Glamour Codification

There’s enough Fae in our Campaign now I felt we should have a rule-speak codification of what Glamours can/can’t do. This way we’re all on the same page for NPCs/postgames/websiodes/etc. A lot of this is taken from discussions on the Dresden RPG Forum and my own preference for incorporating ancient Fae stories into the mechanics.

Specifically the “Veils” “Seemings” trappings (pg. 166 Your Story). “True Seemings” are also slightly touched upon.


Glamours affect all five normal senses.

  • Sight – “They look like gold coins to me! Weren’t they in a bag of leaves a moment ago?”
  • Touch – “Feel like gold coins too!”
  • Hearing – “Yep, they clink and sound like gold coins!”
  • Taste – “The food in this creepy tower sure tastes wonderful!”
  • Smell – “It smells divine, let’s eat!”


  • Personal Veils
    • The character may use Discipline or Deceit as Skill replacement for Stealth representing a personal Veil.
    • Discipline or Deceit is rolled to recognize “something is wrong” however it does not remove the Veil (think “Predator” movie “cloaking effect” you know something is there but cannot see it clearly).
  • Zone 0 Veil
    • “Zone 0” is my way to describe the immediate zone around the character (in the rules “a small, tight group”).
    • As a Supplemental Action (in the rules “with a moment of concentration”) a Changeling/Fae may use Discipline or Deceit to perform a “Block” representing a Veil for anyone in Zone 0.
    • Opponents must use Discipline or Deceit to overcome the Block.
      • Once overcome actions may be taken against others in the zone as normal, however the Veil itself remains (think “Predator” movie “cloaking effect” you know something is there but cannot see it clearly).


  • Personal Seemings – Functions as Evocation Magic “Maneuver” Action to create a Sticky Aspect (“I look like John Smith” or “I look like a tree”) as a Supplemental Action. There is no Stress cost for Glamour Seemings, unlike regular Evocation.
    • 3 Shifts required on a Discipline or Deceit roll to create the Aspect initially (as per Evocation Maneuvers)
    • Any time a target rolls to determine if the Seeming is anything other than real it’s an opposed Discipline/Deceit vs. Discipline/Deceit test.
  • Object Seemings – As per Personal Seemings above, however, the Changeling/Fae must “own” whatever the Seeming is being used upon. The “owned” item can be anything (a horse drawn carriage now looks like a car, etc.).
    • Pixie Dust Loophole (The Ectoplasm Cloak Loophole)
      • Traditionally the Changeling/Fae has a bag of dust (or whatever) and puts it down, the Seeming then is performed on the dust. In actuality the dust is Ectoplasm and the seeming will last until the Ectoplasm evaporates (i.e. the Fae is no longer nearby to maintain it).
      • Example: Fae sprinkles a park bench (technically owned by the city) with “dust” that they actually do own then performs a Seeming on the park bench to look like a sleeping lion.
    • Mortals and the Natural World Loophole
      • Anything generally unclaimed that’s from the natural world, that’s handed or given to a Fae by a Mortal becomes “owned” by the Fae.
        • This is because The White God gave the world to mankind to be its stewards, thus anything a mortal directly gives to a Fae, now becomes owned by the Fae by extension. Fae tend to accumulate odd brick-a-brack over the centuries because you never know when you need to use some random physical gift as the basis for a Seeming that will endure longer than an Ectoplasmic one.
      • Example: The classic from Faerie tales is “Bring me a bag of leaves.” The Fae can then put a seeming on the bag of leaves to appear as a bag of gold coins. This is because the leaves were picked up off the ground by a mortal (the rightful steward of those leaves) and so they’re free to be given to another party – the Fae.
  • Other People – A Fae that owns a person or creature or that has entered into a pact of any kind may have Seemings performed on them (“My horse looks like a motorcycle”) or directly to them (“The cliff edge looks like there is a actually a bridge there”).
    • Owned – This can happen by direct sale (“Sell your soul for X” or “Your parents sold you to me”), defaulting on a pact (“If after X time you fail to meet Y condition, you are mine”), profession of surrender (“Do with me as you will”), abduction to a Demesne (“slavery” or “The Fae stole my baby”), or equivalent life-for-life exchange (“I traded a Changeling baby for you when you were a baby”).
      • Lies Loophole – For reasons unknown (other than Jim Butcher said so in his novels) if a Mortal tells a direct lie to a Fae, the Fae can now perform Seemings upon them as if they were Owned. Magical Theorist speculate that by telling a lie, a Mortal opens up cracks in their sense of self/soul that allows the nature of a lie (breaking the “pact” of truth in conversation between two parties) to worm its way in.
        • Lies told when there is no expectation of truth don’t count – a play, acting, telling stories and tall-tales, etc. these are all expected to not be fully truthful. Also if the target fully believes whatever (i.e. “I didn’t know it was a lie”)
    • Pact – This can be any agreement where one party is understood to be Fae and that the use of the Fae’s powers, resources, or abilities are required or implied as part of the pact. (“I need your help with X” or “I will do X if you will do Y”). Unless the pact specifically excludes a Fae’s powers, it’s assumed to be part of the pact (“I need your help with X, but you may not use your powers directly upon me.”).
      • Fealty Oaths are the most sacred and powerful forms of Pacts and functionally convey “Ownership” to the Lord. However, Fealty Oaths by default are voided if the Lord abuses/violates/fails to protect the vassal.
Killer Seemings

If a target is fully Owned by the Fae, they may use Glamours as Evocation Magic “Attack” Action versus a target’s Mental/Composure Stress pool. There is no Stress cost to “cast” these Seemings, unlike regular Evocation. The Fae attacks with Discipline or Deceit, it is resisted by the same.

This aspect of Glamours is one of the main reasons why you want to avoid getting Owned by Fae.
“I’ll most likely kill you in the morning” – Mab to Dresden, Cold Days

  • Pacts – Pacts generally do not allow Killer Seemings unless written/crafted into the pact at the beginning either directly or by implication (“You may use all your powers”).
Glamour as “Counterspell”

Glamour can be used as an Evocation Magic “Counterspell” Action against another Glamour effect. Discipline or Deceit is used as usual, there is no Stress cost to “cast” the Counterspell.

However, there are caveats. The Fae doing the Counterspell must be “more powerful” than the Fae that cast the original Glamour (higher Refresh, higher rank within the Court, possesses Greater Glamours vs regular Glamours). If the Fae are equivalent power and rank (two 7 refresh Wyldfae) the Counterspell may be attempted, the dice will decide. A “less powerful” Fae simply cannot even make the attempt. A True Seeming may not be Counterspelled regardless of relative ranks of the associated Fae.

True Seemings

Recall that True Seemings can only be possessed by full Fae (not Changelings).


“One Object” means one conceptually contiguous object, for example a “Car” or a “Castle.” The car would have working engine, tires, radio, etc. The Castle would have doors, fluttering flags, furniture, drawbridge, moat, gardens, etc. However, expanding beyond that would not be possible. “Car plus Chauffeur,” or “Castle and Attending Servants.”


Creatures created must use template versions from Your Story/Our World and be up to 2 Refresh less than the Fae creating the creature. “Custom” creatures must be stated out and approved beforehand representing the care and thought put by the Fae into the creature before ever it was crafted.

  • Example: A 10 Refresh Nixie Sidhe with Greater Glamours could craft a totally realistic Malk “guard cat” at 8 Refresh.

Glamour Codification

Dresden Files Dallas wolfhound wolfhound