Quickstarter Broken Compass review: an explosive preview

A few days after its release, we had the opportunity to try the Broken Compass quickstarter together with one of the authors and we are here to tell you how it went in this new review

Adventure, mystery, travel and treasures: these are the key elements of the new Broken Compass. We have already talked about the latest Two Little Mice game in a series of articles released a few weeks ago; but in these days we have been lucky enough to immerse ourselves in a quickstarter presentation session, and moreover guided by one of the two authors. The result was an online pilot lasting over three hours in the heart of Bangladesh in the 30s, full of danger, luck (and a lot of it) and adventure. In fact, our group of four adventurers set out into the wild Bangladeshi jungle in search of treasures and mysteries to unravel. But not before landing a destroyed plane at a smugglers' base. Are you curious to find out how? You just have to go on and read.



Of crashing planes and daring escapes

After a quick introduction to the game system and the conceptual world of Broken Compass, Riccardo Sirignano catapulted us into the adventure. To be precise, on a private plane belonging to Mr. Lagari, a Bangladeshi landowner with a passion for ancient artifacts. He is the one who brought together the group of treasure hunters who are the protagonists of this daring journey. I was dressed as Dr. Laura Binoit, an expert in archeology and a passionate explorer; by my side, there were Caleb Stone (a robust and badass fighter), Jake O'Donnell (our daredevil par excellence) and Donnie “Didi” Dalton (smuggler and experienced pilot of cars and planes).

Quickstarter Broken Compass review: an explosive preview

The protagonists of our adventure, or the pregen of the quickstarter. In order: Jake O'Donnell, Laura Benoit, Caleb Stone and Donnie "Didi" Dalton



In the heart of Bangladesh

United by this common quest, we were immediately thrown into the fray when our plane landed in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh; here, a group of hostile soldiers tried to take us out and only Didi's ability (and the aforementioned great luck), allowed us to save our skin. This is how our journey in Broken Compass began; journey that prompted us to climb out of the windows of a flying plane to release a piece that got stuck; to land the plane through the broken headset in the Bangladeshi jungle and to have the thugs of our bitter rival fired on us again.

To then lead us straight to our destination, the mysterious temple of the god Caitanya. In all this, we got to know each other and get to know Riccardo and his Broken Compass; and, at least as far as I'm concerned, the knowledge was really valuable. The three hours of adventure slipped away lightly as we quickly got carried away with the game's rules system. And towards the end, we handled our characters well enough to allow us to enrich the narrative with amazing actions, which gave spice and spice to the whole adventure.

An enthusiastic review of the Broken Compass quickstarter

The result? Well, this first taste of Broken Compass has only increased the curiosity and the desire to find out what the full version has in store for us.. But let me tell you what, in my opinion, the main advantages of this adventure were.


The mechanics of d6

First, the system of rules. In fact, Broken Compass relies on the Fortune System, a d6 launch system that determines our successes based on the number of identical faces resulting from the shot.. The more skilled we are at doing a given thing, the greater the number of d6s we will roll, and therefore the likelihood of getting identical faces. The challenge rank of our tests is instead determined by the Fortune Master and establishes the minimum number of identical faces that we must obtain.


For example, landing a bullet-riddled plane at a smugglers' base could be an extreme action, requiring at least one four of a kind (four identical faces, whatever number they are). Climbing on a rope hanging from the aforementioned riddled plane and in flight, and then re-entering the window carrying a companion on the shoulder, is instead considered a decidedly impossible action. Or as my Laura would say after shaking off the glass residue from the aforementioned window, only highly improbable.

Why is the Fortune System the first quality, you may be wondering? Well, because the simplicity of this mechanic makes the sessions agile and fluid. Those of you who have already tried it with Household know it well, it takes very little to get into the mechanism; and once learned, you don't get involved in complex shots and boring long and thick calculations. You roll, you check if you have obtained the necessary number of faces, and if you do, you use the mechanics of risk to roll. Praying good luck not to let us lose what we had already achieved.


Quickstarter Broken Compass review: an explosive preview

La Fortuna | Review al quickstarter di Broken Compass

To strengthen the mechanics of the Fortune System there is precisely the concept of Fortune. As experienced adventurers, we certainly can't get hit that easily by a flying bullet, or fall into a ditch without landing in a lucky cave a few meters away. In Broken Compass, each hero has ten luck points and one or more lucky charms at his disposal, which constitute his stash of lucky stars.. When a particularly complex situation or mortal danger strikes the adventurers, they save their skin but lose luck, up to a maximum of ten points. After those, all that remains is to rely on your lucky object, which could deflect, for example, the terrible bullet that was about to send us to the other world. And that it could break in the process.


La Fortuna, without a doubt, makes the whole session that much more compelling, as well as in line with the adventure films we are used to loving. Knowing that it was a benevolent blindfolded goddess who saved us adds zest to the whole narrative, and pushes us to take more dangers than normal in the certainty of our lucky stars. At least until this runs out and we are forced to come to terms with our own mortality.

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

But in my opinion the winning side of Broken Compass is undoubtedly the collaboration element. From the creation of the characters and the adventure to the actual development of the episodes, every element of the game is created and enriched by all the people at the table. We collaborate to decide the stories of the adventurers (which instead of being expressed in the form of a background develop on stage, following the famous cinematic concept of the don't tell show); we collaborate to decide on an action and to choose how to narrate it; and we work together to give depth and richness to the game world; which in fact develops over the course of each episode and the entire season, adapting to the preferences of the players.

The Fortune Master watches over history, but there is far less power in his hands than in other RPGs. His is the creation of Rivals and Challenges, but otherwise he himself is called by the game to harmonize the tastes and choices of its players. The result of this collaborative spirit is a truly compelling narrative, which feeds on the inspirations and ideas of all the people at the table. Provided of course to play with the right group

Quickstarter Broken Compass review: an explosive preview

How long will it take before a group of adventurers blow up this idyllic place? If it is about our group, very little | Quickstarter Broken Compass Review

In summary

But maybe it's time to pull the strings of this long and a bit exalted review at the Broken Compass quickstarter a bit. As you may have guessed, the pilot played with Riccardo Sirignano did nothing but stimulate in me the desire to play the definitive version. It was three hours of immersion in our imaginary Bangladesh, devoted to adventure and storytelling. With the rest of the group we had fun, excited and often worried about the fate of our adventurers. And we lived moments full of adrenaline, without forgetting to collaborate and commit ourselves to enrich the story that unfolded before our eyes.

There were moments of embarrassment, of course, especially at the beginning, since we didn't know each other and had never played Broken Compass. But the simple mechanics and the taste for challenge and travel soon made us forget all shyness, giving us memorable jokes and a really pleasant atmosphere, even from a distance.. A pity that the master isn't included in the kickstarer package, though; because if we had fun it was undoubtedly also thanks to Riccardo Sirignano and the history he created for us. In collaboration, I imagine, with my colleague Simone Formicola, to whom unfortunately only these virtual compliments go (and maybe, in the future, we will be able to play with him too).

And if this Broken Compass review has made you thirsty for adventure, here is the quickstarter

And that's it, at least for the moment. While waiting to be able to finance the kickstarter of the game, here we will continue to try the quickstarter with different game groups, to whet the desire to have the complete game in their hands too. For all of you who read on the other side of the screen and have begun to curl your mustaches at the idea of ​​trying an adventure like this, know that the Broken Compass quickstarter is already available for free. To get it, just subscribe to the newsletter and it will be sent to you by email.

While for the full version, the kickstarter opening date is scheduled for May 7th. In the meantime, we advise you if the opportunity to take advantage of one of the online sessions with Two Little Mice returns. They are reported from time to time on the group dedicated to the game, and if you manage to participate it is the best way to immerse yourself in the adventure in Broken Compass. And to let oneself be conquered definitively.

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