NL-logo Role: Solo Designer
Platform: Physical
Duration: August 2013 – December 2013

Overview

Northern Legends is a turn-based strategy game where players control various characters from or inspired by Norse mythology. Using a combination of dice rolls and myth cards, players engage in epic combat until a winner is decided.

 


Intent

nine_realms

The Nine Realms

Northern Legends is meant to be a stepping stone for players that know little about Norse mythology. Due to the various characters in the game, Myth Cards, and realms to play in, the players have varied sources of information being presented to them. While there is plenty of information in Northern Legends, education is not the main focus. Instead, the game should spark their interest enough so that they want to learn more about Norse mythology on their own time.

 

 

 


Basic Rules

Round Breakdown

  1. Ready all characters in play and refresh heroic abilities
  2. Roll a 20-sided die for initiative and apply any relevant modifiers
  3. Whoever wins initiative activates one of their characters, as follows:
    • Activate any start of turn abilities
    • Move the character a number of spaces equal to or less than their movement score
    • Attack with the character or use an active ability
    • Activate any end of turn abilities
  4. The player to the left then activates one of their characters.
  5. Repeat step 4 until each player has activated three of their characters or is finished with the round

Combat Breakdown

  1. Check for adjacency for melee attacks or line of sight and distance for ranged attacks
  2. If the target is in range, roll a number of combat dice equal to the character’s attack score
  3. The defender rolls a number of combat dice equal to their defense score
  4. The defender takes damage equal to the number of successful combat dice rolled minus the number of successful defense dice rolled (minimum 1)

 Myth and Character Cards

As seen on the card for Thor, some characters have Heroic Abilities. These are special actions that can be used in place of attacking, but a player can only use one Heroic Ability per round, regardless of how many of their characters have them.In order to further immerse players in the Norse mythology present in Northern Legends, I added Myth Cards. These cards are powerful assets for the player when used. They can have varied effects ranging from healing a character to calling in reinforcements. At the end of a round, if a player has not used a Heroic Ability or Myth Card, they are entitled to draw one Myth Card from their deck.


Post-Mortem

When I first started figuring out how to best teach players about Norse mythology through a game, I wanted to have them play through myths. This ended up turning out poorly, however, because no matter how I dressed it up, in order to have players actually go through a myth I had to limit their ability to make choices. This was something I had to avoid at all cost, and so I instead made Myth cards to supplement gameplay. Besides adding an interesting new element to the game, it also added a whole new medium through which to teach the player about Norse mythology. I was pleasantly surprised to note that when new people played Northern Legends, they would ask lots of questions about the game and some would even look up additional information about things they learned while playing. It is because of this that I can confidently say that Northern Legends succeeded at sparking peoples’ interests in Norse mythology.