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Free From the Yoke
by Anna P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2020 18:07:26

As of writing this review, I have gmed 2 actual game sessions and 2 world/character building sessions of Free From the Yoke.

Currently I give it 4 stars because it's not my ideal perfect 'exists only in my brain' rpg system for political intrigue and country rebuilding, and there's still some stuff that confuse me a little or that I wish was different, but I still had a lot of fun playing it, and I'm excited to continue my campagin.

I really enjoy the game's setting and tone. It's not completely set in stone. You have a lot of wiggle room on whether you want it to very much be fantasy Kievan Rus or draw inspiration from other sources as well, and on whether you want to play heroic revolutionaries or opportunistic bastards (or find a middle ground). Ultimately though I really like the story of rebuilding a country, making a better future and perhaps grabbing a bit of extra power for your house. Sometimes I pick up games with interesting mechanics, but ultimately I'm not interested in the setting and tone of the game, so I never end up gming. This game made me inspired and excited.

The worldbuilding/house creation section is phenomenal. I went into this game with 0 things planned in advance and found creating a whole country daunting. In session 1, my players filled out their house playbooks, adding detail about how their house's history and drawing landmarks on the map. After that, filling out the rest of the map was easy for me because it wasn't a blank slate, now it had a coastline, some mountains and a trade route. I wasn't scared to begin anymore since someone else had drawn the first brushstroke. I found it fun and satisfying to zoom in on certain regions and add a lot of details while I had the inspiration and leaving other places blank since they didn't interest me at the moment and weren't yet game relevant.

I really like both the house playbooks and the character playbooks. Reading through them makes me wish I was a player and not the GM. I didn't get quite as excited about the Arbiter playbooks (playbook for the GM that determines what form the government/arbiter takes and gives the GM some moves) but I ended up really liking the form my Arbiter took (a people's army with a bunch of different leaders with their own ideas of what's the best path for the country to take).

For the first actual game session, a lot of time was consumed by holding court (a move) and figuring out what everything meant, and then prepare and provision (also move), but when we zoomed in and played focusing on their characters going on a mission, things became easier and more fun.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with powered by the apocalypse games. On one hand, I really enjoy the freedom as a GM. On the other, I find it difficult to call for rolls, not knowing if something is enough of a challenge/if failure is interesting or what to do if there isn't really a move that fits. I think some of it is a matter of getting used to the system and being unafraid to make it own.

I think it's a good game for improvizing as you go along. In one situation, my players were meeting an ambassador, but she was late. One player absolutely didn't want to meet the ambassador and wanted to avoid the meeting place. Originally I had planned for the ambassador to just show up at the meeting place, but I couldn't help myself and created a little trouble, letting the ambassador run into the player who was avoiding her.

I've done very little prep work and research for my sessions that wasn't my own curiosity popping up and making me google medieval salt mines. I think it's interesting how this is a game that wants the players and not the GM to decide the course of the story. I haven't come up with any particular overarching plots or storylines that I want to draw my players into. I haven't had the chance to do zoomed out faction play yet, but I am curious to see how it works, and happy to hand the reins to my players.

Hope this helps you decide whether to buy or not, maybe I'll come back and redo my review after having played more.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Free From the Yoke
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Shattered City
by Andreas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2020 17:40:29

This game is a rough diamond.

The structure of the chapters appears to be strangely out of order. Move descriptions often seems to be too ambiguous or even contradictory. Above all, there are too little actual play examples to make sense of all these complex rules. Sorry, your book needs serious editing.

Despite all that, I can recommend the game. The World of Legacy engine helps to create a living, breathing world. There are various exciting additions to the pbta formula. The fantasy setting is novel, interesting and atmospheric.

My advice: upload a transcript of a lengthy actual play example where all moves are used.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shattered City
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Legacy: Life Among the Ruins - The Engine of Life Supplement
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2020 08:40:38

Hope among the ruins - a Mephisto review

The Engine of Life

The Engine of Life is another addition to the roleplaying game Legacy, which is thematically dedicated to the aspect of hope. In this sense, the sourcebook is a collection of various additions for the existing game. There is a new character role, the prophet, new landmarks, and a few new wonders to build. The new coda rule is about retiring characters who have each completed their fourth role - and what the consequences are. With the festivals, another rule mechanism is introduced, which on the one hand, stylistically shapes the new society in the ruins through corresponding traditions, but on the other hand, can also bring concrete advantages.

After some essays on the topics of love, traditions, culture and religion - i.e. values that have a special meaning even after the fall and can shape the life among the ruins - six new families and seven new characters are introduced, which further increases the diversity of this game. There are both exciting, but rather classic variations as well as stranger ideas, such as the Timestream Refugees, which arrived from the future to escape a catastrophe or to prevent it now. With Burning Down Babylon, the book also provides a small, relatively compact setting that is suitable for a quicker start.

Overall, The Engine of Life provides a toolbox full of new elements to add to the game. None of them will really change Legacy completely, but thematically, this volume has captured the element of hope that something new and good will emerge from the ruins in a fitting way. In my opinion, the number of options and possibilities to design Legacy has become almost too extensive with all the additions (especially since there is another sourcebook that looks at the post-ruin era from a much more pessimistic perspective). However, if you take the time to try out all these possibilities and elements, you get the chance to play such very individual times after the demise.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy: Life Among the Ruins - The Engine of Life Supplement
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Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition
by Whit C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2020 23:09:35

I have never been more excited to run a game immediately after reading the book than with this one!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition
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Free From the Yoke
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2020 14:08:50

Rebuilding a country with mighty houses - a Mephisto review

Free from the yoke

Free from the yoke is an expansion for Legacy that offers another alternative scenario for roleplaying. The focus of Free from the yoke is not the rebuilding of civilization after a great catastrophe in the future. This time the background is a medieval world. The setting is a country that has just shed the shackles of a vast, foreign empire and is trying to rebuild after the struggle for freedom. On the organizational level, there are several large houses with a lot of power both during the occupation by the empire and after its fall. For example, there are the Brethren of the Sea Serpent, a strong naval power, the Glorious Merchant Republic, a mixture of guild and trading house, or the Church of the Forgotten Land, a foreign faith that has taken root. Besides the houses, which have their usual playbooks, there is also the character level again, which is occupied by fighters, vagabonds, and scholars.

As with Legacy, it's all about how the houses want to build a new society after the fall. It is important to know that although the empire was defeated here, it still exists. As is usual for Legacy, a map of the land is created during play, and already during character creation, the houses can set certain landmarks, which change during the game, since a large time frame is also used here. Also, as with Legacy, there are the resources, which are measured for the houses in surplus or need. These resources are, for example, necessary to advance projects and, thus, further development. A unique feature of the game is the so-called Arbiter. He is the one who fought back the empire and is, therefore, at the center of the new order. The great houses work together with him (or against him) and also vie for his favor. The influence of the Arbiter is measured with two statistics. They show how strong his control of the country and how great the unrest is. Unusual for Legacy is that there are also three playbooks for the Arbiter, each of which gives the game its own character. The Arbiter also has its so-called agents at the character level.

Free from the yoke takes its inspiration from Russian history and legends according to its own statements. At some points, I felt a little bit reminded of the power struggles in Game of Thrones. The houses and their champions offer a broad range and always also the possibility to create them very individually beyond the basics. The setting of a fantasy realm, which also includes mysterious magic, gives Legacy a unique setting of its own and makes it more accessible to players who don't like the more futuristic scenarios. The idea that the Arbiter is a central game master figure is also an exciting addition.

I think that Free from the yoke is an exciting alternative setting for Legacy, which appeals especially to those players who sometimes want to control the destiny of a medieval country through a large house - and sometimes want to work together for bigger goals and sometimes want to betray the others for their personal advantage. For those who have rebuilt enough civilizations in the future (or who are not quite so familiar with the future), Free from the yoke is the ideal setting for Legacy.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Free From the Yoke
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Legacy: Worldfall (Worlds of Legacy 5) PDF
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2020 14:05:42

New start on a new world - a Mephisto review

Worldfall

Worldfall is another world for Legacy that offers a science fiction setting. The idea here is that the player characters belong to a group of colonists who dare to make a new beginning on a foreign planet. Whether this planet is an idyllic place or the characters have crashed into a world hostile to life is up to the players. The focus of the game is on how the various cabals shape the new colony and what kind of civilization will emerge. Therefore, political intrigues have greater importance than military conflicts. The first great miracle to be built is the Constitutional Congress, which shapes the constitution and, depending on its influence, gives players the opportunity to define so-called positive and negative liberties. Examples are the establishment of national parks, freedom of the press, and the right to bear arms. Besides, the corresponding cabal is given influence over this area and thus special rules. The player, e.g., who has campaigned for the national parks, also holds the national park administration. Depending on whether the government is more democratic or authoritarian, there are further modifications.

The cabals as organizations cover a broad spectrum, from a church organization to an artists' collective to the former officers' class. As before, all cabals thus have their own features and characteristics. Also, there are various playbooks for the respective characters, which often fit very well to certain cabals, but explicitly allow unusual combinations. One special cabal, Worldsoul, offers the possibility to embody the living planet and thus bring a faction into play that is clearly different from the others.

Even though I liked the basic theme - namely the colonization of a foreign planet with different power groups that have to fight together - the partly comic style was not really my cup of tea. However, if you as a player want to experience what it's like to run your own colony and see how it develops (which, as with Legacy, will also manifest itself on the corresponding map, where new buildings and other things keep popping up), you'll find a setting that is less gloomy than the classic Legacy.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy: Worldfall (Worlds of Legacy 5) PDF
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Worlds of Legacy: Rhapsody of Blood: Choir of Souls
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2020 14:03:06

New heroes for the fight against evil - a Mephisto review

Choir of Souls

The small expansion Choir of Souls delivers seven new playbooks for Rhapsody of Blood. Assassin, Captain, Joker, Knight, Mascot, Medic, and Professor offer new roles in the fight against evil and expand the range of characters with a few new ideas - no more and no less - but at what I consider to be a comparatively high price.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Worlds of Legacy: Rhapsody of Blood: Choir of Souls
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Legacy: Wasteland Almanac
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2020 14:01:17

Strange ideas for a strange world - a Mephisto review

Wasteland Almanac

The Wasteland Almanac is a sourcebook for Legacy that promises unusual encounters in a world distorted by chaos - in other words: it is a toolbox with 60 ideas about places, artifacts, and threats (20 each). All these entries are described in a few lines and rounded off with a few questions to stimulate the imagination of the game master. The book covers a wide range of bizarre, threatening, and sometimes funny ideas that can either be used directly within your campaign or motivate you to develop your own ideas. What most of the ideas have in common is that they are both puzzling and very strange. It becomes obvious that the world of Legacy was already much more advanced before the downfall than ours, or has clearly moved away from it. For example, there is an idea about finding bicycles, which would be a great technical achievement - if someone still knew how to ride them.

Those who get this book with the expectation to find a lot of material for direct use in their campaign will probably be disappointed, as the ideas still hold many puzzles and questions. As a source of inspiration, however, the Almanac is an excellent tool. It is just a pity that there are only a few illustrations here.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy: Wasteland Almanac
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The Art of Legacy: Life Among the Ruins
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2020 13:59:37

Visual inspiration for a life among the ruins - a Mephisto review

The Art of Legacy

Unsurprisingly, the content of the Art Book on Legacy is primarily a compilation of the various illustrations from the rulebook, but also from sourcebooks and the first edition of the roleplaying game. In some cases, readers will also find the description of the illustration, as well as various design stages that led to the final result.

Even if various illustrations may already be familiar to the inclined reader of the rulebook, the art book with its landscape format gives a beautiful impression of the manifold ideas that have been realized here. The mixture of ruins, futuristic technology, partly monstrous creatures, and enigmatic backgrounds inspires you to develop your own mysterious (and sometimes maybe a bit bizarre) setting. Various motives challenge the viewer to find his personal stories to what he has seen.

By putting the illustrations together, The Art of Legacy offers an interesting introduction to the possible worlds of Legacy. The book can inspire players and game masters to create their own world of Legacy. Although the illustrations shown here from the first edition a quite good, the comparison emphasizes how much the new illustrations inspire the imagination. Personally, I really liked the art book, and it made me want to play Legacy even more.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Art of Legacy: Life Among the Ruins
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Legacy: Rhapsody of Blood (Worlds of Legacy 4)
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2019 12:41:53

Review from Mephisto 69 Online Add-On (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/261389/Mephisto-69-Online-AddOn), translated from German (find orignal German review below)

RHAPSODY OF BLOOD

Besides the usual game world of Legacy: Life Among the Ruins, most of the new game worlds of the Worlds of Legacy series are also futuristic. Here Rhapsody of Blood offers an alternative with its Gothic Action background. In the game, the so-called castle enters our reality once per generation. The influence of the castle corrupts everything with nightmares and the dark magic available to the respective ruler of the castle. The evil deeds emanating from the castle successively increase the power of the Regent, until he can finally perform a terrible ritual with the unholy Grail, which changes the world forever. But the Regent does not remain unchallenged, and several organizations send their best fighters to invade the castle, face the Regent and stop the ritual. In the end, however, the most powerful fighter of the good must decide whether he wants to use the unholy Grail himself and is willing to pay the price.

Rhapsody of Blood uses the classic approach of Legacy and offers two levels of play. On one level, it's the so-called bloodlines that face the dark power of the castle generation after generation. They include legendary heroes, magicians, churches, and other archetypal organizations. While these bloodlines are responsible for the strategy, it is the adventurers who enter the mysterious castle as individual characters and face their horrors. The idea is that the castle overlays and coexists with our ordinary reality - so it does not have to look like a physical castle. The respective Regent and his henchmen have their common theme. While the player characters can break the power of the respective Regent, the castle comes back in the next generation with a new Regent, and the fight starts again.

Rhapsody of Blood has a well-designed background with a fascinating gothic fantasy flair. As usual, the rules are rather abstract, and the stories run according to a fixed scheme, which may lose some of its charms after a few stories. But the setting offers enough material for a few confrontations with the castle and its Regent. Thematically, this World of Legacy is my personal favorite so far.

Deutsche Version

RHAPSODY OF BLOOD

Neben der Standard-Spielwelt von Legacy: Life Among the Ruins sind die meisten zusätzlichen Spielwelten der Worlds of Legacy-Reihe futuristisch angehaucht. Hier bietet Rhapsody of Blood mit seinem Gothic-Action-Hintergrund eine Alternative. Im Spiel tritt einmal pro Generation die sogenannte Burg in unsere Realität ein. Der Einfluss der Burg korrumpiert alles mit Albträumen und der dunklen Magie, die dem jeweiligen Regenten der Burg zur Verfügung steht. Die von der Burg ausgehenden Untaten steigern sukzessive die Macht des Regenten, bis er schließlich ein schreckliches Ritual mit dem unheiligen Gral durchführen kann, das die Welt für immer verändert. Doch der Regent bleibt nicht unangefochten, und mehrere Organisationen schicken ihre besten Streiter los, in die Burg einzudringen, den Regenten zu stellen und das Ritual zu stoppen. Am Ende muss der mächtigste Streiter des Guten allerdings entscheiden, ob er selbst den unheiligen Gral benutzen will und bereit ist, den Preis dafür zu zahlen.

Rhapsody of Blood verwendet den klassischen Ansatz von Legacy und bietet somit zwei Spielebenen. Auf der einen Ebenen sind es die sogenannten Blutlinien, die sich Generation für Generation der finsteren Macht der Burg stellen. Sie umfassen legendäre Helden, Magier, Kirche und weitere archetypische Organisationen. Während diese Blutlinien für die Strategie verantwortlich sind, sind es die Abenteurer, die als Einzelcharaktere in die mysteriöse Burg eindringen und sich ihren Schrecken stellen. Die Idee dabei ist, dass die Burg sich mit unserer normalen Realität überlagert und mit ihr koexistiert – so dass das Ganze nicht wie eine physische Burg erscheinen muss. Der jeweilige Regent und seine Schergen haben ein dazu passendes gemeinsames Thema. Die Spielercharaktere können die Macht des jeweiligen Regenten zwar brechen, doch kommt die Burg in der nächsten Generation mit einem neuen Regenten zurück und der Kampf beginnt erneut.

Rhapsody of Blood hat einen gut gestalteten Hintergrund mit gelungenem Gothic-Fantasy-Flair. Wie gehabt sind die Regeln eher abstrakt, und auch hier verlaufen die Geschichten nach einem festen Schema, was vielleicht nach einigen Durchgängen an Reiz verliert, für ein paar Auseinandersetzungen mit der Burg und dem Regenten aber durchaus ausreicht. Thematisch ist diese Welt von Legacy bisher mein persönlicher Favorit.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy: Rhapsody of Blood (Worlds of Legacy 4)
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Legacy: Generation Ship (Worlds of Legacy 1) PDF
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2019 12:31:27

Review from Mephisto 69 Online Add-On (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/261389/Mephisto-69-Online-AddOn), translated from German (find orignal German review below)

GENERATION SHIP

In Generation Ship, one of the Worlds of Legacy with alternative settings for Legacy, players can experience what it's like to survive in a generation ship on a journey to distant worlds. Unfortunately, some humans have awakened too early. They now have to survive for generations in a spaceship that was never designed to be inhabited by humans outside of cold sleep. And it is a ship that the subsequent generations hardly understand and that offers many secrets to be solved if it is ever to reach its destination.

The six different families and the eight individual characters on the two levels of play try to reactivate essential ship systems in the different ages. Ideally, the game should end with the planet fall, i.e. the arrival at the destination. Generation Ship is more futuristic and provides a clear objective to be achieved in a limited number of ages: The planet must be reached with an intact ship. This background combines classic science fiction with the theme of recovering lost technology. Although Generation Ship keeps close to the atmosphere of Legacy, the book contains a coherent and recommendable alternative setting for fans of classic Science Fiction.

Deutsche Version

GENERATION SHIP

In Generation Ship, einer der Worlds of Legacy mit alternativen Hintergründen, können die Spieler erleben, wie es ist, in einem Generationenschiff auf der Reise zu entfernten Welt zu überleben. Leider ist ein Teil der Menschen zu früh erwacht und muss sich generationenlang in einem Raumschiff durchschlagen, das nie dafür ausgelegt war, von Menschen außerhalb des Kälteschlafs bewohnt zu werden. Und es ist ein Schiff, das die nachfolgenden Generationen kaum verstehen und das viele zu lösende Geheimnisse bietet, wenn es je sein Ziel erreichen soll.

Die sechs verschiedenen Familien und die acht individuellen Charaktere auf den zwei Spielebenen versuchen, in den verschiedenen Zeitaltern essenzielle Schiffssysteme zu reaktivieren. Im Idealfall soll das Spiel mit dem Planetenfall, also der Ankunft am Zielort, abschließen. Generation Ship ist futuristischer und liefert eine klare Zielsetzung, die in einer begrenzten Zahl an Zeitaltern zu erfüllen ist: Der Planet muss mit einem intakten Schiff erreicht werden. Damit wird klassische Science Fiction mit dem Ansatz kombiniert, verlorene Technologie wiederzugewinnen. Auch wenn Generation Ship sich nah an der grundsätzlichen Atmosphäre von Legacy hält, enthält das Buch für Fans klassischer SciFi ein stimmiges und empfehlenswertes Alternativsetting.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Legacy: Echoes of the Fall
by Itai A. R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2019 17:42:21

I think I'm not the right person for this product, as I am not a natural Apocalypse World fan. I don't really enjoy the Apocalypse Engine approach to roleplaying. Anyway, I found this game hard to run and lacking in material. It's a lot of mood and lighting, not enough stuff.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy: Echoes of the Fall
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Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition Quickstart - Non-Compliant
by keith w. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2019 22:05:38

The adventure contained in here has given me such visions of wonderous and terrifying sci-fi i would recomend it for that alone. But it has the additional wrinkle of a rather unique take on playing an entire tribe of people in addition to the unique and driving personalities it creates. Furthermore you play these tribes for multiple generations, across many ages of aggressive and all consuming change. I cannot wait to see the stories this system can create.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition Quickstart - Non-Compliant
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Legacy: Life Among the Ruins
by Itai G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2019 16:18:06

I do not like apocalypse engine games; I tried running this game to test the system, and I didn't like it. I'm told it's not the most exact example for an apocalypse engine game, but there you go. The character classes are pretty cool, though.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Legacy: Godsend (Worlds of Legacy 3) PDF
by Marcus G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2018 23:33:57

Upon my first reading of this book, here is what I have discovered.

The book is more or less self contained. It appears to be playable as is. It's diceless, which means there will need to be a high level of trust between everyone at the table. Otherwise the negotiation involved with determining fictional positioning will break down very quickly.

This game is focused on world building, storytelling, and map creating. Generally speaking, a role-playing game is focused on the adventures of a character and how they fit into the world. This game does have characters, but they die off frequently and do not seem to be of central concern at all.

The reason they die off frequently is because this game is focused on building the world. Building a world takes a long time, years, decades, millenia. So what your characters do will be a small episode in this vast passing of time, like a few frames in a time lapse video of the creation of the world.

It is a cool concept, but this is for a specific crew. The crew who is going to enjoy this will be 100% comfortable with not having a connection with their character or NPCs. This crew will get a great deal of joy out of talking about role-playing, but not really getting into it and keeping it general and high level.

I don't imagine you would have to play this game from such a disconnected position, but it certainly seems to be the intention of the design. With some house ruling and creativity I have no doubt this could be an interesting suppliment. As it is, it's a good game for a couple of sessions in between your other role-playing games.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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