Transformers RPG

NEWSFLASH: TFRPG Version 2.0 has been released! Check it out below!

The Transformers RPG project is the first game in the NI Nostalgia line. It uses a new game engine, called the Scale System, to handle the wide variety of shapes and sizes that Transformers come in.

Below you will find two links: The first of which is the core PDF. Below that is a cover file for those who wish to produce the book for their own use at the online printing wonderland that is Lulu.com. Note that the cover file includes art scavenged from the internet–I didn’t make it and do not own it, and am similarly not making a profit from it in any way.

TFRPG is a fan work and is not intended for sale. The concepts it features are the property of Hasbro and Takara, two fine toy companies that I and Nightcandle Imaginations are in no way affiliated with.

If you have suggestions for revision, questions for clarification, or any other comments you would like to share, please post them in the comments section of this page. Thank you!

Version 2.0 Core Rules PDF: lulureadyTFRPG20

Version 2.0 Cover File: lulucoverTFRPG20

If you want the older, original release version of the game, you can still get the core rules (File) and the original cover (File). These two documents are no longer current and are really here for historical purposes only.


By the Fans, for the Fans

Over the years, there have been a few big fans of the TFRPG that have invested their time and creativity into building some add-ons for the game. Here are a few that have come my way that I think you might like!

Cover file for printing the book at 8.5×11 (by Transypoo): HERE

Expanded (and awesome) character sheet (by Transypoo): HERE

If you create anything for the game and want to share it with others, drop me a line in the comments!


Other Games

I make lots of free RPG and board/card/misc. games based on other people’s intellectual property. All fan-work, all made from love and (sometimes) a dash of mad genius. Check them out!

Transformers RPG

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light RPG

Thundercats RPG

Care Bears: the Staring RPG

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe RPG

Shadowrun Duels: Reloaded (Action Figure Game)

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31 Responses to Transformers RPG

  1. Hans "Infernalistgamer" Watts says:

    Any change we’ll be seeing more of this? More canon characters statted, sample weapons and alt mode stats?

  2. Corey Blake says:

    This is neat! I didn’t read the rules super-closely so I’m sorry if I’m asking an annoying questions. I like the idea of role-playing games but somehow I never got that bug to play them, and my eyes can kind of glaze over while learning the rules. But I love the stats stuff. For a while, I wanted to create stats for the Transformers using the old Marvel role-playing game from the ’80s and ’90s but had no sense of how to scale the power levels from super-powered humans to gigantic robots.

    Anyway, on to my questions. Is there a legend or something for what numbers mean for each stat? Like a 6 for Strength means they can lift/press X, or a 4 for Agility means they can do whatever? Did you use the tech specs to guide you?

    • jlschwennen says:

      The Marvel game from the 80s is actually a great system for doing the Transformers–they just operate at the upper range, just below the cosmic scale (many stats in the Monstrous range, I think–very little below Incredible).

      There is not a scale for what my stat numbers on TFRPG mean–largely because I was avoiding the system getting too “crunchy”. The simple answer is, you assign a difficulty to something based on how likely you think it would be that a big robot (Bumblebee is always my yardstick) could lift it, and then if their strength surpasses that difficulty, they can easily lift it–if the difficulty falls within their Strength+the number range available by their Power Die type, then it is within their exertion range, and if it is higher than that, it is too heavy. That’s not very satisfying in terms of hard numbers, but the intention is to play a little more narratively with those things, particularly because Transformers operate at such varied scales.

      I did NOT use the Tech Specs to guide me in any super-meaningful way, although they were consulted when I had a hang-up. I tried to base the numbers more on my interpretations of the cartoon representations of the characters (which often varied widely from what the bios and tech specs portrayed). The numbers are also, of course, fudged to match up with the math of my character creation rules. It is an inelegant science at best!

      I am hoping that later this summer/early this fall I can go back and do an expansion to the game that will provide more sample characters and equipment, as asked for in the post above, but also to more fully integrate Beast Wars and Beast Machines, as I love those shows/continuities/toys.

  3. Francisco says:

    How do i actually play the game?

  4. Francisco says:

    I dont see any links to play the game

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  6. boxman3d says:

    For forming Gestalt, what is its Energon and Dormancy threshold? I’ve been rereading that 2.0 PDF and thought I had seen in there but not finding it on recent rereads.

  7. boxman3d says:

    Also wanted to say I love the system you put together for this. Very simple and streamlined!

  8. Corey says:

    The system seems very streamline, easy for lots of action and adventures. I love it. My group of friends and I like to find new RPGs and play them to test them out and id love to present this. However I’m having a few troubles figuring out the “Prioritize” system and how the points get allocated. Can you please go into further detail and examples please and thank you.

    • jlschwennen says:

      Well, each of the sample characters shows how they were built using the system, so those are examples I have readily available…

      But really, it works like this: You have 5 letters (priorities) to assign to 5 categories. Since for the most part the two things that matter the most when you make a Transformer are what you can transform into, you start by picking the Class and Sub-Class you want, and those description each say what the acceptable Priorities you can use to buy them are. For example, if I really want to be a Headmaster, I know I have to save my “A” priority for Sub-Class. Then let’s say I wanted my Headmaster to also be a Triple-Changer. I see from the Class description for Triple-Changer that I need to use Priority A, B, or C for Triple-Changer, so I will use the lowest possible Priority, “C”. That leaves me with a “B”, “D” and “E” to use for my other game information. Specifications are generally more useful than skill drivers, so I put my next highest priority (“B” on Specifications, and that gives me 40 points to spend on my stats. I use the “D” on Skill Drivers (which gets me 2 Skill Drivers) and the “E” on Spark Traits (which gets me 0 Spark Traits, but that’s fine–you can make a lot of awesome Transformers, especially Autobots, without any Spark Traits).

      Then you spend those 40 Specification Points on your modes. I have 4 Core Specs (think of these like mental attributes) and I buy those first. Once I have purchased the ratings I want on those 4 Core Specs, all of the remaining points get used THREE time (because I am a Triple-Changer. A Default Class Transformer would only have two modes, so would only spend the points two times). Let’s say I spent 15 of my 40 points on Core Specs… that leaves me 25 points to spread over the 4 specs for my robot mode, 25 points to spend on the four specs for my primary vehicle mode, and 25 points to spend on my extra third mode (which could be another vehicle or a stationary mode or a mechanical animal–whatever I want).

      Does that help at all?

  9. transypoo says:

    Hey, I’m trying to learn this system by building a Targetmaster and I’ve come to an impasse: where do the “unlisted” stats for Daniel and Laserbeak come from in the examples? They’ve both used up their allocated 16 points in the listed stats. But Daniel has 5, and Laserbeak has 6 *extra* points for head/tape modes. I can’t find a reason for this. A Targetmaster-Deployer’s firepower would come out of its Stationary Specs, no?

    • jlschwennen says:

      A character gets the same number of points to spend in ALL alt modes (pg. 13, para 2). Daniel spent 11 of his 16 Spec points on Core, so he has 5 left. He gets to spend those on Human AND gets to spend that same number (5) on Stationary. The same is true for Laserbeak (who only spent 10 on Core, so he has 6 leftover for Mech-Animal AND 6 for Stationary.

      • transypoo says:

        Ah! I see. That makes sense now. Thanks!

      • transypoo says:

        Hey, when I printed out your book, I did so on full 8.5×11 pages, and I wanted a cover to match, so I made this 11×17 version: https://sta.sh/01rvu3ebwkkz

        Also, one more question: in the character examples, several have Spark[E] and have a spark trait listed. But on the chart on page 12 the Spark Traits for Priority E are listed as zero. The way I’m reading this, they shouldn’t be able to afford those. Am I missing something? (again)

      • jlschwennen says:

        I love that cover! Is it OK if I post that and give you credit?

        You have found an error! I believe that I started treating Spark [E] as 1 Spark Trait instead of 0, but never updated the table on page 12. So, ultimately, the only reason to not set Spark at [E] is if you want 2 or 3 Spark Traits. I think that works alright, since for the most part, Spark Traits are more for making logical sense out of illogical situations (Mass-Shifting, I’m looking at you…) rather than for game-breaking awesomeness. Some day, in a hypothetical third edition that I am not working towards right now, there would probably be more rules for creating Unique Abilities. In that case, maybe a Spark [E] would not be allowed to purchase certain Unique Ability combinations (You wouldn’t want someone to get something like Megatron’s Power Blast for free…)

      • transypoo says:

        (I can’t seem to reply to your reply)
        Sure! Post away!

        Yes, that makes sense.

        If you ever do get around to a third edition, it’s be cool to include Mini-cons (though I guess those are just Powermaster variations) and the Prime Predacons (though, I guess those are just Firecon variations).

        But really, I love to see a bestiary. Pre-made stats for things like Dwellers, Space Slugs, Ick-Yaks, and other generic enemies. (Sharkticons, Allicons, and Seekers?)

        (I’m also thinking about making some character sheets to make it easier to keep track of stats and damage, and made room for art and backstories.)

      • jlschwennen says:

        All of your suggestions for third edition, especially the bestiary. I am not sure if life will give me a chance to go there any time soon, but if so, consider these things all on the list for possible inclusion!

      • transypoo says:

        Here, I made a character sheet: https://sta.sh/07weqxxsecq

      • jlschwennen says:

        I am updating the TFRPG page today, and I will be including both of your creations! You rock!

      • transypoo says:

        Well, if you ever get around to it I’d be happy to help! (I’m an artist, so I could provide original works.)

      • jlschwennen says:

        That would be amazing!!

      • transypoo says:

        I updated this slightly, there were a few little things that were bugging me: https://sta.sh/0y1ausoihe8

  10. lupisdominus says:

    If I wanted to work on a sort of Bot Bible (I was trying to alliterate like Monster manual, and Bible being a synonym of Manual clicked with the Bot lol) with stated out army building bots (Sharkticons, Alicons, Unicron Trilogy type Terrorcons and Omnicons, Beast Machines Vehicon Drones and Prime Vehicons) would that be ok? Then a more specific section added later for named bots (like the Sharkticon Gnaw, who since he is the only named one, would be special and possiblly some sort of equivalent to Beast Machines Vehicon Generals).
    I’d work mostly in G1, as that is likely the area most players are interested in, then do editions for other TF universes.
    I might even, for the heck of it, toss in some Go-Bots as a why not section lol
    Or Zybots. You all know you want some Zybot action!

    • jlschwennen says:

      By all means, yes!! All I ask is that I get to link to your work (or host it, if you would like). That project sounds both ambitious and amazing—exactly what I like in a project!!

    • transypoo says:

      Don’t forget Seekers!

      What about: Robot Repertoire, Transformer Tome, Enemy Encyclopedia, Cyber Compilation?

      • lupisdominus says:

        Seekers too, yes. And Prime Insecticons, since there are tons of them in that Timeline.
        I think each universe will get its own supplement to make things easier for those using them.
        Like, a Japanese G1 supplement for all those weird and wonderful zany bots from over there.
        Like the Go-Bots, I might do up a Brave one. Only on Brave Exkaiser, as that is the only one I’ve actually watched lol
        And I am all for suggestions on a name 🙂
        Cybertronian Codex?

      • transypoo says:

        That’s a good idea! MECH would also be a good Prime universe inclusion. (Maybe Kobold-like?)

        I like Cybertron Codex.
        (heh) Hasbro Historia, Primus Opus (it rhymes at least!), Iacon Archives.

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