Monday, January 01, 1990

Basic Concepts

[Chapter 1]
(Back to Introduction)
(Forward to A Word on Theme and Mood)
(Forward to In the Beginning...)

What is Legends of Alyria about? It is about creating stories as a group. Together you and your fellow players will be crafting the legends of Alyria. Together you will create the heroes and the villains. Together you will see them struggle, watch them rise or fall, see them triumph or forever be destroyed. Not all of these legends will be epic in scale, but each one will be important, because it is important to you. There are no winners or losers in Legends of Alyria. There are only players, and a game is successful when everyone present has enjoyed the legend that was made.

You will craft this story by building a storymap with your fellow players and then taking on the role of one or more characters in that storymap. The process of building a storymap will provide you with all the characters for your legend as well as their context and relationships. This process leads to substantively different play than many other roleplaying games, where characters are all assumed to be on the same side. Not so in Legends of Alyria! Rather, both protagonists and antagonists are run by the players. In one legend, you may be the simple farmer, rallying the final defense of his village. In another legend, you may be the corrupt Keeper, twisting your religion to gain more power for yourself. In yet another legend, you may be the toy maker, cursed by a magic bag to create toys that kill. All can be played by players; none are off-limits.

Frequently, one of the players will take on the role of the Narrator. The Narrator is responsible to keep the game on track. He will organize play, run any characters that the other players do not wish to play, and maintain the pace and tempo of the game. Depending on the group, the Narrator role can be a permanent job, or different people can take on the role of the Narrator as the legend progresses.

The game is played out in the mind, using spoken descriptions. You will never see the rolling waves of clouds washing on the shore of the Sea of Mist. You will never stand in the black rain of the Citadel, hearing the thunderous crash of the bells of Kron. You will never face the horrifying face of a dragon or bow before a unicorn. And yet, through these words that I have written, you can see all of these in your mind’s eye. It is the same in the game. Each player describes what his character is doing, speaks his character’s words, and sometimes describes his character’s surroundings. Through these descriptions and verbal exchanges, the players participate in the legend being created.

Legends of Alyria is not a particularly rules-intensive game. However, there is one rule that is vital to the play of this game. Without understanding and agreeing to this rule, a group will not be able to play and enjoy Legends of Alyria. That rule is simply this: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Legends of Alyria gives a lot of power to its players. In some ways, each player wields power comparable to a Game Master in most other roleplaying games. However, players were not given this power so that they can be selfish and focus on their own desires and goals. No, they were given this power in order to create great legends for the other players. In order to be a good player in Legends of Alyria, you must be willing to put aside your own concerns and desires and play to those of your fellow players. Looking for a gripping combat scene but everyone else is getting bored? Move on. Ready to launch into a memorable soliloquy but no one else cares? Drop it. Someone else in the spotlight? Let him keep it. Legends of Alyria relies on the maturity and cooperation of the players in creating their legend. It would be a simple matter for one selfish player to destroy hours of enjoyment for everyone. If you are willing to look to others’ interests, rather than your own, you have the makings of a great Legends of Alyria player.

(Forward to A Word on Theme and Mood)
(Forward to In the Beginning...)


Post a Comment

<< Home