Lore & Legacy – Quick-Start Guide (English version)
Every so often, an outwardly Sci-Fi orientated game catches my attention. Lore & Legacy is such a game, but it is not a Sci-Fi game in the classic sense. It is, in fact, a Science Fantasy game that has themes similar to those found in Numenera.
In the depths of the Milky Way galaxy, illuminated by the bluish light of a distant star, is the fantastical world of Empyrea. Over the millennia, Empyrea has seen the rise and fall of many civilizations. At a point, now lost to history, the “young races” arrived and laid claim to Empyrea for their own, carving out a place for themselves amongst the ruins of a previous civilization. After a tumultuous start fraught with war and chaos, the young races—Ælfyns, Orcs, Dakti, Agamids, and Humans—have now lived harmoniously and peacefully for centuries.
With their origins and the science of interstellar travel lost to them, they have turned to plundering the ruins of the ancient Astarite civilization long rumored to contain lost treasures and forgotten technological wonders. Plundering is fraught with dangers, both mundane and mysterious.
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In Lore & Legacy, players assume the role of Free-Lancers. Members of a multinational, multiracial collaborative organization on the great continent of Enelysion. As an independent organization, the Free-Lancer’s charter is to end the Alterations, a mysterious fungal gangrenous blight. Within the Free-Lancers, some seek to unravel past mysteries and venture beyond the borders of incomplete maps. It is up to these adventures, hunters, slayers, and explorers to protect the populace, understand ancient lore, and reclaim their lost legacies.
This Quick-Start provides interested players and Gamemasters with a barebones yet playable version of the full game. It contains a streamlined version of the rules, a hint of the Empyrea setting, pre-generated characters, and an introductory scenario. This Quick-Start does not include a deep exploration of the setting, character generation rules, or rules and resources beyond the scope of the included introductory adventure.
Lore & Legacy has its own game engine called the 3D Engine. 3D refers to the use of three dice. Depending on the situation, a player may roll up to three dice simultaneously to resolve an action. Furthermore, there are only three types of dice in use – 6-sided (rolled when lacking a needed Ability), 8-sided (rolled to calculate damage in combat), and 10-sided (rolled when using an Ability). Moreover, the names of the dice rolled are Basic, Fortune, and Adversity.
Lore & Legacy characters are short and simple with seven Attributes—Acumen (ability to observe and analyze), Fortune (a once-daily expendable resource), Mastery (agility, dexterity, thinking and reacting quickly), Presence (Charisma and natural allure), Robustness (endurance and resistance to pain, poison, etc.), Temper (will and inner determination), and Vigor (raw physical strength). Abilities determine the tasks a character is gifted with or has training in. Traits represent idiosyncracies or manias linked to a character’s personality, past, or education. Several secondary characteristics, such as Health Points, Magic Points, various Resistances, etc., are calculated using primary characteristics.
The Golden Rule: any action can be performed even if the character does not possess the related Ability.
The Action roll is used to attempt something that has a chance of failure. If the character has an Ability applicable to the action, they roll D10+Ability. However, if they do not possess an Ability, the Golden Rule kicks in, rolling D6+Attribute (Attribute related to the action) instead versus a Difficulty Rating (DR). DRs range from 6 (simple) to 18 (superhuman) as determined by the physical resistance of an opponent or the Gamemaster. Action rolls may include Fortune or Adversity dice (remember the 3D system?). Attributes and Abilities have the potential to have Fortune and Adversity indicators associated with them. These are represented by upright or inverted triangles on the character sheet. In situations where an Attribute or Ability with one of these indicators is used for an Action, the Fortune or Adversity die type will match the base die—D6 for Attributes and D10 for Abilities.
Conceptually, the Action resolution outlined above is simple but quickly loses its simplicity when finalizing the result. First, there is a specific order of operation when determining the outcome of the role, but it is not too cumbersome. The roll is modified by the Attribute (or Ability), Fortune die results are added to the Basic die, whereas the Adversity results are subtracted. There are six possible outcomes to an Action roll.
- Equal or greater than the DR is a standard success – the character accomplishes their objectives.
- Equal to 1.5x the DR is a major success – the character accomplishes their objectives with additional positive effects.
- Less than the DR, but not less than DR/2 – is a partial success – accomplishes their objectives, but there are unforeseen complications.
- Less than the DR/2 is a failure – the character fails to accomplish their objectives.
Fortune and Adversity dice have the possibility of causing Spectacular successes or disastrous failures. These only occur when rolling the highest possible value on the die and supersede the outcome above.
At least, as presented here in the Quick-Start, the combat rules are short. When a fight breaks out, combatants’ Speed Value determines the order of play from highest to lowest. During their turn, a combatant can make a single Gesture (free action), Move up to their movement allowance, and take one Action. Gestures are simple actions that take no time, like dropping a weapon, speaking, or something combined with a Move or Action, enabling them to perform something slightly more complex. This is most often seen with spellcasters. Action rolls may be subject to additional Fortune and Adversity dice due to situational circumstances as the combat ebbs and flows. The damage is determined by rolling a D8+Damage Bonus for the weapon/spell whenever an attack is successful.
One of Empyrea greatest mysteries is magic. While the core book goes into greater depth and detail, the Quick-Start touches on the basics of two types of magic available to characters—Illusory and Material magics. Rules for casting spells, including counterspell, and a small list of spells for each type are given.
As I have presented them here, the rules overview covers most of what is in the Quick-Start without getting into the mechanical minutia. It should give you a good sense of what the game is about it.
Froglins in the Mist
“Froglins in the Mist” is an introductory adventure allowing new players and Gamemasters an easy on-ramp to the system. Players are Free-Lancers hired to lend aid to a shipwrecked vessel. The adventure makes use of pre-generated characters. Although it is an introductory one-shot able to be played in a single session, it could easily serve as the opening for an extended campaign, especially if moving on to the Lore & Legacy core book’s adventures.
The Jovial Jubee, a small celestial barge, was forced to make an emergency landing on the shores of Nerons Bay. A nearby trawler witnessing it attempted to assist but was socked in by a dense and mysterious fog. Unable to reach the celestial airship, they retreated to report the situation.
When authorities arrived on the scene to assist with repairs, they found the ship damaged, its cargo intact, and the crew nowhere to be seen. The players are hired to travel to the site of the distressed Jovial Jubee, determine the presence of survivors, and, if necessary, assist them.
The softcover digest size (A5) book sent to me came from Lulu, but books are also available from DriveThruRPG. Lore & Legacy features a full-color wrap-around cover with a black and white interior. The interior artwork exhibits several different yet complementary styles. The single-column layout is clean and easy on the eyes, with important game terms emboldened. The bold text does get a little distracting in some places.
The French to English translation is solid. However, there are a few instances where some additional English language localization and proofreading would help to smooth out the copy and make reading easier.
As far as Quick-Starts go, Lore & Legacy is fully functional from page one. It accomplishes what it set out to do, teaching new players the rules, drawing them in, and leaving them wanting more.
I was initially taken in by the Numenera-esque vibe, as I like Sci-Fantasy, but tend to avoid Sci-Fi. I am glad I took the time to read the book and learn what Lore & Legacy has to offer. I look forward to exploring more of the setting in the Core Book in the future.
The 3D Engine is unique. I like it. The Action roll system itself does take some getting used to, but don’t let that dissuade you. It’s far easier to understand and comprehend than many modern traditional games on the market.
The introductory adventure is fully developed and not an afterthought like others often found in many Quick-Starts. As I said above, it is purpose-driven, and it serves its purpose well.
If you’re looking for something new in the realm of Sci-Fantasy, check out Lore & Legacy. You can’t go wrong with the PDF price of free!
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