Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: Legacy--Life Among the Ruins...and more.

Okay, so I haven't been posting very actively lately.  I'm going to blame it on...let's see...too much gaming on Roll20, a welcome uptick in in-person gaming, and Netflix.  Also, I purchased several more gaming books which I'm slowly working my way through.

One of my latest acquisitions is Legacy--Life Among the Ruins by James Iles.  I came across this game while browsing all the games I could find at which use the Apocalypse Engine.  I bought another game "Powered by the Apocalyse" a little while ago (Dungeon World, see my review here) and was intrigued by the mechanics and its fresh approach to gaming.  I've been wanting to run some sort of sci-fi game to balance all the fantasy and superhero gaming my group does and so I bought Legacy and the two expansions: Legacy--Echoes of the Fall and Legacy--Mirrors in the Ruins.  I got all three pdfs for under US$20 so that's less than one typical print book for the whole set.

Legacy is set in a not-too-far future after civilization has collapsed.  The game does not lay out any specific timeline or even a specific location on earth.  There is mention of stories passed down by grandparents and great grandparents.  It could be that the very oldest people around (90+) still remember the pre-fall world, or maybe it's a generation or two beyond that, depending on what suits the GM's concept best.  But it's not so far back that everything old has crumbled.  There are still a few working vehicles, weapons, tools, and machines around.

Players play both a single character, as one expects in an RPG, but also that character's family.  There are eight character classes and five types of families.  Because this is a PbtA game, there are Moves which represent what you can do.  Each class has a set of unique Moves it can perform but so does each family.  Characters have four stats but families have three: Reach, Grasp, and Mood.  Reach is the family's influence in the wider world; Grasp is the family's ability hold onto what it has; and Mood is the family's overall well-being.  A family also has points of Tech which can be hoarded or spent.  An average family is posited to be 20-30 able-bodied adults.  Interacting with other families in your area is intended to be a feature of any campaign.

Another feature of Legacy is "Ages".  Ages allow you to move the game time forward, apparently by a couple generations.  There is a move for this called The Age Turns, the roll for which is modified by your family's Mood.  This feature may not appeal to all groups but it is a nice addition to the PbtA system overall and could easily be adapted for making other campaigns multi-generational.

As noted above I also bought the two expansions, Legacy--Echoes of the Fall and Legacy--Mirrors in the Ruins.  Echoes of the Fall adds two new family types and one more PC class.  Mirrors in the Ruins adds four very science-fictiony families and a new PC class to go with each.  While the main rules and Echoes are about humans in a near future Mirrors goes much farther into the realm of science fiction and I would definitely use it in a Legacy game to spice things up.

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