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Arcane's Paris-What's Going On?

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  • Arcane's Paris-What's Going On?

    NOTE: This topic is going to lightly touch upon the change of developers for Changeling: the Lost Second Edition for context. I would appreciate it if we did not turn this thread into another discussion about this topic, particularly given that I'm going to put up a blog post later this week where I can get more into my own conflicts with that off the forums. Let's keep it focused on the Paris Content and, well, me (Iiiiii'm so vain, I definitely think this song is about me).

    SO! LostLight asked what was going on with Paris in the Tumbledown Market Thread, Rose came and elucidated that I opted to make Paris fan content, what's that all about? In fact, I've been awfully quiet recently(comparatively), what's going on?

    A lot, and nothing.

    Glad I could clear things up for you!

    Okay, enough of the sarcasm, let's go through what's happened, what's was going to happen, and where the Rosière, and other freeholds of Paris, will go from here.

    The Fall of Jack and Jill-Arcane's Got Some Mixed Feelings Right Now

    The short answer of "What's happened" is that David Hill stopped working for Onyx Path, but that's a really knotted and tough subject, the fullness of it couldn't be gone into without derailing this thread. For now, I'll say that while the pay issues are a thing I'm researching to figure out, the thing I'm having more issue with right now was how the transition of roles was handled and some of the responses that have happened after the fact in regards to a lot of content.

    The issues surrounding everything that happened at that time are just complicated enough for me that I've decided, for the time being, to take a break from seeking Onyx Path jobs, as well as buying Onyx Path materials. Is that going to stand forever? Dunno, hence why it's a break and not a "done forever" kind of statement. I might change my mind. Certain actions done may be rectified to the best of abilities. Any number of things can happen. But for now, while I'm dealing with it, it seems more ethically important that I take a step back.

    ANYWAYS.

    As many of you probably remember, I was brought on for Changeling fairly late into the game. Because of the haste Dave and I were working under at the time, I got caught up enough in it that I actually forgot that I hadn't actually sent in the contract until, believe it or not, the day before Zak S got hired by Paradox, so that was my bad.

    When the news of the developer change dropped(lots of context around here that's for another day, and it even more directly involves me this time) and words about content changes were going around, I was worried that Paris had slipped out of my hands. I'm open to changing things, but I have a vision for Paris, what it was, had been, and where it would grow(that's coming up in a bit). Because of that, I wanted to make sure that Paris was approached a certain way, from a legal stance. The bad news was that I had the wrong e-mail for Rose, so questions I had on that matter ended up going nowhere. Fortunately, she contacted me to make sure I was paid for my work, and in making sure Paris goes the right way, I opted instead to keep my work for now.

    So, yeah. For now, I'm not seeking Onyx Path jobs while I work out the ethical issues that arose from all of this. There's good things that come out of this, but that's for the blog.

    So that's that, but what was going to happen?

    The Three Freeholds-Dark Eras and Mini Supplements and Other Assorted Things, Oh [Kay]

    So much more prior to that kerfuffle, I found myself with a small list of things that couldn't fit into the 5000 word entry, or things we did put in and worked but weren't...quite...right. Things like Crowns, unique Court Contracts, alternate Mantles, celebrations, stuff like that. It was going to be a blog post of minor additional content.

    Two things happened that made that trickier. One was that the Scheherazade Courts of Paris became much more prominent in my mind. Scheherazade was always kind of a footnote, as it was in the original fan draft and as could be seen in the final copy, but as I started ruminating more and more on the themes of Paris and the way Jabir al-Abbas pursued his dream, the more and more I felt like I needed to make it a significant thing. So I started poking at that.

    The second thing that made that tricky was that I started reverse engineering and expanding the Rosière Courts, figuring out a hell of lot more depth and detail in them to figure just what should come out mechanically. I was pretty deep into figuring out the Black Rose Court, the first of these little ventures, when I found myself at a crossroads.

    I could make it a blog post, but I was fairly sure that if I kept going on the way I was going, I would basically a full Lords of Summer style supplement for Paris. With that thought in mind, I had to keep things in perspective of future books. Maybe we could do a mini-supplement along these lines for the Kickstarter, maybe some of this belongs in supplements, etc., etc. My decision was to keep working on it, and when the Kickstarter happened and y'all got the completed text, I'd ask how much more of Paris y'all wanted and work from there.

    Along the way, I had the idea of doing French Resistance Changeling floating in my head, but I was bored by the notion. My mind would keep trotting it across every now and then, and I would brush it off. It would suggest mixing in Demon, and I still wasn't enthralled. Then it mentioned Werewolf, and that....sort of caught my attention. Espionage with those two in a time where Demon kind of dominates the subject had an appeal.

    But then the start of the year happened, and with it came a thought I couldn't ignore: what if it was a Changeling/Werewolf Era where their metaphysics were intertwined? Instead of just an alliance, what if we got weird with it and made it deeper? Court-Lodges with Renown-Mantles, with the Siskur-Dah as Bulwark, Pledges and Totems doing strange things and maybe spacefilling for each other-hell, we had a point where Nicolette Chaput herself acted as the Totem for the House of Hunters, though I dunno how well that would have stuck. What if this was a time when the templates got blurred a little-and what if that meant, in the future, there were still nightmare scarred amongst the eldest, people of strange power and stranger respects?

    I also had a thought that maybe the setting would be weird in that the group was perhaps more public than other groups. Not necessarily a known group of supernaturals, but considered a significant faction in French Resistance make-up. What if folks like Nicolette or the player characters became listed in greatest spies for the time period? That sort of stuff sounded cool to me. It also struck me as a good time to reflect on that, given American politics right now.

    THAT sounded cool to be, and I came up with a quick make-up of the system of the Forest of Teeth Resistance (Including the official House of Hunters and House of Wolves, and the semi-sorta-official House of Victims) as well as a rough break down of how that chapter, and the era itself, would have been broken up. I was totes gonna propose it for Dark Eras 2, and hopefully get some outside thoughts on how to clean it up (since it was a very messy idea).

    So....What's going to happen now?

    This Rose is Our Destiny-Arcane and Changeling Going Forward

    I've promised a couple of times now that one way or another, my Paris content was going out to all of you. And I'm standing by that. The question, now, is how.

    Well, spoilers kids, it's a little too late to pitch the Forest of Teeth to Dark Eras 2.

    ANYWAYS, for now, the answer is to release it as fan content. I'll need to wait and see how the tools in Second Edition for Freeholds work, which means that, yes, I will be buying Changeling: the Lost Second Edition, problematic as that may be for the ethics-I promised y'all Paris content, and I'm not just gonna give you a version that won't work for what most people will be using. I will continue working on the ideological fluff of modern Paris in the mean time. If at any point the circumstance changes with me on Onyx Path, then I will contact Rose and see if she has space for it in an upcoming book or not and revise accordingly.

    The Rosière and the Sleeping Lions Freeholds will probably be together in a mini-supplement to supplement sized release, and it'll probably just be worked on by me, though I will seek some professional and amateur help for editing/playtesting. If I get around to Forest of Teeth, I'll probably see if I can grab some help from other pros because I'd want to get a historical piece right, but that'll be tough because it's weird asking people who I would seek a way to pay on any other thing if they'd want to just geek around in a playbox for no discernable reason. I've got enough skill in layout and Adobe artwork that it will be roughly art-handled and all that jazz, and if I have spare cash I may commission pieces for it-but however that goes, I don't want to just deliver a lot of black on white.

    I'll also be doing more work off on my own, but that's for the upcoming blog.

    So, yeah, keeping it relatively simple, that's what's going on. I know this is going to be a disappointment for some of you, and I want it said that even with all the mixed feelings I have on this, I did not reach this conclusion lightly. It might change, too, but I make no promises. But hey, one way or another, I will get you guys the Paris Content I promised. And if I never go back to working for Onyx Path, Rose and her crew will still have the room to bring you another awesome interpretation of the city.

    As a first step to keeping that promise, here's the final draft of The Rosière for the Underhill/1.5/whatever we're calling it version. Enjoy!


    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Feminine pronouns, please.

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing Arc! I must say that this piece is simply beautiful. Really enjoyed reading it! I also hope that you'll publish things about the Sleeping Lions and the Forest of Teeth in your upcoming blog, as both sound really cool!


    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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    • #3
      Very cool. Lots of potential story hooks and a great piece of writing overall.


      Patreon | He/His Pronouns | Currently writing: Tome of the Pentacle (OPP), The Hedge (OPP)

      CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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      • #4
        Not to bring the topic places you don't want it to go, but where might I go to be updated about this possible future blog post?


        Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
          Not to bring the topic places you don't want it to go, but where might I go to be updated about this possible future blog post?
          I'll update it in my signature when it's ready, and I'll probably mention it over in Off Topic.


          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Feminine pronouns, please.

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          • #6
            Glad to have this see the light of day in some form, and I'm almost as interested in that eventual blog post.

            I've been on something of a Paris kick recently, thanks to two stellar books out of Pelgrane Press; Dreamhounds of Paris is a really wonderful zoom in on the Surrealist art movement and telling the stories of both their squabbles and their explorations of Lovecraft's Dreamlands, while the new Yellow King Roleplaying Game is partly set in Belle Epoque Paris, with American art students being haunted by black stars, animate gargoyles, and decadent masked nobles. Very excited to see more of this, Arc!

            What's the rough gist of the Sleeping Lions?

            EDIT: Now that I'm home I actually got to read the draft and I absolutely loved it. Just to make sure my work-addled brain isn't missing something; the Bulwark fiction of theirs is a hybrid tale of Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood, a new fiction made of the old about the innocent's brush against the wild?
            Last edited by atamajakki; 07-30-2017, 12:29 AM.


            Remi. she/her. game designer.

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            • #7
              In a sense, yes. It perhaps borrow more from Beauty's Story than Hood, but that's just a natural recourse of scale when trying to compromise the two stories, as well as the Freehold's bias of the two stories. Of course the Rosiere would prefer the version that reinforces more normativity than the other. Shame they chose stories that ride that line as hard as hell.


              Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
              Feminine pronouns, please.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                In a sense, yes. It perhaps borrow more from Beauty's Story than Hood, but that's just a natural recourse of scale when trying to compromise the two stories, as well as the Freehold's bias of the two stories. Of course the Rosiere would prefer the version that reinforces more normativity than the other. Shame they chose stories that ride that line as hard as hell.
                Forgive me if this is hopelessly stupid, but: are the Sleeping Lions the same as the Scheherazade group, or does your Paris have three potential freeholds in it?


                Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                • #9
                  One of the things I noticed about The Rosiere is that, in some ways, it looks like a shuffled Seasonal Freehold. That works given it's history, though part of the writing is to make those differences clear.

                  Sleeping Lions' model follows that sort of thought-the base idea is Scheherazade, but what was the Bulwark has some differences( there is a pit and something is in it-the Bulwark didn't just keep the Fae away) and the courts are not just cultural bastions but statements against Paris's, and the Rosiere's, prejudices.

                  It both is and isn't accurate to call Sleeping Lions a Scheherazade freehold-at least, if we get it right.

                  The third one is a historical artifact, a response against both the German Nazis and (especially) the Vichy Government. It's not present modernly, but changelings and werewolves who went in deep with the Forest of Teeth's power remain, and they are strange creatures, even when they seem whole.
                  Last edited by ArcaneArts; 07-30-2017, 11:21 AM.


                  Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                  The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                  Feminine pronouns, please.

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                  • #10
                    I actually ended up realizing halfway through prepping a game I ran in occupied 1942 Paris with a tyrannical Autumn taking over a seasonal freehold and some other 1Eish courts moving in that if I squinted it could easily end up as the Rosiere courts, with a new coalition coming together, then being reincorporated into a new narrative and some emphases shifted. The Unseelie/Moon/Disgust court becoming the Court of Contempt (which is just disgust with some added flavor, anyway), etc. Fun to work with, and I'll be interested to compare it to your own notes about WW2.

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                    • #11
                      How well, generally, do the modern Lost and Forsaken get along with each other? Did things with the Forest of Teeth end amicably, or was there some kind of falling out?


                      Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                        How well, generally, do the modern Lost and Forsaken get along with each other? Did things with the Forest of Teeth end amicably, or was there some kind of falling out?
                        Modernly, there's a stereotype on both sides for the other. The Lost view the Uratha (They never dealt with just the Forsaken) as being flighty and irresponsible while the Uratha view the Lost as being stodgy and clingy. It's just those things that people say, light stereotyping that most never know why it gets passed around and can clearly see it's not true when it comes up-like blonde jokes and other such things. Still, both sides tend to know that if they need outside help, the other is a good place to go to, at least for a time.

                        The reason for this is that the Forest of Teeth ended amiably, but not without consequences. The administrative portion of the Forest of Teeth understood well in advance that once the Germans were expelled, the structure of the relationship between the two wouldn't last. For the Uratha, the Forest of Teeth was an exceptionally potent protectorate, and while their involvement with it changed them, the simple fact is is that once the Mesnée d'Hellequin was over, the divides between Forsaken and Pure popped right back up, and the pack mentality took precedence again. On top of that, the Uratha recognized prolonged exposure to the Lost without that direction, particularly under the Houses, would be hella self-destructive for them.

                        The problem was that while werewolves could slip out of that structure and back into their normal modus operandi, that left the Lost with half of a structure. A lot of positions were opened up by the Uratha leaving, and the Bulwark had been so long tied to Siskur Dah that fulfilling it became problematic. As the Forest of Teeth began consuming itself, a lot of changelings who were not part of the administration were understandably confused and angered that, feeling like it was a betrayal.

                        A fair number of changelings dealt with it by going back to the Seasonal Freehold, but for a good number of them, the association of the Seasonal to the Vichy made that too painful to go on, particularly within Paris that suffered the hardest hit from German changelings. The year-and-change between the end of the war and the birth of the Rosiere was a hard time, and there was a fair amount of experimentation going on. Even as a lot of the smaller freeholds started jiving with the mortals sense of reclamation and taking up the Seasonal again towards the end of that period, that mixed feeling towards werewolves ran heavy.

                        The Rosiere being established changed a lot of that, in good and bad ways. On the one hand, the controversy around Marcel's murder finally shocked eyes away-after all, it's not everyday the victim's wife and the most prominent changeling of the French Resistance and Forest of Teeth are the most likely culprits for a deep betrayal of trust, excused only by the ritual working. The controversy drew enough attention for the other hand to start working. Paris's recovery from the heavy damage was a nationally emboldening thing as word spread, and a lot of people felt like they could be at peace with their freeholds and the nations spirit of reclaimation, and vicariously with the werewolves-everything turned out to be mostly all right. It didn't hurt that Nicolette Chaput put people to work on public opinion about the Uratha during her nine months as High Sovereign, and helped to fan the change in attention by disappearing after the fulfillment of the Second Bulwark.

                        Anyways, point is that the changelings initially took it harder than the werewolves did, but they eventually got over it, and the main takeaway are stereotypes that, perhaps not surprisingly, seem like they would apply better to romance characters than monsters. There's fuel for both them possibly allying once again, but there's also fuel for old problems sparking up and leading to a feud. As if the Uratha didn't already have three other enmities to deal with in Paris.
                        Last edited by ArcaneArts; 08-01-2017, 12:37 PM.


                        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                        Feminine pronouns, please.

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                        • #13
                          Had a chuckle at the idea that we have a place where fae are stereotyped as stodgy and werewolves as not group-oriented enough.


                          A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                            Had a chuckle at the idea that we have a place where fae are stereotyped as stodgy and werewolves as not group-oriented enough.
                            I got a wry smile when I worked to that conclusion too. In fairness, the werewolf stereotype is more like that one friend you had who might get along with great but would bail on you any time it was a choice between you and their other friends.


                            Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                            The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                            Feminine pronouns, please.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                              I got a wry smile when I worked to that conclusion too. In fairness, the werewolf stereotype is more like that one friend you had who might get along with great but would bail on you any time it was a choice between you and their other friends.
                              ...I know that type of friend all too well

                              Anyways, considering how big a Harmony Sin it is to betray your pack, that sounds like more than a stereotype. Also, if them leaving sent the Bulwark crashing down, probably getting more than a few Changelings killed or recaptured, how is it that the split was amiable at all?


                              A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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