Writer and Kickstarter Campaign
Tabletop Roleplaying Game
Through the Breach is a tabletop roleplaying game set in the world of Malifaux. Players take on the roles of various citizens, such as Gunfighters, Drudges, Dabblers, and Entertainers. Each of these characters is as unique as the players themselves. These are the Fated. As a Fated, you know your future, it has been told to you, as cryptic as the sparrow on a moonless night. It is your task to rush headlong into the arms of destiny, or to carve your own future.
Every man and woman worth his or her salt in Malifaux has handled a gun, and no one without explosive supernatural powers is safe enough to not feel some comfort by having a gun pressed firmly into their palm. Guns are a common and necessary way of life, everyone’s life. However, for most of the inhabitants of Malifaux, guns are just a means to an end. Whether it be for self-defense, extortion, revenge, justice, or cold-blooded murder, the gun is a mere step in a process – a discardable tool to get from intention “A” to result “B”.
There is, however, a class of people who seek to elevate the gun beyond a tool. For a Gunslinger, the gun is the only end. Gunslingers strive to learn the language of the gun, so that every draw from their holster makes the exact statement they want to make, and that they have both the first and final words if they want them. Guns become a canvas for precise and raw expression. What comes after a shootout is often irrelevant to the execution of the shootout itself. In a Gunslinger’s mind, it’s all about the skill and the craft.
Of course, a Gunslinger needs to eat. They recognize their talents are in demand, but they gauge work in challenge, not in pay. Every job is just a test, another chance to prove they are the fastest, another chance to know they are the most accurate, and another chance to observe and refine their own shortcomings. It’s a happy coincidence for a Gunslinger that pay and challenge usually go hand in hand.
The greatest challenges in the known and unknown worlds are breachside, and steely-eyed veterans and wide-eyed youths alike – everyone following the way of the gun – are all enticed by the call of Malifaux. Earthside, corners of the world in which a man can make an honest, independent living as a gunfighter are shrinking, further pushing an exodus of able-bodied Gunslingers into the breach. In many ways, the re-opening of the breach has revitalized a way of life in its twilight.
In the plains, alleyways, and saloons of Malifaux, Gunslingers look on all else as calculations and collateral. The average person lives in fear of shots fired – Gunslingers are ready for it, hungry for it. Their profession is exercised successfully on fractions of a second, and their attention sits unwaveringly at the edge of each moment.
Most Gunslingers have an inseparable tendency towards independence, content to practice and hunt on their own, but a few will endeavor to sign up under the Ortega family, the one place any Gunslinger can be sure to learn more than they would solo. Unfortunately, those lessons have cost many an amateur Gunslinger their life.
For when times get lean, no Gunslinger is a stranger to rough living, whether it be from a dry spell in jobs, or due course in the work itself. Their world fits in a rucksack and packs nicely on a horse. Even the wealthiest Gunslingers will often look like they spent the previous night alone on the prairie. Ostentatious displays of social status are not in the Gunslinger’s vocabulary, and their money can be measured as bullets, beans, whiskey, and the occasional shave. As long as they can keep breathing, they can continue to hold a gun, and as long as they can hold a gun, they can continue to chase perfection. All else is distraction.
While the iconic sidearm of the Gunslinger is the six-gun, most can find their way around a coach gun as well. Their relationship with their guns is deeply personal, part reverence, and part pleasure. Every Gunslinger has more than a few pieces in their personal collection, and a good portion of their downtime is spent oiling actions, brushing out barrels, dialing in sights, bluing steel, making custom attachments, and re-loading spent brass. Gunslingers know their guns will only treat them as well as they treat their guns, and its a rare Gunslinger left living that hasn’t made gun care a passion. A misfire due to a dirty barrel is a mistake most only get to make once.
Regardless of morality, the life of a Gunslinger is guaranteed to be a bloody one, and more often than not, a short one. Each has his or her reasons for willfully chasing deadly circumstances, whether it be hubris, naivete, or a genuine talent for it. Whatever the cause it cannot be denied that, for those who live to tell the tale, few weave their way into history and legend as readily as the Gunslinger.