Introduction

posted by E4C85D38 Original SA post

Kavak posted:

I know Cyrano read it, but we were all there with him. NOTHING could be worse than those excerpts.

Read the later books in their entirety in one sitting and then try to tell me that again.

Anyway, I think I'll start early before my game starts.

Princess: the Hopeful 's introduction starts with a few paragraphs of text that seem like they could come from Changeling: the Dreaming (that's the bad one, for those of you not WoD fans) except more poorly written to the point where I was reflexively reaching for my copy of the CMoS and a red pen. They mention 'Princes' exactly once before using Princess exclusively. Both these come from "a better world", and this somehow gives them powers which the introduction also fails to explain at all. Okay, par for the course at this point. It lists the themes in traditional nWoD style, except over eight fucking paragraphs . I'll just steal the headers because none of these really need to be explained, something apparently lost on the authors.

Princess: the Hopeful posted:

You can fix problems...
[...]

But some problems don't want to be fixed.
[...]

Because doing good can be terrifying.
[...]

And sometimes the good guys can't win.
[...]

But you can't walk away. Because sometimes they do.
[...]

Sometimes you find rewards where you weren't looking for. Sometimes you find enemies where you didn't expect them.
[...]

You'll just have to find out for yourself.
[...]

In the end, the only thing we can be sure of is Ourselves .

We are the only mark by which we measure what we call Good and Evil .

But past those delusions, what really moves us is our Hate and our Love .

And when we see our love take form, we call that Hope .

Jesus fucking Christ, it's like I'm reading Exodus International's mission statement all over again, even with those extra unneeded paragraphs.

EDIT: That was nothing, let's do the War of Hope page next.

See that link? That's 770 words. That's a lot of words.

It can be summed up like this: The Blossoming (in which a Hopeful becomes a Prince(ss)) happens between puberty and elder age, although usually in mid/late teens, as young adults, or 'older than that'. The exact cause is unknown. The Hopeful tend to be hopeful.

This leaves out the various undefined capitalized improper nouns, and jesus christ this needs an editor . This isn't as horrifying in its content so far as it is the worst case of purple prose goddamn example of Lovecraft "I get paid by the word" syndrome I have ever fucking seen, and we're including the Eye of motherfucking Argon here.

Characters

posted by E4C85D38 Original SA post

DeathSandwich posted:

Good lord I can already tell this is going to be a massive shitpile and I want to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. I never delved into WoD stuff outside of vampire/warewolf/hunter and a touch of mage/changeling. Was the concept (that it so horribly failed at) of Princess suppose to be a sort of analogue for something like the hunter/vampire relationship only with fae instead of vamps?

I don't even know, I do this shit blind and type it out as I read each page. But if you want my opinion, the authors' thought process went something like this:

Those Fucking Bastards posted:

MAGICAL GIRLS YAAAAAAAY

Anyway, onto the Character page. The tl;dr:
Now? Now we finally get to the mechanics.

Except no, there's more fluff text that finally mentions that the Inner Light, besides representing her magical power, also represents her past life bleeding into her current. No, this wasn't mentioned anywhere else, at least in any sane way.

Inner Light is the power stat, and determines her maximum ability scores in both normal and Transformed form, the number of Wisps she can have and spend per turn, the highest level Charm that can be purchased, and the number of dice rolled for Sensitivity and Hauntings.

I'm just going to digress for a second. Potential RPG authors?

I don't fucking care if you think all your terms are 'self-documenting' or whatever. Include a glossary. Include a glossary.

FUCKING DO IT

Anyway. Mechanics. Wisps are power points, and can be spent to activate Charms while Transformed, add bonus dice to mundane rolls based on an attribute decided by what Queen she follows (Practical Magic), negate Bashing/Lethal damage or downgrade Aggravated into Bashing on a one to one basis, and a single one to Transform without rolling as a reflexive action. They can be regained by making the world a better place according to their Calling (which is not dissimilar to Changeling glamour harvesting), in an emergency spending a willpower and rolling Belief to gain a number of Wisps equal to her successes, and spending time with important people as per the Circle merit.

No I don't know what most of these words mean. I'm hoping they'll get covered sooner or later.

Transformation is covered next. Her Blossoming is the first time she transforms and she gets a Phylactery. Rather disappointingly this isn't what you need to stab to kill the monstrosity permanently (or at least if it is it doesn't say so) but rather just required to transform, which is a Belief + Inner Light - Shadows roll (unless she spends a Wisp as described above). She can return to her ordinary form at any time as a reflexive action and is forced to if she runs out of Wisps or falls asleep. To maintain her Transformation, she has to roll Belief + Inner Light at the end of a scene or after a half hour. Failure (non-dramatic) means that she needs to spend a single Wisp to stay transformed and a cumulative -2 penalty is applied to her next roll to maintain her Transformation.

As for benefits, her attributes and skills get pumped (apparently you buy Transformed attributes/skills which add to your regular ones during Transformation with XP and are tracked completely separately from the regular ones, same XP cost otherwise), she appears to be a completely different person unless she transforms in front of somebody or someone starts investigating, and she has full access to all of her Charms and other abilities.

Next up is New Disadvantage: Shadows . A princess is just so sensitive to the suffering of others that they affect her as well: "Food tastes like dust, her favorite music is nothing but a cacophony, and headaches won't leave her." Any act a Princess is sensitive to is called a Tainting. She rolls her Sensitivity as determined by her Inner Light, adds one die "if the tainter is a intimate of hers" (what exactly that means I don't care to speculate on), two dice if she's doing it, and two dice if it's a sin against Morality 2 or 1.

If there are successes, she experiences a Haunting, which usually lasts one scene but can be longer depending on her Belief. If the number of successes are more than her dots in Shadows, she gets a dot in Shadows. Hauntings have different effects based on the number of successes she rolls, along with a name stolen right from the K├╝bler-Ross model.
  1. Acceptance. She takes bashing damage equal to her dots in Shadows, which can be prevented by Wisp expenditure even if she's not transformed.
  2. Depression. She loses success amount of Willpower, at minimum one, and cannot spend Willpower for a dice pool bonus for the remainder of the Haunting.
  3. Bargaining. Resistance to supernatural powers are reduced by the number of successes, at minimum one.
  4. Anger. She tries to find whoever committed the Tainting, and if she does find him or he's just right there, she straight up tries to waste him, Crip style. No, really. To do anything else, she needs to roll Resolve + Composure - Shadows to even attempt to do the action. Defense to everything is lowered, as in the one above, as she doesn't bother to try and protect herself. If the Princess herself is the one that committed the Tainting, she gets somewhere between emo and paranoid and needs to roll a Resolve + Composure - Shadows to deal with the sufferer(s). Defense is also lowered in the same way. For some reason.
  5. And +5 too. Denial. She does everything possible to escape the sight of the tainter or his victim. If she's the one who did it, she tries to escape her sin and all its immediate results, and then straight-up develops amnesia about it once the Haunting ends.

Dots in Shadows, besides the immediately above, just subtract from rolls as in the more distantly above. To remove a dot of Shadows, she needs to punish the Tainter or make the victim whole if during the same scene, or fulfill her Virtue (which also has the usual effect of restoring Willpower) or spend XP equal to her current Shadows dots.

And now we have our Morality surrogate, Belief . This... well, tracks her Belief, her conviction in what she's doing, etc. Starts at seven, as it lowers she gets more pessimistic and depressed, and, well...

Princess: the Hopeful posted:

Unlike most other denizens of the World of Darkness, a Princess does not become an unplayable character at Belief 0 by turning into an utterly amoral monster. A Princess who reaches Belief 0 is so utterly consumed by hopelessness and misery that she will invariably commit suicide rather than face the horrible prospect of continued existence.
That's right. She doesn't become an NPC and yet kills herself, so it's time to make your player earn his fucking roleplaying damnit.

The degeneration table is fairly standard. Because she's a role model , if she gets a person to fail a degeneration check (or if the person just thinks so with good reason) she must also make a degeneration check.

Princess: the Hopeful posted:

This even applies to the supernatural morality charts -- yes, if a Princess persuades a werewolf to do something that makes him lose Harmony, that's a Belief sin for her, 1 step higher than the Harmony sin, despite the dissimilarity between Harmony and Belief.
Also featured:

Princess: the Hopeful (emphasis added) posted:

If a Princess sins against Belief in the course of an attempt to punish a Tainting, or to help the victim of one, she adds 1 die to her degeneration check. Conversely, if she sins against Belief, and the victim of her sin is an innocent, she must subtract 1 die from her degeneration check.
One hell of a fucking mixup there.

At Belief 8 or more, anyone with the regular Morality trait that are in regular contact with her get a +1 to all Resolve-based rolls, and 3 or lower give people a -1. Practical Magic becomes more effective starting at Belief 8, haunting duration is extended at Belief 4 or lower, and... well, remember what I quoted up above about Belief 0?

Princess: the Hopeful posted:

A Princess who loses her last dot of Belief breaks, and abandons hope; she is set upon a course of inevitable self-destruction. She immediately loses access to all her supernatural powers, but keeps her Sensitivity and all her dots in Shadows. Memories of suffering rise up constantly, turning all happiness to dust. Most Princesses reaching this state kill themselves, just to escape the perpetual torments ... but there are a few, deeply scarred by Shadows, who hear something offering them vengeance on the Light that has abandoned them, and pass over to serve Darkness.

In any case, the Storyteller takes control of any Princess who has reached Belief 0. To resolve her fate, the Storyteller makes an extended and contested roll, pitting the lower of the Princess' Resolve and Composure against her Shadows. If time matters, each roll takes one day. If her Resistance accumulates successes equal to her Inner Light first, the Princess kills herself. If her Shadows reaches the same threshold first, the Princess becomes one of the Darkened, very much like a Mnemosyne.
Internally consistent, I see.

Then there's a Character Creation guide along with a big chart of XP costs. Your starting Princess gets one free attribute dot for her Transformed state, a Queen that determines the type of Practical Magic she can use, Invocations (not yet defined, as usual), 5 dots in Charms, a number of Wisps equal to her Belief rating plus an extra for each dot in Circle, and an extra 7 merit dots .

And now we are at the end of the Character page. Total word count: approximately 5,000.

Charms (in brief)

posted by E4C85D38 Original SA post

Lemon Curdistan posted:

No, I meant that everything recon_etc just described is pretty similar to nMage and VtR. It doesn't seem any more complex than their systems, basically.

In terms of complexity the worst thing you'll find is its casting system. Most Charms have an Invocation (or multiple) ones as its prerequisite, which are like Mage Arcanas that you need to buy but don't actually have any specific powers besides fulfilling prereqs and its dots adding to the dice pool, and if you do something that Invocation doesn't like (such as being rude for Legno) you can't use it for the rest of the scene. You normally need to spend 1 Wisp on top of whatever the Charm activation cost is, but there are certain conditions each invocation has that you don't need to do this in. Charms also have upgrades, which are just that. The highest level of Charms you can buy is determined by how many dots you already have in that specific Charm tree and capped by your Inner Light. Some Charms are also just permanent -- if you have the prereqs and bought it, it just works. For instance:

Princess: the Hopeful posted:

Blue Rose's Allure (Inspire 1, Legno 1)
Action: permanent
Everything about you hints of romance. You may apply Legno to your dice pools for seduction, both for the initial (Presence-based) approach and for later (Manipulation-based) social banter.

Upgrade: Fascinating
Stacks, up to 3
Each time you take this upgrade, add +1 to your dice pools to seduce someone.

Princess: the Hopeful posted:

Persistently Peachy Pretty Perfect (Perfect 2 Specchio 1)
Action: Automatic
A Princess is so stunning the universe itself cannot bear to mar her exquisite form. Any sensory effect that would grant her a negative situational modifier to social rolls, if your Specchio is equal or greater than the modifier, is automatically nullified. For example a Princess with Specchio 2 is sprayed with mud by a passing car. Since this only gives a -2 penalty it is magically prevented, not a drop of mud sticks to the Princess. This effect protects the Princess from humiliation on all five senses, she wont smell of mud, nor will her skin feel muddy to the touch.

Others share more usual durations, rolls, etc.

Princess: the Hopeful posted:

Red String of Fate (Connect 4, Fuego 3)
Action: Extended, Inner Light + Manipulation (30 minutes/roll, threshold = target's Willpower), modified by Sympathy
Cost: 2 Wisps, 1 Willpower

Duration: 1 month

In a lengthy ritual, invoking all you know of him, you weave the thread of your life into another's, offering him your heart, and draw comfort from the bond. Once you reach the threshold, you gain an Entwined Destiny Merit of true love for the target until the Charm ends, with all the benefits and drawbacks thereof. If you fail to reach the threshold, you may not use the Charm on that person again for at least 1 week; if you ever get a dramatic failure, you take a -2 penalty on all Social rolls involving the target for 1 month.

Upgrade: Mirrored
Cost: +1 Willpower
When you reach the threshold, your target also gains an Entwined Destiny Merit of true love for you.

Upgrade: Proxy (Fuego 4)
You may use the Charm to make two other people into true lovers. The threshold is the higher of the targets' Willpower, and you apply the worse of the two Sympathy modifiers. If you apply Mirrored, both targets gain the Merit; otherwise, only one does, and you choose which. You cannot make anyone fall in love with you without binding yourself to him -- even trying to do so produces the effects of a dramatic failure.

Princess: the Hopeful posted:

Stop, Children, What's That Sound (Bless 3, Aria 2)
Action: Instant and resisted, Inner Light + Wits - target's Resolve
Cost: 1 Wisp

Duration: 1 scene

There's something happening here; what it is ain't exactly clear ...

By speaking a single word, you send another person into a state of extraordinary alertness. When the target makes a Perception roll, or a roll to avoid surprise, he adds a +2 bonus to the roll. The target can benefit from the Charm once for each success rolled.

Upgrade: Collective
Cost: +1 Wisp
You may use the Charm on a social group that can see or hear you, using the Commonalty modifier. The member with the highest Resolve resists for the group.

Honestly, while the whole thing is really poorly written and the balance is at best questionable this isn't the entertaining terriblefest that Daeren made it sound like. Just... terrible. YOU LIED TO ME!

Also, that's far from the only Charm rather blatantly named after a song.