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Changeling: The Lost
 
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Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Changeling: The Lost
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Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/09/2014 17:51:09
Changeling was the 5th game launched under the “new” version of the World of Darkness from White Wolf Game Studio. It is partially a re-imagining of Changeling: the Dreaming and a chance for White Wolf to explore myth and legend in new ways. This game deviates much more from its predecessor than Vampire: the Requiem does from Vampire: the Masquerade. Sure, there are a few familiar terms in this version of Changeling, but the game is very, very different from the Dreaming.

In Lost, the characters are victims of the True Fae, having been abducted or seduced into service of these other-worldly beings. The Fae often replace the victim with a Fetch (a Fae creation that effectively assumes the role the character would have had in the mortal world). While in Arcadia the characters fill any number of roles for their masters, servants, lovers, slaves, pawns and decorations in the endless imaginations of The Others.
All of the Lost have managed somehow to escape Arcadia and returned to the world of mortals. They find however, that the world has moved on without them and they no longer really fit into their old lives anymore. Not only have usually not been missed (because of the Fetch that replaced them), but they are now not fully human anymore. Their time in the world of the Fae has altered them with magic and left the mark of the fairy world on them in fundamental ways.

Changeling: the Lost offers up a ton of setting information early on. The first chapter is full of rich detail in regards to the Fae, the life of a Changeling as a servant to these inhuman beings and the lives they attempt to lead now that they have escaped. The balance they attempt to hold between their lives as Lost and the world of the mortals around them is a constant struggle. This is an important element throughout the book, even during the mechanics portion of the game. The Changeling specific mortality Trait called Clarity, for example, is literally the Changeling’s ability to perceive the differences between the mundane and the magical (i.e. mortal and fairy). Much of this early setting information is expanded upon later in the book with the Storytelling System mechanics in later chapters.

Creating characters in Changeling takes a little bit of work, but only because there are so many options. Starting out with the Attributes, Skills and Specialties in the core World of Darkness book is the “easy” part, the real fun begins with the Changeling specific elements that are offered.

At first glance the Seasonal Courts, which make up the political aspect of the setting are fairly straightforward. Summer Court are hotheads who have powers over Wrath and the Winter Court are “cold” and sad. This is only at first glance however, as each of the Courts have advantages and disadvantages for membership. There is plenty of information on each of the Courts and I immediately had several story ideas for my next game. Like Vampire: the Requiem, there is an option for characters to strike out on their own and not sign up with one of the courts (or in the case of vampire, not joining a Covenant).
I actually found that it was easier to choose a character’s Seeming than deciding which of the Courts to align with. Basically, a Seeming tells you what kind of fae your character has become. Whether you are a creature of the night like the Darklings or a pretty little member of the Fairest or even a big bad Ogre usually depends on just why you were taken to Arcadia to begin with and what type of life your character had while they were serving the Others. While there are six different types of Seeming, each of them has a handful of Kith options to further customize your character.

Contracts are the supernatural powers the Fae and the Lost use to affect the world around them. There are a lot of them offered in this book. There are the General Contracts that all changelings have access to, there are also Contracts based on the character’s Seeming and Contracts based on specific Seasonal Courts and last, but certainly not least are the Goblin Contracts. Most Contracts work in a fairly basic World of Darkness fashion, there are five levels of power each with a cost, applicable Dice Pool and Roll Results handily laid out for the Player and Storyteller alike to reference. A great addition to this game is the Catch. Catches are neat options for the character to “get out of” paying the cost (usually Glamour and/or Willpower) of using the power. An example would be to have the token of your enemy given freely to the character.

Between the General, Seeming and Seasonal Contracts there are ton of options for players to arm their characters with and I would have been happy with that big list. The strange little Goblin Contracts are a great extra detail that really adds to the game. They are a twist on the concept of Contracts without breaking the system in any way. Instead of a path of similar powers that get more powerful with experience Goblin Contracts are individual boons that come with a cost, they are ranked depending on how powerful they are. One example is Fair entrance, which allows the character to freely enter any door (disabling alarms and/or locks), but the cost is that their own dwelling will face a similar problem when someone attempts to gain access.

There are a ton of new rules for the Storytelling System in the book, but really, no more than in any of the other core books. These new rules cover the Changeling specific elements of the setting such as Pledges, Tokens, Trifles and how to craft them in your game. There are handy side-bars throughout the book with examples and charts to make understanding the new rules easy for everyone. There are plenty of story hooks throughout these sections of the book and clever little additions to the setting. The Stingseed, for example, is a Trifle which adds extra dice penalties to the victim of bullet wound until the damage from the wound is healed. A character willing to go looking for these seeds just might have an adventure or two during the hunt, is the bonus worth the risk?

There is a lot of information offered to the Storyteller in the form of antagonists, story ideas, helpful information about Fetches and more throughout the end of the book. Types of Lost, mortals and True Fae are some of the varied antagonists offered, each with storytelling hints and stats ready to play. Goblin Markets get their own section with plenty of useful information and even a few optional rules to keep things interesting.
As if Seasonal Court, Seeming and Kith were not enough options for your Changeling character, in the first Appendix of the book are Entitlements. Entitlements are Noble Orders within changeling society offering up various advantages to the character for membership in the order. Some of these advantages are supernatural, some are social and of course, there are a few disadvantages as well. There are nine Orders offered in the appendix and handy rules for creating new Orders should the Storyteller and Players wish to do so.

Appendix two is a guidebook to the Freehold of Miami. This is a ready-to-go setting with a short history of the city from the changeling point-of-view, plenty of politics between the Courts and several prominent characters. This is the same setting as the free Changeling: the Lost Demo and creepy/cool Fear-Maker’s Promise which also offer up NPCs and setting details for Storytellers’ to use if they like Miami.

Changeling: the Lost is a very different game than Changeling: the Dreaming. Some of the terminology may be similar but each book explores fairy tales in a different way and offer up very different types of games. Some fans will want to compare the two games, others will look at Lost as something new and original. I’m a fan of both games. Changeling: the Lost is an amazing book, full of great writing and tons of story elements.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by Sara R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/30/2012 23:15:09
With Changeling updated now, the book has bookmarks, although they are not organized as plainly as Vampire, Mage, Promethean, or Werewolf, they are easy enough to follow, and there are enough of them to quick reference the book during play, so really, the way it's organized is a small slight, one I can hope they update in the future, but I'd be dishonest if I gave the book any less than five stars now.

I have little to say about the sourcebook itself that hasn't already been, said and a biased lense to view it through. I am already a fan of Faeries in folklore and in fiction, and of stories involving urban fantasy and modern magic. The darkly paranoid but beautiful style of changeling appeals to me more than mage the awakening, and the edgy way the game is presented makes it easy to draw not just intensely creepy, or tragic stories, but really any flavor of roleplaying from the uplifting to the traumatizing could be drawn from it without deviating from the game's canon very much or even at all.

For me this game makes the core of my New World of Darkness experience which all the other game lines supplant.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/17/2012 14:11:48
Changeling the Lost is one of the all time stars of the New World of Darkness.

Changeling the Lost is a book crammed packed with story potential, with some of the creepiest gameplay ever. While other games focus on the horror of what people have become, be it a Vampire, a Werewolf, or a power mad Mage, Changeling looks at the creeping paranoia of a being a Changeling, a person who was taken by the Fae, and who has now return to Earth, some how escaping her captivity.

In the game you play people, taken away by the Fae, for strange reasons, and return to the world changed by their durance. They have new abilities, and have to cope with a world where time has flowed differently to how they have experience it, or worse, where they have been replaced.

A changeling's life then is a struggle to find one's life again, reconciling their strange nature, and dealing with the maddening influence of the Fae on how they now see reality.

The rules themselves are fairly standard for a White Wolf game, with only Pledges being a little tricky. The character options really offer a lot of different ways to play the game, and with so many other rules for exploring dreams, the Hedge, and magical trinkets, you will find it hard to exhaust the book in a single chronicle.

If you want a game where fairytales are real, and very very creepy. This is it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by Douglas E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/08/2011 10:13:55
This source book is just plain amazing. I love what White Wolf has done with their new system and in particular the overhaul of Changeling has just been incredible. The feel of the game and systems in place are interesting without being unwieldy or overly complex. In particular I like their addition of the Hedge which serves as a "umbra"-esque world of madness and dream which the Changelings must counterbalance with the more human lives they nostalgically wish to return to (but alas cannot).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by Daniel M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2009 15:49:13
Wow. This is definitely the best of the new World of Darkness "settings". It not only makes sense to portray the Fairies as the dark creatures they are in most of Europe's mythologies ... it also adds so much depth and so many possibilities for storytellers and players. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Still the caveat: this PDF is extremely heavy at _90MB and does stress Acrobat quite a lot.
So the contents gets 6 stars, the PDF gets only 1 ... makes 4 in the end ... ;c)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by Daniel A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/24/2008 11:46:55
I'm pleased to report that, having just downloaded the current updated version of the Changeling PDF, I find that not only has it been integrated into a single file, it has also been slimmed down to a more reasonable 92 megabytes.

My only remaining complaint is that the bookmarks in the file are quite sparse. Nevertheless, I now recommend this product.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by jesse n. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2008 23:24:42
I purchased this a few hours ago and was initially skeptical based on the negative reviews about the presentation in the digital format. I was extremely turned off by the idea of it being broken into 3 files, but the things I'd read about the actual setting, rules and quality of the material overall won out and I bought it.

And I am glad I did.

The very first (and one of the best) thing I noticed was that there was an option to download the entire book as one file. Awesome. Primary concern null and void.

The rest of it is great. The short fiction that establishes the setting is good and compelling and setting itself is beautiful and terrifying in equal measure. In short, it is what it says it is... and does what it says it does.

Bravo to White Wolf for producing this book - and Bravo to Drivethru for hearing the concerns of the people and providing the product in a form that they wanted.

5 Stars all the way.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/16/2008 08:42:41
The limited run game that has become White Wolf's best selling hit. In Changeling you play one of the Lost, a human abducted and made to serve the Others or Fae. You have escaped and now you have managed to cross the horrors and beauty of the Hedge to discover that something was left behind that looks like you. This "thing" is a construct or fetch that has stolen your life and you soon discover its also the reason why no one missed you, despite the fact that you've spent 25 years slaving for the Lords of Arcadia. When they discover you are missing (unless they have already done so) they are going to want you back and will take you kicking and screaming to the nightmare beauty of Arcadia. You can only hope that other Changelings like you can band together to survive and avoid retribution.

Welcome to a game of beautiful madness. Welcome to Changeling the Lost.

Originally slated to have 5 books to its limited run, this game is now on its 8th book and White Wolf has announced two more (Dusk and Dawn).

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by John C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/07/2007 18:38:56
This book is a monster! I've gotten used to a PDF from White Wolf weighing in at about 30 meg. That's a reasonable size. This one is 6 times that! And split into 3 chunks to make it "managable". Ouch. Suddenly the 2gig pen drive I carry White Wolf gaming stuff around on doesn't quite look good enough. And it's slow to render in the Acrobat Reader - and that's not a feature of the computer, 3gig of RAM and the fastest OS on the planet and you can still see the individual layers of the page being laid out, slowly) before your very eyes. They've missed out some serious optimisation of the files here. I'd love to get them into Acrobat Pro and see just how small you can actually make this bad boy.

On the plus side, the actual content is fantastic. Liked the old changeling, *love* the new one. Something about it being a limited-run game is making them really get focussed on what to include and what to miss out. I like knowing that by this time next year, all the official Changeling books that are going to be published will have been, and we're not going to be waiting for that final Kithbook to hit the shelves before the next edition of the game gets published.

Once you've managed to download the files, this is worth every penny, sorry, cent.

But. I'd like to see a print friendly version of this. It'd take too long to go through and screenshot the artwork, even if pdftohtml can get the text (and keep the layout) for me.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
Publisher: White Wolf
by Benjamin G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/21/2007 19:37:20
Content: Well worth the money, all in all my favorite nWoD line yet, and worlds beyond oWoD changeling in both playability and tone.

PDF: Enormous for no apparent reason, the digital equivalent of a large print addition bound in lead sheets.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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