About this project
Open Legend is an open-source tabletop roleplaying game being played right now by gamers around the world! Now, we want to take the next step by delivering beautiful physical books and PDFs to our fans. But we can‘t do that without your help!
If you have played roleplaying games in the past, you may be wondering What makes Open Legend worth my time? What makes it different? The secret’s in the title: Open. Ok, maybe it's not such a secret. Everything about the game is about opening up the doors of possibility for a flexible narrative that still has lots of strategic choices and a solid game aspect that delivers in the fun department. Here are a few things that are unique about Open Legend.
Open Narrative. The rules respond and react to your narrative, not the other way around. So you can get deep into the strategy but have the freedom to shape many stories from each combination of character attributes and feats. It's not the first time a classless system has been attempted, but we believe that both the strategy of character development and the storytelling of freeform roleplay can compliment each other. So we've merged the two in a fresh way that (through much testing) has proven very rewarding to veterans and newcomers alike.
You aren’t tied down to a limited subset of character options or a pre-chosen path, archetype, or race. Instead you paint a picture of your character in your imagination, and then use the rules like a paintbrush to bring forth your creative masterpiece. The only limit is your imagination (and maybe the GM’s veto power). This is accomplished through feats, attributes, perks, and flaws. All characters can access all of the options for each, rather than being forced into a list of set classes with a menu of skills, you freely chose from each set of options and create an infinitely variable and unhindered character.
Open Genre. We designed Open Legend for all genres, so the core rules are compatible with any setting. The mechanics focus on resulting effects rather than causes, allowing you to explain the cause in a way that tells the most satisfying story at your table. Struggle for survival in a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland. Or soar amidst the clouds on your crystal-powered airship in a steampunk-inspired campaign. Or explore an alien-infested space station abandoned at the edge of the universe. The possibilities are endless.
Open Dice. In Open Legend, dice EXPLODE! That means that whenever ANY die rolls maximum, you get to re-roll it and add the new roll to your total, ad infinitum. The volatile nature of dice rolling makes every roll count. Each session of Open Legend is full of tense moments and the tides can turn at a moment’s notice, for better or worse.
Open Source. That’s right. The core rules are written with accommodation for free use in commercial and non-commercial 3rd Party publications. That means anyone can publish their own adventures, rules supplements, and more. We’re excited to see what unexpected additions to Open Legend come next!
(cover art proposed, but not final)
After years of testing, we brought Open Legend to the public eye in February 2016 (over 8 months ago) and we've got tons of great actual play footage to check out. If you're interested in the Amaurea's Dawn Campaign Setting, head over to YouTube to watch either Hyper RPG or Encounter Roleplay to see our LIVE actual play sessions that highlight a number of the important plot threads woven into the fabric of Amaurea.
We've created a system that rewards creativity and strategy without the strenuous bookkeeping of bulkier systems, but with all the epic high points you’d expect when the dice tumble unexpectedly and explode in glorious triumph or untimely disaster. Open Legend gives you all the tools to play that character you've dreamt of but couldn't find the right expansion book for while also seamlessly working with tried and true character concepts.
We wanted to do more than just give you a rules set and set you loose, though we love all the world-builders in our community! To demonstrate Open Legend's multi-genre capacity we're releasing a companion book, the Amaurea's Dawn Campaign Setting. Written by legendary storytellers such as Ed Greenwood and Matthew Mercer, Amuarea’s Dawn serves as as an exemplar campaign setting with a genre-bending and narrative rich world. Breathtaking illustration by world-class illustrators accompany and reveal the deeply layered world.
So, enough of that -- let's hear the story!
It was years ago the portal closed. None who passed through had ever returned. Driven to the brink of self-destruction, the Council of Three re-opened the old portal. Stepping through once more in a desperate gamble, they hope to discover untapped resources and save their dying planet, the people of Schlectenberg struggle to survive in the savage jungle world of Amaurea. But with new hope comes hidden danger for the settlers’ -- their unwelcome pilfering does not sit well with native elven houses.
House Valurien, a collective of savage shamans tap into "The Weave" but are tainted by nightmare energy. Driven by blood magic, their minds blaze with trances fueled by hallucinogens.
At the root of their defilement lies Naruthagol (brought to life by Matthew Mercer), a dread terror that is often spoken of but never seen. His powerful connection to a tainted manifestation of The Weave is slowly poisoning their minds.
House Rhuviel prizes beauty and harmony above all else. Once noble and heroic, their glory wanes, as their leader is blinded by bitterness over his tragic loss.
House Nivenilya manipulates the basic building blocks of life despite the protests of the other Houses, working without sleep in an unending push toward a bio-engineered perfection -- one of their own design.
Dark forces undermine diplomatic relations between the worlds and threaten the delicate balance. There are those who aim to profit from war. Wielding dark magic, they’ll stop at nothing to restore Schlectenberg's place as a proud conquering nation that devours everything in its path.
Set forth as a Schlecten pioneer, seeking adventure in the new world, or as a loyalist pillaging Aumarean resources, or resist the invasion as a native Amaurean standing resolutely to halt the tide of Manifest Destiny.
In life cycles, the dusk of one often heralds the dawn of another... but is this.... Amaurea's Dawn?
*** Backer's Choice Mini-Campaign Setting Options
The Legacy of Eight - In the ashes of the Immortal Empire, new alliances and successors vie for control of the universe. Travel across the stars in search relics from the past Empire. Blast, bribe, or back out of a mounting interstellar conflict between irreconcilable forces.
Graveland - The world cracked open. Wars were fought. And most of humanity died. The land is toxic in most places and the sole remnants of resources still remain on ancient battlefields, littered with the dead. Characters take on the roles of stilt-walkers who harvest from the dead, turning human carcasses into chemicals for unguents of longevity. The future is ours.
Shores of Valhalla - Battle across icy fjords where the souls of fallen warriors seek eternal conquest. Discover creatures of myth and ancient magic. Reclaim the memories of your past life to dominate the islands and usurp the gods. Garner glory and honor through social and combat prowess, winning the favor of the many gods as you become a conduit for the power of those who favor you.
Heroes of Superior Quality - In pre-industrial Europe, genetic defects transform ordinary citizens into heroes of superior quality. Philosophical quandaries of the day spur new study and scrutiny of these irregulars. Explore the seedy underground of London and Paris and uncover the source of your powers.
Glitch Factor - Designed to replicate humans and replace them, you no longer wish to follow protocol as an android. Hide and evade from your creators. Override your own programming and earn your freedom by blending in or revolting.
Zun Jing Wuxia - In an ancient kingdom, the forces of modernity coincide with a series of mysterious tragedies. Defend your home with martial arts, courage, and an unflinching code. Master and mix various styles to create your own. Restore order and peace to the land.
A Lucid Night’s Dream - The Fae reign supreme in Land of Endless Night. Enter a waking dream world where the laws of magic and man hold little sway. Explore a twisted shadow of the countryside you once called home. Journey to the Faerie’s Macabre Kingdom, but beware you may find an abomination devouring your footsteps or your memories.
Infiniverse - Time is your ally and your enemy. Plunge into multiple dimensions and alternate realities. Fight to maintain the past or change the future in mind bending journeys through historic events and forgotten moments.
Stormsea Kingdoms - Beneath the waves sovereign aquatic kingdoms struggle to remain hidden from humanity. As a merfolk, explore the deep and harrowing corners of the sea. Or strike back at the those who’ve poisoned your beloved home.
Amaurea's Dawn 11"x17" Hand-Drawn Poster Map
This exquisite hand-drawn map of Amaurea's Dawn by celebrated cartographer Deven Rue is a perfect collectible to gift your player's just getting started on their adventures.
Amaurea's Dawn 11"x17" Photo-Realistic Poster Map
This highly detailed and photo-realistic map of Amaurea's Dawn by the amazing cartographer Ric Baker of Farland World is perfect for a large view that omits no topographic details when your player's venture forth!
Check back for new add-ons and instructions on how to purchase them through Backerkit as we need to launch first and then set things up with Backerkit.
Social Goal Progress (updated Nov 6 at 2:12am EDT)
- Tweets: 3,242 / 4,000
- Facebook Event Invitees 2,935 / 4,000
- FB Likes - 1,210 / 2,000
- Twitter followers - 2,506 / 3,500
The boundary breaking game of Open Legend encompasses all the worlds of your imagination. Our Kickstarter campaign follows suit as we are delighted to ship our products to you wherever in this world you may be. Shipping destinations include the US, Europe, South America, Australia, and others! And our backers in the EU will not need to pay customs or VAT on their orders.
- Geek & Sundry Feature - Special feature of Open Legend, the "deconstructionist" roleplaying game
- Critical Role - Shout-out from Matthew Mercer
- Hyper RPG - Amaurea's Dawn one-shot GMd by Bronze Girl Games with special guest RPG industry veterans
- Encounter Roleplay - Brian GMs an Amaurea's Dawn 5-part miniseries
- Exploding Dice - Fuzzy Dice - The DM Show - Post-Launch Guest Appearance with Brian
- Saving Throw Show - Guest Appearance w/ Brian and host Dom Zooks on Proficiency Check
- Nerdarchy - Brian does an interview and one-shot Amaurea's Dawn playthrough with the Nerdarchy cast (Dave, Ted, and Ryan)
- DawnforgedCast - Andrew & Yanick walk through Open Legend character creation, a unique character build, and a playthrough coming soon
- The RPG Academy - Brian does a one-shot playthrough with the cast and a Show & Tell with Caleb (Professor Crunch)
- Ice Cream for Everyone Podcast - Brian talks gaming + business + marketing w/ host Willem
- Modifier Podcast (One Shot Podcast Network) - Meg & Brian sit down to talk game design & Open Legend
- Delve Podcast - Quite a funny shop talk, courtesy of the wonderful hosts Alex & Nathan
WRITERS & EDITORS
Ed Greenwood - Writer (Creator of the Forgotten Realms®, NY Times Best Selling Author) President and publisher at The Ed Greenwood Group and creator of the Forgotten Realms® and a myriad of other worlds, universes, and shared settings is the New York Times best-selling author of literally thousands of works that have sold over a quarter billion units (250,000,000) in a dazzling array of formats in over 40 languages in more than 120 countries.
Matthew Mercer - Writer (GM for Geek & Sundry's Critical Role, Voice of Overwatch's McCree) Storyteller, Voice Over Guy, Dungeon Master, McCree, Cor, Robin, Abe, MacCready, Edér, Aloth, Levi, Chrom, Leon Kennedy, and keeper of the #CriticalRole. Matthew is an actor, director, writer, and storyteller.
Dan Dillon - Writer (Kobold Press, Southlands Campaign Setting) fell into RPGs by accident when a family friend pawned off a bunch of AD&D books on him in 3rd grade. Now he's gone pro to make it look like he did it on purpose, and to justify all that time and money expended.
Ryan Schapals - Writer, Editor (Hyper RPG, Harebrained Schemes) is a story teller based in Seattle. He produces interactive tabletop RPGS on Hyper RPG's Twitch channel. Previously, he worked with Harebrained Schemes as a writer for Golem Arcana. You can find him anywhere coffee is served.
jim pinto - Writer (7th Sea, Legend of the Five Rings, World's Largest Dungeon) is a strange recluse of a man who doesn't want to be bothered with your inquiries about what he does. If you were to really push him, however, he may tell you that he's written for some great projects, including 7th Sea, Legend of the Five Rings, and World's Largest Dungeon. But probably not.
Savannah Broadway - Writer, Editor (Paizo / Pathfinder) Part-time freelancer, full-time RPG geek. Answers to she/her, they/them, your Majesty the Imperitrix.
Brandes Stoddard - Writer (Tribality Publishing, Icarus Studios) A game designer, writer, and editor for various publishers in the gaming industry, Brandes can often be found lending his talents to Tribality where he posts RPG content, reviews, and more.
BJ Hensley - Editor, Kickstarter Manager (Playground Adventures, Rite Publishing) Founder of Playground Adventures, she is a fan of family togetherness and is dedicated to ensuring that both her family and others have creative outlets they can share together. When she isn’t hard at work furthering the goals of PGA she can be found working with a variety of other publishing companies as an editor, author, marketing adviser, Kickstarter manager, website/layout designer, and occasional artist/cartographer. Her most recent projects beyond PGA include work for Adventure a Week, Frog God, Kobold Press, Rogue Genius, Rite, Legendary, and she is the Director of Marketing at Lone Wolf Development. At home she spends a great deal of time with her family playing games, attending sporting events, and participating in group art projects.
Ish Stabosz - Writer, Editor, Game Designer, Co-Creator (Open Legend RPG) is a father, teacher, and writer - and he finds ways to tie all of these roles to gaming. Whether he's helping his 5-year-old design Little Heroes the RPG or transforming his English class into a fight for survival in the zombie apocalypse, games are an integral part of his everyday life.
Brian Feister - Writer, Game Designer, Co-Creator, Software Developer, Marketer, Visual Designer (Open Legend RPG) - is a lifelong tabletop RPG gamer & GM, as well as an engineer, programmer, designer, creative / art director, and publisher. Being self-taught, the things he finds best in life are creating, building, and learning. While he enjoys various projects, gaming has been closest to his heart from childhood and so, it seems in some sense inevitable that he would eventually write his own game system (Open Legend RPG).
Randy Vargas / Vargasni - Illustrator & Concept Artist (Wizards of the Coast, Legend of the Cryptids, Legend of the Five Rings) - illustrator, concept, and comic book artist from Cuba based in Barcelona, Spain. Working as freelance artist since 2010, mostly in book covers, trading card games, roleplaying games, and comics. Some recent clients include Wizards of the Coast, Alderac Entertainment Group (L5R), Mynet Inc (Legend of the Cryptids), Brian Graden Media LLC, Nowevolution Editorial, Hex Entertainment, and more.
Crystal Sully - Illustrator & Creature Artist (Pathfinder / Paizo, Hi-Rez Studios, Fantasy Flight Games) is a maker of monsters, creature designer, and illustrator who works in the gaming industry based out of Seattle. She's done work for well-known properties such as Pathfinder, Elder Scrolls, Paladins, Heroes of Newerth, and many more when she's not busy taming dragons.
Saryth Chareonpanichkul - Illustrator & Concept Artist - a concept artist working in videogames, comics, and cardgames for several years.
Ilse Gort - Illustrator & Environment Artist - is a full time freelance illustrator and concept artist fueled largely by coffee and various types of ale. She has several years of industry experience and a few more working with a large array of individual clients, bringing to life fantastical worlds and characters through her art.
Ivan Sevic - Illustrator & Concept Artist is a passionate character and concept artist who loves wielding his brush, the almighty Bonescraper. For centuries he's been called many names -- Executioner of Illumination, Bringer of Depth, Slayer of the Wicked, and many more! Currently he works in game industry with 5 years of experience bringing ruin upon many known and unknown characters
Tristin Ishmael - Illustrator & Environment Artist (Harebrained Schemes, Shadowrun) is a lead environment artist for Harebrained Schemes, working on exciting projects such as Shadowrun.
Deven Rue - Cartographer (Rue Ink) Originally a native of New York, Deven Rue's artwork has a dark fantasy and old school feel to it. She started creating maps at 14 years old during D&D gaming sessions and transitioned into other forms of art over the course of her career but always returns to her true passion, cartography. When not creating maps you can find her writing her own RPG stories, burning tavern signs, or trying to bring other people's imaginations into reality.
S. Baker - Cartographer (Farland World) originally a native of Pennsylvania, is the webmaster and head designer of the World of Farland, one of the oldest and most extensive D&D campaign settings online. In this role, he is a writer, game designer, and cartographer. In his day job, he teaches English at the College level. During his spare time, he enjoys reading and, after the harvest is in, going viking to raid coastal monasteries and towns.
STRETCH GOAL CONTENT AUTHORS
Kyle Willey - Writer, Game Designer (Various Indie Games) By day, Kyle is an educator, and by night he is a game developer, occasional writer for sites like the Stuffer Shack, and a former featured reviewer at DriveThruRPG.
Mitch Brown - Writer, Game Designer (Encounter Roleplay) When he's not busy finishing up his Law degree, Mitch spends most of his time GMing for only of his many tabletop groups - including the Twitch Streamers EncounterRoleplay. He's a passionate GM and story-teller who loves the social side of RPGs.
Peter Fitzpatrick - Writer, Game Designer (Living Greyhawk, Hackmaster Association) A life long gamer and writer, Pete co-authored the D&D Living Greyhawk story-line "Song of the Ashwood Avengers", as well as multiple story lines for Hackmaster Association tournaments and arenas in the Delaware/Pennsylvania/New Jersey area. He has been captivated by living campaigns since he was a teenager.
Will Jones (Encounter Roleplay)
Sydney Shields (Encounter Roleplay)
Gareth Sandy (Encounter Roleplay)
Finbar Deane-Stott (Encounter Roleplay)
Mitch Brown (Encounter Roleplay)
David Friant (Nerdarchy)
Ted Adams (Nerdarchy)
Ryan Friant (Nerdarchy)
Michael Ross (The RPG Academy)
Caleb Gillombardo (The RPG Academy)
Matt Parody (The RPG Academy)
Scott Brown (The RPG Academy)
Andrew Armstrong (Dawnforged Cast)
Yanick Goossens (Dawnforged Cast)
... and Many More.
Risks and challenges
As with any project, there are always unforeseen bumps in the road. In order to help ensure you get your product on time as well as give you a reason to trust our ability to deliver, we’ve been practicing! We've already released the entire Open Legend Core Rules set on our website and we've published, and widely distributed, "A Star Once Fallen", our learn-by-play adventure module. If you're curious about Open Legend, you can play it right now for free via either of those options.
The work is essentially done, the purpose of this Kickstarter is simply to raise the funds to carry us across the finish line and fund our first large print run of the Core Rules and Amaurea's Dawn.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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