Faerie Glamours

by Ken & Jo Walton

Art by Glenn Kristoffersen

True Thomas lay on the grassy bank,
And he beheld a lady gay,
A lady that was brisk and bold,
Come riding o'er the ferny brae.

Her skirt was of the grass-green silk,
Her mantle of the velvet fine,
On every strand of her horse's mane
Hung fifty silver bells and nine.

True Thomas he took off his hat,
And bowed him low down to the knee,
"All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven!
For your peer on earth I never did see."

"Oh no, Oh no, True Thomas," she says,
"That name does not belong to me;
I am but the queen of fair Elfland,
And I'm come here for to visit thee.

"But you must go with me now, Thomas,
True Thomas, you must go with me,
For you must serve me seven years,
Through well or woe as chance may be."

-- from the Scottish ballad, "Thomas the Rhymer"

These rules are intended for GMs and players who wish to run Faerie games using the GURPS rules. They do not cover the entire spectrum of beliefs about faeries (which cover 2000 years of history and the whole of Europe) but are a "snapshot" of beliefs about the nature of faeries in Elizabethan England. (Pagan Celtic faerie beliefs are covered in GURPS Celtic Myth.) There is not room in an article this size to cover faerie types and beliefs in any detail -- check out the books mentioned at the end for ideas. An example of a faerie type is given below, to give GMs some ideas on how to create faerie types of their own.

Heroic Faeries


Heroic faeries were common in Medieval romances, particularly French Arthurian sources. They are a dwindled form of the heroic Sidhe from Celtic mythology (which are described in GURPS Celtic Myth, and carried on into Elizabethan times in such works as Spenser's Faerie Queene.


Heroic faeries are always supremely beautiful in appearance (though this may sometimes be a glamour to hide a more ugly reality). The appear to be tall, lordly humans, usually with golden hair and very fair skin.


Heroic faeries are the aristocracy of the faerie world. They dress in a manner similar to the knights and ladies of the medieval court and spend their days in courtly pursuits such as jousting, hawking, hunting, gossiping and plotting against each other. They will often take a human lover just for the fun of it, but are equally likely to scorn that lover if some petty taboo is broken. Lovers scorned in this way will often pine away from lovesickness, but it is unlikely that the faerie will care. Since Heroic Faeries are unageing, they are likely to have phenomenally high skill levels -- a 500-year-old faerie knight is likely to be more than a match for a human 25-year-old, no matter how well-trained.


Appearance: Very Handsome (25 points), Glamourie: 10 levels (50 points), Unageing* (15 points).


Capricious (-15 points), Dread: Christian Symbols* (-10 Points), Faerie Prohibition (-30 points), Vulnerability: Iron* (-10 points).

Advantages and Disadvantages marked with a * are from GURPS Fantasy Folk 2nd Edition


Illusion: Level 5 (60 points), Insubstantiality: Level 4 (40 points), any others according to character conception.

Base Cost: 125 points

New Disadvantages

Capricious -15 points

Your moods are totally unpredictable. One minute you are happy and laughing, the next you are ferociously angry, or burst into tears. People who know you are extremely wary around you, since they do not know how you will react to anything they do or say; they react to you at -2. If you are in a position of authority, or have the power to get your own way due to physical or magical power, your subordinates will be frightened of you, and will react at -4. In any stressful or emotionally charged situation you must make a roll on 1d6. On an even roll, your emotions stay the same; on an odd roll, your emotions become completely different. The GM may also require you to make a roll at any time, for whatever reason. (GM's can be as capricious as they like about this!) Or just roleplay it.

Capricious is a disadvantage particularly suited to faerie characters, who often behave in this way.

Faerie Prohibition -30 points

You may not directly take the life of a mortal. You may kill by trickery but never by a physical or magical attack.

The prohibition does not stop you from causing someone's death by creating an illusion (e.g. of a broad meadow where there is a narrow path along a cliff-edge) or by compelling them to do something until they die of exhaustion. You may also harass them physically with pinches and pinpricks, wither their limbs with curses or drive them mad by any method. Indirect means of killing are perfectly acceptable, direct ones are not. This is a case of keeping the letter of the prohibition while breaking the spirit, but it has been allowed so far.

This prohibition applies only to killing mortals -- killing other faeries is acceptable.

New Advantage

Faerie Sight 5 points

In a world with faeries, there will usually be some rare individuals with the ability to see through faerie glamours. This advantage is usually called Faerie Sight, and it is said that those with this ability have a touch of faerie blood somewhere in their past. A character with this advantage may make an Eyesight roll to see things which others cannot see (what sort of things this will include will depend on the GM's campaign world). This advantage is usually inborn, but can sometimes be given by the application of Faerie Ointment. (See below for using Faerie Sight against Glamourous Illusions).

Glamourie 5 points/level

You have the racial ability to cast Faerie Glamours. Each level of Glamourie allows you to cast/maintain one Glamour at base level. Additional levels of Glamourie may be used to cast further Glamours, or to raise Glamours above their base level. The maximum number of levels a faerie creature may have is determined in its racial characteristics.

For the purposes of Contests of Glamourie, your Glamourie is defined as HT+Glamourie (see below). Unlike magical spells, Glamourie is an inborn advantage, and cannot be learned. It is not related to intelligence -- even a stupid faerie can cast powerful Glamours. It is an instinctive reaction, not related to intelligence, though an intelligent faerie will naturally be cleverer in the way he uses his glamours.

Rules for Glamourie

Principles of Glamourie

Glamourie is the natural inborn magical ability of the denizens of faerie. Casting a glamour is as natural to a faerie as breathing or eating; it is not something which can be taught, like magic. Either a faerie is born with a glamour, or is not; glamours cannot be gained later in life.

The prerequisite for a faerie to be able to cast glamours is the Glamourie advantage, which comes in a number of levels. Particularly powerful members of the Seelie Court might have up to 15 levels of Glamourie; minor hobs and goblins only 1.

Each level of Glamourie allows the caster to cast or maintain one level of a particular Glamour. A faerie can never cast more glamours than he has levels of glamourie, and the number of glamours he is casting may be lower than this if he is maintaining some glamours above his base level (see below).


Glamours are racial advantages which faeries may use. They are much like spells in their effect, though they are often more powerful. Unlike spells, they cannot be learned. Also unlike spells, they do not cost stamina to cast or maintain (except Instant Glamours in certain circumstances, see below). They also do not need a skill roll of any sort to cast, unless they are being resisted.

Base Level

A faerie has a glamour at base level. This level is determined by the type of the faerie. A faerie can cast a glamour at base level or below, using only one level of Glamourie. If the faerie wants to cast the glamour at a higher level, he must put more levels of Glamourie into it. Each level of Glamourie put into a glamour will raise the level of that Glamour by one.

Mandrake has three levels of Beast Glamour. In order to maintain it at level 3 or below, he must put one level of Glamourie into it. If he wants to raise his Beast Glamour to level four, he must put two levels of Glamour into it.

Casting a Glamour

There are two types of glamour, Instant Glamours, and Constant Glamours. Each of them is bought in the same way, but they are cast slightly differently.

Note that when casting a glamour, no roll is required unless the glamour is being resisted.

Instant Glamours

Instant glamours work on the target instantly, and need not be maintained. These glamours include Blessing, Curse and Madness. An instant glamour begins to work on the target the moment it is cast. Instant Glamours have two components, an effect and a duration. The effect tells what the glamour will do to the target, the duration tells how long this effect will last. The effect will always last as long as specified by the caster. It does not need to be maintained. The caster can go away and use his Glamourie for other purposes and the target will still be affected by the duration put on the glamour by the caster. This is only negated by an opposing glamour which can counteract the glamour cast. (See individual glamours for details.)

An Instant Glamour can only be cast on a single target, by the caster three times in his entire lifetime! i.e. He can be Blessed three times, Cursed three times, and sent mad three times by any one individual faerie. Further attempts to cast the same glamour will have no effect on that individual. A faerie who has previously cast an Instant Glamour on a target will recognise that target, no matter how he is disguised. The act of casting an Instant Glamour on a target forms a bond between caster and target, which can never be broken.

Each Instant Glamour has an effect and a duration. Using one level of Glamourie, a faerie may cast an Instant Glamour at his base level, which will have the base effect for the base duration. So a faerie with Curse at level 3 can cast a Curse with a level 3 effect for a level 3 duration. A further level of Glamourie put into the glamour will raise either the effect, or the duration, but not both. Also, raising either the effect or the duration of the Instant Glamour will cause the caster to lose 1 HT, permanently. This HT will not be regained until the player has spent the requisite character points to get the HT back up to what it was before. Blessings, Curses and the like are not given lightly. The HT is not lost until the Instant Glamour is successfully cast. If the caster is interrupted, the HT is not lost, nor is it lost if the target is immune due to having had that glamour cast on him before.

Instant Glamours cannot be cast instantly. The words of the Curse, Blessing, etc., must be spoken aloud, and this takes a number of seconds. This will normally be two seconds, but the GM may rule that a particularly involved curse or blessing may take longer to say. During the time the Instant Glamour is being cast, the caster must concentrate, and cannot do anything else (although Constant Glamours will be maintained, of course). If the faerie is struck, or otherwise interrupted in a startling way, the GM may rule that a Will roll must be made, or the speech will be interrupted and the caster must begin again. A faerie with Compel may Compel the subject to take no action while the Instant Glamour is being cast, in order to prevent any startling moves.

For instance, Mandrake has Curse at Level 2. He can cast a Curse with a Level 2 Effect, which will last a Level 2 Duration. (i.e. all the subject's rolls are at -4 until cock-crow.) If Mandrake puts another level of Glamourie into the Curse and a point of HT, he can make it a curse with a Level 3 Effect and a Level 2 Duration (subject struck blind until cock-crow) or a Curse with a Level 2 Effect and a Level 3 Duration (subject at -4 until the full moon). But if he wants a Curse with Level 3 effect and Level 3 duration, he must add two levels of Glamourie to his base level, and lose 2 HT. (The GM may rule that "May you be struck blind until cock-crow!" takes three seconds to say.)

A faerie can always cast an Instant Glamour at a level below his base level (in effect and/or duration) but it will always cost a minimum of one level of Glamourie. He cannot take levels out of base duration to put into effect, or vice versa.

Constant Glamours

A Constant Glamour is one which must be maintained. As long as the Glamour continues, the caster must be using the requisite number of levels of Glamourie. While it is maintained, these levels of Glamourie cannot be used for anything else.

A Constant Glamour may be cast instantly. If the faerie is in combat, he may do the normal things that may be done in combat and switch a Constant Glamour on or off as well. The Constant Glamour will begin to take effect at the beginning of the Faerie's turn. Casting a Glamour is as natural to a faerie as drawing a breath, and takes no more thought.

Once a Constant Glamour is cast, it will stay on until it is switched off or its level is changed. It requires no concentration from the caster. A Constant Glamour will stay on even if the faerie is asleep, but all Constant Glamours will, of course, cease to have any effect if the faerie dies.

Defensive Glamourie

If a faerie is rendered unconscious, or if his HT reaches 0, all levels of Glamourie will immediately be put into Insubstantiality. If the character is still conscious, the player may decide which, if any, of his remaining glamours stay active. If the character is unconscious, all other glamours immediately cease to be active. A conscious character may resist this defence mechanism at Will-4 if he is conscious.


Beast Glamour Constant; 5 points/level

Allows the caster to summon, control and speak to a number of creatures equal to his level of Beast Glamour. It will not work on any race which normally has an IQ of 8 or more. A beast is defined as any non-human and non-faerie creature; this includes water-dwelling creatures and birds, as well as land animals. All faerie animals are at +4 to Will rolls when making a Contest of Wills with the caster. The caster may only be in contact with a number of creatures equal to his level of Beast Glamour. For instance, a faerie with five levels of Beast Glamour could control three horses while summoning an eagle and speaking to a salmon, but it he wanted to contact another creature, he must relinquish contact with one of the others.

The caster can do any of the following:

Summoning: The caster of Beast Glamour can summon any beast(s) within five miles of himself -- if no creature of the type summoned is within five miles, no creature will come, but the caster will know that it is not coming. A successful Naturalist roll will tell the caster what creatures are likely to be in the vicinity. Also, Beast Glamour cannot summon fish out of water, or land creatures to the depths of the ocean. To summon a creature, the caster must win a Contest of Wills with the creature. Each creature summoned requires a separate roll. Once summoned, the beast will stay close to the summoner until it is dismissed or commanded to do something. The animal summoned must come to the summoner as quickly as it can, but it may be a while before a small creature travels five miles!

Control: Allows the caster to control a beast or beasts. The caster must win a Contest of Wills with the beast. He can then control the beast(s), telling it what to do in any given situation. This may range from making the beast carry the caster (or another) to making the beast fight for the caster. The control will only last for as long as the glamour is maintained. While the glamour is maintained, the beast will show no signs of fatigue, but when control is relinquished, it will immediately gain 1 Fatigue for every half-hour it has been controlled.

Speech: Lets the caster communicate with a beast, in the creature's own "language." The amount of information exchanged depends on the animal's intelligence; no creature below the level of a bird will be likely to know much of interest. An ant may crawl over gold, but it knows only that the material is hard and inedible . . . Each minute that the glamour is maintained allows one question and answer. The caster may only communicate with one beast at a time, no matter what his level of Beast Glamour.

Limitation: Only effects only one species of beast. -50%

Blessing Instant; 20 points/level

With this glamour, the caster can put a blessing on the subject. The usefulness of the blessing, and the duration of the effect, depends upon the level of the Glamour. The caster must be within three hexes of the subject to perform a blessing, and the blessing must be spoken aloud. Blessing can also be used to remove a Curse of the same level and duration -- the caster must touch the subject and roll IQ+Glamourie to correctly identify the Curse -- failure means that the Curse is not identified and no action can be taken. The caster may put a blessing on any one target three times in the target's lifetime (see Instant Glamours, above).

Level 1: until a bird flies over your head (3d6 minutes)
Level 2: until cock-crow
Level 3: until the full moon
Level 4: a year and a day
Level 5: seven years and a day
Level 6: Permanent unless removed with Bless.


Level 1: One of the subjects skills (chosen by the caster) is at +4 for the duration of the Blessing, or one of the subject's stats is at +1.

Level 2: The subject is given one of the following for the duration of the blessing:
1. Acute Eyesight +3. If the subject has Poor Eyesight, this will be "cured" instead for the duration of the blessing. The blessing does not effect Blindness.
2. Acute Hearing +3. If the subject has Hard of Hearing, this will be "cured" instead for the duration of the blessing. The blessing does not effect Deafness.
3. Voice. If the subject has Stuttering, this will be cured instead for the duration of the blessing. The blessing does not effect Mute.

Level 3: All the subjects rolls are at +4 for the duration of the blessing.

Level 4: The blessing cures one Physical or Mental Disadvantage for the duration of the blessing. This does not include Dependants, Enemies, Duties, Codes of Honour, etc.

Level 5: The blessing gives the subject one Physical or Mental Advantage up to the cost of 15 points. This does not include "social" advantages such as Military Rank or Allies, but can include Magical Aptitude. Only one level of Magical Aptitude can be given -- it cannot be raised at a later time by another Blessing. Wealth can be given in this way -- one level of wealth can be added to the character's wealth by this method. This will not come in the form of a bag of money, but should be decided by the GM based on the character so blessed. For instance, a merchant might unexpectedly receive a lucrative contract; a labourer might dig up an unexpected treasure trove; a court bureaucrat might be promoted. The blessing should come to pass within 1d6 days of the blessing being given, but should be fitted into the flow of the game, and should be surprising but not impossible.

Limitation: The caster must be in contact with the subject, -30%;

Limitation: the subject must be in eye contact with the subject, -20%.

Compel Constant; 10 points/level

With this glamour, the caster can change the actions and/or the emotions of one chosen individual. The caster must make eye contact with the individual in order to compel him, but once the compulsion has been cast, eye contact may be broken without the compulsion being lost, for as long as the glamour is maintained. If the caster also has the Curse glamour, the compulsion need not be maintained, but can be made to last a fixed amount of time, depending on the levels of duration put into the Curse.

Level 1: The caster can implant one emotion or belief in the subject, for the duration of the Compulsion. The player must tell the GM what emotion or belief is to be implanted, and it is up to the GM to interpret it for the player; the GM is allowed to tone down or disallow any which he believes will unbalance the game. For example:

Emotions: Love, Lust, Hatred -- the subject can be made to feel this emotion about one individual. In the case of love or lust, this may be the caster. It is up to the player to interpret how he will roleplay the emotion. He will not act totally out of character, but should try to interpret the emotion within the character's normal behaviour. For example, a shy character overcome by lust will not leap on the object of her desire, but will attempt to persuade him to go to bed with her, whereas a bluff warrior type might just fling him over her shoulder and drag him off to bed.
Fear: this is fear of one individual or class of objects. The caster may specify "You are afraid of spiders," but not "You are afraid of everything around you." The fear can also be applied to an individual, particularly the caster. The fear is the equivalent of a severe phobia, and the subject who comes into contact with the object of his fear must make a Fright Check at -4.
Beliefs: This may be anything, but is the equivalent of a Major Delusion. The subject cannot be persuaded of anything totally against his character conception, (he can't for instance, be persuaded that he's a goldfish, or that he's somewhere he isn't). But he can be persuaded that other PCs are faeries, or that faeries don't exist, that the Pope is the Antichrist (unless the character is a fervent Catholic). If the player thinks that the belief goes totally against his character conception, the GM may allow a Will roll to resist.

Level 2: The caster may take over all the actions of the subject. He may make the character do exactly what he wants him to, and has access to all the character's skills, magical abilities etc. During the period of the compulsion, the subject is fully conscious of what he is doing, but believes that is what he wanted to do. Even after the compulsion has ended, he will believe that he was acting under his own will, and will try to justify to himself and others why he did what he did.

Curse Instant; 20 points/level

With this glamour, the caster can put a curse on the subject. The severity of the curse, and the duration of the effect, depends on the level of the Glamour. The caster must be within three hexes of the subject to perform a curse, and the curse must be spoken aloud. Curse can also be used to remove a Blessing of the same level and duration -- the caster must touch the subject and roll IQ+Glamourie to correctly identify the Blessing -- failure means that the Blessing is not identified and no action can be taken.

The subject is allowed one chance to resist, rolling a Quick Contest of Will vs IQ+Glamourie+Base Level of Curse.

Level 1: until a bird flies over your head (3d6 minutes)
Level 2: until cock-crow
Level 3: until the full moon
Level 4: a year and a day
Level 5: seven years and a day
Level 6: Permanent unless removed with Bless


Level 1: One of the subjects skills (chosen by the caster) is at -4 for the duration of the curse, or one of the subject's stats is at -1.

Level 2: All the subjects rolls are at -4 for the duration of the curse.

Level 3: The subject is struck blind or deaf or dumb for the duration of the curse. Alternatively, one of the subject's limbs is paralysed for the duration of the curse. The limb is considered crippled.

Level 4: Elf-stroke -- one side of the subject's body is paralysed (arm and leg crippled) and the subject is struck dumb for the duration of the curse.

Limitation: The caster must be in contact with the subject, -20%;

Limitation: the subject must be in eye contact with the subject, -20%.

Flight Constant; 5 points/level

This glamour enables the caster to swoop through the air like a bird. Speed is equal to double the caster's move. Each level above the first doubles the caster's move or allows the caster to carry another person in flight. To carry another person, the caster must be touching the subject, at least with the finger-tips -- the other person will then fly alongside. The Flight glamour does not confer the ability to do complex acrobatics and tight turns; for that, the caster needs the Flight skill.

Limitation: Caster cannot carry anyone else. Extra levels only add speed. -30%

Limitation: Caster cannot fly any faster. Extra levels only allow him to carry more people. -30%

Limitation: Caster needs object to fly. This might be a broomstick, a fresh sprig of a particular plant, an ointment etc. -10% to -50% depending on type and rarity of object.

Illusion Constant; 20 points for Level 1,

10 points per additional level

With this glamour, the caster can put a completely realistic illusion around someone or something, which will fool all the senses, including touch. If the caster wishes to make the illusion emotionally effecting to the viewer (awe-inspiring, terrifying, etc.) he must make a roll against Illusion Art skill. The important thing to remember with faerie illusions is that they are done instinctively by the faerie. The caster will constantly cast illusions around himself without thinking about it, and has no real concept of the difference between his illusions and reality. As far as a faerie is concerned, everything is an illusion of one sort or another -- what humans perceive as reality is merely the humans' consensus illusion. Everything is equally real, and equally illusory. Often these illusions will be very subtle, so that a faerie will constantly walk through a version of the real world which is just a little more beautiful than what is really there. Note that the Illusion cannot make objects which are present disappear, only cloak their true nature. A faerie can make a castle appear where none were before, and it will look and feel solid. But to make a castle disappear is more difficult. The castle can be made to appear like an empty space, but if anyone attempts to walk through the space, they will bump into the wall, and the illusion will be dispelled.

Level 1: The caster may cast an illusion shell around himself, making himself appear to be something he isn't. The illusion cannot be bigger than seven feet tall, and 1 hex across, though it may be a completely different shape. This will usually be used by a faerie to make himself appear more beautiful, or more hideous than reality, to cloak himself in an illusion of fine clothing, to pass himself off as human etc. However, it can also be used to appear as a creature other than human. For instance, a faerie may wish to appear to be a giant snake. If the faerie then grapples a human, the human will feel as though the snake is wrapped around him, though the faerie will be unable to do more than normal damage. A diminutive faerie will often use this glamour to make himself appear to be a full-sized person. He will hover above a hex, casting a magnified illusion of his real self about him. Most faeries (particularly Trooping faeries) will have at least one level of Illusion about themselves at all times.

Level 2 and above: For every level of Illusion Glamour that the caster has above Level 1, he is able to extend an illusion in all directions by ten yards. This includes upwards. A faerie with two levels, for instance, could make an illusion of a small grove of trees. A faerie with ten levels of Illusion could make a palace of glass appear on a hill, and it would appear completely real to those entering.

Conflicting Illusions. When two or more faeries get together, it may be that they are both casting large scale illusions about themselves. In normal circumstances, the etiquette is that the faerie of lower status will submit to the illusion of the higher status faerie; for instance, if the higher status faerie is maintaining an illusion of a medieval court, the lower status faerie will change his appearance to fit in with this. A whole group of faeries will usually submit to the wishes of the highest status faerie, and their accumulated illusions can work wonders -- the court of Elf Queen is an illusion of epic proportions, with a huge palace and gardens, created by the whim of the Elf Queen and the consensus illusions of her courtiers.

However, sometimes two faeries will not agree on the illusion to be cast. In such a case, a Contest of Glamourie will be rolled (each rolling against HT+Glamourie); the winner will decide the surrounding illusion, although he cannot change an opponent's Level 1 illusion.

Lord Mandrake has a Level 10 Illusion of a medieval castle about him, and he himself appears to be a Norman knight. When another faerie, Lady Yarrow, arrives, she is dressed as an Elizabethan lady, and wishes her surroundings to match her. She has the same Status as Mandrake, and he does not want the surroundings changed, so they must make a Contest of Glamourie. Mandrake has HT+Glamourie of 14, Yarrow has 16. Mandrake rolls 13, making his roll by 1; Yarrow rolls 12, making her roll by 4. Therefore, Yarrow's more powerful illusion takes over, turning the medieval castle into a Renaissance manor house. However, if Mandrake wishes, he may keep his own image as that of a Norman knight, though he will look rather out of place. This would be rather a faux-pas in Faerie society (as well as being impolite, it's aesthetically unappealing!) so he gives in to Yarrow, and changes his Illusion to make himself appear as an Elizabethan courtier. After all, he doesn't want people whispering about him behind his back!

Insubstantiality Constant; 10 points/level

This glamour allows the caster to become less substantial. This effects not only the caster, but anything he is wearing or carrying -- it will not effect other living beings he is touching, however.

Level 1: The caster is very difficult to see, being semi- translucent. All Sight rolls to spot the caster are at -4, and all attacks against him are at -4 to skill level. The caster still leaves footprints, makes sounds etc., as normal.

Level 2: The caster is invisible. He still makes sounds, etc. as above., but cannot be seen at all. Anyone attempting to attack the caster must make a Hearing-2 roll to find him.

Level 3: The caster is invisible (as Level 2, above) and also semi-insubstantial. His body is curiously fluid. All physical attacks do only half normal damage, and the caster can squeeze through cracks, gaps and holes half the size he would normally be able to get through. (The caster can not however, fit into a container half his normal size - he has not become any smaller!) He finds it harder to manipulate objects; all DX rolls are at -4. His ST is also at -4, making damage from attack rolls correspondingly lower.

Level 4: The caster is invisible (as Level 2, above) and completely insubstantial. He can pass through solid objects as though they aren't there, and physical attacks do no damage at all. He cannot manipulate objects at all, and can do no physical damage.

Madness Instant; 20 points/level

This glamour allows the caster to drive the subject mad. There are various effects possible, listed below. Depending on the level of Madness used, the effects will last a different amount of time.

Level 1: For one night.
Level 2: Until the next full moon.
Level 3: For a year and a day.

All these effects can be removed with a fourth level Blessing of the same duration.

Catatonic: Subject stares into space and does nothing useful. If the subject is a mage, he will not maintain spells when they expire.

Fear: Subject becomes afraid of one individual or class of objects. The caster may specify "You are afraid of spiders", but not "You are afraid of everything around you." The fear can also be applied to an individual, particularly the caster. The fear is the equivalent of a severe phobia, and the subject who comes into contact with the object of his fear must make a Fright Check at -4.

Mindlessness: Reduces the subject's IQ to 1. The subject cannot use skills, talk, cast or maintain spells, or any other actions determined by the GM. The subject can walk, laugh, cry, drool, eat with hands, react to heat and cold, etc. He will have a very short attention span and notice only colours, pretty things, movement, and other things that a baby would be curious about. If the subject is a PC, the player should roleplay this state.

Nightmare: Gives the subject nightmares of the caster's choice. The subject need not be asleep when the glamour is cast -- it will come into effect the next time he goes to sleep. The subject will dream the same horrible dream every time he goes to sleep, and will wake up screaming. He will get no rest from a night's sleep, but will lose 2 stamina every night the Nightmare lasts. The effects of the glamour are cumulative. If the subject's ST falls to zero due to this spell, he falls into a coma, and will lose 1d HT each day until dying, unless the Madness is removed by a Blessing.

Resisting Glamours

Resisting Glamours with Glamourie or Magic Resistance

Only certain types of characters can hope to resist a Glamour. A faerie always has a chance to resist the Glamours of another faerie. In this case a Contest of Glamourie is rolled; both characters roll against HT+Glamourie.

A character with Glamourie may choose not to resist a Glamour -- he may, for instance be being blessed, or may actually wish to see a faerie's illusion.

Magic Resistance works in exactly the same way, except that it always resists, even against Blessings.

Resisting Illusions with Faerie Sight

A character who has the Faerie Sight advantage has a chance to see through the Illusion Glamour. He makes a contest of skills, his Eyesight against the faerie's Illusion Glamour. If the person making the Faerie Sight roll succeeds by the same or more than the faerie, he can see through the illusion to the reality beneath. There are two times when this Faerie Sight roll can be made. The first is when the human comes across the Illusion -- at this time, the GM makes a secret roll, and then tells the player what he can see, illusion or reality. The player will only get a second chance at the roll if he suspects that what his character can see is an illusion. He may then inform the GM, who will make another secret roll, and inform the player of what he can see now. After that, the character will be convinced that what he can see is real, and no further rolls can be made unless a new Illusion Glamour is cast. (But note also the circumstances in which an Illusion can be dispelled, in the description of the Illusion Glamour).

Resisting Glamours with Christian Symbols

A character may attempt to resist glamours by using such holy symbols as crosses, the Bible, holy water, etc. On seeing or hearing such a thing, any faerie present must make a Fright Check (at -4, due to its racial disadvantage, Dread: Christian Symbols). This may be made with a modifier, according to the piety of the character using the holy symbol, etc. (GMs discretion). A faerie who fails a Fright Check rolls on the Fright Check table as usual, and also puts all its levels of Glamourie into Insubstantiality. This means that if the faerie fails the Fright Check, it, and all illusions it was maintaining, will vanish away. A Christian symbol will not keep faeries away by the mere act of being carried. The faerie must be shown the symbol. The GM may allow a character to make a Theology or Fast-Talk roll if the player chants suitably portentous phrases while waving the symbol; if the roll succeeds, the faerie is at a minus to his Fright Check equal to the amount by which the character succeeded.


Some Glamours have limitations, which may apply to certain faerie types. The point cost for a Glamour with a limitation is correspondingly lower; see individual glamours for details.

On or Off?

Some faerie types have a habit of keeping certain of their glamours "switched on" all the time. For instance, Trooping Faeries will always have at least one glamour switched on, cloaking themselves in a fair-seeming appearance. Diminutive faeries will normally have four levels of Insubstantiality switched on, and will only switch it off in the rare circumstances in which they want to interact with the human world. Such habits are not a hard and fast rule; an individual faerie may use his glamours as he sees fit -- they are merely customs.

Recommended Reading

There are numerous books about Faeries, some good, some bad. Books particularly good for GMs wishing to create a Faerie campaign include:

A Dictionary of Fairies by Katherine Briggs.
Fairies and Elves in the Time-Life Books Enchanted World series.
Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee.
The last two are particularly good for illustrations of faeries.

Useful novels include Michael Scott Rohan's Lord of the Middle Air, Ellen Kushner's Thomas the Rhymer and Ian McDonald's King of Morning, Queen of Day.

Other roleplaying games which have touched on Faerie include:
For Fairy, Queen and Country, a supplement for The Amazing Engine (TSR).
Faeries, a supplement for Ars Magica (Atlas Games).
Changeling: The Dreaming (White Wolf).

Article publication date: August 14, 1998

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