Through the Breach
Wyrd came out with a pen and paper RPG for the world of Malifaux,Through The Breach .
First, the character creation is simple characters are made from a tarot-like set of cards picked from a deck. Each portion of the Tarot provides a different set of attribute points, skills, etc. in a random character creation method. Most of this is just stats, but the Station card determines your character's background which isn't necessarily who your character is now. This also creates a prophecy called the "Destiny" mechanic. As players complete part of their Destiny by either denying or accepting it, the players may gain certain perks or powers, created by the DM.
This is where people are divided when it comes to this, because there are only five goals of the Destiny, unlike Dark Heresy or Dungeons and Dragons where it can go for several dozen sessions without a clear goal. The idea is that once every few session at least one player has the option to complete part of their destiny. But this can be stretched out as pursuit progression is more like actual leveling.
But the next thing can possibly infuriate most neckbeards and call down the wrath of the fucking Blood God. Instead of rolling dice, the players draw from a communal "fate deck" which can decide how encounters or decisions go. And you know what, it somehow fucking works. While constantly pulling up cards like it's Magic can be monotonous, that's only on certain occasions. The best part is that you can "change fate", if you have a better card in your hand you can replace it with what you flip from the deck. Its the equivalent of having die result that you can pull out anytime to guarantee a hit.
If you're interested in Malifaux but not the wargame, or you already play Malifaux and are interested in tabletop RPGs, this can be worth a look. Other people have found this interesting as a Steampunk/Gothic setting though your mileage will vary. The setting is very tied with the rules so it may take some work to make this the system more generic.
Wyrd has released the second edition of Through the Breach, combining the two core books into one. Second edition mostly just streamlined and retooled a couple things. All of the first edition supplements and penny dreadfuls are compatible with second edition with minor tweak here or there.
- 1 Books
- 1.1 First Edition
- 1.2 Second Edition
- 1.3 Modules
- 1.4 Pursuits
- 1.4.1 Fated Almanac Pursuits
- 1.4.2 Into the Steam Pursuits
- 1.4.3 Under Quarantine Pursuits
- 188.8.131.52 Bully
- 184.108.40.206 Chemist
- 220.127.116.11 Forgotten
- 18.104.22.168 Ghost Eater
- 22.214.171.124 Ghoul
- 126.96.36.199 Medium
- 188.8.131.52 Necromancer
- 184.108.40.206 Sawbones
- 220.127.116.11 Into the Bayou Pursuits
- 18.104.22.168 Bokor
- 22.214.171.124 Boomer
- 126.96.36.199 Boozer
- 188.8.131.52 Buckaroo
- 184.108.40.206 Copycat
- 220.127.116.11 Pugilist
- 18.104.22.168 Swineherd
- 22.214.171.124 Trapper
- 1.4.4 Above the Law Pursuits
- 1.4.5 Advanced Pursuits
- 126.96.36.199 Fatemaster's Almanac Advanced Pursuits
- 188.8.131.52 Into the Steam Advanced Pursuits
- 184.108.40.206 Under Quarantine Advanced Pursuits
- 220.127.116.11 Into the Bayou Advanced Pursuits
- 18.104.22.168 Above the Law Advanced Pursuits
- 2 Fire Power
- 3 See Also
- Through the Breach RPG - Fatemasters Almanac (1st Edition): The Dungeon Master's Guide/Beastiary.
- Through the Breach RPG - Fated Almanac (1st Edition): The Player's Guide.
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful - In Defense of Innocence: Equivalent of a campaign setting in its own right.
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful - Into the Steam: A supplement that also includes additional character options.
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful - A Night in Rottenburg
- Through the Breach RPG - Under Quarantine (Expansion Book)
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful - Nythera
- Through the Breach RPG - Into the Bayou (Expansion Book)
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - In the Gutter: A shorter adventure expecting to last about a single session.
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Recruitment Drive
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Legacy of Darkness
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Night of the Carver: A Halloween themed one-shot.
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Bad Blood
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - The Ferryman
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Bad Moon Rising
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - No Strings Attached
- Adventure Box Collection 1: A collection of One-Shots that were present in box sets. The Brotherhood of the Rat and Crossroads Seven.
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Dirty Deeds
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Last Remains
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Honor Among Thieves
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Sixteen Tons
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Madman, Interrupted
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Child of Flame
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Ghost House
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - The bayou Games
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - A Malifaux Christmas Carol
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - The Hand that Feeds
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Till Death Do Us Part
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Earthly Desires
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Heart of Darkness
- Through the Breach RPG - Core Rules
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful - Fire in the Sky: An Adventure linking Malifaux to The Other Side.
- Through the Breach RPG - Above the Law (Expansion Book)
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful - Northern Sedition
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Jurassic Faux
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - A Stitch in Time
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - The Show Must Go On
- Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - The Badlands Invitational
Unlike other games Through the Breach uses Pursuits instead of classes. The leveling system is based on completing missions(i.e. Discovered/Killed what was threating a town, rescuing an ally from jail). The game is story driven so don't expect to get a level up after killing a dozen giant rats. Each Pursuit has ten stages that progress as you complete stories. And you are freely allowed to switch between pursuits between missions, the only change being that you only benefit from the Active Pursuit's special ability; usually this benefit is a "If you fail X type of action, draw a card".
While each Pursuit is different there can be thematic simularities to other Pursuits. For example the Gunfighter and Mercenary are both Ranged Pursuits, but grant different benefits. Similarly the Guard and Scrapper are both melee centric, but the Guard is more of a tank whereas the Scrapper is a DPS type.
Fated Almanac Pursuits
These are the core Pursuits.
The "Wizard" class. Unlike other games magic has a lot more customization and starting off as a Dabbler has its perks. In particular you start off with a grimoire with a Sorcery Magia, Prestidigitation Magia, and a few Immutos to help customize your magic. Also you get a Magical Theory which boosts magic based actions. While playing a spellcaster is really powerful they also are pretty heavily regulated(see Inquisition). If you play correctly and have a really high card in your hand you can increase your target number(read as DC) to increase damage and amount of burning on a target. For those who don't know the game, this would be the equivalent of knowing you have a Critical Hit in your pocket that you could use at any time.
This is the melee combat class. In particular
Into the Steam Pursuits
These Pursuits revolve around the Arcanist faction, the renegade magic users of the setting. These Pursuits are varied and are not all magic based. These Pursuits also have different talents than those that are in the main book.
This class is like the Dabbler on acid. Normally there is a restriction on what can be put into a spell, single Magia with Immuto to create the spell as well as what skill it goes off of. With these guys they don't, with Fatemaster/GM approval they have no limits and there is no spoon. So how are they not overpowered? They have a limitation of complexity, when new Immuto are added to a spell that increases the TN and their spells cannot increase passed their step in the Pursuit.
Based on the Malifaux Master Marcus, Primal is essentially the Druid class from DnD. You can get an animal companion and it leads to the character becoming more like a beast than a person. They also become sort of like the Ranger in that they are better at tracking quarries and targeting a single target .
Under Quarantine Pursuits
Based on the Quarantine Zone location in Malifaux. The Zone is known for being filled with criminals, monsters, and undead. In particular this is used by Resurrectionists as a haven to create Undead creatures. As such the Pursuits are very much focused with this in regard.
Essentially the Intimidation character. They give out the "Terrorize" condition and get bonuses against NPCs with the condition.
Into the Bayou Pursuits
Based on the Bayou, a collection of swamps outside the city. Chock full of Gremlins and swamp monsters. Most of these Pursuits are for those of you who want to play as gremlins, though gremlins can use any pursuit and non-gremlins can use these pursuits themselves.
Above the Law Pursuits
An upcoming book focusing on Guild characters, these pursuits focus on people who likely work for the guild, but can be freelance or work for other groups.
Fatemaster's Almanac Advanced Pursuits
Into the Steam Advanced Pursuits
These are the mute worshippers of the Tyrant December. Originally they would have their tongues removed, but this has been changed as Rasputina has taken leadership of the cult. Expect few to take this Advanced Pursuit unless they are a female character. Male Silent Ones have to be castrated when they take their vows.
Under Quarantine Advanced Pursuits
Abettor of Obliteration
Student of Transmortis
Into the Bayou Advanced Pursuits
Above the Law Advanced Pursuits
In 1st edition, the magic system had a lot of hiccups. To give a quick overview there aren't pre-set spells; mage characters would have a basic spell template and then add modifications to it. For example if you wanted to throw a fireball, you'd take the range elemental attack then add fire and damage by increasing the difficulty to cast.
In a group playing the Night of the Carver module there was a player who created a dabbler. The module was supposed to have the Carver harass the players as they try to retreat to the walls of Malifaux city. The Carver is a Master level NPC who was not meant to go down easily, in fact he had high armor that could reduce most attacks down to only 1 damage. But this dabbler had read his Fated Almanac and knew the power of fire. The first encounter with the Carver he wasted a few spells, until he was reminded of the Burning condition which ignores armor. He also had a high card in hand, he applied as much fire as he could to make his Burning +7. He flipped a low card, cheated in his high one and did one wound of damage, but Burning +7. At the end of the turn, the Carver exploded into fiery bits. The Carver reappeared three times, the group not at all afraid of the creature. With the module completely broken by one super fireball the players managed to get to the city, except for the Dabbler who wasn't allowed in because he clearly was a magic user... Moral of the story, don't cheese fire or you are gonna get burned.