My daughter and her friend started their role-playing gaming careers when they were pre-teens. One system that we used was Faery’s Tale RPG, because both girls love faeries and the game is easy to use with kids. However, once they turned 13, we found that although they still love the faery setting, the rules were too simplistic for their tastes. They wanted to do more cool things with the system.
I thought that porting Faery’s Tale to the recently released Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE) would do the job. Aside from the obvious pun in the name, FAE allows for heroic characters of any size and shape to accomplish awesome deeds, within the framework of elegant and simple rules. Apparently, one of the authors of FAE, Clark Valentine, was himself a fan of Faery’s Tale, and his own children started their gaming with it years ago. The transition from Faery’s Tale to FAE was remarkably easy. I’m calling it FAErie.
Use the FAE rules as written, with the following customizations:
The High Concept Aspect reflects the faery’s type, as per the four main ones in Faery’s Tale ie. Pixie, Sprite, Brownie, Pooka. Other faery types (eg. elf, gnome) can be used here. In FAE, Aspects are always true, so each faery type always has its innate magic abilities, but can invoke the Aspect to push their abilities beyond their ordinary usage. Pixies have wings and normally fly around; but they can invoke their Pixie Aspect when they need to carry another creature, or fly higher and faster than normal.
Trouble Aspect is the same as FAE. Other Aspects can be used for animal companions, magic items, etc. Optional rule: a Passion aspect that rules their thoughts and guides their actions (p. 30 of Faery’s Tale).
Default Refresh is 3. Faery’s Tale has a game resource called Essence, that acts like a combination of hit points and mana points, and can be spent to affect the narrative. Obviously, Fate Points may be substituted for Essence points.
Approaches stay the same as in FAE; no need to translate the Faery’s Tale tri-stats (Body, Mind, Spirit). FAE Approaches work really well with faery characters.
Stunts: use the FAE Stunt creation method (p. 31, FAE) to translate Faery’s Tale Gifts. Each faery starts with their two innate Gifts as Stunts, then may choose one more without sacrificing Refresh. For “once per session” stunts, spend a Fate point to use it again after the first time.
Stress and Consequences: use FAE rules. When Faeries are Taken Out, they fall asleep until the next game session. Faeries that commit evil deeds accrue Consequences that reflect the darkening of their essence; if they continue on the dark path, they may have to change their trouble Aspect to reflect their new evil nature.
Boons are special promises or favours that faeries earn by doing good deeds. In Faery’s Tale, faeries can call in boons when they need help, or they can “cash” boons for titles (knight, duke/duchess, prince/princess), Gifts, or special magic events (like opening a gate between two worlds). Boons in Faerie are like Fate Core Extras. Players only need to write Boons down on their sheets. One Boon can be traded for a new Aspect, which can represent a new ally, a title, object, etc. Three Boons can be traded for one point of Refresh, which they can optionally use to buy another Stunt, or keep to provide more Fate points at the beginning of game sessions.
Gear: Faery’s Tale treats gear as narrative colour, which is consistent with the default approach in FAE. In Faerie, gear also act as permissions (a Fate term for necessary conditions to allow a character to do something) for certain actions, invocations and stunts (e.g. Sprites have a stunt where they get a Forceful bonus when attacking with a weapon). If the faeries have superior gear that would give them a tactical advantage in a conflict, they may get a free boost at the beginning of the conflict.
Creatures: most non-player character creatures can be represented by an Aspect, a name if they are important enough, Stunts if appropriate, and a Challenge Level. A creature’s Challenge level is a single number that represents both its difficulty target (in any action that a player character would take against the creature), and its stress boxes. Some examples: Tiny Scared Field Mouse 1; Aloof Feral Cat 3 (+2 to Sneaky when overcoming obstacles in shadows); Big Bad Wolf 5 (+2 to Forceful when creating an advantage by “huffing and puffing”; once per session, can take on a disguise). The idea for Challenge Levels come from Dungeons of Fate, a FAE variant by Sly Flourish.
Sprites are faery warriors, resembling athletic humans with pointy ears standing a few inches tall. They do not have wings, and do not fly; being friends of animals, they typically rely on a companion creature (owl, flying insect, etc.) as a flying mount. Sprites wear armour made of leaves, bark or gossamer silk, and they fight with miniature swords, spears and other weapons. Sprites can speak to natural creatures (but not necessarily befriend them) without spending Fate points. Their armour and weapons can be invoked as part of their “Sprite” aspect.
Because I’m an animal friend, once per adventure I can befriend a natural creature (from a ladybug to a horse).
Because I’m a champion, I get a +2 when I Forcefully (here the player can choose the Approach) attack in a fight with my favourite weapon.
Pixies are pretty, winged faeries who live in forests and meadows. They glow when they fly, and leave trails of glittering pixie dust behind them in the sky. Often, humans mistake them for fireflies. They are merry folk who love to sing, dance and play, and make their homes in flowers. They can use their pixie dust for magic, to beguile someone, help a friend to fly, or to perform other wondrous feats. Spend 1 Fate point when invoking the “Pixie” aspect, for amazing feats of flight, such as soaring over the cloud tops. Effortless feats of magic, such as allowing someone else to fly, cause a flower to bloom, or dispelling invisibility cost no Fate points.
Because I can fly fast with my wings, I get a +2 when Quickly defending or creating an advantage against a conflict with a larger creature.
Because I have magical Pixie dust, once per game session I can use it for a difficult magic spell, such as: putting a pesky goblin to sleep, charming a human into forgetting she has seen a faery, confusing a fierce beast, creating an object, causing someone to fall in love, or undoing a magic spell.
Brownies are hardworking faeries that secretly help humans with household chores. They look like wingless, miniature humans with snub-noses and pointy ears. Brownies have magical powers to help them with their chores, and have the ability to turn invisible so that they can go about their business secretly. They appreciate gratitude for their services, such as offerings of milk and cookies, and will turn to pranks if they feel unappreciated. Brownies are friends with mice and birds, but are afraid of cats. While in a household, they can use their magic to manipulate household items, do their chores, and scurry about invisibly, without spending Fate points.
Because I have household magic, I get a +2 when I Carefully (here the player can choose the Approach) create advantages in a household.
Because brownies turn invisible, I get a +2 when I Sneakily overcome obstacles against creatures that rely on sight.
Pookas are mischievous, shapeshifting faeries, and are often considered wild and slightly dangerous. Their natural form is often homely, and they have long donkey-like ears and pointy noses. Pookas have the ability to shapeshift into the form of any natural creature, from a ladybug to a horse. When shapeshifted, they gain the abilities of their chosen animal form. They also have travel magic which allows them to cover vast distances. Pookas are loners, have no permanent homes, and are especially fond of blackberries. Pookas can turn into any roughly faery-sized creature, such as an insect or mouse, at will without having to spend Fate points. They can also travel without becoming tired or quenching thirst or hunger after a long journey.
Because I can take the form of larger creatures, once per session I can shapeshift into a creature up to the size of a horse.
Because I have travel magic that allows me to cover vast distances, once per session I can transport myself and and any passengers anywhere in the world in a single night.
Updated 2015-05-20: Character Sheets for FAErie