Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game, an upcoming tabletop RPG based on the world of animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, has released free quickstart rules, allowing fans and interested players to playtest it ahead of an August 3rd Kickstarter campaign.
First teased back in February, the tabletop adaptation of both beloved shows is being handled by Magpie Games, publisher of titles such as teen hero setting Masks: A New Generation and the Root RPG - based on Leder Games’ popular board game of woodland power struggles. Dicebreaker previously spoke with Mark Diaz Truman and James Mendez Hodes about translating media into games and handling that process with thoughtful care.
The Avatar RPG quickstart rules are available through Magpie Games’ website and provide everything a group needs to experiment with the game’s current iteration. Included is a digital PDF outlining the world, character generation and how to appropriately scope a group’s adventures. Pregenerated characters and an included adventure, The Forbidden Scroll, will let players jump immediately into the action.
Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game will be built around Powered by the Apocalypse, a system developed by Meguey and Vincent Baker that Magpie Games has used extensively in past RPGs. An interesting wrinkle on the format is the Balance track, which documents a character’s tug-of-war style pull between two opposed ideals. Certain actions and decisions will move a counter along this track, affecting two corresponding attributes with either a positive or negative modifier. An example from the quickstart rules explains a character’s tension between loyalty and confidence, constantly in flux depending on which they choose to express.
Parties will choose among five different eras for the setting of their adventures. Groups can explore the world as portrayed in the original cartoon, known as Aang’s Era, the Capital City of Korra’s Era, or earlier - The Hundred Year War covers the time without an Avatar and the Fire Nation securing its rule. Each era will allow players to enjoy different themes and aesthetics, such as the ambitious but unstable time of legends described in Kyoshi’s Era.
Character creation involves choosing from among six playbooks that each exemplify various playstyles. The various Bending arts remain a core part of Avatar’s world and are available to any playbook. Alternatively, characters can choose a proficiency in technology or weaponry - think Asami and Sokka, respectively.
Given the show’s explicit inspiration from Asian and Indigenous North American cultures - including architecture, clothing and the martial arts at the basis of bending’s visual style - Magpie Games said it worked from the beginning to bring contributors on board to ensure the resulting tabletop RPG is respectful as well as fun.
"One of the best parts of working on Avatar Legends: The RPG is getting to dive into all the rich details of this complex world and seeing how each era impacts the next,” said designer and writer Clio Yun-su Davis in a press release. “I’m excited for players to tell stories that explore what their characters personally value, as well as how those values fit into the larger picture of the world's history. There is a lot worth fighting for in this universe, and not everyone is fighting for the same things."
Magpie will host a Kickstarter campaign beginning August 3rd, raising funds for the core rulebook and two already planned expansions currently slated for August 2022 and February 2023. The Kickstarter will double as a pre-order mechanism for those interested in backing the project and securing a copy of the full game. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game will release on March 22nd 2022.