[UPDATED March 23, 2023]

The PARAGON SYSTEM is a tabletop roleplaying game system found in the AGON rpg. The core system is adaptable to a variety of settings and premises, so we’re making the rules available for your use in your own original games.

To publish your game using the Paragon System, follow the steps below:

  1. Download the Paragon System SRD package at

  2. Include the following text in your document:
    This work is based on the Paragon System, developed and authored by John Harper and Sean Nittner, and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (

  3. Include the PARAGON system logo mark on your document, if you want to.

You may charge money for your Paragon game or offer it for free (or pay what you want). Up to you.

You retain ownership of any original material you create, and you assume no ownership of any material in the AGON rpg or other PARAGON system materials.

You may also release your game as a supplement to the Paragon System, without including the full rules text. We call these mini-hacks “playsets.” As an example, here’s my playset, CHAMBER:


You can also make an alternate setting/ premise for AGON simply by creating a new character sheet, for example, this sheet for Mythic Norse adventure:


I’m excited to see what you make!


Hi John,
thank you a lot for the system.
I have a question about it: how much we can add / change to the system and still using the Paragon System logo, etc?

I.e. can I change the different dice in the pool system with a d6 pool (where D12 -> 2D6)? Or we should keep the system “as is” and reskinning only the setting?

Thank you.

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Good question! I don’t have a hard and fast rule, but some amount of system changing is totally fine.

If someone who’s familiar with AGON can read your document and make sense of how to play it with the changes, you’re all good.


Ok, thank you.

Just in case IF I will find the time to work on a reskin (and it’s a big if, right now), maybe I will submit it to you to be sure :slight_smile:

Thank you again.

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Thanks for the great drop of RPG goodness, Mr. Harper. :slight_smile: Not sure if this is the place to ask, but is CHAMBER supposed to be played with the same emphasis on PvP and the PCs vying for, well, now Insight, instead of Glory? I guess I’m interested in your thoughts on how this should feel in play. As a straight-up reskin, should it have the same feel as playing Agon but with this radically different setting? Or should it be played more like a traditional RPG (whatever that means)? Should the PCs be competing with each other? Would maybe including a “Best Practices” or “How this should be played differently form Agon” section in our own hacks mitigate that? Or, in the spirit of a minimalist hack, is this something Operations and the Agents work out for themselves?

Again, thanks for this!

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This is pretty wonderful!
I’m excited to see what this brings and what I might end up making.

A question I have:
It seems to me from some of the wording, likely the emphasis on “supplements” and “playsets”, that stand-alone games are not permissible here, or rather, any material made for the game needs to refer back to the Agon book at some point? e.g. The FITD SRD allows games like Band of Blades to exist, but according to the Paragon system a Band of Blades equivalent would need to refer heavily to blades in the dark.

Am I understanding that right?

I found this section at the end of chamber which answered my question:

The PARAGON SYSTEM is a tabletop roleplaying game system found in the AGON rpg. The core system is adaptable to a variety of settings and premises with only a few key changes, as shown here in this document, which is called a “playset.”
To make your own PARAGON SYSTEM playset, you can use this document’s format as a template for the elements to include, along with the associated character sheet.
Playsets may not reproduce any material from the AGON rpg book, but you may refer to those mechanics and provide references to page numbers as needed. Our goal is for players to use the AGON game book as the primary system document, with playset materials acting as supplementary content to extend the usefulness of the core rules — sort of like DLCs or re-skins for a video game.

I think a section like this explaining the specifics of the license would be helpful on this page!

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I wouldn’t say CHAMBER has the same emphasis on competition, but all Agents do desire Insight into the Signal and all of their efforts are pointed that way, so it’s the primary “scorecard” for their operations. Presumably, the mysterious bosses of the organization value agents with greater Insight.

I think a “best practices” page in a playset is a fine idea. Maybe I’ll add one when I update CHAMBER.


Good idea! I edited the original post.


Very cool. Thank you! I can’t wait to see the hacks that come out of this.

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Hey John, quick question for clarification on creating a playset:

The only restriction, aside from the blurb about copyright text, for a paragon playset is that it can’t contain material from the base AGON book.
As a mental exercise, let’s say that a playset contains so much NEW rules and content that it ends up being as long as the AGON book, without stealing any content from the original book. Is that ok? (I’m not saying that supplemental material that long is a good idea, haha).

I know you released Chamber with the express intent of showing how lightweight a playset could be, but it might have me a bit worried that there is some sentiment that playsets shouldn’t be heftier than what chamber is presenting.

As a mental exercise, let’s say that a playset contains so much NEW rules and content that it ends up being as long as the AGON book, without stealing any content from the original book. Is that ok? (I’m not saying that supplemental material that long is a good idea, haha).

I don’t know John’s point of view BUT I can tell you my personal experience after a month of work on a playset: there are a lot of subtle design mechanism in Agon that can “broke” the game if you change them without knowing the impact to other parts of the game.
Agon is so elegant that we can read it in two hours - it’s light and straightforward BUT there are invisible connections between the parts of the game I discovered we need to manage them very carefully.

My experiences were like “ok I changed 50% of Agon, that’s cool” and test after test I come back to a lot of changes to the original rules because something was wrong.
Of course, your situation can be different - maybe I changed the wrong part in my first draft.

But now that I come back to the original rules in most parts of the game, the game is more playable and more “clean” and polished.

Hi Greg,

We want the Paragon stuff to supplement the core book, adding new play styles and settings for players who know the system already. As long as your thing is a supplement / playset, you should be good, regardless of its size (but I would recommend not going too wild). :slight_smile:


Will it be possible to add a playerkit for a playset?
I ask because such a playerkit may include basic stuff which is not playset-specific. Is this allowed regarding your rule that Agon core material should not be included?

That’s a bit of a gray area. If you need to summarize something so your player sheets make sense, that should be fine.

I need to ponder this a bit more, though. I don’t want to overly restrict people to the point where it’s annoying to tiptoe around things. I’ll talk to Sean about it.


Any “ruling” on player-kits? I’d love to include a character creation processes with nice lists of piratey names and upbringings!

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Same here. Playkits is the second chance to get that “that’s is awesome” reaction from players. Art- and content-wise. (Before you ask, I think the cover art and thumbing through the book is the first chance).

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Character creation stuff and name lists are totally fine.

I’m releasing STAR FURIES this week, which includes that kind of stuff – so you can see a new kind of Paragon example.

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Just so I understand, what are the gray areas? Rule summaries, etc?

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Yeah, we want to leave the bulk of the rules stuff in the AGON materials.

But, as you’ll see in Star Furies, it’s fine to refer to a rule or briefly describe it so you can explain how your playset does it differently. Just don’t copy/paste swathes of rules from AGON.

Hopefully that’s not too vague.


I’m sure we’ll iron out any lingering vagaries as we iteratee and release! I’ll make sure to post anything I’m iffy about here first.

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