SG: Fae Templates
You can use the following templates to help define fae characters. This is not an inclusive list; other types of fae are possible. When coming up with a new type of fae, work with the GM first to be certain it doesn’t fit best under one of these templates, and also to come up with something that will work well for your game.
The Beast. These fae have something in common with an animal or creature, often right out of legend. Minotaurs, mermaids, selkies, centaurs and satyrs are all examples of fae beast folk. Add a descriptive name with (Beast) to your High Concept to indicate what you are and make some notes as to your real appearance. The Mask will lend you a human equivalent or even hide parts that might take up more space than a human usually could.
Beasts can invoke their aspect for a bonus on appropriate Notice and Investigation rolls that use senses that might be enhanced due to their animal nature, or due to their physical changed. For example a fae with the head of a wolf might invoke his aspect for a bonus when using the sense of smell or hearing, or to counter any penalty for trying to see in the dark. Fae with features from water creatures like mermaids and selkies do should be able to invoke the aspect for a bonus to swimming and holding their breath under water. Spending a Fate point might not always be necessary. Sometimes a character might use a create an advantage action to activate the aspect, or if they need a non-mechanical effect such as the wolf-headed fae’s ability to identify and differentiate scents so they can track someone, the GM can say they are able to do so without spending Fate simply because they have the appropriate aspect.
Beasts often spent their time in Fairy as the animal they resemble. Beast aspects can be compelled to restrict the fae from thinking a situation completely through, or to do something rash, when it benefits the story.
The Brute. Many fae in stories can be described as giants, cyclops, ogres, trolls or other very large creatures. The Brute is a template to reflect these fae. Built (or re-built) for strength and size, Brutes add this descriptor to their High Concept aspect. Make notes about what makes your character so strong and describe his physical appearance both as a fae and how his Mask makes him appear to mortals.
Brutes can invoke this aspect when they need a bonus to strength-related activities. They usually have high Physique skills. They can also invoke this aspect for a bonus on Provoke actions to intimidate others.
Brutes are not known for being nimble. This aspect can be compelled to restrict or penalize actions requiring a delicate touch or fine coordination.
The Dark. These fae often began has mortals who lost their way. Perhaps it was a shortcut gone awry, or a wrong turn then led them into an alley that led them somewhere else. Perhaps they fell through the cracks of their world after unwittingly swearing a promise upon their birth name to some Unseelie fae only to subsequently broke their word.
Whatever happened, these fae found themselves in one of the realms of Faerie. They were marked and retain an affinity for the dark places of the world and of Faerie. The dark fae may have characteristics similar to vampires, gaining a bonus to heal injuries by feeding on the blood of the innocent. Others might be dopplegangers capable of shape-changing, taking on the physical appearance of others by manipulating the Mask. Or perhaps the dark fae lurks about in the darkest tunnels, able to slither through places that should be too small for them to navigate. Whatever kind of dark fae they are, be certain to write notes describing what the character is.
Dark fae can invoke their aspect to gain a bonus to whatever activity matches their nature, or to enable them to do something others cannot. For example, a doppleganger might change their appearance at will, while spending a fate point and invoking their aspect can provide a bonus to their Deceive skill to appear as a particular person. Dark fae characters can also invoke their aspect for a bonus on Stealth and Deceive rolls when the environment is dark.
Dark fae have a weakness to light and powers of the light. Compel the dark fae aspect when dramatically appropriate to restrict a character’s actions when exposed to bright light, or light-based magic.
The Elemental. There are four classic categories of this type of fae: The sylph (air), salamander (fire), nymph (water), and the gnome (earth). Dryads, which have a strong affinity to trees, are usually considered an elemental as well. In addition, their may be elementals of electricity, metals, and even pollution. Whatever type of elemental this fae is, they are usually either born this way or have had their mortal soul stolen and used to animate a statue or other construct built by a Sidhe Lord.
Consider nymphs and dryads. These fae might steal mortals to mate with, and thereby give birth to daughters. An earthen gnome made of clay and fashioned by a Sidhe Lord might be imbued with life when the Sidhe rips the soul away from a mortal victim and stores it within the body he fashioned.
Elementals invoke their aspect in order to draw upon their elemental nature. Air elementals such as sylphs can invoke their aspect to gain a bonus to actions requiring speed of body or of thought. Fire elementals such as salamanders can invoke their aspect for a bonus to resist being burned and for rolls where quick wits can come into play. Water elementals such as nymphs can breathe and move under water without restriction with the expenditure of a Fate point. Earth elementals like gnomes can invoke their aspect for a bonus to strength. Wood elementals like dryads can invoke their aspect for a bonus to disappear into foliage, or to turn a tree into a natural passage to a small home in Faerie.
Elementals tend to be more removed from humanity and of all the fae, they have the least ability to understand mortals. Compel the elemental aspect to restrict the character during scenes in which the elemental must perceive mortal motivations or to manipulate them.
The Fair One. These fae can sometimes be mistaken for one of the Sidhe because they are so beautiful. Yet they are identifiable as fae because they always have one or more feature that, while not monstrous, is simply much too extreme to be mistaken. For example, one fair might be a bright elf, tall, graceful and handsome but with long, tapering ears that extend far past their heads. Another might be a small, cute elfish waif both dainty and nimble and especially at home in the forest, but have skin the color of leaves in spring. All fae have suffered abuses at the hands of more powerful fae or even Sidhe masters, but these fae have suffered most emotionally as they were continually exposed to terrible beauty and fascinating horror again and again. The Mask always conceals that which makes them inhuman as it does for all fae, but even the Mask cannot hide the fact they are so very beautiful.
The fair ones can invoke this aspect to gain a bonus on rolls where their presence (Provoke rolls) and personal good looks (Rapport rolls) can come into play. They can also invoke it when attempting to manipulate people using Deceive or Rapport.
Their experiences in Fairy have left the fair ones emotionally cool and callous. Compel this aspect to restrict the character’s actions in scenes where being vicious, cruel or selfish can add drama to the story.
The Goblin. Shriveled, wizened little beings, goblins are humans that have been bent to a particular task in fairy so long and so hard that their task has warped their body, and sometimes their souls. They may appear as wizened little men, gray-skinned aliens, imps, or any sort of fairy bent on vandalism when angry or industry when creative. Whatever they may be now, in Fairy, they were driven with malevolent purpose to the pursuit of one skill above all others. They may be butlers, inventors, soldiers, surgeons, or crafters of any sort. Now free of their captivity, these fae may be either a dangerous enemy or a most inventive ally.
Goblins can invoke their aspect to gain a bonus on rolls where nimbleness and creativity are important, as well as any roll for a particular skill for which the individual is known.
Their transformation into a goblin (or growing up as one!) has left its physical and emotional marks upon goblins. Compel this aspect to restrict actions where how they look might make a difference. Or, compel this aspect to restrict actions where being noticed is important.
Choosing Fae Magic and Powers
Refer to the description of your character that you created when selecting the type of fae he or she is. If it makes sense for the character to have a power, then you should be able to purchase it, provided you can meet any costs. When in doubt, discuss the purchase with the GM.
As the campaign continues and your character evolves, he or she may have aspects change to reflect exposure to magic or the development of new abilities. Be sure to modify your character’s description as needed, and then consider what new powers you might select. Again, when in doubt, discuss the purchase with the GM.
Note that fae powers may be somewhat more powerful than stunts. This is intentional because these powers are meant to reinforce what makes the character not only special, but supernatural.
Special Consideration: Fae Weaknesses
All fae suffer from a peculiar weakness to what they call Cold Iron. This is iron that has not been significantly refined to create alloys or make steel. This kind of iron isn't used often today, but might still be found in materials made by blacksmiths and in museums. Many fae are uncomfortable around cold iron because they know what it can do.
In any scene involving fae characters, should an item made of such relatively raw iron be employed against them, a Cold Iron aspect may come into play. This is usually attached to the item. It can be invoked once for free each scene in order to gain a mechanical bonus. If the item is being used as a weapon, then it can be invoked for a bonus to attack with it. That adds a +2 to the roll, but fae magic unravels with the touch of cold iron. This means that if the fae was using magic to provide some kind of defense, that defense is ignored. Mechanically, any fae magic skill used as a defense against a cold iron weapons becomes Mediocre (+0) for that defense roll. Armor bonuses or any other aspects placed using fae magic for a defensive purpose are ignored.
Just as worrisome for fae is the idea of cold iron used to capture and restrain a fae. If the fae is in direct contact with something made of cold iron that is meant to restrain, then the fae cannot use any of her magical skills or fae stunts until she somehow overcomes the Restrained by Cold Iron aspect she has acquired.
Next: Fae Magic