It's my first time running Grim as of last Monday. I do bi-weekly sessions that last around 3-4 hours per session with 6-7 players (one is absent but should be joining us in future sessions).
I thought it might be fun to show a basic journal summary of what occured in my session both as a possible note reference if others want to use my idea's for their sessions as well as a way to gain some critique on running future session of my campaign.
The cast thus far is made up of 6 characters (soon to be 7 within the next few sessions) in my normal gaming group that have had to carry over from playing Rogue Trader and thus are adapting to the new mindset of a far different RPG. Each player is making child versions of themselves. Thus I told each player to try and recreate themselves without telling them any of the effects of their class or origin talents (instead just giving them the "fluff" descriptions of what sort of steryotypes they'd be filling).
Age 11, Dreamer
Daniel is a slightly chubby brown haired kid and good friends with Sean (whom he actually grew up with). His starting keepsake was a backpack that, with 1 expendature of imagination could store any object that could slide through the opening of his backpack to be retrieved for a later time. Any items in the backpack weigh nothing whilst in it. He started with the origin talent "Farm Kid".
Age 12, Jock
Jad is a short and slightly spunky kid who, while being a jock, is very friendly to all and has established himself as a sort of group leader that tries to get everyone working together and is a go getter. He started with a Magic Johnson Rookie Card as his keepsake which allows him to expend imagination to increase his jump height and length for a scene by x1 more than normal per point expended. He started with the origin talent "City Kid".
Age 9, Outcast
Jeff is a short kid with a buzz cut, glasses, and shy quite demeanor and he's not so much bad as merely unsociable speaking very little. He started with a Tennis Ball (oddest choice) as his keepsake which, by expending imagination turns into a medium ranged weapon capable of bouncing to 1 extra target within a crickets hop per imagination expended, however when no imagination is expended it does not count as a weapon making it a powerful if short lived room clearer. He started with the origin talent "Shrimp".
Age 12, Jock
A good friend of Jad's, Jerry has shown himself to be slightly more quite and less of a leader but clever when it comes to confrontation being more of a thinker than a speaker. He started with as his keepsake and the "Farm Kid" Origin talent.
Age 9, Dreamer
John is a normal looking kid with short blond hair and hasn't really established a defined place amongst the group as anything definitive quite yet other than showing some clear mistrust of the natives in Grimm. He started with Sunglasses as his keepsake which grant +1 cool and allow him to expend imagination to ignore eye based effects such as a charm gaze or Medusa's stone gaze, etc. He started with the "Art Student" Origin talent.
Age 10, Normal Kid
Good friends with Daniel and slender but starting to fill out. Sean is a geek at heart with an obsession over magic cards and, along with Daniel, a hunter of dinosaur footprints (yeah I don't know either but apparently they used to actually do that and made not to do so in game lol). He started with a Deck of Magic Cards that function like the Stuffed Animal keepsake (allowing the player to expend imagination to summon an animal of equal personal grade to the imagination expended) as his keepsake and the "City Kid" origin talent.
Session 1: Into the Lands of Grimm
The game began with me having each player to give a short description of themselves in both appearance and mannerisms at their established ages. I told each of them that while most of them where in different grades that each new each other and could decide whether, based on the descriptions given, if they would be friends or not. Jad made it clear that he would be someone that would have tried to hang around all of them whilst most of the others held no objections, though Jeff established himself as the kid that would just awkwardly watch the group and join in only when pressed to do so.
The players where told that just before spring break their teachers told them that there would be a school parent-teacher camping trip, causing a collective disgruntled moan (in character) from most of them. Once on the trip, after camps had been set up, a group of kids told them that they'd be doing a game of capture the flag and that all the kids that wanted to play where to meet on the hill nearby to pick teams.
Jad and Jerry where the quickest to agree to join, John followed and Sean and Daniel came soon after a bit of coaxing while Jeff needed to be pestered by the upbeat Jad to come and join in, stating that he'd be "perfect" because he was small and sneaky. Naturally all the players where put on the same team with random NPC's. Daniel and Sean quickly decided to play guards while they would search for dinosaur footprints near their base area (again don't ask but it was something they said they actually used to do so at least they where in character). Jad, Jerry, John and Jeff decided they would go on the offensive and made hide checks to approach the midway point that was lined with flash lights separating the two team sides.
Meanwhile Daniel and John turned to notice a shadowy short figure grab their flag and dash off through the woods. They quickly realized their searching had distracted them from their job and gave chase. Neither was particularly fast however and quickly yelped out for help which was overheard by the others near the midway point who spotted the shadowy figure dash by with their flag.
They gave chase quickly with Jerry taking a huge lead, followed shortly by Jad, and then Jeff while John, Sean, and Daniel lagged behind.
Jerry tackled the figure and wrestled the flag from his hands. Just then he got a good look at him and noticed leathery skin, a large nose, pointed ears, strange little yellow eyes, and sharp pointy teeth. He let go in shock and the figure ran off into the woods (my own interpretation of a Goblin to keep them from being to silly).
-Lost in Grimm
The players shocked wondered what they just saw but played it off to a halloween mask and decided it best to tag the flag back to base together. They quickly realized they where lost however and that the tree's around them where large and imposing with twisted forms that appeared to lean towards them with branches outstretched like grasping claws. This caused a pluck check which few passed making most of them decide to stick together with Jad, Jerry, and Daniel at the lead (whom made boyscout checks to try and find their footprints back). Daniel quickly noticed their footprints seemed to just slowly vanish as if covered up with time or they had somehow been lighter at some point. They stood baffled for a few moments before noticing a light in the tree's some ways away, figuring it to be one of the midway point markers that divided each teams side. However once they got close they noticed it was not a light but two small eyes that shortly hovered above a wide set of grinning teeth. A gaunt form of the Chesire cat (similar to that from Alice: Madness returns that I drew and showed off on a tablet) hovered above them. It called them sleepwalkers and flighted about, phasing it's purple fur in and out of reality as it moved leaving only it's eyes, teeth, and black stripes. When pressed for what it meant it explained to them they where in a place called Grimm and that it was not a dream but that they where, in a sense, sleeping. When asked what a difference was he told them that sleeping was real while dreaming was not.
Confused and slightly annoyed they asked where their camp was, he told them it was in the world of the awake, but if they sought adults they could find some west, in a village nearby. The kids where more than happy to leave the riddling cat behind and travel to the small farming village nearby, spurred on by the sound of howls coming from deeper in the woods and the frightening tree's that seemed to loom ever over them.
The kids arrived at the edge of the village only to be spotted by a farmer who was tending his field, oddly late at night, with a long stick on his back that held a lantern above him. He called out quickly for the children, urging them away from the forests edge and seemed extatic to see them even if he didn't know them which drew great suspicion from the group though their hunger and his offers for a meal made them discard such concerns for the time being.
The Old man led them to a dinning hall where happy and kind villagers where quick to feed them a fine banquet and make them feel at home. John noticed that there where no other children however but decided telling his friends with all the villagers watching them might be bad if they where planning something so decided to wait until they where alone. After they had eaten to their hearts content the Old man led them off to their own rooms, telling them he'd be happy to help them find their way home in the morning when it was safer. Sean was convinced that it was nothing more than a Ren fair which Daniel quickly agreed with while John pointed out the lack of children. They decided they'd sleep on the matter and quickly dozed off.
During the middle of the night they woke to a strange flute music coming form outside. They felt their bodies move not of their own accords and quickly began to panick realizing they had no control of themselves, unable to move or talk of their own will. They walked outside and towards a man in a tunic made of patches of browns and oranges who played a haunting melody on a flute. Villagers came to their windows and doors with dour frightened looks on their faces but made no move to help instead locking themselves inside when they saw the piper. The players where lead through the forest and too a large ramshackle 3 story building deep within the woods in a small clearing with cut down tree's. The building leaned awkwardly to one side appearing as if it would fall over at any moment.
As they neared with the Piper before them an old man, balding and leaning heavily on a cane with a leather apron and strange wood cutting tools came forth from the front door. He payed the piper and exchanged a quick word of thanks with a raspy voice, eye-ing each of the children before allowing the piper to play them inside.
Once in the building they saw cages full of pale starving children and creepy looking puppets hanging amongst the walls. The piper left once they where locked within their own cages while the Old man made his way slowly back up stairs. John spotted the words "Jeppedo's workshop on a sign hung by the front door and they quickly remembered the story of Pinnochio whilst Daniel recalled the man that had enchanted them must have been the pied piper. They pieced together that with all the strange things that they where not indeed at some strange Ren fair as earlier hoped but in a magical land, finally accepting their dire situation instead of assuming it all some sort of elaborate ploy. Talking to one of the captured children they learned that the village had not payed the piper for his services in ridding their farms of rats and as a punishment he came each night to take their children.
-The Cat, The Reason
The Chesire cat returned, sitting atop one of the cages and the children plead for help. He told them he was not their to help but to observe, that to him this was all entertainment and he wished to remain neutral but that sleepers often brought him out of the drawl of the worlds normal citizenry. He gladly however answered their questions about Jepeddo telling them that shortly after Pinnochio had become human that he fell to an all to common fate, becoming ill and dying of pneumonia. In his sorrow Jepeddo became furious at the blue fairy for ever making his child succeptable to the weakness of normal children and thus he captured her in a jar, retreating to the woods to sap her magic in an attempt to recreate pinnochio by sapping the souls of children and placing them into his puppets. However so far all he was successful in creating where mindless automatons but that it hadn't stopped his repeated attempts to do so, leaving a long line of victims behind.
Jeff began to pick the locks and one by one got the children out who procceded to defeat some of the guard puppets and make their way to Jepeddos work room on the third floor. They beat him fairly easily with Sean, Jeff, and Danielf flinging pieces of wood and tools as improvised weapons at him while Jad and Jerry engaged him in melee, Jerry tripping him and grappeling. Meanwhile John ran past and rescued the blue fairy who proceeded to tie up Jeppedo with her magic.
She told them of the way out of the world being Babylon but that it was different for all Sleepwalkers that got trapped her. She said there was a child that came long ago and had abandoned his attempt to leave but that he might be worth talking to. She said his name was Charlie but that he hadn't been seen since being taken in by a poor family and winning a Gold Ticket to Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
The players searched Jeppedos workshop, found a few knives, some silver pieces, and some food and the session ended there.