Intro to Legend

Discover the Legend RPG, Mongoose's fantasy game.
strega
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Intro to Legend

Postby strega » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:32 pm

I'm writing up an intro to Legend and working on a guide to getting started plus a starter scenario for people new to Legend/BRP/D100.

This is my background piece. Comments please.

Legend was originally developed to support a role-playing 'world' that has been around for more than 30 years. Glorantha was the place that Greg Stafford used as a setting for his novels and has, over the years, been used in board games and computer games as well as a rich and varied role-playing 'world'. Runequest was the first rule system used for role playing in the world of Glorantha in 1978 and various different versions of the rule system have come and gone over the years. The underlying mechanism of using a percentile-based skill system has stayed throughout that time.

Mongoose Publishing acquired the rights to produce a new version of the old classic game and printed Runequest I in 2006 (MRQI). A revised version of the rules was published in 2010 as Runequest II (MRQII, the Roman numerals distinguish these versions from ones produced by Chaosium in the past). Mongoose allowed the licence to use Gloranthan campaign material to lapse, but kept the rules in print under a new name, Legend.

The Legend game system is made up of the core rulebook, Monsters of Legend, a book covering creatures and fantastical monsters, Arms of Legend, a companion book with various rule additions, and finally Arcania of Legend with rules for a different magic system.
Legend is compatible with many other games in the Basic Role Playing family as skills and statistics of the various things in the game system port across easily. That means you can use a ghoul from Call of Cthulhu as easily as a ghoul from Monsters of Legend or one from Chaosium's core Basic Role Playing rulebook. It's only the campaign background that changes.

There are three additional volumes of core-type rules in Vikings of Legend, Pirates of Legend and Samurai of Legend. These develop the game system for alternate backgrounds and areas of play. Mongoose also produced a core book for Runequest II for Fritz Leiber's world of Lankhmar and that works with Legend. There is a thriving forum for the Legend game system run by Mongoose Publishing. One thing that is very positive for Legend is that it was released under an Open Game License (OGL) which means that material stated as open content can be used in other publications. Effectively the core rules, creatures from Monsters of Legend and material in Arms of Legend can be used and freely published in your own material under the terms of the license.
My Getting started with Legend file including a suggested starting adventure.

My Romano-British Game setting.
alex_greene
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby alex_greene » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:46 pm

strega wrote:There are three additional volumes of core-type rules in Vikings of Legend, Pirates of Legend and Samurai of Legend. These develop the game system for alternate historical backgrounds and areas of play.
Add to that list Gladiators of Legend. You could also mention the free spirit magic supplement and the Samurai of Legend adventure.
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Bilharzia
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby Bilharzia » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:51 pm

I'm not sure I would want to write this on behalf of Mongoose. Some lines are a bit iffy, eg.
Legend was originally developed to support a role-playing 'world' that has been around for more than 30 years
is not strictly correct, Legend was created to do exactly the opposite, whereas you could say that about MRQ1, except it would be something like
"..to support roleplaying in a world during a time that no one was interested in except for Glorantha obsessives who were already playing HeroQuest or PenDragon Pass who hated MRQ1 as soon as they heard it was being published and didn't even like MRQ II when it was the best thing to happen to RuneQuest for 30 years..."
but I probably wouldn't want to write that.

Also... how is someone who has just picked up Legend from Drivthru going to find this if it's not part of the Legend book already?

The starter scenario is a good idea though, what kind of setting have you got in mind?
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby The Wolf » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:39 pm

alex_greene wrote:
strega wrote:There are three additional volumes of core-type rules in Vikings of Legend, Pirates of Legend and Samurai of Legend. These develop the game system for alternate historical backgrounds and areas of play.
Add to that list Gladiators of Legend. You could also mention the free spirit magic supplement and the Samurai of Legend adventure.
I concur with this.
"There are some things best left unsaid, many things best left unknown!"

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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby alex_greene » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:58 pm

I'd point out that Legend came about because when Issaries, Inc. withdrew the RuneQuest and Glorantha licenses from Mongoose, the licensees (Mongoose Publishing) were canny enough to negotiate with Issaries to keep the BRP engine. Mongoose then released Legend, using that engine, as an OGL product.

Legend is Mongoose's baby. It won't just disappear because an outsider withdraws its license. Actually, it's the product of a license withdrawal - had Issaries, Inc. decided to extend the Mongoose license, there'd have been no Legend.
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby The Wolf » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:00 am

alex_greene wrote:Legend is Mongoose's baby. It won't just disappear because an outsider withdraws its license. Actually, it's the product of a license withdrawal - had Issaries, Inc. decided to extend the Mongoose license, there'd have been no Legend.
I'd have never had the chance to work on Gladiators, Samurai and Spider God's Bride and find out just how much I really like Legend as a system. So I am pretty glad things turned out the way they did.
"There are some things best left unsaid, many things best left unknown!"

Current Project -- Legend: Sheoloth

Darren W. Pearce - Amazon Author Page

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Bilharzia
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby Bilharzia » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:41 am

alex_greene wrote: Legend is Mongoose's baby. It won't just disappear because an outsider withdraws its license. Actually, it's the product of a license withdrawal - had Issaries, Inc. decided to extend the Mongoose license, there'd have been no Legend.
Isn't it the product of years of work by Whitaker, Nash, Hanrahan and others to patch up and develop a system with a glorious past which otherwise would have been another footnote in the disastrous history of RQ since 80s?
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby DamonJynx » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:47 am

alex_greene wrote:Mongoose then released Legend, using that engine, as an OGL product.
By doing this Mongoose have ensured Legend's longevity because it opens the door for 3rd party publishers to produce d100 supplements irrespective of the level of support, which to date has been pretty darn good, from Mongoose.

This, IMHO, can only be a good thing, because as long as there are folks playing d100 games, flavour isn't really important, they're all highly compatible, there will be a market for Legend compatible products. The size of that market may prove somewhat elastic but a market will exist nonetheless.
Glory is the reward of valour.

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Check out, The Blood Path available NOW!
Arcania of Legend available now!
Bedlam in Blackcliffe available now!
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby alex_greene » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:50 am

On a personal note, I would not have had nearly so much fun with this product if this was just another RuneQuest. In fact, if this was still a RuneQuest product - which it is not - I don't think I'd be haunting this forum at all, and I'd probably have stayed exclusively in the Traveller forum.

And you'd never have had my potions, reptilians and creations articles, nor the forthcoming The Blood Path, nor my numerous collection of Legend-based dreams.
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby DamonJynx » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:53 am

Bilharzia wrote:Isn't it the product of years of work by Whitaker, Nash, Hanrahan and others to patch up and develop a system with a glorious past which otherwise would have been another footnote in the disastrous history of RQ since 80s?
True, but in the here and now, if Issaries hadn't withdrawn the licence, don't know why, don't care, we would be using Mongoose's MRQII which is not, and never could have been, OGL.

The point is, Legend is now not a licensed product, it is a stand alone OGL product and that is fantastic!
Glory is the reward of valour.

My blog at damonjynx.blogspot.com
Check out, The Blood Path available NOW!
Arcania of Legend available now!
Bedlam in Blackcliffe available now!
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby alex_greene » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:59 am

DamonJynx wrote:
alex_greene wrote:Mongoose then released Legend, using that engine, as an OGL product.
By doing this Mongoose have ensured Legend's longevity because it opens the door for 3rd party publishers to produce d100 supplements irrespective of the level of support, which to date has been pretty darn good, from Mongoose.

This, IMHO, can only be a good thing, because as long as there are folks playing d100 games, flavour isn't really important, they're all highly compatible, there will be a market for Legend compatible products. The size of that market may prove somewhat elastic but a market will exist nonetheless.
I think it's the independence of Legend, rather than its interdependence on past games systems and settings, that is the real appeal of this game. You can write up your own settings, without the 30 years of baggage that comes with veteran licensed products such as Glorantha, Traveller's Third Imperium or indeed Elric or Conan.

And one of these days, Legend will come up with its own official setting - I thought Age of Treason would have been it, but it seems not to be the case after all - and at that point, players and freelance writers will have a brand new chance to forge all new legends.
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby alex_greene » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:00 am

DamonJynx wrote:True, but in the here and now, if Issaries hadn't withdrawn the licence, don't know why, don't care, we would be using Mongoose's MRQII which is not, and never could have been, OGL.

The point is, Legend is now not a licensed product, it is a stand alone OGL product and that is fantastic!
Tell me about it. :)

I've never been interested in writing RuneQuest material, and particularly not interested in writing Glorantha or Elric stuff.

But the OGL allows me the chance to write up Legend's "Glorantha" - the setting people will point to when someone asks "Does Legend have a setting?"
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Bilharzia
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby Bilharzia » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:25 am

alex_greene wrote:
DamonJynx wrote:True, but in the here and now, if Issaries hadn't withdrawn the licence, don't know why, don't care, we would be using Mongoose's MRQII which is not, and never could have been, OGL.

The point is, Legend is now not a licensed product, it is a stand alone OGL product and that is fantastic!
Tell me about it. :)

I've never been interested in writing RuneQuest material, and particularly not interested in writing Glorantha or Elric stuff.

But the OGL allows me the chance to write up Legend's "Glorantha" - the setting people will point to when someone asks "Does Legend have a setting?"
I don't really get this since BRP has been around since 1980 and OpenQuest has been available since 2009(?) so more-or-less the same system has been available before Legend got the name change and OGL'd, open-contented. I don't think it's terrible that Legend happened (!), but there's certainly precedent for it as a D100 BRP-ish system.
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby alex_greene » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:34 am

Bilharzia wrote:I don't really get this since BRP has been around since 1980 and OpenQuest has been available since 2009(?) so more-or-less the same system has been available before Legend got the name change and OGL'd, open-contented. I don't think it's terrible that Legend happened (!), but there's certainly precedent for it as a D100 BRP-ish system.
I think it's that everyone to date has been thinking of all those previous OGLs as a version of RuneQuest, and tacking the old products - Conan, Elric, Glorantha - to those systems.

Problem is, Legend is not any kind of "Quest -" Rune, Open or otherwise. Legend has a compatible system, but that does not mean it has to fit the same Procrustean bed as has claimed all the other games.

That's what I mean when I say that I am not a RuneQuest fan. I'm not a RuneQuest fan at all.

I am a Legend fan.
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby DamonJynx » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:55 am

There is absolutely no harm in paying homage to Legend's roots, but Legend is now its own entity and that should be celebrated and acknowledged along with its history.

RQ6 is it's own entity also, but those not in the know, will continually associate it with Glorantha due to the past association of RQ, regardless of how erroneous that is. Legend no longer has that problem.

As far as I'm aware, RQ was the original D100 game system. BRP, Stormbringer, CoC, Elric!, and a host of other great games are all derived from it. To my knowledge, Legend, MRQ1 SRD and Openquest are the only OGL versions of the core game and IMO Legend is by far the best of these.
Glory is the reward of valour.

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Check out, The Blood Path available NOW!
Arcania of Legend available now!
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:54 am

DamonJynx wrote:As far as I'm aware, RQ was the original D100 game system. BRP, Stormbringer, CoC, Elric!, and a host of other great games are all derived from it. To my knowledge, Legend, MRQ1 SRD and Openquest are the only OGL versions of the core game and IMO Legend is by far the best of these.
I'm very fond of OpenQuest as well as Legend and am looking forward to the upcoming release of OpenQuest 2. And OpenQuest has already spawned the Renaissance System...

Don't forget that Goblinoid Games also released the Generic Old-School Rules Engine (GORE) under the OGL, but then declared almost everything as product identity and placed significant restrictions on usage of this content - which is ironic considering that the GORE rules were an attempt to reverse-engineer aspects of CoC that weren't released under the OGL.....
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby DamonJynx » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:13 am

Prime_Evil wrote:which is ironic considering that the GORE rules were an attempt to reverse-engineer aspects of CoC that weren't released under the OGL.....
That's so dumb, it's funny.

Wasn't Renaissance via Clockwork & Chivalry, part of the MRQ1 stable? I recall seeing stuff for that in Signs & Portents.
Glory is the reward of valour.

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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:43 am

DamonJynx wrote:
Prime_Evil wrote:which is ironic considering that the GORE rules were an attempt to reverse-engineer aspects of CoC that weren't released under the OGL.....
That's so dumb, it's funny.
They were exploiting a well-known loophole in the way that international copyright treaties cover games. Copyright doesn't cover the concepts behind a game or the methods used to play it, although it may cover a particular written expression of the rules. This means that you can in theory produce a 'retroclone' of any game, so long as you are careful to avoid using the same wording as the original. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of the original author’s expression...
DamonJynx wrote:Wasn't Renaissance via Clockwork & Chivalry, part of the MRQ1 stable? I recall seeing stuff for that in Signs & Portents.
Yes...but when the MRQ license went away, Cakebread and Walton published the second edition using a customized version of the Openquest rules. It's not a bad game if you fancy adventuring in the early modern period - personally, I'd love to see a d100 steampunk game with elements of gothic horror and dark fantasy, but I may be the only one....
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:04 am

Prime_Evil wrote: They were exploiting a well-known loophole in the way that international copyright treaties cover games.
To quote from the Australian Government's official pamphlet on "Games and Copyright":
For copyright purposes, a distinction is made between an idea and the expression of an
idea. Ideas or concepts in themselves are not protected by copyright. If the idea is
expressed in writing, the piece of writing may be protected by copyright as a literary work,
but people are still free to use the idea as long as they express it in a different way.
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Re: Intro to Legend

Postby DamonJynx » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:02 am

Prime_Evil wrote:To quote from the Australian Government's official pamphlet on "Games and Copyright":
For copyright purposes, a distinction is made between an idea and the expression of an
idea. Ideas or concepts in themselves are not protected by copyright. If the idea is
expressed in writing, the piece of writing may be protected by copyright as a literary work,
but people are still free to use the idea as long as they express it in a different way.
Hmmm... That is most interesting...
Glory is the reward of valour.

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