We Are All Lost
Basic Changeling Info
A Changeling’s Kith is the purpose she was forced to serve by her Keeper. It changed her, redefined her very existence to fit this role, and it stuck with her through her escape. There are, quite frankly, a lot of Kiths to choose from. The full list can be found on pg. XX, with descriptions and the supernatural abilities they grant.
A Changeling’s Kith is defining, but it does not define her. An entire Motley of Changelings could share the same Kith and be entirely different people, differentiated by their Seemings. A Wizened Telluric is a living observatory and might constantly consult the stars with the equipment attached to his body, while a Fairest Telluric simply leads a charmed life, taking the actions that the constellations deem correct with an unwitting grace.
While Kith represents what Arcadia did to you, Seeming represents what you did to Arcadia; what you did to get out, to set yourself free, to get home. Were you tricky? Did you use brute force? Throw away your humanity? Give in to raw emotion? All of these reflect on you and your Kith, transforming you once more. Seeming determines, primarily, what facet of your Kith you express, and which Contracts you find easiest to use.
The six available Seemings are Beast, Darkling, Elemental, Fairest, Ogre, and Wizened. More information on Seemings can be found on p. XX.
Courts are how Changelings unite, for support and protection, not just from the Huntsmen, but from themselves. From the Courts your group created in Step Zero, select one for your Changeling to pledge fealty and membership to… or not. Not joining any Court can be quite dangerous.
Wyrd represents the strange, narrative laws of Arcadia that your character can channel into the World of Darkness. As it raises, your character becomes more Fae than human, but at the same time gains more powerful Contracts and Wyrd-based abilities. The Wyrd trait starts at one, and can be increased by spending Merit dots in Step Six, or with Experiences in-game.
Contracts are the binding agreements made by the True Fae with reality. Fire burns in Arcadia, for example, because the owner of that particular part of Faerie contracted to burn. Changelings, as beings that are between Fae and human, can exploit clauses of these Contracts for their own benefit. Select five dots worth of Contracts from p. XX. At least two dots have to be in Contracts that feature your character’s Seeming as a favored option. If you purchase a Contract with affinity for your character’s Seeming, you get that affinity effect for free. You cannot start play with the affinity effects for other Seemings.
Clarity represents a Changeling’s connection to reality, and her ability to tell the difference from it and Arcadia. As it lowers, she might dissociate and confuse the Fae and the flesh. Clarity starts at seven.
Every Changeling has a Fetch, a simulacrum of their old selves left behind so they would not be missed. Most Changelings have to deal with their Fetch, one way or another. Like Step Zero, this is not strictly speaking a part of character creation, but if your Storyteller intends to involve your characters’ Fetches in a game, it’s best to come up with them early on, at least a concept for the Storyteller to design around. Talk with your Storyteller about what sort of antagonism you’d like to see from your doppelganger, and how it could tie into the chronicle. For more information on Fetches, see p. XX.
Legend ascribes alien behaviors, aversions, and desires to fae. The more powerful the fae being, the stranger and more powerful its quirks and weaknesses. Changelings call these limitations frailties, and they come in two forms: taboos and banes. A taboo is either a compulsion or a behavioral restriction. These acts occur in certain situations unique to each changeling. A bane is a weakness many supernatural creatures possess, something that can cause the changeling great harm. Banes cut instantly through all forms of armor and protective magics, and cannot be healed until the bane is removed from the changeling’s presence. Even acting against the source of the frailty is difficult. Acting against a frailty requires a point of Willpower, which does not add to the dice pool. Additionally, the character suffers a -3 penalty on all rolls related to acting against the cause of a minor frailty. This penalty increases to -5 when acting against a major frailty.
- Minor Frailty: Minor frailties are difficult to manage but uncommon to encounter. Taboos require very specific circumstances, and banes are rare items or situations. Examples of minor taboos include being unable to enter a dwelling without permission, a compulsion to count spilled rice grains, or an inability to step on lines. Minor banes include touching wolfsbane, an aversion to the sound of church bells or wind chimes, hearing one’s name said backwards, or revulsion to milk set out to ward away the fae. A character can spend one Willpower point to resist the behavior associated with a minor taboo for the rest of the scene. Exposure to a bane causes continuous lethal damage at a rate of one per turn until the bane is removed. A bane weapon inflicts lethal damage that cannot be healed until the changeling has escaped the bane’s presence.
- Major Frailty: At this level, frailties come to dominate some aspect of the changeling’s life. Taboos become major behavioral restrictions or compulsions that are difficult, cropping up every day. Major banes are common substances or situations, and rapidly prove fatal to the changeling. Some major taboos could be an inability to go outside while the moon (or sun) is in the sky, being forced to walk backwards or hop at all times, and perform a favor for anyone who recites the character’s true name. Major banes include things like holy symbols or effigies, pain when around a certain class of people (such as children), or touching glass. Overcoming a major taboo requires one Willpower point per turn or one Willpower dot to do so for the rest of the scene. Major banes inflict one aggravated damage per turn until the changeling escapes the bane’s presence. Bane weapons at this level inflict aggravated damage. If the changeling is killed by a bane, her entire body unravels in spectacular fashion, exploding into thorns and leaves or hundreds of torn gossamer wings.
The legends and lore that comprise old folktales and faerie tales provide many examples of possible frailties. The goal is not to cripple the character but instead create interesting frailties that make for exciting roleplaying opportunities.