State of the Game

Hi folks,

Some people have been asking about the overall progress on Legend, particularly regarding the special leather-bound printing for some of our Kickstarter donors. The short version is that right now, we are focused on finishing a set of updates to the current release version of Legend, including a series of typographical errors and a couple of strange cases where a line or two was accidentally deleted from the 1.0 version. At this point, we are in the process of typesetting a new release candidate including the fixes that Legend needs to be a game we feel comfortable setting down in hard copies. Once the release candidate has been proofed and finalized, we will arrange to have leather-bound copies printed and sent to the Kickstarter donors we promised them to.

We are continuing to work on the Legend Monster Guide, and will continue to update all of you on our progress over the next few months.

-Mr. C (posted via Mr. W)

Dr. No

Many of you will have seen this announcement already via Kickstarter or on the forums. For those of you who are not already aware, we apologize for the delay in putting this on the front page:

Jake Kurzer, aka Mr. K or DocRoc, is no longer affiliated with Rule of Cool Games or participating in continued work on the Legend game system. Mr. Kurzer left the team after securing new employment that included a noncompete contract which prohibits him from contributing further to the project. He is still on the radar of some team members through social channels, and his current situation is positive save that it leaves him unable to develop Legend further.

Continue reading

Worlds’ End: Fair Trial

by Mr. A and Mr. G

“Your honor,” declared the jury foreman, “we are unable to reach a verdict at this time.”
“Very well,” the judge replied. “We shall resolve this dispute by hunting competition.”
The prosecutor stood. “What will we be hunting?”
“The jury.”

The Six Courts of Faerie govern and rule the fey races, to the extent that the eclectic and capricious fey can be said to be “ruled” or “governed.” The Six Courts also function as the arena of legal battles between fey, which are presided over by the nobility or other appointed magistrates. Modeled as a formal procedure including cross-examination, depositions, rulings from the bench and a jury, a fey court of law might appear at a glance to be perfectly calm, rational and completely comprehensible.

Until a ravening beast bursts through the ground and devours the plaintiff, the prosecution and defense begin dueling in the aisle, and the judge rules, “Case dismissed.”

Continue reading

The Stuff of Legend: Negative Design

Design and development for games can be a lot of fun. We get to throw new ideas against the wall and see how they stick, then mix them in with what’s already there and see what comes of it. Nobody at Rule of Cool Games does this more than me; my unofficial job is to barge into meetings with half-baked concepts and throw them at people until someone takes up the challenge. Positive design (“You can do this now!”) is the impetus that gets a lot of us going on a new project. After all, more often than not, delineating what you can do and opening the door for people to explore through means constructing the appeal of the game.

For the first Monday of August, I’ve decided to turn the column toward a trickier subject: negative design. The Legend system in particular dwells on negative design to maintain a state of balance. Fury and Precision don’t get along. Nonlethal conditions that might completely sideline a character are hard to inflict and are never permanent. Internal development limits exist for how and when things scale, and design is restricted in certain areas based on what’s already in place. Negative design is the work of saying “no,” and while it doesn’t always take such a solid and intractable form, it’s hard to fight the sense that negative design tells you to take that bright, colorful new toy and don’t play with it in the house.

Continue reading

Worlds’ End: Cathexis

by Mr. A and Mr. G

The days are every color.

In this City of Restless Dreams, where the nights run black and silver, it’s best to enjoy the prismatic vistas of the glass landscape while you can. Here, the towers shine with the light of the distant sun, while beyond the borders of the city, the world is dead and sterile. As the light of the day fades, the people of Cathexis retreat to their beds, but only some are going to sleep. For the rest, the real work of the day is only just beginning.

As the streets of Cathexis become cold and still, youths fly up the starry stair of slumber, saunter along tower tops, and race through the phantom plazas of an echoing dreamscape. Gangs align in the astral realm, banding together around raw ideas for the future of humanity. In the waking world, these young men and women are but flesh and blood, attended by silent servants and spending their hours deep in books and philosophy. Here in the dream, they are soldiers in the war of concepts, pieces on the astral chessboard playing out the game of the Herculean entity that oversees all. These maniacal firebrands fight for honor, for purpose, and for the strength of the beliefs they hold, beliefs they want to impress on the world at large.

In the astral realm, the world explodes with light, energy and force. Psychic powers in the forms of beasts, gods, disasters and armies clash under the direction of philosophical gangsters. The brazen youth play a high-stakes game where the price of defeat is the death of your astral self – your will, ideology and reasoning are crushed out of you, leaving only a zombie to serve the next generation of dueling ideologues.

Continue reading

Local Flavor: The Animal Companion

by Mystify, edited by Mr. W

Local Flavor is an article series exploring how to apply Legend to your game by taking various game mechanics and looking at them through a different lens. Our writers explore how existing Legend material can be repurposed and given a flavor that would fit into a different genre or playstyle.

The Path of Destruction is normally about cutting through multiple enemies with each swing of your axe. But have you thought about how the track can represent a ferocious animal companion by your side? Let’s look at how the various circles can reflect this.

Continue reading

The Stuff of Legend: Inaugural Column

Welcome to the inaugural post of The Stuff of Legend! Every Monday in this column, I will be discussing elements of Legend’s design, development and creative processes, giving you the behind-the-scenes look at decisionmaking and the work that goes into constantly improving the game.

Today’s column kicks off by looking at the rationale underpinning what I’d call the very heart of Legend, the singular innovation that characterizes the game and gives it life:

The track system.

Tracks are without a doubt the major highlight of Legend. The ability to assemble any character you like and not worry about a gameplay cost for doing so inspires some really great game and character concepts, many of which can be seen on the Rule of Cool forums. Tracks are consistently our most popular content, a factor that’s weighing on the forthcoming Legend Monster Guide and, beyond that, the Magic Book. In the Homebrew section of the forums, tracks are miles beyond any other form of Legend content being generated.

In brief, for those readers who are unfamiliar with the game and its signature innovation: the track system allows you to select three tracks, combinations of abilities staggered across level gaps, and arrange them in progressions to create your character. By setting your tracks into fast, medium and slow progressions, you determine how abilities of a similar tier are allocated to you, and you never have a dead level. The abilities of tracks are not specifically linked to level, but rather progress in circles, which are linked to character level according to the progression the track is on, rather than the track itself.

So why tracks? Why break things up into packages that are arguably a third of a character? Why not go more granular still and split circles out into freeform selections?

Continue reading

Local Flavor: Garden Guerilla

by Kajhera, edited by Mr. W

Local Flavor is an article series exploring how to apply Legend to your game by taking various game mechanics and looking at them through a different lens. Our writers explore how existing Legend material can be repurposed and given a flavor that would fit into a different genre or playstyle.

The other day, I found myself searching for ways to play a character with a certain druidic bent – namely, a means to control plants. After investigating various tracks I noticed that the Professional Soldier track from the Ranger class could easily be re-flavored to my needs. How, may you ask, can you too re-flavor the Professional Soldier track for a druid, a half-plant abomination, or someone with far too green a thumb? Let me count the ways:
Continue reading

Local Flavor: Livers Need Not Apply

by Fako, edited by Mr. W

Local Flavor is an article series exploring how to apply Legend to your game by taking various game mechanics and looking at them through a different lens. Our writers explore how existing Legend material can be repurposed and given a flavor that would fit into a different genre or playstyle.

 
Healing effects are nice.  This is true regardless of the character you play, because it isn’t much fun when your character dies an avoidable death.  However, you cannot guarantee that the party’s healer (if any) will be able to reach you in your time of need, especially in high-danger scenarios.  Because of this, Livers Need Not Apply is an amazing option for any character wanting that little extra security, providing on-demand healing when you need it most.  Sadly, some will balk at the image it provides – not everyone drinks their pain away.  As such, here are a few “alternate flavors” for the feat:

Continue reading

Local Flavor: The Space Soldier

by Anzyr, edited by Mr. W

Local Flavor is an article series exploring how to apply Legend to your game by taking various game mechanics and looking at them through a different lens. Our writers explore how existing Legend material can be repurposed and given a flavor that would fit into a different genre or playstyle.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to have the Legend Game System tailored to your unique character ideas.

Before we get that, we need to address what “flavor” and “crunch” are. Flavor is the description of a rule and crunch is the mechanics of the rule.

Continue reading