[As the Seasons Turn; A Game of Fairy] First Post

Posted: February 5, 2008 by Guy Shalev in Uncategorized

From this discussion during Game Chef 2007 :
The original piece

“It is equinox, it is time for the Court of Spring and the Court of Winter to switch places, and a grand gala is being held in the Palace of Seasons, where all the who‘s who of Fairy show up. Well, all of Fairy show up, the Palace is certainly big enough, and there is always a need for more waiters, says I!

This game is a tribute to Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel, and is a love child of Exalted‘s Fair Folk.

It is the Equinox Court, and it is a time of high intrigue and revelry. You walk around, talk to the other Fae nobles and plot to advance your situation, and hopefully harm that of your competitors. The Fae are not a creative person, and as such they must draw on human ideas, memories and dreams for new ideas.

You know the infamous Fae dancing? That‘s just the first thing they got from humanity, the strongest impression we‘ve made on them. That and violence, mind you well.

They take your memory of your first-kiss, they take your firstborn-son, they take the dream of sunlight with your beloved. They take, and then they play.
They cast themselves as the figures from the dream or memory, and they replay the sequence, adding more and more of their sensibilities as time passes, and trying to advance themselves at the cost of others‘ position.

So your love churned you, but now you‘ve gained in power. You fell from grace, but you will not be mocked, nor will you accept charity, you will rise to power once more.

Once an equinox, every equinox, since before humanity came to be. What will happen this equinox, how will it affect the next one, and what will happen to change the balance of power between this revelry and the next?

As the Seasons Turn, a game of Fairy.”

Then Filip Luszczyk asked an important question:
“Heh. I wonder what would Fae do with role-playing games 😉 ”

And my answer:
“They‘d play humans, and then comment on how insufferably dim they are! Then they‘d backstab one another using the game to send veiled insults and threats at one another!”

This gives you my initial thoughts, which lay dormant in my mind since then, thought of now and then, and then put back to sleep. Game Chef 2007 was back in March, now is February 08, so yes, quite some time.

Now I had a thought about a mechanic, having 4 traits, each with a die size and/or number, and having the dice progress from one position to the next in each scene. Perhaps having 4 balls a year, with each ball/season moving onward representing change in the characters, or just as the years progress, and nature shifts, so do these timeless lords of joy and sorrow.

I am having second thoughts, which make me wonder if I can even say I have a game idea, as I have only parts of the “Situation”, of the “What Happens?”, where the story is, and at the same time I have too much.
I’m thinking of the game revolving around getting promises/things (first born, dreams, kiss, memory of love, time…) from humans, with a mixture of Polaris’s Key Phrases to negotiate the terms and/or DitV’s Raise/See mechanics with the ability to “Escalate” by introducing into play one of your own weaknesses (as all Fae have some sort of weakness, some common to them all, and some unique, like Rumpelstiltskin’s name, or being under gaesa), and further escalating by giving an Oath of yourself. If Polaris, then Zeal/Weariness replaced by how much of yourself is left, and which is diminished by giving of yourself, and possibly returned by gaining offers.
But if so, I need to see about Situation creating, about how to create a mold, a frame, into which all encounters between man and fae would fit (BTW, advice is totally cool).

Another option is to have the game be about the court of Fae, where you can only gain dice to use from what you’ve managed to achieve in the real world, and that and how you were setback in the real world having direct correlation to your rise and fall within the court.

Another option, of course somewhat mixed with the first is having Dreams/Scenes you take from a Mortal Mind, and then replaying them in the Fae court, re-interpreting them and using them to send veiled insults at your political enemies. But again, I need a frame for all such dreams to follow, like the Town Creation system from Dogs, or a way to incorporate the right themes into Polaris.

Or maybe I’ll somehow come out with my own idea for system.
And figure out how many games are hiding in here, and which one(s) I want to design, and how to incorporate those different tastes.
These doubts came later today, and show that this game is going to return to the place in my mind which is like a loose tooth, where I push and poke at it until it solidifes

I am looking for feedback.
All the best,


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