Age of Legends Kickstarter (6d6 RPG)
It’s no secret that I enjoy the 6d6 RPG.
It is a versatile, lightweight and abstract system with a clever use of
resource management. The content is open-source and if you buy a PDF you
are allowed to share it freely amongst your players.
My only problem is that the game doesn’t offer ready-made settings except a sourcebook for modern stuff. If you want to play fantasy, you need to come up with your own stuff or rig up something from the modern mechanics and the published fantasy adventure. While this is not as much work as with some crunchy games, it still is a hurdle, at least for me.
Luckily the team behind the 6d6 RPG is about to remedy that with their latest Kickstarter: Age of Legends is a pseudo-ancient history setting where players play champions of Olympian Gods who battle against Titans' agents.
You can jump in on the Kickstarter till December 5th. The project is already funded. The book is already written and available as a PDF to backers or online via the wiki. It’s still a bit rough around the edges concerning editing and proofreading, but it’s complete and allows us to see what we will get if we back the Kickstarter. Even the stretch goal material is already written.
The team already has one project under their belt. It was delivered late but the communication was good and the finished product of excellent quality. As far as Kickstarter projects go, Age of Legends is probably one of the less risky ones. The PDF draft (v1) is around 220 pages. It comes with electronic bookmarks and hyperlinks.
As promised by the authors it includes a complete setting for the Hellenic age.
The background information is a very interesting read. The setting is of course not 100% accurate. The authors took the liberty to level the playing field for the player characters (PCs):
Age of Legends is a re-imagining of Ancient Greece. Gender roles have been modernized and the myths updated to reflect the attitudes of a modern, more equal society. The champions are chosen by the gods from every part of society and, regardless of their background, are equal.
This is a change that I welcome. It may not be realistic but this is a
role-playing game and I want to have fun, even though I play a woman or
someone from a lower caste. Status differences are still there, but they
are not as harsh as in reality. There are almost 100 pages (!) of
information about life in ancient Greek, the geography, the Olympian
gods and their enemies, the Titans.
I’m by no means an expert on historic settings. Like many others, I’m somehow familiar with Homer’s works from popular movies, TV series, novels etc. but that’s the extent of my knowledge.
The background information is very well written: entertaining but not overwhelming. For me, it’s exactly the right amount of detail: enough to run the game but not so much that I get bogged down in endless minutiae. The basic premise of the setting is intriguing and offers enough potential for conflict: every PC is a champion of one of the selfish and petty Olympian gods. While the gods all have their own motivations and are also not above backstabbing each other and using mortals to do their bidding, there’s also the larger threat of the Titans. Cronos and his cronies (ha!) are chained deep down in the Underworld, but they have their own agents to further their agenda and fulfill their revenge on the Olympians. The tone of the game is epic but surprisingly it’s still pretty deadly with limited healing capacities. Additionally, there are some setting-specific additions like how divine favor, omens, portents and oaths work. The authors also added hooks and other tools for the Game Master to run Age of Legends.
I like how that will make the game feel one-of-a-kind and different from the standard fantasy treadmill. About half of the book is about new 6d6-RPG-mechanics. There are original character paths (i.e. Champion of Dionysos or Panhellenic Athlete) and monster paths as well as a whole lot of ready-made-antagonists.
This includes Ethiopian Dragons, the Hydra, Satyrs and other mythological creatures.
The choices for the players look varied. You can either choose archetypes or make a custom character. For me, there are a lot of options that I would like to play. While the second part of the product is system-specific, it could still be useful for other more abstract games (Heroquest 2 or maybe Fate come to mind). The background part of the book is a goldmine for every gamer as it’s not tied to a game system. The artwork is very evocative and fits the theme well. You can see examples on the Kickstarter page. The layout of the draft PDF is in the typical, modern style of the 6d6 RPG which is good to read and looks fresh. For me, the visuals are a selling point. (The 6d6 RPG core book contains lots of Creative-Commons photography and I like the original artwork in Age of Legend way better.) What’s probably missing from the supplement is an example adventure and some pre-generated characters. I would have liked to see omens, divine favor etc. come together. This way I can see how the authors envisioned the process.
This supplement makes a very good impression. It creates a
compelling re-imagined Ancient Greece setting, is complete and full of
new options for players and Game Masters of the 6d6 RPG.
Everyone interested in pseudo-historic ancient gaming worlds should take a look at Age of Legends, even if he doesn’t use the 6d6 RPG. The world material is a fantastic read and the abstract nature of the mechanics may even make the system-specific information feasible for other games.
The Kickstarter also contains some favorable pledge levels, especially for newcomers of the system. For instance, there are reward levels which combine the core book and the setting book or even more of the already published products. For fans of the game, there are custom reward tiers etc.
Age of Legends is funded, but there are still some (reasonable) stretch goals which could be met (more material!!!).