Here I am sitting at the game table playing Call of Cthulhu, we are interrogating our prisoners from the first boat we took over, and I noticed on my laptop that Cafepress was having a sale on hoodies right now. So, being in need of a new hoodie (the rats ate holes in mine) I went cruising.
I haven’t settled on a hoodie yet, but I did find this great shirt that really is appropriate for not only me, but also as a theme shirt for this blog. Having been given the nick-name halfling in high school, knowing that I am not likely to get taller (I am only 4’10”) it seemed best to embrace the moniker and be a proud halfling. The image was only added to by my penchant for being barefooted and love of food.
Guess I will need to add this one to my closet too. If I keep finding all these cool gamer shirts I am going to have to buy some more hangers soon.
As promised here I am again to bring you up to current on the continued, and ever ongoing Man vs Dice saga.
While the great game of awesome roles continued to elude him, many an attempt has been made to understand the psychology of the bag of dice that our man keeps. Each member of the group has worked together to help him out by suggesting different ways in which his dice seem to be acting. However it all started with Man deciding that his dice desired to be acting on the “Color Coded Theory”, where red dice were for rolling high or “hot” roles and blue dice were for rolling low or “cold” roles. Of course I am sure you are wondering why one would want dice that rolled both ways, but that is simple as he is playing two games that both use percentiles but have reversed charts. In Legendary Lives high is good, where in Call of Cthulhu low is good. And in both systems when you go to improve a skill you must fail your roll. However by the second session it was clear that this system was not working and indeed his dice were giving out the same fail upon fail rolls he was used to.
So on to the next theory, which was the “Wrong Character Theory”, to understand this you must first know that our Man keeps all of his active character sheets, maps, treasure lists, general information, space ship specs and the like on one clipboard. At the start of each game he shuffles the current characters’ paperwork to the top of the clipboard stack and clamps it firmly in place. The theory for his poor roles was that his dice were not rolling for the top sheet on the clipboard, but rather for 3 sheets down on the board. So the current night’s character was shifted down three sheets and the evening of game play continued. And while for the first several roles it did seem like at last the dice might be triumphed over, it was quickly determined that the dice were on to the ploys of the Man and were not going to follow this theory either. Back to the drawing board.
So to take this even further into the murky waters of Man vs Dice, another theory was unveiled. Perhaps the thought pattern fell under, “Wrong Game Theory”. Just maybe, he was rolling for the next game and didn’t know it. So the the theory was put to the test, the first game was my game of Legendary Lives, all rolls for the night were recorded on a sheet of paper, but also used for the current game. The next week’s GM plays in my games (we alternate Fridays) and agreed to go along with it. The next Friday night, Man rolled but only recorded his rolls, the actual “rolls” for game that night came off the log sheet from the week before. Game went pretty good for Man, well until about half way through when those pesky dice decided to revolt and rolled horrible rolls. That is horrible rolls for the next week, they would have been awesome rolls for the current game. Truly the dice are evil. So much for that theory. There is no new theory yet, but I am sure that next game session the table will come up with yet another plan for Man vs. Dice.
Until then, may your dice rolls be plentiful.
Legendary Lives 2nd Edition is a fantasy based RPG published by Marquee Press in the mid 90s. I discovered it at Powell’s Book store in 1995 and fell in love right away. The system only takes one book and the character sheets have most all of the information a player needs on them.
The system uses percentile dice and all rolls are made against a table on the character sheet. Each roll is giving a rating between Catastrophic and Awesome and that rating is used to determine success or failure and to what degree. When a character rolls one of the two extremes they mark it with a check (one per adventure) and this allows them to perform a skill check later to possibly raise the skill, somewhat like Call of Cthulhu. Another feature of Legendary Lives 2nd Edition that is reminiscent of the much darker Call of Cthulhu is the sanity skill and how you can gain phobias and mental illnesses should you roll badly enough in the wrong situation.
With a choice of 26 different races and about as many non-magical and magical types there is a huge flexibility in the character choices. Also each character roles on tables to determine events that have happened in their character’s past both benevolent and tragic. This not only helps to shape the character but often provides the Game Master with plenty of character hooks to keep things moving along.
The magic system of Legendary Lives 2nd Edition is unlike any other I have ran or played. There are a number of different spell skills each representing a broad area of magic, such as Fire Mastery or Protection. After the player describes how they are going to use the spell skill and the effect they are looking for the Game Master will tell them how many points it will cost in temporary skill reduction (usually between 0 and 5) and the character will roll for success on the reduced skill level. Having such an open system allows for a level of creativity in spell use that is rarely seen in more rigid rpg games and is one feature that really sets this often unheard of game above most others in my mind.
While print copies are hard to come by these days, the author has seen fit to put his Legendary Lives 2nd Edition rulebook up (minus the artwork) online as opensource for all to enjoy. I suggest you not only look at this game, but his others as well. Also there are a number of useful charts and adventures online as well. I hope you enjoy this simple, yet highly creative rpg system.
Update Jan 29, 2017
I have added a few new items on The Halfling that are in support of Legendary Lives 2nd Edition. Here are the links for quick access to these new items:
2nd Edition Legendary Lives Character Sheet – PDF Form that you can fill out on your computer
Automated Class Option Finder – Enter your character’s base stats and get back a list of all available classes
While watching a documentary on the Sphinx I can not help but wonder what will happen when the Sphinx is completely gone. Someday the stone that makes up the Sphinx will be worn away from weather and people and all that will be left is dust. I guess it depends on how into conspiracy theory you are or how much Call of Cthulhu you have played as to how concerned you are by all the poking around that goes on with these ancient wonders.
I, myself, are rather concerned for one. It only seems natural that they will someday open a door that was closed for a darn good reason and then where will we all be??
Until then the whole thought leads me to dark places in Call of Cthulhu or dark but still funny places in Horror Rules. Perhaps I have found my inspiration for a Horror Rules adventure after all. Dark places like the switching of the magnetic poles and the unknown havoc that will cause, perhaps north and south swap places even over the equator. Or perhaps the world goes through a great change and magic returns to the world (that assumes you believe it was once here). Or when it is all dust a homing beacon for an alien race will appear and begin broadcasting, we can only hope they are helpful like last time…