Feedback on the Character Creation Preview

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    I have a few points of feedback on the character creation preview document.

    I find it a little odd that you associate the first four Kinds with elements and seasons. It makes the ones who don’t have a season or element feel sort of “left out” (which makes sense for the goblins, but elves and any future kinds maybe not so much), and it seems to me to have an almost scientific/bestiary feel that’s sort of at odds with the light-hearted voice most of the text has.

    It might help if the Kinds didn’t always have a season and an element; if you split them up and spread them around a little, it might help keep things from getting too technical. (Also Goblins are the only ones that seem particularly “wintery” to me, I guess.)

    That aside, I also think some of the element/season selections are a bit strange from a flavor standpoint. While I can sort of see sprites being earth-related with their association with growing things, it seems odd to link them with Fall, a season associated with plants withering.

    I would’ve thought brownies would be earth-related (since they’re more “down to earth” as the designated human-friendly Kind), with sprites being water-aligned. I’d also almost suggest not using ‘fairy’ as a Kind name, just to avoid the confusion factor of “fairy” versus “Fairy”. You could call the speedy fliers “sylphs” after the air-spirits from Paracelsus (an consequently from D&D and Secret of Mana and so on), and leave “fairy” as a generic all-encompassing term.

    In terms of mechanics, I could be off-base here, but Goblins seem kind of weak. I guess it seems to me that the Goblin Senses power is primarily reactive in nature; it’s something that will come up most often as a response to negative environmental circumstances rather than because the player actively decided to use it. Maybe that’s not how it’ll play out in the game, it’s just my first impression. (The bit about reading by taste did crack me up!)

    I don’t really have any comments on the rest of the document except that I look forward to the expanded Quirks list!


    Heya. Thanks for your feedback. To address the specific points you’ve raised:

    1. Yeah, the season/element stuff is mostly there as a placeholder for some amusing misconception that human fairyologists (that’s definitely a word) might have about the Kind in question. The final material is likely to be more along the lines of the corresponding paragraphs for Goblins and Elves.

    2. Believe it or not, Earth/Fall is actually the customary element-to-season association in Western mysticism. We totally didn’t make that part up.

    3. There’s a complicated historical reason for having “fairy” be both a Kind and the overall term. We’ve kicked around the idea of changing it on a number of occasions, and I can’t promise we won’t change our minds on that front again.

    (With respect to your specific suggestion, we’d actually considered “sylph” at one point, but the term has sexual connotations in some contexts, which is something we’d rather avoid.)

    4. You’re not the only one who’s noted that it’s sometimes difficult to tell when the Goblin’s “Keen Senses” Power should come into play as written. We’re working on it. One revision we’re trying out right now replaces the current rules text with the following:

    You may treat this Power as a bonus Quirk that stacks with your personal Quirks on any roll. In addition, Surprise Attacks do not count as Surprise Attacks against you.

    Then it becomes largely a matter of finding excuses to work your superior senses into various rolls for that extra die. (You should be able to do so at least half the time – it’s a fairly easy thing to play up when you’re not restricted to using it reactively in contests.)

    I hope I was able to address some of your concerns – please let us know if you have any other suggestions. 🙂

    David J Prokopetz
    President, Penguin King Games



    2. I wasn’t really objecting to the Earth/Fall link so much as that Fall would be linked to a Kind that has plants growing in their hair and so on. Whatever, though. Since it’s a placeholder it doesn’t matter much. 😀

    3. Fair enough on the “Fairy vs fairy” thing. I mostly just noticed that you had to specifically call out the “capital letters are important” thing for both Kind and Fairy, which comes off as awkward.

    3a. Sexual connotation? That’s a new one on me. I know nymphs have that connotation, but to my knowledge the only possible link here is that ‘sylph’ is occasionally used as a term for a young woman (but no more so than any of several other fairy-related terms).

    See, this is why I love games by smaller companies. You almost never hear from staff directly in large game companies like WotC!

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