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The Legend Game System first started on The Order of the Stick forum's Test of Spite arena as a series of house-rules to improve the flaws of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Edition. It soon became evident to the arena masters that the amount of house-rules that resulted - nearly 80 pages worth of material - was sufficient to reach a critical density and spawn an entire book. Development on a new game system incorporating their house-rules began shortly afterwards, which eventually culminated in a role-playing game that, while still based on the d20 system, was substantially different from Dungeons and Dragons.

It aims to provide a sleek chassis for a wide variety of gaming styles and fantasy archetypes with an emphasis on quick, rules light play. There is no default setting in the book, though two settings (Hallow and Chion) are currently in the works. There has also been an adventure released called Osaka Street Stories, set in Japan in the early 1990's, and another called Comfortably Grim is being written.

It was officially released on November 25th, 2011 though the charity Child's Play.

Not to be confused with the Mongoose Publishing game Legend.


Tropes appearing in Legend are:

  • After the End: The current setting, Hallow, is built from the remnants of an entire solar system. It was likely destroyed by some massive catastrophe, and rebuilt by divine powers.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. Arrows are exactly as harmful as sword wounds.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The Kitsune in Osaka Street Stories would rather do this than use their Voluntary Shapeshifting for a detailed, lengthy scheme.
  • Artificial Human: Sentient Constructs with the Skinjob feat are either this or Ridiculously-Human Robots.
  • Back From the Dead: The "Phoenix Reborn" ability for Monks, and a few alike powers in the Dragon, Celestial, and Undead tracks. Also possible via a medicine check.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Monks get a boost that cause their unarmed strikes to gain the same properties as any other weapon.
  • Cast From Hit Points: The Chirurgic Poet can do this, reducing his maximum possible hitpoints in order to heal others. Also overlaps with Heroic RROD, as they receive huge damage resistance and A.C bonuses when they do this, but lose some of their ability to recover from damage.
  • Character Customization: Not only can you choose class, but each class has a set of ability tracks it grants. You may swap out one of your class ability tracks for that of another, and may swap a second track with the Guild Initiation feat.
  • Character Level: There are 20 of them. Character Level is also the only measure of power in the system - all monsters have levels in the same manner as Player Characters, with a monster's challenge rating determined by level.
  • Clockwork Creature: Produced by Mechanist Savants.
  • Cloning Blues: Part of the premise of Comfortably Grim.
  • Death Is Cheap: A side effect of having a high-level medic in the party; they can stand a dead person back up between scenes.
  • Deflector Shields: The main benefit of having a Mechanist Savant in the party.
  • Dirty Cop: Present in Osaka Street Stories.
  • Drunken Master: Originally a dwarven martial art, but imitiated by barbarians of every race.
    • Then there is a set of feats based upon Livers Need Not Apply, which gives a ton of bonuses for drinking.
  • Dynamic Entry: A benefit of the Vigilante track.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The traditional Cthulhu-esque variety is present in Hallow, along with the setting's angels.
  • Elemental Powers: In two flavors, the separate Elemental tracks for the classical elements, and the Elementalist track. The Elemental tracks have circle abilities thematically appropriate for the element, while Elementalist provides blasting abilities (such as Shock and Awe, Playing with Fire, and An Ice Person) focused on a single element.
  • Empty Levels: Averted. One of the key selling points of the game is that every level gives you a significant power boost.
  • Epic Flail: A feat with that name.
  • Fairy Companion: Acquired via the Summon Mote feat.
  • Flaming Sword: And freezing, and corrosive, and shocking...
    • Now available as a weapon property alongside the other abilities.
  • Floating Continent: Hallow is made up of "constellations" of hundreds of massive floating islands (each one is 30 to 160 miles wide, but they average 80). Most of them are interconnected. Each constellation is centered around a massive semi-sentient divine machine that regulates things.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Despite what you may think, the My Little Legend tracks are quite powerful and can be used to great effect with a bit of reflavoring.
    • Also, dwarves live in massive floating strongholds which they pilot around for trade.
  • Finishing Move: A class ability of the Vigilante track - a once-per-Encounter attack with copious bonus damage and temporary hit points.
  • Flash Step: There are several ways to teleport in combat, but popping up behind you after a series of attacks is the signature move of Iron Magi.
  • Friendly Sniper: En in Osaka Street Stories, who ends a very formally worded letter stating that her contract on the players has expired and inviting them to her house with the following:
  • Full-Contact Magic: Shaman incantations are the 'pure' example of the trope, but Just Blade Sages store curses in their weapons and cast them by hitting people.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Mechanist Savant track.
  • Gun Kata: Monks with guns is a supported archetype.
  • Heroic RROD: Chirurgic Poet, as seen in cast-from-hitpoints.
  • Henshin Hero: The Vigilante track, which calls down armor, flight, and increased jumping and striking power with a shouted command.
  • Hit and Run Tactics: Present, especially at high levels where the archers can fly. However, most melee characters carry a gun or bow with which to shoot back.
    • Or fly themselves. Or get a power that cancels flight. Or-
  • Implacable Man: The Utter Brute track operates like this. They have one of the highest H.P bonuses in one track, and as they grow in power they gain the ability to take a five foot step at the start and end of each turn, become immune to several conditions, and at their highest level becomes literally unstoppable until they're hit by the Chunky Salsa Rule, after which they can still take one last action before death.
  • Improbable Weapon User: All weapons are custom-designed by selecting a number of traits. You can pick up any object and treat it as a weak weapon, choosing whatever traits would be appropriate. The Spectactular Beats feat is for characters who specialise in this fighting style.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Thanks to a quirk of the weapon rules, it is possible for a monk to give an unarmed strike the "Thrown" property. Word of God is that this particular combination is meant to be treated as this, rather than as a Rocket Punch.
  • Laser Blade: In both item and spell form. Just Blade Sages have it as a track ability.
  • Le Parkour: Happens right before the climax of Osaka Street Stories, with the players chasing an Oni across rooftops.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Anybody with the Discipline of the Serpent track becomes one, thanks to that track's focus on granting extra attacks. The dev team considers this the single biggest Game Breaker in the book.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Averted. Balancing the classes against each other was a key point in Legend's development. The system provides good examples of what Quadratic Warriors look like.
    • If anything, spells are actually underpowered in this game.
  • Look Behind You!: Clever characters can use the Bluff skill like this during a fight.
  • Luke Nounverber: One of the example dwarf names is "Fistbeard Beardfist".
  • Magic Knight: Present due to multiclassing, and without the trope's normal limitations. Learning spells as a warrior is a versatility trade-off; they choose which of their martial abilities to sacrifice, and the spells themselves are the same.
    • A Red Mage type build is equally possible with the same trade-off - a melee character (Barbarian, Ranger, Paladin, Rogue, or Monk) with multiclassing and Late Buy In can acquire both spellcasting tracks while maintaining some melee abilities and weaponry.
  • Mooks: There's a surprisingly in-depth format for building them on the fly. They also have distinct classes:
    • Grunts are Exactly What It Says on the Tin and get a health and AC bonus.
    • Strikers are slightly more tactical ranged fighters with an increased move speed.
    • Minions get both benefits, and are slightly more competent threats.
    • Elites are minions with a track.
    • Operatives are Elites who get their own unique abilities. You play as one in Comfortably Grim.
    • Minibosses are Minions with a full four tracks and two feats.
    • Myriads are the odd group out. They have the stats of strikers, but are essentially a collection of bodies that die instantly when hit. The tradeoff is that they don't have to roll for attack and will always do damage.
  • Monty Haul: The game goes out of its way to make running this kind of campaign physically impossible - there are very strict limits on magic item use, and there is no in game mundane economy. This is all in keeping with the philosophy that characters, not items, should be doing most of the work in the game.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: One benefit of the track system is that it's possible to construct many of these, up to and including a Ninja Pirate Zombie Kamen Rider. [1] Furthermore, the system's insistence on letting the players create their own fluff means that there are very few limits on what can be assembled.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Archons and other fluffy-winged celestial beings exist, and there's even a racial track for players with several options to make each character unique.
    • In Hallow, the Angels are enormous semi-sentient constructs of glass and metal that oversee parts of the world. The only job that is mostly understood by humans is that they handle what happens to people and things that fall off of plates, including turning rainwater back into clouds.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Played with. Dwarves in Hallow are highly logical beings who often become irritated when dealing with less rational creatures (ie, anyone who is not a dwarf) and come across as rather Vulcan in nature. Then you have a subset of dwarven monks who prefer to get drunk and beat the living daylights out of their enemies.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Hallow gnomes have low-level mind control and emotion-reading abilities, and like to be ruled by non-gnome monarchs (with the idea being that a ruler without mind control powers, when surrounded all day by creatures with mind control powers, will inevitably be on his or her best behavior). Furthermore, some of their weirdness is in the form of Obfuscating Stupidity - the core book's examples of gnomish technology include a garish set of decorative rainbow armor (that turns into an active camouflage system when one more piece is added) and high-quality opera glasses (that happen to make excellent sniping scopes).
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Hallow Orcs were originally the shock troops of chaos gods, kept stupid and unquestioning to serve their gods' purposes. Once introduced to Hallow, they were freed from their mental shackles and started their own (still militaristic) society, becoming Hallow's most prominent mercenaries.
  • Power Fist: The Knuckleduster, although as of the May 2012 update it's been somewhat nerfed.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Anyone who makes it to level 9 can acquire a pair.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Pretty much everyone on the dev team aside from the core members is one.
  • Ring of Power: Several, whose effects range from making you smarter to making you teleport.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Averted by the "Rocks Fall" trap, the description of which states that "[r]umors of its lethality have been greatly exaggerated."
  • Schizo-Tech: Justified in various ways.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shoot the Bullet: The “Reign of arrows” track can do this, along with shoot the arrow, gun boulder, and spell.
  • Smash Mook: Enemies with the Utter Brute track, which focuses more on granting raw numbers than new abilities.
  • Teleport Spam: The Shadow Blink feat enables this.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: It is for the Vigilante Track.
  • Train Escape: Possible in Osaka Street Stories.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Still the Barbarian's calling card; available to any class via multiclassing. Notably, it gets legitimately quite unstoppable as the character levels up - a higher-level Barbarian's rage includes features such as counting as one size larger (whether or not the character actually grows in size is left to the player), being able to intimidate enemies in combat, and gaining immunity to mind-affecting attacks. At the highest circle of the track in question, the Barbarian never stops raging.
  • Urban Fantasy: Osaka Street Stories specifically, but any modern-day game with this system pretty much has to be this.
  • Was Once a Man: The transformative races enable a somewhat strange variety of this.
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink: From longswords to submachine guns.
  • Yakuza: Present in Osaka Street Stories.
  • Zerg Rush: Pretty much the entire point of Myriad-class Mooks.

Notes

  1. The tracks required to do this are Swashbuckler, Assassin, Undead, and Vigilante.
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