Epidemic Osiris RPG System

Welcome to the home of Epidemic Osiris! Osiris is Epidemic's own role-playing game system. For those of you who don't know what this means, Osiris is a system of rules that allows you and your friends to create your own adventures and make up your own collective stories.

We personally like to keep our own Osiris sessions very role-playing forward, but Osiris is a very comprehensive system with a solid set of rules that treads the perfect balance between game speed and realism. Players familiar with other dice-based systems should find Osiris easy to understand and quick to pick up, and new players will find that the introduction chapters in our core rulebook do a quick and painless job of getting you up to speed.

The Osiris "Setting"

Osiris is designed to be a setting-agnostic rule system, meaning you can use it with any genre, time period, world, or style of play. We have used it with primitive realms, superhero/mutant games, sci-fi epics, high-seas pirate classics, magical fairy worlds, post-apocalyptic wastelands, space-barbarian romps, and more. It has stood up well in all cases. It is also intended to serve as the core for all our future game products, so if you like what we do here, you will want to get to know our system at least a little.

Osiris is a great matter of pride for us here; elements of it have been in the works for over ten years. Osiris represents the future for Epidemic. From here on out, all RPG releases will be written for the Epidemic rule system. And not only that, but since this is an open-source system, you are free to write (and publish) your adventures in Osiris as well.

Though we will publish the occasional adventure product, Osiris is intended as a framework for you to use to create your own settings and adventures. It consists of a set of core rules, plus eventually a system for magic spells, a set of rules for ships and spaceships, and a whole bunch of monsters and magical items. As we expand the system, you will hear about it all here. While there is an overall Osiris "default" setting of sorts, everything we produce should be usable in any kind of game.

Now, no offense to any other system out there, but the reason we have published Osiris is because Osiris is the rule system we personally play when we play RPGs. It's evolved and changed over many years, but at this point we just couldn't imagine running any other system. It's easy to learn, amazingly flexible, and it has got a great balance of rules to role-playing. And finally, since we aren't really in this business for the money, we decided to write what we love... and we love Osiris.

The Osiris System

Osiris is not radically different from other RPG rule systems; it just does things better. As with any RPG, you choose a role to play (aka, a character) in the story you want to tell. You then fill in a sheet with all that character's key bits of information written down on it, and whenever conflict occurs in your story, you can take these statistics and use them with the Osiris rules to adjudicate what happens.

In Osiris, your character is measured in five basic areas:
  • Body
  • Mind
  • Emotion
  • Spirit
  • Experience
The first four stats simply define your character's starting point, but as you gain experience by participating in adventures, you will get the opportunity to increase your more specific skills however you like. Unlike other systems, where characters are locked into a particular template or "class", characters in Osiris can mix and match skills and abilities however they want, so that no two characters are ever quite the same.

Key Advantages

There is a lot to love about Osiris, but here are a few of the most obvious selling-points over other systems:
  • Heroes can burn stamina to do extraordinary things, increasing risk and excitement
  • Active defense rolls keep twice as many people in the game on any given turn
  • Location and wound-based hit system adds realism and danger
  • Classless system gives you complete control over your character
  • Reality-based magic system allows spell abilities to build instead of just being a grab-bag of powers
  • Dynamic initiative rounds allow for a greater variety of play
  • The d30
  • Entirely novel profession-skill system adds dimension to the game without sacrificing combat skills

Getting Started

Osiris is not hard to get into, simply pick up a copy of the core rulebook and read through it. The initial chapter provides an excellent introduction to both RPGs in general as well as Osiris. At the start of each chapter you will find a brief vignette describing a key moment in one of our own personal games, these are designed to inspire you with ideas for creating settings, stories, situations, and characters. And last, but not least, Todd's game mastering chapter at the end of the book gives a lot of great advice and inspiration for starting out your game.

Next, though it's not quite ready yet, Todd and Jeff are putting together a very cool and very free introductory adventure module for Osiris. It's designed to allow you to download it and then gather a few of your friends and start playing immediately. Once you get the hang of the system, you are pretty much ready to start telling your own stories and creating your own worlds.

For those of you with a limited budget, you can always download the free version of the Osiris rules. This is designed to be a compatibility document for those who want to publish their own adventures and supplements for Osiris, but it does contain all the Osiris core rules. Essentially, this is the Osiris core rulebook without any of the cool art, helpful introductory text, or intriguing stories. But hey, free is free, so if you want a risk-free look, start here.

And finally, check out our Osiris resource page. This page will be updated frequently with all kinds of cool stuff, from new monsters to stat calculators, this is your home base for all things Osiris. Bookmark it. Oh, and if you don't see what you want or need, you can always contact us or the Osiris community via our forums.

The Open-Source RPG System (OSRS)

We didn't just pick the name Osiris because we like old Egyptian gods (though we happen to), Osiris is actually long for OSRS or the Epidemic Open-Source RPG System. Ok, so clever name, but what does this mean? Well, basically, this means you are free to write, post, (and even publish) your own adventures, settings, rule supplements, and so on using the Osiris system. Check out the very short plain-english licensing agreement at the very end of the core rulebook for details, but basically, you can do whatever you want with our rules as long as you don't copy or sell our rules, and you send people to our Osiris rulebook to get the core rules for your Osiris-based game.

You are welcome to use the Osiris RPG system compatibility logo to identify your Osiris-based products. Check the Osiris open-source license at the end of the core rulbook for details. Basically, if you write a product that uses the Osiris rules, put the Osiris logo on it and tell people where to get the Osiris rules (this website) that they need to play your game. Oh, and don't use the Epidemic Books logo on your products; that would imply that we wrote your book, which we didn't. You wrote your book.

And please, let us know if you are writing Osiris products, we'd be thrilled to hear from you.
© 2015 Epidemic Books, Inc.