[KEZ 2018-12-29] Lejends 1:1 TRS

Kersus Excorticates Zines

A hodgepodge of review, synopsis and related thoughts. By no means one of those things and yet not all. Just what I felt like writing. :)

Lejends Magazine

Vol 1, Issue 1
May 2000; 32 pages; $5.00
Total Reality Studios

These magazines have nice cardstock covers and the front cover looks nice. It's all black & white. Some of the graphics kind of bleed into a blur like the Hekaforge logo.

The back cover has an advertisement for upcoming Lejendary Earth fiction; “Dawnstar Chronicles” coming Fall 2001 (www.darkwurks.com). It's mentioned again inside.

The inside front cover has the words offset to the left so the first letter of each sentence is cut off. The art here is a little better than the cover (the cover art is nice but the ink bleed takes away from it a bit) and I believe pictures some type of Sorcerer/Demonurge. There is also a plug for the artist Tina Druce-Hoffman.

The Courier's Pouch

We start with a welcome letter from editor Lady Amanda who mentions “All of us here at the Forge and within the halls Castle Gax and Falconsflight Keep have pledged our utmost effort toward bringing you a magazine you will use and enjoy.”

From the Forge

Some fun words from Forgie (Chris Clark) and the unfortunate news that his IBM was infested with a virus and replaced which cost them time and work. He also uses a Mac that never connects to the Internet. The writing is playful giving the virus some Lejendary Adventure stats.

Chris goes on to talk about the back cover advert which is for a comic book; GAMA and getting LA into distribution which I never actually realized it was - perhaps at the time Lion Rampant couldn't get it which meant few gaming stores in Canada would get it. Back then, and this is me talking, not Chris, I think Alliance was still separate from Diamond.

There's talk about cartographers in the stable, the new German artist Tobias Brenner who did the cover for Mouth of the Marsh (adventure and great series IMO), the Learth series and how the Fellowship of Lejendary Gamers web site is being stymied.

Chris talks about the demo program, which I never actually knew about other than talking to Gary about convention support where I received personalized adventures The Rock and later Seizon of the Son (both well after the conventions I ran LA at - and different years I think). The Rock I've used quite a few times but SotS only once. Anyway, he talks in this column about The Rock, The Judas Goat, A Question of Tribute and Dead Calm.

The big thing is that these tournament modules will only be released under this program and never see full production.

So, time changed things. Perhaps one of the names became Seizon of the Son (Judas Goat?) But probably only Chris could answer that. I don't believe A Question of Tribute ever came out however since I playtested and helped edit it for the defunct Gygax Games, I did get my own copy and have run it at conventions and for a few gaming groups to much success. It really shows off the mechanics of LA.

So, what was The Judas Goat and Dead Calm?

The Rock ended up being released under Troll Lord Games (minus the special convention extras).

I don't know if the noted Dwarven Forge figures and dungeon geomorphs were available at Gen Con that year.

Eye of Glory by Martin Dougherty is mentioned and was truly a masterpiece of a novel much like Saga of Old City in feel but very uniquely awesome. Absolutely one of my all time favourite novels.

There's a sarcastic comment about litigation, the work being done on Lejendary Lite and the difference of opinion between him and Gary on what to include. There's mention of 74 events they organized for the two companies (not sure the second company) at Gen Con.

Chris is explaining here all his different sections where he'll write about things like the above in The Hammer, The Anvil, Augury and Wrap-Up where I am now.

Many pleasantries toward the fans and a note about how tinkering is within the intent of the rules.

Laws of the Realms: A Sufficient Presupposition by Dan Cross

This is a nice article on dealing with difficult players who want ‘the rules Bent to their ideas regarding verisimilitude’ and the difference between that and genuine questions. As well he talks about how radically malleable the rules are (without breaking) when the LM feels the need for change.

With that in mind Mr. Cross tackles Orders, Abilities and basic perception (within the game).

Lost Lore

Gary adds some new Psychogenic Powers bringing the total to 34 at this point in time. Five years later when Living the Lejend (I think TLG listened to Kenny G when editing) came out, the four Powers listed in this article are not included.

By the time the unpublished Revised Edition was ready, they were included plus seven more.

I wonder if Gary's Psychogenic Veshoge used any of these?

Xagig's Fables

Gary talks about Orders and those who attempt to munchkin the system and how it fails to work with LA.

Orders were added because of the appeal in archetypes. I personally think they were added to accommodate those who couldn't get their heads out of D&D. LA is one of those systems if not THE system where it's best to unlearn all you knew and start fresh. It's so very intuitive to new gamers but very hard for those ingrained in rigid thinking.

At the end is included the errata for Unordered progression of Abilities. I think this is less because it was necessary and more to tweak the system. In play I've found that Merits are enough for Avatars and there is no need for these progressions however when they're used, it works as well. The system is not only malleable but dynamic enough that these parts of the mechanics are very plug and play even during an ongoing campaign (although I'd recommend deciding beforehand).

Adventurers’ Tales
The Invisible Dreadnought: Fun With Panprobability
By Evan Torner

Lejend Master Torner tells of a one-shot adventure he created around the use of Panprobability. Now, either I've read this article multiple times or it's also elsewhere as I know this story quite well. It's an ingenious adventure that feels like a fantasy scavenger hunt meets Divine Intervention (a Traveller 1e adventure). He gives us enough information to recreate this adventure as the locations are easy enough to slap into a town.

This is a gem of an article.

New Optional Orders

Alchemist, Merchant and Scholar are fleshed out. Jay Witthoft's illustration of an Alchemist is quite nice as is much of the art in this issue.

Out of the Wilderness

Gary, Daniel Lewis and others bring us a handful of new creatures for Learth. All of them are useful and well fleshed out.

The key here is that each creature has a blurb from Aryen the Watcher based on his experience, knowledge of myths, and even monetary values of remains, tips and warnings from his scant 38 years of travelling.

All of these creatures appear in the published book More Beasts of Lejend (2006) without Aryen's interesting blurbs.

The Star Chamber

In this article Gary welcomes us to the LA Game Multiverse talking about AsteRogues (Fantastical Science), Elder Worlds (Science Fiction), a Weird Science, Wild West, Horror, Cyberpunk genre and more! LARs Kowloon Wharf Station is mentioned and how short the learning curve from one genre to the next would be. There is also a link to the beta-test material for LARs.

The most notable sentence in this article is:

“The system is, as well you know, skill-based, rules-lite, and participant friendly.”

To me LA is simple, dynamic and versatile however Gary's sentence above is perfect as well. The concept of skill-bundles (also used in Savage Worlds as broad skills) works very well allowing a great deal of customization or playing it as-is.

The Watcher's Way

Daniel Lewis talks about survival and staying alive when leaving the confines of a city. Specifically here about surviving in the fens (swamp) directed at enhancing the gaming experience.


Some clarifications on rules and changing the Warlock Order to be called the Augur Order.

Gamesmythe's Faire

This speaks to become a place for players post things as well as a retailer listing.

Inside the back cover is an advertisement for Castle Wolfmoon which is the conclusion to a trilogy.

Final Excortications

This is a pretty full issue setting the stage for greatness.

It's dedicated to one system and really isn't that old so it doesn't feel dated. Much of the information is not only still pertinent but there's also thoughts useful for any system.

Some of the material made it into published products, but not all.

These magazines are some of my favourites next to Journeys but when they were released it was near impossible to get copies.


The question I have for you is, what makes a review/synopsis/banter about a magazine issue interesting?



It's too bad LA has faded away, it's such a fun system, much less frustrating then version of D &D I learned.

What makes a review fun to read for me is the writer inserting their own takes on the articles, inserting puns and witty one liners.

tmjva's picture

What happened to the FEP forums? I can't post with "403 - Forbidden: Access is denied." since 20 December. Using this as my 20 Dec message got no response.