|<< The Basics||Rulebook > Getting Started||How To Play >>|
Casual gameplay has always been a priority of mine, and so I've tried my best to create a blend between roleplay and dice... and so, every player opens a Journal and every GM opens a Campaign Book.
Campaign Books require some knowledge of the system before it is possible to fill the book out. If you would like to have a copy of a Campaign Book to fill out as you read along, please refer to Campaign Books in Additional Reading. Campaign Books also includes a link to FAE Campaigns, a pre-made set of Campaign Books that you can use if you have no time or desire to make one yourself. More campaigns are added when our team has funding and time, so stay tuned in for more and donate if you've enjoyed the system. It takes many long hours to build and test an official campaign, checking that all the skills, mechanics and items are balanced in use and that the storylines are as engaging as the world around them is.
Guide to Beginning
I personally recommend that you fill out a Campaign Book before beginning a campaign but after you've gotten a feel of the player's tastes. If your players want to be in a postmodern apocalypse with plenty of monstergirls, designing a spaghetti western with lots of oiled-up cowboys won't please them. Trust me, I've had plenty of my players want to start new campaigns because the original theme just didn't appeal to them or deviated along the way-- and that's okay! FAE is all about new experiences, and characters are built with features that carry from game to game.
Every player starts the session by opening their Journal. Their Journal acts as a recorder of their character's progress, listing every skill they've ever learned, their full stats, their racial makeup and their inventory. Whenever a skill, race or item in the Journal conflicts with the rules, the text of the Journal wins out! Of course, the GM's word is above all, so feel free to fix any imbalances that result from inexperience, sleepiness or a lack of text clarity. Whenever you fix a skill, just remember to give your player a small consolation prize... and for a Journal template that you can copy and paste into Google Docs, Open Office or a program of your choosing, please consult Journal Templates in Additional Reading.
After opening their first Journal, players will need to decide what to do with their Skill Points. The GM decides how many Skill Points players begin with, with the recommendation being 5 for a much more difficult game and 10 for a standard campaign. These points can be invested into any stat, any non-Heritage skill and a variety of low level Artifacts. Figuring out where to spend these skill points is the most difficult part of making a new character, so allow the player to adjust their investment in stats and skills with their points as you work with them through the process of starting the Journal. For more information about Stats, consult Virtues, Sins and Corruption. For more information about Skills, please consult Skills and Titles and also consider consulting our premade skills in the Fae Skills module.
If you have an abundance of players, don't adjust the point values downwards despite what your intuition might suggest. Most players don't have unified goals-- for example, a Fae campaign with 3 players may have those three players do tasks independently rather than as a party. That means players also need to hold their own away from the group, and so those stat points are crucial.
Power = Speed
Giving players more points makes the game run faster. A 15-point player is stronger than a 10-point player and, as a result, can forgo 10-point problems to tackle 15-point problems sooner.
Next, players should pick a Racial Template, a Gender/Sex, and generally develop the theme of their character. Every player begins with a Racial Template which lists their racial traits. Some races have more traits and some races have less-- and don't be afraid to let your player mix and match! Over the course of a campaign, most players hybridize their race with [Fae Shapeshifting] to suit their needs. [Fae Shapeshifting] is one of the major Heritages and comes bundled in a player's power set for free. Alternatively, only allow players to hybridize their race if they've gained both racial templates in previous campaigns using [Fae Lineage]. For more information about these two Heritage skills, please see the section Fae Heritage in Additional Reading.
Afterwards comes the Gender/Sex of the character. While a large majority of players will feel pressured into playing their own gender and sex, you should gently encourage them to be another gender or sex to give them that gender or sex's perspective on the world. The standard sexes used in this book are Both, Male, Female and Neither, and this refers to the sex organs the individual has. If you are Male, you have male reproductive organs-- for a human, this is a cock and balls. If you are Female, you have the female sex organs-- for a human, these are breasts and wombs. If you are Both, you have both the male reproductive and the female reproductive organs-- a condition known as hermaphroditism in biology. If you are Neither, you either lack a reproductive organ of one or both sexes or you are devoid of all sexual organs. None of these are 'better' or 'worse' to be, but they do affect which skills you can take that relate to reproduction.
The genders included in this game are [Cisgender] by default, with [Transgender], [Agender] and [Genderfluid]. These genders are modeled as traits the players can take for free. By the time your players have made these choices of Race, Sex and Gender, they should already be growing a firm idea in their head of what kind of character they want to play. When you think they're ready, move on to the next section. To look at the list of premade Racial Templates, please consult Fae Races in Additional Reading. To see a list of premade racial and sexual traits, please consult Fae Traits in Additional Reading as well.
Unusual Races and Backgrounds
If a player wants to be a robot with elf ears and organs made of straw, you should let them be their Strawelf Robot and not impose regulations on their freedom. This game is not about the GM's setting, nor is it about the overarching plot. It's about the relationships between characters, and that gap moe of a character who doesn't fit with their setting is often a great way to kickstart a storyline. Consider this: if your players are unusual, you can tackle subjects like being a subservient race or a lower class citizen falling in love with a prince or a noble lady. Classic faerie tale stuff, and a great way to fuel relationship plotlines-- already, the conflict from the society and the perception of forbidden love creates antagonists and goals for the player to conquer. In most cases, diversity breeds intrigue and fun.
Next, players need to define their boundaries with the GM and the group, if applicable. If a player feels uncomfortable with catboys pissing on their clothes in a battle for sexual dominance, then they need to write 'watersports' in their Squicks. Equally important is making sure players are defining their interests! If a player realizes that mermaids in latex BDSM suits are their thing, then they should note 'Latex' as a Kink! GMs ought to know exactly what the player likes to tailor both enemies and friends to be sexually appealing to them-- for our sample player with [Kink:Latex+BDSM] and [Squick:Watersports], encountering a slime should result in a 'Latex Slime', not just a regular jelly. Most importantly, god forbid you pit them against a 'Piss Slime', since the player chose Watersports in their Squicks. For a comprehensive list of Squicks and Kinks, see the Kink Glossary in Additional Reading. If you'd like to read more in-depth about the history and cultural impact of kinks, check the Kink Encyclopedia as well.
Lastly, players will need to shore up different parts of their character sheet. It is recommended that you don't begin your players with the full list of Fae Heritages and Properties until they are familiar with the system, as they are complex 'unfolding' systems. Instead, give them 10 HP and the skill [Fae Heritage] and tell them they'll get to understand the mechanic as they play. It is recommended that you start them out with a standard package of [QUA 0] items. Fae Items and the Campaign Guide in Additional Reading both discuss creating 'item bundles' and 'starting properties'. Make sure that your player is prepared to do the basics of the job that they're aiming for. If your player wants to be an alchemist or an Esper, don't let them squander all of their Skill Points on dancing skills! You need to help them pick the right stats and skills using their Skill Points. In order to do this, you need to have a strong grasp on the rulebook... so, read ahead!
Titles for a Background
Take your players and talk to them about their background within the setting. If they were raised on their wealth and influence, then they should take the title [Silver Spoon] to accompany it! No title is free lunch. While [Silver Spoon] may sound like a title with no disadvantages, it makes one a target for kidnapping as well as political struggles. Having a fun mix of titles to begin with is a good way to start, and helps make the process more entertaining!