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.
For example, the flavor of “Livers Need Not Apply” is that “Prolonged drinking has inexplicably altered your body to gain strength from alcohol.” The crunch for “Livers Need Not Apply” is that it has a prerequisite of Constitution 14 and provides the following benefit:
“You no longer suffer any negative effects from drinking alcohol, and can consume one drink as a move action. In fact, you can store two drinks inside you for future use, and one additional drink for each point of Constitution modifier you possess. You may, at any time, expend one of these stored drinks as a move action. Doing so allows you to recover 1d4 HP per character level.”
So let’s take a moment to break down the flavor elements of this feat. We need some sort of resource that can be replenished and is related in some way to the hardiness of the character. Perhaps the character is a Chronomancer, who can siphon extra time from the timestream, storing it within their body and using it to reverse the effects of their wounds (or accelerate the healing of the wounds, whichever flavor you prefer). Just like that, we suddenly have new spin on “Livers Need Not Apply” which we could call “Time: Rewound”.
With that in mind, let’s try a larger example. I’m going to take you on a tour of “SPACE LEGEND” in the first of my articles. You may not think after reading through Legend that we have a Space Soldier class, but rest assured we do…
It’s time to re-flavor the barbarian.
10 HP/Level – You are a space soldier, and in your grimdark future you’ll need these to survive.
5 Skills – As a space soldier, you are not just a loose cannon, you are an elite, highly-trained loose cannon.
KOM: STR – It really just makes sense.
KDM: CON – It better be if you want to survive your first suicide mission. (Which is all of your missions.)
Today, we’ll re-flavor the Rage track (other tracks to come in subsequent articles) to fit our Space Soldier. Let’s start by examining some of the 1st Circle’s flavor text: “…a state where you gain heightened morale and physical prowess”. Sounds an awful lot like adrenaline! Our 1st circle for the Space Soldier shall be “Adrenaline”; whether it comes from physical conditioning or injected stimulants is all up to you, and it probably comes down to how important a fancy combat spacesuit is to your character concept.
Instead of Powerful Rage, the name of the Rage track’s 2nd circle, the Space Soldier’s 2nd circle can be named “Stand Tall”. You are a Space Soldier after all. A giant rampaging alien wishes it could be taller than you.
“Terrifying Battlelust” works just fine as the renamed 3rd circle of Rage for our Space Soldier. After all. while hyped up on Adrenaline, you’ll fight for any reason and look damn terrifying doing it.
“Adrenaline Surge” seems well-suited as the renamed 4th Circle to represent cranking the dial on your Adrenaline and benefiting even further from it. The actual abilities, “Hurling Charge” and “Momentum Charge”, work just as well for a chainsaw wielding Space Soldier as they did for ancient savages.
“Mental Conditioning” is our Space Soldier version of “Stubborn Rage”. You’ve been through hell, but you have the iron will to soldier on anyway. Pretty straightforward! While a screaming lunatic may just be stubborn, military training can get you similar results.
“Adrenaline Overload”, our renamed 6th Circle, is what it takes to fight on a barren wasteland of a planet. After all, it’s gotten you this far, and little things like “side effects” are a reward for not ending up dead.
“War Hero”, our renamed 7th Circle, may just be a fancy title with a shiny medal, but if you made it this far it means you were able to survive long enough to get it. Being a Space Soldier is just who you are now, and that means your skills are just plain better than all the green recruits that are replacing the rest of your squad.
Editor’s Note: Name of this re-flavoring has been changed to keep our pants on. You know, if they were to be sued off.