Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Darker Side of the Fey

now back to our regular programming...

The Darker Side of the Fey

When it comes to the magical Fey, there is rarely a type one could call truly "good" or "bad". The creatures of Faerie, from which Sylvaeon sprang, are guided by their own ethics and customs, which seem strange to mortal men.

Humans are the late-comers to Sylvaeon and are often at best seen as a nuisance to the Fey - or at worst the target of faerie ire and malevolent pranks of retribution. Humans are loud, they and their animals trod upon Fey dwellings and sacred sites, they cut Fairy trees down without a care and many other offences against Faekind. These things and more make most humans seem foolish to the Fey and to be pitied by those that know better.

Fairy ire against a humans or livestock may be fatal! "Elf-shot" are magical flint darts or arrows that are fired against the worst offenders. If struck, a creature must save vs. magic and poison seperately or slowly lose their strength at 1 point per week (A fail of either saving roll causes the curse to go into effect, otherwise the shot does .5 Damage).  Death is the ultimate result of this, unless the wrath of the fairies is appeased. This is just one reason why the Folk try to stay on the good side of the Fey. If the fairy(s) are not appeased, the only way to lift the magical strength-sapping curse is to perform a Curse Disease ritual on a night of the full Silver Moon.

Goblins, Hobgoblins, Kelpie, Phooka, Brownies, Orculli and Trolls are perhaps some of the most vicious Fey creatures. Even these are shunned by most others of Faekind. Any human that encounters these is surely in for trouble!

Several  "dark" tactics of Sylvaeon's fairy creatures include:

  • luring travelers to an unsafe area, such as a cliff or river, etc. to meet their demise. Lorelei and Merrow are examples of those that do such things.
  • Elf shot, as previously described.
  • theft of valuables perceived as precious to humans. This can be annoying or even fatal!
  • "fairy terror", which is a kind of mental attack causing confusion and panic. A humanoid that does not save vs. Charm (note: elves are immune to this) is struck confused, may lose time or be overcome with maddening fright. A frightened person will flee in any random direction away from the faerie being.

In game terms, the Fey are simultaneously revered, feared and misunderstood - or perhaps even disbelieved in by some, especially city-dwellers. While there are innumerable kinds of Fey, some appear again and again in various guises and names. They tend to take on the language, customs and culture of those they live near, which has baffled many sages.

Some are benevolent, some are tricksterish, but all are driven by their own particular behaviors. Either way, one should never underestimate the wrath of a disgruntled fairy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Old RIFTS RPG Campaign World

My Old RIFTS RPG Campaign World

Rifts is a multi-genre role-playing game created by Kevin Siembieda in 1990 and published continuously by Palladium Books since then. Rifts takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, deriving elements from cyberpunk, science fiction, fantasy, horror, western, mythology and many other genres.

(from the Wikipedia)

Since I decided to get the RIFTS Canada world book, something  I have wanted to get for years, I looked to see if I had any notes left from my old RIFTS campaign of 2006-7.  I found one fragment portion of the campaign overview (I lost quite a bit, but remember it upstairs) and I thought it would be fun to share it here:

SUMMARY: Nova Halo

DESCRIPTION: Nova Halo - a science-fiction/fantasy role-playing game campaign by Jeffrey Osthoff

The year is 2707.
Humanity has begun to spread into the galaxy, using jump drive technology to travel via warp space -- a hazardous thing at times. Several dozen systems are now home to transplanted humans. In the Glittering Sector, surrounded by star nurseries, is a system consisting of a white dwarf with six planets.

One of these, Seraph Secundus, is a colony world of Terra more commonly known as: Angelos. This colony is approximately 50 years old, but already has a population of several million human beings, mainly centered in a handful of cities. Designed to be a self-sustaining colony, Angelos is also Sector Command; key to trade between Terra and defense of several smaller mining and research outposts in near space.

Angelos is approximately Earth-sized, but having a much thicker Ozone layer and a similar, but slightly warmer average global temperature. Humans can inhabit the planet with no extraordinary precautions or environmental measures. Planet Angelos is covered by approximately 25% surface water, mostly in the form of salt seas or marshes. Most rivers are seasonal wadis, although a few large permanent rivers can be found. Underground springs and water caches also exist. The planet has one small moon.

Unique to Angelos are flying reptile-like creatures, that the colonists have nick-named "dragons", after old Earth legends. The first explorers thought they resembled angels in the sky, and so the planet was named. The largest Dragon so far observed was about 30m in length. They also breathe fire, so to speak, as they can discharge a venomous liquid that burns on contact with the atmosphere.

Various ruins of stone cities and temples dot the planet. These are the ancient works of a now dead civilization (or so the Humans believe). The makers of these monuments were the humanoids called the Sahng. This alien race are bipedal humanoids that stand approximately 1.5 meters tall. They appear to be the degenerate decedents of the creators of the ruined cities. They do not speak, but make some sounds of pain, pleasure, etc. They are complete pacifists and won't strike out even if provoked. The first people to arrive found this out in an incident where it was erroneously believed that the Sahng had killed a human explorer and the alien "offender" was beaten to death without resistance.

The Sahngi have large black eyes, no hair, and are somewhat saurian, like most animals on the planet. The dress simply, with little or no adornment. The Sahng are considered to be bright by the colonists and even though it is frowned upon by the planetary government, some colonists have taken to using them as a source of labor (mostly agricultural and domestic) and many are virtually slaves or pets of their masters. This is a question that plagues the authorities and they await a ruling upon the use of the Sahng from Earth.

The characters will begin in mid-level positions, according to their chosen character classes and personality make-up, in the unified governmental structure of the planet (research scientists, military/espionage/navy, administration,etc.).

As the plot unfolds and the upcoming cataclysm takes place,the characters will be key players in dealing with the initial and long-lasting threats (internal & external) to the planet and its population.

"The survival of Homo Sapiens in the galaxy necessitates any measures at our disposal... do not think that the Alien will show us mercy or co-exist peaceably... we must annihilate them utterly or be destroyed in the end." - Agent Albrecht Volker, Head of Sector Security and Xeno Affairs

Some History The Earth, having gone through a devastating global war in the 21st century, that some termed World War III, has put aside nation states and is ruled by a quasi-religious government that most citizens simply call The Imperium or The Empire of Man. The centuries after have not been easy for Humanity...