A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

04 November 2011

Found Items Friday: The Grimblade

So last night I was able to steal away for an hour and watch the series premiere of NBC’s Grimm. And yes, this was time when I should have been pounding away at my NaNoWriMo word count. Don't talk to me about that.

I haven’t been able to watch Once Upon A Time yet (broadcast TV’s other genre offering this season) so I cannot compare the two. Grimm, however, was a lot of fun. I gather it won’t be your typical police procedural, full of hard clues and evidence, but still a good romp nonetheless. Hopefully a little bit more of the detective's skills will come into play in future episodes, because I would hate to see him have to rely on what I feel was essentially a deus ex machina solution. That was my first real complaint. Also, the reveal at the end makes it feel a bit too much like last season’s No Ordinary Family from ABC. I stopped watching that one about three episodes in once it was clear that the boss was the villain and he knew who the heroes were and blah blah blah blah blah. I hope that Grimm takes a different direction because I think there’s real potential there. I won't talk about the characterizations because, let's face it, NO series ever gets the characters perfect in the first season; it also takes that first season to get writing style, acting style, etc. down pat as well.

The show also got me thinking about the idea that a family of — let’s face it: Paladins — passed down knowledge and weapons from generation to generation. The family had a specific favored enemy to use the RPG parlance. Now, we weren’t told a whole lot in Grimm about the background or the family, etc. All we were given was a couple of generalities; it was enough to spin off some ideas in my head. I’m now working on that concept for my next campaign. It's still in the gestation-phase: it would have to be some kind of cross between a paladin and a ranger, I'm thinking. I'd like to see more of Grimm before I finalize it to see what kinds of abilities such a character class might have. True seeing would have to be one of the class abilities, that much is for sure.

It also got me thinking about the following: The Grimblade. The Grimblade has been passed from generation to generation, always staying within the character’s family. At least one member of each generation has a special “calling” to wield the Grimblade in pursuit of the Family’s favored enemy. There are thirteen such blades and thirteen such families, each family having a separate favored enemy.

The Grimblades were forged centuries ago by an alliance of Dwarven, Elvish, and Human smiths, mages, and clerics. This alliance is the reason for the distinct lack of humanoid creatures on the list of favored enemies (see below). Wielders were chosen from each of the major races, although interbreeding between races means that a wielder may come from nearly any humanoid PC race. A Grimblade will only be fully effective in the hands of a descendant of one of the Wielder families. No two Grimblades look alike, but every wielder can tell when another wielder is within a 100'-radius (similar to a detect magic-effect as follows:
1st round: presence of a wielder.
2nd round: direction.
3rd round: distance.
4th round: alignment.
5th round: exact location.

Note that no Grimblade can ever be wielded against another Grimblade; any attempt to do so paralyzes both wielders for 1d6 hours immediately upon a first attack being attempted.

The typical Grimblade acts as a holy or evil weapon, in direct opposition to the typical alignment of the individual favored enemy it faces. For example, the Outsider Grimblade treats all Outsiders as if it were directly opposed to the particular outsider's alignment: an evil Outsider faces a good-aligned weapon one day while the next day a good Outsider will face an evil-aligned weapon. A wielder may choose, however, not to attack a favored foe with an alignment similar to the wielder; the Grimblades, while semi-intelligent, do not force the wielder to attack.

It provides a +4 attack and damage modifier against its favored enemy; additional damage modifiers include divine damage as describe above as well as disruption and bane modifiers. Some Grimblades also include energy damage (fire, cold, electrical, acid, etc.). Not every Grimblade has each of the modifiers, but each Grimblade has at least one. In addition, when in the presence of its favored enemy (within a 100'-radius), every Grimblade glows as if a light spell had been cast upon it.

The Grimblade’s special properties have a downside: they draw attention to themselves, calling the favored enemy to it, luring the foe in an attempt to strike them down. The wielder of such a blade must be on the constant lookout for his or her favored enemy, for the foes of the Grimblades want nothing more than to find the blade, wrest it from its wielder, and destroy it. Every day there is a 25% chance that a Grimblade-foe will attack a wielder at some point, usually when the wielder is distracted or taken unaware.

The favored enemy list is different and more narrow than that of the Ranger class. The Grimblade list is as follows:
  1. Aberration

  2. Animal

  3. Construct

  4. Dragon

  5. Elemental

  6. Fey

  7. Giant

  8. Goblinoid

  9. Orc

  10. Magical Beast

  11. Outsider

  12. Undead

  13. Vermin

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