Monday, April 23, 2012

At Last! Arms of Legend, Vikings of Legend and Arcania of Legend

It took my local game store owner many months, but she finally got in physical copies of three new Legend books for me. Yay! I can stop being bitter about game distributors for a short period.

Vikings of Legend is a thick and digest edition reprint of the very same book for RQII, and I acquired it purely for the sake of completionism and also because its so snug and portable...but so far I don't think anything has changed between this edition and the nice RQII blue leather gold-embossed edition I already have. It's $25 which is a slight change, of course. I would love to run a mini campaign using this book....but as it is, its at least a good read and you can steal from it for any number of Viking campaigns. I am interested in contrasting it with the forthcoming BRP Mythic Iceland.

Arms of Legend has been vexing me because I read a review some time ago that pointed out how they had mucked up the weapons again (creating inconsistencies once more) and now that I have it I can't find where this happened. Either I suck at finding errata when I try to actively spot it, or the print version was done from a corrected final edition...the review in question was based on a digital copy a couple days after release, after all. So yeah....I guess I'll just say, "book looks good, doesn't look like it has the problems I thought it did. Or I can't find them, not sure which."

Anyway, regardless of the trepidation this book (or its predecessor) established about copious volumes of errata, its nice to have a Legend tome with some updated enchantment, craft, mount, travel and equipment rules.

The best of the three that came in was Arcania of Legend: Blood Magic, which is the first truly new product for Legend and was (I think) the last slated RQII book that didn't get released before the RQII line was shaken up into what it is now with the termination of the license.

Blood Magic is impressive, its a new idea on how to conduct spell casting through sanguine dedication and sacrifice, it's full of interesting concepts and it is exactly the kind of thing that both Legend and BRP need more of; both systems have so far suffered a bit from the churn of recycled products (as good as it was to get The Magic Book for BRP, that was still just a revision of the Magic monograph, which in turn was a reprint of RQ3's Magic book from the mid 80's....)

Blood Magic also reminded me why I love the entirety of the D100 system family with a quote from the Golden Bough on page 7. I don't think I'm being snobbish or elitist when I say that I find a genuine measure of respect for a game that recognizes its roots in myth and legend in such a fashion. I'll take a quote from Sir James George Frazer any day over a reference to the latest video game (much as I like video games, I've got three copies of the Golden Bough: one given to me as a gift on my 14th birthday, one I beat to death in college, and a copy I snagged just for some current era reading fun during the Borders' going-out-of-business sales last year).

The Penguin Edition I snagged at Borders for about $5

Anyway, just more fuel for the fire encouraging me to find a way to utterly and completely defect to the BRP/Legend/CoC family of games. I miss my youth, when I just played everything under the sun.....but with age comes this realization that time is preciously short, better to focus on those things you like best.


  1. Cool stuff, I'm totally on for these in the future. A Mythic Iceland? I would totally like to explore that.

  2. We will definitely have to plan a campaign for later in the year, although if I wait too long Magic World will arrive and that will directly compete with Legend for playtime (or maybe I can just squish them together into some funky hybrid, we'll see)