Recovery, Growth, & Change§
Over play, characters will acquire various scars: magical marks, damaged reputations, wounds, and runaway emotions. You have to be able to recover, right?
Passions and wounds§
Recovering passions is relatively straightforward: either be comforted, or do a particular kind of thing, depending on the passion.
For each passion you have, if you did the following, at the end of the scene, clear the associated passion:
- Irate: If you vented your spleen on someone or something.
- Insecure: If you acted decisively with no forethought.
- Morose: If you wallowed in an indulgence.
- Indecisive: If you missed a vital opportunity.
Recovering wounds is harder. Period medical care is shaky at best, and magical medical care has its own difficulties. But at the end of a scene, check:
- Slight: If you received medical care, magical or mundane, clear this wound.
- Grave: If you received mundane medical care to stabilize your wounds, you may clear this wound at the start of the next session. If you received magical medical care, you can clear this wound. Otherwise, mark “Mortal” at the start of the next scene.
- Mortal: If you received magical medical care, you can remain suspended on the brink of death until a fairy or a similarly powerful being can pull you back. Otherwise, speak your last words, you are on death’s door.
The Dandy, Mr. Hawkes, has spent some time under the burden of a morose passion. He decides that, to wallow in an indulgence, he will retreat to his chambers and indulge in laudanum, leaving him useless and intoxicated when Mr. Nightingale comes to visit him.
As you cast spells, you will eventually be marked by the magic you’ve used. Marks come in two varieties: temporary, and permanent. Temporary marks go away at the end of a session. Permanent marks don’t go away. It’s that simple.
Becoming a fetch (or something else)§
When you take your fifth mark, whether the marks above it are permanent or temporary, you become a fetch. Magic has burnt out your soul, and you become a human shell hollowed out and driven by fairy fire. Your soul is lost. Your character should be passed over to the Host to play, unless you wish to continue playing your character as a dangerous and amoral thing with a limited lifespan.
Certain spells can change your final mark from “become a fetch” to other, stranger things. These include a wraith, a spirit and mind without a body, cursed to linger on Earth, or Glatisant, the questing beast pursued tirelessly by the Wild Hunt. In any case, the same applies as for a fetch: unless you want to play a very different character, pass your character to the Host, and they will know the constraints governing your character’s new existence.
As you damage a reputation, you will check boxes next to it. There is no way to uncheck those boxes, and once you have checked all four next to a reputation, that reputation turns into a bad reputation. A bad reputation cannot earn you role tokens.
However, if you begin a session with a bad reputation, and by the end of the session the table agrees that you have both suffered for it, and made amends and restitution as necessary, you can add a new reputation. You will not have fully lived down your previous bad reputation, but you have also earned a new one, and a new way to earn role tokens.
How to write a new reputation§
Writing a new reputation is a chance to change the role society has for you, and thus what society can accept. However, society does not change rapidly and readily. When writing a new reputation, the player and the Host should collaborate, in good faith as always, to write one that will still present an interesting and difficult set of trade-offs for the character.
Over the course of play, the characters’ actions and the changes those actions work on society may loosen this, but at the outset, Regency England is a classist and sexist society, among other things. Any reputation for a woman or a lower-class person will expect them to put their own goals aside for those around them with more power and privilege. Upending this in one go with a new reputation is usually much less satisfying than gradually breaking down barriers and rewriting your role in the world.
The Clergyman, Mr. Nightingale, has earned himself a reputation as haughty, and can no longer gain tokens through charity. If he spends a session simply ignoring this fact, nothing changes. If he suffers for his reputation for haughtiness, perhaps with his attempts at good deeds being misinterpreted as self-interest or condescension, and makes restitution, humbling himself before someone he has wronged, he can rewrite the reputation.
Instead of being expected to show charity and concern, now, with the collaboration of the others at the table, he is expected to stand up for the least against the greatest, lest he become a coward. He writes the new reputation, with four clean boxes, on his sheet, and begins his new existence as a radical preacher.