Changing Changeling: A Selection of Historical Resurgences

According to the Changeling: The Dreaming rulebook, the phenomenon that made the return of the Changelings possible was the one of the first truly global media events: the landing of the Apollo 11 mission on the Moon. The collective energy of the dreams, hopes and aspirations of all humanity (or at least, a very large majority of humanity) combined with the event to set free a rush of Glamour, the energy that powers dreams, and thus, the Dreaming itself, and returned the Fae to the Earth they had abandoned six centuries earlier.

There are five assumptions implicit in that account:

  1. Technology – and specifically communications technology – somehow empowered these dreams.
  2. Only uplifting dreams could be the source of such an event.
  3. It took the collective energies of a majority of humanity to achieve this.
  4. The Shattering took place when it did.
  5. All the faeries came back at once.

Tinkering with any of these assumptions can lead to some very different Changeling games. In the spirit of wonder and imagination, then, here are some ways to use a different time and type of Resurgence to shake things up in a new Changeling chronicle.
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Wild Cards and Changeling: The Dreaming

In the Wild Cards series, human history was changed forever on September 15, 1946, when a Takisian biogenetic weapon detonated over Manhattan, and kicked off an age of Aces and Jokers. But what if Takis were not an alien world, but rather, a part of Arcadia? What if the feuding noble houses of Takis are in fact noble houses of Arcadia, and the whole of the Resurgence merely another gambit in the endless struggles between houses?

Well, that would make Dr Tachyon the world’s shortest Sidhe, but leaving that aside, it would also mean that every Ace power and every Joker deformity was actually an example of the power of glamour. In this world, every human has, all unawares, a Seelie and an Unseelie nature – but it took the Wild Card to awaken and empower them. Joker or Ace, it came down which nature a person was manifesting at the time they were exposed. (Perhaps the Black Queen was drawn by those poor buggers transitioning from one to the other at the time of exposure.)

In the modern day, Manhattan’s Joker town is populated for a Fomori host that does not know its true nature, and the Aces all draw upon glamour as members of various kiths. (It may make a little more sense to use the powers and seemings from Changeling: The Lost to represent this, but the setting should remain that of Changeling: The Dreaming).

Now, so far in the books, the Takisians do not seem interested in the results of their little experiment, but it’s unlikely that this state of affairs will remain the case forever…

Wild Cards Changeling: The Dreaming

Autumn People: The Drill Sergeant

The Drill Sergeant isn’t interested in your excuses, your dreams or anything else much about you. He has but one purpose in life, and that’s to turn your cringing civilian ass into a lean, mean (and incidentally, Banal) fighting machine.

He ain’t got time to listen to your complaints, your ideas, your daydreams or anything else. He just wants to get his job done, drink a couple of beers, and go back to his spartan private quarters to masturbate over his picture of Mamie Eisenhower. And his job is teach you what you need to know in order to survive in this man’s army – conformity, submissiveness, how to clean a floor with a toothbrush, homophobia and enough racism not to feel guilty about raping enemy civilians. If you’re really lucky, you may learn some combat skills, but don’t count on it.

The Drill Sergeant isn’t necessarily a bad guy. True, he wants to break your spirit and crush your individuality, but he thinks he’s doing you a favour. After all, he’s a soldier, and you’re just a dumb private – and maybe even a dumb conscript private, at that. What he teaches you is for your own goddam good, goddammit. And if it should happen that he believes suffering improves memory retention, that homophobia is the natural state of all men, that the President is something nobler, purer and finer than normal humans (and never farts), and is, in fact, god incarnate, well, so be it.