Four Reasons We Think You’ll Love Open Legend
Four Reasons We Think You’ll Love Open Legend
Written by: Ish Stabsoz
We know that RPGs are a dime a dozen, and that you can find a system out there for almost any type of game you want to play – and that’s exactly why we are so honored to have a chance here on Nerdarchy to talk to you about why we think you’ll love Open Legend. In this post, we’ll explore the reasons we created Open Legend and talk about why we’re so excited to share our game with the roleplaying community.
It plays like D&D but with more creative freedom
Open Legend was born out of a frustration with a game that we grew up with, a game that we loved (and still do), but, ultimately, a game that held us back from achieving the stories we wanted to tell. It was in the midst of 4th edition D&D that we began experimenting with the home brewed system that eventually became Open Legend. Our experience with 4e was the same as a lot of hardcore D&D fans: it felt too restrictive.
Obviously, we aren’t trying to bash D&D. It’s a great game for players and GMs who want to tell fantasy stories with recognizable tropes and archetypes. And with the strides that fifth edition has taken, D&D is perhaps the best game to achieve that goal in the industry.
But Open Legend was born out of a desire to let players tell any story at the gaming table that they had read in a book or seen in a movie. We didn’t want restrictions like pre-determined class abilities to prevent players from creating the character they’d always dreamed of seeing in action.
We think you’ll love Open Legend because even though it isn’t D&D, it still plays a lot like the roleplaying game that introduced most of us to the hobby. We love what games like Dungeon World, FATE, and Cypher have done to challenge the expectations of how a roleplaying game feels, but we also realize that not everyone is looking for that sort of paradigm shift. A game of Open Legend still feels a lot like D&D. You still roll for initiative, combat is still conducted turn-by-turn and blow-by-blow, and hit points are still the primary indicator of your character’s health.
Players who are familiar with D&D won’t feel like they have just crossed into a completely new dimension when they sit down to play Open Legend for the first time – but they will feel a significant increase in their creative freedom at the gaming table.
You can tell any story you can imagine
As we just mentioned, this was the big motivation that led to the birth of Open Legend. Want to play an enchantress who beguiles her enemies with songs of charm? A berserker so attuned to nature that he transforms into a grizzly bear when he rages? A gnomish tinkerer with an arsenal of ray guns to shrink, freeze, and transmogrify his foes (and maybe sometimes his friends)?
Be our guest.
Get Your Roleplaying in Open Legend
Open Legend uses flavor-neutral mechanics so that the rules of the game never get in the way of the story you want to tell. There are no strict spell or ability descriptions to dictate that a fireball always explodes in a 20-foot radius or that your magical powers must stem from a pact with a demon or your draconic bloodline.
Instead, you just choose the effect you want to create from our list of banes and boons, and then you get to describe what they look like in action. All three of our sample characters listed above, for example, might be able to inflict the immobile bane to keep their foes from moving. The enchantress does so with a lulling song, the berserker with a bear hug, and the artificer with his freeze ray.
To take it a step further, Open Legend was also designed to let GMs tell whatever story they want in whatever genre or setting they please. It isn’t limited to high fantasy. The rules of Open Legend are written so that they can easily be adapted to sci-fi, survival horror, swashbuckling, or whatever other setting your imagination dreams up behind the GM screen.
It’s free, and always will be
Open Legend is an open-source, free RPG. The core rules are available on our website for the public, and they always will be. Our founder, Brian Feister, envisioned a system with as few barriers to entry as possible. He wanted to create a game that any 10-year-old kid completely new to the hobby could pick up without having to invest a dime. We’ve even released a free introductory adventure called A Star Once Fallen that spoon feeds newbies the rules on a need-to-know basis.
Certainly, we hope to eventually make a profit on the game. Right now, you can purchase a copy of A Star Once Fallen on DriveThruRPG, and once our kickstarter is complete, we’ll be offering a fully illustrated version of the rule book as well as a steampunk inspired campaign setting called Amaurea’s Dawn. But the core rules to play the game will always remain available free on the website for anyone to use.
What’s more, Open Legend is an open source RPG, which means we want gamers everywhere to take what we’ve created and do great things with it. We’ve hammered out our commercial and non-commercial usage terms so that hobbyists and third party publishers alike can use the core rules to develop their own materials with ease.
We’ve got an awesome team and we want you to be a part of it
Open Legend was created by Brian Feister, a regular gamer with a vision of a better RPG that could be used to tell better stories. After Brian spent years developing the mechanics, Ish Stabosz, another regular average Joe gamer, joined the team as lead writer to polish the writing and breathe life into the rules.
In the year or so since Open Legend went into public beta testing, we’ve had plenty of other regular gamers contribute their knowledge and expertise to our blog, development board, and online community, chief among them Kyle Willey and Barry Dewey-Robertson, some of Open Legend’s earliest adopters.
But that’s not all. We are extremely thankful to our fans for helping Open Legend get to the point that we are honored to have such well known authors as Ed Greenwood, and Matthew Mercer contributing to our first published campaign setting, Amaurea’s Dawn.
And we want you to join the team too. If you like what you’ve read in this post, we hope you’ll consider contributing to the success of Open Legend. Check out our completely free rules. Run a game or convince your GM to give it a shot. If you want to contribute or just chat with other fans, join our online community.
Finally, as of tomorrow, our Kickstarter is officially live. We’ve got just one month to fund a print run of our beautifully illustrated core rule book and campaign setting, and we hope you’ll be a part of a great moment in the roleplaying industry. Even if you can’t back our Kickstarter, you can still lend a hand by spreading the word to your friends, sharing this post, and helping as many gamers as possible join in the Open Legend success story.
You can help this become a reality here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/626049486/open-legend-open-source-rpg-and-amaureas-dawn-sett
The link will be added once the campaign is live. Until Next Time, Stay Nerdy!