WHAT CAN I PLAY?
Playing in One Fine Day means you're playing a character that has been captured by June Darling's forces, to play a part in her fictional town of East Haven. You were taken because someone who works in her Gentry believed you were perfect for a role in her twisted game. Perhaps what you do now mirrors what you did then. Or maybe you just had the perfect look to replace the last person. At what point in that experience you'd like to start is up to you. There are Starring Roles, Background Roles, and Wastefuls. Each choice has it's own sets of benefits, drawbacks, and challenges, but none is more important than the other and all will receive the same amount of plot.
There are no 'mortal' roles in this, though playing a Perfect (the Starring and Background Roles) you'll be the closest to it. So if you're new to Changeling, I'd recommend going this route. If you're only able to commit to a small amount of time in the game, I'd recommend going into a Background Role as your absence will not hurt your standing and you can still fully participate.
Everyone has the ability to start as one role, and shift to another. Starring Roles can get demoted to Background Roles or discarded to The Yard. Background Roles can get promoted to Starring Roles or discarded to The Yard. And even Wastefuls get a chance at redemption. Starting in one role is not a commitment to it. Fear not!
Each role has it's benefits and drawbacks. One thing is set in stone though that I can not allow any deviation from. Perfects are perfect in June's image. She will not accept a woman who can not get her makeup flawless, or a man who decides to let his stubble grow out. Strange names, odd ways of acting or dressing, or weird 'spins' on the idea of your picturesque Perfect will be pulled apart. That is not to say they can not be these people behind the scenes when they are attempting to live their own lives, but anything less than perfection will get you demoted or tossed and I do not wish to waste your time or mine in demoting a PC out the first day. This is your forewarning!
Perfects: Starring Roles
Good For: Players who are looking for a heavily directed role with a lot of risk. Players who have plenty of time to play. Players who enjoy a lot of attention directed their way in scenes.
Not Good For: Players who want more control over their concept. Players who want powerful PCs stats. Players who have only a limited amount of time to invest in the game.
Starring Roles are characters who, in the end credits, had a full name. Playing Mr. Harvey, the librarian, or Mrs. Grendell the nosey neighbor. You are expected to have plenty to contribute and the ability to conform to your role perfectly. A lot of attention will be directed at you in scenes, meaning you can not be the shy and quiet sort, or the fumbling speaker. You possibly could have been at one point but now you're in a Background Role or in The Yard with the Wastefuls because your chance at the role was lost for whatever reason.
Because there is a lot of focus on you, you also have a heavier burden. You're being watched much more closely and involved in June's plots much more often. Have you hit the mark for your grade requirements? How is your weight? Are you as good in football as your role demands? Trivial things, but yes, they could mean your life so they are taken very seriously. Your image must be pristine in all ways. A lack of commitment to your roles shows how ungrateful you are for it. For the players who enjoy this sort of demented pressure, a Starring Role is most definitely for you!
Perfects: Background Roles
Good For: Players who want to play in East Haven, but don't want all the pressure of being in a Starring Role. Players who have less time to play. Players who do not like a lot of attention in a scene (as in conversation and focus, not necessarily a lack of plot!) Players who enjoy scheming in the background.
Not Good For: Players who want more of a special role within the main story. Players who want to steal the show. Players who want to be more powerful in sway and stats.
Background Roles are the backbone of East Haven. Some consider the Starring Roles the martyrs because now, the attention isn't focused so much on them and they can get away with more. Despite not having a name to go by, since to June Darling you're simply 'Taxi Driver 1' or 'Nanny 34', your role is not trivial. You're the movers and shakers behind the scenes that drive the support network among the Perfects and often the go between East Haven and The Yard. Sometimes Starring Roles get demoted to Background Roles just to take the pressure off because the stress is driving them insane. Sometimes Background Roles want better benefits and perks if they are going to be playing in this sick game anyway, so they do what they can to get noticed and promoted.
While you still must be Perfect, there is less of a chance of getting caught if your lipstick doesn't match your dress, or if you're a few minutes late to work. More easily forgiven if you make a mistake or easily overlooked if you don't show. Though of course, everyone knows they are still being watched, perhaps just not as closely. To be clear, being a Background Role doesn't mean less plot, it means different plots and less focus from June Darling.
Good For: Players who do not like the idea of their concept being so rigidly controlled. Players who want a more stat based powerful PC. Players whose time is flexible.
Not Good For: Players who aren't familiar with Changeling. Players who do not like the risk of an easy death or being bullied by stronger PCs or NPCs. Players who want more benefits such as nice items, food and a definite job.
The Wastefuls are those that were cast out from their roles as Perfects, however long that lasted. There have been dozens that you know of in almost every single role. Were you Mr. Harvey #12 or maybe #74? Maybe you've been down here so long you can quite remember who you were before. As a Wasteful, you lose the strict control that June Darling had over your psyche and physical form and you finally began to change and show what you really are. It's here that you become a full Changeling, gaining a Seeming and Kith, and if you like, joining a Court. You'll have access to Contracts, Pledges and all the other inclusions of a Lost Game, save you're still in Arcadia. You'll play among the The Yard with the other Wastefuls, and perhaps even mingle with the Perfects at the surface or those that dare tread into this fresh new Hell. Your life is your own, but it is also at risk from those willing to take it from you. It's a new game down here, one of survival and desperation and there are no police to guarantee you'll make it through the night.
How you want to approach your characters attitude towards their new found role is up to you. Are you Perfect who is just trying to survive, so you're making all the base efforts, or are you really trying to strive at your role either for fear of a worse fate, or because you truly believe you feel June Darling's love? Do you hate your new life and fight against every attempt to conform you? Are you struggling to retain your sanity or helping others save theirs? The choice is yours. Despite being forced into the roles and doing your best to make June Darling and her forces believe you're enjoying them, how you really feel is up to you. So long as you don't get caught of course. There are some who would join with The Loyalists in a heart beat if it meant never going to The Yard, and there are others who would willingly sacrifice their comforts for such a freedom. Perfection is its own cage.
DO I REMEMBER?
Whether or not you're new to the role or have been here for what feels like many years, remembering your life from before is up to you. Some swear there was never a before, while others recall every detail. Some struggle somewhere in between and memories come and go like scents on a breeze. How much you recall is entirely flexible. How brainwashed you are into thinking East Haven is real is also flexible. Maybe it all came rushing back as you slipped below the surface into The Yard, or maybe it's at that moment you forgot everything.
WHEN DID I COME FROM?
I've never liked the idea that all people had to be taken from the same time. Time is a flexible thing, especially in Arcadia. When considering your life from before I will allow anything from the 1900's to present day. Likewise, when people leave Arcadia on missions, you may be spit out at any time, depending on the Trod you take. Because this means a varying set of knowledge and education, one rule I will be putting into place is that technology that shouldn't work in East Haven, doesn't. Despite being made how it should, it simply doesn't turn on, or continues to fall apart. Hard facts such as dates and names are hard to recall and you're sort of fuzzy on the details but you can clearly recall that you were born in 1980 or 1915 and the lifestyle you lived, if you so choose. If your PC would be unable to adapt to a Perfect roles because of shock factor, I do not recommend you attempt it as you will lose your role fairly quickly. Being shocked and awed is one thing. Being struck with it and unable to move forward is another.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I WAS BROUGHT HERE?
Finishing school of course! Not everyone who is taken comes willingly. At first, you're caged until the rage in you subdues enough that you'll listen to reason. Then you're taught all about your role. If you're not exactly perfect, you'll be made to be so. The person in charge of this is Mrs. Leigh. A stern perfectionist, who is quite beautiful herself. She seems to be what most might think of as a 'Stage Manager and Casting Director'. June Darling is the star of her show. She's not going to work at getting everything else done too.
When you're ready, you'll be groomed, taught, trained and finally supplied. A housewife? Here is your house, your husband, and these twin infants (who do not age until the days stop repeating). You're taught how to walk, talk, keep trim, apply your makeup, cook, and make small talk. As a Starring Role you might have more directions, but as a Background Role the rest is up to you. Just keep up the act! Should your husband get demoted or discarded, you'll have a new one shortly. His absence isn't spoken of and your new husband is accepted without complaint or question. You simply carry on.
Should there be issues that you can not avoid, you go to The Office where Mrs. Leigh can always be found and communicate to her your issues. It is here you may break character behind this closed door, but it had better be constructive and serious. Small complaints or concerns are a strike against you. Asking for help is not an issue, but too many aids and you'll be seen as unfit for your Role. What is said behind this door doesn't leave her Office, and she is rarely seen anywhere else in East Haven.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I LOST MY ROLE?
In most cases it's terrifying because people who were there yesterday are simply not there today. Mr. Bennett has a new face and no one is batting an eye. For many, The Heat come in the middle of the night and carry you away discreetly. In some, June Darling herself stops everything, and grabs you by the throat to toss you out of a room and then you're whisked away screaming. If you're able to be demoted, you're sent back to The Office and detained until you can be retrained. New roles are not to talk about old roles. Are not to associate with anyone outside of your role, or refer to any instance of that role again. If you were discarded, you were taken to The Gates, where you were chucked down a dark hole until you couldn't tell if you were floating or still falling and then you hit the ground, hard. You picked yourself up but in that shattered mirror you were beginning to change...
⌲ As you ice the cake for your son's 8th birthday, a memory hits you like a ton of bricks. You've done this before. Peter was 8 last year. You know this because his cake was blue and your mother commented on it, as it matched your curtains. This year it's green and you can hear her saying it now, "Why not blue?" You've done this before. How many cakes have you made? How old is Peter really? He doesn't look any older than 8. He's never said he's 9 or 10... or older? Your husband, he's never mentioned it. He loves blue too, it's the color of his eyes. But wait. When you kissed him goodbye this morning, weren't they brown?
⌲ Before this, you were quarterback on your high school team. You wore your school colors and had a girlfriend named Susie Jean. You were going to graduate next year and go into the family business. "Cars are the future, and your last name is Chrysler. You'll never have to worry about a thing." But when they took you, all that strength you thought you had left you. They put you into a small cage until you stopped fighting against the bars and started pleading. You'd do anything to get out of there. Anything. They were happy to hear it and they gave you a football jersey and a new name. But the trouble is, you just can't get rid of the shakes now. The ball slips right through your hands and so before you knew it, you were off the team, and now your 'name' is Student #105. Your hands still shake and there are no cars, and no girlfriend, and no future.
⌲ You can't remember the last time you saw Rosie's Diner. The hot glow of the red neon sign. Last time you were there, your name was Missy Lwellington, and you were 19. It was a fluke that you got offered this mission, but they were low on numbers since so many went into The Murk. People were hungry and food had to be gotten. The chance was offered up and now you're here, pushing back a sewer great and looking at your target. You remember the layout of the diner because you used to get shakes there almost every day. You remember saying how full you were so you'd not gain weight and offering the rest to... what was your best friend's name? That part is gone. Lisa? Laura? It doesn't matter, she's probably gone too. Now you're a Wasteful and this life of milkshakes and best friends is over with. Now you just want food and a warm place to sleep. "Sorry Rosie," you say as you smash the giant window with a rock.
⌲ You've taken the train to work everyday now for almost 5 months. It wasn't so bad after you got into the routine of it. You read the paper as you go, or sometimes take a snooze. The train is a few minutes of freedom it feels. But your naps were interrupted when one day you looked out the window and saw your wife. Not the one you have now, but the Sheila before her. You know it was her because you'd know those eyes anywhere. Despite how the rest of her had changed. You were told she died... but how could she be here now? Watching your train go past? And what had happened to her? Were those.. claws?
⌲ You've been coming back through that passage way for a few weeks now. Ginny, the maid, has a soft spot for you and still fixes you a plate of dinner, leaving it in the closet. Why there is a doorway to the The Yard in the pantry you've never noticed before is a good question. Why your parents never noticed is an even better one. Ginny will be tossed out for helping you, but she risks it anyways because you were such a sweet child and you didn't deserve what happened to you. If you'd like, she can still do what she offered. You consider asking her to poison your brother, but in the end, doesn't that make the both of you worse?
HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT THE OTHER ROLES?
Each role feels differently about the others. Some may not even know of them. It's up to you to decide, based on how long your character has been in East Haven or The Yard, just how you feel and how much you really know.
⌲ You're new here and so far you only know what you've been told. The world of East Haven doesn't go beyond the borders of the city itself. There is nothing more than the shining happy people who simply wish to make today GREAT.
⌲ You've been here a bit and you're doing okay so far. June seems to like you and you've aced most of your scenes. But you could swear that someone is watching you. Someone aside from the The Heat.
⌲ You've heard rumors about something else. Somewhere beyond. You've wondered what happens to you when you screw up, but now you're beginning to realize there is something beyond the cracks and it's dark, and ugly, and for some reason calling to you.
⌲ You know all about the Yard and you're terrified of it. You've been told dealing with people from that place means that you're more likely to become one of them. As if they were contagious. When they come up, you're the sort to run away, or perhaps even tell someone.
⌲ You're well aware of the Yard and you know the Truth of it. They were once Perfects, just like you. Touching them, conversing or even hanging out doesn't make you contract anything, though you still have your doubts as to how far you can interact with this world before something does.
⌲ You were once a Perfect, but you can hardly remember it. Now all you know is the cold hard life of The Yard. You don't travel upwards much because of the risk. And there's plenty down here, so why add on more?
⌲ The Yard is just one side of the coin, you're the half facing the cement. That's okay with you. While this life isn't easy, it's a lot more free than what's going on in East Haven. You leave them alone,
they leave you alone. The two sides of the coin never actually see each other, remember?
⌲ You remember everything about East Haven and you want to go back. Living in The Yard is far too difficult. Each night is a struggle for your own survival. Sure, you may have to put on a fake smile and spend your nights with fake friends and a fake family, but you're safe.
⌲ You've learned that despite being separated, you're not cut off at all. Going back to East Haven just means being crafty enough not to get caught. You have friends there, you hang out there and you know many ways to get too and from.