We-View Wednesday and Tabletop Thursday – Faery’s Tale

Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover’s fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be
! – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

(Kind of appropriate to be writing about faeries on The Bard’s birthday, no?)

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This past Saturday night I dusted off my copy of the Faery’s Tale Deluxe Role Playing Game from Firefly Games, with the intention of playing it mostly with my younger daughter.  Truth be told, she had been pestering me to play it ever since I picked it up several months back.  I had explained the game to her, and we had made characters, but we never actually got around to playing it.  So on Saturday, I told her that if she did all of her chores for the day, we would play that night.

I asked my barely teen-aged daughter if she would like to play, and she cocked an eyebrow at me (she has very talented eyebrows) and said “Isn’t that a little kids game?  I think I would be bored after playing D&D.”  I convinced her that it could be quite fun (and followed it up with a bribe that if she didn’t like it, I would empty the dishwasher for her the next day.)  She reluctantly agreed.

Since this was our first time playing and i hadn’t prepped much, I decided to use the free adventure that Firefly games had on their site, “The Tournament of the Fey”, since that had a nice progression to teach how the game is played, as well as pre-created characters.

So we sat down and started discussing which characters they wanted to play.  They both immediately dismissed the brownie (housework?  EWWWW!) and the pouka (because the picture of the pouka was a boy and ugly.  Soon the eldest, P,  went with the sprite warrior, but made him female and named him, um, I mean her Oggie.  My younger daughter, E, went with the pixie.

Now my son, O, wanted nothing to do with the game.  After all, it was about faeries.  Ew.  (My kids say “ew” a lot.)  But then I showed him the sheet for the pouka, Gimlock.  I pointed out that it was an ugly boy fairy, and that they played a lot of tricks on people, and most importantly, they can change into animals!  Well, that sold it!

We settle in to play, and I must say, we all had a great time.  I had to help my son out a bit, coaching him a bit with some things.  My younger daughter fell right into it, roleplaying with all her heart and imagination, adding tons of details and story background to her character, and carrying on all of her conversations in character.  The tournament scenario worked out well, giving each player a chance to let their character shine by using their abilities in various contests…O changing into a frog and winning the frog hopping contest, E winning a singing contest (and she actually sang an impromptu song about butterflies on the spot), and P winning a jousting contest (riding on the back of O’s pouka, changed into a dragonfly).

The climax of the adventure was quite thrilling, with a evil dark fairy, the Redcap Sir Grim, arriving at the tournament and claiming the hand of Princess Joy in marriage.  Of course, challenges were issued, and the sprite engaged the redcap in single combat, while the pouka and pixie used their skills and abilities to keep the goblins that Sir Grim brought with him from cheating.

Needless to say, our heroes won the day, and saved Princess Joy from having to marry the evil Redcap.  The kids had a ball, and are asking when we can play again…which in my book is the best sign that they had a good time.  As far as the game itself, it is a wonderful gateway game into structured role playing for kids.  An extremely simple flexible system using six sided dice and only a few stats to keep track of. 

If you are interested in trying out Faery’s Tale, download the introductory pack that has characters, an adventure, and basic rules for the game.  Grab your young ones (or some young at heart ones) and give it a try.  I give Faery’s Tale Deluxe 4 crits.

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