80% there! Plus more details on Free From the Yoke
4 days in and we're 80% of the way there! I'm very excited about that, as we were pretty conservative about the goal for this one; we blew past the goal we set for Legacy 2e in the first 24 hours, but as I'm now a full-time game designer our goal needed to be a bit higher. That we're already there tells me that I made the right choice to trust in your generosity. So, thanks!
Free From the Yoke - converting Legacy to political fantasy.
Over the past year, we've been hard at work tinkering with the system of Legacy to make it fit FFtY's medieval fantasy theme. Our efforts have focused in 4 directions:
- Giving you fantastical - but folkloric - magic instead of post-apocalyptic weird tech.
- Making Houses feel like grander organisations than Legacy's Families.
- A grander political ecosystem your Houses play their roles in.
- Shifting from post-apocalyptic sci-fi to medieval fantasy.
In later updates I'll talk about the other three, but today I thought I'd talk about magic.
Magic in Free From the Yoke is defined by two things: lineage and fealty. The power flows through the land's rivers and sleeps in its hills, but those of particular insight can tap into it and learn how to command the trees of the forest, the beasts of the land, and the spirits of the air. As they use the ritual, they must live by the vows they swore to the land or face calamity. And if they teach the ritual to others, their student must swear their own vows to allow them to use the land's power.
Just as Legacy is defined by weird tech, we wanted the magic in Free From the Yoke to be a key part of gameplay. To that end, the first bit of system we wrote for this game was the following move:
Learn a Ritual
When you learn a ritual, roll +Lore. On a 7-9, your tutor picks two conditions; on a 10+ they pick one.
- You can only use the ritual in a certain set of circumstances your tutor sets out.
- You cannot use the ritual to affect a certain group of people your tutor sets out.
- You must conduct yourself according to a particular virtue your tutor sets out.
- You are forbidden from carrying out a particular action your tutor sets out.
- Once a season, you must perform a particular action your tutor sets out.
- You cannot teach the ritual to others.
If you learn a ritual without a tutor, your tutor is the land itself.
One of the things we wanted to get away from was the disposable nature of Legacy's Devices - they're cool, but not something you can rely on, and it's expected that you will use them up or trade them away. Rituals in Free From the Yoke are big, character-defining powers, so it made sense to focus in on the moment of learning.
How about using them? Again, we wanted magic to feel a bit wild and unpredictable, but less of a random quantity than Legacy's Devices. To that end, Legacy's Unleash Power move was altered, taking some inspiration from The Sword, The Crown and the Unspeakable Power. Here's the end result:
Enact a Ritual
When you perform a ritual of the land, say a thing you want it to do and roll +Lore. On a hit it does roughly what you want - on a 7-9 pick one blessing, on a 10+ pick two:
- The magic does exactly what you desire, no more and no less.
- The magic is far more powerful than normal.
- The surge of power heals a Flesh Wound.
- Select two Banes: the GM cannot pick them.
- You gain Fleeting Advantage.
- You gain an insight into your tutor’s current state.
The GM picks one Bane, plus one for each of your tutor's conditions you have broken:
- The land’s power warps your body in some way.
- The land demands a small sacrifice from you.
- The land shows you something it thinks you need to know.
- The land’s creatures avoid, attack, watch or crave you.
The weather changes suddenly and dramatically.
Finally, remember that Free From the Yoke is still a Legacy game, taking place over generations. Every time the ages turn and you retire an old character, you may add one ritual they know to your House's lore - gradually building up a corpus of knowledge that future characters will be able to call on as they adventure, but tying your House closer to the Land's waxing and waning health in the process.