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Tabletop Game / Changeling: The Dreaming

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The world is not what it seems to be.
A Storytelling Game of Modern Fantasy.

The tabletop roleplaying game Changeling is the Lighter and Softer aspect of the Old World of Darkness, and has a lot less angst and death. Which got it a lot of derision from players of the other World of Darkness game lines. Changeling: The Dreaming borrows heavily from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and 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 industrialisation 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 Urban Fantasy 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: Growing Up Sucks) 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 want—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 New World of Darkness, Changeling: The Lost, is a Darker and Edgier take on it where Changelings are the more traditional sort of humans that have been kidnapped by The Fair Folk 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, Beast: The Primordial takes up the "living dream" concept from Dreaming, with Beasts being living nightmares who don't have to worry about disbelief. Meanwhile, the concept of the Apollo 11 landing producing enough hopes and dreams in the world to bring about The Magic Comes Back was shamelessly (and possibly coincidentally) swiped by the popular fan gameline Princess: The Hopeful, albeit with Magical Girls instead of faeries.

A 20th anniversary edition of Dreaming was announced at GenCon 2014. A Kickstarter for the core book went live on December 10, 2015, and was fully funded within hours. It went on sale to the public in September 2017.

This game features examples of:

  • Abdicate the Throne: In Book of Lost Houses, the Earthbound members of House Scathach did this collectively and on a metaphysical level, renouncing their status as nobles and undergoing the Changeling Way, which means they're affected by fae magic as if they were commoners. The House actively rejects becoming nobles again; members will only take up a position if they've been chosen by unanimous acclaim from a community's fae, and even then only in the direst circumstances. In the rare event they gain a title, they hold it only so long as they live. However, some Scathach left for the Deep Dreaming rather than undertake the Changeling Way - these Scathach are still metaphysically nobles, and possibly don't share in their Earthbound siblings' rejection of titles. This got retconned out in C20, as establishing the Autumn Sidhe as a separate kith offered another way to handle things.
  • All Therapists Are Muggles: 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...
    • Changeling 20th does provide a little relief, however, in that Anton Stark - the main face of trying to get the changeling condition recognized as a mental illness - has effectively been laughed out of mainstream psychiatry. He's still a threat, though, as he's peddling his theories to the same kind of parents who think you can cure autism through chelation therapy.
  • All Trolls Are Different: 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.
  • Always Chaotic Evil:
    • In earlier editions, Unseelie redcaps were always very nasty. In 20th Anniversary, redcaps in general (Seelie or Unseelie) are rebellious and often thuggish, but not necessarily evil.
    • Thallain are born from nightmares and the dreams of prehuman animals, and their natures are built around base, savage instinct and gluttony. Their dominant Legacy is always a Nightmare Legacy, and their inherent nature is one of selfish desire.note 
  • Animorphism: Many, but pooka are the most well-known.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification:
    • Each kith embodies a particular set of dreams; for example, boggans are dreams of home, work, service and charity, while nockers are dreams of invention, perfectionism, and frustration.
    • Inanimae are fae who embody the elements.
    • Lycians are personifications of inspirational objects, whether physical or abstract.
  • Arcadia: Fabled home of the Kithain, where many seek to return. As the game continues, however, it's strongly indicated Arcadia itself is in trouble.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Redcaps have the power to eat anything they can get into their mouths. The 2e 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.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: The sluagh were enthralled by the culture, manners and fashion of Victorian Britain, and still tend to dress as befitting that period.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Many Seelie redcaps, particularly the original signature redcap Mug. (Unseelie redcaps are just brutes.)
  • Brother–Sister Incest: 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.
  • Changeling Fantasy: 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.
  • The Chessmaster: Some of the older sidhe.
  • The Clan: The fourteen noble Houses of the sidhe, which are evenly divided between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, each House having differing levels of tolerance for a member who follows the opposing Court. The Seelie Houses are Beaumayn, Dougal, Eiluned, Fiona, Gwydion, Liam and Scathach (nominally), while the Unseelie Houses are Aesin, Ailil, Balor, Danaan (nominally), Daireann, Leanhaun and Varich. In first and second edition, there were thirteen Houses, absent Danaan, and consequently Scathach was balanced between the Courts.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: What the Faeries run on, Glamour.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: 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).
    • 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.
      • The By Night Studios LARP rules put a further twist on this, painting the Pooka less as animal trickster and more like oracle gods of nature... who are perceiving so many realities, it's hard for them to tell the exact truth. Nor can they tell exact lies in the hopes that people will get the truth from them ("There is not an army of Nocnitsa marching towards us"). Needless to say, this can frustrate the shit out of the rest of the fae.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: 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 their nature. 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 Crafts or Intimidation, whichever is higher).
  • Crapsaccharine World: Ignore the covers. This game is outright depressing if you read it closely enough. Sure, you're a pixie... pity you're utterly screwed.
  • The Dark Ages: In the vein of the other historically based World of Darkness books, a single rulebook, Dark Ages: Fae was published in 2004. It was very different from C:TD, being much darker and less whimsical, and is in many ways a spiritual predecessor of Changeling: The Lost.
  • Dark Is Not Evil / Light Is Not Good. 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 Fetishists who can nonetheless be rather wistful and romantic in their own moody way.
    • Good is Not Nice / Affably Evil: 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 Bully Hunter that has problems making friends, while a very dark take on The Casanova is presented as a very personable Unseelie satyr in that splat.
  • Depending on the Artist: 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 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 that trolls are muscular and no shorter than eight feet tall.
  • Depending on the Writer: Apart from the Glamour/Banality confusion mentioned below, there was no sort of consensus on just how real chimerical things (sort-of-real objects made from dreams) were in the absence of people unable to perceive them. Would a chimerical wall provide shelter, a chimerical fire warmth, chimerical food nourishment? It varied. A lot.
  • Deus Angst Machina: Rarer in this game line than the others. Because moping will kill you.
  • Dirty Coward: As of C20, this is how Commoner Fae view the Arcadian Sidhe. When Banality came down and all changelings were threatened, the Autumn Sidhe underwent a dangerous ritual that made it so they suffered the same as the commoners they ruled. The Arcadian Sidhe ran, fleeing back into Arcadia and slamming the door shut behind them. The commoners have never forgiven them for abandoning them at the moment of greatest danger.
  • Divine Right of Kings: The Dreaming backs the various noble kiths, setting them above the commoners they rule (as shown by nobles requiring a higher Fae Realm rating to be affected by cantrips). How the commoners react to this, however, varies; for the Western Kithain, most every kith but the Arcadian sidhe grew up in a world where the nobles had retreated to Arcadia, leaving the others in the lurch, and then come back centuries later to reclaim their positions. Which is to say, the sidhe may be the Dreaming-backed rulers, but that doesn't mean the commoners have to approve. Meanwhile, the oba are respected rulers of the eshu, and the Menehune noble kiths, the ali'i and kahuna, are accepted as part of their social framework; it probably helps none of them decided to abandon their subjects.
  • Dream Land: The Dreaming. Changelings live in two worlds at once, the mundane world and the Dreaming. This precarious balance is the core struggle of a Changeling's existence leading to challenges life-threatening and surreal, often both.
  • Eat the Evidence: The redcaps have a proclivity for this given their Bad Attitude Frailty, making them liable to do things requiring evidence to be disposed of, and their Dark Appetite Birthright, allowing them to literally eat anything.
  • The Eeyore: Averted with the sluagh, despite appearances. According to their Kithbook, sluagh are often quite happy with their gloomy lives. Though perceived as the Eeyore, they take great pleasure in the things others find creepy.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Fomorians, ancient enemies of the Tuatha de Dannan, embodiments of the darkness in the human heart... and about as easy to eliminate. Having been sealed in a can long ago (or sealed themselves in a can, in the case of the Green Court), they're now starting to wake up.
  • Elemental Embodiment: The inanimae, the dreams of the elements themselves. There are six prominent inanimae phyla, each representing a different element: glomes (stone), kuberas (plant life), ondines (water), parosemes (air), solimonds (fire), and mannikins (humanoid simulacra).
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Endless Winter. In some of the earlier text, 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. The Dauntain have consistently been seen as welcoming the Endless Winter.
  • Endless Winter: 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 Judgment 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.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Most sourcebooks indicate that the majority of the changelings are bisexual. Which comes in handy when you change bodies every 50 years or so.
  • Evil Is Sexy In-Universe: House Leanhaun gain bonuses to charisma and seduction, and age a year for every week beyond a month's grace period they go without exhausting an artist's creativity, which results in the victim suffering a nervous breakdown at minimum. C20 modifies this so they now age a year every week they don't get Glamour from a Dreamer, whether themselves or others, with Glamour gained from inspiring themselves or an artist reversing it at a rate of one year for every five points gained, Glamour stolen from an artist reversing it at a rate of one year per point, and permanently exhausting an artist's Glamour reversing it at five years per point. Which is to say that if a member of the House falls victim to their curse, they always have quick and harmful options open to them if they want to reverse it.
  • Extra Eyes: The kuino kith all have an additional set of eyes where a human's eyebrows would be.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Redcaps, who can swallow down anything they can stretch their abnormally flexible jaws around. Plenty of Unseelie weaponize it, with the messy consequences you'd expect.
  • The Fair Folk: Less so than in the sequel game, though there are examples. Unseelie redcaps are often vicious, all-devouring monsters, and the Arcadian sidhe of both Courts literally ripped out people's souls so they could obtain host bodies when they returned from Arcadia.
  • Fairy Companion: 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.
  • Fantastic Racism: Generally the sidhe versus everyone else and vice versa.
    • Absolutely no one likes the redcaps. What makes this worse is that unlike the sidhe, there's no big reason the redcaps are so disliked; it's just down to stereotyping.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: A typical villain.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: The satyr kith, with 'faun' being a name for satyr childlings. The kith are incarnations of passion in all its forms, not just wine and sex.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Nockers again; they get along with the Sons of Ether because of this, as the nockers are almost literally personifications of fantastic science.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The boraro kith are the incarnation of this, created in reaction to threats to the wilderness and native South American ways of life.
  • Gothic Punk: It's an early White Wolf game...
  • Grouped for Your Convenience: It's an OWoD game, therefore it has highly significant character-defining Splats — the Kith.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Changelings usually get Brought Down to Normal in their 30s.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Oh so very much. Reading the introduction story to the second edition core is like reading a Coming-Out Story with dragons added. And did we mention that the default first edition Chronicle setting was San Francisco? It's referred to specifically as "The Rainbow City"?
  • Hobbits: Boggans.
  • Horned Humanoid: Trolls and satyrs; it tends to get more pronounced when they get older.
  • Hotter and Sexier: A great deal of attention is paid to various NPCs' sex lives and the sexual practices of the fae.
  • I See Dead People:
    • Sluagh can see Wraiths, if they concentrate. With a bit of Glamour, they can talk with them as well.
    • Llorona instinctively sense when Wraiths are nearby, and with a bit of Glamour can see and talk with them.
  • Ideal Hero: Most Seelie trolls.
  • Imaginary Friend: Some chimera take on this role, accompanying low-Banality kids or childlings around on their adventures.
  • Imagination Destroyer: There are two ways for changelings to gain Glamour (AKA imagination, creativity) by draining it from humans.
    • Ravaging steals Glamour from human beings in a very painful manner. If a human is Ravaged repeatedly and frequently, they can lose all of their Glamour permanently. The Unseelie particularly enjoy this form of feeding.
    • Rhapsody forces a human to create a work of art that completely and permanently drains all Glamour from them. When the work is destroyed the Glamour is gained by the changelings who participated.
  • Leprechaun: In-universe, clurichauns are the basis for mortal stories of leprechauns. They tend to be short (rarely higher than 5' 5"), but not as short as popular leprechaun depictions. They don't wear the stereotypical leprechaun outfit, but they do tend to shades of green in their clothes, along with grays and browns. They do have hoards (at least in C20, where it's their Frailty), but they'll be of whatever the clurichaun's particular thing is.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the rest of the old World of Darkness... at least on first sight.
  • Living Lie Detector: Sidhe of House Gwydion have the inborn ability to always sense when someone is lying or speaking an untruth.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Satyrs. Unseelie satyrs often drop the lovable.
  • Magical Native American: In the context that most cultural spheres have their own changelings (or equivalents, in the case of the hsien). Most Nunnehi are born to mortals with First Nations heritage.
  • Magical Negro: Eshu can be used this way. They are a race of African fae and have a habit of popping in to help solve a problem or impart some critical information and then mysteriously vanishing if they're not 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. (Gypsies are more properly called Roma or Romani.)
    • If you're playing the eshu, it can have the opposite effect: You become a one-changeling In-Universe Spotlight-Stealing Squad.
  • Massive Race Selection: 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 Changeling: The Lost 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 prior to C20 required 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).
    • Just when you thought you were done with that, there were two more kiths that showed up in the French-only supplement Le Monde des Ténèbres: France, the Korred and the Morganed.
    • And just when you thought that was finally it, the 20th anniversary edition not only collected most of the official kiths in one place (excepting only the Nunnehi thought-crafters from Kingdom of Willows), but also gave us the Autumn Sidhe (the Sidhe who have undergone the Changeling Way proper), 2 new Gallain in the form of the Wichtel and the Wolpertinger, 11 new Thallain, and the sample kith in the kith creation section, the domovoi.
    • Then came the C20 Player's Guide, which finally started filling in some of the missing spots on the map, adding 14 new kiths from the Middle East, Africa, and South America (effectively overwriting the Djinn fan-supplement in the process), 4 First Australian Spirit Beings, 4 Lycians (playable chimera), and the swan maidens. That gives a current tally of 37 Kithain, 19 Thallain, 14 Nunnehi, 10 Hsien, 7 Adhene, 6 Inanimae, 4 Menehune, 4 Spirit Beings, and 4 Lycians, for 105 splats... bearing in mind that the C20 Player's Guide regional kiths are explicitly just a sample of kiths from the regions in question, and that India still hasn't been covered.
    • And there's potential for still more if the various kiths namedropped throughout the line ever get followed up on, particularly the Russian kiths from Book of Lost Houses and the C20 core.
    • Taken even further with the fan-made contents on the Storyteller's Vault site, which include numerous additional Kiths, as well as Changeling: Countless Dreams, which intoduces 4 Clades of Countless
  • Meaningful Name: 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 Meaningful Rename.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: See Science Is Bad 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.
  • Meet Cute: The Boggan Kithbook has a merit that lets them invoke this on others, getting the Dreaming to nudge two or more potential romantic or sexual partners together. Whether they ultimately make anything of it, however, is up to them.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Most Changelings are Seelie dominant and generally good, but not necessarily supremely virtuous. Most Unseelie fae are still decent folks. Some Seelie and a few Unseelie are so old-school knightly they might as well be D&D paladins. Seelie and Unseelie villains alike range from operatic Harmless Villain to ruthless Pragmatic Villainy to cannibalistic Blood Knights to Eldritch Abomination-worshipers.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: For all that you 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?
  • Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: House Balor, who are part-Fomorian.
  • The Oath-Breaker: House Liam, for which no other Changeling will honour their hospitality, their justice, or any oaths made with them.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The Redcap sourcebook suggests out-thinking the Sidhe because they'll never expect you to be smart.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Seelie vs Unseelie
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The Morganed and Merfolk Kithain, Murdhuacha (mer-ROO-ka), or Merrow, Thallain, and Yawkyawk Spirit Beings.
  • Power Perversion Potential: 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.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Trolls, both Seelie and Unseelie, though the Unseelie tend to be a bit more pragmatic about things. Seelie Redcaps often tend towards this as well.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Reincarnation makes it moreso.
  • Red Right Hand: All members of House Balor are marked by a supernatural deformity; even those who choose to take titles in the House end up developing them as part of their initiation.
  • Sad Clown: The Pooka. Beneath the surface of even the most playful and mirthful Pooka's behavior is ancient, deep-seated pain and heartbreak over Banality's path of destruction through everything they hold dear in the natural world—and on top of that, they must endure the constant struggle of misunderstanding and lack of respect from their fellow Kithain.
  • Science Destroys Magic: The original editions tend to assume science is fae-smothering Banality, though the Nockers might disagree (indeed, the largest infusion of Glamour in recent history was due to the moon landing).
  • Science Is Bad: 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 and 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 Nunnehi 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.
    • With C20, this is gleefully abandoned. Banality is actually a restrictive force on science, as it stifles creativity of all kinds, including technical innovation. Technocrats are still walking tempests of Banality, but that's because of their xenophobic fear and hatred of everything irrational and unquantified, rather than being scientists.
  • Screw You, Elves!: 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 how awesome they were and how they could be that awesome again if only the commoner fae realized that 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 screw you to one Sidhe is often a compliment to their rivals.
      • In C20, this tends to be directed towards the Arcadian Sidhe, with the Autumn Sidhe being treated very respectfully. Justified, in that the Arcadian Sidhe ran away.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: Specifically, the Selkie Kith. Unlike other Kithain, however, they don't reincarnate; instead, their fae soul is in their seal coat, which they pass on to a chosen heir.
  • Shout-Out: Numerous ones, usually to Neil Gaiman.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: What you get when Sluagh fall in love.
  • Skin Walker: Introduced as a Thallain kith in C20.
  • Snake People: Fu hsi and sachamama can both assume a half-human half-snake form, and some of the members of the merfolk's House Melusine have sea snakes as their lower halves. And, of course, the odd (very odd) Pooka.
  • The Social Expert: Boggans have the supernatural ability to instinctively know how people relate to one another. Good for exploiting someone's hatred, say, or blackmailing the man trying to pass his mistress off as his daughter. Clurichaun have a variant on this in that they focus their expertise solely on starting friendly brawls.
  • Sourcebook
  • Space Jews: The Nockers, many of whom actually are Jewish. The rest just act that way. The Jews were the Nockers' patron peoples during early history.
  • Splat: Being an OWoD game, Changeling has a set of very significant Splats, the Kith.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: The dreams that spawned the sluagh, and a role some of them continue to play in the modern day. There are also Nocnitsa, chimera that specifically reflect human fears and nightmares.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Interestingly, the Kith creation segment of C20 brings up the idea of playing a reformed Thallain, Dauntain, or dark-kin. Nowhere else in the book suggests this is possible, but it does raise some interesting questions.
  • Uplifted Animal: The Arcadian sidhe's return in 1969 triggered a wave of Glamour that among other things catapulted the wolpertinger from chimera to Kithain (reflecting their Adaptation Species Change from their original sourcebook to C20).
  • Walking the Earth: The Eshu and Piskies.
  • Weirdness Censor: 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.
  • Winged Humanoid: Swan maidens, alicanto and lilinot. None of them can use their wings to fly by default, but swan maidens and lilinot can buy the Winged Merit at reduced cost.
  • World Half Empty