Of course, if your gaming group has a different world in mind, feel free to play in it instead. Legend’s mechanics can fit a broad range of fantasy and horror settings, and with some minor adjustments can fit superhero, cyberpunk, and even space opera settings. For all of these settings, and others, Legend offers you the tools to tell the story your specific gaming group wants to create.
You know, funny story, I was talking to Amercha about how our Legend's playtest went. And, wow, did we mess it up. Apparently, the GM house ruled the hell out of the game. Which is, I probably don't have to say, horrible for playtesting. Apparently, Amercha only found this out when he submitted his playtesting feedback. So, yeah, we kind of screwed up that playtest.
Anyway, without further ado, let's return to...
Tell Me A Legend of Murderers and Hobos
Chapter 2: That Basics
The chapter starts out going over the standard d20 fair. The core mechanic is what you expect (1d20 + modifiers), you can take 10 and 20 using the standard rules, and a blurb on attributes and modifiers.
An interesting thing is that the game brings up percentile dice which is funny since we never had to use those during our entire playtest. Then again, as said prior, the GM houseruled the hell out of that game so, now, I don't know if any of my assumptions on this title are true.
Modifers are typed, thankfully. Modifiers from the same type or from the same source do not stack (take the best bonus or worst penalty). Of course, this is still standard d20 affair and the types are what you expect (Ability, Circumstance, Feat, Item, Racial, Size, and Untyped).
The only different ones are Deflection and Fury. Deflection is a boost to AC. Fury, on the other hand, is interesting as it is the first time tracks are mentioned. This will be further explained as we reach the class chapter. For now, just know that Fury bonuses come from strong emotions, are given by tracks, stack with Fury bonuses from the same track, but not with Fury bonuses from different tracks.
After this, we get into Ability scores. Unsurprisingly, the game uses the standard d20 6 (Str, Con, Dex, Wis, Int, Cha). However, there is a twist: Key Offensive Modifier and Key Defensive Modifier. KOM and KDM come from a player's class (sometimes from a particular Track or Race).
KOM is used to calculate a character's ability to attack and adds to damage rolls for weapon damage.
KDM is used to calculate HP and Armor Class.
Key modifiers is an interesting idea. I mean, it simplifies character building since you know to put your highest value in those two attributes and have a functional character. On the other hand, it can sometimes make one feel like they only have two attributes. Though, I suppose the Skill system, which we will get to later, does make use of the other attributes even if most of your character doesn't.
After KOM and KDM, Spellcasting Ability modifier is introduced. When one takes a spellcasting track -- tracks have still not been explained -- they receive a SAM from that track. This modifier is used for DCs for their spells and determines if the character gets more spells than the default.
In this same section, we learn Legend uses a variant of D&D's vancian magic. Instead of per day, Legend's magic is done per scene. It is worth noting that the game does not mention what a Scene is. It also appears that spells only go up 7 levels...err circles. This, in my opinion, is for the best. 9 levels of spells is too much. That said, 5 is a better number of levels than 7. Or circles. Or whatever.
The book then explains what each attribute represents. Most of this is fairly standard from 3.5, however, Constitution gives Damage Reduction equal to half one's Con mod (if positive) instead of adding to one's HP and Wisdom adds to something called the Awareness Defense.
The reason I sound a bit confused by the latter is because our DM never used this so I don't actually know what this is. After looking over Legend's character sheet, I noticed there were a few other defenses (Diplomacy,Bluff, Intimidate, and Perception). While we haven't got an official explanation for them yet, I believe they are a DC that opponents have to pass when trying to use skills on a character. Our DM used opposed rolls. Somehow, I feel this is just another house rule he made...Should I make a counter for the number of ways we messed up playtesting this game?
Afterwards, we get into d20's standard secondary statistics: Health points, Armor Class, Base Attack Bonus, and Saving Throws. Interestingly enough, Awareness is brought up here and confirms my suspicion that it was a defense for skill rolls against player characters (in this case, it is a DC one has to pass to successfully sneak past a character). Another interesting thing is that BAB is added to one's AC which I don't remember being a factor in 3.5. It also appears saving Throws take the higher of two attributes modifiers: Str/Con for Fort, Dex/Int for Ref, or Wis/Cha for Will.
Most of the formulas for secondary statistics has also been changed. Armor Class is now 10 + BAB + KDM, Health is now Class (Which classes offer either 8,10, or 12 per level) + KDM then that sum is multiplied by twice one's level, and Attack is 10 + BAB + KOM.
The most interesting thing about this section is that Legend changed how the math for BABs worked.
As you can see, while the first additional attack goes up at a different rate, the next three additional attacks go up at the same rate as the first additional attack. Poor BAB's received a boost and another additional attack. 3.5 had each additional attack go up at a slower rate for a max of 20/15/10/5 on a good BAB and 10/5 for a poor BAB. Poor BABs in 3.5 only received a single additional attack.
This seems a bit odd. I do remember this game having a bigger focus on track abilities (which we will get to later) and basic attacking than using spells. As such, boosting poor BABS might be necessary. Then, because you boosted poor BABs, you might have to boost good BABs just to make sure they're still good in comparison...I guess. I have to seem more math of the system to see if this works out. Considering BAB is also added to AC, I really have to wonder if this math works out as intended.
Well, that is it for Chapter 2. None of this really has confirmed or denied if the Legend Developers lived up to their design goals. I will say that the lack of explanation for the other defenses is a bit off. Sure, they are on the character sheet and one can easily guess their use by name (Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, Perception), but they should be mentioned. Or, I should say, they should be mentioned in the same chapter as awareness.
I know I said I'd get into character creation, but its a bit late so I'm going to save that for later.
Next Time: Character Creation or Yes, you can play a Dragon Barbarian Power Ranger