A Review of Asunder: A Dark Fantasy RPG

By Peter Bess

Roleplay gamers, it’s time to get excited, a new game is on the horizon! Tuesday, November 17th is the Kickstarter launch for Asunder: A Dark Fantasy RPG from Failed Superheroes Club. You can visit here to request a notification when the campaign launches https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/failedsuperhero/asunder. You can also go here to watch some actual play https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBfluW5HgOw.

Many roleplaying games are focused on a ruleset. This ruleset can then be used by Game Masters in whatever “fantasyland” they wish to set their game. Asunder deviates from this. Those who decide to purchase this game will be getting a ruleset and a world; a world that drives the type of game that will be played.

The World

Asunder is a harsh and broken world in which the gods have left and now the planet is slowly dying. The dead are walking, plague ravages the world, floating islands have begun to sink, and this is only the beginning. The world is not the only thing that has changed due to the gods leaving. The people of Asunder have begun to evolve as well.

Player Characters

A player in this world takes on the role of a Seeker, an individual who sees the signs of the end times and is not content with merely going about their daily lives until oblivion consumes them. They seek answers and are willing to go to great lengths to find them.
In a rather strange but interesting deviation from most mainstream fantasy RPGs, all player characters are human. There are no elves, dwarves, etc. in Asunder. Character variations are determined by where they come from in the world.
Humans from the different areas of the world have been changed by the gods leaving. Their divine Essence, gifted from the gods upon creation, has transformed them. In some areas of the world it transformed their physical appearance. In other places it caused them to bond with plants and animals. And in still others it has given them the ability to defy gravity. 

The Rules

A quick summation of the rules. The game relies on players rolling D20s and D6s. Players will roll their D20 to attempt performing actions and a D6 to determine effects such as damage in combat. Characters have four main attributes: Strength, Agility, Intellect, and Will. They also have three main characteristics: Health, Defense, and Perception. 
The game also uses a Strain system when characters begin to utilize their Essence. If they push their Essence too far a character could become sick, go into a coma, or even die.
Advancement in the game is broken down into 10 levels. The group levels together whenever the Keeper (Game Master) says. The focus for leveling the group is the achievement of story objectives; no XP in this game.

Final Thoughts

I love that the rules and the world are so entwined; it gives the feeling that things have really been fleshed out. I am intrigued by the decision to keep player characters human. All-in-all, I am excited to introduce this new world to my friends and see if it grabs their imaginations as it has mine.