The Game: Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
The Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
Degree of Familiarity: Very yes. I developed this edition and I ran the previous ones pretty extensively. You can see other thoughts on the game and its development if you click the "changeling: the dreaming" tag on this post.
Books Required: Just the one.
OK, so! We start with Step One: Concept. I...don't know, really. I wasn't planning on this today. I think I need a theme song. Ooh, I got one.
I love this song, and it's perhaps more easily evocative of Promethean than Changeling, but I've done my two Promethean characters already and I think this would make a nice song for a sluagh. I played a childling sluagh with True Faith once upon a time, and that was lovely (Matthias was one of my favorite characters), but this time I think I want to lean more toward the romantic side of things, because love is a really fertile ground for dreams to grow in and hey, this is Changeling.
Anyway. The song, to me, is about people finding each other in strange and perhaps unpleasant circumstances and recognizing that they can have and enjoy their love even if how they got here was...maybe a bit wrong.
So I need a little more. My sluagh is pretty clearly a wilder (seeming in C20 isn't based on physical age, but even so I think wilder fits). I think I want him to be in his early or mid-20s. I also think I want him to be in love with a ghost. Sluagh can see them. His lady-love died some 80 years ago, and has only a few tethers to this mortal coil (Fetters, if we're reading Wraith), but she's found some burning Passion in this dark, whispery poet. Of course, what my sluagh doesn't know is that he reminds her of a love long dead, and sooner or later she'll either pass on or lose her last Fetter and fade away into the Shadowlands.
On the mortal side of things, my sluagh is a florist. He took the job after college (he has an associate's degree, but the experience was so Banal he barely got through it intact), and arranges bouquets and so forth for funerals and anniversaries and so forth.
He's pretty clearly Seelie. His Dominant Legacy is...hmm. I'd be tempted to take Orchid, but I did that for the character I made for Changeling 2nd Ed (who was also inspired by a Hozier song, as it happens). I think I'll say Saint. That'll be good for some angst (maybe Angst) down the road. For his Unseelie Legacy, I'll take Wretch. When this guy bottoms out, he bottoms out.
Step Two: Traits. Starting with Attributes, standard OWoD arracy, 7/5/3. Well, I know I want Physical tertiary, so I'll dump all three dots into Dexterity. Social can be primary because that's a twist for a sluagh, so I'll put three into Charisma and four into Manipulation, leaving Appearance at 1. Mental is secondary, so I'll put two each into Intelligence and Wits and one into Perception (he's a sluagh, they're pretty perceptive anyway).
Abilities! 13/9/5 is our spread and I can't take over 3 in any one trait here.
OK, Talents are primary. Two in Alertness, two in Athletics, three each in Empathy and Expression, two in Kenning and one in Subterfuge. Skills are tertiary, I just want three in Crafts, one in Drive, one in Etiquette...no actually, I'll move the one in Drive to Stealth. And then in Knowledges, I'll put two in Academics, one in Computer, and three into Enigmas and Gremayre. Cool.
Step Three: Advantages. Backgrounds, Arts, and Realms. Well, for Backgrounds, I want Resources (his job as a florist, one dot). I'll take a dot of Remembrance, and I'll take two in Dreamers (he has regulars who come in to buy flowers). One more dot. I'll take Holdings and say that the flower shop has, over time, become a tiny Freehold.
Arts, then. I just get 3 dots. Spring feels appropriate for this character, as does Oneiromancy. I'll take a dot in Autumn, too, just because he is a sluagh.
And then Realms. I have a feeling I'll be spending some freebies here, because I need Nature 3 to affect plants and Fae 4 to affect ghosts. I'll just go ahead and put 3 in Nature and 2 in Fae, for the moment.
Step Four: Tempers. This is easy. 3 Banality, 4 Glamour, 4 Willpower, and one more to spend in either of those two. I'll put it in Glamour.
Step Five: Birthrights & Frailties. These are just from my kith, so I'll just write 'em in.
Step Six: Freebie Points. I get 15 freebies, plus any I get from Flaws. Let's check those!
Well, I want Soft-Hearted (2 pt Flaw), and the True Love 1pt Merit. Those are the only ones that appeal, so that's a net of 16 freebies left. I'll put Fae up to 4 (costing me 4). I'll buy up Gremayre to 4, and then buy an extra dot of Glamour and Willpower. That puts me up to 8 spent, 8 left. I'll buy a third dot of Perception, leaving me three. I'll take a dot in Prop (my affinity Realm) and another dot in Remembrance.
Step Seven: Specialities. I get Specialties in any Attribute or Ability with 4 dots or more. I'll specialize Gremayre in Ghosts, Dexterity in Nimble, Charisma in Hopeful, and Manipulation in Florid.
Step Eight: Threshold and Antithesis. Well, my Musing Threshold is pretty obviously Create Love. My antithesis, though. I think it should tie into his Legacy somehow. "Allowing someone in love to suffer alone" triggers Banality for him.
Step Nine: Spark of Life! All the rest of the stuff.
This sluagh's name is Ashley O'Dell. He refuses to go by "Ash"; he thinks that makes him sound more masculine than he is. Ashley is pretty soft in his appearance and presentation. He's pale, his lips are so thin they barely seem to be there at all if he's not smiling...but he's often smiling, which is worse because his teeth are crooked and yellowed. His hair does not cooperate, it's black and stringy, and he basically keeps it full of product. He dresses in black most of the time, but wears a green apron at work and somehow it clashes. He hates jewelry; metal makes him itch.
Ashley's lady-love is a wraith named Lily. She died decades ago of some disease (Ashley doesn't know and Lily finds it painful to discuss it). She can meet him in dreams and they can interact there, and in dreams she looks about his age, with black hair and fair skin, except, y'know, pretty.
And I think that's it!