My Changeling campaign is coming closer with each passing day. So, we'll begin the campaign and all my planning will be tested, but until then, I've got at least about 2 to 3 weeks, maybe even more. As such is the situation, I've decided to get into the fairy tales a little bit closer, so the first session will be a session that worth the wait. Anyway, I've came to a few observations about this genre of stories. My changeling game is supposed to resemble these tales in so many ways, that there's no other way so beneficial to prepare for the game. What follows are some of my observations, accompanied by how I plan to use them in games.
My first observation was about the world. It's pretty much clear that all fairy tales occur in a place that is familiar and alien. In one hand, there's its normality, with normal human inhabitants, wars, kings and queens and much much more. On the other hand, though, there's the strangeness of the world. It's a strange, peculiar, alien, wonderful world, filled with all kinds of wonders (and some other things). A world that is both familiar and alien, fearful and wonderful, magical and mundane is hard to create in a moment, but it's not impossible, and that's something that I plan to do in my game.
The easiest way to make this happen is to make it some kind of an urban fantasy game, but it may be too familiar this way, so a twist has to be made. I'm still not sure what mine will be, but I'm sure thinking about it, and that's where the magic of the world will come from. Possibly an exile? Attack of the Gentry? Maybe a discovery by the humans?
Another thing is the infamous justice. What's bad shall be punished, what's good shall be greatly rewarded. How can we insert this into the game without making it feel strange or forced? Maybe it's more suited to be strange and forced, to come in terms with the strange world? I'm not sure, but I have to make the punishment something both peculiar and frightening, and the main inspiration for that will be the dancing in the burning shoes. When thinking about rewards, it's much easier to think about things, as rewards in fairy tales are pretty much normal: Marriages, nobility, gold.
The last thing I wanna go over today is the point of "Happily Ever After". How can we make that into a game? How will it be happy? How will it go in line with horror gaming? My take on this is quite simple; I think that I'll go for the tragic "Happily Ever After" end. Things will end badly, really badly, but the lesson will be learned and the mistakes and bad deeds won't come back to hunt others; people will to handle properly. I think that I start this game with the "Once Upon a Time" notion, told by the only living person from the story that s/he tells.
How will it go? Will it work? I don't know, but I'm eager to find out. Maybe, just maybe, this will help to make my game better, or even I'll be lucky enough to help another's game also...