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Legend
 
$19.99 $1.00
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
22 13
14 10
4 1
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Legend
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Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Eric P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/25/2014 08:46:27
I jumped in on the RQII bandwagon when it first came out and followed Mongoose into the Legend title change. I am not a Glorantha fan, but I was intriqued by the rule set, especially the combat. Now bear in mind, the skills are streamlined, which is welcome, but combat is definitely crunchy and fairly slow moving. There are times where I desire crunchy combat, and the combat manuevers presented here really allow some gritty, tactical choices for those that like such a thing. Combat doesn't go on forever, because it's deadly and over in a couple of combat turns usually. I am not a huge fan of the division of magic here, as it assumes most everyday folks have some access to magic spells, but this is easily overlooked and revised for your own style of play. I recommend this product highly, and you can't go wrong for the price.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/17/2012 02:25:35
http://www.teilzeithelden.de
-------

Der Unterschied zwischen dieser Rezension und anderen ist, dass diese wirklich nötig ist. Der geschickt gewählte Name des Rollenspielsystems “Legend“ sorgt nämlich dafür, dass Ihr es kaum im Netz finden könnt. Dabei lohnt es sich wirklich hinein zu schauen, denn das settingunabhängige Spiel hat für Eure Fantasykampagne einiges zu bieten. Unter anderem einen unschlagbaren Preis und die Tatsache, dass es unter der OGL (Open Gaming License) veröffentlicht wurde.

Erscheinungsbild

Das Cover kommt in schlichten schwarz daher. Wenn das zu langweilig ist, der kann auch eines mit einem typischen Fantasymotiv bekommen, einen Krieger flankiert von einer Tänzerin und einer Magierin. Ich habe das Regelwerk bislang nur als englisches PDF gesehen, dessen Illustrationen einfach und relativ schnörkellos in schwarz-weiß daher kommen. Auch das Layout besteht nur aus einer halbtransparenten Hintergrundgrafik. Dieser spartanische Stil passt gut zu den Regeln selbst und ist gut gemacht, aber kein optischer Leckerbissen. Dafür lenkt er nicht vom gut lesbaren Text ab. Das Inhaltsverzeichnis ist überschaubar und enthält auch nur die Kapitel. Einen Index gibt es leider zudem nicht. Hier hätte man etwas mehr tun können, da die Regeln zwar einfach strukturiert sind, aber man z.B. Kampfmanöver, Waffen oder Zauber öfter einmal nachschlagen muss.

Der Preis ist das hervorragendste an Legend. Bei DriveThruRPG kostet es unschlagbare 1$! Bei Mongoose Publishing selbst hingegen 9£, was mich etwas verwundert. Das alternative Cover gibt es auch nur beim Verlag selbst und somit nur zum höheren Preis.

Die Spielwelt

Eigentlich gehört dieser Abschnitt nicht in diese Rezension, da das Legend-Regelwerk kein Setting enthält. Es wurde unter der OGL veröffentlich und kann es somit prima als Grundlage für ein eigenes Setting verwendet werden, auch oder gerade wenn man dieses veröffentlichen will. Natürlich hat jedes System seine Schokoladenseite. Legend hat seine größte Stärke im Kampf Humanoid gegen Humanoid. Die Häufigkeit von Magie in der Welt ist egal, da die Magieregeln völlig problemlos zu entfernen sind. Aber es gibt keine magischen Gegenstände in Buch, diese muss man selbst entwerfen. Diese Fakten sollte man beim Erstellen einer Kampagnenwelt im Hinterkopf behalten.

Die Regeln

Kommen wir zum Herzstück des Regelwerks. Legend basiert auf dem w100 und dem System von RuneQuest II. Es gibt 7 Attribute (Con, Str, Dex, Size, Int, (Will-)Power, Cha), von denen je zwei addiert den Grundwert für eine Fertigkeit geben, die dann gesteigert werden kann. Besagte Fertigkeit sind in zwei Gruppen eingeteilt: gemeine und fortgeschrittene Fertigkeiten. Erstere kann jeder Charakter zumindest mit dem Grundwert. Letztere muss man separat lernen, um sie mit ihrem Grundwert zu beherrschen. Sämtliche Kampffertigkeiten sind fortgeschrittene Fertigkeiten, nur den unbewaffneten Kampf kann jeder. Legend unterscheidet bei der Bewaffnung sehr genau. Langschwert und Schild, Dolch oder Langschwert und nur ein Dolch sind eigene Fertigkeiten. Man kann auch etwas andere Waffen mit einer gelernten Fertigkeit führen, doch das gibt Abzüge.

Je nachdem, wie gut man seinen Gegner trifft oder wenn er pariert, kann man Manöver ausführen um den Gegner abzulenken, niederzuwerfen, zu betäuben oder an einer bestimmten Stelle zu treffen, denn Trefferzonen mit eigenen Trefferpunkten gibt es auch. Auf manche Manöver hat man aber nur mit bestimmten Waffen Zugriff. Ich finde diese Regel sehr angenehm, weil man sich nicht vor dem Angriff lange Gedanken machen muss, wie man seinen Gegner schaden will, wenn man denn trifft, sondern damit beschäftigt man sich erst, wenn der Angriff wirklich durch kommt. Das beschleunigt den Kampf deutlich. Dafür gibt es einige Modifikationen, die man der Einfachheit halber meist vergisst (man kennt das Phänomen von Shadowrun) und unnötige Unterschiede im Detail zwischen Ausweichen und Parade. Weitere Komplexität gewinnt der Kampf durch die Beachtung von Waffengrößen bei der Waffenlänge oder der Parade. Zweihänder mit dem Dolch passieren? Geht kaum oder gar nicht. Und wer mit einem Dolch einen Speerträger angreifen will, muss zunächst an dessen Waffe vorbei, um ihn treffen zu können.

Der Kampf bietet einige interessante taktische Möglichkeiten. Diese sind zwar keine optionalen Regeln, aber man kann sie auch einfach weglassen, wenn man es schnell und einfach haben will. Dafür wird man wohl nur den Schaden stumpfer Waffen um eine Würfelgröße reduzieren müssen, da diese bei den Manövern etwas schwächer sind.

Magie gibt es in drei Arten: gemeine Magie, göttliche Magie oder Hexerei. Gemeine Magie kann, je nach Setting, jedes Wesen von Anfang an. Sie verfügt über simple, aber nicht unbedingt schwache Zauber. Sie wird mit einem einfachen Fertigkeitswurf gewirkt und kostet je nach Stärke des Zaubers Magiepunkte. Diese regenerieren sich in Regelfall nach einem halben Tag wieder vollständig. Fällt man allerdings auf 0 Punkte, läuft man Gefahr bewusstlos zu werfen. Die Zauber der Hexerei sind mächtiger bei ähnlich hohen Kosten. Hexer lernen eine Zauberfertigkeit je Spruchbuch. Aus dem Buch können sie dann einige Zauber im Kopf behalten und so oft wirken, wie sie Magiepunkte haben. Zusätzlich können sie die Fertigkeit “Manipulation“ lernen, mit der man Dauer, Reichweite und andere Parameter der Zauber ändern kann. Diese Kosten dann mehr Magiepunkte. Es ist sogar möglich mehrere Zauber gleichzeitig auf mehrere Ziele zu wirken.

Göttliche Magie hat eine deutlich andere Funktionsweise. Ist man Mitglied in einer Kirche oder Sekte geworden, kann man seinen Gott (o.ä). Magiepunkte widmen. Diese sind durch den eigenen Rang in der Organisation begrenzt und werden von den Magiepunkten abgezogen, die einem für gemeine Magie oder Hexerei zur Verfügung stehen. Pro Punkt kann man einen Zauber lernen, den man dann einmal zaubern kann. Lernt man ihn für mehrere Punkte mehrfach, kann man ihn auch mehrfach zaubern. Man muss sie nach Gebrauch an einem Schrein, Altar, Tempel oder anderen religiösen Ort seiner Organisation wieder “aufladen“, so dass man sie erneut zaubern kann. Wie mächtig dieser Ort sein muss, richtet sich nach dem Rang, ab dem man den Zauber lernen kann.

Zusammenfassend sind die Kampfregeln für die taktische Tiefe, die sie bieten, recht einfach und einigermaßen flüssig. Man wird allerdings ein paar Runden brauchen. bis man gerade die Details gelernt hat, die das Lernen manchmal unnötig schwieriger machen. Einige unklare Formulierungen oder Auslassungen schlagen in dieselbe Kerbe. Die Zauber funktionieren relativ einfach und haben insgesamt sehr wenig Offensivpotential, was Kampfmagier nur schwer möglich macht. Das Bahnchef insgesamt ist bei Legend nicht perfekt, aber gut. trotz all der taktischen Tiefe, die mit persönlich gut gefällt, kommen auch narrative Elemente nicht zu kurz. Dazu jetzt mehr in der...

Charaktererschaffung

Das Regelwerk bietet nur Menschen als Rasse an, deren Attribute per Würfelwurf oder Punkteverteilung bestimmt werden können. Danach wählt man eine Kultur (Nomade, Barbar, Zivilisierter oder Primitiver) und einen Beruf. Beide geben Boni auf gemeine und fortgeschrittene Fertigkeiten oder bringen einem fortgeschrittene Fertigketen bei. Der finale Fertigkeitswert wird dann durch das Verteilen weiterer Punkte festgelegt. Man kann noch die Familie, den sozialen Stand und teils langweilige, teils sehr interessante biographische Ereignisse auswürfeln, z.B. dass der Abenteurer als Kind krank war oder dass das sein oder ihr Geschlecht durch Magie invertiert worden ist. Erzählt man zu diesen Ereignissen eine Geschichte, die einen der anderen Charaktere mit einbindet, gibt es weitere 10% Bonus auf eine dazu passende Fertigkeit.

Die Charaktererschaffung geht relativ schnell, wenn man nicht zu lange einzelne Punkte zwischen Fertigkeiten und Attributen hin und her schiebt. Dass die Charaktere "Abenteurer" und nicht "Helden" heißen, merkt man daran, dass ein frisch erschaffener Charakter nur etwas stärker ist als z.B. eine Stadtwache. Auch der Charakterbogen ist übersichtlich und bietet für das Meiste genügend Platz. Nur Rüstungsteile und Zauber kommen etwas kurz.
Spielbarkeit aus Spielleitersicht
Als Spielleiter erinnert mich Legend ein wenig an Shadowrun. Man kann sich zwar die Werte detailliert für jeden NSC ausdenken, aber das ist eigentlich nicht nötig. Mit ein bisschen Gespür kann man sich die einzelnen benötigten Werte schnell während des Spiels aus den Fingern saugen.

Wird eine Fertigkeit benötigt, überlagt man kurz wie stark der Charakter sie ungefähr trainiert hat und legt einen entsprechenden Wert fest. 5% mehr oder weniger machen da eigentlich keinen Unterschied. Einzig wenn der NSC Magie beherrscht, sollte man sich zuvor etwas Gedanken machen. Besonders der Auswahl der Zauber sollte man einen Augenblick widmen.

Da man so die Gegner sehr flexibel anpassen kann, fällt das Erzählen einer Geschichte viel leichter. Es gibt einfach mehr Freiheiten. Auch die sehr einfachen Grundregeln lassen den Kopf frei für Atmosphäre und Story. Die komplexen Regelteile beschränken sich auf die Teile Kampf, Magie oder Heilung und treten damit erst auf, wenn sie akut gebraucht werden. Dann muss man sich aber sowieso stärker darauf konzentrieren, aber auch nur darauf. Für Spielleiter, die ihren Spielern gerne harte Nüsse im Kampf präsentieren, ist der Job in Spiel einfacher und schwieriger zugleich. Da man Kampfmanöver nicht lernen muss, muss hier keine komplizierte Vorauswahl getroffen werden. Das überlässt die Härte der Nuss dem taktischen Geschick im Moment des Kampfes. Hier muss man entsprechend etwas üben.

Durch die Wahl der Waffen und die Gegnerzusammenstellung kann man dann noch bei der Vorbereitung Einfluss ausüben. Dies kann durchaus einen großen Unterschied machen. Mit einem langen Speer kommt man z.B. hervorragend gegen Wildtiere zurecht. Eine Überzahl auch schwacher Gegner hingegen ist nicht einfach zu besiegen. Aber dazu mehr meinem Spielbericht, der am 28. Januar folgen wird.
Spielbarkeit aus Spielersicht

Für Spieler gilt dasselbe, wie für Spielleiter. Die einfachen Grundregeln lassen den Kopf frei für anderes, wie die Wahl des richtigen Manövers im Kampf oder das Ausspielen der Rolle, die mit den Möglichkeiten der Charaktererschaffung gut fundiert werden kann. Die nicht vorhandene Rassenwahl ist allerdings ein Wermutstropfen, da es auch keine Hilfen gibt, wie man weitere Rassen erstellt.

Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis

Da der Preis mit einem Dollar extrem niedrig ist, ist das Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis sehr gut, trotz der etwas spartanischen Gestaltung des Regelwerks und den Schwächen in der Verständlichkeit und Eindeutigkeit der Regeln.

Fazit

Legend ist ein genial günstiges Regelwerk, das den Spagat zwischen taktischer Tiefe und lebendigen Charakteren gut hinbekommt. Die angesprochenen Schwächen und die in manchem Detail unnötig komplizierten Regeln werden allerdings für einen holprigen Start sorgen. Die Regeln sind in den meisten Teilen qualitativ gut, ihre Niederschrift aber nicht immer. Das, die Veröffentlichung unter der OGL und der unschlagbare Preis machen daraus eine definitive Kaufempfehlung.


Unsere Bewertung

Erscheinungsbild 3/5 Das spartanische Layout und besonders der fehlende Index und das grobe Inhaltsverzeichnis geben Abzüge, auch wenn das Regelwerk optisch keineswegs verhunzt ist.
Spielwelt -/5 Keine Spielwelt, keine Bewertung.
Regeln 4/5 Abgesehen von den genannten Unklarheiten hat Legend ein gut nutzbares Regelwerk mit Tiefe und Möglichkeiten zur Charaktergestaltung.
Charaktererschaffung 4/5 Gute Möglichkeiten zur Individualisierung und Kleinigkeiten, wie Boni für miteinander verknüpfte Charaktere, geben ein rundes Bild. Die fehlenden Rassen verhindern den letzten Stern.
Spielbarkeit aus Spielleitersicht 4/5 Legend ist einfach zu leiten. Allein, dass man NSC-Werte fast schon improvisieren muss und es keine Hilfe beim einschätzen der Gegnerstärke gibt ist nicht ganz so schön.
Spielbarkeit aus Spielersicht 4/5 Die Spielbarkeit ist gut, nur dass man etwas braucht bis die Regeln sitzen ist ein Wermutstropfen.
Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis 5/5 Der Preis.
Gesamt 4/5 Trotz einiger Schwächen, die aber meist im Detail liegen, ist Legend ein Regelwerk, das vieles richtig macht und damit unterm Strich eine Empfehlung bekommt.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rollme S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/02/2012 21:33:39
Legend is a fun, general, high-fantasy system with a lot of versatility in character creation, though (IMHO) it also has a few weaknesses. I started gaming on D&D 3e and play mostly 3.5 and Pathfinder now, but we're getting tired of the edition wars and are branching out to new systems. I never played Runequest, and it looks like most of the reviews are from old runequest fans, so I'll try to make a few points that might be useful to someone considering trying Legend after a DnD game. As a substitute for the d20 fantasy system, Legend has a lot to offer. Most of the attributes are familiar, with Power replacing Wisdom (rather nicely) and Size being (thankfully) put on par with other stats. I like the fact that size and strength both contribute to a weapon damage modifier, and that size determines more than just what kind of weapon/armor you use. The skill system is awesome, basing most skills off of two abilities (dance off of charisma and dexterity, for example). The basic mechanic takes some getting used to in that usually a low roll is good, unless it's an opposed roll, in which case the higher the better. Calculating target percentages and numbers seems to take longer than finding a DC in DnD, but that may just be our lack of experience. Other than that, the system seems like it plays pretty well. The are no character levels, so character advancement is more customizable, but also requires more planning. While I like the magic system and using points to cast spells rather than having spell slots (3.5 players who are familiar with Unearthed Arcana variant casting rules should easily adjust to this...UA might have even borrowed that variant from the original Runequest for all I know), I'm not a huge fan of the "every character has magic" build. Even Pathfinder, with its "cantrips and orisons never run out," has classes ("professions" in Legend) with no magic. Legend seems to be little bit higher high fantasy in that magic is more pervasive, but if you like that idea for a world, give it a shot.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Hugo G. P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/30/2012 13:07:47
Better and more serious than Runequest, Legend, without doing too much noise is one of themost gratifying surprises of this season.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Stu V. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/08/2012 12:39:21
I love what Mongoose Publishing does for the RPG hobby. They've taken some old, oft-forgotten systems and breathed new life into them, modernizing the rules and supporting them.

Legend is in someways the evolution and "genericization" of Mongoose's revival of the classic (and table-heavy) Runequest, Runequest II.

Legend is a setting-less fantasy RPG using a percentile dice based skill system, much like Call of Cthulhu. The skill system is very flexible and includes rules for taking extra time for bonuses, penalties for rush jobs, applying two skills to a situation.

The character generation system is both detailed and quick. In some ways, they've applied some aspects of the Traveller chargen and applied it here (though it isn't random). Characteristics (Strength, Constitution, Size, Intelligence, Power, Dexterity, Charisma) can either be rolled randomly or purchased with a point-buy system. Secondary attributes are mostly determined by your seven characteristics.

Where it becomes Traveller-esque, is when you determine your character's background (Barbarian, Civilized, Nomad, Primitive) and profession (too many to list). These give you bonuses to skills, which are categorized as "common" and "advanced."

Common skills is the refreshing idea that there are certain things everyone knows how to do. These are common things that are both useful and, well, common. You don't have to, for example, remember to purchase "Perception." Your character already has that skill at a default level (Int + Pow). You may receive bonuses depending on your background and chosen profession, and you can also purchase up your skills with skill points later in creation.

The combat system allows for some characters (with sufficient Int and Dex) to have multiple actions per round. Additionally, characters can also gain more actions, depending on their successes (and their opponent's failures). Mongoose has attempted to come up with a list of maneuvers that one might use in combat, providing rules for each.

In all the combat system seems detailed and complex. Being a fan of GURPS, that doesn't scare me away. I do wonder, however, how much real-world time a combat might take. After my reading, I doubt it would be quick, though as one progresses up the learning curve it would definitely speed up (naturally), and the hit point levels are such that I think most combats would be over after a couple of good hits.

Legend features three types of magic: common, divine and sorcery. Each has its own discrete spell list and rules for casting. Common spells us a spell point system, with spells having a point cost detailed in the description.

Divine magic uses a modified "Vancian-style" magic system, where the user must mediate or pray to gain access to or learn the spell. Once the spell is cast, the divine caster must spend a certain amount of time meditating or praying for an amount of time determined by his commitment to his god to regain the spell.

Sorcery works in a similar way, where the sorcerer can have a number of spells equal to his Int "mentally prepared." The spells are not "forgotten" when they are cast, but if the sorcerer wishes to change up his arsenal of spells, he must take time to "expel" a spell to make room for another. Sorcerers have two skills used to cast spells. Firstly, they have Sorcery (Grimoire). There is a separate sorcery skill for each grimoire to which the sorcerer has access. The second skill is Manipulation, and this is where the power of the sorcerer can show.

The manipulation skill points are applied (it's an unrolled skill) to a spell to increase the spells range, duration, magnitude, etc. It can also be used to merge two spells together. The cost of sorcery spells depends on how much manipulation the sorcerer chooses to use.

The sorcery system offers a great deal of flexibility, and to me seems to most emulate magic as seen in much fantasy fiction.

Mongoose is going full-bore with its support for Legend. As of this writing, there are several other sourcebooks written specifically for Legend. Additionally, Mongoose says the Legend system is 100% compatible with previous Runequest II titles, giving the system a huge catalog.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Joey M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2012 13:06:08
I'm very impressed with this book. I own and have played RQ2 (chaosium) quite a lot. And I think Legend is a great format for it's successor. Streamline and fun version on the BRP system. A+ in my book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2012 07:23:11
For just $1 you can buy into a near enough complete version (you'll probably want the Monsters book too) of one of the most flexible, intuitive and dynamic systems on the market. 'Nuff Said.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Egil G. B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/30/2012 13:17:19
I give this a 5 star review, because I liked the original system (RuneQuest 2) and this looks like a version that has been improved for use with ebook-format.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Samuel B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2012 03:17:31
I had played RQ somewhere along the line but no so I'd remember it.

I am fairly new to GMing so am on the lookout for decent games to sink my teeth into. For only 66 pence ($1) I bought Legend and read it through. I have now set up a game, two of my three players have generated characters and soon we will be ready to go.

The rules need a certain amount of house-rules, but the book even says this is acceptable as Legend is rules only without setting so it can be bent and warped to your own needs.

I have the dead-tree version being delivered sometime soon too.

This is totally worth buying, and a great system to play with. Buy!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Christopher R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2012 13:02:16
Pretty good adaptation of the RuneQuest/Rolemaster rules. Gives them more broad potential for application while still maintaining the "feel" of Glorantha. Its also more complete and laid out more sensibly than the 2nd edition rules. The book is pretty attractive and you can tell some thought went into the design; the art is not personally my favorite but it has its charm.
The price for the PDF is the biggest draw! For $1.00, you definitely get your money's worth. Strongly recommended

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/03/2012 13:13:40
Mongoose's Legend is the spiritual successor to the RuneQuest game originally developed and released by Chaosim Games and Avalon Hill, back in the 70s and 80s. Mongoose's Legend is the actual successor to their own RuneQuest game, rebranded and given a life extension after Mongoose gave up the license on the RuneQuest name. Much like the earlier incarnations of the RuneQuest game, Legend does one thing very well: it gives gamers a grittier alternative to the 800lb. gorilla of fantasy role-playing...Dungeons & Dragons.

Inspired by, and derived from, the Basic Role-Playing System that has powered games such as RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu, Legend is a fantasy game that relies on character attributes and skills, rather than classes and levels, to define the capabilities of a character. This might not be for everyone, and Legend would take some stretching to reach some of the power levels of that other fantasy role-playing game, but what Legend does...it does well.

Character generation in Legend is a snap. Legend offers two manners with which to create characters: the tried and true random method as well as a point buy method. Either of these are capable of creating well-rounded and interesting characters. Coupled with guidelines for Veteran characters, you can make characters that run the gamut from starting adventurers to seasoned pros, in no time at all. Cultural Backgrounds and Professions let you decide who your character was before becoming an adventurer, leaving it up to you to determine what your character is going to be through play. Having the option of both random determination and focused point buy should make a spectrum of gamers happy. Heroic abilities give your character the sort of "legend"ary capabilities to grow into that will make them the match of any fictional creation.

Task resolution is simple and everything is based off of the percentile dice, giving an intuitive way to explain what characters are capable of doing to both non-gamers, and gamers who may not be experienced with percentile-based game systems.

Legend postulates a world filled with magic, more so that many other fantasy games available on the market. One of the things that sets this game apart from many other fantasy games is the concept of Common Magic. Common Magic, simply enough, is the inherent magic of the universe, those magical effects that anyone can use without having to go through the training and experience of most magic-using characters in other games. This helps to create a richer fantasy world where magic is a part of the every day. This might not be fancy or powerful magic, but it can be life (and game) changing. This is one element that has been with RuneQuest since the very beginning, and it surprises me that has not been adopted by more fantasy games. Having common, everyday magic within the reach of everyone makes for a fantasy that is so much more fantastic that what you find in a lot of role-playing games.

The graphic design of Legend isn't fancy, but that isn't a problem. The black and white design is clean and easy to read. The illustrations, also in black and white, do a very good job of setting the tone for the game, and its implied world. Legend may not have a default setting, like when Mongoose published it originally under the RuneQuest brand, but the implied world that comes across through the text, the art work, and through design choices like Common Magic, makes for a rich implied world that is just waiting for you and your gaming group to fill in with the exploits of your characters. If Legend is not in your gamer's toolbox of fantasy games, you should fix that with this PDF. Even if you do not play Legend, the ideas presented in this game can be brought across to any fantasy game and enrich it with its different approaches to the genre.

You can find an expanded review over at my blog: http://dorkland.blogspot.com/2012/02/talking-about-mongooses-
-legend-role.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by jonathan c. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/22/2012 07:18:41
Legend presents a solid version of the d100 system that is more playable and easier to understand than Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying and the price is hard to beat but there are so many nits to pick that I doubt I will actually be running a game with it anytime soon. There are so many little things wrong with this game that it's hard to note them now, but what it boils down to is that it's very hard at times to get clear cut answers out of these rules. The examples are often incomplete and contradictory (probably because they were cut and pasted out of the first Mongoose edition of Runequest). The game would be much improved if Mongoose would just release some errata

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Dean P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2012 17:59:50
A very well put together re-write of an old favourite system. Keeping itself to clean basics, Legend allows itself to be an excellent core system for any would be world creators. If a percentile system is the way you like it, then you can't go far wrong with this little gem.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2012 17:54:33
My only complaint about this PDF, especially since the Spirit Magic PDF is available for free, is the lack of maritime rules, as these are already open content. That being said, this $1 PDF is a great medium to get playability out of various RQI and RQII PDFs either still available for purchase here on RPGnow, or still downloadable from previous purchases of now out of print PDFs. If you're like me, you "found" Runequest Pirates during RPGnow's "Talk Like a Pirate" festivities.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legend
Publisher: Mongoose
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/10/2012 06:40:26
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/01/10/tabletop-review-legend/-


Legend is the latest game from Mongoose Publishing, released towards the end of 2011, and just beginning to build up a head of steam. The game touts itself as a generic fantasy role playing game (FRPG), and one that is best suited to gritty, heroic play.

The character building experience is a mix of styles that have seen their ups and downs during the years. The seven basic characteristics, for example, share five in common with every edition of D&D since the 1970′s, with the addition of a variant on Wisdom in the Power stat, and a seventh stat in Size, providing a gestalt of height, weight and bulk for your character.

The figured characteristics – attributes in Legend parlance – include such old chestnuts as hit points, but also a rudimentary hit location system that breaks the body down into seven distinct locations, each with it’s own hit point value. In addition to some common attributes like damage bonuses and magic points, something called Strike Rank is determined, which works out to be a static initiative stat to which additional dice are added to determine order of action in combat.

The skill system is the real meat and potatoes of the character building process, with a combination of common “everyman” skills that each character starts with, augmented by their cultural background, prior profession, and a pool of extra points to be distributed, within reason, amongst all possible skills.

The backgrounds and professions deserve a bit more attention. Within parameters set by the game master, players may choose to be Primitive, Nomad, Barbarian or Civilized. Your choice determines some set bonuses to certain skills, as well as access to a handful of advanced skills depending on the background you choose. In addition, you make some initial selections of combat styles that your character will be versed in, from Sword & Shield to 2H Spear to Blowgun. Again, your choices will be narrowed down by your culture of choice. Your background also determines your starting cash. No real attempt has been made at balance here, necessarily, but the differences do allow for some real distinctions to be made in future role-play.

Professions are limited by your background – for example, anyone can be an Animal Trainer, no matter where they come from, but an Alchemist requires that you be Civilized, while Herdsman requires that you not be, only an option for Primitive, Nomad or Barbarian characters. The profession further increases specific skills, opens up more potential for advanced skills and combat experience, and, for a handful of choices, provides access to magic skills.

Magic is an interesting thing in Legend. There’s a skill that your GM may include in your basic skills, or may choose not to – Common Magic. Some games may take the assumption that nearly everyone has a smattering of magic, and that’s where Common Magic comes in. Some games will not, and will insist that players invest points or professional background in learning the mystical arts.

The next steps take the game back in a more traditional direction, with random dice rolls determining real background information, from the state of your parents, how many siblings and extended family you have, and your family’s reputation and connections at the start of the game, all of which lead to potentially starting with Allies, Contacts or Enemies. Finally, a single percentile dice roll will determine a single defining background event from a long table. Bowing to more modern conventions, the game does allow for re-rolls where results make no sense. This tool gives newer players, or those who are feeling uninspired, something to grasp onto in terms of a pre-made background, and some real story hooks for the GM.

Character building is remarkably quick, and once the math involved becomes second nature, can seem almost deceptively simple. Something that you’ll see started in the character building section, and carried throughout the entire book, are inset examples of whatever is being discussed. You can read through the entire process of creating a character in the character creation section. Later, you’ll be able to read about combat examples, including one that’s a couple pages long and spans multiple combat rounds. It’s easily the best design choice in the book, and most of the examples are genuinely useful to the new player or GM.

The rest of the book is dedicated to the rules of play, including how skills work, and how they interact with one another. The percentile based skill system does allow for some really wonderful, realistic nuances. My favorite is that, as your skill improves, your ability at improving it decreases – the mechanic being that, to increase your skill, you must roll higher than your existing skill percentage or it only increases by a single percentage point at a time, instead of two to five points that would come from a successful roll. This makes the learning curve gentle at first, over time becoming steeper as mastery is achieved. Another interesting choice is determining the level of success in cases where both competing rolls succeed. There, assuming no one has rolled a critical success or failure, the higher roll is the better result, so long as it is below the skill level in question. Counterintuitive, but a novel way of determining the level of success, and a way of rewarding rolls that aren’t at the low end of the scale.

Combat is complex at first, but quickly becomes easier to use with experience. The system of levels of success, combined with various combat maneuvers that become available depending on the interaction of attack and defense skills leads to a system that is exciting, cinematic and a real breath of fresh air compared to many of the, “I hit it with my sword” style systems in place today. You needn’t invest time in coming up with flowery ways to say, “I hit you for three points of damage” with Legend, as you may well be able to say, “I feinted in with my sword, but then caught you on the wrist with the edge of my shield, sending your spear flying out of your reach.” Sure, I had to embellish a little, but the fact that disarming, trips, weapons being pinned, or being impaled in flesh, are all possible, legitimate results of a pair of combat rolls.

Once those mechanics are out of the way, several chapters describe some different magical systems. This is, initially, GM territory. The GM has to decide which, if any, of theses systems is available for use in her game. Common Magic is designed to be just that – magic available to the common man. There are spells to make you a better blacksmith or a better orator, right alongside spells to deflect other spells or make your weapon magically sharper. A step up in power, but also in responsibility, comes from Divine Magic, the magical gifts of supernatural beings in exchange for sacrifices of your own personal power. Finally, a chapter is given on Sorcery, a nod to the grimoires and long periods of study from much of fantasy fiction.

The most interesting thing about all three magical systems is the lack of focus on simple, boring damage-dealing spells. You’ll not find yourself taking analogues to Magic Missile, Fireball or the like, though a few spells that do simple damage are included. The bulk of the spells are what would be better known to the kids with their MMOs as “buffs” and “debuffs” – spells to improve yourself and your own chances, or to reduce the odds of your opponent succeeding. Between that, and the assumption of ubiquity of magic, it changes the whole feel of the game. No longer are wizards the sole purveyors of powerful magic – everyone, including the sword master, knows his way around an invocation or three.

Magic, and the way that it is presented, dovetails nicely into the next section, which deals with the creation of guilds, factions and cults. These groups not only include groups of like-minded professionals with a common trade, but also include all religions in the world, as well as sorcerous orders where spells and rituals are shared. It is by way of these cults that spells are learned, and other benefits gained. The problem here is that, unlike literally the rest of the system, which can just be thrown together in a modular way, this will require a real investment of time on the part of the GM. There are some samples in the book, but they consist of a single cult, and a single sorcerous order, and an assassin’s guild. They could be used exactly as they’re written, but each one demands that others be built alongside to serve as allies and adversaries in the larger scale of play during the game.

Thankfully, the last chapter of the book is a GM’s guidebook, to help make some of the tough decisions that are inherent in any generic system. The bulk of the world-building happens here, and I think it’s full of valuable advice. That said, it doesn’t take away from the daunting task of building your world to your own satisfaction. A Legend GM is going to be very, very busy with preparatory work before the first characteristic gets rolled.

Now, I will state flat out that I am a real fan of the systems presented in Legend, but that is in no small part because they have a long and storied history that I have had to put on the back burner while I described the game. Legend, until very recently, was simply called RuneQuest II. Might ring a bell for some of you, either from that time, or as far back as 1978, when the first edition of RuneQuest came out. Many of the rules from that old hardbound red book (I owned it myself, back then) are alive and kicking in this new, generic game.

What’s the story here, you might ask? Well, when the game was RuneQuest II, it came with a default universe into which you could set your characters – a place called Glorantha, which was as fully-realized a game world as any I’ve ever encountered. For reasons of business, Mongoose was no longer allowed to use the RuneQuest name or the copyrighted materials related to Glorantha. So, because they had a great deal invested in the system, they took a knife (or perhaps an axe) to the rules they’d written, and excised every bit of Glorantha they could.

The operation was a success, but there were a few complications.

The first thing that might catch your eye is references in the examples, or in spell descriptions, or scattered through the rules, to creatures like Trolls, or Trollkin, or Broo – monstrous races that are part and parcel of the Glorantha universe that somehow managed to stay in the game. Trolls I could have excused – they’re a very nearly generic FRPG trope – but the others are distinctly RuneQuest in nature.

Also, you’ll see periodic references to spirits, again in examples, or in spell descriptions. Heck, some of the spells tell you whether they work on spirits or not, and others are designed to protect you against spirits. And yet, nowhere in the rules are there any official reference to what spirits are, what they can do, or how characters might interact with them. Again, this is the detritus of having once been so closely married to the RuneQuest II default world.

Neither of these issues is a deal-breaker, and the folks at Mongoose have released a free PDF add-on with the old RuneQuest II rules for spirits, and a fourth type of magic, Spirit Magic, along with rules on being a shaman that expand on the shaman profession listed in the main book. It’s available on their website as a free download, and I hope it’ll be integrated into the main PDF eventually.

The one really glaring hole in the game, however, came when they removed the section of the RuneQuest rules on animals and monsters. With so many of them being directly related to, or even perhaps copyrighted material from, RuneQuest, their removal made sense. But to have taken them all, and not left the statistics for the normal animals was probably a mistake. Now GMs have no point of reference to work from, and there never were rules or suggestions on how to create your own critters from scratch. This is the biggest issue with accepting at face value that the book is a complete game – without those rules, you’re left with humans fighting humans. No wilderness encounters, no gladiatorial combats with lions or bears. Not even stats for the horses the characters might be riding. Thankfully, they released a supplement, Monsters of Legend, that fills the hole, but unlike the additional rules on spirit magic, it’s a full product, and you’ll have to pay for it.

With those caveats in place, I have to say that, as a fan of RuneQuest, I love this game. I love that it’s been made deliberately generic, and expanded so significantly from the time I first played RQ back in 1980.

I’ve spoken with Matt Sprange at Mongoose, and there are a series of add-ons, either available now, or for pre-order, including world books for Elric of Melnibone, Deus Vult, where characters are secret agents in the service of the Catholic Church, fighting the supernatural, and Age of Treason, a totally new world, with a focus on political machinations. In addition, the “* of Legend” series of books will be more rules without a specific world associated with them. Monsters of Legend is out now, with Arms of Legend (weapons and armor), Vikings of Legend (pillage and plunder on the high seas around Scandinavia) and Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic (the first in a series that introduces yet more forms of magic) available for pre-order and coming soon. Anything that has a title in the form “* of Legend” will have the added benefit of being entirely open content as well.

Who ought to buy this game? Fans of fantasy role playing will probably like the open framework. Fans of allowing characters to do and become whatever they will, outside of the strictures of classes and professions will welcome the wide open skill and magic systems. Anyone looking for a game that could easily map onto historical game play, excising the magic entirely, will find a perfect tool in Legend.

One group in particular, however, ought to probably avoid it – anyone who invested in the most recent RuneQuest II books. Much of the content is word-for-word identical the core RuneQuest II manual. You might benefit from the world books I mentioned above, but you don’t need to duplicate your purchase unless you just want to see the new artwork or to support Mongoose in their other operations.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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