True Name

Knowing a True Name confers several advantages when trying to affect the named object or creature:

  • Successes can be deducted from the minimum Actor, Fae, Prop or Nature Realm needed to affect the named target with a cantrip
  • The use of a True Name itself can be a Bunk with a rating equal to the number of successes rolled
  • Successes could add to the difficulty to resist a cantrip or Enchantment cast by the changeling who knows the target’s name (maximum +3)
  • Successes can reduce the difficulty of a roll to Muse or Ravage the target or create a Wassail (minimum difficulty 4)
  • Successes can be automatically added to any roll using Naming •••• (Saining)

Using a True Name could split the successes up for different effects; for example 4 successes could make a ‘Dire Enemy’ count as a ‘Familiar Face’ and act as a Level 2 Bunk to power a Cantrip against the target.

Each time a True Name is invoked it becomes less effective, losing a success from the total. When all the successes are gone the target’s name no longer confers any power over it.

True Names can be told to another character, but each time the name is passed on to another person one more success is lost from its effectiveness.

With 4 or more dots in Lore a character can specialise in True Names.

Learning a True Name

Lore can be used to figure out the True Name of a creature, place or object. This requires a Intelligence+Lore roll, with a difficulty of 6 for things or creatures with generic names (a tree, a crow, a bucket). The difficulty is 7 for things that have specific names (like a pet or someone’s car), 8 for creatures that are self-aware (like humans), 9 for creatures that go by a title rather than a name (like nobles or any human with a formal rank, qualification or pseudonym) and 10 for creatures that actively conceal their true names (undercover cops, criminal masterminds, elder vampires, most mages, dragons). The maximum number of success allowed is also limited by how specific the True Name is.

Base Difficulty Maximum Successes
6 1
7 2
8 3
9 4
10 5

Rules for True Names

True Names are concepts that the Fae can give voice to: they are not the prosaic symbols and syllables on your birth certificate. Most people do not know their own True Name. Adopting a new name (“Hey, everybody call me Chad from now on!”) doesn’t usually change your True Name, but adopting a new lifestyle or new relationships might. True Names change over a lifetime and some people with mercurial temperaments or unstable characters change Names rapidly. Once a True Name has been “used up” a new one starts to form, but this can take days or months – use the rules for recovering from Ravaging as a guide.

The roll to determine a True Name can be made easier by factors, such as:

  • You have extensively researched the target (-1 difficulty)
  • You are in your Autumn Hallows (-1 difficulty and no limit on successes)
  • You are emotionally close to the target (-1 difficulty, -2 for a lover)
  • You have used Reverie on the target before (-1 difficulty)
  • You have used the Fate Fire or Saining Cantrips on the target (+1 to +5 successes) or the Omen Cantrip (-1 to -5 difficulty)

Other factors make discovering a True Name harder:

  • The Delusion Arts deduct successes from any roll to uncover a True Name as can the use of Nightmare cantrip Phobia
  • The Arcane Background (possessed by many mages) deducts successes from any roll to discover a True Name
  • Mummies, Vampires and Wraiths are divorced from their original nature by death, so rolls are at +1 difficulty with them, +2 if they fully reject their former humanity (Sabbat, Spectres, Bane Mummies)

True Names acquired by using Lore are understood only partially and do not convey the powers of the Reweaving Cantrip. To perform Reweaving a sorcerer must first learn the True Name fully through using the Saining Cantrip (although a Lore roll can help with that).

True Name

Tales of New Camelot Jon_Rowe