I recently ran a one-shot of the Zorro RPG from Gallant Knight Games. It’s a lot of fun, so I thought I’d post a mini-review and share some custom character sheets I’ve made.
The players will play members of Zorro’s Legion, brave rebels battling injustice and tyranny in Alta California (early 1800s)
The game uses the D6 system originally used in the 1987 Star Wars RPG from West End Games. The basic mechanic is pretty simple: a player rolls a bunch of D6s based on their stats and skill level. They compare the total to a specific difficulty level to succeed. If you ever played Star Wars or any of the many D6 systems that came after it, you’ll have no difficulty playing this. D6 is a fairly pulpy system, so it fits the Zorro source material quite well.
Things I really liked about the game:
- There’s a detailed history of Zorro in all of the various media: the original books, movies, comics, and TV series.
- There are two full adventures, several adventure seeds, and a solo adventure. I was pleased to see this, as a lot of games omit adventures
- It has several quickstart characters, much like Star Wars, that make creating a new character quick and easy.
- Since a lot of Zorro stories involve various machinations to keep Zorro’s identity a secret, there are extensive rules for creating and maintaining Secret Identities. Characters are given Suspicion points whenever their secret identity is put in danger. The character’s actions can raise or lower this total. There are occasional D6 suspicion rolls to avoid being unmasked. I’m definitely stealing this mechanic for other pulp-style games.
- Detailed information and ideas for creating secret hideouts – also common in the Zorro stories
- Weak guns. They exist in the game, but the rules are such, that a good swordsman is almost always deadlier. This also matches the source material. A Zorro game is about swordplay, not gunplay.
A few things I think could be improved :
- I think a lot of the rules could benefit from better explanations. For example, it’s not made entirely clear that stat values are added to the skill values to get the final number of dice. I knew this from other D6 games, but it could use a bit more highlighting in the text.
- A lot of the rules would be a lot clearer with more examples. There are a few, but not nearly enough.
- No index. The book isn’t big (176 pages), so it’s not too hard to find things, but it would’ve been nice.
There’s a fillable version of the character sheet available at this excellent page of Zorro resources. The color background in the PDF makes the file a little sluggish and hard to print. I’ve made a B&W version without the background.
I’ve also made a two-page custom character sheet of my own design. It’s got a bit more space for entering background info, and you can import a character image into the upper right-hand corner. It’s another entry in my ever-growing series of character sheets.