This hefty little supplement proves that there’s always room for more weird and wonderful ways for characters to doom themselves.
When you consider that the original rulebook ran to almost 700 pages it’s hard to imagine that the grimdark world of Zweihander could possibly need more content, but this hefty little supplement proves that there’s always room for more weird and wonderful ways for characters to doom themselves.
Where other books out there dedicate themselves to certain themes or setting, Main Gauche’s selling point is that it offers more. More professions, more spells, more weapons and armour more everything really. It’s not the most inspiring theme out there, but it’s fun as hell and able to slot into all whatever dark and messy campaign you have planned.
Within its pages you’ll find rules for brewing up Witcher-inspired mutagens, for running battles atop speeding stagecoaches, for offering arcane flamethrowers and riding aboard zeppelins. There are dozens of new professions – the closest thing Zweihander gets to classes – to pick from, though for several of them it’s not hard to see why many of them hit the cutting room floor on the first pass. Not because they’re bad ideas or poorly written, but rather because they could be challenging to toss into a game with brand-new players and GMs.
The Reaver, for example, has special rules that dictate they are always afraid of the sea, while a randomly rolled Nomad is going to fare rather poorly indeed if your entire campaign is set within the walls of a city.
You could certainly argue that dealing with these kinds of issues is what makes the chaos-loving game fun, and if you’ve already played enough of the core game to be interested in a supplement these hurdles shouldn’t faze you too much.
In fact, this rather neatly sums up the entire book. If you’re brand new to Zweihander it might be worth holding off until you’re happy to add in the extra chaos Main Gauche brings, but if you’ve already fallen in love with the gritty horrors of the core game the new book just offers so much that it’s impossible not to recommend.
RICHARD JANSEN PARKES
PLAY IT? YES
Designer: Grim & Perilous Studios
This review originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.