Design a site like this with
Get started

Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • giorgis 9:12 pm on May 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    The Wardens of Gahyrst. Ep01. 

    It’s been some time now that I got the solo wargame Five Leagues From The Borderlands. I wanted to try it a while now, I think this is the right time.
    I have a nice bunch of fantasy 15mm minis to start with. I also want a change of pace with regards to my regular solo roleplaying. Something different that requires less brain effort.

    Since I’m a sucker for story continuity I will use Evie’s company as my band of heroes, with extra followers.


    Name Evie Gustav Rudiger Ardus
    Agility 1 1 1 2
    Speed 5 4 5 5
    Combat Skill 0 0 0 0
    Toughness 4 4 3 3
    Will 1
    Luck 2
    Skills Library Leadership,Parry
    Weapons Long Bow, Dagger Sword Bastard Sword Bastard Sword
    Armor Light Armor Light Armor Full Armor, Helmet, Shield Partial Armor
    Notes Avatar Retainer


    Nature Outcast Drifter Roving Wanderer Stout Yeoman Angry Villager
    Weapons Sword Self Bow, Dagger War Axe Staff
    Armor Militia Armor Light Armor
    Notes Witch Slayer

    Gold Marks 12
    Medicinal Herbs 2
    Story Points 1

    Evie and her company returned to her hometown of Eerfeld. There, she found that her father, Baron Vogel, had been summoned to the capital months ago, never to be heard from again.
    The manor was derelict. The villagers scared. Bandits and brigands roam the countryside. Orc and goblin marauders cross the river ever so often and an uneasy chill clouded the people’s hearts and minds as dark forces stir in the shadows.
    No one is willing to pay allegiance to the Vogel name.
    In an effort to restore peace and prosperity to the region and her family name to its former glory, Evie has reinstated the Wardens of Gahyrst.
    Her close compatriots stand with her, Gustav and Rudiger, joined by Ardus, her father’s steward still guarding the ruined manor.
    Four more brave souls have joined her, answering the call to drive off evil from the land.

    Current village: Eerfeld (3,2,3)
    Village 2: (1,1,1)
    Village 3: (3,3,3)

    Turn 1

    Swindled: Lose 4 Gold
    Study: Success: Evie: Medicine
    Labor: 2 Gold
    Adventuring: Roadside & Combat Encounter
    Roadside: Hunter: Unfriendly: Corruption: +1 Dark Secrets
    Combat: Outlaws: Renegades: Encounter while traveling
    Number: 8+Sergeant (+1 Toughness), 2 Bowmen
    Terrain: Distance 13″, Overgrown Ruins
    Initiative: 6: –

    A peddler runs his cart on the village of Eerfeld. “Talismans! Protect yourselves from evil”
    “Look! Look what I bought” the so called witch slayer, essentially an outcast drifter says to Vogel. “This magical garlic scented bird cage can keep vampires at bay!”
    Evie looks with disdain. “How… much did you pay for it?”
    “4 gold marks my lady” He answers.
    Evie takes it to return to the peddler, but he’s nowhere to be seen.
    “You’ll work the fields to make up for the money you cost us.” She tells the outcast. “I’ll be at the old church library, see if we can find something useful.”
    Her efforts proved fruitful as she found passages explaining how to perform healing.

    On their way, they meet with what seems to be hunter. He has strapped a bow over his cloak, and a big skinning blade hangs without a scabbard, from his belt.
    As they cross paths, an uneasy feeling overwhelms Evie. She can’t tell if it’s the stinking dirty visage of the man or the way he met her gaze, but something struck her as off. It’s not only after he has vanished from her line of sight that she recomposes his image. He was carrying a bag dripping with blood and the blade had dark dried blood all over it. She would have asked him to stop and show his bag, but now he’s gone. How could she have missed it? What clouded her mind?

    Due to the miniatures at hand I switched the Renegades with goblins. It was pretty arbitrary, but I can live with it for now.

    The wardens heard sinister laughter from ruins near the road. Carefully they go to investigate, only to fall upon a band of goblins.
    Soon swords are unseathed, bowstrings drawn and combat ensues.
    Evie cast an arrow, hitting its target, but it pierced through cloth, missing flesh.
    Two spearmen charged, one at Evie and one at Rudiger. Evie used her sword skill to push him aside, while Rudiger, with sheer strength manages to break of the greenskin’s guard and hit him with his blade.
    An arrow hits Rudiger, but doesn’t pierce his heavy armor. Another one hits Evie in the chest.
    As the two opposing groups come together, closing in on the ruins, Ardus dispatched a goblin, while Evie, clutching her chest, falls to the ground…

    A handful of minutes later, the fight is over. Rudiger, covered in blood stands by Ardus. He wipes of his blade and seathes it. The angry villager who had joined them is the only other man standing. Rudiger thinks he should ask his name, but now he must tend to his fallen comrades, and first of all, Evie.


    I roll on the aftermath tables.

    Evie: Serious Wound. I use medical herbs: Dead. I use Lucky Break.
    Gustav: Knocked out.
    Outcast Drifter: Dead.
    Roving Wanderer: Knocked out.
    Stout Yeoman: Knocked out.

    Found: victims: receive 3 Gold Marks
    Items: Warhammer, Pistol
    Threat reduced by 1

    Rudiger tends to Evie’s arrow wound with some green moss, but the Angry Villager intervenes.
    “Stop it! You’ll kill her. That doesn’t go on cuts! Only on bruises.” It is only by sheer luck that the leader of the wardens survived.
    Most of the group is back in fighting shape. Their wounds superficial. Except the outcast drifter, the witch slayer. He didn’t make it, and the warband made a proper grave to put him in.
    Ardus scoured through the ruins only to find the corpses belonging to the victims of the goblins. He took some private possessions found to return them to the families. Among the loot was a Warhammer and a pistol. A very useful weapon.
    As they return to the village, and give the victims possessions to their families, some villagers offer a few gold marks to the adventurers as gratitude for giving them closure.

    End of first Campaign Turn

    Session Summary

    Had so much fun!
    The game flow was fast and easy. I mean yes, I had to go back and forth between some rules and tables, but after repeating a few times, I got the hang of it and could run the combat without much trouble.
    I actually intended to write down the actual play in detail, but I got so carried away that I didn’t want to stop my game to take notes, believing I could reconstruct the battle.
    I was so wrong. The flow may be fast, but so dense. There’s so much happening I can’t believe it can be resolved so quickly.
    On purpose I avoided optional rules. I want to learn the gropes before delving deeper. Also there’s so much food for narrative. All those random events. One could even run minirpg games there (e.g my roadside encounter), converting to their system of choice. Might do it in the future.
    The game is deadly but can be forgiving. Had to spend my one-off Lucky Break to avoid losing my avatar. Was lucky with the rest of the warband (3/4 just knocked out).
    My only gripes so far is the fact that I have it in a crappy office print. Its worth a proper printing. And also that I don’t have all my minis painted to run all possible scenarios!
    Now that I’ve settled on it, I need to roll some story about who or what Gahyrst is and maybe draw a map and name the villages.

  • giorgis 5:19 pm on January 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Evie’s Company – Zwei-hammer Session 1 

    I’ll begin with rolling on BOLD connections. I will reward the characters with 50 reward points for each combination used.

    Verb Gerund Noun
    negotiate preparing party member
    digress avoiding wealth
    proclaim working a fear

    So there are three day and three night watches that last 4 hours each. On each watch I will be rolling for encounters and in the HFGE.

    CRGE at this point is in a state of “To Knowledge”.

    I will roll on Zweihander to see what season it is.
    98: It’s Winter.
    I will roll on Zweihander to see the general weather descriptor.
    It’s cold, clear, windy.

    Day 1. Watch 3.

    Encounter Engine: 3: Goto 5: Wandering Monster.
    Terrain Engine: 5: Goto 3: Plains
    Weather Engine: 9: Goto 6: Showers. Since the weather is Cold, I decide it’s sleet.
    Encounter Number: 15: Ogre

    Encounter Generator: 3/17: No encounter

    So we got some Ogres. I’ll start asking some questions.

    Q: Have the Ogres detected the party? (Likely, it’s a large party).
    A: No. One of the guards, scouted ahead and reported back to the group.
    Q: Are there many Ogres?
    A: Yes, and unexpectedly.
    There are 1d6+2=6 Ogres.
    Unexpectedly: Key Grip. Wrap up and move towards the next scene. Doesn’t make any sense. I will disregard this and keep the surge count at 4.
    Q: Did the Ogres appear to be orcish?
    A: Yes, and they carried war banners with them. They are definitely stragglers from the disbanded horde.

    Donjon: Ergarad: Female Human Soldier, Neutral. Ergarad is stout, with red hair and narrow green eyes. She wears studded leather and wields a military pick. Ergarad is inquisitive and soft-hearted.
    Evie will try to use “digress avoiding party member”

    Evie’s company escorts the group of refugees. Ergarad, a town guard has moved ahead of the group to scout.
    A few clouds have covered the skies and lightly shower the company with sleet.
    “Gustav, why do you think Bianka didn’t protest us leaving her behind?” Evie asks Gustav.
    “Who knows my lady, maybe the prestige you emanate made her aware of her roots and she couldn’t handle it.” Gustav replies.
    “Filthy lowborns. They should know their status and stay put. What does she expect? To become rich killing rats?” Rudiger intervenes.
    “If they’re the size we found in the sewers, that wouldn’t surprise me. Don’t be so harsh Rudiger. She’s proven her mettle against orcs, skeletons and beasts”. Evie puts Rudiger back in line, as they see the scout return in the distance.

    “Ogres. Half a dozen. Up ahead in the road.” Ergarad says trying to catch her breath.
    “Did they see you?” Rudiger asks.
    “No. I came back as fast as I could. They’re certainly part of the orc horde.” She adds.
    The commoners start muttering. Some are scared.

    Q: Do they ask to return to Westenhofen?
    A: No

    “We should find a way around them” Gustav proposes. The group agrees. Evie realizes she can’t force the commoners to fight ogres, so she doesn’t refuse.
    “We’ll lose a whole day to circumvent them, but I think it’s worth it.” She adds in the end.

    So they will abandon the Road hex. In the next two hexes they will make navigation rolls. If they succeed, they will manage to get back on the road, irrespective of the HFGE.

    Day 1. Watch 4.

    Encounter Engine: 7: Goto 1: Small settlement.
    Terrain Engine: 6: Goto 18: Hills
    Weather Engine: 7: Goto 16: Storm.

    Encounter Generator: 1/16: No encounter

    The heavy sleet rain caused 2d10+2 Peril: 15. All are at Ignore 1 Skill Rank.

    The few clouds give way to dark thick clouds. The rumble of thunder fills the sky as lightning strikes in the distance. Heavy sleet falls on the caravan and walking has turned into a chore as they walk off road.
    The path through the plains slowly leads a way to the hills and the ascent is harder and harder.
    Everyone is soaking cold wet as they reach a small settlement. It must be a handful of houses comprising of a community.
    “Cover at last!” Ergarad exclaims and starts to walk towards one of the houses, but Evie motions to Rudiger, who in turn grabs Ergarad’s shoulder.
    Evie recalls the events leading them to the Hooded Man. An eerie feeling overcomes her.
    “It’s too dangerous! We must move on.” She tells the group.
    “But the fish are more dry than we are!” A man protests.
    “Do you want to sleep with them then?” Rudiger asks intimidatingly.

    Evie will try to persuade them. I’m not quite sure which skill should be used for a simple persuasion check. I’ll use Charm in this case.
    The Silver Tongue talent applies but Evie’s Charm skill rank doesn’t apply for a total of +20.

    Evie: Charm (62): 68: Failure
    Rudiger intervenes (Tyranny applies): Intimidation Routine (55): 17: Success. 6 Degrees of Success.
    Commoners: Resolve (45): 23: Success: 5 Degrees of Success.
    Due to frightening bellow, they suffer from Stress as well.
    They suffer 1d10+1 mental Peril: 8/6: They move a further step down to Ignore 2 Skill Ranks. They also gain 3 Corruption Points.

    “Our travels have shown us that it’s not safe to enter unknown dwellings in the countryside. Orcs could have taken shelter here. You haven’t left the walls of Westenhofen in a long time. Maybe your whole lives. Let us guide you.” Evie appeals to them without success.
    “You think because you have some noble blood you get to tell us what to do? We’re cold, wet and we need shelter. We’re going inside.” Says one of the men and continues towards the houses.
    “WHERE do you think you’re going?” Rudiger’s bass voice echoes as he puts his hand on the hilt. “We’re a team and the risk is too high. Discussions are over. Unless you want to try your fate with me” he adds and looks at each of them menacingly. They look at each other and put their heads down.

    Rudiger will try to use “proclaim preparing a fear”

    They all move in silence after Rudiger’s scary display of power.
    As they head away from the settlement, some of them wonder if they made the right choice following this party of adventurers.
    Rudiger turns to Evie. “These vermin must learn their place.”
    Evie isn’t worried yet about Rudiger’s display. It’s not the first time she has seen him like that. And in both cases he has saved the day.
    She nods at Rudiger. “When they can’t listen to reason, we can’t have them risking our safety. I understand. Just stick to scaring them. I don’t want us to have to explain any deaths. We have enough on our plates.”

    Gustav: Eavesdropping (42): 9: Success

    “We will clear our name lady.” Gustav who has heard the conversation intervenes. “Surely your father’s name will be enough to shed light to any confusion regarding past events. Also, if you don’t mind me saying, we don’t know if our accusers have survived.”
    Evie smiles. She knows well her servant. She doesn’t need to keep up appearances like she did in court. “Maybe. Who knows if our luck has changed.” She responds.

    Since no member of the party has the Navigation skill I want to ask if there is a member in the caravan who does. I ask UNE Power Level, and get Comparable. So, no one has the Navigation skill. Gustav has the highest intelligence so he gets to try.

    Gustav: Navigation (45): 49: Failure

    So unless they get a critical success in the next hex, they will lose track of the road.

    Day 1. Watch 5.

    Encounter Engine: 9: Goto 6: distant/improbable lair/monster settlement.
    Terrain Engine: 10: Goto 19: Mountains
    Weather Engine: 8: Goto 13: Overcast.
    Encounter Number: 19: Lion

    Encounter Generator: 16/19: No encounter

    In order to facilitate the distant/improbable chance for the lion’s den, I will give an extra awareness roll for the party.

    Under the heavy sleet rain, their path leads them upwards and upwards. The sleet stops, but mud is everywhere and the hills have turned into mountains.
    “We will need to find shelter soon.” Ergarad finds the courage to tell the party. She’s talking to Evie, but looking at Rudiger.
    “We should have found shelter already. Night will fall quickly in the mountains.” Rudiger agrees.

    Gustav will try to use “negotiate working wealth”

    Gustav finds an opportunity to talk to Evie alone. “My lady. Our resources are dwindling. If we are to succeed we’re going to need crowns. Maybe we should see to returning to the estate. Your income may cover this, otherwise we might have to… find some work. But this isn’t for a lady of your status!”
    “There! There is a cave in the distance.” Someone from the caravan shouts to them, interrupting Gustav before Evie has a chance to answer.
    “Gustav. Go ahead. Check it out.” Evie orders her servant.

    Gustav: Awareness (42): 71: Failure.

    Gustav returns a couple of minutes later. “The cave mouth seems big enough lady, for all of us. But we’ll need to reach it to say for sure.”
    “Then that’s where we’ll go!” Evie decides, and the caravan sighs in relief.

    Q: Are there any remains outside the entrance of the cave?
    A: No
    Q: Are there lions outside?
    A: No

    Through the forested mountains, the group reaches the cave. In front of the cave is a plateau, and the mountainside goes straight up behind it. The cave is right in front, suggesting a big size.
    They take a good look, and decide to go inside. The cold of the night will surely take its toll and they can’t risk it.

    Gustav: Awareness (45): 45: Success
    Q: Are there lions inside? (Likely)
    A: No
    Q: Are there many visible remains in the cave?
    A: Yes, and unexpectedly

    So mountain lions are primarily nocturnal and are most active at dusk/dawn. Therefore they should have left for the hunt.

    Unexpectedly: entering the red

    Oh! And they heard the party and return just in time as the group enters the cave. There’s no escape!
    How many lions? 1d6+2: 7

    Ostler: Handle Animals (55): 98: Failure. The horse turns and flees.

    Q: Is the group surprised? (Likely)
    A: Yes, and all of them didn’t expect this.

    As the group goes inside, Gustav notices bones in a corner of the cave.
    They start investigating.
    Rudiger picks up a rib cage and sees teeth marks, right as they hear a loud growl and a scream. The horse neighs, kicks at its master and gallops off outside before they can react.
    They turn around and see a pack of seven mountain lions blocking the cave entrance.
    They draw their weapons as the lions attack the unarmed commoners.

    Note: Below follow the mechanics of the combat. I have only included them to show how tough it was for me to run this battle. I really recommend that you jump over this part and go to the narrative in the end.

    Setting up the combat scene. The party and the guards should have entered deeper into the cave. It’s the most logical thing to do since they need to scout ahead.

    Q: Are they deeper into the cave? (Likely)
    A: Yes and the commoners are alone in the rear it will take an extra 1d3 rounds to reach them.
    Q: Do the commoners bear any kind of arms?
    A: Yes

    I will randomly roll the profession of each commoner as they get locked into combat with the mountain lions. They will have the relevant trappings.
    I will use the Underlings rules for the commoners but not for the mountain lions.
    The mountain lions by default will keep 2APs for Punishing attacks.

    Round 1:
    Surprise Turn:
    Each mountain lion charges at a commoner. On first sighting they cause Stress, so I will roll a general Intimidate for the Mountain Lions. If successful, I will roll separate resolve for each party member and a general resolve for the NPCs.
    ML: Intimidate (50): 27: Success: 7 Degrees of Success.
    Evie: Dauntless! She can’t be intimidated.
    Gustav: Resolve (40): 74: Failure.
    Rudiger: Resolve (41): 6: Success: 4 Degrees of Success.
    Commoners: Resolve (45): 76: Failure.
    All but Evie suffer from Stress: 1d10+1: 3 Peril. No Further peril and 3 Corruption points.
    ML1 vs Artisan: Melee Attack (60): 42: Damage: 11/4: Moderately Wounded: Injury: No Injury
    Resist Takedown (45): 15: Success.
    ML2 vs Jailer: Melee Attack (60): 8: Damage: 16/4: Moderately Wounded: Injury: No Injury
    Resist Takedown (45): 81: Failure. Prone.
    ML3 vs Servant: Melee Attack (60): 44: Damage: 16/4: Moderately Wounded: Injury: No Injury
    Resist Takedown (45): 80: Failure: Prone
    ML4 vs Rat Catcher: Melee Attack (60): 31: Damage: 12/4: Moderately Wounded: Injury: No Injury
    Resist Takedown (45): 93: Failure: Prone
    ML5 vs Peasant: Melee Attack (60): 74: Failure
    ML6 vs Doomsayer: Melee Attack (60): 99: Critical Failure
    ML7 vs Peasant: Melee Attack (60): 20: Damage: 15/4: Moderately Wounded: Injury: Moderate Injury. Bleeds. Underling: Slain!

    Turn 1:
    Evie: 18
    Gustav: 11
    Rudiger: 9
    Commoners: 9
    ML: 10

    ML1 vs Artisan: Melee Attack (60): 44: Critical, Damage: 12/4: Grievously Wounded: Injury: Grievous Injury. Bleeds. Underling: Slain!
    ML2 vs Jailer: Melee Attack (60): 20.
    -Jailer Defends with Shiv (45): 76: Failure. Damage: 14/4: Grievously Wounded: Injury: Grievous Injury. Bleeds. Underling: Slain!
    ML3 vs Servant: Melee Attack (60): 85: Failure.
    ML4 vs Rat Catcher: Melee Attack (60): 35.
    -Rat Catcher Defends with Shiv (45): 71: Failure. Damage: 16/4: Grievously Wounded: Injury: No Injury.
    ML5 vs Peasant: Melee Attack (60): 47: Success.
    -Peasant Defends with Threshing Flail (45): 39: Success.
    ML6 vs Doomsayer: Melee Attack (60): 90: Failure
    ML7 vs Laborer: Melee Attack (60): 59: Success.
    -Laborer defends with Splitting Maul (45): 54: Failure. Damage: 22/4: Grievously Wounded: Injury: Grievous Injury. Bleeds. Underling: Slain!

    So 4 Commoners Dead. The remaining 3 locked in combat will attempt to fight back. The rest are too scared to do anything.

    Servant attacks ML3 (45): 26: Success.
    -ML3 will parry (60): 44: Critical Success.
    Rat Catcher attacks ML4 (45): 72: Failure.
    Peasant attacks ML5 (45): 21: Success.
    -ML5 will parry (70): 74: Failure. Damage: 9/6: Lightly Wounded.
    Doomsayer attacks ML6 (45): 85: Failure.

    The party and the guards spend three turns in movement to join the combat.

    Round 2:
    Evie attacks ML1 (45): 2: Success.
    -ML1 Parries (50): 78: Failure. Damage: 8/6: Lightly Wounded.
    Gustav attacks ML1 (50): 18: Success.
    Damage: 10/6: Moderately Wounded. Injury: No injury.
    ML1 attacks Evie (60): 76: Failure.
    ML2 attacks Gustav (60): 97: Failure.
    ML3 attacks Servant (60): 55: Critical Success. Damage: 14/4: Grievously Wounded. Injury: Grievous Injury. Bleeds. Underling: Slain.
    ML4 attacks Rat Catcher (60): 35: Success.
    -Rat catcher parry (45): 14: Success
    ML5 attacks Peasant (60): 93: Failure
    ML6 attacks Doomsayer (60): 82: Failure
    ML7 attacks Rudiger (60): 84: Failure
    Rudiger attacks ML7 (42): 42: Success.
    -ML7 parries (60): 12: Success
    Sword & Board: (42): 88: Critical Failure
    Ergarad attacks ML7 (45): 10: Success.
    -ML7 parries (60): 04: Success
    Guard attacks ML6 (45): 23: Success.
    -ML6 parries (60): 36: Success
    Rat Catcher attacks ML4 (45): 47: Failure.
    Peasant attacks ML5 (45): 22: Critical Success.
    Damage: 7/6: Moderately Wounded. Injury: No Injury.
    Doomsayer attacks ML6 (45): 00: Critical Failure.

    Round 3:
    Evie attacks ML1 (45): 46: Failure.
    Gustav attacks ML1 (40): 35: Success.
    -ML1 Parries (70): 90: Failure. Damage: 10/6: Severely Wounded: Injury: No Injury.
    ML1 attacks Evie (60): 34: Success.
    -Evie parries (42): 24: Success.
    ML2 attacks Gustav (60): 61: Failure.
    ML3 attacks Rat Catcher (60): 24: Success.
    -Rat Catcher parries (45): 45: Success
    ML4 attacks Rat Catcher (60): 51: Success.
    -Rat Catcher parries (45): 9: Success
    ML5 attacks Peasant (60): 19: Success.
    -Peasant parries (45): 99: Critical Failure. Damage: 16/4: Moderately Wounded. Injury: Moderate Injury. Bleeds. Underling: Slain!
    ML6 attacks Doomsayer (60): 67: Failure
    ML7 attacks Rudiger (60): 10: Success.
    -Rudiger parries (52): 1: Success
    Rudiger attacks ML7 (42): 72: Failure.
    Ergarad attacks ML7 (45): 42: Success.
    -ML7 parries (60): 35: Success
    Guard attacks ML6 (45): 41: Success.
    -ML6 parries (60): 45: Success
    Rat Catcher attacks ML4 (45): 44: Critical Success. Damage: 6/6: No damage.
    Doomsayer attacks ML6 (45): 31: Success.
    -ML6 parries (60): 12: Success

    Round 4:

    Note: I’m kind of bored. There is almost no progress and everything is so tiresome. Zweihander isn’t meant to run 10+ opponents combat solo. So I scratched that and decided to go on another approach. More narrative.
    Lions are animal predators. They kill to eat, for sport or for territory.

    Evie: Easy Leadership (62): 91: Failure
    They will try to disengage and move tactically outside.

    Evie: Maneuver
    Gustav: Maneuver

    Q: Do the lions go after Evie and Gustav?
    A: Yes, and they’re unlikely to disengage easily.

    ML1 hustles & attacks Evie (60): 43: Success.
    -Evie parries (42): 39: Success.
    ML2 hustles & attacks Gustav (60): 24: Success.
    -Gustav parries (40): 3: Success
    ML3 attacks Rat Catcher (60): 83: Failure.
    ML4 attacks Rat Catcher (60): 94: Failure.
    ML5 attacks Doomsayer (60): 6: Success.
    Doomsayer parries (45): 54: Failure. Damage: 16/4: Moderately Wounded. Injury: No Injury.
    ML6 attacks Doomsayer (60): 5: Success.
    -Doomsayer parries (45): 27: Success.
    ML7 attacks Rudiger (60): 98: Failure.
    Rudiger: Attack ML7 & Maneuver
    Rudiger: Attack (42): 73: Failure
    Rudiger: Maneuvers
    Ergarad attacks ML7 (45): 39: Success.
    -ML7 parries (60): 5: Success
    Ergarad: Maneuvers
    Guard attacks ML6 (45): 36: Success.
    -ML6 parries (60): 54: Success
    Guard: Maneuvers
    Rat Catcher attacks ML4 (45): 81: Failure
    Doomsayer attacks ML6 (45): 43: Success.
    -ML6 parries (60): 72: Failure. Damage: 10/6: Lightly Wounded

    Q: Do the disengaged commoners maneuver out?
    A: Yes

    Round 5:
    So much for my plan for a different approach.
    This is no longer fun for me.

    I’m not yet willing to abandon Zweihander since I believe this to be partly my fault trying to run such a large fight. But everything is sooo slow.

    Evie attacks ML1 (45): 19: Success.
    -ML1 Parries (50): 93: Failure. Damage: 11/12: Grievously Wounded: Injury: No Injury.
    Gustav attacks ML1 (40): 64: Failure.
    ML1 attacks Evie (60): 85: Failure.
    ML2 attacks Gustav (60): 52: Success.
    -Gustav parries (30): 13: Success
    ML3 attacks Rat Catcher (60): 19: Success.
    -Rat Catcher parries (45): 72: Failure. Damage: 13/16: Moderately Wounded: Injury: Moderate Injury. Bleeds. Underling: Slain.
    ML4 hustles & attacks Ergarad (60): 70: Failure.
    ML5 attacks Doomsayer (60): 8: Success.
    -Doomsayer parries (45): 3: Success.
    ML6 attacks Doomsayer (60): 88: Critical Failure
    ML7 attacks Rudiger (60): 95: Failure.
    Rudiger attacks ML7 (42): 54: Failure.
    Ergarad attacks ML7 (45): 93: Failure.
    Guard attacks ML6 (45): 73: Failure.
    Doomsayer attacks ML6 (45): 82: Failure.

    Round 6:

    Evie attacks ML1 (45): 79: Failure.
    Gustav attacks ML1 (40): 94: Failure.
    ML1 maneuvers away.
    ML2 attacks Gustav (60): 51: Success.
    -Gustav parries (30): 72: Failure. Damage: 16/4: Moderately Wounded. Injury: Moderate Injury: Hyperextended Elbow.
    ML3 hustles & attacks Evie (60): 48: Success.
    -Evie parries (45): Failure. Damage: 9/9: Lightly Wounded.
    ML4 attacks Ergarad (60): 79: Failure.
    ML5 attacks Doomsayer (60): 49: Success.
    -Doomsayer parries (45): 82: Failure. Damage: 20/22: Slain!
    ML6 hustles & attacks Guard (60): 71: Failure
    ML7 attacks Rudiger (60): 85: Failure.
    Rudiger attacks ML7 (42): 75: Failure.
    Ergarad attacks ML7 (45): 93: Failure.
    Guard attacks ML6 (45): 36: Success.
    -ML6 parries (50): 12: Success.

    Round 7:
    So this drags on and on. I was about to switch to Oracle combat resolution but I’ll stick to Zweihander.

    Evie attacks ML2 (45): 66: Critical Failure.
    Gustav attacks ML2 (40): 3: Success.
    -ML2 parries (70): 7: Success
    ML2 attacks Gustav (60): 35: Success.
    -Gustav parries (40): 73: Failure. Damage: 14/4: Grievously Wounded. Injury: No injury.
    ML3 attacks Evie (60): 69: Failure.
    ML4 attacks Ergarad (60): 82: Failure.
    ML5 hustles & attacks Ergarad (60): 49: Success.
    -Ergarad parries (45): 61: Failure. Damage: 23/23: Grievously Wounded. Injury: Grievous Injury: Severed Artery: Slain!
    ML6 attacks Guard (60): 88: Critical Failure
    ML7 attacks Rudiger (60): 72: Failure.
    Rudiger attacks ML7 (42): 50: Failure.
    Guard attacks ML6 (45): 97: Failure.

    Round 8:
    Since this goes to slaughter, the party members will attempt to run for their lives.

    Evie: Runs
    ML3 attack of opportunity (60): 14: Success: Damage: 7/3: Moderately Wounded: Injury: No Injury. Evie Resist Takedown: 14: Success. Evie Runs Away!
    Gustav: Runs
    ML2 attack of opportunity (60): 25: Success: Damage: 15/6: Slain. Fate Point!: Escapes Death. Gustav runs away!

    Q: Does ML2, ML3 go after the party who fled or the commoners?
    A: False Presupposition
    They attack the combatants. The guard and Rudiger.

    ML2 hustles and attacks the guard (60): 48: Success.
    -Guard parry (45): 98: Failure. Damage: 12/6: Moderately Wounded: Injury: No Injury.
    ML3 hustles and attacks Rudiger (60): 39: Damage: 12/9: Lightly Wounded
    ML4 hustles and attacks the Guard (60): 68: Failure
    ML5 hustles and attacks Rudiger (60): 76: Failure
    ML6 attacks the guard (60): 32: Success
    -Guard parries (45): 77: Critical Failure. Damage: 13/7: Severely Wounded. Injury: No Injury.
    ML7 attacks Rudiger (60): 79: Failure
    Rudiger: Runs away
    ML3 attack of opportunity (60): 75: Failure
    ML5 attack of opportunity (60): 1: Success. Damage: 14/9: Moderately Wounded: Injury: No Injury
    ML7 attacks of opportunity (60): 38: Success. Damage: 17/9: Grievously Wounded: Injury: Grievous Iniury: Fate Point: No Damage.
    Guard attacks ML6 (45): 17: Success.
    -ML6 Parries (60): 29: Success

    Combat narrative

    The lion pack jumps on the surprised group. Claws are dug deep into shoulders. Teeth rip off chunks of meat. The lions prove their predator nature as the scared caravan looks in horror.
    The few men and women locked in combat try to fend off the beasts but they cannot.
    The guards and Evie’s party join up trying to make an opening out of the cave. But the lions are set up in a way that this is so difficult.
    “Everyone! Gather together in a formation! Light torches! Keep them at bay!” Evie shouts.
    No one seems to listen. The beast growls cover the sound of her voice.
    Slowly the party maneuvers in a way so as the cave exit is behind them, and the lions are in the inside.
    Blows are exchanged and the commoners perish one by one. Gustav and Evie are wounded.
    Ergarad the guard, is jumped upon by a lion that severs her artery. Blood speed everywhere and she falls down dead.
    “Let’s make a run for it! They have enough to eat for the whole winter! Run!” Rudiger shouts. Evie and Gustav run away, and the lions lash at them, but by some divine grace they survive.
    Rudiger and the other guard are left alone against the lions. As they fend off their last strikes, Rudiger runs away as the guard keeps fighting.

    Far away from the cave, they look at their wounds and each other as they pause for a second to catch their breath.
    Their looks speak volumes. Did anyone else survive?
    They took these men and women with them for a better future and they all ended up as food.
    And they’re in a sorry state. Wounded. Injured. Cold. Unsheltered. How are they going to make it through the night?


    I’m pulling the plug here.
    Zweihander isn’t to my solo play tastes.

    I may have been biased based on what I expected after my reading of the system, but I believe that my bias was correct. My issue lies with the design. The writing is just one face of the design.
    So I’ll break down the problems.
    1. Chaotic structuring. In order to read about injuries I had to check 3 different chapters. Combat, Healing, Gamemastering. Seriously the page flipping is immense. Maybe when I know the rules a bit better I’ll remember it by heart, but that’s not user friendly.
    2. Combat resolution. I think it’s derived from WHFRP, but it does away with all the innovative. An attack sequence may include 5 separate rolls! (Attack, Opposed Parry, Fury-Damage, Chaos-Injury, Injuries table). It’s slow, cumbersome and in return doesn’t provide narrative feedback. Not to mention it’s frustrating when the chances for injury are so low.
    I’ll add to this the weapon tables, where the weapons are differentiated by their qualities (vicious, punishing, etc) and not by stats. Another characteristic I have to check for combat resolution!
    3. Ancestral Traits. In my opinion ancestral traits should be common for all members of the same ancestry. I get the going for character variety, but it doesn’t make any sense for only a few dwarves to have dark vision.
    4. Skills ranks don’t have an apparent effect. A man-at-arms in average is only 10% better in combat than a peasant. And if they’re imperiled by one rank, they’re at the same. Only talents may make some difference.

    I understand that concerning solo play, a combat of so many opponents is tough to run, but I did this successfully in both Savage Worlds and Star Wars D6.
    But if I had taken a fewer combatants approach like in MERP, Mythras or Hârnmaster, I’d expect the narrative feedback these games have.

    Don’t get me wrong. Zweihander is a great game with a very detailed implied setting and lots of information on professions, grimoire and bestiaries. It just didn’t fit to my solo roleplaying needs.
    I may return to it some time in the future, but not soon.

    As for Evie’s company, it seems I’ll have to do another conversion for them.

    I am a bit disappointed because I was very happy with how the story evolved. Combining CRGE with false presuppositions and likelihoods was interesting, and the in the heart of the unknown HFGE was excellent as always.
    What I really enjoyed though was the BOLD connections. I’ll definitely be keeping this mechanic for future party solo roleplaying. It gave narrative depth! One could even evolve it further with social mechanics and passions and alignments depending on the game system!

    • Todd 4:34 am on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Have you tried HARP? I don’t know how close it hews to MERP. I just picked up the HARP pdf because it looked interesting, but I’ve only gotten as far as character creation with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • giorgis 11:02 am on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve read good things about it. It’s part of the Rolemaster a family, hence it’s close to MERP. I think it’s an effort to modernize it, though still old.
        I would like to get a hold of these, but imho ICE has really high prices for 10 year old PDFs


  • giorgis 10:26 pm on January 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    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.


    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


    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


    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


    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.


    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.


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


    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.


    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.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc