[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Concordia_3219.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The world is not what it seems to be.]]
''A Storytelling Game of Modern Fantasy.''

The tabletop roleplaying game ''Changeling'' was the LighterAndSofter aspect of the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness, [[GenreShift and had a lot less angst and death.]] [[TrueArtIsAngsty That got it a lot of derision from players]] of the other [[TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness World of Darkness]] game lines. ''Changeling: The Dreaming'' borrowed heavily from Neil Gaiman's ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' and ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}''.

In ''Changeling'', players take on the role of a Changeling Fae - a faerie who has been reincarnated into a human body as protection from Banality, a force representing the loss of humanity's capacity to dream and believe in magic. Faeries are children of the Dreaming, a supernatural force/parallel universe representing the combined creativity, stories, hopes, dreams and emotions of mankind, both good and bad. The Age of Enlightenment forced most Faeries into hiding because of the rise of science and Faeries band together to eke out an existence trying to bring Glamour and magic back into the world. (Interestingly, it was the moon landing in 1969, not {{Woodstock}}, which brought about such a surge of Glamour that it threw open the closed Gates of Arcadia, if only for a moment, and allowed the disappeared fairy nobility, the Sidhe, to re-enter the world of mortals. Where they were stuck in mortal bodies afterwards.)

''Changeling: The Dreaming'' is a work of split opinions. Some people think it a great UrbanFantasy game that provides a little light in the rest of the World of Darkness; others view it as a game that's too simplistic in its themes (see: GrowingUpSucks) and sometimes twee to a fault. It doesn't help that the game line itself has so many ways to go, you have little idea what the authors wanted--a fable on the death of childhood innocence? A game of raging against the dying of the light? An urban fantasy game about balancing the fantastic and the mundane? The commonly derided "bear and balloons" illustration near the start of the 2nd edition core book didn't exactly help matters.

The sequel for the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness, ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'', is a DarkerAndEdgier take on it where Changelings are the more traditional sort of humans that have been kidnapped by TheFairFolk and have managed to escape their clutches. While ''Lost'' can be as divisive as ''Dreaming'', it is at least clear about the authors' direction. The tone of ''Changeling: The Dreaming'' and ''Wraith: The Oblivion'' were basically swapped in the new World of Darkness for ''Geist: The Sin Eaters'' and ''Changeling: The Lost''.

Elsewhere in the [=NWoD=], ''TabletopGame/BeastThePrimordial'' takes up the 'living dream' concept from ''Dreaming'', with Beasts being living nightmares who don't have to worry about disbelief.

A 20th anniversary edition of ''Dreaming'' was announced at [=GenCon=] 2014, to be developed by Matthew [=McFarland=].
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!!This game features examples of:
* AllTherapistsAreMuggles: While there are a few exceptions among the Kithain, it says a lot that there are groups dedicated to jail-breaking institutionalized changelings before they get "treated" back into dormancy. And that's to say nothing of the Dauntain in the profession...
* AllTrollsAreDifferent: These trolls are badass warriors whose existence is defined by honor and oaths. Their Thallain equivalents, the Ogres, are even more powerful but dumb as stumps.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Unseelie redcaps are always, ''always'' nasty. Then there are the Thallain, variants on the other kiths with a bend towards the dark. To explain: Most changelings have a Seelie (noble) nature and an Unseelie (base) nature. Thallain have ''two'' Unseelie natures instead.
* {{Animorphism}}: Many, but the pooka are the most well-known.
* {{Arcadia}}
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The redcaps have the power to eat anything they can get into their mouths. The rulebook notes however:
-->Digesting something particularly vile or tough (such as wood, steel, romance novels or toxic waste) requires the expenditure of a point of Glamour.
* AtlantisIsBoring: The merfolk.
* AwesomeAnachronisticApparel: The sluagh were enthralled by the culture, manners and fashion of Victorian Britain, and still tend to dress as befitting that period.
* BadassGrandpa: Most changelings grow weaker as they grow older, especially those who rely on magic. Trolls, though, also grow weaker magically but keep growing stronger physically.
* BoisterousBruiser: Many Seelie redcaps, particularily the signature redcap Mug. (Unseelie redcaps are just [[TheBrute brutes]].)
* BrotherSisterIncest: Implied in the backgrounds of Sidhe Houses Eiluned and Ailil. At least, that's one way to read the line "... they shared love closer than that of siblings."
* {{Catgirl}}: A very popular and appropriate theme for pooka (to the verge of being cliche). There's also an entire kith of catgirls (and boys!), the nyan, among the Eastern fae.
* ChangelingFantasy: It's right there in the title. Jimmy from Pittsburgh can discover that he's really a 500-year old troll King. That doesn't change the fact that he lives on the street in a dumpster and is considered mentally ill by normal people.
* TheChessmaster: Some of the older sidhe.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: What the Faeries run on, Glamour.
* CloudCuckooLander: The Kithain in general have this, at least compared to the rest of the denizens of the World of Darkness; very few take them seriously (apart from some older vampires and the werewolves, who know them better) precisely because of their oddness. Even the most sensible and savvy troll happens to live their life with a supernatural form of schizophrenia (owing to the general focus on the not-quite-there realm of the Dreaming).
** The pooka are an entire kith of this. Their innate Frailty is the inability to say the complete truth (barring extremely simple concepts such as orders or an exertion of willpower), causing them to generally speak in odd ways or patterns, leading to this trope.
* ClusterFBomb: The Nockers traditionally do this as a matter of anger management; they were born from dreams of creation and frustration, so it's quite literally InTheBlood. Their Splatbook flavor narration mentions that one Nocker crafted a stone that would absorb their collective cussing provided they periodically journeyed to it and swore until they felt better, backfiring when one Nocker girl swore so hard that she broke it and caused a massive backlash. In less flavor-related terms, Nockers also possess the native power to fix machines by swearing at them, using the higher of the Crafts and Intimidation.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Ignore the covers. This game is outright depressing if you read it closely enough. Sure, you're a pixie... pity you're ''utterly screwed''.
* DarkIsNotEvil / LightIsNotGood: Seelie are not automatically good, nor are Unseelie automatically evil (though fae of either court often are anyway). Of particular note are the sluagh, a race of brooding, spidery {{Nightmare Fetishist}}s who can nonetheless be rather wistful and romantic in their own moody way.
** GoodIsNotNice / AffablyEvil: Related, even if a character is played as a good Seelie or an evil Unseelie, this isn't to say that they're going to be automatically everyone's best friend or a repellent foe, respectively. For example, a Seelie Redcap is depicted in that splat as a foul-tempered BullyHunter that has problems making friends, while a very dark take on TheCasanova is presented as a very personable Unseelie Satyr in that splat.
* DependingOnTheArtist: The illustrations of the Kithain go all over the place. Early on in the line, redcaps were generally shown to have flat teeth (presumably because that kind of bite is more unsettling), but later, they were shown to have [[MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily shark-type teeth.]] Female trolls got this a lot; they were almost always simply drawn as blue women who were slightly taller than average and not especially strong-looking, in spite of the fact [[AmazonianBeauty that trolls are muscular]] and [[StatuesqueStunner no shorter than eight feet tall.]]
* DeusAngstMachina: Rarer in this game line than the others.
** Because moping will kill you.
* DreamLand
* TheEeyore: The sluagh.
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: Endless Winter. In some of the earlier text, the redcaps were actively trying to encourage it, though their Kithbook dropped this notion; the redcap narrator views it as an inevitable thing and doesn't see the point of doing anything one way or the other.
* EndlessWinter: See above. It's probably not endless, but may seem that way to fae trapped on Earth, as it suggests the 6th Age will be utterly barren for changelings. Their chapter of the ''Time of Judgement'' apocalypse book is also named this.
** Prior to the announcement of the 20th anniversary edition, the term could also be seen as a darkly ironic one on a meta-level, with the line ending well before most of the classic WOD.
* EveryoneIsBi: Most sourcebooks indicate that the majority of the Changelings are bisexual. Which comes in handy when you change bodies every 50 years or so.
* EvilIsSexy InUniverse: House Leanhaun gain bonuses to charisma and seduction and age a year for every full month they go without exhausting an artist's creativity, which results in the victim suffering a nervous breakdown at minimum.
* ExtremeOmnivore: The redcaps, who could swallow down anything they can stretch their abnormally flexible jaws around. Plenty of Unseelie weaponize it, with the messy consequences you'd expect.
* TheFairFolk: Less so than in the sequel game, though there are examples. Unseelie Redcaps are often vicious, all-devouring monsters, and the sidhe of both Courts literally ripped out people's souls so they could obtain host bodies when they returned from Arcadia.
* FairyCompanion: Most of the player characters. Becomes pretty literal in crossover games, or from an in-universe perspective of another supernatural splat that happens to be an ally or friend of a changeling.
* FantasticRacism: Generally the sidhe and everyone else and vice versa.
* FantasyForbiddingFather: A typical villain.
* GadgeteerGenius: Nockers again; they get along with the [[ScienceHero Sons of Ether]] because of this, as the Nockers are almost literally personifications of fantastic science.
* GothicPunk
* GrowingUpSucks: Changelings usually get BroughtDownToNormal in their 30's.
* HaveYouTriedNotBeingAMonster: Oh so very much. Reading the introduction story to the sourcebook is like reading a ComingOutStory with dragons added.
** Did we mention that the default Chronicle setting is in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco? Referred to specifically as "The Rainbow City"?
* {{Hobbits}}: Boggans.
* HornedHumanoid: Trolls and satyrs; it tends to get more pronounced when they get older.
* HotterAndSexier: A great deal of attention is paid to various [=NPCs'=] sex lives and the sexual practices of the fae.
* ISeeDeadPeople: Sluagh can see wraiths, if they concentrate. With a bit of Glamour, they can talk with them as well.
* IdealHero: Most seelie trolls.
* ImaginaryFriend: Some chimera take on this role, accompanying low-Banality kids or childlings around on their adventures.
* LighterAndSofter: Compared to the rest of the old World of Darkness... at least on first sight.
* LivingLieDetector: Sidhe of House Gwydion have the inborn ability to always sense when someone was lying or speaking an untruth.
* LovableSexManiac: The satyrs. Unseelie satyrs often drop the lovable.
* MagicalNegro: The Eshu could be used this way. They were a race of African fae and had a habit of popping in to help solve a problem or impart some critical information and then mysteriously vanishing if they weren't a PC.
** This doesn't stop a lot of players from playing Irish Gaelic- or Gypsy-styled Eshu or more; the splatbook states that there are now Eshu from all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.
** If you're ''playing'' the Eshu, it can have the opposite effect: You become a one-changeling InUniverse SpotlightStealingSquad.
* MassiveRaceSelection: Faerie races include the European Kithain (16, plus 8 Thallain), Native American Nunnehi (14), elemental Inanimae (6), Pacific Menehune (4), East Asian Hsien (10), Arabic Djinn (a fan work endorsed by the writers; 6), and the dark Adhene (7). There are over ''70'' different splats, not counting the potential for Australian, South American, Indian, and African fae (beyond the eshu) had the line been allowed to continue, which might have pushed that number towards 100. Each race has their own sets of rules, which keeps them separate from the others (plus geography). This is probably why ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' only establishes the base archetypes and lets players take it from there.
** A word of warning for completists: because new splats could pop up seemingly at random, collecting all available ''Dreaming'' splats requires ''15'' books and a fan web supplement (a 1e or 2e corebook, ''Immortal Eyes: The Toybox'', ''Immortal Eyes: Shadows on the Hill'', ''Immortal Eyes: Court of All Kings'', ''Isle of the Mighty'', ''The Fool's Luck'', ''Kithbook: Redcaps'', ''Kithbook: Eshu'', ''World of Darkness: Blood-Dimmed Tides'', ''The Shadow Court'', ''Changeling Players Guide'', ''Kingdom of Willows'', ''Inanimae: The Secret Way'', ''Land of Eight Million Dreams'', ''Denizens of the Dreaming'', and web supplement ''Djinn: Of Smokeless Fire'').
** And just when you thought you were done with that, there were two more kith that showed up in the French-only supplement ''Le Monde des Tenebres: France'', the Korred and the Morganed.
* MeaningfulName: Examples include David Ardry (see: Ard Righ), High King of Concordia. Since changelings don't tend to use their ''truest'' names, these may connect with MeaningfulRename.
* MeasuringTheMarigolds: See ScienceIsBad below.
** Of course, given Changeling's somewhat schizoid nature, even this was subverted on a few occasions. One book had a Boggan who made his living as an accountant; by all rights, this should have had his fae soul halfway to dormancy, but he took such ''joy'' in the potential of numbers and sums that he actually derived Glamour from his living.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: For all that you [[CantArgueWithElves can't argue with elves]], the Sidhe appear to be responsible for a ''lot'' of the bad in the world. The Leanhaun did the Rapturing that turned the mortals against the fae, though they blame the Liam sidhe who spurred the curse; the founder of House Fiona accidentally caused the human vs. Garou feud to continue 'til the End Times by falling for the wrong human and handing his people silver-as-a-weapon; Arcadia is supposedly in ruins because the fleeing sidhe brought Banality with them during the Sundering, and 'dark evils' followed the sidhe ''back'' to Earth from the Dreaming in the '60s. Noblesse Oblige, or an epic case of You Broke It, You Fix It?
* ObfuscatingStupidity: The Redcap sourcebook suggests out-thinking the Sidhe because they'll never expect you to be smart.
* OrderVersusChaos: Seelie vs Unseelie
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: The Kithain merfolk and Thallain murdhuacha (mer-ROO-ka).
* PowerPerversionPotential: The satyrs are this distilled.
** There is a stat for every type of thing you might target with your powers. Prop covers targeting artificial objects. With Prop 1 you can only target your powers at ''clothing''.
*** And then using Wayfare 5 you can teleport your target.
** Averted with Soothsay 3. This is a scry power which allows you to see things you can target and nothing else. If you can target people but not animals and one person throws a rattlesnake at another, the snake remains invisible. However, the power works by using Prop to target an object in order to see what is going on around it. This means you must have, at very least, Prop 1, meaning that if people are wearing clothes you can see their clothes.
** The Sluagh kithbook's physical merits all seem to be well suited for a wild night. Overly long tongue? Dexterous toes? Ability to become a puddle? All have their perverted uses. It's a good thing the kith is the least likely to be using these.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The trolls, both Seelie and Unseelie, though the Unseelie tend to be a bit more pragmatic about things. Seelie redcaps often tend to this as well.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Reincarnation makes it moreso.
* ScienceDestroysMagic: Changeling: The Dreaming tends to assume science is Fae-smothering Banality, though the Nockers might disagree (indeed, the largest infusion of Glamour in recent history was the moon landing).
* ScienceIsBad: Every time you perform an experiment in a laboratory, a faerie dies. OK, well, that's an exaggeration, but still part of the main theme.
** Then again, the line could be... split on this theme (hell, it was split on a ''lot'' of themes). The Nocker Kithbook emphasized, as only a nocker can (with lots of swears and at great volume), that the return of the Sidhe to Earth, the result of one of the greatest rushes of Glamour changeling kind had experienced in recent history, was a result of the awe and wonder derived from the first moon landing.
*** Unfortunately, the game line was cancelled before the ''Book of Glamour'', which according to Justin Achilli was almost finished, could be published by Arthaus under the White Wolf license. It was supposed to spell out more clearly that for different changelings glamour and banality can come in many different flavours, and what might constitute utter banality for, say, a more traditionally minded Sidhe or Native American changeling may be a source of glamour for a Nocker, and what might taste like glamour to an Unseelie Sluagh might feel utterly vile to a Satyr or Boggan.
*** This makes sense when considered with the Nocker kithbook, where the only 'mages' the Nockers mention are the Sons of Ether/Brethren of Aether, whom they think are pretty awesome (insofar as Nockers can think of anyone as awesome) and the Technocracy/Hidden Ones, who don't seem to worry the Nockers anyway.
** It gets especially silly when the game designers claimed that Awakened mages and insane marauders can be a source of glamour, but Awakened Technocrats are always banality incarnate. What, Awakened technocrats are all mindless drones, incapable of feeling personal joy and awe at the universe and unable to inspire others with the Wonders of Science?
*** Not so much "incapable of feeling personal joy and awe at the universe's myriad mysteries, and unable to inspire others with the Wonders of Science," as it is that the Technocrats ''don't believe'' that what they do is really magic. They have to have a rational explanation for ''everything'' - and that tends to be deadly for the more inherently magical things, since 'rational' prohibits a world where dragons exist and turns unicorns into mutant horses.
*** Plus they literally kill fae with their disbelief, so all they see is some lunatic having a seizure.
* ScrewYouElves: It seems like every other sentence written about the Sidhe is that everyone hates them.
** Then again, every ''other'' sentence is the Sidhe talking about [[CulturalPosturing how awesome they were]] and how they could be that awesome again if only the commoner fae realized that [[CantArgueWithElves the Sidhe were right all along]]...
*** Of course it varies from Sidhe to Sidhe. An argument condemning say a House Gwydion lord wouldn't apply to a member of House Liam and certainly not to a member of House Leanhaun. A [[ScrewYouElves screw you]] to one Sidhe is often a compliment to their rivals.
* SelkiesAndWereseals
* ShoutOut: Numerous ones, usually to Creator/NeilGaiman.
* SickeninglySweethearts: What you get when sluagh fall in love.
* {{Sourcebook}}
* SpaceJews: The nockers, many of whom actually are Jewish. [[YiddishAsASecondLanguage The rest just act that way.]] The Jews were the Nockers' patron peoples during early history.
* {{Splat}}
* WalkingTheEarth: The Eshu.
* WeirdnessCensor: Mundanes naturally forget the supernatural influences of changelings, or else rationalise them away. Enchanted, they can see and interact with the full set, but once the enchantment wears off they forget some, and think they imagined others.
* WorldHalfEmpty

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