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Mirror of Dreams: What do you want out of the Fair Folk?

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  • Mirror of Dreams: What do you want out of the Fair Folk?

    First, a preamble. Thank you to everyone who helped with A Clutch of Dragons. ​I haven't forgotten that I owe character art to BlueWinds and TDS and an artifact to Tikor for their chapter fic contributions. I had intended to continue and expand ACoD with new Charms and chapters, but I have hit some practical difficulties and WFHW is looming closer than ever, so I think it is well past time to call the project done. I always intended ACoD to be a stopgap to let people play Dragon-Bloods before the official content came around. I will be posting a wrap-up thread with a few Charms I have produced on request and some other material that didn't make it into the pdf. I'll revisit it after WFHW is released to see if I can integrate some of my work into it.

    With that out of the way, I have a new project in the works, The Mirror of Dreams. The Fair Folk are a big part of Exalted but I don't expect that they'll see a canon supplement for a few years. In the meantime, I'd like to have a go at them.

    I've got lots of ideas on how to implement the Fair Folk, but first I'd like to take a sampling of opinion from the forum. Would you run Fair Folk games if you had an approachable system? Would you use them as antagonists if you could write one up without getting a migraine? Would you run a game in the Wyld, or reserve them for use in Creation? How should their powers work and what should they be able to do? How do you feel the narrative nature of their powers should be implemented to avoid obnoxious fourth wall breaking memes?

    Tell me what you want out of the Fair Folk

    Currently writing for Heirs to the Shogunate.

  • #2
    One thing I think needs to happen, based on the descriptions in the core book and the new essence economy, is that the the whole soul eating thing needs to be mechanically linked to staving off calcification in a way that has nothing to do with essence respiration. Those need to be separate systems entirely.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Elfive View Post
      One thing I think needs to happen, based on the descriptions in the core book and the new essence economy, is that the the whole soul eating thing needs to be mechanically linked to staving off calcification in a way that has nothing to do with essence respiration. Those need to be separate systems entirely.
      I agree, I think feeding should be linked with the collection of Gossamer/Glamour.

      Currently writing for Heirs to the Shogunate.


      • #4
        To directly answer the questions, no, I would be very unlikely to run a PC Fair Folk game, yes, I would be very likely to include a Fair Folk antagonist, maybe, I would likely have a portion, but not a complete game, have scenes or stories in the Wyld, Their powers should work like dreams and nightmares made 'real', and I don't think the writer has any special obligation to prevent memification - leave that to the table's preference.

        But, for my preferences, I want gradients! I'd love a Fair Folk book that says to me, the reader, in a sidebar "We know this is weird. You can choose just how much weird you want to embrace for your campaign." Then have levels like 'The Fair Folk eat people, and it's all pretty narrative, here's a cool story to inspire you', easy mode all the way up to Twilight intricate GM-fu at max level crunchy esoteric 'Essence clashes, Demesnes, Waypoints, Breakthroughs, oh my! Adjoration crafting, Oath binding, Behemoth birthing, egads! ' If they could narratively mirror the distinctions between Creation, Tainted Lands, the Bordermarches, the Middlemarches, the Deep Wyld, and Pure Chaos, that would be style points in my book.

        The Lunar Castebooks fan project - Complete! (Changing, Full, No, and Casteless)


        • #5
          I would be entirely down for having acessible and cool playable raksha, and I think the first point is one to particularly keep in mind. I agree with the point on soul-feeding and a regular essence economy (the old way with all the circumstances in which certain characters didn't respire it was dumped for a reason), so having their sustenance on souls be based on a secondary resource like Glamour, which they might also use to active more powerful or unique effects, seems like a good way to approach it.

          The raksha have had some points of distinction that I think are useful to keep, like higher resting traits to open way for more mechanically unique charms over an abundance of dice modifiers. Gossamer crafting and glamour weaving and magic to create lasting enchantments or illusions are a grab-bag of things that I could see streamlined into a common system that their charms further interact with.

          I am certain I'd make a raksha PC if they had understandable and flavorful rules, though I would likely not ever go for fair folk only games. They have a very important relationship with the Wyld, and their systems should reflect the power they are supposed to have there, but their relation and interactions with Creation and its denizens are the most crucial part of their role in the setting. There are a lot of things about their nature that confused me in the past, but the devs have said some useful things in that regard that are good to look at, and it would be desirable to make their narrative clearer. There's more than enough room for nuance with them as protagonists or antagonists, but their concept needs to be a strong and concise one for an expanded coverage of them to work well.
          Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 11-10-2017, 01:07 PM.


          • #6
            I really enjoy the idea of using Raksha to stat up really nonstandard builds and stuff. Like a character who exists as a possessing force who takes over the mind of some human and grants them terrible powers. Or a character who exists as a tainted landscape capable of manifesting a physical form, like Ego from GotG 2.

            I think fair folk should be able to create monsters from the energies of the Wyld and tame Behemoths to do their bidding. I think they should be able to raise armies of sinister warrior snakemen and conjure castles of quartz and black ivory.

            Also, if there were Charms that let a Fair Folk turn into a dragon or something, that would be cool.


            • #7
              I have always loved Exalteds Fair Folk even if their rules have been a tai on the difficult side. I really liked 2nd edition revised Charm set for them as it finally allowed them to use their entire, mostly at least, Charm set both in the Wyld and within Creation.

              In first edition our greatest duel was between an npc cataprachtoi and a PC abyssal, a duel far deadline than any duels versus various Exalted that said Abyssal had previously fought. And it left a still enduring respect towards the Fae at our table.

              So then. What would I wish from the Fae of 3rd edition? Fae that can manifest as most unexpected things. Cursed landscapes within which they may from avatar to interact with people should they so wish, dreamforms built from hopes and fears of creations inhabitants, elemental forms only barely limited to humanoid forms if even that, why could they not manifest themselves as living pillars of fire, basically all the ways they have used to have been manifested but writ larger. Humanoid forms should be the most popular but not because they couldn’t be something else.

              Charms to deal grand curses that always have some way out, forming armies from the formless Chaos of the Wyld, feeding upon souls all the while addicting them to their very doom. But also charms that allow warriors to fire arrows of screaming rage or sobbing sorrow with an accuracy worthy of a take of it’s own, wielding blades forged from sentient Dreams with a skill to rival an Exalt.

              Mostly what I wish is that the living stories that the Fae are should be stories worth tellinkien with the Exalted. So what if the Nobles of the Fair Folk are not called Exalted by name they should still be able to both be conquered by them at great cost worthy of stories to last a generation or to conquer them with guile and madness worth the same.

              The Fair Folk Nobles are the Prince’s of the Wyld and their endeavours should ewoke dread and fear from the Lords of Creation.

              But they should remain paradoxes, Chaos forced into form. Madness great enough to bend reality to conform and thus make mad of the sane.

              They should both ride Behemoths to war and to wield them as weapons within a duel, likewise they could march to war armed with nought but love and passion and shielded by compassion.

              Most of all they should be the other, the alien, the unfathomable yet each individual is bound by their selfmade limits accepted by them as they took form to enter Creation.

              And to your question of would I have PC Fae? A resounding yes.
              Would I love all Fae games? Of course but only with certain kind of players. The Fae just have never been for everybody.
              Would I use them as Antagonists? Most certainly, Just as I have since the first edition.

              I do agree that for the 3rd edition they should reseptien essence like the rest and their soul feeding should act to both prevent calcification and as a way to gather Gossamer.

              Most Charms should have costs in essence with those inflicting permanent curses, creating permanent Glamours or granting superior protection costing Gossamer as well. Taking into mind that Gossamer would also be the resource used to stage of calcification and mostly be gainable through feeding.


              • #8
                I've never cared much for the Wyld or for Raksha, but if I were to run a plotline with them, I'd be stealing liberally from Mercedes Lackey's When the Bough Breaks and Chrome Circle. Mechanical support for running the Wyld as 'Underhill' from those books would be useful.

                Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!


                • #9
                  I want to be able to make fun characters like I could with the Graceful Wicked Masque Errata. I want rules to make NPC common and nobles. And clarifications on how to portray them. I mean I can be patient till we get official rules on playing them but I would love rules on creating them as even just NPCs. So Goblins, Djinn like Nobles that can offer wishes to mortals, cursed trees or huts that are actually calcified Raksha like in the errata. :P

                  It is a time for great deeds!


                  • #10
                    IIRC the commoner/noble distinction is going away in 3e. There's just "Raksha" and "other shit".


                    • #11
                      To answer your questions, I'd use the Raksha as antagonists if I had a system for building them, but I doubt I'd run a Raksha game. I'd probably reserve them for Creation unless I was doing a Lunars game. That said, I have a player who might enjoy a Raksha character, so having the option to have playable characters would be nice.

                      As for the specifics, I liked the "lego building" approach to their artifacts, but I don't know that it's necessary for the Raksha (importing something based on the current Sorcerous Working system seems like a better plan).

                      Raksha should feel like living narratives to me, like a character from a story. Someone who, under the right circumstances, seems like a sane human...but then they go and do things that betray the inhuman creature inside. So it should be encouraged for Raksha to be somehow.

                      I would like Raksha living in Creation to be required to feed somehow, but for there to be options for them to feed in ways that don't do long lasting damage...but there should be reasons that some Raksha gorge themselves on souls even in the Wyld other than "they just like the taste." There should be a mechanical inducement to feeding that the "people" who are "playing nice" are missing out on. That said, don't make it so crucial to the core play that the "non-monstrous" Raksha are missing out on basically the entire play experience.

                      Probably the thing I most love about them is the idea that they can just ...carry around servants, equipment, artifacts, palaces, landscapes, etc. so I'd still want to be able to manifest a "pop-up palace" and stuff under these rules.

                      I heard the Devs once say that they were considering something akin to the Vampire Disciplines for Raksha. That is a sequence of specific powers that were bought in order and that's it. While I think it could maybe work, I think a better idea would be something more like the Sorcerous Workings or the Mage Arcana, that gives the Raksha a fairly freeform system with some big limits on it.

                      ...Honestly, if anyone in Exalted should get a pretty freeform magic system, it should be the Raksha. Take a setup similar to Mage, instead of Arcana give them hmmm... the various Graces and then their rating in each Grace gives them a wide latitude for magic they can do under that umbrella, and so on.

                      Hmmm... that could work. If you don't run with that idea, I might try it out.



                      • #12
                        Sorry, got sidetracked. Another thing I'd like to see is some suggestions on what to do if a Raksha decides that they want to be human. How they might go about becoming a real person, gaining a soul, and stuff.



                        • #13
                          So sort of an expansion of Wyld Stunting, but with a little more structure?


                          • #14
                            What Rain said. Raksha are, at their core, stories with brains; they understand creatures outside of themselves exist, but not the concept of agency, even their own; they can influence the story, but the narrative does what it wants and if it doesn't make internal sense, they can't do it.

                            Also, changelings, there needs to be support for changelings, whatever they are. Maybe fae who became mortals, maybe mortals who became fae, there needs to be support.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                              So sort of an expansion of Wyld Stunting, but with a little more structure?
                              That would be what I'd be going for. Possibly, to make them fit better with Exalted's systems, they'd have a "dynamic charm" system, where they can use charms they don't know provided they meet the prereqs, but it's pretty costly, both in motes and other resources they can only regain quickly by eating souls, but they can also buy the charms normally and use them at normal cost.

                              Alternately, switch over more completely to a Mage like system, but give them the ability to buy specific "spells" that would then work more like charms. Not sure yet of the details.