Hey Brian! Thanks so much for joining me for this first interview of the Other Worlds section of the zine. It’s been a bit since we last talked, and I can see you have been quite busy with art and books. I even see a few new additions beyond the World of Revilo! With all this new stuff, give me a guide through all the new work you have been exploring.
Hey Michael, thanks for having me! I love the idea of the Other Worlds section being a part of the zine. It has been a while. Hopefully, our paths will cross in person again very soon.
During the first chunk of the pandemic I started focusing more on creating products than world-building. I wasn’t running any Revilo games and with no shows to create new sculptures for, I had run out of creativity for that setting. Then in October of 2020 my friend Ross ran a game of Mörk Borg for our regular gaming group. The writing style, ease of play, and graphic design hit me over the head with inspiration. For the first time in months, I wanted to sculpt again. And I wanted it to be darker, creepier, and less colorful than my Revilo stuff. From that, I created a Wör Hound.
As soon as it was done, I felt that it could fit into the Mörk Borg setting, but I was ready to tell stories in a different genre. I realized that I was ready to go more sci-fi and instead of world-building, it was time to conquer a universe. I started outlining some rough concepts and then asked my friend who had run the game if he’d want to help build out a full RPG called Vast Grimm around it. That was sometime in November of 2020. When I have an idea, I tend to dive right in. Shortly after that, I was hired full-time by my friend David with Infinite Black. I knew right away that the horrific tones in Vast Grimm would fit perfectly with their audience and asked if he’d want to publish it. After showing some initial concepts and doing some playtesting, it didn’t take long for him to be on board.
It was great, I got to write, sculpt, illustrate, and design the game pretty close to full time. Before long we had it launched on Gamefound as the first RPG to crowdfund there. Production has been slower than I’d like, but we are very close to it reaching backer’s hands. With the PDFs out to folks, there have already been other people creating 3rd party adventures for it and some fan fiction based on adventures they’ve run. I can’t wait to see what people share once the physical copies are out in the wild. I’m currently sculpting and writing new creatures, adventures, and rules regularly as we prepare for more people to start playing.
Vast Grimm looks amazing! This looks to be a great avenue for your work. What has been your favorite part of making this world?
There has been so much that I have truly enjoyed about this one. I feel like it is a real culmination of all the things I love. Revilo captured the fantastical creatures that I created, but it never really had my sense of humor or personality. When writing Vast Grimm there is a mix of puns, punk rock references, and middle-school humor that I’ve never been able to grow out of.
What is the gameplay like? Since it’s based on Mork Borg, I am sure the rules are simple, but give me a quick overview of what to expect if I start up a game.
The universe is in the process of being consumed by giant würms and each day that goes by there is a chance that it is closer to its inevitable doom. The people that remain are either trying to find a way out of the universe, escape the growing evil, or for the few heroic types maybe trying to save what’s left of humanity. Setting up the game though is very fast. Everyone can download random characters on VastGrimm.com. There are a bunch of random tables in the book to add flavor to adventures and best of all, the GM barely makes any rolls. The players roll for things they want to do, and also for defending against creatures. This can make it especially brutal because there is no pulling punches on the GM side.
How do you plan to expand on this universe?
We’ve already had some guest adventures that were written from the initial crowdfunding campaign. Those will all go into an anthology publication called Adventures in the Volatile ‘Verse. We are also looking add expansion books to crowdfund in the fall.