This is a review of the digital book, purchased on the day of its release.
Things to love: In order:
The opening story is simultaneously the last thing one would expect from Changeling while also very perfectly written. The book balances narrative and rules layout with more finesse than expected.
Naturally, the art is gorgeous. Some of it is recognizable from earlier books but no less effective for it.
Changeling 20th Anniversary presents a very updated Metaplot. This is very different from Vampire 20th Anniversary offering a pick-and-choose approach to world events. In this book, the meta plot feels distant enough to justify story options rather than diminish them.
Rule updates are exciting. The updated Paths to Epiphany provide a great set of options for gaining Glamour/ Unleashing presents a new way to use Glamour. Changelings feel more like their own creatures and less like creatures who must always feed. Nightmare and Bedlam systems are now intertwined. Both, put together, become a mroe focused mechanic than 2nd edition rules. Descriptions for the Scene and Time realms err on the side of verbose, yet end up much clearer than the last edition.
Three kiths and some houses from prior source books are now folded into the core Kithain: Selkies (The Toybox), Piskies (Fool’s Luck), and Clurichaun (Court of All Kings). Sidhe are divided by Arcadian and Autumn, which reflects the expanded plot. True to form with the 20th Anniversary line, the last 120 pages of the main text provide a wealth of other character types. Antagonist characters and rules are provided first, then Gallain and Inanimae. Once the rules are concluded, the book finishes with a roughly 30 page list of Kickstarter backers, a comprehensive 19 page index, then a two page character sheet.
Three separate character sheets are also included with the purchase: A static 2 page sheet is availble for printing. An interactive 2 page sheet and an interactive 4-page sheet allow you to fill in values in Acrobat Reader. Layers such as background images can be turned off in the core rulebook and the static character sheet.
Downsides: A decorative header font has difficult capital letters. The word “Grumps” looks like “Trumps” in those headers, and it’s easy to trip on “Quests” or any word beginning with the letter L. Page 150 has text stating that Selkies can turn into “a sea or sea lion.” Selkies turn into seals or sea lions.
Conclusion: As always, the 20th Anniversary books are a loving compilation of prior resources and a treat to long time players. Character options from across the previous edition are presented in one place. The incredible number of character options, updated rules and background, and even the price made this an absolute delight.