Players around the world will be able to wield the power of Grayskull in an upcoming tabletop roleplaying game set in the world in Eternia, the setting of the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra games. Mattel announced Legends of Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe Roleplaying Game, a new tabletop RPG that will use the Cortex Prime system, at the virtual Power-Con event earlier today. Legends of Grayskull is the result of a multi-year licensing deal with Fandom (the makers of the popular D&D Beyond platform) and is part of Mattel's reboot of the Masters of the Universe franchise, which also includes two animated series on Netflix, a comic book, and a feature film.
"Fans will be able to play as familiar Masters of the Universe characters, use those characters as a base and customize to their desire, or create entirely new heroes or villains," Fandom VP of Tabletop Adam Bradford told ComicBook.com in a recent e-mail interview about the game. "The recent Masters of the Multiverse comic series reinforced that there are many Eternias and many versions of He-Man and his allies or Skeletor’s forces, as well as new and diverse champions of Grayskull protecting their own Eternias. Legends of Grayskull will embrace the diversity of the multiverse and leave creativity wide open for fans to find the power in the ways they want." Examples of the characters you can play in Legends of Grayskull can be seen throughout the article.
The Cortex system that powers Legends of Grayskull is a flexible system that has been adapted for use in a variety of different media franchise settings, ranging from superhero franchises like the Marvel Universe and Smallville to more grounded worlds like that of TNT's Leverage. Bradford noted that the Cortex-driven Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game provided a solid foundation for adapting the world of Masters of the Universe to tabletop. "Capturing superheroes and their various superpowers was central to the award-winning Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game several years ago, and Masters of the Universe characters, when you come right down to it, are super-powered heroes or villains," Bradford said. "Those base power sets gave us a solid foundation to capture the feel of Masters of the Universe character powers."
Bradford also explained how players would gradually grow in power. "All traits, including powers or “abilities” as we call them in Legends of Grayskull, have a die rating associated with them," Bradford said. "A d4 in an ability means you’re untrained, but a d10 or more means you’re a master. The game will also feature a “mastery paths” progression system that will allow players to grow and master their abilities as they grow from Duncan to Man-At-Arms or Keldor to Skeletor."
Of course, one hallmark of the Masters of Universe franchise is the Sword of Power, the magical sword that gives He-Man his power. Players will not only be able to use the Sword of Power and She-Ra's Sword of Protection, but other weapons that unlock the Power of Grayskull as well. "The Sword of Power and Sword of Protection are the first things that come to my mind with Masters of the Universe, and the game will support both those legendary weapons and other types of weapons or artifacts that unlock the power of Grayskull," Bradford said when asked about whether players could actually get the Sword of Power in the game. "In the Masters of the Multiverse series, we see the introduction of the He-Force, composed of new characters possessing the power of Grayskull across the multiverse. It was exciting to see those characters wielding power weapons that weren’t swords, and the game will allow for that."
One aim of Legends of Grayskull is to provide an experience for both longtime fans of the franchise and newcomers attracted by Mattel's upcoming projects. "Masters of the Universe has been around for almost forty years, and has fans both old and new," Bradford said. "Since the beginning, it has been a kind of living myth, where we see the same core elements of iconic characters with unique expressions across different media. Players can jump into a Legends of Grayskull game that feels like a Saturday morning cartoon from the 80s or an experience closer to the feel of the recent comics or shows. Legends of Grayskull will have rules and advice for groups to support play across that entire spectrum, as well as products specifically focused on the new and exciting things to come for the Masters of the Universe franchise."1comments
Bradford feels that the Masters of the Universe is poised for a fun tabletop RPG experience and pointed to the comics as an inspiration for his vision for the game. "The first time I met with Mattel, I used the incredible end panel of Eternity War #15 to articulate our vision for the game. King Adam is working the forge when he turns to speak to an unseen arrival and shares he’s been expecting them. He turns with a newly-created sword, hands it to the unseen character—that could be me or anyone else—and says 'YOU have the Power.' That’s what Masters of the Universe is about for me, that everyone has the power to better our universe. That panel is one of the best jumping-off points I’ve ever seen for a tabletop roleplaying game."
Legends of Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe Roleplaying Game is set to release in 2021. Fans can sign up to receive email updates about the game and to be notified when public playtesting starts at legendsofgrayskull.com.