We’ve just posted the latest bit of brand new content to EmpireState.cc, the collaborative content creation WorldBuilder project based on Adam Christopher‘s Empire State.

Empire State - the RPGThe shiny, new content in question is Empire State – the RPG, nothing less than a complete, original and self-contained roleplaying game system fresh from the feverish mind of game designer David ‘Doc Blue’ Wendt, whose credits include White Wolf’s Sword and Sorcery, Exalted, Mage, and Gamma World game lines, as well as his own ‘Camelot’s Shame‘ system.

In Empire State – the RPG the emphasis is very much on collaborative story-telling, with players and GM working together to generate plot- and character-focused gaming sessions based on the concept of the Empire State. Or any of the vast array of spin-off possibilities that the main narrative implies.

That’s the back-of-the-packet version. But what you really want to know is this: it’s cool, it’s sassy, it’s sexy, it’s noir, it’s anything you want it to be, and there’s not an experience point in sight. We’re talking proper, grown-up gaming, folks. Not the sort of thing your dungeon-bashing, level-up-mad kiddie-gamers and going to get a kick out of, and obviously that’s going to mean a much, much more satisfying gaming experience as a result.

So, what the game needs now is gamers! It’s completely free to download (the system is available under the same Creative Commons license as all the EmpireState.cc content) which means it’s yours to run with, build on and participate in to your heart’s content.

And we’d absolutely love it if, once you’ve played the game, you wanted to submit your game transcripts as works of short fiction, or submit character illustrations of their group, or anything else based on your game experiences.

Plus, as you’ll see when you download the rules set, it’s very much text-only at the moment. If there are any illustrators or artists out there who feel inspired to submit some suitable illustrations, do please feel free. Game supplements and rules add-ons (as long as they stay true to the original, story-telling focused game system) are also welcome.

Gaming in the world of Empire State awaits you… grab your dice-bag and get to it!


  1. @Kate F – Proper, grown-up gaming is the sort of game that would be enjoyed by proper, grown-up gamers, obviously. And of course proper, grown-up gamers can enjoy a good dungeon-crawl as well! I didn’t say they couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t. What I was saying is that this game isn’t likely to be enjoyed by kiddie-gamers. And speaking as a former kiddie-gamer (and thinking back on the 30th level Ranger / Cleric / Magic User – who was also a Demi-God, naturally – that I “role-played” when I was 13, I believe I know where I’m coming from on that one.)

    @Matt – Ditto.

    @Rob Lang – Ditto again. You’re reading in an inference that isn’t actually there. And re the background info, please feel free to download the (free! open source! creative commons!) PDF via EmpireState.cc, it’s all in there.

  2. It’s cool that you want to share your free RPG, and it’s great to see a noir one. However, I’d avoid suggesting dungeon crawling is for kiddies; or bashing any part of the hobby for that matter. It doesn’t make your game stronger, just your argument weaker.

    I’d rewrite this to read a little less like marketing blurb as you haven’t actually said what Empire State is about! What is the focus? What themes does it have? When is it set? What sort of mechanics does it use? Do I have to have read the books first to be able to play it? What will the player characters do? How are characters created? What is unique about it?

    If you’d like to discuss this more, please do come over to http://www.1km1kt.net/forum for feedback from other free RPG authors.

  3. Proper grown-up gamer who loves dungeon-bashing here…

  4. What exactly is “proper grown up gaming”? And some of us who enjoy a good skull cracking dungeon crawl are also capable of enjoying other types of games.
    Having said that, I’m loving the book (nearly finished)so I’ll have to pick this up just to check it out. I keep promising my husband (our usual GM) that I will one day take a turn and run something–maybe this will be it!

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