Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
-G. K. Chesterton (attributed)
One upon a time… is how most faerie tales begin. It is also how many RPGs can start as well. Both are flights of fancy, imagination, wonder, danger and magic.
The biggest Fantasy RPG of history, Dungeons and Dragons, shares many of the same elements of faerie tales, but D&D can be hard to learn, difficult to master and sometimes even scary. Not the game you might want to introduce a 6-year old too.
Well thankfully there has been a trend in the last few years in gaming; the trend to write games for a younger audience. Faery’s Tale represents one of the best of this trend.
Published originally by Firefly Games, http://www.firefly-games.com/, and presently by Green Ronin, Faery’s Tale is an enchanting game great for kids, and sophisticated enough for adults.
For starters you play a faery, a denizen of the Bright Wood. You can play a Friendly Faery like a pixie, sprite, brownie or a pooka. Or you can play a Dark Faery like a fallen faery or a goblin. You can encounter intelligent animals, other faery types, hags, witches, trolls, even humans and dragons.
Characters are defines, stat wise by their Attributes (Mind, Body and Spirit) and Gifts (magical abilities). There are also boons, titles and charms. Archetypes are called “Patterns” and think it gives it a nice mystical feel. Some faeries have natural gifts, others can be “bought”. Titles can likewise be bought.
The rules themselves are very easy. It is a simple dice-pool system based on the number you have for your necessary Attribute and Gift. So sneaking past a sleeping dragon might need Body and Acrobat. So if your faery has a Body of 2 and Acrobat 3 you roll 5 dice. Odd numbers are not counted and evens are a “Success”. The Narrator or Game Master decides how man Success are needed to complete the task. So she decides 3 Success are need to sneak past the dragon then they need at least 3 dice to come up to even numbers. A 6 “explodes”, allowing you to roll it again for maybe another success. That simple. All sorts of contests can be resolved this way.
The book gives all sorts of examples of play and suggestions, all the while never forgetting that the target audience for this is children and their adults.
Frankly. I love this little game. Like many I think I bought it to see what I could mine for other games, but finding not only a good little game but an extremely well written and though out one that works for both children and adults.
If you have young children that you want to introduce to gaming, then this is the game for you.
I also have to add. The art in this book is fantastic. It captures the feel of the game perfectly.
[5 of 5 Stars!]