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  • Removing Grimderp

    Has anyone else noticed there's a plaque of "Grimderp" in a lot of WOD writing?

    To those unfamiliar with the term, "Grim-Derp" p
    ortmanteau of Grimdark and Derp used to describe a specific-yet-common symptom of grimdark that happens when details an author uses to try and highlight the horrible aspects of a series fail to follow the logical themes of the story. Hence the derp.

    An example of this can be pointed out in WTA's "Wyrm". The setting itself has established the wyrmish faction as dangerous collection of enemies prospering do to weaknesses in human society and slowly overpowering the Garou thanks to the Damage human society is doing to them in their ignorance. This is all well and good. Until of course you notice that this faction is also so toxic and self destructive that it shouldn't be able function at all, much less be a credible threat.


    Many of the of Team wyrm are prone to causing as much damage to their team as to their enemies, many wyrmish weapons and abilities are double-edged swords that harm the user in some way, and simply joining the wyrm lowers you life/health expectancy dramatically by virtue of the random mutations, physical/spiritual/psychological damage, or just the simple lack of value placed on individual members. Their villains ring of Saturday morning monsters of the week who's plans would ;likely fail without the heroes involvement were any consequences similar to real life to befall them, but this is handwaved away with the power of "Wyrmish influence" because the concept of destruction also seems to have a large amount of other powers the have nothing to do with destroying things(Read as "Authorial Bias").

    These same problems plague the Elders of vampire, the Naphandi of mage, The Oblivion factions of Wraith, Apophis from Mummy, most of Demon, etc.

    Has anyone else noticed this problem, and if so how have you removed it from you games? This seems to be a plague on most games with darker elements. They try to have grimdark elements only to forget they're also supposed to tell a Good story, not just a Grimdark story.

  • #2
    I'd look at like the current war on drugs. Despite growing numbers in prisons on drug treatment programs and the like young ones keep lining up to kill themselves.

    In some ways Destruction manifests in very double edged ways. If you've ever seen anyone enraged over a small slight, so enraged that they embarass themselves, you might get an idea of what these wyrm folks are like.

    Anton LaVey once said, you cant have an army of satanists. It will destroy itself.

    This is the embodiment of destruction. And the wyrm as well. Total annhilation.

    As for the more kindly powers, if I was at the table I wouldnt mind if u removed them. Especially for elder vampires, why would they help their lessers? Even if they could, they should never. Unless they owe something.

    I'd like to know more about what you mean though, as I am less familiar with werewolf and stuff than vampire.

    Edit: I know I didnt help much with removal, but anyways along with the constantly growing masses that are endlessly replenished in Werewolf, unless I'm mistaken, if the wyrm thing kills itself and hurts your pack can you still claim reknown, honor, or wisdom? Oh the horror.... for some players anyway.
    Last edited by Talvas; 03-11-2019, 12:54 PM.

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    • #3
      While there are certainly elements to tone back in the settings at times (every 'dark' setting that's built up over time is going to have moments that fall flat), there's two issues here.

      First is that every fiction genre has it's conceits that fall apart if you pick at them too much. There's a certain point where you just have to buy into what you're playing, and suspend some disbelief.

      Second, it's rather massively tossing out the idea that the lack of cohesion among many of the antagonist factions is basically the only reason the player factions stand a chance. Things like the Wyrm's nature being self-destructive create a reason to think that the Garou have a chance to do anything; and says a lot about the Garou's own history with prideful self-destructive acts.

      ------

      Nitpick: grimdark and 'grimderp' (I hate the term btw), are compound words, not portmanteaus, as the words aren't truncated in a contraction when combined together.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

        Nitpick: grimdark and 'grimderp' (I hate the term btw), are compound words, not portmanteaus, as the words aren't truncated in a contraction when combined together.
        Didn't know that honestly, English isn't my best subject I guess. I didn't make the term though, It's existed a far as early Warhammer Games. It's an old term from when 4chan was the front page of the internet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Honestly, most of Revised Edition and all of V5 epitomize grimderp in my opinion.

          Especially when it concerns the metaplot.

          Heck, to me the very concept of "personal horror" is inherently grimderp, but I'm an iconoclast so take my words with a grain of salt.
          Last edited by Camilla; 03-12-2019, 11:47 AM.

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          • #6
            The main way I dealt with it in my Mage campaign was to take one of the elements of Orpheus and run with it; Oblivion is a LIE. The idea that all of Creation can be undone is the Nephandic equivalent of a fairy tale. In one campaign the PCs were investigating and ended up on the edge of Oblivion itself... specifically at the spiritual embodiment of the Fallen Tower which was a Nephandic holy site that leaned out over the maw of Oblivion). What they leaned through ancient writings on the walls is that the Oblivion was a myth created by the first Neverborn Malfeans..the first beings to reach its edge and falter in primal feat at the gateway to the unknown. This myth of eternal destruction filtered up to other spirits of the dead and the practices of Mages who associated with the dead and over time was corrupted by angry outcasts mages into a nihilistic credo that became the first Nephandi.

            It filtered up to the Fera as well in the story that the Primeval Wyrm had gone insane and was now consuming everything.

            The Nephandic Cauls, the Black Spiral, the Banes and corruption spirits all grew from the power of belief in this lie and further hiding the trutth.

            The Truth? Oblivion/the Wyrm is what it has always been... the portal to birth/rebirth and the transition from one life to the next. The primal fear of the Neverborn is the fear of an infant being born from the safety of its mother’s womb that it all it has ever known into a bright, cold uncertain world beyond.

            The Neverborn are literally the “never born.” Primeval miscarriages whose spirits were too afraid of birth and even more terrified of the unknowns of rebirth to pass through “Oblivion’s” maw.

            The greatest irony is that the corruption the werewolves are fighting isn’t actually the Wyrm at all. It’s just the natural side effect of the Weaver’s efforts to keep the current world from sliding into the maw of Rebirth.

            By defying the natural pull of entropy, the Wraith Hierarchy, the Weaver Spirits (embodying man’s primal desire for a stable and knowable world... a fear of chaos and the unknown), the static vampires and the Technocracy all must build ever more elaborate constructs and schemes to keep it from all tumbling down... and it is the imperfections in this ever more rickety structure and compromises needed to keep it all afloat that creates the corruption the werewolves sense as The Wyrm.

            What the werewolves are actually fighting is not the True Wyrm, but the corruption in the construct built by Man to protect itself from the very primal fears of corruption/oblivion placed in them by the Impergium. The Nephandi are lunatics who drive themselves insane because their exposure to “The Truth” instills in them not a desire to clear away the rot so there’s room for new growth, but a nihilistic desire to “tear it all down.”

            Both the Banes and the Nephandi are self-destructive messes because they are NOT actually any sort of cosmic force of oblivion.

            The banes the werewolves fight are the natural corruption of a system that has grown to stagnant (like papering over the dry rot or applying another layer of bondo and paint to the rust on a car), but corruption keeps growing because the wolves are so focused on the symptoms, they can’t see the disease (i.e. the stagnation of the world) and even more that THEY are actually the root cause of that disease (the world stagnates because of its overwhelming fear of the unknown... of the monsters that lurk there and prey upon them... in short, the werewolves from days past).

            The Nephandi are the people who react to a cancer diagnosis by trying to kill themselves to just get it over with instead of devoting the time and energy it would take to actually cleanse the body of the poisons.

            In other words, the actual means of restoring the cosmic balance is to stop fighting “Oblivion” and allow the dead and corrupt to be consumed so it can be reborn. The Wyrm and Nephandi are just the two opposite extremes of dealing with it (“ignore it and hope it goes away” and “burn it all down” respectively).

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            • #7
              I think this is an observation of the WoD tendency towards bleakness and misery for the sake of misery and bleakness, until it can become self parody. Where everyone above middle management is a cannibal and a satanist and the company's product is packaged suicidal ideation. Toning some of that down should be possible, while maintaining an important aspect; the light at the end of the tunnels is an oncoming train. Not everyone is a raving monster, not everything is sculpted shit, but everyone and everything is doomed.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
                The main way I dealt with it in my Mage campaign was to take one of the elements of Orpheus and run with it; Oblivion is a LIE. The idea that all of Creation can be undone is the Nephandic equivalent of a fairy tale. In one campaign the PCs were investigating and ended up on the edge of Oblivion itself... specifically at the spiritual embodiment of the Fallen Tower which was a Nephandic holy site that leaned out over the maw of Oblivion). What they leaned through ancient writings on the walls is that the Oblivion was a myth created by the first Neverborn Malfeans..the first beings to reach its edge and falter in primal feat at the gateway to the unknown. This myth of eternal destruction filtered up to other spirits of the dead and the practices of Mages who associated with the dead and over time was corrupted by angry outcasts mages into a nihilistic credo that became the first Nephandi.
                I had that idea in mind for a Garou that wanted to fix the riddle of the broken weaver-wyld-wyrm. The only way to fix it was to destroy it and let the Wyld start again (Long term plan was to seek to spirits that could arrange another asteroid like the Dinosaur ending event). The Wyrm isn't a problem, the Corruption-Wyrm, or as you put it; the fear of the cycle, is the problem.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
                  Has anyone else noticed there's a plaque of "Grimderp" in a lot of WOD writing?[/SIZE][/COLOR]

                  No.

                  I just play the games that I play and enjoy them for what they are. I try not to look for issues, especially if I find something entertaining.

                  If I did, I wouldn't have enjoyed Captain Marvel nearly as much, for example.


                  I'm a gamer. I'm conservative. We exist.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fat Larry View Post


                    No.

                    I just play the games that I play and enjoy them for what they are. I try not to look for issues, especially if I find something entertaining.
                    This. Though there have been times when I really enjoyed a game's concept but found parts of it to be a bridge too far for suspension of disbelief. (Deadlands for example.)

                    If I did, I wouldn't have enjoyed Captain Marvel nearly as much, for example.
                    To me, Monica Rambeau will always be the one true Marvel Comics Captain Marvel.


                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                      This. Though there have been times when I really enjoyed a game's concept but found parts of it to be a bridge too far for suspension of disbelief. (Deadlands for example.)
                      Eh, as anyone that knows me would vouch, I overthink these sorts of of things. I have a much smaller window for suspension of disbelief for these things.

                      World with magic in setting? Cool, they must have different or additions sets of physics compared to our own. Characters acting like insane asylum inmates? Shaky ground,but I Know people like that. Said world doesn't follow the logical conclusion of a character's actions and unrealistically favors the Heroes/Villains? Immersion Broken! Abort! Abort!

                      I like WOD as a setting, I'm just nit-picky about some of the details on how that setting functions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I can't say that I've really seen much. I think a certain issue is looking at the settings from a reading perspective rather than a game perspective. Like, does the idea of the Nephandi infiltrating the leaderships of the Traditions and Technocracy work totally logically given their propensity to in-fighting? Maybe not. But are players ever going to be in a position to sociologically analyse the Nepahndi to the point that the question needs an answer? I'd say probably not.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
                          The main way I dealt with it in my Mage campaign was to take one of the elements of Orpheus and run with it; Oblivion is a LIE. The idea that all of Creation can be undone is the Nephandic equivalent of a fairy tale. In one campaign the PCs were investigating and ended up on the edge of Oblivion itself... specifically at the spiritual embodiment of the Fallen Tower which was a Nephandic holy site that leaned out over the maw of Oblivion). What they leaned through ancient writings on the walls is that the Oblivion was a myth created by the first Neverborn Malfeans..the first beings to reach its edge and falter in primal feat at the gateway to the unknown. This myth of eternal destruction filtered up to other spirits of the dead and the practices of Mages who associated with the dead and over time was corrupted by angry outcasts mages into a nihilistic credo that became the first Nephandi.

                          It filtered up to the Fera as well in the story that the Primeval Wyrm had gone insane and was now consuming everything.

                          The Nephandic Cauls, the Black Spiral, the Banes and corruption spirits all grew from the power of belief in this lie and further hiding the trutth.

                          The Truth? Oblivion/the Wyrm is what it has always been... the portal to birth/rebirth and the transition from one life to the next. The primal fear of the Neverborn is the fear of an infant being born from the safety of its mother’s womb that it all it has ever known into a bright, cold uncertain world beyond.

                          The Neverborn are literally the “never born.” Primeval miscarriages whose spirits were too afraid of birth and even more terrified of the unknowns of rebirth to pass through “Oblivion’s” maw.

                          The greatest irony is that the corruption the werewolves are fighting isn’t actually the Wyrm at all. It’s just the natural side effect of the Weaver’s efforts to keep the current world from sliding into the maw of Rebirth.

                          By defying the natural pull of entropy, the Wraith Hierarchy, the Weaver Spirits (embodying man’s primal desire for a stable and knowable world... a fear of chaos and the unknown), the static vampires and the Technocracy all must build ever more elaborate constructs and schemes to keep it from all tumbling down... and it is the imperfections in this ever more rickety structure and compromises needed to keep it all afloat that creates the corruption the werewolves sense as The Wyrm.

                          What the werewolves are actually fighting is not the True Wyrm, but the corruption in the construct built by Man to protect itself from the very primal fears of corruption/oblivion placed in them by the Impergium. The Nephandi are lunatics who drive themselves insane because their exposure to “The Truth” instills in them not a desire to clear away the rot so there’s room for new growth, but a nihilistic desire to “tear it all down.”

                          Both the Banes and the Nephandi are self-destructive messes because they are NOT actually any sort of cosmic force of oblivion.

                          The banes the werewolves fight are the natural corruption of a system that has grown to stagnant (like papering over the dry rot or applying another layer of bondo and paint to the rust on a car), but corruption keeps growing because the wolves are so focused on the symptoms, they can’t see the disease (i.e. the stagnation of the world) and even more that THEY are actually the root cause of that disease (the world stagnates because of its overwhelming fear of the unknown... of the monsters that lurk there and prey upon them... in short, the werewolves from days past).

                          The Nephandi are the people who react to a cancer diagnosis by trying to kill themselves to just get it over with instead of devoting the time and energy it would take to actually cleanse the body of the poisons.

                          In other words, the actual means of restoring the cosmic balance is to stop fighting “Oblivion” and allow the dead and corrupt to be consumed so it can be reborn. The Wyrm and Nephandi are just the two opposite extremes of dealing with it (“ignore it and hope it goes away” and “burn it all down” respectively).
                          Every so often I read an idea that completely turns my conception of a game setting on its head, and this is one of those times. Well done.

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                          • #14
                            The biggest grimderp that I know is PENTEX. Mainly because to me there need not be a malicious intent at all for companies to screw over people, the enviroment and so on. First Teams just add to the mess.

                            My fix has always been simple, remove the giant company, remove First Teams and any 'destroy the Earth' intent. Done. To me, the very real horror of regular stores selling tainted stuff with no ill will and ignorance is scarier. Because there is no one to point there and call bad.


                            My gallery.

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                            • #15
                              No One of Consequence has a great thread on Pentex companies, but the overarching theme is honestly, Pentex doesn't need to be trying to mess up the environment, most normal practices and non-supernatural corruption do that well enough as it is.

                              http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...any-by-company

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