Fragged Empire promises ‘Soulsborne’ flavour for upcoming sourcebook

The bleak, punishing worlds of the Dark Souls videogames have helped it to become one of the most successful franchises of recent years. Now an upcoming sourcebook for ‘post-post-apocalyptic’ RPG Fragged Empire is looking to recreate it’s distinctively Gothic feel on the tabletop.

Fragged Aeternum is one of two books announced for the system, with the other – Fragged Kingdom – looking to introduce rules for city- and empire-building in play. Design Ministries, the Australian publisher behind the game, is running a Kickstarter campaign for both games, which ends in early July.

Wade Dyer, the game’s creator, says that the Aeternum expansion aims to capture the feel of Soulsborne titles – a term given to games inspired by both Dark Souls and its sister title, Bloodborne – through both the setting and through modifications of the rules.

Fragged 2

Perhaps the most important aspect of this is that all of the player characters are immortal. Even if they fall in battle they can quickly come back to life and return to their mission in the dark and dangerous streets of Aeternum.

The fact that the players cannot permanently die is not intended to make the game any easier however. Indeed, in his notes on the Kickstarter Dyer explains that “PC deaths and TPKs are to be expected. GMs are encouraged to not hold back.”

The Fragged Empire system is described as ‘medium-crunch’, though the combat system and wider rules are expected to be slightly simplified for the expansion.

Finding the right feel for a Soulsborne game has proven to be hard in the more controlled environments of videogames and boardgames, with many imitators lacking the right combination of world-building and gameplay. Whether Fragged Empire will find the secret to making it work as an RPG is yet to be seen, though the early art and rules on show appear to be promising.

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