Grim and Perilous Roleplaying in 2018
Warhammer Fantasy 4th Edition is under way, take a look at what’s cooking, with bonus Zweihander!
It’s 2018, which, in addition to being a sentence I’ll probably get the hang of typing in 11 months, is also a year that promises grim and perilous adventure of all stripes. Whether it’s the folks at Cubicle 7, who are, as we speak, incredibly busy and hard at work developing the 4th Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, or the Grim and Perilous team who are busy putting out some sweet new releases for Zweihander, an OSR creation inspired by the first edition of WFRP, among other things–you will find plenty of dark and gritty and grim fantasy for your adventuring delight in the coming year.
First, let’s look in on the goings on at Cubicle 7:
The Fourth Edition will return players to Warhammer’s grim world of perilous adventure, and takes its direction from the first and second editions of the game.
What does this mean, exactly? Well aside from “grim and perilous adventure” we can likely expect there’ll be a return to the old job system, as well as to the old d100 days. But, with 4th Edition, the crew at Cubicle 7 are looking to “add some of the things we’ve learned over the years” to the game, which sent me looking at their Middle Earth systems to see what might be gleaned.
A couple of things stood out–first the idea of customization, which you can find in the Culture and Background section of the game. Background especially. There’s something very 5E about it, but in a good way–like a modern interpretation of nonweapon proficiencies, for those of you whose monocles have fallen into their drinks while clutching at their pearls, shouting “but my nostalgia”.
The other thing that really stood out to me was the users of the Shadow, which is a narrative-based mechanic for representing the foul and corrupting influence of the per that lies in the heart of Mordor. It’s a great little system that encourages the feeling of being hemmed in on a land that’s fading to darkness. Where good is rare–and it seems like a similar system could really help spur on the inc ursions of Chaos. Cubicle 7 has really shown their love for narrative reinforced by rules with that Old-School feel. So I’m eager to see what’s next. We should be getting a release date soon, with Mid-2018 around the corner (which is when 4th edition is expected to be out).
But wait, there’s more. You can start getting into Zweihander, the other big grim, dark fantasy rpg right now. They’ve been putting out some incredible stuff at Grim and Perilous, let’s take a look:
Zweihander – $9.99-$55
ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG is an OSR, retro-clone spiritual successor to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay first and second editions, an unrepentant heartbreaker released under Creative Commons License Share-Alike. It is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game, one where adventurers will:Subscribe to our newsletter!Get Tabletop, RPG & Pop Culture news delivered directly to your inbox.
- Live in a gritty, ‘realistic’ fantasy world
- Make morally grey decisions & enact vicious reprisals
- Uncover insidious plots & political intrigue
- Desperately fight in clandestine & open field combat
- Defend themselves from injuries, madness & mutations
- Take part in heart-pumping chase scenes
- Venture into the wilderness & survive its perils
- Encounter sanity-blasting creatures & their minions
Using the classical D100 system, with ZWEIHÄNDER you will create grim characters, write perilous adventures and build low fantasy & dark fantasy campaigns. These rules are perfectly suitable to run Renaissance and medieval-styled adventures, too. You can also use this book to craft homebrew stories set in the works of Andrzej Sapkowski, George R.R. Martin, Glen Cook, Scott Lynch and other ‘grimdark’-inspired worlds.
This all-in-one game includes most of what you need to play: a character creation guide, game mastery rules and a bestiary brimming with creatures both fair & foul. All that’s left to gather are a few friends, pencils and a handful of dice.
Of course, for the authentic. experience in eiWFther of these games is getting murdered by chaos cultists in your sleep