This Legendlore Core Rulebook exceeded my expectations. I bought it because, as a teenager 35 years ago, I had really loved the obscure black & white, 1987 comic book on which this game is based, called "The Realm." It was about a handful of modern American college freshmen who are magically transported to a D&D-like fantasy world. Its influences were obvious, even then: the 1980s D&D cartoon primarily, along with some Tolkien, Star Wars, and zombie films. I was thrilled and shocked that this game gave this obscure IP new life in 2022 for a modern audience! Thank you!
After I read this rulebook (I bought the hardcover), I re-read the original comics before writing this review. I would say that the following sentence, quoted from the Introduction on page 11, perfectly summarizes this work. "The Legendlore role-playing game presents a diverse and includive world based on the Legendlore comics." It's a perfect summary because: (1) I was genuinely amazed and impressed by how much detail from the comic books made it into this book, but (2) the phrase "based on" is also critical: the authors also add interpolated and extrapolated characters and history and details and weave it into the setting information - so there's more here than just the comics (more on this below), and (3) there is a very heavy emphasis in this book on diversity and inclusion - that is referenced explicitly on the back cover, and in the Introduction. This aspect is reflected in the text, the artwork, and in a preponderance of the newly added characters. I think it's accurate/approrpriate that, in this quoted sentence, the diversity and inclusion is mentioned first, before the comic book source material.
I have given this book 4 stars instead of 5 stars, despite really liking it, for these 2 reasons: (1) several of the concepts the authors added to the setting, which weren't in the comic books, I didn't personally like, including the notion that artifcats from modern Earth (called "Strange Things" in the game) were littered all over the game world (things like cars, radios, and microwave ovens) and the idea that famous/legendary places from real Earth had been transported to the game world (called "Lost Places" in the game), including the Temple of Zeus and the Library at Alexandria, and (2) this book didn't contain the game stats for the primary villain in the comic books, Darkoth, the 'Darth Vader' of this world, despite him being mentioned and pictured on 19 different pages by my quick count (nor were any of the heroes from the comic book stat'ed out), though the book does include game stats for many other monsters, races and demons from the comics. These stats were probably what I personally wanted most from this game book.
Is this game book for you? In addition to the above, I would, lastly, suggest that you consider your own views on playing yourself as a PC. As I read this rulebook, the primary focus of this game, even incrementally over the details of the licensed setting, is that players are intended to 'play themselves.'