In role-playing games, there are a lot of ways to role-play. For the sake of simplicity, we will split all the different forms into two groups: Active and Passive role-playing.
Active role-playing is when the story is carried by the Legends, meaning they will drive the story forward on their own. The narrator’s role here is to react to the actions of the Legends, rather than create encounters or opportunities for them.
Passive role-playing is when the Legends can follow the story along and get encounters or opportunities handed to them. There is still freedom on how to handle each specific situation but it is a bit more linear. In this case, the world is already built around the Legends and is alive and dynamically ran by the narrator. This kind of role-playing is heavily depended on the narrator’s ability to create and run the worlds.
In practice, it is best to blend both Passive and Active together. The story can start off with passive role-playing and will gradually become more active along the way.
Tips on being a better Player
- Set the correct goal - The first thing you need to realize is that Late Legends is not a video-game. You’re not really winning by default if you have the most ‘points’ or if you score the most ‘kills’. There is no specific goal here, but you as a Player set your own goal for your Legend. A good goal for a Legend might be: “Travel across the land and tame many exotic creatures in order to impress the love of your life.”. You’ll play the story together with a group, so make sure it is vague enough so it can provide for inspiration for cool moments along the way. This may take some getting used to but it comes to feel very natural to you after you have played for a while.
- Pick the quirky character - When starting off, it is easy to make a Legend that closely resembles yourself. This is a great starting point if you’ve never played, but you will soon realize that the best and most fun Legends are created when a Player steps out of his/her comfort zone. The bulk of role-playing comes from playing something you are not. It is about working out how the Legend you are portraying would react to the ever-changing situations in-game and other Legends. Role-playing strongly resembles free-style acting, without the benefit of a script or director to tell you what to do. However, if your Legend basically is yourself there won’t be a lot role to play.
- Get involved in the story - Playing a Legend means actively taking part in a story. You could sit back, relax, and enjoy the show from a distance, but participating will be the most fun. At any point, your actions could give an interesting twist to the story. Try to pay attention and let your Legend act accordingly.
- Make interesting decisions, NOT the best ones - During the story, your Legend has an opportunity to change and influence the world. The world itself is run by a narrator but try to add to the story instead of blindly following it. Interesting decisions are often not the best decisions. Keep in mind, interesting decisions are often not the best decisions. Let’s imagine a crowded tavern where a fight breaks out. You could just make sure you use your most damaging skill on one target over and over and end the fight quickly. But it might be way more wild to jump in the fray and start throwing tables. Even though it seems you’ll be doing less ‘damage per second’, you’ll be making the fight more engaging for everyone else. Engaging actions also give the narrator new ideas to work with and make the battle as fun as possible.
- Play to your Legend’s strengths AND flaws - It might seem nice to try to play an all-around master of all the weapons that is smart cunning and great company but is not very engaging to play with. It is not fun if every single conflict can be resolved using your powers. Instead, try to excel in a couple of things and be really bad at other things. This gives the other party members room to help you, make up for your specific flaw.
- Narrate your actions - You could tell everyone: ‘I use my special for this buff and I Attack twice’ roll two criticals rolls, tell the total damage and end your turn. This is systematically a good turn, you attacked and dealt damage, you may have even succeeded a critical roll, good for you! But announcing it in this way is rather boring. Instead, try to describe how your Legend is behaving and what it is trying. You can make the more interesting by doing the following:
- Using Special for a buff: ‘I ready my dual swords. Flames start to emerge around it’.
- The first attack: ‘I try a direct attack on the goblin’s head.’
- Second attack (Critical roll successful): ‘After the first hit I slice along the goblin’s legs, trying to cripple it.’