Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

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Gringnr
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Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by Gringnr » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:52 am

I recently started reading the Zweihander Revised Core Rulebook, and have played one session. I like it. I have no experience with any edition of WFRP, so all of the mechanics are new to me. It's billed as not having a setting, though from what I've seen, many people use it to run 1st or 2nd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay adventures. That's what I've done.

Has anyone here played Zweihander? If so, I was wondering if anyone with WFRP experience would want to weigh in on the rules differences?

Also, does the lack of an "implied setting" help, or hurt the game?

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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by Havard » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:08 pm

Gringnr wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:52 am
I recently started reading the Zweihander Revised Core Rulebook, and have played one session. I like it. I have no experience with any edition of WFRP, so all of the mechanics are new to me. It's billed as not having a setting, though from what I've seen, many people use it to run 1st or 2nd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay adventures. That's what I've done.

Has anyone here played Zweihander? If so, I was wondering if anyone with WFRP experience would want to weigh in on the rules differences?

Also, does the lack of an "implied setting" help, or hurt the game?
I have never played it, but I am curious to learn more about it. I have played 1st, 2nd and 4th Edition Warhammer FRP and I also own 3rd Edition. My favorite edition of WHFRP is 2nd Edition, which is quite similar to 1st Ed, but streamlines things quite a bit. I'd hope Zweihander draws on 2nd Ed.

I'm curious to know what "lack of implied setting" means since WHFRP always had quite a few implications about the setting in terms of abilities, backgronds and careers.

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shesheyan
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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by shesheyan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:18 pm

Played two games last winter. The GM was running an Ancients (Greeks, Romans, etc) mixed with Fantasy campaign world. It was very lethal and the fatigue system was interesting. Never played WHFRP so I can't compare. One thing I know is that I didn't enjoy playing a necromancer. The spells were weak and difficult to use. After two hours of 4 hours of play I didn't feel a was playing a wizard at all. I dropped from the game.

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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by Gringnr » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:20 am

Havard wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:08 pm
Gringnr wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:52 am
I recently started reading the Zweihander Revised Core Rulebook, and have played one session. I like it. I have no experience with any edition of WFRP, so all of the mechanics are new to me. It's billed as not having a setting, though from what I've seen, many people use it to run 1st or 2nd Edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay adventures. That's what I've done.

Has anyone here played Zweihander? If so, I was wondering if anyone with WFRP experience would want to weigh in on the rules differences?

Also, does the lack of an "implied setting" help, or hurt the game?
I have never played it, but I am curious to learn more about it. I have played 1st, 2nd and 4th Edition Warhammer FRP and I also own 3rd Edition. My favorite edition of WHFRP is 2nd Edition, which is quite similar to 1st Ed, but streamlines things quite a bit. I'd hope Zweihander draws on 2nd Ed.

I'm curious to know what "lack of implied setting" means since WHFRP always had quite a few implications about the setting in terms of abilities, backgronds and careers.

-Havard
Zweihander does indeed draw on the WFRP 2nd Edition rules as its jumping off point. There are some changes, tweaks, additions and streamlining that have been done. I have looked into WFRP a bit in an effort to better understand Zweihander. It seems pretty close, but some things have been changed, either due to the author's preference, or. I presume, in order to steer clear of Games Workshop's IP. Opinions seem pretty split among those who enjoy WFRP, between "this is a nice updating/refining of the 2e mechanics" and "no thanks, I'll stick with 2e". For my part, as a WFRP noob, it is fun and runs smoothly. I'd classify it as medium crunch. It's also a lot more balanced than 2e, which can be a feature or a bug, depending on your preference (for me, it's a feature). I have read that 2e was notoriously unbalanced, and the author of Zweihander enlisted the aid of a statistician in order to bring a mathematical balance to Zweihander.

As far as the setting, or lack thereof, It is, as far as I can tell, a lot of WFRP with the serial numbers files off. There is NO mention of The Empire or the Old World, but most of WFRP's creatures do appear in one form or another (Skaven, Beastmen, Chaos Mutants, etc.), with different names. The Skaven become The Skrssak, Warpstone becomes Wytchstone, etc. There are suggestions for setting Zweihander in the world of The Black Company novels, or Game of Thrones, or some alternate history Renaissance Earth. But I also see a lot of people using it to run Warhammer stuff. I'm currently adapting a 4e adventure (read: just replacing all NPCs and beasties with stuff from the Zweihander book). So, it dances a very fine line between being a love letter to WFRP, and distancing itself somewhat.

Zweihander seems a fair bit grimmer than WFRP on first glance, certainly more so than the 4e corebook. And I don't know how many Professions there were in WFRP, but Zweihander has to have over a hundred.Close to 200, maybe.

The corebook is close to 700 pages, but most of it is fluff, the actual "get you up and running" rules, including combat, are less than 30 pages altogether.

The book itself is comically huge, but very complete.
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:18 pm
Played two games last winter. The GM was running an Ancients (Greeks, Romans, etc) mixed with Fantasy campaign world. It was very lethal and the fatigue system was interesting. Never played WHFRP so I can't compare. One thing I know is that I didn't enjoy playing a necromancer. The spells were weak and difficult to use. After two hours of 4 hours of play I didn't feel a was playing a wizard at all. I dropped from the game.
I haven't dug too deeply into the Magick system yet, though I'm reading it now. The first session I ran had no magic to speak of.

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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by talsine » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:02 am

shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:18 pm
Played two games last winter. The GM was running an Ancients (Greeks, Romans, etc) mixed with Fantasy campaign world. It was very lethal and the fatigue system was interesting. Never played WHFRP so I can't compare. One thing I know is that I didn't enjoy playing a necromancer. The spells were weak and difficult to use. After two hours of 4 hours of play I didn't feel a was playing a wizard at all. I dropped from the game.
Wizards in this style of game are very lower powered at the beginning, though eventually they can become very powerful. if you are just doing a one shot or a short campaign, i would not recomend a caster.

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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by shesheyan » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:11 am

talsine wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:02 am
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:18 pm
Played two games last winter. The GM was running an Ancients (Greeks, Romans, etc) mixed with Fantasy campaign world. It was very lethal and the fatigue system was interesting. Never played WHFRP so I can't compare. One thing I know is that I didn't enjoy playing a necromancer. The spells were weak and difficult to use. After two hours of 4 hours of play I didn't feel a was playing a wizard at all. I dropped from the game.
Wizards in this style of game are very lower powered at the beginning, though eventually they can become very powerful. if you are just doing a one shot or a short campaign, i would not recomend a caster.
Yes I was aware of that. The spells are also extremely situational. You need the right circumstances to cast them. The GM's adventure never offered me the opportunity to cast a single spells in 8 hours of play. I preferred using my gaming time on other games.

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shesheyan
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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by shesheyan » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:17 am

shesheyan wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:11 am
talsine wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:02 am
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:18 pm
Played two games last winter. The GM was running an Ancients (Greeks, Romans, etc) mixed with Fantasy campaign world. It was very lethal and the fatigue system was interesting. Never played WHFRP so I can't compare. One thing I know is that I didn't enjoy playing a necromancer. The spells were weak and difficult to use. After two hours of 4 hours of play I didn't feel a was playing a wizard at all. I dropped from the game.
Wizards in this style of game are very lower powered at the beginning, though eventually they can become very powerful. if you are just doing a one shot or a short campaign, i would not recomend a caster.
Yes I was aware of that. The spells are also extremely situational. You need the right circumstances to cast them. The GM's adventure never offered me the opportunity to cast a single spells in 8 hours of play. I preferred using my gaming time on other games.
I've played many different fantasy RPGs since 1981. It was the first time I play a wizard that could never cast a spell.

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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by Gringnr » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:43 am

talsine wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:02 am
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:18 pm
Played two games last winter. The GM was running an Ancients (Greeks, Romans, etc) mixed with Fantasy campaign world. It was very lethal and the fatigue system was interesting. Never played WHFRP so I can't compare. One thing I know is that I didn't enjoy playing a necromancer. The spells were weak and difficult to use. After two hours of 4 hours of play I didn't feel a was playing a wizard at all. I dropped from the game.
Wizards in this style of game are very lower powered at the beginning, though eventually they can become very powerful. if you are just doing a one shot or a short campaign, i would not recomend a caster.
Magic can be risky to cast as well, so I can also see why casters would sometimes avail themselves of non-Magickal options during combat.

Also, Magick can be expensive to cast. Magick Missile, for example, requires the use (and expenditure) of a silver dart.In a game where many of the characters may have never seen a Gold coin, literally throwing that kind of money away isn't something one does lightly.

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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by Gringnr » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:47 am

shesheyan wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:11 am
talsine wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:02 am
shesheyan wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:18 pm
Played two games last winter. The GM was running an Ancients (Greeks, Romans, etc) mixed with Fantasy campaign world. It was very lethal and the fatigue system was interesting. Never played WHFRP so I can't compare. One thing I know is that I didn't enjoy playing a necromancer. The spells were weak and difficult to use. After two hours of 4 hours of play I didn't feel a was playing a wizard at all. I dropped from the game.
Wizards in this style of game are very lower powered at the beginning, though eventually they can become very powerful. if you are just doing a one shot or a short campaign, i would not recomend a caster.
Yes I was aware of that. The spells are also extremely situational. You need the right circumstances to cast them. The GM's adventure never offered me the opportunity to cast a single spells in 8 hours of play. I preferred using my gaming time on other games.
What do you mean by situational? Not trying to be combative, just curious. Form what I see, you need verbal, somatic and material components as you do in, say, D&D. Do you mean that the spells seem to have limited utility, or narrow application?

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Re: Zweihander - is anyone playing it?

Post by Gringnr » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:45 pm

Posting my read-through here, if anyone wants more info on the game:

viewtopic.php?f=86&t=22358&sid=711655ad ... b9bd4b2024

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