Well, I finally did it, I created my own fantasy heartbreaker, set in my Dungeon Age world of Harth, and it’s called… Harthbreaker.
What is it?
Harthbreaker is my homebrew system. It’s what I use to play games with my friends (and my kids). I’ve been using and refining it for a couple of years now. More specifically…
Harthbreaker is a rules-light 2d6 fantasy RPG. Game content is set in the world of Harth, which leans toward dark fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, the Dying Earth genre, and similar materials. It is a skill-based, class-less Powered by the Apocalypse game.
Why did I make this?
Well, I personally like games that ride more on creativity and speed than on rules and precision. I don’t want to count squares, or read long monster stat blocks, or interpret long spell descriptions. I prefer to have the Indiana Jones experience of trying to do whatever crazy stunt seems to make sense in the moment, and letting the dice fall where they may.
So for instance, in Harthbreaker, there are many types of magic such as fire magic or blood magic, but they all work the same way. You simply describe what you want your magic to do, and hopefully the dice say you succeed. Darts, walls, giant hands, mindless constructs? Whatever you can imagine! The only differences are mechanically logical: fire can ignite things, and blood can drown things, etc.
Similarly, the Harthbreaker monster stats are very simple: how many hits to kill it, is it faster or slower than an adventurer, is it bigger or smaller than an adventurer, how does it attack, and how much damage does it do. That’s about it. The mini-description tells the GR (the Game Runner!) a few core details, like what this creature wants or fears, or how it operates (ambusher, scavenger, pack hunter). And that’s it.
Oh, also, I made this because a bunch of folks asked me if I would publish my homebrew rules. And I hate to disappoint folks. So here it is. I hope you enjoy it.
What’s actually in it?
There’s a 10-page player’s guide, including the character sheet, instructions for character creation, and descriptions of the 28 Special Skills.
Then there are 57 pages of the Game Runner’s guide, which includes 35 tables and lists to help you create all sorts of adventure content, including creatures, villages and NPCs, villains and conflicts, wildernesses and encounters, dungeons and traps, magical items and weapons, a sample adventure “A Theft in Lonely Moor”, and a lot (lot!) more.
If nothing else, you should be able to raid those tables and lists for useful gaming ideas.
So go check out Harthbreaker on DTRPG.