Do faeries gamble?

I have seen various oriental tales where djinn gamble. But are these only infernal djinn, or do faerie djinn also gamble?

I am considering the possibility that Faerie virtues might be gained via a wager with the Fae.

Why not? A Goblin Market based on wagers looks pretty Faerie to me.

Faeries often bet on sport. Shinty games and pub bets and things.

Just like people, some faeries might bet and some might be rigorously against it, depending on their personality.
In fact, offering bargains that depend on a coin toss on which they might cheat (ReTe make a coin land face up sounds like a trivial power) sounds par for course for trickster faeries.

aeries will do whatever stories tell of them doing, which could include betting on a coin toss that is rigged or betting on the outcome of human affairs.

I think you can frame many faerie stories as bets.

They would gamble less in games (such as poker) and more in things like “I bet you can’t discover my name" or "I bet the next man to cross the bridge is a thief", "I bet you can’t carry this tree", etc. They'd bet against each other and against mortals.

In a way, they bet on the outcome of their stories.

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Would this be in the Mythic Europe paradigm?

A Victorian romantic poet is no less Mythic European than Neil Gaiman is - and I'm pretty sure the way Ars handles faeries owes more to Gaiman than to history :wink: So personally, I sympathise with your objection.

But there is a lot in this poem which seems quite in keeping with folkloric faeries, so if you like your faeries to be more folkloric and less Gaiman it isn't a bad place to get inspiration. It is very romantic / Victorian - the innocent maiden wasting away etc. - and feels too much like a cautionary tale / bit of 19th Century moralising (oh, the brave and steadfast friend!) and I think I'd probably adjust the story to get more of a sense of disproportionate response to an understood transgression... but there is mileage here.

Note also that gambling is explicitly forbidden in the Quran, so an islamic faerie would bet if it is playing the role of a sinner. The same doesn’t need to be true in other cultures.

Faeries are often attracted to the borders, whether between physical locations like land and sea, or more metaphysical concepts like childhood and adulthood. With a sufficiently large wager, a participant would be between wealth and poverty for the duration of the contest. I imagine that some form of faerie would be eventually attracted to that space. A repeating or extended event, particularly one that becomes famous and the subject of stories, would be even more attractive.

Mythic European Faeries and Faerie Realms are about as much medieval as Mythic European Magi.

Pre-Raphaelite artists looked at the literature theý knew and modeled their Faeries after it, thus getting closer to Mythic Europe than history does.

Dadd's Elimination of a Picture & its Subject—called The Fellers' Master Stroke is a good example.

Tolkien also looked at medieval European literature. But that doesn't mean that The Lord of the Rings is closer to "Mythic Europe" than something based on actual history. Likewise Walter Scott, dozens of pre-Raphaelites and romantics, the Netflix Vikings series, all the modern neo-Nazis who fetishize Vikings, piles of Mills and Boon bodice-ripping romance "novels", the Highlander movies, Monty Python, etc., etc. ... lots and lots of people have been inspired by older materials - that does not mean that they somehow got closer to a mythic version of X than the imaginations of the people who were actually in X. Personally I don't want Orcs in my Ars Magica - nor the Knights Who Say Nee, Aryan myth-making, Highlander's Immortals... nor pre-Raphaelites.

[quote="OneShot, post:11, topic:171273"]
Mythic European Faeries and Faerie Realms are about as much medieval as Mythic European Magi.[/quote]

That is, however, an interesting point.

The easy answer (back in the days of 2nd-4th editions) was that the magi were the exception. The game was about fantasy wizards in a medieval world. Exactly what "medieval" meant varied pretty wildly. Some people got very into the historical details, some people took a very Hollywood-medieval view, and everyone ignored things that didn't seem "cool" to modern readers. And there were some weird experiments along the way (the 2nd or 3rd edition adventure based in the Garden of Eden still bemuses me). But that was the concept.

Now, however, we do seem to have an edition which has charged off down two opposing extremes at once. On one hand, much of the published material is more historical than the 3rd/4th (certainly than 2nd) editions. This appeals to people like me (and maybe @lvgreen ?). On the other hand there are elements which are somewhere between pure high-fantasy and semi-historical romance - and probably the most extreme of these is the Faerie Realms book (which I regard as a brilliant Pendragon supplement, but will not let anywhere near my Ars Magica table; YMMV).

This makes it difficult to respond to your point above.

If the Faeries book is cannon (and it obviously is - even if curmudgeons like me choose to house-rule it away), then why not bring in pre-Raphaelites and romantic poets, Netflix shows, or Orcs?

I guess my point would be: we don't need more aberrations. To say "Magi are an aberration" is inarguable. In 5th ed we have Faeries as aberrations, too; OK, that horse has bolted. But I personally would argue that that we shouldn't open the flood-gates - that it won't make the game better... but that is based purely on what I personally think "better" would be.

Objectively, there is no objective reason why someone shouldn't do a pre-Raphaelite/romantic version of Mythic Europe. Or a Netflix version of Mythic Europe. Or a Tolkien version, or a Monty Python version.

But I would argue against the logic "because X isn't medieval, therefore we should have more stuff that isn't medieval".

Quite. And that is what I said. We are talking about 5th edition Faeries in this thread, right? See RoP:F p.137:

When telling faerie stories, most troupes should be less historically accurate than usual. Ars Magica games are usually set in the 13th century. But in the real 13th century, many of the faerie stories dearest to the hearts of players do not exist. The written versions of faerie stories that most players are familiar with are the result of nationalistic, literary movements that flowered in the middle and upper classes of Europe after the game period. The label “fairy tales” does not appear in the real 13th-century Europe, and the words “elf” and “faerie” are yet to be written in English. Storyguides should use the best faerie tales, from any culture or historical period, as inspiration for their stories.

So, using the classical fairy tales is quite recommended when inventing ArM5 Faerie adventures. These include Perrault, the brothers Grimm and the Pre-Raphaelites.
Yes, and you can of course also start studying Gurevich and his medieval sources.


Apparently you are then writing in a thread, whose prerequisites don't fit your predilections.

Perhaps you are right. If you want to look at the Faerie Realms book and say "I interpret this as meaning that faeries in Ars Magica are inherently non-medieval - that they are in fact romantic 19th Century (or late 20th-Century Gaiman-esque) creations" then I can't argue with that interpretation. And in fairness, there are other parts of the official supplements which are very clearly non-medieval - so maybe the argument that Ars Magica is, in fact, medieval, should be discounted in all cases (not just faeries).

My point, I think, is that the game is not improved by going further down this route.

An argument that is certainly not mine - or likely the ArM5 authors. So it looks very 'strawy'.

For me ArM5 is a game which uses fantastic elements to explore an historical medieval background. The ArM5 Faeries have little to do with history, something with folk-tales and a lot with 17th century or younger stories. Just like the Magi, they work well as fantastic elements in adventures exploring medieval history.

Hmm. Perhaps. You've just got me reflecting on this. Maybe I should adjust my thinking about Ars. I had just always assumed that Ars is basically "medieval Europe if all the supernatural stuff were real", and that the elements that rub up against that (5th ed Faeries being the one I most often think of, unlike 4the ed faeries which worked more "medievally") are exceptional. But maybe what I'm viewing as the exceptions are the norm and, kinda like back with the 2nd ed stuff, it's more like a high fantasy game on a map of Europe.

That is now a a complete strawman. Sorry.

Hmmm. Sure? Then tell me of a medieval source referring to Baba Yaga (Faeries 4th edition p.119), or to Arcadia and its seasons (Faeries 4th edition p.42ff).

The reference to Neil Gaiman throws me a bit. While I haven't read all of his works, what I have does not stand out as having Ars Magica type faeries feel.
The closest I can think of is "American Gods", where the very cognizant gods go about their traditional functions, often in creative ways.

Though on retrospect, the Shakespeare episode from "Sandman" does suggest that the court of Queen Mab and her faeries might be influenced by a certain play....

I'd recommend as well his reimagining of Snowhite as a good faerie tale.

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You're the one saying a 19th century romantic poem is a good source for faeries. I tried arguing that that wasn't the case, but no, you're right. That is completely consistent with the canonical supplement. And on reflection the Faeries supplement probably isn't unique in this regard.