Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tell Me of Lejendary Adventure

Reading through Mythus as I am, I can't help but think of Gary Gygax's other post-TSR fantasy RPG, Lejendary Adventure. I know very little about LA and always sort of assumed that it was Mythus 2.0, albeit a clearer, less complex version of Mythus. Is that a false impression? Is it worth acquiring, if only as inspirational source material?

Please, give me your thoughts.

19 comments:

  1. I looked at it years ago, and if I recall correctly it is almost a diametric change of direction from Mythus/Dangerous Journeys in its simplicity.

    My only clear recollection, though, is that Dangerous Journeys characters have 18 attributes, whereas Lejendary Adventure characters have 3 attributes (with the option of adding a fourth).

    I remember Lejendary Adventure being much lighter overall.

    I'd say it's probably worth acquiring for historical purposes if nothing else, and there may be gems in it as well.

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  2. Careful, don't say it's simple and rules lite. You will cause some hurt to James' wallet. :)

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  3. LA is probably more similar to Mythus Prime than to full blown Mythus.

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  4. I have it. It is a mixed bag of ideas unrelated to his other efforts. Almost like he wanted to do something different. Very rules lite.

    and of course a whole bag of new names for standard terms.

    tegeus

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  5. It is worth getting, but it will take a little while to grasp what is going on in the game. It also has the language barrier too.

    I actually think it is an ingenious game, but poorly explained and executed. The Gary thread at Dragonsfoot as a bunch of useful information in it about the game if you have the time to wade through it. I also recommend LejendaryLands forums with help in understanding the game.

    LA is rules light and uses broad skill bundles that determine what your characters can do.

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  6. I know the game primarily through the Essentials box set and supplements released by Troll Lord Games, but I agree with the assessment that it is a superb game that suffered primarily for not having a presentation to match.

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  7. Wish I knew about it, but for my fantasy I pretty much stuck with AD&D the way I stuck with Hero System for my sci fi/Superhero stuff and CoC for my horror. I never bought games just because they were there (or created by Gygax). Just stuff for my "Big Three."

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  8. Don't do it! You already have me buying Runequest rules and looking to start playing it. You have an obligation not only to your own pocket book, but mine too!

    Seriously though, I am a bit curious too...

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  9. Well, having seen it since Gary's inception and worked on it, here's my take.

    LA is nothing like Mythus. Gary sort of shook out the cobwebs of D&D so if you're looking for what might have been, you'll see him making several shifts in design theory there. It's still got a lot of the old flame, but if you looking to see an evolution or hints at what might have been for AD&D, you'd not see it as much.

    LA was originally, based on the draft beta that used to be the old web site hosted by the Guys at Marcray's keep, a computer game. That's why the term avatar was used for character, and in the original there was once a reference to that.

    LA is interesting since the three attributes are based on game theory--health, precision, speed, and there is no representation of common things in most RPGs like Intelligence or Strength. (There's a physique skill that represents the very strong).

    It's a lot simpler and I believe you'd enjoy playing it more than Mythus. It's very reflective or early D&D. Skills are very broad based and it's assumed you'd know what situations you'd use Wayfinding or Urbane. They are the complete opposite of what you'd find in Mythus. Some might say they are too broad.

    The magic system is still Vancian--instead of spellbooks there are memory tablets. The spells are interesting because the more powerful ones also take longer to cast and it sort of balances itself out that way. Mages and Priests talents are usually named stuff like Geourgy, Theurgy, etc.

    Most rolls such as avoidance, attack, and castings are handled via percentages. It's rather simple and loose, so if you prefer OD&D you might enjoy actually trying this game.

    Magic Items are similar to the old D&D ones, including some based on puns. The monsters are pretty broadly based--unlike Mythus he was sure to create a bunch of various ones. Gary still kept a lot of the "demi-humans" in a category called Alfar on a parallel "dimensional matrix" (his new terminology for plane).

    The only flaw IMO was Gary's terminology could be a little confusing, especially the terms "game time" and "real time". As a friend of EGG's, I still have to say that I think his biggest weakness was creating an easy to learn system--I think he was very dependent on other authors for that. But LA is a lot easier to play.

    If you're doing some eBay or store combing, I would look for the original books by Hekaforge, as they are more complete. I'd get the core three books.

    I'm not sure the world-book would be as interesting--Gary tried to create a parallel earth that was a mish-mash of cultures like Greyhawk, but still had real world pantheons and cultures. It feels the weakest of his three settings.

    I'm hopefully Gail will be able to get LA into print again someday--I know there's a team of people who worked on a revised and expanded manuscript. Gary's last big sourcebook/adventure that he wrote remains waiting to be published.

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  10. If you do get a copy of LA, you won't appreciate it until you follow the poorly organized step-by-step instructions on making a character and then playing the game. Once you go a few times through character creation and some combat rounds then you'll realize how elegant and enjoyable the system is.

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  11. If you do get a copy of LA, you won't appreciate it until you follow the poorly organized step-by-step instructions on making a character and then playing the game. Once you go a few times through character creation and some combat rounds then you'll realize how elegant and enjoyable the system is.

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  12. The fast-play rules are still kicking around here and there (dragonfoot?).

    I discusss the game a bit here, and there's some good stuff in the comments section as well: http://beyondtheblackgate.blogspot.com/2009/11/lejendary-adventure-other-gygax-rpg.html

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  13. They should re release the game after doing a complete overhaul to the layout, editing and artwork. The system is fine but the presentation is bad. previous comments are correct. Once you force yourself to play the game you come to see the beauty in its design.

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  14. Was the Essentials boxed set any better layed out the rule books? Could a long term game be played with just the Essentials and maybe the Beasts of Lejend?

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  15. I can't speak to whether the Essentials set is better organized, but I will say that it leaves a lot to be desired from an organizational standpoint.

    Having said that, one wouldn't even need Beasts of Lejend to conduct a long term game with the Essentials set. The set includes a healthy number of creatures to choose from, and the nature of the rules make stating out new monsters easier than just about any other game I can think of except Tunnels & Trolls.

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  16. Essentials was basically a cut & paste job, errors and all. It has a slightly better production value, but still has many of the same issues the original has.

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  17. I can’t make a direct comparison against Mythus as I haven’t played or seen that game in over a decade.

    The good: Characters are defined by three attributes and a handful of abilities. The abilities are “skill bundles”. Kind of halfway between classes and skills. There are multiple magic abilities with somewhat different mechanics and flavor.

    The bad: As I recall, it isn’t as bad as Mythus when it comes to eschewing standard nomenclature, but it is still goes too far. In my experience, it just makes it harder for players to understand it. (Especially since everyone I’ve played LA with already had experience with lots of RPGs.)

    Also, there’s a number of complications that just don’t pay off, IMHO. Character creation, for instance, could be greatly simplified without really losing anything.

    My current attitude towards it is that I’d rather mine it for ideas for a homebrew system rather than play it as-is (even with house rules).

    FWIW.

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  18. its a great game, i wish more people played it

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