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How do you run the Fair Folk?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

    Yeah, that seems exactly right to me. Particularly because I am prone to OVER ACTING!
    I do think that one of the early inspirations for the Fair Folk in 1E: gamers so invested in their roleplay, stories, and achievements that they treat the world and other characters as mere props and NPCs. In Ex3 we'll likely be moving away from that because it deprecates them as a setting threat.


    Hey, check out my first original RPG, Post-Mortem, here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/307131/PostMortem

    Or read my Exalted novella The Silence of Our Ancestors here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...looded-Novella

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    • #32
      On a high level, I back that 100%. Raksha as cosmic, unknowable, alien entities is better than the Fish-Malk treatment that, say, Keychain of Creation gave them. I look forward to the 3E presentation of the Fair Folk as a setting threat.

      But on a practical "how do I use this in my game" level... I think my advice stands. How do you actually narrate them? How do you run them? How do you use them in your games? Sitting at the table, across from your players, what do you do to convey "this is one of the Fair Folk"?

      I think, fundementally, to engage the PCs, you have to use them as "people" first and "fae creatures" second. And to differentiate them from the other types of fantasy creature (which, admittedly, I don't do - I play my fae NPCs almost exactly the same as I play my ghosts, elementals, human and Exalted NPCs), you need to lean into that fae nature. I think you've given some great advice on how to do that back on page one.

      Now I'm not saying that the only way to present the fae is with Megamind-style ham and flaire -- you can certainly play that off subtly as you suggest in that post. But I'd say it's easier to be unsubtle.

      Give the players that desire to annihilate.


      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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      • #33
        I usually like to default to the "narrative obsessed" part of narrative obsessed unknowable alien. At least insofar as the interactions they have with players often ends up mattering. As such I tend to run my Fair folk as archetypes fixated on playing their part and never breaking character. Often times if the other "actors" like the PC's dont play their parts right the Fae will continue to stretch their part as far as they can. If the players pull at that character to hard the reaction can be rather violent. The part that I love to use to make them seem truly confusing and alien in mindset is what happens when they are "killed". If not slain in the right way my Fae will often eventually come back to play a new character with none of the attachments, passions, grudges, or desires of the previous "character". This became abundantly clear when my PC's wound up adopting a Fair Folk "child" that was the new character of a previous arc villian. It would occasionally drop hints to his past character and when one of my players asked about it I responded. "They are not playing that character anymore."

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        • #34
          I do think some of the essence of the narrative focus stuff can be kept without them being too twee and an alien quality conveyed understandably by generally having them amount to flamboyant narcissists who alternately thrive on dysfunction, a rigorous program of self-definition, or predatory behaviour.

          Bonus points if there's a sense that some of their identity and behaviour is shaped by the expectations of who they're currently attached to.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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          • #35
            I often like to imagine that they don't really have concepts like cause and effect as we understand them. Everything that happens is part of the story, nothing is "just because" to them. This is part of why Creation is so confusing sometimes. I also like to imagine that they do not have any sense of finality. To the Rakshasa nothing is ever really over the way we understand it. This feeds back into that idea i mentioned about them just playing a new character. It also colors their interactions with mortals. Not grasping what Death is to a mortal because they have never had to think about it with the same level realness that mortals have. They struggle to comprehend the finite as much as we struggle to comprehend the Infinite.

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            • #36
              You know, Jack Saint recently covered Space Jam, and a bit in it reminded me of the Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes shoutout in the 1e book.

              Especially in terms of the Nerdlucks/Monstars. They’re cartoons as much as Tweety is; one might get his teeth shot out of his head in one scene but have a full set of chompers to flash at Swackhammer when ganging up on the boss in the end. Unlike Bugs and co., however, their existence is bound up in a capitalist system where their alien theme park has to exploit their workers and maintain attractions to give them a never ending stream of customers.

              While the Looney Tunes’ strength is their imaginations, the Monstars’ is what they can take.
              Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 12-05-2020, 07:00 AM.


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              • #37
                Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                their existence is bound up in a capitalist system where their alien theme park has to exploit their workers and maintain attractions to give them a never ending stream of customers.
                Because communism wasn't exploitative. Or its original form, feudalism.

                People with power and no accountability exploit others. That's just what happens. If Americans want equal protection under the law, they should stop re-electing local government that hasn't been upholding the law.


                One has to treat the Fair Folk as people because incomprehensible creatures can't exist. Any creature has to seek its own preservation, and thus cannot avoid being predictable once you understand its needs.

                There is no mystery that remains mysterious when understood, just as a secret ceases to be secret once made public.

                Fair Folk can still be horribly Other from humanity in that what they need to continue existing as a species is fundamentally hostile to what humanity needs. Whether that need is destroying Creation or consuming human souls.

                So even though both species are people, neither can truly afford to treat the other as equals. Each is a threat to the others' existence, merely by existing. There can be peace between individuals, but never between the species as a whole.


                formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                  Because communism wasn't exploitative.
                  It’s a little weird for a person who’s quick to call assholes who call themselves Christians “Pharisees,” yet take authoritarian governments who call themselves “Communist” at their word.

                  Tell me, do you think North Korea is a Democratic People’s Republic?

                  Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                  Or its original form, feudalism.
                  This is not remotely accurate.

                  As for any talk of accountability, all that went out the window when the folks on top decided to make rules allowing them to decide how or even if your vote counts.
                  Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 12-05-2020, 11:58 PM.


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                  • #39
                    Guys, I beg you, Off-topic.

                    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                    One has to treat the Fair Folk as people because incomprehensible creatures can't exist. Any creature has to seek its own preservation, and thus cannot avoid being predictable once you understand its needs.

                    There is no mystery that remains mysterious when understood, just as a secret ceases to be secret once made public.

                    Fair Folk can still be horribly Other from humanity in that what they need to continue existing as a species is fundamentally hostile to what humanity needs. Whether that need is destroying Creation or consuming human souls.

                    So even though both species are people, neither can truly afford to treat the other as equals. Each is a threat to the others' existence, merely by existing. There can be peace between individuals, but never between the species as a whole.
                    I don't know.

                    You can approach elderich horrors obliquely.

                    That is to say, you could include fae in your games who you literally can't sit down and have a conversation with, or punch in the face. Like that unshaped city... I wanna say Sawar?

                    I mean look at the entire Cthulu mythos, and how Lovecrafian RPGs pit you against cults and servants of the Great Old Ones.

                    You could pitch an alien, outside threat as an unknowable horror. A feat of nature instead of a rational being.
                    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-06-2020, 04:48 AM.


                    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                    • #40
                      https://youtu.be/Ntf5_ue2Lzw

                      That whole movie is good inspiration, but this one scene could definitely be a powerful fairy lord.

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                      • #41
                        Er... Yeah I think we are perhaps veering a bit OT from the Fair Folk when getting into discussing the possible anti-capitalist subtext message of (checks notes) 1990s Michael Jordan sneaker sales and Loony Tunes merchandising promotion vehicle Space Jam?

                        Disorganized musings: I don't really have much of a contribution on how to characterize the Fair Folk though... but I would say that Fair Folk draw on a rich literary tradition of satirising nobility by playing on the contrast between rules of noble, etiquette and formalities of noble hierarchy, and "madness".

                        Alice's Red Queen is probably a somewhat particular culturally iconic example. Maybe Alice is underrated as usable a Fair Folk source? (You can even use the Disney one, perhaps if you're some kind of self-identified Millennial "Disney kid", and not a similarly aged Disney hater such as myself, if you want!) What are other well realized film examples of "Hero explores a crazy fairyland of magical, somewhat predatory creatures with strange rules and customs". (Other culturally iconic examples where child/adult crosses over to madland narratives maybe are those things are those live action-animation blends, like Roger Rabbit. Perhaps Wizard of Oz?).

                        The default mode of a Fair Folk court tends to be nobility - you might be able to draw on more Kafka-esque, mad bureaucracy motifs (and thus possibly more usable modern material?) if you chose to play Fair Folk courts with more of those (which is not the Exalted default really!).

                        One aspect of playing on the Fair Folk as monomaniac narrative self creations is that it tends to weaken the bonds of blood-loyalty that serve as a check on the venality of nobility in narrative. Something like the Dynasty generally is counterbalanced by the fact that in the end the Dynasts will often fight to the death loyally for their blood against the outsider, the interloper. Fair Folk have the trappings of such nobility, but their actual relationships are a parody of feuding courtiers, motivated entirely by hierarchy, ambition and expediency. All that's grandiloquent and surface oriented and toxic about courtly life comes to the fore in them.

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                        • #42
                          My point wasn’t to change the topic to what is and isn’t communism - it was that I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the 1e Fair Folk book’s use of Looney Tunes as a suggested reference, because frankly the Looney Tunes aren’t quite so predatory.

                          But you know who are?

                          The Monstars.

                          They live in the same world of consequence-free violence where you can get shot, eaten, burnt to ashes, and disintegrated and just have a Band-Aid on it the next scene; and they say, “You’re going to be attractions in our boss’s theme park.”
                          Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 12-06-2020, 10:11 AM.


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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                            My point wasn’t to change the topic to what is and isn’t communism - it was that I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the 1e Fair Folk book’s use of Looney Tunes as a suggested reference, because frankly the Looney Tunes aren’t quite so predatory.
                            I dunno; in the old school cartoons, Bugs Bunny might just destroy you if you offered him offence.

                            There's that one short in which he's furious that the Federal government places the bounty on rabbits as so low, and when the DoA official says it's because they're so harmless sets out to prove him wrong by just going on a rampage across the nation. That's where the gif of him sawing off Florida comes from, and I believe that episode also contains instances of him leveling mountains and redirecting rivers. I'm sure he closes up the Grand Canyon in it.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                            • #44
                              You know, I'd never actually seen "Rebel Rabbit" until today; among other things, he ties up the railroads (literally, with a bow), returns Manhattan to the Natives, puts "Bugs Bunny Wuz Here" on a number of locales, steals the keys from the Panama Canal, fills in the Grand Canyon, saws off Florida, puts red stripes on the Washington Monument, and claims a bench as his property.
                              Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 12-06-2020, 11:54 AM.


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                              • #45
                                Bugs Bunny is more Lunar inspiration than Fair Folk, for me. Partially because he operates under a narrative rule of never throwing the first punch—it isn’t hunger that drives him, but a trickster’s sense of fairness.


                                Hey, check out my first original RPG, Post-Mortem, here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/307131/PostMortem

                                Or read my Exalted novella The Silence of Our Ancestors here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...looded-Novella

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