08 August 2017
First game to use Oracle system set in Runebound universe
Fantasy Flight has announced a new co-operative roleplaying game that mixes elements from two of the tabletop’s most influential titles.
Legacy of Dragonholt is the first game to be based on the new Oracle system, which from its description sounds like a combination of the open-ended narrative storytelling of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and the character creation and progression of fantasy RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons.
As in an RPG, players create a character using a race and class, writing their backstory and picking specific skills that are all recorded on a character sheet. During quests, the characters earn experience than can be used to improve or gain traits.
These quests are presented in a manner that will be familiar to Consulting Detective fans – there are six separate quest booklets in the core box, alongside a map that includes specific points that are marked as a party of up to six players progresses through the story, impacting future decisions and the branching narrative. Unlike a typical RPG (and more in line with the Consulting Detective style), you won't need a player to act as GM.
What’s slightly different from Consulting Detective is the inclusion of items and equipment, which are picked up as cards and tokens.
It does sound like there will be a combat element, with the mention of knights and brawler classes that can soak up hits from enemies, as well as apothecaries who can brew potions to be used for health recovery or to deal damage. Other class options mentioned include thieves, sages, wildlanders and bards. Races are largely the fantasy staples you’d expect: humans, orcs, elves, gnomes and catfolk are all present and correct.
Despite the presence of fighting, the three quests detailed a little more so far appear to be largely story-focused, including a dangerous trek through a forest, a masquerade ball with the potential for betrayal and the investigation of a disappearance. Although the quests have a natural order, certain decisions and actions can rearrange the order in which they are played, as well as the events of each connected tale.
The game will be set in the Runebound universe, which focuses on the realm of Terrinoth, meaning it will share its world with Runebound, Descent, BattleLore, Rune Age and Runewars. We didn’t find Runewars’ fantasy setting that compelling, but here’s hoping a more narrative-focused game will allow the world to shine a little more.
Legacy of Dragonholt will be out in the last quarter of 2017, so it won’t be too long before we find out whether the Oracle system is as good to play as it sounds.