The word 'token' describes any magical object infused with Wyrd/Glamour. Hedgespun, gewgaws, trifles, and token limbs...all of them are technically, mechanically, a form of token.
It also, as the publisher adores doing, describes a very specific TYPE of magical item, in addition to being a general term. When you hear someone talk about making/buying a token, they generally mean THAT type.
All of the above have very specific mechanics which make them distinct from one another, with different power levels and requirements.
For simplicity's sake, it's common practice in the gaming community to call hedgespun/gewgaws/trifles/token limbs by those names, and to reserve the word 'token' for the more powerful item variety which HAS no other name.
| Not sure what dot level your token idea sounds like?
| Need to find a token you KNOW you read about in one of the books?
Crafters, for our rules on hand-making those Tokens of yours, please go to the Token-Making wiki page.
See the Hedgespinning page for more details.
These are the equivalent of having a legendary weapon/armour in an MMO. You pay through the nose for something that isn't generally worth it, in mechanical terms, because it's only a little bit better than a mundane item. But...they look so pretty...
Gewgaws are 0-dot tokens. See Goblin Markets p.21.
They have very minor quirky powers, but unlike Trifles, they are not always a "consumable" item. Their single peculiar ability (say, a small coin purse that, when opened, releases a live butterfly) will occur every time they are used, and they may be used by anyone, regardless of Wyrd.
When designing a gewgaw, you need only a minor benefit/quirk. There is neither catch nor cost.
Some examples from the book:
- A pebble that, when worn in a shoe, keeps mud and dirt from clinging to that shoe (though it's not particularly comfortable). Never found for sale in pairs.
- A wooden tooth, worn in the place of a missing tooth, that itches at sunrise and sundown.
- A paintbrush that will only paint in red.
- A piece of smelly cheese that will never get stale or moldy, until eaten.
- An old rotary phone that translates any incoming calls into dolphin song.
- A pulp magazine that changes little details in its stories when nobody's looking.
See the instructions on Token-Making for how to craft and request your gewgaw goodness!
Trifles are also 0-dot tokens. See CtL p.209 for more details.
Strictly one-use items, they are activated either by rolling Wyrd or spending 1 Glamour. There is no drawback and no catch. ALL of them require some kind of physical action to activate.
Only someone with a Wyrd score can use a Trifle.
See the instructions on Token-Making for how to craft and request your trifles!
Trifles are one of the items which may be purchased via tix and the Reward Arcade. See the Arcade page for a table which lists them and a brief summary of their effects. If you would like more details, page numbers are available.
Check the House Rules/Merits page for more details on how to request them.
This is a • to ••••• merit found in DitD p.86. If you lose a limb (or eye, or tongue, etc.) or happen to run into the Sawbones from the Pickwick Circus (hobs in the Hedge), you can gain a Token Limb to replace the old.
Token Limbs contain a single clause of a Universal Contract. The dot level of clause/token are identical. (i.e. if you want a 5-dot clause, you have to purchase a 5-dot Token Limb. A 1-dot limb could only hold a 1-dot clause.)
This is a way to get clauses in Contracts you do not already have.
- Activation: +roll wyrd OR +spend Glamour
- It remains active for the remainder of the scene. The user may then activate the Contract stored within at any time during that scene. The Contract still requires its usual roll and still has all of its usual modifiers or drawbacks (i.e. if you're using Hearth, you STILL need to be in physical contact with your target), but its Glamour cost is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 0.
- Action: Instant
- Mien: Something appropriate to the Contract bound inside of them. See book.
- Drawback: Pick a Physical skill related to the limb. Lose 10-again in that skill, and any 1s rolled take away one success each. (use +roll/weak=blabla IG)
- Catch: Gain Fixation, Inferiority Complex or Suspicion. This temporary derangement lasts until you sleep a full 8 hours.
These are the big guns. These are where the real magic happens. If you want something you can tick off boxes on and always come up with a relatively similar answer, don't look to Tokens. These are the strange, the bizarre and, in the inevitable way of all things Fae, often the more dangerous option for your magical item needs.
They are also far, far more powerful and more flexible than Hedgespun can, or ever will be.
Anatomy of a Token
Every Token has the following characteristics:
- Activation Type: does using this require any actions beyond feeding it power?
- Mask/Mien: what does the token look like in the Hedge/mortal world?
- Action: what does this thing DO?
- Drawback: what's the cost of using it?
- Catch: I'm not a changeling. What do I have to do to use this thing if I don't have Wyrd or Glamour?
Every token requires activation, but not all activations are equal.
Some tokens simply require their user to hold them and desire to use them when they are empowered, but others may require a physical action (stroking it three times, whispering a haiku it hasn't heard before, soaking it in your blood).
To activate a token, you may either roll Wyrd (no Willpower bonus allowed) or spend 1 Glamour...or you may use the Catch, which is discussed below.
If you do choose to roll, remember the following:
|Action:||Varies by token|
|Dramatic Failure:||The token fails to activate, but you still suffer its drawback.|
|Failure:||The token fails to activate.|
|Success:||The token functions as it should, and you suffer the drawback of using it to do so.|
|Exceptional Success:||There's magical feedback, and next time you roll Wyrd (in a Contract or to use another token) you get +1 on the roll.|
|+2||The character is within a Hollow when the token is used.|
|+1||The character is in the Hedge when the token is used.|
|-1||The character has high Clarity (8-10).|
|-1||There are distractions (noise, violence, crowds) in the vicinity.|
If using Glamour, the token immediately behaves as though you gained a success on your Wyrd roll, slaps you with its drawback and does as it is supposed to do.
If using the catch, you suffer both the drawback AND the effects of the catch itself, the token taking its payment out of your hide instead.
Tokens, when brought into this world from the Hedge or from Faerie, appear mundane, almost purposefully uninteresting — metal has no shine to it, wood seems dinged or splintered, paper or parchment frays at the edges.
This only changes when the token has been activated.
When active, tokens reveal a measure of their magic. The item may appear as it did in the Hedge/Arcadia, or it may reveal new glimpses of odd magic. Be creative. It's rarely an extreme shift and can involve senses other than sight. It is also often a dark shift, depending on the magic involved in the token.
- Example: Ryan has a 1-dot token which cleans and repairs an article of mundane clothing when he rubs it on the cloth in three clockwise circles while activating it. Normally, the token looks like a regular river pebble in the mortal world, but when its magic is in use, it glistens as if wet, and the air around it smells like harsh lye soap.
Tokens work on the principle of diminishing returns. What you put into it is more than what you get out. Any time you activate your token, therefore, you also activate that token's Drawback. There is no way to avoid a drawback. It will happen every time you trigger the token's power.
The drawback on your tokens should be a significant effect. It's typically thematically tied somehow to the benefit you are getting.
For example, a token which grants you great mental prowess might leave you physically an invalid for the same duration. A token which turns any drink into a perfect martini, on the other hand, might only give anyone who drinks them a -1 to Stamina rolls to resist getting drunk off of that booze. It's all a matter of scale and balance.
For those who are accustomed to gaming the system, it's common practice to adjust dot levels based on how good/bad the drawback/catch of a token is. A more powerful Action can be bought at a dot level lower than it should be, if the catch/drawback are miserably inconvenient/severe.
A catch is not supposed to be pleasant. In general, a catch is as potent, or more so, than the action it will allow. A "dread cost" by book parlance (CtL p.202), the catch allows ANYBODY to use the token. This means that a human, mage, vampire, werewolf, etc. can use the token and gain its benefit without using Wyrd or spending Glamour.
The same goes for changelings.
Some catches involve a consciously paid cost involving pain or penalties.
- e.g. you can only use the token for free if you deliberately injure yourself so badly you've got half your health boxes in Lethal
- e.g. you've told a lie to your best friend, which the Wyrd will ensure they find out in the most hurtful way possible
Others take their toll out of your hide without asking.
- e.g. you hold a token doll underwater until it stops bubbling, but as a consequence, you lose the ability to breathe above water until it dries.
Note that, as mentioned above, when activating a token via catch, the drawback occurs contemporaneously.
Token Dot Levels vs. Rarity
Per Changeling theme, tokens are relatively commonplace. Most changelings have at least one, if not more minor tokens at any given time. They are a form of currency both among the Lost themselves and the hobgoblins they trade with.
Some rough guidelines are found in the Changeling: the Lost corebook, summarized below with page references. The tokens listed on those pages should give you some good examples of what basic tokens at those levels would be like. You are welcome to use those tokens, tweak those tokens or come up with completely original ideas; staff encourages creativity!
|1-dot Tokens:||Minor, low-power item whose benefit is either very meager or usable only in specialized situations. They are common bartering items among the changelings of a freehold. (CtL pp.202-4)|
|2-dot Tokens:||More versatile items which offer even stronger benefits in specialized situations. These are usually not given out as parts of easy pledges, but they may be common currency among changelings of the Courts or within certain entitlements. (CtL pp.204-5)|
|3-dot Tokens:||These potent tokens tend to offer benefits above and beyond what a changeling can achieve with her own abilities. Such items aren't taken or given carelessly. They are often the lynchpin of powerful pledges. (CtL pp.205-6)|
|4-dot Tokens:||These possess widely applicable, relatively potent powers. These are not given out or acquired with any frequency. Noteworthy service to the Court over a long period of time may earn a changeling a token of this power. (CtL pp.206-8)|
|5-dot Tokens:||These tokens are practically mythical, and usually only belong to kings, heroes and other potent figures of a freehold. They are highly prized. (CtL pp.208-9)|
Our rules for Token-Making are designed to encourage these attitudes. While the process is relatively effortless for the True Fae, changelings are not True Fae, and it takes work. A lot of work.
Identifying a Token
If you haven't been told that something is a token, you can certainly check to see if you can sniff its magic out.
- Roll Wits + Wyrd while in contact with the item.
NOTE: this only tells you that the item is a token. It does NOT tell you what it does/its catch/its drawback.
It is worth noting that tokens will actively resist alteration to their form from outside sources. They are fae magic, and resent the intrusion of other powers. Mages, werewolves, etc. will suffer for prying, whether by triggering the drawback or by destroying the token entirely.
To discern the nature of a token, what it does, will require either NPC assistance or access to an Autumn/Autumn Goodwiller who has Spellbound Autumn 3.
Please provide the information below when requesting new tokens. All tokens will be added to your +sheet as a merit and as a +note, to contain the mechanics, which staff will lock.
The player is required to set the +note once staff has approved the mechanics.
- +req/fae Token
- Token Name
- How many dots is it?
- What does it do?
- Does it have a physical activation cost?
- What is its drawback?
- What is its catch?
- What is its mask?
- What is its mien?
If you have a ST lined up to run your Market trip, please let staff know. If you require staff help, please also let staff know.
When creating the +note on yourself (+help note), please use the format of the following example, and include ALL details of mechanics.
+note me/Star-light Star-bright=
Type: Token (to differentiate from gewgaws etc.)
Name: Star-light Star-bright
Mask: A dingy swath of fabric netting with tiny chipped stones at each twist in the net.
Mien: A swath of shimmery fabric netting with tiny glinting crystals at each twist in the net.
Power: When activated, the token will expand to cover an area up to 10' x 10' and provide a silvery, flickering light. The crystals form the shape of real stars and constellations, whatever those may be, wherever it is used. The light is the illumination equivalent of a single light bulb, and ends abruptly at the edges of the net. It will not illuminate anything beyond them.
Drawback: For the next 24 hours, the user tugs at the senses of others, supernaturally noticeable. All rolls to detect the user's presence gain a +2 bonus modifier.
Catch: The token must be left out where it can 'see' the stars on a clear night, on a total stranger's property, and must not be observed in any way by its current owner from dusk until dawn.