From the ‘State of Mongoose 2011’:
Legend has gone with a far, far bigger bang than we expected. As I write this, we have already blasted through the first printing run and the book sits at the top of the Drivethru charts with the first supplement, Monsters of Legend, fast chasing it.
We had intended this game to be a continuation of the RuneQuest II mechanics, allowing us to provide support indefinitely for existing customers. Instead, it rather seems to have taken a life of its own!
This is, I believe, due to a number of factors, not least of which is that Messrs Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash designed a rock solid fantasy system that ticks all the right boxes. Added to this, the new format and the low price of £10/$19.99 means that instead of just buying one book, you can now get one for every player at the table for much the same price. We released the PDF version for just $1. We made the entire book (in fact, the entire core range) Open Content – not via an SRD but literally all the text of the books. Finally, we promised a quick amount of support material, from Monsters of Legend and the free Spirit Magic download, to brand new material for our various settings.
So, what have we got planned for Legend through 2012?
We are busy converting all our ‘historical’ settings over to the new format, so you will see Vikings of Legend, Pirates of Legend and Samurai of Legend in the first few months of the year. Again, all of these will also be 100% Open Content.
Cities of Legend (also Open Content) will start appearing fairly early on, each providing a full fantasy city that can be placed in just about any campaign. Each city will be mapped out, a short history included (just enough to start linking it with the rest of the campaign world, whichever one that may be) and all the interesting locations, characters and events detailed. And then there is Arcania of Legend, introducing new and varied magic systems to the game, allowing you to pick and choose which you want to use in your campaign worlds. That kicks off with Blood Magic.
We weren’t going to do a GM’s screen for Legend but, given the demand we have seen for one of late, we may have to! And yes, it would be landscape format.
Elric of Melnibone will be getting two new supplements early in the year, Secrets of the Steppes and Talons of Winter. The first describes a vast wilderness in the Young Kingdoms we have yet to touch, the latter a true sandbox campaign set within the steppes. We are already talking to several writers about new Eternal Champion material for later in the year, and we hope to have both Hawkmoon and (finally!) Corum out before too long.
Then there is Historia Rodentia, a new setting for Legend that came about from a chance meeting at Gen Con 2011 with On The Lamb Games, when I saw their range of miniatures for Brushfire, the tabletop version of the RPG. This is a very cleverly constructed setting that looks simple on the surface but has all kinds of interesting subtleties when you start digging beneath the surface. The basic premise is that of a world populated by intelligent animals, but one that mirrors our own.
For example, the soldiers of Axony appear as bulldogs in British Army colonial uniforms (think Zulu). However, Axony is populated by both cats and dogs, and has recently come out of its Civil War and… well, I think you can see where this is going. The English Civil War in this world was not fought between parliamentarians and royalists but cats and dogs. Other nations around the world get similar treatment and I personally am planning a campaign based on the exploits of Sharpe and the Chosen Men in their wars against the Empire of Aquitar (France, populated with moles, badgers and weasels). Overall, Historia Rodentia is not entirely serious but the characters within take themselves very seriously indeed. We’ll be previewing this soon, and it is one to look out for.
Our own RuneQuest II settings, Deus Vult and Wraith Recon, will be continuing apace. Our own Charlotte Law has been working on a sourcebook for Deus Vult, covering the city of Rouen (if you have read our Deus Vult novel, Sister Devout – available at Drivethru and on Kindle – then you will already know what a hotbed of cults and corruption 12th Century Rouen can be!), and we are talking to other writers for more material to appear later in the year. The RQII books for both of these games are already fully compatible with Legend, and we will be keeping them available until their stock is gone, then republishing them in the new Legend digest format.
And then there is third party setting, Age of Treason, for which we believe a new supplement is already in the works! One way or another, 2012 will see an awful lot of support for Legend.
I’m glad to see that Legend is doing well, even though I’m confident that RuneQuest 6 will prove to be the superior RPG. (After all, RQ6 is not simply a ‘scrubbed’ version of MRQII, but rather a revised and improved version of MRQII by that system’s co-creators.)
Especially interesting is Mongoose’s plan for the Eternal Champion series. It looks like Mongoose will not simply be ‘repackaging’ their back catalogue for Legend, but actually will be coming out with some new products for the line. While I’m not holding my breath for a Legend-based version of Corum, I certainly will pick it up should it ever appear!
The Cities of Legend supplement also sounds intriguing. On the other hand, Historia Rodentia sounds positively dreadful, the kind of product that makes my day a little worse simply by implanting an aesthetically unpleasant concept in my sluggish brain.
More positively, Age of Treason sounds intriguing. And it’s nice that everything in the core Legend book is Open Content!