Thursday, December 20, 2012

On Grot

I have seen a few people commenting about how they like "Grot" in their games. The idea of "Grottiness" being a certain level of dirt and grime as an aesthetic.  Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque gave some examples of Grotty art here.

Evan of In Deep Places has also expressed an interest in that style of game as well. The old Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying game is given as a good example of Grot in a game, the idea being to be as close to "Jabberwocky" in atmosphere as possible I would imagine.

Death is a common element in "grotty games",  not per say that player death is more common but if it occurs it is far more spectacular.  No simply "falling down",  one often has charts for going into explosive detail of just how far away their limbs land.  These rarely have game effects, except of course to remind you exactly how unpleasant death is.  It is not simply being shot and falling from the roof of the saloon.

But the best of these games and movies requires something more than grime, abject poverty and death.  While it should appear to be a scene of abject misery to the viewer or the player,  it requires quite a bit of joy and happiness.  Here are a few examples of grot.

At the 1:00 minute mark it becomes grotty

The inhabitants of a grotty realm have to have adjusted and adapted nicely, with a hearty and unusual blend of pathos and bathos.

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