One of my favorite things to do is to cross over characters from our D&D games into the nerd fiction I write, and take some of those characters that I created in nerd fiction and cross them over into my D&D games. And rarely, I like to include some of the more memorable player characters from ages gone by and reintroduce them as non-player characters in the game I am currently running. The most enjoyable of those old characters were created by my old college roommate and dear friend, Jim Snook. It was he that first played the now famous Herzgraf, a paladin by name of Archibald Speedblade II. Another character that Jim created, now an integral NPC to my current endeavor, is the dark elven woman of mystery, Evantha Silvermane. She was as radical a departure as you could get from Jim’s other characters (he had played a ranger and two successive paladins, all in the same family line) as you could get. Evantha was also the epitome of the brilliant hot mess; she didn’t last long in a group setting before she was off to seek her own way, and with a great amount of chaos in her wake.
Some readers might wonder if Grundoon, or anyone in his stories, was ever a player character. The answer is yes, two of them were. But Grundoon was never an NPC or a player character, and there is zero chance that he ever will be. Part of what makes Grundoon appealing to me is that regardless of circumstances he seems to exist in a bubble. No matter what he did or didn’t do, he didn’t figure prominently in anybody else’s storyline. That is a humbling notion. He did what he did, and for him it was dreadfully important, but none of the active players around him had any idea of who he was or what he was trying to accomplish. Gamemasters sometimes forget that the machinations of the powerful elite are so watered down by the time they reach the common person as to be rendered as just another shrug. Those closer to the decisions being made are certainly more affected, but the average player doesn’t know and likely never will. Unless it is part of the adventure to find out. In that case, the players will quickly see behind the curtain, and most certainly be disgusted by what they discover.
And that is why Grundoon will never figure in a game. His horrors are simply to delightful to make common knowledge.