Art chicanery


(Changeling the Dreaming 2E, pp 172-175)

“The Power of Illusion”

Chicanery is the Art of deception and favored by those who utilize guile to lead the unwary astray. This Art deals in fooling the senses and ensnaring the mind at higher levels. Practitioners of Chicanery are usually considered suspect by nobles and their chancellors, and are closely watched. A few nobles have become infamous through injudicious of this Art, although Chicanery is generally considered to be a commoner’s Art.

Attribute: Manipulation

Level 1: Fuddle

Fuddle allows the caster to alter a target’s perceptions. Proper use of this Art can be difficult, however, since it cannot create something from nothing — there must always be some basis for the deception the caster wishes to create. In a sense these caster is limited by the target’s perceptions. A target who is blind and deaf cannot be made to suddenly see and hear the ocean, for instance, but she might be fooled into smelling the tang of the salty sea air. Fuddle relies upon already existing factors to deceive the senses, and cannot completely negate a sense or create a sensation. In other words, an eshu trying to make use of Fuddle could not turn invisible while standing in plain sight, nor could he conjure up the sound of police sirens on a silent night. If the eshu were hidden in the shadows, he could use Fuddle to cause a person to overlook him, or he could cause the sounds of barking dogs to be perceived as police sirens.

This cantrip can never cause any direct harm to an individual, though it is possible for a target to inflict accidental injury upon himself due to his confused senses.

The number of successes indicates how long the subject is Fuddled. Multiple castings of Fuddle are not cumulative; if such is attempted, the casting with the most successes is the one that takes effect.

*1 success = one minute
*2 successes = 10 minutes
*3 successes = one hour
*4 successes = one day
*5 successes = one month

Type: Chimerical

Level 2: Veiled Eyes

As its name implies, Veiled Eyes muddles a target’s senses into ignoring anything the caster desires. The cantrip does not turn an object invisible, but rather convinces the observer that the object is not really worth his notice. Veiled Eyes would not cause a store to vanish from plain sight, but it would convince passersby that the store sold nothing of interest to them, causing them to ignore it. People cloaked with Veiled Eyes are merely ignored.

This Art functions differently than most Chicanery cantrips in that once cast upon an individual or item, the target of the cantrip becomes veiled to all passersby.

The obscurement lasts for one turn per success. A changeling can double the amount of successes by spending an extra Glamour point. A changeling can penetrate Veiled Eyes by rolling Perception + Kenning (diff 4 + number of successes scored in the initial casting before any Glamour points were spent). Only mortals who have had contact or foreknowledge of the veiled object get a chance to resist. Supernatural beings with magical senses (Kenning, Awareness, Auspex, etc) may make the attempts to penetrate the obscurement when they first encounter it. This cantrip can be cast multiple times to increase the duration of the obscurement.

Type: Chimerical

Level 3: Tip of the Tongue (Fugue)

While Fuddle allows a changeling to alter a person’s perceptions, Fugue lies within the province of memory. With Fugue, the changeling may remove or steal whole chapters of a person’s life and beliefs, or home in on one salient detail, such as the moment the target bumped into him while walking down the street. Fugue can never add anything to an individuals memory, and its effects are rarely permanent.

The number of successes determines the duration and amount of memory lost. The caster divides the number of successes between the memory loss and the duration, according to the charts below. A changeling who rolls four successes could cause her target to forget about his lunch for one minute, a person’s identity for one turn, or the location of his car keys for a day.

Memory Loss

*1 success = Forgetting a simple, immediate object or information (car keys, phone number, etc)
*2 successes = Loss of memory of an uninteresting scene in the past (“What did I have for lunch?” or “What was her name?”)
*3 successes = Complete eradication of a specific event, person’s identity or objects presence.
*4 successes = Powerful, forthright beliefs or memories may be forgotten.
*5 successes = A tabula rasa; total memory loss (a vampire could be made to forget her nature, but finds herself inexplicably craving blood).


*1 success = One turn
*2 successes = One minute
*3 successes = One hour
*4 successes = One day
*5 successes = One week

Multiple castings of this cantrip are cumulative. A changeling who achieves 10 successes on three castings of Fugue could, say, force a mage to completely forget her Awakened nature for a week (endeavors of this kind do not usually have tidy endings, however, and this is a great way to rack up powerful enemies).

Type: Chimerical

Level 4: Haunted Heart

The caster of Haunted Heart can control and fan the emotions of her target. She can evoke any type of feeling she wants: fear, envy, love, gaiety, sadness, etc. This cantrip can cause a target to feel anything he is capable of feeling, even if he has never experience the desired emotion before. The cantrip is more potent if the emotional evocation is similar to an episode from the target’s past. However, the feelings can be drawn from anything: books, movies, observing wildlife, etc.

For example, linking a memory of lost love to a banana could cause the target to weep piteously as he remembers how much his ex-lover used to love bananas. Casting a feeling of spite in a crowded bar would start a fight.

Old memories (even those forgotten or blocked) could reactivate with a canny use of Haunted Heart. Evoking hatred toward policemen in a man wrongly jailed would have a recurring effect well beyond the duration of the cantrip. Provoking a fear of a lake may cause the subject to suddenly remember almost drowning at age six and give the subject a permanent fear of water (subject to Storyteller discretion). Lucky (or shrewd) casters who manage to awaken a feeling that is significantly linked to an incident in the target’s past get one free success when using this cantrip.

This cantrip lasts one minute per success. The duration can be extended by spending one Glmaour per additional minute. Multiple castings of this cantrip are cumulative, as long as the object and the emotion evoked remain the same. opposite emotions cast upon the same object cancel each other, no matter how many successes each casting had. A phobia of snails cast with five successes would be neutralized by a cantrip of would be neutralized by a cantrip of mollusk-love with one success.

*1 success = Invokes a mild reaction
*2 successes = The target feels wild, chaotic surges of intermittent emotion. As long as the emotional object is not in sight, the targets acts normally.
*3 successes = Creates a continuous state of passion. The target’s conversation drifts toward the emotional object; +1 difficulty to all rolls involving Mental Attributes.
*4 successes = The target is passionately engaged. She actively seeks (or avoids) her object of passion; +2 difficulty to all rolls.
*5 successes = Total obsession; the target can do nothing but engage in his passion. He becomes violent if restrained. Resistance requires the expenditure of a Willpower point (and a life-threatening reason).

Type: Chimerical

Level 5: Captive Heart

Whereas Haunted Heart controls the emotions, Captive Heart has a greater magnitude. The target of Captive Heart becomes pliant to the caster’s commands; his personality can be completely changed with a few words.

Use of this cantrip allows the changeling to change broad or narrow facets of a person’s behavior. A person could be made to believe he is Mick Jagger, a lawn chair or a secret agent for Planet Z. The victim of this cantrip makes every effort to conform to the caster’s wishes; jumping around and singing, hopping and croaking, or simply standing quietly in the corner — anything. This has certain limitations, however; the target cannot be commanded to do anything directly harmful to himself. Commands such as “Take the knife and draw it across your throat, will send the target into confusion as her self-preservation instinct manifests. On the other hand, a command that is not directly harmful (”See that man in the crown? Attack him!") is obeyed with as much speed as the target can muster.

Only one person can be affected with a single casting of this Art, no matter the number of successes.

The number of successes determines how long the cantrip lasts. Whenever the subject must perform an action that runs counter to her personality, she is allowed one (extended) resistance roll (Willpower, difficulty 8). If the total successes on the resistance rolls exceed the caster’s current Glamour, the cantrip is broken. As with all cantrips, non-mortals may spend Willpower to break the cantrip. Any expenditures of Willpower they make count as successes on extended resistance rolls.

Captive Heart can be cast multiple times with cumulative success, if the caster spends a Glamour point for each extra casting. If two casters use conflicting commands on one target, the antrip with the most successes determines the outcome. A target told first to be a tree and then a dog follows the cantrip with the highest successes and ignores the other.

*1 success = The enchantment lasts for one turn
*2 successes = The enchantment lasts for one scene
*3 successes = The enchantment lasts for one hour
*4 successes = The enchantment lasts until sunrise or sunset, whichever comes first
*5 successes = The enchantment lasts for 24 hours.

Type: Chimerical

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