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Seven Leagues roleplaying game of Faerie

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Seven Leagues roleplaying game of Faerie
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Seven Leagues roleplaying game of Faerie
Publisher: Malcontent Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2015 15:40:17

A lot of games take on faerie tales. A lot of games deal with the lands of faerie too. But this is one of the very, very few games that takes place in and about the land of faerie. Seven Leagues is a simple game (mechanics wise) for playing in all sorts of faerie tale situations. I say it is simple, only because the mechanics are. Roll a d12, add or minus appropriate modifiers and get a 13 or better for a success. There are a few attributes, called Virtures (Hand, Heart and Head) and the rest are like qualities or Charms (in this game), "Strong as a horse", "Tough hide", "can't be hit" and so on. You can play an ogre, a sprite, a magical tree or even a talking animal. You also take a negative "Taboo". Your high concept or class as it were is called an Aspect.
Browsing through this beautiful 126 page pdf I saw influences from Greek myth, Grimm Fairy Tales, folklore from all over Europe and elements they all have in common.
There is a heavy role-playing and story-telling element to this I really like. You are encouraged, by way of your character creation, to get invested in your character.
Honestly this is a great game to teach kids or use it as a primer on how to run a Faerie-based game for any other system. For the price it is a steal.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Seven Leagues roleplaying game of Faerie
Publisher: Malcontent Games
by David J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/08/2011 22:15:27

Mechanics: Low in crunch, with the ability to be entertaining the key to success. Easily understood and used. I personally prefer more mechanistic games, but this looks idea for the people who like to concentrate on colourful description of speedy action (and in fact vivid and creative description of action is the key to winning).

Worldbuilding: The mechanics are good enough but not quite my cuppa. But the middle third of the book containing various faerie locales would be a valuable addition to any fantasy or superhero campaign whether you use the game system or not.

Adventures: There are three adventures at the end, the first being an "Arabian Nights" styled attempt to help a dreaming mortal artist seek out inspiration, the second being the discovery and attempt to foil a villain who is part fairy tale, part James Bond Villain, and the third being a rewritten version of the classic fairy tale "Donkey Skin" that I find to be a considerable improvement.

All in all this is a great package, and I can recommend it to you.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Seven Leagues roleplaying game of Faerie
Publisher: Malcontent Games
by Chad B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/09/2007 03:48:40

Seven Leagues has converted me from a loyal White Wolf fan of many years; having revealed to me what a REAL 'Storytelling' game is all about.

The Setting, Systems, Characters, and other concepts flow together seamlessly through the unique utilization of Narrative Language. Even at Character Creation, the player's Description of their 'Protagonist' is what matters most. From character creation and throughout the 'Tale' (adventure/story), the most vital component is the use of Collaborative Narration (Very similar to what 'Stunting' is from popular White Wolf games- except here it is the core mechanic).

There are only three numerical values of the Seven Leagues character called 'Virtues'- representing intellectual, charismatic, and physical faculties. However, the player's DESCRIPTION of their character and actions determines how they can use these values. For example, an Ogre with the physical Virtue of 'Hand' rated at seven- might be very good at smashing things and standing up to grim punishment, but is probably not very nimble and acrobatic. Conversely, an Elf might also have a Hand at Seven but it may represent dexterity and agility instead of brute strength. A twelve-sided die is rolled and one of the character's Virtues is added, along with any modifiers awarded by the 'Narrarator' for good 'embellishments' by the players, and other circumstances in the story. If the sum is Thirteen, the Protagonist is Successful. Alluding to the above example, if the ogre is trying to dance his way across a high-wire, the Narrator will probably give the player a negative modifier because of the difficulty of the feat for an ogre. Characters are further developed by special abilities and hindrances called 'Charms' and 'Taboos' (Player created descriptors like "Nature Magic" or "Turns to Stone in Sunlight", for example). Due to the uniqueness of the system, one charm isn't necessarily more powerful than another because conflict resolution depends on the narrative description of how they are used. The book gives an example of how Odyseuss intimidates Circe (who has a charm allowing her to shapechange humans) because of the descriptive applications of the character's talents.

The Setting for Seven Leagues is meant to take place primarily in Faerie, although there is some text devoted to mortals entering Faerie and creatures of Faerie entering the mortal world. The setting is elegantly detailed and truly remarkable compared to other game's grasping efforts to make Faerie a fun and playable setting. The different lands in Faerie are called 'Provinces' and they have a few narrative descriptor words that can give players a bonus to their rolls if they use the descriptor words in any of their embellishments during play. Many colorful Provinces and Antagonists are detailed in the Setting section of the book, from the archetypal "gloomy forest", to sentient animals.

Because of the nature of descriptive language being the fundamental element in Seven Leagues, it will probably appeal more to intellectual and mature players. It is "A Writer's RPG", in my opinion, "A Storyteller's RPG". In addition, the Narrator is entrusted with a lot of power as he/she is the arbiter of narrative modifiers given to players (which remember, are more important than the character's numerical values), so an honest and mature Narrator is required.

I would have liked to see a few more examples of play as I still have a couple of questions for certain situational conflicts. But perhaps they can be answered in an appropriate game forum.

Overall, I believe this to be a truly phenomenal game that can truly inspire the reader (and other game designers) as to what a Storytelling RPG really ought to be. After downloading the demo, I was thrilled. After playing a couple sessions, my hopes were confirmed. Seven Leagues is graceful and fantastic! Ingenious!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hi Chad: Thanks for the glowing review; appreciate it. If you have any questions about Seven Leagues in actual play, feel free to sign up at our discussion board: Thanks again!
Seven Leagues roleplaying game of Faerie
Publisher: Malcontent Games
by James H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/13/2006 00:00:00

Seven Leagues from Malcontent Games delves into subject matter that has never been covered in any great depth by the roleplaying industry as a whole - fairies. Certainly we have our modern 're-imaginings' of traditional folklore in Changeling and Delirium, but these games are just that - modern re-imaginings. Seven Leagues deals more with traditional folklore and the otherworldly realms inhabited by the fae, although some contemporary romantic themes do leave their imprint on the finished product.

Before we go much further, I should note exactly what I mean when I refer to traditional folklore here. In traditional English and Irish folklore, fairies were most certainly not of the friendly or singular disposition that the overwhelming majority of modern (e.g., late 19th and 20th Century) fiction portrays them as embodying. In traditional folklore, fairies were the medieval equivalent of what you probably knew as The Boogeyman when you were growing up. The good natured creatures that many people associate the word "fairy" with today are purely a modern innovation designed to cast yesterday's nightmares in a different light for the youth of today.

Now, having clarified that, while Seven Leagues definitely draws more inspiration from folklore as opposed to modern fiction, it isn't all doom and gloom (as previously noted, some contemporary romantic themes do make an appearance). The difference is one of focus and, in Seven Leagues, the focus lies more on creating an alien world steeped in magic and full of peril than being politcially correct or honoring modern literary tenets. If exploring a truly different kind of fantasy is something that appeals to you, then you'll find much to like in Seven Leagues. The game is definitely best described as indulging in the baroque, as opposed to the familiar.

Characters in Seven Leagues are largely defined using only words, although some checks and balances in the form of Virtues (i.e., attributes), Charms (i.e., benefits), and Taboos (i.e., flaws) are instituted in the interest of not veering completely into what is largely uncharted territory for many gamers. There are three Virtues in Seven Leagues (Head, Heart, and Hand) which correspond to mental, emotional, and physical aspects of a character respectively. Each of these Virtues is rated on a scale that ranges from 0 to 7+, with the Virtue rating being added to die roll results during actual play. Charms and Taboos may similarly effect die roll results, but are slightly more complex, taking the form of detailed edges and flaws.

Which brings us to Fortune. Fortune is bit of a conundrum, mechanically speaking, as it appears to fulfill very much the same purpose as Charms and Taboos, albeit in a temporary capacity (Charms and Taboos tend to be permanent character features). The initial explanation left me scratching my head, but ultimately what I walked away with is that Fortune seems to serve as a kind of a dual-faceted, variable, point pool aimed at adding a few more die roll modifiers into the mix. Personally, I?m not entirely sure that using Fortune is necessary, given that it seems to cover the same ground as simple situational modifiers or Charms and Taboos do (in fact, I could see myself running Seven Leagues without it).

Finally, characters are rounded out with a Legend. I use the phrase ?rounded out? loosely as, despite being the last step in character creation, it?s arguably the one step that adds the most to characters in terms of description. So, what exactly is a Legend? Just what it sounds like - a piece of prose that details the origins of your character, be they descended from fairies or mortals. A Legend is, quite simply, your character?s own mythology. It will, of course, evolve and expand over time as the game is played - much like legends of old evolve and expand as the characters around which they revolve do ro say things to impact the flow of a story. I?ve seen this concept used in many roleplaying games and it?s something that I personally enjoy, perhaps more so in the context of Seven League?s baroque realms.

The system of Seven Leagues will be, I suspect, a love it or hate it affair for many consumers. The game engine itself is extremely light and, while it does incorporate the use of dice (a single twelve-sided die) and numbers, it is largely focused on using descriptive language to both evoke action and atmosphere. The crux of action resolution itself revolves around rolling a result that is equal to or exceeds thirteen on the aforementioned twelve-sided die (you add modifiers to the die roll based on a number of different things, including a character?s Virtue ratings and their Charms or Flaws). If a player manages to do so, their character performs whatever action that they were attempting successfully, while should they fail to do so, the action outcome is also a failure. It is all very, very, simple.

For me, system transparency is a huge selling point, and Seven Leagues nails it. The nice thing is, it doesn?t do so at the expense of all detail, only at the expense of unnecessary detail (something that a great many game designers could learn from, in my opinion). Seven Leagues gives you absolutely everything that you?ll need to weave thrilling adventures, without weighing you down with rules that serve only to suspend the adventure to focus on metagame considerations. If you play RPGs to act out adventure, you?ll likely enjoy this aspect of Seven Leagues, but if you merely see RPGs as being advanced board games and think that the means matter more than the end, Seven Leagues will probably disappoint.

In the end, I think that Seven Leagues will appeal most to those consumers who enjoy a baroque fantasy experience, transparent rules, and the use of dice as randomizers. If you have a strong aversion to any of those three things, Seven Leagues may not be the game for you, but otherwise, I think that you'll find it a very satisfying experience. I?m not a huge fan of fairies or the fae in role playing games, but Seven Leagues gave me pause to rethink my biases - and I am certainly glad that I did.

[Note: This review was edited for spelling.]

<br><br><b>LIKED</b>: I very much enjoyed the transparent mechanics, with the possible exception of Fortune, which seemed to cover some ground twice. Additionally, I much enjoyed the focus of the game and the opportunity it gave me to view faries in a traditional context. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Not much, honestly. Only Fortune sticks out in my mind as being somewhat awkward and, even then, I'm still on the fence for the time being.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br><BR>[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]<BR>

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review. For anyone wanting another perspective, there's also a pretty comprehensive review at Thanks again!
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