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Bloodborne and Berserk inspired dark fantasy RPG Zweihänder gets starter kit

An easy way to get into a hard game.

A new starter kit for the dark fantasy roleplaying game Zweihänder is now available.

Inspired by the likes of the video game Bloodborne, manga series Berserk and indie films such as A Field in England, Zweihänder is a tabletop RPG that takes place in an alternative medieval world filled with magic and darkness. Originally released in 2017, Zweihänder now has a starter kit designed to help newer players begin playing the TRPG, whilst still ensuring that it remains compatible with previous releases.

Included within the Starter Kit is a copy of the game’s Player’s Guide – which provides players with all the tools they need to create their characters and learn the rules – alongside the Gamemaster’s Secrets book that enables GMs for Zweihänder to plan and run one-shot adventures, which are designed to be completed in a single session, or entire campaigns. Also included is the Secrets of Swanzi adventure, a storyline written by James Introcaso – who has previously written for popular tabletop RPG series Dungeons & Dragons – that has players investigating a murder committed in a small-town. The physical edition of the starter kit includes a GM screen, a set of polyhedral dice and cards to use alongside the game.

Zweihänder RPG layout

Zweihänder is a horror roleplaying game that was given the Ennie Award for Best Product in 2018 – the highest honour an RPG can receive - and has players getting wrapped up in intrigue, mystery, occult magic and the supernatural. The RPG uses a percentile system, meaning that players roll dice in order to get under a certain value to have their characters succeed in the action they’re attempting, whilst rolling over will result in failure. Whenever players’ dice match – such as when they roll 11% or 99% - then their character achieves a critical success.

Should players ever feel unhappy with their roll, then they can choose to change their fortune to improve the result. However, changing fortunes also gives the GM a chance to use a misfortune to make a situation more dangerous whenever they want. Players can also choose to use a fate point to escape serious harm or even death. Despite the option to engage in combat, Zweihänder is an RPG that encourages players to investigate and use their eyes, ears and voices to discover the answers they need above all else.

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Zweihänder was created by Daniel D Fox, who has since co-created several RPGs based on the Zweihänder gameplay system including Flames of Freedom, a roleplaying game set during the American Revolutionary War. The art direction for Zweihänder was co-created by Dejan Mandic & Kyle Latino, with graphic design from Sierra Stanton and the cover illustration from Samuel Araya.

The Kickstarter campaign for the Zweihänder Starter Kit is live until February 28th, with a pledge of $33 (£25) getting backers a copy of the physical kit in November. Alternatively, a digital version of the kit is available for a pledge of $22 (£17).

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Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.