Evie’s Company – Zwei-hammer Session 0

So after the unsuccessful attempt to run Bianka in Hârnmaster rules (and her apparent misfortune), I’m switching to the last d100 game in my list. Zweihander.

At first I was hyped. I’ve read so many good things about it. It advertises as grim and perilous so that ticks my boxes. Also it’s supposed to be a rule system to run Warhammer Fantasy which sounds like a perfect fit. Also it sports a whooping core book size, which for me is a huge plus.
And then I started reading through it. I’m a bit disappointed. Maybe if I wasn’t so hyped I wouldn’t be, but my expectations were set really high.
I’ll give my final review of the system once I’ve solo playtested it, but I want to share that my main concerns were regarding the writing. There’s too much advertisement of how this is grim and perilous and how it’s different and more deadly than other RPGs, and also how they went so far out of their way to give the WHFRP style without being WHFRP. I wouldn’t have a gripe with all that if they hadn’t spent a serious amount of effort, time and space to do all that. All in all it was a tad bit too much. I won’t go into anymore details, lest I be caught in the same trap they did.

Conversion

So again here comes the conversion. I’ll convert the characters as per the character generation that is described in the book.
I will keep their descriptions weight, height and distinguishing mark’s as they were generated for WHFRP and fit.
I will roll the attributes and ancestral traits randomly, even if this deviates a bit from the character so far.
I will choose their wealth status and professions. I will give them starting trappings, with the exception of Rudiger who will have a Mail hauberk.
For alignment and upbringing I will roll 3 times and assign each of them to the party members to reflect their current personalities as close as possible.
I will keep the UNE and BOLD descriptions and for the chaos corruption of Rudiger I will see how to best translate it. Maybe I’ll just give him 2 Chaos Ranks.
I will award them 100 points for Night of Blood and 50 points for each of the sessions of Siege of Ostenhofen that they participated. This adds up to a total of 400 reward points.

The party

Evie

Name Evie Vogel
Ancestry Human
Ancestral Trait Dauntless
Archetype Socialite
Profession Courtier
Upbringing Cultured
Social Class Aristocrat
Alignment Cunning & Deceit
Age 20 yo
Gender Female
Height 180cm
Weight 72kg
Eyes Pale Grey, Almond shaped
Hair Brown
Sign The gloaming star
Birthplace Wissenland, Poor village

Demeanor: Traditional
UNE: lazy activist, offend the wealth
BOLD: pleasant deputies overcome by scarce-used ability

Evie is the daughter of Baron Vogel. She is traditional and doesn’t want radical changes, and has taken it upon herself to see that the wealthy merchants are taxed heavily and the taxes are given to the nobility. She’d prefer if someone else would help her on this task though.
To that end, she wants to charm the neighboring prince into marriage and she has left the estate with her bodyguard Rudiger and her servant Gustav to go to the castle where she was invited.
On the way they were stopped by some friendly roadwardens who, seeing her wealth, required tolls to be payed. Using her knowledge of the law she reminded them that only the toll collector had the authority to collect tolls and they should be careful lest they be mistaken for brigands preying on hapless travelers.
Evie, despite her status got arrested by the road wardens and brought to Ostenhofen. She had hoped to meet Prince Ingmar, but the orc siege foiled her plans.
Update: Confronted with demons, mutants, orcs and undead may have shaken Evie. I doubt she cares anymore about offending the wealth. Maybe she will have to change motivations.

Primary Attribute Score Bonus Profession Bonus
Combat 45 5
Brawn 38 3
Agility 35 2 3
Perception 42 5 6
Intelligence 42 5 6
Willpower 45 3
Fellowship 42 3 5
Secondary Attribute Score
Peril Threshold 6 (12/18/24)
Damage Threshold 3 (9/15/21)
Encumbrance 6
Initiative 9
Movement 6

Skill Ranks: Charm, Eavesdrop, Guile, Rumour, Simple Melee, Scrutinize
Talents: Forked Tongue, Silver Tongue

Coin purse, fancy shoes, fashionable clothing, foppish hat, holy symbol, knuckleduster, mandrake root (3), mantle, neck ruff, shoulder bag, writing kit, rapier, 8 gc

Gustav

Name Gustav Dickopf
Ancestry Human
Ancestral Trait Danger Sense
Archetype Commoner
Profession Servant
Upbringing Industrious
Social Class Lowborn
Alignment Mystery & Exclusion
Age 19 yo
Gender Male
Height 165cm
Weight 75 kg
Eyes Grey
Hair Blonde
Sign The greased goat
Birthplace Nordland, Small settlement

Demeanor: Flamboyant
UNE: obnoxious fortune-hunter, convey opulence
BOLD: lethargic traitor overcome by strong attribute

Gustav is Evie’s servant. Despite his low status he is flamboyant, and tries to siphon off wealth from Evie to show off. He wears expensive clothing and behaves as someone above his class. Evie likes him so she tolerates it, but others are not so disposed. He passes of to his peers as an obnoxious fortune-hunter, which actually he is.
When the estate cook started gossiping about Gustav, he managed to find him sleeping on more than one occasion and convinced Evie to demote him to stable boy. Gustav was escorting Evie to the castle where she was invited by the prince when the events of the night of blood occurred.
Update: Gustav is out of his comfort zone for far too long. They haven’t had a proper safe, cozy, rest without the hint of danger in weeks now. He wants this crusade of Evie to end, and get back to improving his status (and wealth).

Primary Attribute Score Bonus Profession Bonus
Combat 40 5
Brawn 34 3 4
Agility 44 3 4
Perception 42 5 7
Intelligence 45 5 6
Willpower 40 3
Fellowship 50 4 6
Secondary Attribute Score
Peril Threshold 6 (12/18/24)
Damage Threshold 4 (10/16/22)
Encumbrance 7
Initiative 10
Movement 7

Skill Ranks: Awareness, Charm, Folklore, Rumour, Simple Melee
Talents: Silver Tongue

Bandages (3), bottle bomb, grave root, holy symbol, heavy boots, tuck sack, shiv, simple attire, warm vest, splitting maul, 27 bp

Rudiger

Name Rudiger Dirnbach
Ancestry Human
Ancestral Trait Mixed Bloodline-Ogre-Frightening Bellow
Archetype Warrior
Profession Man-at-arms
Upbringing Militant
Social Class Burgher
Alignment Ambition & Tyranny
Age 37 yo
Gender Male
Height 175cm
Weight 69 kg
Eyes Pale Grey
Hair Black
Sign Gnuthus the Ox
Birthplace Middenland, Hovel
Distinguishing Marks Seamed face

Demeanor: Hardboiled
UNE: addicted judge, spoil the oppressed
BOLD: deceiving labor overcome by on accident
Corruption: Miserly, Impatient

Rudiger is an old soldier who was appointed as a guard to the baron’s estate. As Evie grew, the baron appointed Rudiger to be her personal bodyguard.
Rudiger is a veteran of many battles, and little that he sees shakes him. He has seen orcs, goblins and the occasional bandit. He believes firmly in the order of things and that the poor are supposed to stay poor and support the nobility.
When he was younger, he was once deceived by an agitator to fight for ‘the cause’ and free the peasants from their lords rule. When, by mistake he came upon the peasant leaders divulging in their loot, he killed them all and left. He decided never to assist the traitorous peasants again and took it upon himself to punish them whenever possible. His combat skills and passion for riot control soon were noticed by the baron, who took him under his employment.
After the last peasant revolt he has taken it upon himself to root out any danger that comes from the low classes. On such events, he alone decides the fate of the prisoners.
His harsh life is not without scars though, and he has turned to be a functional alcoholic.
Rudiger is escorting Evie as a bodyguard.
Update: Corrupted by chaos, Rudiger’s faults have increased. He no longer has patience for the beggars and the poor, and may outright attack any street urchin who will try to pickpocket him. Seeing the threats to the Empire and Evie has made him even more likely to stand at her side, as she has proven that she fights for what is right.
This is represented by 2 Chaos Ranks.

Primary Attribute Score Bonus Profession Bonus
Combat 42 5 7
Brawn 45 4 5
Agility 40 3 4
Perception 41 5
Intelligence 44 5
Willpower 41 3 4
Fellowship 39 2
Secondary Attribute Score
Peril Threshold 7 (13/19/25)
Damage Threshold 9 (15/21/27)
Encumbrance 8
Initiative 8
Movement 7

Skill Ranks: Martial Melee, Resolve, Simple Melee, Toughness, Warfare
Talents: Lightning Reactions, Shield Slam, Sword & Board

heavy boots, lantern, laudanum (3), military attire, oil pot, red cap mushrooms, rucksack, mail hauberk, tincture (3), wooden shield, mortuary sword, 13 ss

Conversion Summary

Some interesting results here. The primary attributes were okayish, but I really liked the alignments rolled.
I absolutely loved the mixed bloodline ancestral trait of Rudiger. He has Ogre’s blood running in his veins!
I found the whole process not too tiresome considering I generated three characters, so that’s a big plus for the game system.

Encounters

Even though it was short lived, I really enjoyed the wilderness hex flower gaming engine In the heart of the unknown combine with Hârnmaster’s encounter tables, so I’m going to use those again. Zweihander also has an apendix of encounters, but since they’re very specific, I’ll use them instead when I roll a Nat 20 on Hârnmaster’s encounters table.
I’ll use Hârnmaster’s rules for wilderness travels since they’re meant to be used with Hexes in mind. Again, the group is traveling with a week’s worth of supplies, towards Mainberstein. Their caravan consists of twenty commoners, two guards and one horse.

The story

The story continues from the events of Night of the Blood and the Siege of Ostenhofen.
The party will attempt to reach Mainberstein from Westenhofen.
I suspect that once in safety they will attempt to find a way to defeat the lich. Maybe complement their party with a wizard or a priest. It would be nice for a change to add some magical flavor.

Threads

  • Reach Mainberstein safely
  • Find a way to defeat the lich
  • Clear their name (do they need to?)

Emulation

For GM emulation, I’ll be using a custom CRGE Oracle with inspiration from MUNE and False Presuppositions from Recluse.
So I will be rolling on the CRGE table, and will use unexpectedly/surge counts, but, doubles will be False Presuppositions. Likelihood will be introduced by Flipping the Dice. So a likely result of 38 would become 83. A likely result of 83 would remain as is.
An unlikely result of 62 would become 26. An unlikely result of 26 would remain as is. Surge count is applied after flipping the results.

Tools

I’ll be also using BOLD regarding the Connections mechanic to spice conversations in the party.
UNE, Donjon and the Game Master’s Apprentice cards will be used if and when required.