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Sell me on "Through the Breach"


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I'm assuming you already play RPGs, so my advertising will focus on what makes it special/different:

The Good:

-Expanded Malifaux lore

-Flexible class system allows you to hop between classes each session with no extra cost.

-A deck of cards has memory unlike dice, which can build anticipation.

-Twist Decks give players some options to guarantee certain results.

-Lots of plot hook and story-driven mechanics (many of which are optional).

-Continued support via lots of adventure book releases and multiple expansions in the works. Some of these serve to improve on clunky bits in the core books.

-If you play the Malifaux skirmishgame, then the rules are quick to pick up, skirmish stats can be used to fill in the bestiary, and the models are great if you plan on running RPG games with models.

The Bad:

-Fixed value targets combined with a card deck can produce the awkward situation where failure is guaranteed and everyone knows.

-Class system is still a class system rather than fully free-form (that might just be a personal gripe for me though).

-Book expansions could quickly add more rules than some want to deal with (though as always are optional).

-Doesn't work very well for extremely long, epic campaigns [yet?]

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I agree with the above assessment and think it really sums the game up well. It is a bit difficult (for me at least) to sell the game without knowing the desires and experiences of the intended play group. All I can offer in this regard is that it is a good system for players that want to really participate in the narrative.

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Many thanks for the replies!  I apologize for not providing more info.

I've been playing RPGs since the 80's.  Dabbled in miniature war-gaming here and there, but my main interest would be in the RPG aspects.

As far as the rest of the group, well, I'm looking to set up a new group down at my FLGS.  As I mentioned the game was getting favorable talk down there.

Are there game-specific card decks or do you use standard 52/54 card decks?

Class system games don't bother me, especially when "multi-classing" is easy and not penalized.

How much familiarity with Malifaux is required?

I'm disappointed I missed the kickstarter.  Looks like there was some cool stuff in it.


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You can use any standard card deck as long as it contains two different jokers. You'll just want to print out the card suit conversion table ( ie: hearts = rams).

Knowledge of Malifaux probably helps most with Fatemasters since good mechanics knowledge helps with crafting and keeping track of encounters. For lore the Through the Breach books are more than enough.

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Knowledge of Malifaux, either the system or the setting, is not required to play TtB.  That being said, the major draw is the world.  Malifaux takes steampunk Victorian (which on its own might be kind of overdone and hipseterish) and adds a really twisted, Tim Burton-esque darkness.  You can explore horror themes using the Neverborn as a kind of Cthulhu, Indian Jones type pulp adventure, magic, politics, dungeon crawling in the sewers, just to scratch the surface.

Personally I am not a fan of the system, but that's easily worked around too, since Malifaux provides a ready-made mechanic that you can swap in pretty much wholesale.

I definitely think it is worth a try.    

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I think the biggest draws for having knowledge of the Malifuax TTG is the added fluff pieces (to create the right mood and potentially grab some easy story hooks from the minor characters) and the dual use of the TTG model stats functioning as a bare bones Named character "combat" Bestiary for the RPG (these are pretty much direct ports, though the more "social" side of the characters will need to be fleshed out a bit). I would set the tone/ intent of your campaign (story driven, combat light) early with your group (like during character generation), especially if they are coming from the Malifaux TTG (players coming over can easily produce characters that will stress the challenge of encounters).

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