How to implement a fire breath without extraordinary attribute

Hi guys, I just did my first game of Open Legend (and almost of any RPG actually) and we had great fun!

Though I do have a question. One of the players wanted to play someone with dragon blood, and so he wanted to have an attack of fire breath or something like that, but he didn’t want to do any other magic and so didn’t really like the idea of putting points into any extraordinary attribute.

I didn’t want to spend hours searching everything since everyone else was ready, so I told him to get the feat Bane focus for Persistent Damage.

I think it’s supposed to use a bane that you already have access to, but it seemed the best at the time, to allow him to use Energy to light people with his fire breath but then he still had to roll Energy, though with advantage 2 (which only grants a single additional dice for d20 I think ?)

Now that I have the leisure to search some more, I realized that there’s a Boon Access feat, but no Bane Access, which would have been better. Maybe attribute substitution (Might for Energy) would have been better. What do you think of what I did, and how would you do it?

I would say energy would be the best way to do this. Extraordinary attributes doesn’t need to be magic based, for instance using energy for a flame thrower. Would be the same idea, that way you could do persistant damage and bane focus. And would give them the option of a cone breath or a fireball.

You could use attribute sub, but above is the way i would do it.

Part of the problem is you are attempting to do a Bane, when actually all you are wanting to do is Damage. Fire breath traditionally, especially from dragon heritage, is straight breath attack.

Also, if you have a 0 in an extraordinary attribute, you can not access or use that extraordinary attribute at all. Extraordinary attributes are the only ones that are like this.

As the GM, if they are really wanting to do this, then:

  1. You can just allow it
  2. Cause it to be flavored by having a perk
  3. Just have them do an Agility roll or Might roll and allow it to be flavored as a breath weapon
    • Since it is a breath weapon, this is usually a cone, so it would be Either Disadvantage 2 or Disadvantage 3 depending on if you want it to extend out 2 or 3 squares. Because you are giving it to them, I would still make the damage be precise/forceful instead of allowing it to actually be fire. If they want to actually do fire stuff, than they need to grab Energy and actually put points into it.
    • You could limit it to only once per session or once per day (like a perk), and in so doing take away some of the disadvantage that I mentioned in the point above.

And like @Salvonian mentioned, Extraordinary is not magic, but it can be depending on the flavor you make it.

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Bane Access was deliberately left out, because it was potentially dangerous to the game balance, especially when accessing Banes a few levels early. I don’t think that it would be that bad for an experienced GM to house rule, but it sounds like you’re not that experienced with OL, and I agree with @Great_Moustache that Persistent Damage isn’t really what you’re looking for anyway. A damaging attack (maybe with Bane Focus as an added extra) works better for a breath weapon.

If you’re going so far as to consider Attribute Substitution, then it sounds to me like they just want to put points into Energy anyway. As was pointed out above, Extraordinary Attributes do not have to be magic, they’re just… well, anything out of the ordinary. A normal person in your world wouldn’t be able to breathe fire no matter how much they trained (I assume) so that sounds pretty extraordinary to me.

As a bonus, if they achieve this effect through the attribute then they get access to a bunch of other stuff that it makes sense to be able to do with fire breath; they can just use it as a weapon (damaging attack), set someone’s clothes on fire (Persistent Damage Bane), illuminate a room (Light Boon), blinding light-sensitive enemies (Blinded Bane) or even use it to be intimidating in combat (Demoralised Bane). OL doesn’t need to resort to the “once per day, make an attack with a cone exactly this long” method for breath attacks like D&D does. Think about it, it doesn’t really make sense that your mighty dragonborn can only occasionally breathe fire and always in exactly the same way; breathing fire is just an Extraordinary part of who they are.


Thanks for the answers guys, it’s a great help and I really appreciate it

The player just wanted a breath attack, so I never really thought that such a thing could also be used to illuminate a room, blind someone, etc. Putting points in Energy seems the best

I guess my confusion comes from my limited understanding of the attributes. I have trouble knowing which attribute to use. As Salvonian said and as I’ve read before, a flame thrower for example should use energy. But that doesn’t seem ‘extraordinary’ to me, I mean, it’s just a weapon, so shouldn’t it just use Might or Agility ? Especially since anyone could pick up a flamethrower and use it, except they don’t necessarily have any point in Energy and so shouldn’t even be able to roll for it

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All roads lead to Rome, so your approach would be just as viable. It all depends on setting and flavour, as this could be just a guy who picks a up flamethrower, in which case your idea makes more sense, or he could be a weapons-expert and switches between flamethrower, grenades and other explosives, in which case straight up energy fits better, as it could be the case that only he knows how to operate his weapons.