Wyrd is the power of Faerie. A changeling's Wyrd rating represents their affinity with the power of Faerie. The greater a changeling's Wyrd, the stronger their mystical prowess and their fae nature is.
The Wyrd is an enigmatic force tied to the denizens of Arcadia, and is the supernatural trait of all Changelings. Some portray the Wyrd as little more than one's ability to manipulate the magic of the True Fae. But others still see it as something sentient, even divine, representing Fate itself within the grand scheme of things.
All changelings can feel the magic of Faerie pulsing through their veins. This transformative power within is called the Wyrd, and represents how much the character has been changed by the effects of Glamour. Most Lost characters begin play knowing how to tap into only a small fraction of this tremendous power. As they experiment with their new powers, however, they find their magic growing in strength, their memories of their servitude returning with greater clarity and even some of their fundamental human limits pushed aside, allowing them to develop all manner of astounding capabilities both magical and mundane.
Just as anything else from Faerie, this power comes at a price. The more Wyrd a changeling has, the more volatile and intense his emotions become. Ultimately, his passions can become so intense that even friends and allies are put off by the intensity of the character's feelings. Maintaining the illusion of humanity becomes increasingly difficult as well, as elements of a changeling's true form begin to poke through their façade, further widening the rift with ordinary life. As if that were not enough, a changeling with a high Wyrd finds that they become bound by certain superstitions and folktale weaknesses.
Benefits of Wyrd
- Wyrd affects a changeling's ability to manifest his magical energy, representing how many points of Glamour a player can spend in a single turn. Wyrd also limits how much Glamour a changeling can contain at one time; the higher his Wyrd, the more Glamour he can store within himself. Changelings who have spent time learning to master their magical nature are capable of absorbing larger amounts of power than those that have not, not to mention able to use it more quickly and efficiently in times of duress.
- Changelings with Wyrd 6 or higher can increase their Attributes and Skills past five dots. Just as the heroes (and villains) of myths and fables, the changeling's mastery of their Wyrd has made them larger than life, allowing him to increase his Mental, Social, and Physical capabilities to truly legendary degrees.
- Wyrd determines how many goblin fruits a changeling can carry in the mortal world at any given time.
- A changeling's Wyrd rating also determines how many basic pledges (specifically, vows) he may have active at a given time. A changeling may only maintain a number of Glamour-infused vows at one time equal to their Wyrd +3. If he wishes to adopt a new vow but is currently at his maximum, he must either be released from one of his existing vows, requiring the permission of the other parties involved, or he can choose to break one of them and accept the penalties for doing so. If he attempts to craft another vow while at his maximum, it simply fails, and any other changelings involved are aware that the pledge was not mystically binding.
- A changeling's Wyrd rating also affects their dreams, specifically his recollection of his/her time in Faerie. The stronger his Wyrd becomes, the more he begins to dream of Faerie, his Keeper, time in servitude and the other changelings he might have seen there. Some motleys form after members realize they have been seeing each other in dreams or even that they once were friends and allies during their time in Arcadia. While all changelings dream of Faerie from time to time, those with low Wyrd ratings (1-3) tend to forget them almost immediately upon waking, remembering only confusing and isolated fragments. A character with a stronger Wyrd rating (4-6) still forgets as many dreams as he remembers, but those that he does recall are preserved relatively intact, like clear but fading photographs. Those rare changelings with powerful Wyrd ratings (7-9) dream often of their time in Faerie and remember almost everything as clearly as though they were watching it unfold from just a few steps away. Lastly, those paragons with Wyrd 10 enjoy frequent dreams of Arcadia so real and unclouded it feels as though they are actually re-living the experience, which, given the treatment that many changelings endured, can be a rather dubious pleasure indeed.
- A character's Wyrd is used to resist the effects of many mystical powers, whether the tricks and Contracts of other changelings or the strange talents of the other supernatural denizens of the World of Darkness. The more dots he has, the more dice his player gets to make contested rolls against these powers.
- Wyrd also allows a changeling to resist the ravages of time. The higher his/her Wyrd grows, the longer their lifespan grows.
- main article Bedlam
Although raising a changeling's Wyrd threatens to distance him somewhat from the ordinary humans around him, his attunement to the primal power within him also allows him to tap into raw emotional energies that even other changelings cannot normally access. By calling up his own extreme emotions, the changeling can channel that energy into a desired emotional response and send it surging through those around him, overwhelming nearby targets with highly concentrated passions and urges. Subjects who fail to resist become consumed by the passion the changeling has released and abandon other activities in favor of following the whims of their incited emotions.
Drawbacks of Wyrd
Visibility - As a character's Wyrd rises, so, too, does her "attraction" to the True Fae. Those with little power are less likely to be targeted as valuable by any Gentry who don't already have a vested interest in them. By contrast, once a changeling's Wyrd reaches 6 or higher, she becomes much more interesting to any True Fae that might stray across her path. Her raw power has potentially grown to rival that of some of the lesser beings of Arcadia, for one thing, and even those who still dwarf her mystical might still recognize that she has begun to show definite promise. A changeling who developed her Wyrd in hopes of being able to defend herself against her old captors might find them full of pride in her "accomplishments," since she has perhaps completed the work they began with her when they took her. As with most things related to the Others, the Storyteller has control over how this mechanic manifests during play. It shouldn't be used to generate aimless and random True Fae encounters, but rather to place characters with high Wyrd ratings squarely in the sights of one or more Arcadian lords, who then begin weaving their schemes accordingly. While many changelings find themselves involved in some plot related to these arcane entities at one time or another, characters with Wyrd 6 or higher will be treated with special consideration, assigned roles of central importance to the twisted intrigues designed by the True Fae.
Addiction - Changelings whose Wyrd rises to 6 or higher become physically addicted to and psychologically fixated on obtaining Glamour, requiring increasingly regular infusions of fresh Glamour in order to sate their bodies' increasingly alien cravings. A character with Wyrd 6+ can go (11 - Wyrd) days before needing a new "fix" of fresh Glamour. If the changeling does not harvest a number of Glamour points equal to half her Wyrd before that interval is up, she suffers one level of lethal damage each day afterward as her body literally consumes itself in an effort to satisfy its hunger. This damage cannot be healed or prevented by any means until the character once again tastes Glamour.
- main article Frailties
As a changeling becomes more infused with the power of Glamour, some of its stranger rules and limitations begin to apply to her as well. These quirks of her fae nature are called frailties. Frailties come in two forms, taboos and banes. A taboo is a behavioral restriction that either compels or prohibits a changeling to commit certain acts in specific situations. A bane is something that causes a changeling injury, usually an item but occasionally a type of person or situation. Damage caused by banes, both major and minor, automatically bypasses all forms of armor or magical protection and cannot be healed by any means until the character is removed from the presence of the bane.
Although this is a rare practice, a changeling may choose to voluntarily lower her Wyrd rating. Perhaps she has become frightened by the degree of her transformation, or disturbed at the disconnection it causes between her and her mortal associates. Occasionally changelings simply walk away from their old existence, and abandoning their power is just another way they try to distance themselves from their former lives. Whatever the reason for lowering a character's Wyrd, it must always be a choice made of her own volition -- a changeling may be cajoled or coerced into lowering her Wyrd, but she cannot be outright mind controlled or otherwise compelled to do so. However unfair the choice might be, it must still be a choice.
Once the decision has been made, the process of lowering her Wyrd is deceptively simple: The changeling must cut herself off from the world of Glamour almost entirely. First she must rid herself of all Glamour points in excess of the absolute minimum required to avoid suffering from Glamour deprivation. From that point on, she cannot use Contracts, ensorcell mortals, cross into the Hedge, dream walk, employ supernatural Merits, use tokens, use any other magical abilities or even attempt to gather more Glamour than the smallest possible amount needed to survive. In effect, she must go "cold turkey" regarding all things related to Glamour; otherwise her Wyrd will continue to sustain itself on even the smallest shred of energy and her efforts will be wasted. Completely passive effects such as a seeming's bonus Specialty will not automatically break this rule, since the changeling cannot control when or how these powers manifest, but should they activate while she is attempting to lower her Wyrd she must do her best to downplay and ignore them as much as possible.