This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
NOTICE: Some online security services are reporting that information for a limited number of users from this site is for sale on the "dark web." As of right now, there is no direct evidence of this, but change your password just to be safe.

Author Topic: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!  (Read 511 times)

SHARK

  • Great White Hope
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3750
Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« on: May 13, 2022, 09:04:57 PM »
Greetings!

I usually run my Thandor campaigns with a strong historical, Sword & Sorcery flavour, with heavy doses of war, violence, slavery, bloodshed, and tyranny. Lots of "Problematic" elements and "Toxic Masculinity". *Laughing*

However, I also like to add in sprinkles of hope and goodness. Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns, for example. Such creatures occasionally befriend the Player Characters, embrace romances, serve as inspiring mentors or friends, or also as righteous and trustworthy patrons for the Player Characters, as well as various NPC's. The Players enjoy the respite and encouragement that not everything is out to eat them, or scheming to betray them for a sack of 30 silver. Such creatures also are woven into the campaign environment, serving as a kind of "living lighthouse" or other examples of righteousness, Goodness, benevolence, and beauty, that are worthy to protect from the tides of darkness and evil.

How do you feature such creatures in your own campaigns? Are they popular with your Players?

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

Jason Coplen

  • Meathead
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
  • OSR Junkie
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2022, 09:15:37 PM »
The fae/fey/whatever are odd in my world. Yes, they do exist, but they're rare and weird. Once something becomes too commonplace it ceases having power to inspire. I go with the - you catch a sight, or think you did, of something not human, perhaps fae. Perhaps not. Yet, for a brief second you know it was there. Think of a powerful dream and how it lingers and then passes. You don't want to let the memories go, but you know they will.

That is if not playing in an elf based campaign. I haven't ran one of them for so long I can't recall how I treated things.
Running: B/X

"Explain it to me like I'm Venger" ~ Jeffro Johnson

Rob Necronomicon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 782
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2022, 06:40:47 AM »
The fae/fey/whatever are odd in my world. Yes, they do exist, but they're rare and weird. Once something becomes too commonplace it ceases having power to inspire.

That would be very similar to the way they'd exist in my world. Very rare and hard to fathom by humans.
Life - "Not really definable...." Written by a genius.

weirdguy564

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • w
  • Posts: 58
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2022, 09:18:48 AM »
Good guys and bad guys. 

I always have a good guy faction to take refuge in.   I rarely, maybe never, have a setting where there is no place that’s safe.   

In fantasy settings I will also use kind dragons and angels to create a location or settlement that my players can work from.   

Even the “bad guys” will have good people in it.  If my players lose a fight, I’ll have them taken prisoner, and a sympathetic NPC will help them escape.  It’s better than killing off a PC to me. 

Trond

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2126
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2022, 09:50:59 AM »
To me, all of those could also have a darker side. You had to stay on friendly terms with them unless you wanted them to play nasty tricks on you. Historically, people would make offerings to such nature spirits to keep on their good side.

HappyDaze

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • H
  • Posts: 4866
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2022, 10:19:22 AM »
My favorite takes on the faeries are ones where "trustworthy" is not a word associated with them.

Persimmon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • P
  • Posts: 190
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2022, 10:50:05 AM »
Absolutely.  Having first read LOTR at a tender & impressionable age, the portrayal of Rivendell continues to influence my presentation of elves in my own campaign world.  Elves are fairly secretive & aloof, but they are, for the most part good, and ready allies of the other good races, which include halflings, dwarves, and gnomes.  There isn't massive animosity between dwarves & elves either.  They've had disagreements, but in the end, the major elven & dwarven kingdoms have always supported each other against goblinoids, gnolls, giants, drow, etc., which are the (gasp) evil races.  Yeah, no good drow in my campaign setting and they are not available as a PC race.

My overall setting is high fantasy with a fair amount of grimdark sprinkled in.  So lots of major wars, infernal invasion, dark cults, etc.  Big bads come & go, but there's definitely a good vs. evil theme and the PCs are on the good side by default.  Plenty of gray areas in real life; my fantasy world can bit a bit more black & white.

Trond

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2126
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2022, 12:43:50 PM »
Absolutely.  Having first read LOTR at a tender & impressionable age, .....

There is actually something even closer to nymphs in LOTR. Goldberry the "River-Daughter". She is clearly some sort of nature spirit, as is seen more clearly in the Tom Bombadil poem.

Persimmon

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • P
  • Posts: 190
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2022, 12:50:40 PM »
Absolutely.  Having first read LOTR at a tender & impressionable age, .....

There is actually something even closer to nymphs in LOTR. Goldberry the "River-Daughter". She is clearly some sort of nature spirit, as is seen more clearly in the Tom Bombadil poem.

Indeed; just last night I was writing up an encounter with a primal druid named Lon Gombadril and his nymph consort, Silverwillow.  Can't escape those early impressions.

Ghostmaker

  • Chlorine trifluoride
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3241
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2022, 02:50:40 PM »
Fey in general should be kind of like genies. They have some grasp of mortal frailties, but it's imperfect at best.

That being said, while there are malevolent fey (redcaps, for example), there are those that generally get along with mortal life. The domovoi will move into a house and help maintain it, in exchange for a bit of food. Sprites and other 'wee folk' might patrol a forest to keep it safe.

Omega

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • O
  • Posts: 15929
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2022, 03:40:12 AM »
Vicky Wymans Xanadu comic setting was my original candidate for my first book way back. Ended up not getting the deal but its still an interesting concept where the fey creatures are the ruling class, wild creatures are upper class and mundane creatures are lower class.

In one of my old campaigns I ran the fey realm as alien to mortal minds and dangerous to visit. And fathoming being that existed in a realm where time and space had different meanings was at best a difficult thing. And thats before getting to the more alien ones. And not excatly friendly. Or not in the ways mortals think such things.

On the flip side I've run the fey/elementals as more or less not much different from mortals. Basing off how they were depicted in some old religions.

And lastly my default is a more lively realm of joy and celebration. But with the same time and space perception issues along with sometimes slightly alien outlooks when one can fly, or pass through solid objects, etc. Counterpoint to the realm of sadness and gloom.

Rhymer88

  • Newbie
  • *
  • R
  • Posts: 44
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2022, 05:09:29 AM »
Although the human realm and the fey/elf realm are two completely different worlds in traditional folklore, half-elves are sometimes mentioned. For example, in the Hrólfs saga kraka, Skuld's mother is an elf (her father is King Helgi). Although Skuld is described as having great magical talent due to her elf ancestry, she doesn't seem to age any slower than humans.

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 2411
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2022, 02:09:06 PM »
I like the scary fair folk depictions over the sanitized Victorian fairy tales

Rob Necronomicon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 782
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2022, 07:00:32 PM »
I like a lot of the concepts from Irish Mythology and not the silly drink leprechaun stereotypes.

Because the few are portrayed as alien and dangerous. Lots of folks left offerings out for them and they would be starving themselves, there was a real sense of palpable fear.

Believe it or not, some people still believe in their existence today, of course, they are toothless simpletons.

Life - "Not really definable...." Written by a genius.

Krugus

  • Knight of the Void
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: Beautiful Nymphs, Happy Faeries, and Noble Unicorns!
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2022, 10:22:05 PM »
My players have run across mostly Sprites, and they all have been silly magical tricksters.   They like food & drink as much as good jokes & pranks, but they can be mean if you don't play along with them.   They are also like cockroaches, if you see one, there are usually dozens more nearby so tread carefully!