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Zweihänder: Characters & Reflections

Image Credit: Zweihänder: Grim & Perilous RPG

Well, with a wee bit of extra time I've been putting Zweihänder characters to PDF and working up a bit more for the campaign setting. I'm going to hold off on posting story elements and instead share the characters. Just click here and find yours!

If you've gone through character generation, then you'll find yours here. You'll also notice several other characters I've batched up as an option. They include:

  • A human cultist, born among the commoners, they seek more power than many of their class. Cultists have access to Divine Magick and are thus barred from using Arcane Magicks. A rank in Guile combines with their Forked Tongue talent to allow them social access to an array of individuals. Lastly, the profession's Cruel Tutelage drawback makes Chaos Manifestations (when magic goes haywire) even more likely!

  • Our human man-at-arms represents the closest thing to a standing military in the region. Men-at-arms are the trained and bedecked individuals that, when called to serve, would answer. For coin, of course. Quite a threat in the fray, this character knows how to use a shield and blade with great finesse. Lastly, their halfling blood means they have a memento that can protect them from mental peril, though will be sought after by thieving halflings.

  • This ogre laborer has earned their keep and then some while they aspire for a bit of the old tales of romance. They are an indomitable force for hauling and is quite capable of landing lesser souls off their soles with a backhand. They have a soft spot for beasts as their blackjack is just as likely to be used against brigands horses.

  • Silv Heahrod was the first character I rolled up. An elf burglar with enough coin in his pocket to earn the ire of fellow ne'er-do-wells, he's able to help Granny whose lost her keys get in or land a particularly lethal blow against the unsuspecting. Whatever the situation, he aims to keep his chin up as he aspires to return to the glory of his forgotten family.

  • Gar the Bailiff was the second character I rolled up. Ostensibly on the Moonshine Path to collect taxes from the people of Piran, he's old, crotchety, and stubborn as all get out. This situates him for unusually dangerous environs, though his ambition belies more political endeavors.

  • You'll also find a Gnome Pit Fighter, a notorious scrapper with a pike or spear to keep a safe distance while stabbing foes all the same. Quite able to injure foes and a rebellious streak make this character a brutal threat! Ostensibly rolled up for Ted, though they may find a home elsewhere.

  • Other characters in the folder include those rolled by Rachal (the Elf Dragoon, Phebe John), by Kelly (the Elf Pilgrim, Rath Caspian), by Catie (the Dwarf Investigator), and by Sheree (the human Hedge Knight).

Obviously, I've taken a shine to character generation in this system. It ties in backstory, class, the randomness of birth, and plenty more. Much of this can also be used to roll up NPCs in seconds! I've been working on a Game Master screen to help track the various but similar rules for the game and am excited to get it going! The setting itself is also coming together, though more on the town of Piran and the Nuns of St. Barberra than on the introductory Moonshine Path (honestly, haven't gotten much of a chance to look at the baddies).

The professions all inspire such interesting stories and the Talents allow for absolutely inspiring encounters. I absolutely encourage those that are interested to at least pick up the PDF for $9.99 from DriveThruRPG (their website redirects here, too) while the expansive print rulebook comes in at $54.99 and you can get the PDF for free with that. I haven't had a chance to look through the Main Gauche follow up rulebook, which contains more talents, spells, and monsters. Pre-order here or at least check out the fantastic video story they include!

Part of the reason I've been generating characters is the option of creating a "Character Stable" for players to pull from. This mimics the deliciously grim Darkest Dungeon video game and would allow players to explore more mechanics of the game. The Game Master chapter gets into explicit detail about managing this, even. Players would have up to three characters to choose from that would be acquaintances, but not specifically friends, and you can choose at the beginning of the session who to play as. Perhaps the other needs to heal or their skills are just not as valuable at that particular time. If someone is undergoing psychosurgery or a particularly bad bout of disease (and treatment), then they may not be particularly useful. I would appreciate any thoughts on this, as I find it rather appealing!

I've been gushing about this game. It captures so much of what I love and manages to simplify so many elements I had come to assume about a game. From the Peril Track that tracks your mental state and can impact your effective use of your skills to the Corruption mechanics that can incur either divine support or insanity. The "track" framework is used again and again in an intuitive manner that minimizes in-game math while opening up injury mechanics and the like.

And throughout there is a dark sense of humor that I can't quite put my finger on.

Oh, and don't underestimate the Ogre Laborer, either.

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