Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Open Legend RPG (First Looks)

A couple of interesting games popped across my Kickstarter Feed this week, and i have to admit i have been mightily impressed by both of them.  I’ll talk about the first one, Open Legend, in this article, and the other one, Bluebeard’s Bride, should get a feature later this afternoon.  Open Legend is an Open Source, System Agnostic Role-playing Game and features a lot of heavy talent from the RPG community, including, Ed Greenwood (Yes, that Ed Greenwood) and Matt Mercer (Yes, that Matt Mercer) to name just a couple of the people that are involved.  My connection is tangential, as it is through my internet friendship with Ryan Schapals, one of the many hard working folks who help bring Hyper RPG to life every week.  It’s a brand new kickstarter campaign that’s only been up for a day, but when last seen had allready cracked two stretch goals.  Let’s take a closer look under the hood of the game.

Open Sourced is an interesting idea for a game developer.  In this instance, the fine folks developing the underlying system are perfectly willing to let 3rd party developers utilize their system to produce their own games, settings and adventures.  They’re even willing to let those 3rd party publishers sell these products without any legal issues.  The last time i can think of anything like this was the first appearance of the Open Gaming License for the 3rd edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and that saw a wealth of potential ideas and designs reach a marketplace that loves both indie gaming and a credible name to go with it.  

System Agnostic generally refers to any gaming resource that doesn’t specify the game system it uses.  Often idea books or multi-statted adventures, these can be handy resources.  Open Legend takes the idea and turns on its head though.  Open Legend is an Agnostic System that allows a Game Master, a designer, or a tinkerer (we’re all tinkerers in the gaming world) to build their setting around the Open Legend’s game design.  Using Open Legend you can play space faring rebels fighting the oppression of an interstellar empire just as easily as you can play pulp heroes surviving dinosaur infested jungles.  You pick the genre you want to play in, and you build your game accordingly, at least that’s the intention behind the current Kickstarter campaign.  

I think that the folks behind Open Legend have the opportunity to create a wonderful, mechanically sound engine that appeals to gamers who are looking for both crunch and fluff, and for designers looking for a new way to express their creative juices.  It’s got the potential to join other luminary systems as GURPS and Savage Worlds as being a toolkit for building the characters and telling the stories that you and your friends want to.  We hope they have a massively successful campaign, and that they run out of Stretch Goals.  

The Kickstarter campaign also features their first campaign setting, the Amaurea’s Dawn setting.  Featuring a conflict between explorers who’re seeking to find and take advantage of natural resources and the native elven people who claim the lands as ancestral birthright, it provides a wonderful depth of potential stories to tell.

Open Legend Proper is at

You can also find them on Twitter at

If you’re looking for a play through or an example, check out Hyper RPG’s youtube channel some time later today (October 19th).  The mad Rabbits put on a heck of a show featuring some stellar people putting the game through it’s paces.  

Alternatively, if you can’t wait for the Rabbits, Encounter Roleplay (Another fine bunch of gamer folk) are doing a mini series set in Amaurea’s Dawn right now.

Ultimately, we’ll take closer looks at this as their campaign comes closer to its end, and we’ll try and take a few peeks under the hood of the system.  We think it could be a very cool game engine to tell stories, and ultimately, that’s one of the things we look for when checking out an Open concept like this.  We’ll probably ramble on some more about that idea later, but for now, check out Open Legend at the links above and if you see something you like, back the Kickstarter, you might find the perfect engine to develop your story.

Game On, Game Fans

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