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I am playing a Bard in a Pathfinder game and I have his perform skills focused in oratory and comedy. The game is played online via Play-by-Post. I was wondering if anyone knew of free resources that have various short tales that fit within generic fantasy settings (I want it to work in any setting that involves storytellers as PCs and is in a fantasy world).

It is important to be able to look these up on the fly via the internet, rather than reading a bunch and memorizing things. It would be nice if the resource were categorized, or perhaps there were a list of very generic situations in which characters and flavor could easily be filled in.

An example of the kinds of things I'm looking for would stories to relate situations, such as "Hey, this reminds me of the tale of the maiden and the feral boy..." and the story talks about welcoming outsiders, or something along those lines.

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If the campaign is desert themed, how about Arabian Nights? en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/… –  mxyzplk Jan 19 '13 at 18:48
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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Instead of looking for fantasy in the modern-fiction sense, I'd start by looking under collections of fairy tales and folk tales. They're widely studied, freely available, and often well-suited to being retold in generic forms or other settings. And this is the source material from which all modern fantasy draws. I recommend looking for children's versions; these tend to simplify the tale down to the most basic elements - important if you want to get the story smoothly worked in to your roleplay.

A few sites to get you started:

You also can't go far wrong with Perrault, but of course those stories are now so well known it's hard for your audience not to be too far ahead of you.

Failing that, any fantasy short stories collection is bound to have a few, with a little adaptation. (The Baen Books free ebook library is a frequent go-to source of mine for light reading and new universes, but less suited to your needs.)

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Aaron's World of Stories is great! –  madrius Sep 12 '12 at 23:35
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I would suggest using both Project Gutenberg and WikiSource as both have vast libraries of text and poems for free access. Most of what I think you'd be looking for would be public domain at this point since heroic tales and legends are at least a few hundred years old at this point.

I'd pilfer from Arthurian legends, Norse sagas, and the classics like the Odyssey and the Iliad. Classical children's stories and folktales also would be a great source for your Bard.

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I've followed the feed on Strolen's Citadel for awhile and I think it might be helpful to you. The updates seem to be focused on general RPG resources but I could easily see you adapting content to fit your needs.

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