Grim’s Tales: Dark Fantasy

Dark Fantasy brings elements of horror into the fantasy genre and often blurs the lines between the heroes and the villains. A hero is as likely to be a monster as the villain is, just with something to make them more sympathetic to the reader. Characters are likely to, potentially, include traditional monsters such as vampires or werewolves or characters that are murderers, thieves or other ne’er do wells.

Many stories that wouldn’t otherwise fit the definition of Dark Fantasy do include Dark Fantasy elements. Many have anti-heroes, include sympathetic monsters or are set amongst the criminal element but Dark Fantasy tends to go a little further, presenting a dystopian, even hopeless fantasy world. One where the forces of darkness or imperious control are dominant, where bad things happen to good people, where dark gods are worshipped and appeased.

  • The feel of a Dark Fantasy setting get be invoked in many ways:
  • Open up the character options to include traditional monster races, but don’t soften them.
  • Imagine what Middle Earth would be like if Sauron won. Apply those lessons.
  • Choose a grittier, nastier system to run the game in.
  • Be less compromising and forgiving as a Games Master.
  • Throw out any morality/alignment system and put moral dilemmas of the ‘lesser evil’ variety ito the game.
  • Draw lessons from horror games, especially mythos horror games. Winning is merely a reprieve, not a victory.
  • Intelligent bad guys.

Dark Fantasy

Dark Fantasy brings elements of horror into the fantasy genre and often blurs the lines between the heroes and the villains. A hero is as likely to be a monster as the villain is, just with something to make them more sympathetic to the reader. Characters are likely to, potentially, include traditional monsters such as vampires or werewolves or characters that are murderers, thieves or other ne’er do wells.

Many stories that wouldn’t otherwise fit the definition of Dark Fantasy do include Dark Fantasy elements. Many have anti-heroes, include sympathetic monsters or are set amongst the criminal element but Dark Fantasy tends to go a little further, presenting a dystopian, even hopeless fantasy world. One where the forces of darkness or imperious control are dominant, where bad things happen to good people, where dark gods are worshipped and appeased.

The feel of a Dark Fantasy setting get be invoked in many ways:

  • Open up the character options to include traditional monster races, but don’t soften them.

  • Imagine what Middle Earth would be like if Sauron won. Apply those lessons.

  • Choose a grittier, nastier system to run the game in.

  • Be less compromising and forgiving as a Games Master.

  • Throw out any morality/alignment system and put moral dilemmas of the ‘lesser evil’ variety ito the game.

  • Draw lessons from horror games, especially mythos horror games. Winning is merely a reprieve, not a victory.

  • Intelligent bad guys.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s