Let's see the RPG Kickstarter campaign Broken Tales by The World Anvil Publishing. Between dark fairy tales, revenge and investigation, the quickstart already has different material.

In the last couple of years we have seen a lot of fantasy RPGs coming out, but with grimdark tones, many of which were written by Italians. Just think of History, Nightfell e Valraven, just to give some examples.
Well, today we see a new crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter which again has as its object a fantasy role-playing game grimdark. This time, however, they are at the center of the game world fairy tales.
We are obviously talking about Broken Tales, the new role-playing game by The World Anvil Publishing and Black Box Games, of which you can see the Kickstarter at this link.
Let's see what it's talking about, how its Kickstarter is structured and how its crowdfunding is going.

The cover of the Broken Tales quickstart
The quickstart cover of Broken Tales

What is it about? Broken Tales? A look at the quickstart

Thanks to its quickstart free (which you can see Thu), we can take a look at the mechanics and types of stories told in Broken Tales.
Let's see the game system quickly first, and then move on to the setting.

The Monad Echo system

First, this RPG uses a simplified version of the system Monad Echo. In the Monad Echo system the dice rolls made by the player determine the narrative position in which the character is, i.e. how much advantage or disadvantage he has in facing a problem or in defending himself from it.
In this sense, in Broken Tales the characters will be able to make two types of rolls (always with six-sided dice): a Position Shot to overcome an opposing opponent, and a Defense Roll to react to what an opponent or a generic danger does to him. To determine if the character will take an advantage, called Increase, or a disadvantage, called Cost, the die roll must exceed the enemy's Opposition Level.

For everything else, as for the management of the considerable investigative part of the game, the Descriptors and the Gifts of the characters are used.
I Descriptors they are, in fact, descriptions of the character, which tell about his skills. Descriptors can be used to get bonuses on Position or Defense rolls, as well as to manage what is discovered in the investigation.
I Doniinstead, they are unique abilities of the individual character, linked to his partially supernatural nature. Thanks to the Gifts, powers or special effects can be invoked, sometimes very useful, in other cases decidedly double-edged.

Finally, one of the coolest things about Broken Tales is the presence of a further element: theDark Me. In fact, characters can fall into the Dark Ego when they suffer an Injury or when they meet the power activation requirements. The Dark Self gives the characters considerable advantages, but recalls the fact that they were once literally the antagonists of fairy tales.
Where does all this come from?
Let's take a closer look at the setting to find out!

The setting of Broken Tales

Broken Tales is set in an eighteenth-century Europe where the world of fairy tales has been turned upside down from the desire of a child.
In fact, the child expressed an apparently positive wish to the King of Fairy Tales: to redeem the antagonists of fairy tales.
However, the world of fairy tales always needs its own balance, and could not deprive itself of its antagonists.
Thus, it was the protagonists, the heroes and heroines of fairy tales, who turned into villains.

To counter this new wave of chaos and terror, Pope Clement XIII has set up a secret group that specializes in tackling the new fairy tale villains who are rocking the world. This is the Order, made up of hunters and led by the Keepers.
Hunters are people with special abilities, given by their particular connection with the world of fairy tales. In fact, as can be seen from the character sheets, many of the Hunters are nothing more than ex-antagonists, turned into goodies when the fairy tales have been broken.

What the quickstart adventure is about, Iskra of the Red Hood?

In the free quickstart, we see an adventure in which James the Swordsman (ex-pirate without a hand), Garou the Old Wolf (who can literally transform into a wolf), the Amazing Nameless Pied Piper and Baba Yaga the Child Witch will have to investigate. of the mysterious attacks of wolves in a remote French village.
These wolves are led by a little girl in a red hood seeking revenge.
I don't think we need to say more.

The Hunters of Broken Tales
The Hunters of Broken Tales

How is the Kickstarter structured?

The crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter by Broken Tales started Wednesday 5 May e it will end on Tuesday 25 May.
Its goal is € 5.000.
The products he will make available are: the Basic Manual, the character cards in a vinyl binder, and the manual The Broken Ones.
Il Basic Manual it will contain the complete rules, the rules for creating new Hunters, the setting of the Broken Europe, six playable scenarios, the tale of the Child Savior and all the contents unlocked in the stretch goals.
The Broken Ones instead, it is an exclusive Kickstarter manual and will contain six other scenarios, an Old School Essential ruleset for playing not as Hunters, but as ordinary people, the Treasure of the Order (new equipment) and other content unlocked by stretch goals.

I pledge available are the following:

  • Once upon a time DIGITAL (18 €): includes the Basic Manual, the character sheets and the stretch goals of the Basic Manual, in PDF;
  • The Broken Ones DIGITAL (30 €): includes the rewards of Once upon a time DIGITAL, plus the characters and the manual The Broken Ones, always all in PDF;
  • Once upon a time PHYSICAL (50 €): includes the rewards of The Broken Ones DIGITAL, adding the physical Basic Manual, the character sheet of the Cat and the Fox, and the laminated character sheets;
  • The Broken Ones PHYSICAL (€ 85): includes the rewards of Once upon a time PHYSICAL, adding all the rewards of The Broken Ones in physical format;
  • Retail Bundles (215 €): reserved for retailers, contains 4 The Broken Ones PHYSICAL rewards.

How is crowdfunding of Broken Tales?

The Kickstarter of Broken Tales he reached his goal in just 10 minutes. At the moment, has exceeded € 30.000 collected and has over 500 supporters.
At the moment, ten have been unlocked stretch goals. Among these we remember:

  • New Hunters: Babai the Judge (inspired by the Black Man), The Woman from the Wood (inspired by Hansel and Gretel), Derduour Bluebeard (inspired by Bluebeard) and Marina the Sea Explorer (inspired by the Little Mermaid Sea Witch);
  • New Dark Presences (i.e. threats): Mangiafuoco (inspired by Pinocchio), The Masked Swashbuckler (inspired by Puss in Boots), Orcus the Keeper (inspired by The Thousand and One Nights);
  • New Treasures of the Order, such as the Mirror of Wishes, Excalibur and the Flying Carpet;
  • A new scenario: Ozena the Suffering and Desperate, inspired by the Wizard of Oz.
The game's exclusive Kickstarter content
The game's exclusive Kickstarter content

Some concluding thoughts on Broken Tales

I am not a great lover of grimdark settings, both because sometimes I find them a bit banalotte, and because now they sprout around like mushrooms.
However, Broken Tales genuinely intrigued me and I would be very interested in trying the adventure proposed in the quickstart. In fact, on the one hand its game system is very intuitive (at least for me who am used to Forged in the Dark), and on the other hand seeing the setting of classic fairy tales overturned can give interesting narrative ideas.
Also, I appreciate the introduction of the mechanics ofDark Me, which is very reminiscent of the Dark Self of Monster Hearts. From the quickstart it doesn't seem to me very clear if the use of the Dark Ego has negative consequences for the character, but I am inclined to think that this may be the case. In this case, I think it could be a very interesting mechanic to explore.