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Changeling: the Updating

Table of Contents

Introduction Balance: Changeling Morality
Changeling Nature The Dreaming
Character Creation Changeling Magic


Changeling is a game about dreams and possibility. Beautiful and terrible, bright and dark, hopeful and tragic, it enfolds the wide potential of the human soul within its shining wings. The fae, or creatures much like them, exist in the folklore of almost every culture. They lived alongside humanity for millennia, but today they seem to have vanished from the world. What are they, really? And where have they gone?

How to Use This Document

If you're looking for a simple homebrewed Changeling patch for the new World of Darkness, you won't find it here. This document represents a reimagining of Changeling, incorporating elements from Dark Ages: Fae as well as Changeling: the Dreaming to create a new game which preserves the heart of the original game, but which is different in many important details. To use this document, you will need copies of both Changeling: the Dreaming and Dark Ages: Fae. Elements which are written in those books and unchanged here will not be reprinted in this document, for copyright reasons (and to preserve the author's ability to use her fingers).

Character Creation

To create a Changeling character, follow this process. It needn't be in this order: every player, and frequently each character, will find a different order of progression most comfortable. Don't forget the character's personality while figuring traits. Ideally, while assigning these stats, you should be considering what they mean to your character, and how they tie in with, reflect, or affect the character's background and personality.

Step One: Concept

  • Choose your character's name.
  • Concept: decide the central idea of your character as an individual—the job or role they define themselves by.
  • Kith: Choose a Changeling Kith for the character.
  • Virtue/Vice: choose from the list in the WoD core book (page 100).
  • Court Affiliation: Does the character affiliate herself with the Seelie or Unseelie Court?
  • Aspect: There are four to choose from--Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter. See Aspects for more information.
  • House: Some characters are members of noble Houses, especially if they are born nobles. Decide if your character belongs to one (if so, then you must purchase Rank as one of your Merits).

Step Two: Attributes

A Changeling character starts with one free dot in each Attribute. You get more 15 dots to distribute among them. They are rated on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is abysmal. 5 is spectacular. No Attribute can go over 5. Check the WoD corebook, beginning on page 42, for further details.

Step Three: Abilities

You have 29 dots to distribute among Abilities as you see fit. Rated on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 means that you are a beginner, or that you have some know-how but you are poor at it while 5 means that you are among the top of your field. During this stage of character creation, you cannot raise any Ability beyond 3. Abilities are described in the WoD core book, beginning on page 54.

Step Four: Advantages

  • Merits: A mage character receives 7 dots to distribute among Merits. These are traits that represent other advantages the character has beyond their own skills. Contacts, special talents, and supernatural blessings may all fall under Merits. Merits are described more thoroughly in the WoD corebook, beginning on page 108. You may also choose among the Backgrounds from Changeling: the Dreaming, and merits listed in the various oWoD books.
  • Dominions: : The Changeling receives a free dot in the Dominion associated with the Aspect you chose. Assign three more dots in any Dominions you like, but no single Dominion may have more than three. See below for more on Dominions.
  • Cantrips: The Changeling chooses a number of cantrips equal to her Weaving score, for each Dominion she knows. They can be of any level that doesn't exceed her rating in that Dominion.

Step Five: Core Traits

  • Weaving: A Changeling character starts with 1 dot in Weaving. See below for more on Weaving.
  • Willpower: A Changeling character starts with a Willpower rating equal to their Resolve + Composure.
  • Glamour: this is the amount of ‘stored' magical energy your character has at any given time. Beginning Glamour is equal to the character's Avatar rating. More may be purchased later in the character creation process. Glamour is described more thoroughly below.
  • Balance: A Changeling's morality trait is called Balance. A Changeling starts with 7 Sanity. If you wish, you may spend one Balance during character creation to receive 4 extra Freebie Points. In return, you must choose a Derangement for your character to begin play with, and you should come up with a story of how the Changeling lost that Balance point and gained the Derangement. You may later lose this Derangement by raising your Changeling's Balance. You can do this up to two times. See Balance, below.

Step Six: Customization

Once you have all those dots assigned, you may now purchase extra traits for your character. The ST may assign each character a beginning amount of experience which can be spent to raise traits before the game begins. Attributes and Abilities cannot be raised above 5. Weaving should not go above 3 for a beginning level character. Merits usually can't be raised above 5, unless the ST gives permission.

House Rule: Freebie Points

Freebie points are an alternate system, from oWoD, of customizing a character during creation. The costs are different from normal experience, placing emphasis on different stats. Also, it may lends itself to a slightly more epic game, as higher levels of stats cost the same as low levels. Typically, the ST assigns 15 Freebie Points, but the number can be varied as appropriate.

With this system, Flaws can also award extra Freebie Points, rather than (or in addition to) experience during gameplay.

Freebie Point Costs
Trait Cost
Attributes 5 per dot
Abilities 2 per dot
Backgrounds 1 per dot
Weaving 4 per dot
Willpower 1 per dot
Dominions 7 per dot
Glamour 1 point per four dots
Balance 4 per dot

Flaws: At this point, you may also choose Flaws for your character. These are negative traits the character may possess, and they award you extra experience during gameplay, depending on their severity. They may be psychological, supernatural, social, or physical. A physical handicap, a hereditary curse, a past faux pas among polite society, or a mental disorder may all be Flaws. Lists of Flaws can be found among the various WoD books, or you may make up your own.

Step Seven: Secondary Traits

Now that the character's stats have been finalized, you can calculate secondary traits. For more on these, see the WoD corebook, beginning on page 90.

  • Size: Most humans start with Size 5. A character with the Child or Short Flaw begins with Size 4. A character with the Huge Size merit begins with Size 6.
  • Speed: Your character's Speed is equal to Size + Strength + Dexterity.
  • Defense: Your character's Defense is equal to Wits or Dexterity, whichever is higher. (Note that NWoD official rule is Wits or Dexterity, whichever is lower . Taking the higher is a house rule.)
  • Initiative: Your character's Initiative is equal to Wits + Dexterity.
  • Health: Your character's permanent Health is equal to Size + Stamina.
  • Cantrips: For each dot in a Dominion, choose a Cantrip that the character knows. Cantrips are found in the Dark Ages: Fae book.

Step Eight: Background

Once all that is done, it is time to figure out the character's personality, background, and history. Ideally, you will have come up with some ideas on this while building the character. Flesh those out, and answer questions such as: how and where did my character grow up? What is their family like? What about friends? What job (if any) do they hold, and how do they support themselves? What are their goals in life? Greatest fears? Greatest hopes? Smaller details such as your character's favorite food or quirks of speech can add realism and enjoyment to play. And don't forget to decide physical characteristics such as age, appearance, and style of dress.


Instead of Banality, Changelings have their own Morality system, called Balance. Changelings are creatures of both the Dreaming and the mortal world. As such, they must keep a balance between these two aspects of their nature. If a Changeling favors one side of their nature over the other too strongly, they can begin sliding in one direction or the other. A Changeling who leans too much toward their human side can Forget herself. A Changeling who dwells too much on her faerie side can be Undone. Her magical being slowly drifts back to the Dreaming, begins to fade out during dreams, and eventually if she ignores her mortal side too much, the magic that composes her simply is called back to the Dreaming and fades away forever.

In either case, the changeling becomes more susceptible to mortal faith and superstition. This effect is known as Echoes. Fae suffering Echoes may discover they can no longer step uninvited into a mortal’s home, or that milk curdles whenever they pass near it. The longer the changeling’s imbalance continues, the worse the Echoes can grow. These Echoes are warning signs that the changeling had better tend to her soul, or suffer the consequences.

Some possible sins:
Spending too much time living a mortal life
Denying your faerie seeming-such as ignoring the fact that a troll can't fit in the back of a cab with three other people.
Using no Glamour for a week
Depleting your Glamour completely
Doing something that harms the Dreaming (Undoing another fae)
Destroying something that creates Glamour(ripping apart a fine painting; telling a child that Santa Claus isn't real)
Breaking a sworn Oath
Spending more time in Freeholds than in the real world
Interacting with more than three chimera on a regular basis
Constant Ravaging
Having no mortal friends
Having no mortal job or other attachment, such as school
Being almost exclusively nocturnal
Using drugs, alcohol, or sex to excess
Spending more than half your waking time creating art
Having no mortal family
Being in a state of unrequited love


A changeling knows that he is becoming imbalanced when moral belief begins affecting him. If he finds that certain kinds of flowers make him uncomfortable, or the cross pendant that an old woman wears makes him flinch, he should begin taking note of his actions. These Echoes become more extreme with time. They begin with small things, but grow so that signs of Christian faith begin repulsing the changeling, salt drives him away, bells chiming give him pain, and so forth. He may find himself unable to enter a house uninvited, or a horseshoe above a door could require him to lay a blessing on a family. At this point, the changeling had better seek help before he loses himself.

Changeling Nature

At heart, Changelings are still the same as in Changeling: the Dreaming. They are the souls of fae beings, inhabiting mortal bodies. The Dreaming is still a realm apart from the world, and fae still hail from Arcadia. However, some things are different. Those changes are enumerated in the following sections.

The Changeling Way Rite

Long ago, as mortal began forgetting magic, the Dreaming began to starve. As people dismissed it more and more, Arcadia drew further away from the world, eventually closing its gates and hiding within the mists of the Deep Dreaming. The Fae who were not in Arcadia at the time found themselves losing focus, for Arcadia was their heart and soul-the wellspring of the splendors of the human mind, and the birthplace of the Fae. Fae began going mad, becoming distant and aloof hermits or drawing themselves into their own delusions.

Some fae, however, underwent the Changeling Way Rite. By merging with a human soul, these Changelings were able to find an anchor and a source of Glamour. What's more, they found that in mortal dreams-their own dreams-they could sometimes reach Arcadia, walking its beautiful paths once more for a fleeting time. But in return, the faerie soul forever sacrificed true immortality. The Changeling anchored her personal being within humans, and could no longer exist separately. Thus, if a Changeling renounced humanity, her Glamour would be drawn up by the Dreaming, called home and dissipated on the winds as pure magic. Her individuality would be lost. This was a terrible price to pay, but for many it wasn't too high. Still, some True Fae exist to this day, wandering the Silver Paths of the Dreaming, lost in their splendid power and their unhuman dreams.


The Seelie and Unseelie Courts are still the two primary powers, and the two primal forces within every faerie. However, they are not the only element of a changeling's psychological makeup. Every Changeling has a Virtue and a Vice. As well, each Changeling has an Aspect, which is a representation of the basic makeup of the Changeling's individual personality. Members of every Aspect belong to each Court, though they are not always divided evenly between them.


Each Fae (not just Changelings) is aspected toward a certain part of nature. Western Fae identify these aspects according to the seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. A Fae's aspect reflects her personality and motivations.

Spring is the season of birth, bloom, and growth; a time of unpredictable weather, and irreconcilable change. Spring Fae embrace change in all things. They are known for their passionate but quickly changing tempers, clashing interests, fascination with instability, and their lack of long-term focus. They are fascinated with modern things, and with humanity as well, perhaps more than any other aspect. As such, they typically have the most sympathetic attitude toward mortals, though it isn't necessarily out of altruism. They may get quite involved in the lives of mortals, observing or even attempting to cultivate them like a herd of pet animals or an unruly garden. Spring Fae often have great power, but little focus.
Favored Dominion: Dawn

Summer is a season of glory. The sun is bright, the air is hot, and the world is in full bloom. During high summer, time seems to stop, hanging forever in a golden haze. Likewise, Summer Fae are charismatic, often physically beautiful, and timeless. Often known as highly skilled warriors or suave and urbane courtiers, Summer Fae gravitate naturally toward positions of leadership. Also, they frequently have an interest in tradition and history, and hold great reverence for oaths, allegiances, and ties. They respect those who respect such things. Such bonds between individuals and times preserve the status quo, and many Summer Fae prefer that. They are more common in the Seelie Court than the Unseelie, though that is certainly not exclusive.
Favored Dominion: Day

Autumn is a time of endings. The world slowly grows calm and still amidst bright colors and fall pageantry. Autumn is a time of preparation for the harsh times ahead, a time for reflection upon what has come before. Autumn Fae reflect this, being manipulative and thoughtful. Brilliant tacticians on the battlefield or off, they are known for their keen eyes and incisive minds. Autumn fae tend to pay attention to the world around them, studying and analyzing it whether for their own benefit or simply for the enjoyment of exercising their intellect. They look ahead to the future, or inward for self-comprehension. When they move, they move efficiently and often quietly, preferring pragmatism over flashiness. Entering into a pact with an Autumn Fae can be dangerous. They often consider things in terms of what others can do for them, and may be willing to seduce and use people who have something they want.
Favored Dominion: Dusk.

Winter is a season of death and solitude, a time of rest and loneliness. The world lies beneath a blanket of ice and snow, and the darkness seems to wrap about it all, even in midday. Sharing these affinities, Winter Fae are the most frightening of all the aspects. They are harsh, unforgiving people. Known for cunning and ruthlessness, Winter Fae will do anything they must to see their ends accomplished. Many have an almost instinctive understanding of the darker emotions and of need, wielding them like a weapon. The Winter Fae motto might almost be, "Do unto others before they do unto you." Still, not all are cold and vindictive. Though indeed some are as still as an icebound forest, others seem to be creatures of pure, nearly ferocious emotion, bringing to mind nothing so much as a half-starved predator. Nevertheless, even the quiet ones can be difficult to approach. Most Winter Fae are too raw-willed and humorless to make friends easily. To have one as a friend, however, is to have a companion who will follow you to the death.
Favored Dominion: Night.


The Sidhe are not the only Nobles. Fae of every culture have their leaders and their supporters. The Noble kiths of the Fae all share something in common: the blessing of the Dreaming. They have a special connection to it, which makes them beautiful and terrible, and many of them can call on the Dreaming to manifest their power.

The Dreaming

The Dreaming is sentient. It is awake, and it is aware. Though many theories exist as to its true nature, no one can say for certain what it is or where it came from, but the fae know that every human mind in the world is connected to the Dreaming, and can influence and be influenced by it. They know that it watches over them and protects them. It created them, and in some ways, they see it as a god(dess) and a parent.

The Mists

The Mists are an effect that protects and shelters the fae from the ravages of the mundane world. It fogs the sight and memory of mortals who see them. Exactly what causes it isn't certain, but normally the Mists hide the Changeling's faerie seeming, and deaden the power of their magic in the real world.

A Changeling can affect this, however. By Calling on the Wyrd, a Changeling can cast the Mists aside, stepping completely into the real world to reveal her true nature. Alternatively, a Changeling can also Summon the Mists, wrapping herself tighter in them to mask her presence completely, allowing her to move unseen through the mortal world.

The Bright Dream and the Nightmare

Some Fae know them by other names, but the Tuatha de Danaan and the Fomorians are remembered by them all. They existed to all peoples in all places. All Fae remember them, though they may remember very different things. It has been a long time, long eons, and eventually even immortals can forget the details. Still, the Bright Dream and the Nightmare existed, and probably still do, somewhere beyond the Silver Sea.

Cold Iron

Iron has great power over fae and their kin. A changeling in contact with Cold Iron finds that it leeches Glamour away, draining 1 point per round of contact. An attack with a weapon of Cold Iron does aggravated damage. Also, in the hands of someone who remembers the old ways, Cold Iron can be used to resist faerie magic. It provides innate countermagic against a changeling’s arts—however many dice the storyteller deems appropriate.

Note, however, that an item must be true iron to be useful. Steel and other alloys are simply normal metal. Iron is not particularly common in these times: sources could include a wrought iron fence, or a cast iron frying pan.

Changeling Magic

All fae use the Dominions from DA: Fae. This includes Nunnehi, Inanimae, Hsien, and anything else you want to throw into the pot. (Hsien Dominions are restructured into five, along the Asian elemental lines.) Changelings do not *need* to learn Dominions unless they choose to. Each Changeling also has a few natural, innate powers that reflect her personal nature. The ST and player work these out while creating the character.
A Changeling chooses her Dominion according to the aspect she most identifies with: Dawn for Spring; Day for Summer; Dusk for Autumn, and Night for Winter.


The Weaving rating indicates a changeling’s magical power. The Weaving rating goes from 1 to 10. When a changeling casts a spell, they spend a point of Glamour and roll Weaving + (dominion). Weaving is also used in a contested roll to resist magical effects cast directly upon the changeling by other supernatural beings.


Glamour is the pool of magical energy a changeling has access to. A changeling can hold up to 20 Glamour at any given time.

Spending Glamour:

  • 1 point must be spent to cast a spell.
  • Summon the Mists: a point can be spent to cloak your presence.
  • Call upon the Wyrd: spend a point to manifest the faerie Seeming.
  • Dreamwalking: spend a point to step into a mortal’s dreams.
  • Enchantment: spend 1 point to enchant a mortal so they can see and be affected by the Dreaming

You can replenish Glamour through artistic endeavor. When someone undertakes a creative task in your presence, or when you do so yourself, roll Willpower. Each success replenishes one point of Glamour in your pool. Also, you can wrest Glamour from creative objects by destroying them, or by ripping it from the mind of a mortal, but this has repercussions (see Balance).

Be warned: Bad things can happen if you spend all of your Glamour. Also, Glamour can carry different ‘flavors’ depending on its source. Glamour from a joyous source, such as a child’s birth, will influence the changeling toward Seelie behavior. Glamour from dark sources, like nightmares or Steven King novels, can make the changeling’s nature or magic lean toward the Unseelie. These flavors may or may not also affect the changeling’s magic. Perhaps ‘happy’ Glamour could give bonuses to using Day dominion, and penalities to Night dominion.


There is no Banality stat. Banality's existence is now indicated other mechanics, such as lack of Glamour. It's the void of imagination, rather than an active force in its own right.


There are four primary Dominions: Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Night. Each Dominion holds sway over an element, certain emotions, colors, and aspects of the world. Ratings in Dominions go from 1 to 5, and represent the character’s ability to manipulate the powers of that Dominion. Casting a spell always requires spending a point of Glamour, but the dice pool can change. See Cantrips and Unleashing for more information.

In addition, there are certain special Dominions that some faeries have access to. For example, the Nockers have a Dominion that allows them to craft special magical items.

Dawn: The domain of the senses and the body, fertility, healing, earth, control of weather, purity, time, and the future. Associated with copper, the spring equinox, and the color green.

Day: The domain of fire and heat, light both literal and metaphorical, leadership, faith, thought, loyalty, and mind control. Associated with gold, the summer solstice, and the color yellow.

Dusk: The domain of spirits and space, travel, gateways, humanity, atonement, air, the past, and mind reading. Associated with bronze, the autumn equinox, and the color red.

Night: The domain of cold and darkness, water, despair, betrayal, nightmares, and shielding the mind. Associated with silver, the winter solstice, and the color black.


A Changeling gets 1 free cantrip for each Dominion, per dot in Weaving she possesses. When she raises her Weaving rating, she can choose another free cantrip for each Dominion. The dice pool for casting a cantrip is the Dominion + an associated attribute or ability + assorted modifiers. Modifiers may include +1 die if casting a cantrip associated with your Aspect's Dominion, for casting during a time or date associated with the Dominion, and so on. Casting a cantrip always requires the Changeling to spend a point of Glamour.


Unleashing allows a Changeling to perform magic that she doesn't know a cantrip for. It is very powerful, but also dangerous. The player spends a point of Glamour, and rolls Weaving + the Dominion used. However, the Weaving dice should be indicated--either by using a different color of dice, rolling them separately, or in some other way differentiating them from the rest of the dice pool. If the player rolls the number of successes needed, then the effect goes off as planned. However, on the Weaving dice only, if more 1s are rolled than successes, the changeling loses control of her Unleashing. Whether she gets the effect she aimed for or not, some other, unpredictable effect occurs as well.

Summoning the Mists

By spending a point of Glamour, a Changeling can call up the Mists more thickly about herself, shrouding her presence completely from mortal notice. This isn’t true invisibility, but a clouding of mortal minds to the changeling’s presence.

Calling upon the Wyrd

By spending a point of Glamour, a Changeling can draw the very fabric of the Dreaming into the world, imposing a bit of it upon mundane reality. She can manifest her faerie seeming for all to see, as well as chimerical creatures or objects that she wishes to affect the real world with. This can be a dangerous practice, however. Mortals who see Changelings this way don't forget as they normally would, and there are those who would hunt the fae if they knew about them.


As creatures of dream, faeries can easily step into the dreams of other creatures. Here, they can manipulate the sleeper’s dreamscape. They must beware, though: as creatures of dream, faeries must answer to dream's power. If a mortal’s dream is strong, a faerie may find himself sucked into it, powerless to affect the path of the story. This risk becomes greater with some magical beings, who are often more willful and cognizant of such things.

A faerie can spend a point of Glamour to simply step into the dream of a sleeping person. They may choose to simply observe, but if the dreaming mind notices them, then the changeling must roll contested Willpower against the sleeping person or become a part of the dream. Likewise, if a changeling wishes to shape the dream, they must roll contested Willpower against the dreamer. If the changeling wins, they can alter something in the dream. If the dreamer wins, the changeling becomes stuck and the dream begins affecting them, whether they like it or not.

Changelings can use their magical arts in dreams, just as normal.

Dreamwalking has many possible applications. Perhaps a changeling can observe a person’s dreams to learn their secrets, or shape them to communicate a message or to inspire them to an artistic creation. Also, dreams can sometimes be used as shortcuts to places in the Dreaming, but this is risky.