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Grimms (2E House Rule)

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  • Grimms (2E House Rule)

    "This is my story. It'll go the way I want it...or I'll end it here!" - Tidus, Final Fantasy X

    There is nothing that the Hedge loves more than a written tale. Sure, it loves any story told through word of mouth, whispered from human lips to human ears. But as soon as humanity began to write its stories, the Hedge grew and flourished. From pictographs and wall paintings, through the invention of the printing press, and further with the onset of radio and television, right up to the rise of the Internet and modern cinema, the concepts and ideas recorded and disseminated have invariably impacted upon the Thorns in profound ways. In collecting and recording all the stories ever authored by mortals, the Grimm embody them in the roles they embrace. And in doing so, they honor the old promise made with the Hedge once upon a time, a long time ago.

    Appearance: You know a Grimm because she has the scent of paper or parchment about her, and wears ink, illustrations, or film on her skin. Perhaps she leaves faint wisps of music in his wake, while shadows and lengthen and deepen with the flow of her tale. Whatever it is, somewhere about her is the preservation of stories in print or paint. Beyond that, she will take on roles from local stories, indirectly or directly, as is necessary for survival. To mundane eyes, this is theatrical, subtle, but all the while artificial. There is nothing especially fantastic in her appearance to most people, just subtle yet potent hints at her narrative role.

    Changelings see her between roles as a swirl of words and pages in human shape, a book of blood bound by human flesh and outline, or an ever-shifting collage of photos and sketches. Every inch of her is covered in such words and imagery. But when the Grimm is playing a role, other Lost also see him in the role that he has taken on. He may appear as the essence of any popular character in myth and story within the area. If he is a princess in a tower in need of aid, so he will be a beautiful maid with long silky hair. If he chooses instead to be a hard-boiled detective, then he carries himself in a gruff and experienced manner. His skin will still crawl with words, but the role is prominent enough that the words may be forgotten. And for as long he chooses to don it, the role is who he truly is. Cinderella is Cinderella whether or not she can clean. Sinbad is Sinbad even if he doesn’t know how to sail. No magic or skill can deprive a Grimm of his chosen role. Only a conscious choice to relinquish it can achieve that.


    Background: Before his durance, the Grimm was a bland and uncreative sort, tending to live his life in quiet anonymity. Perhaps his dreams were small, and in his pragmatic way, he didn’t have much time for fancy stories and make-believe. Something happened early, maybe, that robbed him of his spark, or possibly he simply never had it to begin with. The individual dismisses the boogey man standing right in front of him, and clings tightly to his mundane life. But in his desire to not see the potential all around him, he walked blindly into the Hedge with his hands over his eyes and his fingers in his ears.


    The Escape: The Grimm's constant denial nearly broke him. Yet eventually, he came to pay attention to the tells and hints manifest in this fantastically terrible existence. All at once, he realized the beats in the story of his life, and what he was meant to do in order to escape. As he fled, using the clues all around him, the Hedge itself whispered, making him a promise. A way out, a path back, but only if he swore to become a part of the stories that humankind told over and over. And so the Grimm agreed, and the path lay before him, and he fled — but with him, he carried that promise to the Hedge, unaware of what it could mean to humankind.


    Character Creation: Before the durance, the Grimm was practical, pragmatic, or just painfully dull. She likely had a labor-based job and that was her focus entirely. Since her escape, though, she has grown obsessed with either collecting stories, or living her chosen role to the fullest. A Grimm who desires to change her role frequently may study local lore, read books, or seduce and manipulate writers. A Grimm who wants to dedicate herself to one role will seek skills and abilities to mimic her role.


    Blessing: Clarity of the Story
    A Grimm takes on a role, and finds comfort in the beats and patterns of behavior expected of that role. No matter how chaotic or damaging the life that swirls around her, so long as she clings to a role she will be safe. She must keep her promise to the Hedge, or her promise to herself, and everything will be okay. Once per story, if a character other than the Grimm treats her as he would anyone in her current role, without being directly asked to do so, the Grimm regains a point of Clarity for free. Furthermore, a Grimm's promise to the Hedge imparts greater weight to his dealings with mortals and Huntsmen alike. Each Bargain made by her inflicts a -2 penalty to all hunting and investigation rolls made by one of the Gentry or Huntsmen to find her. And the mortal bound by it is also subject to a Seal. The Grimm can spend Willpower to strengthen the Seal, as usual.


    Curse: So It Has Been Written
    A Grimm needs a role to maintain and regain Clarity, and to fulfill her promise. Without a role, she is dull, sad, lifeless — and worse, easy prey for the Huntsmen. Yet within one, though, she is limited by the story from which the role sprang. Any time a Grimm playing a role chooses an action that benefits her, but is opposite her role, she suffers a Clarity breaking point. If she is not in a role, she suffers the reverse of the rote quality on rolls to elude Huntsmen and the Gentry. She rerolls all successful dice, and only counts those which succeed twice.


    Concepts:

    • When you were a little girl, you thought you could be whoever you wanted to be if you just tried hard enough. But as you grew older, the realities of life wore you down until you came to think that the world had no place for such wishful thinking. Your durance and escape raised you up, however, and you now live out your days realizing those old childhood dreams.

    • You lived through the horrors of war, and seen the worst that people can do to each other. You tried to block it all out, stay locked up in your own little world. You were dragged out of it, however, but realized during the nightmares that followed how that dark chapter in your life helped you survive. You wove your story as a soldier into your role, and proudly bear its marks on your body while compiling recollections from your fellow veterans.

    • As the archetypical Fool, you stumbled between roles without ever sticking to a single one. Yet despite the dangers of your liminal existence, you feel more alive than you ever did before that fateful day. To Hell with complacency. You'll keep on trying everything, and you'll write your own story along the way.
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 01-11-2017, 08:58 AM.


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

  • #2
    Most of the fluff is taken from the Dark Eras supplement, but was included as part of a presentation for my take on the non-Clarity aspect of the Grimm Blessing. I also included a concept section, similar to that found for the other Seemings in the playtest draft.


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

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    • #3
      Excellent work. I would add that Grimm in the 20th and 21st centuries incorporate the tools of the new types of media, from radio and television to cinema and the Internet. A hard boiled detective not only looks experienced and gruff, but you can also see that his trench-coat and hat have movie tickets and film rolls woven into them.

      As Grimms grow in Wyrd, their roles and Miens reach out into their surroundings. The previously mentioned detective might be followed by a "bubble" of Noir fiction: half-heard brooding music, shadows grow longer and deeper, and Glamour takes on a tinge of crimson with an aftertaste of whiskey. Besides this atmosphere, events are also connected in ways that make more sense for mystery novels than typical investigations. Should the detective have something like the Token Master Merit from 1ED, he'll find his iconic possessions turning into Tokens that aid him in fulfilling his role: his trench-coat makes him just lucky enough to dodge a fatal bullet and his binoculars let him see in the darkness and around corners.


      "Fate is a cruel jester with a finely developed sense of irony." - Sir Night as portrayed by Leliel, The Horror Recognition Guide

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
        Excellent work. I would add that Grimm in the 20th and 21st centuries incorporate the tools of the new types of media, from radio and television to cinema and the Internet. A hard boiled detective not only looks experienced and gruff, but you can also see that his trench-coat and hat have movie tickets and film rolls woven into them.

        As Grimms grow in Wyrd, their roles and Miens reach out into their surroundings. The previously mentioned detective might be followed by a "bubble" of Noir fiction: half-heard brooding music, shadows grow longer and deeper, and Glamour takes on a tinge of crimson with an aftertaste of whiskey. Besides this atmosphere, events are also connected in ways that make more sense for mystery novels than typical investigations. Should the detective have something like the Token Master Merit from 1ED, he'll find his iconic possessions turning into Tokens that aid him in fulfilling his role: his trench-coat makes him just lucky enough to dodge a fatal bullet and his binoculars let him see in the darkness and around corners.
        Thanks for pointing it out.

        Added in mention of modern media into the write-up, and made some extra additions in relation to it. Also, is the boost in Bargains enough? My initial thought was to make it -3 instead of -2, but I don't know. What do you think?


        "My Homebrew Hub"
        Age of Azar
        The Kingdom of Yamatai

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post

          Thanks for pointing it out.

          Added in mention of modern media into the write-up, and made some extra additions in relation to it. Also, is the boost in Bargains enough? My initial thought was to make it -3 instead of -2, but I don't know. What do you think?
          You're welcome. To be honest, the exact ratings of penalties and bonuses in house rules aren't as important as what they're penalizing/enhancing. You just type a different number that's more to your liking. That being said, my intuition says -2.

          I imagine that there are a lot of Grimms adopting the roles of superheroes nowadays. Do you think there could be an increase in Grimms adopting the role of gadgeteers and modern businessmen, what with the impact of figures like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs? What about those who journey to other lands for better opportunities, what with the spike in immigration caused by wars, dictatorships, economical crises and so on?


          "Fate is a cruel jester with a finely developed sense of irony." - Sir Night as portrayed by Leliel, The Horror Recognition Guide

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
            You're welcome. To be honest, the exact ratings of penalties and bonuses in house rules aren't as important as what they're penalizing/enhancing. You just type a different number that's more to your liking. That being said, my intuition says -2.

            I imagine that there are a lot of Grimms adopting the roles of superheroes nowadays. Do you think there could be an increase in Grimms adopting the role of gadgeteers and modern businessmen, what with the impact of figures like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs? What about those who journey to other lands for better opportunities, what with the spike in immigration caused by wars, dictatorships, economical crises and so on?
            Superheroes, gadgeteers, and modern businessmen are all good choices for roles. And I imagine many examples of those three being pieced together as "original works", so to speak. The Superhero builds up a following and story in the locale he is active in. The gadgeteer and businessman gradually become household names due to the exploits they achieve in their roles.


            "My Homebrew Hub"
            Age of Azar
            The Kingdom of Yamatai

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post

              Superheroes, gadgeteers, and modern businessmen are all good choices for roles. And I imagine many examples of those three being pieced together as "original works", so to speak. The Superhero builds up a following and story in the locale he is active in. The gadgeteer and businessman gradually become household names due to the exploits they achieve in their roles.
              That was my line of thought as well.

              Also, due to the strange way that time works in the Hedge and Arcadia, you might see a Grimm with the role of sea-faring or outer space explorer escaping into our era, despite having been kidnapped in the distant past/future.

              Other timey-wimey roles that come to mind:

              1) Designers and builders of World Wonders both cherished and lost.
              2) Exalted soldiers, diplomats and philosophers of great empires from Antiquity to Modernity.
              3) Artists who expose ugly truths and shape dreams.
              4) Outlaws who claw their way to power, commanding fear and respect in equal measure.

              This Seeming sounds perfect for crossover with Mummy and Promethean.

              There should be a Merit that lets a Grimm inherit advantages and drawbacks of a similar one who came before him. It could be like an expanded version of the Second Hand Skills Merit.

              By the way, you should add this thread to your homebrew hub if you haven't already.
              Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 05-28-2016, 02:35 PM.


              "Fate is a cruel jester with a finely developed sense of irony." - Sir Night as portrayed by Leliel, The Horror Recognition Guide

              Comment


              • #8
                It has a lot of potential. One thing that you'll need to consider for it just what constitutes a role, and how a Grimm gains, loses, and switches between roles. Perhaps some combination of Demon's Cover and the fated role Merits from Swords At Dawn might work? Those fated roles could be useful for inspiration for roles in general. I do think that the Grimms could use another advantage and disadvantage to their roles, though. Some sort of aid in playing the role, counteracted by a tendency for the narrative to try and pull you deeper into it. For example, the role of Cinderella will attract "wicked stepsisters", and taking on the role of Batman could prove decidedly unhealthy for the Grimm's parents.


                Currently working on: DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action
                Projects I've contributed to: C20 Anthology of Dreams ("No Such Thing As Dragons")

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by White Oak Dragon View Post
                  It has a lot of potential. One thing that you'll need to consider for it just what constitutes a role, and how a Grimm gains, loses, and switches between roles. Perhaps some combination of Demon's Cover and the fated role Merits from Swords At Dawn might work? Those fated roles could be useful for inspiration for roles in general. I do think that the Grimms could use another advantage and disadvantage to their roles, though. Some sort of aid in playing the role, counteracted by a tendency for the narrative to try and pull you deeper into it. For example, the role of Cinderella will attract "wicked stepsisters", and taking on the role of Batman could prove decidedly unhealthy for the Grimm's parents.
                  I imagine that being represented more by Storytelling than by mechanics. Especially with how the Grimm Curse is worded. Plus, I consider a Grimm's ability to play a role being reflected by the player's skill in roleplaying. And being able to remain faithful to the role (for better or worse) has its own rewards. As for what could be considered a role, though, I imagine it has to be some sort of character archetype that can be embodied with different interpretations. I think stuff like Talecraft and TVTropes might be of help in constructing a given role.

                  Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
                  That was my line of thought as well.
                  Also, due to the strange way that time works in the Hedge and Arcadia, you might see a Grimm with the role of sea-faring or outer space explorer escaping into our era, despite having been kidnapped in the distant past/future.

                  Other timey-wimey roles that come to mind:

                  1) Designers and builders of World Wonders both cherished and lost.
                  2) Exalted soldiers, diplomats and philosophers of great empires from Antiquity to Modernity.
                  3) Artists who expose ugly truths and shape dreams.
                  4) Outlaws who claw their way to power, commanding fear and respect in equal measure.

                  This Seeming sounds perfect for crossover with Mummy and Promethean.
                  More great ideas from you, G.E. And you're right, the Grimms do work well as a crossover-friendly Seeming for so many right reasons.

                  Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
                  There should be a Merit that lets a Grimm inherit advantages and drawbacks of a similar one who came before him. It could be like an expanded version of the Second Hand Skills Merit.

                  By the way, you should add this thread to your homebrew hub if you haven't already.
                  I'll wait for the official Changeling 2E to be finalized and released before I see what sort of new Homebrew Merits I can make. As for adding it to my hub, it's already been done.
                  Last edited by Deionscribe; 05-28-2016, 10:33 PM.


                  "My Homebrew Hub"
                  Age of Azar
                  The Kingdom of Yamatai

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                  • #10
                    Speaking of homebrew Merits, I do have an idea for one that could help with the role issue. Would you like me to share it?


                    Currently working on: DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action
                    Projects I've contributed to: C20 Anthology of Dreams ("No Such Thing As Dragons")

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by White Oak Dragon View Post
                      Speaking of homebrew Merits, I do have an idea for one that could help with the role issue. Would you like me to share it?

                      Go ahead, Do the honors.


                      "My Homebrew Hub"
                      Age of Azar
                      The Kingdom of Yamatai

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post


                        Go ahead, Do the honors.

                        Okay, here's the current version of the Merit, although I acknowledge it might require tweaking (or become unnecessary) once we get the full second edition rules. In my games as it currently stands, I would give Grimms the two dot version of it at character creation for free, and allow them to gain the second dot for free whenever they purchase the first dot of a new instance of the Merit. Feedback welcome.

                        Storybook Life (• to •••••)

                        Prerequisite: Grimm Seeming or Wyrd 2
                        Your character's life resonates with a particular narrative pattern. Choose a specific archetype or fictional character that is iconic to the popular culture of her surroundings. Whenever the character sleeps, she may choose whether or not to don her role upon awakening. While playing her role, the character will often find that the events in her life begin to parallel those associated with her role. In addition to any other benefits gained from the Merit, while playing her role, Huntsmen or Gentry seeking to find the character suffer a penalty equal to her dots in Storybook Life. Whenever your character acts in a manner that is out of character for her role, she must roll her Manipulation + Wits to justify her actions. This roll is penalized by her dots in Storybook Life as well as the number of times in the current scene that she has acted out of character. If she fails this roll, then she has broken character, and the role will not function until she dons it again when she next sleeps. If this roll results in a dramatic failure, then the role is permanently shattered, but the character regains the spent Experiences due to the Sanctity of Merits. This Merit may be purchased more than once, with each instance reflecting a different role. A changeling may never have more instances of Storybook Life than her Composure, or her Composure + Wyrd for Grimms. A character with multiple roles chooses which one to don upon awakening.

                        • Researching the Role: Your character has studied the role she intends to portray intently, gaining a modified version of the Encyclopedic Knowledge Merit relating directly to her role.
                        •• Looking the Part: When donning her role, your character's appearance subtly changes to match the part. Your character gains a modified version of the Many Mask Merit, which specifically makes her appear more like her role. These changes also extend to the character's mien, however.
                        ••• Practice Makes Perfect: Your character benefits from the talents expected of her role. Choose two Skills to associate with this role. Whenever the character takes an action that furthers her role involving either of these Skills, she benefits from the 8-Again quality on the roll.
                        Drawback: Maintaining the role makes it more difficult to act outside of it. Whenever your character takes a mundane action that runs counter to her chosen role, she does not benefit from 10-Again effect on the roll.
                        •••• Character Motivation: Your character has a true understanding of the feelings and motivations of the role that she is playing. Choose either a Virtue or a Vice to associate with this role. While playing this role, your character may regain Willpower in a manner consistent with the Virtue or Vice in addition to her own Needle and Thread.
                        ••••• Living the Legend: Your character's talent for Talecrafting has fully incorporated her Storybook Life's role. The character may make a second Talecrafting attempt in a chapter, provided that the pattern and the Hook connect directly to the role that she is currently playing. When setting the Hook for a pattern that connects to this role, the character also benefits from the rote quality. Your character may only make one additional attempt at Talecrafting in a chapter, regardless of how many instances of Storybook Life that she possesses.
                        Drawback: This ability cuts both ways. Another changeling's attempts at Talecrafting against the character also benefits from the rote quality, provided that the desired Hook or Cruel Twist of Fate ties directly to the character's role.


                        Currently working on: DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action
                        Projects I've contributed to: C20 Anthology of Dreams ("No Such Thing As Dragons")

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                        • #13
                          After revisiting the comments in this thread, I find myself thinking this. Could the role played by a Grimm be played out in a manner similar to a Promethean's Roles or (to a lesser extent) the Lessons of a Beast?


                          "My Homebrew Hub"
                          Age of Azar
                          The Kingdom of Yamatai

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by White Oak Dragon View Post
                            ••••• Living the Legend: Your character's talent for Talecrafting has fully incorporated her Storybook Life's role. The character may make a second Talecrafting attempt in a chapter, provided that the pattern and the Hook connect directly to the role that she is currently playing. When setting the Hook for a pattern that connects to this role, the character also benefits from the rote quality. Your character may only make one additional attempt at Talecrafting in a chapter, regardless of how many instances of Storybook Life that she possesses.
                            Drawback: This ability cuts both ways. Another changeling's attempts at Talecrafting against the character also benefits from the rote quality, provided that the desired Hook or Cruel Twist of Fate ties directly to the character's role.
                            Wait, did Talecrafting show up in a preview I never saw or did someone port it over? Either way I'd like to see it.

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                            • #15
                              I don't believe that it has reappeared yet, but it still seemed appropriate to me, and ultimately the merit is just intended to be a stopgap until we get some more official info on them. This reminds me, I also need to get back to working on my first edition conversion of the Grimm Seeming, so thank you for drawing my attention back to this.


                              Currently working on: DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action
                              Projects I've contributed to: C20 Anthology of Dreams ("No Such Thing As Dragons")

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