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Power Rangers RPG drops D&D 5E gameplay, will debut new Essence20 system

d20-based gameplay will also power upcoming G.I. Joe and Transformers RPGs.

The Power Rangers Roleplaying Game will no longer be based on Dungeons & Dragons 5E, publisher Renegade Game Studios has announced, with the upcoming tabletop RPG instead debuting a brand new d20-based gameplay system.

A Power Rangers tabletop RPG was first revealed late last year, alongside a deckbuilding game based on the mighty morphin’ franchise and similar tabletop adaptations for fellow Hasbro-owned properties G.I. Joe, Transformers and My Little Pony.

At the time, Renegade said that the Power Rangers Roleplaying Game would be built on the 5th Edition Open Game License, the framework that powers the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons - published by Hasbro studio Wizards of the Coast - and can be used by other creators for other RPGs.

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In its latest update, Renegade confirmed that the Power Rangers RPG would no longer use D&D 5E as its basis, instead debuting its own Essence20 system.

“While we originally announced that these RPGs would be using the 5th Edition Open Game License, during development, it became clear that a custom system would allow fans to take better advantage of these unique worlds,” the studio said.

Like D&D 5E, Essence20 will use a single d20 - the 20-sided die familiar to generations of D&D players - to resolve tests during sessions, but will introduce an additional skill die that can range from a d2 up to a second d20. Players must roll a combined number over the given difficulty of a test to succeed, with the highest possible value rolled on any die counting as a critical roll.

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The skill die will be based on a character’s skill trait, with characters specialised in a skill able to roll all dice lower than their skill level and choose the highest result. Abilities and skills are based on four key character traits of strength, speed, smarts and social.

Character creation will see players determine a PC’s origin, role and influence, outlining who they are as an individual, their place within the party and their background. Players will also be able to outline their character’s flaws as a dedicated gameplay mechanic. During play, players can earn story points for succeeding in missions, pulling off impressive feats and roleplaying effectively. Characters are unable to die, instead suffering a defeat that can impact the setup, narrative and outcome of future sessions.

The Essence20 system will also power Renegade’s upcoming RPGs based on the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises, with all three titles yet to be given a release date.

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