Tabletop gaming and VR collide in this ambitious cooperative RPG experience.
Long before the internet, mobile devices, and VR, gamers would gather in bedrooms, basements, living rooms, and garages and immerse themselves in fantasy worlds via tabletop role-playing games. In these old-school RPG adventures, each player adopts a unique character as they embark on official—sometimes home-brewed—quests and missions. Each game, or campaign, can last for days and can require a considerable amount of creativity and organization to manage properly.
Upcoming multiplayer RPG Legends And Lore looks to not only recreate the traditional role-playing experience in VR, but enhance it. Currently available for backing via Kickstarter, this ambitious VR experience will transport players into an ever-changing world where every decision has a consequence.
Like most role-playing adventure games, you’ll start by choosing your primary role within your group. In Legends And Lore, you can manipulate and direct the campaign as “Game Master” or participate in the adventure as one of the four “Adventurers.” As Game Master, your responsibility is to weave a fantastic story filled with fascinating encounters and incredible challenges for the Adventurers to overcome. You’ll guide them as they make their way through epic quests in search of valuable treasures, chaotic battles with deadly foes, daring rescue operations, and carious other enticing escapades.
As an Adventurer, you’ll immerse yourself in your VR character and face off against each obstacle set before you by the Game Master. Thanks to the variety of options available to the GM, each adventure you embark on will be unique. For a truly unique experience each campaign, you can adopt a new avatar and personality. Maybe one game you’re a fearless barbarian with deadly sword skills, while in another you’re a powerful wizard who prefers magic to melee.
Since the game is delivered through VR and desktop, you’re able to customize your experience by using the games tools to create the look of your character. There are four types of character archetypes for you to choose from with each one having different strengths, weaknesses, and power ups as you make your way through the journey.
- “Elementalists” control and manipulate the elements to their advantage.
- “Forgemasters” are spiritualists who channel the spirits of weapon masters to achieve feats that would take lifetimes to master.
- “Eclipsers” are connected to the universe and are capable of harnessing the energy that is the balance between the sun and moon.
- “Wanderers” are nomads with a thirst for knowledge.
This game has everything you’d expect from a classic RPG, such as a 20 sided die and skill checks, magic spells, and an inventory of weapons that you could use for any scene. But because you’re in VR, the game also gives you the ability to do things you couldn’t normally do in a real-world RPG, such as battle enemies using real-world movements. As Game Master, you can spawn enemies, change the scenery, adjust the music, and set the time of day, allowing them to construct more interesting adventures for players.
Legends And Lore merges the traditional RPG with VR action that you’d see in games such as Skyrim VR or Chicken Waffle’s Shadow of Valhalla.
This isn’t the first time a company has turned to VR or AR to re-invent the classic tabletop format. Tavern Tales: Tabletop Adventures recently launched their beta for the Oculus Quest with slots filling up almost immediately. This past July, a group of famous Twitch streamers and Cosplayers recently got together for an awesome and hilarious mixed reality Dungeons and Dragons campaign.
Michael Stutzenstin, a role-playing gameplay enthusiast, told VRScout, “This sounds like an interesting idea and it will be interesting to see the level of interaction between the environments and the players.” However, Stutzenstin – who I should mention has never tried VR – does have concerns, saying, “There’s something really wonderful about in-person gameplay. Would VR lose the imagination and feeling that you get when sitting around a table with friends?”
He brings up a good point. Being someone who has played many DnD campaigns in the past, I can say with confidence that a large portion of the fun came from not only the game itself, but the snacks, the goofing around with friends, and the spontaneous real-world talks that happened mid-game. Yes, you could still do all of that in VR, but would it be the same?
One thing Stutzenstin does know is that he would absolutely try this game, enthusiastically saying, “Hell yeah, I would play this!”
If you’re interested in learning more, Legends And Lore has launched an official Kickstarter, with goals of launching a playable version by March of 2021.
Legends And Lore was created by active DnD players and will be available in both VR and desktop.