How's character progression like in Open legend

Hi all,

Long time lurker here. Our group has been playing D&D 5e for a couple of years now and now I’m trying to get them into Open Legend. We’ve played an Open Legend one-shot and they had a blast. They loved the character creation and action flexibility. However, they had some thoughts/concerns about playing Open Legend for a long-term campaign (as we would for D&D).

Their main thought was character progression (mechanically at least) seemed limited as you level from 1 -10. It seemed to them at Level 1 you get a ton to work with, like 10-15 banes and boons. However, as you level up, there aren’t too many more NEW banes and boons to get and the feats you collect don’t unlock new abilities to use (for the most part). Given that, my players felt that, beyond level one, character progression (mechanically speaking) was somewhat shallow (at least compared to D&D). Is that a fair assessment?

Keep in mind, my players were raised on D&D. That is their touchstone so to speak. So, I imagine compared to D&D where you get new abilities and spell every other level, Open Legend does seem to have less new abilities to unlock as characters level up.

BTW, this isn’t a post to bash Open legend for not being D&D. I’m just wondering if my players are correct in their assessment or not.


Compared to DnD, there are actually 27 levels. Each XP you get additional attribute points and feat poitns you can spend to further flesh out your character.

Feats do quite a lot, and yes, whereas you might not get more banes, you get access to higher level versions of the bane.

There have been a few games that have gone on several years and progressed through all the levels that people have talked about on the Discord.

There is a lot more depth to the game once you really start digging into it that you don’t realize is there. In addition, a single bane can cover multiple actions, and 2 characters with the same banes will use them in very different ways.

It all depends on the flavor/fluff you give to your character and their abilities, and the self-limitation you use or don’t use. Some players choose to slowly gain access to the banes and boons they can get, some grab all of them at once. Sometimes some banes/boons don’t make sense for the character backstory at first, but may later down the road (or maybe not every make sense).

I haven’t had a group yet that hasn’t looked forward to that next XP so that can grab a feat, or get those few extra attribute points to raise a score and get access to the next PL of a bane/boon. Sometimes it is the need for 2 XP, sometimes just 1, sometimes they need a full 3.


Obviously I agree with everything that GM has already said but I wanted to add that the one aspect of progression that OL does infinitely better in my opinion than 5e is that you actually “feel” the effects of the progression when rolling dice. Every attribute increase gives you better or more dice and feats often unlock more advantage dice on your rolls while in 5e you only get a +1 every couple of levels.

When I was playing 5e, I found the dead levels quite disappointing and that’s not something that really happens in OL since you always have to decide what to do with the new attribute and feat points you get when you receive XP: Do you save them up or invest them immediately? Work towards a build that you had planned out or keep them stashed to adapt your character to the story as it unfolds? I don’t think 5e offers that flexibility or decision-making but I’m obviously biased.


I had the same reaction by many of my playing groups. I am happy to report everybody has a blast with OPL but many players come from a DND ONLY gaming backround and feel the same way. In my opinion there are times I give players xp and they feel that is underwhelming beause they are saving the points so there is nothing going on mechanically wise, in dnd at least you get hp or something. Also there many players they wished to have more feat points to get new feats rather upgrade old ones and the way they see it if i dont upgrade my old ones then i letting them behind and its a fail, so I dont progress as much as DND. There are many more reactions I get from players, but I work it with them and solve the “problems”. They are so used to the dnd system that they see OPL on a dnd “lens”. In dnd you get a new ability every now and then and its seems like progressing, but I show them that most of the times in OPL you START with waaaaaaay more “abilities”. Your imagination is the limit. In DND its like “you get an ability to disarm the opponent or throw sand in his eyes or get a new spell!” but in OPL you already have the capability to do or use many things. What I say to them is that you should focus on how your character is changing in the story and you will feel progressing in a new way that will also help you on your choice on feats. Most players I play with, they focus more on the story and the progression on the drama now and they love it. So what i suggest is remind the players of the options they already have and challenge them to find new, and (something that i used and it works) consider making and giving to them new perks or flaws that are generated from the story.


Thanks! This was a helpful post. My experiences have been similar to yours so far.

I have been playing OL for a couple of weeks with my group and they have been enjoying mechanically growing their characters based on their personal stories. I see players adding points into Will as they learn to meditate and Energy as they learn water mastery from a fellow PC. It’s definitely cool to witness. I like the perk idea as well. I’ll might just use it!