Official Statement on ZWEIHÄNDER & Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition

zweihander grimandperilous.com warhammer fantasy roleplay retrocloneWe’ve been getting a lot of inquiries regarding Cubicle 7’s announcement on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th edition and the future of ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG. I want to set the record straight, and assure our fans that it hasn’t altered our course. I’m going to take my publisher’s hat off for a moment, and speak to you as an avid fan/grognard of WFRPG and its various editions.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4E
As you already know, Cubicle 7 Entertainment & Games Workshop recently announced Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th edition. Tanner and I are excited to see what they do with it, particularly because it will reflect back upon its first and second edition roots and use the d100 model. We’ll also be the first in line to pick it up at our local brick & mortar, because no matter the edition, we’re fans of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, full stop.

Little Victories
We knew this was coming; it was a foregone conclusion that someone would get the license during our development cycle. The Old World has been revitalized over the past three years through other platforms (Total War comes to mind). However, we’re not looking to compete with C7: that’s a zero sum game. We already won the war against Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop when they abandoned d100 with the third edition. We managed to carve out a little kingdom among Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay fans – which is totally awesome, because we are huge fans of WFRPG. But that was just an approach to reach the market.

A Bit Of Background
Yours truly is literally one random dude from Missouri, with absolutely no background in technical or creative writing, who has an extremely dedicated gaming group that pushed me to turn my Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay hack rules into an honest-to-god RPG; an unapologetic love letter/heartbreaker to everything I adore about WFRPG and gritty, low fantasy gaming. Tanner shares a similar background and perspective – which is why we work so well together. Dejan’s artistic vision tied the proverbial room together. Coupled with Milena, we jointly created a fantastic RPG that has raised over $90k from physical sales to-date… and that’s strictly from pre-orders!

On Licensing
I was fully prepared to make a significant investment into acquiring the license. I had a business plan, and the next step was to gather a cast of characters from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay’s past to round it out. Without going into the gory details, I am glad that we were turned down by Games Workshop’s licensing department. Rest assured that Cubicle 7 was the best partner to pick up the license. They are a fantastic company and have some of the best writers and highest quality production on the market (and a ton of development experience with WFRPG 2e). That being said, with C7’s recent announcements – and the baggage that comes with the license – it quickly becomes self-evident what it means to be “owned” by/partnered up with GW.

The Endgame
Our endgame was to make a free-to-play OSR d100 product that anyone can get their hands on, hack up, slash apart and make into their own game… all under the auspices of Creative Commons License. And with our backer’s support, we did it. We just happened to have the wherewithal to embattle Games Workshop’s stranglehold on their IP, rip out the rules, improve upon them and future-proof it by making it world agnostic.

In closing, were I to characterize what Zweihänder is, I’d say its OSRIC for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, but flexible. Play Darkest Dungeon with it; play Witcher with it; play Thirty Years War with it; play The Black Company with it; play The Lies of Locke Lamora with it; make up your own world with it; and yes, play Warhammer with it.

Our Roadmap
ZWEIHÄNDER is not over; we’re just getting started.

We’ve already got a killer supplement we’re playtesting (which will bridge the gap for Daemonic Magick, vehicle combat, a ton of Professions we left on the table, ‘Spacehander’, a community content program and more). Following this, we’re going to tackle some neat campaign settings (a few of which you’ve already read in our core book) and begin our work on fleshing out Main Gauche, our next book.

Thanks for your support, and stay tuned for more news as it develops. Happy gaming!

Daniel Fox
Lead Designer, Level 40 Raconteur