No announcement yet.

It's hard play as a Selkie?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • It's hard play as a Selkie?

    The title is self-explanatory, I heard from someone that playing a Selkie is complicated, to say the least, that it's better to play as Satyr. Any guesses?

  • #2
    But if you were making a similar substitution, would you not go with a Pooka that can turn into a seal?


    • #3
      What would be particularly difficult about playing a Selkie besides the need to be near large bodies of water?


      • #4
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        What would be particularly difficult about playing a Selkie besides the need to be near large bodies of water?
        I don't know that's why I asking, I only know what my friend said, he make a Selkie and died in the second adventure.


        • #5
          Selkie's aren't particularly easier to kill than any other Changeling. If someone manages to destroy their coat, they effectively become humans (which sucks and I could see being treated as equal to character death as most people probably wouldn't want to keep playing a Selkie PC if that happened), but that takes some dedicated effort to do.

          I think a lot of this comes down to group expectations. The Selkie Frailty can be a complete nothing burger or an easy way to screw over a PC depending on the ST's habits. If you have a ST that considers it their job to make sure Frailties come up, and a player that assumes the ST will restrain using it against them until they've done something to earn that sort of consequence, it's easily a recipe for unfun times (and even thing, there can be very different expectations of what counts as incurring consequences).

          It's kinda like silver with werewolves: it's easy enough to find out close-to-the-truth about a Selkie's weakness that even normal people can in theory be a threat with a simple Google search. As a ST you have the walk the line of keeping the threat present, but not overdoing it by having enemies constantly attacking that weakness.

          Without knowing the specifics of what happened, it's hard to say if your friend was being too cavalier with assuming their Frailty wouldn't get used against them, or if the ST was being too heavy handed with it.


          • #6
            (EDIT: I see that the topic hasn't got any relation to my answer in reality , sorry for the inconvenience. But I maintain my original answer because it has some conections about things and problems that I see when Selkies are the subject on the table)

            The problem that I see with the Selkies are not related about how you can destroy them, the trouble here is how similar they are to Pookas. I mean, Selkies and Pookas have similar powers, they can transform into animals. But Pookas can change into any animal selected during character creation (including seals), meanwhile, with Selkies you can only transform into seals. It feels a lot like they are a sea oriented version and, also, one more restrictive than the "common one" (the storyteller setting could have none conection with the sea). Also the Pooka frailty is more funny to roleplay which makes selkies even less popular among the player base.

            The unic point that Selkies can take as an advantage is that they could be a more noob-friendly option for beginners into Changeling or roleplaying in general rather than Pookas.
            Last edited by Metalbird; 03-21-2023, 09:42 AM.


            • #7
              Selkie do have a few issues:

              - they transform into an animal the book provides no stats for (though same is true of Pooka, unless you turn into a horse)
              - part of their legend and narrative 'buy-in' is that they long to return to the sea, and that they will leave others behind to do so; a Selkie who sticks around for a long-running stationary chronicle is somewhat undermining the legend of their Kith, which could be interesting (staying with you guys means fighting against my nature, shows how much I care) or it could feel flat (Eshu and Silent Striders might suffer from a similar issue, to varying degrees)
              - their Birthright is pretty weak (not a huge issue, I adore playing as a Satyr and their You Must Party power never comes up for my guy)
              - Nature Affinity is slightly meh compared to Fae and Actor especially
              - their Frailty, if it ever comes up, is exceptionally crippling

              They're an interesting Kith, don't get me wrong, but they're hamstrung quite badly. Here are my changes:

              - Actor Affinity. The key thing about the legend of the Selkie is that they enchant and fascinate human beings who fall in love with them, and leave them pining for the rest of their lives. Their relationships with human beings are key to their legend, even as they transform into animals. Turning a human being into a seal (something that happens in one version of their myth) is Actor, not Nature, remember! Actor will come up more often and helps set them apart from Pookas; they may have a strong tie to the sea, but people are tied strongly to them.
              - Add a buff to Appearance. It's insane they don't get one. Their legend is one of enchanting beauty; give them a +1 to Appearance to round them out and 'top up' their below average Birthright.

              Ultimately part of C20's charm is that there isn't that much balance to speak of, it's built on legends and tales not strict game design rules. The building a kith section is very clear on the fact that you shouldn't feel like a kith has to be stringently balanced against everything else. Some are above average, some below average, all are interesting. But to my taste the RAW C20 Selkie miss out *too* much.


              • #8
                I think you're over-stressing the Affinity thing... it's -1 diff to using that Realm for a Cantrip. Also Selkie's get +1 App already.


                • #9
                  Not in the version of C20 I'm reading - they got +1 Appearance in prior additions, in C20 they don't - unless there was an errata or printing error.

                  Also given that the base difficulty for a Cantrip is 8, -1 difficulty is very important; Fae Affinity is absolutely wonderful since yourself and most important targets in a typical chronicle are Fae (yourself, other Changelings, Chimera, Dross, Trods, Cantrips themselves, Pure Ones, Treasures, Spirits such as Ghosts, arguably Demons and Mummies depending on how you interpret the segments on them), Actor affinity is great since it covers mortals and Prodigals (who make up most non-fae 'encounters' in the loosest sense), Prop is wonderful for vandalism and practical stuff along with crafting... Nature is good if your concept is built around it. Scene and Time are a bit odd, Time can be amazing since you no longer have a reason not to use it, Scene can be good if you like regularly targeting whole rooms/buildings/paths etc.


                  • #10
                    Wow, the errata went the wrong way... in the early version of C20 Selkies got +1 Cha and +1 App. I know people were confused because that version didn't explain the "transform into a seal" thing as clearly as being a Birthright, but cutting the stat boosts was a completely uncalled for nerf.

                    And I know what Realms are. But Selkies natural orient towards more wilderness/rural settings where Nature is going to be as if not more useful than Prop, and Actor doesn't really fit their inspirations as those tend to focus on strong individual bonds, not the ability to sway casual strangers at a whim. You can get a -1 diff by enchanting a mortal first, for example, which fits their mythologist roots rather well.