The completeist in me wants to get around to reviewing all of the Changeling
the Lost products. I’ve done all of the core books, which brings me to some
of the secondary materials available for the line. White Wolf’s done a decent
job of supporting their lines with additional pdf only materials. The
substantial Goblin Markets and Victorian Lost
pdfs expanded the line. As well a number of the more general WoD books (like Glimpses of the Unknown) can easily be used with Changeling. Today I’m
looking at Personae, a collection of NPCs intended to be used as
ready-made PCs for a group.
The actual pdf’s only 28 pages long, done in the same layout style as the rest
of the CtL line. It’s actually a little more open here- with slightly more
white space which makes sense given the utility approach. The writing’s decent,
a mix of player and GM facing material which can easily be disentangled. The
art work consists of sigils from the core book and illustrations for each of
the five characters presented. These are OK, with only one of them really
grabbing me. A while back I’d had someone suggest that Changeling the Lost
seemed too “New Mutants” to them. It was an observation I didn’t get; I
hadn’t gotten that impression from the series. However these images here do
echo that for me. They look like a team of Morlock heroes from the X-Men
or something like that. It doesn’t help that one of the PCs looks a lot like
Storm (pose and all).
This is a short book, with a nice cover showing all five of the characters. The
first page and a have defines the background of the Motley formed by these
Changelings, calling itself “Personae.” This is fairly basic and thin, a decent
introduction of the players. It may be a little too much for a one-shot, but it
you were running a couple of sessions or a mini-series, to introduce people it
might be useful.
Each character gets a two-page overview. This covers the usual quotes, virtue,
vice, background, description, and roleplaying hints. Two versions of the
characters sheets are provided for each Changeling: starting and seasoned.
That’s a nice touch. The character choices are fairly basic, or at least none
really surprised me except the first. You have Romeo, a Mirrorskin Darkling;
Aslan, a Hunterheart Beast; Keridwen, a Wizened Chiurgeon; The Hunchback, a
Farwalker Oge; and Nicola, a Snowskin Elemental.
The last five pages of the book are Storyteller-oriented. I like having some
commentary material on hand. In particular there’s some important commentary on
the shared themes which can join together a Motley in a CtL campaign. There’s
an extensive analysis of the possible options for GM’s who have to reduce the
number of characters in the Motley (as with fewer players) or add more. Here’s
where the book really shows its aim, going over advice in detail which a GM
with a few games under their belt wouldn’t worry about. There’s clearly the
aspiration for this material to be used by new Changeling Storytellers.
The last part of the supplement offers three interesting plot hooks for each of
the characters, some quite interesting and inspired. A novice ST could easily
run several sessions just from these.
This obviously aims to allow a new GM to simply pick up and start running a Changeling
game. At least in our group, I can only imagine these being used for a one-shot
or really short run campaign where you want to try out the mechanics or a
particular module (like The
Fear-Maker's Promise which the text has a couple of ties to). In most
other cases, given the cool toolbox of the setting, I would want the players to
make up their own characters and I expect they would want to as well. As a ST
resource, you might be able to present the characters as a rival motley, but
you’d probably want to do some tuning to make them more engaging from the
Personae on RPGNow.