From Edge of Darkness Wiki
Changeling House Rules
A changeling’s true face is something hidden from most of the mortal world. Although the changeling’s physical body has been changed, ordinary humans and even most supernatural beings are unable to see the Lost for what he has become. They see instead the Mask, an illusion made of Glamour that hangs around each changeling and provides a human guise. The illusion is quite complete, able to deceive even film and digital media with only the occasional faint blur or aftereffect.
The Mask is not a choice. It protects and disguises the Lost even when they would have it otherwise, even beyond death. The Mask seems to be another expression of the ancient pacts struck by the Fae to protect them and theirs from the eyes of common men and women. Though the Lost are no longer “the Gentry’s” in many ways, apparently changelings are still close enough for the purposes of this bargain. So they appear to be who they were instead of what they have become… for the most part.
- There’s always just a hint of the changeling to the Mask, be it skin that reminds someone just a bit of strong oak wood or eyes that sometimes seem to reflect light just like a cat’s, if even for an instant.
- The Mask may appear a few inches taller or shorter than the changeling’s true mien, or add or subtract 20 pounds or so. However, the Mask remains close to the mien’s actual size; an Ogre with the Giant Merit is clearly overlarge, even to mortal eyes.
- Clothing and equipment are not generally protected by the Mask, unless they are of fae origin. A silver-skinned Darkling who wears a tattered, dirty wedding dress appears to be a pale Goth girl wearing a tattered, dirty wedding dress, and an Elemental wearing a rapier seems to be an ordinary human wearing a rapier. The most common exceptions are fae tokens, which always seem to be more mundane versions of the objects in question — a battleaxe looks more like a fire axe, or a magnificent cloak appears to be a cotton shawl. The Lost have learned the art of fashioning fine clothing from the stuff of the Hedge as well, and a costume of fine Hedgespun is a mark of status.
Anyone who is protected by the Mask can also see right through it. A changeling can see another’s fae mien, and she can see his in return. The Fae can also see through the Mask, regrettably, and some of them have learned ways to conceal their own true forms from a changeling’s eyes. Even when a changeling looks in the mirror, he sees himself as Faerie has remade him.
- Any changeling may spend a Glamour point to view a person or thing’s Mask instead of its true mien; this glimpse of illusion lasts for only about half a minute.
Affecting the Mask
The Mask can be temporarily strengthened against the eyes of other fae.
By spending a Glamour point as a reflexive action, a changeling can fortify the Mask so that other fae cannot see his true mien without the use of some supernatural power.
A changeling may also temporarily disrupt the Mask in a flare of Glamour, although at a dangerous cost. Observers may see a strange flare of light or creeping darkness leak from the person’s skin before tearing it away and revealing this not-so-human thing standing before them. For the remainder of the scene, the changeling no longer possesses the Mask, and will appear to anyone just as he is. As this ability leaves the changeling temporarily helpless, and may trigger Clarity loss, the Lost are very hesitant to use the ability outside a position of total trust.
By expending the entirety of his current store of Glamour, whether he has one Glamour or 100, the changeling may burn away the Mask as a standard action. (This ability is an exception to the usual Wyrd-imposed limits on Glamour spent per turn.)
Disrupting the Mask is a deliberate and taxing action; the Mask doesn’t fall from a character who drops to 0 Glamour by some other means, and a character with no Glamour to spend in the effort cannot drive the Mask from him.
To raise the Mask once more, the changeling must gain at least two Glamour points, and spend one of them as if strengthening the Mask.
Piercing the Mask
There are no confirmed means for anybody to pierce the Mask, although there are always rumors floating around. They may be true or not, depending on the situation. Common rumors say that the following people or actions can allow someone to see through the Mask, but this is not an extensive listing.
- The insane
- The seventh son of a seventh son
- Those born with eyes of two different colors
- Drunkards on the night of the full moon (applies to those under the influence of drugs as well)
- Anyone who spends a night in a cemetery, sleeping on a grave
- A mortal who eats a Goblin Fruit
Most supernatural beings are affected by the Mask as much as mortals, but unlike mortals, supernatural entities have their own ways of seeing through the illusion. It’s tricky for the viewer concerned, though. In all cases, other supernaturals suffer a flat –3 penalty to dice rolls made to penetrate the Mask; the magical deception the Mask provides is quite potent. Note that the reflexive Resolve + Wyrd roll made on the changeling’s part is not optional — this roll represents the constant strength of the Mask regardless of the changeling’s wishes. Assuming The Mask is pierced by the investigator, it remains pierced for about 30 seconds before the Mask re-asserts itself. The investigator does not forget the changeling's Mein, although the investigator must roll to see through it again.
Mages may pierce the Mask with any Mage Sight spell by making an opposed spellcasting roll (Gnosis + Arcanum - 3 or the rote dice pool - 3 or using the Scrutiny task with a -3, as appropriate) versus (Resolve + Wyrd) as a reflexive action.
Vampires using the Auspex Discipline can pierce the Mask by succeeding on an opposed roll of (Wits + Auspex - 3) versus the changeling’s (Resolve + Wyrd). The vampire must be actively using Heightened Senses or Aura Perception to make this roll, which is reflexive for both parties.
Werewolf in any of the forms that grant him a Perception bonus may attempt to use his preternatural senses to pierce the Mask with an opposed (Wits + Composure + Perception Bonus - 3) versus (Resolve + Wyrd) roll. This is a reflexive action for both parties. This typically allows the werewolf to scent the changeling for what she is, but not to penetrate the visual illusion. The Insight Gift, Scent of Taint, can detect a changeling’s supernatural nature but cannot pierce the Mask.