Let Me Tell You About Fairies, No Wait Where Are You Going
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Fairy Meat: Let Me Tell You About Fairies, No Wait Where Are You Going
The book starts off with an anatomy/society chapter, telling us what fairies were, are, and have become. They are "approximately 23mm high" (
), aren't really part of the animal kingdom, and are of unknown origin but "probably didn't involve evolution of any sort." Their mannerisms and dress change alongside human trends, but traditionally lean towards the "hippie" side - tie-dye and moccasins and such. They all have wings (which are magic!) that only "exist" to other fairies and the air (so a person's finger would pass straight through them), and their physical appearance is mostly androgynous, leaning towards female, with no muscle tone or genitalia to speak of. Yes, the book has a footnote about fairy genitalia: "shame on you for even thinking about it." There's a paragraph about fairy innards, which mostly assures the reader that they're wet and warm and gross:
Fairy Meat posted:
To describe the loathsome details of what lurks within that warm, wet, wretched place would require dissection on the part of the author, as there are no medical resources pertaining to such things. The author thinks dissection is icky and smelly. The author was intentionally absent from biology classes on several occasions as a youth. You're a sick, naughty little badger for even wanting to know what a fairy's slimy bloody gully-wuts are like. Boys are so gross. Ick.
After anatomy, the book goes into how fairies started in on the whole "anarchy and cannibalism" thing. Basically, a fairy named Merryzot was hungry one day, stumbled upon a dying mouse, and learned that meat is delicious. The practice spread, expanded, and then - thanks to fairy ADD and lack of ethics - turned into cannibalism once it was discovered how magically-delicious fairie flesh was. Unfortunately, it turns out fairy meat is both magically empowered and fatally addictive, and new fairies are born in a state of withdrawl (and an instinctual knowledge that cannibalism is the way to make the pain go away).
All in all, cannibalism has led to the total collapse of anything you could call "fairy society" in favor of Circles and warbands that come together for strength of numbers, hunt, share food, and then collapse into anarchy again when some of them get bored and try to eat each other.
After society and anatomy, we get the introduction page, which is your typical "what is a game?" section gone a little loopy. See,
is a very accurate representation of fairy warfare: it takes place on a 1:1 scale, and since hunting for meat leads fairies out of the forest and into our world you're encouraged to just sort of play wherever, incorporating anything laying around as terrain. The book actually has a list of suggestions:
Some Rather Nice Places to Play Fairy Meat posted:
A local forest preserve
A cluttered table or desk
That filthy mess you call a bedroom
A church or other place of worship
The food court at the mall
Some Very Bad Places to Play Fairy Meat posted:
Darkened movie theaters
The intensive care ward
The middle of the road
Prison (unless you're already there)
Subterranean steam tunnels
On a table being used by other gamers (the fairies landed here and started fighting! Honest!)
There's a "what you'll need" section, which calls out that the game uses a deck of cards (rather than dice), minis*, and a ruler or measuring tape, marked in inches - "the Metric system is forbidden, as it makes too much sense".
Next post: I guess I start on the rules?
Miniatures were eventually made for
, but at the time of first printing the designers clearly weren't expecting much; the middle section of the book (the one with all the cards and counters and such) has a page of paper paper minis along with a page of paper fairy wings to tape to those
minis you have laying around, to make them feel pretty.
General Task Resolution
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Fairy Meat: General Task Resolution!
Okey-doke, let's just get right into this. As I said before,
uses a regular deck of playing cards as a randomizer/task-resoluter/fate-determiner instead of boring ol' dice like most games. Jokers stay in (and generally live up to their name), and suits
don't matter except for magic and the dreaded
Ace of Spades
. The deck gets reshuffled every round.
Most actions are resolved by having each side draw a hand from the deck, with size determined by their stats, weapons, circumstance modifiers, spells, etc.; these modifiers can definitely reduce hand size to zero. Each player chooses a card (which is easy to do if you only draw one!), and highest value card wins. For the purposes of the Fairy Deck, "number" cards count as the number on the card (2-10), while "trump cards" (Jack/Queen/King/Ace) work as support: every trump card placed behind/under a number card counts as +1. Thus, placing down a Royal Flush would count as a 14 (10+1+1+1+1) and would have been much better to draw in a card game that wasn't about cannibal fairies.
are what happens when a fairy uses a trump card as their "main card", either by choice or because their hand didn't have a number card. In that case, start drawing from the Fairy Deck and putting cards down on top of the wild trump until a number card is drawn (or a
*), at which point the number card counts as the "main card" with the wild trump and any others drawn each adding +1 as usual.
: The two cards that have special effects - most of the time - are
Ace of Spades
. What that effect is varies based on what the cards are being drawn for, but generally speaking
are a "critical miss" of sorts that negates an action and/or makes things awkward, while the
Ace of Spades
is evil and nasty and results in bad things happening.
*I think; the rules aren't very clear on this point, but I believe drawing a Joker as part of a wild trump stops the draw and has the Joker take effect.
Each round starts with the Fairy Deck being reshuffled and an "Order Card" getting dealt to each Fairy. Each fairy then takes a turn (one each of Move/Attack/Twinkle in whatever order the players feels like) according to their Order Card, at which point the current round ends and the next round begins.
don't do the number/trump divide; turn order is determined by a count down (Kings->Aces), followed by a count up (Aces->Kings). Players can choose to have their fairy take its turn on the count down, or wait until the count up. Ties are either resolved with a tiebreaker draw (higher card wins), or by suit (if you've house-ruled a suit order). A fairy with multiple Order Cards (which can happen from certain spells or by Thinking) still only gets one turn, but gets to choose which of their Order Cards they want to act on.
Special Order Cards
: Having a
for an Order Card counts as an interrupt; that fairy can act whenever the player reveals the Joker and shouts an obscenity. The
Ace of Spades
was addressed in the FAQ/Errata on the website (and in the back of
); that fairy's eyes change color, and then she acts when the count-down gets to "Ace".
: A fairy can spend Twinkle points (described later) to engage in the most unfairylike behavior of "thinking", with each Twinkle point gaining them an extra Order Card.
Each Fairy gets its own Fairy Card, which has a space for their name and armaments and is divided into "Life" and "Meat" sections. Fairies start with a number of Live, Kill, and Twinkle
in the "Life" section based on their fairy type (and point cost); as they take damage, Live & Kill Points start to end up in the "Meat" section. A fairy with all its Live & Kill counters in "Meat" is exactly that, and can be nibbled on by any other fairies on the battlefield (including former teammates; meat's meat).
are the little skull counters, and count for offensive actions. A fairy without Kill Points can only attack if they go into a Kill Frenzy**.
are the little heart counters, and count for defense. Simple as that.
aren't described in the
core book, but show up in every other book for the line. They're the little shield counters, and they function as a sort of "virtual Live Point". Each point of Armor gives an extra card for Live draws, and Armor Points are only damaged by magical attacks or Jokers (which chew through Armor Points first). Armor Points don't count for keeping you alive, of course: a fairy without Live or Kill points is still dead no matter how much Armor they have.
aren't used the same way as Kill/Live/Armor, instead being used as a pool of "spell points" to spend. They're the little star tokens that aren't in the counter image above, but are in
**I'll get into it later, but a Kill Frenzy is basically a death-spiral that converts all a fairy's Live points into Kill points permanently, including points healed or cannibalized in the future
To summarize with an example, let's say our orange-headed friend
is a Wild Fairy ("She's eaten before and she's jonesin' for more"). She has 3 Kill points, 3 Live points, and 1 Twinkle. Before any other modifiers come into play, Danderind draws a three-card hand to attack, a three-card hand to defend, and has one Twinkle Point to spend on magic or Thinking. If/when she starts to take damage (or eats other fairies!), her hand size will change according to her Kill/Live totals.
Going to post this now and follow up with some of the more advanced rules in a few minutes; my wifi is seriously acting up and I'm going to swap to a cabled connection.
Meat (NOT MEAT!)
Original SA post
Continuing from where I left off!
On its turn, each fairy gets one each of Move, Attack, and Twinkle. These can be done in any order the player wants, but can't be combined (no attacks during a move, etc.). Movement is one of four options:
("The fairy sits still and looks pretty"; only able to pivot in place, but +1 card to attack draws),
(can clear any terrain up to 12" high but only moves 3"; can be used to initiate Wrestling* and puts the defender at a pretty large disadvantage if successful),
(can clear 6" and move 6"), or
(clear 3", move 12"; -1 card to attack draws; can be turned into a Rush and/or used as a way to start Wrestling). Note that all measuring in
is only done after declaring/deciding actions; pre-measurements would be granting fairies
too much credit.
As described before, damaged Kill & Live points end up in the "Meat" section of the Fairy Card until the fairy runs out of points in the "Life" section and dies, becoming a magically-delicious snack for other fairies to munch on.
I almost posted the picture from the meat section in the book, but decided I should probably
instead and used a pic from later in the book.
Dead fairies remain on the field, preferably tipped over onto their side, so that other fairies (including former teammates) can munch on them. Any fairy in direct contact with the corpse (base-to-base, if you will) can use a Move or Attack action (or both!), as well as give up their opportunity to cast a Twinkle spell, to take a bite. Each bite transfers one of the deceased fairy's Kill or Live points - eater's choice - from the corpse's "Meat" section to the fairy gourmand's "Life" section. All fairies have a maximum of 12 points (Kill+Live) in the "Life" section, but can have a theoretically infinite number of points in their "Meat" section as long as they keep taking damage and eating. Fairies at 12 points in "Life" can still eat, it just doesn't have any beneficial effect (other than denying other fairies meat).
Audience Participation: The Gooniest Fairyband
: I don't want to get into the complicated combat bits without some examples to use, so let's get on that! The book suggests a 100-point warband, so let's see where we end up...
Danderind: Has a head like an orange.
We already decided Danderind was a Wild Fairy (Kill 3/Live 3/Twinkle 1), and let's say she forgot to bring along any weapons because it's easier and funnier that way. She knows Sweet-style Twinkle, but isn't very likely to use it with only 1 point to throw around. Danderind costs a piddly 14 points and won't stand a chance against most other fairies if she tries anything other than wrasslin'.
Dazzledew is inattentive and likes finding novel uses for plants
Dazzledew is a Glitter Fairy, who are kinda-sorta throwbacks to how fairies used to be. They're smarter and more magical, but meat doesn't stick to them very well. Her latest experiments have resulted in Amber Armor (a piece of equipment from the
sourcebook; magic armor-paint made from leaves and sap and amber) and a
to carry around. She has 2 Kill Points, 2 Live Points, 1 Armor Point, and 4 Twinkle; she knows Mean-style magic (so she can shoot rose thorns at things), and costs (11+2+3) 16 points.
Perkykiss is tired. So goddamn tired. She just wants this damned war to end, to let the agonized screams be swallowed up by cool, balming night, to--
Ooh! Dibs on his duodenum!
As a Seasoned Fairy, Perkykiss is a step above the Wilds and Glitters but hasn't quite started to spiral into the depths of addiction and Kill Frenzy. She carries a
, knows Sweet-style Twinkle, and is getting too old for this shit. Perkykiss has 4 Kill, 3 Live, 3 Twinkle, and costs a respectable (17+9) 26 points.
Robin Rook: Will cut, will cut you so bad.
Robin Rook is a Hunter Fairy, carries around a
(a very large knife strapped to a reanimated mouse heart that beats fast enough to turn the whole thing into a magical turkey-carver), knows Mean-style Twinkle, and should not be allowed anywhere near children. She has 6 Kill points, 4 Live points, 2 Twinkle, and costs (23+5) 28 points.
Cherrybells is a fussbudget who is always fashionable.
Cherrybells is a Wild Fairy with fabulous boots and what all the other fairies admit is a
very pretty knife
. She knows Sweet-style Twinkle, has the same 3/3/1 setup as Danderind, and costs the remaining (14+2) 16 points.
This took a bit longer than I thought, so I'll have to cut it here and save what to do with this mess of a warband until next update.
*I was sure until JUST NOW that the game called it "Wrasslin'", to the point I had to triple-check myself.
Original SA post
Oh lord, I never finished
, did I?
Let's try and breeze through the rest of the first book; once you get past the central "cannibal fairy action" conceit, it's still a wargame corebook (a.k.a. kind of boring).
If the attacking fairy's card (trumps included) is 4+ greater than the defender's, it counts as a
and deals two points of damage. If it's 8+ higher, it deals three points of damage (which is a hell of a lot in this system, remember). IIRC,
feature prominently in the campaign rules in a later supplement.
Ace of Spades
follow their own special rules.
in ranged combat either hit miss the target or hit anything else in the attacker's line of sight (defending player's choice), while
in hand-to-hand either deal one damage to the attacker or heal one point of damage from the defender's Meat (choice up to whoever played the
Ace of Spades
automatically counts as a three-damage
when used in combat, no matter who plays it, and also inflicts a debilitating wound that lasts until healed. I believe there are rules for other debilitating wounds somewhere else in the line, but the corebook version is a simple "all movement cut in half, including flight."
Weapons add cards to the attacker's hand, subtract cards from the defender's hand, and/or let the attacker split their hand and make multiple attacks. Some of them also have special qualities, like
(can be used while
, but are at -1 when used in regular hand-to-hand),
(attacker gets +1 card in hand-to-hand combat unless the defender also has a
(explodey or chainsaw-ey weapons - like
- that gib fairies;
damage is removed from the game entirely instead of put into the
section of the fairy's card). Vrrrewwwrrrr!
A fairy that gets in a successful rush (
, as appropriate) can start
; both fairy's figures are tipped over and they are locked in combat with each other. They must make hand-to-hand attacks against each other, can only use
weapons, and can only move if they escape from the tussle.
Each fairy gets a +1 card bonus to attack on their turn, and can choose to deal damage as usual or escape (and move, including making a
right back onto the other fairy to start
again with the +1 bonus for a
Other fairies can attack
fairies, who take a one-card penalty to their Live draw, but if the defender wins they have the option to pull the rude interloper into the tussle.
Alternately, other fairies can join into a tussle already in progress by moving up to it and declaring "I WANNA WRASSLE*!"
The next bit I just need to quote
Fairy Meat posted:
If either player uses a Joker in wrestling, the fairies make eye contact and experience one of those awkward moments (you know how that is). No damage is dealt by either fairy, as they pause for a moment to evaluate the nature of their relationship.
, and I'll run down the spell list to finish off the corebook and get to something more interesting.
*THERE IT IS, no wonder I thought it was called "Wrasslin'"