Designer’s Notes: The Wild Hunt

I don’t remember if I asked PK about it or if he asked me, but somehow we got to talking about GURPS Monster Hunters and faerie. I remember when I was playtesting the series originally that I raised this question and he told me he just didn’t have room. I asked if I could work the other side of the fence (he was creating more inhuman options) and after a quick conversation with Steven I was given the go ahead to write. This was my fifth ever article and by now I’d gotten a good, firm hold on the ropes. I’d a load more self-confidence and I dove into the work with happy abandon. Total writing time was 14 hours, total revision time was 28 hours (PK and I had a few clashing assumptions which I had to change, see below), and total editing time was 33 hours.

PK gave me some soft guidelines to work under and while my first draft kept within those confines, I ended up needing to change some things to better match the inhuman templates he wrote up.

Fae dislike priests, holy people, and devoutly religious folk of all kind. because of their ability to drive them away with their faith. Only those who have True Faith or possess the Mysticism ability Turn should be allowed to do this (GURPS Monster Hunters 1: Champions p. 44), though if the GM allows anyone reading holy scripture or loudly proclaiming their god’s name aloud and with conviction may be able to do this with a Will roll, albeit at a severe penalty set by GM (at least a -16 penalty), modified by your character’s religious habits, how moral your character is, etc. Inhuman Changeling or Seelie characters may optionally take a quirk: “Uncomfortable around holy people/places” if they so choose to represent this.

Fae take double damage against weapons of iron (often called ‘cold iron’, though this is a misnomer) but they also heal slower! Any damaging attacks made heal at a incredibly slow rate, 1 HP per two days (Rapid Healing and Regeneration does however speed this up), while damage from iron attacks that cause a HT roll (such as those from a mortal wound or when you are reduced to -HP interval) are at additional -2 penalty. Wounds made by iron always scar the affected fae, and fae tend to hold grudges… well forever. Fae may also be imprisoned by an unbroken circle of iron (or even powdered iron shavings) or a cage made entirely out of iron (or at least all six sides).
Finally, since iron is the literal bane of fae existence, if they physically touch iron (or breathe it in if the particles are small enough) it causes an immediate HT roll, on a failure they are at -5 to all skills and attributes for the next 10 minutes. If a fae actually ingests iron, they need to make the same HT roll but failure means they are instead at -5 to attributes and -10 to all skills and Sense rolls instead.

Loud Noises
Fae are also affected by extremely loud noises (at least 67 decibels), losing 1d of FP every minute they remain in the vicinity of such noises, this value is not set however and is subject to the actual amount of stimulus, being front row at a rock concert might cause 3d of FP loss, while being far away from ringing Church bells or wearing noise-canceling headphones could result in only 1 FP loss or none at all! Additionally they must make a HT roll at a -1 per 2 FP lost. Failure results in the fae being stunned and suffering from the Hard of Hearing disadvantage for minutes equal to (20 – HT, minimum 1 minute), they can make a HT+1 roll (at a -1 penalty per 2 FP lost) every round to recover from this stunning. This is where the myth of church bells ringing being able to drive off hostile fae came from and could be the basis of Grendal from Beowulf with the loud celebrations causing Grendal actual pain…  Inhuman changling and seelie characters may optionally take a quirk: “Dislikes Loud Noises” if they so choose to represent this.
Under the Hood: Weakness (Loud Noises)
To get the intended effect of loud noises on Fae a little jiggerypokery had to be done to the Weakness disadvantage. As an optional rule, the GM may apply the Side Effect modifier to Weakness as a modifier. To get the value of Side Effect on a Weakness, first decide what it “inflicts” (see p. B109), then subtract -50% from that value. Treat a negative value as a limitation and a positive value as a enhancement. For instance the Fae have a Weakness against Loud Noises that forces them to make a HT roll against -1 to -3, on a failure they are stunned and may roll HT to recover every round and suffer from the Hard of Hearing disadvantage for 1 minute, plus a additional minute per point by which they failed on their HT roll.
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