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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Session Zero
by Sebastián G. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2022 21:11:31

Session Zero changes the way to build characters in the good way. I used it in my last Zweihänder campaign and I felt it as an improvement to the core character creation, reads more clear and streamlined.

Now your bonuses aren't modified by your ancestry, but your attributes are slightly boosted by your upbringing and profession. I find this to be more sensible and logical.Ancestries retain their distinctive selection of traits.

The other big change (for our game at least) was the Fortune Point's mechanic. FP now fly between players and the GM in a more dynamic and fun way. Hoarding of FP was rarely seen again at our table.

The only thing missing in Session Zero compared to the Core Rulebook is the mention and use of skill Focuses, something you can easily integrate once you choose to jump to the full rules (and in all honesty, I as a GM always left the Focus explanation and implementation for a later time, though I love it).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ZWEIHANDER RPG: Session Zero
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Blackbirds RPG: Quickstart – Powered by ZWEIHANDER RPG
by Chris W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2022 16:16:22

I got to Zweihander and Blackbirds late, but have thoroughly enjoyed Zweihander and the grim setting it provides. Having read the Quickstart for Blackbirds, I'm super excited to dive into this world. I'm going to run the included Weaving with my current group and I can't wait. I love the art, the use of Boons, Talents, and Techniques. Not to mention the Theurgy and all this rich flavor built from folklore etc to bring a unique spin on an already great system. I can't wait to see more from Blackbirds as I think this is going to be a staple within my group.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blackbirds RPG: Quickstart – Powered by ZWEIHANDER RPG
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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Session Zero
by Chris W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2022 16:15:38

I'm late to Zweihander, but picked up the corebook and I think this definitely builds on that book and breaks things down to help new players and gms not feel overwhelmed. Great work as always. I can't wait for the Starter Kit to come out!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Blackbirds RPG: Quickstart – Powered by ZWEIHANDER RPG
by Brian K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2022 23:18:53

This is one of the best & enjoyable quickstarts I've read in such a long time! It's enthralling, captivating & a pleasure to read. It may just be me, but the choice of font, font-colour & the pages made it feel so much more comfortable to read & take in. The D100 rule set feels sophisticated while also neat & elegant, & I didn't feel lost or befuddled as I practiced using it while reading. There is a Fortune/Misfortune currency in game that allows you to affect the weaving in a variety of different ways be you a playable Blackbird or a Fateweaver, as well as a Fate mechanic for playble Blackbirds to affect their destiny if they are in dire circumstances. The quickstart comes with a fully developed & awesome magic system which I found very reminicent of old sword & sorcery literature in the vein of Moorcock with his Elric saga; where a Blackbird must bargain with powerful outsiders to conjure effects in the world. The weaving within gives a great taste of the game world of Erebos, which feels very distinct & flavourful. I especially appreciate the hints & suggestions given to the Fateweaver within the text to assist in running the story. As of writing this I have not run the weaving, but in my reading it felt original & thrilling, & that it will be a memorable foray for anyone fortunate enough to get to play it. There is a nice Bestiary given that is specific to the weaving, with some extremely iconic & evocative adversaries. The quickstart offers a selection of six pre-generated characters, as well as printable cards for talents & techniques which are 'slotted' into your Blackbirds character sheets. These cards can have a variety of passive benefits to your character, & also list special actions that one can perform in the game's combat phases. The choices of art within are superb & so stunning! They definitely fired up my imagination! This glimpse into the future game of Blackbirds really has made me even more thrilled & excited for the full release, & the love & passion for this game is so clearly evident within the production of this glorious pdf. I highly recommend! Cheers!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blackbirds RPG: Quickstart – Powered by ZWEIHANDER RPG
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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
by Radovan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/14/2022 05:40:37

Well. We are playing WFRP 2nd edition for decade so we wanted a change. Rules are OK. I do not see major improvement here but it is a change and that is what we wanted. What is not OK is GENDER NEUTRALITY crap. It is the first thing you are going to read in this book. Thank you author that you took your time to explaim to me how to be politically correct and how to run my game.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
by Taylor R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2022 20:12:04

More or less a heavily houseruled version of older versions of WHFRP, just without any defined setting and all the names scratched out and replaced with something else. The art and layout of the regular book are very well done, though the phone version leaves something to be desired as it was missing several pages last I had checked. As for the rules themselves, I almost feel like it somewhat expects you to already be familiar with the game it's based on, but they worked well enough to have had a single, incredibly janky, and hilarious test session with some friends that we still quote to this day, though we most likely probably won't play it again. The tone of the game fluctuates in strange ways, however, sometimes going from very serious and grim to cartoonishly edgy within a few paragraphs ("Yes, you need to sacrifice these kittens for your blood magic ritual!"). Not exactly distasteful, but it leaves something to be desired due to a lack of any actual setting material beyond 4 or 5 page-long blurbs that are vague ideas at best.

Overall, I can't really recommend it over actual versions of WHFRP unless you're specifically looking for something without Games Workshop's direct involvement or want to see what someone's "idealized" version of the game looks like. I've left my opinions of the author and his questionable attitude out for obvious reasons, but if you're deadset on trying it, ask to borrow a friend's copy first.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
FLAMES OF FREEDOM Grim & Perilous RPG: Core Rulebook – Powered by Zweihander RPG
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/19/2022 23:27:33

This would have been a 3.5 if the system allowed it.

I'll break my review down into three parts:

Firstly, the excessive, almost belligerent 'woke' declarations throughout the first third of the book. I have to say, as a gamer of color, it was off-putting; frankly, anyone who feels the need to say they're not a bigot that many times is, IMO, harboring deeply bigoted views. The authors kept touting their devotion to history, while urging, almost demanding, that PCs be run with hyper-sensitive modern opinions. Frankly, I felt they did a very grave injustice to my peoples' suffering during this period. But this is easily ignored, and I'm sure I won't even notice it when checking for rules. I'll run the setting as I see fit. This modern outlook, however, does greatly obscure a lot of the 'grim and perilous' tone of the game, and wrecks the historic credibility.

Second, the bold claims of devotion to history while the book is saddled with historic errors. The authors confused the issuance of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 as the start of the Revolution, a very basic error that is in the core description of the product, although corrected later within. Fact is, the Revolution started in 1775. It goes on from there. Most errors are silly and easily corrected with a simple house rule; an example is the authors confused a plug bayonet with a socket bayonet; they state that you cannot fire a musket with a socket bayonet affixed, and that the bayonet was new and gradually coming into British use, when the fact is that the socket bayonet does not obstruct firing the weapon, and had been in general use for 70+ years by 1776. Still, they made an effort to provide a detailed history, which counts for something. The quality of their 'research' is generally poor, but I give them credit for the effort, if not the results.

Third, FoF brought an overhaul to the Zweihander system. It did away with a lot of the unnecessary steps in PC creation, which was good. One bit it removed that I had made good use of, was the height & weight chart, but I expect the chart they replaced it with will be sufficient for most campaigns. They changed the titles of the Fate and Fortune points, which was good. They cleaned up the description of profession advancement, and re-did the layout of the skills & advances, which cleared up issues new players have had with thinking the old system was a single chart. They did away with Expert professions, which I won't miss. The period professions are plentiful, and they detailed iconic trappings, which was handy. They ported over the Zweihander cash system, which was useful and also the British system of the period. I would have liked to see some attention paid to the Continental Dollar and French currency, but that is not a big issue. The price list is well done, with the possible exception of field provisions containing milk. I wonder how those grizzled frontiersmen kept it from curdling?

The section on weapons is so-so. The writers have obviously never shot black powder, and have weapons exploding willy-nilly despite two centuries of massed use by the Revolution. They also went back to 'one size fits all' damage, which was a terrible retrograde decision. I do give them credit for a fairly comprehensive period weapon list. It really didn't take long, using MS Paint, to adjust their charts to something useful.

They treated armor sensibly (which in a period of gunpowder, means there is no effective armor).

The combat system got a lot of much-needed clarifications; however, it pulled in different directions, some parts increasing the deadliness of the combat, which was already good; other parts, however, pushed the system in the direction of narrative and story-telling, which is completely at odds with a damage system as brutal as Zwei's.

They added a Chase mechanic, Overland Travel mechanic, both of which I feel are pointless since I use Roll20, and a Social interaction system which looks rather clumsy, but definitely has some useful bits.

The remaining sections were solid, equal to, or improving upon, the Zwei standard. It looks as if they are trying to implement something akin to CoC's sanity system, which could be useful.

Overall, with a bit of house-ruling FoF could work for any setting from the French and Indians War through the Napoleonic era.

EDIT: I had to add this: this is the first RPG I have seen that actually has a reason for tobacco use, whic given the habitual consumption of this (and many other) periods, is a welcome first. And kudos for includeing lawyers in the monster list!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
FLAMES OF FREEDOM Grim & Perilous RPG: Core Rulebook – Powered by Zweihander RPG
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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Session Zero
by Ignacio S. A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2022 07:51:58

This is a great addition for ZW. New layout is simple incredible, and it is Grim & Perilous :D



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ZWEIHANDER RPG: Session Zero
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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Session Zero
by Alec M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2022 05:26:43

This session zero PDF has honestly sold me on the game. It has me excited to play it and learn more about it. I might even try DMing for the first time with Zweihander. I like the simple, yet in-depth creation of player characters. I was having fun rolling along and creating my first character just to see what I would get. Obviously it's only a preview and you can only go so far with it, but it's the reason why i'm going to back the starter kit on kickstarter and buy the full books as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
FLAMES OF FREEDOM Grim & Perilous RPG: Quickstart – Powered by Zweihander RPG
by J. R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2022 12:54:33

If you're looking to play a game in an alternate version of the American Revolutionary War including magic, supernatural horror and some nice twists look no further. The entire booklet is a breeze to read, really well-written and still to the point, despite having to introduce the central premise, the basics of the setting and the mechanics (the typical low-level d100-system, i.e. Zweihänder in this case). Yes, there are tables in here, but they're short and rather easy to reference. Yes, it is a system with its share of clunky aspects due to the central resolution mechanic of d100-roll-under and the larger variation in effectiveness for characters within these bounds. Still, compared to Warhammer (Fantasy or otherwise) the player characters are much more resilient and capable without making them leaving the context of ordinary denizens of the fictional world, doing their best to survive and succeeding in their desperate attempt to make a difference - be it in positive or negative. The system works, making it easy to resolve any mechanical questions quickly and keep playing, even if you do not use the rule in question. As mentioned in the booklet, it's a "Rulings, not rules" approach; valuing consistency over the laborious search for the correct paragraph, following the writing to the letter. This looser design philosophy is something, that's really helpful to ease new players into these systems, especially with many systems in the same vein traditionally being rather cumbersome and pedantic. The scenario works as a loose introduction with room to improvise, while providing a decent structure for new GMs (or Historians, as the system calls them) to follow. Sure, it isn't the longest or most complex adventure, but brings the themes of monstrous threats lurking in the shadows, the looming consequences of the war for independence and the investigations of secretive machinations into focus. All in all, the introduction to the setting and mechanics at play are well done without being too overwhelming. Only the final encounter could have been layed out a little more comprehensively, so new GMs get a better idea, how they should run this combat and where the possibility for adjustment is greatest. But it's also no major flaw. The pregenerated characters give a nice variety and dispel the notion of "historical accuracy" immediately (which is wonderful). This is a game, it is fiction and by that measure, you are already a step removed from our actual history ... there is also magic involved, so maybe re-enactment enthusiasts should look elsewhere for their kick. This leads into my final point: I love, how inclusive the entire booklet is designed. Attention has been given to different perspectives than the white-European one by clearly stating, that this is not a game about manly men doing "the war" (tm). This is a period-piece horror setting, including all manner of characters, all capable of holding their own in the face of unspeakable horrors - human or otherwise. Honestly, if anyone has gripes with the setting for "not being historically accurate", I just have no words. You can infuse as much historical facts at your table as you like, but I sincerely hope, no one learns their history lessons for roleplaying books entirely ... go to the appropriate sources for that. And anyone crying for being called out on wanting to disguise their racism, sexism or other hurtful, harmful behavior at the table via the excuse "That's how things were back then" - I can't help you there, maybe think what you're actually angry about. By the way, no one said, slavery cannot (after consulting with all your players (!) for consent) be a topic explored in the game. The base assumption of the game's design simply is, you're not going to enslave anyone or play characters, who own slaves. And for everyone unhappy about being called out for shitty behavior - like in the Use & Abuse of History-box - I have no sympathy for you in this regard. If you want to handle these topics in your game and do so in a mature, nuanced way, this isn't even addressing you. Otherwise, I'm happy, that a developer has a clear mission statement and takes a position on whi it is, they want to play their game. Inclusive language, especially the use of they/them pronouns as the standard and usage of the term indigenous peoples, this is great.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
FLAMES OF FREEDOM Grim & Perilous RPG: Quickstart – Powered by Zweihander RPG
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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
by Drew U. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2022 09:58:39

In the genre of D100 dark fantasy systems (kicked off by WHFRP) this one cannot be matched. Clean mechanics, great GM tools, two books nets you a massive experience, and fun as hell to play. My only cons are the rate at which offical content is released (abysmally slow), it needs a rounds system, and that this is not setting agnostic as it could be. If you want dark low fantasy, get this game and never look back. If you want warhammer this is superior to the four editions of WHFRP, grab it. If you have a created setting that is rennaisance or late post-classical, this is the game for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
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MAIN GAUCHE: Supplement for Zweihander RPG (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
by Kailan M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2022 11:50:48

Main Gauche, to sum it up, if you liked Zweihander, it's more of the same.

If you don't like Zweihander, it's more of the same.

If you found the weird constant pop culture references funny in a kinda Tommy Wiseua's The Room sorta way and the waffling maddening in Zweihander, it's more of that.

I actually found myself laughing at the material (not with it), the waffling frustrating and everything else just totally fine.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
MAIN GAUCHE: Supplement for Zweihander RPG (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
by John R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2021 11:34:40

I've been gaming for over twenty years, and this is one of the more enjoyable and unique tabletop games I've had the good fortune to play. I first heard about it on the Vintage RPG Podcast and thought that I should give it a try. I was hooked immediately. Everything from the style of combat (brutal and unforgiving) to the emphasis on character development over just going hack and slash through a campaign (which, there's a time and a game for, but this isn't that) is perfect. My only complaint is that so few people out there know about this game. Highly recommend giving it a try. The digital bundle is handy because it means you don't have to lug around a phonebook sized game manual. The print manual is entirely worth buying, though. It's the one book you'll need to play the game and thanks to the fine folks that published it (actual textbook publishers, no less) it is an almost lavishly printed work. The setting is essentially a Warhammer-but-not world, but better, somehow. It's been years since I played Warhammer and this had the distinct feel of being more manageable as a playing system, definitely felt easier to run.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
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ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
by [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2021 09:26:27

It is just warhammer fantasy but with none of the quicky lore me and my group are accustomed to poke fun at. Warhammer fantasy is good, zweihander is probably good, i am personally not a big fan.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
ZWEIHANDER RPG: Revised Core Rulebook (Phone PDF + Digital PDF)
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2021 16:46:14

Yes, it could be called a shameless rip-off of the WH setting. A better way to describe it would be to call it War Hammer Managable, with a much better system. I'm currently using Zwei to run a Roll20 campaign, using a tweaked Harn as the setting, and it rocks, my players (none of whom had heard of Zwei before joining) absolutely love the game.

Now we need a Roll20 bestiary or monster manual to make the GM's life easier.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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