Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Away With the Faeries (a racial mechanic)

A mechanic for fantasy campaigns in which mortals venture into faerie-land to do their adventuring.

Each player character has an Attunement number from 1-6, with 1 being the average mundane human and 6 being someone almost completely lost to the faeries.

Attunement starts at 1 for humans and orcs, 2 for other races and wizards, 3 for Elves, and 4 for actual faeries. (The GM could even have players roll 1d4 and select a race/class based on their result.)

With each full day spent in the fey realm, all player characters gain 1 Attunement. With each month spent outside it, they lose 1. Some faerie magics such as resurrections or "blessings" from powerful sources can also increase Attunement by 1.

In place of Reaction rolls in faerie-land, players must roll 1d6 under their Attunement. The fae courts value etiquette in their own alien manner, and a good first impression can be vital.

If Attunement ever reaches 7, the character can never leave the fey realm.

If Attunement ever reaches 0, the character forgets faeries ever existed, and can never find their way back to faerie-land again.

Optional Rule: Roll-over Attunement in place of reaction rolls when in the mundane world. On a failure, the character is thought to be drunk, ensorcelled, or mad.


Gorinich said...

I'm going to fold this mechanic into my alignment system. Which has is starting to collect stray mechanics into a giant ball.

Anne said...

This reminds me of the "Nature" stat from the various Burning Wheel -esque games, used in a new and creative way.

Actually, I'd been thinking about something similar recently, although I wasn't sure what the point of it was going to be.

Roll either 1d6 or 1d4+1 for your alignment. 1-2 is lawful, 3-4 is neutral, 5-6 is chaotic. If you fall to 0 or rise to 7, you become an NPC servant of LAW or CHAOS.

And then ... I'm not sure. I was thinking that if you can voluntarily subtract from it to gain a benefit in certain situations, and voluntarily add to it to gain a benefit in other situations, and maybe whenever you do, there's a risk that you add/subtract 2 points instead of 1.

So you can make yourself more lawful or more chaotic in order to accomplish different goals, but if you do it too much, you risk losing your humanity. (Similar to "nature" and similar to your attunement idea.)

D. G. Chapman said...

I got stuck on the same thing when drafting this - the base idea feels good, but implementing it mechanically is tough. Any time you add a new mechanic wholesale, particularly with a rules-light game, it *really* needs to fit in seamlessly to gameplay to feel worth it.

Your alignment concept seems like a great fit, but as you said, the specifics are tricky... I do like the idea of using it to add bonuses to relevant rolls, that's light and useful enough that it's something players will want to remember. A risk/reward element sounds perfect too, but, again, how to implement that...

If you figure it out, please do let me know! A system like that might actually get me to start using alignment again :)

Anne said...

I will keep you posted!

Also, I forgot to say, but I like the idea that your Attunement determines your starting species.

I should probably look at Mouse Guard and Torchbearer to see how they handle "Nature" as an ability.

One challenge for my idea for alignment is coming up with separate mechanics/bonuses/motivations for both decreasing and increasing your score.

Another challenge is that - while alternating between "lawful" and "chaotic" actions is good in that it encourages you to sort of thread the needle, it also (a) encourages lawful people to do chaotic things, and vise versa, and (b) potentially lets players get bonuses way too often. So yeah, this is still a work in progress.