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 children bring.

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.

Character Creation


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.

Character Types



Draw six cards from the SAGA deck.

Ability Scores

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 by 2.

Ability Codes

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.

Skill List


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 below.


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

Mortal Child
Belief 8
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.
Wings 1

Finishing Touches


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.

Hinderance List


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 20.


Every action your character performs (that requires a check), follow this simple rule:
Play a card from your hand and add its value to a number on your character sheet.
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.


Narrator Draw

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.

Longer Actions

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 draw.


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.

Closing Moves

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?

Special Rules


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 Game.


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 to 20.

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 intensity.

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.

Faerie  Magic

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 desired effect.

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.