Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Siochain

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Siochain

    I am doing a little more work on the Fae for my Werewolf chronicle as it involves a Pack of Stag, and one of the PCs really wants to explore the Garou connections with the Fae.

    I want to include one of the Siochain in the chronicle as an NPC. In the few books I have, there is little guidance given for them. It's just that they exist and somehow achieved a "balance" between their mortal (Banality) and fae (Glamour) natures.

    So my question for the board is how do you see that being portrayed in the game? What are different ways that balance can be achieved? Is there anything special you would do to show that such a balance is not typical (and thus not easily achieved for Changeling PCs)? How would the same Siochain look at different points in time throughout the centuries?

    Presumably one of the Siochain do not "lose" their balance as time goes on. Despite being immortal, they are able to keep humanity fooled and do it just as well in 16th, 18th, 20th, or 21st centuries. So it's not just about getting the "balance" right in a specific period of time, but mastering some wisdom that can be applied at any time. (At least, that's my initial interpretation. Want to hear any different ideas as well).

  • #2
    The C20 Players guide has a pretty good system and background details for the Siochain, if you have access to that.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't own any C20 books.

      Comment


      • #4
        C20 did away with the concept of balance to become a siochain and focused on the concept of mantles. I don't think it's a bad way to do it. But I liked the idea of balance more.


        Before C20 was out explored siochains in my games as an NPC.


        In my interpretation at the time, the balance between glamour and banality is not something that the siochain have to keep all the time, rather it's something that must be achieved as a stepping stone to become something else, a Siochain. Once they become siochain, the amount od glamour and banality they have is irrelevant, more specifically, they USE points of banality as something beneficial to them, kinda like vampires using blood points to wake up everyday, but siochain don't need to "consume" 1 point of banality every day.



        IMO siochains are beings that realized that banality is not a bad thing at all, the problem is not banality, but the imabalance of banality OR GLAMOUR.

        You go too much either way and you get detrimental effects.

        Without banality glamour would be endless formless possibilities swirling around in chaos. Banality give form to glamour, it shapes glamour into chimerical beings. The problem is that when there is too much banality it tries gets more and more strict on what should and shouldn't exist. But even in the dark ages banality existed, as beneficial force, that didn't cause no harm, and served only as "guidelines" to give form to chimerical beings, kinda like the laws of psychics.



        (again IMO) Siochains even believe that the world itself can achieve the status of siochain, becoming one and whole again, the humanity just need to find the apropriate balance between glamour and banality. When the Sundering happend, the world basically became a "changeling", a banal shell with a Glamour hidden winthin it, but separate from it. Before that the world was the equivalent of a siochain: made of the perfect merge between glamour and mundane.




        Comment


        • #5
          (Continuing...)

          In my game there was a ghille dhu Siochain, that was in fact the first siochain. It was strandd at Hy Brazil during the shattering, which allowed her to survive the banality. She got into bedlam and this bedlam allowed her to survive the banality once she got out of the island, the banality wearing off the bedlam without causing her to age. She spend years coming and going from the island, getting into bedlam and getting out of it again when in the autumm world.



          Once she became a Siochain she wandered the world trying to teach others her way. She managed to find disciples who became siochain too, but other become Siochain without ever meeting her.


          She had a much broader vision of the world than most changeling, and cared nothing about nobility, kingdons or seelie and unseelie distinction. The unseelie thought she was too seelie for their tastes and vice versa. Before becoming Siochain she was already a emissary of the ghille dhu, teaching about the cycles of nature and importance of balance to faes. After becoming a siochain she doubled down on that path, and constantly wanders the entire world teaching changeling to achieve balance.

          During the first centuries she openly showed her nature of siochain, but found out that this constantly dragged her into pointless power struggles as a lot of changeling tried to court her favour or claim she was backing their freehold/kingdom. Eventually she opted to pretend being a mere kinain, rarely revealing her true nature.


          She is also more interested in the common humans more than changelings. Because she knows that for the world to achieve balance it will take everyone in it to be balanced, and humans far exceed the changelings. She actually took great fascination at early science. She think the moon landing opening the trods is the greatest proof that it's humanity who hold the key to achieve balance.

          In my game she also created her own art, or rather, she acquired enought understanding of the Dreaming to notie there was another form of expression ignored by everyone else. Her art was based around purification, at lower level it purifies things in a more mundane manner, at higher levels it purifies more abstract things, like concepts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
            I don't own any C20 books.
            By the original concept of the Síocháin as Changelings in perfect balance, you won't find anything else than what you already have. Or better, IIRC you'll find exactly three official Síocháin characters and take from them what you will.

            The common themes among them are wisdom, duty, a lighthearted demeanor and general goodness. One of them went through a similar cycle of going in and out of Bedlam in the beginning as Rucun's Ghille Dhu, but we have nothing on the beginnings of the other two. Yet, with just three examples and they're relatively high profile as far as it goes, the sampling isn't enough to be sure of anything here other than they're ageless.

            For traits, there's nothing really. They have more dots than any other Changeling by virtue of their sheer age and that's about it. You can give them some benefit on managing Glamour and Banality as Rucun did, but that's on you, it is literally more vague a state than Golconda. Or maybe less vague and really that's it, the end.

            If you get the C20 books, then the Player's Guide fills a lot of gaps, which has advantages and disadvantages. It still has the theme of balance, but then takes a far more specific idea of what the Síocháin can be. They swear an Oath to the Dreaming to become patrons of sorts of a certain archetype, go through a trial, enact a bunch of rites and assume the Mantle, which is basically a mix of Changeling Legacy with a Code of Conduct they must follow. The benefits are clarified, but they're nothing extreme, the biggest ones are immunity to Bedlam and the ability to burn Glamour to erase Banality at any time.


            #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
            #AutismPride
            She/her pronouns

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
              The common themes among them are wisdom, duty, a lighthearted demeanor and general goodness.
              I'm leery of the idea of "general goodness" as a requirement because Unseelie Changelings should be just as able to become Siochain as the Seelie. Plus that actual fairies in folklore aren't exactly known for their benevolence. Just as often, if not more, they are feared.

              While I appreciate Rucun and monteparnas responses, neither gives me much direction on how a Siochain would be different from a archetypical Changeling. I'm less concerned with mechanical differences, and more with roleplaying. I would prefer that the Garou PCs somehow know something is different with the Siochain NPC than other Changeling NPCs. I'm just unsure of how to play it off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                I'm leery of the idea of "general goodness" as a requirement because Unseelie Changelings should be just as able to become Siochain as the Seelie. Plus that actual fairies in folklore aren't exactly known for their benevolence. Just as often, if not more, they are feared.

                While I appreciate Rucun and monteparnas responses, neither gives me much direction on how a Siochain would be different from a archetypical Changeling. I'm less concerned with mechanical differences, and more with roleplaying. I would prefer that the Garou PCs somehow know something is different with the Siochain NPC than other Changeling NPCs. I'm just unsure of how to play it off.
                Well, it isn't inherently impossible in Changeling to have a heroic and even goody-two-shoes Unseelie or a villainous and completely despicable Seelie, but indeed the examples we have are all Seelie. As I said, they're just three and are high-profile Síocháin as far as it goes, which means they're not necessarily exemplifying trends. Unfortunately you're lost in the exact same way we have all been in CtD since always.

                Also, keep in mind that the goal with the Síocháin isn't in any way to be specially representative of fairy tales. Actually, it is the opposite: being in balance means they're attuned to both sides, while fairies from folklore are extremely detached from human concerns.

                I think C20 has more for you in this regard, and some more tips I can give from there to help make them more distinct from the other Changelings at the eyes of the Garou. In C20 they're regarded as having a special role in the Dreaming where they assume Mantles that represent a given Archetype or Trope, but they also give up their right to be protagonists of their own stories for the responsibility to foster others through their actions, so a Síocháin with a monstrous Mantle will act like a monster, but focus on both inciting others to act against them and inspire and train other monsters instead of take a more prominent role in society through their monstrosity.

                This also is a role they vow to play for both the Dreaming and the Autumn world, so they're not focus on inciting other Changelings, but also humans, not to just art, but to actual action. While other Changelings are occupied living fantastic stories and inspiring humans to make art about them, Síocháin inspire humans to live fantastic stories and remind Changelings that a night at home watching office comedy is sometimes all the fun you need.

                Finally, C20 Síocháin always mix wonder and mundane, throwing one in whenever the other seems too strong, and seek to seek them in each other, so they may have several behavioral quirks like reminding everyone during a war meeting that they shouldn't forget to make tax declaration in time.


                #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                #AutismPride
                She/her pronouns

                Comment


                • #9
                  As I read the material on Siochain my impression was that of filling a role, a mythic type. Wanderer, Sage, Witch, Hero, Ogre, etc. With the balance being between the role and the individual. Picture taking the role of Wizard as depicted in post Enlightenment children's literature. Figures like Oz, T.H.White's Merlin, or most regenerations of the Doctor. Oz is definitely Unseelie, and from time to time the Doctor is too. (Unseelie doesn't equal evil nor does Seelie equal good). The balance would be between the role of mentor/tester and having a life

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

                    I'm leery of the idea of "general goodness" as a requirement because Unseelie Changelings should be just as able to become Siochain as the Seelie. Plus that actual fairies in folklore aren't exactly known for their benevolence. Just as often, if not more, they are feared.

                    While I appreciate Rucun and monteparnas responses, neither gives me much direction on how a Siochain would be different from a archetypical Changeling. I'm less concerned with mechanical differences, and more with roleplaying. I would prefer that the Garou PCs somehow know something is different with the Siochain NPC than other Changeling NPCs. I'm just unsure of how to play it off.


                    I wrote a evil siochain for a upcoming (who knows when) storyteller vault book, but this one follows the logic of the mantles as presented in the C20 players book.

                    Ysabel - The White Queen
                    Mantle: Evil Queen
                    Born from autumn world nobility, she lived a pampered infancy just to discover she was a commoner after passing through the chrysalis. She was extremely excited to discover her true nature as a sluagh, but at the same point disappointed that her mortal blood didn’t mean a lot in changeling society. She joined the remnants of house Eiluned during the interregnum, seeking some form of nobility. She became an accomplished spymaster and earned the title of baroness, but she wanted more, she wanted to be a queen. Seeking more power Ysabel entered the crystal circle and learned about the Solar Crown totem, she followed it relentlessly, hoping to rise in the ranks of house Eiluned, but she soon realized that it was all futile, real power wasn’t granted, it was conquered. She cast aside her allegiance to house Eiluned along with her meaningless title and set off to become a real queen.
                    After a long journey Ysabel became a Síocháin without any help, and took the mantle of evil queen. Using her trickery and sheer power she created the kingdom of the snowy mountains in the pyrenees. She ruffled a few feathers, from both commoners who wanted no queen and autumn sidhe outraged at her arrogance, but she proved a worthy opponent and even after the resurgence her small kingdom endured. The mantle demands that she moves around constantly, travelling to other kingdoms and wrecking political havok just for her pleasure, leaving the kingdom to be overseen by her villainous regent.
                    Appearance: Ysabel uses only the most luxurious voiles, everything she uses it white, even her hair is white, contrasting with her eyes which are pitch black. It’s easy to forget she can only whisper because whenever she speaks everyone goes silent, making her words crystal clear even in a ballroom.
                    Roleplay hints: You’re a queen, demand due respect of your status. You’re strong, you could conquer the entire world, but that would be boring, it’s all the little kingdoms that make it fun, all of them plotting against each other, you love to stir some intrigue.




                    Comment


                    • #11
                      While I thank everyone for their responses, this isn't helping me. Everyone's examples are very general and vague. The vibe I am picking up is that Siochain should be played like the stock character types in a fairy tale.

                      The problem with that, from my perspective, is that the Siochain are still supposed to be Changelings. The old fashioned fairies are not supposed to be around anymore. If they are, they are Lost Ones and can't access the mortal world (or still in Arcadia doing whatever). A Siochain is still a fairy that must possess mortal flesh in order to survive, it's just that the mortal body doesn't age anymore and die from old age. That's different from folklore and legend fairies who have their own bodies.

                      So a Siochain should still need to survive in the mortal world. They need to have some kind of attachment there - mortal friends, perhaps even family, mortal possessions, some ongoing vocation, etc. They just do it so superlatively that they're beyond the falling to Banality or Bedlam. The books try to make it that attempts by Changelings to not age almost always create problems for them as it ruins their mortal ties, and the ways to do it puts them under threat of Bedlam.

                      So the Siochain must have figured out a way that being immortal does not jeopardize their connections with the mortal world.

                      At least that is my interpretation.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                        While I thank everyone for their responses, this isn't helping me. Everyone's examples are very general and vague. The vibe I am picking up is that Siochain should be played like the stock character types in a fairy tale.

                        The problem with that, from my perspective, is that the Siochain are still supposed to be Changelings. The old fashioned fairies are not supposed to be around anymore. If they are, they are Lost Ones and can't access the mortal world (or still in Arcadia doing whatever). A Siochain is still a fairy that must possess mortal flesh in order to survive, it's just that the mortal body doesn't age anymore and die from old age. That's different from folklore and legend fairies who have their own bodies.

                        So a Siochain should still need to survive in the mortal world. They need to have some kind of attachment there - mortal friends, perhaps even family, mortal possessions, some ongoing vocation, etc. They just do it so superlatively that they're beyond the falling to Banality or Bedlam. The books try to make it that attempts by Changelings to not age almost always create problems for them as it ruins their mortal ties, and the ways to do it puts them under threat of Bedlam.

                        So the Siochain must have figured out a way that being immortal does not jeopardize their connections with the mortal world.

                        At least that is my interpretation.
                        At least as far as C20 Siochain go, this isn't really how they work.

                        They go through all the Verses and such, at least partly, to prepare them for leaving the old world behind (and partly to show their dedication and suitability for the role).

                        They have to become archetypes and maintain that archetypal behaviour, or they stop being Siochain. Being Siochain basically means they become a privileged part of the Dreaming and get some benefits as a result. They are immortal dreams and stories, in essence.

                        Let's take the Knight Errant. The C20PG says he can't sleep at the same balefire twice in a row, has to show mercy to his victims, cannot refuse a call for help, and so on.

                        You swap one Legacy for the Mantle you acquire, so it becomes one of your two main personality traits. Everything you do up to that point is about becoming that archetype.

                        And the fluff sections do imply that there's a certain loneliness to it. You're set aside from changelings and mortals because you've become an anchor for the Dreaming itself.

                        Think of it like Avatars in Unknown Armies, in a way. But through a Changeling lens. You're not obsessed, but you are bound by a certain code of conduct. If you break it, you stop being a Siochain.

                        Pre-C20, the Siochain were more about balance, as you say, but there were never any hard rules or suggestions there. So that's a bit of a dead end if you're looking for official advice.


                        Writer, publisher, performer
                        Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                          Pre-C20, the Siochain were more about balance, as you say, but there were never any hard rules or suggestions there. So that's a bit of a dead end if you're looking for official advice.
                          It bears noticing that the C20PG still tries to link the Síocháin to balance. They have a lot of quirks revolving around it, the idea of adapting their Mantles to the Autumn World and human society as much as to Changelings, and even the rule that their big meetings are always in mundane and traveled places like cheap hotels in busy highways.

                          But overall it is easy to feel the clash of concepts. It looks little like the original and obvious that the Balance aspects were more tackled in to justify the name than because it had anything to do with the new concept. It kind of works in a somewhat awkward way, but ymmv with actually using it.

                          Unfortunately at the end of the day the OP is asking something that doesn't quite exists, and we always struggled with in Changeling. The Síocháin are a curious concept, but never really worked without an extra effort. Seriously, how much of the whole idea and description isn't already your baseline for any well adjusted Grump? The only concrete thing about them is their immortality, anything else was always up to you to come up with, and while ok on their own, the few sample characters really do nothing to solve nothing.

                          C20PG basically dropped an obvious dead end and instead adapted the concepts of Mantle and Entitlements from CtL, which makes for something you can actually work with and make for a distinct character. Yet they're still more distinct from the eyes of other Changelings than I think they would be from the perspective of the Garou.

                          My opinion: a Síocháin would only be different for a Garou in the sense of being really old. Work with this, few if any splat can be so old without resorting to anything a regular Garou would disapprove of or sense as wrong. And that's the only real difference between the Síocháin and other Changelings they would notice, unless they're really in the know about Changeling society, like frequenting the local Freehold as much as the Caern, or you come up with something more specific and evident by yourself. And those don't seem as what you're going for in your chronicle.


                          #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                          #AutismPride
                          She/her pronouns

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for everyone's contributions. I have an understanding of how C20 uses the term, and it doesn't seem like people did much with the Siochain in the earlier version of the game because of the lack of guidelines. I'll have to wing it based on my own ideas and some of the feedback here. I'm leaning to the idea of just treating a Siochain as if they were one of the fairies of old, and they are no longer bound to being a Changeling cloaked in human flesh.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                              Thanks for everyone's contributions. I have an understanding of how C20 uses the term, and it doesn't seem like people did much with the Siochain in the earlier version of the game because of the lack of guidelines. I'll have to wing it based on my own ideas and some of the feedback here. I'm leaning to the idea of just treating a Siochain as if they were one of the fairies of old, and they are no longer bound to being a Changeling cloaked in human flesh.
                              I think that's a solid idea.

                              ETA: In fact, the Siochain could have the Mantle of The True Fae, and then you're covered on all fronts. 😁


                              Writer, publisher, performer
                              Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X