I feel betrayed. I had spent years researching fairy legends from all over the world (Well, ok, maybe not, but I did fly to England. Twice.) and seamlessly incorporating them into the World of Darkness structure. And then, after far exceeding the duties required of a normal game designer, my project gets shelved! And I don't even get noticed about it!
This slight by White Wolf just has me pissed. So, at great personal risk, I have obtained for you the original rules for the next game in the Storyteller series, the way they were meant to be.
A warning though: these rules are kind of rough. The game never got through the editing process, and White Wolf, apparently to avoid legal problems, has tried to destroy them in some places. But, thanks to lots of Scotch tape and the diligent work of the Secret Brotherhood of Dumpster Rooters, I have been able to reconstruct some of the missing sections. Others, however were damaged beyond recovery. I've tried to explain the gaps where they occur, but some of the explanations may not be enough. You've been warned...
We'll see how "Changeling" stacks up to...
nth game in the Storyteller Series
created by notMark Rein*Hagen and Dave White
with helpful suggestions from Pete Delaney,
Julian Lighton, and the Secret Brotherhood of
Dumpster Rooters, Local 302
"It would be natural to assume that the title of the march under consideration was simply another example of the naive programmaticism that was part and parcel of the German early Romantic movement, but it turns out that the piece was actually commissioned by a band of cute little wood sprites..." --P.D.Q. Bach, "March of the Cute Little Wood Sprites"
"When we got back home, the main thing everybody asked was 'What was it like?' And I found myself answering, 'It was really foreign.'" --Dave Barry, "Dave Barry Does Japan"
The world of Fairy: The Cobbling is a dark world, a mere shadow of our own infested by supernatural entities and shadowy beings, a world where vampires roam the streets, werewolves root around in the garbage cans, mages occasionally flame large buildings, and wraiths panhandle in the street. It can really get annoying sometimes.
Anyhow, the point of this is that the world is really dark. Oh, and kind of punk too. Almost Gothic-Punk. As if the Goths had punks. If they did they probably put them to work building cathedrals. That would whip them into shape.
Into this World of Darkness stumble the Fairies. These unhappy creatures of Lost Arcadia seek to change the world into a shiny happy place, though their goal seems unachievable. However, the Fairies have a trump card on their side: the Cobbling.
"Free alterations. Probably refers to O'Shawn's wish to 'alter the human race,' whom he felt were basically depraved, especially jockeys." --Woody Allen, "The Irish Genius"
Since the dawn of time, Fairies have been obsessed with the repair of shoes. Both human and Fairy mythology contain accounts of brave Fairies stealing into cobblers' houses and repairing shoes for them, and of kindly leprechauns with cans of shoe polish. Most people just assume that Fairies are weird, but there is a method to their madness.
The Fairies are now expecting the great time they call the Cobbling, where those left among them will be drawn to a strange island across the sea to do battle. In the end, there can be only half a dozen max, and they will create the most perfect pair of shoes ever. These mighty leaders, greatest among Fairies, will then be able to lead the world into a new Golden Age -- or destroy it utterly.
However, there are those who have learned about the Cobbling, and who wish to use its power, either for good or for evil. The Fairies must now deal with the fact that they are not alone in their quest...
"For years we've been watching you, grading you, testing you, keeping secret files on you--and you'll be glad to know you're normal! There's nothing to worry about." --Matt Groening, "School is Hell"
The World of Darkness is filled with numerous shadowy dark conspiracies who run various aspects of the world and who know nothing of each other. You think that eventually a couple of them would learn about each other and they'd team up or fight or something. But they don't. Go figure. In Fairy, the role of menacing secret conspiracy is filled by the dreaded Shoemacher Corporation.
Some time in the Middle Ages, a man named "Big Bill" Shakespeare (apparently somewhat of a fairy himself) fell into the trust of some Fairies he met while smoking dope near Stratford-on-Avon. As part of their friendship, the Fairies informed him of the Cobbling, and also gave him the script to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (which was really just a really bad episode of a Fairy soap opera).
Shakespeare sympathized with the Fairies and saw the logic in their goal. However, in his opinion the Fairies were too flighty to be left in control of the world's destiny. Therefore, in 1616 he faked his death and went underground, forming a movement that would develop the ultimate shoes and hence control Earth's new golden age (favoring humans, of course). Among their policies was the systematic slaughter of Fairies, to prevent them from interfering with the achievement of the Cobbling.
Throughout the ages this conspiracy underwent many changes, eventually becoming known as the Shoemacher corporation, makers of fine footwear. And though they did make important strides, like Day-Glo shoelaces, Italian leather, and hi-tops, even their humanitarian efforts cannot outweigh the horrible brutality of their actions.
"'Poor Izmir,' Miranda was saying. 'He was so alone. But I think he understood.'" --Alan Dean Foster, "Glory Lane"
Since that time, the lives of Fairies have been harsh. They have fragmented into many tiny gangs and lost sight of their original goal. But they see clearly the solution: the total destruction of the Shoemacher Corporation. With Shoemacher and Shakespeare out of the way, their centuries-old goal can be
A storytelling game is all about creating and telling stories, and this chapter will show you how to do it. Because this is probably the single most important job in the game, we've devoted a whole chapter to tips on storytelling.
Congratulations: you've made the decision to be a storyteller. That means you'll have to do a lot more reading than the players, and you'll have to do more preparatory work. It's worth the extra effort, though. Being the Storyteller for your gaming group is a unique and fun experience. While the players have a big part in making a game session fun, ultimately it is up to you to make the game entertaining.
Remember that every good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. All good stories, or at least those involving fairies, start out with "Once upon a time..." and end with "...and they all lived happily ever after." In between, the middle, is where you have to worry about, and where characters do things like run around, shoot each other, and make shoes.
Being a Storyteller, it is difficult to judge your progress. One of the key things that can measure whether your storytelling is improving is your players' reactions. At the end of game sessions the characters should be far more depressed than they were when they entered. You can also judge your progress by the number of characters you kill off (also players). Remember, as the storyteller your chief job is to kill off characters. Furthermore,
"I hate the games, hate the rules, you've gotta lose." --Overkill, "I Hate"
We haven't changed them. You probably own a copy a Vampire. Just use the ones in there. Geez, kids today, always expecting a free ride...
"I need more character!" --SuperSecretSacredWars Roach, "Cerebus"
Well, you guys more or less know the Storyteller method of generating a character. The same applies for Fairy: The Cobbling. There are just a few special rules that apply to Fairies that can be neatly summed up. A brief checklist follows.
Before you write down a thing, you need to develop a concept for your character. This concept need only be a general idea of what your character is like, something unique and interesting that will be enjoyable to play over the long term. This concept needs to be unique and complete, and should probably involve shoes somewhere.
It might be a good idea to examine the description of Fairy Gangs in Chapter Six before actually picking which gang you want to join. The gang you belong to will determine a large part of your character's personality.
Now you start assigning numbers. First, you must prioritize the three different categories of your character's Attributes -- Physical, Mental, and Social. You must decide in which category your character is best (primary), in which he is average (secondary), and in which he is poor (tertiary). Is your character more physically than socially oriented -- is he stronger than he is handsome?
All characters start with one dot in each attribute. Your priority selection determines how many dots you get to spend in each category. You may divide seven dots among your character's primary attributes, five dots among her secondary attributes, and three among her tertiary attributes.
There are two restrictions to selection of priority because of the ways in which Fairies are predisposed. First, your character must select Social Attributes as his primary attributes. Second, your character must select Physical Attributes as his tertiary attributes. Other than that, your character can arrange the 7/5/3 split in any way that he desires.
Abilities are handled the same way they are in other Storyteller games, with the standard 9/7/4 split. The only restriction is that all Fairy characters must have at least one dot in the Cobbling skill (a vital skill without which the game falls apart).
You get seven points to divide among the 10 background traits. You only have seven points to allot, and some Storytellers may restrict access to certain Backgrounds. Your background traits should fit into the general scheme of the concept originally chosen.
Every character starts with three dots split up over two Spheres of magjick, as determined by which Fairy Gang he is a member of. He receives two dots in the primary sphere and one in the secondary sphere. He may augment this by dividing up an additional four dots into whichever spheres he feels like. For a more detailed description of Magjick, read chapter eight, which is titled "Magjick" (appropriately enough).
Every character also starts with a point of "Fairy-ness," the ability that makes it absolutely clear that Fairies are Fairies and not merely midgets. A more detailed description of Fairy-ness can be found in chapter six.
You now get 15 freebie points, which you may spend on any trait you wish. However, this expenditure is not so straightforward as it might seem. Each dot added to an Attribute costs 5 freebie points, each dot added to Abilities costs 2 freebie points, each dot added to a sphere of Magjick costs 5 freebie points, and each background dot costs only 1 point. Temporary points of Fairy-ness may be purchased for only 1 points (but will go away really quickly).
Most of the abilities in this section are covered in other White Wolf games, so I'll skip ahead and add a couple of new ones...
Well, before you just had to role-play it, now you can reduce it to a simple skill roll and get to the combat faster!
* Novice: Well, you want to angst, but all you can seem to pull off is being a little whiny.
** Practiced: You're not so whiny anymore, but you still don't see why you have to wear black and not, say, beige.
*** Competent: You can low-grade angst, but your still just too goddamn perky sometimes.
**** Expert: Misery follows you like a dark cloud, and every item in your wardrobe is black.
***** Master: Everyone around you is instantly depressed by your very presence, though they're still not as miserable as you.
Cobbling is the most important skill for Fairies. If you can't cobble, you can't cut it.
* Novice: You can identify various types of shoes by sight.
** Practiced: You can get a job as the shoe-shine boy on the street corner who all the cops ask for info.
*** Competent: You can fix shoes. Whoop-de-do.
**** Expert: You've published several papers on the subject and are recognized as a genius by most in the field.
***** Master: You spend most of your time sitting on a mountaintop in China waiting for eager cobblers to come from around the world and study at your skillful hands.
Hey, I liked it from AD&D, so I kind of just snuck, it in.
* Novice: Let me check my book.
** Practiced: Yep, that's fungus alright.
*** Competent: You might not want to eat that, it's poison.
**** Expert: We could use that poison to our advantage, though.
***** Master: Now if we only had a spool of wire and some coconuts we could use that mushroom to make a nuclear reactor...
"I put my pet in your pocket." --Dot Warner, "Animaniacs"
An animal companion can be a powerful ally. In fact, a Street Fighter...I mean Fairy...can purchase special powers and maneuvers that reflect his animals abilities. Animals can be helpful allies in combat, though they are not allowed in tournaments. Some animals can be useful spies or couriers. The higher a character's rating in Animal Companion, the more exceptional that animal and the more attuned the character is to his animal.
* Something tiny and probably disgusting, like a cockroach, silverfish, or tapeworm.
** Something wild but still small, like a squirrel or pigeon.
*** A small house pet, like a cat or maybe one of those yippy little annoying chihuahuas.
**** A larger house pet, like a doberman pinscher or one of those Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs.
***** Something large and extremely threatening, like a sabre-toothed tiger or a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
"Once I thought I was destined to become emperor of Greenland, sole monarch over its 52,000 inhabitants. Then I thought I was destined to build a Polynesian longship in my garage. I was wrong then, but I've got it now." --The Tick, "The Tick"
Fame represents a characters popularity among everyday people. The more famous a Fairy is, the more people will seek him out. Fairies with fame aren't necessarily famous for being Fairies, they could just as easily be rock stars, movie actors, brain surgeons, or possibly all three. Fame has its inherent advantages, people who have heard of you may go out of their way to help you. Fame has its drawbacks too -- such as people knocking on your hotel room door at all hours of the night looking for an autograph.
* You are known to a select group in society, such as heavy metal fans or those who actually watch infomercials.
** Your face is recognized by a majority of the local populace. You're a local celebrity, like the TV weatherman or the town drunk.
*** You are fairly famous; your face and name are known by many.
**** You are quite a celebrity; everybody knows something about you. In fact, often they know more about you than you do. Which can really scare you if you're not prepared for it.
***** You are a nationally famous individual. Your face appears regularly on magazine covers and TV. Sure, the magazine might be "Dog World" and the TV show "America's Most Wanted," but it's still fame of a sort.
Fairy magjick is focused through various sundry means. Almost anything can be a powerful magjick totem in the hands of a fairy, provided that he knows how to use it. However, knowing how to use a focus and actually having one are two different things. This background gives a character such a focus. A character with a focus or node recieves an additional, temporary point of Fairy-ness at the beginning of every session for each dot of this background.
* A small focus or node, usually something shiny or pretty like a smooth stone or a wrinkled piece of tin foil.
** A middling-sized focus, still kind of portable, like a cute doll ("Yes, but what does it mean?").
*** A smallish immobile focus, like a ring of mushrooms or a circle of rocks.
**** A large immobile focus, like a scenic forest glen or a puddle of adorable glowing radioactive ooze (for Faeries in New Jersey).
***** Something extremely large and immobile, like San Francisco.
"They can't do this to me! You can't do anything to a rich person that he doesn't want!" --Phoney Bone, "Bone"
London, Cairo, Peking: you can go anywhere you want to, and you can go first class -- if you've got the resources to handle it. Resources are the character's cash flow. You'll need to determine the source of your character's income. Is it an inheritance, or does he still hold down a job? Where does he spend his money, and what kind of lifestyle does he lead? And just what the hell do Fairies need money for anyway?
* Small savings: You have an apartment and perhaps a motorcycle (though of course you're too small to ride it). If liquidated, you would have about $1,000 in cash. You have an allowance of $500 a month, though Mom and Dad will be reluctant to give it to you if you forget to take out the trash.
** Middle class: You have an apartment or a condominium. If liquidated, you would be dead and couldn't spend the money. Though you get an allowance of $1,200 a month anyways.
*** Large savings: You own a house. If liquidated, you would turn out to be about 2/3 water and some amino acids. You You have an allowance of $9,000 a month.
**** You are wealthy. You own a very large house or perhaps not. If liquidated, you would have $500,000 in cash. You have an allowance of $9,000 a month.
***** You are easily a millionaire several times over. In fact, you probably have a stately manor or a stately yacht or a secret Fairy-Cave. If liquidated, you would have at least $5,000,000 in cash. You have an allowance of $50,000 a month, and you'd really better not forget to take out the trash.
"Gotta be the shoes!" --Spike Lee, "Those Really Annoying Nike Ads"
Fairies, as everyone knows, are obsessed with cobbling. Therefore, it is only natural that Fairies have great respect for a good pair of footgear. This background allows Fairies to have the shoes they so richly deserve. For every point of this background, the Fairy gets to add a dot to his manipulation score when dealing with other Fairies.
* A cheap pair of shoes with poor support, like those old canvas Converse Chuck Taylors.
** Your average overpriced tennis shoe.
*** A pair of hideously expensive sneakers, probably with a Pump or flashing lights in the sole or something similarly stupid that no-one really uses anyway.
**** Some nice formal footwear, or maybe a whole bunch of nice casual footwear, like three pairs of penny loafers.
***** Some really nice, really expensive shoes, perhaps some nice Italian loafers or some good-looking snakeskin boots.
Fairy-ness is the quality that sets Fairies apart from things that are not Fairies, like blue-green algae, CD players, Tim, and Bela Lugosi. By definition, all Fairies have one point of Fairy-ness and things that are not Fairies do not.
However, there are some Fairies that look more like Fairies than others. These Fairies probably have more than one point of Fairy-ness, and therefore it is more obvious that they are Fairies.
Fairies can also use Fairy-ness to increase the power of a magjick effect, though if their Fairy-ness ever drops to zero they are no longer Fairies and instead become something else (probably very short people). This is a mindlessly boring event that should be played up for its angst potential.
At the end of every session, lost Fairy-ness may be retained by rolling against the regular Fairy-ness value, with one point retained for every success. Points of temporary Fairy-ness cannot be regained.
It is also possible to have temporary points of Fairy-ness, which can be purchased with Freebie points. This temporary Fairy-ness eventually is used up and does not return (like regular Fairy-ness).
At the end of every session you should dish out experience points to every character. Assigning experience requires careful balance. It's important that the players feel as though their characters are improving. At the same time, however, it's also important to prevent the characters from becoming munchkinized little weenies like the types so prevalent in The Other Games
Award each character from one to five experience points at the end of each session. A character will always get one experience point regardless of whether or not he succeeds or fails, simply for being there.
* One Point -- Automatic. The character always gets this point.
* One Point -- Learning Curve. If the character learned something important from his experiences during the chapter. We suggest multiple-choice surprise quizzes to test a character's learning.
* One Point -- Acting. The player roleplayed well -- not only entertainingly but appropriately. Award for exceptional roleplaying only; your standards should get increasingly higher, like an aloof estranged parent who's difficult to please.
* One Point -- Fixing Shoes. Did the character fix shoes in the story? If so, did he do it because it was something his character would do or just because he knew you'd be handing out experience points for it?
* One Point -- Just For The Hell Of It. Award this experience point whenever you feel like it. If the players question it, just say "Because I said so." If they still keep bugging you about it, kill their characters to teach them a lesson.
Experience is spent just like it is in every other White Wolf game. And let's be blunt when we say you wouldn't have purchased a copy of this game if you hadn't already purchased a copy of Vampire: The Masquerade. So go and read the experience rules in that book and stop looking at us like that.
"We're dangerous dudes, we got bad attitudes
Most of our brain cells are gone
We were born to be bad, you better not get us mad
Or we might just toilet-paper your lawn."
--Weird Al Yankovic, "Young, Dumb & Ugly"
Story: You used to live the way you had for a hundred years: every day you got up out of the mushroom, went to work, and came back. Then one day the mushroom was gone. Something called "The Shoemacher Corporation" had paved over your mushroom and put an amusement park in its place. Now you're really smurfed. Vengeance is your only goal, and there's only one way to achieve it: from the inside.
Appearance: You're about four inches tall and blue. Really blue. You've got the cutest adorable little features, and the short little nubbin of a tail doesn't help when you want to look tough. You also wear a stupid little hat, but that's something else entirely.
Quote: "Yeah, well smurf you too, pal."
Spheres: Cute (2) Happy (1)
Least Favorite Cartoon: The Snorks
Claws -- Shut the smurf up, Santa, and go away.
Cobblers -- Who smurfs a smurf about their smurfin' shoes?
Crustacea -- What's so smurfin' great about smurfin' lobsters?
Gaelick -- Love the guns, but everything else has got to go.
Green -- Ah, smurf the environment, gimme my mushroom back.
Legal -- Take your smurfin' forms and smurf the smurf your smurf.
Styx -- Buncha smurfin poseurs make me wanna smurf.
Way -- Smurf?
Character Ides: Street mime, soup ingreedient.
Story: Way up north where the air gets cold, there's a tale about Christmas that you've all been told. About a world famous cat all dressed up in red, who spends the whole year workin' out in his sled. You used to work for him, but recent budget limitations meant you got laid off. You've been thrust into a cruel, uncaring world with a wardrobe you can only wear one month a year and no practical skills. Then you found out about...the Cobbling.
Appearance: You're about three feet tall and dressed almost entirely in red with white furry fringe. You wear mittens and woolens even in the heat of summer (they're the only clothes you own). Most people can pick you out of a crowd thanks to your pointy ears.
Quote: "Do you know who you're messing with? I used to work for the Claus, pal!"
Spheres: Nice (2) Fun (1)
Day of Reckoning: Feast of the Annunciation ("You mean in 9 months we have to do this again?")
Other Gangs Blue Boys -- I don't understand how someone so blue can be so mad.
Cobblers -- Well, what if we made toy shoes?
Crustacea -- Hey, if you were cooked, our wardrobes would match.
Gaelick -- Um, don't you think you might be overreacting a bit?
Green -- Well, yeah, nature's nice, but what about the kids?
Legal -- Can you get me my job back in the next round of talks?
Styx -- Why don't you have a candy cane and lighten up?
Way -- Does Buddha give out presents too? And is he hiring?
Character Ideas: Disgruntled union representative, sherpa.
Story: You have always worked towards the Cobbling ever since you were a small Fairy, knee-high to a grasshopper. You studied under the cobbling masters in Obergangengaschnicht, the masters of Chinese footbinding in Chungking, and the masters of savate in Paris. If there's one thing you've learned, it's that you really hate shoes. But there's some moving and shaking to do. And you're the one who can do it.
Appearance: You're about four feet tall and wear green leiderhosen and a cap with a feather in it at all times. You're generally grumpy because you hate leiderhosen and feathers, but this has been the traditional costume of your gang for generations. As soon as this Cobbling thing is over you're going to Today's Man and getting some real clothes. You generally have really nice shoes, which annoys you because you wanted some comfortable flip-flops.
Quote: "Hey, wingtips! Haven't seen those in a while."
Spheres: Nice (2) Cute (1)
Bobos: They make your feet feel fine.
Blue Boys -- Don't the feetie pajamas defeat the point of shoes?
Claws -- Can I interest you in a nice pair of snowshoes?
Crustacea -- You know, ten legs means an awful lot of shoes.
Gaelick -- You guys used to go in for those pointy-tipped deals...
Green -- Earth shoes... *shudder*.
Legal -- Now there are people who know about Italian leather.
Styx -- Hmm... so I take it you'll be wanting Doc Martens then?
Way -- Sound of one hand what?
Character Ideas: Shoe salesman, kickboxer.
Story: You're the bottom feeders of society, living off the scum at the bottom and rarely coming into the light. Life used to be simple. You'd stay at the bottom of the sea, and every few years some fisherman would drag you up. You'd grant him a wish if he'd let you go. But last time something different happened. They didn't want to seem to listen. You managed to escape, and now you're alone in the big bad city.
Appearance: You're about eight inches long, and any of a variety of colors (though you won't turn bright red until you've been thoroughly cooked). You've got a tough, spiny exoskeleton, ten legs, and two freakin' huge claws.
Quote: "I make terrible Thermidor. Now see him? He'd taste great with a little melted butter. Trust me."
Spheres: Nice (2) Happy (1)
Taste Good WIth: A little tartar sauce.
Blue Boys -- Mushrooms? Sure! Just don't hurt me!
Claws -- You need a new job? Sure! Just don't hurt me!
Cobblers -- Shoes? No prob! Just don't hurt me!
Gaelick -- Pots of gold? Sure! Just don't hurt me!
Green -- You want the rain forest back? Sure! Just don't hurt me!
Legal -- Friendly judges? Sure! Just don't sue me!
Styx -- Just don't hurt me!
Way -- I don't understand you! Just don't hurt me!
Character Ideas: Lobster.
Story: Once you were rich. You were on top of the world. And then the Federal Government went off the gold standard. Let me tell you, no Irish eyes were smiling that day. With all your precious gold devalued, you left to seek your fortunes in the world. But your skills were useless in this modern society, and besides, everyone thinks you look weird. Then, in the mid '80s, you fell in with that survivalist group...
Appearance: The only color in your wardrobe is green. Not that wussy emerald green, but olive drab. Sure, you wear the traditional leprechaun outfit, but not unless it's in camouflage.
Quote: "Faith 'n' begorrah, 'tis sure a lousy accent I be having."
Spheres: Fun (2) Nice (1)
Favourite Politician: James Watts. Now he had style...
Blue Boys -- A nice little bunch of scrappers. Gotta love 'em.
Claws -- A little soft, but we can work on that.
Cobblers -- Nice shoes. I prefer hiking boots myself.
Crustacea -- Dinner.
Green -- When your forests are wastelands we'll see who's laughing.
Legal -- They do good work. For yuppie scum who won't survive.
Styx -- I should wipe you losers off of the map right now.
Way -- Keep your philosophy crap. All I need are guns and ammo.
Character Ideas: Ex-military officer, gun collector.
Story: The forest has always been your home, and you've loved it since birth. But then one day the owls started disappearing, and those nice people wearing flannel showed up, and then there was a lot less forest. But then one day they vanished too and a bunch of people showed up talking about 'old growth forests' and 'eco-terrorism'. And some of what they were talking about made sense...
Appearance: You're only about 8" tall and have a pair of shimmering insect-like wings sprouting from your back. You constantly wear camouflage, despite the fact that your small size prevents people from ever seeing you anyhow.
Quote: "I go outside and Frolick in the Glory that is Nature."
Spheres: Happy (2) Cute (1)
Favorite Movie: "On Deadly Ground."
Blue Boys -- It's a pity about the mushrooms. Will toadstools do?
Claws -- I feel sorry for you... there are no trees at the Pole.
Cobblers -- Do you have any Earth shoes?
Crustacea -- This is because of dumping waste in the ocean, right?
Gaelick -- They used to be so nice... where did we go wrong?
Legal -- When I think of all the paper they use... *shudder*.
Styx -- I like the idea of hemp clothing... it is all natural.
Way -- You mean next time I might come back as a tree?
Character Ideas: Eco-terrorist, animal lover.
Story: All was bliss and charm in the days of the great Fairy Court, under Oberon and Titania. Those happy days are gone forever, however. One day you returned to that magjickal land, the Seelie Court, to find that Northstar International, a subsidiary of the evil world-girdling Shoemacher Corporation, had started construction on a new factory on your property. The members of the court had to change, to become something different. They filed an injunction and became -- Gang Legal. To this very day they fight the Schumacher corporation and all of its puppet corporations, prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law.
Appearance: You look like lawyers, only much shorter. Pinstripes are out, red power ties are still in. And the briefcase is a must to complement your favorite pair of shoes.
Quote: "Maybe we can settle out of court. You build your parking garage in this place marked Garou Forest instead of our homeland."
Spheres: Cute (2) Fun (1)
Must-Read: "The Bailiff" by John Grisham.
Blue Boys -- They're good guys, but they wear stupid hats.
Claws - Terrible witnesses. Who believes a man in a Santa suit?
Cobblers -- Their obsession with the Cobbling is not healthy.
Crustacea -- The lobsters of fate are mighty indeed.
Gaelick -- Our closest brethren, those who pay for many suits; both class-action and Armani.
Green -- If they'd try to settle in court instead of with TNT...
Styx -- Can't keep their Story straight on the stand.
Way -- One hand what?
Character Ideas: Corporate lawyer, patent lawyer, workman's comp lawyer, divorce lawyer, district attorney, public defender...
History: The Styx were once a group of Fairies who lived on the banks of the river Styx, the river of forgetfulness. They were always happy, for ignorance is bliss. Then one day they forgot where the river was. Now, they forever roam the countryside, searching for the river that was once their home and the happiness that was their youth. You know, the typical angst-filled coming of age thing.
Appearance: You're about three feet tall, have shimmering gossamer wings, and dress almost totally in black. In other words, you look like every cliched picture of fairies in the world, except you're terminally depressed.
Quote: "Hey, why couldn't the game be called 'Pixie: The Styx'?"
Spheres: Happy (2) Fun (1)
Favourite Band: The Stones.
Blue Boys -- Hey! You guys used to be on TV, right?
Claws -- An' I wan' a dolly an' a GI Joey an' a...
Cobblers -- Got any Air Jordans?
Crustacea -- Whoa, did you smoke something or was it me this time?
Gaelick -- Isn't Saint Patty's day next month?
Green -- You take things to seriously, man.
Legal -- I hope I never grow up to become one of those, man.
Way -- Ah, whatever.
Character Ideas: Whiny loser Generation X type.
Story: Not much, really, Gang Way is just an example of what happens when you raise a bunch of Buddhist fairies, tell them that they're Daoists, and then sic 'em on an unsuspecting world. In other words, they're very confused and more than just a little annoying.
Appearance: You're short and fat, like Buddha. Just like Buddha, in fact. People probably can't tell the two of you apart. Not like many people have personally met Buddha, mind you.
Quote: "No, those are Hindus. We're Buddhists."
Spheres: Fun (2) Nice (1)
Sound of One Hand Clapping: Whiff.
Blue Boys -- Such anger is not good. Focus.
Claws -- You have a major religious figure doing what?
Cobblers -- You overdo the shoe bit maybe just a tad.
Crustacea -- I think I may go have to take a bit of a lie-down, the lamasery did not prepare me for this.
Gaelick -- Ah, but true wisdom will always survive.
Green -- If a tree falls in the forest...
Legal -- Hmm. You realize, of course, money has no value.
Styx -- You just don't get it, do you?
Character Idea: Short fat guy.
The rules governing magjick are quite similar to those from Mage: The Ascension. So if you don't already have a copy go out and purchase one right now. You heard me.
However, Fairies have their own weird spheres of magic. Instead of the usual mage spheres, they can select from the spheres of Happy, Fun, Nice, and Cute.
"Happy happy joy joy, happy happy joy joy
Happy happy joy joy, happy happy joy joy
Happy happy joy joy, happy happy joy joy
Happy happy joy joy joy."
--Stinky Wizzlefoot, "The Ren & Stimpy Show"
Happy magic allows you to do things that are happy, like create a cute doll ("I know that, but what does it mean?"), or raise serotonin levels in someone's brain, or cause world peace. Well, maybe not that last one.
* You can get people to not worry and be happy. But then, so can Bobby McFerrin, so big whoop-de-do.
** By altering a few aspects of brain chemistry, you can make people permanently happy. Of course, they'll get really annoying after a while.
*** Without altering brain chemistry, you can make people Happy by creating things to give to them, a major magjick effect that all Fairies should endeavor to master.
**** World peace? Easy stuff.
***** You can teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. And in fact, you've probably done so.
"We'll have fun, fun, fun
'Til her daddy takes her T-bird away."
--The Beach Boys, "I Can't Remember What The Song Is Called"
Fun magjick contains the essence of Fun, which is also somewhat Happy, but we'll ignore it for that. Disciples of Fun can whip up Fun on short notice, and most of their powers are geared towards doing so.
* This is the lowest level of Fun magjick, your character can't really create much of a good time with it, but might be able to muster up some party streamers or something.
** Lampshades for everyone can be generated by a simple level 2 Fun effect. Large amounts of alcoholic beverages can also be generated, but that ceases to be Fun after a time.
*** You can spark hedonistic instincts in everyone. In fact, you
***** A character with five dots of Nice magjick can actively perform feats of tremendous niceness, the most famous of which is known as "the wish" (no wishing for more wishes, please). This level is the type typically associated with wood sprites or magic lobsters.
"I'm cute, yes it's true.
I really can't help it, but what can I do?"
--Dot Warner, "I'm Cute"
The magjick of Cute is different from all other spheres of magjick in that it is active even when the character does not actively use it. This is because the nature of Cute magjick warps and distorts a character's personality and Appearance until she becomes forever Cute. Once a character starts down the Cute path, forever will it dominate his destiny.
Cute magic goes a long way to influencing the minds of others, and helps when trying to do Cute things with other forms of magjick.
* A character with level one Cute might be able to masquerade as a stuffed doll until he was poked, prodded, or whacked by an annoying child.
** Your character is so Cute that he probably has a line of fuzzy toys based on him, a PBS kid's show, and thousands of screaming juvenile fans.
*** With this level of Cute, your character can curb violent impulses in the most violent of people, be they just plain psychotic or far nastier things like Marauders, Nephandi, or demons.
**** Your Cute becomes infectious at this point, so that people will actively help you (instead of just not blowing you away). Life becomes amazingly easy.
***** Your character can make himself look so Cute that the laws of reality warp around him. He can walk through major land wars and come out unscathed, fall off a building and survive, mostly because everyone knows these things never happen to Cute.
"Everyone knows you won't do anything unless you are bribed, tricked, or forced. Because nothing is worth doing for its own sake. So learn to be bored. We're bored, so you should be too." --Matt Groening, "School is Hell"
You can combine your magjick abilities in a variety of annoying and fruitless ways. The most typical of these are rotes, which allow your character to perform magic feats with no originality on your part. Here are some ideas:
"Trapped in a world he never made." --"Howard the Duck"
During spellcasting, each point of Fairy-ness that is spent increases all of a character's sphere ratings by one, but only for the duration of one spell.
"Leprechauns and Soviet armor... what a combination!" --Gina Diggers, "Gold Digger"
Combat is not necessary in Fairy: The Cobbling. In fact, we strongly suggest that you not use combat at all. Mostly because we don't have all that great a combat system...
If you absolutely, positively, must include combat in your Fairy: The Combat game, there is a simple method for conducting it. Roll lots of dice. Then ignore the results of all of them and pick a winner for some silly and arbitrary reason.
This may seem stupid, but it is certainly a lot better than our regular combat system.
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." --Death, "Sandman"
Combat is a dangerous business. When Fairies can smash bricks with their bare fists, it becomes too easy to kill another. Even two friends fighting honorably could accidentally land a killing blow.
There is no game rule to govern when a character dies. Death is such a tragic event that the Storyteller should decide when an injury's effects are terminal. The death of even a minor character should be dramatic event in a Story.
However, there is a way to cheat death. Creatures of magjick that they are, the very forces of belief can restore them. If you can convince enough of the players to clap while your character is dying, he is magjickally restored to full vitality.
Other races in the World of Darkness like Fairies, but in different ways. Werewolves, for example, like Fairies on the ends of pointy little snakes. Mages like Fairies engulfed in large balls of fire. Vampires like Fairies in tiny little bits, unless they are Malkavians, in which case they like Fairies between two pieces of rye with a little Swiss cheese, lettuce, and maybe a gherkin.
If you're really interested, Fairies taste like chicken. Really.
"They're just right wing pigeons from outer space
Sent here to destroy the human race."
--The Dead Milkmen, "Right Wing Pigeons"
It's more or less mandatory that new Storyteller games have to have a globe-spanning conspiracy that no-one has discovered until now. In Fairy, the Shoemacher Corporation fills that void.
The Shoemacher Corporation is a globe-spanning conspiracy that controls world footgear. They have established a rigid schedule which determines the rate at which improvements in shoes can be made, and are also responsible for restricting the availability of specific types of footwear to the majority of the population.
Fairies believe that without the interference of the Shoemacher Corporation, the world would be a far better place and the Cobbling would have taken place a long time ago. As a result, Fairies have sworn to overthrow the Shoemacher Corporation and liberate the feet of the world.
In any chronicle the Shoemacher Corporation should be the chief enemy. They are devious, cunning, and ruthlessly devoted to oppressing the feet of the world.
"I will stand here, looking... moody, and feeling... sorry for myself." --Swoon, "Cerebus"
The Lost Ones were a gang of Fairies who were moving to Kentucky, but then they got, well, lost. They stumbled across the headquarters of the Shoemacher Corporation, who turned them to evil.
The Lost Ones can come from any gang of Fairies, but they are all uncontrovertably evil. They spend most of their time wearing black, looking gloomy, and having angst. In short, they are the antithesis of everything that Fairies stand for.
Some say that the Lost Ones seek to destroy all Fairies because they remind them of the vibrant spark of life they once possessed, though others say that they're too busy seeking a good psychoanalyst to worry about much else.
"So come on you Moslems and you Jews
We've got big news for all of youse
You'd better change your point of view today
'Cause the Inquisition's here and it's here to stay!"
--Mel Brooks, "History of the World Part 1"
Death to Changeling: The Dreaming!
Vampire: The Masquerade; Werewolf: The Apocalypse; Mage: The Ascension; Wraith : the Oblivion; and Street Fighter: The One That Doesn't Really Fit In With The Others. Also inspired by a lot of other things, including a steady diet of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Saturday morning cartoons, and comic books, but especially the ICW gaming group, without whom I would not be as deranged as I am today.
Fairy : The Cobbling Player's Companion
San Francisco by Night
Secrets of Shoemacher
It's a joke. Really. Trust me. Wait, what are you looking at me like that for? Put down the knife, I'm not worth it! Really!
Fairy: The Cobbling is copyright 1995 David White (Though of course the rules are copyright 1995 White Wolf Games Studio).