One important distinction about ZWEIHÄNDER is that Characters don’t earn experience points. We made a change in the way players are rewarded for our internal revision, with the sole focus put on characterization and role-playing. Instead of experience points, players now earn Reward Points (RP) based primarily on how well they exemplify their character’s Blessing and Curse. The rules require players to be engaged and play to their character’s personality above all else. Here are the basics:
- Players broadly earn 50 RP for playing one game session. The Gamemaster (GM) may extend this upwards to 100 RP in certain circumstances where the game session carries longer than expected.
- The GM maintains a crib sheet for the players, denoting each character’s two Temperaments – their Blessing and Curse. Both are vital to the role-playing experience. This serves as a reminder to the GM when developing social dynamics in the game world, and to have a quicklist of the distinct personality traits of each character.
- Over the course of the session, whenever the GM notes that the player is exemplifying their character’s Blessing or Curse in a distinct way, the GM tells the player to make a check mark beside it.
- Providing that there’s at least 1 check mark beside Blessing by the end of the session, the player is awarded 25 bonus RP.
- If there are at least 1 check mark beside Curse by the end of the session, they earn an additional 25 RP.
Even though Temperaments have no raw mechanics tied to them, they are as important as Skill Ranks, Talents, Traits and Primary Attributes in a grim & perilous world. GMs should give players constructive feedback to players to help polish and finesse their character’s Blessing and Curse with a careful hand. This is as much a part of the process for Gamemastering a ZWEIHÄNDER game as is playing referee. GMs act as a teacher in this sense; they not only teach how the game is played to players, but also reward players as they personify their character’s personality following the rough guidelines set for their Temperaments. And while this required a careful hand in the GM’s part (such as in the case with players that want to “hog the spotlight”), the ultimate goal is for the entire gaming group to get into the right mood that encourages role-playing equally across the board.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this important distinction to the ZWEIHÄNDER reward system!