Trudvang Legends has grabbed our attention since its announcement in summer 2018. Creating a game in RiotMinds’ rich, and fascinating universe, while claiming to make it into a one-of-a-kind revolutionary product, sounded rather bold. With names like Eric M. Lang though, it was possible to believe that we’ll get something special or in the worst case: good. Some people have jokingly said that it’s going to be Blood Rage vol.3 but after the first three Design Diaries by Eric, it’s more and more obvious, that this game is very likely to deliver.
Welcome to the Freezing North
Trudvang is a freezing, unforgiving land created as a setting of Swedish pen & paper RPG called Trudvang Chronicles. At first it may seem like another nordic/celtic place we’ve seen hundreds of, but the deeper you delve, the more alluring it becomes with all of its snow covered mysteries and icy wastelands with tiny specks of human settlements.
The land is divided into a few regions, and they do differ a lot. Adventures you’ll undertake while playing Trudvang Legends will let you visit all of them. Including the frozen Great White where no human has ever came back alive from.
Mittland lies in the very heart of Trudvang and is often called “the land of heroes”, as hundreds of famous warriors and adventurers were born and raised in this ruin filled country.
The Stormlands are much wilder, and harder to travel through. Both nature and local people are wild and ready to take your life with each step you make on their territory.
Westmark is known for its scholars, universities and a revolution that freed local people from the reign of trolls.
Soj archipelago is home to the elves. It also used to be the home of powerful Vanir but they mysteriously left during one of the wars waged there.
Finally: we have Nhoordland covered mostly by tall, untraversable mountains and sea-like forests where only the toughest monstrosities can survive.
The Saga of Trudvang
According to Eric M. Lang’s Designer Diaries, he always wanted to create a game, that would be a tribute to the whole tradition of oral storytelling. Tales, legends, myths and folktales have been a source of history and entertainment to many circles by the fire, since the beginning of our civilisation.
In Trudvang Legends, apart from other more board game like elements, you’ll get an Adventure Book with plenty of stories. It will work as a core of the experience, and the way you solve the scenarios presented within it, may completely change the world for your later adventures.
Even though there will be only one scenario available at start, after beating it properly you’ll get access to others, often depending on your choices and successes. This whole idea of leaving a lasting mark on the world is called the “Legends System” by the authors. Killing some unimportant warrior while working on other adventure may make his jarl father your eternal enemy. Killing a powerful monster will make other members of his race more wary of you in the future. You may discover a new huge territory, ready for exploring. Who knows? Maybe you can even start a rebellion? The examples seem countless.
The World Map and the Storyboard
To make the “Living World” into reality a bunch of game components have been prepared. The two main ones are the map and the storyboard. Both have transparent pockets attached to various places on them. Said pockets are there for the sole purpose of hosting cards, that you slot there. Whatever’s visible on each of them has a lasting effect on the current world of Trudvang.
How to change the boards using these slots? It may happen because of some event you’ve triggered. Certain huge decisions (rebuilding a city, changing kings), that affect the whole country, are one of the examples of slottable cards. The storyboard, which shows some story events, also lists all of the monsters wandering Trudvang right now. When a monster evolves, it gets replaced with a different version. Some explorable elements of the map can also lead to slotting a pocket with a new world-changing card. The entire concept leads to a huge replayability even when it comes to single scenarios.
According to Eric, the combat in Trudvang Legends is supposed to be rare but unique. You can also run away from battles which in some cases will be a smart idea. The whole concept is based around the idea of a bag containing various runes. You draw them one by one and place on your weapons or other combat related effects, so that the type fits. Be wary though, as “corrupted” runes exist too, they’re always the wrong type and having 3 wrong runes leads to failing your attack.
Other interesting concepts? A “game over” happens right after a single player’s character dies. You can divide the monster damage around party members in any way you want to make survival easier. Some enemies on the other hand have “fail triggers” – special effects or skills that activate after your attack is unsuccesful.
This is where we would normally tell you about the date of the campaign or share a draft page but sadly neither has been revealed so far. Guessing from the increasing amount of social media content pumped weekly by CMON, the campaign should launch within the next 1 or 2 months. If the game proves to be as good as these previews imply, they can easily consider me on board. So far, they’re calling it their “most ambitious project to date”.