Thursday, 2 March 2017

Legendary Lives

In the early 1990’s the latest thing in gaming was storyteller games (see White Wolf products).  It seems like a host of rules-lite games came out. I did not have much time for them but I did purchase Legendary Lives (and its horror counterpart Lost Souls).

The system was advertised as being semi-diceless. The players made all of the rolls and the Action Results Table was right on the player's’ character sheet, so the GM only needed to narrate the action. It was a skill heavy system which really appealed to me, especially with improvement with success (and failure). The system came with a ready to play gameworld that involved the Seelie Court (fairies) and about twenty playable races (any fairy creature you can imagine).

Of course I wanted to develop my own setting. I took one of my few “Companions Hex Sheets” which were about 3 feet by 2 feet and drew up a world. I later created some smaller versions of the map (see Balnathia below). The Balnathia region was a central area on the main continent that was dominated by humans. Looking at the maps now I can see the influences from the game world in the rules and bits from Pelinore (The City League).

Human Realms of Balnathia

I toned down the seelie court theme of the rules but maintained a dominant elven empire. I called the world Telluria. I liked the main continent layout so much I later re-used it for a Mongoose RQ setting a few years ago and I imported it into Hexographer.

Telluria World Map
I found that the combat system in Legendary Lives was a just too simple for my tastes so I never played a session. Its horror sister publication Lost Souls on the other hand I really enjoyed and wrote and played several adventures. One adventure of which I playtested at a local convention and even got published in a local game magazine.

By the way you can still find the rules on the web at the author's site here.

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