Saturday, 14 October 2017

ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG - First Impressions

I'm a huge Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay fan. I wrote an article a few years ago about my top ten RPGs, and WFRP's position at the top hasn't changed since then.

'Number 1:
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st Edition)
The original rulebook was a mighty tome and had absolutely everything you needed to run a game in Warhammer’s Old World – character creation, careers, a full magic system, histories, location details, a bestiary, even charts and tables on insanity, phobias and random magical items. This one book alone was enough to keep a gaming candle burning for years, and indeed it did. I ran WFRP games for years and in all that time I could simply refer to the rulebook for everything I needed, even inspiration for new games and adventures. I bought some supplements, sure, but they were never used. In time the adventures, campaigns and extras I gathered were sold but I never parted with the main solid rulebook, which has been on my shelf for over twenty five years and still gets some use. To me, WFRP is what a RPG rulebook should be – it contains every detail you need to run a succesful campaign, and it’s atmospheric and a pretty good read to boot. I love the system and I even like the idea and implementation of careers. With more than 8 years of continuous campaigning with many, many player characters, and delving into the Old World’s history and possible futures, WFRP is, by far, my game of choice.'

I'm really excited that Cubicle 7 are going to release a new Warhammer RPG, using elements of the first two editions. They're also doing a game for the new Age of Sigmar which I will no doubt purchase as I'd love to see how they handle the RPG aspect of such a huge setting. I'm still not happy about the whole End Times thing, and the destruction of the Old World and pretty much everything and everyone in it was just ridiculous, but the Age of Sigmar wargame is really good and very playable, and the setting itself is pretty good, if not to my taste of fantasy setting.

1st Edition will always be my favourite for the reasons above, and as much as I liked 2nd Edition - especially the rules changes - it never had the same atmosphere as the original. The 3rd Edition I never owned but I played a few times and it was fun, but there was never any longevity in the games and it felt more about the components of the box than the actual story, and that belongs in a boardgame.

Image result for zweihander rpgUntil that happens we have a Warhammer-esque game created by Warhammer fans, a retrocolone-homage-restyle-oldschool-heartbreaker-fan version of the game I hold very dear to my heart: ZWEIHÄNDER. I've been reading the PDF of the game with clenched jaw and nervous twitches, wondering just how the guys at Grim and Perilous have changed the game to my dissatisfaction but up to yet I've been really, really pleased... no, impressed by what they've accomplished. The art choice, the design, the details, the rules have all been heavily redone. It's not a reskin or a filing off of serial numbers, it's a full game of a professional quality. I don't review PDFs, but I will have the physical book soon so I'll have a proper review done in next few weeks once I've had time to digest it and try it out.

Do I have issues with it, being the Warhammer fan I am? Yes, of course I do, but I'm reserving final judgement for when I have the book in my hands to make sure that my issues are justified, and not just confused by initial reading or the problems I have with PDFs. Safe to say that I think any problems I do have are going to be outweighed by the good things I have to say, but I'll save all of that detail for my review.

ZWEIHÄNDER is a game to get excited about, whether you're a Warhammer fan or not, and Grim & Perilous should be proud.

Check back regularly for my full review.

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