Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What NOT To Do In Changeling?

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

  • What NOT To Do In Changeling?

    What's some advice you would give to people in order of things to avoid?

    Probably the big one for me is making the Hedge such a deadly nuisance that there's no point in going. Every Hedge Fruit has a dangerous guardian so you use more resources than you gain. Every sale in the Hedge Market has massive unforeseen consequences so you were better off without it.

    In my view, the Hedge should be dangerous and Market sellers should haggle well, but if everything is a skin-of-your-tooth screws-you-over kind of situation, it becomes much easier to just leave it well enough alone. The Hedge should reward as often as it punishes - even if the rewards are sometimes a little askew, a little off, they shouldn't all be as twisted as a knife in the back.


    My horror roleplaying blog with a strong focus on World of Darkness and Call of Cthulhu can be found here: http://stwildonroleplaying.blogspot.com.au/

  • #2
    I suppose it would be "making the Freeholds nice places". They still gotta survive, so its either autocratic, desperate guerrilla style (taking everyone they can get), a circus (everybody just wants to forget their situation and their past) or a web of intrigue (where everyone wants a slice and got to fight for it through cunning and guile).
    I would also say that you shouldn't make the Huntsmen and the Great Fae unbeatable, in the way that, they probably start small, sending hobgoblins, spies and the alike. Now, if the game is not supposed to have combat or something like that, or the Great Fae are really supposed to be a threat that keeps the PCs awoke at night, then yeah, I would say ok. But other than that I think a fighting chance should be there, even if the Changelings push it too far, the Fae will bring out their big guns, and then they are toast.

    Somehow, I also think a don't would be don't put others supernatural beings in a Changeling game. For me, Changeling is a game about being isolated, even if you are in a society of isolated people. The Changeling game should be its own dimension of the Chronicles of Darkness.


    Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

    -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't forget the warnings about personal issues that the core rule book brings up. Lines and veils are a very good thing (practically necessary) to include in a game that has one of its themes being abuse by alien beings.

      I agree with Banu_Saulot about not including other supernaturals as well; that is, at least so long as you want to keep the themes of Changeling consistent. More than what powers other creatures can bring to the table, having another "full splat" supernatural in the game means that the themes will be diluted. It might be fun eventually, but definitely don't do with new players. They need to get a feel of Changeling first and all together desire for other creatures to be there. It'd be different if you're playing Mage, maybe Werewolf. But Changeling? Yeah, keep them away from others.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Banu_Saulot View Post
        Somehow, I also think a don't would be don't put others supernatural beings in a Changeling game. For me, Changeling is a game about being isolated, even if you are in a society of isolated people. The Changeling game should be its own dimension of the Chronicles of Darkness.
        I think you can just don't depict them as helpful in the slightest. Personally I run the rule that whatever Core splat your running supernaturals from other splats are portrayed as dumb as doornails in terms of Goals and motivations.

        She swirled the metal straw in her drink and enjoyed the slight clatter she couldn't hear it she could more feel it in her fingers. Where was that idiot? he said he'd be here, She had been waiting for 30 minutes now and this place really wasn't her style she much preferred the solitude of her studio but if the court summoned her she was oath bound to respond.

        "Hey Girl... Nice Tats" a male voice drowned out by the background ambience. Unfamiliar unknown...

        At first she wasn't sure it was her he was speaking to but who else would that kind of comment be directed to? Her eyes narrowed as she looked up, Young man blonde hair cut into a choppy style quite flamboyantly dressed with all the trappings of a new age rock-star. Just a Mortal... Probably...

        She said nothing just kept her cold look silently willing him out of existence, please just vanish from existence.

        "Hey, The names Flynn I'm with the band who was just..."

        Curses now he's speaking to me.

        "I remember. And I don't care." She interrupts curtly.

        "Oh... urr" He stammers slightly I guess he expected his boyish charms to pay off more.
        "Look Girl I will get to the point, don't freak out but I know what you are, I know your from Arcadia."

        Well... That escalated, her defences shaken I'm sure the surprise was visible on her face, She stands up the crowds around her suddenly don't seem to offer the same protection they once did as they don't notice her fear... Someone's Fetch? Loyalist? Was this whole thing a setup? Had they snatched Drift already and now they were coming for her?

        "Girl Girl... Please don't worry I aint gonna hurt ya I'm not what you think I am."
        If it was a setup she wouldn't have had much recourse for escape through the main door maybe she could order an 'Angel Shot' and a friendly barkeep might let her out the back, She glances around warily.

        "I have a favour to ask." He continued.
        "Me and the boys we wanna goto Arcadia, and we know you can make it happen."

        Her expressions shift from fear to confusion then amusement
        "Oh thank fuck... Your just a moron aren't you?" She says with some relief.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pebbles View Post
          I think you can just don't depict them as helpful in the slightest. Personally I run the rule that whatever Core splat your running supernaturals from other splats are portrayed as dumb as doornails in terms of Goals and motivations.
          This is a bad move in general and the example in particular is something Changeling has done well to distance itself from in the last few years.

          Other monsters don't have to be idiots to have priorities that do not align with the Lost's particular brand of cope — changelings feel the consequences of mortal society's denial of the supernatural more strongly than most, and their particular spiritual issues bring them closest to mortals in that concern. Entrusting another monster to keep their meddling in the mortal sphere out of your safe haven is difficult enough without the fae emphasis on weighted words, never mind with the coin toss between their not having the sway to keep their own society in line and absolutely being powerful enough to ruin your life.

          The krewe of Sin-Eaters down the road is either a powerful death cult drawing attention and meddling in your vicinity or too weak to hold itself together and repel infiltrators that want to subvert it to drag the graveyard into Hell, and that friendly neighborhood vampire needs to hunt and feed to maintain her superhuman strength and mindbending social graces, and none of those situations assuage the fears of just reliving your time in Arcadia, where you swore fealty to a lying god so it would protect you from a hostile world full of other lying gods.

          Perpetual threat of gaslighting aside, you do not inhabit a world where you can freely assume to be informed about everything — a lot of monsters attribute strange phenomena to obscure branches of their own metaphysics, but in most cases that's to give themselves an excuse to get involved, whereas the Lost tend to assign the blame for weird shit they don't understand so far up the chain that the reasonable response is to stay away whenever feasible and tackle the problem from a position of strength otherwise.

          Monstrous societies try to stay hidden and out of each other's way for their own security, and freeholds doubly so. Groups like the Court of the Leafless Tree are rare and situational for a reason. Trust is earned or compelled, and occult hungers breed desperation. Better to stick to the folks like yourself, with problems you can understand, and engage with unknown quantities like a particularly savvy mortal would. Prepare the stage and be ready to run for it.


          On the other end of things, don't shy away from mortal threats and problems just because the supernatural ones are so much flashier — this is a game about rebuilding your life, where normal people who mean you no harm can nevertheless damage your ability to separate fantasy from reality, and that doesn't work as well if humankind only ever shows up as a neutral-positive source of interaction. Let struggles with jobs, bills, and last wills come to the fore so the characters have a chance to be people in the world.


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

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
            Perpetual threat of gaslighting aside, you do not inhabit a world where you can freely assume to be informed about everything — a lot of monsters attribute strange phenomena to obscure branches of their own metaphysics, but in most cases that's to give themselves an excuse to get involved, whereas the Lost tend to assign the blame for weird shit they don't understand so far up the chain that the reasonable response is to stay away whenever feasible and tackle the problem from a position of strength otherwise.

            Monstrous societies try to stay hidden and out of each other's way for their own security, and freeholds doubly so. Groups like the Court of the Leafless Tree are rare and situational for a reason. Trust is earned or compelled, and occult hungers breed desperation. Better to stick to the folks like yourself, with problems you can understand, and engage with unknown quantities like a particularly savvy mortal would. Prepare the stage and be ready to run for it.
            Do you have any suggestion on how to make sure players fully grasp this concept, and bring this mood into play? Or you would just bring this up in Session zero?

            The thing is, one of the players in my group, who I'm going to run a C:tL game with, has a very crossover-friendly attitude. He often simply assumes that he can meet and become friends with any other splat, regardless of the game we're playing. Perhaps not always in a naive way, but with nonchalance, like it's no big deal.

            On one hand, I totally agree with you that the default mutual feeling between splats should be that of mistrust and staying out of each other's business, and even more so in Changeling, which has a general mood of paranoia.
            On the other hand, I don't want the player to be frustrated and bitter by having every attempt to be nice and friendly with an NPC monster turn into a "you shouldn't trust other supernatural creatures because they all want to betray/kill/eat/kidnap/f*ck you" lesson.

            Since I don't want to steer too much off-topic, let me rephrase my question as: is there a "too much paranoia" that needs to be avoided in Changeling?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by moonwhisper View Post

              Do you have any suggestion on how to make sure players fully grasp this concept, and bring this mood into play? Or you would just bring this up in Session zero?

              The thing is, one of the players in my group, who I'm going to run a C:tL game with, has a very crossover-friendly attitude. He often simply assumes that he can meet and become friends with any other splat, regardless of the game we're playing. Perhaps not always in a naive way, but with nonchalance, like it's no big deal.

              On one hand, I totally agree with you that the default mutual feeling between splats should be that of mistrust and staying out of each other's business, and even more so in Changeling, which has a general mood of paranoia.
              On the other hand, I don't want the player to be frustrated and bitter by having every attempt to be nice and friendly with an NPC monster turn into a "you shouldn't trust other supernatural creatures because they all want to betray/kill/eat/kidnap/f*ck you" lesson.

              Since I don't want to steer too much off-topic, let me rephrase my question as: is there a "too much paranoia" that needs to be avoided in Changeling?
              For a crossover game, you could have a question at character creation about if your player’s character has any affiliation with other supernatural beings outside the splat they are. You could even give them a couple of free dots of Status or Mentor with these splats, granting them an audience with a particular envoy. For splats not covered this way, they don’t know or have concrete evidence of this other splats existence.

              As for there being “too much paranoia” in Changeling? Yes, there is, but it’s not as huge an issue as it is in Demon. Making players too paranoid will cause them to view the Storyteller themselves as the enemy, not as a collaborative partner in the game, breaking down communication and trying to avoid discussing plans in the open. Avoid this by establishing tone and mood, don’t pull gut punches or punishments out of nowhere, and defusing situations where players are stressed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by moonwhisper View Post
                Do you have any suggestion on how to make sure players fully grasp this concept, and bring this mood into play? Or you would just bring this up in Session zero?

                The thing is, one of the players in my group, who I'm going to run a C:tL game with, has a very crossover-friendly attitude. He often simply assumes that he can meet and become friends with any other splat, regardless of the game we're playing. Perhaps not always in a naive way, but with nonchalance, like it's no big deal.

                On one hand, I totally agree with you that the default mutual feeling between splats should be that of mistrust and staying out of each other's business, and even more so in Changeling, which has a general mood of paranoia.
                On the other hand, I don't want the player to be frustrated and bitter by having every attempt to be nice and friendly with an NPC monster turn into a "you shouldn't trust other supernatural creatures because they all want to betray/kill/eat/kidnap/f*ck you" lesson.

                Since I don't want to steer too much off-topic, let me rephrase my question as: is there a "too much paranoia" that needs to be avoided in Changeling?
                Basically, in almost any given ChroD line so far there's a sort of tightrope to walk between societal obligations versus individual needs and societal trust versus individual power — a lot of the games' social structures exist to mitigate the parts of their monsters' conditions that make them look and act entirely like the classic horror monsters they're based on, usually by giving them a safety net to distribute the weight of their hungers/drives/ambitions while simultaneously giving them a partitioned space to be a monster separate from whatever mortal life they're trying to maintain.

                The more of a given type of monster there are in the area, the better they can cover for each other if they get along, but that also means more points of potential failure from individuals who are less bought-in or more susceptible to outside threats, and it also means characters who are having their needs covered for are more likely to be doing something to ensure that that coverage continues that won't necessarily be conducive to outside projects without some massaging. Freeholds already provide a handy model for this by virtue of the Lost often needing someone to help establish their legal identity and provide a safe haven after their escape, and the Bargains of most major Courts are sworn with consistent aspects of the world at large because those things are Big enough keep up their end of the deal without falling through or being compromised.

                The less of a given type of monster there are in the area, the more they need to cover all their own bases or rely on mortal go-betweens where possible, but that also means pickings are slimmer for limited resources and there's a bargain to be made if you can cover some of those bases for them to free up their time for your problems. Depending on the type of monster (and the individual), this reduced competition could allow them to grow more powerful or be more stable, depending on what else they're doing with the extra free time. Your friendly neighborhood vampire might not have a conspiracy helping her hide her indiscretions, but she's also not part of a society dedicated to easing her into the gradual realization that she's not human anymore, which means she's got a bit more free rein to try and keep up the pretense. Meanwhile, the apostate mage you've got half a dozen favors riding on can finally set aside the time to make some breakthroughs on those alchemical experiments now that he doesn't have to ride the line of sensibility by binding ghosts to watch over his family.

                More power tends to align a monster more towards their splat's own affairs, as well as making them more of an individual threat or point of instability, which tends to be part of why powerful specimens either wrap a society around them or retreat to parts unknown after a while. The innate power imbalance of dealing with them as a newer changeling means you're going to want to tread lightly or learn their patterns fast., but that's also the case for dealing with a high-Wyrd Goblin Queen or an isolated loyalist — supernatural power almost universally comes with hungers and compulsions that you don't want to step on, of which frailties provide the most accessible examples. It's good to have a firm understanding of this principle through your own splat before attempting to tackle outside-context problems like a freshly-awakened mummy or a werewolf so deep in the hunt that she needs spirit-flesh or cannibalism to sustain herself.

                Generally speaking, Monster Business is a private affair that you get invited into with active courting and gaining of trust — everyone who's been around for any length of time is going to be at least a little circumspect about bringing in a stranger to handle taboo activities like running a cult or fulfilling a mystical need for fresh blood, and knowing you're not going to rat them out is Step One of building that relationship. Expect getting into the good graces of an established monster to take at least a chapter and probably some Social Maneuvering to be recognized as not-a-threat to their regular operations; significant projects and other points of vulnerability (banes, Touchstones, pursuers) should only be broached on their terms unless you're trying to blackmail your way into the relationship, for much the same reasons an established changeling wouldn't volunteer that information or look kindly upon attempts to probe for it — most monsters aren't the Unchained, whose mortal lives literally start to break down under human scrutiny, but they still have a vested interest in staying hidden and not circulating their secrets into the wild.

                A good default assumption is that a relationship with a non-fae monster will work like a relationship with a strange changeling. Tension will be in the air, and getting them used to you will take time, but most of them aren't going to jump to preying on you out of hand for the same reasons that they're functional humanlike actors — they don't know who they might piss off if they mess with you, after all. Trust-building is going to be a transactional affair, and while it's always prudent to have a backup plan, pledgecraft is best used with clear language and up-front consequences once you'e established that you are a magical being attempting to be friends; by no means do the vulnerabilities of Clarity need be disclosed outright, but a circumspect "I have had a lot of people try to trick me and I prefer to have insurance for really important stuff" or similar will cover things adequately if you're bringing word-binding into play.

                As before: Play it like you're a particularly savvy mortal. Poke the sleeping beast gently and be ready to run or hide, but understand that it's just as afraid of you as you are of it. Drop hints that someone will come looking for you if you don't get going, excuse yourself if questions get too personal, withdraw to public spaces, retreat to do your due diligence in research, get help where you can for subsequent encounters. The mistrust can run in both directions, because being a monster is in many ways crime-adjacent, but nothing stops two different monsters from interacting on friendly terms as casual acquaintances who keep their respective horror-needs to themselves for personal reasons, particularly in Changeling, where setting boundaries and coping with trauma are major parts of the whole "rebuild your life" angle the game deals with.


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  If players become uncomfortable with an event in a game in hindsight, listen to them about it and do not claim they are simply over-reacting. This is a game where players and storytellers need to coordinate on what everyone is comfortable with doing, and if you ignore something that comes up later it’s going to leave a lasting and negative impression on yourself and the game as a whole.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X