Through the Breach

Billedresultat for through the breach rpgThrough the Breach is a tabletop roleplaying game set in the world of Malifaux. The players take on the role of the Fated, men and women who have caught a brief glimpse of their destinies.

This destiny is created alongside the Fated during character creation, and it affects every aspect of the character’s life, from the day they were born and into the future. As the game progresses, the destinies of the Fated entwine, creating a campaign with a finite end. With each session, the character’s final fate grows ever closer, and in the end, it is up to them whether they embrace their destiny or attempt to cheat fate out of its prize.

Through the Breach uses cards instead of dice to resolve conflicts, and each character has a hand of cards they can use to alter their destinies, changing failure into success and defeat into victory. Characters shift fluidly from one profession to the next as they meet the challenges of Malifaux head-on, and even the most naive Academic might find herself becoming a lethal Gunslinger, hardened Pioneer, or power-mad Dabbler with the right twist of fate.


Through the Breach takes place in the world of Malifaux, where steam power collides with magic, monsters, and the wild west. The world of Malifaux is adjacent to Earth, and a portal known as the Breach allows free passage between the two worlds. Those arriving through the Breach will find the Gothic city of Malifaux waiting for them, and this city serves as the backdrop to many of the adventures that take place in Through the Breach. The world is larger than just the city, however, and players might also explore the rolling Northern Hills and its many mining towns, the fetid and swampy Bayou, or even the desolate Badlands.

Malifaux City is under the direct control of the Guild of Mercantilers, a tyrannical government that is far more concerned with Malifaux’s Soulstones than the well-being of any of the people living within the city. Soulstones are one of the few ways that people back on Earth can tap into the magic which infuses Malifaux, and as a result, each Soulstone is worth a small fortune. The Guild ships Soulstones back to Earth by the trainload, and this has given them unprecedented power and control back on Earth.

Despite all their power, the Guild doesn’t have the manpower or expertise to dig the Soulstones out of the ground themselves. Some of this back-breaking work is performed by the convicts which the Guild regularly ships into Malifaux, but the majority of it falls onto the shoulders of the Miners and Steamfitters Union. The Union is an organization of miners and engineers who have come together in the interests of protecting their workers from unsafe working conditions and unfair pay. Because the Union controls so many mines (and can speed up or shut down the excavation of Soulstones on a whim), they have become a political power in their own right, and conflict between the Union and the Guild is common.

The Union is not entirely benevolent, however, for it shields the Arcanists, a terrorist organization who believe that mankind is entitled to wield the power of magic as they see fit. Malifaux is a magical world, and those who pass through the Breach or spend any significant time in Malifaux sometimes spontaneously develop magical powers. The Guild considers these people to be a threat to its stability and the Arcanists fight back using their magical powers and steam-powered constructs. The Guild’s brutal policies concerning magic users – often going so far as pulling them out of their beds at night – have resulted in the public looking upon the Arcanists as a group of good-hearted revolutionaries, an image which the Arcanists have latched onto to disguise their extensive black market smuggling operations.

Another sort of magic user stalks the shadows of the city. Known as Resurrectionists, these madmen and psychopaths use necromancy to transform the dead into loyal zombie servants. The sewers beneath the city are filled with the discarded experiments of these twisted necromancers, but anyone with the desire to raise the departed could become a Resurrectionist. It’s said that there’s a haunting voice that speaks to these people, whispering the secrets of necromancy into their ears even as the knowledge shatters whatever is left of their sanity.

There are other threats in Malifaux – the sinister Neverborn that lurk in the shadows, the mysterious masked ninja who stalk the streets of the Little Kingdom slums, the drunken and chaotic Gremlins who call the Bayou their home – but these are kept hidden from the people back on Earth. To them, Malifaux is the frontier, a place where one can leave the sorrows of Earth behind to start a new life. Hundreds of people come to Malifaux each week in search of this dream, but for many, the world on the other side of the Breach holds only nightmares.


Through the Breach uses cards instead of dice to resolve the actions of the Fated and those around them. The basic rules are simple: flip a card from the deck, add the character’s Skill rank and Aspect modifier, and compare it to the total of the opponent. The highest total wins the conflict, with increasingly greater margins of success leading to greater magnitudes of victory.

The player characters – or Fated, as they are called – each belong to a Pursuit, which functions as a combination of class and profession. Pursuits are fluid, with the characters choosing which Pursuit they wish to follow at the start of each session, after a short prologue. This allows the Fated to prepare themselves for the adventure to come; sessions with lots of combat will result in Fated who have chosen more martial Pursuits, while investigative or social adventures will find the Fated well-matched to uncovering the correct clues or charming the right people.

At the end of each session, the Fated character gains an ability based upon the Pursuit they played on that adventure. This allows characters to grow organically in multiple directions, as a product of their adventures. For instance, take a look at Pedro Ortega, who primarily adventures as a Gunslinger, save for a few sessions where he decided he could do more good as a Performer. He’s still a quick shot and deadly with his pistols, but his dazzling smile and friendly demeanor easily smooth over those delicate social situations that can’t be solved by just shooting someone.

Each Fated character possesses a destiny, which give the Fatemaster vague, cryptic phrases that can be used to build an entire adventure. In this way, each session’s focus tends to focus on a single character as they resolve a step of their destiny with the help of their friends and allies. As the Fated travel together, their destinies weave together into a communal story, shifting its focus back and forth in the manner of an television show featuring an ensemble cast.

Whenever a Fated character resolves a step of their destiny, their strengthening destiny begins to manifest itself in various effects. For some characters, this results in an increase to their physical or mental abilities, pushing them well beyond the capabilities of normal humans and into the realm of the truly exceptional. Other characters develop Manifested Powers, unique magical abilities that the player can tailor specifically to match their character and the events surrounding their Fated’s destiny. Spectral bullets that pass through walls, a voice that puts others to sleep, the ability to animate the dead with a single touch… the only limit is the player’s imagination (and the sanity of the Fatemaster).

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19 Responses to Through the Breach

  1. JS says:

    Det lyder fedt! Jeg glæder mig til at prøve

  2. MC says:

    Tak for i går. Det gik jo fint trods alt.

    I får 2 xp for første spil session. I bør nok lige kigge på side 108-109 i regelbogen omkring character advancement, så I ved hvordan det fungerer.

    Jeg har valgt følgende Skill Options for jer hver især:

    JS – Long Arms, Athletics, Stealth
    CBC – Deceive, Pugilism, Navigation
    RM – Martial Art, Pistol, Athletics
    PL – Centering, Evade, Enchanting (hvis det er den du bruger til spellcasting)

    • CBC says:

      Selv tak 🙂 Det var meget underholdende og jeg synes at der var et godt flow i spillet igennem hele aftenen.

      Bare lige for god ordens skyld, som jeg fortolker reglerne, så har vi én gratis advancement i en af de tre skills du har valgt for os. De 2 xp kan vi så gemme eller bruge med det samme på det vi vil. Stemmer det ?

  3. MC says:

    Der vil være noget downtime efter jeres seneste “endeavor”. I healer helt op, men skal lige læse op på om eventuelle critical hits bliver permanente.

    Derefter får I gennem Jebediah kontakt til Lucretino familien, der har et jobtilbud.

    You’ve always kept an ear to the ground concerning potential employment, and now, that’s finally paid off. From the moment you arrived at the Lucrentino manor in Downtown, you could almost smell the money – and the desperation – in the air.

    After a brief chat with a servant in a maid uniform, you’re escorted into a sitting room with the elderly Maude Lucrentino. She’s thin and emaciated in a way that reminds you of a skeleton, but her smile is bright as she invites you in and offers you tea. The entire room smells like mothballs.

    After some polite conversation, she opens a small box on the table and turns it so that you can see the contents: an unusual, grape-sized jewel, like something between a pearl and a diamond with a rainbow glow.

    “They’re calling it a rock pearl,” she explains, “but it’s really a crystal. You can cut it like a gem, and it makes for beautiful jewelry. They started showing up in town a few months ago, and one of the jewelers informed me that they were coming from an iron mine in the Badlands. There aren’t many iron mines down there, though, and I’ve started to worry that they might be coming from my mine.”

    She straightens up. “If one of my employees is stealing from me, I would like to know about it. Are you willing to help me?”

    You nod in agreement as you could use the money, and besides you don’t want to make Jebediah look bad, as he is the one who introduced you to Maude Lucretino in the first place.

    Maude smiles at your answer and rings a small bell on the table. A moment later, a maid arrives with a fresh pot of tea. “Whatever happens,” Maude explains, “the investigation must be as discreet as possible. Since my brother’s indiscretions with that prostitute of his, the Family reputation simply cannot survive another scandal.”

    Maude waits until the maid has departed before continuing. “I will hire you on as standard miners, though I could likely hire one or two of you as camp guards or cooking assistants without raising suspicion. The pay will be typical for one of our miners – five scrip per week – but I will add in an additional bonus of fifty scrip if you’re able to uncover any evidence of rock pearl smuggling.”

  4. MC says:

    Så kører næste episode af TtB lige om lidt. I har af forskellige årsager meldt jer under fanerne i the Guild for at foretage et raid ind i Quarantine Zone. Det kan være, at I mangler penge til husleje, betaling af gæld til tvivlsomme typer, for at øge opsparingen eller bare for at se, hvad der egentlig gemmer sig bag murene til QZ. Det er op til jer. Prologen lyder sådan her:

    You find yourselves in the western Riverfront Slums in the late evening, near the barricades of the Quarantine Zone, along with a large crowd of gathered mercenaries and Guild Guardsmen.

    The warm summer evening has brought out fireflies that zip and weave between the members of the gathered crowd, seemingly unconcerned with their presence. The fireflies are fat little creatures with larger bottoms than the insects back on Earth, and as you watch, a woman wearing a duster slaps one of the bugs as it lands on her arm. She’s rewarded with a smear of phosphorescent goo across her arm and hand, which only serves to Draw a grimace of revulsion from her.

    The low, muffled conversations of the crowd are silenced when a bald man in a long, gray coat steps up onto a soapbox, puts two fingers in his mouth, and releases a piercing whistle.

    “Everyone, listen up!” The crowd shifts as they turn to face him, giving you a glimpse of the ram’s head pin on his lapel and the epaulets on his shoulders that mark him as a Guild sergeant.

    The crowd around you is mostly comprised of mercenaries and bounty hunters, but there are a few uniformed members of the Guild Guard mixed in with their number, moving among the crowd to make sure that everyone is paying attention to the sergeant, Bristol Daughtery.

    The sergeant gestures to the tall barricade behind him and the large clockwork gate set in its side. “I know that we’ve got some veterans here, but for you new recruits, this here is the wall that separates us good, decent folk from the Quarantine Zone and all of its assorted horrors. The section of QZ next to us is called Beggartree, for reasons that you’ll figure out soon enough.”

    There are a few chuckles from the crowd, and the sergeant smirks as he continues.

    “Now, most of the time, Beggartree is pretty quiet, as far as the QZ goes, but every time the first moon is full, those thrice-damned Neverborn sneak in and start performing their unwholesome rituals. So every full moon we go in, guns blazing, and drive them off. We don’t know just what they’re trying to do, and we’re never going to find out because we’re never going to let them finish.”

    The crowd murmurs its agreement. “Now,” the sergeant continues, with another gesture toward the barricade, “we’re going to take this slow and careful. The gate opens at 11 o’clock, but once it shuts behind us, we can’t open it again until tomorrow night. If you want out of the QZ, you’ll have to return to the gate with a Guardsman, who will clear you and instruct the Guardsmen on the barricades to lower ropes for you to climb up.” He pauses to give a meaningful look to the assembled crowd. “Bottom line, you don’t get out without a member of the Guild at your side. Remember that when it comes to evacuating wounded Guardsmen, folks.”

  5. MC says:

    Tak for godt spil i går – det var umådeligt underholdende fra min side af bordet.

    Der var 3 xp til hver, hvilket burde sende jer på Seasoned rank.

    Jeg glæder mig til at se, hvordan I klarer jer næste gang, hvor gruppen jo er lidt fragmenteret 🙂

  6. MC says:

    Der er 2 fuldgode XP for spilsession den 5. marts. Og nej, man kan ikke købe noget for sine XP – det bruger man advancements til.

  7. MC says:

    Så fik I afleveret pigebarnet i god behold til hendes forældre, og det blev takseret til 3 xp.

    Næste gang er det vist noget med, at I gerne vil væk fra Malifaux et stykke tid. Vel mødt 🙂

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