Arts: Chicanery & Legerdemain

This is the first in a series of post on the Arts in Arcadia. Each post will deal with two Arts. Read this post for context and the variant rules that are referred to below. The asterisks after each Art indicate its cost/difficulty in Arcadia.


chicaneryChicanery is the Art of deception. This Art changes the perception of the person on whom a cantrip of this type is cast. It illusions them and can manipulate them emotionally. It is a common Art, found mostly among commoners, and generally rare among nobles, especially Sidhe, who look down on it as a rather vulgar Art, unbefitting nobility.

In Arcadia there are 6 Chicanery Arts: Fuddle, Veiled Eyes, Fugue, Haunted Heart, Captive Heart, and Charm (the last one is not found in Changeling). The value of these cantrips are changed in Arcadia, however. Veiled Eyes is a 2-point cantrip in Changeling, but a 4-point Art in ArcadiaFugue is a 3-point cantrip, but a 2-point Art; and Haunted Heart is a 4-point cantrip, but only a 3-point Art.


Fuddle *

Exhaust this Art to choose the Merit your opponent will exhaust when he loses a Test. You must exhaust this Art immediately after the target character loses his Test. (TWH)

Here is how the Changeling book describes the cantrip with this name (page 172): “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 the 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 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.”

This is one of the cantrips that changed the most in Arcadia. Since Chicanery deals with deception, you could argue that the opponent who is affected by this Art is deceived in a particular way by the Waylay he encountered which therefore forces him to discard a very specific Merit.

Fugue **

Exhaust to make a character exhaust 2 Merits instead of 1 when he/she loses a Test. The player may choose which 2 Merits are exhausted. You must exhaust this Art immediately after the target character loses his/her Test. – Exhaust to make another character immediately exhaust 1 Merit of your choice. The Merit that is being forced into exhaustion generates no effect. (TWH)

From the Changeling handbook (page 173): “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 themoment the target bumped into him while walking down the street. Fugue can never add anything to an individual’s memory, and its effects are rarely permanent.”

For an alternative use of Fugue, see below under Phantom Shadow.

Haunted Heart ***

Exhaust to change a Waylay that another character is facing to a Waylay of a different type. For example, you may change a Might to a Savvy Waylay, or a Resolve to a Combat Waylay. This Art must be used before any Tests are made. (TWH)

From the Changeling handbook (page 173): “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 experienced the desired emotion before.”

Veiled Eyes ****

Exhaust to avoid a Waylay for 2 Days. The Waylay remains on the League and must be encountered if the character [i.e. your character] stays on the League past the second Day. (TWH)

As the Changeling book (page 172) explains: “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.”

Therefore, in Arcadia this Art lets you avoid a Waylay for 2 Days. This is a perfect example of how the number of successes you roll can affect the way the Art is used in Arcadia. In Changeling “the obscurement lasts for one turn per success” (page 172), so if you could modify the way this Art works in Arcadia: if you roll only a single success, you can avoid the Waylay for a single day/turn, if you roll 3 successes, you can do so for 3 days.

Captive Heart *****

Exhaust to enter a Resolve Test against another character. If successful you may force that character to either Rest without recovery, or move 1 League in the direction of your choice. (KIM)

Captive Heart is similar to Haunted Heart, but more powerful. “Whereas Haunted Heart controls the emotions, Captive Heart has 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 behaviour.” (Changeling page 174)

If you use the dice-rolling rules mentioned in the first post in this series, you could add other actions (besides resting or moving). If you roll only successes, you could make your opponent leave a Treasure on her current League, or force them to take a particular Test in their next encounter, irrespective of what Waylay (or Character) they encounter—a Combat Test, for example, if you make them a more violent character.

Charm ******

Exhaust to redirect a creature Waylay towards another character. The Waylay moves 1 League per Day towards that character. If the Waylay re-encounters the caster of this Art, the caster must face it in a Resolve Test. If the Waylay wins this Test, it will attack the caster again. Waylays with no Resolve score are treated as Resolve 1 for this Test. (KIM)

This Art has no cantrip counterpart in Changeling.


legerdemainLegerdemain (French for “light of hand”) is the Art of slight-of-hand and illusion, similar to the illusion tricks of stage magicians, but with an important difference. “Originally based on illusions and “stage magic,” Legerdemain transcends such parlor tricks, allowing a changeling to affect physical reality. Changelings who are the entertainers in Kithain society (jesters, clowns, pooka, etc.) generally specialize in this Art. While this is also considered a commoner Art, a user of Legerdemain is not as suspect as with Chicanery. […] While many of the effects of Legerdemain duplicate Chicanery, use of this Art differs in that it creates a substantial illusion that is visible to all changelings and enchanted beings rather than altering a single individual’s perception.” (Changeling page 175)

There are 5 Legerdemain Arts in Arcadia: Gimmix, Ensnare, Effigy, Mooch, and Phantom Shadows. (Gimmix and Ensare are flipped in the hierarchy, in Changeling). Unique to this Art is that many of the Legerdemain Arts affect Treasures, as well as Characters.


Ensnare *

Exhaust to enter into a Resolve Test against another character’s Resolve. If you are victorious, your opponent is rooted firmly in place and may not move during his/her next Day. (TWH)

From the Changeling book (page 175): “This cantrip has two major uses: the changeling can cause
a large object to move about quickly, or she can entangle an opponent with any scenery at hand, such as roots, old tires, tripwires, etc. If the changeling is attempting to trip an individual, any vines, rope or other small objects suddenly move to trip and bind the intended target. If no such objects exist, the target believes that there are, tripping over his own feet and becoming bound by chimerical vines or rope.”

Gimmix **

Exhaust to enter into a Resolve Test against another character’s Might. If you are victorious, you may move then 1 League in any legal direction, no Terrain Trials necessary. (TWH)

The cantrip Gimmix is basically a form of telekinesis, that lets you “move, twist, throw, lift, and crush things” (Changeling page 175). In Arcadia you can only use it to move another person, but you could let it move a Treasure an opponent has into a particular direction, or exhaust a Treasure, if you roll only successes (if you use dice rolls), since it requires a little more skill to move something smaller.

Effigy ***

Exhaust to create a copy of any Treasure. The Effigy card can then be exchanged with an existing Treasure in another character’s possession. You must be in the same League and win a Savvy Test against the targeted character. The exchanged Effigy cannot be used again this game. If the targeted character ever defeats you in any Test, he/she may reclaim his/her original Treasure. (TWH)

This is how Effigy is expalined in Changeling (page 176): “This cantrip creates a duplicate of an object or person that the changeling can see and touch. The copy has all the features of the item that could be seen and felt. An Effigy of a book is tangible, and if the original were open when copied, the Effigy would be open to the same page and have the same writing  on the page. The copying of the Effigy is only skin-deep, however, so none of the internal qualities of the original are transferable. The Effigy-book may be open to the same page as the original, but a person couldn’t close it or read other parts.”

The Arcadia version of the Art may seem stronger, but isn’t actually. It just adds another step to it. It too creates a non-functional copy, but you then exchange that with the real Treasure, fooling your opponent’s Character in thinking she still owns her Treasure. The card does not make this overly clear, but your opponent does lose their Treasure (hence the line “he/she may reclaim his/her original Treasure“). This is why you need to be in the same League as your opponent, and you need to win a Savvy Test, to see whether you can actually fool her into this.

Mooch ****

Exhaust to recover one of your opponent’s Quest Treasures; this counts as your encounter for the Day. You must be on the same League as the Treasure to Mooch it. Your opponent may recover the Treasure by defeating you in a Test of his/her choice; both characters must be on the same League for this Test unless your opponent has a Merit or ability that allows him/her to encounter you from somewhere else. (KIM)

In Changeling (page 177) Mooch lets you move an object instantenously, and is a cantrip that is often used for pickpocketing: “The changeling can instantaneously move things from one place to another. A favorite of pickpockets, Mooch can remove a trinket from a mark’s pouch and replace it in the caster’s own. The cantrip only works if the caster can see the object, or he has seen it within the past minute.” The use of it in Arcadia is straightforward.

Phantom Shadows *****

Exhaust to force another character to encounter a Combat Waylay with a Combat Rating of 5. If the character is defeated by the Waylay, the character may move on, but the Shadows follow him and he may not Rest until the Shadows are defeated. Phantom Shadows must be played when the opponent’s character first enters the League, instead of as an actual Waylay. (KIM)

This is a very powerful Art. The (long) description of this cantrip in Changeling (page 177-178) suggests an interesting variations on the use of this Art: “This cantrip is the true art of illusion creation. Whereas Effigy creates an unmoving copy, Phantom Shadows creates original illusions and engenders them with sentience. The created illusion can be of any subject the caster desires and is difficult to differentiate from the real thing […]. The Phantom Shadow intrinsically knows what its caster wants
and carries out her wishes; however, if the caster forgets (or is made to forget as with Fugue) the existence of the Phantom Shadow, the casting essentially becomes a free-willed, uncontrolled chimera and acts on its own whims.”

So, if the opponent who is affected by Phantom Shadow has the Chicanery Art Fugue (discussed above) and casts this on you, you could lose control over the Phantom Shadow (instead of exhausting any Merits). If your opponent then passes a Savvy Trial against the Phantom Shadow (who has a Savvy of 2), the Phantom Shadow will then affect any Character of your opponent’s choice.


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