Expanded Character Creation
Making your character is the first step in your own adventure. This guide is tailored towards this campaign, though follows the basic concepts in building a character and so can be more widely applied. Many links included lead to content that has a lot of campaign-specific information. This process is also found on page 72 of Changeling: The Lost. If you are a part of this campaign you should have access to a shared copy of the PDFs here.
First you will want to make sure you understand the setting and sense of the game. Make sure you understand True Fae and the concept of Arcadia. All changelings that manage to stumble their way back through the Hedge have a sense of loss. A loss of time, of family, of place, of self. Your quest is first and foremost to find a way to find your way to fit in to the mortal world once again. You can never find a way to become fully mortal, but there are others like you, forging a new place and a new path in this world that was once yours.
Depending on what True Fae stole the changeling and more importantly what job the changeling was assigned under the True Fae (their Durance), they will have manifested a seeming and a subtype called a kith. These are things to think about as you build a concept of your character, who they are, who they once were, and who they might become.
Once you have an idea of the person you're working with, you'll want to select Attributes. Your attributes are your character's natural knack and potential for particular aspects of life. These are separated into Mental, Physical, and Social. You will assign points based on how important each category is to your character, so determine which section is your primary, secondary, and then tertiary attribute category.
You automatically start with one point in each attribute, and can assign five more points to your primary category, four on your secondary, and three to your tertiary category. If you want to fill your fifth dot, that costs two points.
Navigate to the attributes page linked above for more details on the following attributes:
Skills work similarly to attributes. Like for attributes, you order your mental, physical, and social skills into primary, secondary, and tertiary importance. Your skills are what talents and abilities your character has picked up in their life. Depending on the skill it might have been earned through years of study or just life experience.
You get 11 points to spend on your primary selection, 7 on your secondary, and 4 for your tertiary category. Like with your attributes, to fill the fifth dot costs two points rather than one. The 24 skills are listed below.
Everyone tends to specialize a little when building on their skills. Even someone who gains skill in academics will have their preferred subject. A new character gains three skill specialties. Those specialties can all be in the same skill, two can be in one and one in another, or they could all be in different skills. A skill specialty gives a bonus die on a roll that involves it.
It's now time to take your character from a mere mortal to a changeling! This template will define the traits and characteristics that are specific to changelings.
A seeming is how the changeling's nature as a fae shows itself. The True Fae that kept the changeling in Arcadia is likely to be somewhat reflected in the changeling themselves. A Fae that takes on the appearance of a Deer God might have many changelings about him that resemble woodland creatures. Other Fae might specifically manipulate the seemings of their prisoners to fit their whims or needs. Furthermore, a kith further specializes the changeling, giving them an extra blessing. A beast seeming might have a Riddleseeker that provided a curiosity or a challenge for other changelings to prove themselves by, while a broadback from the same seeming will find it hard to put much thought into things, but can shoulder more weight than anyone else.
The seeming also will grant an extra specialty to either athletics, brawl, or stealth to reflect the physical changes of the seeming.
There are various types of courts representing the primary social structure of changeling society. In New York, the primary courts are the Seasonal Courts consisting of Summer, Winter, Autumn, and Spring, and the Transitional Courts, consisting of Dawn and Dusk. New players in this campaign are all fresh out of Arcadia and so they do not currently have a court affiliation. They are welcome to pledge themselves to any court as they learn about it, as the court will give them a stronger support group. Due to the way the local freehold is run, joining any of the courts will ensure that they will continue to be welcomed to the freehold long after the initial adjustment period has ended. The court represents the changeling's philosophy towards life and political allegiances, and they will find they have added perks and benefits when their court is in the ruling phase of the freehold.
Wyrd is how close the changeling is to the strangeness of Arcadia. It represents the changeling's raw fae power, their affinity for the use of Glamour and how strongly their seeming bleeds through the mask into 'reality'. A changeling with a high Wyrd is more like her former Fae masters than she might wish, though one with a low Wyrd may be more human than not.
Like attributes, a changeling starts with one free dot in Wyrd. This cannot be bought back under any known circumstances. More dots of Wyrd can be purchased through Merit points for three points a dot.
New characters have five dots worth of contracts, two of which must be spent on either a Seeming contract or reserved for a contract with the court you choose in game. Each new dot in a contract unlocks a new 'clause' — or power — from the contract. Each contract category has five 'clauses', which can be purchased in order.
In ancient times the True Fae made deals with the very forces that make up the world to gain for themselves powers. This contractual magic allows for all touched by Arcadia to make use of it, though limited. Each clause was agreed upon during the formation of the bargain that forged the contract. Usually a fae must use glamour to fuel a contract, but every clause has a 'catch' or loophole they can use to avoid spending glamour on the power.
You gain at creation 7 dots of merits. Your merits should make sense with your character, though if you can explain why a character has an odd merit it may be permissible. Once your character joins a court they get a free got in a Mantle Merit appropriate to the court, i.e. Mantle (Dawn). Don't forget you can use Merit to increase Wyrd.
The world of the Changelings is filled with madness and inhumanity. The willpower of a changeling can be use to let them focus on reality or the supernatural. Willpower is use to form pledges or an oath with another. Willpower can be spent on certain events that will strain a changelings ability to resist something and can be spent on the same turn as glamour.
The world of Faerie is that of chaos and unknown, and a bit of that remains in the changeling's heart and mind when they return. It is the part of them that rebels against the order and patterns inherent in the mortal world. It is the madness that fights the sanity the changeling clings to. Clarity is the ability of the changeling to separate the effects of Faerie from the mortal world and reconcile the two. Only story events will allow the trade of clarity for experience, and it is possible that experience will not be gained back at all.
Glamour fuels the fae's magic powers, contracts, strange skills, and feats. A character's maximum glamour is determined by Wyrd. It is unlikely to have more than 5 dots in Wyrd at creation, so you need only know that 1 point in Wyrd gives you a maximum of 10 glamour and the ability to use at most 1 point of glamour per turn. Both of those values increase by one per point of Wyrd so that at 5 Wyrd the maximum glamour in your pool is 14 and you can use at most 5 per turn. Beyond that level of Wyrd there are more effects and you should reference the specific page for details. This pool of glamour may also be expanded with the Harvest merit.
A changeling has the same kinds of Virtues and Vices as a mortal, though they will find they're sparked by rather odd quirks. A tame example would be a lustful changeling inevitably having some kind of kink, and a changeling with the Justice virtue might have a particular crime they cannot abide by.
You should now have a pretty good view of who your character is, especially in the terms of the game. You should know a bit of their Keeper, the True Fae who took them, and what their role was in Faerie. You should have an idea of who they were before they were taken and make sure to estimate about how long they were there. More than 50 years by their own estimation and too much of their humanity is likely to have been lost to function in the human world, but they may have spent hundreds of years if you were to view it by years passing on Earth. You might want to consider when they were from as well.
Also consider what kinds of quirks, habits, or hobbies your character might have outside of their skills. Plenty of people have side-hobbies that they would not have any skill dots in. Do they tend to end sentences with a phrase like, 'you know?' Do they chew their nails? Do they like to dress in a way to reflect their seeming or do they try to hide it as much as possible? What does your character look like? Is he built like a wall or a dancer? Would you expect them to have the traits that are reflected in their character sheet? Do they trust their fellow Changelings, or are they still looking over their shoulder constantly? Does their high stamina mean that they never seem to run out of energy, or does it only show up when they really need to push themselves? Does their high presence mean that all heads turn when they enter the room, or do others tend to just trust them and want to turn to them for aid? Does a low dexterity mean they always have butterfingers, or did they learn how to be a little more careful in day-to-day tasks and that tendency shows up when they can't focus as well, like when stressed and nervous?