Once - a Fairy Tale setting

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Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:42 pm

Once is a setting that has its own set of rules I’m designing for it. Slowly. Very very slowly. But I like the theme and the fluff, and so did some of my online RPG buds, so I’m going to be posting some of it.

Once for Mutants and Masterminds
Stories. Legends. Myths. Fables. Tall Tales. Fictions. Parables. Nursery Rhymes. Fairy Tales.

Every culture that has ever existed has told stories. Some are great sweeping epics. Some are simple stories that are embedded into the collective consciousness of a whole generation. Some a simply made up on the playground and forgotten by supper time. But the truth is these stories have life.

Now not all the time. Sometimes they really are just like cotton candy: sweet and fun and dissolved and finished. But many stories – the good ones – have a life of their own. And they live out their lives in Land.

Land is a world separate from our own where the fanciful is fact and the extraordinary is common place. It is the world where the characters from our favorite Fairy Tales exist and live. They are just as alive as you and me; and sometimes a lucky few from our “real” world find themselves in Land.

Table of Contents
Themes of Once
Introduction to Land Including the Four Great Epochs
Inhabitants of Land
The land of Land
Player Characters also applies to NPCs
Grimms
Markets of Land
The Sultan's Royal City and the Silk Way

Families
BeQuick
Charming
Christmas
Goose
Hood
White

Iconic Characters
King Charming II
Queen Cinderella
Baisley, Fairy-mother

Father Christmas
Snow Queen

BeQuick
Mother Goose
Snow White
Robin Hood
Riding Hood
Bad Wolf

Aesop
King and Queen Rosethorne
Sandman
Easter Bunnies
Pied Piper
Peter Pan

Evil Queen
Magic Mirror

Lord Oxenbo
Mistress Mary
King Midas

The White Queen
The Red Queen

Aesop
PT Barnum
Shahrazade
Last edited by NYpurdy on Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:41 pm, edited 24 times in total.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:45 pm

Themes

There are plenty of themes that run through Fairy Tales. Storytellers and Players should feel free to incorporate any theme of their choosing into their adventures (and are encouraged to do so with their characters Morals – but more on that later).There are some that we think are particularly important to the world of Once.

Good is Good and Bad is Bad

We all know good triumphs over evil eventually. Fairy Tale heroes may be quirky and odd, but the real heroes are Good. To really get in the spirit of Once then players should embrace this. Sure, there is still room for deception, selfishness, and back stabbing – but motivations are often pretty polarized.

Nothing is Impossible!

Talking animals, flying sleds, and trolls aren’t even unusual in parts of Land. When playing Once, Players and Storytellers alike should embrace the wonder and whimsy of the fairy tale stories. Sure, there may be a simple way to solve a problem… but where is the excitement in that? The rules and setting of Once allow players to accomplish truly spectacular feats. The players should embrace this and shoot for the stars (maybe even literally if they have a bow).

The More Things Change the More Things Stay the Same

Characters, especially Player Characters, in Once grow over the course of the game. They gain new abilities, new skills, or a new pair of magic shoes. Fairy Tale characters grow to look more like their home, or their environment, or the other members of their family, but as they do so they also become more rigid in how they live their lives. Fairy Tale characters tend to become very stereotyped. They like to eat the same foods, perform the same routines, and treat newcomers the same way. Player Characters experience this as well, the more they advance in fantastical ways the more odd quirks they develop. Storytellers can use this to show the downfalls of individuals and kingdoms stuck in a rut, and characters from the Real World should beware become too fixed in Fairy Tale life before they no longer fit in back home!

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Family is the most important thing. They take care of you, they love you, and they protect you from evil witches. And most of all they tell you bedtime stories. And not because they have to! But because they want to.

However, Families are a bit different in Land compared the Real World. When we think of family we tend to think of a mom and a dad and their little children. If we think a second longer we add in grandma and grandpa… and the aunts and uncles and cousins… and the step- and half- and adopted and the practically-adopted-but-technically-not family members. Then we might add in friends and neighbors as “ceremonial family members.” This broad picture of family is exactly what the word means in Land.

And it has to! Time is weird in Land; at least by Real World standards. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to pass at all. Years and years and years may pass without anything seeming to age. The young baker and his wife are still raising their baby after all of these decades. Fairy Tale people are often just as stubborn as Fairy Tale time is. That same young family might still be doing the exact same things they were doing a decade or six before. This is why characters in our stories can be passed down from generation to generation – because the characters are still alive and well! Now sometimes time passes very quickly in Land, too, but more often than not time seems to be standing still in Land.

This means that families don’t branch out and grow and mature in Land the way they do in the Real World and many families and communities never have children. Yet most Fairy Tale characters have a deep-down-in-their-soul desire to belong to a family. Why else does every other villain want to kidnap a baby for their very own? This is one reason why Real World children are so welcomed (or hunted) in parts of Land.

To fulfill this need ceremonial families have developed. Iconic, notable, and influential characters gather other characters around them and “adopt” them into their family. These newly inducted family members often take on the title or surname of their family leaders as a sign of respect, and begin to take on traits similar to them as well.

While not all characters belong to Families, especially the rank and file of Land who are more concerned with their ridged routines and narrow interests than developing relationships, many still belong to their unique organizations.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:48 pm

An Introduction to Land

Land is where stories live. Mother Goose, Cinderella, Father Christmas… you can find them all here! Though maybe not exactly how you expected. The following pages explain just a sliver of Land’s history, geography, and people. But first we need to reflect on the Real World…

The “Real” World

Philosophers can fight about what Reality really is. To the people of Land the Real World is where we, the players, live. It is the modern earth with the same countries, and technologies, and problems that we know and deal with every day. The stories of Land have influenced how Real Worlders think and often seep into our dreams. But most of the time Landers live in Land and Real Worlders live in the Real World.

Sometimes the two cross. A rabbit hole, a wardrobe, or a Kansas twister may just be the secret tunnel connecting the Real World to Land. Real Worlders find themselves in a place that is likewise extremely bizarre and comfortingly familiar. Children and teens are especially prone to find these secret paths.

In Land they find that their fluid way of thinking and their imagination allows them to bend the world of Land to their wishes, but the longer they stay in Land the more they become like the fairy tale characters with the same quirks and repetitive natures. Some eventually return home, some fall in love and stay, and too many become a meal for a witch or a giant!

The items that a Real Worlder carry with them into Land often take on fantastic powers which complete fade away if those items are brought back to the Real World. Some Real Worlders develop into Grimms. Often stern and foreboding, these former Real Worlders have gained real control over shaping the stories of the Land to their will, but at the cost of being able to return home.

Land

Land, by contrast, is where the fanciful characters of story and song live. Fairy tale characters, mythical heroes, and completely unrealistic beasts live, work, fall in love, and bake cakes. Life in Land is not always ideal (though sometimes it is), for the creatures of our nightmares and scary stories live there, too.

Time in Land

Time passes in Land just the way it does in the Real World… except when it doesn’t. Days and nights generally follow the pattern we are familiar with. Seasons, too. But sometimes Night chooses to stay too long. Sometimes Winter takes a Holiday. And Fall and Spring have been known to try to take residence at the same time.

Even more striking are the passing of years in Land. Years may pass and nothing seems to change. Individuals do not grow older, trees might not grow, and houses might never finish being built. Except sometimes they do! And a tree might grow up overnight or an entire generation may live their lives in what you thought was only a week. Time is not reliable in Land.

For this reason events are used to mark the passing of time (if you can even call it that). The history of Land can therefore be broken up in Epochs that the citizens use to determine the order of events. While characters may enter Land during any of these Epochs (and play can be set there) this book assumes Once will be played in the Broken Epoch. Regardless, an overview of these large areas of fairy tale history is important to understanding Land.

The Wild Epoch

Before the rise of the Charming Kingdom the citizens of land were separate and disorganized. Many of them focused only on providing for their own needs and fending off the mighty beasts that roamed the land. While some of the oldest Landers existed at this time, many of them had yet to be born (or however else they came into existence). Little is recorded about this time because little occurred outside of the cycle of survival: gather food, fight monster, sleep, and repeat. Dragon, trolls, giants, and others were much more common place than they are now. The giants were especially fearsome, and the most organized of the evil creatures. Fire, frost, and hill giants routinely attacked and ate entire villages. And that was just the way it was.

The Royal Epoch

The Wild Epoch ended with the rise of King Charming. What sparked him to greatness we may never know. There had certainly been heroes before in Land, but he was able to unite the fairy tale people and drive out the Giants. Those giants who weren’t slain fled to castles in the sky or cracks that lead deep into the earth. Other monsters became increasing rare and the golden age of Land began. Most of the Land was united under the Charming Crown, and many of the storybook characters we love and embrace came into their own during this time.

The Dark Epoch

King Charming needed a Queen. And he found one who was fairer than anyone else in Land. The Fairest of them All, you could say. However she was an Evil Sorceress with patience and cunning. She slowly used her magic to poison the mind and heart of King Charming. The Evil Queen, as she is now called, caused his many sons to be banished from the castle. She tricked King Charming into taxing and exploiting his people, and into making disastrous alliances with the previously banished giant lords.

The darkest moment for all of Land was the death of King Charming – poisoned at the hand of his own Queen. Some organized a resistance to her tyranny: Mother Goose, The Eldest Prince Charming and his young bride Cinderella, Jack BeQuick, and others. But their power was limited compared to hers. It wasn’t until her trusted and powerful Magic Mirror discovered Snow White and proclaimed her Fairer than the Queen that the resistance saw a way to overthrow the Evil Queen.

Fueled by her obsession over beauty the Evil Queen was lured to a forest glen after Snow White. She successfully cursed the young girl into a deep sleep, but while the treachery was done her castle was stormed and her Precious mirror was smashed. As the shards of the mirror blew away in an evil wind her power over the royals at the castle instantly broke, and they returned to their former simple, and good, selves. Her greatest ally the Giant King was defeated by Jack BeQuick. The evil Queen disappeared, finally defeated.

The Broken Epoch

Even though the Evil Queen was defeated, the kingdom of King Charming was never reformed. Instead, many different royals made claims to the crown. Many royal kingdoms have formed, though a new King Charming and his Queen Cinderella rule over the largest one. Additionally, many of the important characters of Land resisted being ruled by one king again, least another great tragedy occurred. Instead, they retreated to their own sections of Land and gathered their Families around them. Many of the darkest spells cast by the Evil Queen were broken, but monsters once again wander Land, and the Queen and the Shards of her magic mirror wait for their opportunity to claim power, and revenge, from the people of Land. And they pounce on every opportunity to turn the good-hearted evil.

This is the Epoch in which Once occurs.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:54 pm

Inhabitants of Land

Land is full of all kinds of weird and wonderful characters, but there is some consistency to the general populace of the world.

Commoners

Many of the fields and towns are filled with Commoners. These men and women usually appear like people from the Real World’s past; often medieval or Elizabethan times but they may spread the whole of non-modern history. What is characteristic about Commoners is that they live to fulfill their job. Whether it’s being a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, a farmer, or a beggar there role is what is most important to them. Often they have exaggerated features that make them look like caricatures of “normal” people, and appear to Real Worlders to be painfully oblivious to problems not involving their chosen livelihood.

Royals

Royals are the men and women who make up the nobility of Land’s royal kingdoms. Royals may appear more relatable to Real Worlders than their common kinsmen. They tend to be more educated, more dynamic, and more attractive and well-proportioned than Commoners. But this dynamic nature is just as much of a fixation as the Commoners’ jobs. Royals are often fickle and unstable while simultaneously being overly concerned with the rules, laws, and by-laws of their station. The Princes Charming and their courts are much less likely to be as unpredictable as other Royals, but even in their circles a duke or baroness could cause serious trouble for the heroes.

Animals

Animals are a staple in nearly every Real World culture’s stories, and they are equally present in Land. Animals generally come in three types. First there are normal animals, and by most measures they are just like their Real World counterparts. Sometimes they show up in unexpected places or seem just a bit too smart or are oddly sized, but generally they are the same. Then there are the Talking Animals. These creature look just like their non-speaking kin, but they are far brighter. They can converse with the characters, solve problems, and even manipulate items to a decent degree. Last are the Walking Animals. These are animals who walk on two legs, wear clothing (or at least some clothing), and carry items like any other character. These different types of animals tend to get along well with each other, and over the course of a creature’s life it may very well progress from a non-talking sheep to Sir Lambskin the Brave.

Everything Else

While the above three groups are by far the most plentiful in Land Dwarves, trolls, mermaids, fairies, and scores of other characters exist. Add to these the truly unique creatures like Humpty Dumpty or the Cheshire Cat and there is no end to the type of personalities a hero might met in Land.

A Note on Famous Characters

Even though the characters in Land are the same in our Real World stories, they do not translate completely from one world to the other. This explains why we can have competing and conflicting versions of the same stories, even though they are about the same Land character. For the same reason Real Worlders should not be surprised when their fairy tale favorites are not just how they imagined them.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby Libra » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:06 pm

This seems a setting rich with promise NY - I am eager to see whatever else you care to deliver for our scrutiny. :D
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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby Voltron64 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:16 pm

Alright, an excuse to play Snow White, the Wizard and the Thirteen Dwarves! :wink:
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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:42 pm

Thanks for the replies! I gathered up a bunch of the location descriptions I had for this next post. It also gives a bit of color to the history and the major characters in Land.


The land of Land

The Royal Kingdoms

The Royal Kingdoms is the name given to the many different independent kingdoms that formed from what was once King Charming’s kingdom before the fall of the Evil Queen. Most of these new nations and city-states are peaceful, and maintain ties to the current King Charming who rules from Cinderella Castle. Some, however, are ruled by royals who wish to see their personal power expand and maintain allies with distasteful individuals to help succeed in their goal. Nearly every one of the Royal Kingdoms has a castle of some sort at the center of their land from which the local commoners are governed. These kingdoms are so small in places these castles are mere miles away from each other.

The Charming Kingdom is still, by far, the largest Royal Kingdom. After the coronation of the newest King Charming he changed the name of the castle to honor his young bride, the Queen Cinderella. Cinderella Castle is the most exquisite example of fairy tale castles with soaring towers and billowing flags. Any character in Land who promises to abide by the laws of the Charming Kingdom is welcomed into its borders, and granted land of their own if they desire. In many ways it is the ideal of what a nation should be, though the people of Land are understandably worried to place absolute power in one throne again.

Cloud Castle, the Bean Stalks, and the Giantfall Lake

During the Dark Epoch the Giant King ruled his kingdom from a castle built in the sky. On that fateful day when Jack BeQuick severed the beanstalk and sent the Giant King tumbling to his death the giants that followed him fled to kingdoms in the sky far away from their former lord’s stronghold. The famous beanstalk was just one of several huge bean vines that erupted from Jack’s magic beans. Cloud Castle once floated freely above Land, but has since been rooted in place by the giant climbing Bean Stalks that keep it tethered to the ground.

The Giant King was the largest Giant that Land had ever known. When the Giant King made impact with the ground below he caused a huge crater the shape of his body. His faithful giant wife that had been tricked into letting Jack into their castle was so overcome with grief that she leaned over the side of the cloud she had lived on and wept into the crater below. She cried for a year and a day, and on that last day her whole body dissolved into salty tears and fell into the lake she had cried below. Giantfall Lake, as this tear-filled crater is now called, is surrounded by the still living bean stalks. The water is slightly salty, befitting of a lake full of tears. The giant wife’s angry and grieving spirit still lives within the water, and sometimes whips the water into such violent waves that it sinks the ships and drowns the sailors who have built a life harvesting the fish from it. The lake is especially vengeful against members of the BeQuick family.

The growing Bean Stalks provide both the anchor for Cloud Castle and the pathway to reaching it. Jack BeQuick the Giant-Killer and his family have maintained residency within its walls, with Jack’s own manor being built upon the throne that belonged to the now-dead Giant King. The castle has bean-tendrils that snake through walls and windows that are slowly breaking apart the castle, but its huge size makes it impossible for the BeQuicks to properly repair it. Overall, Cloud Castle is largely considered to be a welcoming place full of brave and fun characters, but they must also be vigilant against raiding Giants who come down from distant cloud cities that can occasionally be glimpsed in the far off distance.

Dark Forest and Sanctuary Glen

The Dark Forest has long been a sanctuary for evil and vile hags. Rumor has it that the coven of the dark forest taught the Evil Queen her magical prowess, but others doubt she would allow herself to associate with such ugly creatures. Regardless it was into the Dark Forest that Snow White had been chased by the Evil Queen. Any would have expected the haunted trees of the forest to have finished her off if the hags hadn’t caught her first, but in a stoke of fate and luck Snow White managed to find the Sanctuary Glen at the heart of the dark forest.

Sanctuary Glen is an area of safety and protection within the Dark Forest. At its border vegetation immediately changes from twisted and blighted to green and healthy. Evil and Wicked characters are unable to enter the area as well. It’s well known that Snow White met a band of Dwarves who mined the area of the Sanctuary Glen for precious jewels, but few Real Worlders know that after Snow White was woken from her magic slumber she chose to remain in the Glen with her Dwarf and Animal Friends. People of the Sanctuary Glen and the White Family tend to be isolationists, for travel through the Dark Forest is dangerous, but the precious gems and the protective magic found in the place commonly draws others from across Land to brave the forest for themselves.

Rosethorne Castle and the Brambles

King and Queen Rosethorne are the rulers of Rosethorne Castle and the surrounding brambles. The story is that King Rosethorne was once a close friend, or even brother, to the first King Charming. However a powerful curse changed him into a ferocious man-beast. He retreated to his private castle. The land surrounding it twisted to reflect its master’s new nature. Instead of meadows and trees there were brambles and briers with only the occasional rose to remind passerbys of the beauty that once was Rosethorne’s domain. The king surrounded himself with animated objects that he couldn’t kill and the most unsavory of men. To curb his now insatiable appetite for human flesh his new servants would hunt and capture royals and commoners from nearby lands. With the Evil Queen now controlling the kingdom there was no one to protect the locals from the Beast King of Rosethorne.

When the young maiden who later became Queen Rosethorne was first brought to the castle the King’s heart was touched in a way it hadn’t been for years. First he kept her locked in his tower, but eventually the two fell in love and the evil curse weakened. Today, the King has returned to his once regal (and human) appearance and demeanor. But the curse’s power was strong enough to not be completely undone – even by true love. As soon as the moon rises he changes once again into the ferocious Beast-King and will feast on any living creature he encounters except for his beloved Queen. His former man-hunters have been banished, but he maintains his animated servants. The bramble forest surrounding his isolated castle has remained, and most in the surrounding areas have forgotten all but the vaguest of rumors about King and Queen Rosethorne and their magical castle.

Wolf Wood and the Royal Highway

The Wolf Wood appears like a European old growth forest with soaring trees and sunlight gently streaming through the canopy. It appears picturesque from the trail that runs through the woods – the Royal Highway. This wide road is paved with cobblestones and connects the North Sea to the South Sea by way of the Royal Kingdoms. Most characters that travel the Wolf Wood stick to the Royal Highway, for once off of the trail the trees shift positions when no one is watching, and it becomes increasingly difficult to find your way back to the trail.

Even more dangerous than becoming lost in the Wolf Woods is the character that grants the woods its name – the Big Bad Wolf. Bad Wolf is a huge bull-size talking wolf that leads a pack of vicious wolves and feral people on a perpetual hunt through the forest. The Hood family, led by Robin and Riding Hood, rescue lost travelers and patrol the Royal Highway, but not for free. The Hoods demand a high toll for this protection, especially from Royals who can afford it.

North Pole

Far beyond the North Sea is a land of ice and snow called the Frozen North. At the exact center of this frozen land is the North Pole. While this name accurately refers to the whole land watched over by Father Christmas, it also refers to the large spire that towers over the area. The North Pole is a large, sweeping sliver of silver and ice and extends high into the cloudy northern sky. North Pole Town surrounds this landmark. Here the Christmas Family answers letters for help that are magically delivered to their town. Talking Polar Bears, small tinkering elves and gnomes, snowmen, and yetis are all common in the North Pole, and all these characters, like much of the world, have a warm place in their heart for Father Christmas.

This elderly but energetic man oversees the construction and enchanting of magical gifts that are delivered throughout the world. Unlike the traditions that have been built up in the Real World, Father Christmas delivers gifts for only the most good-hearted and in-need characters in Land. This noble work is often endangered by the wicked denizens that also live in the frozen north, including the Snow Queen, whose heart of ice has caused her to hate all other people.

To defend his village from the Snow Queen’s attacks Father Christmas has created the Northern Lights. This magical defense system is generated by clockwork buried deep underneath the North Pole, and projected out using the pole as a radio tower of sorts. The Aurora Borealis (as the Northern Lights are also called) shields the North Pole from magical attacks as well as flying foes, but it has been known to block friendly visitors who are visiting unannounced as well.

Nursery Town

Nursery Town has been built up as the Elizabethan village that a Real Worlder might expect their favorite nursery rhyme characters to live in. The thatched roofs, cobblestone streets, and timber framed homes give the town a quaint and inviting appearance. The Goose Family runs Nursery Town and it’s considered a safe place for any good character to visit.

Mother Goose and her Family have dedicated themselves to protecting Real World children who have crossed into land, and as such many Real Worlders can be found in Nursery Town. This has caused the town to be the target of raids and attacks by many wicked characters who seek to kidnap the children for their own. The Flying Goose brigade, made up of knights on the giant flying geese raised by the townsfolk, patrol and protect the town from such attacks.

Sands of Time

The Land is bordered by the Sands of Time. This desert is vast, and made up of shifting dunes dotted with peculiar stone pillars. It is said that the reason time passes so oddly in Land is because most of it is stored here - and an unlucky traveler may stumble into a cave and come out a moment later 50 years older! The denizens of the desert nearly always have clocks, hour glasses, or pendulums as part of their body: including the herds of camels that roam the Sands with clock faces instead of humps.

The self-proclaimed king of the desert is the Sandman. While generally benign, he needs to feed on vibrant dreams to survive. His castle of dreams contains hundreds of imaginative individuals that are kept under a magic curse of sleep to supply him what he needs.
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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:18 pm

Characters

Characters are the people (or animals or monsters) that live, work, fight, and exist in Once.

Family

Within Once, and also the Land where the characters live, family is one of the most important things there are. However, with the bizarre passing of time children may remain children forever and new babies may never be born. (Though this isn’t always the case! Just ask the old woman who lives in a shoe!) Instead, families are largely ceremonial in the Land. Especial iconic and famous characters tend to attract a band of individuals who become their family. Taking on the last name or title of these iconic characters is not all the family members do; they also take on their traits and abilities.

Job

The job, or role, a character fulfills often has a huge impact on who they become. Whether a princess, a tailor, a woodcutter, or a shepherd the character often takes on physical characteristics that correspond to what they do in life.

Moral

The last aspect of character creation is determining the character’s Moral. A Moral is a statement that summarizes the lesson, or theme, of the character. Examples could be “Good Conquers All,” “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine,” “Money CAN Buy Happiness,” or “Never Trust a Dog.” This should reflect who the character is. Besides being a nice tool for determining how a character may react in any given situation, the Moral is a great tool for gaining Hero Points, and should be treated as a complication. Whenever the character performs in a way that really exemplifies his Moral, then the Storyteller should award the player a Hero Point.

All characters start with a Moral.

Quirks

Quirks are weaknesses that develop as Characters become more entrenched in a specific role in Land. Characters should freely take some to represent their fairy tale-ness. Real Worlders do not have quirks naturally, but may develop them as they stay in Land.

Quirks come in several types, such as Compulsions, Weaknesses, and Limitations, and are represented as drawbacks.

Compulsions are things the character has to do - such as make an unmade bed, run from spiders, or taste any unattended food. To resist a compulsion the character must first make a Bravery roll. If the Character chooses this same compulsion more than once than she must succeed that number of times on as an Extended Bravery action. Weaknesses are things that cause harm to the character, such as water, salt, or singing. Limitations are things that drain energy from the character when he encounters them - such as lead, entering a house uninvited, or receiving a gift. Though not necessary, gaining quirks may also be accompanied by small changes in the characters appearance. Slowly a farmer may turn into scarecrow, a musician into a living harp, and a miser into a bent old man. Characters instantly know what their Quirks are.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:46 am

Today I’m sharing one of the notable Families in Land. Families are the organizations in Land that hold things together. Characters belonging to one of these families often share fundamental qualities with other family members. Remember, family membership is largely symbolic and does not necessarily represent biological relationships.

Players can purchase the feat Benefit: (Family) with their family specified, with more ranks representing being more central, well known, and important to that family.

The two main characters, King Charming II and Queen Cinderella will get some attention later.


The Charming Family

The sons of the first King Charming have now established several kingdoms. Whether they are a part of the royal Kingdom ruled by the current King Charming and Queen Cinderella or one of the smaller kingdoms, members of the family Charming swear loyalty to one of these princes.

The bulk of the family is made up of royals, but noble minded talking animals, helpful fairies, and valuable commoners likewise swear allegiance. Due to the size of these kingdoms many people claim to be members of the Charming’s inner circle, but only those who know, and love them, personally are truly members of the family. The ideals of honor, virtue, and beauty are the core of what it means to be a Charming.

Typical Family Members

Princes, Princesses, Dukes, Duchesses, etc. – It sometimes seem that there are more royals in the Royal Kingdoms than subjects! Whether sweet and genuine or crafty and proud, the castles are filled with royal Charmings

Knights – Both knight and steed alike are valued defenders of the royal kingdoms; sometimes from outside forces and sometimes from other royals. Armed with swords and lances and riding horses and Pegasus the knights of the Charming family never lack for bravery.

Royal Servants – Maids, cooks, butlers, chauffeurs, wigmakers, window washers, horse groomers, dog walkers, chamber pot cleaners… castles need to be run by someone!

Character Options

Charmings are certainly that, and whether they have some sort of magic charm or are simply well-spoken players may consider having a high charisma, strong social skills, or more.

More so than most other families, a Charming royal may have servants or a steed that can be purchased as a sidekick or minion.

Princes have long made a name for themselves for their brave exploits in battle. A magic sword or armor, Favored Enemy against giants or dragons, and the Fearless feat might be a great start. Of course, don’t count the princesses out either!

Sample Character – Harp

Harp has served as a court musician for the royal families for a very long time. He has come to look like one of his beloved instruments: his skin is gold and metallic and his chest has been replaced by a perfectly tuned lyre. His performances are not quite legendary, but his skill means he is constantly in demand for parties and coronations.

If there is one thing Harp can't stand is the crying of a baby ruining his performance. It bothers him so much he has left castles entirely when a new infant is welcomed into the family. Otherwise, he is able to navigate royal politics well and has a personality many find charming.

Harp is a poor combatant himself, but has the social skills and area powers to be a strong asset to his team. His charm, musicianship, and knowledge of royal gossip can also help on many adventures in Land.

Harp may be fed up with a new baby or an ungrateful patron and travel with others for a while to take a break from royal life. Alternatively, maybe he said something he shouldn't to a little prince and was sent away - at least until his music is missed. Harp may also be encountered at any royal castle. He might be helpful, or dismissive, but he tries to always maintain an air of decorum around him in typical royal fashion.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:44 pm

The Christmas Family

Members of the Christmas family come from North Pole Town and work alongside Father Christmas. Much of the family is made up of the small tinker elves and gnomes that work in Christmas's factory, talking polar bears, clockwork toys, and snowmen. Real World adventurers who have crossed from the tundra of earth to the Frozen North of land have found a home with Father Christmas as well.

The creed of Father Christmas is "Give to the Deserving." Many Family members tend to be generous and industrious. The aspect of defending the North Pole and judging the characters of Land leave some with a cold and stern demeanor, but nearly always with a soft spot under the proverbial (and sometimes literal) cold shoulder.

Typical Family Members

Toymaker - The shorter tinker elves and gnomes that make up the bulk of Father Christmas's factory workforce work for the joy of creation! They like nothing more than receiving a letter from a deserving individual and figuring out a way to solve their problem.

Polar Guard - While the Northern Lights protect the sky around North Pole Town, the polar guard protects the land. Their ranks are primarily filled with walking polar bears armed with spears and halberds armored with helmets and breastplates.

Postmen - The postmen and post-women of the North Pole serve two purposes: reading and prioritizing the many letters that arrive at the North Pole by magical means, and delivering the gifts that Father Christmas is unable to take care of personally. A diverse group of individuals, a means to fly is crucial to the Christmas postal service.

Character Options

Christmas family members are likely to have a bit of magic up their sleeves, especially if this comes from a tinker made item or toy. Postmen and women must have some means of flight and may have a way to magically slip into locked homes; maybe right down the chimney? Toymakers are able to have remarkable craft skills and may do will with clockwork Minions or several Devices.

Ice, snow, and cold related powers also fit the Christmas character perfectly. And any character engaged in helping Father Christmas write his list may have an extensive knowledge of the people of Land or the ability to sense whether someone is Naughty or Nice.

Christmas characters have an affinity for artic animals, which opens up options with the Summon or Shapeshift power. Lastly, players may be able to harness the Northern Lights, and use their magical light as both a weapon and a defense.

Sample Character – Nancy Christmas

Nancy is a young postal service member-in-training. She has lots of enthusiasm and isn’t afraid to jump in – even if it’s over her head! Her magic scarf grants her the ability to fly, and she’s got a mean snowball throwing arm and keeps a stock of snowballs in her satchel.

Nancy looks similar to Real World elves-on-the-shelf. She dresses in red and white with her magic red scarf tied around her waist. The height of a child, her dexterity and flight may make her a hard to hit distraction or a perfect airborne scout.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:04 pm

Iconic Characters

King Charming II


King Charming II is the eldest son of the first King Charming, the very King who ended the Wild Epoch, reigned over the Royal Epoch, and was ensorcelled by the Evil Queen and died during the Dark Epoch. After the Evil Queen was defeated this Prince claimed his Father’s throne but received only a portion of the Royal Kingdom. His domain is now called the Charming Kingdom, and he rules from the castle he has named after his queen, Cinderella Castle.

King Charming appears young compared to the kings of nearby kingdoms, but carries himself with regal grace. His reputation for wisdom, fairness, and courage does him justice. Besides caring to the affairs of his kingdom, King Charming does his best to reunite the Royal Kingdoms and respond to threats across Land. Though he is repeatedly disappointed by the pettiness of his fellow royals, he maintains hope in a unified Land.

Queen Cinderella

In her past Cinderella was no more than a slave in her step-mother’s manor. She spent her days performing hard labor and her nights shackled to the hearth in the kitchen. With help from the brownie that Cinderella still refers to as her fairy-mother Cinderella escaped from her shackles and famously walked into the court of the first King Charming, dressed in royal finery, and demanded justice for the commoners being oppressed by local royals.

She and the King’s eldest son fell in love and were married in a ceremony finer than any that had ever been seen in Land. When the Evil Queen first started executing royals who opposed her Cinderella orchestrated an evacuation of her entire household, servants included, before the Queen’s guards arrived. Not one for combat herself, she became an angel to those loyal to the King but suffering under the Queen, and often organized relief for those in most need.

Now as Queen, Cinderella is beloved by her people, fawned over by her husband and respected by dignitaries across the Royal Kingdoms. Having never forgotten the life she once had she’s warm, personable, and willing to get her hands dirty; all traits rare among royals.

Baisley, Fairy-mother

Queen Cinderella had been watched over by the brownie that once lived within her father’s manor her whole life. Humble and elderly, this diminutive fae woman is able to create pieces of clothing at miraculous speeds, and provided the famous gown and glass slippers. Since the Queen’s coronation the brownie is no-longer required to do household chores, but there is little Cinderella can do to stop her. Baisley is nearly always following closely behind the queen, but rarely speaks or acts unless the Queen is directly threatened.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:07 pm

Iconic Characters

Father Christmas


Father Christmas is one of the few characters who remember the Wild Epoch. Despite how much destruction he has seen over his long life he remains an immensely generous and kind man. Father Christmas has considerable magic, but often waits to use it in order to give others the opportunity to learn an important lesson or to prove to themselves how important they are. He spends most of his energy engaging in two activities: protecting the Frozen North and answering the letters of characters all across land.

A letter addressed to Father Christmas and endowed with the tiniest bit of belief will always find its way to his home at North Pole Town. His postal service deals with the prioritizing, sorting, and answering of most letters but Father Christmas himself frequently responds to the needs of others directly.

Father Christmas has gathered around him one of the largest families, but he still manages to know each member by name. His flying reindeer and sleigh allow him to travel across Land at incredible speeds and he seems to show up when he is most needed.

Snow Queen

The Snow Queen is as old as Father Christmas. Since the Wild Epoch she has tried to spread the absolutely frigid clime of the Frozen North over the rest of Land. Her ice palace is full of frozen characters who have crossed her, though the family Christmas does all they can to free these poor souls. The Snow Queen cannot abide happiness, and frequently intercepts lost characters in the Frozen North and attempts to freeze their heart with her magic until they become as emotionless and cold as she is.

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:27 pm

Just a little prodding: Id love to hear any opinions people have! What they think works well and what just leaves them cold or scratching their head.

And, of course, any ideas you have for what might fit well into the world of Once

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:58 pm

BeQuick

Members of the BeQuick family come live in Cloud Castle with Jack BeQuick the Giant Killer. That is, except when they are off having adventures across Land. Jack tends to attract thrill-seekers and adventurers. Their castle home also welcomes stalwart defenders against the giants in the sky and tenders to the ever-creeping bean stalks.

Jack has always lived by the seat of his pants, and most of his family does likewise. Some are pranksters and some are rather selfish, but nearly all will jump in and fight when the stakes are high.

Typical Family Members

Cloud Jumpers - Nothing says “excitement” as jumping off of a cloud floating miles above the ground. These individuals are often commoners who couldn’t take farm-life any more. Drawn to the Cloud Castle and the adventurous Jack they are skilled with parachutes and gliders.

Bean-tender – Gardeners the Land over come to the stalks to harvest the huge bean pods and to prune back the ever creeping bean tendrils. Bean-tenders are the least adventurous of Jack’s kin and tend to take on the qualities of the Bean Stalks the longer they tend to them.

Castle Guard – Raids from giants happen frequently enough that a standing militia has been established for protecting Cloud Castle. They are a motley crew equipped with pots-and-pans armor and various found objects as weapons. What they lack in equipment and training they make up for with courage and vigor.

Character Options

High levels in the acrobatics and climb skills, ranks in Improved Initiative and Fearless, and powers and devices that grant BeQuicks some mobility are excellent starts to a typical BeQuick family member. Favored Enemy - Giant, bluff, stealth and slight of hand reflect the Jack that infiltrated the Giant’s castle so many years ago.

Sample Character - Twirling Tom BeQuick

Twirling Tom is a round-bodied short fellow with a hat with a propeller strapped to his chin. He’s an expert at collecting beans from the huge stalks, which he keeps in precariously balanced as he twirls around the vines. Besides his magic propeller-hat, Twirling Tom packs several tools - handsaw, pick, shears - which have proved in the past to be just as effective against Giants as vegetables.

Character Sheet to Come

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Re: Once - a Fairy Tale setting

Postby NYpurdy » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:04 pm

Jack BeQuick the Giant-Killer

Jack was catapulted from young daredevil to legendary hero with the felling of one giant bean stalk. He has since taken up residency in the giant Cloud Castle and gathered a whole family of equally daring Landers around him. Jack BeQuick spends most of him time having fun and seeking adventure, but when times are tough and stakes are high he always races to the front of the battle.

Despite being responsible for the planting of the magic beans that lead to the sprouting of the giant Bean Stalks, Jack has little notion of who the man who sold them to him really was. But that’s the way Jack is, focused on the present with little thought of the past or future. After all, the present is so much fun!


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