I don’t usually back a Kickstarter very early in the game, even if it’s got great pledge level rewards. I often wait it out a few days, see how fast it progresses, ponder of possible stretch goals, and so on. But when I saw Jason Richards Publishing’s Breachworld, I pledged for the softcover level immediately. Since then, I have raised my pledge for the collector’s edition and threw in some extra for some sweet add-ons, too.
Why? Well, first off was a quote from Kevin Siembieda, lead writer and designer of Palladium Books and the Rifts RPG, on the home page (pictured below.)
But also the background, simple D6 system, gorgeous art (pictured below,) already available and affordable add-ons, full colour print, and perhaps most importantly, the creator’s own enthusiasm and involvement in the project drew me in better than any plot hook I’ve ever heard of! Jason is constantly providing updates for his backers, asking what they want or need from him and his project, responding to comments and questions by the next day and always in a positive manner.
What is Breachworld and why is it Rifts-inspired? Rest assured, you will not be playing an offbrand copy of Rifts; Breachworld is a seperate game of its own! It merely shares the science fiction/post-apocalyptic genre, as well as the broad idea of alien life reaching Earth through a breach in the space-time, reminiscent of a rift. However, there are no ley lines, breaches are one way only, magic/psychich ability is rarer and more specifically focused, and civilization has not taken root in the form of a government or large cities (in my opinion, this gives it more of a survival setting with nomadic undertones, many communities scraping by as they can and few gaining enough power to attempt to control the world – but that doesn’t mean no one is trying!)
To summarize, humankind once enjoyed a Golden Age of luxury, with gates that would enable mass quantities of people and cargo to instantly teleport across the world to within 100 miles of just about any location. Culture and peace were booming and convenience was rampant. Then, after hundreds of years of humankind living in a state of lax, the gates became breaches. All across the globe these portals let through any number of alien life, some confused but friendly and others monstrous and destructive. Any standing cities crumbled over the course of the years, leaving wastelands and savage wilds to cover the landscape. The Earth’s population was culled by nearly 90%.
Over time, communities of humans (and in some cases, alienkind) banded together, utilizing what they could of what was left. Sometimes this was a barely standing, ruinous skyscraper, others it was a fully functional plant (nuclear or otherwise) that enabled them to have electricity and running water. However, most of the Earth’s past luxuries were lost due to lack of knowledge or resources. Groups formed as well, such as the Cooperative, who seek as much knowledge of the golden age as they can amass, the BRAC, who are very secretive and exclusively seek to close the breaches, or even the Rebellion, who aim to rid the Earth of its alien invaders.
With a Rifts-Inspired setting and less complex rules, I was hooked from the beginning. The races seem truly unique (not just humanoids with different animal heads or abilities,) the skills broad enough to include just about any scenario but also specific enough to give characters skill specialization, and the background provided gives enough information to get going with plenty of wiggle room for any creative Dungeon Master.
Jason has also given his backers something I’ve rarely seen provided before a project’s completion; a playtest-able preview of the meatiest parts of the game! It is a 77 page preview of the core rules, races, skills, and setting that gives you everything you need to start a game. Seriously, it took me less than 30 minutes to make a character, and a non-human with Aether abilities (kinda like magic) at that! I don’t think I’ve ever played a system that took so little time to set up, and that is definitely new and exciting!
It runs on an open, Mini 6 system developed by Anti Paladin Games, and can be feasibly run using a set of six D6s. One of the available add-ons is a set of six custom D6s (with the Breachworld logo replacing the 6 side) for only an extra $5 per set! Jason is talking with renowned Chessex Dice to professionally design these, with five dice being one color and the sixth D6 being a different color (to represent the wild or “exploding” die.)
With reasonable stretch goals in place, the backers have already unlocked several (including the meaty preview) of them, from a look at the history of Breachworld and the groups of people therein to a full page layout of four non-human races (one of them pictured below.) There are still many stretch goals left to hit, but they unlock huge rewards such as full, multi-page playable race and creature folios (which give you a much deeper look at a race than one page allows) and even a full Wikia for Breachworld players to reference.
Claiming to already have 90% of the book written, barring editing, and at over 85% funded status with 20 days to go (at time of posting,) Breachworld is a guaranteed success with amazing add-ons that let you pledge for exactly what you want. I am a very happy backer and I look forward to posting my review of the 77 page preview as well as an interview with Jason in the days to come. I can’t wait to playtest it and it will make a great addition to my bookshelf and game night.
Check the project out more here.
Keep an eye out for future Breachworld posts,
Any image or information provided pertaining to Breachworld is the sole property of Jason Richards Publishing and any artists therein. I claim no ownership of content.