Official RPG for Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra announced

A new roleplaying game set in the animated world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra is to be produced by Magpie Games. The core rulebook is set for release in February 2022, with two supplements following over the next year.

Avatar-BlogPost-top-800x290-v2.jpg


 PRESS RELEASE



Magpie Games has secured a multi-year licensing agreement with ViacomCBS Consumer Products to produce a tabletop roleplaying game set in the world of Nickelodeon’s animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.

“The stories of Avatar are so moving for us because they are joyous and heartbreaking,” says Mark Diaz Truman, CEO of Magpie Games. “We’re incredibly excited to bring the tales of brave benders and loyal friendships to tabletop roleplaying games; we know so many fans of both series have been waiting years for this moment! We’re also thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Asian designers like James Mendez Hodes to bring the world of Avatar Aang and Avatar Korra to life in a way that’s true to the authentic, diverse spirit of both shows.”

“We believe Magpie Games is the ideal partner to develop a roleplaying game based on Avatar: the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra” says Pam Kaufman, President, Global Consumer Products, ViacomCBS. “Their commitment to supporting diverse content from diverse creators along with their exceptional game product made them the right choice to bring the world of Avatar to tabletop roleplaying games.”

This roleplaying game is a unique opportunity for fans of the show to return to a beloved setting—this time as the heroes of the story! Rising to meet their destiny, players will make characters using playbooks—templates that help players build and play compelling protagonists in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Together they might protect local merchants from the Triple Threat Triad in Republic City, travel through a spirit portal to rescue a child taken into the Spirit World, negotiate peace between feuding communities within the Earth Kingdom, or pursue mysteries (and villains) that arise throughout their adventures!

The roleplaying game’s Core Book is slated for a February 2022 release with two supplements to follow in August 2022 and February 2023 titled Republic City and The Spirit World respectively.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

log in or register to remove this ad

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
It's hard to overstate just how well-designed Masks is, for what it's trying to accomplish. I wouldn't call it my favorite PbtA hack (like most hacks, it has a fairly narrow frame of storytelling and genre), but I wouldn't hesitate for a minute in calling it the best PbtA hack I've encountered

Wow, I took some time to look in to Masks and while I needed to get pass the initial jargon, I’m impressed in its style and happy that a similar approach could be used to run the characters in Avatar.
I still like the simplicity of Fates four actions, but PbtA 2d6 resolution is nice too
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Eilathen

Explorer
I'm glad Avatar finally sees the light of day as an rpg. That being said, I'm sad that it didn't go to Cortex Prime. I have nothing against PbtA (I like it quite a bit, actually), but count me in amongst those who question the fit of this style of rpg for Avatar.
I will take a look at it, for sure, but I am not holding my breath that it will do what i wanted an Avatar rpg to do.
I hope that it will have a big fat world-section with tons of lore, that way I will certainly get something out of it.
 


I'm also curious if the people here saying "PbtA isn't for me" are saying that because they've only played Dungeon World. I know that there are people who love it, but as a showcase for what PbtA games are all about and capable of, DW makes an immensely poor example.
What makes you say that, can you mention a couple of examples?
 

lyle.spade

Adventurer
Yeah, playbooks suggests PBTA... which I find to be disappointing. I will be skipping it (as I would if it had used Fate, Cypher, Genesys, or a D&D type class/level based system).
I have wondered about that, too: how to handle those powers, and how flexible they are, within the typical rules sets out there.
 


Greg K

Hero
I'm also curious if the people here saying "PbtA isn't for me" are saying that because they've only played Dungeon World. I know that there are people who love it, but as a showcase for what PbtA games are all about and capable of, DW makes an immensely poor example.
I own both Monster of the Week (1e and 2e) and the playtest for the now defunct Midsummer. Both were improvements over DW, but something with them still doesn't sit right with me (edit: with regards to PBTA leaving me with no urge to run a PBTA game). Also online discussions by fans of Monster of the Week and Monsterhearts (which I have seen) left me cold with the discussions of how PBTA games are focused and running a Buffy game required either choosing one or the other depending on the seasons of Buffy or having to switch between the two mid-campaign as the focus and tone of the campaign change.
 
Last edited:


Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
What makes you say that, can you mention a couple of examples?
DW always felt to me like "OSR with playbooks and moves" and just in general is way too structured and crunchy for a "fiction-forward" game. It's a square peg in a round hole.

Masks, as mentioned is very freewheeling in how it handles superpowers, mainly because "superheroes fighting villains" isn't even half of what the game is trying to do, and is probably the least interesting aspect of it.

Other hacks I've enjoyed include The Veil, Monsterhearts, and Monster of the Week, though by the nature of how PbtA hacks are designed, those aren't going to be for everybody.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Masks, as mentioned is very freewheeling in how it handles superpowers, mainly because "superheroes fighting villains" isn't even half of what the game is trying to do, and is probably the least interesting aspect of it.

And I think that's a really important point.

What should be the focus of the game - the nitty-gritty of powers, or the journey of a person who has powers?
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
I own both Monster of the Week (1e and 2e) and the playtest for the now defunct Midsummer. Both were improvements over DW, but something with them still doesn't sit right with with regards to PBTA. Also online discussions by fans of Monster of the Week and Monsterhearts (which I have seen) left me cold with the discussions of how PBTA games are focused and running a Buffy game required either choosing one or the other depending on the seasons of Buffy or having to switch between the two mid-campaign as the focus and tone of the campaign change.
I'd ignore those discussions, personally. Frankly, Monsterhearts is a horrible fit for Buffy regardless of season. It's got a very Twilight-by-way-of-Anne-Rice thing going on that doesn't really match the vibe of Buffy in the slightest, even when the show approaches topics like sex and sexuality.

MotW 2.0 is notably improved over its predecessor IMO, and is a perfect fit for a Buffy style game.

In general, PbtA takes some getting used to; specifically, in learning to treat Moves not as specific actions or powers you have, but rather the mechanisms for resolving the thing your character is trying to do.
 

Skywalker

Adventurer
I'm glad Avatar finally sees the light of day as an rpg. That being said, I'm sad that it didn't go to Cortex Prime. I have nothing against PbtA (I like it quite a bit, actually), but count me in amongst those who question the fit of this style of rpg for Avatar.
FWIW a Dragon Prince RPG has been announced using Cortex.

So what are the issues with the PBTA system and how does it play?
PbtA attempts to demystify the traditional RPG process with a set of simple and clear rules. Most of the issues I have seen are from experienced RPGers who see this as being unnecessary (as they already know the process) and too structured (as matters that are often left to vague guidelines and suggestions are worded as clear step by step instructions). Despite this, in practice, neither of these really bear out as PbtA actually runs almost identical to a traditional RPG. However, the change in presentation can present a hurdle to some. On the flipside, PbtA's approach actually makes it great for RPGers with little to no experience as they can follow the rulebook with little guesswork.

Another issue that I sometimes see is that PbtA RPGs have a high narrative focus. The fiction is given its own weight. As such, the mechanics are often lighter than a traditional games as it is expected that something established in the game will be respected and incorporated by all players when they narrate further. For example, if a PC is injured, then there may not be a lot of rules imposing the exact mechanical impact of the injury. Instead, the group is expected to apply the rules from that point taken the injury into account. If the PC needs to walk a distance, then the GM may activate a move such as Endure Harm, that the GM may not have called for with a healthy PC. This can take some getting used to as it has a narrative rather than physics perspective, but it generally has the result of lightening the rules considerable and keeping the focus on narrative, which seems a good fit for Avatar.

In my experience, PbtA plays great. As a player, you get good niche protection in terms of abilities and story and clear set of cool crunchy powers. As a GM, you have a lot of discretion and a lot less rules, which allows you to run things more easily on the fly and incorporate the PC choices and actions more readily in the game, engaging the players as their PCs get a ton of spotlighting.

It also has a strong "yes but" core to its rules, which means that the PCs will generally succeed at what they set their mind too, but often at a cost. The success helps the players feel engaged and the cost helps keep the story moving forward in interesting ways. Its a great system to encourage players to embrace complication as a way to more interesting RPing.

There is a quickstart for the Root RPG, another licenced RPG that Magpie are doing, on DTRPG here: Root: The Pellenicky Glade Quickstart - Magpie Games | Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game | DriveThruRPG.com. The rules are likely to be very different and much expanded in terms of explanation, but it may give you insight into what things may look like from a high level.
 

In my experience, PbtA plays great. As a player, you get good niche protection in terms of abilities and story and clear set of cool crunchy powers. As a GM, you have a lot of discretion and a lot less rules, which allows you to run things more easily on the fly and incorporate the PC choices and actions more readily in the game, engaging the players as their PCs get a ton of spotlighting.
Yeah I have one PBTA rpg called Henshin and I was confused as there's no dice rolling or even dice type mentioned. So I was confused if I needed the Apocalypse World book, ala dnd's player handbook, to see how stats, xp, and all that were supposed to work in a PBTA rpg.

Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition is the one I'm mostly interested in.
 

Skywalker

Adventurer
Yeah I have one PBTA rpg called Henshin and I was confused as there's no dice rolling or even dice type mentioned. So I was confused if I needed the Apocalypse World book, ala dnd's player handbook, to see how stats, xp, and all that were supposed to work in a PBTA rpg.

Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition is the one I'm mostly interested in.
No. All PbtA RPGs should be self contained. As said, PbtA is more a design approach than a core rule system like Savage Worlds, so they differ quite a bit from each other. Sounds like an issue with Henshin, which I haven't heard of.

Legacy is great but its a tough first PbtA RPG as it also adds a organisational level of play that can take a lot to get used to.

Edit: Looking at the DTRPG blurb for Henshin shows that its a diceless variant. Most PbtA RPGs use 2d6.
 
Last edited:


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Hopefully I can get to play Appa.

More seriously, I was sort of hoping Fandom was going to get the license so we could have official Dragon Prince and Avatar crossovers using Cortex.

But I like what Magpie has done released to date; so I'm probably in at some point.
 


Last edited:

aramis erak

Legend
What rules system is being used?, didnt see it on my (admittedly quick) glance over
PBTA, Powered By the Apocalyse; synonymous with AWE, or Apocalypse World Engine.

These core elements dominate the AWE/PBTA commonality
1. Playbooks. Archetypes rendered in a 2-4 page booklet
2. Moves: only specific actions are mechanically presented, and are on theme. Usually, each playbook has at least one the others don't.
3. a singular difficulty and 3 potential outcomes on it (≤6="fail", 7-9= Success+Complication, ≥10= Success); most used 2d6+Skill.
Another uses 2×(1d10+skill), each vs (IIRC) 7+, neither hitting is fail, one hitting is complicated success, 2 hitting success.
4. Low GM input (but not low GM impact!)

Is PbtA easy for younger gamers both to play and to GM?

Play? probably. Players narrate until they do something the GM (or the other players) think is a move; if you want to make a move, you are, by the rules, required to narrate the triggering action, not state the move.

The GM's role is to declare things moves, to narrate on behalf of NPCs, and to stir the pot when things get slow. How much this requires is variable by which game. Some are almost entirely responsive - only player actions introduce new things; others are more traditional. The hardest part varies.
In looking at AW itself, the hardest part for experienced GMs is the hands off approach, and for players is that they are expected to generate the story by their own narrations and even PVP.
Someone above said it can be tiring on the GM, but ive never played it.
I've only played one game that's part of the PBTA approach, and it's far enough out that many don't acknowledge it as such... Sentinel Comics. I've bought a couple, and read a bunch more...
It's not any more tiring to run than most other modern games. It's also on the more traditional side; Everyone gets a turn in the round, the GM runs NPCs, GM creates 2-5 encounters for an issue, which make a plot, and players resolve the encounter however their powers and creativity apply.
 

Related Articles

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top