Personalizing the Campaign Setting

By moonwolf8, in Grimm RPG

In Grimm we are dealing with fairy tails and nursery rhymes to start with. For me this brings to mind Theme Parks. The nearest theme parks to me that I am aware of are Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Kings Dominion obviously is the seat of high king Humpty Dumpty. Busch Gardens > bush > hedge > thorn hedge > sleeping beauty. Busch Gardens and Williamsburg are surrounded by a hedge of narcotic thorns that put people to sleep with their toxic sap. Sleeping Beauty reminds me of the Disney movie with Maleficent and Shrek.

Shrek lives in a swamp. South of Williamsburg is the Great Dismal Swamp. Shrek is lord of the Great Dismal Swamp.

Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty and the Kingdom Hearts games is kind of two dimensional though I will give her Pete as a loyal thug. In the movie Maleficent she has motivation: the king has dumped her for another woman and stolen her wings. We watch Maury Povich in the break room at work so lets up the ante and make Maleficent the mother of the king's first born child. Who's Maleficent's son? I'm going to make him Yazora from the Verum Rex commercial in Kingdom Hearts 3, the one who looks a lot like Riku. That would explain Maleficent's interest in Riku, he reminds her of her son.

Who was the king who got Maleficent pregnant and dumped her for another woman? Old King Cole that's who. "Old King Cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was he. He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl and he called for his fiddlers three. And every fiddler had a very fine fiddle and a very fine fiddle had he. Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee went the fiddlers three tweedle dum dee deedle deedle dee." This verse reminds me of the video game Aerea in which your game avatar is a musician Knight who fights with a musical instrument. I've read several tales in which musicians are taken to elfland supposedly to play for a party, frequently they are no talent musicians who only know one song. When they return to the mortal world they know many songs no one has heard before. Perhaps the "party" is just a glamour cast on them so they won't remember fighting with music. Old King Cole was the king overthrown by Humpty Dumpty, perhaps with the help of the fiddler knights Tweedle dum and Tweedle Dee. I'm going to make Old King Cole a prisoner in a foreign land like King Richard the 3rd. and I'll name the third fiddle knight Blondel after the troubadour that eventually found King Richard.

Sleeping beauty is the daughter of King Cole and his wife. I will keep the name Fiona from Shrek and I think I'll make her the oldest of three sisters. I'll name the middle sister Cordelia and make her the duchess of Charlottesville. I'll make the youngest sister Elaine the duchess of Arlington.

North of Williamsburg is Virginia Beach. A guy who lived there once told me that during spring high tides sea water backs up into the sewers and floods the streets. Locals he said know to park on higher ground those days to prevent water damage to their cars and too watch out for jellyfish. That story reminded me of the drowned city of Ys. I know there are like 8 or 9 video games with Ys in there title but I haven't played any of them so I can't draw on them for inspiration. I can't remember if it was DC comics or Marvel comics but I think one of them made Morgan Le Fae the queen of Ys. I'm going to make Virginia Beach the Kingdom of Ys and Morgana the enchantress it's queen and the wife of king Cole.

In addition to the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty also appears in one of the Alice books. Though I can't remember if it was Alice in Wonderland or Alice through the Looking Glass. I also remember a Humphry Dumpler character in Beware the Batman but I don't remember anything I can use for the cracked king. I've never played any of the Batman or Arkham video games so I don't know if Humphry Dumpler is in them or not.

When I was an Ebay manager we sold some American McGee Alice figurines. I remember that the Cheshire cat had been skinned, Alice was holding a bloodstained knife, and that one of the Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee figures was fat while the other was thin. I'm making Alice the personal assassin in the service of the Cracked King. The Dee and Dum figures remind me of both Laurel and Hardy and the Fat Man and Little boy atomic bombs dropped on Japan. I'm making the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan the time when Humpty Dumpty took over as High King from Old King Cole.

The other characters I remember from Alice in Wonderland are The Mad Hatter, The March Hare and The Queen of Hearts. I know DC comics has a Mad Hatter character. I remember him from the old Batman TV series starring Adam West and Batman the animated series. I can't think of anything to do with him.

The March Hare reminds me of the Bunnyman, a lunatic who dresses up as the Easter Bunny and attacks people with an axe. I remember seeing him on the cover of the Weird America Board Game.

The Queen of Hearts reminds me of Princess Diane. I think there is a Heart Kingdom in the manga and anime Black Clover. When I was little and went to visit my grandparents in Charlotte, North Carolina there were signs with hearts on them saying Charlotte Queen of the South. I'm going to make Charlotte the capital of the Heart Kingdom. I remember when Wonder woman was known as Diana Prince. I'll give Diane Queen of Hearts the lasso of truth.

There's more but it's getting late and I need to go to bed. I've got to work in the morning.

Okay, as long as I'm drawing on board games for inspiration I remember Candy Land having a place called the molasses swamp and Hi Ho Cherry Oh! having spot called the cherry pit fall. I'm going to put them both in Washington DC.

Back to Laurel and Hardy, I remember them playing Ollie Dee and Stanie Dum in Babes in Toyland. I've read the play and vaguely remember the Disney Movie. I think the Laurel and Hardy version is the best. As I recall Old King Cole was the king of Toyland. Barnaby the villain of the story leads the Bogeymen in attacking Toyland. I'm going to make Pocahontas State Park into Bogey woods the home of the Bogeymen. Barnaby > Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows; Barnaby is the vampire lord of the bogeymen.

If I decide to let Bo Peep and Little Boy Blue keep on human trafficking it will be to supply Barnaby with human blood and the bogeymen with human flesh so they don't reattack the town.

I'm currently playing Ni no Kuni II. I like the name Ding Dong Dell so I think I'll make that my home town. I like the idea of a Grimalkin (cat person) king. In the first Ni No Kuni a mouse named Hickory Dickory steels something; I don't remember what. I'm going to have Hickory Dickory Clock; a mouse person who dresses up like the Clock King in Batman the animated series, kidnap the infant Prince Evan. I'll give the Grimalkin king of Ding Dong Dell the name Leon and give him that sword-pistol that Leon in Kingdom Hearts uses.

Between my home town and Kings Dominion is the city of Richmond. I once dreamed that the fan district was being overlaid by the MMO Free Realm. I'll make that part of the city stable and name it Cary Town. The rest of the city can fade in and out of existence. I like the anime series Restaurant to Another World so I'll have restaurant row on Grace Street appear every Saturday. I'll make Virginia Commonwealth University a School of Magic and rename is Cabell University after William Branch Cabell. I'll also only let it appear from the waxing half moon until the full moon. I'm combining the title characters from the movie Firestarter and Carrie with temperance leader Carrie Nation to create Sister Cary the fire witch who used fire and hatchet to defeat the bogeymen and found Cary Town.

Kingdom Hearts III has the Gumiphone and I enjoyed the anime "In Another World with my Cell Phone." I'll let people keep their cell phones but I will require that they get a special transducer that lets them convert manna into electricity in order to recharge the phone.

I like the save point stones in Ni No Kuni II. When I was in college I saw a book entitled "Gods of Myth and Stone". It was about phallic stones in Japan usually carved with images of Saruta-hiko; the field path god, and Uzume: the goddess of dancing. In the Bible after Jacob has his dream about angels going up and down a ladder to Heaven he turns the stone he used as a pillow upright and pours oil over it. I'm going keep the phallic image with Saruta-hiko and Uzume, and call them Jacob stones. Players can heal themselves, and recharge their cell phones at these stones but they have to give the stone a drink first. Beer, wine, cider, milk or soda are all fine but it can't be water. I remember reading in Mother Earth News about kefir which is fermented cow or goat milk. I'm making it so that every Earth day someone has to give the Jacob stone an offering of kefir or the stone dies and looses it's power to heal.

I'm naming Charlottesville after Charlotte the Harlot; that's an Iron Maiden song by the way, the mistress of Old King Cole's father.

Between King's dominion and Arlington is Fredericksburg. I never saw it but I remember reading about an episode of Harvey Birdman in which Fred Flintstone is a mobster. That doesn't work for me, but I can make him a brewer and tavernkeeper noted for his fruit and barley ales. When the local water supply became tainted with cholera and dysentery Frederick Flintstone's ales gave the people something safe to drink. Thus the people named the town after him.

I think this gives me a good framework for hanging stories on.

Mines basically set in a northern peninsula with a bunch of small kingdoms which struggle for trade superiority with a giant empire to their south who facilitates all the trade, but also is at a constant threat of annexing the kingdom's.