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The Durance: More than Prologue

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  • The Durance: More than Prologue

    In my forays into writing private fictions dealing with the Lost and various other splats (certain fansplats included), I have come to an understanding: A Changeling never need leave his or her Durance immediately for their Journey to Begin. I would urge any and all future STs running Changeling (or Huntsman Chronicle) to consider having their players start the campaign in Arcadia (that Horrible Place) and show each other the rich creativity and strangeness that they can come up. Of course, it would be unfair not to encourage they also drum up the horrors of said Durance too. The land of Faerie is ever the land of Beautiful Madness. (I am fairly certain that many STs do this already, but I thought they might benefit from some small encouragement.)

    Of course, the players should have knowledge of how the Durance works of course and how the True Fae have founded their Realms on a network of Contracts with various aspects of Reality. (Oh wait, that's my name! lol) A True Fae(ker) bases it's Story around the nature of It's Title and proceeds from there to abscond with/cannibalize the Titles of their neighbors. I would hate to live there, but it does make for good conflict-driven story telling in often subtle and/or sublime ways. I am pretty sure there is more to this than that, but I was never one for writing about game mechanics anyways.

    On a more social note, the relationships that Changelings form with each other during their time in Fae Hell can be used in a compelling and character-shaking manner. One could remind the other of their former life in Ironside like being like a friend or family member that they didn't knew that they remembered. Also certain objects can trigger the cascade of memories required to break the Glamour-blindness of life in Faerie like seeing a flower bloom or stepping on a nail (I stepped on a nail before). Now the Durance is what shapes the PC into what they are and here is a suggestion for anyone reading this: set up a System of Change in your Keeper's Realm (basically, have a chart numbered 1-100 and an Change attached to each number). That way you really have no control over what your Changeling will turn into, thus adding the sense that you are at the mercy of the force of Destiny that is a True Fae. Have fun!

  • #2
    Let me suggest one better: Borrow whatever flashback material you like, allow everyone to create characters related to each other's backstories, and when the gameplay is appropriate, do scenes relating to each other's Durance. This allows for twists, dramas, and dramatic betrayals not originally conceived of in the original backstory. Not only does this allow for nuance, but it allows for player nuance and control, with PC's able to dictate things that happened in a PC's past and creating future resolutions that need some kind of resolution, whether that be in a Player's control of a ST's control.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-14-2019, 12:50 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
    Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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    • #3
      Not a bad suggestion, Arcane. I was going for a sense of helplessness with that random roll chart idea to instill a true sense of horror in a player. Trying to stay true to the spirit of survival horror, y'know.

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      • #4
        I would be careful with a Storyteller taking the reigns of a player's Durance. ArcaneArts touched on this a bit, but it can't be understated at how much a character's durance is as much a part of the character as their current character sheet is. It is a major part of their backstory, their reason for how they are now, an example of the player's own creativity and tastes. A Storyteller not following the summary the player provided or even the concepts can cheapen that as much as outright telling a player how to build their character, taking away their agency. Given a Storyteller is rarely if ever able to tell what a player is thinking it can be very hard to follow the script succinctly, and it can become frustrating to try and fulfill something that by its very design doesn't follow a logical/human design. That also isn't getting into how some Storytellers have ideas on what is acceptable and what isn't, and how a player showing displeasure for it is "overreacting".

        I'm not saying the idea doesn't have merit. I am in a Demon game where the Storyteller took the players through their own Descent, and it was fun if not the beginning I had envisioned for my character. However, it would be best to ask a player if they wish to go along this route rather than assuming they will want to do it by default. It's best to not start a game on the wrong foot.

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