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FRACTURED HOPES - A Basic Roleplaying Space Fantasy


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fractured-hopes.jpgFractured Hopes began as a challenge. It began as a thought experiment. I had an advanced reader's copy of the BRP core book, and I thought it would be interesting to write a setting in which everything in the core book had some presence in the world. I saw it as a companion to the BRP rulebook, something that would allow players and Game Masters to get the most use out of the core as possible. The by-line for the project in its early days was, “if it's in the book, you can use it.”The setting is our world, some distance in the future. Humanity was caught in a war between an unbending machine race of our own creation, and a species of alien that used biotechnology and genetic manipulation as their chief weapons of war. People were used as conscripts by both sides. Many of these conscripts survived the cataclysmic Final Weapon, which broke the world into Fragments.

Fragments are an attempt to get around the strange sci-fi trope of having worlds that have only a single climate. You know: the desert planet, the ice planet, and so on. Fragments are isolated form each other to the point that each has its own micro-climate. The book contains a selection of pre-designed Fragments, as well as the tools to create new ones.

The present time of the game is not set in stone. It is some time after the Sundering, when the Earth was destroyed, though it could have been 20 years ago as well as five minutes. There is an introductory scenario that does character creation for a group as an adventure in and of itself rather than a step that occurs before play. Characters come out of the adventure with a ship to sail between the remnants of the world, an enemy, and a reason to stick together.

All of the existing Powers systems are used in the game, and players are free to mix and match to better create the character they want to play from the beginning. While the Powers systems are not necessarily balanced against each other, in practice, they play well together at the table.

While the setting is written with larger-than-life heroics in mind, it can support a variety of play-styles, due to BRP's flexible nature. You can do gritty stories of survival in a devastated world, to cosmic duels with vast alien intelligences, and everything in between. If the BRP rulebook is a toolkit, Fractured Hopes is the shop where you put those tools to work. It is an open-ended sandbox with enough built-in material to get you going, and room to expand and fill as you and your group sees fit.

By Charles Green. 120 pages. Published by Chaosium October 2009.

Edited by Trifletraxor

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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I'm not a fan of kitchen sink games, generally liking more focus in my RP experience, but this new blurb really does a much better job of explaining it and selling to me, so you've got my interest now, Charles. I really like the idea of the character creation scenario.

Could you possibly put up a table of contents for this book? I'd like to see what other new content is in it. Are there any other rules that can be ported to other settings? Or is this primarily a setting book?


"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb



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Could you possibly put up a table of contents for this book? I'd like to see what other new content is in it. Are there any other rules that can be ported to other settings? Or is this primarily a setting book?

I don't have a TOC, since Chaosium got artwork and did the layout for this one. I can post the titles of the various chapters, to give a better idea of what's actually in the book:

Chp 1: Introduction.

Chp 2: Characters (Some discussion of what kind of character you can play, including the Random Character Concept Generator, where you can roll a d100 a few times and wind up with something like"Gunslinging Lizard Assassin" or "Robot Fallen Priest with a Dark Secret.")

Chp 3: Skills. Some new skills particular to the setting, as well as some new ways to use existing skills. In particular, there is a skill that lets a character possess a Voidship. Groups can either use this skill in common to get a single big ship, or to own several smaller ships for a fleet of their very own.

Chp. 4: Powers. A discussion on how to use the various power systems, what place they have in the setting, as well as a handful of new powers and new uses for existing ones.

Chp. 5: Spot Rules. Nothing too fancy, mainly a section of what optional rules I recommend for the setting and why, and how things might be changed by making different choices.

Chp. 6: Voidships. A section on Voidcraft, the main way in which people get around in the new Earth. A voidship can be created out of any existing vehicle, and a techo-magical engine is used to get it moving. I've also got some ideas about using Voidships for chases and ship-to-ship combat.

Chp. 7: Post-Sundering Earth. The main setting chapter, where I describe the sort of places that exist in the new world, with story hooks for using them. I've also included a Fragment generator for GMs who wish to fill the world with new places for players to explore and exploit.

Chp. 8: Gamemastering. Here I highlight the themes of the setting and offer advise on how to bring them home to players during the course of the game. I also have an essay on the Three-Act play structure, and how to use it to create satisfying, off-the-cuff adventures where the GM doesn't know what's going to happen until the players make something happen.

Chp. 9: Equipment. Beyond being a selection of interesting items, this chapter also talks about how equipment that characters choose says something about who they are. This is a combination gear and character chapter.

Chp. 10: Bestiary. While every creature in the BRP book is also in Fractured Hopes, this section also has a bunch of new creatures particular to the setting, including intelligent octopi, and air-sharks that swim between the Fragments.

Chp. 11: Putting the Pieces Together. This introductory adventure finds a group of disparate adventurers in a processing factory, in danger of being turned into mindless combat drones. As they escape, they discover who they are, and what their abilities are as well.

As far as other rules go, this book has some material that is generally useful in other games, as well as a setting that makes explicit use of them. For example, I've included my Minion rules, a Motivation system for earning extra experience checks for following certain actions, and the Voidship design and combat section can be ported into other setting, especially sci-fi ones.

Generally I approach these sorts of books to cover specific rules issues, which are generally compatible with other settings, and use the setting to illustrate my points.

I think it's broadly applicable, but I'm certainly biased. :)

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Another thanks for posting Charles. It may be worth asking Chaosium to revise the blurb text a little to give a sense of what the setting is about, which I didn't get when reading what is listed on the Chaoisum website.

It sounds a novel and interesting setting.

I'll try and pick up a copy this month or next (there are a few new BRP monographs i haven't purchased yet).

Very slowly working towards completing my monograph.

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I picked the up last week and while I have not had a chance to read it from cover to cover, I can say the layout is fantastic and the artwork really captures the setting nicely. From what I have had a chance to read it seems well thought out and interesting.

I personally love multi-genre settings and think this should be required reading for anyone that says you can't combine the various power systems.

Also, the included adventure allows the creation of the characters during play. This really captured my attention and is just one of the many cool things between the covers of Fractured Hopes.

Charles, thanks for the really great setting.


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Charles, thanks for the really great setting.

Thanks for your support. It's nice to hear that people are reading it after so long. I had mostly given up hope that it would ever see print.

I've contacted Chaosium about the blurb. Hopefully they'll get it addressed.

Can anyone who has a copy of the book tell me if any of the artwork is credited to Paul Baker?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Charles, when making a void socerer do you make the craft skill void engineering for creating a void engine? Then the repair void engine is a seperate skill for just making repairs? When creating a void engine can you use occult skill as a complemtary skill for 1/5 bonus for skill check? I really like this setting Charles thank you again.

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Charles, when making a void socerer do you make the craft skill void engineering for creating a void engine?

No. The creation of a Void Engine is entirely covered by casting the Four Elemental Spells with the intention of creating the Engine. There is no craft skill involved.

Then the repair void engine is a seperate skill for just making repairs?

This is correct. Once created, the Void Engine can be repaired by any sorcerer who possesses the Repair (Void Engine) skill.

It is also possible to create a new Void Engine instead of repairing a broken one.

When creating a void engine can you use occult skill as a complemtary skill for 1/5 bonus for skill check?

Since no skill check is involved in the creation of a Void Engine, the Knowledge (Occult) skill has no place in the creation process. However, since there is a skill check involved with the repair process, I see no reason why you couldn't use Knowledge (Occult) as a complementary skill for the Repair (Void Engine) skill check.

I really like this setting Charles thank you again.

I'm glad you like it. :D

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Edited by Charles Green
because I can't spell
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Charles can a Sorcerer know Magician spells in Fractued Hopes? Do Magicians serve Sorcerers in The Order of the Lion?

Sorcerers in Fractured Hopes can indeed know magical spells, so long as their total number of starting powers doesn't exceed the amount a character gets, based on the level of the campaign.

One of the characters is my playtest campaign was a techno-shaman who used both Magic spells and Sorcery to get the abilities he wanted out of the system.

For your second question, I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Sorcerers are no better than any other sort of magic user, and have no special position withing the Order. Position within the Order of the Lion is not based on how your magical abilities manifest, but on length of time in the Order, services rendered, and things of that nature.

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The Essence Crystals are more of a plot device. There is no set method for getting them; they come into play when and if the GM decides they should.

They might be as easy to harvest as finding them and grabbing them, or it might detail a lengthy quest to find one and collect it.

So, I guess the real answer is "it depends".

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Finally! Minion rules in print! :D

Overall, great book. Is there any chance of seeing an expanded gazetteer? Did I detect a bit of 'The Warriors' in the New York write up?

There is an expanded setting/campaign book in the works, but it is sadly on teh back burner for now. My schedule is pretty full for the coming year, and I don't know when I'll find time to get everything scheduled done. I'm tossing around the idea of doing smaller mini-expansions as time permits and putting them up on the Internet somewhere.

At the time I wrote the New York chapter, I hadn't heard of The Warriors, though , as I've become familiar with the title, I can see the similarities.

The New York section is a commentary on how, in times of stress, people fall back to more primal routines. And, since one of the things that we use to identify ourselves is our work, I figured that after the Sundering, the survivors would be more likely to form little tribes around a central trait, so that people who worked similar jobs would eventually turn into gangs.

Plus I liked the image of a gang, still wearing tattered neck-ties, hunting zebra in the ruins of 5th Avenue.

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  • 3 months later...

I have just started reading 'Fractured Hopes', Mr. Green, and my initial impressions are very favourable. I'll review it when I have read through it all, but what has stood out to me most of all is how high you have raised the bar in terms of quality of writing. Content aside (not a positive or negative inference, I just want to focus on your writing), your writing style is really nice to read-through, imparting a feel for the world in a very engaging style. Kudos, Mr. Green, kudos.

Very slowly working towards completing my monograph.

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