscape or fight scene, in November! (Of course, this is part of all higher tier benefits as well.)
As a reminder, each backer at the “Tester” pledge level and
higher will receive beta test materials, and we’re excited to say that the
first of these packets will go out November 10th. Beta testers will have access to a new packet
by the 10th of each month, from November through May.
The first beta test packet contains Quickstart Rules and the
Housecleaning playtest adventure, including maps and premade characters. Future beta test packets will include a
variety of additions to November’s release, such as rules updates and
expansions, art and fiction previews, and additional adventures. (Not every packet will include all types of
updates.) Once you have the packet, we
greatly appreciate your feedback to help us make Emergence the best pen and
paper RPG on the market.
What do YOU want to play?
Emergence uses a classless, point-buy, skill-based character creation
system. However, unlike a lot of games with similar formats where your
character can quickly become a bland collection of numbers for your
skills and weapon damage, Emergence uses a tiered talent system to help
you further define your character and make it unique and fun to play.
Selecting from hundreds of available talents, you will construct a
robust set of abilities for your character to use. Think of talents as
your class, spell lists, and feats all rolled into one. Through these
selections, you will create exactly the character you want to play.
Here are a few other examples of talents you might take:
Withering Suppression (Automatics, Tier 3): When you use suppressing
fire on an area that contains terrain features that provide cover, at
the conclusion of the suppression you may choose to permanently reduce
the grade of that cover by -1/-1. Multiple uses of this talent on the
same terrain feature will stack.
Neck Snap (Wrestling, Tier 5): You gain access to the Neck Snap
wrestling maneuver. Neck Snap (-20 Stamina): Overpower a vulnerable
opponent, causing 3x normal damage. If the opponent is knocked
unconscious by the damage, the opponent dies instantly.
Mana Shield (Enchantment, Tier 3): You gain access to the Mana
Shield spell. Mana Shield (-12 Stamina): Range personal; reaction cast.
When hit by an attack, make a conjuration effect check. Increase all
defenses by the amount listed in the Effect Result Chart until the end
of your next turn.
Brute Strike (Savagery, Tier 2): You gain access to the Brute Strike
maneuver. Brute Strike (-8 Stamina): Combat action. Make a melee
attack. On a hit, re-roll all 1s on your damage roll. You may continue
to re-roll each die until there are no more 1s. If your weapon is
vicious, you may also re-roll a number of 2s up to the weapon’s vicious
For those of you a little less interested in full-feature
customization, Emergence will also let you choose from a large array of
templates designed to get you into the action faster.
Emergence uses a dynamic race system. The humanoid races that
inhabit the world are alternate evolutions of the Human, such as Elves,
Orcs, Dwarves, and of course, from Earth, Humans themselves. All races
are capable of breeding with each other, and over time they have done
so. This means that you, as a player, can select from pools of racial
traits that allow you to create exactly the race you want to play, be it
a ¼ orc ¾ elf, ½ dwarf ½ human, and so on. Remember, the character
abilities are also dynamic, so you have the ability in Emergence to
create a character that has never been played before or mimic one of
your favorite characters from another role playing game.
Emergence boasts an assortment of ways to permanently and
temporarily augment your characters and NPCs. Augmentations in
Emergence take a number of forms, offering something for every type of
One of our design goals from the beginning has been to avoid creating
a game where you are defined by your augmentations or where the goal is
to acquire as many items as possible. Every augmentation you apply to
your character has a cost. This cost has an actual effect on every
character in the game, which means that more equipment and augmentation
does not automatically make a character better. The goal is to allow
players to use augmentations as another way to customize their
characters without skewing the balance of the game toward the characters
who have the best gear.
Cybernetics: Most forms of cybernetics in Emergence take the form
of powered prostheses. They are most commonly used to enhance strength,
increase durability, replace lost limbs, or install weapons.
Runescribing: Magical runes carved into the flesh. Usually
runescribing is used to augment spellcasting, but the runes can have
other uses as well.
Enchanted Items: Taking the form of everything from boots to
bracelets, enchanted items impart a wide variety of effects on the
wearer. They have the advantage (and disadvantage) of being removable
when the situation requires, providing a great deal of versatility.
Arcane Tattoos: These tattoos sit dormant until they are activated.
When they activate, they literally burn themselves off of the user’s
body throughout the duration of whatever effect they create. Like
enchanted items, arcane tattoos have a diverse selection of abilities.
The are popular for being cheap and nearly undetectable to
casual observation, but they have the disadvantage of being single use.
Fleshcrafting: Ritualistic scarification, used most often by orc
Fleshweavers. When activated, they twist bestial features into the user
to increase the physical prowess of the recipient, often to the
detriment of their mental acuity.
Emergence uses a customizable equipment system that allows for
incredible versatility. All equipment, including armor, weapons, and
vehicles, come with a variety of base models and a large array of
modifications from which to choose. Using this system, players and GMs
can create literally thousands of different pieces of equipment, making
sure characters and NPCs are equipped with exactly the gear they want.
The world of Emergence is filled with a wide assortment of gear. You
can find and build more traditional fantasy items (magic swords and
armor, enchanted boots and cloaks, etc.) as well as modern devices like
explosives, assault rifles, energy weapons, and power armor. These
normally disparate elements exist side by side because the more modern,
technologically advanced equipment was only introduced 100 years ago,
when humans came through the Infinity Stone. Coupled with
the extraordinary performance of this world’s magical enchantments, this
means that your classical fantasy equipment is equally as effective as
your modern technology..
The reason that the most advanced, futuristic technological equipment
in Emergence exists is simple: the Magecell. The Magecell is a device
that was created approximately twenty years ago. It is a blend of
technology and magic, storing concentrated magical energy and converting
it to electricity.
Essentially a magical battery, the Magecell creates a stable, portable, moderately high output, long lasting power source. Since its
creation, the Magecell has rapidly worked its way into all manner of
devices. Magecells come in a wide array of sizes, from the size of a
pack of gum to as large as a motorcycle.
They power everything from vehicles to buildings, personal electronics to cybernetic prostheses. In the twenty years since their invention, Magecells have made possible advancements in technology that far outpace what would have been possible by science alone.
While the invention of the Magecell has made certain technological
advancements possible, they are very expensive and therefore still rare.
Standard technological equipment is still very dominant as it is
significantly cheaper, more accessible, and reliable.
In the world of Emergence, you will be able to equip a single
character with a variety of equipment from a wide range of genres. In
addition to the large array of equipment types, you can completely
customize each individual piece of equipment by filling its available
slots with an extensive assortment of modifications.
the time came to roll the dice, we decided to create a system that was
unique and versatile, like the game itself. We are proud to introduce
the Tri-Die System. Three six-sided dice are used for all rolls made in
The Tri-Die system is the core mechanic for the Emergence
roleplaying game. In the Tri-Die system, all checks are made by rolling
3D6 (three six-sided dice). The reason we decided to use three dice
instead of a single die is twofold.
First, the probability of results when using three dice follows a
bell curve. Thus, while very high and very low rolls are possible, they
are far less likely to occur than a roll somewhere near the middle of
the range. The random element of the roll is more predictable, which in
turn inspires confidence when making character choices without removing
the possibility for unexpected failure or longshot success.
Second, because we are using multiple dice for each check, we can
attach additional game mechanics to the result of each of the six-sided
dice in the roll. This mechanic opens many options for interesting
effects related to all types of rolls. Examining the results of the
individual dice is also how we created our multiple stage critical
success and fumble system.
In our crit and fumble system, 1s are fumbles and 6s are critical
successes (“crits”). To determine whether or not your roll has resulted
in a crit or fumble, look at the results of each die in the roll and
compare the number of 1s to the number of 6s. If the total number of 1s
is greater than the total number of 6s (or vice versa), the result is a
fumble (or crit). For instance, if I rolled two 1s and a single 6 on my
3D6 roll, I would have a stage 1 fumble, because one of the 1s and one
of the 6s would cancel each other out, leaving a net of one 1. Stage 1
crits and fumbles usually amount to minor adjustments to damage or
(in)conveniences with whatever task you were attempting, while the
higher–and much less likely–stages have far more significant effects.
Our crit and fumble system is just one of many examples of using
single-die-specific mechanics. This idea turns every roll into an
opportunity for excitement. It is not just the total that matters;
every die has the chance to affect the outcome of whatever the character
We need to continue to test, refine, and format our ruleset. Exciting fiction that helps paint a proper picture of our world needs to be compiled. Additional art needs to be created, and regions of Kython defined in greater detail. Once all of this is done, we have to get Emergence into the hands of eager players. Our team’s collection of gaming and professional skills is more than up to the task of completing Emergence. The truly daunting hurdle is the funding for printing, shipping, and marketing. That is where you come in.
We're willing to ship internationally, but the backer levels only include domestic (U.S.) shipping. Please contact us to determine pricing if you would like something shipped outside the U.S. Thank you!
A high-res Emergence RPG desktop background by Dusty Crosley. Choose from the Kython landscape or the fight scene. Download in November!
Contributor: Name printed in the Contributor's section of the core rulebook, posted to Facebook page and website, plus our eternal gratitude
***Please note: International shipping available but not included on all shipped materials from all pledge levels. Please contact us for pricing.***
Starter: PDF copy of the core rulebook for personal use (plus "Contributor" reward)
Tester: Beta test access (plus all previous reward levels)
Player: Hard copy, first run core rulebook shipped to your home (plus all previous reward levels)
Developer: Access to the developer forum on www.playemergence.com and exclusive Emergence t-shirt (plus all previous reward levels)
Friend of Emergence: Hard copy book from "Player" reward is signed by creators (plus all previous reward levels)
Game Master: Quick-start rules with pre-generated characters and an exclusive set of Emergence Tri-Dies (set of three exclusive Emergence 6-sided dice) (plus all previous reward levels)
Native: Your name (or an approved character name of your choice) is included as an NPC in the core rulebook (plus all previous reward levels)
Art Aficionado: Limited edition print of the cover art, signed by the artist (plus all previous reward levels)
Magecell Expert: Limited edition core rulebook with a personalized intro page, an exclusive work of short fiction, and a "concept art" gallery (plus all previous reward levels)
Adventurer: You help us design a prominent NPC for the core book. You decide its name as well as help make design choices regarding the character’s abilities, lineage, and background. Additionally, the attached character-canon will be written with your input. (plus all previous reward levels)
Celebrity: We create artwork in your likeness or a likeness of your choosing for the NPC you helped create, as well as provide a signed copy of the printed artwork (in or out of the book, donator’s choice) (plus all previous reward levels)
Emergence BFF: Hard copy of all Emergence books--forever--signed by creators and shipped to your home (plus all previous reward levels)
Founder: Choice of two options: 1. A 6-hour game session in Indianapolis during Gen Con 2013 with the creators of the game; or 2. A 10-hour game session at your location (anywhere in the 48 contiguous US states, dates to be negotiated) for you and up to 4 friends (plus all previous reward levels)