Monday, January 2, 2012

What is Grimm City?

Short answer? Grimm City is a fictional metropolis located somewhere on the Atlantic seaboard between Baltimore and Boston, and the campaign setting for my ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying campaign.
Long answer? Grimm City is a project of mine that I want to spotlight on this blog. And while this project won't be the only focus of the Just Add Heroes blog, I am going to try and link my other offerings here to Grimm City whenever I can. Right now, Grimm City consists of loose notes and map sketches (in and on everything from OpenOffice documents, FreeMind mind maps, index cards, sticky notes and thoughts roaming unsupervised in my cluttered mind) that I hope to organize, refine and develop into a fully-detailed, urban campaign setting for supers gaming. Over the coming weeks, I hope to present the places, people and organizations that make up Grimm City and breathe life into a dynamic home for my ICONS creations. Ultimately, I want to build a fictional  urban campaign setting where, once again, all you have to do is JUST ADD HEROES!

As a kid, I grew up loving Batman's Gotham City and Superman's Metropolis. And while I also greatly enjoyed stories about Spider-Man set in MARVEL's fictionalized New York City, there was something special about DC Comic's Gotham City and Metropolis - these were places that didn't really exist in our world (although both are heavily based on real world cities) but rather grew out of the imaginations of the writers and in turn their readers and viewers as well. That's the kind of feeling I want to evoke with the Grimm City project. There have been some wonderful fictional urban settings for supers RPGs over the years - Freedom City (Mutants & Masterminds), Millennium City (Champions) and Hudson City (Dark Champions) come to mind - as well as licensed sourcebooks for Gotham City and Metropolis as well. I  hope to learn from all these earlier products and use them as a sort of road map for the development of Grimm City.

Speaking of road maps, as part of this project I intend to create a fully-developed street level map of Grimm City using one of my favorite RPG mapping programs, Campaign Cartographer 3 (CC3). Initially, I will be developing a simple overview map showing the major neighborhoods and districts to provide a general feel for the city layout and then later expand that to include all major streets and locations as they are developed. Specifically, I will be using the Modern Road Map templates from the 2011 Cartographer's Annual Volume 5 for CC3. An example of that mapping style follows below:
If this interests you, please feel free to follow along and maybe subscribe. I hope to hear from you with any comments or suggestions you have too!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Nice looking map. I've got CC3, but have never mustered the patience to do much with it. Those street templates tempt me, but I know it would end up filed under good intentions and I'll end up going back to producing my maps in Visio or something similar.

  2. The CC3 modern road atlas street templates are surprisingly easier to use than I thought they would be. The amount of time I save using CC3's drawing tools rather than trying to accomplish a similar task in a program like GIMP makes it totally worthwhile for me.