Monday, October 26, 2009

Faerie Folk in Role Playing Games (RPGS)

I’ve gotten back into participating in tabletop role playing games recently. Although the most universally recognized of them is Dungeons and Dragons, many other variations of RPGs exist. The Fair Folk abound in such games, notably in one called Changeling. The most recent version of it was published by White Wolf in 2007. It features six types of fae that players can choose to assume the identity of, including the Darklings, Fairises, and the Wizened. (The races are known as “seemings” in game terminology.)
In Dungeons and Dragons, the most canonical game, players can choose their personal avatars from several races that live in the Feywild. There are elves, which excel at archery and all activities involving stealth. The eladrin, which are cousins of the elves, specialize in magic and longsword fighting. Gnomes tend to favor stealthily moving against enemies and striking from great distances with magic. There are other faerie races in Dungeons and Dragons that cannot be used as identities for the players. Instead, they are usually considered foes of the main characters in an adventure. These include sprites, which are primarily dangerous when they swarm and umbral sprites, which hunt any creatures that cross into their domains. Gnomes that have been altered by dark magic are called spriggans. They are sometimes referred to as redcaps due to their penchant for dipping their hats and clothing in blood.
There are lots of opportunities for a faerie enthusiast to take on the identity of his or her dreams in role playing games. Many readers of this blog are probably already doing so in gaming groups all over the world. If so, please tell us a bit about any experiences you have had playing a member of the Fair Folk in a role playing game!



  1. We are creating a campaign around the use of Fae, I have had Forest Nymphs before. Now we are going to take it to the next level and see what the die say.

  2. Howdy: I am, among other things, a D&D player, though we're going to try Pathfinder soon. I generally play elves, though I've been wanting to play some of the other smaller races. In our last campaign, I played an elf rogue who was really friendly with some smaller Faerie Folk, and that made for a few interesting moments. Once, she swiped a gemstone from her sister's backpack (her sister was my other character: we didn't have enough players) to give to a small Faerie (though I have forgotten what variety) in the hopes of gaining information. Later in the same campaign, they met with some Petals, whom she managed to get talking. She also managed to gain the trust of some Thorns and their Treent caretakers. I thought it was really cool to get to interact with some of the smaller Fair Folk; that doesn't happen a lot since, as you've pointed out, they're usually minor NPC's. Had the campaign continued, I had intended to direct her feats etc. in that direction.