Because not everyone is on our Changeling list anymore

Dragon: The Hoarding
Preview 1 – Basic Principles

So, what’s this whole Dragon game about, anyway? In essence, we wanted to mix the things we like about Vampire and Changeling along with something new and fresh – the chance to play a new type of creature. Most of the game will feel familiar to players who are familiar with other World of Darkness settings. Specific information is forthcoming, but here are the basic principles:

* Long ago, the Mythic World and the Mortal World existed together, and dragons walked the earth in their true forms. At some point there was a terrible Sundering, and a barrier of disbelief called the Firmament separated the worlds of Myth and Man. While inhabiting the Mortal World, it is impossible for dragons to show their true forms, so they’ve taken mortal shapes in order to live among humans.

* Every dragon is driven by an overwhelming urge to hoard. Some dragons hoard wealth and power, and these have become the hidden masters of mortal society. Others might hoard social connections, priceless treasures, knowledge, riddles, or even Bob Dylan albums, depending on the dragon’s individual temperament. Regardless, every dragon protects its hoard jealously and seeks to expand it whenever possible!

* The most common dragons in our setting are European dragons, who are divided into ten breeds (these are the equivalent of clans or kiths). There are metallic dragons (gold, silver, bronze, brass, and copper) who are essentially “seelie” in nature and who uphold lawful values. There are also chromatic dragons (red, blue, green, white, and black) who are essentially “unseelie” in nature and who follow a chaotic path. These are not “good/evil” distinctions – it’s better to think of them as “seelie/unseelie” differences. Each dragon has both sides to its personality. There are also other “neutral” dragons (Eastern, Mezoamerican, etc.) but these rare breeds are unusual in our setting at the beginning of the game.

* Draconic society exists to protect the Firmament (dragons must remain hidden, lest the dreaded Slayers discover them and wage deadly war against dragonkind) and to protect the wealth of the domain’s collective hoard. In each domain, dragons select a Prince or Highlord twice per year. In the summer months, the metallic dragons rule, and in the winter months, the chromatic dragons are in charge. The Prince and her Officers rule in conjunction with the elders of the five Major Houses of the domain.

* Dragons are essentially immortal. In most cases, when a dragon “dies” it will eventually regenerate and recover. The only way to fully kill a dragon is to simultaneously defeat its mythic, mortal, and astral bodies all at once (something that only the Slayers are regularly able to do!) While recovering from a mundane death, dragons can still interact with other dragons as astral “ghosts.”

* Dragons hold court in special locations called “Bastions.” In a Bastion (the equivalent of a freehold), the Firmament that divides the worlds of myth and men is thin, and dragons appear more “draconic” in their human forms. (This is an excuse for creative costumes and makeup, if you like that sort of thing!) Also, from a Bastion a dragon may enter the Mythic world, where she may choose to assume her true dragon form, and where various adventures and excitement await!

* Draconic power and status is based on the size of one’s hoard. Hoard is determined by background traits (now known as Hoard traits). These include Allies, Collection, Contacts, Fame, Influence (all types), Library, Resources, Retainers, and Treasure. The greater one’s hoard, the more power one has in the political process. (Note that you don’t need ANY hoard in order to become Prince – but you must win the support of other dragons who possess hoard in order to gain the title!)

* Dragons may pool their wealth to form Houses or Orders. Houses and Orders are associations of mutual interest that cross breed lines. The Order Oroborous, for example, is a society of dragons who share an interest in philosophy and the occult, while House Grendel tends to view humans as inferior creatures who should be forced to serve draconic whims. Any given House or Order is usually composed of both metallic and chromatic members. A distinction is typically made between Major and Minor Houses in a given domain – the five wealthiest Houses are the Major Houses, and they will each have a seat on the Council of Orders (similar to a primogen council, but with specific differences). All other recognized houses are Minor Houses, who often compete to gain wealth and improve their standing.

* We will provide a few sample houses (like the Order Oroborous and House Grendel), players are also encouraged to design their own houses! Houses are a great way to build your own faction and factional interests in the game.

* Dragons have many unusual allies and antagonists, such as Slayers (the dragons’ dreaded archenemies), Scions (the children of the Gods and Demigods who populate the mythic world), the Avatars of the Heavens (unusual Exalted beings from the Mythic realms), and the Imoogi (creatures that resembles a dragons but suffer a curse that renders them monstrous and outcast).

* The game is designed to have three major modes, depending on your RPG preferences. For those who enjoy social interaction and interpersonal roleplaying, Dragons are passionate creatures with wild temperaments leading them to all forms of companionship, intrigue, romance, and conflict. For those who enjoy adventure, Dragon is designed to offer various exciting adventures (and quests) in the mortal and mythic worlds – you can do everything from stopping gang wars (either from the good of your heart or to consolidate your own power on the streets) to fighting exotic beasts within the Mythic realm. Finally, for those who enjoy politics, Dragon offers an intricate new political system tied to the gain and loss of influences and backgrounds (now known as Horde traits).

Those are just some of the basics! We will have more information on specific breeds (as well as character creation guidelines) soon. Stay tuned!

***

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Friday, February 22: Character Creation I (7pm at the IMU)
Friday, March 28: Character Creation II (7pm at the IMU)
Sunday, April 6: Dragon: The Hoarding Premiere
Friday, April 11: Interlude
Sunday, April 20: Dragon Game

Interludes will then continue on the Second Friday, and Games will play on the Third Sunday. Thanks again to Mark Ridge for making these dates available for us!

Let the Hoarding Begin…
Dragon Storytellers

PS – drop a reply if you’d like to be added to the Dragon email list!

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11 thoughts on “Because not everyone is on our Changeling list anymore

  1. Dude. I remember the crypt, but not the bathroom.

    That’s it; I need to go back to Ireland so I can see the blacklight crypt bathroom. <noddy-nod>

    • I should also add, I’m glad you successfully made it out there; I’ve had similar problems (missed my connecting flight to Israel once), and know how hair-raising that can be.

    • The crypt was indeed quite cool, although the pictures we took thereof didn’t really develop properly.

      Am I remembering correctly that Christ Church is the one that has the wall that’s kinda leaning in at a visible angle? The one on the right-hand side if you’re standing at the altar and looking back over the pews, that is….

  2. I’ve wondered and worried a lot about whether this is inconsiderate of the people who attend services there, because I am not going there as a catholic or even a christian. I do think that I approach the place and the services there with a deep reverence and respect, and that at the core I share many of the good intentions and sense of wonder that people attending services are supposed to approach such a place with. Maybe that’s just equivocation.

    most churches won’t throw you out or even be mad at you for not being a member of their particular faith. they might prefer that you follow some of their rules (for instance, the mosque in Plainfield has chairs at the back for non-Muslims who are observing to sit in, but that makes a lot of sense since you’d be in the way of all the people trying to stretch out and do their prayers if you were up sitting on the floor), but i’ve never heard of any sort of closed-door services. if they didn’t want you there, they’d probably have some manner of religous bouncer at the door!1 (;

    the Catholics as a whole are totally fine with non-Catholics attending services. their only real rule is that you don’t take Communion, because for them it’s a ritualized sacrament that you have to prepare for and have to undergo a rite of passage (First Communion) in order to be recognized by the Church as eligible for Communion (although you don’t have to pull out your Catholic ID Card when you go up–my friend Gram took Communion at every school mass he attended even though he wasn’t Catholic). they ask that non-Catholics merely approach the priest with everyone else and cross their arms in front of them when they reach the communion minister–this is what Kelly means when she talks about how she gets to obfuscate in front of the priest when she attends Mass with Megan before Changeling games. then the priest/communion minister gives you a blessing and usually makes a cross with her or his thumb on your forehead.

    most religions merely ask that you be respectful of both the services, the physical space and the rituals. i doubt anyone’s going to be mad at you for being open and reverent to the atmosphere and to the church itself. some of the more hardcore ones probably encourage that in the hopes that things will “click” with you and you’ll want to convert. but if you’re being reverent and respectful, i think you’re fine.

    whew!1
    -k-

  3. I *hate* I-65 for just that reason. One truck funars everything. I’m glad you (eventually) got there okay and thank you for the update!!

    Can I have a real address to mail schtuff to please?

  4. Tomorrow the actual seminar starts, so I’ll have more to say then, including the dish on my new seminar friends, all of whom seem very cool and interesting.

    If any of them are cool, interesting, cute and single, bring them back with you. Bonus points if they’re Irish 🙂

  5. From the RPC (Resident Practicing Catholic)

    I am not religious in the typical sense, and I don’t usually go to church, but Christ Church has become a very important spiritual node for me, and as such I always return. I’ve wondered and worried a lot about whether this is inconsiderate of the people who attend services there, because I am not going there as a catholic or even a christian.

    Everything k8 wrote is spot on, including the policy on Communion and being blessed.

    Personally, I’m all for it if you check out a mass/ceremony without it having religious/theological meaning to you. Coming to check the ritual and atmosphere is just fine.

    I think part of the reason I like Catholic Masses is because of the ritual and pattern to it. I can go to Mass anywhere in the world and know what is going on in each part of the ceremony. For example, I attended Mass one day in Italy and I knew when it was time for the Lord’s Prayer and was able to launch into it in English while almost everyone else around me did it in Italian. I knew when to stand and rise and could even kind of get a grasp on what the priest was saying over the Communion wafers and wine because I know the words in English. Its comforting to be able to enter any Catholic Church and know what is going on. One thing the Church does is cycle the readings in each mass so that over the course of three years (assuming you attend every mass) you will have heard almost every passage from the Bible read or sung, or even discussed in the homily. Yeah, you could read it on your own but the Catholic Church doesn’t emphasize bible study as much as other Christian faiths do, so Mass is where a lot of Catholics (I bet/guess) hear the Bible.

    • Re: From the RPC (Resident Practicing Catholic)

      It’s rather unnerving to me that the very argument that makes the Catholic Church comforting and attractive to you is used to justify mass-market commodification of franchised goods and services (i.e., you can walk into a McDonald’s/Wal-Mart/Borders anywhere in the world and know what to expect).

      And I think it’s these kinds of observations that ensure that I will never be able to convert, even if I do (subjectively and personally) feel Christ Church to be a spiritually significant place for me. But then, I wouldn’t be comfortable in a belief system that was designed to make me feel comfortable and safe. My need for and love of analysis won’t let me.

      And I suppose it’s because I’m coming from this point of view that I’m continually concerned about my presence being disrespectful to the other worshippers, because on one level I am constantly analyzing and critiquing what is being said and how it is being framed. Now, because I’m basically optimistic about people, I have a need to try to understand what is being said with my own ethical and spiritual conscience. Most of the time I can re-contextualize things to fit within my paradigm, but sometimes there will be a portion of the sermon or readings that I just can’t rationalize. Something that I have to take fundamental issue with because of its ramifications (like your comment about the comfortable quality of the Mass).

      Hence my concern, and why I don’t think I can ethically stop being concerned about it.

      • Re: From the RPC (Resident Practicing Catholic)

        Heh. If you knew how much time *I* spend analyzing what is said and figuring out how much I dis/agree with it…

        I am a practicing Roman Catholic, although much more lax than I used to be. I call myself a “Cafeteria Style” Catholic because I pick and choose which parts of Catholicism I want to keep (i.e. there are some things I disagree with that are part of R.C. doctrine). It is something I got from my parents and have expanded upon the last few years in particular (as I have been out in the world on my own and exposed to more options/faiths/perspectives).

        I don’t suppose I’ll be able to ease your concerns about attending/being present, but I’ll say that for my part I am not offended. I’m always interested to hear what others think of my religion, and especially interested in finding out what they believe themselves and why. Its something I want to do more of, sit down with folks (like you or your fox-man) and just *talk* about personal theological and philosophical perspectives.

        If you are interested, I’d like to go to a Catholic Mass with you some time and then talk afterwards about what you noticed or analyzed. The things you liked, disliked, questioned, noticed, didn’t understand, whatever. This isn’t an attempt to “convert” you or anything, more a way to have an interesting conversation I think.

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