A Faerie Saga
The following is gaming system developed from TSR's Marvel
Super Heroes Adventure Game for the personal use of the creator.
No infringement on TSR trademarks is intended. The rules here
are incomplete, primarily only those needed for a player are included.
If you want more details, buy the game noted above.
A Faerie Saga takes place in Faerie Land, a beautiful, peaceful land, where
anything can happen. Unfortunately, without the imaginations of mortal
children to shape it, Faerie Land is pretty boring. In it's natural
state, Faerie Land is a world of idyllic meadows and glens, tranquil pools
and rolling hills. On the other hand, Faerie Land is Peter Pan's
Never-Never Land, Alice's Wonderland or C.S.Lewis' Narnia when children
come to play. It might host a quiet tea with the faerie queen or
a hard fought battle against a fearsome dragon. Fortunately, the
faeries of Faerie Land bore easily and appreciate the excitement mortal
A note on sizes and abilities in Faerie Land. Everything
here is from the perspective of a mortal child, so to be of abnormal size
or strength is a different thing than in the real world.
Give your character a name, gender, type and a rough idea of abilities.
If you are a first time gamer, or if this is this the first time you are
playing A Faerie Saga, you might wish to consider modeling your character
after yourself as a small child. After you are familiar with the
system, other concepts may present themselves to you.
Mortal Child - Mortal children have the most potential for manipulating
Faerie Land, but have to worry about slipping back to the real-world when
their belief is overwhelmed by their knowledge.
Faerie - One of the many mystic races native to Faerie Land. Diminutive
and playful, these winged folk have access to faerie magic.
Draw six cards from the SAGA deck.
Assign one card to each ability (Strength, Agility, Intellect and Willpower).
The value of the card played for each ability gives a score for that ability.
Put the cards you've assigned around the corners of the ability starburst
on your character sheet, placing Strength in the upper left and so on.
Abilitiy Score Alterations By Type
Faeries reduce their Strength score by 2 and increase their Agility score
Look at the codes you have assigned to each ability. If you have
played a Doom card for an ability, assign that ability an X code.
If you have assigned a card to an ability that matchs the ability's suit,
give that ability a C code. Otherwise, assign the ability a D code.
Give your character skills based on the codes you've assigned. If
your character has a C code in an ability, assign the character two skills
from that ability's skill list. If the character has a D code, assign
one. If an X, the character has no skills in that ability.
Brawling - inflict damage using fists, teeth or other natural attacks
Climbing - scaling vertical surfaces
(Weapons) - inflict damage using (weapon) type. type must be specified.
examples include: clubs, hammers, knives, spears, swords, whips, and makeshift.
Wrestling - the art of holding on and not letting go
Acrobatics - gymnastic movement
Aerial Combat - fighting in the sky. useful for faerie folk.
Archery - use projectile weapons that fire arrows
Construction - building things
Equestrian - riding horse and other four-legged beasts, with or without
Flinging - throwing any easily hefted object
Skating - twirling and dashing with wheels or blades on or under your feet,
Slings - anything spun to inflict damage
Thievery - picking pockets, moving steathily, opening locks and the like
Archeology - know stuff about historical records and ancient sites
Architecture - design and recognize the design of buildings and the like
Astronomy - know stuff about the stars
Computers- know stuff about computers and programing
Cryptography - good at making and solving codes and puzzles
History - know stuff about the past
Lore - pick a culture and know stuff about them
Mechanics - know how machines work
Mythology - know stuff about ancient myths
Photographic Memory - a successful average intellect action requires the
Narrator to repeat anything the character may have come across (if the
Narrator can remember it)
Trivia - a mishmash of specialized knowledge. name one or more subjects
you are an 'expert' in
Animal Handling - training animals to do tricks
Art - creating works of art, such as paitings, sculpture, and the like
Manipulation - getting people to do what you want
Observation - ability to tell when something is interesting or out of place
Performing - acting, singing, dance, mime, or any other form of entertainment
Survival - dealing with the rigors of outdoor life
Taunting - attempt to verbally incite someone to violence (typically against
Tracking - following prey through the wilderness or elsewhere
Edge and Hand Size
Your character starts off with an Edge of 0 and a Hand Size of 2.
To get a +1 to both Hand Size and Edge, you must place a non-Doom card
of value 7 or more in the center of the ability starburst. You can
repeat this as often as you like, though note the effects on Knowledge
Your character has a limited selection of powers based on their type.
Any cards remaining in your hand may be assigned to any power you possess.
Power Selection by Character Type
Faerie Magic 1
Size - Special. The tallest faerie in any game of A Faerie Sage
is always at least a foot shorter than the shortest mortal child.
You may (but don't have to) choose a hinderance from the list below.
If you select a hinderance, draw a card. If you get a positive card,
you may add that card to any one ability score or power intensity (though
ability scores should not be raised above ten). If the card isn't
positive, put it on the bottom of the deck. You may select and draw
for up to two hinderances.
Faeries (and other natives of Faerie Land) have an innate hinderance
by being part of the Faerie Land reality. Any changes mortal children
make in Faerie Land's rules (permanent or otherwise) affect faeries character
automatically for their duration. For instance, if a child successfully
believes that faeries cannot work their magic in the presence of iron,
then no faerie can do so for as long as the belief effect is working.
Naive - innocent of the ways of society. trusts in the inherent goodness
of all creatures and assumes that others do as well. 0 ability scores
for making or dodging surprise attacks and you must always declare your
character's actions first
Overconfident - without fear. won't use full abilities until things
get very bleak. any card you play with a value of 7+ is treated as
a 0 of that suit. this hinderance vanishes when you are reduced to
half your hand size (or 2 cards, whichever is smaller) or fewer cards
Phsyically Disabled - suffers a physical misfortune which makes a common
action such as seeing or walking difficult to perform. reduces an
ability to 0 in certain situations:
Missing limb(s) - 0 Strength for actions involving that limb or limbs
Blind - 0 Agility in fights, cannot make or dodge unseen surprise attacks
Deaf - 0 Agility for actions involving actions from behind and surprise
Mute - 0 Willpower for offensive actions which involve speech
Paralyzed or Unable to Walk - 0 Agility in fights and for movement
Panicky - can't distinguish minor threats from major ones. any card
you play of 4 or less is treated as a 0 of that suit (includes Edge cards).
cards pulled off the deck after you play a trump count as full value.
panicky characters gain no value from Narrator draws of 4 or less
Phobic - terrified of something and will flee the dreaded object or substance.
if you don't run away, you are reduced to 0 in all four abilities
Only mortal children have a Knowledge score. If you are playing a
mortal child, Add your character's Intellect and Edge values together and
record as your Knowledge score. If either ever goes up, so does your
Knowledge. See the Knowledge rules for more details on how Knowledge may
increase. If your Knowledge score + your Belief rating is ever greater
than 20, permanently reduce your Belief rating until the sum is equal to
Every action your character performs (that requires a check), follow this
Play a card from your hand and add its value to a number on your character
Draw a card to replace the one you just played.
If you perform an action you have a skill in, let the Narrator know.
The difficulty will become easier. How much easier? Don't worry
about that - let the Narrator do the math.
If the card you play from your hand matches the suit of your action, your
character gets a trump bonus. Flip the top card of the Fate Deck
and add that card's value to your action. If that card also matches
the trump, repeat until you get a card of a different color. What
are the trump suits? Ask your Narrator to explain the card layout.
If the value of the card you play from your hand is equal to or lowe than
your character's Edge, you can play another card from your hand.
You can continue doing so until you play a card with a value higher than
the character's Edge or you run out of cards. Don't redraw until
you are done playing all your cards. Only the final card played is
used for the purposes of deciding trump (see above).
The Doom Suit
Every time a player plays a Doom card, the Narrator collects it rather
than placing it in the discard pile. After you finish playing your
card(s), the Narrator may add one or more of the cards in his Doom Bank
to the difficulty of your action. Any action. Any time.
The good news is the Narrator has to use the cards before the end of the
game or they go away. The bad news is that he proabably will.
Player Character vs. Player Character
Pretty much handled the same way as other actions, only you compare your
total to that of the fellow player you are opposing.
In combat, almost every character action is opposed, so the Narrator flips
one card for use for all actions in the exchange. The card is laid
face up in front of the Narrator and stays there until the exchange ends.
On the next exchange, the Narrator discards it and draws a new one.
If the aura of the Narrator card is positive (white), all characters
who have been injured in the fight may draw one card and add it to their
hands.Any Narrator-run allies of the players can add the value of the Narrator
card to their Health. If the aura is negative (black), the Narrator's
card value is added to any wounded foes' Health. In no case may this
draw raise a character's Health or Hand Size above what it was at the beginning
of the fight.
To avoid being surprised by approaching danger, player characters must
attempt an average Intellect (vs. Agility) action, with the Narrator using
the lowest of the opposition's Agility scores as the opposition score.
To surprise Narrator characters, player characters must attempt an average
Agility (vs. Intellect) action, with the Narrator using the highest of
the opposition's Intellect scores as the opposition score. If someone
is surprised, that person can't perform any actions during this exchange,
but can perform counteractions (see below). Blind or unconscious
characters can't surprise or avoid surprise.
Now, player characters declare their actions and resolve them as described
above. The game should be fast-paced, so if you don't have an action
ready when the Narrator comes to you, you might get passed over for this
exchange. Also, exchanges are pretty short, so don't try to do too
much. If your action takes more than one or two "and"s or "then"s,
you are probably trying to do too much. Combat actions will typically
be of average difficulty.
If you wish to lose an action aiming, next exchange (and next exchange
only), the difficulty of a distance attack you make is 0. If you
are aiming, you can't switch targets, dodge attacks, move, or even talk
loud enough for the target to hear. If you do, you lose your bonus.
Sometimes you want to do something in combat that takes more than one exchange
to complete. If so, you can declare no other actions while you work
on the long term one. Of course you can always abandon your task,
but there is typically a reason you are performing it in the first place.
There are basically three distances of interest, which are fairly self-explanatory:
Striking Distance, Firing Distance and Visual Distance. A character
can close or widen a gap by one category (or to maintain distance with
your opposition who is trying to close or widen a gap) with an easy Agility
(vs. Agility) action.
Aura-based timekeeping depends on the Narrator's draw for the exchange.
When effects won't occur for a variable amount of time, they trigger on
a positive draw. To see when an effect ends, it ends on a negative
Combatants in striking distance can raise their action or opposition scores
by piling on the same target. When this happens, add +1 to each of
their scores for each attacker. This bonus affects damage as well.
The disadvantage of piling on is that the target can direct one attack
at all the attackers. If the target does this, the target's attack
is penalized by -1 for each combatant in the pile. Only one action
score is generated for the attack and is applied individually to each member
of the pile for normal affect.
This is when your opposition returns the attack. Once you know what
is going to be done (to you) by the opposition you can describe your reaction.
Typically, this will be "I dodge". However, if your character was
not surprised and didn't use a power or ability during their action, they
may use one now, in a defensive manner. Dodging an attack is an easy
Agility action. If your character is unconscious, he or she can't
dodge. Defensive actions are typically more difficult, but they too
cause the opposition's attack to miss.
Typically an attack causes damage when successful. If the attack
is intended to have some other effect, talk to the Narrator about the results.
If you successfully hit the opposition, take your action score and subtract
your opponent's defense score (typically Strength, but sometimes Willpower).
The result is the number of wounds inflicted on the target. The number
of wounds is subtracted from the target's Health, if Health drops to 0,
the target is unconscious. If you want to hit someone when they are
done, talk to the Narrator, but keep in mind that this is a Faerie Tale
game. If, on the other hand, you are hit, take the opposition's relevant
score and add modifiers for weapons or the like. Then add the value
of the Narrator card plus any cards the Narrator chooses to play from the
Doom Bank. From that total, subtract your character's Strength (or
Willpower, if the Narrator says so) and that's the number of wounds you
just took. You must discard cards from your hand with a total value
equal to the wounds you just suffered or more. Do not redraw to refill
your hand. It stays diminished until you have time to recover.
If you have no more cards in your hand, your character is unconscious.
If only one side of a fight still has members standing, the fight is over.
If not, someone can try to run away or surrender, or the fight continues,
repeating the above process. After the fight, re-fill your hands
(unless the Narrator says not to, in this case, he or she explain more).
What will you do next?
A mortal child's Knowledge score can increase for several reasons.
It might increase when the child uses his Belief power (see the description
of Belief for more details). It also might increase through the conscious
effort of another character.
Attempting to increase another character's Knowledge is an Intellect
(vs. Knowledge or Belief, whichever is higher) action of challenging difficulty.
Only mortal children can have their Knowledge increased in this manner,
though any character can attempt to increase a child's Knowledge.
A child's Belief is limited by his Knowledge. The more a child
knows, the less room he or she has for belief. Whenever a child's
Knowledge score goes up for any reason, compare the sum of the character's
Knowledge and Belief to 20. If the sum is greater than 20, the child's
Belief total is permanently lower until the sum is equal to 20.
Additional Power Descriptions
For a power listing and descriptions, see the Marvel Superheroes Adventure
Trump Suit: Willpower
Belief is the any power. It is what lets mortal children manipulate
the rules of Faerie Land as well as it's environs. It also what holds
mortal children in Faerie Land. With belief you can wish literally
anything true - if you wish hard enough. Belief is not without it
dangers however. If you wish too hard, a thing becomes a permanent
part of Faerie Land and a child's Knowledge rating goes up. If you
fail in wishing something, you may lose the ability to ever wish that something
into reality again. Further, a child's Belief is limited by his Knowledge.
The more a child knows, the less room he or she has for belief. Whenever
a child's Knowledge score goes up for any reason, compare the sum of the
character's Knowledge and Belief to 20. If the sum is greater than
20, the child's Belief total is permanently lower until the sum is equal
The Narrator can call for a Belief action at any time he or she thinks
the character has said something which might trigger a change in reality.
At the end of each story, the Narrator can call for a belief check for
each mortal child. If he does so, each child's player must draw a
card from the top of the Fate Deck. For the purposes of this draw,
Doom is considered the Trump Suit. In other words, if you draw a
Doom card, flip another card and add it's value to your current total.
If it is a Doom card, repeat. If a player's card total is greater
than his or her mortal child character's Belief Score, the child disappears
from Faerie Land and returns to the mortal world. Can the child ever
return to Faerie Land? How much time has passed in the real world
while the child was in Farie Land? The answers to these questions
are up to the Narrator.
Any Belief effects which duplicate powers are at the child's Belief
As with all actions, the Narrator determines the difficulty of Belief
checks. Typically, however, the difficulty is easy and is increased
one level for each temporary belief effect the child has active.
Further, Belief actions are typically opposed by the attempting child's
Knowledge. When you compute your character's Belief action value,
the Narrator will compare it to the total opposition score. As usual,
if your action value is higher, you succeed, and if your action value is
lower, you fail. However, if it is two or more times higher, the
effect will become permanent and your character's Knowledge will increase
by one or more points. On the other hand, if your action value is
lower and you played a Doom card from your hand, the action not only fails,
but your character gains a Knowledge point and cannot attempt that action
ever again (you should note this on your character sheet).
Non-permanent (see above) belief effects stay active until the believing
child chooses to deactivate them. If someone wishes a deactivated
effect to be 'real' again, a new Belief check must be made. Mortal
children should keep track of the non-permanent (or temporary) effects
they have active on their character sheet.
Trump Suit: Willpower
Faerie Magic is always and only invoked by spells. In other words,
it needs gestures, incantations and sometimes material components to be
worked and the effects are always delayed until the end of the exchange.
A faerie must cast a spell as his or her action for the exchange, attempting
an easy Magic action. The spell then goes off as a contingent action
at the end of the exchange and another action check is required for the
A Faerie cannot have a Magic intensity higher than his or her Willpower.
At intensities 1 to 9, Faerie Magic can be used to duplicate the following
powers: Detection (Magic), Ensnarement, Illusion, Telekinesis and Reality
Warping (if the Narrator card for the Reality Warping effect is greater
than the intensity, there is no effect) at the Magic's intensity.
At intensity 10+, Faerie Magic allows the character to duplicate any Intellect-
or Willpower-linked power at the Magic's intensity. No spell can
give the caster skills or greater ability scores. Nor can any spell
be used to duplicate the Belief power.