A post-apocalyptic tragic fantasy setting for 5th edition
Welcome to The Broken World
Broken Weave is a post-apocalyptic tragic fantasy campaign setting for 5th edition. The weave of magic is broken, the gods are dead, the lands are shattered, and the world has begun to forget what it once was. Time and distance have lost their meaning, and the knowledge of how things once were crumbles like ash between your fingers. Those who remain, struggle to survive in a shattered world ruled by Decay, which eats at memory and warps people into monsters, and monsters into nightmares.
But all is not lost. Hope survives despite the odds. Community and trust in one another can remake the world. Walking forgotten paths gives them permanence. Sharing stories rekindles lost memories. Artefacts from before the breaking grant wonders from the past, and everywhere fragile communities gather together to create a new way of life.
Players take on the roles of brave survivors from a small settlement located somewhere in the Broken World. Together you fight to build a home and life amid the surreal landscapes and twisting horrors around you. Explore the shifting lands surrounding your settlement. Hunt decayed monsters for protection and resources. Delve into ancient ruins for secrets that can revolutionise your settlement. Then, when terrible darkness tries to snuff out the home you have built together, resist with every ounce of your being.
Broken Weave is a post-apocalyptic tragic fantasy setting, where hope and community is the only path forward.
‘Speak it, and make it real. Forget it, and it never was…’
— Fidala, Sage of the Golden Basin
Imagine a typical high fantasy setting — it could even be the one your group is playing in now. Now, imagine if the Weave of magic — a ubiquitous force which holds the fabric of the universe together — was broken. What would happen? What would it do to the magical landscapes and the creatures that call this fantasy world home? What about divine beings or arcane artefacts that are infused with magic? How could people survive in a land so fundamentally altered?
These are the questions you face in Broken Weave.
How and why the Weave broke is lost to time. Myths claim it was a great arcane cataclysm, or a god-killer who slew the heavens with one fell swipe. Some pragmatists claim it was simply the inevitable outcome of too many people pulling too hard upon the Weave, until it came apart in their greedy hands. Regardless of the reason, the Weave broke.
Magic unravelled and became a twisting force of uncontrollable change and entropy we now call Decay. Cities fell overnight as the arcane wonders of civilisation came apart at the seams with cataclysmic results. The moon fractured and rained down upon the world in fiery chunks. The gods died and their corpses fell from the heavens to scatter across the land. And the world itself twisted and cried out in protest. Even the minds of the most mundane mortal came undone, eroding like moth-eaten cloth as they cried out for salvation that would never come.
When the worst of the collapse was over, the world was changed in ways still not fully understood. The Weave once bound reality together. Without it, time and space shift and change at a whim. Cities, now ruined by calamity and made toxic by arcane relics, lie abandoned — or worse, haunted by the gnarled remnants of their people. Strange cults harvest god-corpses for the faint power of their rotting flesh. Even the most kind-hearted soul must face the inevitable pull of Decay — their bodies and minds constantly eroded at the edges by horrifying curses.
Yet life goes on. Sages say the Breaking was centuries ago, so now the survivors must adapt to the Broken World. They must resist Decay and build Havens, to survive together and keep the darkness at bay one accursed day at a time. The bravest go out to forge connections with other survivors, to reclaim the land with every footstep and rekindle memory with every spoken word. Then, when the decayed monsters crawl from the wilderness to threaten the survivor’s fragile homes, they fight back with everything they have.
Your only defence against Decay are the companions at your side, and the hope for a better world. Hope is a tangible power in the Broken World, one which can spur you to heroic deeds in the face of oblivion, or even hold reality together… for a time. After all, Hope is hard won and easily lost.
The Broken World is a strange and psychedelic one. A once beautiful world viewed through a broken kaleidoscope — terribly grim in some ways, hauntingly beautiful in others. A place where you simply never know what fate will throw at you next. Step off the well-trod path unprepared and you may find yourself stumbling into a shattered city that wasn’t there the day before, or hunted by a contorted monster that screams with the voice of an old friend.
So gather your allies and prepare to defend your home from the creeping end of all things… and maybe one day you can repair the Broken Weave.
Broken Weave is compatible with 5e, the fifth edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game as its foundation, and C7d20, our new d20 system which will launch later this year.
Broken Weave builds upon both systems in a number of exciting ways:
- Five new classes specifically crafted for the Broken World: the Maker, the Seeker, the Speaker, the Sage, and the Warden. Each one is a skilled survivor driven by hope to face the strange and unknown world around them.
- New gameplay mechanics for Hope and Decay, opposing forces which constantly reinforce and erode the characters and the world around them.
- The Lifepath, a detailed character creation system which builds a family for your character, generates important experiences, gives them a place in the world, and more. These become your character’s most important memories, which can grant you Hope in dire times, or be lost forever due to the sinister effect of Decay.
- Unique Curses for Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings. Each curse progresses gradually as the characters lose Hope and are exposed to Decay. Fight against your transformation into an undead monster, or bite back horror as your body turns into beautiful, immobile crystal, inch by painful inch.
- A system for Breaking Monsters: Take your favourite 5e creatures and apply Decay to them, twisting their appearance and abilities until they are uncanny beings fit for the broken world.
- Mechanics for encountering and combatting Titans — towering monsters which stalk the landscape like natural disasters, spreading decay in their wake.
- Detailed travel mechanics based on our widely successful Uncharted Journeys system, to make your journeys across the broken world truly unforgettable.
- A system for harvesting the creatures of the broken world and using their remains to craft strange and unique equipment.
- Detailed methods of creating a Settlement for your party to call home and nurture together — including key characters, resources, and threats they must face. This system can also generate neighbouring settlements to ally or feud with.
- And when the adventure is over, the book provides rules for Generational Play — a system for retiring your heroes and advancing the timeline of your settlement. Watch how your hero's actions shape your settlement’s growth over generations. Then take on a new adventure as their descendants, shaped by the legacy of past heroes actions and choices.
The Broken Weave core rulebook gives players and GMs everything they need to begin playing, including a setting guide including settlements, factions, and monsters to encounter in your journeys through the Broken World. Future books will expand the included bestiary, offer more adventure locations, and adventures to embark upon.
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. Read more...
Dev Diary 3: Creature Feature
Welcome back to our ongoing series of developer diaries for Broken Weave, the post-apocalyptic tragic fantasy setting for 5th edition. Today, we tear our gaze away from the shifting horizons of the Broken World and gaze upon how we created the Decayed creatures that inhabit it. Read more...
Dev Diary 4: Monster Mashup
Welcome back to our ongoing series of developer diaries for Broken Weave, the post-apocalyptic tragic fantasy setting for 5th edition. Today, we continue our previews for the creatures of the Broken World, and how we created them during the early development of the game. Read more...
Looking for More?
The Kickstarter for Broken Weave goes live on the 8th of February 2023. Register your interest here to be notified when the campaign goes live.
Looking for more great Broken Weave content? You can find our behind the scenes dev diary series on the making of Broken Weave here.