Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Kriegsmesser by Gregor Vega

Buy Kriegsmesser – because I say so. If that isn't enough:

Kriegsmesser is a gritty and sometimes raucous look at the "long sixteenth century somewhere in Europe" designed by Gregor Vuga. It's a no, or low magic setting with "scientists," mercenaries, merchants, and spies. The tone is gritty, dark humor. The game uses Troika! style careers rather than the race/class norm of traditional RPGS. You need only d6s to play. 

Kriegsmesser is well-written, stylish, and inspiration. The physical copy I have features a nice "floppy" hand feel. Despite that, I would like to have seen a thicker cover stock used. It can be played with Troika! (a derivation of Fighting Fantasy by Jackson & Livingston) or with Gregor's own, onboard system.

I backed Kriegsmesser during Zine Quest 3. Here we are, just 2.5 months later, and I have both a PDF and a physical copy in hand. There was roughly one update a week between successful funding and delivery - just the right amount. I got the Preview 3+ weeks ago, the PDF over a week ago, and the zine this week. Congrats on a clear, well run KS campaign go to Gregor Vuga and his team! This is what a really professional KS feels like - not too aloof and not too chummy, no gratuitous stretch goals or messy piles of digital files, clear expectations were set by the creators and then they delivered. 

The zine packs a lot of punch. A bit about the implied setting is followed by a short page of character creation rules and 36 random careers. After that comes a basket of goodies: a rules base that's a good alternate to Troika!, optional rules for combat that makes it a bit more mechanical and/or more likely to cause scars than death, some thoughts on running the game, a whole system for creating flavorful NPCs, a method of generating towns and adventures, some flavorful pre-generated scoundrels for encounters, more info about the 'long sixteenth', and a final thought on playing the game in other times or places.