As you may have noticed it’s not 100% Amazing Tales around here. Every now and then I like to write games for grown-ups as well. Bad Debt is my first scenario for the Zweihander Grim and Perilous RPG.
If you’re not familiar with Zweihander it’s a grim and gritty role-playing game that lets you tell stories more along the lines of Game of Thrones than Lord of the Rings. All mud, guts, plague and desperation. You can get the PDF version of the system for just $10.
So, Bad Debt. Bad Debt is specially written as an introductory scenario. It takes place in a cramped, crowded and corrupt debtor’s prison, which keeps the action – and the characters – confined. It makes special use of one of the things that makes Zweihander stand out – the Peril mechanic, which models physical and mental stress and strain. As you can imagine, being in prison piles on both. It’s loaded up with difficult choices for the players and is very much focused around role-playing. Combat in Zweihander is brutal, deadly and best avoided, so smart players will learn to start by talking…
Bad Debt is structured so you can introduce different rules as you go. I’ve redesigned the Zweihander character sheet to make it new player friendly, and I put together an NPC roster sheet so the GM can minimise the number of bits of paper they need to keep track of.
The ambition was to be able to run the whole scenario without needing to consult the rulebook for anything. We didn’t quite achieve that in the play-tests, but we came very close indeed.