Chaos – what is it for?

Many game systems tell you that you can do anything, then lock you down into very linear adventures where you expected to do specific things in a specific order.

This isn’t inherently a bad thing, and some games need to be played like that (preparing for an encounter takes time, so you can’t easily deviate from the GM’s planned actions).

But this game is meant to be fairly free-wheeling. Adentures are not supposed to have a predetemined ending, and a given adventure should be playable even if the players have read it. That’s the ideal.

There are a lot of mechanics that influence this. I could talk about the scenario-building steps which heavily encourage this, but I’ll talk here about the mechanics that make a session of play unpredictable even if you’re the GM.

Prepare For Chaos

There are at least six mechanics which lead to unpredictability.

1. Glory

On the face of it, this mechanic might look like it reduces unpredictability. Players have a pool of points that they can spend to make their rolls more successful. But no-one can say how many players will have ahead of time, or if they choose to use them.

But also, those points can be spent to make dramatic coincidences happen. A clever PC can influence the course of a session by making something happen that is convenient or inconvenient for someone. It’s intended that players can get pretty wild with this, if willing to spend the points, and the GM should roll with the changes introduced.

2. Daemons

Daemons grant powers, and they are often somewhat freeform, and can lead to interesting things happening. The setting has a lot of daemons.

Bound daemons also have their own interests, and if they aren’t being satisfied, might choose to withdraw the powers they are granting. This is a social element that the GM has to buy into, but the GM has tools to help this, and even incentivise it.

3. Invocations

This is meant to be a low power magic system, perhaps akin to Amber Diceless’s Power Words. But the effects are very freeform, and imaginative players might pull off great things with them from time to time.

So the GM and players don’t know exactly what a spell will do or be used for, until opportunities arise in play. Most uses are fairly low-powered, but every now and then they can have unexpected effects and ramifications. This should be embraced.

4. Interventions

This is perhaps the biggest chaos factor. Each session (not Scenario), the GM rolls for each adventurer (PC) to see if they have an Intervention and if so, something from their past comes into play. The GM has a lot of guidance to figure out what this should be, but it is essentially guided randomness. Interventions can be surprising and wreak havoc on a planned adventure, especially when you remember there are multiple adventurers (PCs), each of which gets their own Intervention roll.

5. Flashback Rituals

These might be played down, or even removed (or replaced with the gear system which itself is pretty random). But for now, each player can use a Ritual once per scenario, and don’t have to declare what it is ahead of times.

These can be radically open-ended, and give players great influence in shaping their adventures.

6. Custom Rules, and The World

The GM is required to change the rules once each adventure. Something in this scenario operates differently. These are the effects of wishes or spontaneous magic created a generation or more ago, yet still existing.

They can make a location feel unique, and players might find ways to exploit them in unpredictable ways.


This is a game which actively opposes any attempts to lock it into a linear structure. If the GM isn’t willing to play with those rules, of course, that won’t work. And if players ignore the tools they have been given, those rules might fizzle. But with a group of players and GM who buy into this premise, it could lead to very dynamic and unpredictable sessions where no one really knows what to expect.

Read Legends Never Die!

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