This week we have been looking at the character creation process (along with Matt who will be running the Hatfield game) and we’ve made some choices. They reflect some overall goals such as making the game more friendly to new players, reducing the overall power level, and shifting the focus to changelings living in the real world. We’ve tried to ensure that there is scope for character growth and that a diverse array of character types can be built under this new system.
The new character creation process
Starting XP will be 30xp and we’ll increase that by 4xp every month for all characters regardless of travel, attendance, or downtime submission. If players just want to come to larger events or to dip in and out then they won’t be punished for doing that. The reason to play more games is to have played more games.
The best choice to make at character creation is to be Wyrd 3 because it is always cheapest to buy Wyrd with creation dots. Some merits are character creation only, and this is often the only real trade-off when creating characters. New players are often caught out by this, so we’re making Wyrd 3 the norm by the following process.
Instead of receiving seven creation dots at character creation you will be given these options:
- You can be Wyrd 3
- You can be Wyrd 2 and pick one of the following options for your character: Arcadian Body, Dual-Kith, Giant or No-Seeming
- You can be Wyrd 1 and pick two of the aforementioned options
Dual-Kith may be obtainable after character creation, and we’re sizing up the best way to do this that is fair, so watch this space.
New players can have the Common Sense merit for free. We might drop this in favour of some sort of Out of Character agreement that new players get the benefit of the doubt.
Any player may pick option one or two and start at a lower Wyrd score than given, to represent playing a freshly minted Changeling. At a later date you may gain Wyrd for free up-to the stated Wyrd score, to represent your character growth. However, you cannot use this boost to go from Wyrd 3 to 4 for instance.
In addition players pick a Beacon from the list below. This represents what your characters ties are to their local community and also provide a small bonus at character creation:
Making a living:
Working locally brings in some funds, and your job provides you with a ready built community of colleagues to keep you grounded. Gain a bonus dot of Resources.
A person in the local community has brought you in and helped you get back on your feet. Gain a bonus dot of Allies.
Fish out of water:
As an outsider you’ve made friends with the local eccentrics, who often have interesting insights or gossip into topics you’re unfamiliar with. Gain two dots of Contacts.
You’re surviving through a network of bartered favours, couch surfing in return for painting a fence, or running errands in return for food. Gain a bonus dot in Harvest (Pledges).
Part of the furniture:
You hang out in pubs, clubs, and cafes all over town. People have got to know you and they trust that you’re there to listen to them through the good times and the bad. Gain a bonus dot in Harvest (Emotions).
Owning the earth:
Following a path of vagrancy, you’ve fallen in with the homeless and the down-on-their-luck, and they consider you one of their own, willing to keep you hidden when you’re in trouble. Gain Anonymity at the 2 dot level.
Called to serve:
You’ve joined a community within the community, one with a greater calling such as a religious group or political activists. The group has an ideal, or submits themselves to a power greater than themselves. Gain the Higher Calling merit.
In the company of egg-heads:
You’ve found yourself hanging out with a book club, or regularly attending those public science lectures at the local pub,or you have lunch regularly with the classics department and the conversation often turns high brow. In any case, these are your people and you are accepted by them. Gain a free specialisation in a mental skill.
Band of Brothers:
You do Roller Derby every other day, or you practically live in the Dojo. You’ve joined a team of some kind dedicated to a physical pursuit and you self-identify as one of them. Gain a free specialisation in a physical skill.
Treading the Boards:
You’ve joined a band, joined a dance crew or you’re performing A Streetcar Named Desire at the local theatre. Being part of some sort of performance group has given you a sense of belonging and is helping you work on your ability to fit in. Gain a free specialisation in a social skill.
Update the chronicle setting to make sense of the new process
Quoted from the Pitch:
Three months ago, Changelings all over the land found themselves confused, lost, unable to remember what was going on or why they were standing here in a forest clearing, dressed in a tabard, wielding a sword. Those that had luck or wit on their side fled through the thorns and emerged into the real world. There was a sense of relief, a feeling that something momentous had happened and they were part of it but nothing more. Some reached for crowns that were gone, others found their gear and mantles nothing more than sticks and leaves.
Their real lives a mystery they scrabbled to find themselves again, some picked up the pieces, but found no comfort in old friendships or acquaintances. Familiar faces were now strangers again, and the very foundation of court and entitlement had shifted beneath their feet.
As we can see from the pitch, there is this idea that characters have all been reset somehow and that this is global, and so we don’t need to change this an awful lot to have a low xp chronicle. We can firm it up a bit by saying:
If you could say you were powerful once you no longer are. Now you find yourself with the tattered remains of an old ascendancy and that could spur you on to regain your former power. Your titles and oaths flutter away like tattered flags.
This change has scrambled your life as well, such that old allies and contacts no longer recognise you. Wealth has mysteriously vanished. Maybe you will rediscover what has gone, but right now you have different challenges ahead of you.
Many will simply be or seem to be freshly from the thorns with all the same opportunities and choices to make as anyone else. You’ve done what you can in the time since to make a new life for yourself, and you’ve established yourself amongst the people in the city in which you live.
Time to start drawing some boundaries on our game. We’ll be banning a number of kiths, these have been removed for a variety of reasons. They’re not just high approval, they’re completely gone if:
- They are in Victorian Lost or Night Horrors: Grim Fears. We want to keep the required list of books smaller for new players, and there is definitely a sense that these are more powerful versions of kiths found in the other books.
- They imply seduction mechanics, as part of the wellbeing drive we’re removing these from play. This isn’t to say seduction is banned, we’re just not going to give you mechanics to do it.
- They don’t fit the setting – we’ve kept some of the “from other places” kiths (Nix, Pamarindo, Skogsra, Troll and Weiss Frau) where they provide fun thematic inclusions. Gremlin and Ask-wee-da-eed (we’ll be calling them Will-o-the-wisps though) are fine.
- They’re just too powerful or other choices have rendered them pointless, these are probably unsurprisingly, the Fatemaker and the Shadowsoul.
Overall this leaves about 80 kiths, so we’re pretty sure that there are plenty of options.
Each court in Changeling the Lost is a different organisation. Creating more organisations within our game world, and populating them with npcs, puts pressure on ST time and resources to create a living breathing world. As our game group has gotten smaller, characters that are isolated in tiny courts sometimes find it difficult to access social ties and plot drops from seasonal courtiers.
Focusing on just four Seasonal Courts will allow us to tailor plot to these small connected groups, and provide newer players with stronger support structures.
As such, we offer up the Seasonal Courts as standard, and those wishing to create a character that stand alone are welcome to choose a Courtless character.
Thinking about builds
Because it is important that we make sure there are a variety of possible characters in a game at such low xp, we went through a quick process of trying out a series of different builds using the existing set of character creation rules.
Here are some characters we came up with under these new rules. These are quite quick builds but demonstrate a variety of things which are possible.
We’ll be back again next week with more updates. Thanks for reading and please provide us with feedback either on Discord or by talking to us privately.