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A Trove of Tokens

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  • A Trove of Tokens

    I thought it might be fun to have a place for people to share Tokens they've created for 2e Changeling games, especially since the process is so open-ended and inspiration can be so fleeting sometimes, like a half-remembered dream.

    Anyway, I'll start with something that's been on my mind lately:

    The Bejeweled Card (* - *****)

    This Token comes in many varieties, and in the modern world of market speculation, credit checks, and late capitalism, and has become increasingly common to find. Some Freeholds trade Bejeweled Cards among members, while others banish them completely from their realms, fearful of the ruin they are sure to bring not just on the Lost, but the greater mortal community in which they take shelter.

    Within the Thorns, a Bejeweled Card might form from a bank card dropped by someone struggling with debt, or just anyone whose primary concern is money. They can also often be found in Goblin Markets, practically pushed into your hands by strange bankers whose mouths extend all the way around their heads. The Gentry have them too, and some, from their penthouse suites in luxurious, ethereal realms stolen from the dreams of the aspirational middle class and vaporwave artists alike, issue them to Loyal agents as private spending accounts. Strangest (and most suspicious) of all, sometimes they just show up in the mail, right when you're scraping the last dregs of your bank account, wondering how you're going to make rent next month, in crisp envelopes stamped with "YOU'RE PRE-APPROVED!!!" in some typeface you've never seen before.

    Unactivated, the token might look like any sort of wallet-sized rectangular plane: An age-worn debit card, or a Minor Arcana, or a misprint from an obscure trading card game. When the Bejeweled Card is presented with a flourish to a vendor, it suddenly takes on the lustrous sheen of a fancy new credit card, numbers gleaming, magnetic strip in perfect working order, though mortals always seem to fail to notice oddities like the identification having an extra numeral, the expiration date simply reading "No," or that the card was issued by the Bank of Annwfn.

    When activated, a Bejeweled Card allows its user to make a single purchase with an Availability equal to or less than the Token's dot rating, so long as the vendor has access to a device that can read credit cards. The purchase goes through smoothly, quickly approved, no questions asked, and the amount charged is deposited into the vendor's account. The Token can also be used at Goblin Markets for the same purpose; one merchant slides the card between her needle-sharp teeth, while another presents it to a terrarium full of scarabs before handing it back with a smile.

    Drawback: The Bejeweled Card can only ever be used once with any given card reader. After that, attempting to use it results in glitches and red flags as the Token is declined from the system. In large department stores, one might just be able to go to a different register, though this can quickly lead to the user being blacklisted. Goblin merchants simply refuse to accept the same Bejeweled Card twice, saying that they've already gotten everything they can from that one, that it tasted funny last time, that this time they're going to need dreams up front if you want to buy.

    In addition, if the card reader in question can read chips in smartcards, the machine will demand that the user insert the chip, only to reject it three times before asking the user to swipe the card instead. That's modern technology for you.

    Catch: The Wyrd will hold you to your debts, and if you don't pay the card in Glamour, it will find other valuables to hold in collateral. If the Bejeweled Card is used this way, the holder finds a number of dots of their Social Merits are suppressed for the rest of the story equal to the Availability of the purchase made. If the user doesn't have enough Social Merits to cover the entire exchange, the interest is made up in points of Goblin Debt.
    Last edited by espritdecalmar; 05-27-2019, 06:11 PM.

  • #2
    Well, okay, here's another one:

    Drowning Stone (****)

    This sinister Token appeared in a village in Sweden in the 18th century, and caused no dearth of trouble for the surrounding region for decades until its mysterious disappearance. The Mask disguises it as a smooth, palm-sized river stone, while upon activation it reveals itself to be a stone carving of a horse and infant. The Drowning Stone does nothing for the bearer (at least, not directly), and to activate it, one must give it away to another, who must accept the gift willingly. The recipient of the stone will then, before the sun next crosses the horizon, experience a vision of the future: either something involving them, or someone or something that they care about. After that, the next time the recipient goes to sleep, they will dream of struggling in a cold, rushing river, as water fills their waking lungs. This counts as a Level 3 Extreme Environment, and without medical assistance, they will surely drown.

    There is a way to escape this trap: The victim must activate the Drowning Stone and pass it along to someone else. This prolongs the Drawback for all involved, but at least you're not going to die in your sleep.

    Drawback: Until the Drowning Stone has fulfilled its true purpose, the giver cannot regain Willpower from their Virtue, Needle, or sleep. Once the Token has delivered its final gift, the user suffers a nightmare of wailing shades, pale horses, and frigid brooks; instead of regaining a point of Willpower from a night's rest, they lose one, with the knowledge that the deed is done. In addition, changelings suffer a Clarity attack with 4 dice, while other users face a Breaking Point, for condemning someone to such a terrible fate.

    Catch: The Drowning Stone can be activated without Glamour if the user gives it to someone who has been a source of either great weal or woe in their life: boon companions, attentive mentors, bitter rivals, thorns in sides, etc.
    Last edited by espritdecalmar; 08-20-2018, 05:20 AM.


    • #3
      I've always wanted a wider range of tokens. Never got into make any of my own, though.


      • #4

        Oh my. What is this? What have we got our hands upon today?

        This treasure appears quite valuable. Legendary, even, one might say. I'd not go spreading the word about this trinket lightly. Who knows what sorts of terrible attention it might draw if They found out? Where did it come from anyway? What did you do to get this?

        The Narrative Cycle (Oath-Forged, *****)

        Within the secret coffers of a certain freehold rests a large, solemn, leather-bound tome is decorated with the image of a tree seemingly in the throes of all four temperate seasons at once. If one possesses the key, one can unlock the book to peruse its pages and learn much of the land's hidden history, the formation of the freehold, details on prominent members, local Hedge Gates, legend, lore, lies, and more. Every newly-crowned monarch is taken here to swear a new oath of loyalty over the book, one of trust, responsibility, and secrecy. Over the ages, these collective promises have given the Cycle its considerable, dangerous power.

        The existence of the Narrative Cycle, and the full extent of its capabilities, are known only to the freehold's seasonal monarchs, though knowledge trickles down through the ranks. The keepers of Winter's Icelore are aware of the Token, as are Autumn's most respected witches. Spring's masters of ceremonies incorporate the imagery of the Narrative Cycle into the freehold's rites, while the knights of Summer hear tell of a secret weapon against the Others. Everyone else has to rely on rumor and hearsay.

        To activate the Narrative Cycle, as the inner council puts it, a monarch of the freehold must open the book to a certain page, and say aloud "I invoke the power of Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter, as is my right as sovereign." Magic leaps from the pages, as Wyrd and Patron corroborate on setting the stage for the story the user has chosen to tell.

        The token effects all changelings who have sworn an unbroken oath to the freehold. There are four boons the Cycle grants, depending on the current season.

        Spring: All Social rolls made by affected changelings achieve an exceptional success with three successes, as passions blossom and nectar gathers on perfumed tongues.

        Summer: All Physical rolls made by affected changelings achieve an exceptional success with three successes, as the ember of heroism flares within all, and muscles are invigorated by the light of the sun.

        Autumn: All rolls to activate supernatural abilities made by affected changelings achieve an exceptional success with three successes, as nightmares caper and the bounty of Hedge presents itself for harvest.

        Winter: All Mental rolls made by affected changelings achieve an exceptional success with three successes, as quiet snowfall invites contemplation and preparation, and frigid winds whisper words of caution and advice.

        The effects of this token last until one of the following events comes to pass: A notable enemy of the freehold is successfully repelled; the season changes; the changeling who activated the Narrative Cycle dies or is otherwise removed from the story (such as gaining the Comatose Condition or being taken back to Arcadia).

        Drawback: Activating the Narrative Cycle is a dramatic move, not to be done lightly, as the workings of the Wyrd and seasonal Patrons require payment in sincerity and dedication. The currency is visibility: All rolls to track members of the freehold gain an exceptional success with three successes, as enemies come out of the woodwork to face the challenge issued by the freehold. This applies to beings of all stripes: Huntsmen, hobgoblins, True Fae, Loyalists, even mortals. Second, by borrowing power from one of the seasons, the changeling also empowers the next. Once the token's effect comes to an end, the next season in the cycle immediately comes to bear, regardless of the time of year, and always with a dramatic entrance. In spring, sudden floods are followed by overgrowth and air choked with pollen; summer sees heat waves and brusque droughts; autumn rides in on calamity of thunderstorms and decay; and winter is, as expected, cold and dark as the threshold of death. The entire locale of the freehold is subjected to appropriate Environmental Tilts, such as Downpour, Extreme Heat, Undergrowth, etc for about a week. The seasonal crown also immediately passes on to the next appropriate monarch, as well. Finally, although freehold tradition holds that only the monarchs are authorized to activate the Narrative Cycle, technically, anyone who pays the price can do so. If a changeling allied to a Court different from the current season uses the token, he immediately suffers severe Clarity damage equal to his Mantle rating.

        Catch: Actually, no one knows what the Narrative Cycle's Catch is. The Drawback is dire enough that no changeling has felt the need to skimp on the Glamour cost, and it's uncertain what would happen if a mortal attempted to use the token. The most optimistic of speculators tend to go with "They simply can't," while a pervasive belief is that such a hapless human would be marked by the current season to advance an arcane agenda in a game played by nigh-incomprehensible immortals.
        Last edited by espritdecalmar; 05-28-2019, 12:14 PM.


        • #5
          Iconic Tokens

          Any powerful enough Token might send a Freehold to war over the prize, but the allure of the vanishingly rare Iconic Token is enough to single-handedly turn a changeling into a one-fae army against the world. It is, perhaps, to many, the ultimate symbol of Lost self-empowerment.

          The process of creating an Iconic Token remains a deep mystery. The most the Autumn Court can surmise from their research is that the best chances of making one is for a mortal to lose a closely-held prized possession in the Hedge on their way to Faerie. Some even speculate that the magic of Iconic Tokens stems from ancient pacts upheld by Old Arcadia itself, a way for the original denizens of that mythic place to fight back against the Gentry in some small way.

          An Iconic Token is, quite simply, an Icon with the powers of a Token. Each possesses a deep and unique bond with its owner, manifesting powers aligned with a changeling’s personal history and symbolism. This also makes them potent weapons in cruel hands: Besides the normal abilities granted by holding another’s Icon, the wielder can, once per scene, add the Token’s dot rating as a bonus to a roll to influence the changeling’s thoughts or emotions. This includes not just Contracts, but all type of supernatural abilities, as well as mundane Social actions.

          For the changeling who rightfully owns their Iconic Token, the benefits are multiple. First, as with regular Icons, the Token increases the changeling’s maximum Clarity by one and refreshes all Willpower. The Iconic Token merges with her Mien in the process, meaning it is always on her person, and no one can take the object away from her without her permission. The changeling chooses how, or whether, her Mask disguises the Iconic Token, and can alter this decision once per chapter by spending a point of Glamour. Finally, the magic of an Iconic Token is often enhanced for its rightful owner, allowing either for a more powerful effect, or a less punishing drawback.

          Changelings who have an Iconic Token are rare, and the reclamation of one is sure to cause a stir in a freehold if word gets out. A changeling with more than one Iconic Token is the stuff of legend; such a character would quickly find himself as a beacon of hope for other Lost—or an object of jealousy.

          Characters who start play with an Iconic Token add two dots to the Merit’s cost. A player may choose whether the Iconic Token belongs to her own character, or to another changeling (who will most certainly give almost anything to have it back).

          Sylvia’s Scarf (••••)

          Her grandmother loved to knit, and was a master of the craft. The scarf was the last thing she ever made, and she gifted it to Sylvia not long before the dementia took hold, not long before the dwindling and dissolution and confusion and tears. Not long before death.

          Sylvia wore the scarf to her grandmother’s mid-January funeral. The colors stood out against the somber black of mourning garb, and it was all the more beautiful for it. After the ceremony, Sylvia only wanted to be alone for a while, and so she took a walk down winter-bound streets, her tears nearly frozen to her face, the scarf keeping her neck warm to the best of its powers.

          Perhaps her thoughts were clouded with grief, perhaps she felt she had nothing left to lose, perhaps she was touched by the supposed kindness of a stranger, none can tell. But when a car pulled up next to her and its driver said “You look cold out there. Need a ride?” Sylvia accepted. Nestled in the back seat, her thoughts turned inward, she was suddenly jolted when, after passing beneath the bridge, the car suddenly transformed into caged carriage with spider legs, the driver from an innocuous, anonymous man into a grotesque, ivy-skinned, goggle-eyed creature who explained to Sylvia how delicious the Master would find her sorrow, and how lucky she was to be able to serve at his side from now until forevermore.

          At the gates to the Master’s estate, the driver suddenly stopped the carriage, turned toward Sylvia, and frowned. “What an ugly thing,” he commented, glaring at her scarf. “Best to get rid of it before the Master sees.” Then, reaching back with a spindly arm, he deftly plucked the garment from Sylvia’s neck and cast it into the cold wind among the Thorns.

          One year and one day later, out slinked a black-eyed Darkling from the Hedge, fingers like scorpions, voice soft and cold as a lethal snowdrift, drawn home by memories of a family long lost and the warmth of a beloved scarf—one that had already been found by a wandering member of the local Winter Court and stashed away in the Silent Arrow’s Hibernal Vault for safekeeping—until the day the Preservationist opened the doors to find the Token’s pedestal empty save for a single, frozen tear.

          Effect: Activating Sylvia’s Scarf grants the user immunity to the Extreme Cold Tilt. In addition, the bearer adds two to any relevant Resistance Attribute when targeted by a supernatural effect related to grief or sorrow.

          Catch: The user first must spend an hour wearing Sylvia’s Scarf and wandering with no set destination in mind.

          Drawback: The user of Sylvia’s Scarf can quickly become all too entoured in the Token’s warmth and love, shunning the outside world; the user gains the Stoic Condition. Sylvia herself may spend a point of Glamour at any time to immediately resolve this Condition.


          • #6
            Mother's Love (•+)
            A few True Fae choose not to do their action and leave a Fetch; rather, they take what they want right in front of others. And when it's a parent, mother or father, their rage rarely abides. They will pick up a weapon, be it a kitchen knife or a gun, and charge in after, right into Arcadia. Frequently, whatever quality the child had pales in comparison to the enraged parent, who may even kill the child right in front of them. The parent, sadly, always loses the ensuing fight, frequently being forced as a bodyguard for their child's killer. Their weapons take a special quality, whether the parent wields it or not.

            Effect: Pick a mundane weapon from the weapon chart that's not a heavy weapon, though it rarely is it a weapon outside what is available to civilians. This token has a cost equal to its availability. Under most circumstances, Mother's Love acts as a normal version of that weapon, save the damage it and the damage it inflicts is considered to be physical and magical, and it has +1 durability. However, if the target has killed or kidnapped an innocent child or has an aspiration related to that - and this is something the wielder CAN sense, they may spend a glamour in order to, for the rest of the battle, inflict aggravated damage to them and their allies, and also increases its WR by 2.

            Catch: The worst child that could be hurt is your own, or that of those who are close to you. If the aspiration specifically targets a child of a close blood or adopted relative or those of a tight knit teammate, or oddly enough, the child of one's Fetch, this may be invoked for free.

            Drawback: The idea of pain to a child brings out the strongest indignity imaginable. The user takes the Reckless condition, however, this condition ends without resolving when the Changeling sleeps at least 6 hours.


            • #7
              Trodbike (••)

              You know how it goes: You're cycling along a street somewhere in town when you pass by a store that carries something you just remembered you need. You park your bike outside, thinking you'll just run in quickly and grab it and be out again. Of course, once you come back out, your vehicle is nowhere to be seen. Most of the time, it's just the work of petty thieves. Sometimes, though, these stolen bikes end up in the Hedge.

              A relatively common Token, especially in Europe and China, Trodbikes take the appearance of a beat-up bicycle, worn, aged, maybe a little rusty, but still serviceable. Upon activation, they straighten themselves out, axles readjusting, tires inflating, and will surely take a fit changeling anywhere they need to go. In the Hedge, a Trodbike reduces the number of successes required for navigation by one. This does nothing to shape the environs, so the user must take relatively stable trails, and the Token doesn't work while in the Thorns. True to their name, Trodbikes see the most use on Trods. In the mortal world, a Trodbike provides a +2 equipment bonus to Athletics rolls made while riding it.

              Drawback: Trodbikes sometimes feel as though they seek out potholes, stray rocks, and other hazards, and they can send a rider flying at the least bump. Any failure rolled while on a Trodbike causes the rider to fall off, suffering two points of bashing damage in the process. If a dramatic failure is rolled, the user also suffers the Arm or Leg Wrack tilt, which doesn't resolve until the connected damage heals.

              Catch: One might get the impression that Trodbikes exist to be stolen. If the Token is activated without Glamour, then until the sun next crosses the horizon, any Larceny rolls made to relieve the current owner of the Token automatically succeed: Locks slide open, witnesses are conveniently distracted, etc.
              Last edited by espritdecalmar; 08-06-2019, 05:56 AM.


              • #8
       do you activate it without glamour?

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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
         do you activate it without glamour?
                  Caress the frame and tell it it's doing a great job.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by espritdecalmar View Post

                    Caress the frame and tell it it's doing a great job.
                    Tokens have to be activated by either Glamour or using the Catch, the Catch being a curse in exchange for no Glamour. The writeup as is has no distinction between the two, which I believe is what Master Aquatosic was getting at - you’ve effectively got a Token with two Drawbacks. Making it so the Trodbike is easily stolen if you activate it without Glamour alleviates the issue.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Taidragon View Post

                      Tokens have to be activated by either Glamour or using the Catch, the Catch being a curse in exchange for no Glamour. The writeup as is has no distinction between the two, which I believe is what Master Aquatosic was getting at - you’ve effectively got a Token with two Drawbacks. Making it so the Trodbike is easily stolen if you activate it without Glamour alleviates the issue.
                      Ah, I see the problem. There was a typo in the Catch writeup. Fixed.


                      • #12
                        Happy Halloween everyone. Here's a bit of a spooky Token to celebrate. Personally, I wouldn't go around reading books written by the Gentry, but I suppose that's really your own judgment call to make.

                        The Persimmon Grimoire (•••)

                        This black-and-gray-covered tome was stolen from the vast and sprawling library of a Fae that calls itself the Scholar of Ashen Lead, a spectral being that hungers for secret and forbidden knowledge of all kinds. The story of how one of the Keeper’s wayward servants, a Darkling Notary, managed to make off with the Token in his escape back to Earth, is a tale for another time—and certainly one worth telling, too. But let’s not get off track here.

                        The Grimoire, like all magical texts worth their salt, looks ominous. The dark cover appears warped, and has a grainy feel to it. Perusing the book normally reveals pages covered in diagrams of strange plants and animals that don’t exist alongside maps of Escherian labyrinths and a language spoken by no one. More than one student of the book has drawn comparisons between its content and that of the Voynich manuscript, which only raises more questions.

                        The Grimoire’s effects are simple yet powerful in the right hands: The Token modifies Hedgespinning actions. To activate the Grimoire, a changeling must run his hand over the cover while focusing on what specific effect he wishes to bring about; he then opens the book to a random page, which contains just the proper incantantation to do the trick. This allows the changeling to make a Hedgespinning roll with Intelligence + Occult by reciting the text aloud and bypassing any symbolism required from the Hedge and its environs. The Token can only be used for subtle shifts, but because of its focused nature, all successes can be allocated to Hedgespinning, and the situational penalty is reduced by one.

                        Catch: To activate the book without Glamour, the user must first turn to the first page and recite the short passage inscribed within. Although indecipherable, the words come clearly to the petitioner’s mind, though their meaning is only revealed once they are all spoken: It’s a Pledge. The character becomes affected by a greater Sealing, which cannot be undone with Glamour, and which binds them to a task of the Storyteller’s choosing. These tasks are never anything directly perilous or glaringly immoral, but they all have a sinister feel about them: Bury a dead bird beneath a particular tree; break a window in a church; spill three drops of blood over an unbaptized child.

                        The power of the Grimoire means that characters without Glamour who activate its Catch can still make a Hedgespinning roll using it, though they must pay a different price according to their means. This could be a point of Willpower or lethal damage, a medium Instability, a relevant Condition, or one of the various other supernatural fuel traits carried in the veins and souls of creatures of the night.

                        Drawback: The Hedge does not like to be cheated like this. Perhaps it’s something to do with Grimoire itself, or maybe the Wyrd just sees this kind of Gordian knot-cutting as unfair. Regardless, the Hedge develops something like an active malevolence against the character, who gains the Spun Out Condition (see below).


                        Spun Out

                        The character has gained the ire of the Hedge, which now works actively against him. Any Hedgespinning rolls the character makes suffer an additional -1 penalty, while any rolls the Hedge makes against the character gain an additional die.

                        If a character with this Condition would gain it again, increase both the penalty and bonus by one.

                        Resolution: The Hedge rolls an exceptional success against the character.


                        There are rumors that the Persimmon Grimoire is only one in a collection, and that somewhere within the Scholar of Ashen Lead’s library is a crimson-colored tome filled with otherworldly mandalas that provides a similar boon to Dreamweaving. Others believe that the book is part of a wide collection of tools that alter the context for Hedgespinning, that there exists a violin that exerts a similar effect when played, a revolver when fired, a puzzle box when solved. There are others still who claim that the Persimmon Grimoire is incomplete, a fragment of a greater work that, when reassembled, will extend its magic to paradigm shifts as well.


                        • #13
                          Curse Slips (Trifle)

                          These small, rectangular, yellowish pieces of paper can be found in Goblin Markets around the world. Some believe they were first created in the Arcadia of the mortal world, in Greece, in the time of gods and monsters, while others see them as multiple independent manifestations of the kind of spite so tragically common to human nature. Regardless, they're usually bad news, unless someone's pissed you off enough that you'd consider using one yourself. But you, no, you'd never.

                          To use the trifle, a character writes an invective toward the target of their ire on the Curse Slip. Specificity is important here; if you know the person's full name, better use that, or if not, as many identifying details as you can: Leon, son of Earl. The barista named Carla at the Von Neumann's on Maple Street. Savannah's Duchess of the Icebound Heart. Things of that nature. Otherwise, the Wyrd might get confused. Same with the curse itself: Better to be explicit in your blandishments if you're just aiming for a bad hair day rather than cardiac arrest. Once your bit of poetry is done, nail the slip to a tree (any variety works, but some Lost have superstitions about which types to pick for which kinds of curses). Within a week, misfortune will befall the person you've named, inflicting on them an appropriate personal Tilt, at which point the Curse Slip crumbles into ash. Naturally, the Wyrd will pick the most dramatic time possible for the target to suffer their doom.

                          The changeling doesn't have control over what sort of Tilt the Wyrd inflicts on the target, though it is inspired by the user's writing. In certain circumstances, the Storyteller may call for an Intelligence + Expression, or similar, roll to cause a certain effect. If the Curse Slip ends up harming a character other than the user's intended target, or if the harm done ends up to be much greater than what the user intended, the changeling suffers a three-die Clarity attack; if both circumstances come to pass, the attack uses four dice instead. Removing the Curse Slip from the tree before the victim suffers any harm undoes the magic, though the trifle is still rendered unusable.

                          Unlike most trifles, this one does actually come with a Catch, or at least something Catch-like. In fact, fae can't access this aspect of the Curse Slip at all; whatever source of magic the Wyrd is supporting here is a sinister one, indeed. If a non-fae writes on a Curse Slip and then affixes it to a tree using a nail made entirely of iron, within one week, a Huntsman will come across the trifle, tear it off, read it, and develop a new Aspiration to track down the person indicated (or whoever they interpret that person to be). What they do when they find their quarry is up to them.
                          Last edited by espritdecalmar; 04-07-2020, 11:02 PM.