Welcome to Fractured Hope, a fantasy themed role-playing game (RPG) where players watch their characters grow in skill and ability while they overcome challenges, usually as part of a group of characters. This being the Core Rule Book, in it you will find all the information you will need to play and run a successful campaign. Fractured Hope is intended for those new to roleplaying games. It is also intended for those who enjoy a fantasy themed experience rooted in an accessible system. This is the game you would use to introduce your friend who has never played an RPG before to the genre. Every aspect of the design, from system to setting, was intended for the purposes of ease of access and familiarity. So relax, keep reading and most importantly share the adventure.
This section of the book gives all the information a new player, and game master, would need to play. It starts off by describing Fractured Hope and what a roleplaying game is as-well-as discuss players and their characters and game masters. Many seasoned roleplaying gamers may feel that they can skip some of this section and just get to the meat-and-potatoes, as it were, of the game. True, if you’ve played a roleplaying game skip the part that describes what it is. But, take time to read what a game master is to Fractured Hope and how we view player’s interactions with their characters and the game master. Its pertinent information for how we view the game.
A game’s mechanic is the core system(s) which dictate how most actions or decisions are resolved within the game. For the purpose of Fractured Hope these are done using dice rolls.These dice rolls are used in two distinct ways.
MAIN MECHANIC: Opposition Rolls
An Opposition Roll is a roll versus another roll. The majority of all dice rolls used in combat, in both attacking and defending, are opposition rolls.
SECONDARY MECHANIC: Target Numbers
Target Numbers are used when trying to resolve an action against an obstacle. Depending on the difficulty of the task (climbing, sneaking, bluffing, etc.) the target number may be set low for an easy task or set high for a difficult task. In any case the player will want to roll equal to or higher than the target number.
PLAYING FRACTURED HOPE
WHAT is a ROLEPLAYING GAME?
A roleplaying game (RPG) is a game where the player takes on the role of a single character that resides within a given setting that is governed by a set of rules known as a system. Players dictate what their character does through narration and perform actions within the parameters of the game’s system. All this is facilitated and refereed by the game master. That sounds a little dense so how about we lighten it up a bit.
A roleplaying game (RPG) is a game where you create and control a character and collaboratively tell a story with the other players at the table. All of the stuff your character can do in the game, like fighting and climbing and lying, is controlled by rules. If you want to do something in the game you just say what you want to do (in the first person) and as long it follows the rules and is plausible it’s okay. The person who describes your surroundings, makes sure the rules are being followed and controls the non-player characters (NPCs) and enemies is called the game master. That’s better. There’s more to it than that, which is why we have a whole book dedicated to rules and other such things, but that’s the gist of what a roleplaying game is.
THE PLAYERS and THEIR CHARACTERS
The player characters (PCs) are the main characters in any campaign or story within Fractured Hope. They are the actors helping to move the story forward and, in many cases, creating the story along with the game master.
As you play, both you and your character will meet interesting new characters, overcome obstacles and defeat magnificent foes in the face of uncertainty. During all this your character will grow and increase in skill allowing it to take on grander challenges. But also during this time you as the player will grow in your understanding of the not only the game but of your character. Through roleplaying the character comes alive; their history (known as backstory) gets fleshed out, their motivation solidifies as-well-as their personalities and a bond is created between the player their character. This bonding can create a real attachment to a character, to a point that the player does not want anything “bad” to happen to their character. What can occur in some of these cases is known as metagaming.
Metagaming is when a player makes an action based on information or knowledge that their character would not have in game. In Fractured Hope it is frowned upon, as using knowledge in any capacity that a character wouldn’t have in order to advance, avoid conflict or generally “protect” the character or prevent them from failing is contrary to the roleplaying experience. If a player is given some information by the game master and everyone at the table hears it that does not mean all the other characters heard it. If a player, but not the character, has some knowledge on the weakness of a creature they are fighting against and uses that knowledge to create an advantage that is metagaming. We would like players and game masters, in the case of Fracture Hope, to think of this as cheating and avoid doing it. It can be rather difficult especially with new players, so be patient and discuss it at the table when such events occur. Try to avoid making a big deal out of it, maybe replay the scene or just move on with the caveat that everyone should pay attention to such things in the future. The second reason, beyond it being contrary to roleplaying, for metagaming being avoided in Fractured Hope is to remove the idea of winning.
In roleplaying games such as Fractured Hope (not always, but generally) the concept of winning does not exist. Sure, you can get past a combat encounter and say that you won the encounter. However, the group only “wins” if everyone is having fun. Even in cases where all the characters die in some glorious way fun can exist. So, don’t think “how can I win” when playing Fractured Hope, think “how can we all have fun”.
THE GAME MASTER
The game master’s (GM) role within Fractured Hope is multifaceted; they describe the setting, facilitate story (if there is a story, more on this in the GM section), setup challenges for the other players, narrate the results of actions, assume the roles of non-player characters (NPCs) and enemies and make sure the rules of the game are being followed. All that sounds like a lot of work and you’re right it can be if you want it to be. There are a lot of ways to run a roleplaying game as a GM; some people focus more on challenges and combat while others like to focus on story and NPC interactions. If you are considering being the GM for your group first consider what type of campaign you want to run (more on this in Part II of the book). Then run it by the rest of the group. That’s right, let them know what type of campaign you want organize and see if it’s something they would be interested in playing.
Including the players in the campaign decision making process, in regards to what type of campaign they would like to play, reinforces the reality that the game master is part of the group. It is not “GM versus Players” or vice versa but one group with the goal of enjoying the game. Fractured Hope cannot function without a game master or without players, it needs both.
DICE and MODIFIERS
Fractured Hope makes use to dice in gameplay to determine if certain actions are successful or not. Players will roll their dice either against another dice roll or against a static target number. There are times when numbers outside the dice roll are added or subtracted to the results of the roll. These numbers are known as Modifiers. Modifiers can include a weapon’s rating, armor points, a stats level or spell rating or some other source.
In order to play Fractured Hope both players and game masters will need to have the appropriate type of dice. The game makes use of 3 sizes of dice: 6 sided, 8 sided, and 10 sided. These can usually be found at your local hobby shop or game store.
When dice use is described in this rule book it is done so using common short hand notation used by other roleplaying games.
- ‘d’: Stands for die(singular) or dice(plural). A number will follow indicating what size of dice is to be used. For example, d6 refers to a single 6 sided die. Sometimes, especially in Fractured Hope, a number will proceed ‘d’ to indicate how many of that sized die to roll. If you were to see 2d6 it would be read as “2 six-sided dice”.
- ‘d+#’: Rolls that has been modified. For example, 2d6+2 indicates that the player or GM should roll 2 six-sided dice and add 2 to the result. This also works with subtraction (2d6-2) and multiplication as well (2d6x2). Always roll first then add the modifier to the result.
THINGS YOU NEED to PLAY
We’ve talked about the dice you need to play but what other things do you need or might want to have handy when playing Fractured Hope.
- Gridded Game Mat. Fractured Hope uses tactical combat and this book references movement and actions and ranges in terms of “squares”. Gridded game mats can be purchased or you can make one of your own. On the low cost end, butcher paper with a measured out 1 inch grid drawn with a marker is fine. But if you want to actually draw outlines of an interior or exterior of an environment this might not be the best. Another option, get a thin piece of plexiglass or other clear firm plastic material and grid it out with a permanent marker. Then use dry erase markers to draw the environment on the plexiglass.
- Miniatures. “Minis” are used to represent characters, NPCs, monsters/creatures and environmental objects. They can be purchased from your local hobby shop or game store or online. You don’t need to buy specialized miniatures but can substitute them with other figures, such as your favorite customizable character from an interlocking building block toy that is widely available. You could also use a number of other items, such as tokens, as representative of characters and monsters.
- Character Sheets. Character sheets allow you to keep track of your character and all their equipment, skills and abilities. Characters sheets can be found in the back of this book and you may copy them out of the book freely.
- Pencils and Erasers. Always write down information, especially when writing on the character sheet, in pencil and not pen. You will be erasing a lot.