Legacy: Life Among the Ruins is a tabletop roleplaying game about the survivors of a reality-twisting apocalypse, the families they form, and the new world they will create as the ages turn. Each generation, new threats and opportunities will emerge, and a hero will rise from each family to deal with them. Legacy takes inspiration from the post-apocalyptic wastelands of Fallout, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., A Canticle for Leibowitz and Mad Max, as well as the epoch-spanning gameplay of Civilisation and other 4X games.
Legacy is powered by the Apocalypse Engine, as used in Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, Dungeon World and more. It offers quick character creation, simple and intuitive rules, and a range of character archetypes to choose from. Legacy builds on other Apocalypse Engine games by using a dual-playbook structure - each player controls both a Family and a Character from that family, and has abilities that function on both the personal and national scales. Your Character grows as they explore the world and deal with crises, while the passing of ages gives opportunities for your Family to change and expand.
Key features of Legacy:
- Strong Worldbuilding Tools - the homeland creation system guides your group through making your own wasteland to play in.
- Play at Multiple Scales - the dual-playbook system means it's easy to switch between guiding a wide-ranging spy network infiltrating an empire and exploring an ancient ruin with a few allies.
- Play Across Generations - as each new age presents challenges for your family, a new character will rise from their ranks. Each new character adds to the family's legend, creating a saga that spans centuries with the relics of past characters providing strength to new heroes.
- Simple But Effective Resource Management - a tag-based system for a family's Surpluses and Needs allow their resources to have an impact on the story without being weighed down with fiddly modifiers. Similar systems streamline combat, gear and harm.
Legacy has been in open playtesting for more than a year on DriveThruRPG.com, and is fully written - all backers can download the preview build of the rules in Update #1. All it needs now is professional art and layout, and that's where you come in - the goal of this kickstarter is to get the game published with beautiful art, great layout, and amazing content you will help fund!
To get an idea of how Legacy works, have a look at the Character Playbooks, Family Playbooks, Character Basic Moves and Family Basic Moves. These are not representative of the final handouts - art and professional layout is still to come!
A game of Legacy starts with the group ( between 2-6 players and one game master) creating the world they will play in: what it was like before the Fall, how the World Before ended, who lives there now and what threats it now faces. The game has questions and examples to guide this process, and you might end up with an asteroid colony ravaged by interdimensional portals, a world of crystal spires haunted by savage elementals, or something even weirder.
Next, each player chooses a Family Playbook. Each playbook represents a particular archetype of survivors:
- The Enclave of Bygone Lore hold on to some of the wonders of the World Before, but must decide whether to hoard the knowledge for themselves or risk using it to save others.
- The Gilded Company of Merchants survived by finding something precious and using that to barter for safety. Now their wares, whether that be art, weapons or mementos, are their route to luxury and ubiquity.
- The Lawgivers of the Wasteland hold fast to a particular code of ethics, and fight to impose order on the new world with vigilance, fortitude and vigilante justice.
- The Servants of the One True Faith are defined by their zealous devotion to a particular cause; the healing of mankind, the renunciation of the World Before, attainment of godhood, or something else. When they channel this faith, they can accomplish superhuman feats.
- To The Tyrant Kings, the Wasteland is a new world ripe for the taking. They use their ferocious edge in battle and web of vassal states to divide and conquer, until everything in the Wasteland answers to them.
Each playbook has a number of ways you customise your Family, from their lifestyle (Nomadic, Dispersed or Settled) to their guiding philosophies, traditions and special Moves. Each Family will also start with a number of Surpluses such as weaponry or land that show their particular strengths, and Needs such as medicine or leadership that define the things they're lacking. These Surpluses and Needs tell you what state your Family is in at the start of the game, and give you clear goals to start the ball rolling.
Once you have a world, a family, and a particular issue your Family is facing, you then make a Character. Your Character might be the leader of your Family, an up-and-comer without a reputation, or an outcast, but no matter which the fate of the Family is in their hands. Legacy comes with eight different Character playbooks:
- The Elder has seen their family through crisis after crisis, and has the wisdom, statesmanship and loyal staff needed to deal with whatever the Wasteland can throw at them.
- The Envoy is an expert at getting other factions to do what they want. Through intrigue, diplomacy and force, they can get whatever assistance your Family needs.
- The Hunter is who you go to when you want someone tracked down and stopped, whether they be a bestial horror or an invading warlord, and they're equally proficient with stealth and overwhelming force.
- The Remnant is one of those unfortunates twisted by the Fall into something inhuman. Adopted into a Family, they put their strange abilities to use protecting their new tribe.
- The Scavenger is at home in the Wasteland and can ferret out wonders no-one else could find. A sixth sense for tech lets them rig up strange contraptions and sense it out in the ruins.
- The Seeker has devoted their life to understanding the technology of the World Before, and can uncover its true function and repurpose it to heal or harm.
- The Sentinel is an armour-clad colossus of battle. Whether they're holding back a pack of beasts or building fortifications to protect an outpost, they are the bulwark on which your enemies will break.
- The Survivor has been through worse. Far worse. They will shrug off blows, avenge the fallen, and not rest until the mission is done.
Each character can be personalised with your choice of looks, gear, stats and moves.
The Ages Turn
Legacy has built-in support for multi-generation play. Once your group has dealt with the issues of the age they can choose to move a generation or more into the future, and rules kick in to establish how each Family changes as the ages turn. This is also an opportunity to shake up the political, cultural and geographical landscape of the Wasteland, adding in new threats, factions and opportunities.
I've set the goal at £3000. About 10% will go to writing costs, 20% towards layout and editing, 60% towards art, and 10% towards Kickstarter and Amazon fees.
Hi! I'm James Iles, the writer of Legacy and head of UFO Press. While this is my first Kickstarter, I've been creating and running tabletop RPGs, board games, and freeform LARPs for a long while now. I'm highly motivated to make this game the best it can be and get a beautiful book into your hands/hard drives.
Editing and extra design work has been provided by Chris Longhurst, a good friend, professional editor, and RPG designer who has worked for Mongoose Publishing, Purple Duck, Paradigm Concepts, and Evil Hat.
Art is by Jeff Brown and Marcin Jakubowski, whose style blends ruins, weirdness and high technology in a way perfect for this project. I'm committed to making sure the book is inclusive and welcoming, so I'll make every effort to make sure the art is diverse and respectful.
Legacy will be full-colour, digest-sized, and clock in at about 160 pages. The game will contain instructions on how to set up a game of Legacy and create a world, basic moves all Families and Characters work by, the five Family playbooks and eight Character playbooks, advice on how to run Legacy, and a selection of threats characters might face from rampaging monsters to falling satellites.
After the kickstarter all text for Legacy will be released for free under the CC-BY 4.0 license so that you can create new playbooks and hacks of the game and release them without any legal worries.
Backers at the Scavenger and higher levels will get a physical copy of the book, printed by my partners at DriveThruRPG.com. Backing will get you a coupon to have your book printed and shipped at reduced cost, meaning that you save money, I don't have to worry about shipping and fulfilment, and you don't need to pay for shipping until the game is ready. I estimate that the softcover version will cost £3.90 to print while the hardcover version will cost £4.60. For shipping costs, follow this link (note that costs are in USD).
- £1 (~$1.60): Scout. Show your support for the game, have your name listed in the credits, and get access to backer updates.
- £6 (~$10): Seeker. Get the PDF of Legacy, as well as your name in the credits.
- £10 (~$16): Elder. Get the PDF of Legacy, all unlocked stretch goals, and your name in the credits.
- £12 (~$20): Scavenger. Get the PDF of Legacy, all unlocked stretch goals, your name in the credits, and a softcover copy of Legacy - this tier will give you a code to get Legacy printed at-cost by DriveThruRPG when it's done (approx. £3.90/$5.20), with shipping paid at that time. Estimated final cost: £12 pledge + £3.90 printing + £3.78 shipping (to UK) = £19.68, or about $30.20 including shipping to the US.
- £16 (~$26): Sentinel. Get the PDF of Legacy plus all unlocked stretch goals, your name in the credits, and a hardcover copy of Legacy - this tier will give you a code to get Legacy printed at-cost by DriveThruRPG when it's done (approx. £6.90/$11), with shipping paid at that time. Estimated final cost: £16 pledge + £6.90 printing + £4.41 UK shipping = £27.31, or about $42 including shipping to the US.
- £30 (~$48): Tinkerer. PDF, stretch goals, name in the credits, and a hardcover copy of the game via DrivethruRPG as above. In addition, I'll write up of a pre-Fall tech device of your choice, complete with bizarre powers and strange purposes. Once they're done, these will be released as a free PDF to all backers. Estimated final cost: £30 pledge + £6.90 printing + £4.41 UK shipping = £41.31, or about $64 including shipping to the US.
- £35 (~$56): Gilded Company. Retailer tier! Get the PDF, stretch goals, name in the credits, and a code to get 5 softcover copies printed at-cost by DriveThruRPG when it's done (approx. £3.90/$5.20 each) with shipping paid at that time. Estimated final cost: £35 pledge + £19.50 printing + £5.56 UK shipping= £60.06, or about $92.50 including shipping to the US. Works out at £12/$18.50 per book.
- £60 (~$94): Monster. PDF, stretch goals, name in the credits, and a hardcover copy of the game with free printing and shipping. In addition, I'll write up a threat of your choice - monster, faction or natural disaster. Once they're done, these will be released as a free PDF to all backers.
- £80 (~$125): Luminary. Get the PDF of Legacy, stretch goals, name in the credits, and a hardcover copy of the game with free printing and shipping. In addition, I'll work with my artists to get you (or one of your characters) depicted in one of the pieces of art for a Family.
- £150 (~$235): Tyrant. PDF, stretch goals, name in the credits, and a hardcover copy of the game with free printing and shipping. In addition, I will work with you to create a new Family playbook to be released as a free PDF when the game is out.
- £150 (~$235): Survivor. PDF, stretch goals, name in the credits, and a hardcover copy of the game with free printing and shipping. In addition, I will work with you to create a new Character playbook to be released as a free PDF when the game is out.
Want an extra copy of Legacy? That's extremely easy. Add the following amount to your pledge to get an extra DriveThruRPG code:
- £8: Softcover copy of Legacy. This will cost you £3.90/$5.20 to print once the game is ready.
- £12: Hardcover copy of Legacy. This will cost you £6.90/$11 to print once the game is ready.
Shipping is likely to be ~£4-5/$5 extra if your pledge doesn't include a physical reward, or ~£1/$1 extra if you're already getting a book and get all copies in the same DriveThruRPG order.
If I go over my initial goal, I'll use it to make the project better - more art, more content, and more for you to enjoy.
£3500 - The Cultivators of New Life. If we hit £3500 I'll write a new Family playbook. The Cultivators specialise in raising crops and rearing animals, but their secret techniques allow them to create far stranger things than corn and cattle.
- £4000 - More Art. If we hit £4000 I'll raise the book's art budget, resulting in a prettier, eye-catching book.
- £4500 - Advanced Tech. If we hit £4500 I'll put together a supplement exploring the strange tech of the Before. This document will detail 25 artefacts your characters could find, complete with custom abilities.
- More to be revealed as these are met!
Risks and challenges
Every project can run into unexpected challenges, but I've made plans to address them as they occur:
Writing: As soon as you back this project, you'll get a complete draft of the rules. As I work towards completing the project more writing may need to be done to incorporate backer feedback or from unlocked stretch goals. If this looks like it'll result in delays, I'll keep you posted.
Art: Artists can have life issues, schedule conflicts, or a particular piece may need edits and revisions. To deal with this I've got a few other artists ready to pick up work if people drop out; if even that falls through I know of places to get good-quality stock art that, even though it won't be quite as good, will still do.
Production and Delivery: DriveThruRPG is a highly professional organisation, and they've fulfilled many kickstarters in the past. Additionally, I have experience setting up a title on DriveThruRPG and preparing it for print. As for delivery, if your game gets lost in the post I will be happy to provide a new copy for you.
Unexpected factors may also cause delays - sickness, accidents, computer failure, acts of god, and so on. I've taken what steps I can to stop these from affecting the project, but if they might cause issues I'll be sure to let you know.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)