Mysthea: Legends from the Borderland Preview

@thecraftingdm kickstarter, preview, tabletop Leave a Comment

AS THE DULKODEL WAR RUMBLES ON, THE GUILDS OF ILVASH SEND THEIR VASSALS TO TAKE OVER A NEWLY-CAPTURED CITY. WHAT DANGERS WILL THEY ENCOUNTER ON THE WAY TO MONTARA? HOW WILL THE CITY GREET THEM – AS CONQUERORS, OR AS LIBERATORS? AND WHAT WILL THE FORCES OF THE EMPIRE DO TO TRY AND RECLAIM IT?

This week, Mysthea: Legends from the Borderlands funded on Kickstarter. Mysthea: Legends From the Borderlands is a tabletop roleplaying game about politics, adventure, and discovery, set in a geomantic fantasy world based on Tabula Game’s Mysthea Universe.  It fuses the grand strategy of board games like Twilight Imperium, Scythe and Mysthea itself with the tense character-driven adventures of pen-and-paper roleplaying games.

Having received a copy of Mysthea the board game, and having had the opportunity to unbox it, I am excited about this new RPG primarily based on this universe. The Mysthea setting, wrought with ekphrastic achievement, is refreshingly unique and offers so much potential for exploration and development. As part of Legends from the Borderlands’ launch, I was given the opportunity to take a look at The Bitter March, a quickstart scenario for the game.

Like most tabletop RPGs, Legends from the Borderlands implements a GM (called the “Game Moderator” here). However, the most immediate mechanical difference is that the rest of the players control both a House and a player character known as a Hero. The game shifts between the macro House level and micro Hero level with players making a series of moves (and rolls using several d6) and the GM making appropriate reactions. As the players play they move between the House and Hero levels, zooming in to play through a flashpoint with a group of characters and then zooming out to show the broad strokes of each House pursuing their own agendas. This board game / RPG hybrid game mechanic is what makes this game so unique.

The game employs a House resource management mechanic spent to take macro actions at a much slower and grander scale than Heroes. Heroes, operating on a micro level, utilize more familiar RPG mechanics such as moving, encountering NPCs, and combating creatures of the universe. Although familiar, these mechanics operate within a very specialized set of game rules.

The Bitter March is a short, guided adventure that takes place over three distinct acts. It includes pregenerated characters to get you started and also a quick-reference guide for the GM, with some helpful advice included. I am eager to take a look at the complete game once it ships!


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