I was given the chance to have a look at a new game that mixes some of my favorite elements of 7 Wonders, Risk Legacy, Vampire the Masquerade and Once Upon a Time called Legacy of the Slayer.
Within this small $20 box of cards (a great size for portability, and nice cheap point of entry as well) you get quite a lot of gameplay. Legacy of the Slayer plays like an RPG mixed with a storytelling game. You build a character like an RPG, but once that character is created, any player can determine the actions your, or any other character, does to further the story. There are no dice to determine outcome like a story game, and there is no winning or losing, only the story.
To create a character, players are each dealt a small handful of cards with only a type and title on them. These range from flaws like Sociopathic to a Passion for Cars and NPCs. Players draft one card from their hand and then pass the rest, continuing until all cards have been taken. It’s at this point that players WRITE ON THE CARDS. Yes, this is a Legacy game, like the title implies. Any story you tell is forever etched in Sharpie for all to marvel in its glory. I think this is a MARVELOUS use of the Legacy mechanic. I’ve been an opponent of the misuse of this mechanic on some other titles in the past, but I think Legacy of the Slayer uses the mechanic in a way that has yet to be done, and without the Legacy aspect, it would be a lesser game. On each card you will write the character’s name, describe the exact details of each, and for each character, use a different color sharpie. Maybe your passion for cars is rooted in missing your father with whom you used to work on cars as a youth. Maybe your Virtue of being Wise comes from training with Buddhist monks in the mountains… It’s all about imagination and storytelling.
After characters are created, the game takes a twist away from roleplaying and enters more of a story game mode like Once Upon a Time or Tell Tale/Speech. You shuffle everyone’s character cards together into a central deck and then intersperse a couple Plot Twist cards and one Resolution card within the deck at approximately even thirds of the deck. You flip over the top 3 cards of the deck and players take turns talking about what happens in the story and how the aspect card they chose is currently interacting with the plot. Once a Plot Twist card comes up, no more cards are dealt until the Plot Twist is chosen by a player. This is a great way to add some randomness into the game and keep the narrative flowing. The game is built to have at least enough cards to play 20 sessions with 3 groups which could easily be 40+ hours of game play, but honestly, if you want to re-use characters, it could likely be played MANY more times.
From a design perspective, Legacy of the Slayer offers an experience like no other game I’ve ever seen. The idea of a card driven RPG has always enticed me (as we all know if you read me regularly. I LOOOOVE card games), the Legacy mechanic is a largely unexplored space and Legacy of the Slayer pokes around in an awesome new uncharted area, and the stories it tells will bring TONS of hours of joy to any group who picks it up.
The final thing I want to note, is the rule book’s constant mention of doing what is best for the story even if the rules don’t allow it. I am a strong proponent of ignoring rules if it makes for a better story, and so is this game.
You can pick up the game on The Game Crafter for $20, and if you like cards and roleplaying games I strongly suggest checking it out.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading,