Once upon a time (San Fransisco during the mid 1800s), there lived a madman named Joshua Norton. Like many geniuses, he was regarded as a deranged lunatic by some and an inspirational figure by others. Joshua was a prophet who foresaw the building of the Golden Gate bridge. More importantly, named himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. He ruled magnanimously from the taverns and restaurants of San Fransisco and was beloved by all his subjects.
Norton lived large - he issued his own currency. He made imperial proclamations. He ate free at dozens of restaurants. The newspapers loved him. People traveled to San Fransisco just to meet him. He created his own world and it became real.
What a lot of people don't know about Joshua Norton is that his Empire lasted far longer than he did. In essence, he had created an alternate version of America, a parallel sovereign nation which you could move to by simply declaring yourself a citizen. This America next door has its own rules and governance. Norton's declaration of independence was passed down in secret for generations. Today the nation is called The United States of Chimerica (pronounced KAI-merica). Its National animal is not the Bald Eagle, but the Chimera, an impossible mythological creature.
Norton's Empire is still around. By 2012, its population had dwindled down to a scant few, ruled by the Mad Emperor Norton V. The Empire faced a number of problems, including occasional zombie outbreaks, and a long standing feud with a race of Mole People who live beneath the Earth's surface. The Emperor declared that it was time to stop keeping Chimerica a secret. They needed help.
For the first time in over a century, people are becoming citizens of Chimerica. Once, the way to immigrate was a well kept secret. Now, the doors are wide open to anybody mad enough to visit the flipside of the country.
Newcomers to Chimerica are often surprised by what they find there. Shortly after declaring yourself a citizen, weird things may begin to happen to you. There are dangerous things that live in Chimerica, like monsters. And people who spend time in Chimerica can quickly become talented in combat, and even learn wacky abilities like how to cast magic spells.
Catch You On The Flipside
The United States of Chimerica is the universe next door. It overlaps with the "real" world - it exists wherever people declare it to exist. People in Chimerica can affect each other using boffer weapons and spell packets, or do battle by taking turns. Somebody killed in Chimerica is not really dead, they're just ejected from the realm for a while.
You and your friends will explore, build, and possibly conquer Norton's Empire. The adventures you have with your friends in your town will influence ongoing storylines. If there are enough Chimericans in your area, you may elect a King or Queen, a game-master who can create their own adventures and storylines.
Chimerica is a 24/7 live gaming system which can be used to run different types of live scenarios and adventures. Players transform familiar hangout spaces (like parks and restaurants) into several types of game zones (like arenas and feast halls). "Go flipside", and get buffed up by visiting the local coffee shop. Then head down to the park and defend your neighborhood from zombies, space aliens, and mole people.
Chimerica is organized via a social networking site. Your profile is your "character sheet". Use the site to coordinate events for your local gaming community. Several plotline-based adventure scripts are available for download. Depending on the type of venue, combat might be resolved with live boffer action or and turn-based combat involving real space.
For each scenario, there are a number of "character class sheets" available for download (single page PDF). Each character class has its own character sheet with the game's rules on one side, and a character building flowchart or checklist on the reverse. Before you play, you just print out a character sheet, check off a number of skills, and read any scenario specific rules. You may have access to a bonus skills based on facilities and resources.
Acquire resources by creating content for your friends. Spend resources to build imaginary facilities like secret labs and arcane libraries, earning access to elite class skills. When your group runs an adventure, the outcome may influence ongoing global storylines (For example, every time you complete one of the zombie adventures, it adds to the global zombie bodycount. New plot developments are posted as the community achieves a higher bodycount).
Table of Contents
Flipside Game Rules - basic game rules. Includes rules for live combat and turn based combat.
The Book of Imperial Law - game rules phrased from an in-universe POV
List of Game Calls - game effects and language
Wards - transform your neighborhood into a game space
Facilities - things you can build on your territories
Character Sheets - printable character sheets for the Live Combat scenarios
Social Networking Site - describes the architecture of the website
Defunct: Card Combat - rules for card-based scenarios