A tabletop RPG based on the widely popular and beloved cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra is currently in development, promising fans a chance to return and explore the fantastical setting of benders and legends as their own characters.
Magpie Games, publisher of Root: The Roleplaying Game, Bluebeard’s Bride and Masks: A New Generation announced today that it had secured the rights to develop a tabletop RPG system based on the setting of the Nickelodeon series.
According to a press release, the multi-year publishing deal with rights-holder Viacom CBS has allowed Magpie to plan for a release of the as-yet not officially named RPG’s core book in February 2022. What’s interesting is the press release already states that Magpie is planning two supplements to the sourcebook within a year - Republic City and The Spirit World will release in August 2022 and February 2023, respectively, expanding the breadth of possible adventures in two new settings beyond the Avatar’s world of element-based nations.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) and The Legend of Korra (2012) both take place in a universe where individuals called benders can manipulate the four basic elements of the physical world - earth, water, air and fire (hush, metalbending is a spoiler) - to various degrees. Once in a generation, though, one person is born with the ability to control, and eventually master, all of them and is known as the Avatar. The setting, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, is based on a pastiche of historical East Asian cultures and martial arts styles.
“The stories of Avatar are so moving for us because they are joyous and heartbreaking,” said Mark Diaz Truman, CEO of Magpie Games. “We’re incredibly excited to bring the tales of brave benders and loyal friendships to tabletop roleplaying games.”
Magpie said it will be working with several Asian designers throughout the development process, including game designer and martial artist James Mendez Hodes, whose past credits includes Monsterhearts and his own RPG system Thousand Arrows. Hodes was also a cultural consultant on Jiāngshī: Blood in the Banquet Hall and Agon.
Players will not be taking on the role of the Avatar but will instead create characters using playbooks that will define their abilities and attributes. Not much is known about the mechanical underpinning of the Avatar RPG, but Magpie stated an importance in representing in its RPG the adventurous nature and struggle with morality that made both animated series so beloved.
Magpie Games has a history of implementing the Powered by the Apocalypse RPG engine in its titles. Both Root: The Roleplaying Game and Masks: A New Generation build on the system, which focuses on moves that can be used in combat but also to power the group’s narrative.
The Avatar: The Last Airbender RPG is currently slated to release in February 2022. Dicebreaker will be sure to report more details about this upcoming game in the future.