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A conundrum about the difference between Autumn and Arcadian sidhe

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  • A conundrum about the difference between Autumn and Arcadian sidhe

    Okay, bear with me, it's going to be a bit long.

    In books like Nobles: the Shining Host or The Fool's Luck, we learnt that the sidhe who just came back to Earth from Arcadia with the Resurgence, though forgetful of Arcadia and their purpose in coming back because of the Mists, retained much of their ancient powers as Arcadian fae. They still had access to most of their Arts and even ancient words of power forgotten on Earth. This explains in part why they were victorious in the Accordance War, despite their unfamiliarity with the Waking Lands and their frailty regarding Banality. It is hinted in the different sourcebooks that this may be explained because of the peculiar Changeling Way used by the sidhe: they replaced their human host's soul with their own, sending the human soul back to Arcadia. Having not really mingled with a human soul, the fae spirit retained most of her powers.

    Yet, other sidhe had decided to incarnate in yet-unborn children. How did this work is left unexplained (the Dreaming might be simply fickle.) Thus, they were born later and not in 1969. We also have examples of sidhe who came back after the Resurgence itself. For instance, in "Quixote Syndrome", the story in The Book of Storyteller's Secrets, first ed., the character of Naise of House Liam is exiled by his once-lover in Arcadia, Keridwen. These sidhe had later Chrysalis and so when their faerie mien emerged, they were less powerful. For instance, in the Immortal Eyes trilogy, Eleighanara was a Fiona sidhe and was in her late 10s or early 20s in 1995 (so she must have been born somewhere around 1975).

    Question 1): May we consider these sidhe as Autumn sidhe? It was not considered like this in previous books, as only the sidhe of House Scathach suffered the stigmas associated with Autumn sidhe. But why not? I mean, if they didn't bond with a human soul, why would they be less powerful?

    Still other sidhe chose to undergo the Changeling Way as commoners do: instead of sending it back to Arcadia, they mingled their fae spirit with a yet unborn human soul. These ones are, properly called, the Autumn sidhe. Apart from the Scathach, we know that a handful of sidhe, most of them from Houses Liam and Fiona, from other houses chose this way. Also, it is said that Gwydion himself chose the Changeling Way during the Shattering and was reincarnated several times. In the Immortal Eyes trilogy, it is strongly suggested that Morgan is the reincarnation of a powerful Eiluned sorceress who came back during the Resurgence and died during the Battle of the Redwoods and who was the sister of the Queen of Munster in Ireland.

    Question 2): To me this means that during the Second Resurgence, the sidhe of Houses Beaumayn, Aesin, etc. were for the most part Arcadian sidhe and thus very powerful. So how do you handle a PC from a newly returned house? In The Book of Lost Houses, the starting PCs are just regular ones, which seems not logical to me. A regular beginning PC must have been born at the time of the Resurgence (so around 1969 or 1999) and then must have had her Chrysalis at least six years later (I think it is very uncommon to have Chrysalis before the age of six), so not before 1975 for the sidhe who came with the first Resurgence (or so, which fits for Eleighnara) or before 2005 for the sidhe who came with Second Resurgence.

    Question 3): What about Arcadian commoners who came back with their sidhe lords and ladies?

    My game is set in 2002-2003. A player from my group wants to play an Eiluned sorceress. I have three options: either she returned in 1969 or 1999 (but then it means that she must be very powerful, which is not fit for a starting PC) or she returned at a later date, which means that she incarnated differently. Or she might even be an Autumn sidhe, though it is unlikely for an Eiluned sidhe (but it may be a very good opportunity for an interesting character story).

    How do you handle these matters?
    Last edited by mattboggan; 11-06-2017, 03:26 PM. Reason: Attempting to make this post clearer on my intentions and questions.

  • #2
    Sidhe eat causality on breakfast.


    ...

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    • #3
      Character creation is a contrivance of PCs, and NPCs don't stick to it. If you want to have PCs use a different creation system that's fine too, just know that having different rules between the PCs can lead to issues between the players.

      As to the timing, no, not all the returning sidhe came back at the same time. C20 is quite explicit about this. Time in the Dreaming is not linear.

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      • #4
        Well, I have to say that what C20 says doesn't solve the problem. I know that time is not linear in the Dreaming (though it seems to be somehow synchronized with the time on the Waking Lands if we consider the passing of seasons from Spring, Summer into Autumn). But precisely: a sidhe went back from Arcadia in 1969 but the Dreaming fuzzled with time and the sidhe was incarnated in a human who would be born only in, say, 1985. Ok, no problem, but a) do we consider him as an Arcadian or as an Autumn sidhe? I mean I would tend to say "Arcadian" but then again, how can that be if he didn't displace the soul from an actual human body? In other words, the Changeling Way à la sidhe can't be applied to unborn bodies, since they displace human souls from human bodies, and to have a human body it means that it must be already born... So it means that all Arcadian sidhe who came back in 1969 were incarnated in already born human bodies. Some chose to have already functioning bodies (children, teenagers or adults) ; some chose to incarnate themselves in very young bodies (babies, infants, less than 6-years-old) and so went into the Mists immediately before experiencing their Chrysalis at a later stage in their life, losing some of their Arts and knowledge in the process.

        Following the same logic, sidhe coming back from Arcadia in 1999 must have been very powerful... or very, very young.

        Now, your answer that NPCs don't follow the same logic than PCs is not very satisfactory, as it means that the world of Changeling doesn't make any sense, and even the Dreaming obeys to some logic.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mattboggan View Post
          Well, I have to say that what C20 says doesn't solve the problem. I know that time is not linear in the Dreaming (though it seems to be somehow synchronized with the time on the Waking Lands if we consider the passing of seasons from Spring, Summer into Autumn)...
          I think the seasons might be te only thing that syncs, when it's winter on earth it's winter in the dreaming, but time isn't. Summer could take as long as eternity or might even move in reverse. Don't think about it too hard, it's supposed to be a whimsical realm where small things like "physics", "common sense", and "sanity" take a back seat to the mad hatter's teaparty tomorrow that you need to leave right now to make or you won't get their by five minutes ago.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mattboggan View Post
            Now, your answer that NPCs don't follow the same logic than PCs is not very satisfactory, as it means that the world of Changeling doesn't make any sense, and even the Dreaming obeys to some logic.
            That's how things work in just about every roleplaying game ever published. Character creation is an system only thing to have PCs not step over each other in power level. It has nothing to do with the setting.

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            • #7
              You are also ignoring the fact that Sidhe can switch Houses. A newly sained Sidhe can swear his/her alliegence to any House, while they might have past lives that push them towards keeping with previous Oaths this is not a mandate. Changeling with little to no Rememberance are practically blank slates.

              As for starting level characters they do not need to represent a newly sained individual. They can an often do represent someone who's been doing something for quite some time, you can easily use these things to balance out the party, the newly arrived Arcadians being matched by the Autumn changelings who've been active for years.

              If you feel starting level characters do not fit your view of Arcadian power and wish to give them more staring build points, do so. The Nonarcadian pcs can recieve just as many build points to represent their greater experience in the Autumn world.

              If you are really getting tripped up on realism, the game can easily assume you play a 7 yearold newly sained individual and a 35 year old, old hand in the courts and YET the only real difference given is in their tempers. Somehow a 35 year old doesn't have greater attributes or abilites though they have has 18 more years of life.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by zenten View Post
                That's how things work in just about every roleplaying game ever published. Character creation is an system only thing to have PCs not step over each other in power level. It has nothing to do with the setting.
                Well, maybe but I like the rules to be coherent with the setting. But I understand your point.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lian View Post
                  You are also ignoring the fact that Sidhe can switch Houses. A newly sained Sidhe can swear his/her alliegence to any House, while they might have past lives that push them towards keeping with previous Oaths this is not a mandate. Changeling with little to no Rememberance are practically blank slates.
                  Sory, I don't see how that is relevant to my questions. I didn't ignore the fact that sidhe can switch houses (though it is very, very, very rare). My question are not about memories per se, but about retaining Arts through the Mists.

                  I will modify my original post to be clearer about my questions.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lian View Post
                    If you are really getting tripped up on realism, the game can easily assume you play a 7 yearold newly sained individual and a 35 year old, old hand in the courts and YET the only real difference given is in their tempers. Somehow a 35 year old doesn't have greater attributes or abilites though they have has 18 more years of life.
                    Well, in this configuration, the newly Sained Arcadian childling sidhe would have more Glamour and less Banality than the older, more experienced Autumn grump sidhe. I don't see how it would balance things out.

                    And, sorry, but again, this doesn't answer my questions.

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                    • #11
                      K, so newly returned Arcadian Sidhe in 1969 tended to have way better Arts, Realms and Glamour than the Autumn commoners (and probably background dots in Remembrance, Treasure and Chimera), meaning way more points in them if you use the bonus point system from character creation, than the more numerous Autumn commoners.

                      I don't see the problem with that.
                      Last edited by zenten; 11-06-2017, 05:00 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by zenten View Post
                        K, so newly returned Arcadian Sidhe8n 1969 tended to have way better Arts, Realms and Glamour than the Autumn commoners (and probably background dots in Remembrance, Treasure and Chimera), meaning way more points in them if you use the bonus point system from character creation, than the more numerous Autumn commoners.

                        I don't see the problem with that.
                        I think the Arcadian sidhe's powers were much higher than what you suggest. I'll try to find relevant quotes to back up my impression.

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                        • #13
                          You were right before C20. Naming and Chronos (at least, I can't remember if there were others) were basically sidhe only. Now they're retconned to have all the Arts in the C20 core be for all kiths.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mattboggan View Post

                            Well, in this configuration, the newly Sained Arcadian childling sidhe would have more Glamour and less Banality than the older, more experienced Autumn grump sidhe. I don't see how it would balance things out.

                            And, sorry, but again, this doesn't answer my questions.

                            IT doesn't balance out. You already accept someone who has 7 years of life experience has the same attributes and abilities as someone who has 30+ years of life experience. If you want the Arcadian fae to have more magic to start give them more points they can spend on magic stuff. You then balance out the Autumn character by giving them more points to spend on say abilities, nonmagical backgrounds etc.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lian View Post


                              IT doesn't balance out. You already accept someone who has 7 years of life experience has the same attributes and abilities as someone who has 30+ years of life experience. If you want the Arcadian fae to have more magic to start give them more points they can spend on magic stuff. You then balance out the Autumn character by giving them more points to spend on say abilities, nonmagical backgrounds etc.
                              The "balance" in the Accordance War was more numbers on the commoners, and power and organization on the Arcadian nobles.

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