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      19.09.2001 00:12
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      Having run Changeling for a while, I am quite enchanted by it as a system. Its undoubteldy better for those already into things faerie, and its ideal if you want to run White Wolf for younger players. I would recommend that a start up group get between them the main book, and the commoners handbook. I'm ploughing through the UK book which has become a bit tedious, and you can really tell in places that it's written for Americans. There are several ways of approaching this system - you can have the very light swords and sorcery in the real world option, you can mix reality and fantasy so that you have shades of light and dark, or you can go for a grim struggle against banality with faeries in constant fear of technocrats and dauntain. It mixes really well with Mage, but changelings are far less powerful than all the other creatures. There's a lot of scope for humour in this system - I had my party (All over 25) hunting down an evil chimerical tellytubbie -which I would recomend as a thing to do! This is the lighter end of White Wolf, but faerie lore is fantastically rich once you get into t. If you want to read outside the system, "Tam Lin" "Thomas the Rhymer" and any Arthurian legends will give you a feel for it. There are some wonderul fearie myths frm the Britsh Isles, and it is well worth adding these to your knoweldge base before getting into the system.

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        15.05.2001 19:31
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        I had such high hopes for changeling, all the other White Wolf (WW) games were great, maybe with the exception Werewolf, the book looked great, full colour even. It’s just not right. I think my problem with changeling is it bucks against the whole World of Darkness (WoD); generally the WoD is pretty grim. Changeling does have its grim parts but a major part of it is fantastical. Maybe I’m just a sourpuss. The idea with Changeling is you play a fairy, that’s right, a fairy. WW were actually going to call the game Fairy but they wisely pulled that name in favour of Changeling. Fairies are creatures of dreams and stories, for every story told a fairy was created. Now like Peter Pan if you say you don’t believe in Fairies a Fairy can really die. The idea with that is Fairies thrive upon the Glamour of make believe and creativity, if you choose not to believe you deny their existence they revert back to the normal. I’ll explain a little more about that later after my watershed. The book itself is clearly presented, rules are easy to follow and the majority of the illustrations are in colour, to be honest it’s almost worth buying the book for that. WW created the storyteller system, which unlike most role-playing games focuses on the story rather than big swords or big guns. As a result a great deal of the book is given over to describing how to tell stories, things like foreshadowing and flashback are dealt with, stories often have themes and moods. The stories of Changeling are almost always heroic, changelings are after all creatures of myth and legend, they often involve courtly love and intrigue too. I think the game itself may work as a standalone for light relief in-between long running games of something else, as a supplement to other WoD games it’s OK the trouble is Fairies don’t really effect or interact much with anybody else so it would be difficult to splice it in. I think
        maybe I haven’t had the right introduction to this game and maybe in the hands of a good storyteller Changeling could be a magical experience but it isn’t my game of choice. Now as with all my game reviews, this one included I like to tell you a bit about the game and it’s world. The thing is I don’t think that it should be spoilt for players, finding things out about the game and the world for me is the most important part of role-playing. So here is the watershed, any body that might want to play this game I suggest they don’t read on past this point. Right on with the op…. Glamour is the stuff of Fairies and Banality their bane, the more mundane the world gets the less people are inclined to believe and that belief is what keeps Fairies alive. As you can imagine in this modern world of science and computers a lot of the wonder of childhood is lost very early on and thus the fae suffer. The game world is one of high fantasy, there is a society of high kings and courts, ranging down to lords and dukes, below them are of course commoners. The courts are divided into two; the Seelie and Unseelie courts, basically Seelie are good fairies and the Unseelie range from being naughty to being downright evil. Then the courts are divided into nobles houses, which players can choose to associate with or not as the case may be. With the dawn of the age of reason the nobility of the lands fled to Arcadia, the fairy homelands, and left the commoners to fend for themselves rather than die at the hands of banality. The commoners founded another form of society and weathered out the dark times. Until man landed on the moon that is, the moon is very strongly associated with Arcadia and the sheer imagination caused by that event re-awoke the dreaming and also allowed a lot of nobles to return to earth. As you can imagine their reception was not a warm one. So there we have our backdro
        p to conflict, commoners against nobles, courts against courts and houses against houses, and all of them against banality. As ever there are a host of characters to play I’ll give a brief description of each. The Boggans are a home loving practical lot they tend to be a helpful lot, often help an individual without them being aware, though their “helpfulness” can often be misinterpreted as meddling. Eshu are a mysterious lot, sharp-witted storytellers often in the cast of a desert nomad Knockers are so named for the way they inspect the gadgetry which is their obsession, dour and often downright miserable they are obsessed to distraction with creations. Pooka are born of the dreams of children, often having animal like features, we are talking more fluffy bunny types than howling wolves. They are masters of mischief and delight in practical jokes, which although rarely malicious can cause a great deal of chaos in their wake. Redcaps earn their name for the reputation that they dye their hair with the blood of humans. An unsavoury bunch at best the redcaps are renown for the ability to eat their way through almost anything they set their mind to. Satyrs are the irrepressible creatures of myth, lusty, bawdy party animals, though they are often used as council, I suppose because they live life to the full. Sidhe are the noble rulers of the fae, the classic fairy, exuding an air of nobility, which often serves to distance them from regular kithain society. Sluagh are a repulsive lot, think slimy Goth and you are halfway there, they dwell in the darkness and only ever talk in whispers. They also have an unnerving ability to twist and contort their body into the most bizarre shapes. Trolls are not the terrible beasts of fairy tale myth but noble giants to whom their word is their bond. Once a player has chosen the type of fairy they wish to play there a
        re more decisions to make, the age of the changeling is important, the older the fairy the more wisdom they have but the more detached from the dreaming they are so they may fall to banality at any point. The younger they are the less respected they are and the weaker they are, but they do have the advantage of Childs eyes and are more in tune with the dreaming. Then the choice of courts, commoner or noble and which house to follow this all leads to a relatively rich character generation system. All Fae have an innate magical ability and this has as you can imagine a slightly chaotic nature, the magic system allows the changelings to cast cantrips, they do this by the use of glamour, the essence of the dreaming. The system actually encourages a fair bit of interpretation but in the magic lies my major gripe, they use cards, of course there are rules which can avoid this but….. You see Changeling was released around the same time as trading card games, such as Magic: The Gathering, began to get very popular in the gaming community. So to use the magic system players had to shell out more cash for cards, which were collectable and tradable. As any one who has ever come anywhere close to this kind of thing will know it is a downright fiddle, trading card games are great fun but they cost an arm and a leg and when you have already paid £15 for the game you don’t expect to pay out more just to use it. That said the cards are very pretty just like the rest of the book. All in all I want to like Changeling but I don’t, I open to conversion but it will take a lot of persuasion, my main reason is it jars so badly with the WoD in general as to make it stand out like a sore thumb. Players just have too much fun playing fairies and in a World of Darkness game that will never do…..

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          19.04.2001 17:52
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          Having run Changeling for a while, I am quite enchanted by it as a system. Its undoubteldy better for those already into things faerie, and its ideal if you want to run White Wolf for younger players. I would recommend that a start up group get between them the main book, and the commoners handbook. I'm ploughing through the UK book which has become a bit tedious, and you can really tell in places that it's written for Americans. There are several ways of approaching this system - you can have the very light swords and sorcery in the real world option, you can mix reality and fantasy so that you have shades of light and dark, or you can go for a grim struggle against banality with faeries in constant fear of technocrats and dauntain. It mixes really well with Mage, but changelings are far less powerful than all the other creatures. There's a lot of scope for humour in this system - I had my party (All over 25) hunting down an evil chimerical tellytubbie -which I would recomend as a thing to do! This is the lighter end of White Wolf, but faerie lore is fantastically rich once you get into t. If you want to read outside the system, "Tam Lin" "Thomas the Rhymer" and any Arthurian legends will give you a feel for it. There are some wonderul fearie myths frm the Britsh Isles, and it is well worth adding these to your knoweldge base before getting into the system.

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            17.04.2001 22:34
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            This game from White Wolf is different from all their others in that it isn't so dark. I think they intended for it to be a 'struggle against the evil' type game but in teh many times I've played it it's always been a light hearted fun fest. You play a faery (fairy) who lives in a world where dreams are real, peoples images, if they conceptualise them strongly enough, appear on teh street and for fairies they are really real, they can play with you, trip you up or whatever. If the game is run with a sense of humour then all sorts of things occur, cars which drive themselves, camels whose humps lead to treasure, hammers who know better than their masters. Reality is malleable and the more its stretched the more fun you can have. A game to be played in the sun, on the grass, a great break from the usual darkness inherrent in rpgs. Instead of politics and machinations allow your wildest dreams and childish desires to craft themselves into reality infront of your minds eye.

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