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New to Changeling: what do you do in a Changeling game?

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  • New to Changeling: what do you do in a Changeling game?

    Hello there!

    In a Werewolf game you fight the Wyrm/corruption, Pentex, the BSD, and possibly the Weaver, etc.

    In Mage, as someone from the traditions/technocrats/crafts, you try to bend reality to your point of view while shooting Marauders on sight and fighting the Nephandis.

    In Vampire, you do... err, vampire stuff, like fighting the beast inside you, Camarilla vs Sabbat for control of the cities, backstabbing other vampires (politically or physically), etc.

    (I do not own any Wraith books and know next to nothing of this game. I think you must avenge some sort of injustice you have suffer in your life...?)

    My question is:

    What the **** do you do in a Changeling game, either as a player and as a storyteller?


    What kind of goal and objective do you have as a player/motley?

    What sort of game do you do as a storyteller for your players?

    I only have Changeling 20, so maybe I would find answers in some other books?

    Thanks in advance for your time and answers!
    Last edited by Lightbringer1; 02-23-2020, 12:38 AM.

  • #2
    Save princesses (or princes), fight dragons, overthrow evil lords, fall in love and live happily ever after or ride off into the sunset alone as circumstances dictate.

    My games always tended to be atypical though.


    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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    • #3
      Like any game there is all sorts of things you can do, but to name the ur-conflict/foundation of stories in Changeling the Dreaming I would say it's this:

      Keep dreams alive. Keep your own dream alive. Feed passion and creativity. Combat banality. Make the world a more passionate, creative, and glamorous place to live in but above all else: never let your dream die.

      As to all the various other things you can...

      •Sweep through ethereal courts of fae nobility and enjoy wonders beyond imagination and courtly intrigue as sharp as any elysium.

      •Adventure across reality and the dreaming! Chase off chimerical monsters (play with sticks), duel your rival (fight behind the club), go on the sort of adventures found in fairy tales and fantasy!

      •Avoid the waves of banality and the destruction of dreams! Evade technocratic scientists, protect living dreams from the cruelties of life, combat the Autumn People and their unknowing agents, and hoodwink well-intentioned but ignorant mortals who would have you and your kind institutionalized.

      •Crusade against the Children of Nightmares! Combat thallains, destroy dark chimera, reveal fomorian conspiracies, heal the ravaged and those used to create dark glamour!

      •Defend the dreamers and protect the innocent! Children, the creative, the impassioned, those who create the Dreaming and who reside within it: shield them above all.

      Changeling is a rich setting and can be used to tell many beautiful stories. I love almost every gameline and changeling is no exception.

      Hope this helps!

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      • #4
        So many things...

        And each group has their priorities. I would say a good comparison may be if you mix Werewolf with Mage. There are more changelings then Werewolves and Mages, and on average they have less responsibilities then the Fera, Shapeshifters are essentially drafted for life after all. But its open ended, and with C20 your magic is significantly more robust. You can be a steward to the worlds magic, explore, adventure or actually seize power with a court and one of the few supernatural being varieties that can actually populate an army.


        It is a time for great deeds!

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        • #5
          In case of my game, it is

          1: secure our powerbase

          2. subvert the seelie baronies

          3. absorb the seelie baronies in a glorious unseelie revolution


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          • #6
            The last Changeling game I was a part of was over a decade ago, but we were a traveling rock band, with the whole thing drawing very heavily from Scooby Doo and it's various knock offs (especially the "monsters are real" movies Zombie Island and the Witch's Ghost, 1980's Drac Pack, and the short lived 90s DC Comics series Scare Tactics). IIRC we were a Troll, Satyr, Sluagh, Eshu, and Nocker, and drove around doing gigs, investigating local legends, and frequently stumbling across nightmare chimera, ghosts, and odd monsters.


            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks to all of you for your answers! I really appreciate them!

              I am currently reading C20 (the only Changeling book I have) for a second time.

              I am currently reading the section concerning the 13 Houses, and it made me think that a Changeling game could be very political and have a lot of fighting between houses and in-fighting in each houses (between Arcadian Sidhe and the Autumn Sidhe, or even between two Sidhe to decide how would be best at ruling, etc). Simply put, a lot like "Game of Throne", only with more colors!

              That being said, I do not like very much political intrigue in my games, either as a ST or as a player. It's not a bad thing. I just have a hard time following the big picture (same thing when I read a book or watch a tv show (like Game of Throne) where there is a lot of political intrigue (at least too much for me to fully understand and appreciate). Which is another reason I do not like playing in a game of Vampire. The Beast inside each vampires makes every "vampire friends" you have now a potential/ inevitable enemy in the futur. That and all the political fighting... but I digress...

              The reason why I asked my question in my first post was that, for me, it seemed more clear as to what to do in the other games, at least in Mage and Werewolf .

              But, with your answers, I came up with a few story ideas, and I would like to have your feedback on them:

              1- An Community Art Cente in town will be shut down, only to be replaced by a factory (of any sort). I was thinking the players could work together to find out who is (really) responsible (and behind all) of this, and try to prevent this. So, my idea was to keep a place where people in town could still have a place where they can let their creative and artistic side go wild, instead of having a factory where you have a job where you do the same movements for 8 hours...

              2- A "special school" for troubled kids is in fact a place where Autumn people try to stabilise kids who "see things and speak to imaginary friends". Again, I was thinking about having the players work together to save the children/futur faes and shut down/destroy the place.

              And of course, between the two ideas, I could have a big change in the mood and theme of the game and have them go into the Dreaming and go save a princess, like No One of Consequence said.

              ​What do you guys think?

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              • #8
                Both of those would work perfectly fine. Regarding the second one, if you've never read it, you can probably get some inspiration from the opening arc of Grant Morrison's The Invisibles.


                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                Comment


                • #9
                  The first idea is a classic sort of narrative conceit and I think it works really well for Changeling. What I'd suggest is though, don't feel obligated to make this a supernatural conspiracy. A big part of Changeling is dealing with the fact that the real world is banal enough in its own right and finding your own passion and glamour despite that. Not everything needs to be vampiric schemes or technomancer Men in Black.

                  Unless you want it to be, in which case heck, more power to you and that sounds like a lot of fun.

                  To the second concept, that could definitely be another very interesting story for Changeling, but it's also one that needs to be handled delicately because of risk of unitentiomal allegory.

                  It's worth making a clear point that there are children who do suffer real psychological issues that require proper medical treatment and that the people delivering that treatment are largely good natured men and women who are driven to help others.

                  It's also to be careful to avoid the trope of 'Magical Mental Illness' where a character only appears to be mentally ill because of unrecognized latent power.

                  Handling Changeling between these two can be tricky I know, but here's how I would go about it:

                  •Make sure that you can contrast this institution against genuine institutions. Perhaps another doctor or social worker attempting to raise attention and being shut out. Clearly illustrate that while the Autumn People provide a source of comparison with real life issues and behavior, that they aren't the end all be all of childhood psychologists.

                  •Make a clear point of illustrating the differences between The Dreaming and mundane psychoses. Young dreamers are interacting with a world that's truly there and can exert itself upon the real world. The Dreaming is also extremely protective of children, barring thallain & nightmares, but even then they don't necessarily want to physically harm the child, they want to terrorize.

                  •In the past, I've gotten through potentially troublesome waters like this by clearly illustrating that just because one particular institution is corrupt, does not mean the concepts are. For every Autumn Person or DNA plant, there are many more legitimately well-intentioned institutions.

                  Anyway, sorry if that went onto a bit of a soapbox tangent, but it's one of the areas in Changeling where one needs to be considerate because many people irl struggle with mental illness and receiving treatment, particularly in a culture that stigmatizes treatment or downplays the severity of mental illness.

                  Again, not to suggest that I include you or anyone else here in that, but it's simply something that needs to be handled with particular sensitivity in my opinion.

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                  • #10
                    Now I'm also new to changeling, so take this with a grain of salt^^

                    But regarding number 2, the way I see it, you could also go into the opposite direction and emphasis that, one changeling is a horror game and two the fey aren't “nice”.

                    What if the “Special School” is genuine? What at first appears to be autumn people and possible changelings are in fact troubled kids who need help and people trying to help them. But those kids are potent dreamers in the eyes of a changeling.

                    And now you have to face the reality of the Banality that sometimes human minds need to be calmed down, need more structure,instead of dreaming wild and free. Or that you destroy something that is good for people, because your wild fey nature demands it and face the creature of horror you are.

                    This of course is not for every table and can get very dark. But I think it speaks to one of the core conflicts in changeling, being torn between falling into bedlam or being undone.

                    Or to quote the Gentleman Gamer
                    “The Horror of being so single mindedly focused on your dreams that you are willing to sacrifice the dreams of others and the innocents of others in order to achieve them, because you want to be remembered.. “

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nobby View Post
                      Now I'm also new to changeling, so take this with a grain of salt^^

                      But regarding number 2, the way I see it, you could also go into the opposite direction and emphasis that, one changeling is a horror game and two the fey aren't “nice”.

                      What if the “Special School” is genuine? What at first appears to be autumn people and possible changelings are in fact troubled kids who need help and people trying to help them. But those kids are potent dreamers in the eyes of a changeling.

                      And now you have to face the reality of the Banality that sometimes human minds need to be calmed down, need more structure,instead of dreaming wild and free. Or that you destroy something that is good for people, because your wild fey nature demands it and face the creature of horror you are.

                      This of course is not for every table and can get very dark. But I think it speaks to one of the core conflicts in changeling, being torn between falling into bedlam or being undone.

                      Or to quote the Gentleman Gamer
                      “The Horror of being so single mindedly focused on your dreams that you are willing to sacrifice the dreams of others and the innocents of others in order to achieve them, because you want to be remembered.. “

                      This puts me in mind of the 1st Monsters Inc. movie when the factory decided to kidnap children to drain the screams out of them for power (Glamour).


                      “Humpty had always sat on walls, it was his way.”
                      Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

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