|RPG published by
Grim and Perilous Studios
|First Publication||2017 (Original)
"The first lesson you have to know is this: you can’t earn anything in this world... Lesson two: a man will do anything he can to survive... the third and most important lesson: life is pain and death."
- – Danziger Eckhart, Soldier and Ex-Convict
Around the time Games Workshop decided to
piss off everyone but wargamers create Age of Sigmar, Fantasy Flight Games liquidated all of the copies of the Warhammer Fantasy and 40k RPGs, cardgames, and board games and then removed them from sale as they had lost ownership of the rights to produce Warhammer Content. This annoyed several people beyond belief, especially people who liked the Warhammer Fantasy RPG and had yet to learn of Cubicle 8's Fourth Edition. Some of them decided that this was bullshit, so they grabbed a copy of WFRPG Second Edition, filed off all the serial numbers and copyrighted names, and had a Kickstarter to publish it. The result was Zweihander by Grim and Perilous Studios.
Released by Grim and Perilous Studios in 2017, this WFRPG retroclone is the love-child of one Daniel Fox. Starting as a Project COREHammer on the strike to stun forum, it has evolved into a full-fledged dead-tree codex which has apparently won some prestigious award no one cares about.
A revised edition featuring better formatting, art, and errata was released as a pdf in January 2019. In addition to the typical accouterment of spell cards, GM screens and the like, Zweihander has two major supplements. Dark Astral lets you play in a 40k expy instead of a Warhammer Fantasy Ripoff. Main Gauche, while not yet fully out, is focused on adding CHAOS! to the game.
The name Zweihander is both based on the common name for a fuck-off huge two-handed sword and a reference to how you can use the massive 600+ page Core book as a two-handed weapon to beat your players with.
While it does pull from WFRPG 2e for some mechanics, it is far more focused on achieving the gritty, dirty terribleness of WFRPG 1e. The world is violent, dirty, uncaring, and you will probably be eaten by something horrible. While there is no official setting the Weapon/Core Book offers some options for using the thirty years war (1630's Germany), The Lost Colony of Roanoke(1610 Colonial America), Goth Moran(
WF Empire Tactics Ogre), and Kahabaro. (Fantasy London?)
Zweihander uses a percentile dice + skill based system to resolve tasks. The players share a small pool of Fortune Tokens which can be used to improve their odds to succeed. This pool refreshes each session.
Characters have 7 primary attributes, an ancestral trait, an archetype and profession, a background which includes a "Dooming Prophesy" based on the characters season of birth and a whole lot of other less important/cool things. All of this is randomly rolled. You wanna play as an elven wizard? Tough luck, you're a dwarven flagellant. Know your place!
The Weapon/Core Book has rules for all sorts of things that sometimes come up and are usually pretty fiddly to use. There's a crafting system, Magic uses reagents that you actually have to buy/find are used up in casting, and specific detailed rules for every type of physical and mental ailment. There's a reason the book is as long as it is.
Numbers Filed Off
Certain things are clearly Warhammer rip-offs. This is to be expected, as it is a retroclone but it's a little blatant in places.
- Wytchstone = Warpstone
- Aetheric Winds = Winds of Magic
- Aztlan = Lizardmen
- Skrrzak = Skaven
- Orx = Orcs & Goblins
- Princes of Chaos = Chaos Gods
- The Abyss = The Warp