In my recent games of Stonemaier Games's Charterstone, I've been thinking about what kind of Legacy game (if any) would be a good fit for the Level 99 Games line. I've thought about a few possibilities for a game like this since the genre got started, but I'm curious what you think, and maybe if you have any suggestions for me...
Pixel Tactics Legacy
We tried out something like this already with League Play in Pixel Tactics, but a full Legacy game would optimize and expand upon the unique opportunities presented by the format. The goal at the end of the game would be that every player has a unique Pixel Tactics Deck built through the campaign.
The game would be structured much like a league, with players battling against one another in 1v1 battles dictated by the changes in a world map. Of course, these circumstances could eventually change to create 2v1, 2v2, or other kinds of battle configurations.
Players begin with a basic deck and a small handful of leaders. Eventually those leaders would be defeated in battle via perma-death, then be replaced by new leaders. The choices you make on who leads your army going forward would have repercussions on the whole game.
Between battles, which alter the terrain of a living fantasy map, you would be able to construct buildings that affect your playmat layout with passive bonuses, or visit trainers who could sticker over your basic cards with new abilities.
Major world events could do things like bring characters back from the dead, pit the players' armies cooperatively against massive monsters, or instigate full-scale conflicts that are played out across many different battles. In addition to introducing new formats of play, these events could also introduce brand new mechanics, such as Continuous Orders, Traps, or new mechanics that have yet to be revealed.
Just about everyone who has played BattleCON has given some thought to building their own fighter. What if we built a Legacy-style game that allowed you to customize a fighter of your own by playing out battles?
You would start out the game with a fairly generic fighter with a few simple styles. After each fight, win or lose, events would happen that would allow you to make choices which affect your character. Selecting your weapon (unique base), fighting styles (style cards), and choosing a mentor to study under (Unique Ability) could all be major parts of character development.
Over time, world events would begin to force players into different kinds of battles–2v1s, dungeon adventures, boss battles, and so forth. Fighters could learn skills or make decisions which remove them from the game entirely or which cause them to transform into boss-like characters with unique battle styles.
I imagine that a game like this would come with twelve or so fighters, and that the fighters would not be bound to the players. Instead, all of the players would collectively build and decide the fates of the entire box of fighters. At the end of the adventure, you would have a complete box of ten unique fighters with one final boss, all custom-crafted by your choices during the campaign.
Millennium Blades Legacy
Millennium Blades seems to lend itself nicely to the legacy genre, since there are a lot of moving parts that can be introduced, altered, and cycled out without upsetting the balance of the entire box for more than one or two games.
After each game, players would get to choose one set of cards to rotate into circulation. At the same time, bans would be gradually reducing the card pool in irregular ways, leading players to begin to intimately understand the rotation after time.
New sets could come with new meta cards, new venues, and new characters, gradually ramping up the complexity of the game and creeping power towards end-game levels. Of course, players would be able to upgrade cards with stickers, and perhaps imprint signature cards with bonuses that are unique to certain characters. It would be nice to see friendship play a role that bridges over across multiple games as well.
Of course, the game could eventually introduce boss battles where the players have to work together with their now super-powerful cube against the untold forces of darkness.
I was impressed with Friedemann Friese's Fast Forward series. These are mini-legacy games that are designed to be played in rapid succession in a single sitting, and the complete 'campaign' takes about 10 games and can often be played in 2-3 hours.
I could see a game like this for NOIR Legacy. A lone detective and killer face off. With each capture of the killer, a new and deeper conspiracy is unveiled, prompting another game against a more dangerous foe. With each death of the detective, a partner, special agent, crime enthusiast, caped vigilante, or special agent picks up the torch and carries on the investigation. The actions taken during the games themselves could alter the innocents' deck, providing new tools to the killer and inspector alike.
Investigations could take a darker turn, bridging into the occult or mafia territory. Alternatively, they could be more whimsical, ending up more like the wacky villains of A Series of Unfortunate Events. I'm not sure exactly which direction I would go with such a game. It may even be that multiple versions are packaged identically, so players don't know what kind of story the game will tell until they begin playing it...
This idea was actually talked about quite a lot when we were considering Argent's second edition. The gameplay would be similar to Argent, except that the university's rooms would evolve over time, gaining new functions and expansions. In this game, you would take on the roles of the university's founders and heads as they build and expand Argent after its creation.
Players would gradually meet new board members with more and more outlandish requirements for victory, and the players would be able to collectively hire staff and accept students, building up the Supporter Deck in accordance with their wishes. New departments could open up, and different department heads could rotate in and out of play as time goes on.
Scenarios could eventually make an appearance, and players would experience different events in the university's history, with their choices and the final outcomes of these stories going into a big university logbook. Things like sports competitions, spell research teams, major world wars and cataclysms, and more could make appearances and change the flow of the school's history.
Finally, the back of each department's board could contain a trophy case, listing achievements in academia and chronicling the rises and falls of each department's heads.
I hope these few glimpses of what could be might have interested you! Leave me a comment and tell me which one you like best. Or, if you're feeling creative, post your own idea for what one of Level 99's games would look like in Legacy format!