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An evolving game of investigation and espionage,
where Echoes wield dangerous, reality-warping powers,
& living gods meddle in the affairs of humanity...
WELCOME TO...
Broken Shield 2.0
A fast-paced, science-fiction investigation roleplaying game for 2-6 players.
All new Second Edition | Coming 2018 | Powered by the HexDNA system
BROKEN SHIELD.

An exciting and evolving spies & cops roleplaying game
set in the world of the Agency Case Files

Learn more from the tabs below

With the Core Setting Book you will play characters that are either agents — part federal cop and part spy — in the Agency, or London Metropolice cops.

Some missions will be moody and noir like, others will be like high intensity action movies while most will be a mix of the both, but all will be fun!

Your characters have the opportunity to change the world they live in for the better. They may be flawed, but they're still heroes.

Broken Shield will be expanded by regular issues of WeaveNet Now! an in-universe news source that also comes with missions for your group to play as well as mini-supplements that will expand the universe in bite-sized chunks and will let you play as marines, pirates and more!

Broken Shield is set in — but not limited by — the world of the Agency Case File novels by Gunnar Roxen. The RPG universe will be free to evolve in its own direction.
London of Broken Shield

The World of Broken Shield

The core setting book is London, a densely-populated mountain of humanity and the last major city on Earth.

Geographically at the heart of the former Steel Alliance, Earth is the birthplace of humanity and former capitol. Once the grandest city in the universe, much of its lustre gone, London is a hub of espionage and secrets. Forgotten by many, the actions that happen here still have the power to shake the whole universe. London is the beating heart of conspiracy, treachery and politics in the Steel Alliance.

Broken Shield missions are set in Steel Year 2425, many thousands of years in our future. Despite that vast span of time between our present and Steel Alliance London, the world is still recognisable. People are still people and life goes on, albeit with a few changes. Arguably chief amongst these differences are that humanity is bound by the Alliance of Steel with The Overlord and His pantheon of gods known as Disciples who are very present and very real.

Apart from the Disciples, there are no known alien species, but even so, humanity is no longer the same. We have evolved several new subspecies, known as Breeds, such as the intense and intimidating Pures, powerful and brutish Hulks and the close-minded, transhuman Gethan.

The Breeds are not even the greatest change, that would be Echoes. Echoes are people who reshape reality by force of will via the power of the Wyld. Their awesome abilities come with a cost: their eventual death as they are consumed by the Wyld Cancer. Perhaps because of this very human weakness, Echoes in Broken Shield are not four-colour super-powered stereotypes, they are exceptional people, but still just people nonetheless. Echoes must learn how to handle the power they know will ultimately destroy them in a world that both envies and fears them.

A view over London
1

Idea

Gather up your pool of dice for the relevent skill, one of which must be the Drama Dice.

Example: you have a pool of 4 dice. The red one is the Drama Die:

   
2

Check Difficulty

Most tasks are 4+, but tasks can range from 3+ to 6+ as the target number.

Example: 4 or higher
3

Roll Dice

Roll your dice. If the Drama Dice rolls a 1 you get a Complication if it rolls a 6 you get a Boost.

Example: you get these results: 3,2,4 and a 6 on the Drama Dice, so you got a Boost!

   
4

Results

Work out how many rolled the Difficulty or higher. If you get three or more you succeed.

Example: you only got 2 successes, but as one was a roll of 6 on the Drama Die you got a Boost and that is enough to succeed.

The HexDNA System

Broken Shield is powered by the new HexDNA system, a “success with complications” dicepool system that keeps the game moving along at a brisk rate and helps create stories that will surprise you all!

The HexDNA system that powers the Broken Shield RPG is built around six principles: visual appeal, consistent logical systems, success with complications, cinematic action, everything’s a character and keep it personal.

Principle 1: visual appeal

The elements of the system should look and feel like things you would find in the game world. The Character Sheet and Build Sheet are the sort of files you could imagine Agents Aries and Lovelace finding. The elements of the game should feel like they exist. The iconography of the game system should mesh smoothly with that of the game world. That is why I’ve gone to such efforts to make the layout of the rules as clear as possible and why you will find the semiotics of the Steel Alliance all over this book.

Principle 2: consistent logical systems

A guiding rule for the design of the HexDNA system was that once you learnt the basics you should be able to intuit how later rules would work, so no edge cases. This design philosophy created one test for every rule: does it add additional potential for fun in the game, or is it just adding complexity? That is why I opted for only addition and subtraction in the system rather than having any complicated formulae. I want to keep it accessible and clean.

Principle 3: success with complications

Traditionally in a game, if you fail a skill roll progress can be stopped unless the situation changes, or more often than not the GM lets you roll again until you succeed. That isn’t fun. What is fun though are fumbles and criticals. Those moments when things become unique. So, I realised that what I wanted was a greater level of success but with a higher chance of complication. That is where the Drama Dice was born. Now you can succeed and have things go wrong at the same time which is far more cinematic!

Even better, I found that players really enjoyed suggesting and describing the nature of their character’s Complications. It fits a maxim that has always featured prominently in my game designs: punish characters but reward players.

Principle 4: cinematic action

After everything is said and done the game should encourage smooth-flowing cinematic action with the minimum amount of time lost to looking up rules. Smooth-flowing action requires clarity. If one dice roll will do, don’t make the players roll five times. This is not an attempt to overly-simplify the game, there is as much crunch here as you want, but it is an attempt to make the game facilitate and support fun stories rather than holding them back.

Principle 5: everything is a character

This is a simple rule, and one I borrowed from Fate: everything and everyone in the game should be treated as a character. People and spaceships alike all have the same stats, so if you understand one, you understand them both. This also means if you want a story about a living ship you can have it!

Principle 6: keep it personal

Both the HexDNA system, the Broken Shield game world and the Agency Case Files Novels are all the work of a really small team. We're not a big publisher, there are no masses of writers toiling away on books. This is a personal project driven by passion and the awesome feedback from everyone who playtests it. I do hope you enjoy it! Everything else in the system builds off these core mechanics, so now you know the basics!

Join the London Metropolice!

Broken Shield Themes

Broken Shield is built around three core themes:

Theme 1: Law Enforcement & Espionage

In Broken Shield, you play the agents of the Agency and cops of the London Metropolice.

Broken Shield is about the mirror worlds of law enforcement and espionage. In one you are servants of the law, seeking to right wrongs and bring the guilty to justice, while in the other there are no absolutes of good and evil and everyone and everything is for sale and victory is the only truth.

The London Agency is the local office of what was once the single largest intelligence and federal security body in the Steel Alliance. But after the devastating Civil War, the Agency is a shadow of its former self. Still, even now the Agency has plenty of capability to shake things up. The London Metropolice are the privatised ancient police force of London, struggling every day to hold the city together despite ancient vendettas, rivalries and tensions.

Theme 2: Individual Heroism

In Broken Shield, you play the heroes whose actions will shape the universe.

Broken Shield is about gifted people living in extraordinary times and all actions having consequences. London’s strategic position at the centre of a means the action of individuals here can — and will — change the fate of ten-thousand worlds.

Theme 3: Action & Adventure

Broken Shield is a mix of investigation and fast-paced drama.

The HexDNA system which powers this game was built for cinematic games, a light and fast system that is still capable of great depth. It blends concepts from modern, narrative-based games with the satisfying crunchiness of more mechanical games while never letting rules get in the way of fun.

Broken Shield is a fantastical universe, yet one that feels very much like home. You explore and reshape it in your adventures. What will you make of this world? Will you stay confined to London or will your adventures end up taking in the thousands of worlds of the fractured states of the Steel Alliance?

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  • FREE copy of the Dead Angels ebook by Gunnar Roxen
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  • Adventures
  • Short stories

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Weave Net Now!

Expanding the universe of Broken Shield one issue at a time!

WeaveNet Now! is a quarterly in-universe/in-character news supplement filling you in on the latest happenings in the game world as well as missions for your group and mini-guides that expand the universe in bite-sized chunks!

But be careful, because not everything in the news section can be trusted!

An evolving setting

The latest news in London. Who knows, maybe your adventures will feature? Featuring the latest in business, lifestyle, entertainment, metaphysical and conflict news with indepth editorials. But is it true? It is up to you!

Insider's Guide To...

London... Soho & Victory... The Rock... and more will get their own Insider's Guide To... treatment. Eventually we'll move off world to explore the rest of the Accord and the fractured stats of the Steel Alliance!

Gearhead's Paradise

Find out what the latest gear is - from that new Sliver implant you've been lusting after to the lastest in espionage tech to curtting edge Aerospace Fighters and spacecraft. Gearhead's Paradise will cover it all.

Classified Missions

You've read the stories, now play the missions. In each edition of WeaveNet Now! one of the stories will directly link to a pre-made mission.

Mission Seeds

Each edition will feature a set of short mission seeds that you can use to inspire your own missions.

Mooks and Masters

New Mooks and Masters to include in your missions as threats, contacts, allies and deadly foes!

...and more!

Over time we will add new guides, features and events - some of which will directly based on the adventures of player groups!

Join our FREE Broken Shield online community on Discord!
Chat directly with the designers, find groups, ask questions, and get involved!

Click on the Discord logo below to join now:


Broken Shield Discord
Broken Shield Design Team.

Building worlds of adventure.

I love creating worlds.

I'm the Designer of Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition RPG and author of The Wyld Hunt and Dead Angels novels. I made computer games for over a decade.
Gunnar Roxen
Author/Designer

I love designing environments and illustrating characters

I made computer games for over a decade and now I'm an independent visual FX supervisor for TV and film.
Ken Turner
Art

I love seeing the stories that evolve around the gaming table.

I used to make computer games now I work with quantum technologies.
Hannah Rowlands
Design/Business
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