I’ve just picked up what seems to be the last copy of Grimm in the whole of Europe, bloody expensive, but I must say it’s worth every penny. I was born in the Grimms’ native country Germany and reading the fairy tales they collected was a major part of my early life. I have yet to play the game but I think the book is brilliantly put together. The rules mostly make sense, at least when reading them, and more than half of the book is filled with good background stuff. There is much to praise about Grimm.
The only thing I completely fail to understand are the rules about weapons, more precisely damage calculation, scaling of weapons, and combat moves, which seem utterly out of place in a game like Grimm. The section on weapons is easily the poorest in the whole rule book. There are examples for most rules but not for damage calculation and combat moves. Below I will only talk about hand weapons, I haven’t thought about ranged weapons yet.
I understand the following: Each creature deals out wounds equal to his/her/its stature, possibly more if the Scrap test is especially successful. On p. 63 there is a sidebar called Minor Character’s Weapons. Do the bonusses mentioned there also apply to the player characters or are they exclusively for minions, so not even for major foes? Also very weird: If a child (size 4) hits with a punch, he deals 4 wounds (regardless of his Muscle trait, that is). If he has a sword in one hand, he get +1 Scrap, fair enough, but deals 4+1 wounds. If the weapon bonusses only apply to minions, it gets even weirder, punch 4 wounds, sword 4 wounds. I hope I have overlooked something, because if not, this seems to be a severely broken mechanism that needs fixing.
Also, the scaling of weapons is confusing. Let’s assume most of the gear is made for adult humans. A kid finds a gnome sword, a medium weapon for a gnome (what are they? dog-sized?). In the hands of a kid this would count as a light hand weapon for the purpose of combat move costs, right? But when fighting adults, it shouldn’t count as a light hand weapon at all but rather as a large toothpick. And when fighting a gnome it would again count as a medium hand weapon in terms of damage against the gnome but as a light hand weapons in terms of combat moves?
In my opinion, the combat moves mechanic is ill-conceived and the combat move costs they give for weapons do not make sense to me. Why would you need to expend combat moves for flinging your weapon? After having thrown it, there is not a lot you’re going to be doing with it that turn. Also, thrust seems strange to me. Thrust is supposed to cause +1 wounds on a successful attack. Doesn’t this mean that in the end each successful attack is a thrust and causes +1 wound because you attack once per turn? Well, ok, if you’ve parried a blow before, you might not have enough combat moves for a thrust.
There was also a minor issue I had with progressive spells on p. 76. Under Learning Progressive Spells it says a character “must master each previous level of the spell before they can attempt to learn the next”. This makes sense but I find this to be a contradiction to what it says under Progressive Spells on the same page. How can you enhance such a spell by ascending to higher circles of magic? For example, if you know a second circle progressive spell, how can you ascend beyond the second circle to enhance the spell when doing so basically means that your spell is circle three of four or whatever, but definitely at a level that you haven’t learned yet. Conversely, if you know the fourth circle variant of a progressive spell, why would you want to cast a less powerful version and then enhance the effect of the spell after casting it.
Finally, it is my feeling that Nature Witchery (Witch magic 4th circle) is a more powerful spell than Weather Witchery (Witch magic 5th circle). I would swap them.
That’s it, folks. I’d be very glad if you had any opinions or ideas on these questions. Maybe I missed something and didn’t understand the combat moves stuff properly. Maybe someone can explain.
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