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Zweihänder and how do people play in "grimdark" settings?

MartinJLloyd

New member
I've got to say that your adventure has really inspired me to pick up Zweihänder. I don't know if I can swing my players around to it, but I'd like to see what I could do with the setting. I don't know if you have any plans for further work in Bad Kreuzing, but I'd enthusiastically purchase anything expanding on the city. I'm interested in what the other five families are doing out there.
At the moment I plan to leave that for others to flesh out. It's a very deliberate jumping off point for a campaign.

The idea I have at the moment is to put together a scenario with some more experienced characters and put them in charge of an army. I quite like the idea of an equipment list that reads 'sword, armour, 2000 pikemen'. Of course things would remain grim and perilous. Probably really grim given what went on in Renaissance warfare.
 

Snow Goon

Credible Hulk
RPGnet Member
Validated User
At the moment I plan to leave that for others to flesh out. It's a very deliberate jumping off point for a campaign.

The idea I have at the moment is to put together a scenario with some more experienced characters and put them in charge of an army. I quite like the idea of an equipment list that reads 'sword, armour, 2000 pikemen'. Of course things would remain grim and perilous. Probably really grim given what went on in Renaissance warfare.
Wow. Okay, yeah, that does sound fun. Talk softly and lead a battalion of infantry. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

As for Bad Kreuzing, I understand. You certainly gave it just enough information to be tantalizing. I can pick up the threads you left and, I think, weave something fun. The recent revolution, the six families, licensed ogres, the Verrater Tor, and the greater Blessed Merovingian Empire should be plenty for me to cobble together my own setting. Thanks for that.
 

DarkMum

Godamn Catwoman
Validated User
IMHO, Grimdark style of gaming has more in common with the Hard Boiled or Noir genres of gaming, and their slightly more forgiving sibling Two-Fisted Fantasy, better known as Pulp Adventures.

I've run TOON as a Hard Boiled Detective yarn, complete with an off-camera altercation with the narrator over 'Exceeding the limits of my depression medication, boy!' with a hard drinking cynical Private Investigator PC (Think Foghorn Leghorn in a fedora, voiced by Gene Hackman).

It's all too easy to take Grimdark into parody territory, and often a lot of fun, but to my way of thinking, if my PC exists only to be ground down by unrelenting doom? I have very little motivation as a player not to be one of the characters who just wants to sit and watch the world burn. This is not helped by the fact than whenever I hear someone enthusiastically praising a relentless Grimdark setting as 'realistic' that part of my gamer brain goes straight to Deadpool mode in self-defense.
 

NeoSamurai

Registered User
Validated User
I look at "grimdark" as similar to "noir" but without acknowledgement of the heritage of the genre of noir--so I treat it hardboiled where characters struggle and focus on choosing the best of bad choices for a better tomorrow--if that makes sense.
 

DarkMum

Godamn Catwoman
Validated User
One might observe that certain Pratchett stories have been Grim, and some have been Dark, but I can't think of one that's both.
The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents might qualify as the closest one of his Discworld books to give both genres equal time on the page, and still be a fairy tale for children with a moral aimed firmly at adult society's failings. To be fair, I always thought Grimdark was a bit pallid in comparison to the Grimm Brothers cheerfully bloodthirsty tone.
 

Shining Dragon

Tough Tiger Fist
Validated User
Warhammer has jokes, and Pratchett has jokes, but they're pretty different in theme.
Of course, Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k are also pretty different in theme. (Fantasy certainly posits an exceedingly dangerous world with unpleasant aspects, but it's not the HELL that is 40k. Except maybe Brettonia).
This thread/post links to this article (NSFW due to some images) which gives some history about WFRP's 1E history which does explain the origin some of the humor (or perhaps it could be called satire). I was surprised at some of the influences.
 

Molotov

Registered User
Validated User
Been enjoying running a Zweihander campaign for a while now. I just wrapped our 18th session. Three of the players are from my old 1st ed WHFRP campaign, and one new entirely - she jumped in at the chance to game with her husband. Been a great time. It's been a riverboat group, with them investigating weird happenings and such along the river. I've been using material from Vacant Ritual Assembly zine. It's something of weird fantasy with blunderbusses, mutants and burning. There's some humor, and some grim humor, and some very creepy moments as well.
 

Snow Goon

Credible Hulk
RPGnet Member
Validated User
IMHO, Grimdark style of gaming has more in common with the Hard Boiled or Noir genres of gaming, and their slightly more forgiving sibling Two-Fisted Fantasy, better known as Pulp Adventures.
I look at "grimdark" as similar to "noir" but without acknowledgement of the heritage of the genre of noir--so I treat it hardboiled where characters struggle and focus on choosing the best of bad choices for a better tomorrow--if that makes sense.
For whatever reason, I'd never equated grimdark with noir. It makes sense and, given a little bit of a push (thanks to both of you) it makes a lot of sense. The rampant corruption, the untrustworthy authorities, the violence, and even the black-and-white imagery does echo the trappings found in grimdark. That's a hook I can sink my teeth into (not to mix my metaphors).
Been enjoying running a Zweihander campaign for a while now. I just wrapped our 18th session. Three of the players are from my old 1st ed WHFRP campaign, and one new entirely - she jumped in at the chance to game with her husband. Been a great time. It's been a riverboat group, with them investigating weird happenings and such along the river. I've been using material from Vacant Ritual Assembly zine. It's something of weird fantasy with blunderbusses, mutants and burning. There's some humor, and some grim humor, and some very creepy moments as well.
Riverboats and mutants sounds like a lot of fun! :)
 
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