Monday, July 29, 2013

Fantasy Version of the Hedge

In the Hedge, caves can be wonderful and warm.
(The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim)
I can hear your jaws hitting the floor right about now.  I'm including ... the Hedge ... in a fantasy world like  Fianyarr ... where there is no mien nor mask ... nor the usual Fae.  What ... Is ... The ... Point?  What could the Hedge possibly do that nothing else can?


The Hedge can do weird just as well as the Dreamscape but it's all quite physical.

It can unleash monsters like the Hisil but without the karmic justification.

It can trap you in a labrynthine maze without having to deal with ghosts while sapping your memory as you do it.

In the Hedge, your characters are treated as though they were mortal humans by the rules of Changeling: the Lost.  Those are your memories tearing on the thorns.  That is your life on the line there.  The Hedge isn't the place for you.  It's the place for Fae and Fae-like entities to weave their wonders away from you.

They don't want you there.  You're not a part of their story.  The Hedge itself seems to rebel against having you there even as it tempts you to stay.  You go in there and you can become trapped by a story.  You could be talespun into being the dashing knight or the princess in need of rescue.  You could prick your finger on a wheel and fall unconscious.

If you want to contrast Fantasyland with all of its stereotypical tropey goodness with a more realistic fantasyland (albeit one with magical races) then this is especially useful to you.  What would an actual three-dimensional fantasy character do when confronted with the usual fantasy character stereotypes?  How do they react when riding horses that don't get in the way nor have a personality nor need sleep or food?

And more interestingly, what happens when people used to those rules come out of the Hedge and into the mundane world?  When rain leaves them shivering, hunger gnaws at their belly and eating the soup sends them quivering to the latrines?  There can be a lot of fun in taking the typical dungeon bashing type characters, fairy tale characters, or plain old generic Fantasy Landers and seeing what they would make of a richer and more interesting world.

How would you guys use the Hedge?  Can you think of any possible adventure seeds here?  Post your thoughts in the Comments section below.

1 comment:

  1. My biggest use for the hedge? Ad-lib game-mastering. Forgot to prepare, didn't have time, spent 2 weeks in hospital with family (this has happened) NEVER FEAR, THE HEDGE IS HERE.

    It gives you the opportunity to run something random, using your players existing characters, that doesn't have to fit into the over-arching story. You can throw things at them on the fly, and let the area adapt to, or push back against your players decisions as much as you want.

    Sure, the lasting results may have a long term affect on the story or the characters abilities... life span being one f those :P, but the reason for being there, or even how they got there doesn't matter.

    It also allows the use of settings completely at odds with were the characters usually are. Waking through the desert are we? BAM, tropical jungle full of man eating strawberry plants.

    There's my two-bob. Anyone else?