Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Inspiration: Grimjack, Cynosure, and Paradise Lost

Grimjack against a chaotic demon swarm entering doomed Pdwyr.
In many ways, Grimjack was a big inspiration to the phase of my gaming where a character's backstory was as important as his present.

At this time, I was regularly playing in a Champions campaign where I played a character with a death wish. I remember that, after the first few games I'd survived, I began planning out the backstory of this martial artist character.

Much was borrowed from Grimjack there: a troubled past with betrayals and a lost love, a series of tragedies, and a tendency to throw caution to the wind when trouble reared its head. Of course, I borrowed things from other sources as well, such as the classic Daredevil and Spiderman portrayals -- tough, haunted characters who laughed and joked irreverently in the face of terrible opposition -- but Grimjack was the source of my grim and gritty before grim and gritty became the norm in comics.

I was also fascinated by the concept of Cynosure -- a city that eventually slipped into phase with ALL dimensions in the multiverse -- and the tagline: "guns work here, magic works there, swords work everywhere."

There were many characters and concepts of note here that are fun to mine for fantasy games and for Fading Suns campaigns -- and in fact I ripped the plots of a number of issues for some adventures I ran.

Characters I'd like to reimagine for Fading Suns include:
  • Kalibos -- the folly of the Free Marines; a cold, cunning, sentient machine with a too-literal love of freedom and a PRG (portable reality generator) that renders it immune to many powerful technological and magical attacks
  • Spook -- a female ghost whose intangibility and supernatural nature ebbs and flows with the magical levels found in Cynosure
  • Gordon Munden -- barkeep for Munden's Bar with his own past involving succubi and some very special knives
  • Jericho Noleski, Finance Minister Honesworth, Blacjacmac, Dancer, the Major, Jim Lanyon, too many to list!

Perhaps I'll do a series on these issues and translate them into Fading Suns adventure seeds.


  1. Grimjack is a great series. I bought the recent collection, but I need to get around to revisiting it.

  2. It was a very big influence on me, as well. :D

  3. It warms my heart to know that other folks out there liked the series! I mean, I know it had a following but sometimes it feels like no one else read it coz it barely gets a mention...

    @Trey: what recent collection? I know there were reprints, but how far did they get in the series -- all the way to GrimJim?

    @Timeshadows: good to hear :D I hope to hear exactly how it influenced you in the future!


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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