NO SPOILERS AHEAD.
So you are thinking about adding Legacy of Dragoholt to your collection and are wondering how it plays, what is the length of the game replayability factor?
I’m going to write this review a bit different due to the nature of the game, as not giving away any content spoilers is KEY if you do decide to pick it up.
I will say, more vs. any other game Legacy of Dragonholt is definitely a case of the game being something different vs. what the gaming community expects it to be…
So especially we have a light-esque RPG game set in the Runebound/Terrinoth universe, that offers an RPG experience without a game master…
…and without any dice.
Can we play a role playing game without dice?
The mechanics of the game are essentially a choose your own adventure game book format. You make a characters with certain traits, skills, find items, and interact with the game world through choices.
Legacy IS a game book system, but updated, beefed up, and put on steroids for the here and now of gaming.
There are quite a few elements pulled from proper RPG systems that take it beyond the game book- stuff like the passage of time interacting with what you can/can’t do and who is around, along with other forces/narratives in the game actively working against you- going against your choices.
I’m about half way into the game, and it is a refreshing blast of gaming wind blowing out so many other RPG in a box games, and I don’t want the ride to end.
Legacy of Dragonholt is not a mid-tier RPG like Dungeons & Dragons- it is not meant to be, it is not a “serious” RPG like Rolemaster of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
It is a light RPG where everybody can enjoy the story, get in character, and have some fun stepping out of reality for a few hours. It is it’s lightness that gives it strength- but don’t equate light with unpolished.
As a player and game/dungeon master who runes other RPG games its nice to be able to sit down and have the story/game run itself and go along for the ride.
This is a unique game which is definitely an RPG.
But, what about reputability since this is a game and not an RPG system?
I can already see multiple ways though the game.
The first is to play it for “real” either solo or with a group- make up your character and give it a run. You will get at least two full runs through the game played this way.
Second way after that is to run through it again with a totally different character class. As an example I always play a wizard/magic-user/arcane dude. My current character is geared towards this:
After I make it through with Kzin (Tribute to Larry Niven) I’ll play the exact opposite of a character that I never really play in RPG games- a warrior/fighter type.
Next play-though will be a final run to find all the challenges in the game- there is a game sheet of accomplishment to check off as you complete them or find them in the game- kind of a mini-game in a game.
So how many hours of playing is packed in right there?
And it’s enjoyable playing without crazy tables, rules, and more “serious” RPG stuff, which means my mind can just go with the game.
As a light but serious game I also plan to play it with my dungeon crawling group- we’ll get silly and play it where we have to speak and act in character at all times for the lolz.
And then there is playability with players or a group that has never played an RPG…
…and being Fantasy Flight Games perhaps an expansion or two, plus any fan content that will start appearing up on BGG in a few months.
So what are the drawbacks since I’m starting to sound like a fanboy and we need some balance in this post…
Production content is great as all FFG stuff it- the art is well done, box sturdy, cool tokens, a map and item cards. But the books are just soft bound- the content is just paper- no sheets of tokens, miniatures, dice, or custom playing pieces. Why is the game around $50? I feel like it should be $30 TOPS. I feel like with it being a new system, and a very good one at that, plus the hype of it, FFG knew they could push a premium price.
Different games, but if we are going off of components vs. experience compare Legacy for $50 vs. Gloomhaven for $100.
That aside, as light, fun, and immersive RPG I’ve been waiting for this type of game for a long time.