Realms of Power: Faerie for Ars Magica arrived at our warehouse last week (early!). We're shipping to distributors starting Monday of this week, so it should be in stores sometime next week. Keep your eye open for your copy!
Do so, but if you feel bored until you get the chance we - i.e.: all the people living in remote places of the world or suffering from a fundamental lack of money - would surely appreciate one of your wonderful reviews as soon as you find time for it. (It would also probably be better for your troupe if you didn't have too much time to plan faerie stories for them.)
Thank you in advance!
Congratulations! Another Ars father! My 9-year-old loves "Ars night". The guys come over, we order pizza, he listens while we play and draws monsters for us, and he gets to stay up late on a school night.
My FLGS here in Paris knows that I'm eagerly waiting for it. I've been known to pester them three times a week in the short time between when it is announced and when it is actually available. The store is half a mile from where I live; which was absolutely not a factor in deciding to rent the place, I swear.
Now I just need to let them know it will soon be available. My precious.
Not much has been uncovered so far. The only thing really important there is the "you'll never look at fae the same way" and "they are a bunch of bastards, those pesky fae" Both statements give me need to get my hands on the book, but have not uncovered much of its final content.
Some are willing to love you completely, if you will just notice them.
Some are willing to torture you slowly to death, if that means you will focus intently on them, even for just the tiniest little while.
Some faeries are outside this structure - they have another way to get the equivalent of human attention and emotional expression by harvesting the natural world. Faeries that depend entirely on non-human sources of energy are, however, rare. Most take both, and as much of both as they can get.
Faeries wait for you to be under stress, to find the borders of a life stage, to get to the point where you -need- something so much it hurts. And then they needyou, and some will do whatever it takes to get you to just notice them. That's where the idea that this is darker than before comes in. We go back to the original tales to see just how far some of these characters are willing to go, just to get your rapt attention.
Most aren't willing to do anything to get your attention. Most have limits. Most love having limits. The problem is, you have no way of knowing which are which. No matter how long you have known a faerie, or what magic you know, you can never tell one who is just a shepherdess from one who is a shepherdess waiting to eat a precisely perfect baby.
Now how this plays out, the permutations and fun story ideas...that's much of the book. This is what divides them from magical spirits, though. Magical spirits don't care for you, you puny mortal. Faerie gods need worshippers. Faerie kings need humans to lord it over. Faerie minstrels need audiences. Faerie godmothers need children. They need you, and some are willing to hurt you, if that's what it takes. It's intimate, and its personal and its all about you, more than any other realm, but not necessarily in the way you want.
They will confirm any theory. They will deny any theory.
What answer will make you elated? What answer will crush you?
That's the answer they'll give you. Truth does not matter to them.
The book's not about metaphyiscs. That's a deliberate choice because by picking one and saying "This one is it!" we'd be killing off many other options (they are listed in the book) which are equally good sources of story material and which can co-exist in a saga or game world. We are taking the midichlorian defence, as pioneered by the creators of Lost.
Which is to say: the Force is great until you say that it is caused by little blood bugs, and then its not as epic anymore. The Diedne are great, but my Armies of the Left Handed Hummingbird or final Schism Battle between the Solomonari and the Sons of the Wren will suck, to you, becaue it would make your opinion Officially Wrong, and make them less great. So, similarly, a strong cosmology would weaken faeries unnecessarily. Instead, the cosmology itself is part of the game with truth and glamor that faeries play.
Magi just don't know what the truth is, in part because the faeries are perfectly willing to treat research as attention and twist it to suit their drives and needs. They have a handful of theories, each of which has some evidence, and not all of them are mutually incompatible, so its possible there are several distinct classes of being that magi have not yet learned to differentiate. This may be deliberate: one race may be deliberately hiding its nature in the smokescreen of the rest of them.
I received my copy Sunday night. However due to my aforementioned responsibilities I've only been able to read up to page 29 (that's page 27 in the index due to some unfortunate mistake). But if you've got questions shoot them my way and I'll try to field them as time allows.
I'm was thinking more in terms of game mechanics since the rules for creatures from the Magic realm centered so much on the realization of their Essential Nature, but I guess I'll be seeing the book soon enough.
Faeries do something else instead, based on the story they are currently in.
Faeries and Magical Spirits do not parallel each other in the ways that, say, demons and angels paralell each other. There are some similarities in mechanics where there is nothing to be gained from differentiation, so the power of Flight for Faeries is mechanichally identical to that for Spirits, as an example. More generally though Faerie and Magic don't have a relationship. in the way that Infernal and Divine do, and so its difficult to say "Because Magic dioes X, Faerie does -X".
My players really love Ars Magica, but one thing we miss is the possibility to add more traditional fantasy elements (as seen through the Mythic Europe lens of course).
So, when it comes to faeries in Ars Magica, I'm very interested in two things in particular: how faeries create stories with the characters in them (as hinted about in the description of the book) and how it all ties in with Arcadia. What is Arcadia really? Is it some kind of faerieland, so to speak? How is it presented in the book?
Hmm, that wasn't a very clear question. Well, my group is really looking for the grand epic stories of fantasy settings, in addition to playing in Mythic Europe. With the focus on faeries that create stories and Arcadia, will this be easier? And if so, how? Any particular examples.