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 Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales

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PostSubject: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:41 am

Once upon a time there was a land of fairy tales. Where dreams and nightmares walked hand in hand, where wonder and despair were two sides of the same coin, where magic and imagination ruled, and where kindly villagers lived next door to strange beasts.

These are the Grimm Lands, where you - a clever kid from the Real World - find yourself trapped. You might start out as a bully, a nerd, a jock, or an outcast... but you could become much, much more.

Maybe even a hero.

To survive, you'll need to overcome your worst fears, trust your fellow kids, develop your natural talents, and rely on luck and pluck, imagination and muscle. Perhaps you'll live happily ever after... but you might also discover that not all stories end that way.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

In Grimm, you and your fellow players are average, everyday kids. Sure, you're special in your own way. Everyone's special; so say your teachers, guidance counselors, maybe even your parents, and even the purple dinosaur that your little sibling watches. It doesn't matter what they think, though. What matters most is what the other kids think. To them, you're the Jock, the Bully, the Nerd; to your peers, you're Normal, or Popular, or an Outcast. And all of you, even if you don't realize it, have a bit of a Dreamer in you. And that means that all of you have a hidden, awesome power. It is the power to open a pathway, knowingly or unknowingly, directly or in a roundabout way, to another place.

At the game's beginning, you're caught. Caught between age brackets: you're no longer a toddler, but not yet a teenager. Caught between being babied and not being trusted with any responsibility. Caught in a world of generic suburbia, mindless cartoons, and endless rules and restrictions. And soon, you'll be caught by something far more exciting, and far more frightening: the Grimm Lands.

The Grimm Lands are a fantasy world, a place between places, forged from the imaginations, dreams, and nightmares of little boys and girls, and bought into startling view by those with the misfortune to stumble onto its patchwork realms of strangeness and oddity. In many ways, the Grimm Lands resemble our own world: There's a sun, a moon, grass, trees, air to breathe, rivers, lakes, people, and everything in between. Yet for as much as this world has in common with our own, it is also decidedly stranger, and tends to follow its own rules rather than slavishly following the laws of nature. Here, the Sun and Moon are recurring characters, and the grass and trees don't necessarily feed on just the soil. No, the more one explores the Grimm Lands, the less it seems like the ordinary world, and the more it becomes like our world turned inside out and upside down.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*How the Grimm Lands Came to Be~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Everyone knows that the Brothers Grimm scoured their native land for folk stories and compiled them in a book called Kinder-und Hausmarchen (Children and Household Tales), which the world eventually came to know as Grimm's Fairy Tales. What few know is that their search served another purpose. The characters of the tales and the monsters of legend were real. Some believed that the Devil himself created these monsters to plague humanity. Others held that the monsters arose from the minds of the people of Europe as personifications of humanity's darkest fears. The exact nature of the monsters is lost to time, but it is known that the Brothers Grimm undertook an obsessive quest to locate and record their times' strange people, places and events.

Some say they captured their first creature accidentally, coming upon a giant man trapped in the twists of a similarly large-scaled beanstalk. They tortured the hapless creature for days, until it finally agreed to give them its only treasure in exchange for release: a mystical book filled with tales aplenty, but none of which were complete. As the brothers wandered with their prize, they found themselves being led to strange occurrence after strange occurrence, event after event, that mirrored the beginnings of each tale within the tome. And so they accumulated not stories, but stories' endings. And where the endings were not so happy, the brothers used literary license to change them. But none of this explains why they worked so arduously to complete the book.

The answer lies with a creature named Melusine, who begins to appear in the Grimms' journal entries soon after their acquisition of the book. She is described as a woman, yet seemed more and less than a mortal. She alternately threatened, cajoled, seduced, and begged the brothers to complete their cataloging, hounding their heels to the last story and rhyme. The brothers do not admit the reward offered by this dark temptress, nor do they explain what she demanded of them. They hint only that, whatever their actions, they were not pure of heart.

The results of their efforts are not known to the general populace. To those who have entered the Grimm Lands, however, and found their way out, it is all too obvious: In cataloging these stories for Melusine's amusement, they formed a world apart. Those whose stories were mystically captured were damned to populate this other place, the Grimm Lands, for eternity. The Grimm brothers are long since dead and dust, and Melusine may or may not have shuffled off a mortal coil. Regardless, their legacy lives on.

Of all people, it is only children who see the doors to the Grimm Lands, and of them, only the most imaginative can make their way through. Oftentimes, a child slips through by accident, the Lands themselves groping hungrily for new victims. When a much-coveted morsel of humanity slips into the Grimm Lands, all of its creatures compete for the child's attention. How the denizens of the Grimm Lands deal with the children varies. Some enjoy the children, exulting in their laughter and joy. Most, however, have far darker desires. They may crave the succulent flesh of a plump child to feed their inhuman tastes. Or perhaps they simply enjoy dealing out sugary spoonfuls of horrific pain, reveling in the shrieks of the frightened and desperate captive. The children unlucky enough to find themselves in the Grimm Lands are sure to find that they have a very deadly and treacherous path to tread if they ever hope to leave it sane, much less alive. These are their stories... and there might not be a happy ending.
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PostSubject: Re: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:06 am

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~People of Grimm*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The most telling difference between the Grimm Lans and our world is in its people. In this place, the notion of "people" extends much further than we are accustomed to. What might look like an ordinary rabbit, excepting the gleaming pocket watch and smart little vest, could very well be a prominent town businessman, or even the mayor. There are also scary witches lurking in houses built from gingerbread, gloomy castles floatingon clouds and haunted by ravenous giants, and deep, dark forests harboring unspeakable monsters, villainous wolves, mad woodcutters, lost children, and even the groaning bulk of the Rotten Kin. As a result, the term "people" is used a bit more widely in the Grimm Lands.

HUMANS:
The Countryside is full of quaint little villages, filled with ordinary folks working ordinary job and doing ordinary things, but beneath the veneer of respectability is a brimming madness, a queerness that's only evident when one speaks to the villagers or spends some time with them. Grimm Lands humans seem to be infected with the twisted nature of the land, and they express their unusual natures in the jobs they perform and the ways in which they interact with the boys and girls they meet. Examples can include wicked stepmothers, witches, woodcutters, knights, pirates, shepherds, and even mad butchers, bakers or candlestick makers. Humans here have a tendency to BE their jobs, and are little more than caricatures of normal people. Yet, in time, they realize that people from the Real World are different, more solid, more complete. They envy that depth, and might admire or hate it. They might attempt to include the children's realness in their daily lives by putting them on a pedestal and keeping them captive, or they might attempt to take it for themselves by gobbling the kids right up.

TALKING ANIMALS:
Existing in numbers seemingly equal to the isolated pockets of humanity are the talking animals. Everything from blind mice to pigs in houses to hungry wolves dressed in drag call the Grim Lands home. They may walk upright or on all fours, but oddly, these characters have more depth and sanity than do humans. This makes them somewhat more reasonable and reliable allies, but also more dangerous enemies.

MYTHICAL MONSTERS:
The Grimm Lands are home to many strange and mythical creatures, wondrous beasts, and terrifying monsters. There seems to be no end to the variety and innovation of the things that live here, and if a thing has been imagined and made into a myth in the Real World, it likely has a place somewhere in the Grimm Lands. Ogres and fairies, gryphons and sphinxes, crooked men and child-headed centipedes, these and much more all lie in wait to snatch the unwary traveler and make a meal of their squalling prey. Not all such creatures are ravenous beasts, and some might just prove helpful, if you can overlook their unsettling qualities. But it's usually a good strategy to assume the worst of anything you might encounter.

THE VERY STRANGE:
As if talking animals and familiar creatures from fables weren't strange enough, the Grimm Lands feature a variety of other beings that are neither animal nor human nor beast. One constant trait of the Grimm Lands, for instance, is that ordinary objects have a disturbing tendency to be alive and animated. What might seem like a candlestick at first glance can turn out to be a chatty individual with a silly accent. Trees and other plants, rocks, and even clouds can all exhibit human-like characteristics, making just stepping foot outside your cottage door in the morning into an unpredictable adventure. Even the Sun and the Moon are unreal in their ability and tendency to do as they like. The Sun may drift closer to the land to scrutinize something it finds interesting, only to incinerate or blind everything nearby. The Moon, a cruel and mad thing, scours the land in search of children, shining its beams like spotlights to alert predators as to the location of these lost souls. The Grimm Lands are strange, and being prepared for any item to be able to help you, for any object to want to eat you, goes a long way toward surviving its perils.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*Places in Grimm*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
With all this talk about the unusual people and creatures of the Grimm Lands, one might wonder about the place they live. When the trees can pick up and move, when rocks complain when stepped on, and when rivers change course when offended, is anything constant? Yes and no. The Grimm Lands are mutable, changing and reshaping themselves with caprice. Few things are fixed, and a cottage that stands one night may well vanish the next morning. Mountains can pick up and wander, marching east or west to get away from the Sun. Yet the landmarks themselves are immutable, even if their locations are not. The World's Edge Mountains are always there, on the horizon. The fallen beanstalk will take you to any kingdom you wish, even if it's a thousand miles away today from where it was yesterday.

The reason for this changing landscape stems from the fact that the Grimm Lands are inexplicably tied to the imaginations of those who explore them. It responds to the expectations of its visitors, shaping itself to mirror their hopes and fears, but never quite getting it right. Although the Grimm Lands are subject to sudden and surprising alterations, a few places are more permanent than others. Whether or not they figure into your stories, and how they do so, is up to you.

THE CHECKERBOARD KINGDOMS:
The heart of civilization in the Grimm Lands is the Checkerboard Kingdoms. While not always noticeable from the ground, a bird, if it was inclined, could tell a visitor that each kingdom fits neatly within a square. The kingdoms all have a large fairytale structure, usually with a castle somewhere near the center, which is surrounded by a quaint little village. To the uninitiated, the villages of the Checkerboard Kingdoms have the illusion of being safer that elsewhere in the Grimm Lands. There are fewer dangerous animals or hungry monsters there, and some peasants may offer shelter to a group of weary, hungry, and scared children. Villages offer no safe haven, however: They simply do a better job at masking their evil. The villages are home to creepy old men who like to work on living things as much as they do on clocks, but treat them little differently. They hide lusty, envious men who hide their dead wives inside pumpkins, and sweet-smelling bakeries where the special ingredient might be you!

The castles, towers, and other seats of power are little better. As paragons of a mad land, the rulers of these kingdoms range from being a little "off" to being stark, raving mad. Some are isolated tyrants who wish to be left alone when they are not preying on their people, while others are spoiled nobility who constantly make impossible demands from the sycophants who surround them. The rulers' homes are filled with wonders and riches to tempt any child, but can easily become prisons to those who displease the heads of state. A few may actually be good-hearted and mostly harmless, but these tend to become easy prey for the Rotten King's machinations.

THE FALLEN BEANSTALK:
Although the Grimm Lands' ability to change without warning can be a source of constant frustration to those lost here, there are a few landmarks to help make one's way. The greatest of them all, without a doubt, is the giant beanstalk. Felled ages ago by a boy named Jack, it remains just as he left it, lying across the whole of the Grimm Lands. What makes the Beanstalk more than just an obstacle is that it offers a relatively safe way to travel the countryside. Enterprising gnomes hollowed out the 'stalk and for a fee (either a small service or a small finger, depending on the gnome you meet), a person can travel this road and emerge, almost unscathed, somewhere else in the Grimm Lands.

THE GREAT AND AWFUL FOREST:
In stark contrast to the idyllic countryside of the Checkerboard Kingdoms is the sprawling Great and Awful Forest. A part of the forest touches pretty much every Checkerboard Kingdom, yet its dark heart is far beyond their borders. It's hard to say how the forest can be found inside every kingdom without dominating the entire landscape, yet there it is. Perhaps the forest is like the beanstalk, in that once you enter it, it can take you somewhere else. The journey, though, is far less safe. For who can say what lies beneath its tangled boughs? Those who wander between the thick trees and over the gnarled roots have a tendency to disappear. Some claim that the trees are alive and snatch up those travelers who look the most delicious, while others point to the various hags and ogres who hide in its depths. Of course, there's also the home of the Seventeen Dwarfs, who, all smiles and laughs, invite little girls into their house, never to be seen or heard from again. This is also the hunting ground of the Big Bad Wolf, the resting place of Sleeping Beauty, the location of the cottage of a family of Three Bears, and a house made out of gingerbread, housing a pair of sugar-stunted twins.

THE CASTLE OF THE ROTTEN KING:
The true horror of the forest, and indeed, all of the Grimm Lands, is the Rotten King, who hold court in the forest's heart. Attended there by his many changed and mad servants (Cinderella, Jack, the Ugly Duckling, Mother Goose), the shattered egg-like creature once known as Humpty Dumpty passes judgments, makes pronouncements, and infects the land with his deep and abiding hatred. All people of the Grimm Lands fear the Rotten King, for he is a ruthless and insane tyrant, bent on conquering or corrupting all of the Grimm Lands... except on Tuesdays.

THE SEA:
Encircling the Grimm Lands is a great ocean of brilliant blue and cresting caps of white. Chatty seagulls wheel through the sky, while the water's surface occasionally breaks with a waterspout from Leviathan, the great whale. Scattered across the Sea like emeralds are tiny islands filled with birds of every color imaginable, sparkling waterfalls, and dense jungles, forming miniature tropical paradises that hold queer secrets and queerer people. The beauty of the Sea hides many a terrible thing, however, for sailing its extent are black-hearted pirates in decaying galleons, raiding and plundering everything and everyone they meet. In great washtubs sail madmen who fight with one another for the right to sing. Beneath the pristine waters there is even greater danger, for schools of flesh-eating fish weave and art, following the current wherever it leads. Great sharks prowl the depths, always searching for some succulent morsel on which to dine. On the sea floor can be found numerous fantastic cities, from Atlantis to Tir-na-nog, and everything from humans to talking sea animals to merpeople can be found in these places. The Sea itself frequently manifests in human forms, while trying to fight the Rotten King and deal with those who would spoil her realm.

For many of the Grimm Lands, the Sea stands as the final barrier, and only those with unimaginable courage or utter foolishness would dare to sail beyond sight of land. The crustiest pirates whisper that the Sea travels on and on until it finally reaches the edge of the world, spilling over into the great yawning void, and carrying with it those who dare to venture too far. Legends of mad stars, falling for eternity, becoming lost in a world of giant, dusty bookshelves, and worse are enough to keep people, humans and talking animals alike, on or near dry land.

THE WORLD'S EDGE MOUNTAINS:
The World's Edge Mountains loom large on the horizon, always out of reach, but always there, inviting, calling, alluring, and promising many secrets in their dark defiles and snow-capped peaks. No matter how far you travel, the mountains always seem to crawl a bit farther away, making reaching the range a Herculean task. Part of their elusiveness stems from the fact that the mountains just don't want to be reached, and slide away from anyone searching for them. While it's tricky approaching them, there are many great and wondrous things to be found here. It's said that the World's Edge Mountains offer the surest and quickest route to the Underworld, where, if the talking birds can be believed, lies the road out of the Grimm Lands. However, such a journey is fraught with peril, for everyone in the Lands know that the Underworld is the home of the dead.

The World's Edge Mountains hold far more than just a gloomy path beneath the earth. It is here that the Dragon lives, lurking in its fetid cave, belching clouds of acrid, poisonous smoke. The Mountains are also home to dour dwarves, and are rumored to conceal of kingdom of headless folk. Finally, there are the giants, who live above and below the swirling clouds of the mountain caps. There they toss boulders back and forth for sport, hurl lightning bolts at the Lands below, and generally make a great commotion as they go about their business in their nebulous castles or dingy caves.

THE RIOTING RIVER:
Just as there is one Sea in the Grimm Lands, and one mountain range and one forest, there is only one wide and fast-flowing river: The Rioting River. It is famous for its wild temper and unpredictable currents, and it speaks volumes about the state of the Grimm Lands that many people prefer to brave its waters rather than make their way on foot. Like the forest and the beanstalk, the River does cross through just about every one of the Checkerboard Kingdoms, but though it is sentient, it is not particularly nice. Normally it is too large and too busy minding its own madness to notice the creatures swimming or sailing on or in its body, and said creatures pray continually that they can continue to avoid its attention, because it delights in capsizing boats, disorienting swimmers, splashing the already cold with its icy waters, and the like. It changes course on a whim, and sometimes water flows upstream when the River has angered the Sea (whom it is madly in love with, though unlike the Sea, it has no serene or kindly facet, and therefore frequently upsets her).
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PostSubject: Re: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:32 am

Grimm uses a bunch of rules to help make the players experience the Grimm Lands from a childlike perspective. As such, descriptions of abilities and the like are focused on a kid-based perspective.

CHARACTER CREATION
STEP 1. Physical Features (these are decided for you, since we are all kids between 9 and 12 years of age.
- Shape (basically, what you can do, physically... a person-shaped creature can open a door, while a quadrupedal one can't, etc). All kids are person-shaped (unless they are turned into a frog by a witch or afflicted with lycanthropy).

- Stature (How big or small are you... range is Mouse-sized, Cat-sized, Dog/little-sibling-sized, Kid-sized, adult-sized, moose-sized, elephant-sized, whale-sized, and dinosaur-sized). Kids are (duh) kid-sized

- Speed (depends on how rough the ground is, how much you had for lunch, size and fearsomeness of the monster chasing you, etc. Therefore, Speed is a combination of shape (how many legs you have to run with, four being faster than two), and stature (longer legs mean longer strides). Range of speed is Really Slow, Slow, Average, Fast, and Really Fast). Kids are Average speed.

STEP 2. Archetypes: For all their differences, the kids who fall into the Grimm Lands seem to fit into bald-faced stereotypes. This might be because the Grimm Lands are comprised of well-known stories and peopled by iconic figures, so only the most iconic victims will do. Or perhaps the transference of a kid into the Grimm Lands streamlines him, makes him somehow into more of a caricature. For that matter, maybe kids unconsciously take on these stereotypical roles to remind themselves where they came from. Regardless, every kid in the Grimm Lands falls into one of these roles, called archetypes.
Archetypes help the other players identify what type of character you are playing. This is not to say that all Jocks are the same, or that two Nerds are equally good at science (some prefer history, or literature). Rather, archetypes act as a kind of general template and jumping-off point for your character, let you know what you're likely to be good at, and what your attitude is.

STEP 3. Traits and Talents More on these later.

STEP 4. Who Are You?: Once you've got the basic building blocks of your character determined, and possibly even before then, it's a good idea to devote some mental energy to figuring out a few of her personality traits, hang-ups, motivations, experiences, and the like. Age and gender are essentials, if you haven't figured them out already, and you'll need to pick a name for your character. From there, flesh out whatever image the name conjures for you. Is she tall or short for her age, fit or pudgy, clean or sloppy, stylish or plain? Does she have a favorite outfit, or commonly worn item like shoes or a hat, or a favorite line of clothing, its logos plastered all over her? What color is her hair, her eyes, her skin? Think about your character's ethnic and racial background, her parents, her house, and whether or not she has any siblings or pets. How does she feel about them, and about her life in general? Is she happy or angst-ridden, accepted or alone? What are her favorite activities, in and out of school? Her least favorite? Little things like her favorite holiday, favorite flavor of ice cream, and favorite color are all good to jot down. Does your character know any of the other kids? Does she have predetermined ideas about them from seeing them around town or school? Finally, develop one or two roleplaying aids, "tics" that you can use to make your character stand out. These can be common catchphrases that your character uses when particularly excited, or confused, or scared, or that she just utters whenever she can't think of anything else to say. Or perhaps there's something distinctive about your character's body language, whether it be an irrepressible smile, a constant slouch, or a favorite hand signal.
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PostSubject: Character Archetypes   Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:25 am

The Bully
"I'm gonna pound you into next week, shrimp!"
You are the subject of fear and loathing in the eyes of other children. You are the kid who beat up Johnny, you are the maker of wet willies, and you are the figurative troll in the boys' bathroom who makes Nerds pee their pants rather than ask to use the toilet. The cornerstone of your personality is the procurement and retention of power. Everything you do is to ensure your place at the top of the pecking order in your class. You're used to surrounding yourself with sycophants that are motivated by fear and the allure of your power. You employ force only when necessary, relying instead on the threat of pain.

Of course, now that you're stuck in the Grimm Lands, things are different. Now there are real trolls, and they don't only pick on wimps. You keep the other kids around you so the monsters have someone else to snack on, but they don't listen to you half as well as they used to. Sometimes they even tell you what to do. Even the Nerd! But you'll do whatever it takes to stay alive and get out of here.

The Bully's Role: While the Bully is used to being a leader, even if only of his small gang of toadies, being sucked into the Grimm Lands changes all that. He may still push others around, cajoling the kids through force, intimidation and sometimes even violence. However, when push comes to shove, he's as scared as anyone else and will follow orders if it means surviving. Surprisingly, the Bully can become a stalwart protector of the group. On one hand, such heroism distracts him from his own fear, so no one else can see that he's shaking in his boots. On the other hand, even if that Nerd with the runny nose is the same kid he gave wedgies to on a daily basis, he's his Nerd with the runny nose, and no one but the Bully is going to pick on him without his say-so!

Bullies are strong and fairly resilient, making them good characters to stand in front and Scrap with attacking monsters of their own size. However, they are at a distinct disadvantage when their foe is bigger than they are, and aren't terribly well equipped intellectually; or socially, or creatively, or in any way at all, really, other than being strong and intimidating. But sometimes, that's enough.

Specialty: Extra well-practiced in the art of brawling.

Flaw: The Bully's key weakness is he is only comfortable when he has the upper hand, hence the classic aphorism that most Bullies back down when you stand up to them. Each time the Bully suffers a wound, he must resist becoming gripped by fear.

Threats: The Bully is adept at pushing around those who are smaller or weaker than him. He may gain an advantage in Scraps by making threats that depend on the opponent being able to at least read the Bully's body language or tone of voice, and be one of the following: Have a lower personal grade than the Bully, have fewer muscles than the Bully, or be of smaller stature than the Bully.

Archetype Abilities: EACH TIME A BULLY ADVANCES TO AN EVEN-NUMBERED PERSONAL GRADE BEYOND 3RD, HE MAY CHOOSE ONE OF THE ABILITIES BELOW.

*Gang Up: Bullies are used to having toadies back them up in fights, so when Scrapping, they can use teamwork to gain additional benefits in combat.

*Intimidating: Bullies are accomplished at playing nice, kissing ass, and outright lying when they need to get out of trouble. But their social skills are most impressive when they are using violence or the threat of violence to persuade or manipulate others.

*Pile-on: Headlocks and wedgies are part of a bully's daily dialogue with his peers. When wrestling with foes who are his stature or smaller, the Bully is considered to be one stature level larger for the purposes of movement and limitations.

*Protector: Some Bullies, once forced to trust and rely on their peers, realize that their true purpose is not to terrorize those who are smaller than they are, but to protect them. When an adjacent ally is the target of an attack, the Bully may interpose himself and take the target's place.

*Threats, Advanced: Not only does the Bully receive an advantage in Scrap tests, the target actually refuses to attack the Bully in melee.

*Threats, Master (8th Grade or higher): Only a Bully with Advanced Threats ability may select this ability. The Bully may use Imagination to enhance and spread the effects of this ability as well. The Bully now receives an advantage against the target on Scrap tests and the target refuses to attack the Bully in Melee; in addition, the target is terrified of the Bully, doing his best to flee from him each turn.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The Dreamer
"There, in the sky... do you see that cloud? It looks like a phoenix rising from its own ashes!"
You find the world outside the classroom to be much more interesting than the dry stuff of Mrs. Appelgate's lectures. You like to read about fantastic stuff like dragons, unicorns, and knights, or maybe you dream of being a ball player in the major leagues. Someday, it'll all come true.

It's hard to be a Dreamer. Your mother nags you about paying more attention. Your teachers have special meetings with your parents. The teachers always shoot you dirty looks down their long and crooked noses. Some of the other kids pick on you, but you've learned to overcome it. You know things they'll never know: special places, windows into other worlds. When you look off into the distance, and before a sharp word brings you back, you see yourself as a brave hero saving the day, or yourself at bat for the big team about to hit a home run.

Now that you're in the Grimm Lands you finally have a chance to really be that hero. But somehow, you never thought about the fact that being a hero is dangerous - really dangerous. And now that you realize that, the boring old regular world doesn't seem so bad, after all.

The Dreamer's Role: The Dreamer is the kid who spends more time in her head than in the world with other children. She is so distracted and preoccupied with flights of fancy, she often gets into trouble for it. Now that she's in the Grimm Lands, all those supposedly wasted hours are paying off. While her fellow kids are stumbling around trying to understand their new powers, the Dreamer has a natural control over her imagination. While the rest of the group is desperately trying to remember what it takes to pacify a troll, the Dreamer is intimately familiar with the world they are trapped in. In small groups, she sometimes rises to a position of leadership, as she, and she alone, truly understands the world of Grimm.

Specialty: A Dreamer's flightiness in the Real World is inversely proportional to her ability to understand, embrace, and even manipulate the Grimm Lands. A Dreamer's imagination is twice as strong as any other Archetype's.

Flaw: Dreamers tend to lose themselves in their thoughts and imaginings... and their nightmares. Dreamers are therefore more susceptible to illusions, charms, and similar abilities that toy with the mind than other characters.

I Think I Can: By believing in herself, the Dreamer can accomplish nearly anything. Dreamers may choose two iconic core traits, one of which is automatically Imagination. She can even choose only Imagination, making her Imaginings twice as powerful.

Archetype Abilities (Pick one at each even-numbered personal grade beyond 3rd):

*Bonus Keepsake: The Dreamer's Imagination imbues a mundane item with power, manifesting as a new keepsake (more on these later).

*Happy Thoughts: To a Dreamer, anything can be fixed with the power of belief, even dire wounds. When a Dreamer heals her own wounds by expending Imagination, she heals two wounds for every one Imagination expended. When she heals others' wounds by expending Imagination, she heals one wound for every one Imagination expended.

*Observant: Dreamers are so in touch with the stuff that makes up the Grimm Lands that they have almost superhuman awareness of their surroundings. A Dreamer may expend 1 Imagination to ignore any environmental or conditional penalties to visibility, hearing, etc, for the rest of the scene. The Dreamer could use this ability, for example, to more easily spot a monster lurking in the dark or hear a whisper in the midst of a cacophony.

*Rapid Recovery: Imagination is the cornerstone of the the Dreamer, and as such, she may recover spent Imagination more rapidly than normal. Once per story, by spending half an hour doing nothing but enjoying idle daydreaming, the Dreamer may recover half of her expended Imagination (round down).

*Spontaneous Spellslinger: While most kids must be taught magic spells in order to use them, the Dreamer seems to have an inherent ability to manipulate arcane energies by harnessing them with the power of her Imagination. By expending Imagination equal to the magic spell's circle level, she may spontaneously recreate the effect of any magic spell she has witnessed during the story. She does not suffer any estrangement or weakening (more on these later) but she is not considered to have learned the spell, either.

*True Hero (8th Grade or Higher): When the need is great and a true hero is called for, the Dreamer can become the hero she always imagined herself to be. By spending her turn and expending half (round up) of her maximum Imagination, she may transform into a shining figure of power and grace, such as a knight, a hunter, or a guardian angel. The effect lasts for one scene, and may only be called upon during appropriately dramatic circumstances. The Dreamer gains a special ability appropriate for her avatar. An angel might be able to fly, a hunter might be able to track and fire his bow in any terrain or weather, and a knight might be able to strike true (ignoring any protection) against any foe who had no honor in his heart. The dreamer also gains a one-level increase in stature and speed, and +2 grades to any three of the following traits: Muscle, Pluck, Scamper, Scrap, Seek, Throw.
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PostSubject: Re: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:54 am

The Jock
Come on guys, we're only down by four --- if we pull together we can cream 'em!
You're the best at what matters most: sports. Even before you played organized sports, you could carry more, run faster, jump higher, climb better, and throw farther than anyone else in your class. Everyone looks up to you, and you try not to let it go to your head. But it's hard not to. You're a winner.

Or at least, you were. But you can't quite figure out the rules to the Grimm Lands, and the people here are playing for keeps. At least you still have a team, and even if none of them are much good at throwing or running, they can do some pretty amazing stuff here. It makes you glad that you didn't pick on the Nerd too much back in the Real World. You didn't, did you?

The Jock's Role: Jocks played at least one team sport in the Real World; most played a wide variety of sports year-round, and at this young age, they were more likely to be co-ed rather than split into gender-based teams. Now that they've been sucked into the Grimm Lands, that experience serves them well. They can get along well with everyone, understand the value of working together, and refuse to give up. Jocks usually have more physical prowess than Bullies do, but they seldom use their strength and speed to hurt others. The downside of their extra-curricular activities is that they never had much time for academics, reading, or flights of fancy, so whereas the other kids may be at least somewhat familiar with the terrors this world brings, Jocks are often clueless. Of course, around here, there are times that simple ignorance is all that keeps you from melting into a pool of gibbering horror.

Specialty: Jocks may choose their specialty from among Scamper, Muscle, or Throw, depending on their sports of choice. Jocks with a specialty in Scamper, for instance, were probably track and field stars or soccer players. Those with a specialty on Muscle were probably wrestlers or defensive back in the midget football league, and those with a specialty in Throw were probably pitchers on the softball team or quarterbacks for the football team. Whichever trait the Jock chooses as his specialty, he always does twice as well at it as the others.

Flaw: While cool in other kids' eyes, Jocks pursue physical prowess to the exclusion of intellectual or social activities. Jocks may only focus on, or step up on, or receive teamwork on Scamper, Muscle, and Throw tests. If the Jock's iconic core trait is Luck, he may only expend Luck on those three tests.

The Winning Play: By calling on some hidden reserve, the Jock can push himself past his normal limits. Once per scene, the Jock may gain +1 grade to Scamper, Throw and Muscle tests for the rest oft he scene. Thereafter, the Jock's Muscle trait is expended by one grade until he recovers.

Archetype Abilities:
*Bonus Talent: Jocks have what is these days called "physical intelligence." That means that they're good at anything involving their bodies, and can pick up things pretty quickly. The Jock may select any talent that has either a Playground trait or Muscle as a requirement, as long as he meets all the other requirements.

*Competitive: Some Jocks thrive on spectators and proving that they're the best there is at what they do. Whenever performing opposed tests while in a contest, and particularly while in front of a group of watchers who are doing nothing but watching the contest between the Jock and the other character, the Jock receives +2 grades on all Playground tests and on Muscle tests. This advantage cannot be applied to attack or defense tests, unless the Jock is in a gladiatorial combat or the like.

*Fearless: Jocks are tough, focused, and not very smart. They're either too brave or too dumb to be worried about the danger a monster represents, or maybe have so much confidence in their abilities that they don't think it matters. In any case, once an action scene starts, the Jock receives +2 grades in all Pluck tests.

*Sport Specialization: When using a single piece of equipment appropriate for one of his favorite sports, the Jock gains a special benefit. If the equipment could be used as a weapon (like a Louisville slugger or a discus), the Jock inflicts +1 wound when wielding it. If the equipment is protective, like a helmet, shoulder pads, or shin guards, the Jock gains protection 1. Other effects might work as well, such as running shoes that increase the Jock's speed by one level.

*Team Spirit: The Jock, being a team player, benefits when working with others. His friendly intentions also encourage others to do their best. Even when he spends his turn doing something other than providing teamwork, the Jock may grant an additional level of teamwork to anyone within a cricket's hop, as long as the person is doing the same thing as the Jock.

*Winner's Mindset (8th Grade or higher): Successful Jocks not only perform on a physical level, they also constantly apply their minds to the situation at hand. They can mentally psych themselves up to an upcoming task, run scenarios through their heads, and so on. The Jock can split his focus between multiple actions as long as one of them involves a playground trait.

*~*~*~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The Nerd
Actually, it is quite possible that the rules of our world do not apply to this one... allow me to make a few calculations...
Some call you a prodigy. Some call you a geek. Some don't call you anything at all, because they forget that you're there. You can name the first 50 elements of the periodic table, you're good at algebra, geography, history, civics, and... sports? Well, no, you don't play any, really. But you do like games! You've read the Traps and Trolls handbook more times than you can count and you're a shoo-in for the pro tour of Sorcery: The Assemblage, as soon as you're old enough.

Now that you're in the Grimm Lands, your so-called "book learning" has come in quite useful. You've managed to astound everyone from the simple peasant who wants to keep his well from freezing, to the grand duke and his simpleton of a sage. Of course, half of the people here accuse you of witchcraft when you're just using the basic tenets of science, or of reading their minds just because you've memorized Table 3-7: Random Non-Player Motivations from the Traps and Trolls narrator's guide. And unfortunately for you, these people have mastered the art of building fires and tying people to posts just fine.

The Nerd's Role: The Nerd is one of the most iconic characters in the schoolyard. As one of the first archetypes to emerge in youth, he studies hard, lacks all fashion sense, is socially inept, and has unpopular hobbies. Most of these guys and girls focus on math and the sciences, and a few find interest in the outdoors (either so they can get that Boy Scout badge, or the better to complete their insect collection). Nerds tend to be chatty and more than a little pedantic. As kids seldom like a condescending tone, especially from a peer, Nerds often find themselves the target of Billies and the occasional Jock. On the other hand, Nerds possess the knowledge and intellect to help a lost group of kids find their way through the weird world of Grimm. They overlap with the Dreamer somewhat in terms of their knowledge of the fantastic, but they bolster that with advanced abilities in all Classroom traits.

Specialty: Nerds have great memories, and actually enjoy learning things from books, studying twice as well as any other character.

Flaw: Nerds are physically underdeveloped, socially hopeless, and poor fighters. Nerds may never focus on, or step up on, or receive teamwork bonus dice on Cool, Muscle, or Scrap tests. If the Nerd's iconic Core trait is Luck, he may not expend Luck on the above tests.

Studious: Nerds, unlike most of their peers, actually have attention spans. They are used to committing to their interests, and they are quick learners. At character creation and again each time a Nerd increases in person grade, two of his Study traits increase by one grade each, at no cost.

Archetype Abilities:
*Astounding intellect: The Grimm Lands are replete with bizarre devices, enchanted items, and weird puzzles, all of which Nerds are better at figuring out than their fellow kids. Nerds gain +2 advantage on Imagination tests to solve puzzles or any other test involving riddles, conundrums, or problem-solving.

*Geek Celebrity: Whenever the Nerd is interacting with individuals who are similarly brainy, be they the king's advisors, wizards, or a sphinx, he may use his Book Learning in place of Cool for the purposes of making a good impression. In addition, by expending 1 imagination, the Nerd may cause such listeners to be fascinated (as per the enchanter magical spell Fascinate).

*Insight: Sometimes inspiration comes like a bolt of lighting, just when needed. Insight simulates those ineffable moments of epiphany. Whether because of the Nerd's amazing powers of deduction or the fact that he has read every Traps and Trolls adventure module ever published, he may know the answer. Once per scene, by expending one Imagination, the nerd may come up with a sudden bit of complete (if occasionally vague) knowledge, from the villain's true motivations to his likely plan of attack against the kids, from a creature's soft spot to its most dangerous ability, from a detail of a previous adventure to an advanced scientific theory that the child would normally not comprehend.

*Quick Study: In school, being a quick study helped a Nerd understand lessons easily. In the Grimm Lands, it means the Nerd can learn a magical spell via apprenticeship or study in half the time.

*Skeptic: The enchanting magic of the Grimm Lands neither frightens nor bothers the Nerd anymore, and he has honed his emotions to a Vulcan-like void. The Nerd gains +2 grades on tests against temptation, despair, and effects that would affect his emotions.

*That's Illogical! (8th grade or higher): If a Nerd believes in anything, it's logic. By expending half of his maximum Imagination (round up), the Nerd can force a target creature within a stone's throw to attempt a Pluck test opposed by the Nerd's Book Learning. Should the creature fail, it loses access to any powers or abilities that can't be explained by modern science (such as most magical spells or supernatural powers). This effect lasts for as long as the Nerd continues to spend his time explaining to everyone present (though none are likely to bother listening) why those abilities can't work.


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PostSubject: Re: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:17 am

The Normal Kid
"Yeah, we know each other. I sit in the back of the class. And you came to my birthday party. Remember?"

You're not too popular, but at least you're not a Nerd or an Outcast. You play sports, but you're not the star of the team. You get Bs in all your classes, but you'd rather be playing or hanging out than stuck in class. Sure, you have friends; just not as many as the Popular Kid. All in all, you're just you, an ordinary, everyday kid who does his homework (most of the time), plays street hockey (when you're not grounded), and has a secret crush on Cindy (even though she doesn't know who you are).

Now that you're in the Grimm Lands, though, you're pretty sure everyone will remember you. They'd better, after you helped the Jock save them from those strangling vines, and crawled behind the witch just before the Bully pushed her into her own oven, and protected the Nerd while he finished his spell, and... oh, never mind!

The Normal Kid's Role: The Normal Kid might be a blank slate, someone who doesn't fit into one of the archetypes presented here. In that case, the Normal Kid is whatever the player makes of her, with whatever strengths and weaknesses seem appropriate, though she'll never be as good as the other archetypes are at their specialties.

On the other hand, some Normal Kids are so average, so well-rounded, and so kid-ish that everything they do seems generic. This can be great for the gang, as the Normal Kid can fill in any role in a pinch. It can be disappointing for the Normal Kid, though.

Not every kid fits into the stereotypes presented as the archetypes. Some are just average, Normal Kids. The Normal Kid is really a blank slate for players to create the kind of kid they want. In the Grimm Lands, Normal Kids are a dime a dozen, caught in the teeth of Jack's giant, baked in a pie by the old witch in the forest. They are the kids to which awful stuff happens. Of course, not all die horrible deaths. Really.

Specialty: A Normal Kid may choose any one trait as his specialty. When making a test in this trait, the Normal Kid always does twice as well at it than normal.

Flaw: Normal Kids are generic, which has two effects. First of all, the Normal Kid cannot have a trait that exceeds any other trait of its type by more than one grade, as they rarely specialize in any particular area. For instance, if a kid has Muscle 3rd grade and 2nd grade in his other Core traits, he must advance all of his other Core traits to 3rd grade before he can advance Muscle to 4th grade.

Second, a Normal Kid who embraces his own generic nature is for some reason especially tasty to the monsters and villains of the Grimm Lands. He is the person in the story that the bad stuff happens to: the red shirt, the nameless extra, the hero's expendable best friend.

When presented with several equally tasty adjacent targets at any point in combat, an opponent ALWAYS chooses to attack the Normal Kid. Additionally, in situations where a harmful effect, such as a spell or a widespread attack, could just as easily not include the Normal Kid as include him, the attack ALWAYS includes him, even if it means fewer nearby kids are included.

Bonus Talent: The Normal Kid needs all the help he can get. A Normal Kid may select one additional talent during character creation.

Archetype Abilities:
*Bonus Talent (May be taken multiple times)

*I'm Special, Too!: In defiance of the general perception that others have of Normal Kids, they can be special... or, at least, their traits can be. The Normal Kid can expend a single grade in a Core Trait other than his iconic Core trait, once per Core Trait per story.

*Social Chameleon: Normal Kids, having not much personality of their own, tend to blend in with the crowd. Their predisposition to this kind of behavior has an unusual result in the Grimm Lands. Once per scene, the Normal Kid temporarily gains the beginning archetype ability of any other archetype. So, for instance, the Normal Kid might imitate the Bully's Threats ability, the Jock's Winning Play ability, or even temporarily receive an increase to his Study traits in emulation of the Nerd's Studious ability.

*Survivor: Say what you will about the Normal Kid, but he's resilient. A Normal Kid's health is one higher than his personal grade.

*Understudy: Some Normal Kids are always wishing they could be the ones in the spotlight. Others couldn't care less, but they spend so little time specializing in any one thing that they accidentally pick up and learn what others are doing. And when someone is hurt, it's time to show the world what a Normal Kid can do. Any time one of the Normal Kid's fellow children is knocked out, the Normal Kid can choose one of that kid's traits, talents, archetype abilities, or known spells. Until the child wakes up, the Normal Kid can use that aspect of the kid in his stead.

*Unusual Heritage (8th grade or Higher): Not all Normal Kids are destined to remain bland forever. Some discover, upon adventuring for a time in the Grimm Lands, that they have a heritage that is far from Normal. The exact effects of this ability are decided by the player, but several examples are presented below. Each heritage should be unique.

- Descended from Kings: As a child, you wandered from your parents' royal garden and into the mundane world. Now, through accident or fate, you have found your way back into the Grimm Lands. After many adventures and several strange clues, you've finally learned the truth about your birthright, unlocking all of the responsibility it entails. You are accepted back into the loving arms of your true family, and become the heir to one of the Checkerboard Kingdoms. This means that you have access to troops, wealth, and a safe haven. It also means, however, that you have new responsibilities, potentially restrictive parents, and, of course, the special attention of anyone who wishes to harm or conquer your kingdom, such as the Rotten King.

- Fairy Kin: Unbeknownst to you, you were a changeling, a fairy infant left in place of a stolen mundane baby. Now that you have returned to a place much closer to the fay lands, your latent blood has awakened. Perhaps you are recognized by all fairies as one of their nobility, and are given special treatment and subtle aid throughout your travels. Or it may be a profound change: You disappear into a chrysalis one night, and emerge as a cat-sized elfin kid with butterfly or dragonfly wings sprouting from your back, which give you a speed of fast when flying. You gain the ability to fly at your normal speed and instantly learn three 1st Circle magical spells from among the artisan, enchanter, and guardian lists. You may now use magical powers without fear of weakening or estrangement. However, by becoming a fairy, you forsake the Real World and may never leave the Grimm Lands.

- Moonstruck: You've always had disturbing dream of hunting down prey and rending it with your teeth; now you know why. You are a wolf in kid's clothing, banished from the Grimm Lands by the Big Bad Wolf for challenging his dominance. Half of the wolves, dogs, and other canines you encounter will roll over for you automatically, accepting your dominance of the pack: the other half maintain their allegiance to the Big Bad Wolf, and automatically antagonistic towards you.
Additionally, you manifest your heritage. You may become obsessed with the moon, have a tendency to growl and even bark at those who alarm you, and you gain a dog's Sniffer ability. Finally, every morning you must decide whether you'd like to spend the day as a wolf or as a human. If you choose to be a wolf, you gain all of a wolf's physical features (its teeth, protective hide, speed and scent). You can't speak any human languages while in wolf form, but whether in wolf or human form you can communicate with canines.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The Outcast
You don't know me! You don't know what it's like to be me..."
Your life sucks. Your family hates you, when they bother to notice you. No one understands you, so you don't bother trying to explain. Besides, you don't need friends. You like not fitting in. You wear whatever clothes you want to, listen to music they've never heard of, and spend as much time as far away from everyone else as possible, unmissed and unnoticed. You like it that way, really.

Now that you're stuck in this place, maybe your parents and everyone else will finally miss you. But that doesn't much matter, now. You're stuck with a bunch of norms, and they're all "Go team!" or "Somebody save me!" Nothing's changed. You still don't need them, and they still don't know who you are. At least your luck seems to have improved... or maybe it's just that everyone else's luck has gotten so much worse.

The Outcast's Role: Outcasts are depressed children who believe, in some cases correctly, that no one cares for them. Their desperate lives have left them little room to develop their imaginations or believe in much of anything. Thanks to their isolated existence, however, they have developed strong coping skills that make them excellent survivors in the Grimm Lands. Since no one notices them anyway, they find that it is easier for them to sneak around and go to forbidden places. Most Outcasts are good at stealing, having learned that it gets them attention in the Real World. In the Grimm Lands, the Outcast's ability to pick a pocket may mean the difference between all of the kids getting out of a dungeon alive, and all of them having the flesh flayed form their bones. Outcasts that save the day in Grimm may end up being appreciated and accepted, after all. The tricky part is getting them to believe it.

Specialty: Outcasts, often out of necessity, tend to be liars, cheats, sneaks, and thieves. Outcasts may choose to specialize in either Hide or Juvie. Whichever is chosen, the Outcast always gain twice the benefit.

Flaw: Outcasts are pathologically shy, and have a difficult time speaking to anyone who isn't a kid. Whenever an Outcast attempts to speak to anyone other than a kid, say anything in public, or even draw a monster's attention away from his friends, the Outcast must make a Pluck test. If he fails, he is unable to speak up, and instead reverts to his normal state of self-isolation, his eyes downcast and bitter words being muttered beneath his breath.
The Outcast receives a -1 disadvantage on the test if the person or creature he is trying to address is one of authority, considerable power, or great presence (the mayor of a town, a dragon, a knight, a king, a teacher, etc.).

Forgettable: No one notices the Outcast. Whenever the gang is attacked in an action scene, the Outcast is the last person in the gang to be targeted by foes. For instance, if the gang is ambushed by a pack of pirate slavers with nets, only after every other gang member is wrapped in a net will the Outcast be attacked.
Additionally, when presented with several equally tasty targets at any point in a combat, a creature never chooses to attack the Outcast until finished with the Others.
Finally, in situations where a harmful effect like a spell or a widespread attack could just as easily include the Outcast in its area as not include him (i.e. Not when an archer aims directly at the Outcast meaning to hit him, specifically, but when a dragon breathes fire down on a town street that just happens to be near where the Outcast is standing), the attack does not include him.

Advanced Archetype Abilities:
*Cheap Shot: Because most people barely notice Outcasts, much less perceive them as threats, the Outcast can often catch opponents by surprise and strike them in especially sensitive spots. The Outcast must be either behind his target, or concealed from the target in some way (he must be hiding or disguised as a non-combatant, and so on). When an Outcast lands a Cheap Shot, he inflicts +1 wound.

*Compulsive Liar: Outcasts can swear oaths and not really mean it. The Outcast suffers no ill effects from breaking an oath or failing to complete a quest. In addition, the Outcast gains a +2 advantage on Cool tests made to lie, fast-talk, or otherwise deceive, as well as to notice such tactics being used against them.

*Inscrutable: The Outcast hides behind a wall or hair or smudges of dark makeup. Who can say what his hands are doing in those long sleeves, or what he's hiding beneath that bulky coat? The Outcast gives no sign of what his intended actions are to anyone who watches.

*Quick: Outcasts are used to avoiding blows from drunken parents or irritated cops. When the Outcast evades in combat, he gains an additional +1 grade in his defense trait.

*Shoplifter: In addition to spending his turn in other ways during an action scene, the Outcast can pick up and conceal any cat-sized or smaller unattended object that he passes. Characters who might notice need to overcome his Juvie test.

*Vanish (8th grade or higher): An Outcast is so forgettable that he can just drift out of someone's notice. Once per scene, the Outcast may expend 1 Imagination to make a Hide test even while being observed and with nothing to hide behind. If he succeeds, everyone else in the scene not only loses sight of him, they essentially forget that he was ever there.
The Outcast may remain hidden for the rest of the scene, if he likes, so long as he does nothing during his turn but hide and, if he desires, move at half speed. The Outcast can remain hidden even after moving out from behind cover.
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PostSubject: Re: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:43 pm

The Popular Kid:
"Oh, hi (giggle)... and you are...?"
Everyone knows your name and everyone likes you. You're the most Popular Kid in school, and that carries a certain level of responsibility. You and your friends determine fashion, who is in and who is out. If someone doesn't like it, well, that's just because they're jealous. You probably come from a well-off family, and your parents have great plans for you. You do well in school, but unlike the Nerd, you spend time in the cool clubs, like the swim team, cheerleading, and key club. Everyone looks to you for the social rules of the school, and you're more than happy to oblige.

You have to admit, you were a little worried when you first got to this "Grimm Lands" place. But so far, you've managed to convince a lot of the people here just how cool you are, and the kids still look up to you, most of the time. As long as you have people to tell you what to do, you'll be fine. You hope.

The Popular Kid's Role: The popular kid has a lot going for her in the Real World: plenty of friends, lots of support, maybe even rich parents to buy all sorts of goodies. She knows how to get along with everyone, even adults. When put into the rather unlikely position of finding herself in a fairy tale world, she relies on those natural strengths. She is a social climber who works best as part of a team, providing inspiration and support to her friends. With much of her support network gone, she becomes a little nervous, causing her baser natures to emerge. Being used to getting whatever she wants is a character trait that can get her into trouble if she is not careful.

Specialty: Popular Kids are, well, popular. They are socially adept and highly skilled at getting others to do what they want. A Popular Kid always does twice as well on Cool tests.

Flaw: Popular kids are not always rich kids (though it helps), and not all Popular Kids are materialistic. However, they all desperately want certain things from the world: love, attention, friendship, clothes, and anything considered cool. They're also used to getting those things. As a result, Popular Kids have a hard time refusing temptations and resisting despair. Popular Kids suffer a -2 disadvantage on any attempt to resist despair and temptations. They may also need to make a Pluck test whenever confronted with the opportunity to take something without immediate, obvious consequences. It's not that the Popular Kid steals, per se, but if something happens to be lying around and she really wants it, it's hard for her to say no.

Ridicule: Popular kids have an uncanny ability to undermine others' confidence. This ability only works against characters within a stone's throw who can hear the Popular Kid. They must understand at least the basics of the Popular Kid's language and be intelligent enough to feel self-doubt. To use this ability, the Popular Kid must make a Cool test against the target, mocking its abilities, ideas, or even its appearance. If she wins the test, her target begins to think that perhaps its evil plan is stupid, after all. This ability only works just once per scene.

Advanced Archetype Abilities:
*Cheerleader: Popular kids are natural leaders. A word of inspiration from the Popular Kid goes a long way towards inspiring even the most anti-social Outcast to greater things. Any time a Popular Kid provides teamwork, she also adds one grade to her ally's efforts.

*Confidence: The Popular Kid wouldn't stay that way if she didn't have the confidence to succeed. She may take another chance to perform any action if the first time didn't go so well, even when everyone else would only gain one opportunity.

*Fascinate: Popular kids are great at winning over crowds and fascinating others. Each creature to be fascinated must be within a stone's throw of the Popular Kid, able to see and hear her, and able to pay attention to her. The Popular Kid must also be able to see each creature. The distraction of a nearby combat, or other dangers, prevents the ability from working. The Popular Kid makes a Cool test (or 4-H test if the target is an animal) while viewers oppose with Pluck. Creatures who fail the test sit quietly and listen to the Popular Kid talk (or watch her dance, or listen to her sing, etc.), taking no other actions for as long as the Popular Kid continues. While fascinated, a target suffers a -2 disadvantage on Seek and Cool tests. Any potential threat requires the Popular Kid to make another Cool test, while any obvious threat, such as someone drawing or aiming a weapon or casting a spell automatically breaks the effect.

*Go With: The most coveted position in school is to be the boyfriend or girlfriend of a Popular Kid. "Going With" is a kind of platonic girlfriend/boyfriend relationship children use once they get over the revulsion of the opposite gender, but before the complications of puberty fully sink in. The Popular Kid can select one other child (a player character or a story character) to go with. The selected child's imagination increases by 1, and he receives a +1 grade on all Pluck tests while the Popular Kid is present. However, the Popular Kid may rely on her boyfriend to save her if she's in trouble. Any time the Popular Kid takes wounds, she may cause the wounds to be inflicted on the kid she's going with instead. To do so, she may expend one Imagination per wound she wishes to transfer. The Popular Kid may end this relationship at any time, dumping her boyfriend with such worldly phrases as "I need someone more mature," "I need some time to myself," and "we don't have anything in common anymore." The Popular Kid may then immediately pick another kid to go with, provided the kid is even less mature, more clingy, has less in common with her, etc. A kid who has been dumped receives a -1 disadvantage to all tests for one day, but also retains the increase to his Imagination for that day (as he imagines his life is over). In any case, kids are resilient and not terribly emotionally vested at this young age, so the dumped kid returns to normal after one day.

*Ridicule, Advanced: In addition to suffering the disadvantage on all trait tests, the target feels the urge to change what it's doing for that round, even if its current actions seem to be successful. So if the target was attacking one kid with a weapon, it may switch to attacking other one with magic; if the target was successfully bashing down a door, it may decide to try to find another way into the house.

*Ridicule, Master (8th Grade or Higher): Requires Advanced Ridicule. In addition to the other effects, the target becomes so uncertain as a result of the Popular Kid's mockery that it does nothing but stand still in confusion and doubt.
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PostSubject: Re: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:40 am

Core Traits: These are the traits that everyone has before he walks through the doors of the school in the first grade. Even before you learn to play the basic schoolyard games, before you figure out what classes and skills you have a natural inclination towards, these Core traits are present. Each major character must select one ICONIC Core trait that can be expended for amazing effects, temporarily lowering their values.

Cool: The Popular Kids would have you believe that it's no accident this trait is listed first. Cool is how good you are at saying and doing the right things. It's how good you are at making others like you, and how practiced you are at figuring out what it takes to make it happen. Being popular (and staying that way) requires a special combination of sensitivity, chutzpah, confidence, and paranoia, so Cool is used whenever any kind of social test must be made. Whether you're manipulating a household of dwarfs into doing your chores for you, cheering up one of your fellow trapped kids, convincing the local monster hunter to protect a helpless village or figuring out if others are trying to manipulate you, Cool is the trait to use.
Examples:
1st Grade: Getting a free apple from your local fruit vendor.
3rd Grade: Convincing someone to carry your books for you.
6th Grade: Seeing through an evil prince's lies.
9th Grade: Rousing timid villagers to fight for their survival.
12th Grade: Tricking the Rotten King into letting you borrow his crown and scepter.

Protecting Your Rep: If you choose Cool as your iconic trait, you have a special option. Even when your courage fails, or your reflexes let you down, the fear of looking stupid in front of your peers can be an excellent motivator. Once per scene when making a test in a trait that is lower than your Cool, you may use your Cool trait instead of the appropriate trait, plus whatever advantages or disadvantages would be normal for the test. After doing so, you expend one grade of Cool.

Pluck: Sometimes it doesn't matter how popular you are, or how tough you are, or how much creativity you have. What matters is whether you're willing to risk everything to help your friends, or do what's right, or to show a Bully (or an Evil King) that not everyone will back down. That's when Pluck comes into play. A character's grade in Pluck determines whether he runs away from the horrible monster or stands and fights, whether he cowers in the corner or comes out fighting.
Examples:
1st Grade: Knocking on the door of a scary house.
4th Grade: Crossing the River Styx on a slippery log.
8th Grade: Keeping your head about you when you're jumped by an 8th-grade werewolf.
12th Grade: Facing the Dragon.

Being Brave: If you choose Pluck as your iconic trait, you have a special option. Once per scene before making a Pluck test, you may expend one Pluck grade to automatically succeed at the test. Alternatively, you may choose to act even though you're shaking in your shoes or under someone else's control, after failing a Pluck test.

Imagination: Imagination is the ability to see the unlikely, to think of the unusual, to be empathetic, and to be creative. Imagination tests may be called for in order to see something through another's eeys, or to behold fairies that are invisible to adults, or to answer riddles.
Examples:
1st: Telling a funny story.
3rd: Making a passable sketch with charcoal.
6th: Seeing the entrance to a fairy realm.
9th: Coming up with a clue that helps to solve a sphinx's riddle.
12th: Chiselling a life-sized stature of the Rotten King out of marble.

Using Your Imagination: Imagination becomes your secret weapon against the many terrible forces arrayed against you in the Grimm Lands, allowing you to do the impossible, to grant yourself amazing powers, and to cause something to happen simply because you believe in it so much. It is the power to shape reality.

Luck: Who cares how much Imagination you have, or how courageous you are, if the first ogre's club that comes swinging your way manages to squash you flat? Luck is the only thing that'll save you in such a case. If no other trait applies, Luck is appropriate. Maybe the witch choose that exact moment to come home, or maybe she doesn't? Maybe the giant wakes up just as the kids are sneaking out of their cages, or maybe he continues to slumber. Luck tests are called for whenever nothing but random chance is involved... or at least, supposedly random chance. What kids and gamblers alike know is that Luck is anything but random. It lives in pennies and charms, and collects in certain places like dew collects in the morning, and can disappear just as quickly. A lucky character always keeps an eye out for lucky things and places, and works hard at staying lucky, because staying lucky is the best way to stay alive.
Examples:
1st: Finding a patch of strawberries when you're feeling a little peckish.
5th: Crossing the Big Bad Wolf's favorite hunting path... when he's on his lunch break.
10th: The witch running out of her favorite spice just before making a stew out of you.

Calling on Luck: When everything looks hopeless and your chips are down, and you need to make a non-Core trait test that you can't possibly make, even with creativity and teamwork, you can call on luck to raise your grade in the trait for that single test. Thus, against all odds, you could hit the center of the bullseye with the arrow (raising your Throw) or duck into a hole just as the giant is about to squash you flat (Scamper). You can only raise your grades by half of your personal grade, rounded down.

Muscle: The shrimps will tell you that you can do anything with enough Imagination, or that being brave is more important than being strong. Bull. It's all about Muscle, and here's why: When the monster finally gets a hold of you and stuffs you in his mouth, it's Muscle that lets you bust your way out. Muscle is also useful for forcing open that door, carrying your wounded companion, or winning arm wrestling matches.
Examples:
1st: Giving a younger kid a short piggyback ride.
3rd: Carrying half of your body wight for a full day.
6th: Lifting something your own weight over your head.
9th: Pushing a rock as big as you off the edge of a cliff.
12th: Holding up a collapsing cave entrance while your friends crawl out between your legs.


Playground Traits: Playground traits are the skills you would use to navigate everyday life outside of the classroom. How you walk, how you talk, how good you are at throwing a ball or playing a game--- those are all Playground Traits. They're nearly as important as Core traits, but are less essential to who you are as a person. They can be learned a little more easily, and they're tested a little more often.

Hide: This one's pretty self-explanatory. Hide is half of the earliest game kids learn to play, and it is something monsters practice, too, if they want to take prey by surprise. Hide is also about sneaking around quietly and remaining unnoticed. Some would say that the Popular Kids are even better at this trait than they are at Cool, because they're always hiding their true natures... but if they are, they're so good at it that they seem like they're not.
Examples:
1st: Getting Past a snoring guard without waking him.
3rd: Remaining unseen in dense foliage.
6th: Weaving through a crowded ballroom without being noticed.
9th: Sneaking up to a wary encampment guard during daylight hours.
12th: Standing on your friends' shoulders and disguising yourself as an ogre.

Seek: Seek is the other half of the classic game, and it's a trait that is enthusiastically perfected by predators throughout the Grimm Lands. Whether by sight, scent, hearing, or hunches, Seek is the trait that is tested whenever you want to try to find something.
Examples:
1st: Finding the pencil you stuck behind your ear.
3rd: Noticing the scent of freshly baked bread coming from a nearby hut.
6th: Spotting the tiny armored elf riding aback a passing dragonfly.
9th: Hearing the Big Bad Wolf creeping up on you.
12th: Finding a brownie's sewing needle in a giant's haystack.

Scamper: Kids and critters alike use Scamper all the time. It is the trait you use to get from point A to point B in an interesting and timely manner. Taking the sidewalk or walking down the stairs one step at a time doesn't require a scamper test, but taking a shortcut through several backyards to catch the bus on time, leaping down three or four steps at a time on Christmas morning, or ducking out of the way of your big brother's wild swing could all require Scamper tests. Scampering is climbing, jumping, swimming, dodging, rolling, or straight-out running. Luckily for kids in the Grimm Lands, it is something they tend to be quite good at.
Examples:
1st: Jumping over a fire hydrant
3rd: Climbing a tree whose lowest branches are above your head
6th: Riding your bike off a ramp and jumping over your little brother, your dog, and your mom's favorite vase all at once
9th: Outrunning an avalanche in the World's Edge Mountains
12th: Swimming up the worst rapids of the Rioting River

Scrap: Scrapping is something that good kids never learn to do well, and that parents don't want to hear about. In the mundane world, it is the tussling, the pushing, the shoving, and the noogies that Bullies for and Nerds live in fear of. In the Grimm Lands, it is the skill that knights use to spar with one another, that monsters use to try to eat children, and that Bullies still use to give Nerds noogies.
Examples:
1st: Kicking an adult in the shins
3rd: Giving a jock a run for his money in a fight
6th: Holding your own against a pack of goblins
9th: Fending off the Big Bad Wolf
12th: Giving a giant a black eye

Throw: Scientists and sports coaches alike are baffled by the phenomenon, but the same stuff that makes a good runner, climber, swimmer, or dancer, is completely different from what makes a great thrower. Even the lonely, uncool kid in his back yard, with no friends to speak of, might be a wiz at chucking a baseball... if he has a dad to play fetch with or one of those nets that bounces the ball back to him. And, in a world where getting within arm's reach of a monster is as good as jumping into his maw, a strong arm can count for a lot. Throw is also used whenever aim is needed, such as with a bow and arrow.
Examples:
1st: Tossing a ball to someone 10 paces away
3rd: Hitting a giant with a longbow
6th: Hitting an adult with a slingshot
9th: Hitting a gnome with a knife
12th: Hitting a fairy with a pebble
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PostSubject: Re: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:40 am

Study Traits: While even children and mindless beasts can have high grade levels in Core and Playground traits, Study traits are generally only learned by skilled, intelligent, committed tradesfolk and craftspeople. Study traits include the sorts of things that a kid would learn either in classes or during his "productive time" after school. Some kids, like theater geeks and boy scouts, channel their energy productively during this time. Others, like hoodlums and snobs, spend their time learning what are considered to be less ideal skills. Once you're in the Grimm Lands, though, you'll find that other look up to you for your previously inappropriate abilities. Everything has its place, here -- it's just a matter of how you use it. Study traits come into play less often than Core and Playground Traits, unless you pursue a career path that focuses on a particular trait (the village doctor would make pretty common use of 4-H, for instance, and a hunter or woodsman would need Boy Scout every time he stepped into the woods). Characters don't automatically have grades above kindergarten in all study traits, even if their shapes would allow for it.

4-H: 4-H is your ability to interact with the natural world in friendly ways. Tests involving agriculture, raising or befriending animals, and even taking care of the sick and injure, are all covered by the 4-H trait. 4-H is also used for a modern concept called "sustainable living;" in other words, in the Grimm Lands, normal existence. This includes finding nuts and berries to supplement your normal diet, collecting wood and leaves to make your home or furnishings, and even predicting the weather for the season. While these may seem like a disparate set of skills, they all rely on an intuition for how plants and animals and other natural systems work, and being able to "speak their language." Note that the Boy Scouts trait covers many similar activities; in this case, it's the method that matters, not the end result. 4-H is generally used by characters who seek to befriend or co-exist with nature in the long term, while Boy Scouts is used by those who seek to fight it or survive it in the here and now. Boy Scouts is the "hunt" part of the equation, while 4-H is the "gather." It can also be used to provide serious medical care (as opposed to basic, stabilizing first aid).
Sample:
1st: Leading a cow to pasture.
6th: Doubling a farm's yield for the season.
12th: Saving a friend from an incurable disease.

Book Learning: What seem like the most boring things to kids in the Real World are actually some of the most coveted knowledge among the residents of the Grimm Lands. Most characters from the Grimm Lands, even talking ones, have no grades in Book Learning, except perhaps members of royalty and the extremely well-educated. Even then, having only 1st grade in this trait is considered quite an achievement. This makes the kids quite a phenomenon, given that most have around 3rd grade in this trait when their story begins. Some Grimm Landers will ove the kids for their precocious skills, and some will turn green with envy... the kids had best make good use of their education, but be careful not to flaunt it in the wrong places. Book Learning includes skills in the following subjects:

-Grammar: Allows a character to read and write, decipher scripts and ciphers, and muddle through complex or boring texts (such as history books, genealogy, treatises, and other dusty tomes)

-Math: Most Grim Lands residents can't properly count beyond their number of fingers and, if they're very creative, toes. Geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and other advanced mathematical concepts are as alien to them as Amsterdam.

-Science: The Grimm Lands operates via their own set of laws, at times. However, in the absence of magic and Imagination, some aspects of chemistry, biology, and physics have managed to sneak in. Kids can use this to their advantage, as they wow court sages with their knowledge of the strange magic called "gravity," perform experiments with the hidden spirit referred to as "momentum," and perhaps even smite their enemies with the power of the storm (in other words, getting a fully armored black knight to stand atop a hill in a lightning storm).

-Social Studies: Social Studies is a vague accumulation of knowledge referring to the Real World history, government, economics, and culture. While the history aspect might have limited value in the Grimm Lands, it can be used to help predict the outcome of certain military or social actions undertaken by the Grimm Lands' leaders, or as fodder for storytelling. The other aspects of Social Studies are immensely valuable to anyone who wishes to lead people, as they help a character understand the methods available for her to do so.

Examples of Book Learning:
1st: Reading and writing at a 1st grade level
2nd: Basic addition and subtraction with numbers greater than 10
3rd: Showing that water can be solid, liquid, or gas
4th: Describing the basic systems of government
5th: Multiplication, long division, and basic algebra
6th: Making sense out of an old encoded diary
7th: Demonstrating the concepts of mass, gravity and momentum
8th: Describing the basic concepts of economics
9th: Geometry and basic trigonometry
10th: Making a simple battery out of an acidic compound
11th: Calculus
12th: Predicting the year of the downfall of a Grimm Lands monarchy

Boy Scouts: As mentioned in 4-H, Boy Scouts is the trait used by those who want to survive nature in the short term without worrying about the long term. Boy Scouts is used for first air, surviving wilderness hazards, finding your way and reading maps, starting fires, and tracking. It can also be used to provide First Aid.
Examples:
1st: Reading an amusement park map
6th: Making a tourniquet for someone who just lost an arm
12th: Finding shelter for the night in a blizzard

Country Club: Country Club is tested whenever a character attempts an activity that is reserved for the upper class, or in the Grimm Lands, the nobility. Riding a horse, dancing a waltz, playing a piano, speaking appropriately at court, or sailing a fancy boat are all Country Club activities. It should be noted that for true artistry and inspiration and aesthetics, the average of Country Club and either Imagination or Cool should be used.
Examples:
1st: Mounting a horse
6th: Tacking against the wind
12th: Flawlessly playing a classical sonata

Gaming: Gaming is one of those hobbies that sets apart true Nerds from other boys and girls. Lots of kids like fairy tales, novels, movies about wizards schools, and the occasional board game. But as a kid delves deeper and deeper into these hobbies, he finds a strange and unexpected world. This world includes things like narrative video games, fantasy card and board games, and the infamous roleplaying game Traps & Trolls. This latter is the mark of death for any kid's social life, and is likely to be looked at askance by parents and teachers as well as peers. However, upon his entry into the Grimm Lands, any gaming pariah is vindicated, for it is the Gaming Trait that allows him to harness magic. A kid needn't play Traps & Trolls to have a high grade in Gaming: Dreamers tend to know a lot about fairy tales and to read fantasy series targeted at children and adults alike, and even Normal Kids dabble in card games like Pickleman or Sorcery: The Assemblage. Gaming tests a character's ability at and knowledge of all of these. Gaming is used to learn and cast magical spells, and to recognize familiar fairy tale settings and characters, and their soft spots.
Examples:
1st: Remembering the rules for checkers
6th: Using a magic wand
12th: Transforming a witch into a frog

Home Ec: Home Ec covers one of the most boring things imaginable to a kid: chores. It seems that most characters in the Grimm Lands feel the same way about chores as kids, because captured, indentured, and cursed kids are tasked with using their Home Ec skills more often than any other trait. This is probably because so many fairy tales focus on the timely and effective completion of things like cleaning, cooking, sewing, and other boring but essential daily activities. A character's ability in Home Ec is not determined solely by skill, but also by stick-to-it-iveness, focus, and care. When a character's ability to deal with tedium is at issue, such as when he is forced to dig a ditch, paint a fence, or work all night, Home Ec should be tested to determine the quality of the character's work and the length of time that he can keep going. With Imagination, kids can accomplish some pretty amazing things with Home Ec, like spinning straw into gold, knitting a magic hat, or cleaning an uncleanable place. Some artistic actions require a mixture of Home Ec and Imagination as well.
Examples:
1st: Sweeping a front porch
6th: Cooking for seven hungry dwarfs
12th: Cleaning a giant's stables

Industrial Arts: Industrial Arts is tested whenever a character attempts to build or use machinery, to create structures, or to craft something that is functional. Metalworking and blacksmithing are both Industrial Arts activities, as are woodworking, irrigation, and architecture. It is also used to create and undo booby traps.
Examples:
1st: Building a fence
6th: Making a suit of knight's armor
12th: Overseeing a castle's construction

Juvie: Juvie skills tend to be learned by characters who don't have other extracurricular activities to keep them out of trouble. Much of Juvie is technical knowledge, which allows a character to pick locks, forge signatures, and hide contraband. Some of this trait's uses are more physical, such as picking pockets, concealing weapons, or preparing disguises. Regardless, whenever a character attempts something that is against the rules and is neither purely physical (such as when using Hide) nor purely social (such as when using Cool), Juvie is used.
Examples:
1st: Hiding a stolen apple in your baggy pants
6th: Picking an average lock
12th: Forging the Rotten King's seal and signature
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PostSubject: Talents   Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:41 am

A beginning kid starts with one talent, and may select an origin talent as well. Origin talents give a character a higher value in a Study trait at the cost of other traits, as well as providing a roleplaying hook for the character. Each time a kid graduates to the next grade level, she gains her choice of an additional talent or archetype ability.

Origin Talents:

Art Student : You attended a charter or magnet school that focused on creative expression over rote learning. Imagination increases by one grade, and you gain +1 advantage on Cool tests that involve storytelling or open, non-confrontational emotional empathy. However, you suffer a -2 disadvantage on all Book Learning tests.

City Kid : Most of your life has been spent in the bustling city, so you feel confident and capable in urban environments. Outside of them, however, you're out of your element, and it shows. Whenever you're in a village, town, or large and fairly civilized structure like a castle, you receive +2 grades to all Cool and Pluck tests. Whenever you're anywhere else (such as in the woods, a dungeon, a cave, or even a path outside of town), you suffer a -1 disadvantage on all Cool and Pluck tests.

Exchange Student : (Requirement: Cannot have the Popular Kid archetype) You only recently moved to a school in a western country from a home far away. In your home culture, self-discipline and respect were more prevalent than in the decadent West. Your Home Ec and Industrial Arts each increase by one grade. However, you suffer a -1 disadvantage on all Cool tests.

Farm Kid : You grew up in the country, with a life of hard work and hard play, both of them in the outdoors. Your 4-H, Boy Scouts, and Muscle each increase by one grade, but you suffer a -2 disadvantage on all Cool tests.

Home Schooled : You were educated at home by your mom, dad, or a private tutor. This gives you a breadth of knowledge that other kids lack, but it also means that some of the basic social and physical skills of your youth were stunted. You may increase any four Study traits by one grade level, but you suffer a -1 disadvantage on all Scamper and Throw tests.

Orphan : You never knew your parents, and your entire childhood has been spent bouncing between orphanages, foster homes, and the street. It has made you self-reliant and skittish, but has stomped down your sense of wonder. Your Juvie increases by one grade, and you receive +1 grade to Seek tests made to detect ambushes and Scamper tests. However, you suffer a -1 disadvantage on all Imagination and Gaming tests.

Shrimp : You've always been small for your age. Some think of you like a little sibling who must be protected, while others are more than a happy to take advantage of your stature. You've learned to make the most of it. Although your stature is kid-sized, you are considered dog-sized for the purposes of using scamper as a defensive trait and when using Throw as an attack trait. However, you suffer a -2 disadvantage on all Muscle tests.

General Talents:
Against the Odds (Scrap 4th, no Bullies) Combat bonuses against higher-grade opponents.

Animal Friend (4-H 6th) - Animal sidekick each adventure
-Dr. Doolittle (4-H 8th) - Additional animal sidekick each adventure
-Kid's Best Friend (4-H 8th) - Your animal sidekicks stick with you after the adventure
-Pack Beta (4-H 8th) - Your animal sidekicks gain bonuses
--Pack Alpha (4-H 10th) - Your animal sidekicks gain additional bonuses

Big Kid (Muscle 4th) - You are considered adult sized by some tests
-Full-grown (Muscle 8th) - You become adult-sized
-Strong Back (Muscle 6th) - You are considered adult-sized for more tests

Crack Shot (Throw 4th) - Improved boost range on Throw tests
-Sniper (Throw 10th) - You may ignore your target's protection

Cute as a Button (Cool 6th) - Minor characters have a hard time hurting you

David and Goliath - Combat bonuses against larger opponents

Dirty Fighter (Juvie 4th, Scrap 4th) - Combat bonuses against ambushed opponents
-In the Nards! (Scrap 8th, Dirty fighter OR Outcast's Cheap Shot) - Targets suffer increased wound penalties from your sneaky hits

Earnest Apprentice (Gaming 6th) - Bonuses to learn progressive spells, and your spells are harder to resist
-Journeyman Wizard (Gaming 8th) - Bonuses in duels and quicker spells

Favorite Weapon (Scrap 4th) - Improved boost range on Scrap tests with a specific type of weapon
-Named Weapon (Scrap 8th) - Bonuses when using a specific weapon

First Responder (4-H 4th, Boy Scouts 4th) - Your first aid can heal up to two wounds

Fleet-Footed (Scamper 3rd) - Your speed increases when all you do is move
-Speed Demon (Scamper 8th) - Your speed increases by one level

Furious Deflection (Scrap 6th, Seek 6th) - You may use Scrap to defend against Throw attacks

Grip on Reality (Seek 4th) - You can see past illusions and resist tempting spells

Hawk-Eyed (Seek 3rd) - Bonuses to spot small or hidden things

Haymaker (Scrap 6th) - Improved boost range on all Scrap tests

Healer - Bonuses on all tests made to heal others
-Curative Nature (4-H 10th) - Your patients heal at twice the normal rate

Heavy-handed (Muscle 6th) - Combat bonuses when unarmed
-Flying Fists (Scrap 10th) - You may make multiple attacks when unarmed

Hyper (Scamper 8th) - Expend muscle to take two actions

I Don't Want to Grow Up! (Personal Grade 6th or less) - Improved Playground traits, but suffer penalties when resisting temptation or despair

I'm the Best! (10th in any trait) - You may achieve miraculous successes in one trait

Iconic to the Extreme (8th in your iconic trait) - You may regain grades in an expended iconic trait

Karate Kid (Scrap 6th) - When facing larger opponents, you can use Scrap as if it were Scamper
-Judo Throw (Scrap 8th) - Throw opponents who attack you and miss

Kid Magician (Gaming 6th) - You are resistant to the negative effects of magic use
-Tween Thaumaturge (Gaming 8th) - You may perform magic without tools and without weakening

Monkey Bar Master - Bonuses to Scamper tests on climbing, swinging, etc

Nobody's Fool (Cool 8th, Seek 8th) - You have a sixth sense about those who mean you ill

Paranoid (Scamper 4th) - You may act before ambushers
-Cat-like Reflexes (Scamper 8th, Seek 8th) - You get a bonus action at the beginning of each action scene

Put it All on the Line (Scamper 6th, Scrap 6th, Throw 6th) - Increase your boost range at a cost of greater risk of failure

Rebound (Person Grade 10th, Muscle as iconic trait) - You may get back up after being knocked out

Specialist (6th grade in chosen trait) - You roll an extra die on the second roll of your specialized trait tests, in addition to the initial roll

Spoiled - You may gain bonuses after failing a test
-Spoiled Brat (Personal Grade 6th) - Improved protection when in a tantrum
--Spoiled Rotten (Personal Grade 9th) - Improved bonuses when in a tantrum

Taunter (Cool 6th, Bully's Threat or Popular Kid's Undermine) - You may force opponents to focus on you
-Taunter, Advanced (Cool 8th) - You may force opponents to attack you foolishly
--Taunter, Master (Cool 10th) - You may force opponents to attack you mindlessly

Wild Swing (Muscle 4th, Scrap 4th) - You may reduce your chances of hitting in order to hit harder
-Pummel (Muscle 10th, Scrap 10th) - You may keep attacking until you miss
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PostSubject: Items   Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:36 am

Keepsakes: Keepsakes are treasured items brought by kids into the world of the Grimm Lands. They are often all that a child has left from his life in the Real World. Each new character begins play with one, although it's possible for a keepsake to be destroyed or lost during play. Although potentially useful back home, keepsakes become doubly so when they enter the Grimm Lands: they gain magical abilities powered by a kid's Imagination, his sense of hope, and his yearning for the world he has lost. The following are examples of keepsakes that a typical kid may bring into the Grimm Lands. You are highly encouraged to create keepsakes of your own for your characters.
Beeper: When one of your friends is hurt, dying, or about to be eaten by a troll, your beeper goes off and alerts you with the flashing numbers "911." If you expend 1 Imagination, it then displays the name of the person in trouble, his direction and distance, and a short message (10 words or less) describing his situation.

Digital Watch: You always know what time it is (this can be important, since time in the Grimm Lands is a spotty, messy thing - including a 13th o'clock and "Tea Time") and can predict the approach of sunrise or sundown to the second. Additionally, by expending 1 Imagination, you can perform an action twice as fast as normal. So you could run twice as far, make two attack Scrap tests, pick a lock twice as fast, and so on.

Binoculars: These work like any other binoculars, allowing you to see four times farther than normal when viewed through, and Seek checks involving noticing things of import at a distance are slightly easier. Additionally, by expending 1 Imagination, you can see far beyond the Horizon, including peering into a neighboring kingdom or far land.

Cigarette Lighter: Considered the signature item of the Outcast kid, a cigarette lighter is highly treasured in the Grimm Lands, both for its ability to produce fire and to scare the wits out of the ignorant yokels. A cigarette lighter also casts light as a candle. Finally, by expending 1 Imagination, you can produce a tremendous gout of flame from the lighter.

Family Heirloom: This keepsake could be any sort of locket, signet ring, or other piece of jewelry that has been in your family for generations. While clenching it (and nothing else) in one of your hands, you gain the advantage of +1 grade on Pluck tests. If you wish, you can expend 1 Imagination to gain the advantage bonus for the scene while simply wearing the heirloom but not holding onto it.

Game Console: This is a small, handheld electronic device with a variety of quest games. Due to untold hours of playing these video games, you gain a +2 advantage on Gaming tests that involve puzzles, mazes, or other logic conundrums. Additionally, you may expend 1 Imagination to "play out" one potential course of action on the console over several minutes, such as answering a riddle a certain way, trying one method of bypassing a trap, or bringing a certain weapon to bear against a monster. The level of success you achieve in the game console is fairly indicative of how wise a move this strategy would be in the Grimm Lands.

Helmet: Whether originally intended for baseball, hockey, football, or even biking or skateboarding, your helmet now does double-duty as a piece of armor. Sure, it looks goofy, but it keeps you alive. If you're wearing it when you're hit, you may negate a number of wounds equal to the amount of Imagination you expend.

Louisville Slugger: This baseball bat was once your most prized possession, and now that you're in the Grimm Lands, it has become a trusty weapon. It counts as a medium hand weapon that always requires two hands. Additionally, by expending 1 Imagination, you can turn any piece of convenient ammunition (a stone, a doorknob, a heavy gourd, etc) into a powerful ranged attack. You simply toss the ammunition up, give it a crack with the bat, and the object races towards your enemy as if it were launched from a heavy ranged weapon, ignoring one level of protection, +1 grade to you Throw attack and increased range.

Lucky ______: Most kids have something that they keep as a good luck charm, whether it be a favorite action figure, a special shell found on a hidden beach, or a well-worn baseball hat (the less said about underpants, the better). Whatever it is, it seems to help when things get dicey. As long as you're clutching the keepsake (and nothing else) in one hand, you can expend grade levels in Luck as if Luck were your iconic Core trait, though you must also expend 1 Imagination each time. Cannot be used by someone who has chosen Luck as their iconic Core trait, obviously.

Magic Markers or Crayons: Magic markers and crayons delight the resident of the Grimm Lands with their bright colors and the ease with which these "paint sticks" can be carried about. By expending 1 Imagination, you can also use them to draw a doorway, window or other opening (in some cases, other objects in general) in a wall. This typically simply leads to the other side, but occasionally takes you somewhere else altogether.

Skateboard: Although surfaces smooth enough to ride on are rare in the Grimm Lands, a skateboard allows you to take advantage of them: your speed improves by one level when riding the board. Additionally, by spending a moment building speed and expending 1 Imagination, you can become airborne with your board, traveling as far in the air as you normally could on the ground. For each minute spent aloft, you must expend an additional 1 Imagination.

Sunglasses: These stylish shades grant an advantage of +1 grade on Cool tests. In addition, if you are subjected to any attack that would affect or rely on vision (being blinded by a bright flash of light, being turned to stone by a medusa's gaze, being hypnotized by meeting a witch's eyes, etc) you may expend 1 Imagination to be protected form a single instance of that attack.

Stuffed Animal: When you're lost, cold, frightened, and alone, where else can your turn but to your stuffed animal? By spending minute to entreat your stuffed animal for help and expending Imagination, you can convince it to come to life and grow larger, aiding you in any way you wish. The animated doll has the traits of a natural or mythical animal whose personal grade is no higher than the number of grade levels of Imagination you expended to awaken it. The stuffed animal helps you for the duration of the scene, whether it is a journey (riding a stuffed winged horse or dolphin) or a desperate fight (a teddy bear turned grizzly, a dragon). Unless you expend the same amount of Imagination to keep it around, it reverts to normal form as soon as another scene begins. If the stuffed animal is wounded, the damage appears in its doll form as well, and can only be healed with the old stuffed-animal surgical standbys: needle and thread, with the occasional dose of new stuffing, replacement button eyes, and the like, all used with Home Ec tests.

Umbrella: Primarily used to keep the rain off one's head, an umbrella in the Grimm Lands also allows the user to safely and slowly fall from any height, moving at a sluggish walking pace. The umbrella must be open and held in at least one hand the entire time for this ability to function, although it's possible to open it up during a fall by making a Luck test. Every three minutes spent falling causes the expenditure of 1 Imagination.

Wind-up Flashlight: These very useful plastic contraptions give off light as well as a lantern, but require no oil... or batteries, for that matter. Simply wind it for one minute, and it lasts for the same amount of time. It can store enough energy to be wound for five minutes, giving a light duration of five minutes. Additionally, by expending 1 Imagination, you can cause the flashlight to pierce not only darkness, but illusions, as well. For a single minute, anything caught in the flashlight's beam is revealed as it truly is, regardless of magical disguises.
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PostSubject: Items (cont.)   Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:37 am

Talismans: In a world fueled by Imagination, amazing and magical items are commonly encountered by adventurous kids. Witches brew potions and elixirs, evil queens talk to magic mirrors in order to stroke their egos, and wizards employ animated objects to perform mundane chores. That said, magic items in the Grimm Lands are not common, everyday things. Each one is a unique object, a talisman, with special properties, its own history, and particular uses. Many a talisman is quite highly prized by a powerful and dangerous personage who will do anything to get it back. Items here are but a sample of potential ideas.
Apprentice Wizard's Cap: Tall and conical, this cap is normally worn by an apprentice wizard to show his status as a student of magic. While wearing it, you gain an advantage of +2 grades on Gaming tests to learn magic via any method, and are considered to have the Earnest Apprentice (or Journeyman Wizard, if you already had the first) talent. However, actual wizards, witches, and other persons capable of casting spells and wielding magic treat you with utter condescension and contempt - you suffer a -2 disadvantage on all Cool tests in social situations dealing with these types. Also, many evil creatures of the Grimm Lands hate wizards, and may single you out in encounters as if you had the Normal Kid's Generic flaw.

Bag of Breadcrumbs: This innocuous-looking leather bag contains several (kid-sized) handfuls of normal, albeit hard and stale, breadcrumbs. The word "remember" is crudely stitched on the side of the bag. In order to activate the bag's magic, you must speak this word while pulling out a handful of breadcrumbs. If you drop the bread crumbs at regular intervals (roughly one crumb every 30 feet) the path laid becomes indelibly marked in your mind so that you'll easily remember the way you came. Flipping over the bag effectively empties the entire contents, although as soon as it is turned upright and reached into again, the user finds the same amount of breadcrumbs as before. One side effect of using the bag is the sudden appearance of numerous crows, seemingly drawn to its magic (or merely the food). The crows find and eat the breadcrumbs over the course of 1-6 days, at which point the trail is lost forever. Due to the sheer number of crows, shooing them away has no effect.

Bag of Magic Beans: This plain leather bag contains nine dried beans. Strange magic allows only a single bean to be pulled out at a time, even when the bag is inverted. The others seem to slide away from grasping hands. When a bean is planted in earth and 1 Imagination is expended, the ground immediately begins to shake. The next turn, a bean tendril emerges, growing at a staggering 20 feet per minute, gaining thickness until it is as thick around as a stout oak tree. Anyone immediately adjacent to the beanstalk can grab on and hitch a ride as it grows. The beanstalk continues to grow until the planter utters the word "stop" or it reaches 200 feet in height. The bean's growth is powerful enough to plow through the roofs of most buildings, but is stopped by solid rock or thick earth. Saying "shrink" reverses the process just as rapidly, although the bean is used up in the process. A 6th grade Gaming test reveals these keywords. Some of these beans are special, and extend into the clouds, emerging in a small and boring realm of solid clouds and friendly giant rabbits, but when you attempt to climb back down again, you will find that the stalk is now planted in a completely different place. Its new location may be anywhere in the Grimm Lands.

Cloak of Invisibility: This green cloak has an enormous hood and large brass clasps, which bear etchings of a person holding his hands over his eyes. If you pull the hood up while the brass clasps are fastened, you and your gear become completely invisible to normal sight. The invisibility lasts until you remove the cloak.

Crystal Slippers: Elegant and regal in the extreme, these fancy slippers seem to be crafted from a single piece of crystal. If you're a girl, wear them both, and have at least 6th grade in Home Ec, you receive an advantage of +3 grades of Cool tests and may select one character to Go With (as per the Popular Kid ability); both effects last from dusk until midnight as long as you continue wearing the slippers, which decrease your speed by two levels. Those with the Spoiled talent who attempt to put on the crystal slippers not only automatically fail, but suffer a disadvantage of -4 grades on Cool tests, as their faces turn into comical caricatures of their normal appearance, an effect that continues until Midnight.

Dancing Broom: This ordinary looking broom is actually infused with magic, allowing it to move about on its own. Dancing brooms are common items found about the hovels and towers of witches and wizards, who are too busy and lofty to clean and tidy up for themselves. A dancing broom attaches itself to a single master at a time, to whom it is quite loyal. However, a dancing broom may decide that it is not being appreciated and attach itself to another master - often with no warning. Many develop personalities and quirks, but most are dedicated, surprisingly brave, obsessed with cleanliness, and about as bright as one would expect for a broom. The dancing broom's master may issue the following commands, which it does until ordered to stop
-Sweep (an area defined by the owner)
-Follow (a person or creature defined by the owner)
-Attack (smacks a chosen target about the head and shoulders)
-Stop (drops to the ground).

Genie Lamp: Can appear as any sort of oil lamp, glass-shuttered victorian-era lamp, teapot, etc, serving as the home of an imprisoned genie. In order to activate the magic, the user must rub the lamp while calling out the magic phrase inscribed on the lamp's side. If you succeed on a 6th grade+1 grade per its Imagination rating Gaming test to pronounce the word correctly, a cloud of roiling smoke emerges, coalescing into an impish yet attractive genie, dressed in exotic finery and with its lower torso composed of smoke. The genie states that it is allowed to grant the wielder up to three wishes. Each genie lamp has a rating of 1 to 6, indicating the number of grades of Imagination that the genie has at its disposal per wish. Genie Lamps with a rating of 1 are fairly common, while the one known example of a rating 6 Genie Lamp hasn't been seen in thousands of years. For each wish asked, compare with the various levels of Imaginings within the lamp's rating, If the wish fits that category or below, it is granted. If the wish is beyond the level available, the genie asks for "something a bit more reasonable," until the wielder comes up with an appropriate wish. Once the wielder asks his third wish, the Genie Lamp disappears in a puff of acrid smoke.

Golden Egg: Gleaming in the sunlight, this enormous goose egg looks and feels as though it were made of solid gold. All intelligent creatures that value gold (or shiny things, like ravens) and view the Golden Egg for a full minute must make a 10th Grade Pluck test to resist temptation or become overwhelmed with the need to possess it for themselves. This obsession persists even after the Golden Egg is removed from sight. The exact actions taken to acquire it depend on the individual, but typically go through the following stages: desire to trade, pleading, demanding, attempted theft, and then violence. Considering the turmoil it causes, most people eventually toss it into a river or down a deep well... until someone else stumbles across it and starts the process anew.

Jar of Fairyflies: This is a clear masonry jar with a sealed top, containing dozens of what appear to be fireflies. In reality, they are tiny fairy creatures captured long ago and cursed to remain in their prison. When you spend a minute doing nothing but singing to the fairyflies in the jar, they emit a bright glow equivalent to sunlight that reaches a stone's throw in all directions. Some creatures of the Grimm Lands are notoriously fearful of sunlight, and you may make an opposed Cool test (with +2 grade advantage) to force the creature to flee from its glare, if possible. The glass of the jar is remarkably tough, having protection 2 and health 5. If the jar is broken, the fairyflies immediately swarm together and disappear in a flash of light that blinds everyone within a stone's throw for 3 turns (a 5th grade Luck test or Sunglasses keepsake avoids the effect).

Living Harp: This gorgeous lap harp is crafted from fine woods, decorated with mother-of-pearl inlays, and strung with the hair of a princess. Anyone playing the living harp gains an advantage of +4 grades on Imagination and Country Club tests for the purposes of playing a lovely tune. Once per day, a user can order the harp to play on its own - which is always a lullaby. The user can tell the harp how long to wait before starting and how long to keep playing. All creatures within earshot, even the harp's previous possessor, must make a 10th grade Pluck test or fall sound asleep (though they can be roused by loud noises, physical assaults, and the like).

Magic Mirror: This four-foot-tall mirror has a gorgeous, ornate frame gilt in gold and jewels. The mirror holds some form of spirit, fairy, or other magical being that is capable of revealing a person's innermost desires. If you expend 1 Imagination while calling for the spirit of the mirror (typically starting off with "Mirror, mirror..."), your reflection fades, replaced by an odd, stern face of ambiguous gender. Once the spirit arrives, you can ask a single question that related to your desires, hopes and dreams. Proper questions include "What will I become when I grow up?" or "Am I powerful enough to defeat the Rotten King?" Inappropriate questions garner a very rude rebuke from the mirror's spirit - if this happens three times, it disappears from the mirror, never to return to you. Once you find out what you truly desire, it can make a serious impact on your efforts to achieve your utmost. For the next three full days, your personal grade level is considered 3 grades higher than normal. This affects your health and the level of impact you may have when interacting with other characters' special abilities. However, after this, assuming your innermost desire is not yet achieved, doubt and second-guessing set in. For the next three days after that, your personal grade level is considered three grades lower than normal.

Red Cloak: Brilliant red and finely made, this cloak seems to perfectly fit most kids who don it (adults and kids with the Big Kid or similar talents gain no benefit from wearing the cloak, either than looking rather ridiculous). While worn, the wearer suffers a -2 disadvantage on all Hide tests due to its brilliant color, but gains the Cute as a Button talent. If the kid already possesses this talent, she gains an advantage of +2 grades to the opposed Cool test when using this talent.

Sword of St. George: The Sword of St. George is an ancient medium hand weapon, with a dragon-shaped hilt and a blade nicked from long-forgotten battles, stained with blackish blood, yet still razor-sharp. St. George was a historic and literary figure in the Real World, known for slaying dragons. His presence in the Grimm Lands is unconfirmed, although most suspect that his many battles failed to prepare him for his final encounter with THE Dragon of the Underworld. Regardless, his sword survived and is highly coveted by questing knights for its powerful and fearsome abilities. Characters can't even lift the sword unless they're at least a 9th grade and pure of heart. Rather than granting combat moves, it provides a static advantage of +3 grades to Scrap attacks and Scrap defense, always allows the wield to inflict +3 wounds on a successful hit, and also makes him immune to fire of any kind, regardless of its source. If the wielder expends 1 Imagination, he immediately knows the direction and rough distance (to within 10 miles) of the nearest dragon (or dragonish creature). Unfortunately, this is quite literally a double-edged sword: the same information and the fact that the wielder has the sword is revealed to the dragon. Most dragons, rightfully fearing the sword's power, pick up and leave, thus making the quest to destroy them both long and arduous. Some dragons, however, take the information as a challenge. They seek out the wielder in hopes of destroying him and the sword. The sword becomes even more powerful in combat with dragonish creatures. As soon as a dragon comes within one mile of the the wielder, he instantly becomes aware of its direction and distance. Second, he is immune to any type of dragon breath, fire or not. Finally, the sword cleaves through dragonish creatures' vaunted scales like fish through water, ignoring levels of protection (scales, stature, magic, etc) equal to the user's muscle.

Woodsman's Hatchet: Despite its battered and worn appearance, this mundane-looking light hand weapon is actually a weapon of extraordinary ability. The Woodsman's Hatchet imbues the wielder with strength and courage, but also an almost obsessive desire to eliminate anything that isn't human. If used against a creature native to the Great and Awful Forest, the hatchet provides an advantage of +3 grades to Scrap attacks, and it can be thrown at targets within a stone's throw. If it misses the target, it unerringly returns to your hand in a moment. Also the hatchet exists to chop down thick-skinned trees that are much taller than a man, so it ignores both the first three levels of physical protection (tree bark, thick hides, and the like) and the first three levels of stature protection. Finally, creature that can rapidly heal due to some magical or unnatural means find that wounds caused by the Woodsman's hatchet heal at the normal rate. In order to even pick up the hatchet, a would-be wielder must take a 9th grade Boy Scouts test (he can try once per day) and be human himself. The main downside of the Woodsman's Hatchet is the way it slowly warps the character's mind, until he desires nothing else than to chop down trees, whether animated or mundane, and hunt down animals, whether upright, talking, or simple beasts; an urge that can only be resisted with pluck test whenever he encounters one of these entities, the first test of the day at 1st grade, the 2nd at second, and so on, to 12th grade.
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PostSubject: Magic   Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:37 am

Imaginings
Level 1:
Level 2:
Level 3:
Level 4:

Magic (Charms/amulets/dolls/runes/talismans, Consumables/fruit/liqueurs/pastries/potions, items/cards/cauldron/spinning wheel/wand, movement/dancing/face pulling/hand gestures/spinning, Natural setting/full moon/storms/trees/water, words/chanting/nursery rhymes/rhyming couplets/singing)
Apprenticeship
Study
Precociousness
Weakening
Estrangement
Magical Duels
Artificers
Enchanters
Guardians
Seers
Witches
Wizards
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PostSubject: Re: Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales   

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Grimm: Trapped in a World of Twisted Fairy Tales
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