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 Fey "Alignment"
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AryalůmŽ
Senior Scribe

USA
666 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2012 :  03:29:24  Show Profile Send AryalůmŽ a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So, I've got my hands on this really great sourcebook for D&D (not official) called The Complete Guide to Fey, which was published by Goodman Games. In it, it details (quite intricately, like Bastion Press's Faeries) the fae and their courts, with several different classes designed towards fae.

However, I, of course, have a problem. Why is it that everyone must make a GOOD AND BAD COURT OF FAE???? Why????? In no actual folklore are the fae EVER described as good or evil. In Celtic folklore, the two most famous courts, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of Scotland, are two courts that seems to oppose each other, but are never "good" or "evil".

"Good" and "evil" are useless and meaningless to the fae (at least, from what true folklore provides us) and the continued effort to define the fae as such is very ridiculous. This is one of the reasons why I despise the alignment system in D&D.

I mean, I know I can just through those rules out, but it really bothers me! The fae should be the ones to break all of the rules regarding alignment and general morals. These sorts of ideas should be completely alien to them. What would you all say in regarding this?

Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2012 :  05:47:15  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thats a great source - I used to have it. I really like their take on some stuff.

As for the Fey, I think what they are (in terms of outlook and personality) are usually described in human terms, since its us humans reading the books, but we have to use common sense and realize these are ALIEN beings we are talking about. Some things they do may look like 'good' or 'evil' to us, but most of what they do and why is an enigma.

So a fey might not consider itself good or evil - its just 'doing its thing'. Its how we perceive its most common actions, and the usual actions of its court. By the same token, in some ways the Unseelie fey may be assigned certain 'good' qualities (for instance, I think they are far more honest - they just try to weasel out of the spirit of contract by following it to the letter). I guess if I had to give them an alignment, I would say Seelie fey were Chaotic Good and Unseelie fey were lawful Evil (but both exhibit some tendencies of the other alignments, so its really impossible to assign them alignments from a human perspective).

And I realize no fey is truly lawful, but I just get the idea (from folklore) the 'evil' fey tend to make bargains and stick to them, whereas 'good' fey will just forget about promises made. I guess from their perspective, it might be more about integrity/honor and less about being 'lawful' (I assume, here, that 'integrity' itself is an Unseelie notion, something probably picked up from humans).

So, yeah... give them credit for trying to place very alien creatures within a framework of rules (D&D) designed around human sensibilities and opinions. The fey probably have their own alignment system based around stuff like 'balance', and a good sense of humor.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 05 Aug 2012 16:23:26
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AryalůmŽ
Senior Scribe

USA
666 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2012 :  16:19:08  Show Profile Send AryalůmŽ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really love what World of Darkness did with their fae. It is probably one of the most accurate depictions of them I've seen in any rpg. Completely alien to all mortal ideas of right, wrong, good, evil and everything in between.

I actually like that some are lawful. The realm of Faerie, as it is most often described, is a place of wonder, horror; dreams, nightmares, and chaos. To have some anomalies (like law abiding and traditional fae) would make it delicious. Much fae lore depicts fae as anomalies as well, so it wouldn't be far off.

I just really, really despise the alignment system with an unholy passion. It's so constricting and makes it impossible (for me) to have good character development. To me, it likes to place things in neat little categories and dictates that a character always acts this way and that. It's like communism in our very rpgs.

I'm going to be modeling the attitudes and beliefs of the fae that I play as from sources like Changeling: The Dreaming and Dark Ages: Fae from World of Darkness. The fae aren't humans, so why try to make them have human feelings and emotions?

Now, I do LOVE this book. I think it is probably the greatest sourcebook for all things fae related in D&D (even though it's not official). I love all of the fae races, classes, pretty much everything in it. I think they did an excellent job of creating something for fae lovers.

Edited by - AryalůmŽ on 05 Aug 2012 16:21:25
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2012 :  16:29:08  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, fey love to imitate things, often in mockery of them. I can see a fey court being run like a kangaroo court, a'la Alice in Wonderland.

So even when you see Fey being 'good' or 'evil', they may just being having fun and imitating things they have seen, and they themselves have no clue that their actions are perceived as good or evil.

"Hey, I saw some humans chopping off some other humans heads! That looks like a jolly-good time! I want to try it - who's in?"

So they could commit atrocities, and be perfectly innocent of malice. people tend to forget demi-humans/humanoids/sentient monsters are NOT human, and don't think like us at all. Picture what a cow would think of us, if we were able to talk to one. Or almost any animal for that matter. We probably confuse the hell out of them. Thats what other races would seem like to us.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2012 :  16:39:36  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I too view the fey as fundamentally outside the moral framework of mortals, but the same could be said of demons, angels, or another non-humanoid race.

There's some validity to the thought that alignment is more an outside judgment, rather than a quality of your character. You don't go around thinking "I'm lawful good, so I do these things"--rather, history and the people you interact with make judgments about your moral character based on your actions. So some fey seem "good," while others seem "evil," but neither term means much to the actual fey.

It's more of an aid to the DM to suggest what the fey in question might do, rather than a genuinely defining quality.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

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Delwa
Master of Realmslore

USA
1249 Posts

Posted - 05 Aug 2012 :  18:20:10  Show Profile  Visit Delwa's Homepage Send Delwa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

I too view the fey as fundamentally outside the moral framework of mortals, but the same could be said of demons, angels, or another non-humanoid race.

There's some validity to the thought that alignment is more an outside judgment, rather than a quality of your character. You don't go around thinking "I'm lawful good, so I do these things"--rather, history and the people you interact with make judgments about your moral character based on your actions. So some fey seem "good," while others seem "evil," but neither term means much to the actual fey.

It's more of an aid to the DM to suggest what the fey in question might do, rather than a genuinely defining quality.

Cheers


This.
I personally like the alignment system as a base idea on how to run a monster, or a general rule of thumb as to how a character (or, as a PC, my character) would react in any given situation. But that's all they are; they're more like guidelines.
Since it's nearly impossible for me, as a human, to view things as a non-human, it provides a starting point.

- Delwa Aunglor of Tangled Trees
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Alystra Illianniis
Great Reader

USA
3747 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2012 :  05:10:22  Show Profile  Click to see Alystra Illianniis's MSN Messenger address Send Alystra Illianniis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you'd prefer a different take on alignments, try looking up the Paladium system's alignments. They are much more accurate (IMHO) to how an alignment should work. They roughly equate to the D&D alignments, but the descriptions and definitions are much better.

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3594 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2012 :  06:09:37  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you want to talk to someone who can give you some solid ideas about Fey, I'd track down and try to contact Angel McCoy.

She has done work for BOTH WotC and Whitewolf I think...both on the Fey (as well as other things for the World of Darkness).

She once upon a time lived here in Radford VA and was an awesome storyteller for our LARP action! That was an age now gone however...

AD&D for me!
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Quale
Master of Realmslore

1757 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2012 :  07:39:01  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erendriel Durothil

... the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of Scotland, are two courts that seems to oppose each other, but are never "good" or "evil".

"Good" and "evil" are useless and meaningless to the fae (at least, from what true folklore provides us)



it's true the Unseelie Court is not evil all the time like the fiends, their bad deeds outnumber the good ones significantly, the alignment system is objective on that, it's from the collective point of view and belief of most creatures in the multiverse
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