One of the things I’m hard at work on is a revised edition of Legacy. Part of this process is to identify bits of the original version that didn’t quite work in play: the one I’m talking about today is character focus. One common complaint is that with every player getting their own faction, games often devolve into players taking it in turns to have solo scenes interacting with their families. While I’m also working on structuring the game so that there’s more to push characters to work together, I wanted something to liven up those single-family scenes.
My solution for this was Quick Characters. If you want to play out a particular player character’s actions in detail but the fiction makes it implausible for the other major characters to be involved, the other players take control of members of the active player’s Family using simplified playbooks. These playbooks give some options to flesh out your character, but mostly inherit stats from the active players family.
Using these new characters, you play through the story as normal until it’s time to shift focus to another family or character. At that point, the group can choose – either each player can keep these minor playbooks in case focus returns to that family, or the playbooks can go into a group pool for anyone to pick up as the situation desires. If you’re familiar with Ars Magica’s troupe play rules, this is intended to create a similar effect.
Here’s the playbooks:
How they work
Quick Characters still use the Character basic moves, and have Force, Lore, Steel and Sway, but have simplified playbooks. They inherit a stat line, a move and gear from their Family, enabling them to be generated quickly.
We haven’t written up the family side of this completely yet, but here’s an example:
Enclave of Forgotten Lore Quick Characters:
Add +1 to Lore or Steel.
Take gear according to your Surplus investment (more on this later), +1 to Data or Outfit.
Inheritance Move options:
Radio Rig: Can sense when Tech is within a mile, and track it down to within 100 metres.
Pain Box: You have a device that causes intense pain in anyone within a few dozen metres (melee, nonlethal, area, hi-tech).
Survey drone: You can roll +Lore with Wasteland Survival, so long as your trail is visible from the air.
Hot Rod: You have an exceptionally fast vehicle (land-based, Might 1 Chrome 1 Brawn 0), and can move points between its stats with 15 minutes of tinkering.
Educated: If you give advice to somebody based on your knowledge of the Before, they take +1 Forward.
Legacy: Mirrors in the Ruinsis now out! We’re going with an Advance PDF system for this release: we’re holding off on activating print-on-demand until early customers have had a chance to flag any issues with the book. In return, everyone who buys the game in its first month will get a discount when purchasing the physical book.
Mirrors in the Ruins brings a different perspective to Legacy by placing players in the role of the monsters that live in the wasteland – the robot swarms, alien invaders, mutated animals and aquatic raiders that normally take the role of antagonists in post-apocalyptic stories. Even monsters must struggle to survive in the wasteland, so what happens when they clash with human survivors? Will they find a new way of existing together in this altered world, or will they repeat the mistakes that lead to the Fall?
As well as 8 new playbooks – 4 Families and 4 characters – Mirrors brings new Family moves covering subterfuge and conspiracy, rules for hostile environments, vehicles and non-player factions, and Mega Projects. These grand schemes may be built over several Ages, and permanently change the Wasteland once completed. There’s a lot to see in this book – I hope you check it out! Many thanks to Douglas Santana, whose ideas and words were crucial to making this book.
Only 48 hours left on the kickstarter for What Ho, World! We’re past 150% funded, which is amazing – I’m really looking forward to getting this game printed and having a proper physical copy in my hands.
If you’ve managed to avoid my endless promotion of the game over the past month, What Ho, World! is a hybrid roleplaying game/card game based on the genteel, free-wheeling and farcical stories of P.G. Wodehouse, Fred and Ginger musicals and so on.
Over the course of a 2-hour game, you’ll make characters like the naive but well-meaning Gadabout and the stoic and wise Servant, be tasked with challenges like retrieving an embarrassing document or ridding yourself of a small but annoying dog, and call on the gossip of your fellow servants or an unexpected cosh to save the day. It’s all based on the Apocalypse World school of RPG design – discrete chunks of rules for particular situations in the story that only get involved as much as they need to then get out the way again. I’ve heavily modified the system, removing dice rolls or a GM so that the deck of cards is all you need to play.
It’s a fun, light group storytelling game that I’m really happy with – please do check it out!
We’re coming up to 1 day in and we’re already 25% funded, which is great! Fingers crossed we’ll be able to make it to the goal and hit some stretch goals – I really want this to be the best game it can be.