Hail, Adventurers: An Introduction

Hey everybody! Ryan here, your friendly neighborhood (not to mention new and shiny) Narrative Director at Open Legend.

I just finished up my first week and I thought this might be a good time to introduce myself. You may or may not know that I’ve been involved with Open Legend since August of 2016 when I first set my sights on House Nivenilya and dug into these weird, biomodified elves. From there I ended up getting more and more involved until I fully embedded my creative tentacles into Amaurea’s Dawn. I take full responsibility for anything weird, whimsical, or strange you might find in this world.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July filled with bbq, explosions, and of course tabletop roleplaying. I was lucky enough to squeeze in an Open Legend session with some friends and had an absolute blast covering them in strange goo and alien guts, while they attempted to prove themselves as superheroes, minus the one character who ended up just being an IT Tech for Bigsoft that ended up on the team by accident.

So who the heck am I?

I’ve been roleplaying for over fifteen years now and writing in games for over four years. I’ve written for Harebrained Schemes, Calliope Games, I’ve produced tabletop RPG shows at Hyper RPG, and I have an upcoming short story that will be featured in the Sci Fi podcast, Cast of Wonders, in September. But most importantly, I got my first taste of role playing from Neverwinter Nights. I wouldn’t be here today without that game. Spending too many hours on role playing servers with my best friends until my eyes started to water was the highlight of each weekend. We even made embarrassingly bad videos based on our adventures, which I will keep under a TIGHT LOCK and KEY. NWN single handedly prepared me for a lifetime propped up in front of this computer typing away. I still can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon or any afternoon for that matter.

In middle school, we attempted to play classic pencil and paper D&D but, these were mostly rudderless adventures that went nowhere. I remember playing a half-orc barbarian who licked doorknobs until he eventually succumbed to a doorknob-borne disease and that’s about it. Yet it was during this time that my NWN character of over two years died in a permadeath encounter on our RP server. I bawled like a baby that night. This was the moment that I began to understand that virtual experiences and friends, be they in rpgs, books, movies, or what have you, are just as valuable as those in everyday life.

It wasn’t until I went to college and fell in with some loveable scamps who lived for cheap beer and 3.5 that I finally had my first epic campaign that lasted over a year. Yurt Threefoot, a halfling barbarian with a southern drawl, escaped his traveling menagerie where he wrestled animals and grew into a legendary hero, with a few axe breaking hiccups along the way. Over the course of college and beyond we explored rich worlds, sundered them, saved them, and began anew covering centuries, and encountering the ramifications and ripples of our previous party’s deeds.

Somehow we also managed to graduate. Can you believe they even gave me a degree in Creative Writing and Childhood Psychology?

While I can’t say my attempts at writing realistic fiction helped me much as a writer, my time spent role playing and writing five absolutely disastrous fantasy novels shaped who I am today. I’m so grateful for the having that chance to explore characters with silly accents, named weapons, and tragically doomed worlds. After a while though, I began to feel some frustration with 3.5’s endless rules and supplements, and even Pathfinder’s remaster still left me wanting something more.

While these are classic rulesets, I found it exceedingly difficult to get new friends into our group. Character sheets took hours to complete. Our play sessions were plagued with confusion, rightfully so, and rules questions that broke the pacing, and combat that lasted far too long. And that brings us back to Open Legend. When I virtually met Brian, checked out the rule set, and heard the mission I was in. And I’m continually reminded how right my instincts were each time I play.

This past weekend I brought together a group of eight people, four of which were 3.5 veterans, self-proclaimed “lovers of all that cheese,” and two, who were newer 5th edition players, and two who had never played an RPG before, and they all had a blast being misled, mangled, and mooed at in our session. A quick chat and couple links to the Open Legend website and Heromuster character sheets and they were ready. We played for five hours and I was continually shocked by how fast they got the rules and how quickly they started exploring their strategic options. By the end, everyone was asking for Part 2. And I intend on making it and I’m recording everything so that I can eventually share this adventure with all of you.

In the meantime though, I’ll be plenty busy making sure all the bonus Kickstarter content is top notch and I’m excited to start featuring all the cool, new content that the Open Legend community has been working on!

I would love to hear some your roleplaying origin stories! Let’s hear all the best and worst of your roleplaying past and how you came to discover Open Legend.

Feel free to reach out, ask me questions, or just say hello here or on Twitter. Or if you want to take a look at the behind the scenes process of writing Amaurea’s Dawn, you can check that out right here. I can’t wait to get you to know you all and hopefully we’ll be rolling some dice at Gen Con in August.


Welcomes, good to hear from you! Excited for the future!


I’ve had similar results with my veteran gamers. They made characters quickly and took to the rules effortlessly… and OMG do they love exploding dice!

A big congratulations on the new position and I’m really excited to see the 7th Sphere team growing!


So… Is @Ryan the 2nd sphere, and @brianfeister the 1st sphere? The mod team might be the 3rd sphere?

OR, is the 7th sphere everything Open Legend, then what of the 1st through 6th spheres? Do we need to worry about them. Will there be an epic battle in the future? Will all 7 spheres combine together?


So… I suppose I could talk more about me. I think a few people might have heard it here and there.

As far as Roleplaying, I think I’ve been doing that as long as I was fully able to meddle in the games of my 3 older sisters. My family is fairly creative, and that came in some of the crazy games we played. From being regulated to The Bushwoolies while my sisters played with my Little Ponies, to putting pillowcases tied off with hair thingies to look like merefolk on my friend dolls (I had Mikey) and exploring a whole undersea kingdom, and then adventures out in the backyard, through the streets and out in the creek.

Did a few plays in middle school, as well as a bit of improv’esque things into high school. All that was a type of role-playing for sure.

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.

  • That William guy

I was always interested in D&D, but I was busy with other things, and the people I was around didn’t do that as much as computer and computer games. Naturally a lot of games that could trace back to D&D.

My mind could easily wander and create worlds were adventures explored and played in, so the idea of D&D was something I was curious about, but never really delved into. Loved fantasy books, as well as sci-fi.

Then itmejp started doing a game of D&D on twitch, and I watched. I kept talking to one of my friends about how I wanted to play a game, and he had a friend that GM’d, but wasn’t super nearby. I talked about playing online, but he was leery of it.

Finally, one day, I just asked a couple of people that I played online games with starting all the way back to Final Fantasy XI, and we jumped from game to game. One was my dad. I said, “Hey, so, Why not instead of playing (I think it was… Swotor at the time) on Tuesdays, want to try out D&D. I’ll be the GM.” And so I jumped in, using Roll20 and horrible skype (actually it wasn’t as horrible back tthen, b/c I think microsoft hadn’t bought it yet?). Created stuff off the cuff, and even broadcast it live on Twitch. I have all the episodes recorded on a hard drive actually up to present day.

So, I have actually only been playing D&D (and related) table top games since October of 2014, and with Second Edition. After playing for awhile, I started to modify it here and there, but one of my favorite things to do was create magical items. Eventually, not liking some of the limitations of D&D, so I started to create my own system.

It was coming along quite nicely actually. And then I happened to come across Matt Mercer posting a link to this system about Amaurea’s Down and Open Legend. I quickly soaked in the entire website while gone on a Missionary trip to Ghana, Africa.

A lot of what I was making happen in my system was being done with Open Legend, the biggest part that I was working on was the “spells and actions and feats and flaws and perks”, then I saw that Open Legend had those all worked out. I was also using exploding dice, though not quite the same as Open Legend, but I really liked what it was doing, and started to e-mail my players about the site, and maybe we will switch to using it.

Since I created my own charactersheet in Roll20 for the system I was developing, I started to search for an Open Legend character sheet to use. That’s when I found a trello board and a @DMsShadow talking about wanting one. So I wrote a rough one up that worked and did all the basic rolls. Started to upload it to github, and then posted on the trello board that I had made a charactersheet, and could share it if people wanted to, but wasn’t in case someone was working on it. DMsShadow quickly said yes please, and the rest is pretty much history.

That started me being involved with Open Legend, and working with @brianfeister to put more and more features onto the Roll20 charactersheet.

I think that basically sums up a lot, but I did type this quick.


Forgot to mention this in that part (have since edited in):

A lot of what I was making happen in my system was being done with Open Legend, the biggest part that I was working on was the “spells and actions and feats and flaws and perks”, then I saw that Open Legend had those all worked out. I was also using exploding dice, though not quite the same as Open Legend, but I really liked what it was doing, and started to e-mail my players about the site, and maybe we will switch to using it.


I backed Open Legend on Kickstarter. I think I first heard about it on EN World. I like to back interesting-sounding RPGs, and this was one of them. It slipped off my radar for a while until I got the backer update regarding the alpha PDF. I downloaded it, read it, and liked it a lot.

I’ve been playing and (mostly) running RPGs for over 15 years. I played the Baldur’s Gate games in the ’90s, but I didn’t really get into D&D until I went to college. A friend of mine had been involved with the gaming club at Ohio State, so when I transferred there, I checked it out. I remember when WotC had their D&D promotional event in front of the old Union. I still have the gubbins they gave out. Needless to say, D&D 3e was my first D&D.

My group has played quite a few games over the years. I went through a simulationist phase before I started to veer heavily towards narrativism thanks to Dungeon World. For the most part, when it comes to fantasy RPGs, my group loves D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder. We tried 4e, but my players couldn’t get into it. I’m currently running a Pathfinder campaign that will be wrapping up soon. We were planning on switching to 5e, but I am pushing us to switch to Open Legend instead.

Open Legend is a system that ticks off the boxes for my group. I love the narrative approach to running my games. I run even my Pathfinder game with a heavy influence from Dungeon and Apocalypse World, so I love that every roll matters in Open Legend. It’s exactly how I was trending towards a GM. My players love character customization. It’s one of the things that’s kept us on Pathfinder even though I don’t particularly like to run it. The flexibility that Open Legend’s character customization provides should make them quite happy.

None of us have played yet, but that’ll be changing this weekend. I’m putting together a one shot to run for my group. It’ll be a side story for my current campaign, which will (probably) set it up for its final arc. If all goes well, I expect we’ll be rolling up Open Legend characters in a new, homebrew setting shortly after this campaign wraps.

If/when we do switch to Open Legend, I’ll be making a few tweaks. While it’s quite in tune with how I GM, there are a few areas where I differ (such as awarding XP and handling *points). Fortunately, the system seems to be quite tweakable.


I really love how new you are to tabletop gaming @Great_Moustache I would have thought you’ve been playing for decades :trophy: :sparkling_heart:


I received a copy of the AD&D PHB and some dice for a birthday present (3.0 was a couple years off). Somehow, this lead to playing Tailslanta for about three sessions, but that game didn’t work out as the DM was too controlling. The friend that gave me the AD&D PHB started a Monty Haul campaign, and that started the love affair TTRPGs.

That character, a Gnome Illusionist, transitioned into a different AD&D game (original group stopped playing), which became a 3.0 game. Plan B, that I wrote about in Campfire Stories, became a thing during those years – An illusion of a dragon and a bear having a tea party. Something so weird and out of place, that perhaps the enemy would be distracted by the unusual sight. Also, I found it very funny - bears and dragons trying to sip from little tea cups, the passing of biscuits, and the setting of doilies.

Somewhere in the 3.0/3.5 years, I started playing White Wolf’s Werewolf: The Apocalypse with a DM…sorry…Storyteller…whose story performed leaps of logic that would cause most people to fall to their deaths. Thankfully, another friend took over that story. That transitioned into Theater of the Mind’s Eye Vampire LARP (Toreador FTW). Did the LARP thing for about 10 years.
When the LARPing years were coming to an end, a small group of us started playing 4th Edition D&D, and that led into this small group playing a variety of tabletop games over 2-3 years:

DC Adventures
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire
Archetype (a TTRPG my friend published)
Marvel Heroic Role Playing
Eclipse Phase

As some of the players grew their families, concentrating on playing a RPG became difficult, so we put that off when we hung out.

5e comes along, and I start watching Critical Role (based on a friend’s recommendation), and play in a 5e game (Dragonborn Barbarian). I saw a tweet about another game Matt Mercer was doing some writing for, so I followed the link to the Open Legend kickstarter.

I followed the rabbit hole to the main Open Legend website, and started absorbing the rules. It started to click. I could do something with this. It was one of the few rule sets where I actually wanted to read about more than what I needed to run a character. The possibilities of the system sparked my imagination. For the first time in a long time, I thought these rules will fit the story I want to tell with my friends.

The 5e game fell by the wayside, I still wanted to play something, so I decided to form my own campaign using Open Legend. Now having a blast with the Open Legend system.

RPG mini-rant
Lots of games had poor indexes, and looking up rules on how to handle natural things the PC would do, was sometimes challenging.
Finding out how to perform a grapple or how to throw a car, shouldn’t be difficult (looking at you DC Adventures)
If you make a RPG, stop player frustration and CHECK YOUR INDEXES before publishing.


When I was still in school I got invited to a game of D&D 4E with my local Warhammer 40K group. A friend DMed, and it was silly and ridiculous in that way that only school kids can manage.

Some notable events:

  • Pouring an unidentified potion onto a river monster, contaminating the water and somehow causing all the water in the world to disappear
  • Frantic journey to a Wizard’s tower to fix that
  • Going through a portal to the moon, coming back with Tenser’s floating disk carrying a ton of moon-cheese
  • Dumping that cheese on Neville the necromancer (henceforth known as Neville Cheese-Skull)
  • Cutting off Neville’s leg by attaching a longsword across a doorway at shin height and having him chase us through it
  • Attaching said leg to one of our characters, it would occasionally sprout Neville clones at inopportune moments because something something necromancy. We beat them by causing them to have an existential crisis about the validity of their existence.

After that chaotic introduction to the hobby, I was hooked. I ran and played in multiple similar campaigns, always playing pyromaniac wizards who loved explosions. Eventually, I was asked to take part in a PVP battle arena by some of the more notorious min-maxers in my community. I internally cracked my knuckles, flexed my little-used min-maxing muscles and soundly beat all comers with a control mage.

Once I started university, I joined the Not Only Dungeons and Dragons Society (NODDSoc) and expanded my gaming experience to new systems. I enjoyed corruption and cruelty in Dark Heresy, though after the ridiculously rules-heavy nature of the Rogue Trader systems I wanted something more narratively based. I got into Apocalypse World, running a number of games and massively improving my improv skill, and I began watching Critical Role while revising for exams which inspired me to put more work into my written plots.

Last year I found Open Legend through the Kickstarter, and joined the Discord after backing it. Quickly picking up both the letter and the spirit of the rules (a spirit I had been unconsciously drifting towards in my gaming history) I spent a lot of time answering questions; being called the “master of the Q&A” by one @brianfeister and being inducted into the mod team at its foundation. I have since run a couple of Open Legend games for new players, am in the middle of a third and I’m planning a fourth; all in different settings.

I love this system :heart:


Thanks Nizuul! I couldn’t be happier to call Seventh Sphere my home.

So… Is @Ryan the 2nd sphere, and @brianfeister the 1st sphere? The mod team might be the 3rd sphere?

OR, is the 7th sphere everything Open Legend, then what of the 1st through 6th spheres? Do we need to worry about them. Will there be an epic battle in the future? Will all 7 spheres combine together?

@Great_Moustache once you collect all seven spheres you get once wish, but beware your GM will include one cruel and ironic twist as they fulfill your desires.


Ryan!! Can’t be happier to see my friend make it and do the thing!

Ryan knows my story, as I was the DM in college where the esteemed Yurt Three-Foot was born, but for the rest of you, I was actually introduced to Brian and OpenLegend via Ryan’s work and enthusiasm for the project.

Really jazzed to see all the great stuff that’s going to come out of this.


I’ve shared a bit of this with a few of you, but here goes!

Gaming is in my blood. My parents met at a board game store where mom was a bored employee in the spring slump and Dad was a regular who spent way too much money. Mom started engaging him in conversation to have SOMETHING to do, and before long they were gaming buddies–within a year they were married and I was just a few years away ^^;;

I grew up watching my parents run games for teens in the community. One of my fondest memories is sitting on my Dad’s lap while he ran OG Champions for my mom and a group of teens. They were all alien characters, and they were investigating Taste of Chicago when the bad guys attacked. I was always bummed when I had to go to bed before the game was over. I wanted to be a part of those worlds so badly.

When I was 11 or 12, I finally had a group of friends willing to take the plunge with me, and Mom ran our first Champions game, modifying the rules to work for a fantasy setting. She helped me write out some spells for my very first Elf wizard, and my three friends and I delved into adventure!

Unfortunately, we were as previously mentioned, 11 or 12, and not a one of us was good enough at math to last in Champions for very long. Mom finally converted us to RuneQuest a few sessions in.

That game fizzled before long, but it was just the beginning. I was finally old enough to play with my parents. I cut my teeth on Champions, Runequest, Harnmaster, and Traveler–my family’s favorite systems, all stored in dusty tomes crammed into our garage and game closet. I STILL have those characters in binders in my own home, and the stories have stayed with me. I ran my first game a couple years later, for my mom and my best friend–Pokethulhu (did anyone else ever play that? was it even a game that was intended to be played? IDK but we sure had a blast!). I was in my teens before I’d ever actually played Dungeons and Dragons itself!

I tried to keep the gaming love going through college, and even got my soon-to-be husband into it with frequent trips back home, but with studies and marriage and the eventual arrival of little ones I was unable to play for a long time. It very much felt like a piece of me was missing. That’s about when I discovered Critical Role, and suddenly I was on my dad’s lap again, watching people tell stories that I desperately wanted to join. Husband and I finally cobbled some groups together for 5e, and I couldn’t be happier to be back into gaming.

I found out about Open Legend through Mercer/Geek and Sundry’s endorsement, and I was THRILLED to find a genre-agnostic story-lite system. I’ve always preferred story and character development over tactics and crunch, and Open Legend hit all the right buttons for me!


Well, I’m late to the show, but I’ve only been hanging out around here for a while. Thought I’d go ahead and put my history in, too. Just because :smiley:

I started playing in RPGs my second year in college (1991). I don’t remember the exact order of things early on, but we played AD&D 2nd edition and Rifts. The Rifts campaign lasted a while (I was a hatchling great horned dragon named Harkno (not her full name)). Then I was a temporal wizard who flew a Ford Pinto.

After that, we settled into a D&D campaign (still AD&D 2nd ed.) that lasted about four years. I DMed most of it (probably about 3 years worth). We had epic battles and some fun, including this time with a bridge, holy water, a demon, and an debate about religion…I’ll have to tell that some other time :wink:

We then switched to Shadowrun, which one of the long time D&D players ran. That lasted for quite a long time, to the point that we’d all gather about once a month to play. Then I moved too far away to make the trek.

Through all of this, I never stopped loving Rifts. The rules are painful, but I love the story told in each and every book. At one point I had over 45 Rifts-related books. It’s down to 30 or so because of water damage, and I stopped buying regularly about 15 years ago. But I still love the story, and the creatures, and how well-researched all the books are. Anyway…

Fast forward to about 5 years ago. I played in a White Wolf (I don’t remember what specifically, but there were two or three) game for about 6 months. Besides that, I haven’t really played much now for more than 17 years. And I don’t live in a place where it’s easy to find gamers. I miss it much.

But…I discovered Critical Role last summer (or so) and loved it. Then Matt Mercer was promoting Open Legend. Then I thought about getting in the Kickstarter. But didn’t. But I did get in the Backerkti. And then I printed off A Star Once Fallen and still hadn’t played. And then the alpha came out, and I had the print shop at work print it off for me…and I downloaded it. And all the kids have characters and want to play…

And I’m stuck rubbing my hands together, waiting for the opportunity. Soon…soon… we’ll do A Star Once Fallen and then branch from there. I’ve placed the island on a map in my head, and have started building the world…but I always over build end end up just winging it anyway. So…I’m excited about the quick build NPCs and the simplified rules and I can’t wait.

A huge thanks to all who have worked so hard on this great product and this wonderful site. I think even if I never play I’m excited enough about it to sustain my RPG fever for a while.


Hello everyone, late to the show as well here. I spent the morning reading your origin stories, and I really liked them. It’s amazing how different people from all over can have such similar stories.

I am not going to go into detail about my gaming history. I’ll just say that I started a few months after the release of the original Red Box, and I’ve been playing since. My favorite genres are Cyberpunk and Superheroes, but my supers games always has a bit of a gothy-nior element to it.

I’ve been searching for that ‘unicorn’ of a system that, as one writer put it, checks all of my boxes. I want it to be essentially narrative in style with enough crunch to keep me interested. For me, rolling the dice is one of the most exciting parts of the hobby, and exploding dice means rolling more dice, so more dice more better.

However, I want the freedom to play the game that I want to play. I don’t like games where the PCs stare at their character sheet to figure out what they want to do that turn. I want them to be twitching in their seats, quaking with anticipation as they narrate what they want to do. My favorite words from a player are, “Can I try this?”

The answer should always be, “Oh yeah, that’s cool. Let’s figure it out.”

I was getting ready to write my own system when a buddy of mine told me he had OPEN LEGEND. I read the rules at the Newark Airport last week, and halfway through the reading ordered the book through their Backerkit. I’m all in.

I can’t wait to talk to you folks. I have a lot of tweeks and hacks that I want to make to make the game perfect for me, but that’s what this system is about, right?

Thank you for your stories.

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Hail to everyone. My first time running a Open legend game was with my girlfriend who has played some table top game in the past, A 15 year old and a 10 year old. They had a blast and it was very easy for them to create their characters. And other then a few concepts they understand all the rules no problems.
Once the campaign that is currently running with my main pathfinder group is done we will be running Open legend there as well, and if the group likes it ,it will become our main system.

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I started late in life when it came to tabletop games. I started playing with 4e D&D and once I moved from college I started running for friends back home and have been a DM ever since (8+ years counting). I found Open Legend when they followed a podcast I was doing and I feel in love with the system. We dedicated our second season to the system but it didn’t pan out and I have used it as my home game system ever since. I started another actual play podcast up and our second season is going to be Open Legend for sure but we are talking about just converting to Open Legend full time and having each season be a different setting.

I love the system and how it allows for players to create exactly what they want.

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I head heard a bit of D&D but my parents knew people who knew people who went a little dark during the D&D panic days. So I didn’t encounter role playing games head on until I was in the military. Sitting around in Okinawa I was fortunate enough to have a corpsman as the DM and a party of mixed loyalties. Once I got out I pursued the game here and there, pretty strictly sticking to D20 systems, but only because it was all I knew. I found Open Legends through the short video Puffin Forest made on it. I liked the flexibility and absolutely dreaded the work it would take to get a game running with my currently available players (I’ve been building it and organizing schedules for a little over a year now). I ran A Star Once Fallen at a local convention a few times, and I think it went well. Currently continuing to map out a setting that I refer to as pre-Shadowrun based in the Pacific Northwest.

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