Biology (and Gender and Evolution) in Legends Never Die!

A fantasy world doesn’t have to obey the same rules as our world. This game obeys many of the same rules as our own world but has some significant differences – though they are often presented subtly, for players to slowly realise. There’s a few things I haven’t really addressed in the rules, yet.


The world is female-dominated, in modern parlance. But what that means is simple: whenever you would present a male character, make it female. Whenever you would present a female character, make it male.

And that’s it – that’s the only change to make.

You don’t have to do this. If you play the game with the “normal” breakdown of genders – it won’t break anything. I might give you a good-natured ribbing for your weakness, but you can do it and that’s fine.

If you do use this rule, it means that adventurers, fighters, rules, blacksmiths, farmers and so on are all female. Maids, servants, stay at home brides, damsels in distress, and the like, are all male.

Why Are Things Like This?

This is very much not our world. The entire world is the body of a dead Primordial, and the sun is its heart, torn from its body and hurled into the heavens. Before the world was created, 500 years ago, humanity was a slave race created and shaped by that Primordial, and exactly what man and woman meant was up to it.

The daemons it enslaved rebelled and granted sorcery to women, and they killed the Primordial, and created a new world to inhabit, They have been the dominant gender ever since. Many people think this is natural and the way things should be, but nothing about the world is natural.

People in the setting have tried to rationalise the dominance of women, and explain that men are just too emotional, or headstrong, or most importantly, just have poor affinity with magic. It’s a very widespread belief that men don’t make good sorcerers and are driven mad or to corruption by sorcery.

In reality (the game’s reality), there might be some truth to the sorcery angle, but nothing about this world is natural. From a game design perspective, if players want to play men (for whatever freaky reasons), they suffer no penalty. There is no gameplay difference between men and women.

Male Dominated Lands

While female dominated lands are the norm, there are lands dominated by and ruled by men. For fun (my fun, anyway), these should all be presented as somehow broken or wrong. Male dominance is just ‘wrong’ as far as this world is concerned. It might be a bias built into the world by daemon magic or the early creations of the Primordial, but this kind of thing makes the world more interesting. (See the realms of Sanguine and Mettle as examples).


Whether you want to make a big deal about this is up to the GM and players. If it’s fun, go for it. The official view is that most people just don’t care. Most men are happy with their secondary status, and women don’t think about or even notice it. Scenarios might mention that genders are flipped and then say nothing more.


Anyone – male or female – can become pregnant, and they give birth through the belly button which enlarges as needed. There are artworks of the past which show humanity without belly buttons, so it’s assumed that a powerful daemon ritual was used to make this a reality at some point in the early centuries. Though how it worked before that is a mystery – how were children born without belly buttons?

No one gets pregnant unless they want to – sex is thought to be necessary but might not be all that’s necessary. It’s thought the child gets some qualities from both parents (see evolution below), but no one knows exactly how this happens.

It is known that babies are born without souls, and acquire it sometime in their first year, and the milk of the mother is involved somehow (another reason why women are seen as naturally superior).

Adventurers (player characters who have Glory) never get pregnant, unless they settle down and give up adventuring (and lose their Glory). We can only speculate why this is.

Childbirth is an example of the strangeness of world, and while it never needs to factor into an adventure, it might. The option is there.

Sex Change

Anyone who can summon a daemon can get a sex change. They simply have to ask the daemon. So essentially, anyone important who wants to change their sex can (and may have done so several times).

But “poor people” exist, those without access to sorcery, so not everyone who wants to can change their gender. And non-binary and genderqueer people exist too, who might not have the vocabulary to take a new gender that matches their nature perfectly.

So, there is the common idea that everyone is happy with their gender and the concept of trans people is largely unknown, but they do exist. Of course, this might never be brought up in your games, but it might interest some people.


The one change required is the male-bias in language. There no kingdoms – the standard term is queendom. Most professions have gender-less terms. Don’t say craftsman or even craftsperson. Crafter does the job. Maids and butlers refer to the same thing, as do chefs and cooks – maybe one is sometimes a higher status than the other.


It’s only hinted at for now (it might be covered in more detail in the Book of Adversaries), but evolution does not follow a Darwinian Survival of the Fittest model. It is more like a Lamarckian Inheritance model. Creatures of different species can interbreed, though they often need the assistance (or direction) of a sorcerer. Owls and Bears can interbreed and produce a hybrid of both.

This might be the basis for some of the more weird monsters encountered by adventurers (so-called Chimera), but it might the foundation for strange non-human civilisations to be encountered in play. Beastfolk of some kind might exist – legends say they do.

Flat World, The Mists of Madness, and the Underworld

Biology isn’t the only area of difference. All of these other things will be explored in coming documents.

Read Legends Never Die!

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