Between the Hollow Earth Expedition, All For One, and Desolation RPGs what are the differences with each's Ubiquity System (if any)?


Additions and expansions to the system include initiative, the use of magic, and certain setting considerations such as player species or period equipment which must be mechanically represented. Also see Nestor's answer here.


The biggest difference in the system is essentially the implied dropping of the Continuous Combat initiative option from the system, as it does not appear in Desolation or All for One. It can, of course, be returned easily.


The magic systems for each line have a lot in common, but each is flavored and executed with stylistic and setting differences, that build on and in some cases expand the approach developed for HEX:

  • Desolation's magic includes the concept of Burn, which limits the use of magical energies by spellcasters in the game's post-apocalyptic fantasy setting
  • All for One bases the concept of magic entirely on spirits and has many clearly detailed paths of magic with guides for creating spell effects

Character Options

HEX and All for One are essentially intended for human PCs, although inside the Hollow Earth certain alternate choices do present themselves. Desolation incorporates several fantasy races as primary choices, and presents character building options for those races.


Each line focuses on a specific period or genre, so you will see the focus shift toward Armor and Fantasy Weapons in Desolation, and on Fencing and Early Firearms in All for One, with a smattering of clockworks artifacts.

One additional element included in Desolation is nutritional values for entries in the bestiary.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Fantastic answer! Would you consider all three settings interchangeably compatible? \$\endgroup\$ – Jeffrywith1e May 12 '11 at 23:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Genre considerations aside, yes - mechanically everything is interchangeable. In terms of genre-matching, HEX and AFO are more closely related than Desolation which has a very different mood and setting. HEX uses a 1930's Earth with supernatural elements and a heroic pulp feel, AFO uses 1630's Earth with supernatural elements and a swashbuckling horror feel, while Desolation uses a fantasy world after the apocalypse with a survival feel. \$\endgroup\$ – Runeslinger May 13 '11 at 0:35

One more thing. There are a couple of mechanical differences with how some Talents work.

For example, The Block and Parry Talents in HEX and All For One allow you to use the corresponding maneuver as a reflexive action (instead of an attack action), while in Desolation the Talents just give the character a +2 Defense bonus against specific types of attacks (unarmed attacks for Block, melee attacks for Parry).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, good point! \$\endgroup\$ – Runeslinger May 14 '11 at 1:59

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