Foreword Reviews

Legends

The Superhero Role Playing Game

Clarion Rating: 5 out of 5

Glimpsing into a superhero-stocked world of adventure, Legends is an entertaining introduction to a thrilling and expansive new game.

Jack and Chad Matchette’s Legends: The Superhero Role Playing Game provides a full set of rules and prompts for a gaming campaign of heroes, villains, and excitement.

The book describes the rules and concepts behind its original role playing game, which deals in the vibrant visions and vocabulary of comic book superheroes. With familiar RPG elements—including character creation, a game master who organizes play, and the use of dice to determine outcomes—this book makes space for gaming that can be as simple or complex as its participants desire.

The scale and scope of the book’s fantasy world–governing rules are expansive; they draw on wide comic book familiarity, parsing out the details of powers like super strength, invisibility, the ability to interface with machines, and time manipulation. These powers are divided into three tiers by type, giving order to a world in which one super-strong character might be able to lift a car while another can lift an entire building. The tier distinctions will also help game masters to keep encounters with enemies challenging but approachable. Secret identities, and the complications they bring, can also be part of the game, and vehicles, magic, and costumes are all accounted for in the clear, comprehensive instructional text. Play-tested by dozens of contributors, the game seems designed to satisfy demanding and experienced role play gamers, yet it is accessible enough for first-timers to participate in too.

About half of the book is dedicated to imparting the hows and whys of the game, while another hundred-plus pages detail the history, inhabitants, and relationships of New Olympus, an optional scenario city setting for adventurers. This absorbing section reads like an overview of a comic book or television series, complete with dossiers of superheroes and supervillains, and it gives players the opportunity to enter into a complete world without having to create one from scratch. While the book is intended to set the stage for role playing, even a reader who doesn’t advance to actual play can enjoy the rich imaginative landscape of New Olympus.

The excellent interior art features colorful comic book–style pages that give a flavor of the minute-by-minute action of the game, as well as standalone illustrations and maps that break up the text while reinforcing its written descriptions. The book also includes a starter adventure and blank character sheets, facilitating immediate play.

Glimpsing into a superhero-stocked world of adventure, Legends is an entertaining introduction to a thrilling and expansive new game.

Reviewed by Peter Dabbene

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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