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Lejendary Posterity
Now that I have the bug again, I've been doing Lejendary searches to see if I'd missed anything. Unfortunately I haven't found anything new. But I did come across those old, tiresome negative characterizations of Lejendary Adventure. Most of these people are people who actually enjoy they game. They've almost seem consigned to accept what a lot of others are saying uncritically since it doesn't address what they enjoy about the game.

These claims were annoying.. and given their baseless nature, even came off as mean-spirited, even though, again, these were largely fans of the game who didn't intend it that way. But now, looking back, it's kind of hilarious. So here are a random assortment of criticisms of the critics.

I read one person talking about the "poorly organized" "step by step" character creation process. Unless the steps are chronologically out of order (which they are not in LA), how exactly can a step-by-step system be "poorly organized"? It makes so little sense, how could it be anything but a nervous tic?

The other one is the terminology. I always thought this was strange since the language LA uses is far more plain than most RPGs. Extraordinary activations are called "powers." This is as opposed to "spells" in D&D or "songs" in In Nomine, or "rotes" in Mage. LA is also powered by "Abilities", as opposed to trying to separate out "skills" from "talents" as we see in quite a few RPGs, including Vampire: The Masquerade and GURPs.

There was the term "Lejend Master" that critics latched onto. Why couldn't LA just use the "standard" term "Game Master." Apparently they didn't notice that RPGs using special terms is the par for course. A standard, if you will.

The "high Gygaxian" language. I don't claim to be representative here. But when I was very young and playing Dungeons & Dragons, it was Gary Gygax that really turned me on to reading. The conversational tone, especially in the 1st Ed DMG, I found warm and welcoming. It made me feel comfortable with reading. I realize other people may have had different authors with different writing styles that hooked them into reading.

By itself, that would make Gary's writing style--at the VERY worst--simply different from what they're used to. However, when I look at the message board writings of these critics and compare it to my own writing, and when I consider that I have no problem appreciating BOTH Gary's style as well as the styles of other authors, I daresay the influence of Gary's writing has made me a better reader and a better writer than the influence of writings of other authors has done for their fans. So to the extent that we wish to go beyond mere subjective opinion, Gary's writing style must surely be superior.

It was easy to pick up the book cold and learn the system in a very short time. I say this having picked up the game at a time when I was not interested in learning a new system, and within 2 months I achieved the same level of comfort, confidence, and expertise running LA that took me about 10 years to get to with D&D. (Part of the learning curve of D&D likely is due to it being my first RPG, and I was learning the whole game form from scratch, and plus the "edition" madness was surely the source of some confusion.)

One criticism I recall was an entirely ignorant one that inferred from the QuickStart rules something entirely false about the LA game. The QuickStart featured four pre-gens, 2 human, 2 non-human. The humans happened to have more knacks/quirks than the non-humans. Critics question why LA  treats these differently.

Look, suppose you have four characters. 2 human, 2 non-human. 2 male, 2 female. 2 that use some form of magic, 2 that do not. 2 that have 2 knacks, 2 that only have one. It is mathematically impossible that two of these categories will not coincide. Given this impossibility, it's invalid to draw any inference from this, and even more invalid to criticize the game based on that inference.

I can only surmise the latter criticism came from power gamers upset by the demi-human limits in AD&D and automatically assumed Gary was trying to screw over non-humans in his other RPGs. This complaint about AD&D always struck me as strange. People happily accepted the advantages of demi-humans but didn't like the disadvantages. Is there any reason you couldn't just play a human--in D&D or LA--and just describe it as having pointy ears and calling it an elf. It wouldn't have the restrictions, but also wouldn't get the special abilities. People can say all they want about whatever cool visual they had in their head. However, when people reject the human-with-pointy-ears option, this demonstrated preference proves them to be power gamers. And power gamers must earn their charter's powers through playing the game.

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