GrimWyrd:A dark fantasy


Gorgoth border spires

GrimWyrd is a Roll20 GURPS campaign I have been running for the last few months. The game has a hundred hours under its belt, over more than a dozen sessions, with 5 core players and a slew of in-jokes and anecdotes. And it was never intended to last more than a single session.

The setting was originally conceived for a throwaway game, designed around the basic concept of “How many fantasy tropes can I cram into a one-shot game, with weirdo players recruited from, and absolutely ZERO commitment to the long term health of the game?”. I was out of work and itching to get some gaming in, as my in-real-life group had disbanded again over non-issues. (As they are always want to do). I was cruising /tg/, posting in the /gurpsgeneral/ thread, and otherwise just stirring up trolls who couldn’t grasp classless game mechanics and point based systems… (It was probably more low-level trolling than I care to admit, but I insist I was contributing to the thread as well! I digress…)

The subject of throwaway thread concept came up in the discussion: “If you could run anything you wanted, what would you run?”. Of course, the first thing that pops into my head is a crossover of the classic Conan themes :Blood, Steel and Sorcerey. Lamentations of their women, that sort of thing. Then, sprinkling in a bit of the grim and dark 80’s fantasy; dark overlords, evil armies of orcs and trolls, plagues of darkness, stalwart heroes fighting back against the tide of evil. Krull, Neverending Story, the Black Cauldron, Masters of the Universe. Classics.

The discussion went on with the turning of the clock, and before long, there was a group of us in the thread, now pining over our player losses. We had all recently lost our groups to scheduling, inter-player drama, stupid conflicts. Regular adult responsibilities were rearing their ugly heads. None of us had a game and it SUCKED. What were we to do?



Then the stars aligned; crossposting from a gamefinder thread, there was a smattering of people available in my timezone asking on GURPS games! New players, veterans, and some weirdos all just wanted to throw bones and make jokes at the table! I put my little brainstorm together, threw a blurb at the thread, and in less than an hour I was vetting players to join my game. I was doing Skype chat interviews and answering campaign setting questions about something I had on the spur of the moment called “GrimWyrd”. I setup a game meetup for the following Monday, mid-morning start. 6 people applied, 5 showed up, 1 had a scheduling issue. And what do you know; it worked out great.

We clicked. Gears turned. inflections were hashed out. Gimmicks were found. Everyone threw themselves in headfirst with their hearts on their shoulders, and nobody died(yet!). it was great! I hastily scheduled a new session with them, the next week. For the next 7 days, I was bombarded with ingame chatter; What are the Dwarves like? Where are the Beastmen from? Why is there so little response to the call to arms in the Kingdom of Greyhold? Can my character have grey eyes? It was intense, but I answered every question; every detail was pried from my brain, etched in the setting info, and set in stone. So, there was not just a smattering of tropes interacting with each other. We had a living breathing WORLD slapped together. And it was gaining momentum, hauling ass up a mountain of fun, and not braking for anything.

So of course, something went wrong.


Funny how things work out; within a week of my first successful full session on roll20, I had a job recruiter phoning me about a new position! I desperately needed the work, and didnt want to lose my new game! I cursed serendipity and coincidence, I cursed my good fortune, and broke the news to my players.

And wouldn’t you know it; they were all cool with moving the game to the weekend.

So now, here I am, Starting Chapter two of the game. I have one of my IRL friends joined up, taking the reins of a dropout. Everyone has backstories and vibrantly colorful characters. The plot has thickened in a bloody way, and everyone is demanding one thing from me

What happens next?!




About KentonBlack

I'm an avid gamer, computer troubleshooter, and all around dashing fellow. I blog After Action Reports on my gaming, running as the GM for several GURPS 4e games
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