Delusion

RATIONALE: The Delusion Art, introduced in the Shadow Court supplement, is a good idea because it explains how knavish Unseelie plotters can get round Soothsay cantrips and other forms of scrying and snooping. However, it’s got problems that are typical for official Changeling supplements: the Art is too specific (it’s a single power at each level rather than a general magical ability that takes different forms depending on the Realm it’s paired with) and it’s too weak. In particular, the ●●● and ●●●● powers need reversing, because stealing memories in real time is more potent than giving people tasks they will later forget about. The ●●●●● power needs completely re-thinking. This isn’t an Art many PCs will be using, but it’s one a lot of NPC antagonists will have, so players have a right to know how it works in this chronicle.

The Delusion Art is supposed to be restricted to members of the Shadow Court, but this is unfeasible, because there’s nothing to stop Shadow Courtiers teaching it to their own minions and once the Art is ‘public’ not even the Shadow Court can hunt down and silence everyone who knows it. Instead, treat this as an ‘Unseelie Art’ like Nightmare that can be learned by anyone but only used by Kithain currently in their Unseelie Legacy.

Memories lost to the Mists aren’t easily recovered – no counter weaving or Heather Balm cantrips will work. Travelling into the Far Dreaming might bring back some of the lost memories, but only for the duration of the trip: on returning to the Autumn World the memories fade again. Leaving messages for yourself is no solution; the Mists ensure anything like this is lost or misunderstood. Mages might help: there’s almost nothing beyond the power of a Master of Mind, but drawing memories out of the Mists is a momentous task even for them.

Attribute: Manipulation


● Innocent Face

The Changeling can use the Mists to cloak something or someone in deception and misdirection, counteracting attempts at mindreading, divination or clairvoyance. This cantrip also confuses non-magical attempts to uncover a secret.

System: The Changeling declares a secret that will be hidden and uses a Realm appropriate to the secret. Secondary Realms are quite easy to justify here. Non-magical attempts to uncover a secret (eg Investigation or Subterfuge rolls) automatically fail, although characters with the merit Iron Will or mental defences might spend Willpower points to overcome this each turn. Magical attempts to discover the secret (eg Soothsay or House Gwydion’s Boon to detect lies) must overcome the cantrip’s successes with their dice roll. Attempts that fail do not uncover a suspicious ‘blank’; instead, the investigator discovers whatever they expect to discover, so long as this leads them away from the secret itself. This cantrip normally lasts for one turn per success.

  • Actor – Describes a secret about a mortal
  • Fae – Describes a secret about a Fae or aspect of the Dreaming
  • Nature – Describes a secret about a natural object, plant or animal (including poisons or drugs from natural sources and precious metals or gemstones)
  • Prop – Describes a secret about an item or device
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to allow hide several different secrets or as a Primary Realm to describe a secret about a place
  • Time – can be used as a Modifier Realm to extend the duration for up to a Scene, a Story, a Chronicle or beyond

Type: Chimerical

If Morgause casts Innocent Face on her Book of Shadow it will be harder for her enemies to track it down using Soothsay cantrips. With 4 successes, any cantrip to find the book must roll over 4 successes to have any chance at all. On a fail, the investigator will genuinely believe Morgause doesn’t have the book. Simply browsing for the book on her bookshelf will always fail: the investigator can pick up the book, look at it and put it back on the shelf without realising what it is.


●● False Facade

The Changeling can change their appearance to look like someone else. This disguise is complete, covering body language, voice tone, mannerisms and habits as well as appearance, dress, etc. The Mists even help by making onlookers ignore and forget any minor gaffes or inconsistencies (not knowing the password, not recognising your sister, drinking wine despite being teetotal).

System: The completeness of the False Facade depends on how many successes are rolled.

One success would fool someone who only knows you by sight
Two successes would fool someone who only knows you by acquaintance
Three successes would fool someone who knows you well (a co-worker, lieutenant, courtier) or who owns you or things just like you
Four successes would fool someone who knows you personally (a good friend, comrade-in-arms or family servant) or is trained in using you
Five successes would fool someone who knows you intimately (lover, spouse, close family) or created you

The Realm describes the Facade itself.

  • Actor – Describes a mortal Facade
  • Fae – Describes a changeling Facade, but higher levels allow a Facade to be other chimeras, gallains or prodigals
  • Nature – Describes a Facade for an object, plant or animal (including precious metals or stones, poisons, drugs, etc)
  • Prop – Describes a Facade for an item or device
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or as a Primary Realm to describe a Facade for a location

The duration is indefinite: the cantrip lasts as long as the Changeling continues to act ‘in character’ and maintain the disguise. Someone who isn’t fooled by the Facade can raise the suspicions of other onlookers, who get to make Willpower rolls and each success reduces the effectiveness of the Facade by one step for them. Acting flagrantly out of character (releasing prisoners scheduled for execution, attacking close allies) will also rouse suspicions, although the Storyteller might allow a Manipulation+Subterfuge roll to justify this behaviour and allay suspicions. Once suspicions are roused the Facade starts to unravel, lasting an additional number of turns equal to the successes rolled. The Facade also starts to unravel if touched by cold iron or if a Sidhe of House Gwydion successfully uses her Boon to detect lies to see through the Facade (but more successes must be rolled than the cantrip’s successes for this to happen).

Type: Chimerical

If Morgause cast False Facade on her spell book, she could make it look like an ordinary cook book to anyone who studied it. One or two successes would fool any ordinary viewer, but another sorcerer with spell books of his own is less easily fooled (3 successes needed); 4 successes would be needed to fool someone else who had used this spell book before and 5 successes would convince the original author of the book that this was only a book of recipes. If Morgause rolled 2 successes and the ‘cookbook’ was viewed by another sorcerer, he would see through it and the Facade would start to unravel: within 2 turns, everyone would realise the cook book was in fact a spell book.


●●● Depth of Will

The Changeling can summon the Mists to make an action forgettable, so that once the action is carried out the person who did it will have no memory of carrying it out (including who asked them to do it). This cantrip doesn’t compel anyone to carry out the act – the Changeling will need to use threats, blackmail, bribery or the Dictum or Geas cantrips to do that – but if the action is later completed, the memory of doing it will be stolen. This is of course very useful for sending minions on tasks that can never be traced back to you; it can also be used on yourself to make it impossible for you to be interrogated effectively.

System: The Realm describes the task itself rather than the person carrying out the task (but the identity of the person doing the task can also be included as a Secondary Realm).

  • Actor – Describes a task involving a mortal (visiting them, killing them, etc)
  • Fae – Describes a task involving a Fae (or gallain or chimera, or even casting a spell)
  • Nature – Describes a task involving an animal or natural object (including poison, drugs, precious metals and gems)
  • Prop – Describes a task involving an item (including a weapon to be used in an assassination)
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or as a Primary Realm to describe a task involving a location

The cantrip has a typical duration of “a year and a day” after which, if the task is still uncompleted, the cantrip fades. The Mists will not steal the memories of a Troll’s loyalty, a Sidhe’s chivalry, a sworn oath, a Geas or someone’s true love.

Type: Chimerical

Morgause tells her minion to steal back her spell book and the goblin happily obeys. Not wanting the trouble to trace back to her, she uses Depth of Will on the goblin tying the cantrip to the book itself (Prop Realm). The goblin steals the book and makes its escape, but if it is captured it will have no memory of the crime or of Morgause ordering it to do it.


●●●● Mists of Memory

The changeling can command the Mists to make someone or something forgettable. The target of the cantrip is protected by the Mists and will slip from the memory of anyone interacting with it (except the caster) as soon as it leaves their vicinity.

System: This cantrip has no effect as long as people are paying attention to the target, but the moment their attention is distracted they will start for forget about the target over the next 10 to 20 seconds. If the target is no longer in view when the distraction ends, it will be forgotten about as if it was never there.

  • Actor – Describes the person who is forgotten
  • Fae – Describes the Fae who is forgotten
  • Nature – Describes the object, animal or natural force that is forgotten
  • Prop – Describes the item that is forgotten
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or by itself to make a location forgettable
  • Time – can be used as a Modifier Realm to ‘hang’ the cantrip or extend the temporal range of the cantrip to make targets forgettable for much longer

The cantrip lasts for a number of turns equal to the successes rolled, after which the target is perfectly memorable. The cantrip is dispelled instantly by the touch of cold iron or if anyone addresses the target by its True Name. The Mists will not steal the memories of a Troll’s loyalty, a Sidhe’s chivalry, a sworn oath, a geas or someone’s true love, so you cannot place a Geas on someone while under this cantrip then have them forget about you and the geas once you’ve left. However, the Time Realm can be used to make targets forgettable for much longer – a Scene, a Story, the rest of the Chronicle or beyond – subject to the limitations above.

Type: Chimerical

Morgause protects her spell book with Mists of Memory. She has no problem seeing it or using it, but anyone else will forget it exists the moment they take their eyes off it. If she makes her goblin swear an oath to protect the book, the goblin will continue to remember the book when Morgause hides it, because the Mists don’t remove memories of oaths.


●●●●● Darkest Heart

This cantrip invokes the Mists to steal away a person’s memories and identity, replacing it with a new one of the caster’s creation. This must be done with the subject’s consent, although it might be a coerced consent; perhaps the subject wants to escape guilt or a traumatic memory, or craves a new life and a fresh start; perhaps the subject is under the caster’s power and influence and feels unable to resist. Changelings can even cast this on themselves if they want to go ‘deep cover’. The new identity is bound to a task that the subject will not remember but will feel compulsions to complete. Once the task is completed, the subject receives back their old identity and all their memories are restored.

System: The subject forgets their old life and gains a new set of memories that are completely believable. The caster can even weave a new set of Legacies for the target and make them change Court.

One success gives new memories that are essentially similar to the real memories, but differ in specifics (a soldier might remember serving in a different regiment, a father might recall having different children, a homeowner remembers living in a different house)
Two successes create memories that differ in important aspects but keep the same outline (a soldier might remember being a policeman, a father might remember his children died, a homeowner might remember living in a penthouse apartment)
Three successes will create memories that follow a completely different outline (the soldier thinks he was a chef, the father thinks he’s childless, the homeowner thinks he’s homeless)
Four successes will create memories so different that personality is reshaped (new Legacies)
Five successes create a new life so different and compelling that Court Allegiance is changed and moral values are completely altered

As with other uses of this Art, a Troll’s loyalty, a Sidhe’s chivalry, an oath, a Geas and True Love are never quite overcome by this, although the subject might not recognize their old lover the feelings will still be there (though how they express those feelings might have changed).

Each success on the roll also create a point that can be spent on Merits or Flaws that will direct the subject to carry out their task: Mortal Ties or Psychological (eg Code of Honour, Higher Purpose, Compulsion, Obsession, etc).

The Realm describes the task that is tied to the new identity:

  • Actor – Describes a task involving a mortal (visiting them, killing them, etc)
  • Fae – Describes a task involving a Fae (or gallain or chimera, or even casting a spell)
  • Nature – Describes a task involving an animal or natural object (including poison, drugs, precious metals and gems)
  • Prop – Describes a task involving an item (including a weapon to be used in an assassination)
  • Scene – can be used as a Modifier Realm to affect multiple targets or as a Primary Realm to describe a task involving a location

There’s no fixed duration for this cantrip, since it ends as soon as the task is completed. Taking part in the Samhain Mysteries often exposes the Darkest Heart. Although the new life and memories are compelling, they are an illusion and the subject’s True Name is not altered. Someone who knows the subject’s True Name might bring them back to reality with a roll using Manipulation+Kenning; the Naming ●●●●● cantrip Reweaving could also undo this illusion.

There are certain benefits from experiencing the Darkest Heart. All accumulated Bedlam is wiped away and, if the task is accomplished, it won’t return. The experience removes First Threshold Bedlam and, if 4+ successes were rolled, Second Threshold can be cured too – this will be permanent if the task is accomplished. At the Storyteller’s discretion this cantrip might even be part of a cure for Third Threshold Bedlam. Any Merits gained through the cantrip can be bought with experience points at the end and made permanent; certain Flaws can be ignored while the cantrip is in effect and these might be bought off and removed when the task is completed, with the Storyteller’s approval. The character might even choose to retain his changed Legacies or Court rather than reverting to the old ones.

Type: Chimerical

Morgause wants her spell book back so she uses Darkest Heart on her goblin minion. With 4 successes, the goblin is still an Unseelie creature, but its Legacy of Bogle is replaced by Fool and the goblin thinks it is a court jester. Morgause gives the goblin to her enemy as a gift. The goblin has no memory of working for Morgause and serves its new master sincerely. However, it is gripped by an overpowering Curiosity (2 pts) about magic books and a Compulsion (1 pt) to steal them. As soon as it steals the spell book, it immediately remembers who it is and its loyalty to Morgause.


Delusion Bunks

Pull a grotesque face
●● Put on a mask or a veil
●●● Put on makeup or face paint
●●●● Disguise yourself as someone else
●●●●● Adopt a new identity and act it out for a Scene

Delusion

Tales of New Camelot Jon_Rowe