Two Years of Legacy

It’s been two years today since I released Legacy 2nd Edition to the general public on DriveThruRPG. As a distraction from the pandemic spreading in real life, I thought it might be worth looking back at this game of hope and community after the end. What went right, and what went wrong? What unexpected joys did we encounter, and what do we plan for the future?

Facts and Figures

So, we started making Legacy’s 2nd edition sometime in the Autumn of 2016. At that point Douglas and I were considering it as a revised edition of Legacy, but as the scale of the changes grew and grew we realised it could be something much bigger. Over the course of 2017 we developed the game, eventually bringing it to Kickstarter in July 2017. The response was amazing – within a day we had blown past our modest £8,000 goal, and eventually closed out the campaign with £62,258 from 1,713 backers.

What did they all pledge for?

A graph of how many people pledged for each kickstarter reward (non-exclusive)
A graph of how many people pledged for each kickstarter reward (non-exclusive).

With the addition of a post-campaign pledge manager, my final budget for the project was £91,700. What did all that get used for? Well, as a result of the campaign we were able to make:

As you can likely tell, we had our work set out for ourselves even with the generosity of our backers bouying us up, and definitely got carried away promising extra bits and pieces. How did it all shake out? Let’s look at Legacy 2e itself.

Final costs: Legacy 2e

You’re likely noticing that writing costs aren’t up there. When this kickstarter launched, I was in full-time work and wanted to put profits from Legacy 2e back into the business. Meanwhile, Douglas was (and still is) paid an agreed amount per book sold. These days, I think I’d budget a fixed amount of wages for myself, and a lump sum for Douglas – this would have made accounting a lot easier down the line.

  • Art: £2224 (14 commissioned pieces, 52 stock art pieces, all from Tithi Luadthong).
  • Layout: £1000 (by the wonderful Oli Jeffrey, who very kindly showed me the ropes for RPG layout).
  • Editing: £1383 (approx. 60k words).
  • Printing: £6000 (2000 copies, 250 of which were deluxe copies bound in faux leather and presented in a durable slipcase).

With all costs combined, the first printing run of Legacy 2e cost £18,380. This was well within my kickstarter budget!

End Results


This project was a significant success that helped put UFO Press on the map worldwide. After paying all costs and fulfilling all backer orders, I had £22,500 remaining to fund future development and pay my own salary. And the long tail of sales has been a real boon! Post-kickstarter sales have resulted in profits of approximately £25k over the last two years, providing a stable source of income for myself and allowing for a second print run of the Legacy corebook.

Of that wide range of additions above, most have turned a healthy profit. Even the Worlds of Legacy books, which have seen slow sales compared to the corebook, have each individually turned a profit and lead to regular royalties for the authors who opted for that arrangement.


The main misstep I made was the Handout Sheets. Printing a deck of full-colour dry-erase A5 cards at this volume proved very expensive and I misjudged how many of these I’d sell after the kickstarter, with the result that this part of the project was a loss of about £6,000. If you want to ease this loss a bit, you can pick up your own set here 😉

When I made a similar set for the Next World Kickstarter, I learned from this by using a cheaper, UK-based manufacturer and ordering a much lower number of units, with the effect that the Next World Handouts have been profitable.

My other takeaway is that I undervalued the books during the original kickstarter. Selling the 320-page full colour hardback for £30 was below market rates, and the 60+ page Worlds of Legacy supplements struggled to make a strong profit selling for £10 each – or £6 each in the book bundle! No doubt this helped me get so many backers, but there’s a tradeoff there. The great majority of backers bought the book bundle, and so I could have significantly reduced costs by combining the supplements into a single product.

This would have helped get more eyes on the more underappreciated books of the set. Laurence Phillip’s wonderfully weird Primal Pathways and Katherine’s Cross politically-insightful Worldfall have both found it hard to stand out, but I believe deserve just as much appreciation as Godsend or Generation Ship.

Personal Impact

The Legacy 2e campaign made a significant change to my life. Previous projects had brought in enough money to make the book with some spare cash left over, but this was enough to make UFO Press my full-time source of income. That’s been invaluable as I’ve navigated the shoals of my personal life in the last few years, and I’ll never stop being thankful for it. Plus, I’ve been able to take Legacy 2e to a lot of conventions – Dragonmeet, Nine Worlds (RIP), the UK Games Expo, Big Bad Con and more. Having a cool product to sell meant I could fund those trips, see the world, and make some really good friends.

The UK Indie RPG League stall at Dragonmeet 2018
At Dragonmeet 2018 with the UK Indie RPG League.

It hasn’t all been wine and roses. With this unexpected success, I have to fight down the hope every time I launch a campaign that maybe this one could do Legacy 2e numbers too. This led to disappointment, and made it tough for me to appreciate the successes of the Next World project, Mysthea, or Voidheart Symphony. But, that’s a good problem to have.

My distribution agreement with Modiphius also taught me I really appreciate having control of my product’s distribution and presentation. I’m very grateful to them for the marketing and distribution assistance they provided with Legacy, but as of the start of this year I’ve taken those elements in-house. So far, that’s felt like a good move – financially, psychologically and creatively.

The Ages Turn

With two years of Legacy under my belt, I’m very happy with what our creative team achieved here:

  • A gold bestseller on DriveThruRPG , in the top 2.4% of products.
  • Finalist for Best Rules and Best Interior Art in the 2019 Ennies, and for Game of the Year in the 2019 Indie Groundbreaker Awards.
  • A follow-on kickstarter for Legacy: The Next World, funding three supplement books.
  • A Bundle of Holding sale that sold over 1000 bundles and raised $2,121.75 for Mermaids UK.

At this point, I’m happy moving on to other things. The Worlds of Legacy SRD is now live, letting others make their own games based on this system. End Game and The Engine of Life are moving into US distribution, and will hopefully find an audience among the Legacy players there. And Mysthea: Legends of the Borderlands and Voidheart Symphony are getting closer to completion every day. And who knows – as the seasons change and the ages turn, maybe we’ll find our way to making Legacy 3e someday!

Thanks for reading,


Awards Season: Legacy nominated for Best Art, Best Rules, and Game of the Year!

With GenCon fast approaching – and with it, the public release of Legacy: The Engine of Life and Free From the Yoke – we’re entering Tabletop RPG Award Season. This year, we’re delighted to say that Legacy is up for multiple awards!

The Ennies

The Ennies are the biggest award in tabletop RPGs, and we’ve been nominated by the panel of judges for Best Art, Interior and Best Rules. Thanks so much to Tithi Luadthong and Oli Jeffrey for their work building the look of the game, and Jay and Douglas are very happy to see their work on the rules recognised.

The winners will be announced on August 2nd, but before then the general public must vote which nominee they want to win. Please lend us your aid when voting begins!

Indie Groundbreaker Awards

Secondly, the Indie Game Developer Network hosts their own awards – the Indie Groundbreakers. The nominations (announced today) have Legacy in the running for Game of the Year, alongside luminaries like Dialect, Good Society, Familiars of Terra and Night Forest! We’ll see how we do on July 31st.

This is the first time our games have been up for such prestigious awards – we’re excited just to be nominated, and wish the best to all the other products in our categories. It’s going to be an exciting GenCon.

Eras of Play

From Douglas Santana Mota

Let’s talk about running Legacy campaigns.

In two years on intense playtesting, Vitoria’s Cutthroats have played at least 8 campaigns with more than 5 sessions (of average 4 hours), with a total roster of 10 players and two GMs. Of course, the core group is much smaller, 4 players who played only 3 campaigns that exceeded 10 sessions. Our current one has been the longest so far with 16 sessions, 5 Wonder and 7 Ages altogether.

Obviously, some patterns became clear in the development and flow of these campaigns. And I would like to share them with you and contrast them with your own experiences. I hope this discussion helps novice players to find their rhythm and GMs to at least know a bit what to expect. So, just going an extra mile to keep it clear: this is NOT an instruction or a how-to-play article, just a collection of OUR observations on OUR campaigns.

The first Era is obvious and very cemented in our perception: The Era of Troubles, where everyone must deal with Threats generated by History and Backstory. It may take more than one Age and see a couple of Character generations go by until things fall into place. And not every Threat will be neutralized – some will simply be integrated into the Homeland, becoming Factions, environmental conditions and the like. Cooperation tends to be intense in this period as Families simply must struggle to survive, but small betrayals or hard deals might pop up and set the mood for the coming ages. Families must work hard either to win more Surpluses or erase their Needs.

The next step tends to be The Era of Wonders, where Families apply their Surpluses either to solve the remaining Threats once and for all, improve the Homeland as a whole, or simply impose their view on the Fiction. If a GM focuses heavily on Character development, this Era might happen further down the road. It may also be delayed if players are Resource starved – be it because they lacked the drive to search for them or because the GM might have not rewarded them enough with Finding a Surplus. GMs beware! You also don’t want to drown them in Surpluses or else you will suffer a Wonder rush, which will accelerate Fiction too much. In any case, by now players most likely will take the reins of the Fiction and the GM will have plenty of story seeds from the Turn of Ages and Wonders to deal with, which takes us to…

The Era of Heroes. It is ushered by a combination of Families exhausting their Surpluses on their Wonder building efforts and plot hooks generated by the Turns of Ages and Wonders demanding extra attention. In any case, fiction slows down and focuses on Character development as they deal with powerful Factions and new Threats over a much changed and colourful Homeland. Also, with the tools provided by the Wonders and evolved Families, they can now affect change on a deeper level, to the point that the impact of Role fulfilment elevates them to historical (almost mythical, in fact) relevance. Families perform their duties toward the Homeland, deal with their allies and vie for influence at all levels. Wonders are still built, sure, but the Fiction’s focus clearly changes to the Characters’ level.

But what happens when the Homeland matures to the point where the regular person in the Homeland’s streets is not any longer under the direct and obvious strain of the Fall? Surely, your chronicles might never reach this point as your players devastate the Homeland and everything everyone tries to rebuild. But odds are in favour of civic Wonders, such as The Capital or Energy Revolution (and the upcoming Engine of Life’s Transportation Hub and Green Defiance) changing the scenario forever… and for the better! At some point, your group might end up turning the Homeland into a nation, with its own particular shared culture, economy and heroes.

Then what? Is it even within Legacy’s scope?

Definitely! This is The Age of Nations. The Homeland is not enough anymore and it’s time to open up the map and find what now lies beyond the Wastelands. The Age of Discovery is tailor-made to jumpstart this Era, but it just scratches the surface. There is much more out there than just savages and Hostile Grounds! What other civilizations managed to crawl their way up from the Fall? How did they organize themselves? How will you all deal with the shock of finding out these answers? They may seem monolithic in their alien ways, but be sure they are probably a patchwork of different factions glued together by necessity, pretty much like your own Families. From the tension of first contact diplomacy to the despair of all-out wars, every Character can and should play a vital role, counting with their Families’ full support.

(Coming to think of it The Walking Dead TV series has been following along very similar lines, don’t you think?)

The GM now should shape the Fiction to remind the group of the harsh realities and elements of a post-apocalyptic scenario and its threats. But everything should be bigger and the stakes should be much higher: more people, more weapons, more resources, more pollution… graver consequences. And it is still very much Legacy: Life Among the Ruins!

From here on we honestly don’t know, but we suppose the setting should march towards an Endgame. At some point, the Families might have balanced their world towards civilization. Or it is time to face off the utmost reasons behind the Fall on a final showdown where everything hangs on the scales – as our newest supplement, End Game, evokes and implies. A third option is The Race to the Stars, a Wonder from the upcoming book End Game. It’s a great tool to extend the chronicle’s length, by repeating the cycle from Age of Wonders on to a grander scale.

I tend to end chronicles with a strong focus on closing Characters’ arcs, mirroring the developments of the Homeland and their Families – but that is just my personal style. A new and harsher Fall, the surpassing of the glories of Before,  the challenges to achieve and maintain the Next World – it all should be felt by a closer look and focus on the Characters. Let them witness and feel they embody the best and worst of their people and times. But go ahead and give them closure. Take responsibility like never before as the Narrator, find out the meaning and an underlying theme from all your stories and conclude it all focusing on these fundamental dilemmas or challenges.

But now, it’s hard not to remember my favourite quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune:

“Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife – chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: ‘Now, it’s complete because it’s ended here’”.

Have fun and tells us about your group’s experiences!

Preorder Legacy: The Next World today!

How would you react if your world changed overnight? Would you look for causes of optimism, and hope for a better future? Would you try to find safety, certain that the worst is yet to come? Or would you celebrate the death of the old order, and try to forge a new path for yourself in the next world?

Following a successful Kickstarter, we’re in the process of making three new books for Legacy:

  • The Engine of Life. A book about hope, art, culture and the prospect of bringing new growth to the wasteland.
  • End Game. A book of dire monsters, horrific powers, and stories of desperate survivors fighting back against a final end.
  • Free From the Yoke. An adaptation of Legacy to political fantasy in the vein of Game of Thrones, REIGN or Birthright, with a Slavic-inspired twist. Check out kickstarter updates for details on magic, politics, rules to keep things medieval and playbook options.

We’ve now opened up preorders on BackerKit – if you’d like to get your own copy of any of these books in PDF or hardback, get all three in a full-art slipcase, or pick up some of the goodies from the Legacy 2e kickstarter, go check it out!

Rhapsody of Blood in depth

Day 5 of our journey through the Worlds of Legacy takes us to our final destination – the monster-filled castle of Rhapsody of Blood, written by me and illustrated by Adrian Stone.
Rhapsody of Blood came from a simple idea: that the generational action/adventure stories of Castlevania and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure could be a great fit for the multi-generation stories we were telling with the Worlds of Legacy. From there, I had my goal for the game: cinematic action in a supernatural gothic horror setting, mixing in the awesome boss fights and battle against corruption you see in FROM Software games like Bloodborne and Dark Souls.

So, here’s the pitch: once a generation, the blood moon rises and an evil castle from outside the universe breaches our reality. It uplifts the most prideful or monstrous villain in the area as its Regent, and reshapes itself to their whims as it begins blighting the world.
You are members of mystical bloodlines, able to sense the castle’s taint and fight it back. Maybe you’re Legendary Heroes, drawing on a legacy of honour and sacrifice; Magi, transmuting the castle’s corruption into safer power; or the Hidden Hand, profiting from fighting evil.

Each generation, your bloodline will have particular cause to raid the castle. Maybe their relics have been pillaged, or a group of mortals they protect is under attack, or a beloved outsider has been kidnapped, or they see a chance to right an ancient wrong. Each player uses these options to define this era’s castle, and their entry points. Maybe your breach method is sneaking into the castle’s servants quarters, or teleporting into a pocket realm within it, or kicking down its front door.

You send your explorers into the castle depths, each with their own specialities. Maybe the ever-prepared Packrat, or the ferocious Slayer, or the Bonded – aided by a strange spirit that stands and fights beside them.

They need to work together to survive: to help with that you track your Covenants with the other explorers. Maybe you’re rivals, or lovers? Maybe one of you is helping the other with a sickness? Maybe you’re both religious? Whatever form it takes, your covenant will tell you what you can do to strengthen it, and how you can betray it for power. When you have a covenant with someone, you’re better able to help them and can summon them to fight at your side even if they’re far away – or dead.

Together, you’ll travel through the nightmare corridors of the castle, face down its minions and traps, draw on places of power, and learn more about the Regent. At the apex of each ward of the castle lurks one of the Regent’s Acolytes, playing some role in their dark plan.

When you enter battle with an Apostle, the system brings in a set of Confrontation Moves. You see, Apostles don’t work like normal enemies. Each is defined by three Qualities – packages of thematically-linked abilities.

And you can’t just attack the Apostle and deal damage – they’re far too powerful for that. Instead, you must search for openings, whether through baiting your foe out of position, pushing them onto the back foot, or spotting a weakness in their fighting style.

Once an opening has been identified you strike at the foe. If successful, you strip away one of their Qualities. If they’re still alive, they may counterattack, activate new Qualities, or fall back and fight more defensively. If it was their last Quality, they’re dead.

With each Acolyte that falls, you get closer to taking down the Regent. But you also grow in power yourself, absorbing the contamination of the castle. As your Blood rating grows, you unlock new abilities and advance your stats, but you also get closer to losing control.

And when you’ve faced down the Regent and they’re dead at your feet, all the power the castle was gathering for them is still waiting there, an unholy grail. The explorer most contaminated with the castle’s blood can take the grail and change the world. But there’s a cost: if you take the power, you’re the next regent of the castle. Maybe the GM takes control of your character? Maybe you’re the GM for the next generation? Up to your group. But this ensures that each castle follows on from those before, as you confront past sins. Meanwhile, your Bloodline is growing in fortune or suffering terrible trials. They’re there to give you respite as you explore and help you protect the mortal realm, and also create continuity between generation.

So – that’s Rhapsody of Blood, a fully standalone game of castle-raiding and reality-twisting contamination. You can pick it up now in PDF from DriveThruRPG, or very soon in softback from Modiphius. Go check it out – I’m particularly pleased with the layout I put together. Or if you need a bit more convincing, why not listen to our Actual Play podcast?

An example two-page spread.

Looking to the Horizon

That ends this tour through the Worlds of Legacy, but we may travel again. If you have an idea that brings Legacy’s multi-generation, wide-scale gameplay to a new setting, get in touch and we can talk. Especially if you don’t fit the standard RPG writer cis/het/white/male mould!

Primal Pathways in depth

Today’s World of Legacy is Primal Pathways, written by Laurence Phillips and illustrated by Juan Ochoa.

Primal Dawn

Primal Pathways begins at the dawn of life. As alien creatures make their first trembling steps onto land, they find ethereal spirits waiting for them: denizens of the Primal Plane, Guardians formed of the raw energy and power of life. Each spirit, focused on one aspect of life, picks a species to uplift, granting them sentience. So your first choice as a player is twofold: what sort of creatures are you, and who was the Guardian who uplifted you?

So, maybe you’re a herd of armoured elephantine creatures, empowered by the Devourer – the Guardian that favours creatures who consume without pity or remorse. Or perhaps you’re a hive of flying, stinging insects, chosen by the Hunter – the Guardian of those that seek out greater and greater challenges for their skills. Or maybe you’re a nimble race of tunnel-dwelling scuttling rodents, who draw on the genetic memory of their ancestors as they follow the edicts of the Otherworldly – Guardian of those that seek to understand the metaphysics of the world.

As you begin your game, your species barely know what it means to be people rather than animals. To guide them, you have a viewpoint character – maybe a Chosen, particularly empowered by the Guardian, or a Magus able to channel the Primal Plane. As you form new bonds with the other characters and explore this new world, you’ll improve your tribe’s lot – pushing back the threats that menace them, getting the resources they need to grow and prosper. Or maybe you run into problems, and things go badly for the tribe. How you’re tribe’s doing has its greatest impact when the Evolution move is triggered and generations rise and fall. If your mood is high, you can choose between experiencing fortunes or evolving new traits. If mood is low, you can only evolve if you also experience calamities.

Each Guardian has its own tree of evolutions, split into three pathways. Here’s the Builder‘s. Each evolution is another choice from the next tier, giving your creatures new traits, making your people more effective when working together, or giving them entirely new moves.
When you pass thresholds in the tree your People reach new stages of development, from Tribe to Realm to State. Making each jump brings new powers and new tags for your gear, but also its own problems. How will your people deal with a new need for Alliances, Mass Media, Energy?

And as your People become more and more advanced, maybe they start toying with the fabric of reality with Primal Pathway‘s new Wonders – The Grand Temple, The Primal Gate, even repeating the uplifiting process on another species with A New Awakening.

So that’s Primal Pathways – telling the story of how your People evolve, and how their way of life shifts and mutates as the scope of their society exponentially grows.

But maybe you don’t want to be the servants of intangible spirits. Maybe you want to play the gods themselves – or their servants. If so, tune in tomorrow, when I’ll be talking about Godsend.

Worldfall in depth

As promised yesterday, it’s now time to talk about Worldfall – written by Katherine Cross and illustrated by Claudia Cangini and Tithi Luadthong.

At the start of a game of Worldfall, you have just founded a colony on an alien world. The trip has been extensive and transformative, and the first thing you decide is the politics your cabal of colonists formed during the journey.

Maybe they were the Officer Class, in charge then and looking to keep control now? Or the Workers Intergalactic, the labourers keeping the ship – and now the colony – running and finding solidarity with each other?

The Officer Class

The Workers Intergalactic

Or maybe they tended to the culture of the ship, whether they’re the new religion of the Keepers of the Flame or the anarchist upstarts of the Scum of the Universe?

The Keepers of the Flame

The Scum of the Universe

Together, you build your cabals, making choices about the society of the fledgling colony and the world you have landed on. It’s a strange and wonderful land, bursting with life. What will you make of it? To answer that, you make Characters. Each character is the key viewpoint we have from that Cabal at this moment in time. You could go with a match for your Cabal (a Gasoline Fire from the Scum, maybe?) or something that’s orthogonal, like a Priestex from the Officer Class.

The Gasoline Fire

The Priestex

Your character explores the new world, makes deals with other factions, builds grand art projects and battles for the soul of the colony. As they do so, they’ll win or lose your Cabal points of Reputation – a marker for their influence over colony society. You play in this mode until someone completes Worldfall‘s signature Wonder – the Constitutional Convention. Once it’s completed, you all take turns to choose the colony’s negative and positive liberties. What things does it swear to provide its citizenry? What does it forbid? Each choice comes with its own government institution that you now control, as well as effects on the wider colony. Once you’ve divided them up between you, you move the clock forward a generation – and see what your choices have resulted in.

That’s how Worldfall plays: shifting between the challenges of colony development and the struggle to build a more perfect union. As generations pass, will the colony grow and thrive? Or will it shatter and wither? And all the while, maybe the planet is pushing back: learning more about you, sending its own emissaries to interfere, and try to co-opt you into its own ecosystem. Particularly if someone has chosen to play the Worldsoul – the gestalt representation of life on this planet.

So, that’s Worldfall. Please do check it out! And if getting into the mindset of weird, alien life appeals, tune in tomorrow when I tell you about Primal Pathways.

Worlds of Legacy now out – plus Generation Ship in depth.

The Worlds of Legacy are now live! Check them out at our store – I’m very excited by the variety in these books, and the work my authors have put in. In celebration, I thought I’d dive a bit deeper into each of them in turn. First up – Generation Ship by Aaron Griffin and illustrated by Tithi Luadthong.

In Generation Ship, you’re trapped in the bowels of a titanic machine and the machine is freezing to death in the void of space. You aren’t meant to be here. You shouldn’t even exist, as your ancestors were meant to be unfrozen when the ship reached its goal. But still, you live.

So, what do you do? You have a family of fellow passengers, who have carved out ling space in the ship’s guts. Maybe they’ve set up algae tanks to feed the community. Maybe they protect and revere the still-unfrozen. Maybe they’re maintenance bots, jolted out of the programmed-in behaviour.

Your family has goals, friendly factions, enemies and needs. And that’s where your character comes in. They’ll delve into the ship’s tunnels, make threats safe, find the legendary ship systems, and restore – and control – them.

That’s the work of generations. Each generation the society on the ship changes, and you pick a different character type to show a different side of your family. Maybe a wise Advisor, a lethal Soldier, or even the void-empowered Touched.

So you’re telling the story over generations of how society survives and adapts to this hostile environment, and how your family repairs or claims control of one of the ship systems – the bridge, the dropships, navigation, sensors. What happens when you’ve fixed them all? Well, you face a final decision – where do you land, and what flaws are you willing to accept from your new homeland to finally feel the earth under your feet?

Of course, there are more stories you can tell once the ship has landed and the colony as formed – but that’s a different game. Maybe I’ll tell you about Worldfall next.

Coming Soon: Worlds of Legacy

With Legacy out now and physical books on their way, it’s time to talk about what’s next. We’ll be returning to Legacy’s post-apocalyptica soon, but first up we’re doing something new: Worlds of Legacy.

The Worlds of Legacy

Each one is a brand new setting for Legacy by a new author, bringing new playbooks, moves and ideas for your game. They’re slim books but pack a lot of ideas in there. Each of them draws on Legacy’s faction and character gameplay, and lets you tell a story over generations, but the stories you’ll be telling are completely different. I’m currently looking over the final art and texts for all five, and I’m really excited to share them with you!

Primal Pathways


Champions of The Otherworldly, one of the Guardians

First up is Primal Pathways, written by Laurence Phillips and illustrated by Juan Ochoa. Each player controls a species enlightened by an otherworldly Guardian and must guide the growth of their civilisation and the evolution of the creatures, from the dawn of sentient life to the development of cities, nations and more.

Your Guardian might be the Devourer, the Builder, or many more; your character might be an Emissary, a Chosen of their Guardian, or one of four other playbooks.

What I love about this book is the evolution mechanics Laurence put together: the many diverse traits let you create some really weird civilisations (Ambulatory slugs! Parasitic and carnivorous plants! Spiders building cities in a jungle canopy!), while the evolution trees each Guardian provides let you radically change your species as the ages turn while remaining true to its primordial origins.

Generation Ship

The Keepers of the Long Sleep venerate the still-sleeping saviours of humanity.

Next we have Generation Ship, written by Aaron Griffin and illustrated by Tithi Luadthong. Long ago, your ancestors boarded a starship that’d take them to a new colony under a distant star. Frozen in rows hundreds deep, they slumbered through the centuries – until something went wrong. Woken up too early, you must now scavenge and survive within the bowels of a slowly-dying ship.

In this game, your families are organisations within the City that the Awoken have formed in the ship’s tunnels. Your playbook could be The Alliance of Agronomists, bio-engineers keeping the ship fed; The Maintenence Collective, autonomous bots gone far from their original programming; or maybe The Throng of Pleasure, those who tend to the City’s vices. Your character, meanwhile, might be a Diplomat skilled at making the disparate factions work together; a Sleeper, a newly woken remnant of the ship’s original builders; or The Touched, who has made contact with the void outside the ship and has drawn strange power from it.

And as you play, you’ll be working towards your final arrival – seeking out the ship’s key systems, working out how they’ve gone wrong, and claiming them for your Family. Each activated system – from the Astrogation Arrays to the Dropships – gives your family particular advantages so long as they claim them, and brings you all closer to your final arrival at a place you can call home.


The Officer Class

Of course, getting to a new planet is only half of the struggle. When you arrive, what sort of society will you all build?

That question is the heart of Worldfall, written by Katherine Cross and illustrated by Claudia Cangini and Tithi Luadthong. It’s a game of political sci-fi in a new colony, with each player controlling an ideological cabal within the colony’s society. You might be the Officer Class, still clinging to their ship-borne authority in this new society; the Guardians of Eden, attempting to understand and protect the ecosystem of their new home; or the Scum of the Universe, agitators, provocateurs and artists partying on the fringes of society.

The Gasoline Fire

Worldfall is a game of reputation and favours. As your character deals with the colony’s problems – the Hero of the People winning fairer wages for the workers, the Gasoline Fire burning the midnight oil to create age-defining artworks, the Flag pushing back over-aggressive wildlife – your cabal will accumulate political capital they can use to get what they need. Defining all that is your Constitutional Convention – a brand-new Wonder that sets out the freedoms your colony enshrines in law and responsibilities it enforces. As you play the constitution mutates and changes, to match your colony’s expansion.


Jess Taylor’s amazing cover!

Let’s depart from the shores of sci-fi, and head to a mythic land. A land where gods bicker in their heavens. Where their avatars face down armies single-handed, and where the end of days is fast approaching.

In Godsend, written by Khelren and illustrated by Jess Taylor and Tithi Luadthong, you’ll come together to tell a story of faith and despair in a mythic age. You’ll make your divinity – maybe a domineering god of Knowledge who’s the head of the Pantheon, or a conniving Trickster deity who everyone keeps at arm’s length. Then you’ll make an avatar – for another player’s god. Maybe you’re an Angel, sent by them on a mission? A Pandora, mother of monsters? Or a Prometheus, who has stolen power from their god and must somehow deal with their wrath?

Avatars carry out their god’s will.

Godsend is bringing a lot of interesting things to the table. First, you’ll have a built-in relationship with two other players: you’ll be the god of one, and the avatar of another. Second, it’s entirely diceless: as rulers of fate, it’s fitting that you’re unconstrained by random chance. Instead, your stats determine how many good things happen when you use your divine abilities – and how many calamities you avoid. Finally, you will fill your map with grand civilisations to lay low, armies to challenge, monsters that can rampage – escalating in scale and drama as the apocalypse approaches.

Rhapsody of Blood

The Holy Church stand firm against the darkness.

Every generation the blood moon rises, and the castle exalts a villain with its dark gifts. They shall command its legions, use its powers to twist reality, and seek the godlike power of the unholy grail.

In Rhapsody of Blood, written by me (James Iles) and illustrated by Adrian Stone, you are the ones here to stop them. Your bloodlines have fought the castle since its first emergence, and that legacy has granted you endless tenacity, strange powers, or unbreakable faith. Together, you will root out the wards of the castle where they have infested the mundane world, slay the acolytes of the castle’s regent, steal their dark power for your own and banish the regent and the castle with them.

But the castle is immortal, and the blood moon will rise again. As generations rise and fall, what tales of heroic action and gothic bloodshed will you tell?

The castle’s Regent sends their minions out to blight the land.

Look out for more details in the coming weeks as we get closer to these game’s release!

War among the Ruins

Legacy 2e has been out for over 10 days, and is still in the #1 Bestseller spot on DriveThruRPG! If you want to soak in more of it ambience, we’ve also put up an Art Book and a collection of wasteland-themed audio tracks

One thing people new to Apocalypse World-derived games trip up on is how quickly you can resolve a situation – Fiercely Assault, for example, lets you finish a fight in a single roll. Douglas Mota, co-author of Legacy, is here to talk about how you can expand these scenes out while still bringing in plenty of drama.

Into Battle

Do you think that a battle should be more than a single roll? Well, we do too.
Sure, Fiercely Assault alone can seal the deal of a fight or a battle. But sometimes, it is all too much hang on a single roll and you may want more depth and detail. With that in mind, let’s go to our “Cutthroat’s pro tips for Legacy battles”.

Scout Ahead

Do you know their defences and positioning? A great moment to roll Under Orders as you send in Companions to get the lay of the land. Attacking blindly is a sure way face well-entrenched forces, usually spread in clusters and covering angles in order to put you in a hot killzone. My players usually learn rather quickly that the those who survived the Fall and the harsh world it created had to be (or become) wary and ruthless fighters.

Measure Numbers

Do your opponents have the numbers advantage? If so, your weapons need the Area tag to attack effectively, or the Brutal tag to demoralize them and perhaps open them to surrender or retreat. Alternatively, you can manoeuvre to split them into more manageable numbers for a Fiercely Assault. In this case…

Ambush Them

Are you properly placed to attack? Unlikely! The best case scenario is if you are laying in wait for them to walk in your ambush – in this case, several Character Moves can enhance your attack. If you are approaching them, you can either rush in, triggering Forge a Path, or sneak in and use Defuse as you deal with their sentries and defences.

Use Vehicles

Can you count on the cavalry? Vehicles are instrumental in maneuvering and reaching best tactical position safely. Besides, even base gear Vehicles help in soaking up damage. However, no other investment will increase your odds in battle as pumping Mighty/Swift, Durable, Med Bay, Transport and/or Turrets in a Vehicle when Tooling Up.

Lock them down

Do you need to pin them in place to manoeuvre? Strafing and overwatch became popular concepts in modern warfare, and a Defuse with Steel should convince enemy forces to stop their advances and hunker down. Beware, though, if they move in with greater numbers!

BIg enough guns

Is your ordnance adequate for the mission? Melee weapons should only go against Ranged weapons after a stealth approach or a rushed charge, triggering Forge a Path. Remember that the Aberrant tag is there for a reason, and you might find foes who won’t just die with a well-placed bullet. On the other hand, sometimes all you need is exactly ONE very well placed strike! Never underestimate the Elegant and/or Far tags.

Armoured Up

Is your gear adequate for the mission? Sure, Tough armour tag saves lives, but it should be your last line of defence. Consider that Comms, Mobile and Camo tags can enable you to bypass conflict altogether. Also, as every force who ever tried to invade Russia can tell you, sometimes your enemies’ attacks are the least of your worries. Andinn the wake of the Fall it’s safe to expect battlefields to be a deadly collection of environmental extremes, pathogens, radiation and more. Again, it is fundamental to know your theater of operations before going in… and not everyone might be ready to do battle there, regardless of martial prowess.

The Best Playbook

Is your skill set adequate for the mission? Besides the holy trinity of war (Hunter, Sentinel, and Untamed), your Machine and the Survivor Characters don’t stay far behind… they are just not as obviously potent as those three. In any case, keep in mind that EVERY character has at least a couple of moves that can save the day or turn the tide of a battle. If you hadn’t pick them you have no place in a battle – duck, cover and get out of the way.

Enemy of my Enemy

Is the engagement clearly defined? Many conflicts are not clear cut two sided affairs. In case conflict between you and this new third party doesn’t escalate too quickly, you might end up rolling an oddly-placed Find Common Ground, or maybe a Defuse using Sway.

Walking Wounded

Are you hurt? You will be… once the battle begins. If it piles up in minor harm boxes, Shake it Off as soon as tactically viable and find the proper cover to blunt the inevitable response. It is impossible to predict what will change in the battlefield (and what soft or hard reaction the GM will use), so at the very least have assets prepared to support you through Under Orders or Call for Aid. Finally, as prepared as you are, Harm is NOT progressive and one true strike might go straight into critical harm boxes – though that will only tip the balance of the battle for less martial Characters. In that case, thanks for the spirited effort, but it’s time to leave the battle for professionals.

Know When to Fold

Is the battle lost? If so, it might be worthwhile to Fiercely Assault a deadly opposition just so your venue of escape is clear to break off the engagement. Keep in mind that the GM is within their rights to dish out increased Harm as a consequence of a clumsy attack. Give Companions a chance to shine and take one for the team, even if it’s a fatal, pulverizing one. If things look dire enough, consider the party’s Death Move options…

The Aftermath

And after all that, even when you succeed at the final, decisive Fiercely Assault, remember your goal was to “hurt, capture or drive off” enemies, not to annihilate them at once. What now then?
We all know Legacy is much more than just fighting. You’ve got a whole world to rebuild, after all. But if you and your group want to run through post-apocalyptic battles, Legacy is still your game.