from the introduction to the Black Book Beta:
Legends & Labyrinths takes the most popular and best supported fantasy roleplaying game and strips it down to its most basic components. It removes everything non-essential, leaving behind a simple, fast-and-loose, easy-to-use system.
We believe that, not only is Third Edition the most popular gaming system on the planet, it’s also one of the best. Its designers created a small, elegant set of core mechanics, resulting in an extremely flexible system. Then those core mechanics were used to implement a wide array of carefully researched and thoughtfully playtested guidelines and supplementary rules. The result is possibly the most robust and
detailed system ever created.
Legends & Labyrinths, on the other hand, follows a simpler methodology: If it’s not a core mechanic, it’s not in the game.
The result is a slick, tight, elegant system that doesn’t get bogged down in the details. Legends & Labyrinths jettisons the rules and guidelines which make Third Edition so robust, but it leaves behind the simple, flexible game which lies at the system’s core.