Funny story. I use Roll20 to help with solo roleplaying, in part due to how the site utilizes character sheets. People make character sheets for a variety of RPGs for other players to use for their campaigns. More often than not, it’s a sure-fire way for me to get introduced to a new RPG.
Why is this funny? Because FATAL had a character sheet for Roll20, but it disappeared when I was trying to do the Stat It for FATAL. Of the sheets I found that started with FA, I found one that caught my interest from the name alone: Fairy Tail. Now, when the title of an RPG is some sort of cute wordplay, like substituting tale with tail (looking at you, Tails of Equestria), it will grab my attention. However, upon looking on the sheet, it’s clearly a D20 sheet with an odd bird-like symbol… So, what gives?
Well, this is a D20 Adaptation of the famous anime/manga known as Fairy Tail. What’s it about? Well, it’s a fantasy anime with a ton of different magic systems so robust and unique, that just one of them can easily become a magic system for its own story. It also contains guilds that go on quests, of which one of them is called Fairy Tail. In a way, this anime is essentially an RPG setting just waiting to be explored in some form of system and what better way to explore it than the father of all RPGs (since grandfather would be OSR), D20.
Back in the 2000’s, D20 was the go-to system to create just about any RPG. You want to make a Star Wars RPG? D20. You want your RPG set in contemporary times but don’t want vampires or werewolves in your story? D20. You want to have a sexy RPG? You can bet your sweet ass D20 got you covered. In fact, it was because of that sexy RPG that the license used to have people make D20 games had to be updated and led to an eventual decline in D20-focused RPGs. Of course, there are exceptions, including the now leading competitor Pathfinder, but for the most part, D20 was a flash in the pan.
So… What’s the tale with Fairy Tail? Well, like with Titan World and Snakes on a Plane, this game is fanmade, using the basis of an already easy to understand system and putting the skin of Fairy Tail on it. However, unlike those two examples, this game has a sadly common outcome: it’s incomplete. Now, looking at the webpage, there’s obviously a lot of pages missing. There’s an older version that, while way more complete, still has some rough patches here and there. Particularly with the Advanced Classes, which are this game’s version of Prestige Classes.
Of the ninety Advanced Classes, only thirteen Advanced Classes have fully statted up class tables. A little under 15% of one section of the book is actually complete. Now, granted, that section is about 7% of the entire book and other than that, the book is pretty much complete, but I felt like this needed a mention. Not that it really matters much, since thirteen Advanced Classes is still a lot. Compare to Pathfinder’s ten Prestige Classes in the Core Rulebook and 3.5’s fifteen Prestige Classes, and Fairy Tail manages to hit a happy medium in spite of how many others are empty.
Again, not that it really matters, as I want to take a look at the Races, since they’re very unique to the Fairy Tail lore. You have two human races, one from each universe (long story short, there’s basically a mirror universe to Fairy Tail’s universe) and the difference between them is that one’s more adept at magic and the other’s more tech-based, bringing to mind the Artificer from 5e.
The real icing on the cake, however, are the three non-human races. You have a Fallen Celestial, children of the stars who have been barred from their realm and must live amongst humans, the Exceed, cat people that were revered as gods in the aforementioned mirror universe, and lastly, Demons. It is these three races in particular that I’m going to delve into, rather than make characters around the prestiges like I did with Testament. It’s even easier that way thanks to two words: Level Adjustment.
Simply put, the races are so overpowered that the only way they would be balanced out is if they were to be viewed as a higher-level character. Allow me to use an example: The Fallen Celestial has four stats that get a +2 and has 1d3 powers that tie them to their star of origin. The only drawback they have is that they have an extra mana pool (this game runs on mana points instead of the Spell Slots system) that doesn’t replenish like normal and, if depleted, results in the character being wiped from existence. But, hey, an extra mana pool! As a result, the best way to balance this race out is to have a Level Adjustment of +5, or better put, the race is seen as a 5th level character, if all the levels are put into empty classes.
This, however, is a complex and overall weak way to hold back races and later versions like 5E and Pathfinder never went back to the Level Adjustment and instead make each race balanced overall or adding a points system that denotes how strong the race is overall.
For this, Stat It, however, we will definitely play around with this. Because our highest-level character is at 5th level, that naturally means everyone else will be 5th. In fact, I’ll start things off with the Fallen Celestial, as they have the Level Adjustment of 5.