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What Are Some Good Core Loops for Changeling 2e

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  • What Are Some Good Core Loops for Changeling 2e

    Having a "core loop" set of default activities can be helpful for less talented GMs like myself. What are some good core loops for Changeling?

    Demon = hide from god machine > subvert infrastructure to get arcane energy > attract attention of god machine > hide from god machine ..
    Werewolf = patrol territory for bad stuff > defeat bad stuff > patrol territory for bad stuff ...
    Promethean = do next step on path to becoming human > deal with outcomes > do next step ...
    Hunter = hear about monsters > deal with monsters > hear about monsters ...

    In Changeling, you have
    - hide from huntsman BUT unlike demon you don't have to do the thing that attracts the attention of Huntsman
    - try to regain or get a normal life - cool but not that game-able (for me at least) ("roll to go back to college and get that accounting degree!")

    Changeling is a bit like old / new Vampire with courts and stuff, but it's not vitally important that you rise up in the court (unlike vampire society where social maneuvering is everything).

  • #2
    The Promethean Loop you offer is probably going to be the most relevant, but let's establish some things first.

    So core gameplay loops are established as the things that you do in the game feeds into the other one-so, classic shooter one is you have the fight, and then explore around for health, ammo, and perhaps resources that'll make future fights easier. As a general rule, the core gameplay loop is the actionable lens applied to the classic scene-sequel story structure (for more on that, check out Jim Butcher's LiveJournal entries on Scenes and Sequels), or basically the "high action" and the "low action" of the game. RPG's run an interesting situation where in it's gameplay loop is usally more strongly divorced from that sequence in that the major elements of the loop can be played out in their own way to serve as Scene or Sequel-while the resource gathering is prone to sequels part of Review and Anticipation leading to a choice, it's not hard to see how a feeding scene from Vampire can be something you play low or ratchet up to high as a vampire gets into a fist fight to get their Vitae, have an intense "Blood or Me?" argument with an important person in their life, or some intellectual game with Vitae on the line.

    It's not uncommon to see the themes of a game play into that cycle and gameplay loops, particularly if they feature a duality.

    A brief divergence, just because I love how simple and easy it is and yet diverse in application, is Descent's gameplay loop is, which you almost tackle, but it better artciulated as:

    Spend Cover->to infiltrate Infrastructure->to get Aether
    Spend Aether->to persuade mortals->to get Cover

    It's never quite that simple, with lots of ways to spiral away from it, BUT it also represents a core activity any demon is going to resort to at some point in their life, and forms the backbone of why demons can't just sit on the sidelines-even the most reluctant Unchained is going to deal with Cover loss at some point, which draws them into spending Aether, which leads to the infrastructure which goes on. Even better, either of these function well as the basis for a Scene or a Sequel, with enough room for what can be the conflict or the basis for the downtime to warrant myriad explorations (and the ways that that balance breaks like with Angel-Jacking or suborned Infrastructure help to keep it from feeling static)|

    Anyways, arguably Lost has a gameplay loop of that sort between Clarity and Glamour, in that you spend Glamour to brave the Hedge in order to find Icons and thus restore and build your Clarity, and then you take Clarity damage as you commit to actions to restore your glamour-but it's not as neat a fit as Demon's is.

    The gameplay loop is fundamentally between it's long aspiration of The Long Way Home and the threat that I'm Never Going Back presents, with players setting out to do a thing that brings them closer to their definition of Home, something threatens to deny the Long Way or actively engages with You're Going Back*, the players pull away to recover and reconsider going forward, and then push ahead. In terms of it's themes, the games cycles between pursuing Beauty, Clarity, and Finding and recovering from Agony, Madness, and Being Lost-which most actively looks likes your Promethean Loop.

    I could go on, but trying to distill this down-

    Changelings Take Action to recover more of themselves and build up home, and then something distracts, deceives and tries to hurt them away from their goal, and then calling upon the reailty of their scenario to whatever degree, they take on the illusion, the dreams, and the barbs once more until they either get what they want or Die Miserably**.

    *80% of the game is working to build up your home, 20% is fighting to not be taken back to Arcadia, but for the PC's it looks more like a 50/50 split
    *Which includes becoming a True Fe if you use Becoming Nightmare.

    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.


    • #3
      All that said, the Really Easy loop for Changeling is:

      You have a pledge that requires you to deal with something > Complications arise > You need to make another pledge to get out of it > Repeat.

      Driving that engine are a diverse host of threats like the Fae and your own burgeoning can-you-call-it-paranoia?-(yes-you-can), but the basic thrust of it is that you inhabit a complicated web of promises and other lies and that often winds up feeding into itself.
      Last edited by Satchel; 05-19-2020, 10:41 PM.

      Resident Lore-Hound
      Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e


      • #4
        What I like is:

        Personal problems for the PCs show up -> They begin trying to fix them together -> A larger crisis starts building that threatens to majorly complicate everyone's life, or developments within the Freehold demand attention -> PCs attempt to juggle their personal problems with these larger, sometimes existential threats or political moves within the Freehold -> stuff gets worse -> a lot worse -> at this point they either start turning things around, or things just get VERY BAD for everyone -> assuming they managed in the end, they pick up the pieces and deal with inevitable fallout of all the crazy stuff that went down -> things start to settle into a new normalcy/status quo -> back to start of loop.

        I never think of it as a "loop" much I suppose, and it's more like several loops simultaneously, at different points along in the process. Oh yeah, and there should be a "Work on major character goals and long-term aspirations." somewhere in that entire knot of loops.
        Last edited by Unahim; 05-26-2020, 04:15 PM.


        • #5
          Thanks all. This is enough for me to go w/