Don’t Crack The Mask – Vast Grimm Quickstart & I Want Your Skulls

Vast Grimm Quickstart Rules & I Want Your Skulls Adventure

Author: Brian Colin, Ross Brandt
Publisher: Infinite Black/Creature Curation
Page Count: 17
Available Formats: Print
Print – Available at GenCon 2022
(not yet available in distribution)

Earth, or what we once called Earth, has been sliced and diced, gnawed at, chewed up, and spit out. The remnants are fragments, floating vestibules anchored to the fragmented carcass of an exploded planet. You are merely a vessel within vessels; you and the others who remain are just waiting to be fed upon. Perhaps there are pockets of survivors with some recognizable form of civilization in some remote outpost. Will today be the day when a dormant awakens to become one of the Grimm? Welcome to Vast Grimm!

Note: Infinite Black/Creature Curation provided Rolling Boxcars with a review copy for this article. Please visit our Product Review Request page if you have an item you’d like Rolling Boxcars to review.

Vast Grimm: I Want Your Skulls is the second Quickstart/Adventure booklet to be released in the run-up to the Vast Grimm core book’s release (due to Kickstarter backers in Aug/Sep 2022). The game is published under the MÖRK BORG third-party license. Under this license, publishers may freely use MÖRK BORG’s rules and mechanics. It’s evident from the “Quick Rules” included that Vast Grimm takes full advantage of this allowance. It is essential MÖRK BORG with the serial numbers filed off, and a new distinct theme slapped on top.

As Vast Grimm is mechanically MÖRK BORG, thematically, it’s a mash-up of both MÖRK BORG and Mothership. Incorporating MÖRK BORG’s grimdark tone, it’s a desolate world where you will likely not live too long. If something doesn’t kill you, you’re likely to become infected and join the ranks of the Grimm. Vast Grimm proudly wears its themes on its sleeve with its weird Sci-Fi, overt horror, and grimy grimdark.

The Quickstart is short and offers just a taste of what must be in the complete rulebook. Little more than a page is dedicated to giving readers a sense of what the game is about. However, the single page of “Quick Rules” is everything needed to play the enclosed one-shot adventure; the one-page quick play rules are also available online. The adventure—”I Want Your Skulls”— and the four pre-generated characters make up most of the booklet, complete with all the necessary creature stats, random tables, a map, etc.

The premise: A colonist group on the outskirts of the Belt of Despair has flashed a distress signal across the comm screen. The local mayor sobs and begs for help finding two young missing children, the latest in a rash of disappearances over the past nine months. Can the would-be saviors, I mean meat bags, find the missing children while saving their skin from the Grimm Corp’s long arm of destruction and infection?

“I Want Your Skulls” is a hexcrawl that, while designed to be a one-shot, can undoubtedly be expanded into a multi-session game depending on the Gamemaster and players’ style.

The digest-sized booklet is printed in full color with a bold layout; splashes of bright pinks and vibrant reds contrast against dark hues. The aesthetic they are striving for is similar to that of the Art Punk style of MÖRK BORG.

Conclusion

The influences on its design and aesthetics are undeniable. This Quickstart offers a single page of rules and a short adventure that can be played out in one or more sessions—making it an excellent option for a convention game.

Does the Quickstart offer enough to whet your appetite for more? That will all depend on the type of game you want and the depth of the narrative you expect in your games. While I can’t speak to the full version of the game, which as of this review, we are awaiting a print copy to review, this Quickstart and the previous one will likely appeal to those who enjoy grim Sci-Fi games.

Chewed Up and Spit Out – A Review of the Vast Grimm Quickstart Rules

~ Modoc

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