Saturday, September 21, 2013



I've been saving the main theme for Legend of Korra for a while now, knowing I wanted it on my first release.
Oh, and I'm not watching the new season of Korra until it's done so I can watch 'em back-to-back, so please don't spoil it for me!

So hi. After 11 months of toiling away (off-and-on) on Avatar World, I have a complete document with which you can play the game. It's not long, it's not incredibly pretty yet, but it's got everything you need. The ZIP file includes a Rules PDF, a Basic Moves sheet, the Playbooks PDF, and a PDF containing my Con Game sheets I wrote for today, just in case you wanted to see those.


Here is a link to the files uncompressed if the zip will not open or if you only want some of the files

Rules: The rules pdf is the basic rules necessary to understand how to play Avatar World. Conatins small explanations of everything, as well as a complete breakdown of each part of the playbook. It also includes the MC's instructions.

Playbooks: The layed-out playbooks. They are meant to be printed double-sided and folded in half along the central line. For all but the warrior, the image from around the playbook name is empty. I'm creating the art myself as inspiration comes, so those will have more included over time.

Basic Moves: Simply a sheet containing all 8 basic moves. There should be several of these at a table. Future versions will likely include some peripheral moves, such as the Broken/Completed Oath moves.

Con Game Love Letters - The Red Mountain: I wrote several "love letters" (as Apocalypse World called them) for use in a con game. After my first playtest, we spent a long time figuring out why we were together and what the world was like, so I wrote these letters to delegate some world-building and provide an excuse for the characters to be together, plus provide an immediate goal. Each playbook has its own letter. If you want to run The Red Mountain go ahead, but I'm just including these because I already had them made up and you may like to see how I intend to run it for an upcoming playtest session.

Thanks for checking out the game, and I'd love to know what you think! If you've played, or even just have some general thoughts, please let me know! I'm easily contacted:
* At my blog, The Logbook Project, where all design work took place and was posted. If you'd like to know my rationale behind something, I've probably talked about it! Comment anywhere and I'll see it. (
* Through Twitter, I am @Logbook_Project.
* On the Story Games forums, in my Avatar World thread. This has been the home of most discussions, and a bunch of design work. (
Thank you so much to everyone who got me to here. Thanks to the Google+ folks, the folks who read here, the Story Games Olympia crew who've maintained strong enthusiasm, and to everyone who's read my S-G thread. Huge, extra special thanks to James_Fleming. James, if you hadn't kept commenting and keeping up interest in how things were working and how this could be great, I would've fallen off and abandoned this a long time ago.
Thanks everyone! Please download it and check it out! If you play, LET ME KNOW!

End Recording,


  1. Hey,

    I'm rather interested in this hack. I have some friends who are really into Avatar and interested in stepping their toes into RPGs. I'm rather comfortable with RPGs but not so much with Avatar ... I've tried watching the show and while I love the art and a lot of the themes and character at work but I wasn't too into the Nickelodeon tonal overcoat and just couldn't get into it (this coming from someone who loves the Muppets to death and enjoys the movie Hercules immensely ... there's no accounting for taste). I really like the some of the mechanical touches int he hack and as mentioned there are elements at the core of Avatar that I do appreciate so I wouldn't necessarily be making the horrible "running a game my players want that I don't" mistake here but I'm still in an odd position ...

    How do you think this would play in a loose approximation of the Avatar world and what aspects of the show/world should I be familiar with or at least have skimmed wiki entries about in order to get the most out of this? Obviously player expectation and input plays a role here, but what's your take on the question setting aside for a moment that player expectation trumps your gut feeling?

    1. You can be completely unaware of how the Avatar world works and it'd be fine! I actually have yet to play in the established Avatar setting, so feel free to just make stuff up. The best thing to do is just ask the players what their favorite parts of Avatar's setting are, and maybe read a little on those. But the game requires very little knowledge, pretty much just that many people have a power to control an element through motion, that firebenders can create fire, and that waterbenders can NOT create water. Other than that, I don't think anything from the show is required reading. There are (small) elements of the setting hardcoded into the rules, but they're incorporated in such a way that they'll come out of the mechanics even if you don't know the source at all.

      The big bit is going to be to pay close attention to what players put in, because that'll be a good indicator of the parts of the show they want to incorporate. Just do some world-building at the beginning; let them know you know nothing about the Avatar setting, that this world is not necessarily the same and that this could be a different world (especially if they want to be an Airbender, because in the show those are almost extinct), and then ask provocative questions. "Okay, so you say you're from a Water Tribe? Where does that tribe live? Okay, so you're a firebender, how do firebenders get along with the others? Cool, so where is this monastery that you're from, sir Monk? What other faction is important in the area?" Just the ordinary RPG setting-establishing questions. Don't bother with staying "true to canon" unless the players say they want that, and if they do, just play as you want and ask them to tell you when you accidentally break canon.

      If any of the game DOESN'T make sense to you on account of not being familiar with Avatar, please tell me about it, because making that not required is a goal of mine with the text.

      Thanks for your interest in the game man!

    2. Thanks for the reply! That's the impression I got from skimming the rules, but I figured I'd ask your opinion seeing as it's your design. :)

      I'm looking forward to trying this out. If I do get to, I'll try and let you know how it goes.

  2. I can't open the file. It says the zip file is corrupt.

    1. That's odd - I just redownloaded the file and it seemed to open and read just fine. Did you try downloading it a second time? Perhaps there was a hiccup in the download or something.

      I've got an inquiry out to check if the same issue it cropping up for others, but if it continues let me know and I'll try putting the files up a different way. Thanks for the interest!

    2. Yes, I tried again just now too and it still gave me the error.

    3. I have the same Issue. 7Zip and windows cannot open this file.

    4. Okay, I have no idea what's causing this. Here, I just uploaded all the files from the zip in just a folder, located here:

      Hopefully that works fine.

  3. These rules look great. One thing I noticed was that with the "Take a move from another playbook" advancement was that benders weren't limited to their elements like in the T.V. shows. I was curious if you had considered that or not. Right now it allows for players to be The Avatar, which is cool, and if you want to play in a similar world where each type of bending can be learned, that's works.

    A customization I might do to keep the original flavor is allow the benders to take the other bending moves but apply the effects to their initial element. Giving a firebender momentum, or Earthbending with roll+Fluid. I have to look a little deeper to see if that would work out.

    1. Good catch! And you're absolutely right that, at the moment, it permits the playing of multi-elemental benders. This is indeed something I caught onto early on, and even now remains something I occasionally have to debate with myself. On the one hand, I want to support the show, and by that note I've considered adding a small Bending keyword to each of the main moves and dictating that you can't take multiple moves with the keyword. On the other hand, I enjoy the freedom to break canon if the group so desires - we're already twisting it when we play airbenders, after all. For now, that's the stance I've been taking, and I think the freedom to, potentially, take multiple bendings is interesting. To that effect, when I'm done I'm definitely considering writing up a page or two about the special restrictions placed upon a game set in the canonical Avatar world and then tending to orient the general rules more leniently.

      That's an interesting idea, and a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it'd definitely be in keeping with the inbuilt flavor of the character. On the other, I kinda like the implications that in order to bend outside of your native talents requires you to stretch and use an aspect of yourself you wouldn't ordinarily use, which is pretty in-keeping with the show (Korra is already a hot personality for a waterbender, so Firebending is easy, but she has to stretch for airbending, and Aang's flightiness makes the stability and patience of Earthbending super difficult). I also kinda like that you'll be less good at it, tempered by that bending obviously being an important element of your character and thus I want characters to be good at the things that define them.
      The one other major factor is that being able to bend other elements with your native stat is difficult to word in an elegant way for an inexperienced reader.

      Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you like the rules! And seriously thanks for the feedback, this is definitely great stuff to consider.