Grimsbury doesn’t want to leave my mind, and I love that stage of setting creation. The characters all have interesting ties to each other, and interesting connections to the world. As well, the world itself has some interesting features. And I want to know more.
I’m running a once-monthly-ish Apocalypse World game right now. If there’s one thing that game excels at, it’s encouraging the GM/MC to ask provocative questions. In play, those questions are asked of the players. Outside of play, they’re used as the seeds of “play to find out what happens” by helping the MC set up Front, Threats, etc.
For Grimsbury, we’re still at an early stage with things. We’ve got characters and place, but a lot of unknowns. Those unknowns make me want to ask questions. So that’s what I’m going to do.
What’s the Stickweed Gang all about?
Who are the Bloodliners?
What do the Bloodliners and the Stickweed Gang have to do with the rift between Grimsbury and Oldtown?
What about the Seers/Witches? What’s their agenda? Do they have a cohesive one, or are they individualistic?
What’s Blue Rock? Why’s it so notable? Does it exist anywhere else?
There’s magic here. Does it makes itself known in ways beyond the Seers/Witches?
What’s so special about the Swampback Trailer Park?
What comes into and goes out of the Riverside Docks?
How did Mama Jameson’s husband die?
How did Quincey Morance come into money and why doesn’t he know he’s as rich as he is?
How does Bill Stammish gather all of his information?
Why doesn’t Shannon Flitch care?
What would Bertie Krenshaw do if she found out life wasn’t nearly as mundane as she thinks it is?
What about Genesis Marshall? Does she just believe in magic and the occult, or does she know it’s true?
What are Brian Meerchamp’s superstitions?
What pisses of Tara Crane enough to hex trash cans?
What kinds of jobs does Spencer Jonas do for the Bloodliners?
How does Sanrda Sonderson support three foster children as a teacher? What are her kids’ names? What are they like?
Why did Morgan Smith transfer from Oldtown to Grimsbury PD?
What does Marcie Ang do during the week? Why is she only a dancer on the weekends?
Why did Miguel Torres memorize every word of Hamlet?
What’s Perkins Berkshire looking for in Grimsbury?
Why did Christopher Dulles leave the Bloodliners?
Why does Christina Thomas want out of Grimsbury?
Does Tablitha Cho know that her graffiti is casting spells and hexes?
To what lengths will Juice Perkins go to regain his “glory days?”
So Much to Work With
That’s over 20 questions, and each of them could spawn more questions, and more connections between the characters we’ve got. The answers could also create entirely new characters, and/or add more depth to the setting. That’s the beauty of questions.
Now, how will these be answered? That particular question speaks more to the final form of this project. To be honest, I’ve not decided yet.
If I want this project to become the basis for fiction, then I get/have to answer all of these questions myself. Once the setting is established and realized enough, some of those questions would then become the starting points for stories, short or long, or all intertwining as the answers run into each other.
If this is going to be an RPG project, then I need to answer some of the questions with mechanics in mind. As well, I need to create a foundation upon which other people can play, asking their own questions as they go.
What Do You Think?
Does this seem more like an RPG setting, or the starting point for some fiction? It can be both, to be honest, but I’m interested to see what you think. Let me know in the comments!