Legendary Lives is a system that is completely open. There are no set abilities outside race specific ones. Magic is used as a type. Ex. – You have fire mastery, you wish to cast a spell. There is no “fireball” or “Firebolt”, you tell me what you want to happen and I assign a difficulty and then we roll it out. You can be as simple as you want, borrowing spells you know from other games, or completely creative and unique and make something up on the spot. I’ve seen someone with fire mastery become invisible by affecting light and heat, magnetize things, boil the water in someones blood, or freeze something by removing all heat from it. I’ve seen people cast a spell on someone, or cast a spell in an attempt to affect hundreds at once. The sky is the limit and even that is up for debate.
Don’t count out mundane fighting though by any means. A gifted fighter can remove a mage from the field before a spell is cast, fight on when a caster can no longer cast, and wreck every bit as much havoc as any spell.
If you prefer to be non-confrontational there are entire classes devoted to working things out without bloodshed, and there are skills and abilities that lend themselves well to this.
When we “roll” something, you use the stats your character has against the same chart on the character sheet everyone uses. The higher the skill the easier it is to do something well. With this in mind though a very highly skilled person can still fail and a very low skilled person can still succeed. A great deal of this is in the approach and how you play it. Plan something and execution will be easier. Wing it and its harder.
The characters are rich and deep. There are plenty of ways to progress through any campaign and there is NEVER a set path. The world has been something I’ve worked on for several years for a book I’m writing so no matter where you go, there is always something happening. Always life and events to get caught up in.
Legendary Lives does not use a HP based system. One critical shot to the head or chest and you can die. No more fight off an army with 2 hit points left. Wounds take a toll on you, your abilities and your actions all depend on what you have been through and how much you can take.
One last note on the game – Ignore the artwork in the book. My guess is that when they wrote it they just drew the artwork themselves. Several of the races don’t get played simply because they look ridiculous in the artwork. Your character looks how you describe it to look.