The Fated Almanac
Through the Breach RPG
3 left in stock
|System:||Through the Breach|
Through the Breach is a tabletop roleplaying game set in the world of Malifaux. Players take on the roles of various citizens, such as Gunfighters, Drudges, Dabblers, and Entertainers. Each of these characters is as unique as the players themselves. These are the Fated. As a Fated, you know your future, it has been told to you, as cryptic as the sparrow on a moonless night. It is your task to rush headlong into the arms of destiny, or to carve your own future.
One player takes on the role of the Fatemaster. It is his duty to craft the legends of the other players, to narrate the story of Malifaux in his own vision, and to move each Fated along towards the moment when they must choose between their fortune and their soul.
Through the Breach is a card-driven RPG, with actions resolved through the reveal of cards from a communal Fate Deck. Each player, however, has a Twist Deck of their own, and they can use these cards to push fate towards their own desires. The Fatemaster, however, relies on no such randomness. He is the lord of providence, after all. It is his task to weave a story, and if he dares to touch the Fate Deck… there are repercussions.
Into the Breach!By: BK on 31 August 2015‘Malifaux’ is a game setting that has intrigued me for a while and so the RPG seemed like a low barrier way to look over the concept. The miniatures line has been running for a few years and has a very distinct look in both the sculpts and the artwork (much of which has been transferred across to the RPG book). The ‘Fated Almanac’ is the players’ book for ‘Into the Breach’ and contains everything you need to build a character (referred to as a ‘Fated’). The setting is simply fantastic and it is clear that a lot of development has occurred to ensure a consistently themed and intriguing world. In short-form, the city of Malifaux was discovered on the other side of a breach (the same mentioned in the title of the book) as well as the mysterious substance known as ‘Soulstone’. Earth’s economies adjusted quickly to the new trade item and the city soon fell under the sway of rival factions, and fed by a broad array of folks wanting to find their fortune on this new frontier (or folks wanting to flee from whatever wrongdoing they had committed on the Earth-side of the Breach). The city of Malifaux has a strange feel – a slightly Western, steampunk, Victorian feel that mashes the genres in a pleasing fashion. Whilst some elements are reminiscent of Deadlands and even Mordheim (both feature similar motifs and supernatural stones – both Ghost Rock and Wyrdstone), Malifaux manages to evoke a separate tone. The game system is card-based and whilst there are ‘official’ decks for the game, you do not need one to play. There are a couple of quick modifications that allow you to use a standard deck of cards. This in particular lowers the barrier to play given that everyone at the table will need a deck. Skills and Talents are used in conjunction with revealed cards (called a ‘Flip’) to beat a Target Number. Some abilities will allow you to Flip additional cards, and each player also has a hand (called a ‘Twist Deck’) that allows for card substitution if the card you Flip is too low. However, there is an element of resource management as the Twist Deck is finite. Overall, anyone familiar with Target Number-based systems, and the notion of mechanics to influence the outcome of a score will find the system easy to pick up. You’ll also find an array of spells, equipment, and special items to either round out or enhance your character. As with the other aspects of the game, character creation is handled by the cards. You lay a ‘Tarot spread’ of cards and then consult the character tables for the results. This will give you your stats (which can be assigned) and other aspects of your character. A nice touch is the prophecy lines that accompany each result. You can take all of these and construct them into a stanza which actually has an impact on the game. The GM (referred to as the ‘Fate Master’) uses these prophecies to provide plot hooks and there are in-game benefits when they come up in an adventure. After trying the character creation rules a few times, I easily understood the system, and there is certainly enough flexibility built into the process so that no two characters will emerge the same. Overall, this is a great book. It’s worth mentioning that you don’t need anything from the miniatures line to play the game, but you might like to purchase some of the minis for the table nonetheless. The game line has a distinct look and simply having the models on the table might be evocative. The book mentions quite a few of the named models and how they fit into the world, but there is no sense that these NPCs would overshadow the PCs – they are simply mentioned as a matter of course and then left alone. For anyone who likes the genres I listed above, I’d say this is a must-have. You could learn the game very quickly, but it does strike me as one that would support a number of very different play experiences for a long-term campaign.
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