The Main Idea EditChangeling: The Dreaming is the fifth in White Wolf's World of Darkness Storyteller series.
In this game, the player characters are half-human, half-fairy changelings. Cut off from Arcadia, not quite of this Earth, these changelings are torn between their human and fae natures. If the two natures aren't balanced, the results may be disastrous.
The Dreaming, and the spark of inspiration changelings need to live, are fading. Faced with an increasingly cold and hostile world, they must do whatever they can to preserve both the Dreaming and themselves.
Worse, the Fomorians are stirring in their imprisonment, their dark servants wander the Dreaming freely for the first time since they were cast down, and the changelings are the only guardians of light left. Endless Winter is coming, the Elder Dark is rising...
Welcome to the end of the world.
Although each of the Kith are based on myths from Celtic, and a few other cultures, the more important aspect is that they each represent a particular dream such as nobility or honor.
- Boggans are dreams of hearth and home. Down-to-earth attitude and simple taste often result in an impression of humorlessness, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are simply dedicated to their chosen ('salt-of-the-earth') craft, and find no greater joy than that of a job well done.
- Eshu are dreams of wanderlust and adventure. Often viewed as frivolous thrill-seekers and wastrels by their more staid cousins, these fae are in fact seekers--and sharers--of knowledge and experience. Nothing brings as much joy as a well-crafted tale, and nothing is more important than freedom and dignity.
- Nockers are dreams of creation and frustration. Master artisans and antisocial mamzers, they are passionately dedicated to their craft and vocally... dismissive of anything not meeting their impossibly high standards. Despite their dour natures and sharp tongues, they do have romantic souls--which, unfortunately, they can only express through their (always flawed) creations.
- Pooka are dreams of innocence and play. Mischievous pranksters, lazy ne'er-do-wells, incorrigible liars, their outer laughter hides an inner sorrow as wide as the Sundering. Cursed by their innocence to feel the pain of the world, they fight back with the only tool at their disposal: Laughter. Each pooka has an affinity with a certain animal. They bear a resemblance to this animal even in mortal seeming, and can even take the animal's form.
- Redcaps are dreams of violence and hunger. Looked down on as vile and disgusting, they never pass up a chance to revel in the reputation. They see themselves as oppressed by the sun-loving, pantywaist girlie-elves, and respond by sporting the baddest attitude in the land.
- Satyrs are dreams of passion and freedom. Passion for music, drinking, sex, sports, art. Every satyr has all-consuming passions. Hardly mindless hedonists, though, they believe that the path to wisdom--and liberation--can be found only in excess.
- Sidhe are dreams of beauty and nobility. Exiles from Arcadia, they are trapped in a world cold and foreign to them. These beauteous fae consider themselves Dreaming-ordained rulers over their lesser fellows, and it too often shows in their bearing.
- Sluagh are dreams of secrets and cold terror and things that go 'skritch' in the night. Reviled pariahs, draped in rags or old finery, sluagh dwell in darkness. They are the secret-keepers, assassins and spymasters of the fae.
- Trolls are dreams of honor and duty--their honor is literally their strength. Loyal to a fault and near-stoic as stone, they have been at times bitter rivals and at times staunch allies of the Sidhe. More than anyone, these warriors are guardians of the commoners.
Courts and Houses Edit
All Changelings live under the duality of their soul reaching for both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, though some truly ravaged individuals slip out of any semblance of sanity and join the Shadow Court, bent on returning winter to the world.
- The Seelie Court have a reputation as the guardians of fae traditions. They are the peacekeepers, protectors of the weak, and the ideals of chivalry. Most Seelie seek the reunion between the mortal world and the Dreaming, and would like to be back to the time before the realms became divided. Traditionally, they ruled during spring and summer, but are now the dominant Court year-round. They comprise the Beaumayn, Dougal, Eiluned, Fiona, Gwydion, and Liam Houses.
- The Unseelie Court style themselves as mockers of those traditions venerated by the Seelie. They stand for the principles of constant change and impulsive action. They have a reputation for fostering war and madness, despising those weaker than themselves, and valuing freedom and wildness over any code of chivalry. Traditionally, they ruled during fall and winter, but currently have little political power except on the day of Samhain. They comprise the Aesin, Ailil, Balor, Daireann, Leanhaun, and Varich Houses.
- The Shadow Court is a dark reflection of the Unseelie Court, populated by a distinct group of Kiths known as Thallain. Whereas members of the other two Courts occasionally take on the miens of the opposite Court, the Thallain are permanently locked between two Unseelie natures. They take change to a terrifying extreme, and wish to bring about the Ever Winter. There are no Houses of the Shadow Court... at least, not any unique Houses.
- The Houses are thirteen political factions of the noble Sidhe acting within the three Courts. Of these Houses, six are among the Seelie Court, and six are among the Unseelie; the thirteenth, the Scathach, have no formal allegiance to any Court. Many Sidhe are a member of one of these Houses, though commoner Kiths who have gained title may also join one.
Unlike the supernatural powers of other denizens of the World of Darkness, a Changeling's cantrips come from the combination of two components: the Art, and the Realm.
- Arts determine what effect a cantrip will have, and at what strength.
- Realms determine who or what will be targeted by the cantrip, and how many can be affected.
- Bunks are not required, but can help to cast a cantrip; they are a display of imagination used to bring the power of the Dreaming to the Autumn World. It could be as simple as a song or as complex as the crafting of something.