Why are we doing this?
We are big fans of Changeling: The Lost. At heart, the story is one of collective survival. Every character is physically and psychologically transformed by their experience in Arcadia in individual and complex ways. These changes mean normal humanity will not or cannot help them – the distance between them is too great now. They just don’t fit into the world anymore. As a result of their experiences, the characters are spurred into making decisions and taking actions straight away. Despite their differences, changelings are forced to band together to face powerful shared enemies.
The game explores fantastical lands and introduces strange beasts, all the while grounded in well-known legends, cultural references, clichés, memes, and tropes – these are after all the core of fairy tales. It does this while remaining true to its emotional centre about gaining acceptance, overcoming fear, and earning redemption. It is a story about the human condition.
What are we doing?
We’re going to write a blog every week or so until the new chronicle starts, which will lay out the design of the new chronicle, as we’re writing it. This is to allow you, the people we want to play the new chronicle, to tell us what you do and do not like. We’ll try and work on that feedback.
The content in the blog will reflect the work we’re doing on the chronicle guide, and we’ll publish the current chronicle guide as we’re building it up.
As well as your thoughts and comments, we want to engage the community to start helping us to illustrate the world, with fiction, artwork and other bits of creative work.
What will we cover?
The game is mostly already written for us, with ten published books. The main focus of the blog will be on world-building.
We’re starting at the beginning because that’s most important to your characters. We’ll look at life before Arcadia, detail the True Fae and their realms that your characters will have known, and then discuss what life is like at the start of the chronicle.
We’ll look at how your character is going to establish and work towards its own personal goals. We want to help them find ambitions and dreams, and also fit in, albeit awkwardly, into the places they now live. Some of that will touch on the Hedge and the new structures in them.
We’ll also take a dive into builds, what sort of characters – humans, changelings and other people – that live in our world. As part of that we’ll look at hobs, humans and changelings, as well as detailing some NPCs, organisations and other setting set pieces. We’ll also discuss kiths, courts and entitlements.
How about some actual content right now?
One of the core components of our vision is that “Arcadia is Empty?” and therefore we were asked, “Are the True Fae important?”. The True Fae physically and mentally shaped and altered your character and haunted your experiences until you became truly free. They are a big factor in shaping your history and identity.
Our game size has shrunk from the beginning of the last chronicle, allowing us an opportunity to craft and define from the outset these previously unknowable creatures into story archetypes, to aid in the creation of backstories for new players to our hobby, and to promote ongoing character links between characters in play, both new and old.
Our intention is that the True Fae presented held great power and huge swathes of dominion, allowing for many diverse characters to have been held under each Grand Archetype.
All names are working-titles at the moment. We will be sharing more about the development of the True Fae archetypes next week. But we thought we could maybe whet your appetite by spoiling just two of them briefly right now:
In Hansel and Gretel it’s gingerbread, in Basile’s Sleeping Beauty it’s a stew pot owned by the wicked stepmother, in Snow White it’s a poisoned apple. Folk lore is obsessed with food. Here is a True Fae who loves to feast. Cannibalism, animal transformation, and gluttonous excess are all on display in the realm of the Gourmand, but the smells will delight and the spices, herbs, and exotic recipes keep you coming back for seconds.
There is a big manor house in the foothills of Arcadia. A pleasant rolling landscape where everything is wonderful and the inhabitants are carefully tended to at all times. They are surrounded, and smothered, by the love of their True Fae host who always insists there’s nothing to do except be smart for dinner and ready for your dancing lessons. Just like Rapunzel, these denizens are trapped. Attractions include being endlessly toured around perfect gardens and being delighted by the same perfect anecdotes that have been shared a thousand times. Who would ever think of leaving, who could possibly harm their host with this betrayal, don’t you love her in the way that she loves you?
Next week, we’ll dive into these True Fae in more detail and present some more. In the meantime, any feedback you can offer will be appreciated.
Bits of art or fiction about either of these True Fae or others to come will definitely be something we want to include in the Chronicle Guide, so please send some of it our way or chat to us on Discord.