RPG Review – Faerie Mysteries
Faerie Mysteriesf clocks in at 29 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside the front cover, 2 pages of introduction/editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?
One problem fey-based modules have when faced with my standards regarding fey is that the creatures ought to be familiar, yet weird, strange, yet familiar – and that a sense of otherworldly timelessness ought to pervade an encounter with fey – something rather difficult (at least from what I’ve seen…) to accomplish. The introduction and the respective concerns shows a concern for that otherworldly intrusion into reality we consider weird, of what makes fey strange and dangerous -and the rules follow up:
A new type of hazard is introduced to represent this weirdness, so-called fey impulses, which are categorized into 3 types, from rumors, to ripples and ruptures, each adheres to a different severity, with rumors being similar to figments and glamers and the more powerful fey impulses also influencing the mind of those subjected to them. Akin to traps or haunts, fey impulses may be quenched before they manifest, only they do require a different resource – enchantments and illusions, as the types of magic mostly associated with fey, are instead used to represent the forces to quell the fey impulse and, much like a haunt, it may re-manifest unless it is defeated for good.
Now such a system of course needs comprehensive guidelines for the DM to implement and this delivers in spades in that regard, without expecting the DM to do all the work – from CR 1/2 to CR 10, quite an array of options is provided – from a bridge automatically extolling its tithe to a dread hangman’s tree emitting waves of all-encompassing despair to a maze in a maze (be sure to read Shirley Jackson’s modern classic “The Sundial” for a great idea on how to narrate this one’s effect…), the respective impulses are awesome, but by no means everything contained within these pages.
A total of 22 events with codified rules are contained herein – think of these as either bullet-point encounters or even adventures -from nods to “The Great God Pan” to essentially a Rybalka’s narrative in a box to a mansion inhabited by a possible bride to the fey to a fey’s version of Neddful Things – the ideas contained in these pages are massive and extensive and all but the most burnt-out DMs ought to be inspired by one or more of these – and my skirting around the peculiars of these (and the impulses) is intentional: I do not want to spoil these.
Faeire Creatures ought to be unpredictable, and thus we also are introduced to some variants – take the blackthorn dryad, who is essentially a dryad/kyton mix (including cool, unique signature abilities), the beautiful Green Hag variant Harionna who may fight with dread hooks embedded in her hair (!!!) or the Stormkarl Nixie, bound to a waterfall and emitting those that hear his laments – and yes, fellow aficionados of Scandinavian myths might be grinning right now.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Legendary Games’ elegant 2-column full-color standard for Kingmaker plug-ins, though it should be noted that this supplement, more than others, can enrich just about every campaign. The copious amounts of awesome full color artworks are nice. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and hyperlinked, here and there even to inspiring reading material.
I did not expect to like this. After the somewhat mediocre Faerie Passions, I postponed reviewing this to kingdom come and when one patron made a generous donation on my site and asked me to review a couple of Mythic Minis and Mythic Monsters, I made these my priority for LG-files. Well, here I am now and Todd Stewart, Jason Nelson and Alistair Rigg have actually done it – this is one exceedingly glorious, awesome supplement, a hazard toolbox par excellence that is intelligent, cool and iconic – a supplement that can enrich ANY module featuring fey. Breathing the proper sense of weirdness, fey impulses are a simple idea that is easy to grasp and brilliant at the same time, with both toolkit and samples given being just awesome. The variant creatures make for nice icings on this awesome cake and while personally, I would have loved to see even more impulses, I won’t hold this against the pdf. Any DM running e.g. “Courts of the Shadow Fey” or similar glorious fey-themed modules should consider this a must-have purchase – 5 stars + seal of approval, given without even a the slightest hesitation.
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