January game – Heartbreaker

Heartbreaker was our January patreon release. It has now been taken down, but it will appear before too long in our https://blackarmada.itch.io/.

Hi folks

January’s game is Heartbreaker, my tribute to Elric of Melnibone, the fantasy book that made me fall in love with fantasy books. It’s a Lovecraftesque hack, or perhaps closer to a Bleak Spirit hack, but with some significant changes. Like those games, Heartbreaker gives you a single protagonist who you take turns to play, and a weird world that is revealed one piece of Lore at a time, again taking turns to do so. But Heartbreaker comes with a Companion and Villains that you can talk to, as well as a simple combat system in which the protagonist may win or lose, creating ups and downs in their journey.

Here’s the blurb:

In a strange world of decaying empires and mad gods, you are a fated warrior and sorcerer bearing the cursed sword, Heartbreaker. The game follows your adventures as you wander the land. You will meet dangerous monsters, deadly rivals and embattled victims. All desire you, whether as an ally, pawn, or saviour. You have the power to shape this world. Are you ready to meet your fate?

This is a GMless game for 2-5 players inspired by the stories of Michael Moorcock. You share the central character, their sword and the strange peoples and creatures they encounter.

Using a core structure and mechanics similar to Lovecraftesque and Bleak SpiritHeartbreaker explores fantastical worlds and epic struggles in a world of ravening hordes and mad gods. You will wield your sorcerous powers and cursed sword to bring victory – but at what cost?

For this game I’m trying out distribution through Itch. If you follow this link, you should be able to link your itch account and access the file through itch, meaning it will always be in your itch library, and if I ever update the game you will get an updated copy. I’m really interested to know the reaction to this – is it helpful to share stuff in this way? If you’ve used it with other Patreons you support, have you had any issues with it?

Just in case the itch thing is a disaster for anyone, I’m attaching the game to this post as well.

Finally, I want to mention that we’re taking a break from releasing Patreon games in February, and maybe March/April depending on how things go. Running two crowdfunding campaigns in rapid succession while maintaining a Patreon and a podcast has taken it out of me a bit, and I feel like I’m having to run just to stand still. Becky is currently struggling to balance work and game design, so this is a break for her too. I hope to use the intervening time to design more games for you but at a more leisurely pace, and perhaps build up a bit of a buffer of already-designed stuff so I’m not quite so under the cosh. Of course, We’re pausing Patreon payments so you won’t be charged during this break.

I hope you enjoy Heartbreaker, and we’ll be back before you know it 🙂