Borrowing mechanics

Been playing around with the combat of Fae Edge lately, and came up with a similar observation: combat is too long and overdrawn.

The original was: if one person rolls successfully, the loser has to make a Stamina roll or die (for players, they can take a Fettle instead of dying). But if both are successful, the result is a draw and no one gets to hurt each other. It’s the drawing part that drags combat down round after round.

I’m going to suggest using Infinity’s tabletop face off roll mechanic here:

In a combat round, both players roll to see if they hit (by rolling equal to or lower than their chosen Attribute). If both players hit, the higher result gets the hit instead. If it’s a draw, then no one hits.

i.e: Alfan the Sidhe warrior and Nomero the fallen axeman are fighting each other. Alfan is using his twin sidheborn daggers (Speed -1, Lethal 0) while Nomero is using a bloodtick battleaxe (Strength +1, Lethal +2). 

Alfan has a Speed of 7, and rolls an 8. Because his daggers gave him a -1 modifier, his roll is 7 instead and hits. Nomero has a Strength of 7 and rolls a 5. Even though his roll is modified to be a 6, he still hits.

Now Alfan’s result was a 7, while Nomero scores a 6. Since Alfan’s roll is higher, he wins the combat round and Nomero has to make a Lethal check against Alfan’s daggers to avoid dying.

Yes, while there’s still a chance to draw here, the probability of that happening is lessened. Hopefully this change will speed up combat and have a more dramatic tension when it happens.


Streamlining early

I noticed that my background posts have overlapping concepts. especially concerning the races. In the future I should probably map the main traits out in a spreadsheet before writing them down to avoid this. Luckily working on WordPress allows me to revisit and edit the posts.

While writing from the hip is fast and instantly gratifying, it will quickly become a mess if you don’t fix it early. This is to avoid an early “Second Edition” to fix the mistakes done in the first. If you’re going to do it, do it right, right?

With the base core mechanics already here, I can include rules in the race/class profiles as well.

Looks like it’ll take a while before the character creation chapter arrives.

The Professions of Fae Edge: The Warrior

These are character classes that a player may choose for their characters upon its creation. However, this chapter does not contain rules but background information about each class, which in itself may lend story ideas for the Game Master to utilize.

The Warrior

Warriors are by far the most common calling among the non-common citizens of a Fortress City. The familiarity with weapons and tactics make them indispensable as front line vanguards within a party. Their high martial prowess as well as their toughness make them suitable for the role. Among the classes available, the warrior class has the oldest history and the most legends surrounding them. From the beginning of recorded history of the Fae, warriors are often mentioned as the hero that time and again drive back the Darkness either in the defense of a Fortress City or the liberation of a fallen one.

The most famous warrior is perhaps J’on Delfay, an imp of imposing built, even among its kind. He was often depicted wielding a two-handed hammer with the hammer head as big as he was. The hammer, named Earthshaker, could only be wielded by him and legend has it when it struck the earth, it shook and splits, swallowing its enemies alive before swiftly closing back up. Yet he only lived for 5 years after his first triumph of defending the first Fortress City while the Archmages work frantically to erect the shield that protects it to this day. In those 5 years however, he has led successful campaigns traveling to other Fortress Cities to similarly defend them or liberated fallen cities from the Darkness. His most notable achievement was defeating the Changeling Lord Samurkah, who could change his form and appendages into anything he wishes.

The profile of J’on Delfay is still present in today’s gold coins, forever giving hope for those who know where to seek it.

Warriors are normally trained by individuals in a knight-squire relationship. Their tutelages are often 1-on-1 and usually being when the candidate is very young. While it is not unknown for an extremely skilled warrior to train a group of squires, these individuals are far and rare. Their training regime is strict and the weapon they eventually master often depends on what their knights use as well.

There are perhaps a lot of variations and specializations of the warrior, some prefer to wear heavy armour and wield heavy weapons, wading deep in the front ranks while others prefer light weapons wielded in each hand, preferring to wear light or no armour to increase their mobility. These different focuses are often called colleges. The most common colleges are:

Stalwarts: Masters of defense, sporting heavy armour and tower shields, often with a heavy single handed weapon such as an axe or hammer.

Vanguards: Also sporting heavy armour, but with medium shield and often a blade as the preferred weapon of choice. A balance between offense and defense.

Duelists: Light armoured and usually wield a single blade with an open free hand. This college aims at moving swiftly and delivering killing blows with every strike whenever possible.

Skirmishers: Also a college that favours little to no armour, skirmishers often fight with two weapons, moving fast and cutting down their foes in a whirlwind of death. Some skirmishers prefer a light buckler over a second weapon, but uses them in an offensive manner as well.

Demolishers: Heavily armoured and wielding a two-handed weapon of some sort. These are slow and purposeful fighters that wield such heavy and cumbersome weapons with grace and precision. Most demolishers prefer the two-handed hammer, following the footsteps of the legendary hero J’on Delfay, but other two-handed weapons such as the axe and sword are also a common sight.

The EDGE System

The EDGE System uses two normal six-sided dice, or 2d6. Performing all tasks in the game involves rolling 2d6 against your character’s Trait. A roll result of equal or lower than your Trait is a success. A roll may be modified according to its difficulty:

Easy: -1
Normal: 0
Challenging: +1
Hard: +3
Epic: +5
Impossible: +7

Any roll of lower difficulty than Easy should be trivial enough that anyone can perform it successfully without any or much difficulty. Note that these modifiers are applied to the roll result, not the Trait. The Traits are never modified.

There are 8 Traits used in Fae Edge, with scores ranging from 4 (minimum) to 10 (maximum):



Notice that there are no charisma related Trait. All social interactions are resolved without rolling and the results should be handled by the Game Master based on how well the group role plays their characters. Details on the usage of each Trait will be covered later.

A Trait may have multiple Edges and Hindrances. Edges and Hindrances are specific actions related to the chosen Trait. I.e: “Using a two-handed sword” can be used as an Edge or Hindrance under the Might Trait. Having an Edge means you roll an extra d6 and choose any 2 dice for your result. Having a Hindrance means you roll an extra d6 and must choose 1 die with the highest result.

Having multiple Edges and Hindrance entitles you to roll extra d6 for each matching situations, but you still pick any 2 dice for Edges and pick 1 die with the highest result for Hindrances.

If you have an Edge and a Hindrance coinciding within a single roll, each pair of Edge and Hindrance cancels each other out. Do not roll an extra die for each pair of Edge and Hindrance that you have within a single roll. I.e: Darian has an Edge in Speed: “Using twin daggers”. However, he also has a Hindrance “Fighting with the left arm” from an injury he suffered earlier. If he uses two daggers in the fight, the Edge and Hindrance both cancel each other out and he rolls normally, with no extra dice added.

There are no critical or automatic success or failure rolls in this system.

Characters have no health stats, but may collect Fettles to prevent death up to a certain point. A Fettle is a permanent effect that is gained when the character fails a Lethal roll. More information about this will be present in the Combat chapter later on. Fettles may be Minor or Major, and in Mental or Physical form.

This concludes the base mechanics of the EDGE system. Further information and details about the system will be covered in other chapters.

A Shift of the Core Rules

Though FUDGE is a great engine to build upon, some parts of it seemed clunky to write about. Even looking at the character creation chapter, it’s hard for me to put a standard roll modifier into an elegant expression with any consistency.

After thinking about this a bit, I’ll be shifting Fae Edge away from FUDGE, and implementing a simpler engine that focuses more on role playing rather than rolling for a social outcome. Actually role playing persuading someone is always more interesting (and makes more sense) than successfully rolling a Persuade skill, and having common sense that a Warrior shouldn’t know something about arcane magic better than the Mage simply because of a better roll.

I might do away with skill rolls altogether.

Part of this shift is also influenced by other role play centric engines, such as Dread, Fiasco and Cthulhu: Dark. Though I wouldn’t want to create something that is free-form as those, I still would like to have solid mechanics in combat, magic and levelling up.

Expect the development of the game to branch even more distinctly now:

The Background Setting is still fine, it will still continue but it might include more game centric entries with background information on how it appears in the game. For example, one of the elements that I wish to implement in this RPG that has been missing in other recent games is the character class. How did that class develop to its current form? What was the history? Were there notable individuals that contributed to the skills and techniques the class grants? Are any of those legends still alive? How do the 6 races view the class and are they gravitating towards (or staying away from) it? Stuff like that.

The Core Rules will be completely redone. Current post tagged to this category will be re-tagged into a different one.

I hope to introduce to a new core mechanic post soon, so stay tuned!

Character Creation

This chapter is not complete without referencing the Skills, Gifts and Equipment chapter (even the Magic chapter, for some characters).

Creating a character in Fae Edge is pretty open ended and can get quite overwhelming at first. It helps if you answer these questions first before proceeding any further:

1) Explain your character in 7 words or less. This is highly crucial as it will influence you in spending Ranks appropriately that fits this description. Examples include: “A mad wizard with a sweet tooth” or “A hardened soldier haunted by his past” or “A reckless and suicidal daredevil”. You can also make it sound cool and lofty instead of something concrete and descriptive if you wish.

2) What race you want to play as? Different race have different temperaments and have skill sets that complement to its identity.

Once you have the answers to these two questions you can start building your character with a clear direction. The example that we’ll be using for the rest of this chapter will be a that of a male Spriggan “Who believes in the blade of justice”.

Part 1: Attributes

Attributes are inherent traits that all everyone possess and seldom need any repetitive practice to be good at. In Fae Edge, it’s mostly used in defensive or passive capabilities rather than active. These attributes are:

Awareness: How sensitive your character is at picking up hidden queues or noticing little details.

Willpower: How strong your character resists mental fatigue and how strong your mental constitution is. Really useful in casting and resisting magic.

Composure: How cool and collected your character is, controlling urges, impulses and outbursts.

Strength: How strong your character is in picking up weights and breaking things. Does not contribute in combat though.

Reflex: How fast your character reacts physically that requires speed or sudden movements.

Toughness: How resilient your character is at withstanding abuse to your body. A very important attribute to fight death when being hit by a weapon in combat.

All attributes start with a Bad Rank. You have 8 free Ranks to improve your attributes however you wish but with one exception: You must have at least 1 Good attribute (exact, not minimum)

Part 2: Skills

This part will be a bit more involved, as there is quite a list and the description on how they might be used that follows. But in general, skills are divided into 2 categories: Broad Skills and Narrow Skills.

A Broad Skill allow you to use multiple items or situations using a single relevant skill. They’re good for general use, but the lack of focus hinders its use somewhat. Broad Skills have Scale: -1.

A Narrow Skill revolves on the usage of a single item or a single subject. They’re more focused and perform better than Broad Skills.

All skills start at Poor Rank unless stated otherwise. If you are asked to perform a skill that you did not list in your character sheet, it is assumed to have Poor Rank as well. Some skills need to have at least one Rank invested in it for you to use it, otherwise it will result in automatic failure. You will be notified which skill has this feature.

You have 20 free Ranks to distribute among your skills to make them better. A complete list of skills will be available in its own chapter.

Part 2.5: Magic

If your character is created to cast spells, they’re treated as Skills and share the Rank pool as normal Skills as well. Spell Rank denotes how well you can cast that spell successfully. Normally a spell that you can take requires Ranks that you must have in the Magical Attunement skill and/or the specific elemental Attunement skill beforehand.

Part 3: Gifts

Gifts are extremely powerful abilities that can only be taken upon character creation. Though the effect might look similar, Gifts are not spells and do not have incantations or components needed. They are instantaneous and can interrupt the normal turn flow if needed.

But all Gifts are one use only, and after using a Gift, you must permanently lower either your Strength, Reflex or Toughness by one Rank. The Gift can never be used again nor can it replenished in an way, once used, it is gone for good.

The type of Gifts relies on your chosen race and, to a certain extent, your Game Master may grant it for you based on your character’s 7 word description.

You must choose 2 non-duplicate Gifts. A complete list of Gifts is available in its own chapter.

Part 4: Bonds

Bonds are connections that you forge for your character. Bonds provide a situational bonus but also restricts how you play your character. Upon beaching your Bond restriction, the Game Master may give you a harsh penalty in return.

Choose one from this list:

Bond of Oath: Your character may be part of an order which forces its member to take a sacred oath of some kind. No matter what, you must go out of your way to pursue fulfilling that oath, even if you only heard rumors about it.

Bonus: +1 Rank to Willpower.

Bond of Kinship: Your character may have formed a pact or promise with another character, either within your party or with an NPC. No matter what, you must protect the other person even at the cost of your own safety, or throw everything in an attempt to rescue them if such a situation arise.

Bonus: +1 Rank to Toughness temporarily only if you are using this ability: If you are within close range as your partner in combat, you may exchange places with him when he loses a combat round and is about to roll against the winner’s Lethal.

Bond of Death: A death of another person (or more) haunts you and you constantly seek reparation or revenge on their deaths. Like the Bond of Oath, you will go out of your way to fulfill this when the situation presents itself. However, unlike the Bond of Oath, you may attempt to withstand the impulses on fulfilling it temporarily on a successful Good Willpower roll.

Bonus: +1 to your rolls whenever it is related to you fulfilling this bond. Such rolls is dependent on the Game Master.

Bond of Brotherhood: You belong to a gang or a close knit fraternity of some sort. You will enjoy the benefits of its membership in terms of financial or any other kinds of support. The price is that you will always place your brotherhood first above anyone else, even to the point of abandoning your party to do so.

Bonus: While in parts of the city, you may call upon the favours of your brotherhood to make your life a bit easier. Free boarding, money, even equipment and magical scrolls.

Bond of Blood: Unlike the revenge factor in the Bond of Death, Bond of Blood runs deeper than that. You swear the destruction of a certain clan/race/group and your hunger to exact death on them will not wane until every last of them is dead or ruined. However, this does not produce a strong compulsion to exact this revenge immediately upon every opportunity, but a stay of execution usually mean an even bigger opportunity to slay more of them next time. Note that you do not have to personally be involved in their demise.

Bonus: +1 Rank to Composure.

Bond of Honour: You are bound by a code of conduct that is higher than yourself. You devote your life to this code and even spread its ideals to those within your reach of influence. Doesn’t mean that other people understand or even takes you seriously though, but your yourself must hold it steadfast and act on it regardless of the consequences.

Bonus: Re-roll a failed Lethal roll with a +1 bonus. This can only be done once per day.

Bond of Shame: Something that you, or your family or even ancestor has done that brings humiliation to your family. You must strive to go above the stigma and fight for your family’s honour, even when it is obviously hard to do so, or, hide your identity from the world and protect yourself from being hurt. The choice is yours

Bonus: Not really a bonus, but other people who knows who you are will react differently towards you the moment they find out, often this is negative but those who know you might back you up no matter what. If the latter happens, gain Scale: +1 to any one of your Attributes. This bonus can only be applied once and is highly dependent on the outcome of you coming out of your shell.

Bond of Lies: You used to believe in something until it is proven to be not what it seems, like being in an order of knights when they’re really just closet cultists that wants to spread the Darkness within, for example. Upon discovering the truth, you vow to take matters into your own hands and correct what is wrong.

Bonus: +1 Rank to Awareness.

Part 5: Racial Adjustments

In this part, choose your race from the Race chapter. There will modifications to attributes and skills as well as one or two special abilities. Whatever the modification may be, no stat may be modified above Great and below Terrible.

Part 6: Spending Customization Points

You’ll have 10 Customization Points (or CP) to buy extra Ranks or even another Gift to what you have created so far. The only restriction is no attribute, skill or spell maybe upgraded to Superb. The cost of buying extra Ranks are as follows:

1 CP: 1 Skill Rank
3 CP: 1 Attribute Rank
7 CP: 1 Gift

Fae Edge Core: The FUDGE System

Fae Edge is built upon the FUDGE (Freeform. Universal. Do-it-yourself. Game. Engine) RPG system written by Stefan O’ Sullivan. The system uses words to describe stat values and results instead of numbers (though numbers can still be used). We call these values as Ranks and are arranged as thus, from the best to the worst:

Superb (+3)
Great (+2)
Good (+1)
Fair (0)
Bad (-1)
Poor (-2)
Terrible (-3)

Traditionally, FUDGE uses 4 FUDGE dice (4dF), which is 4 six-sided dice with each die having 2 faces with ‘+’, 2 faces with ‘-‘ and 2 faces blank, giving a roll range of -4 to +4.

Fae Edge uses a simpler implementation of the 4dF and instead uses 2 regular six-sided dice (2d6). Rolls in Fae Edge is calculated as 2d6-7, which results in a range of -5 to +5. The -5 roll result is treated as a Critical Failure (also an auto-failure no matter how high your stats are) while the +5 roll result is treated as a Critical Success (also an auto-success no matter how low your stats are).

To simplify, the role of the dice is to modify your stat Rank to be compared against a difficulty Rank to determine whether you succeed of fail at doing something.

To give an example of how this works, let’s say Sara, who plays an Imp called Resfar, wants to throw the dart to hit a bullseye in the tavern’s dart board. Resfar has a Dart Skill of Fair. The Game Master dictates that a result of Good or more would land the dart somewhere close to the middle. Sara rolls a 4 and a 1 on two dice, for a result of -2 (4+1-7=-2). If you look at the Rank table, from Resfar’s Fair Skill, the roll result of -2 would move this 2 Ranks down, to a Poor dart throw. Resfar’s dart went wild and didn’t even hit the broad side of the dart board, which prompted the laughter of the entire tavern and losing 5 gold pieces as part of his bet earlier in the process.

The final result can never be better than Superb, nor can it be worse than Terrible. The only result that is better than Superb is a Critical Success. Conversely, the only result that is worse than Terrible is a Critical Failure.

Fae Edge also re-purposed FUDGE points into aptly named EDGE points. Unlike FUDGE points where it can be spent for various effects, spending an EDGE point only has one function:

To change the final result to a Critical Success.


Scale is a difference adjustment to your stat’s Rank. For example, a Fair Toughness (Scale: 1) is equivalent to being one Rank higher for Scale: 0, or Good Toughness (Scale: 0). By default, the Scale value is 0. Scales can be negative as well. Some rolls may pit you against a difficulty Rank with a Scale value. The adjustment is always applied to your stat and not to the difficulty.

For example, let’s revisit Sara and Resfar again. Resfar has Good Arobatics (Scale: 1). He’s attempting a really tough obstacle course that the Game Master deem to be Scale: 1 and needs a Fair Acrobatics attempt to clear it. Since both Resfar and the obstacle course has Scale: 1, the Scale difference is 0 (1-1=0) and Resfar just needs to roll normally against a Fair difficulty. If another normal character would attempt it, (remember, normally the Scale is 0), they would have to make the roll at a penalty of one Rank lower instead (0-1=-1).

Regardless of the stat Rank adjustment, a stat cannot be adjusted as lower than Terrible nor can it be adjusted as higher than Superb.


The Giftless

Here we explore the awesome power that each fae possess and the price they exact in using them. The repercussions are often permanent.

Regardless of race, all fae folk share one thing in common: they have powerful one shot abilities known as Gifts. Each race will have different types of Gifts, though one can have multiple Gifts. It is not unheard of, though rare, of a fae that could use more than 4 Gifts in his or her life time. Gifts are always expendable and explosive. For example, a Sylph could have a Gift that wraps all her enemies within line of sight to be wrapped in vampiric vines that suck the life force of their victims dry, or a Spriggan could summon a shadow monster that can cut through a boulder with but a touch of its claws.

Every fae knows how many Gifts they each possess, though they could never detect how many Gifts another fae may have, regardless of the means (usually magic. It has been tried time and again but all attempts have failed miserably to date). Using one means that it is lost forever and could never be regained. Not only that, but using a Gift also exacts a toll on the fae’s body or mind, causing it to deteriorate slightly. Scholars have long stipulated that these Gifts are the essential life force of the fae, and totally depleting it will be catastrophic to the individual in the long run. Yet no one knows why such an essential life force can be manipulated at a level that humbles even magic.

A fae that has used up all his Gifts is known as the Giftless. The Giftless can easily be spotted because their wings become visibly deteriorated and damaged. They could still fly, but not as long nor as nimbly as they once did. Over time, their body and mind will break down bit by bit until they totally collapsed.

When it comes to the Giftless, there is a certain stigma associated to it which is shared among all Fortress Cities. The populace in general shun the Giftless for they have nothing else to contribute and their potential are spent. Once a fae is Giftless, they can never gain another new Gift nor regain the ones they have lost, though they could rebuild their broken body and mind from the tolls that the Gift demanded upon its use. The situation is permanent and their social standing is similarly shared as well.


Fae Edge will be using a heavily modified FUDGE system ( with a few big twists:

2d6-7 will be used, which gives a range of -5 to +5. -5 will be treated as Critical Failure and +5 will be treated as Critical Success. Both of these extremes will have significant story repercussions attached to them, in addition to handling the Critical results as auto-fail and auto-success respectively.

We’ll still maintain the 1 hit kill as in the 200 word RPG. Each weapon will have a Lethal rank and the loser of the combat will have to roll Toughness against the Lethal rank. While failure is certain death, a player facing certain death can escape it by spending an EDGE point to turn the failing Toughness roll into a Critical Success OR by taking a Fettle. A Fettle is a semi-permanent disadvantage that will grant penalties in certain situations (yes, we’re going slightly FATE-ish here).

FUDGE point = EDGE point in this game, with only one function: Turning a roll into a Critical Success.

Gifts and Bonds taken from the 200 word RPG. Bonds will have positive as well as negative effects, which replaces FUDGE’S Gift/Flaw system.

Reduced Attribute list and a bigger emphasis on Skills. Attributes will be critical checks (like Toughness as an example). Magic will still be treated as separate Skills. However the spells that you can include might depend on your level of a certain Attribute.

Scale can be attached to individual Attribute/Skill.

Points trade can happen in character creation. Rank pools to be decided.

Note that above all, no prior knowledge of FUDGE is required to enjoy this game. Everything will be spelled out as clearly as possible.

Also, an edit is due in the base background post to take “Giftless” individuals into account and how they are stigmatized.