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Realms of Power: Faerie

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Realms of Power: Faerie
Cover illustration for Realms of Power: Faerie
Product Information
Rules Edition: Fifth
Abbreviation: RoPF
Product Type: Sourcebook
Author(s): Erik Dahl, Timothy Ferguson, and Mark Shirley
Publisher: Atlas Games
Product Number: AG0290
ISBN: 1-58978-105-8
Release date: February 2009
Format: Hardcover or PDF, 144 pages
Availability: In print; PDF available

Realms of Power: Faerie is the ArM5 sourcebook dealing with Faerie- its nature in general and specifically Faerie auras, realms (there is more than one), creatures, and humans touched by Faeries. It is the fourth and last published in the Realms of Power series.

Subject and contents[edit]

The table of contents is available online at the Atlas Games Web site.

As the title suggests, the book is about the Faerie Realm. It also includes rules for creating faeries as player characters. Due to the nature of faerie (see below), the presentation of the book is strongly oriented toward a narrative style of roleplaying. Faeries, in Realms of Power: Faerie, are there to make a good story.

The Nature of Faerie[edit]

This book describes the Faerie Realm as drawing power from human belief and imagination.[1] Through numerous examples, it makes clear how faeries need human dreams and emotions to sustain them. This is broadly consistent with past editions' supplements about the Faerie Realm.

An important aspect of faeries, introduced in this book, is the idea of cognizance and incognizance: the extent to which the faerie is aware of its need for mankind, and if so, how it chooses to satisfy that need.

The Faerie Realm[edit]

There are three worlds within the Realm of Faerie: Arcadia, the land of inspiration where new stories are born[2]; Elysium, the land of legend where the greatest stories are retold[3]; and Eudokia, the land of the "forking path" where travelers face their personal dilemmas[4].

Chapter 2 includes rules for how to enter the faerie realm and how characters can consciously affect their environment while there.

Faerie Characters[edit]

The rules for faerie characters are extensive, comprising over 20 pages of the book. Faeries are constructed much like human characters, with Characteristics and Virtues and Flaws. The faerie's Might Score is largely determined by Virtues and Flaws, as are its powers.

Instead of Abilities, faerie characters have Pretences, which are minor faerie powers that mimic Abilities.

Faerie Bestiary[edit]

This book contains Fifth Edtion statistics for a wide variety of faeries. Each of them is listed in the table of contents; see also Project: Redcap's Creature Index.

In addition to Celtic-themed faeries, the bestiary includes faerie versions of giants and dragons.

Touches of Faerie[edit]

This chapter contains rules for characters who are influenced by the Faerie Realm without being faeries themselves. There are several new variations of the Faerie Blood Virtue, for example, as well as rules for Warping by the Faerie Realm.

Faerie Wizardry[edit]

The Faerie Wizardry chapter has rules for hedge magic aligned with the Faerie Realm. It defines faerie methods and faerie powers, which are analogues of the Hermetic Techniques and Forms, respectively.

Another form of faerie wizardry is the ars fabulosa, a form of supernatural bargains by which the wizard can obtain powers and assistance from the fae.

The folk traditions that use these new rules are:

Faerie Stories[edit]

This chapter is all about running faerie stories using a literary style.

Bibliography[edit]

Page 144 provides a bibliography of works on the relevant subjects, two of which are in the public domain. See below.

Reviews and comments[edit]

Please include any comments or reviews here. A suggested format would be to include By followed by a link to your User page in the title.

Stimulating and well-written
This book really puts story and narrative considerations in the foreground. The style reminds me of the best aspects of ArM2 and ArM3: with a few words it can evoke vivid images. For example: "When faeries die, however, few leave conventional corpses. They disintegrate into their original matter: leaves, or clouds of black feathers, or sea foam, or snowflakes."[5]. This makes it fun to read and helps stimulate the storyguide's imagination. It is probably useful to read even if you're not planning to use faeries heavily in your saga, because it invites the reader to think about the style and theme of an Ars Magica story. This is not to say it's perfect: the mechanics are too complex for my liking. But the Faerie Realm in particular is well-done and encouraged me to run some enjoyable stories in it. --Andrew Gronosky

What This Book Will Add to Your Game[edit]

Obviously, this is a great book to have if you want to run stories in the Faerie Realm or if you have Merinita magi in your saga. If you want to play

What's less obvious is that the book has some useful general-purpose advice on presenting an Ars Magica story, especially if you're interested in approaching the game more as a collaborative narrative.

You Might Not Enjoy This Book If[edit]

If you're not planning to use faeries much, then obviously this book will have less to offer your saga.

At times, the faerie's link to human belief strays close to the "belief defines reality" principle, which veteran player may remember from the White Wolf crossover days.

Some of the rules can be pretty complicated. For example, the example of designing a faerie power on page 61 takes up about two-thirds of a page. (To be fair, designing a Hermetic spell can be equally complicated.)

Related Products[edit]

Faerie related[edit]

Realms of Power series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Realms of Power: Faerie, p. 7, "What is Faerie"
  2. Realms of Power: Faerie, p. 32, "Arcadia"
  3. Realms of Power: Faerie, p. 34, "Elysium"
  4. Realms of Power: Faerie, p. 38, "Eudokia"
  5. Realms of Power: Faerie, p. 47, "Physical Form"

External links[edit]

Public Domain works cited[edit]

  • Thirty-Six Dramatic situations by Georges Polti and translated by Lucille Ray in 1916. Polti died in 1946. In the United States of America, this work is certainly within the public domain. If you are outside the USA, plese check with your own coutnry's laws. This obviously a work about story construction generally, but can be useful for any story, whether or not Faeries are involved. Digitized by Google and made available in multiple formats by Archive.org.
  • Russian Wonder Tales (mistitled Russian Wonter Tales in the bibliogrophy) written by Post Wheeler, a citizen of the USA who held diplomatic post in Russia. among other places. It was published in London in 1912. Wheeler died in 1956. In the United States of America, this work is certainly within the public domain. If you are outside the USA, plese check with your own coutnry's laws. Digitized by the Yahoo! and made available in multiple formats by Archive.org.