(In PDF for your convenience)
ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG is a strange product. Its author claims it to be part of the OSR, because he thinks being a retro-clone of another, older game, qualifies as OSR; but while OSR games are based on the idea of simplicity (few and flexible rules, among other things), Zweihänder takes the opposite approach: many and very complex rules. Unnecessarily complex, in my opinion.
One example of this complexity is the character creation, which begins on page 27 and ends on page 73 (for fuck’s sake!) The problem is, in these 50 pages there are not only the steps to follow for the creation of a character, there are also many of the rules that govern most of the elements that make up a character.
What the book lacks is a streamlined guideline to character creation. You need to read big chunks of watered-down text, more akin to a McDonald’s or Coca-Cola ad than to a grim & perilous roleplaying game, when you want to make a new character. So I made this guideline, although I ultimately decided I would not gamemaster this game. Oh, well. Maybe someone will find it useful.
- Write Basic Tier on Character Sheet.
- Roll 3d10+25 for each Primary Attribute.
- Optional: Replace any Primary Attribute with 42% or Swap Either now or at the end of Character Creation.
- Choose your Sex and select Human, or roll Ancestry (Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Halfling or Ogre.)
- Adjust Ancestral Modifiers
- Roll 1d100 for Ancestral Trait
- Roll 1d100 for Archetype and 1d100 for Profession.
- Record starting Trappings
- Calculate Secondary Attributes.
- Peril Threshold is 3+[WB]/+6/+12/+18
- Damage Threshold is Armour+[BB]/ +6/+12/+18
- Encumbrance is 3+[BB]
- Initiative is 3+[PB]
- Movement is 3+[AB]
- Determine your Background.
- Roll 1d100 for Season of Birth
- Determine your Dooming rolling 1d100 under your Season
- Roll 1d100 for your Age Group
- Roll 1d100 one, two or three times for Distinguishing Marks (except Young Age)
- Roll 1d100 for your Complexion
- Roll 1d100 for your Build Type
- Roll 1d100 for your Height & Weight
- Roll 1d100 for your Hair Color
- Roll 1d100 for your Eye Color
- Roll 1d100 for your Upbringing and note Favored Primary Attribute
- Roll 1d100 for your Social Class and Cash
- Record your Language under Background; additional languages you can learn are equal to your [FB]
- Optional: Roll 1d100 for your Drawback
- Write your Fate Points: 1 normally, or 2 if you selected a Drawback.
- Roll 1d100 for both your Order & Chaos Alignment (or roll 1d100 for each).
- Build Your Profession.
- Write 1,000 Reward Points on your sheet
- Spend 100 Reward Points to purchase your first Professional Trait
- Write one Iconic Trapping for your Profession
- Spend remaining 900 RP in the Basic Tier
- Optional: Replace any Primary Attribute with 42% or Swap Either now or during Step 2.