Buena Vista (Changeling: The Lost)
Character Creation Guide
For people who play D&D, Pathfinder, or similar games:
Changeling: The Lost has a very different tone. Where your typical D&D adventurer makes a living risking his life, Changelings have little choice in the matter. One of the dominant themes of the game is “The Long Road Home.” Boredom and routine are luxuries many Changelings crave, but the Wyrd, an aspect of Fate, and the core of Faerie magic has cursed them to live interesting lives. Some cope better than others.
What did you do before?:
Every Changeling was once a normal human. Those who were taken before their teen years seldom have strong enough attachments or memories to make it back. Most were adults with a regular job. Think about what skills you learned during your mortal life. Bear in mind that time is slippery where the Fae are involved. You might find that decades have passed quickly while you were away in Arcadia, emerging in a much different world than the one you left.
Choose your Kith:
The Gentry cannot create anything new. This is why they abduct mortals. Your Kith often represents some natural talent, inclination, or other trait your character possessed or greatly desired, exaggerated to supernatural levels by your Keeper.
What did you do during your Durance?:
You don’t need to describe it in great detail, since many Changelings have difficulty remembering the otherworldly experiences of their time in Arcadia, but have some idea of what task your Keeper set you to doing while you were there. As your Wyrd rises, memories of your Durance will surface in your dreams.
Choose your Seeming:
In 2E Changeling, how you escaped determines your Seeming. Beasts broke social rules and flouted conventions to survive. Darklings made some sort of hard choice. Elementals let go of their ego and reveled in an element, force, or other “raw” component of reality. Fairest took charge of their situation. Ogres used threats and violence to force their way out. Wizened made careful plans, often perfecting some craft or skill to pull it off.
Decide your Mien:
Your Mien is how you appear to other fae beings and ensorcelled mortals. Though you may have been decidedly inhuman in Arcadia, your human side reasserts itself upon returning to the mortal realm, giving you a human-ish shape. You may have claws, fangs, flaming hair, or stone skin, but you’re still human enough to fall under many of the same rules. Your Kith, Seeming, Court Mantle, and Contracts can all contribute something to your appearance. As your Wyrd increases, you may gradually become more inhuman.
Decide your Mask:
Changelings appear human to mortal eyes, usually as they appeared before they were taken, with some changes. What clothes do you wear when you’re among mortals? The mask may cover up your horns, flaming hair, or sparkling eyes, but hedgespun clothing that comes with a Mask of its own is a luxury item.
Choose a Seasonal Court:
Expect to stay in Buena Vista and the nearby portions of the Hedge for the early game. The local Seasonal Court system doesn’t cater to the nomadic lifestyle, and Changelings have plenty of reason to be suspicious of their neighbors, and more so of wandering courtless Changelings. Being courtless means that Huntsman can use whatever means they want to capture you and any Changelings that happen to be nearby. The strength of being a member of one of the Seasonal Courts is that they must abide by the court’s Approach, which typically involves besting the courtier at what their court is good at.
One viable alternative to joining a court is becoming a Goblin Merchant. Though the majority are hobs or other denizens of the Hedge, Changelings can join and enjoy mutual protection from their fellow merchants under Market Law, but it isn’t easy. Living among hobs and scavenging wares in the Hedge can wear away a Changeling’s Clarity. Despite Ubuntu Serif’s efforts to “legitimize” the Port Atlantis Market in the eyes of the freehold, it’s still an underground enterprise run by the dregs of faerie society, including hobs who are looking for loopholes in Serif’s ban on the slave trade. Expect Changeling society to look down on you.
Did your Keeper not bother to leave one behind? Is your Fetch a sympathetic being who took care of your family and friends in your place? Is it a subtly inhuman mockery of your old self, missing some crucial spark from your personality? Did your Fetch die before you even made it back?
What sort of mortal friends and allies have you made? Changelings need human company, even if it’s just as a source of Glamour to fuel their magic. Beyond this, Changelings have to maintain contact with the human world to retain their Clarity, along with the comfort that someone can genuinely care about them, even if they don’t understand the invisible fae troubles they deal with. Additionally, Changelings can make bargains with mortals, performing tasks and favors to tie their fate into the mortal realm. A Changeling that has made enough bargains appears as a background element to the Huntsmen, a fae creature that belongs in the mortal world, rather than a prized escapee to be dragged back to Arcadia.