Looking for Ideas for a Faery Code of Behavior

I'd like to work out a Code of Behavior similar to the one used for Divine Magic in building custom magic, but based on the kind of rules that the Faery would have instead. Unfortunately I'm not an expert on Faery mythology, and not a lot comes instantly to mind.  Some of what I'm thinking about seems similar to what a Druid might believe in, but I'm also interested in having some rules that would help reflect the strangeness of the Faery. If anyone has any suggestions, or know any good sources I can read to bone up on the matter, please let me know.

What I've come up with so far is:

Faery 1: The character hunt animals for sport or for commercial purposes. Similarly, the character will not harvest plant life except as a means for feeding and supporting oneself and immediate friends and family.

Faery 3 or 4: The character has problems appreciating the value of money. No more than 10% of any treasure gained will be kept in the form of coins or cash. 90% of any such treasure gained must be converted into goods, objects of art or given away to strangers (even if it's just hidden under some rocks for others to find) within a month of acquisition.

Do you want to go a more difficult but flavorful route?  Jim Butcher's take on Faerie is 'you cannot speak a lie knowingly, although that does not mean you must ever volunteer, elucidate, or willingly speak the truth.' Or the Poul Anderson (Three Hearts and Three Lions) trope 'Iron burns you. Iron weapons cause extra damage to you and you cannot touch iron without it causing you pain.'

For a higher code/class point value, for Jim Butcher’s Faerie: “You are bound to fulfill or guarantee the truth of, as if geased, any statement you make three times.”

(For a full four points: Any statement you make three times must be the complete truth, with no evasions or information left out.)

The compulsion to tell the truth sounds interesting, but the extra damage from iron doesn't really fit with a code of behavior. I've not read Jim Butcher. Is there a specific book of his that I should read on this topic?

Summer Knight or Cold Days are both extremely focused on faeries.

I’d recommend Summer Knight, to avoid massive spoilers for the rest of the series. (Early books are relatively self-contained, Cold Days is the second-newest one.)

I can't remember a particular book since there are so many and I'm terrible with placing them in the decaying jumble that is my memory. I think Summer Knight is where he starts to get a bit more faerie specific. It's set in modern day so you unless you want your faeries to demand payment by pizza for services rendered you'll have to gloss over a bit of the fantasy themes in general. :-) But Jim Butcher is a big RPG fan and a lot of fun in a light read sort of way imho so there's stuff to lift throughout if you like his style and stories. 

Jack Vance's Lyonesse trilogy has several parts dealing with the fey (it's been quite a while, though, and I'm having a hard time finding references without going and getting the books out...) One of the main plotlines is a changeling left with a royal family, and Vance is always good for just general WTF-ness.


That all being said, the 10%/90% "money appreciation" thing is genius. Here's a game that directly associates experience and power to gold, and here's a type of folk that just thoughtlessly tosses the product of that away - full of experience with no permanent consequence or remembrance, full of power that's completely internalized without a way to effect beyond ones' self. 

I kinda wonder if there's not a greater tie-in to the carousing/XP bank rules for that - a fairy-tale sort of thing where if the faery character dies/passes there's a larger bank for the next character or the party as a whole to choose from - reflecting some sort of "we are all greater(blessed or enchanted or favored by fate) for having known her" sort of thing. With sunsets and rainbows and twinkly effects at the end of the movie - that sort of concept.



Faerie lore also has them being very precise about gifts and giving, although not in a way humans usually understand. Remember the old warning about never eating anything the faeries offer you, otherwise they will own you somehow... Or the story about the bootmaker, who had nude boggins making shoes for him faithfully - right until he decided to reward them with clothes. They never worked for him again, and in some versions even started tormenting him. 

So perhaps your character can not receive anything without returning something for it. Or cannot ever act against someone who has given them bread and salt, or has a strange obligation that is really hard to explain to normal humans.

Splendid ideas! My contribution...

"The character may not voluntarily touch iron or steel. As a result, the character cannot use iron or steel weapons, armor, or tools." In this case, the faery isn't *harmed* from it, but suffers penalties to his magic value for doing so. It has a nice deconstructive effect to it. ("The REAL reason faeries can't abide the touch of iron...") 

This would be akin to a 2E druid's requirement to only use wooden weapons, although it would allow for bronze, etc.



Thank you for the recommendations. Unfortunately it's going to be 2-3 months before I catch up on my reading, but I'll tackle Summer Knight right after I finish the Expanse books.

The rule to avoid iron arms and armor would definitely fit thematically, but how would that fit with any levels of Fighting taken for the class? My idea is to essentially change the Elf so that levels of Elf grant levels of Faery Magic instead of Arcane, and to rework the existing classes for the most part. If I rebuild the Elven Spellsword as the "Elven Faeguard" using Fighting 2 (2 trade ins), HD 1, Thief 1, Elf 3 it will be close to the original class in terms of XP. About 3,625 XP to reach 2nd level recalling the math from memory. However, not being able to use iron weapons and armor can really reduce the effectiveness of the Fighting 2 that's being paid for.

I'm guessing that there should not be any kind of discount for the levels of Fighting bought since a similar scenario exists with the interaction of some codes of behavior associated with high levels of Divine. Has there been rules developed for using weapons made out of Bronze? That would seem to be the rationale  fallback to not being able to use iron items. Maybe bronze armor weighs 1 stone more? Bronze weapons are -1 to hit versus armored opponents?



Ok, after rolling some of the suggestions around in my head, I've come up with some firmer ideas as to what I'd like to use as a Faery Code of Behavior. I wound up dumping the 10%/90% treasure idea I initially had as I didn't want to add extra bookkeeping, and the accumulation of treasure seems so core to ACKS that I don't want to risk unintended consequences quite yet. Any significant missteps anyone can spot?

Faery 1: The caster will not directly engage in the commercial trade of plants or animals beyond their immediate needs. This prevents most mercantile ventures.

Faery 2: The caster may not eat meat raised as livestock, nor consume distilled alcohol. Hunting for sport is forbidden.

Faery 3: The caster cannot lie regarding matters of fact or current intent, nor may they give a false name as their own. Note, that this does not prevent the caster from later breaking a promise they originally intended to keep, and many casters learn to speak guardedly.

Faery 4: The caster may not use any items made of iron. Iron items worn or in contact with the caster’s body prevents spellcasting, including arrows shot into the caster’s body or iron manacles around the caster’s wrists.

Dwarf race, for example, says that dwarves may not use longbows or two-handed weapons; I think adding something about not being able to use iron weapons: swords, knives, maces, etc., unless they are magical or silver.

Bronze weapons are heavier and don't hold their edge as well; I'd say, reduce damage by a die type.

There are a number of faerie stories that involve hunting, as well as involving magnificent feasts. Number 2 rings false. What comes to my mind would be:

A pledge given is an oath sworn. All bargains must be kept, and woe to those that break it. There are stories along the lines of a faerie gives a mortal a nonsensical task like keeping a particular stone in a field painted yellow. His crops are bountiful and family healthy. One day he is away on business, and his child forgets to paint the stone. Then, there are tears.

Fae are deceptive, but cannot conceive of saying something that isn't true. It's not that they won't, but they can't. When they are decieved into speaking something that they believe is true but actually isn't, they often lose the contest they are in or the powers that they have.

The proscription against iron makes sense. There are lots of faries that use iron, but that can be set aside.