In this game the players take turns to tell the story of their Legendary Heroes by describing their actions and reactions to situations presented by “the Herald”. He/she is the player responsible to arbitrate the rules, to play the role of all the other characters of the story and to make sure that the Heroes are challenged by interesting enemies, dangers and plots. The game is just a conversation between the players and the Herald, in-character or not, telling the story until things become important, dangerous and uncertain and they decide to roll the dice to see what happens next.
Roll the dice!
When it’s time to roll, grab a bunch of dice from the TRAITS of your Hero: each is rated either as D4, D6, D8, D10 or D12, and you add a die with that many faces to your pool. For example, if your Hero is a DANGEROUS WARRIOR D8 armed with a SPEAR D6 and you roll to make him attack an enemy, you grab a D8 (eight-sided die) and a D6 (six-sided die) and roll em together!
The die that rolls higher is your result: if you roll a 7 and a 3 your result it the 7. Compare it to your enemy roll (he grabs dice in the same way as you) and if your’s higher you win
The “size” (number of faces) of the winning die (the one who rolled highest, if there are two or more you choose which exactly) is important because your effect (for example the damage of your attack) depends on it: dice with more faces are considered higher and generate greater effects and damage.
MOONS & SUNS
Another core concept of rolls is the MOON and SUN dice: all dice that roll a “1” become MOONS die and are BAD for you and your group, while all die that roll “5” or more become SUNS and if you have KA to spend each of them gives you a +1 “boost” o your result (for example raising your 7 in the previous example to a 8 by spending 1 KA on a single SUN die).
KA is the “currency” of the game and represents the inner energy of your Hero. It lets her add extra traits to a roll and also use SUN dice to improve her result. KA it’s also used to activate some special “Talents” and do a couple of other nice things.
What about Moons?
We said that MOON dice are bad news, do you wanna know more? Well, then know that the Herald uses any Moons you roll to do nasty things to your Hero, your group or the situation: wounds, complications, new enemies coming on the scene when you thought it was all over, etc. It’s also fun and challenging, because it lets the Herald flow the story without too many rolls, and also what victory can be epic without threats arising everywhere?
And what if the Herald rolls MOONS? Well, that’s good for you because then you can add HERO DICE to your roll and do special epic things. When you add them to your pool you can describe an epic feat you do with your powers or a special move or item that you use: that is the narrative explanation of the Hero Die! Some special abilities of your characters called “Talents” can also use Hero Dice to do special attacks and overturn the situation to your advantage!
If you want to see how a Shadow Lords character sheets looks, clik here: Cassandrae Hero Sheet