Legends - Progression
Advancing in Mastery
As previously mentioned, in the Realm mortal heroes can advance in power and mastery through completing Legendary Deeds.
It is assumed that all your characters were at stage 1st Circle characters, then progressed to 2nd Circle characters through training and innate ability. The transition from 2nd Circle to 3rd Circle is the transition from Mortal to Legend, and lies within the player characters’ histories.
For example, a character whose Legendary trait is the skill Poetry may have composed a perfect haiku that was instantly immortalised by its quality and now is inscribed on the steps in front of the Dragonthrone, while a character whose Legendary trait is Strength may have held up massive timbers in a burning building long enough for the children trapped within to escape.
A legendary deed need not be a heroic one – an act of great villainy will suffice just as well, though this will effect your reputation from that point on: expect to be feared rather than adored. Regardless a legendary deed should be epic – something an ordinary man should not have been able to accomplish.
CONTINUING THE LEGEND
Completing more epic deeds is the aim of the game, and is the core of Legends stories. The higher the Circle of the character, the greater deed he must accomplish to attain the next Circle of Mastery. Generally the completion of deeds will follow the structure laid out below:
1) The Calling
The Legend hears the call to action, and accepts the task at hand. This might be a traditional quest given by higher authority, or it might be a mission that results from circumstances or a personal vow. For example, a Knight who discovers that his city has been razed to the ground by marauding beastmen may make it his goal to engage the horde and destroy them utterly. A villainous sorcerer might vow to take command the kingdom of his birth, through whatever means necessary.
2) The Quest
The Legend seeks out his goal, and undertakes trials and tribulations that challenge him. Sometimes he overcomes these challenges, and sometimes he fails and is set back. Regardless, the Quest must not be trivial, and must be of enough difficulty and hardship that the legend grows through the experience.
3) The Resolution
The Legend reaches the end of his Quest, and inevitably must face one final and terrible hurdle. Again, this trial will sorely test the Legend – it is through adversity and challenge that he grows.
4) The Epiphany
If the quest and the deed were great enough, then the Legend experiences a moment of true Epiphany and connection to the universe. The force he is most aligned with (Life, Death, Order or Chaos) will empower him and he will advance in a Circle of Mastery. The moment of Epiphany is so powerful that it heals all wounds, even if the Legend was on the brink of death, and if a hero has just sacrificed himself to complete his deed he may be sent back from the other side of death.
For example, Abred Burningsands is fighting the Black Vizier with his comrades in an epic and titanic battle, and at the height of the battle the villain unleashes a death-charge firebolt that sears towards his one true love. Abred leaps in the way, and the firebolt burns him to ash in front of his lover’s eyes. The Vizier is defeated soon afterwards, and Abred’s comrades hold a grand funeral for him. However a cowled figure is seen watching the funeral from a distance, and Abred’s one true love feels a pang of connection. No-one sees him leave, but he is gone by the time the funeral is over. The heroes ask themselves… has Abred returned to them?
Sometimes the Quest will not lead to advancement in Mastery. If the quest is especially trivial, the Legend will simply know that he is not challenging himself enough, and will resolve to seek greater quests in future. If he came close to doing enough, but not quite, he will feel the edges of epiphany stroke his consciousness then withdraw – a promise of things to come.
Player Character Death
Once a campaign is well underway, it is possible that player characters will be killed after having advanced their legend.
It is advised that in the event of a player needing a new character, or of a new player joining the campaign, that new Legends enter the game at one Circle lower than the current lowest powered Legend, to a minimum of 3rd Circle.
It is also advised that a player character who is two or more Circles higher than the lowest Circle of his player character companions is not allowed to advance in mastery – the in game rationale for this might be that you need to be in the company of equally powerful heroes to challenge yourself and grow. A good option for players who are frustrated by this restriction is to make a second character, and to play that one until the others catch up.
This page by Asklepios