Légendes Celtiques

Légendes Celtiques

It was in 1987. I had introduced a friend to roleplaying games and in turn, he became a game master. In fact that was an excellent thing in our group, everybody chose a different game and mastered it for the others.

This friend had selected Légendes Celtiques, a french roleplaying game set in the world of the Celts. It was an excellent session, I don't remember all the details of it, I remember fighting a Roman Legionary in some kind of ambush, I also remember the friend younger brother attacking mindlessly some boss and getting hacked.

The Celts world is quite wide geographically and temporally. I think the rulebook (in the picture) covered Gauls, Ireland, and Brittany. Ironically, I'm from Western Switzerland and the people from Eastern Switzerland (Alemannic) call us Welsch, romanized celts.

Légendes Celtiques was the first in a french serie called "Premières Légendes". This serie was a simplification of a much more complicated 1983 game called Légendes. This simplified serie had a game set in Arthurian Legends, one set in the Arabic/Persian legends, and one set in the Egyptian legends.

The Arthurian game was Légendes de la Table Ronde, that was my third game (first time I bought a game new). I had just seen Excalibur and was really into knights and enchanters. This piece of Légendes was bringing it all. The world was the world of Chrétien de Troyes, technologically it was the 12th century, historically it was the late 5th century, ...

Charte Angoumoise
1 Impossible 205% Nightmarish-9
2 Almost Impossible 1910% Catastrophical-8
3 Extremely Difficult 1815% Extremely Bad-7
4 Very Difficult 1720% Very Bad-6
5 Difficult 1625% Bad-5
6 Rather Difficult 1530% Rather Bad-4
7 On the Difficult Side 1435% Unfavourable-3
8 Slightly Difficult 1340% Rather Unfavourable-2
9 Average to Difficult 1245% Slightly Unfavourable-1
10Average 1150% Neutral0
11Average 1055% Neutral0
12Average to Easy 9 60% Slightly Favourable+1
13Slightly Easy 8 65% Rather Favourable+2
14Rather Easy 7 70% Favourable+3
15Easyish 6 75% Rather Good+4
16Easy 5 80% Good+5
17Very Easy 4 85% Very Good+6
18Extremely Easy 3 90% Excellent+7
19Almost Unfailable 2 95% Perfect+8
20Unfailable 1 100% Terrific+9

I remember the Premières Légendes were quite playable. It was d20 roll under. The Arthurian setting had a small set of rules for jousting. We broke many lances with it.

Characters were created in less than 30 minutes. One had to roll to determine his or her origin (nobility, free man or woman, serf, ...). The occupations were not as tight as dnd classes. Magic use was low. And we were very very imaginative and had time on our hands.

When I first saw the concept of Difficulty Class (DC) it reminded me of a table that came with those Premières Légendes, the Charte Angoumoise. The authors of Légendes included it in their game, writing that it was originally invented by the Duke of Angoulême, who, after an accidental disability, couldn't go hunting, and devised a way to roll for success in a fictional hunt. But the charte was invented by Stéphane Daudier and Guillaume Rohmer (in 1987 we had no way to quickly ascertain if the charte was invented in the sixteenth century or more recently).

I translated the Charte here. One can easily see it's similar to a Difficulty Class (DC) table but reversed.

Click on the table to see the roll above numbers.

There was an equivalent of the Charte Angoumoise coming as a disc, but I never saw one. It was probably close to an ADD combat computer.