That’s right. Your phone, your car, your daily stop at your favorite place for coffee, it is all gone. That’s all she wrote for the world of man. Everything we had built was burned to the ground in a matter of days when the Dragons came. No one knows what hole they crawled out of, or has any idea where they came from. In the end we only knew that they were more than a match for us.
The world is now a place full of ash, the one thing the Dragons left the few that remained. From that point on humanity has survived but never flourished, living in a twilight of hope. Any attempt to rebuild cities larger than meager townships is met with swift destruction, usually from the fire of those cursed beasts. People toil for their daily bread but never stop dreaming of the golden age now long gone.
While the Dragons are the most amazing spectacle in the ruined world, they aren't the only new force to shape it. You also won’t hear people saying Dragon often, in general they are just called the Fire. You are also going to encounter the Weird, the other power in the ruined world. These two forces are at the end of a spectrum where you as a human are smack in the middle, see below.
The Forces are in white: Fire and Weird. Each is an absolute, an unbending power with a single purpose. Fire destroys and ruins, Weird transforms and obscures. Neither of these forces can exist directly in our world, but each has an embodiment that can. Fire has Dragons and Weird has Demons, we call these agents of Fire and Weird respectively.
Humans and other parts of the world can be affected by a force, charged with it. Heroes often are responsible for charging themselves, others, or things around them with a force. When that happens we call that an Aspect of the Force and the things in yellow above come into play. The Aspect of Fire is called Fervor, when something is charged with Fire it has Fervor as an aspect. Fervor always implies destruction, in addition to any other imbued qualities. The Aspect of Weird is Wonder, when something is charged with Weird it has Wonder as an aspect. Wonder always implies confusion, in addition to any other imbued qualities. Aspects of Fervor and Wonder usually carry specific rules as well.
Outside all these dangerous outer forces, the force of Destiny is embraced by the hero to change the world as they see it. Destiny is an inner force, something that lives inside the hero. You could almost say that without it they would not be heroes at all, but sheep instead. The most direct measure of Destiny in the game is the Destiny track of each hero, which records how their future is looking at any one moment. Eventually when that is filled, they meet a Crisis that will change them for better or worse.
There are four types of Chips in the game. These are color/letter coded to indicate their type. A Chip means nothing in the fiction except when it is drawn from Fate (a bag that holds chips). When your Hero takes interesting or risky action, they will draw from Fate. The type of Chip drawn will dictate how things went for them in their undertaking. Here are the types of Chips:
At the core, there are four character Types you can choose from and three variants of each. You choose to play a Fighter, a Leader, an Artisan, or a Maven. The first three want to do something about the ruin of the world, and the last simply wants to improve their fit into it.
You can’t assume that Mavens are against the first three types, but instead usually they see them as a tool to be used in their own schemes. Generally they are smart enough to know that real change is unlikely as Fighters, Leaders, and Artisans generally fail at some point. That means they can use them as a tool and just know in the end they merely served their purpose.
This is a game about making stories. Not romance comedy love stories, but epic tales of battle and hardship. It’s not that you can’t have love or comedy. You just need to remember that such matters will ride on a backbone of blood, sweat, and tears. In this game you’ll either take on the role of the Devil or a Hero. The Devil runs the world about the Heroes, and weaves a world full of darkness and wonder. There is only one Devil in the game (thankfully!) and two or more heroes. If you were counting, you’ll need three players or more to play: one for the Devil and two for Heroes. Beyond that, the game will allow as many as you think you can handle, though never more than thirteen. You are playing Heroes if you aren't playing the Devil. You aren't going to sit down to a game of Brimstone and tell the tale of some lowly farmer trying to manage his field from year to year. If you try to play a lowly farmer they won’t be a one for long, because they have the potential to become something special - a Legend.
Each player that is taking on the role of Hero needs to pick a card from the deck of Twelve Legends. This card gives your Hero a role in the game. The cards have rules on them, but don’t worry about that now. You just need to read the description in order to see if it is the kind of Hero you might want to play. Here are the 12 Legends listed by their Rank.
For the players playing Heroes, start with the oldest and go around the table so that everyone has a turn. When your turn comes up, take a Legend of your choice from the deck of Twelve for your own. This is the Legend of the Hero you will play. Yes, this means that if your friend takes Champion then you cannot. No two players can take the same Legend in a game of Brimstone.
Now that you have taken a Legend for your Hero, you must claim it. It isn't enough to take Engineer, name your Hero, and start playing. You need to make the Legend your own, claiming it for yourself. Each Legend is just a vague idea of who your Hero is and lacks real substance. You need to reach within yourself and add that substance to the Hero. Lets go over the method step by step. All you will need for this is an index card and a pen or pencil.
After all this is done, The Devil creates a Destiny Track for your Hero on their record sheet. This is just seven spots plus two for each Quality beyond one you took for your Hero. Something like this: [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ].