Chronicle: RuneScape Legends Looks to Validate Free-To-Play Further With Nostalgic CCG

Hearthstone ceremoniously opened the floodgates for CCGs on mobile platforms, and Chronicle: RuneScape Legends hopes to capitalize on this by combining RuneScape lore with a PvP-centric card game of its own design called Chronicle. Developer Jagex, at a private meeting during GDC 2016, showed off the depth of this CCG and hopes to bring further legitimacy to the free-to-play model for PC, Mac, tablets, and mobile devices.

Chronicle: RuneScape Legends works in similar fashion to the notorious card game Munchkin, pitting two players against each other as they attempt to build their chosen character (or Legend) with the best armor, weapons, and abilities before they face off in a duel at the end of their journey. Until then, both characters trot alongside each other through five pages, each with four battles or encounters that the players choose from cards within their hand all at once.

So for instance, if you have two skeletons and two wolves in your hand, you can choose to play all four of them during your turn. By the end of the page, your character will have then killed four enemies, earning plenty of gold in the process. Then by using Adventure cards in your hand on the next page, you can have your character purchase buffs, boosts, and equipment. That’s the game on the most basic level.

But of course, your rival is trying to best you and will not hesitate to impede your progress. Apart from tricking you by enhancing the creatures you play or attacking you directly, there are many cards that can turn the tables. An opponent that plays Melzar the Mad will dump annoying cabbages into your hand that you will need to get rid of to draw better cards but will deal damage to your character every time you remove a cabbage. The Vorago card spawns a weapon based on your opponent’s current attack value for a late-game sneak attack, while the Highwaymen card can just flat-out steal the opponent’s weapon for your own.

Each character has a particular method of winning this test of wits, be it the mage Ariane with direct-damage spells, the smith Raptor who likes building and spending armor, the thief Ozan who steals whatever he can from his rival, and the vampire Vanescula who drains health like it’s going out of style. It will be your objective to impede your rival’s main strategy, perhaps even taking your opponent’s character out before reaching the last battle.

While many cards can be used by any Legend out of the approximately 350 cards available, they all have cards that are unique to them, so you would be wise to include a healthy number of these character-specific cards in your 30-35 card deck. Each card has a particular rarity from sapphire to emerald, ruby, and diamond (a system which RuneScape players will recognize), and you’ll be able to earn new cards by opening packs with copper earned by completing missions and participating in battles. You can purchase copper, of course, but you don’t really need to.

A solo-play campaign is in the works, but for now, the game is strictly multiplayer, with asynchronous PvP also planned for the future. Along with several unannounced Legends to arrive post-launch, Jagex will unveil Morvran, a “Slayer Master” elf who earns extra bonuses for defeating many creatures of a specific type. You can also expect a draft-play tournament mode which will allow you to collect keys from defeating opponents; you can choose to spend keys for loot chests or attempt to save them for a better reward later on. I’ve been told that players of Old School Runescape should appreciate many of the new additions that Jagex has planned too.

Chronicle: Runescape Legends will be out of closed beta on March 23, though starting today, any cards you earn in the game from closed beta will carry over. You can register for the open beta on the game’s official website.