Broken Weave Dev Diary 2: Measuring a Broken World
Welcome back to the second of our ongoing dev diary for Broken Weave — our upcoming post apocalyptic tragic fantasy campaign setting for 5e. This week, we continue our exploration of the Broken World, with more behind-the-scenes concept art and commentary from the developers. Broken Weave comes to Kickstarter in early February, so don’t forget to head to the Kickstarter page and sign up to be notified when it launches!
One of the aspects that stood out to us during our early exploration of the Broken World was the scale. The people we found were dwarfed by their monumental surroundings. The corpses of dead gods littered the landscape, and tiny people and their tiny communities were surrounded on all sides by seemingly endless grim and surreal landscapes — filled with wonders and horrors, ever-changing and unknown.
But rather than let this be a grim world of constant despair, we found a source of defiance and hope in the survivors.
“History has taught us that when good people go through hard times, they don’t just turn on each other. They band together — to survive and build a new future for themselves and their loved ones. That’s where true heroes are found. That’s the seed of hope we wanted to plant at the heart of Broken Weave.”
— Elaine Lithgow, Broken Weave producer
So we took these themes and further developed the setting with them in mind. Soon, we began to see our first glimpses of the inhabitants of the broken world.
‘Since my prior career was in disaster management, I am very familiar with the ways people react to cataclysmic damage, tragedy and loss. This is less about inspiration as it is observation.
The frequent assumption in most post-apocalyptic fiction is that people will turn on each other and that society will disintegrate into a lawless landscape. This sort of fiction glorifies the idea of a lone wolf who lives by his own rules, but the reality is far different. In the aftermath of the unthinkable, communities band together and take care of one another. They make the best of what they have and then they rebuild. The most dangerous thing you can be in the wake of a disaster is alone.
This was the fundamental idea I carried into all of the work I've done for Broken Weave. A world that is wholly bleak doesn't have much to offer in the way of narrative complexity. For a shattered world to have any meaning, it must also have a strong core of hope at its centre.’
— Runesael Flynn, Broken Weave artist
These themes not only informed the aesthetic of the setting but also influenced the core gameplay mechanics themselves. We’ll discuss this in more detail in later blogs. Needless to say, we found, amid the surreal wastelands of our tragic fantasy world, a people who had not given up hope. Those who held fast to precious memories, who lovingly decorated their homes, and undertook great endeavours regardless of the odds.
Join us in our next dev blog, where we’ll learn about some of the strange and terrifying creatures that inhabit the Broken World, and what you can expect when you face them.
Broken Weave comes to Kickstarter in early February, so don’t forget to head to the Kickstarter page and sign up to be notified when it launches!