Seasonal Hallows

RATIONALE: The Fae are traditionally linked with the seasons and the Shadow Court supplement gives tantalising details about the yearly cycle called the Pageant. These mechanics are a way of charting how Changelings develop and metamorphose through the spiritual seasons, with transformations triggered by key events or dramatic lifestyles. The rules have another effect, which is to differentiate characters further, so that not all characters of a particular Kith are the same, with the exact same powers and weaknesses, being at different Seasons in their cycle.Hallows chart

The Hallows Chart (right) shows the Season a character is in. Changelings emerge from their Chrysalis in Spring and a starting PC would ink in the first (large, topmost) circle, indicating they have started their journey into the Spring Hallows. At the Storyteller’s discretion. starting PCs may choose a different Season if they have had some pre-Chronicle experience – they would then ink in all the circles up to their current Hallows (but not including the large circle that begins their current Hallows). The 1-3pt Merit Seasoned Character can be bought to reflect this.

Each time one of the conditions of the character’s current Hallow is met, the character advances one circle, inking it in. Players can choose not to advance one circle if they instead gain a point of Temporary Banality.

Spring Hallows (Beltane)

Spring is a time of exploration and beginnings. Spring characters are finding their place in the world, forming new relationships, journeying to new places. It is a time of uncertainty and also of the wherewithal to cope with challenges.

Characters starting their Spring Hallows gain a Hallows Point if they are a wilder, a minor noble (squire or knight), a Sidhe or a Nocker. Seelie characters gain a Hallows Point each Story if they are in Spring. During a Story, Spring characters gain a Hallows if they kill a chimera, complete a Quest or experiences Rapture. Because the theme of Summer is Authority, the Storyteller can award a Hallows if a Spring character takes charge of a group or a relationship or is awarded a position of responsibility.

In addition, Spring characters gain Hallows based on their Kith and if they engage in Summer Work during Downtime.

Summer Hallows (Lugnasad)

Summer is a time of power and authority. Summer characters are dominating the world around them, enjoying strong relationships, building a home or a power base. It is a time of confidence and also of challenges from powerful enemies.

Characters starting the Summer Hallows gain a Hallows Point if they are a grump, a member of a Kithain Society (eg Beltane Blade or Crystal Circle) and if they are a Pooka or a Sluagh. Unseelie characters gain a Hallows Point each Story if they are in Summer. During a Story, Summer characters gain a Hallows if they kill a Changeling (chimerically or mortally), engage in Ravaging/Rhapsody or change their Legacy. Because the theme of Autumn is Intrigue, the Storyteller can award a Hallows if a Summer character accomplishes something through politics or plotting.

In addition, Summer characters gain Hallows based on their Kith and if they engage in Autumn Work during Downtime.

Autumn Hallows (Samhain)

Autumn is a time of wisdom and reflection. Autumn characters are past their prime but rich in experience, rather than engaging in risk and change they direct others and are attracting to intrigue and plotting. It is a time of scheming and planning.

Characters starting the Autumn Hallows gain a Hallows Point if they are a wight, a commoner and if they are an Eshu or a Redcap. Unseelie characters gain a Hallows Point each Story if they are in Autumn. During a Story, Autumn characters gain a Hallows if they experience the effects of Nightmare Dice, break an Oath or cross a Bedlam Threshold. Because the theme of Winter is Discontent, the Storyteller can award a Hallows if an Autumn character experiences great suffering, loss or hardship.

In addition, Autumn characters gain Hallows based on their Kith and if they engage in Winter Work during Downtime.

Winter Hallows (Imbolc)

Winter is a time of isolation and discontent. Winter characters reject their place in the world, break off relationships and turn against what they once valued. It is a time of rebellion and also the challenge to find a new beginning.

Characters starting the Winter Hallows gain a Hallows Point if they are a childling, a major noble (baron or better) and if they are a Boggan or a Troll. Seelie characters gain a Hallows Point each Story if they are in Winter. During a Story, Winter characters gain a Hallows if they are Undone (or experience chimerical death), if they swear an Oath, engage in Reverie or violate a Legacy Ban. Because the theme of Spring is Discovery, the Storyteller can award a Hallows if a Winter character makes some significant discovery about themselves, the Fae or the Dreaming.

In addition, Winter characters gain Hallows based on their Kith and if they engage in Spring Work during Downtime.

Events which advance a character through the Hallows are summarised on the table below:

Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Theme Discovery Authority Intrigue Discontent
Start of a Season Wilder, Title 1-2, Nocker, Sidhe Grump, Society, Pooka, Sluagh Wight, Commoner, Eshu, Redcap Childling, Title 3-5, Boggan, Troll
Start of a Story Seelie Unseelie Unseelie Seelie
During Story Kill a Chimera, Complete a Quest, Rapture, Exercise Authority Ravaging, Kill a Kithain, Change Legacy, Engage in Intrigue Unleash Nightmare, Break an Oath, Cross a Bedlam Threshold, Experience Discontent Undone, Reverie, Swear an Oath, Violate a Legacy Ban, Successful Discovery
Kiths - – - – -See table below- – - – -
During Downtime Summer Work Autumn Work Winter Work Spring Work

Sir Gawaine is a Wilder Seelie Troll with two dots in Title. At the start of Spring he will gain 2 Hallows Points (for being a noble and a wilder) and he will keep on gaining Hallows every time he kills a Chimera, completes a Quest, experiences Rapture or spends his Downtime doing Summer Work. Other than the initial 2 points, he can avoid adding more dots to his Hallows Chart if he gains Banality instead. Once he enters Summer he won’t gain any Hallows Points automatically but adds them whenever he Ravages, changes Legacy, chimerically kills another Kithain or completes Autumn Work during Downtime. When he eventually enters Winter he’ll gain an automatic Hallows Point (for being a Troll) and add one every Story (for being Seelie).

By gaining Banality, characters can prevent themselves gaining Hallows Points and, if they convert the Banality into Nightmare Dice or erase it in the Dreaming, this can go on indefinitely. However, the Hallows gained at the start of a Season (based on your Seeming, Kith and rank) cannot be avoided this way.

When the Seasons Change

When the character has filled in all five dots and then advances to the next Hallow, the Seasons Change for the character. This rather like a minor Chrysalis and it is not uncommon for the Mists to remove or reveal memories at this time.

Hallow Points can be turned into Freebies when the Seasons Change. Roll a number of dice equal to the Hallow Points acquired (usually 5); each success is an extra dot in Backgrounds the character can add to her character, a point in a Merit the character can acquire or a point in a Flaw that can be bought off – with the Storyteller’s approval. These points can also be saved until the next Seasons Change if a player wants to buy a powerful Merit or Background. Alternatively, the Hallow Points can be turned into experience points and spent as normal on increasing Traits.

In addition, when the Season Changes the character enjoys one of the following benefits:

  • all Temporary Banality is removed
  • all current Bedlam is removed and the effect of Bedlam drops by one Threshold
  • Temporary Glamour is refilled
  • all current Nightmare Dice are cancelled
  • Court affiliation changes

When a character completes a full cycle, being reborn into Spring, they can enjoy all of these benefits. Furthermore, the character can advance to a new Seeming (if old enough) with less penalty – the character does gain Banality by ageing gracefully. Alternatively, the character can stay in her current Seeming but add or subtract a dice from her ageing dice pool in future years.

Benefits and Drawbacks of each Season

Each Kith is presented with two Birthrights and one Frailty. One effect of the Seasons is to alter which combination of Birthrights and Frailty applies. In Spring, characters enjoy their first Birthright and no Frailty; Summer awakens both Birthrights and inflicts the Frailty; Autumn restricts a Changeling to their second Birthright and Frailty. In Winter the Changeling gains a point of Permanent Banality but enjoys both Birthrights with no Frailty.

The new Merits Beltane’s Blessing, Samhain’s Blessing and Imbolc’s Blessing help characters overcome the drawbacks of certain Seasons.

In Spring a Troll like Gawaine will have Titan’s Power but not the Stubbornness or the Bond of Duty; both of these are gained in Summer. In Autumn Gawaine will lose the Stubbornness but keep the Bond of Duty. In Winter, Gawaine gains a point of Permanent Banality but enjoys the Titan’s Power and the Stubbornness without the Bond of Duty (a typical Ogre).

Kith Spring Birthright Autumn Birthright
Boggan Craftwork Social Dynamics
Eshu Spirit Pathways Talecraft
Nocker Fix It Forge Chimera
Pooka Shapechanging Confidant
Redcap Dark Appetite Bully Browbeat
Satyr Physical Prowess Gift of Pan
Sidhe Awe & Beauty Awe & Beauty
Sluagh Squirm Sharpened Senses
Troll Titan’s Power Titan’s Power
  • ALTERNATIVE: When the Seasons Change, allow the player to choose which Birthright the character will gain or lose.

Each Season brings a characteristic benefit for the Fae, which is held by some to outweigh any drawbacks and justify courting Banality by “holding back the Wheel” and resisting progress through to the next Hallows.

Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Power Vernal Vitality Summer’s Crown Autumnal Ambiguity Winter’s Nightmare
System Spring Changelings heal one Health Level per night or one per hour in a Freehold Summer Fae do not need to spend Glamour when Calling on the Wyrd In pursuit of an intrigue, Autumn Changelings can change Legacy freely A Winter Changeling can turn freshly acquired Temporary Banality into Nightmare Dice without having to spend Glamour
Optional Rule: Kith Specialisms

The Seasonal Benefits take different forms depending on the character’s Kith: the healing power of Spring only works in certain locations, the naming power of Autumn requires different sorts of research, different Kith specialize in different Dragon Aspects or Wassails.

Kith Spring: only invoke the Dragon’s… Summer: only heal when… Autumn: Discover a Name by… Winter: only steal a Wassail by…
Boggan Heart a guest in someone’s home studying someone’s home Hearthlore
Eshu Eye on the road (including Trods and vehicles) listening to someone’s story Talecraft
Nocker Trove in a workshop or surrounded by machinery building a machine Dreamforging
Pooka Flame in animal form playing a trick on someone Greenkeeping
Redcap Ire covered in blood fighting or frightening someone Warspite
Satyr Scales in the wilderness drinking, dancing or lovemaking with someone Gentilesse
Sidhe by House in a place of power (corporate HQ, castle, stone circle) receiving an Oath from someone (including Crossed Blades or Undoing) by House
Sluagh Guile in total darkness spying on someone Shroudwhisper
Troll Fury in contact with raw earth or stone swearing an Oath to someone (including Crossed Blades or Undoing) Runelore

Alternatively, characters may ignore these Kith restrictions and call on the full power of the Hallows to heal anywhere, invoke any aspect of the Dragon, learn any True Name or steal any Wassail. This will gain them a Hallows Point.

Kith-Specific Hallows

In addition to the rules above, each Kith can have its own conditions for advancing through each Hallow:

Kith Advance Hallows when
Boggan You help someone in need
Eshu You visit somewhere new (and interesting – this includes using Trods)
Nocker Someone or something lets you down, disappoints you or betrays you
Pooka You overcome sadness with humour or enemies with trickery
Redcap People treat you with fear or revulsion
Satyr You succumb to temptation
Sidhe You successfully pursue love or vengeance
Sluagh You learn important gossip or secrets
Troll You show patience or fortitude in the face of mockery or loss

Seasonal Hallows

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