Characters: Changeling

In today’s installment of our character types series, we look at the changeling, a character trapped between the mortal world and the faerie world, always living on the cusp of a life-changing Choice.


summer-court-changelingChangelings are half-human, half-faerie people who-at least for the moment-are able to continue living life as a mortal. But before each changeling, every day, stands the Choice, a razor’s edge dividing their mortal nature from their faerie nature. They may call upon the abilities of their faerie blood, but as they do so, bit by bit, they push themselves closer to becoming full faerie.

In play, this means that at any time a changeling may reduce his refresh (and current number of fate points) to purchase another remaining optional ability. Such abilities may not be “un-purchased” afterwards, and each comes with a clear alteration of in the changeling’s body, moving him towards a more fae appearance in line with that of his faerie parent. Eventually, too much of this transformation will take place to retain a grip on mortality, and the character slips into faerie, often becoming an NPC.

Short of that final decision, the character has the option-using his remaining free will-to make the other Choice to become purely mortal. Doing so means setting aside all of his faerie abilities-in essence, swapping the changeling template for the pure mortal one. When such a Choice is made, it’s permanent-there’s no going back.

Musts: A changeling must have a high concept aspect indicating his or her faerie parentage (e.g., OGRE-BLOODED CHANGELING or HALF-PIXIE HERITAGE). This aspect brings with it some of the baggage of the fae-a vulnerability to cold iron, supernaturally binding gift-exchanges and other such pacts, etc, making it ripe for compels. Some compels might even mandate that the character take on another of his faerie abilities, if accepted!

Note, faerie vulnerabilities mean that even if the character takes some manner of paranormal toughness or healing abilities, those abilities will not protect him against attacks and implements that take advantage of such.

Options: At the time the character is created, the player and GM must work out a set of supernatural abilities that the character could inherit from his or her faerie parent (usually taken by looking at the list of musts and options for the appropriate faerie template). If the player wishes for that to be a mystery, this list may be determined in secret by the GM and revealed incrementally during play as the character draws closer to making his Choice.

Regardless, any ability from this list may be added to the character’s sheet at any time during play, reducing current fate points and refresh as indicated by the ability’s cost. There are no “take-backs” once this is done, save for the Choice to become fully mortal (see above). If taking on another ability reduces the character’s refresh to zero or otherwise fulfills all the “musts” of a faerie of the appropriate type, the changeling’s Choice is made, and he becomes a full faerie, never mortal again, and now fully subject to the will of the Faerie Courts.

Abilities which a changeling might take on include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Inhuman, Supernatural, or Mythic Strength, Speed, Toughness, or Recovery
  • Certain Physical Immunity variations
  • Glamours
  • Seelie or Unseelie Magic
  • Physical traits such as Wings, Claws, or Diminutive or Hulking Size

Our next installment will cover the emissary of power.  See you then!