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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    S@tanicoaldo's Avatar

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    Default How to capture the fairytale feel?

    So in my life I have DMed all forms of fantasy, from high to low, romantic fantasy and dark.

    Now I want to risk my self in the fary tale and fable world.

    Any tips or advice?

    I'm not a native english speaker and I'm dyslexic(that doesn't mean I have low IQ quite the opposite actually it means I make a lot of typos).

    So I beg for forgiveness, patience and comprehension.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Is that image indicative of the tone you are trying to shoot for?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    I think you need a sense of mystery and wonder. You need to do a lot more to obscure the rules of the setting from the players than you would otherwise.

    You certainly don't understand how magic works, and possibly no one does.

    You don't deal with big threats by using the combat system. You don't, for example, find a +2 cold iron longsword to pierce the witch's DR and then stab her until she runs out of HP. You go on a quest to retrieve the ingredients to the potion of witch melting that you researched in an old legend and when you brew it up and splash it on her she dissolves into a puddle on the floor. Why does it work? No one knows.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Spirit strictly follow very specific rules. Rules that can be turned against them, but also give them very great powers over others. Unfortunately these are rules that make absolutely no sense to mortals. Knowing some of the rules doesn't help you in any way to predict other rules that might exist. This is what makes dealing with them so dangerous, even if they appear to be very friendly and helpful. You can try to manipulate them, but there is always the chance of a rule you didn't know about that makes your actions give them power over you.

    Another thing is that environments in fairy realms or domains just don't work the same way that people are used to. You can have ice that never melts and things on fire that never burn out. Living things living forever without any source of sustenance. These are things that you simply have to accept and for which you will not get any explanation. They might revert to following normal rules when the spirit presence is banished, but there are no mechanics underlying them while they are in place.

    While spirits are often extremely powerfuk and could easily destroy almost anyone who hasn't found the proper (usually random seeming) objects that can harm them or protect against their powers, they usually don't do it until directly provoked. Unless they decide to eat them, at which point they almost always keep them around for later. But entering a spirit's domain does not usually lead to an attack. The spirit might show up to talk or ignore them, and if they feel like it simply don't allow them to leave. Putting intruders in a cell is generally done only to keep them for eating later, but otherwise the environment changes so that there isn't any way out anymore.
    This has the huge advantage of players not being able to attack everything first from ambush while at the same time not setting them up for fights they can not win.
    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery in the eldritch wilds

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Read fairtytalkes and folklore and lot of it and study myth as well. That's what I did.

    Bot Yora got the ghist of it. The Fae are alien in thought, they are bound by their own rules and aren't after the same thing as humans.

    And it helps to keep it low key, low fantasy where the fae and magic is a thing of wonder. If you use such a book as the monster manual then throw it in the bin because when your players can recite the stats for a pixie or a redcap in their sleep then it doesn't incite fear and wonder.

    Many monsters in rpg's are based on myth and fairytales and D&D has kinda Disneyfied the monsters.
    Last edited by RazorChain; 2018-01-02 at 02:28 PM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Fairy tales happen “Once upon a time" and though the story may go "beyond the fields we know, they start not in "secondary worlds", instead they take place in our world or a recognisable version of it. They are partly bounded by the everyday, but what frees them and sets them apart is the addition of functioning magic, and the protaganists are seldom "mighty" warriors or spell casters, more often they're simple peasant children, and disinherited younger siblings, since most players are looking to have superheroes as PC's I don't know how you'd get buy-in, maybe have it be Call of Cthullu where players expect something more survival horror?

    But that's really the key, old fairy tales are more like old ghost stories than modern "Heroic Fantasy"

    Start during the players grandparents time in a farm that has been the PC's home that they're being forced away from by a bank/landlord/invading army/the dust/drought.

    The PC's goal is to seek their fortune or just a meal in California/Switzerland/someplace safe over the next hill.

    Then they meet someone/something at twilight at a crossroads, and then things get weird.

    Animals that talk, plants that walk, hollow hills that are bigger inside than out, make the world seem familiar first, then add uncanny elements; that order is very important.

    Little deeds should have ever-echoing consequences and even the happily-ever-afters have Monkey’s Paw elements.

    Did the PC's share their last bread with a short beggar?

    Then have their copper coins turn to gold.

    Were they stingy?

    Than have their voiced replaced with donkeys braying.

    Magic, small or large, white or black, has a price, whether it be your blood, your love, an item of value, or a life, yours or another’s.

    The price to a key to unlock a treasure may be their shadows, the absence of which marks the PC's as tainted.

    Frankly the rules of Fairyland seem so arbitrary that I kind of doubt a real "fairytale feel" would be much fun, but I'm very curious on how it goes.

    Oh, also have beings that speak in verse, not prose.

    Some inspiration:

    Spoiler: The Fairies
    Show
    Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’t go a-hunting For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, And white owl’s feather! Down along the rocky shore Some make their home, They live on crispy pancakes Of yellow tide-foam; Some in the reeds Of the black mountain-lake, With frogs for their watchdogs, All night awake. High on the hill-top The old King sits; He is now so old and grey He’s nigh lost his wits. With a bridge of white mist Columbkill he crosses, On his stately journeys From Slieveleague to Rosses; Or going up with the music On cold starry nights, To sup with the Queen Of the gay Northern Lights. They stole little Bridget For seven years long; When she came down again Her friends were all gone. They took her lightly back, Between the night and morrow, They thought that she was fast asleep, But she was dead with sorrow. They have kept her ever since Deep within the lake, On a bed of fig-leaves, Watching till she wake. By the craggy hillside, Through the mosses bare, They have planted thorn trees For my pleasure, here and there. Is any man so daring As dig them up in spite, He shall find their sharpest thorns In his bed at night. Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’t go a-hunting For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, And white owl’s feather!

    -William Allingham



    Spoiler: True Thomas, a Ballad of the Borderlands
    Show

    True Thomas lay on Huntlie bank;
    A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e,
    And there he saw a ladye bright
    Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.

    Her skirt was o' the grass-green silk,
    Her mantle o' the velvet fyne;
    At ilka tett o' her horse's mane,
    Hung fifty siller bells and nine.

    True Thomas he pu'd aff his cap,
    And louted low down on his knee
    "Hail to thee Mary, Queen of Heaven!
    For thy peer on earth could never be."

    "Oh no, Oh no, Thomas" she said,
    "That name does not belang to me.
    I'm but the Queen o' fair Elfland,
    That am hither come to visit thee".

    "Harp and carp, Thomas" she said;
    "Harp and carp along wi' me,
    And if ye dare to kiss my lips
    Sure of your bodie I will be".

    "Betide me weal, betide me woe,
    That weird shall never daunten me."
    Syne he has kissed her rosy lips,
    All underneath the Eildon Tree.

    "Now ye maun go wi' me" she said,
    "True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me,
    And ye maun serve me seven years,
    Thro' weal or woe as may chance to be".

    She's mounted on her milk-white steed,
    She's ta'en true Thomas up behind,
    And aye,.whene'er her bridle rang
    The steed gaed swifter than the wind.

    Oh, they rade on, and farther on,
    The steed gaed swifter than the wind,
    Until they reached a desert wide
    And living land was left behind.

    "Light down, light down now, true Thomas,
    And lean your head upon my knee.
    Abide ye there a little space
    And I will show you ferlies three.

    "Oh see ye not yon narrow road,
    So thick beset wi' thorns and briers?
    That is the Path of Righteousness,
    Though after it but few inquires.

    "And see ye not yon braid, braid road,
    That lies across the lily leven?
    That is the Path of Wickedness,
    Though some call it the Road to Heaven.

    "And see ye not yon bonny road
    That winds about the fernie brae?
    That is the Road to fair Elfland
    Where thou and I this night maun gae.

    "But, Thomas, ye sall haud your tongue,
    Whatever ye may hear or see,
    For speak ye word in Elfin-land,
    Ye'll ne'er win back to your ain countrie."

    Oh they rade on, and farther on,
    And they waded rivers abune the knee,
    And they saw neither sun nor moon,
    But they heard the roaring of the sea.

    It was mirk, mirk night, there was nae starlight,
    They waded through red blude to the knee.
    For a' the blude that's shed on the earth
    Rins through the springs o' that countrie.

    Syne they came to a garden green
    And she pu'd an apple frae a tree.
    "Take this for thy wages, true Thomas.
    It will give thee the tongue that can never lee."

    "My tongue is my ain" true Thomas he said,
    "A gudely gift ye wad gie to me.
    I neither dought to buy or sell
    At fair or tryst where I might be.

    "I dought neither speak to prince or peer,
    Nor ask of grace from fair ladye".
    "Now haud thy peace, Thomas" she said,
    "For as I say, so must it be".

    He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
    And a pair o' shoon of the velvet green.
    And till seven years were gane and past
    True Thomas on earth was never seen.



    Spoiler: The Lordly Ones fromThe Immortal Hour
    Show
    How beautiful they are,
    The lordly ones
    Who dwell in the hills,
    In the hollow hills.

    They have faces like flowers,
    And their breath is wind
    That stirs amid grasses
    Filled with white clover.

    Their limbs are more white
    Than shafts of moonshire:
    They are more fleet
    Than the March wind.

    They laugh and are glad
    And are terrible;
    When their lances shake
    Every green reed quivers.

    How beautiful they are,
    How beautiful,
    The lordly ones
    In the hollow hills.

    Fiona Macleod/William Sharp


    Spoiler: Ballad of Tam Lin
    Show
    O I forbid you, maidens all,
    That wear gold in your hair,
    To come or go by Carterhaugh,
    For young Tam Lin is there.

    There's none that goes by Carterhaugh
    But they leave him a wad,
    Either their rings, or green mantles,
    Or else their maidenhead.

    Janet has kilted her green kirtle
    A little above her knee,
    And she has braided her yellow hair
    A little above her brow,
    And she's away to Carterhaugh
    As fast as she can go.

    When she came to Carterhaugh
    Tam Lin was at the well,
    And there she found his steed standing,
    But he was away himself.

    She had not pulled a double rose,
    A rose but only two,
    Till up then started young Tam Lin,
    Saying "Lady, pull thou no more."

    "Why pullest thou the rose, Janet,
    And why breakest thou the wand?
    Or why comest thou to Carterhaugh
    Withoutten my command?"

    "Carterhaugh, it is my own,
    My daddy gave it me,
    I'll come and go by Carterhaugh,
    And ask no leave of thee."

    Janet has kilted her green kirtle
    A little above her knee,
    And she has braided her yellow hair
    A little above her brow,
    And she is to her father's house,
    As fast as she can go.

    Four and twenty ladies fair
    Were playing at the ball,
    And out then came the fair Janet,
    The flower among them all.

    Four and twenty ladies fair
    Were playing at the chess,
    And out then came the fair Janet,
    As green as any glass.

    Out then spake an old grey knight,
    Lay over the castle wall,
    And says, "Alas, fair Janet, for thee,
    But we'll be blamed all."

    "Hold your tongue, ye old faced knight,
    Some ill death may ye die!
    Father my babe on whom I will,
    I'll father none on thee."

    Out then spake her father dear,
    And he spake meek and mild,
    "And ever alas, sweet Janet," he says,
    "I think thou goest with child."

    "If that I go with child, Father,
    Myself must bear the blame,
    There's never a lord about your hall,
    Shall give the child a name."

    "If my love were an earthly knight,
    Though he's an elfin grey,
    I would not give my own true-love
    For any lord that ye have."

    "The steed that my true love rides on
    Is lighter than the wind,
    With silver he is shod before,
    With burning gold behind."

    Janet has kilted her green kirtle
    A little above her knee,
    And she has braided her yellow hair
    A little above her brow,
    And she's away to Carterhaugh
    As fast as she can go.

    When she came to Carterhaugh,
    Tam Lin was at the well,
    And there she found his steed standing,
    But he was away himself.

    She had not pulled a double rose,
    A rose but only two,
    Till up then started young Tam Lin,
    Saying "Lady, pull thou no more."

    "Why pullest thou the rose, Janet,
    Among the groves so green,
    And all to kill the bonny babe
    That we got us between?"

    "O tell me, tell me, Tam Lin," she says,
    "For His sake that died on tree,
    If ever ye were in holy chapel,
    Or Christendom did see?"

    "Roxbrugh he was my grandfather,
    Took me with him to bide
    And once it fell upon a day
    That woe did me betide.

    "And once it fell upon a day
    A cold day and a snell,
    When we were from the hunting come,
    That from my horse I fell,
    The Queen of Fairies she caught me,
    In yon green hill to dwell."

    "And pleasant is the fairy land,
    But, an eerie tale to tell,
    At the end of every seven years,
    We pay a tithe to Hell,
    I am so fair and firm of flesh,
    I'm feared it be myself."

    "But the night is Halloween, lady,
    The morn is Hallowday,
    Then win me, win me, if ye will,
    For well I think ye may."

    "Just at the mirk and midnight hour
    The fairy folk will ride,
    And they that would their true-love win,
    At Miles Cross they must bide."

    "But how shall I thee know, Tam Lin,
    Or how my true-love know,
    Among so many uncouth knights,
    The like I never saw?"

    "O first let pass the black, lady,
    And then let pass the brown,
    But quickly run to the milk-white steed,
    Pull ye his rider down."

    "For I'll ride on the milk-white steed,
    And ride nearest the town;
    Because I was an earthly knight
    They give me that renown."

    "My right hand will be gloved, lady,
    My left hand will be bare,
    Cocked up shall my bonnet be,
    And combed down shall be my hair,
    And there's the tokens I give thee;
    No doubt I will be there."

    "They'll turn me in your arms, lady,
    A lizard and an adder,
    But hold me fast, and fear me not,
    I am your child's father."

    "They'll turn me to a bear so grim,
    And then a lion bold,
    But hold me fast, and fear me not,
    And ye shall love your child."
    "Again they'll turn me in your arms
    To a red hot brand of iron,
    But hold me fast, and fear me not,
    I'll do you no harm."

    "And last they'll turn me in your arms
    Into the burning gleed,
    Then throw me into well water,
    O throw me in with speed."

    "And then I'll be your own true-love,
    I'll turn a naked knight,
    Then cover me with your green mantle,
    And hide me out o sight."

    Gloomy, gloomy was the night,
    And eerie was the way,
    As fair Jenny in her green mantle
    To Miles Cross she did go.

    At the mirk and midnight hour
    She heard the bridles sing,
    She was as glad at that
    As any earthly thing.

    First she let the black pass by,
    And then she let the brown,
    But quickly she ran to the milk-white steed,
    And pulled the rider down.

    So well she minded what he did say,
    And young Tam Lin did win,
    Then covered him with her mantle green,
    As happy as a bird in spring.

    Out then spake the Queen of Fairies,
    Out of a bush of broom,
    "She that has gotten young Tam Lin
    Has gotten a stately-groom."

    Out then spake the Queen of Fairies,
    And an angry woman was she,
    "Shame betide her ill-fared face,
    And an ill death may she die,
    For she's taken away the bonniest knight
    In all my company."

    "But had I known, Tam Lin," she said,
    "What now this night I see,
    I would have taken out thy two grey eyes,
    And put in two of tree.
    Grim specter of noogie hangs like shroud over us all



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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Many fairytales and folklore were put into children's stories often to explain morals and life lessons while making them easy for children to understand. These could be anything from an Aesopesque moral to just scarring kids away from doing stupid things.
    Others were more like myths, and they sought to put a face to natural phenomena.

    You may want to have quests seek to teach the PCs lessons on how to act or behave. Although, how this is done can vary from cute to horrifying. Ending a session with a moral lesson would certainly add a level of surrealism if nothing else.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Arbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Most things are willing to talk to you, even if they plan on eating you afterwards.

    Politeness may get you further than a sword.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
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    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Fairy tales have a very stark underlying truth to them: Our way of living is right, theirs is wrong, kill them all for it. Part and parcel for any non-Disney fairy tale is a fundamental difference between our mundane world, the fairy world and what's going on at the fringes and intersections when both meet.

    It´s pretty important that "fairy" works on a different set of rules, maybe a whole different set of physics than the mundane world, with a deeply hidden set of logic or rules that govern how fairy functions.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    I've been wanting to play a fable campaign for months - never gotten around to it. Essentially, it's

    - Roleplaying as usual, except
    - You're a wolf, a badger, a hare, an owl, or some such

    Nothing changes except the fluff. Badger uses dwarf stats, for instance, hares use elf stats, and so on. But the feel is ... different. Also, of course, it requires the players to play along.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    You certainly don't understand how magic works, and possibly no one does.
    Agreed. You really can't have any players being able to cast spells... magic has to be special and very mysterious. Magic items would be fine though... but they would have to each be unique and have a history behind them. Maybe a bit of a mind of their own at times.

    In general lots of things would have to be unique. Magic items, monsters, locations...

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    Most things are willing to talk to you, even if they plan on eating you afterwards.

    Politeness may get you further than a sword.
    This is a good point too. "find a way to keep it talking... flattery? Vague statements to pique it's curiosity? Hints that talking to you might reveal information on something better to eat?" Also, pump up the concept of honor. Have promises mean something. There is a certain code of conduct that even the most vile of creatures follow. Understanding that code could be a useful skill.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    The natural world is alive, and aware. The Big Bad Wolf speaks; he entices his prey to step off the path, to dally, to make itself vulnerable to him. The path is safety. The woods are malign. Kindness to the meek brings rewards, from overt magical blessings to the aid of sentient creatures who remember your kindness to them when you, yourself, need help. True Love (and its kiss) breaks all manner of curses.

    Magic items follow rules. The magic beans grow a beanstalk that leads to the land of Giants. The golden harp is intelligent and self-playing. The goose always lays golden eggs. But they also must not be misused; obey all warnings, because failure to do so will result in catastrophic mishap. But mishap that can be seen coming if one recognizes the safety warning for what it is.

    Magical creatures can only reward or punish, but either rarely have or rarely can pursue goals towards which mortals would have ambitions on their own. (The fairy godmother doesn't want to use her magic to marry the Prince, herself, but rather help the dispossessed minor noblegirl to win his heart at the Ball. The Enchantress doesn't want to enslave the wicked Prince, but rather turn him into a Beast to punish his rudeness. The mysterious traveling peddler actually wants that worn-down, milkless cow and will trade genuine magical items for it; items he could have used to pursue great wealth if he used them. The Wicked Queen is unusual in her ambitious role in Snow White.) The talking cat wearing boots doesn't want the throne he wins for the youngest son, merely to be the pampered pet of the new king.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    I don't know much about GMing this, but I suggest getting your players on board with the idea and refreshed on some of the source material.


    As a player, I used to hold a very dim view of fairy-tale stories and wanted to destroy their mystery and wonder because it defied my worldview. I only later developed a real appreciation for their whimsical fun and dream logic. So I'd say to be aware that players may need to be explicitly (re)introduced to fairytale paradigms so they can align themselves with your campaign vision.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    2D8HP's Avatar

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    It occurs to me that reading a "bridge" between Fantasy Fiction and Fairy Tales may be helpful, and yes I have suggestions (thank you for asking ):

    *ahem*

    Anyway, I recommend reading:

    Lud in the Mist
    by Hope Mirrless,


    The King of Elflands Daughter

    by Lord Dunsany,


    Stardust
    by Neil Gaiman,


    Firebrd
    by R. Garcia y Robertson,


    Lord's and Ladies,
    The Wee Free Men,

    and
    The Shepherd's Crown
    all by Sir Terry Pratchett,


    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

    and especially

    The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories
    both by Susanna Clarke,


    and if you really want to get deep

    An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures

    (a worthy companion to her

    British Folktales),

    and everything else by 20th century folklorist Katharine Briggs

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Besides things people have already said:

    Goodness is power. Just being a good person can make things go right.

    Money is not power. None of this "requires a diamond worth 10000GP" or whatever. The most powerful magic item in the campaign should be a doll a little girl got from her now dead mother, and it will be extremely powerful until she grows up and doesn't need it anymore.

    Things follow symbolic lines... Actually I'm not sure how to describe this one exactly, but they will. Sets of three, with the last often being a reversal of the first two... and I have to run. But that sort of thing.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Between their usually personal scope and the nature of fairy beings, fairy tale creatures are almost always unique. Rumpelstiltskin, Puck, and Baba Yaga are not generic members of a given race, they're all unique beings who follow unique rules. You may have a family of brownies or a tribe of goblins that have to be dealt with, but those interactions will always have to go through specific named individuals rather than dealing with the group en masse.

    And the only things close to predictable rules are the facts that bargains must be abided by (even if you're not fully sure what you're agreeing to at the time), virtue/goodness is rewarded, and that story logic trumps other forms of logic. A rule-heavy game like D&D will require some heavy hacking to make it work right, since you'll have either made the right answers obvious through the rules engine or else have mechanically obvious "right answers" that conflict with the style you're going for, like attacking the villain while he's dropping exposition.

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    I would just start every sentence with "once upon a time..."

    but then again, I just got forced out of my local D&D party for the third time... I should get some real friends.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Fairy tales run on virtue ethics and chattel slavery. Magic rewards virtue and punishes vice, but women and peasants are property.

    The Prince refuses to let a stranger in out of the rain (a distinctly wicked deed) and gets punished by being turned into a monster. All of his property (aka his servants) is also cursed and turned into furniture. Beauty's dad accepts the Beast's hospitality, then steals from his rose garden and gets punished by losing his most valuable bit of property (aka his daughter). Beast (and his slaves) can only be helped if Beast proves his virtue by getting someone to fall in love with him.

    Little Red Riding Hood goes out into the forest alone (a vice), which causes her to encounter a wolf that wants to eat her. But then she reveals that she's taking care of her grandmother (a virtue!) which prevents the wolf from eating her. Her grandmother (who should have taught Red better) gets eaten instead. When Red arrives, the wolf repeatedly lies (very wicked!) and gets chopped into pieces for his trouble. The woodsman then takes Red as his wife (and property) as a reward for his service to destiny.

    Three Billy Goats Gruff. We have three goats trying to cross a bridge. The troll is a goat-eating cannibal (very definitely a sin) and is therefore afflicted with short-sighted cupidity. This causes the troll to pass up on eating the first and second goat and allows the third goat (who displays the virtue of bravery) to defeat the Troll by shoving it into the river.

    The Ogre Shrek is an anti-social grouch (vice) and wants to live by himself in his swamp. This causes Farquaad to banish the fairy tale people into the swamp (which is also a vice). (There is a tendency for one character's wickedness to be the cause of another wicked character's punishment - try to make that happen where you can!) Shrek demands that Farquaad send them somewhere else, and Farquaad agrees - provided Shrek fetches him some valuable property (Fiona) from a dangerous Dragon. The Dragon is defeated by the pure and noble Donkey using the power of love (virtuous!), allowing Shrek to complete his quest. Shrek eavesdrops on Donkey's conversation with Fiona (vice) and is punished by misunderstanding everything and nearly losing out on Fiona (who is a valuable catch, if you're an ogre). It's only when Donkey saves the day (yet again) by championing truth and mutual understanding, that Shrek and Fiona discover the mutual nature of their love and cure Fiona of her one flaw in Shrek's opinion - her lycanthropy.

    You can easily cut out the chattel slavery parts, but players will still be expecting to marry the prince/princess and live happily ever after, and for women (seemingly exclusively) to randomly get cursed/sold to slavers/given to weird beastmen in castles/quested after by knights/etc. irrespective of the morality of their behavior. So you'll either need to talk with your players about that, find some other excuse for maidens to get rescued from dragons, or intentionally ignore how women as prizes is really sketchy and weird.

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Bad deeds have bad consequences. And often not just for the guilty ones. I think the univeral moral is that you're not just responsible for yourself, but also have to consider the consequences for others around you.
    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery in the eldritch wilds

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grek View Post
    Fairy tales run on virtue ethics and chattel slavery. Magic rewards virtue and punishes vice, but women and peasants are property.
    I think the last bit we can update. Its not really a fairy tale thing so much as a middle ages thing.

    Oh yeah, and I thing I have a generalization of what I was going to say before. Fairy tales run off of symbolism. Sometimes literal symbolic magic (the beast's flower) which also effects the people caught up it in. So characters and events can also be purposefully symbolic because ... fate or whatever is starting to pull them around.

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post

    The King of Elflands Daughter

    by Lord Dunsany,


    Stardust
    by Neil Gaiman,


    Lord's and Ladies,
    The Wee Free Men,

    and
    The Shepherd's Crown
    all by Sir Terry Pratchett,


    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
    Yeah, I love Gaiman Terry and Lord Dunsany, and the gentleman with thistle down hair is what i aim my faries to be like. ^^
    I'm not a native english speaker and I'm dyslexic(that doesn't mean I have low IQ quite the opposite actually it means I make a lot of typos).

    So I beg for forgiveness, patience and comprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It's like somewhere along the way, "freedom of speech" became "all negative response is censorship".
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    ."Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning"

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    My favorite examples of fairy tale adventures are the last three main arcs of Hellboy. Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, and The Storm & The Fury. Those deal pretty much entirely with mythological creatures from Britain and Russia and are full of trippy spirit journeys. What makes them so applicable to RPGs is that Hellboy is a very powerful badass fighter who ends up battling these supernatural creatures to the death, while at the same time maintaining the fairy tale style.

    One really cool thing in Hellboy is that the dead in magical places can talk. Not undead, but dead dead. Sometimes they are talking but otherwise inanimate corpses, while others are ghost that seem indistinguishable from living people. (Except for the fact that they just seem to be hanging around in these strange places.)
    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery in the eldritch wilds

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    My favorite examples of fairy tale adventures are the last three main arcs of Hellboy. Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, and The Storm & The Fury. Those deal pretty much entirely with mythological creatures from Britain and Russia and are full of trippy spirit journeys. What makes them so applicable to RPGs is that Hellboy is a very powerful badass fighter who ends up battling these supernatural creatures to the death, while at the same time maintaining the fairy tale style.

    One really cool thing in Hellboy is that the dead in magical places can talk. Not undead, but dead dead. Sometimes they are talking but otherwise inanimate corpses, while others are ghost that seem indistinguishable from living people. (Except for the fact that they just seem to be hanging around in these strange places.)
    Take a closer look at it. Fairy tales are often a parable how society works and how to break that. They put a high premium in knowing and following the known as well as the unknown rules.
    Much as I like the Hellboy stories, what they do come down to is big red imposing his kinda "rules" after losing one or two fights against the established rules of it.

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    the older tales had less to do with morality and more to do with cleverness.
    Trying to hack apart the dragon in the old tales got you eaten, taking it from ambush by driving a special weapon into it's stomach from the ditch you hid in on the other hand...
    or taking the evil ritual and turning it against its makers by removing the bit that keeps the evil spirits they bring into the world from eating them...
    In essence intelligence was praised more than morality in the old tales, however a lot of them were rewritten with morality in mind in the 18th and 19th centuries.
    if you really want to bring out the feel of old faery tales discourage them from being martial or magical powerhouses, or have them face things that cannot be beaten with such methods and encourage them to try other avenues of defeating enemies by awarding cleverness and the odd plays that may seem weird at first glance.
    the first half of the meaning of life is that there isn't one.

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Fostering a fairytale feel may be aided by looking at the reality as operating by symbolic and magical rules. Look up sympathetic magic, for example. Or as others have mentioned, that the reality of the story is a moral universe.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    Planet Mercenary RPG Discussion

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by vasilidor View Post
    the older tales had less to do with morality and more to do with cleverness.
    Trying to hack apart the dragon in the old tales got you eaten, taking it from ambush by driving a special weapon into it's stomach from the ditch you hid in on the other hand...
    Reading some of the original Hans Christian Andersen stories shows some seriously nasty protagonists.

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    I know that the story of the evil mirror that shattered when they tried to take it to heaven, resulting in one of the shards being embedded in a boys eye. he then landed in the court of the queen of winter. somehow. but yes a lot of them were rewritten by him and others, such as Aesop, to encourage what the society of then thought of as proper behavior and morals. they actually (to my understanding, I may be wrong about this) began to lose popularity due to this.
    the first half of the meaning of life is that there isn't one.

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    I enjoy the card game Once Upon a Time. It's a storytelling game. Each player receives an ending card ("They lived happily ever after;" "The donkey changed back into a prince;" "And so the parents learned to love again;") and a handful of fairytale element cards ("Witch", "Sword", "This can talk," "Beautiful"). They tell a story using these cards, and there are several methods of "passing" the story to another teller,who will steer the story towards his own ending.

    It is used in schools as a tool for learning to write fiction. I see no reason why you couldn't use it to inspire a fairy-tale RPG plot, in the same way that you could draw cards from a Munchkin deck in a comedy game. It has many of the classic bits from folklore, so can give you tips on what elements make a story less "fantasy" and more "folkloric."

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Quote Originally Posted by vasilidor View Post
    to encourage what the society of then thought of as proper behavior and morals. they actually (to my understanding, I may be wrong about this) began to lose popularity due to this.
    I think it´s more complicated than that. We're experiencing a drift between "Values"-based society and "Results"-based society.
    Looking at old greek or roman tales, as been noted above, they often dealt with "metis", so "Smarts and Cunning", but also dealt with horrible bloodshed and wars.

    Later, we see the rise of "Value"-based societies. "Proper Behavior", "The Rule of Law", knowing the underlying code, so to speak, with "Restraint and Control" being the key to success.

    What we now experience is a return to the "Results"-based model. It´s quite astonishing when one thinks about it, but a lot of "heroes" lately are ... morally challenged?... and successful because of it, their "metis" again.

    It´s pretty interesting to see that something like committing to the "UN Human Rights Charta" was once seen and understood as a strength, now it is seen as a weakness that holds you down.

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    Default Re: How to capture the fairytale feel?

    Umm that pciture looks less like a fairy tale and more of a fairy apocalypse .

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