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'Avatar: The Last Airbender' and 'The Legend of Korra' are being adapted into a tabletop RPG

By Kara Santos Published Feb 05, 2021 3:10 am

Get ready to unleash your own bending abilities! A tabletop RPG based on the widely popular and beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra is currently in development.

Tabletop roleplaying game publisher Magpie Games, creator of Zombie World, Root: The Roleplaying Game, Bluebeard’s Bride and Masks: A New Generation announced on Wednesday (Feb. 3) that it had secured the rights to develop a tabletop RPG system based on the Avatar's world from the classic cartoons. 

The upcoming tabletop game will give ATLA fans a chance to return and explore the fantastical setting of benders and legends as their own characters.

According to an official statement, Magpie Games said they secured a multi-year licensing agreement with rights-holder Viacom CBS to produce the RPG, which they aim to release in February 2022, with two supplements the year after.

“The stories of Avatar are so moving for us because they are joyous and heartbreaking,” said Mark Diaz Truman, CEO of Magpie Games. “We’re incredibly excited to bring the tales of brave benders and loyal friendships to tabletop roleplaying games.”

Magpie said it will be working with several Asian designers throughout the development process to keep the "authentic, diverse spirit of both shows." They have tapped New York based Filipino-American game writer, game designer, cultural consultant, and martial artist James Mendez Hodes, whose past credits includes Iron Street Combat and his own RPG system Thousand Arrows

"This game is so newly announced that it hasn’t even got a formal title yet, but I’m a senior developer on the official tabletop role-playing game about the world of Avatar: the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, the greatest martial arts shows on television," Hodes wrote on his official portfolio website.

In the upcoming tabletop game, players will not be stepping into the shoes of Avatar Aang and Korra, but will get the unique chance to return as heroes of their own story. Players will create characters using playbooks that will define their abilities and attributes. 

According to the official synopsis released by Magpie Games: 

"Rising to meet their destiny, players will make characters using playbooks—templates that help players build and play compelling protagonists in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Together they might protect local merchants from the Triple Threat Triad in Republic City, travel through a spirit portal to rescue a child taken into the Spirit World, negotiate peace between feuding communities within the Earth Kingdom, or pursue mysteries (and villains) that arise throughout their adventures!"

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) and The Legend of Korra (2012-2014) both take place in a fictional universe where some individuals called benders can manipulate the four basic elements of the physical world—earth, water, air and fire—to various degrees. Once in a generation, though, one person, known as the "Avatar" is born with the ability to control, and eventually master, all four elemeents and bring balance to the world. The setting, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, is largely inspired by historical East Asian cultures and martial arts styles.

While the two animated series originally aired on Nickoledeon years ago, they have gained a large new fanbase after being streamed recently on Netflix. The stories were officially continued as a comic series. A live-action Netflix adaption has been in development, but the original creators departed the project due to creative differences. 

The roleplaying game's Core Book is slated for a February 2022 release followed by two supplements. Republic City and The Spirit World will release in August 2022 and February 2023, respectively.

(Images via Nickoledean)