February 17, 2011 by dracs
Nearly all my life, I have been fascinated by folklore and stories, especially the darker varieties. Imagine my excitement when Andy showed me this RPG from Fantasy Flight Games.
FFG are well known for their fantastic selection of RPG and board games and this one definitely appears to live up to their reputation… ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… Grimm!
Everyone knows about the Brothers Grimm, how they travelled Germany, gathering up folk tales and stories. Everyone knows the most famous of those stories… Snow White an the Seven Dwarves… Hansel and Gretel pushing the wicked witch into her oven… and Little Red Riding Hood, being saved just in time by the woodcutter.
What people don’t know is why. What compelled these two brothers to search for these stories?
As a kid who has found themselves in a land filled with the inhabitants of these stories, your about to find out. Welcome to the Grimm Lands, the place where the brothers Grimm captured all those story book creatures, a place shaped by the imagination of children. Do you remember some of the things you imagined as a child?
This fantastically…well, grim… RPG draws heavily upon the nursery rhymes and stories everyone is familiar with, twisting them beyond our recognition.
The players take the roles of kids, who have somehow been transported into this strange and twisted, fairytale world and now must work together to avoid its strange inhabitants, navigate its constantly changing landscape and get back to the real world.
Well you don’t have to work together, you could always just throw the nerd to the troll under the bridge. As they say, it doesn’t matter how fast I can run just as long as I run faster than you.
As with most RPG games this one has its own classes for you to base your character around. Unlike other RPG’s they aren’t exactly the usual wizard or rogue. In Grimm your character is a kid, so your classes reflect what kind of kid you are. You could be a nerd, a bully, a dreamer, an outcast(think the emo kid, who won’t shut up about how bad they’ve got life), a jock and many others.
Hands up, who wants to be the normal kid?
The unique characterisation is not the only exciting thing about the setting (especially for anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with folklore and fairy tales). You’ll find yourself coming face to face with goblins in the woods, trolls under every bridge, talking animals, insane humans, malignant trees, giants and that ultimate in evil… that eggy master of malignancy… Humpty Dumpty!
All the monsters and characters are thoroughly twisted and far more sinister than you might otherwise have thought. To borrow a Pratchettian idea, it is the difference between the cute, cuddly images of unicorns we are used to and facing an angry horse with a sharp 12 inch spike on its head.
This game is fun if you like immersive and fun roleplaying, your characters aren’t super-powered warriors with the latest “+5 widget of arse-kicking”, the game owes a lot more to Call Of Cthulhu and other narrative horror games than to the “kick the door down and steal the treasure” dungeon romps and some knowledge of the true Grimm Fairy Tales (where not everyone lives happily ever after) is definitely an advantage.
Other than that, I would definitely recommend this to someone who might be looking for an alternative role playing experience, or just to have a look at the background fluff… as it’s fantastic.