Author Topic: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.  (Read 3698 times)

Slant

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A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« on: October 28, 2002, 09:01:40 PM »
The other night I came to the rpg page and found a review of the Lejendary Adventures game written by (if I remember) Kid Kilowatt.  From the review, it seems that KK is under the impression that this is a brand new game, but it isn't.  The game, written by industry creator Gary "I Am The Diceman" Gygax first appeared on shelves in 1999. The first book, Lejendary Rules, was available in two versions: the normal version for $25 and a deluxe version signed by Gygax himself for $35.  The Game Masters codex and the Beasts of Lejend books soon followed, as did half a dozen or so adventures which ranged from "real damned good" to "what, was he on drugs when he wrote this?"  The game, although beloved by the old school gamers who went wild over seeing GG's name on a game book, was a financial disaster.  The books did not sell well due to a combination of no ad campaign and (I hate to admit it) the fact that the books were poorly laid out and contained some of the worst rpg artwork this side of Errol Otus.  The worst problem (in my own opinion) was the absolute lack of a game world.  We were given races, monsters, ships, weapons, and everything but the kitchen orc, but there was no context to use them in.  By mid-2000, the game was long gone.  Lately, though, there seems to have been a resurgeance on interest in Lejendary Adventures due to Gary Gygax going on record as admitting that the original game was flawed and that there would be new products for the game in 2003 that would be more in line with what has become the industry standards.  Sooo, let us wait and see what develops.  I will say that I really enjoy the game, which is simple, easy to pick up, and encourages role-playing over dice rolls.  Creating a character is simple and fun.  It takes only a few minutes and when you are finished you have a character who is really good at one thing, not bad in a couple of others, and has some small proficiency in perhaps one more realm.  The magic system is quite flexible and allows anybody to learn a spell or two to compliment their other skills or abilities, not just mages.  My own character is a high-strung kobold duelist who fancies himself a cavalier (when he isn't out tomb raiding and the like).  Oh, and before I wrap this up, let me tell ya: the first of the new books to come out in 2003 is a complete worldbook!   Joy  :o)
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Spriggan

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2002, 05:30:41 AM »
Thanks for the background on that game, sad that they didn't bother fixing many of the problems with this release.
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Mr_Pleasington

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2002, 04:31:01 PM »
Actually, Slant, I hang out on a lot of boards that Gary frequents and that motivated me to look into this game a few months back.  While it was never a big hit, it has sold well for EGG to keep writing for it steady.  I don't think it was ever long gone as there has been a steady stream of product produced for it after its release.  Lately he's been publishing adventures for it which are dual statted for LA and d20.  Also, I saw ads for this game all over the place.  Dragon, KODT, etc...  I don't know how long they ran though.

Not trying to contradict you, it's just that what I found out doesn't match up with you history... :)

They're even making a MMORPG based on it and Lejendary Earth.  There's screenshots up at Gary's site (which I don't have the address to right now).

Someday I might pick the game up, but right now I'm busy planning out a AD&D 1E (with some Hackmaster) campaign!

Kid_Kilowatt

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2002, 06:14:53 PM »
Thanks for reading the review, Slant.  I'm well aware, though, that Lejenjary Adjenjures is not brand new.  When I called it his "new" game in my review, I was referring to it in relation to D&D and Dangerous Journeys (i.e. it's the game he's currently working with.)  The system has only been around for 3 years and is still picking up steam, so I don't think it's wrong to call it new.    It's fanatically loyal online following is growing, and then there's the MMORPG that's being developed, at Mr P mentioned.

I've reconsidered my review, though, and I think I may have been too kind initially.  The lack of a game setting is inexcusable, the char gen system is execrable, and the system is no more "simple and fun" than any rpg rule system designed with the smirking condescension that comes from thinking that all RPG gamers are morons.  It's a TERRIBLE game.  The art is perfect, though - in that it's half-baked, just like the ideas that goes with it.  Worst of all, here is nothing in it that lifts it above other fantasy RPGs - its mediocrity is its most damning attribute.  I think I like "World of Synnibarr" better, and it's widely known as the worst fantasy RPG ever written.  

Just goes to show: yesterday's fair-haired wunderkind is today's demented, out-of-touch crackpot.

Mr_Pleasington

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2002, 06:53:25 PM »
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... KK...don't let him hear you say that!  Otherwise he won't team up with Rob Kuntz and finally publish the legendary Castle Greyhawk.  :)

In all seriousness, nothing he has produced after D&D has been a much of a success, although LA does seem to be doing okay.  From what I can gather from his frequent posts over at ENworld, Dragonsfoot, and Pied Pipers boards, though he is a friendly, humble man who just loves games.  

Mr_Pleasington

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2002, 09:43:12 PM »
...and speaking of the MMORPG, does it make any sense at all to base it on LA, a realtively unknown game?  I mean,  you want people to play your MMORPG, right, so if you're going to go to the trouble of liscencing a world for it wouldn't you want one that was widely popular?  

From a strictly money making point of view, Forgotten Realms would be a gold mine as an MMORPG.  The fan base for it is already huge and the style of a MMORPG fits well with the stereotypical style of FR.

I assume the reason behind this is because LA would be cheap to liscence and the recognition factor of EGG's name.

Slant

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2002, 10:32:54 PM »
No offense taken, Mr. P.  The last thing I heard about LA was that when GG put out Canting Crew earlier this year he included info on LA, but it wasn't the main thrust of the book.  What other LA/d20 are out there?

Kid, I wouldn't call it excrement.  I simply think that anything with Gary's name on it should have been a lot better thought out and produced.  I  have no problem with fun & simple systems.  Guess I am just one of those RPG gamer morons I hear tell about ;)

Out of curiosity, what made you reconsider your review to such a drastic extreme?  I agree with your comment about the fact that it has no setting 100% yet I am still able to find the game enjoyable overall.  As it stands now, the game is nothing great.  Hopefully when we see new official products this coming year the quality will be much higher.

Well y'all, I'm off.  Have a safe and happy Halloween.  :o
"If you're going to shoot, then shoot; don't talk!"  -Tuco: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Mr_Pleasington

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2002, 02:18:20 AM »
Slant:  Off the top of my head the only other book I know was dual statted was "The Hermit," but I think there was one other...  I think the adventures will be double statted from here on out.  There's also a series of supplements he's putting out about how to create a Gygaxian Fantasy World.  Should be interesting.

Also, the lack of setting might be a detriment to some, but it's not too difficult to put together your own stuff (I love world-building...I'm in the middle of such a project right now), just time consuming.  D&D didn't have a setting for some time after it was released and it seemed to do pretty well :)  Of course, RPG standards have risen dramatically in the last 20+ years or so.

Slant

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2002, 06:04:01 PM »
Thanxx for the info.  I'll be hitting ye olde games shoppe early next week and I will see if I can find out anything definite about dual-stat modues and a future release schedule for LA.  If I find out anything interesting I will post it.

In the meantime, I hear Traveller d20 was just released yesterday  :D
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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2002, 02:12:37 PM »
I've been communicating quite a bit with Chris Clark, the editor of LA, and he thought it was a great review (both complimentary and fair). I imagine he doesn't read our forum, though, so he doesn't know that Kid has since grown to hate the game.

Well, Kid, he sent us two more books for the system, so you have yet another chance to reevaluate your opinion. I'll give them to you this week at our meeting.
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Kid_Kilowatt

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2002, 04:30:32 PM »
I haven't really grown to hate the game - I just realized after the fact that I had toned down my opinions a little too much in anticipation of the publisher reading the review.  I'm glad Chris Clark thought my review was fair, and I'm particularly glad he's sending me more free stuff.  Get the picture?  I saved most of my vitriol for the forum, not just because I like free stuff, but because I think that people that hate something shouldn't right a review of it.  It doesn't help anyone - the people who are inclined to like the product are either going to be duped by the review or they're going to ignore it.  People who know they would hate the product aren't going to read the review, and people who could go either way deserve a fair representation of the games strengths and weaknesses without the reviewer's personal prejudices getting in the way.

My own personal prejudices cause me to dislike some things about LejA more than others would.  For instance, I am particularly maddened by the writer hinting at a novel gaming world without giving any real information about it.  All we know is that the world of LejA has oafs, wylfs, and veshoges (races not found in other FRPGs) but we're not told anything else about this world.  It places a heavy burden on the gamemaster to create a world based on the scraps of information given in the rules.  The fact that Gygax would do something as amateurish as that boggles my mind because this is a man who REALLY should know better.  I take back what I said about him being "demented" though - that wasn't fair.

Slant

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Re: A few notes on Lejendary Adventures.
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2003, 05:59:31 PM »
For anybody still interested in LA, two new (well, at least new to me) products have hit the shalves: a world book and a ref's screen (with adventure).  Both sell for about 15 bucks, so together they both cost as much as a single "core" LA book.  The world book is kinda skimpy, but at least it gives you some good ideas as to what the world is like.  I have picked up both but have yet to really go through them thoroughly since my gaming group is pretty deeply embroiled in another game (ten points if you know which one).

;)

My next campaign will more than likely be a LA one, though.
"If you're going to shoot, then shoot; don't talk!"  -Tuco: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly