The Legend is an aspect of your character that is designed to encourage and assist good roleplaying, and reward it when it happens. Experienced players will likely find the Legend to be a helpful tool that clearly defines a character’s initial motivations; new players will likewise appreciate the assistance in creating and playing interesting, multi-dimensional characters.
The Legend is comprised of five Aspects: “Always…,” “Never…,” “Trust…,” “Fear…,” and “I Will…” Each Aspect represents a different motivating force in your character’s life, and should be defined at character creation (or shortly thereafter). To define the Aspect, simply treat the Aspect’s name as the beginning of a sentence, and complete the rest of the sentence. However, to clarify what each Aspect means and how it can be used to help with character development, we’ve included a sample of how each Aspect is typically interpreted. Talk with your ST if you think you’d prefer an alternate interpretation—these are not rules, merely guidelines!
“Always…” – An ideal your character strives to fulfill or uphold, or a code they attempt to live by. This Aspect will be relevant whenever your character takes a risk to adhere to or support this ideal.
“Never…” – Something your character seeks to avoid, be it behavior, a group of people, or even a simple material vice. This Aspect will be relevant whenever your character takes a risk to avoid or hurt this thing.
“Trust…” – A person, law, ideal, religion, or other belief of some kind in which your character places faith and hope. This Aspect will be relevant whenever your character takes a risk to place trust in or support their belief.
“Fear…” – Something your character fears or strongly distrusts. This Aspect will be relevant whenever your character takes a risk to either face or avoid their fear.
“I Will…” – Something your character seeks to accomplish or a goal they strive towards—the more difficult to attain, the better. This Aspect will be relevant whenever your character takes a risk to move one step closer to their goal.
Once all five Aspects have been defined, they need to be made Significant. Significance is unique to each Aspect, and is used to measure how important an Aspect is to that character. Significance is graded on a scale of 0 to 6, with 0 being completely unimportant, and 6 being character-defining in importance. At character creation, players have 7 points to distribute between their Aspects. At character creation, no Aspect can be greater than 4 in Significance.
As the characters go on adventures and travel the world, they are likely to encounter situations that relate to their motivations and desires: this is where the Legend becomes a part of the game. For any Scene in which one or more of a character’s Aspects are relevant to the Scene at hand, that Aspect’s Significance becomes a number of dice that is added to all of that character’s Dice Pools for the duration of the Scene.
Should a character ever find themselves in a situation where more than one of their Aspects is relevant, they must determine which Aspect is most relevant, and which Aspect is second-most relevant (with the help of their ST). They get the full Significance of the most relevant Aspect, and half Significance (rounded down) of the second-most relevant Aspect. Any Aspects after the second-most relevant are not added to any Dice Pools for this scene.
Any time a character faces danger or potential danger so that they can act in accordance with one of their Aspects, they may increase that Aspect’s Significance by 1. To clarify, “danger” doesn’t necessarily have to be the threat of physical harm, but can include any kind of situation where one of the possible outcomes could be negative and/or undesirable. They must voluntarily take a risk in order to gain this increase, and though the danger need not be physical, it must be real. Likewise, any time they ignore opportunities to act in accordance with an Aspect, they must decrease that Aspect’s Significance by 1.
Storytellers are encouraged to provide a wide variety of situations and events where character’s Legends are relevant. The more interesting the situation, the better. It is accordingly that ST’s would be wise to learn the Legends of the characters in their game. We suggest using a separate piece of paper to keep track of them, for easy reference.
Change of Heart
Every now and then, a character will face a situation where choosing to act in accordance with their Legend simply doesn’t feel right. Perhaps they have recently gained some insight that makes their previous decisions feel ignorant, or perhaps they simply don’t like feeling a certain way any more. Regardless of their reasons, however, they may wish to consider having a Change of Heart.
A Change of Heart can take two forms—a regular Change of Heart, or an “epiphany.” A regular Change of Heart can occur at any time, regardless of motivation. The character, at the cost of 1 Significance in a given Aspect, may redefine that Aspect as they wish. Make sure to discuss this shift with your ST, so that both of you can work together to determine not only what you want, but how the ST can best help you get there.
In order to initiate the second kind of Change of Heart—the “epiphany”—the character must first face danger or potential danger in order to not act in accordance with one of their Aspects. In simpler terms, they must voluntarily take a risk in order to fail to uphold one of their Aspects. However, instead of lowering that Aspect by 1 as they normally would, they may redefine that Aspect, and immediately increase its Significance by 1. This represents a motivation, once latent and silent within the character, now exceeding their current motivations in drive and force.
STs should be very careful with how frequently they allow characters to undergo a Change of Heart, and should require good in-game justification for them (we recommend discussing part of the character’s background that hasn’t been brought up before). Characters may, at some point, wish to return an Aspect’s definition to how it used to be. As always, this should never be done without significant thought and justification, but it should otherwise be treated just like any other Change of Heart.
At some point in a character’s life, they may eventually get one or more of their Aspects to a Significance of 6. While they are certainly welcome to maintain this advantage, they might find the lack of continued progress disappointing. This is where Inspired Aspects come into play.
With the ST’s approval, a character may, at any time after reaching Significance of 6 with any Aspect, choose to make it an Inspired Aspect. Upon doing so, the party immediately gains 6 Experience, and that Aspect’s Significance immediately becomes 2. However, its maximum increases from 6 to 8, and it begins to behave a little differently.
Once an Inspired Aspect reaches 6 Significance, the player must spend 7 Experience to “unlock” Significance 7. Doing so does not immediately grant them the Significance increase—they must still earn that—but it allows them to continue advancing it. They must do the same thing with Significance 8, though the cost for that one is 8 Experience.
Like any other Aspect, Inspired Aspects are still capable of undergoing a Change of Heart. However, in doing so, they immediately lose 2 Significance. The crisis of faith bound to accompany such a drastic shift in a character’s beliefs is enough to cause doubt and depression, which the loss of Significance seeks to measure.
Should a character—through action or Change of Heart—ever lose Significance from an Aspect that has Significance 7 or 8, they do not need to “unlock” that score again. The purchase is a one-time expense, and it remains available for that Aspect forever.
Inspired Aspects represent a tremendously meaningful motivation, and will likely relate to nearly everything in that character’s life. Storytellers should be careful with allowing Inspired Aspects; as they increase in Significance, they will likewise also increase in relevance, and the ST may struggle to create situations in which they are not relevant.
Some characters, in the course of their lifetimes, become so devoted—so ardent in their beliefs—that their zeal and fervor becomes a legend unto itself. They may find themselves seeking to advance their cause even further, and become true champions of their beliefs—the heroes of their own story. This is where Legendary Aspects come into play.
Upon reaching Significance 8 with an Inspired Aspect, a character may, at any time, choose to make it a Legendary Aspect. Upon doing so, the party immediately gains 10 Experience, and that Aspect’s Significance immediately becomes 2. However, it begins to behave a bit differently.
Much like with the Inspired Aspects, characters must spend Experience to “unlock” Significance 3 through 8, with the cost for each Significance being equal to the Significance in question (Significance 5 costs 5 Experience to unlock). More important than the cost, however, is the way the Legendary Aspect now behaves. Instead of adding additional dice during relevant Scenes, the Legendary Aspect adds additional successes. As before, the number is equal to the Aspect’s Significance.
Legendary Aspects can undergo a Change of Heart, but it is a tremendously rattling experience, that will likely shake the character to their very core. The Aspect’s Significance immediately resets to 0, regardless of what it was before. It still remains a Legendary Aspect, however, and any unlocked Significance remains available.
Legendary Aspects represent a motivation that has shaped and molded a character into everything that they are, and are completely inseparable from their character. Storytellers are encouraged to be extremely cautious before allowing Legendary Aspects, as they will likely relate to virtually every action that character performs.