An epic adventure can be had during school recess. The woods behind the school go beyond the sunset if you know the right trails. Wardrobes hold lions and the basement is haunted. The Monster Under the Bed can be bound to your will. Rather than childhood making something of you, you are making something out of your childhood.
In Grimm Therapy, Humanity is a double axis:
- The cold iron anchor of the adult's reality
- Humanity loss check: shirking responsibilities, destroying trust, breaking set rules
- Humanity gain roll: doing one's agreed on jobs, telling the truth when it is inconvenient to do so, living within the rules when it is inconvenient to do so
- A child's sense of fairy tale wonder
- Humanity loss check: neglecting fantasy life, denying its existence, ignoring it
- Humanity gain roll: following a fantasy calling to valiant lengths, proclaiming your fantasy's reality, showing a dreary soul a glimpse of another world
If you reach 0 you either become a grown-up and lose touch with the magical world, fading from the fairy world or disappear into the Otherworld never to be seen by the mundane world again. They player may choose which option makes more sense for their character:
- If they become adults, they may have a last temper tantrum, a final bout of righteous anger against the world of fantasy that they will never inhabit again.
- If they disappear into fairyland (the Other Side), they may become a magical being of legend and even make up a different character with their former character as the Demon.
Demons are imaginary friends, childbook mythological beings and urban myths. Most Demons encourage their Sorcerer to venture into Make Believe and from their even to the Other Side, bits of nursery rhymes and fantasy novels brought to life; the crossroads of Oz, Narnia, Hogwarts and the land Beyond the Looking Glass.
That's what a demon is: your Special Friend.
The __real__ question is what happened in your life that made you need a Special Friend in the first place.
- Big Bully - Yeah, youíre bigger than the other kids, and youíre meaner too!
- Captain - You always choose teams.
- Cute - Everyone in your grade has a crush on you. Ew.
- Fast: You're fast, got new sneakers.
- Fatty : Scale reads, "Get offa me!"
- Graceless Amazon: Big, strong, you've shot up too fast to know what to do with yourself.
- Last Picked : Ya ain't on my team,.
- Red Hair: Youíve got red-hair, freckles, and a bad attitude to match!
- Sickly: You dream of being healthy and playing with the other kids.
- Skinny : Beanpole
- Tomboy: Youíre as good as stupid boys! <kick!>
- Beaten: People who are supposed to love you hit you.
- Cowardly: You just donít stand up for yourself when push comes to shove.
- Got Glasses: Of course youíre smart, you wear glasses!
- Little Monster: You always get your way. And if you donít, you scream until you do!
- Mommyís Little Angel: Sweet, considerate, and well-behaved.
- Oblivious: The world spins by without you most of the time.
- Perfect: Angel. Honor Roll. 99th Percentile. Pressure.
- Raisiní Hell: If its too quiet, youíll jump on your bed, run around the neighborhood screaming and waving a toy tomahawk, or fly off the roof wearing a cape made out of your bed-spread.
- Shrinked: How was therapy last week?
- Spaz: ADHD, Ritalin... or maybe youíre just a geek.
Lore is knowing the in's and out's of the storybook world, knowing Cold Iron from moonsilver and knowing Monsters Under the Bed from the Rat King.
- Abducted by Goblins: They snatched you one day when you were playing under the house and they dragged you off to the underworld, but when you burned them with a silver dollar you were able to escape. Now you know what to look for!
- Always Reading: Having a nose always in a book has its advantages.
- Changeling: Youíre one of the fey children, the real child stolen away in the dead of the night and replaced by you. You wonder where your mundane twin has gone...
- Comic Book Education: Yeah, you know all about monsters! Youíve read all about it in Radioactive Man (or watched it all on Buffy!)
- Crayon Pentagrams : You make it up based on stuff you've heard here and there, seen in movies and read in old horror comics.
- Doolittle: Youíve learned the ways of the wilds from an animal, perhaps a talking mouse living in your wall, the old tired dog on the corner that nobody else ever sees move, or that robin that sits outside on the tree, but the animals have a way of knowing that nobody else does.
- Fell Down the Well: You fell down that dark well that seemed to draw you in. You were in the hospital for weeks after, but when you woke, you were different and so was the world. Now if only you could remember what had happened...
- Fey-Taught: The pixies and nixies and brownies and dryads all take a liking to you. Youíve drank their buttermilk potions and eaten their pixie-sugar-drops and ever since, youíve experienced things differently.
- Ghostly Friend: Perhaps your grandmother died, or a parent, or a spirit in the house that you live in, but one of them watches out for you, gives you hints, tells you what streets to avoid when, what people to run away from, and lets you know in advance when the ice cream truck is going to come into the neighborhood.
- Little Man/Woman: Everyone just thinks youíre a kid. As long as you donít drink or smoke, nobodyís any wiser... The kids know of course, but theyíre not telling anybody.
- Never Wanna Grow Up: You made a promise to yourself that you werenít going to get any older. You havenít aged a day since.
- Overactive Imagination: They tell you magic isn't real and just your imagination...
- Precocious: You hear things that other people ignore. Thereís a world of secrets but most people are too busy to pay attention. You hear what people really mean to say when they talk. You hear what they donít even want to speak of...
- Satanic Sibling: Big Bro/Big Sis is pure evil; living that close has taught you stuff.
- Terrorized!: You know there are monsters! One of them lurks in your closet, or under the bed, or in the flesh of your mommy or daddy, but youíve learned the ways to fight them off. You know about the old man under the bridge, about the old lady at the corner house, and the constant fear has made you wiser...
- Wish: One time you made a wish for things to be different, for you to be different, and now its come true, and youíre not sure if you like it... All these talking houses and grasping trees and watching animals with their knowing eyes...
- Witchís Apprentice: You donít know what your mom was thinking when she sent you off to your Auntís. You didnít like your auntís black cat, and you liked your aunt even less. She made you work in the kitchen and collect stinky old herbs... but hanging around there sure showed you some things.
Rituals are children's rhymes, bits of occultism whispered on playgrounds and trappings of adulthood twisted to fairy tale ends. The girl next door is tied to an altar of storybooks with her father's silk ties and her head is shaved to summon a Black Unicorn. A complicated pattern is drawn with high school chalk on the sidewalk cracks of the neighborhood in order to Contact the Back-Breaker Spirit. Pan is summoned by referencing your aunt Helen's astrology books, stuffing a pocket watch into a toy alligator and an empty bottle of wine emptied by your alcoholic parent before a drunken beating. All of these rituals are designed to leave the Real World behind, pass into the Make Believe (that middle-ground that mixes the real world geography with magic of the Otherside, and echo strongly into the Other Side, where even brave Sorcerers might fear to tread.
Most of all a Ritual has to have roots in the child's life. The player gets extra dice for telling the GM where their character got the idea, where they learned this ritual and the child-logic that fuels it.
Cover and Past
Unlike standard Sorcerer, character's have both a Cover and a Past. Take the sum total of the character Stamina and Will and divide that number as you see fit between these two scores. Cover represents the character's 'legitimate' identity in the Real World (what role you fill in school), while Past is their identity in Make Believe (or when on the Other Side). The Cover score also indicates what grade the character is in!
Examples of Cover:
- Computer Nerd
- Everybody's friend
- The Popular One
- Science Nerd
- Teacher's Pet
Examples of Past:
- Dragon Hunter
- Dragon Rider
- High Wizard
- Knight of the Realm
- Pig Boy
Higher ratings in Cover or Past also indicate how well know a character for 'being' that Cover or Past. Someone with "Jock: 5" would be known even to older kids for her skill on the playground, or a Knight of Realm: 5 might be so well known that his name is recognized on the Other Side even if the character himself has never been there (the 'reality' of Make Believe will actually echo into the true Other Side, if the stories are strong enough).