Damage and Ruckuses



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Beacon “Steak Knife” Oakfoot addressing a group of guards:

“If you haven’t heard what happened by now you’re either deaf or friendless.  About how I managed to best an owl in one on one combat. About how I managed to outmaneuver, and outmuscle the beast.  Well, let me tell you belchmunchers one thing; that’s not how a fairy fights. I got lucky. We don’t have the strength of a fox, or the speed of a squirrel, or the stamina of a young turtle.  We’ve got wits and shine and tricks. That’s how a real fairy wins. If I hear of any of you doing anything as fuzzknuckled stupid as what I did, I’ll shove my fist so far up your rocks you won’t know your head from a swallow’s egg.”

What’s a Ruckus?

A Ruckus happens anytime things get physical or really intense.  Basically, any time a bunch of fairies needs someone else to submit to them.  The basic Ruckus rules are simple. The goals of a Ruckus are for one side to remove all the damage from the other side.  The first side to lose all their damage loses and then reaps the benefits of a well-earned victory.

Unlike Fairies, Rivals keep all of their Damage in a Ruckus Bucket.  You can determine how much Damage is in a Ruckus Bucket with a simple formula:  The number of Tipears of the biggest Rival + 1 for every THREATENING Rival in the Ruckus.  So, using this formula we find that when a human and a dog attack the troop the Rivals’ Ruckus Bucket has 10 Damage in it.  That’s 9 for the human and 1 for the dog. When the Rivals’ Ruckus Bucket is empty the troop wins and gains 10 Benefits. In another example, the troop faces off against 7 Redcap warriors.  1 Redcap warrior is 1 Tipear tall, so the Ruckus Bucket starts at 1 and then you add 6 for the additional warriors. The total of the Redcaps’ Damage in their Ruckus Bucket is 7. When they are defeated the troop will gain 7 Benefits.

What’s all this Tipear business again?

A Tipear is how we measure things.  It’s more than just a unit of height, it’s also useful in knowing how dangerous something is.  You see, when you’re very small everything is dangerous and counting Tipears let us know just how dangerous a thing is.  A squirrel is almost exactly 1 Tipear tall or roughly 20 cm. in human counting.

Can Rivals Fight Back?

Rivals get chances to do damage when Fairies mess up.  If a Fairy fails at their roll or gets a partial success a Rival attacks them.  After the Driver says the Rival is attacking the Fairy can Resist the Damage and then the Ruckus continues.

When is it my turn?

There is no turn order in a Ruckus.  Fairies go when they want to and enemies respond to their actions one at a time.  The Driver should do their best to make sure that every fairy gets a chance to go and that no fairy takes the spotlight for the whole Ruckus.  When a fairie is reduced to 0 damage they cannot take a Ruckus Action and are inflicted with a Malady. If their damage is restored they may resume taking Ruckus Actions but their Malady remains.  Fairies gain a Malady EVERY TIME they are reduced to 0 damage, so be careful about that.

The troop gains 2 Dram per Damage in the Rivals’ Ruckus Bucket.  For example; a normal-sized man is about 9 Tipears tall, so the troop would gain 18 Prestige from defeating one.  After a Ruckus, if the troop wins, they may spend Dram to alter the losing Rivals.  For example, if the group defeats a human and they want to turn them into a house cat, the Driver could allow them to use all of their gained Dram to completely transform the human.  A group of 4 Redcaps is less than 1 Tipear tall so the troop would earn a total of 8 Dram for beating them.   Dram can be spent to do a multitude of things, but here are some ways you can spend it right after a Ruckus to affect your Rivals:

  • Change one major aspect of the losing Rival.
  • Alter the Rival’s memories in some major way.
  • Force the Rival to obey one set of commands.

Here are the general guidelines for making Rivals:

  • Rivals do from ½ Tipears (round up) damage.
  • Rivals can have special properties such as (but not limited to):
    • Vicious (can do damage twice to two different faeries)
    • Bitey Clawy Thing (+ 1 Damage)
    • Thick Skinned (fairies get +1 Bad with certain attacks)
    • Tougher than You’d Think (+1 to the Ruckus Bucket)
    • Sharp Claws: +1 Bad when rolling to Resist Damage

A Note to the Driver: If you are throwing a Rival at the troop you should probably just let them know the Rival’s stats instead of keeping them a secret.  Unless, of course, if there’s a narrative reason the troop wouldn’t know what they’re up against, in which case, deceive away, good sir.
Also, if you would like to make some kind of epic creature feel free to throw a lot of special properties onto mundane animals.  If you want a rattlesnake to be the big bad guy at the end of an adventure just make him a lot Tougher than You’d Think to be sure the fight is still interesting and rewarding.
And one more thing: If you’ve got multiple types of Rivals in a single fight you can always choose which one of them does damage.  So if a fairy is taking damage from a human one turn another can take damage from his dog the next turn.  Feel free to mix and match your Ruckus to keep the troop on their toes!

Hurt people hurt people: Why Reducing Rivals to 0 Damage is good:

Actions have consequences and people hate being duped by fairies.  Fairies can easily put people to sleep or turn them to stone or incapacitate them and then steal all their money, but these people could know the faeries did it and there will be repercussions.  Adventurers and guards might come to set things right and that kind of attention is very bad for the cart. By reducing a character to 0 damage it gives the troop some options about how to deal with them from that point on.  They can change the character to be completely unbelievable, give them a command that could get them in bigger trouble than getting revenge, or just erase their memory of the entire encounter.

A Note to the Driver:  A Ruckus doesn’t always have to be physical but it should be an exchange where one opponent seeks to completely demolish the other.  This could be anything from a heated debate on a Senate floor to a fiddle contest with the devil. You’re the Driver so you can feel free to change the rules about what Benefits Fairies can take at the end of a Ruckus.  You can also change how people react to the Ruckus. For example; if a Fairy and a noble are trading insults in the courtyard and another Fairy decides to stab the noble, the guards are almost definitely going to get involved.  If physical violence is left out of the Ruckus, the guards probably won’t step in.

What does getting hurt do?

Excellent query and something you must definitely understand before venturing out into the world.  You have 6 levels of Damage : Spring, Summer, Fall, Early Winter, Mid-Winter, and Late Winter.  Spring through fall heal naturally during downtime but anything inside Winter requires professional help and eats up your downtime actions.  Without someone tending to your wounds on an Outing your damage persists throughout the entire outing.  

If you are at full Damage you immediately gain a Malady and cannot participate in the Outing until at least one level of your Damage is restored.  Restoring Damage does not remove the Malady you gained. Your Damage is restored if you can take a little breather at the end of a Ruckus, if someone heals you, if you heal yourself, or whenever your Driver says you’ve had enough time to mend up and you can come back.  

During a Ruckus when you roll to make an Attack you take damage or gain a Malady if you roll a Failure or get a Partial Success.  If you have prepared for the combat by trapping an area or are tricking your Rival into taking damage without them being able to see you, you take only half damage from a Partial Success (this may be halved again by Resisting the Damage).

You can’t run away from a Ruckus, restore your Damage and come back, don’t be a cringer.  If your whole troop runs away you can all restore Damage but so can your Rivals.

How do I not take damage?

That is quite simple.  When a Rival wishes to cause you damage, be it physical or mental, the Driver will tell you.  They’ll tell you how much Damage is coming your way and after you spend 1 Dram you can roll to Resist the Damage.  You only get to roll to Resist the Damage one time (unless you use Puck’s Lottery).  For example:  If a Redcap is launching a spear at you you can roll Mischevious to duck, cover, and hide from the Redcap, or you can roll Mighty to suck it up.  You cannot roll Mischevious, fail that roll, and then roll Mighty to try and suck it up.  How much you Resist the Damage depends on how well you roll:

  • 1-6:  You resist none of the damage.
  • 7-9:  You resist half of the damage (round up).
  • 10+:  You resist all of the damage.
How do I give damage?

That’s a tricky question right there.  There are multiple ways you can give damage from bashing a rat’s head with a sword to insulting a noble lady’s dress.  You can augment the amount of damage you do with Equipment or Geasa but here is basically how every Fairy does damage: roll the dice and then figure out whether the roll was a failure, partial success, or success.

  • 1-6: You do no damage.
  • 7-10:  You do 1 damage.
  • 10+:  You do 1 damage.
Social Ruckuses

These are Ruckuses that are all kinds of civilized and usually passive-aggressive.  During these Ruckuses, you are all trying to wear down an opponent with either your charm or your intellect.  Treat them like a normal Ruckus but you can only roll your Cunning or your Pizzazz unless a Geasa says otherwise.  If a Social Ruckus progresses into a Physical Ruckus your going to have to resort to your Mischief or Might to fight.

Physical Ruckuses

These are Ruckuses where you are fighting to inflict actual damage and are really quite dangerous.  Honestly, I can’t believe you’d ever let something get this far but if it does you should know that you can only roll Mischief or Might to do damage during a Physical Ruckus.  Some Geasa might let you use other Hows though.

What does it all mean?

So we’ve gone over the whole combat thing in some pretty great detail and even though I’m sure you’ve got it here’s a very quick way to understand what happens when you roll dice during a Ruckus.

Attacks, be them Social or Physical Ruckuses:

  • 1-6: You do no damage.  You take full damage or get a Malady.  You can resist.
  • 7-10:  You do 1 damage.  You take full damage or get a Malady.  You can resist.
  • 10+:  You do 1 damage.  You take no damage.

Resisting damage (remember to always spend 1 Dram):

  • 1-6: You resist 0 damage.
  • 7-10:  You resist 1/2 of the damage (round up) or resist the Malady.
  • 10+:  You resist all the damage or you resist the Malady.
How do I die?

You are so morbid.  Fairies never have to die if they don’t want to although sometimes they should die for the sake of the story.  If you’re eaten by a dragon maybe it’s time to consider coming back as a different Fairy.  There are advantages to dying as well.  If you reach full damage and decide not to run away you can sacrifice yourself for the good of your troop.  When a fairy dies they may pass on all of their Dram to the remaining members of their troop.  They may give out this Dram in any way they want.  The troop may then immediately spend this Dram however they see fit.

What’s a Malady?

Maladies are persistent negative effects that you suffer from. You get Maladies from rolling poorly on Puck’s Lottery, failing resistance rolls, or being at full Damage. Maladies can last as long as the Driver decides. Sometimes a Malady might only be for one roll, other times might persist over several Outings.  

Puck’s Lottery can inflict all kinds of different Maladies. Failing a resistance roll might result in a Malady if the attacking rival had intended it to do so. Reaching 0 damage results in gaining a Malady.

Here are some example Maladies your Driver can choose from, of course, they can always make up their own if they come up with something more appropriate to the situation. You can get the same Malady multiple times.

  • Crippled / Sick / Shaken: Always Take the Low Road 
  • Bruised: -1 when rolling.
  • Injured: -2 When rolling.
  • Crippled: -3 when rolling.
  • Blinded / Deaf: Lose access to one of your senses.
  • Muted: You can’t talk, but you can gesture the night away!
  • Enthralled / Intimidated: you can’t do anything against a certain person or thing.
  • Twitterpated: You must aid the subject of your twitterpation.
  • Cursed: You get a Bad on every roll.

 You can remove Maladies during downtime between Outings. During your downtime, you can use one action per Malady you want to remove. You or the person attempting to remove the Malady must roll to do so.

  • 0-6: You do not remove the Malady.
  • 7-9: You remove the Malady.
  • 10+: You can remove two Maladies!

 If your cart has a facility that might assist in your roll to remove the Malady you can Take the High Road on the roll. For example; if you are Shaken from a lack of self-confidence and your cart has a talking tulip that dispenses feel-good advice you could talk to the tulip and Take the High Road to remove the Malady.

 In addition, your Revelries can also help remove Maladies. If one of your Revelries is sleeping in and you are Limped, perhaps some nice downtime laying in bed with your leg up is just what the doctor ordered. In this instance, you could Take the High Road on your roll to remove the Malady.

Questions, Comments, Thoughts, Concerns?