Legends is a game of storytelling. Nowhere in the game does anything happen because of a button click or a mouse movement. Everything in the game happens through narration.
The game was abandoned because it did not gain any traction and the rules had no clear vision.
Below is a copy of the game rules as originally published on the forum:
Legends Game Rules
Basic Game Elements
Stories are the myths and legends of the game world. They are divided up into chapters. Every chapter is one action or set of related actions, and is told by one player. The next chapter will be told by a different player. This is the cooperative aspect of the game.
After a chaper is written, it is subject to discussion and voting. Here, players can use the power they accumulated during the game (see below) to influence the course of history, and gain the priviledge to write the next chapter of a story. This is the competitive aspect of the
The parts of the story that have lasting effects on the game world are called effects. A chapter can have several effects, but every effect, every change caused to the world, consumes some of the primal creation energy that players accumulate. This energy is called Prime. Larger effects consume more prime than smaller effects. Prime can also be channeled through mortal beings, the heroes of legends, for superhuman or magical effects.
A small amount of Prime automatically accumulates over time for each player. Larger amounts can be found in Prime Sources that are scattered throughout the world. Control of Prime Sources will grant a steady supply of Prime.
Through effects, Creations can be put into the game world, manipulated and eliminated or killed. Typical creations are geographical features (continents, mountain ranges, rivers, forests, etc.), heroes (mortals touched by Prime), artifacts (objects touched by Prime), but also cities, kingdoms, religions, cultures.
Characters and Councils
Every player takes on the role of one Immortal in the game world. Some immortals self-define as gods, others as powerful mages, many simply as immortals.
Like-minded Immortals come together to form Councils or Pantheons. Only these groups can exert Influence over and gain Control of Prime Sources and Creations. Influence can be gained through effects. Once enough Influence is in the hands of an individual Council, control can be established. Once a council controls a Prime Source, it gets a steady supply of prime for all its members. Once a council controls a Creation, only its members can freely use this creation in stories.
Immortals also have a Personal Legend. The personal legend describes the character and is a special type of story that can only be written by the player controlling that character. The personal legend also establishes the goals and visions of the character - what he or she (or it) wants to achieve with the world. Immortals are driven by Purpose, a central value or set of values that determines their personality but also the kind of changes they intend to bring upon the world. Some immortals are driven by conflict and war, sometimes for the pure lust of destruction sometimes as a means to forge stronger and more capable mortals. Some immortals are driven by a desire to heal or invent, or by beauty. Some fall in love with individual cultures or realms, at least for a time. Some see themselves as forces of nature, embodiments of storm, water, nature or of lust, anger, calm. The purpose of an immortal can change over time, through the continuation of his personal legend.
One real-life hour is equivalent to one day in the game world. However, story-time can differ. Within a story, time is more flexible and even though the writing of a story might take many days or weeks to complete, the story can describe only days or hours in the game world. The timeframe of the story is defined entirely within the story. The only rule is that it may not jump "ahead" in time to a point that has not yet happened. Thus, there is a Universal Time in the game, which determines the flow of Prime and other external effects, as well as the default starting time of new stories.
The game world has a moon cycle of 24 days, making one month 24 days long, and thus equivalent to one real-world day. 14 months in the game make up one year (a total of 336 days). The real-life equivalent is 2 weeks.
This are the rules governing gameplay:
Story Creation / Chapter Writing
A chapter in progress can be flagged instead of regular voting, if it violates one of the meta-rules outlined below.
- A Yellow flag means that the problem can be fixed by editing the chapter. For example, an effect is not explained in the chapter, the chapter contradicts an established fact in a way that can be solved with a minor change, etc. On a yellow flag, the player setting the flag is strongly encouraged to offer a suggestion on how to fix the problem.
- A Red flag means that the problem cannot (in the eyes of the player setting the flag) be fixed without a total rewrite.
- A Black flag is reserved for spam, trolling, harassment or other player-misbehaviour. We are playing a game together and even if emotions may sometimes flare high, we can all expect respectful, friendly behaviour from each other.
There are two kinds of game Facts.
A fact establishes a truth of the world, and thus can be a reason to flag a future chapter. Mutable Factsare those established by previous stories. They can be changed through story the same way they were established, but until they are explicitly changed, they are true. For example, a city created in a previous story and put at the side of a river in a lush forest cannot suddenly be located in a desert. A story can be written that changes the course of the river and destroys the forest through drought or fire or magic, in which case the fact has changed. But this requires said story to be written first, and its effects applied and paid for in Prime.
There are also Immutable Facts establishing the setting and boundaries of the game. These are the Immutable Facts:
- Stories should be written in the style of legends - 3rd person, full sentences, no modern references, emoticons or chat-speech.
- Other characters can not be killed or permanently disabled. Whatever you do to other characters, their players can always write their way out of it if they so desire. You can permanently destroy any Creations they like or control.
- The laws of physics and common sense apply, unless magic is used and Prime expended.
- Only named heroes of legends can channel magic. This magic always comes from Immortals and always requires the expenditure of Prime.
Game World Limit
Finally, there are some limits to the kind of world that can be created, in order to keep the world familiar and easy to enter for new players. These limits also count as immutable facts, but have a somewhat softer boundary:
- The game covers the world. It does not extend to space or objects in the sky (stars, the sun, the moon, etc.) and no amount of Purity can change the world itself (e.g. make it flat, grow or shrink it, change gravity or any such things). Maybe a later extension to the game can open up such features, for the moment we play on and within the world given.
- Technology beyond a roughly medieval level (e.g. no steam engines, electricity, gunpowder, and reasonable levels of mechanics, science and culture) counts as magic.
- Fantasy creatures are somewhat rare - they may exist, but travellers would mention them in their letters. So a small area of the world where people breed Unicorns or use Earth Elementals as workers is fine, but a world-spanning dragon express service isn't. All fantasy creatures are at best as intelligent as animals (see next rule).
- Humans are the only intelligent species native to the game world. Immortals can appear to them in the shape of elves, dwarves, trolls or any other creature of legend, and humans may well believe in the existence of such species, but no other intelligent species actually exists.
Sources of Prime are randomly distributed all over the world. Their locations are initially unknown.
Mortals can accidentally discover them, when they explore areas, or build settlements (villages, towns, cities, but also outposts, fortresses, trading posts, anything really) nearby. These discoveries are not automatic, so even in a densely populated area, a Prime Source may stay undiscovered for some time.
Once discovered, Prime Sources can be taken control of with Influence (see the chapter on Influence and Control for details), just like any other creation. They can also be used in stories and detailed in story, just like any other Creation. The main difference is that Prime Sources cannot be created or destroyed.
Prime created by Prime Sources is stored in the Prime Source, until an overflow amount is reached. The amount that can be stored differs from source to source, but is typically somewhere in the 20s.
Members of the controlling council can visit the Prime Source and transfer Prime from there to their personal stores. How a council regulates its members in this regards is left to each council to decide.
Prime Lines and Shards
Once a council controls several Prime Sources, they can connect them with Prime Lines. This magical channel links two Prime sources controlled by the same council. Prime Lines cannot intersect. If a council loses control of a Prime Source, all Prime Lines linked to it will disappear.
If three Prime Sources are all connected to each other (a triangle), a Shard is formed. These shards are fragments of the primal force, before the world was created. Shards create a special kind of Prime, called Purity. With this energy, massive effects way beyond those possible with Prime can be fueled, including permanent effects, global effects and geological and geographical changes (sinking and raising of entire continents, and such). Purity is also used to invent new effects (normal effects, powered by Prime). As such, Purity is the energy of a meta-game between councils for power and new abilities (the closest equivalent to a tech-tree the game has).
The rules for Purity are not yet finished and will be announced later.
Facts of the game world that can be re-used from legend to legend.
While immortals can simply invent and write about nameless humans, villages, forests as much as they want, any of these and many more can be created as (semi-) permanent features of the game world. Some possible creations are:
- Heroes - mortals touched by Prime, i.e. explicitly created by an immortal. Many legends feature such heroes as story characters.
- Artifacts - often magical, or with a specific fate or meaning.
- Places - lakes, forests, mountains, rivers, even entire continents.
- Settlements - villages, towns and cities of humans.
- Cultures and religions - abstract collections of rites and habits, rituals and beliefs.
- Kingdoms - and other realms and political constructions.
These creations can be created at any time in a story (effect: new creation), at which point they will get a name. Names are unique. Depending on the type, they will also have other mandatory attributes - for example, places have a location on the map, settlements are of a specific size, etc.
Creating and adding attributes to a creation costs Prime. Creations can also be killed, destroyed, etc.
Note that things can be created as "side effects", including geographic features. The mountain or river, the town or the kingdom don't need to be the main aspect of the story or chapter. The story can be about meeting a wise man in the mountains - and with that mention, those mountains are put on the map. The kingdom can be mentioned as a part of
the background, but get created through that.
What is a Creation and what not does not depend on what is in the spotlight, but whether or not Prime is spent on something.
Enter and Exeunt
Existing creations can be added to a new story for a Prime cost much lower than creating a new, similar creation. They can then be "exeunt"ed, removing them from the story. While they are active in one story, they cannot be activated in another story. At the end of a story, all participating creations are automatically freed up again.
Creations controlled (see chapter on Influence and Control) can only be entered and exeunted by immortals from the controlling council.
All creations are linked to all the stories that they appear in, and in this way have their own history.
Mobile creations (such as heroes or artifacts) can be moved to other locations on the map as an action. To give all participants a chance to contribute, and to make creations vulnerable at times, only one travel can happen to every creation per chapter. If you want to write a story about a hero travelling through the lands, each station on his travel needs to be one chapter.
Note that characters can also travel using this mechanic. This can be necessary e.g. to tap Prime Sources.
Creations are a blank core element of the game and extremely versatile and powerful.
Influence and Control
Councils (but not individual immortals) can build Influence and take Control of Creations.
Gaining influence is an effect, with a cost of the amount of influence points gained, squared (e.g. gain 4 influence = 16 Prime). The influence share of a council is simply (your influence points / sum of all influence points) - example, A has 6 influence, B has 3 and C has 1, then A has 60%, B has 30% and C has 10%. This has two effects. Firstly, it is much cheaper to build up influence slowly, over time, than rapidly or at once. Secondly, the more everyone invests in the same creation, the more costly it becomes for everyone to increase their influence share.
Losing influence happens through deterioration over time. The exact formula is still to-be-determined.
If a council has at least 2/3rd of the total influence, at at least 10 points more than the 2nd most, it can take control. This is an effect with a flat 1 Prime cost (the actual cost is in raising influence to this level).
Controlled creations can only be introduced into and exeunted from stories by members of the controlling council. While part of a story, they can be used normally, by everyone.
Influence deteriorates twice as fast for the controlling council, but is twice as expensive to buy for others.
If the controlling council falls to less than 50%, any other council with at least 25% can contest the control, another effect with a flat 1 Primecost, removing the control.
Stories are written in chapters, by multiple authors. Each chapter consists of a text describing what is going on, and effects encoding the events of the chapter into game mechanics.
Any immortal can start a new legend at any time. Starting a new legend costs some Prime.
The immortal who started a legend also writes its first chapter. Writing a chapter is a three-step process:
- Write the chapter. Take all the time that you want, but no more than 7 days. If you do not submit the chapter to the 2nd step within 7 days, the chapter opens for open writing. An open writing chapter can be submitted by any immortal and whoever submits a chapter first becomes the new author of that chapter.
- Once submitted, a chapter enters discussion, which lasts up to 3 days. During these days, anyone can comment on the chapter and the author can edit the chapter to accomodate comments.
- After the discussion period, the chapter is voted upon. Players can vote up or down. A chapter is accepted if at least 2/3rd of votes are positive. It is rejected if at least 2/3rd of votes are negative. If the votes are inbetween that, it goes back to discussion (and the author can edit it) the first time. When the chapter comes up for voting a second time, a simple majority decides. If a chapter is accepted, it becomes part of the story and its effects are applied upon the game world and the relevant Prime is spent. If it is rejected, nothing happens.
During the discussion and voting phases, immortals can also bid on being the author of the next chapter. Bidding is done in a Vickrey auction style, meaning all bids are secret and the winner pays not his (highest) bid, but the 2nd highest bid (which means that if only one immoral bids, he can write the next chapter for free). Payment is done in Prime. The current author cannot bid, so consecutive chapters are always written by different authors.
One of the effects that can be included in a chapter is THE END, concluding and closing the story. Like any other effect or part of a chapter, this is subject to discussion and voting. THE END cannot be used until at least 3 chapters are written.
Anything can be an effect. Game development will largely consist in coding newly invented effects into the game. For the beginning, several basic effects are offered:
- Creations can be created, changed and eliminated. A basic creation costs 1 Prime to create and will have a name and a type. It can be further fleshed out by adding more details to it. This is explained more thoroughly in the chapter on Creations.
- Existing Creations can also be entered and exeunted (removed from) stories. This allows the re-use of existing creations, for example places, heroes, etc. for a flat fee instead of creating them entirely from scratch for a large amount of Prime.
- Influence and Control can be placed upon Creations. This is further detailed in the chapter on Influence and Control.
- Magic can be used in stories to enable supernatural events. Compared to the mighty powers of Immortals, the magical effects of mortal mages are puny, so most of them require only a single unit of Prime. The actual magic used can be freely described, and can be anything from fireballs, illusions, mental control to summoning of ghosts and virtually anything else.
There is a soft rule that says the story has to fit to the effect it creates. If you want to shake up the world, write a tall, long, complex and interesting legend about it. Expenditure of Prime alone will not be sufficient (maybe later a limitation of how much Prime can be spent in a single chapter will enforce this limit). Essentially, small things can happen in a sentence, earth-shattering changes take a whole story. Maybe the event at the end is short and powerful, but in such case a legend would tell everything that led up to the event, how heroes tried to stop it, which forces intervened, how everything is connected, and which strands of fate came together to make the big thing happen.