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What balance of Hope vs. Despair Changeling: the Dreaming holds to you?

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  • What balance of Hope vs. Despair Changeling: the Dreaming holds to you?

    I noticed, that the most russian speaking GMs I know of has much diversified outlook of the setting, diving into darker tones. And it's not like the dark and brutal approach is default, and lighter and hopeful(-ler?) is not. It's just everything thrown in together. There is definitely some good guys and some bad guys. There is bad boys and girls working with a good boys and girls and vice versa. There is some weird and crazy ones. There is shady ones and the ones, who may or may not switch sides. There is adhene, some of whose are so different, they might as well be called aliens.

    But overall default is that if changelings are narratives, that interpretations are fair game. Default is that any status quo is questionable and most of bad guys can have their own perspective and be right within their story. On the other hand, being honorable or enjoying yourself and the world around you doesn't necessary mean, that you're turning lives of others for the better.

    Or, if, say, if there's a Dreamer, who enjoys the suffering of others and uses it to feed her dreams can be a target Reverie, is it okay (with Dreaming), as long as she isn't robbed of her dreams? Dreaming doesn't seem to care.

    One of the most compelling and unreal Changeling chronicles I've seen (not personally, it was Storyteller's log of events with some additional commentary) was "Norwegian Chronicle" by Avallah. It was a story of three changelings, who started the game as Childlings in small norwegian village and ended, as war veterans, pushing their thirties: a beggar, a prostitute and I forgot, who the last one... What is weird about this game, is that it went as dark, complicated and depressive in some parts, as light, simple and hopeful in went in others. And it's not like the setting Storyteller had chosen was simple.

    Because his player's characters were the veteran's of the World War Two. And not the Allies...

    If course it was tied to the changeling story, with a runic order, attempting to open the portal into the Deep Dreaming, and getting the Glamour back, potentially releasing the ancient enemy of Thuatha, the Fomorian.

    One of the faetures of the game, was that players characters had a memory gap between their late teens and thirties and all the important bits between were roleplayed within a game, as different characters told from their memories. Multiple times.

    It's a story not to make any kind of point, just wanted to share an example from my experience. I had a chance to play in the other chronicle of that Storyteller in very same universe, but this time on Changeling's side of Operation "Walk├╝re", but due to various factors the game never went beyond prologue.

    Still, I must say, that is was a careful experiment for everyone involved and was handled with utmost respect to the victims and care about the history of the subject, on a Storyteller's part, But I ask no one to delve into that part of my topic too much. Just in case.

    Gladly, Changeling: the Dreaming has it's own share of dark and controversial topics.

    And I really want to know your feelings and opinion on this topic's question.
    Last edited by Firkraag; 01-14-2017, 03:21 PM.



  • #2
    In Western culture, fairy tales have been sanitized, Disneyfied, given happy endings. The original source material, going all the way back to folktales of ancient times, are decidedly not happy stories. And they weren't meant to be. Fairy tales and mythologies were often used as cautionary tales to instruct children of the harms that might befall them if they wandered into the woods, too close to lochs, too deeply into jungles, too far into deserts. In others, they are used to explain in a way that seems rational to people ignorant of science and medical conditions why someone is suffering so.

    Biological processes, like sleep paralysis and talking in ones sleep, and medical conditions like epilepsy, autism, certain neurological illnesses that cause inflammation or memory disorders, depression, anxiety, childhood disease and others were blamed on demonic forces, malicious fairies, witches, or evil spirits, because they struck at seemingly random with no root cause. These superstitions were interwoven with culture and society until they were accepted as fact to the people of the age, even though more enlightened times discovered their scientific basis.

    In addition, the human brain is hardwired to see things that aren't there. It's a survival trait we've developed, something that triggers fight-or-flight, because nine times out of ten, our ancestors might have been reacting to absolutely no threat, but that tenth time, it's the tiger hiding in the bushes, and they survived because they fled. Even though we've more or less developed to not need that kind of reactionary instinct anymore, we still possess it. Harmlessly, it's used to pick out constellations or patterns in clouds. Drop us into low-light conditions, and the shadows start forming all kinds of insidious, ominous shapes. This too is part of the fundaments of our folklore.

    Fairy tales and supernatural folklore have rarely been happy and light, and that's rooted deeply in Changeling and in the Dreaming. You can make it happy and light, but there's always shadows swimming just below the surface, because the source material is not and has never been pleasant.


    Maggie Carroll
    Onyx Path Freelancer & Developer
    Working On: Book of Freeholds
    Worked On: V20 TMR, Demon STG, C20, Conquering Heroes, Building A Legend

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    • #3
      @Maggie C
      Thanks!


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