Changeling Backgrounds

Changelings use Backgrounds taken from page 168-172 of Changeling the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition. Some Changeling variants, such as the Hsien, have a few other special Backgrounds which are noted in the Changeling character creation guide. In addition to all the general Backgrounds described above, all Changelings have access to the following unique Backgrounds:


Chimera includes both chimerical items and chimerical companions. The player must designate one or both of these variations on the character sheet. This Background may have up to five dots in both versions. For more information on chimerical items, creating a companion from the points provided by the Background, and examples, see Chapter Seven: The Dreaming.

Chimerical Items

Every changeling’s voile, his chimerical clothing, forms to suit him upon his Chrysalis. The Chimera Background represents any chimerical items in his possession beyond this. The item’s usefulness and power determine the rating for this Background. Each dot represents one rank on the threshold chart under “Creating Chimerical Items” on p. 317.

• You own a chimerical memento or conversation piece (Basic crafting).
•• Your chimerical item conveys some useful benefit (Advanced crafting).
••• You have a moderately powerful chimerical item (Complex crafting).
•••• You own a powerful chimerical item (Masterworkcrafting).
••••• Your chimerical item is legendary (Legendary crafting).

Chimerical Creatures

Companions are living chimera either born of unconscious dreams or sculpted into existence from raw dream stuff, then breathed life by a changeling. While the character has either befriended or bound the chimera, powerful ones have motivations of their own that may occasionally conflict with those of their companions. The higher a changeling’s rating in this Background, the more points the player has to build the companion, using the system on p. 320.

• You have a simple chimerical pet (20 points).
•• Your chimera is semi-intelligent and able to communicate (25 points).
••• The chimera is able to speak clearly and often has a mind of its own (30 points).
•••• You have a highly intelligent chimera that is often a great help (40 points).
••••• Your friend is an ancient and/or powerful chimera that is a legend in its own right (60 points).


Changelings primarily gain Glamour by inspiring Dreamers. This Background represents the number of Dreamers from whom the character draws Glamour. Cultivating a Dreamer is an intimate experience of psychological bonding, whether
through trust or fear. A Dreamer is usually willing to perform services for her changeling, but isn’t as loyal or efficient as Retinue. The player should describe details such as how the changeling inspires the Dreamer and what form the Dreamer’s Glamour takes.

Because of their unique bond, the changeling already knows how to inspire her Dreamer. Each dot of the Dreamers Background provides one automatic success on the initial Perception + Kenning roll when initiating Reverie. For more unsavory changelings, this Background provides a ready pool of Dreamers on which to Ravage.

• You benefit from one Dreamer.
•• You benefit from two Dreamers.
••• You benefit from four Dreamers.
•••• You benefit from six Dreamers.
••••• You benefit from eight Dreamers.

Holdings (Restricted)

Freeholds, no matter the size, are extremely rare, valuable commodities in faerie society. Though being the keeper of a freehold provides a steady supply of Glamour, responsibility for it comes with a number of obligations. He must maintain it each year to keep its balefire burning. If he’s a noble, modernist commoners might see his Holding as a symbol of oppression and seek to liberate it. If he is a commoner, traditionalist nobles might see it as an affront to the natural order and seek to restore the freehold to its proper owners. If he holds it in secret, changelings who get wind of it might jealously seek it for themselves.

The Holdings rating determines the amount of Glamour the freehold produces and its physical size. For more information about freeholds and examples, see Chapter Seven: The Dreaming. This Background may be pooled among the characters in a motley.

• You preserve a spark of a freehold that produces one point of Glamour.
•• You take care of a small freehold that produces two points of Glamour.
••• You are the keeper of a medium sized freehold that produces three points of Glamour.
•••• You are in charge of a large freehold that produces four points of Glamour.
••••• You oversee a huge


A character’s current life as a changeling is not his first lifetime. All who’ve undergone the Changeling Way have experienced a multitude of lifetimes. An Arcadian sidhe new to the Autumn Realm lived an eternity as an ageless faerie before exchanging his soul with that of a mortal. The Mists normally wipe a changeling’s mind clean between lives but a character with Remembrance occasionally has a flash of insight gained from a previous life’s experience.

Any time the character interacts with changelings or other creatures and locations of the Dreaming, the player may roll Intelligence + Remembrance to recall details about the subject at hand. The difficulty varies based on the obscurity of the information. Something commonly known would require a difficulty 6, while remembering the location of a freehold lost since the Shattering would require a difficulty of 8. Additionally, the player may substitute Remembrance for an Ability on any roll involving a mundane task. This substitution may be made a number of times per story equal to the character’s Remembrance rating.

• Your memories are hazy when they’re triggered by an event.
•• You gain accurate information with a reminder.
••• You experience relevant flashbacks even without a reminder.
•••• You remember remarkable information, including major events.
••••• You clearly remember large swaths of your history including entire lifetimes.


Retinue are the Kinain, enchanted humans, and other retainers under a character’s sway. They answer to him due to loyalty, magical control, or mundane manipulation. They’ll follow his command to the best of their ability, though some would betray him if the opportunity presented itself, especially if he mistreats them or if they are bound to him against their will.

While those who make up a character’s Retinue are his highly-skilled honor guard or personal attendants, they are not infallible. Nor are they nameless, disposable fodder. The player should define each member of his Retinue, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they came into his service.

Players may spend pooled Background points on Retinue.

• Your retinue consists of one member.
•• Your retinue consists of two members.
••• Your retinue consists of four members.
•••• Your retinue consists of six members.
••••• Your retinue consists of 10 members.


Title denotes a character’s rank within Kithain society. Not all changelings possess a title, and few attain a station above esquire. Title by itself imparts little tangible power. The majority of nobles have no holdings. However, even a landless baron or
duke wields tremendous social influence. Changelings are far more willing to trade favors with those in power, whether to further their own social mobility or because most titles, especially knighthood, are earned through skill and accomplishment.
Sidhe are the most common kith to be awarded titles, but since the Treaty of Concord, it is not uncommon to see members of other kiths attain rank, usually as squires and knights. Any commoner inducted into the sphere of nobility gains the Boon and Flaw of the house that takes her in.

• You are a squire, squiress, or esquire.
•• You are a knight or lady.
••• You are a baron or baroness.
•••• You are a count or countess.
••••• You are a duke or duchess.


A Treasure is a mundane item imbued with Glamour. Like changelings, Treasures exist simultaneously in the Autumn Realm and the chimerical world. They are capable of specific magical abilities based on the Glamour fused within them. Usually, this is an Art bound into the Treasure, but occasionally a Treasure will form due to the overwhelming emotions connected with the object.

A changeling cannot forget herself due to Banality as long as she is holding a Treasure. Likewise, mortals become enchanted when touched by a Treasure. For more information about Treasures, their creation, and examples, see Chapter Seven: The Dreaming.

• Common, rank one of an Art.
•• Uncommon, rank two of an Art.
••• Rare, rank three of an Art.
•••• Unique, rank four of an Art.
••••• Legendary, rank five of an Art.