I didn't know the term as it was used in a thread of RPG.net and so -- after wading through several links offered up by Google -- I asked for a definition.
I was directed to a couple of articles by Ron Edwards on The Forge.
Interesting. I hadn't really thought about this being a sub-genre of fantasy RPGs, these "fantasy heartbreakers".
There's something about them and their progenitor D&D that makes me stop and ponder about the drive to create these labors of love. They are doomed, it seems, by trying to fix the rules problems that old D&D had in spades and adding their own spin (perhaps from personal gaming experiences) to the crunch that drives adventures in their fluff. They are also doomed, it seems, for putting to paper material that will probably not sell in the expanding and extremely competitive RPG market.
Are they naive? Are they blinded by their love for their hobby and their creation? How can they not see that they're doomed to fail?
Who knows? I only hope they don't lose too much money (or too many friendships) as they watch their dreams of an RPG-based empire bleed slowly away -- and that they learn from the experience and try again, and again, and again. And that they take advantage of the community of gamers online, and the wealth of information and examples and opinions already out there to make their next effort a much, much better one.
Folks who get it all right the first time are usually lucky (though some of them are just plain geniuses). Folks who can consistently turn out gems are skilled craftsmen -- and isn't that something to aspire to?