Posted by: markfender | September 17, 2014

Eyes on Fire – The Campaign

For my Changeling: the Lost chronicle, Eyes on Fire, I made the players design the setting. Because I’m lazy.

title2Okay, that’s not the actual reason. To do this, we used the basics of the Dresden Files City Creation system (because I like that part of the game). I handwaved a lot of parts of it, because I’m not using Fate.

The first step was picking the actual city. After much deliberation, the players decided on Portland, Oregon. They felt that it’s a natural mecca for changelings who don’t always fit into normal society. For their first theme, they picked “Keep Portland Weird.” That has obviously flavored a lot of things in the game, from one of the NPCs being the head of the Portland Ukelele Association, to some of the Courts. In last session, we discovered some ridiculous tourist destinations in Portland that make me think I didn’t make it weird enough, but whatever.

For a threat, they picked “Into the Woods.” This introduced the idea that the areas surrounding Portland are dangerous. This introduced some Loyalist and Privateer NPCs into the mix, those changelings who get along with the True Fae in some capacity. This in particular darkened the game up some, as we now have the very real threat of being dragged back into the Hedge and subjected to the same cycle of abuses as before. Fun.

Lastly, another Theme they decided on was “Broken Dreams.” This played back into the desperation the changelings of Portland are working under, trying to rebuild their lives after escaping from eternal torment. But, it also inspired a few plot threads I’m slowly introducing of dreams in general (since changelings have oneiromancy powers).

The players also decided on the Court structure and who the leaders of the respective Courts are. This established the principal NPCs of the setting. So, we’ve got the King of Summer club owner, the Summer Queen radical ecoterrorist, the Autumn Queen Ogre in charge of the Japanese Gardens, as well as the King/Queen of Winter being a Darkling Mirrorskin who changes gender as often as he/she changes jobs. These were filled in with some other NPC ideas people had, as well as a few elements they wanted introduced but didn’t have specifics on. I’m slowly working in some of those locations and ideas.

So, that’s where my players left me. Overall, I thought it went pretty well. One player thought the game was kind of silly (that whole ukelele thing), but I think after finding some suitably real world silly things about Portland, he might be coming around. Likewise, I think it ended up being darker than I had originally envisioned. I wasn’t planning on introducing any changelings that still had dealings with the True Fae, but they introduced two of them as NPCs. So, there you go – traitors in their midst. What GM would complain about their players just handing them that?


  1. Let me know if you want any details on stuff in Portland. While I try to stay on this side of the river as much as possible, I get dragged into there every now and then.

    The ukelele thing isn’t out of place either. Shit like happens here.

    • Everything I know about Portland is based on Portlandia. So everything has a bird on it.

      • Portlandia, like most parody, is exaggeration built on a foundation of truth. Take real Portland and crank it to 11 for comedic effect. I love most of the episodes, they get more hits than misses, but they aren’t always on target.

        The dream of the 90’s is still alive in Portland.

        But like if you wanted any details on neighborhoods or key areas in town to point out. A lot of that you could dig up pics on Google Maps or something, but ya know.

  2. I am looking forward to hearing more.

  3. So yea after some research on the city and its attraction I’ve come around on the ukulele thing and accept people can be much weird than I give them credit for

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