The solar system is spread apart into warring fiefdoms, technology has gone by the wayside and become an extreme luxury, education is fleeting and knowledge is reserved for the powerful – meaning science and medicine lag behind. Religion and superstition reign. This is a campaign setting that’s deeply entrenched in superstition and subverted ideals, despite the staggering height of technology.
Dark Astral is the Renaissance era transplanted into the theater of the Vault of Night: foolhardy Shadowbrokers, corrupted Klergists, insane Psykonauts, hedonistic Technokrats, sanguine Manhunters and ravaged Astrotemplars all have their niche, even if their sailing ships are replaced by space arks and bows with laser rifles. In Dark Astral, we don’t use traditional science fiction terms: aliens are called The Other, gravity is called Ætherea, planets are called Dominions, spaceships are called Arks, stars are called Mirrors and space itself is called the Vault of Night. In the uncharted territories in the Vault of Night, there are not galaxies, but Wytch-spirals. Steeped in superstition and living in the wake of lost technology, Characters will struggle against the grim spectre of a corruptive force from beyond – deep within the Dark Astral!
Within this 32-page PDF, you’re going to find a new approach to use Zweihänder Grim & Perilous RPG at your game table. Dark Astral is the first of a new series of chapbooks, where we’ve taken the base #ZweihanderRPG rules and cast them through the lens of a Biblically-inspired, pseudo future of ‘Spacehander’. Dark Astral is a little bit of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unrealized take on Dune, mixed with a healthy influence of Xenogears and the gritty science fantasy of the first edition of Rogue Trader.
We’ve included a comprehensive equipment list, including a ton of new weapons, armor, technological trappings and Qualities that apply to them. You’ll also find technical ideas around how to use #ZweihanderRPG core Professions in this chapbook, accompanied by Moebius-styled artwork drawn by Ken Duquet! Most importantly, everything you see in Dark Astral is perfectly compatible with Zweihänder Grim & Perilous RPG.
A CHAPBOOK YOU SAY?
A chapbook is an experiment on how we deliver future supplements for Zweihänder Grim & Perilous RPG. It is meant as a tasting room; we’re setting the table with some new recipes, and we want to hear from you on how you like them. Our chapbooks are intended to be released exclusively on DriveThruRPG in PDF format, and eventually for print-on-demand.
You can also think of our chapbook as a ‘skunkworks’ of sorts; a place to run with new rules and ideas from our game table to yours. We want to hear about your experiences with Dark Astral on social media (using the hashtags #Spacehander and #DarkAstral). Based on what we hear, we may turn Dark Astral into a full-blown supplement. One of the key components of the chapbook series is to listen to you: what you like, don’t like, etc. We will take under consideration community feedback, refactor where needed, blow out new options and provide a more expansive treatment should it prove to be popular with #ZweihanderRPG fans.