Open Legend: My (hopefully) Perfect System
. I have been playing or running RPGs for almost three decades now, usually in some form or edition of Dungeons & Dragons. I have played, however, many more systems, and read dozens beyond that. From cyberpunk, to anime, to Wild/Weird West, and fantasy, I’ve done just about every genre at least once.
. To say I enjoy complicated rules and tables (here on out referred to as “Crunch”) is a bit of an understatement, as well as a misnomer. If you’d have asked me as recently as two years ago, I’d say the more Crunch, the better the game. It had always felt like more rules lead to more options, which meant more ways to enjoy the game.
. Even as I was trying to teach new players, or convert games from one system to another, I enjoyed the Crunch. Several of my players, not so much. As many a gamer can attest to, there is a wide spectrum of players at any given gaming table. Some love rules, viewing them as a path towards more power and enjoyment. Others do not have the time or desire to become as well versed in the rules of a particular system, even finding the more rules a system has the more restrictive it is.
. My current group is a mix of those two broad archetypes. Myself, and at least one other player, enjoy convoluted rules, the large amounts of options and the optimization and customization that they can bring.
. The rest of my table isn’t so inclined. Two player just don’t want to read the rules, and one is so much inclined towards crazy story plots and off the wall character ideas, that the Crunchiness of so many systems stifles his creativity and fun.
. My wife, for example, honed her gaming chops on video games, and D&D 4th edition, where one of my players started on Paizo’s Pathfinder, and yet a third has spent much of his time in the World of Darkness systems and the LARP world within. Needless to say, it’s hard to find a single system that brings the simplicity of 4th Ed, the extreme Crunch of. Pathfinder, and the rich storytelling of WoD all together. I wanted to find a system that would help me do this, something simple, yet full of options. Deliciously complex, yet geared towards storytelling. No such system could exist.
. Or so I had thought. A couple months ago, I was turned on to Open Legend via a Facebook post from Nerdarchy. Being the curious sort, and a little skeptical, watched the opening video on the games website front page. Intrigued, I read the introduction, joined the Mightybell forums and even created a Discord account to see how the community faired there. Reading the rules and discussing them with the folks on the Discord server, I immediate fell in love with the system.
. If this sounds like a love letter to Open Legends, it kind of is. I yearn for a crunchy, simple, story-driven system that a player who either loves to read rules or barely touches them with a 10-foot pole can enjoy. The more I describe and show my players the system, the more excited I am. In fact, as shown here, the system has inspired me to write again. To that end, I’ll be writing a series of articles on Open Legend, occasionally collaborating with users from the official Discord servers. So please, pull up a chair, swig a mug of your favorite beverage, and join me on my continued search for my “perfect system”.