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Detecting Fetches

One of the major PCs in my Changeling game is a budding Jack Ketch (which means he hunts fetches for changelings who want to take their lives back but don’t have the heart to kill their doppelgangers).  Generally speaking, Jack requires the “original,” the changeling, to make a pledge for the assassination.  This helps Jack ensure that the target is indeed the fake, created by a True Fae to take the abducted person’s place in the world.  It’s not a real person, as far as Jack is concerned, so he can begin hunting them without too many qualms.

Things have gotten complicated lately because Jack has agreed to find a fetch out of a list of possible candidates.  The problem is, no original changeling is around to point the accusing finger.  The people on the list could all be fetches, or none of them might be.  The issue of trying to identify a fetch without its double present has reared its head fully at last, so we’ve started talking about it in a more in-depth way.

Figuring out who is a fetch is rarely easy, according to the books.  The Dukes of Truth and Loss have a token that can identify one if it is fed a piece of them, like blood, hair, or nail clippings.  Fetches have no mein so they don’t appear to be fae if you throw them into the Hedge.  They aren’t hurt by cold iron.  One deceptively easy way to find them is to have vampires feed on them, since their blood provides no nourishment and leads to awful nightmares.  Autumn Nightmares claims that vampires won’t find this unusual enough to follow up - but that seems quite difficult to believe.

This question has come up for others before but their answers seemed to suit their games better than ours.  So for now, we’ve decided on the following:

  • A power that might detect the supernatural has a chance to discover a fetch if it is third level or higher in strength, whether it is cast from a character or an item.  First and second level powers are simply too weak to pierce the deception the Fae have left behind until a character has greater mastery of their ability.  For instance, a mage would need 3 dots in an Arcana (under first edition rules) or the highest level of Mage Sight (in second edition) to reveal a fetch.

  • A character using a scrutinizing power of sufficient strength must gain at least as many successes as the fetch’s Wyrd score to see that it is supernatural.

  • Kenning can identify the presence and nature of a fetch with an exceptional success.

  • Dream analysis might be able to provide clues with many successes, particularly if a fetch was recently or poorly made.  Searching for a dreamer’s derangements/Conditions could uncover signs of fae influence, as could a search for a supernatural power being used on the target’s mind or emotions (but that only works within the last month).

  • Vampires gain half as much nourishment from a fetch than normal (but reduced nourishment is also possible due to illness in our games), but they won’t notice for as many hours as the fetch’s Wyrd score that anything is amiss.

Do you have house rules regarding fetch detection?  What are they?

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