Legacy: Character Example of Play

One of the things I’ve often been asked for with Legacy is an example of play. It’s been a while, but I finally made time! This example focuses in on character mechanics and combat – I’m also going to write up some family-level play.

Machine dawn

Here’s the initial situation. Our party of characters is travelling through the wasteland, here a ruined city that stretches from horizon to horizon with only the parks and greens a safe zone from the mechanical nightmares that feed from the city’s power grid. After a long day’s journey they find a reasonably safe place to camp – an overgrown public square, with good sightlines on the surrounding buildings and a still-functional fountain providing fresh water. Aware of the threats night may bring, they’ve set up a guard rota to keep watch.

It’s close to dawn. Isolde, a Lawgiver Sentinel, is on watch.
GM: Isolde, it’s about halfway through your watch. What are you doing?
Alex, playing Isolde: Hmm… I put my camo netting up over the camp at the start of the night… can I have used Citadel of Dust at the same time?
GM: Sure.
Alex: Ok. Now I’ve got everything in place I’m probably trying not to draw attention. Let’s say I’m sitting a short distance away from the main camp, keeping an eye out with my binoculars.
GM: Right. So you’re sitting there, scanning the surrounding city, and as the light of dawn hits a building on the west side of the square you spot movement.
Alex: I take a closer look with my binoculars – what do I see?
GM: The first thing you see is some solar panels, rotating towards the sun. As they lift up you can see they’re welded like wing cases to a beetle-like body, easily two metres long. As the machine leaves its dormant state you see a camera array push out of the front of the body and start glancing around.
Alex: Shit. Does it see us?
GM: Not yet – the camouflage seems to be working. But you spot its cameras focus on something else – an overgrown shape a few dozen metres from you. You hear the drone of rotors starting up…
Alex: Can I quickly move to the shape?
GM: Yeah, it’s still warning up. You’ve got time.
Alex: Great. What do I see?
GM: Brushing away the vegetation it looks like an old junction box. There’s a faint light of LEDs behind a battered panel.
Alex: Ah, crap. Right, I’ll try to shut this down – maybe if there’s no power this thing will leave us alone. I pull of that panel and start tearing out cables.
GM: OK, sounds like a Defuse with Lore.
Alex rolls, and gets an 8 – she’s bought some time. She picks ‘It’s only a temporary reprieve’.
Alex: Well, that’ll give me some breathing space. I quickly head back to the camp and start waking up the others. I’ll start with Karl.
Chris, playing Karl (an Enclave Hunter): Huh, what?
Alex: I bring him up to speed.
Chris: Karl mutters an oath to the Good Machine and picks up his bow – no time to get armoured up.
GM: There definitely isn’t – as you pick up the bow you see a flash of electricity from the junction box and the sound of buzzing rotors immediately fills the square. The bug-machine launches itself from the roof and into the air.
Alex: Has it seen us?
GM: Not yet, but it’s pretty much certain it will by the time it gets to the junction box.
Alex: OK, I’ve got a plan. Karl, get into a good position for a shot.
Chris: Karl nods and quickly climbs a tree.
With A Shadow in the Wind there’s no risk of Karl being spotted doing this.
GM: OK, as the bug comes down to land you see its camera-head focus on the camp and it suddenly changes direction. It’s coming straight down through the trees towards you. What do you do?
Alex: I prepared for this. I’ll spend one of my hold for Citadel of Dust to blunt an enemy assault, stopping it in its tracks.
GM: Cool, what happens?
Alex: Remember that nanofibre rope I found a while back? I strung it through the trees, and as the bug comes flying down I reach down and yank it taut creating a web to catch the bug in.
GM: Hah! Okay, so the bug smashes into the rope. Branches and machine parts rain down, and then the machine falls to earth with a crash. It quickly rights itself, but you can see one solar panel’s been torn off. Its camera swings around, searching for its foes. What do you do?
Alex: I’ve got to keep it contained. As its cameras swing by us I’ll lift up my shield to catch the light and draw it to me.
GM: It takes the bait, and its rotors roar as it surges towards you. Holding Back the Tide?
Alex: Yep.
Alex rolls +Steel (with a +1 from her shield). She gets an 11.
Alex: That’s two options then. I’ll go with no harm coming to me, and no harm to those I defend. I’ll leave it to Karl to actually fight this thing off.
GM: Alright, you’re able to parry away its mechanical limbs as they rain down on you, though you can feel your arm going numb. Karl?
Chris: I’m in place, I’ve got a good shot, I’ve prepped my arrows. Time to destroy this thing.
Karl’s bow has the tags Ranged, Silent and Hi-Tech. As he’s definitely established his ability to engage with this enemy in the fiction, he can roll Fiercely Assault with the intent to hurt the enemy. He rolls +Force and gets… a 5.
GM: Your arrow flies down, and Isolde raises her shield just in time to not be blinded by the flash as it fries the thing’s circuits. But somehow the bug isn’t stopped, and while you’re recovering, Isolde, it surges forward and pins you to the ground.
Chris: Wait, it’s still confused from my attack, right? I’ll use Call For Aid – even on the ground, Isolde should be able to capitalise on that.
GM: Yeah, alright. Isolde?
Alex: Alright, I’ll stab up into its guts with my taser (melee, nonlethal). Roll +Force… that’s an 11!
Chris: Brilliant, that’ll raise me up to the 7-9 result. As Isolde hits it from below I’ll use the explosive arrows to just devastate this thing. Let’s go with ‘Savage, terrifying harm’ – I want this thing dealt with.
GM: OK, it’s completely mangled! For my two picks, I’ll go with… taking harm appropriate to the enemy, and the situation is destabilised. Isolde, it got a few good hits in while you were pinned – take 3 harm – and those explosions aren’t exactly subtle so other things in the city will start moving towards you.
Alex: Ouch! Even with my armour that’s 2 harm. Let’s go with… Bruised and Angry. I need my energy for whatever comes next…
Chris: Yeah, let’s tear down the camp and get out of here.

The group quickly packs up and heads out into the city. Another day in the wasteland begins…

Want to see more?

If there’s any other mechanics you’d like me to cover, or have any questions about this post, let me know in the comments below!

3 Replies to “Legacy: Character Example of Play”

  1. Thank you for the example. I would like to see how you would shift from character to family and back. How does the change in focus play out? Would you pull back to a more abstract level, or would you have the character go through the motions of a montage or something similar to show how a Family Move is driven?

    1. I’ll go into that in the next example I post! I tend to run things so that family moves involve supporting members of the family going off, doing things, and reporting back to the character, but that can vary greatly depending on the fiction. Hopefully it’ll be clearer once the example goes up.

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