Stat It: Fairy Tail

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.

To begin with, we will do our stat rolls…

[Roll: 5, 17, 10, 15, 14, 10]

Okay, so that 5 is going to screw us over, but with the +2 to four stats, I think we can take that loss. Though, already, the character sheet I have partially auto-calculates, nor does most of the sections have an easy roll feature. This means I have to put in almost all the details in by hand and dice rolling also have to be inputted manually. Now, I’d switch to a D20 sheet and be done with it, but I do want to at least try to make this work.

Determining hit die for the character is going to be tricky, though, I’m just gonna give him a D8, max HP. As stated before, the game runs on a mana point system, and so, calculating that is basically the Int, Wis, and Cha mods combined times the level. So, in this case, 45… Again. And then we get to this bit:

Chi: The source of all life in the way a ninja is able to perform unique and learned abilities and tasks power and ability when casting spells. When a creature uses chi, it often contains a number of variables, such as range or damage. That is based on the user’s level.

… So… Allow me to bring up another thing with this game…

It’s based off the Naruto D20 RPG, which was also made by the same people that brought us this. That said, it’s a little concerning that not only is this incomplete, but there’s the overall implication that part of it was just rehashed. A nitpick to be sure, but one I felt that should be addressed, as Fairy Tail is based around different magic systems. Looking at the fandom’s wikia, I couldn’t find any mention of Chi and the search engine assumed it was short hand for chicken. There are a few classes that utilize Chi, but the classes are stuff like monks, ninjas, and martial artists, stuff that are primarily a Naruto thing (technically, Chi is called Chakra in Naruto, but still) than it is a Fairy Tail thing. 

I won’t let it bother me too much, since I do need a bit to put the C-Mana, my character’s life essence, into. What does bother me though is that two sections of the book are almost word-for-word the same. The only difference is that one section goes “this is for non-magic stuff”.

Okay, okay, I gotta calm down. There are some good things about this game. The alignment system is overhauled partially. While Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic are kept as Order, Freewill, and Chaos, your overall good/evil system is instead replaced by mental status. Either you’re sane, weird, or insane. At first, this seems kinda weird, no pun intended, but the examples kinda help set up what exactly they mean.

So, my character gets to pick a magic system. There’s plenty to pick from, but my mind went to the Guitar magic, basically making him the bard. One of the cool things with this game is that you have a rather complex magic customization. You’re not stuck to basic spells. If you can think of a spell, you can make it.

I’m not gonna worry too much about that right now, since I need to create some magic powers for her Celestial Origins. Since she’s going with Guitar magic, I figured it’d make sense for her to have muse-based magic. Basic stuff like a skill that lets her succeed in charisma checks once, let her allies get advantage, or heal their magic or health by a d20 roll.

Skills is going to be a hell of a beast to tackle so I’ll be ignoring that. There’s also something called Tiered abilities, which allow you to customize your character by taking certain abilities. For instance, I’ll be taking “Hum a Tune”, which allows my character, Lyra, to get a +5 on Performance skills. Add to this the Feats and a Build Points system and this game gives you a lot more to do with making a character than it lets on the surface.

For now, though, I feel like she’s perfect, with the exception of the two feats she has, Battle Dancer and Psychological Warfare. Onto the next character, our Demon Born.

[Roll: 18, 14, 11, 12, 12, 13]

Really solid stats here. The Demon Born is built to be a powerhouse with a +2 to both Strength and Con, as well as the ability to blend in as a human with no expenditure of their Mana, though they’ll revert to human form should their mana run out. They take this disguise because humans have feared and hated them so much that the belief that they eat human flesh actually manifests into something real that happens when Demons drop below 8 Intelligence.

The Classes in this game are fleshed out, thankfully. Most of the classes are unique to the game with the solid exceptions of Barbarian, Bard, Lore Master, Monk, Ranger and Rogue. Some of these classes did get a little change up, like the Lore Master, as it’s a Prestige Class that got demoted to main class and thus gains ten more levels of character building.

Now, there’s also the Sorcerer, but it was hardly a unique class from the Wizard in 3.5. Not helping matters being that everyone’s a wizard or artificer to some degree. As such, the Sorcerer is a unique class for Fairy Tail. I’m going to pick one of them for my Demon Born, a Warrior. While there is a Warrior NPC class, it is merely that, an NPC class. This is a full-fledged class that, while taking inspiration from the Fighter, isn’t completely 1:1 with the class, feature wise. He starts off with one thing though, a sword-based fighting style.

For feats, he’ll take Power Attack and Weapon Focus. Weapon Focus adds a +1 to his sword-based attacks, with Power Attack taking away that bonus, but adding a +2 damage for a hit. I’ll go with Demon’s Eye magic, though not to the same powerful extent that the Wikia states. Probably more divination-based.

And so, that’s the second one down. Lastly is the Exceed.

[Stat Roll: 10, 12, 9, 10, 14, 17]

With one point remaining, I balance out the 9. An average spread, but after getting that natural 18 on the last character and getting a 17 here, I think this is the curve swinging back. As the weakest of the trio of non-human races, the only things to write home about are the +4 Charisma bonus (with a +2 Dexterity as a minor bonus), flight, and, at level 12, can assume a buff, fighting form. The thing holding them back is a -4 to all social checks because of their cuteness being unable to be taken seriously.

Comparing the Exceed to the Celestial, I can see just how much of a power difference they have. The Demon even has a similar flight ability, but theirs is permanent whereas the Exceeds’ flight is a form of Magic. Even the drawbacks show a drastic difference. The Fallen Celestial is at risk of dying if their personal mana pool runs out, Demons are only at risk of desiring human flesh if their INT is low, and the worst the Exceed get is a -4 to social checks which sounds bad at first until you realize that this is 3.5, and thus skill check modifiers can go as high as 30 and possibly more. If anything, it cancels out the CHA modifier that’s added to the social skill checks.

As for the class, this Exceed is taking the Wander class… Yes, it’s called the Wander class, not the Wanderer. The class layout isn’t really anything to write home about, but it is one of those classes that just gives you Feats, as its second level gives one to our character. Every 3rd level, they get +10 skill points, so I assume that the way you build this character up is to take up as much skill-focused feats as you can and then beef those up with skill ranks. Later levels grant you bonuses like “gives you +4 in skill checks against people with a lower reputation than you” or “you can study someone for 1d4 rounds and copy some aspect of them depending on how long you do it”, which lends somewhat to this idea. Not to mention the whopping 50 + int amount of skill points you can spend per level.

For feats, the Exceed will take Iron Cook and Iron Stomach, since they seem to be fun skills, though I don’t know how often we’ll come across bad food. His magic system is already taken in the form of Aera magic, which is the ability to form angel wings. I’ll capitalize this with giving him a tier one cooking ability. Fresh, which will grant +10 Magic.

With that, we have our three protagonists. Lyra Heartstrings, an exiled Celestial. Rizboaj, a Demon Born. And lastly, Aranathas, an Exceed. The one thing these three have in common? They’ve been exiled to the human world and must make due living as an adventuring guild named “Gods Help the Outcasts”, whose job is to, well, help fellow outcasts with whatever task they want. Basically, they’re care-mongers for divine refuges.

And their first task? Protecting a demon from a demon slayer. Simple, but an effective starting plot.

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