In Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary, I find two seemingly contradictory texts. On page 291, speaking of chimerical death:

Those who suffer a chimerical death while in the Dreaming are expelled from it, waking up in the Autumn world with no memory of how they got there.

I understand in this that you die in the Dreaming, and wake up on the normal world (autumn world) having lost your fae memories, just as any chimerical death.

But in the Dreaming chapter, something much more dangerous is described (page 300):

The Dreaming makes no distinction between chimerical damage (and death) and physical death. A changeling that suffers either form of death in the Dreaming dies, their soul passing on to a new incarnation (or, in the case of Arcadian sidhe, disappearing for parts unknown). For someone with an anchor in the Autumn world, death means that the physical body falls into a coma and wastes away.

The first sentence says that once you die in the dreaming, that's it. You're as dead as if you had a mundane bullet in your brains. You go to your next reincarnation. I understand the second sentence as referring to people that are not Changelings, enchanted, and maybe prodigals that found their way into the Dreaming.

For me it seems that the chapters contradict each other. Is there an official explanation on this? How did death happen in previous editions?


1 Answer 1


The Changeling will die, chimerically and physically

Based on the second edition of Changeling: the Dreaming, this is pretty clear: in the Dreaming, everything chimerical counts as Wyrd, i.e. made physically real. Therefore chimerical damage - from chimerical objects or creatures - is also physical damage, and a Changeling killed by it dies both chimerically and physically. This is explicitly confirmed in the sourcebook Dreams & Nightmares.

The 20th anniversary edition seems to agree, at least in the Dreaming section (page 300, as quoted above); it’s impossible to suffer only chimerical damage while in the Dreaming, and explicitly fatal damage of either kind means death both mundane and fae.

The earlier reference to chimerical death in the Dreaming from the Health and Death rules (page 291, quoted in the question) seems to cover a case that cannot occur, even in the Near Dreaming.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. That means also that if you are heavily wounded on the Dreaming, your mortal body will have those wounds when you return to the autumn world? Will you have unicorn horn, or dragon claw scars? \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Mar 18, 2021 at 7:26

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