Changing Changeling: A Selection of Historical Resurgences

According to the Changeling: The Dreaming rulebook, the phenomenon that made the return of the Changelings possible was the one of the first truly global media events: the landing of the Apollo 11 mission on the Moon. The collective energy of the dreams, hopes and aspirations of all humanity (or at least, a very large majority of humanity) combined with the event to set free a rush of Glamour, the energy that powers dreams, and thus, the Dreaming itself, and returned the Fae to the Earth they had abandoned six centuries earlier.

There are five assumptions implicit in that account:

  1. Technology – and specifically communications technology – somehow empowered these dreams.
  2. Only uplifting dreams could be the source of such an event.
  3. It took the collective energies of a majority of humanity to achieve this.
  4. The Shattering took place when it did.
  5. All the faeries came back at once.

Tinkering with any of these assumptions can lead to some very different Changeling games. In the spirit of wonder and imagination, then, here are some ways to use a different time and type of Resurgence to shake things up in a new Changeling chronicle.
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June 6, 1835 — John Batman makes a treaty with the Wurundjeri people

John Batman was a Tasmanian who organised a syndicate of investors to fund him and some other settlers to build a new village on the banks of the Yarra River. Of course, this land was already occupied by the tribes of the Kulin nation, primarily the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung, each of which greatly outnumbered the small group of settlers Batman led. Thus, Batman made a deal with the chiefs of the Wurundjeri, purchasing a small stretch of land. In time, the village would become Melbourne (today a metropolis of more than four million people, very few of them members of the Wurundjeri or other Kulin peoples).

However, there are many grounds on which to dispute Batman’s treaty. It is a matter of some dispute whether the tribesmen Batman dealt with understood the deal they were making in the same way Batman did – among the Kulin people, as among most Australian Aboriginal peoples, land was not owned by individuals in the same way it was by Europeans. Legally, even by the standards of colonial empires, Batman was also on shaky ground, as he had no authority from the Crown to make such a deal. And while it does appear that, at least to start with, the colonists made efforts to deal in good faith with the various Kulin peoples, misunderstandings were inevitable between two such disparate peoples, leading to bloodshed on several occasions. Later colonists, who were not party to the original deal, treated the Kulin (and in time, the other native peoples of Victoria) much worse. Batman, like so many of the natives, was dead by then.

Batman signs treaty artist impression

As mentioned in:

Solid Rock — Goanna

The Breakfast Club

It’s been more than thirty years since that fateful day in 1984, and the original members of the club are now pushing 50. These are the long, strange trips they’ve had.

Brian Johnson is the most prominently successful of the group. The kid who took such pleasure in writing an essay in detention, and whose fierce insistence on treating people with the respect they deserved surprised the others with its intensity realised, in the end, that he wanted to tell the truth. He’s now a journalist specialising in long-form pieces and the occasional book on popular science and the like – a rival to the Malcolm Gladwells and Douglas Rushkoffs of the world. More than any other member of the club, he’s succeeded in staying friends with all the others. Brian finds, even now, that his mental pursuits are more satisfying than romantic entanglements, although he has a long-standing friendship with benefits with his agent.

Andrew Clark eventually realised that wrestling was not for him. At a high school or college level, where it was a sport, it was fine. But growing up in the era of Hulkamania soured him on the sport (especially once Brian explained the meaning of the word “kayfabe” to him), and in his senior year, he switched to football, where he was successful enough as an offensive tackle (usually a left tackle) to get a college scholarship. He and Alison broke up at that point with no real hard feelings on either side – she understoof better than him that they couldn’t maintain a long distance relationship; after some initial bitterness at being dumped, Andy was quick to discover the many romantic and sexual possibilities being a college freshman offered. Partying and injuries took their toll on his athletic performance, and he washed out of college in the end. His father never let him hear the end of it, and Andy eventually moved out to the west coast to get away from him. After accompanying a nervous friend to an audition one day and getting the part himself, he found a new career as a voice actor. He makes enough to support his wife and kids, and is very careful not to pressure the little ones about their futures.

Claire Standish found her world turned upside down when her parents finally did divorce – the week after she went away to college. With no clear idea of what she wanted to do in life, other than not be like her parents, Claire drifted into political activism and studied the humanities. After her degree, she transferred colleges to pursue postgraduate study. When she completed a PhD in History, she went on to work as a volunteer anywhere she felt she could be useful, and finally learned how important money can be when you don’t have any of it. Today, she is the chief financial officer of Human Aid International, a global charity dedicated to improving health and education in third world nations. She doesn’t see her partner very often, but when they do get together, it’s as passionate as ever.

Alison Reynolds, perhaps more than any of the others, found her life changed by the events of March 24, 1984. She’d never really had friends before, and although her first few months trying to were rocky at times, she learned quickly. Being more connected to her cohort also helped her grades along – in geography, she discovered what would become her abiding passion in life: the study of tectonics. At college, she would likely have sunk back into her old ways had not her roommate dragged her along to social events until she made friends. Alison studied hard and good grades, but didn’t see a need for more than the occasional one night stand. But that all changed when she and Claire were reunited. Without either of them really planning it, the pair fell into a relationship with each other, and as of 2015, are married. Alison’s parents used this as an excuse to refuse to speak to her at all.

John Bender, to his own surprise, ended up becoming good friends with Brian after the two partnered on a group assignment in Shop class. They became study buddies, and even hung out occasionally. In 1987, they attended a screening of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Claire refused to come along, and the argument about the film eventually led to their break-up), and a joking observation by Brian that if Bender had been a member of that group, Freddie would have been annihilated by their scornful laughter got him thinking. Bender realised that not only would he not wish his shitty life on anyone else, he’d also like to help other people deal with theirs. With the support of the rest of the gang, he studied hard and scraped into a local college. Here, he studied psychology, intending to become an encounter group therapist. He is credited with having helped several members of the so-called “fight clubs”, a domestic terrorist organisation, return to normal, happy lives.

Carl Reid took a long look at how twisted Principal Vernon had become, and decided that he wanted more out of life. He went back to school, doing night classes to qualify as a real estate agent. He now works at the same firm as Katie Bueller.

Dick Vernon was found dead in his office in 1993. He had slashed his wrists. His suicide note blamed the ingratitude of his students.

Tetris

How do you create a strip variant for a game of falling objects? It’s not as hard as it looks – but getting the competition naked might just be.

To play Strip Tetris, choose a particular kind of Tetris. All players should use the same instance of the game – not just the same version, but the same actual copy of the game.

One player plays at a time, and insofar as possible, the game must be positioned so that other players can also see the screen, for the purposes of verification.

Each time the current player succeeds in clearing the screen entirely, each other player must remove a garment. If this isn’t fast enough, add in that all players except the highest scoring each round must also remove a garment. If that still isn’t fast enough, agree on a certain number of lines to be cleared for each garment – 20 or 25 are good choices.

(If you are the player removing garments, do not wait until the game is over to count up the lines – keep a track of the running tally, and remove one each time a multiple of the number is reached. It’s much more distracting that way. 🙂 )

Monopoly

Because what game isn’t more fun when it involves consensual nudity?
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“Who Let The Dogs Out?” by Baha Men

And I can’t see color, any color will do
I’ll stick on you, that’s why they call me ‘Pit bull’
‘Cause I’m the man of the land

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“Where The Streets Have No Name” by U2

I want to run, I want to hide
I want to tear down these walls that hold me inside
I want to reach out and touch the flame
Where the streets have no name

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