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Transformers: Chrome Rebels is an Essence20 system Transformers RPG campaign set in 1955 in a Gen1 splinter continuity. Familiarity with the Transformers franchise and the Essence20 system aren’t necessary to play, but a willingness to learn the rules and the enthusiasm to play giant alien robots in a Hollywood iteration of 50s America is!


Tuesday evenings, 20:00-23:00 EST. Weekly, with a break week following three consecutive weeks.


Discord (video, chat, handouts) and Owlbear Rodeo (dice and tactical maps).


You: Adult — any gender, religion, orientation, etc.

  • You need a good internet connection and cam. Sorry but this isn’t negotiable.
  • Be reliable. Make a commitment to attend and give the campaign a chance before bailing.
  • Familiarity with the Transformers franchise and the Essence20 system aren’t necessary to play, but a willingness to learn the rules affecting your character and the enthusiasm to play giant alien robots in 50s America is!
  • Leave politics, religion, and activism off the table. No prejudices/culture wars allowed.

Me: 40s, longtime lover of Transformers media since the G1 cartoon and Marvel comics. I’ve been playing roleplaying games since Red Box D&D, mostly as a GM. Experienced with many different games and styles. I’ve a solid grasp of the Essence20 rules and have made some tweaks for this campaign.

  • I prep situations, not stories. I believe in being a fair and neutral arbiter, respecting player agency, and letting a story grow organically out of circumstances, PC decisions, and the luck of the die (as the Apocalypse World principle, “play to find out what happens”).
  • I’m less experienced with running games online, so I’d ask for some patience in that regard. Managing notes, rulebooks, maps, handouts, video, and chat requires a lot of switching between apps and that’s not my strongest suit. But I imagine it’ll get easier as time goes on.


Session 0 will have intros, character gen, houserules overview, and “lines and veils” discussion. You can think about what you’d like to play in advance but wait until the group’s together to nail down roles, skills, etc to maximize diversity. Your character is part of a team.

Speaking of which, the houserule doc has all kinds of custom material plus chargen material adapted from the other E20 games (though this isn’t a crossover campaign — everyone’s a Transformer).

Generally, the setting and its level of violence/realism is informed by 50s sci-fi, crime, and delinquent films. As far as Transformers, the biggest tonal influence is the 80s comic.

I’m no therapist, but if you aren’t triggered by “War of the Worlds”, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, or “Rebel Without a Cause” you’ll probably be fine.


I love running games, I love Transformers, and I… like E20. I’m hoping to get a group together that’ll last a few years.

Interested? Shoot me a PM. Expect some back and forth as we suss out whether we’ll mesh well.

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This sounds really neat, but the 4k mile commute would be a killer!

I’m not a fan of Essence20, but I am a massive G1 TF fan, and I dig the 50’s setting switch. A 80’s TF game using Cartoon Action Hour is on my personal to-do list.

I hope you find a group to do this justice. All the best.

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@GrognardGM And if I find that I need to do this thing online (looking more likely as time marches on) I’ll give you the proverbial ring!

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Lack of local interest in anything involving travel or not-D&D5e is forcing me to do this online. Changed the original post to reflect that. I need to pick up a few technological tools to make it work for me.

It’s difficult to interact with people when I can’t see their faces. Cameras will be required of players.

I might be interested. I bought the Transformers core rulebook, the gm screen and Beacon of Hope adventure (it’s pretty simple and badly written, but I can still be a player since I didn’t memorize it), and the useless adventure that’s supposed to be for power rangers, transformers, and gi joe. I do have a video camera, but I am not in any way experienced with the game system (didn’t look good imho, but am willing to try it) or any VTT, since I normally run games on Facebook video group chat.

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