Another forums.RPG.net production that doesn't understand the importance of editors, images, and turning extra content into supplements
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
Part 1: Another forums.RPG.net production that doesn't understand the importance of editors, images, and turning extra content into supplements
[No title image because no one ever made one and fuck doing that myself]
Disclaimer: I have very little experience analyzing TTRPGs and while I am familiar enough with the rules for nWoD to try this out, I'm still a bit lacking in my knowledge for nWoD 2E. Like how Genius seems to lean heavily on inspiration to oMage, there's likely some inspiration from oWoD in this game that will just run right past me since I have absolutely no knowlege of oWoD stuff beyond the names of the games and what I've absorbed from this thread and the WoD thread, so if I miss something from oWoD or nWoD that the game seems to be clearly aping, feel free to point it out.
The original foundations for this game were laid in the RPG.net forums and continue to be developed to this day. If this was a proper book and production, what counts as the core book would likely have been split into the core and an supplement. As it currently stands, the pdf runs at 394 pages (and 431 with condition cards). In terms of time spent on development,
the first post
that started this thing off was dated March 3, 2009 and originally titled Princess: the Fading. It was remaned relatively quickly (since the second thread six months later had it with its current name). One of the bigger sparks in development was the release of the anime Puella Magi Modoka Magica. Even prior to this, there was a lot of inspiration to draw from such as Sailor Moon and subversions/parodies like Sailor Nothing. However, there wasn't really a series that hit the themes of PtH quite like Modoka Magica and likely affected the development heavily from that point forward. Prior to that, much of the development was based on emulation of the genre and then creating their own subversions or elements of darkness. As much as I'd like to go on and on about the dev process for this fan game (since it provides a lot of useful context for something like this), much of itis wrapped up in the rpg.net threads which is now on #8 at ~2700 posts. Compared to Genius, Princess still sees a bit of active development with minor updates usually popping up once a month based on their update log. That log doesn't go past 2012 though. As for how serious this game is, it's definitely a real tossup since this amount of development is too much for a parody, but the original rpg.net post starts with this:
Today I remembered John Biles' parody homebrew, Senshi: The Merchandising, and I started brainstorming how'd you go about something like for nWOD.
So while it may have started out as lightheared parody, it turned into something serious.
Also, as it turns out, there were two previous attempts to do Princess before this. One was abandoned (by McGiygas and also actually about the forked version that's been stalled since 2012 afaik) and the other is listed as
(by recon_etc). Both are in archives and just looking at those posts (courtesy of the
), a bit has changed since their posts including the introduction. Not enough that it may as well be a different game, but just enough that there are noticeable changes. There is no guarantee that I'll go beyond the
version which got all the way to the Charms section, but one can always
No matter how old we may be now, all of us were once young. The world was unexplored and exciting, full of possibility. What we lacked in experience and wisdom, we made up for in possibility and enthusiasm. We dreamed of fame, fortune, wealth, glory, respect. We wanted to be astronauts, cowboys, firemen, doctors, singers, rock stars, or all of the above at once. After all, we didn’t know what was possible – and that meant ANYTHING was possible. We looked at the world through guileless eyes, felt it as fully and intensely as anyone ever could. When we came to a new idea, we embraced it zealously and whole-heartedly, convinced we’d found the secret that would change the world. When we loved, we were convinced it was the most passionate ever felt; when we hurt, we thought it was a tragedy the likes of which had never been seen. We were convinced that we had the whole thing figured out, that we could make everything perfect if we just had a chance, if the grown-ups would just listen. After all, we could do anything if we put our mind to it. We were fearless. We couldn’t wait to grow up so we could grab life by the horns.
And as we mature, we realize the follies of our youth. We learn that our love and pain are not unique, that everyone in the world has gone through the same; this was comforting, but it was also disappointing. We found out that there are no more cowboys, that we didn’t have the money or determination for medical school, that we couldn’t pass the physical to be an astronaut or that becoming a famous musician is just a matter of luck and we’d probably have to get a job doing something boring, even worse, something LAME. We learned that growing up isn’t about suddenly being able to do everything you ever wanted; it’s mostly about learning how stupid you were when you were young. We learned from our mistakes and shook our heads, wondering how we could ever be dumb enough to make them in the first place. Our potential was replaced with reality. We found out that no, life wasn’t going to be an open book for us. We become jaded, we figure out we’re not that special, that the things we love aren’t really the best things in the universe, that our fresh new ideas had been tried before a thousand times. Our fearlessness turned out to be recklessness, so we cast it aside. We weren’t going to change the world, we were just going to live in it.
Yet even after learning this, we still long for the fire and passion of our youths. Yes, we know that we’re not that special and yes, we know the things we believed were silly... but wouldn’t it be nice if they weren’t? The promises of our youth could never be fulfilled... but it still felt good to think they could, right?
They can. We didn’t get wiser when we grew up, we just became more cynical. We weren’t stupid back then, and our greatest mistake, our only mistake, was telling ourselves that we were. We stopped putting all of our selves into everything we did because we became too afraid of failing, of letting ourselves get hurt by the effort. So we told ourselves that trying was silly. We abandoned the dreams we had rather than see them fail. We gave in to our fears.
And now it’s time to overcome them.
Before we're out of the gate, we get a rousing speech that's the equivalent of the opening fiction I guess. I may be off, but there's definitely some Changeling: the Dreaming vibes based on all of the "growing up isn't all it's cracked up to be" stuff. It's all like this too. Just overblown and a little pompous. I could try an sum up all of the weird nonsense that the introduction puts forth, but it's all kinda bad so I'll just quote it.
A Game Of Fighting Fear
Princess: The Hopeful is a game about the promises of our youth fulfilled...Princes and Princesses are those who haven’t given in to that fear of inadequacy and failure. They come from a world unlike the World of Darkness, a better world, a kinder world, a just world. They come from the world we all wished we could make before we knew it was impossible – and they seek to prove us wrong. A better world wasn’t impossible, and it still isn’t. As a Princess, power isn’t a gift to you, it’s a responsibility.
You can fix problems
There’s too much we just resign ourselves to. We say, “That’s just the way it is,” and live with the pain. You don’t have to. You can do things, real things, to solve people’s problems. You don’t have to feel frustrated. You can be their white knight against the cruel world. Few people have the power to do this and the chance to see the world work the way we think it should is too tempting to pass up.
But some problems don't want to be fixed
Life is a Gordian knot. There’s not always an easy way to do things, even against apparently supernatural threats. People are complicated and confused. They will often act against their best interests without thinking. Many insist on the Status Quo because they know how to live with the Status Quo, and something new makes all of their supposed wisdom worthless.
Because doing good can be terrifying
An angel is another kind of monster. Those who do what they believe is right, relentlessly, unapologetic, frequently frightening those around them. It’s understandable – you have power and they don’t. No matter how kind you try and be, you’re taking the decision out of their hands. Not everybody will be thankful. Many will try to destroy you or chain you down. They might be right. They might be wrong. To act, you need the resolution to decide what is what and many will call that inhuman.
And sometimes the good guys can't win
You’re powerful, but you aren’t all powerful. You can’t be every where at once. You can’t account for simple bad luck. No matter how much you want to believe otherwise, you can and will fail. People will die. People will suffer. And because you’re in the thick of it, you’re going to feel their pain worse than if you stayed at home and turned on the TV. Doing the right thing can be a trial without end.
But you can't walk away. Because sometimes they do
Blissful ignorance is no longer an option. You can’t hide behind the excuse that there’s nothing you can do. And sensitive to the hearts of others, you can’t shut out their pain – or their joy. Those rare moments of beauty and happiness are what make the fight worth it. You need to protect that, because without those occasions of hope, life is not worth living. Once your eyes are open to that fact, it’s hard to shut them again.
Nothing will be the same
The world will never be the same after you. You are going to change things, even if you’re too small for the cosmos to notice just yet. You’re a force of chaos, shaking people from the sleep they’ve been in. Once you start performing your little miracles, people will take notice. Living with and for others means you can’t always be discreet. You’re different. You’re not playing by the rules anymore. You’re laying down new rules and once people understand them, they’ll try and exploit them, like they did with the old rules. You are a revolutionary force.
You'll just have to find out for yourself
In the end, a world of darkness is a world of possibilities. Many of them are not pleasant – we’ve spent millennia creating societies of light expressly out of fear of them. Under the blanket of night lies an undiscovered country. It might be empty, waiting for you to build your own palaces. It might be flush with danger, patiently lying just out of sight. And it might be hiding the very treasures we’ve thought were impossible. The darkness, the shadows, the occult – it is like Pandora’s Box. In it might lay evils we can’t imagine. But slam the lid too fast and you lock away Hope forever.
The theme of the game is obviously
and making a difference against reality and the troubles it brings. The mood is
since the trials will never end and any spare time is few and far between. Themes of growing up also seem to be apparent based on the Introduction section alone. One thing that's also apparent is how closely it edges on being some sort of Superhero WoD splat instead of Magical Girls. The unending battle for hope and doing the right thing and such just screams Superman rather than any sort of Sailor Moon deconstruction.
There's also not a Glossary at this point, so when "Status Quo" appears capitalized in text, it's assumed that it's something important in the text, but idk if it is or if it's just the severe lack of editing because someone didn't get the memo that status quo isn't a proper noun. Princesses (and Princes) are also known as the
(again, no glossary, so I'm assuming here).
I'll let TVTropes (
) explain this one:
Take a basic Magical Girl template, influenced most of all by Sailor Moon (note the title). Infuse some Neon Genesis Evangelion, mix in the tone and atmosphere of Animorphs, and add some of the self-awareness of Scream on top. What do you get? Sailor Nothing, a Web Original written by Twoflower and a very scary magical girl story, not unlike Elfen Lied. It also predates some other takes like Futari wa Pretty Cure and Puella Magi Madoka Magica (but not Shamanic Princess), being written in 2000 and 2001.
Uncommonly, it doesn't begin with the heroine's origin story. In fact, as the story opens, Himei has already spent five years as Sailor Salvation, and acquired a lifetime's worth of horrific memories fighting as the sole grunt soldier in a futile war against the Yamiko. Having initially Jumped at the Call, she sees it as cause for celebration when her boss and Mysterious Protector, Magnificent Kamen (nicknamed "Magnificent Bastard" for good reasons despite the trope-y name), finally gets fed up with her complaints and fits of Unstoppable Rage and fires her. After all, more even than most, she just wants to be normal...
There's just one problem: she can't be. Kamen cut her off, but she still has her powers, and still gets the unbearable splitting headaches that signal the birth of a new Yamiko. There's no escape, except one option... and that option is looking more attractive every day...
So...Grimdark Sailor Moon that appealed to anyone who wanted an edgy magical girl series.
Puella Magi Modoka Magica
As mentioned above, this anime premiered in 2011 and made huge waves in the Magical Girl scene by being less than subtle about the darkness within it which becomes readily apparent after the first plot bomb. The universe doesn't exactly mesh with the setting Princess has so it's not a perfect match, but the trials and tribulations are supposed to be relatively accurate.
Without going into the batshit setting involving nanomachines and the virgin girls they are bonded to, the inspiration noted is based on the Realpolitik that's involved. I don't know either. For further reading though, consider the meme
O noes her nanomachines!11!!
Brave - What happens when a Princess shirks their duties
Coraline - The world Coraline enters is representative of a Dreamland and the Other Mother is an example of a one of their antagonists.
Peter Pan (2001 Film) - The pitfalls of Dreamlands and themes of growing up.
First thoughts: As a twenty-something who consumes way too muchanime and superhero comics, the growing up themes actually do resonate with me and I'm sure the collaborators of Princess may have done a bit of the same. Also, Cythereal is a real trooper for being able to get through Genius since Princess seems to be in the same mire of being overloaded with content with the book having a monstrous lack of aethetics to at least soften the blow. There's a lot of text to pore through and I'm sure some of the more obviously dumb stuff might go over my head. However, Chapter 1 has a section titled
so clearly the anime is strong in this game to a likely embarrasing degree. Also of note, the Gordian Knot line has been in the text since 2010 as referenced by a /tg/ thread lambasting the game so any amount of editing and critical commentary has been minimal. At some point somewhere, this was also probably a slight comedy game or something with more noble intentions. However, it's reached someplace a bit creepier and offputting. Also, the lack of Princess Tutu in the inspiration section is a little disappointing.
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
The thing that's in every WoD book, including Genius except this one
Apparently, the wiki for the project has a Glossary of terms. However, the book itself does not. This may be intetional if the purpose of the book is to compile the wiki's contents. That raises the question of who needs it compiled and why doesn't the damn compilation also have this glossary? For the sake of everyone and myself, I'll go over the contents of this before heading into the rest of the book.
Beacon - Special mortal with no powers but a close relation to the Light of Hope. Light of Hope is not in the glossary.
Blossoming - The first time a Princess transforms
Calling - the X-splat for Princess. They are: Champion, Grace, Mender, Seeker, Troubador
Charm - The name of their magic skills. Coincidentally comes in ten categories: Appear, Bless, Connect, Fight, Govern, Inspire, Learn, Perfect, Restore and Shape. Each Calling is connected to three of these groups.
Hopeful - Used to refer to anyone touched by the Light of Hope (context based on this makes me assume that it's their power source)
Invocation - Another form of magic. They are Aqua, Aria, Fuego, Lacrima, Legno, Specchio, Tempesta and Terra.
Kingdom, The -
the once great and noble civilization that came before the current debased World of Darkness, there is very little actually known about it but a large amount of speculation.
Nobility - Collective name for Princesses
The storage unit of a Princess's soul and how they can turn into Liches
A Princess's transformation item
Prince(ss) - Who the game is about
Queens, the - Group of powerful people who were around before The Fall. There are five Radiant Queens and three Twilight Queens
Radiant, the - the Radiant Queens: The Queens of Clubs, of Diamonds, of Hearts, of Spades and of Swords and/or those that follow them
Regalia - the stuff a Princess has on when they transform as well as gear granted by Charms
Sworn - People empowered by the Princesses
Twilight, the - as like the Radiant. Their Queens are of Tears, of Storms and of Mirrors
This Glossary is far, FAR, from comprehensive, but it's a start. Things like Nakama and the Dreamlands and the like will be explained when they come up. But more preface before we dive further and deeper into this madness
Next time: Fluff and nonsense and pictures to keep the post from being too boring
Noblesse Oblige -or- eight pages of WORDS WORDS WORDS with nothing about how to actually play the game
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
Chapter 1: Noblesse Oblige -or- eight pages of WORDS WORDS WORDS with nothing about how to actually play the game
Every chapter from here on, there's no pieces of fiction that actually deepens the world. Instead we get a quote from a famous person before they tell us everything there is to know. We start off Chapter 1 with a bit of how Princesses (or the Nobility) see the world and here we already deviate from the established notions of the WoD where greys are the sum and the whole.
Light and Dark
Ask any of the Nobility and they will tell you that of course there is such a thing as objective good and evil. To the Radiant the world they inhabit makes this as clear as daylight. A Princess draws her magic from the Light. A force created by love, friendship, by effort to improve the world or just effort to help a stranger out. The Light probably isn’t the absolute axis for all that is good but if it could think you could say it’s making a sincere effort to reach that exalted height. For the Nobility this is enough to point at for proof that good really does exist, because what Princesses compare the Light to is the Dark.
The Dark is the Light’s opposite in every way. It is a force of banal corruption; it festers where people commit acts of cruelty and inflict suffering on each other. Everything it touches is tainted with its own nature. If left unchecked it would cause an unending torrent of corruption until the Dark finally succumbed to its own nature and starved upon an empty wasteland. The scholars among the Nobility are divided upon one key question about the Dark. Its origins. Some say that it is a dreadful alien being attacking our world through humanity’s cruelties for it’s own sustenance. Others say that we ourselves are the Dark’s true origin, our sins created it and we shall forever be haunted by our crimes until such a day as we rise above them.
Yeah, I don't know the point of hypothesizing about the source of
is other than some metafictional masturbation. The next section is all about the origins of the realms of the Nobility. Really don't know why it's relevant or necessary at this point, but we're here now and the train's already off the tracks. Consider it similar to when Mage talks about the Fall of the Supernal realm. In this case, it's the Kingdom with the only remainder being a place known as the Alhambra. (The others for potential namedrop reference are Andarta, Aztallan, The Confederacy of Four Winds, Crystal Heril, Danann, Gonel and Wen-Mung.) Due to each place being so different, the assertion of those differences by their reigning Queens allowed Darkness to enter. Eventually the Kingdom fell, blah blah blah, past now remains shrouded in mystery, I stopped caring.
Next is what happened after
(the name of what they call the Kingdom's fall). Three new figures are name dropped: The Red, White and Black Queens. They're powerful individuals tainted by darkness and created a trap within the Dreamlands (no explanation as of yet as to what this is and how it relates to other realms) to keep the Nobility there and away from the Earth by creating an illusion of the Earth there. The period is called
The Long Night
and the trap made it so any Princesses who did incarnate on Earth for whatever reason, alone and without help. The Twilight Queens are name dropped here: The Lady of Alhambra, the Seraphic General and the Queen of Mirrors (who doesn't get a special name) and are shown to be one of the three major factions in the game.
In July 1969 mankind first set foot on the moon. The hope released by this single event was so great that for the briefest instant the Light shone brighter on Earth than it did in the Dreamlands. In a flash every soul trapped within knew that they were not on Earth as they believed. The five Queens mustered their armies against their jailors and shattered the machinery of their prison. Their victory was swift and brutal; after millennia of imprisonment the Kingdom was once again free.
The effects were far from instantaneous. The first reincarnated Princess to once again Blossom was in 1987 and the second was not until 1994. No one is even sure if the commoners of the Kingdom reincarnate at all but no one has turned up with accurate memories of a past life in the Kingdom so far.
Mention is made of reincarnation in this section and the previous one, but it's not made clear as to what it refers to specifically and how that's all supposed to work. Unfortunately, it isn't, so it's left somewhat vague and confusing for now. Also, the years seem oddly specific for a WoD game and should have some significance. They probably do, but they're not relevant to the game at all and are totally unnecessary. The moon landing being a key date as opposed to VE-Day or the Fall of the Berlin Wall seems to be a sort of personal choice by whoever wrote the section, but it still seems way too specific.
Being a Princess
As a note, to remind everyone again for those who may or may not have forgotten, both males and females (and whatever other genders there are) can become a Prince/Princess.
With regards to the
, the first transformation, I'll skip most of the fluff to the paragraph that sums up the inevitable.
No matter the precise trigger, though, Princesses are frequently idealistic or visionaries in some way, although that does not necessarily correlate with naivety; one can be aware of the flaws of the world and still want to improve it. In the end, all that the Hopeful have been able to detect among the circumstances which granted their powers are broad trends and patterns. Almost inevitably, there will be an exception to any rule they devise.
Before reading, I thought this was some sort of puberty analogue. I'm thankful that I'm at least partially wrong. So yeah, while there are broad trends to Blossoming, there's always exceptions so a player can be that speshul snowflake Princess who awakened at the age of six or something. The general trend is anyone in their mid-teens and up can blossom with older individuals triggering during some life changing event. Virtue or Vice have no bearing and stick out oddly as mechanical features mentioned in the middle of a fluff section as though an individual's Virtue and Vice were some constant metaphysical trait akin to alignment.
From the moment she Blossoms every Princess has the ability to Transform. With the simplest effort she pushes her dreams and aspirations outwards from her soul. They flow through her body, transforming her into the woman she always wanted to be.
The Nobility often tell each other that Princesses don’t do magic; they are magical and Transformation is the proof. In her mundane identity a Princess is hardly recognisable as having any magic at all, but in her transformed identity... Ah, what a difference that is. Magic flows through her body; it is on the level of blood or bone. Her magic makes her stronger, more charismatic, or smarter.
Even her personality is different, but not by much. Part of it is the just the natural result of her magic: She is more confident because she is more capable, she makes more witty remarks because she can think of them faster. Other changes come from the Transformation itself though nothing important changes. Both of her two selves are fundamentally Her. The changes are little things, she uses different phrases and expressions to say the same concepts, her mannerisms are different. Like the changes to her physical body these changes are an expression of the person she wishes to be, drawn from her innermost hopes and made physical by her magic.
From this, it means one could go from
if they wanted as far as I can tell.
In exchange for these powers, Princesses gain a form of super-empathy called Sensitivity and it increases as a Princess gets stronger. The negative product of Sensitivity are Shadows. There are mechanical bits attached to these things, but they're not elaborated on here. Wisps are their magical resource. I'll skip over the talk about Invocations and Charms since it doesn't really explain anything about them that isn't just fluff. Suffice to say, a Princess needs to
the emotion necessary to use her abilities. Learning new charms and such is a matter of training (i.e. experience) :facepalm:
Next we get into the Dreamlands:
Within her dreams a Princess travels beyond her mind and into the very soul of humanity. Within the Dreamlands the hopes and aspirations of mankind take life, they form vast cities. Beautiful vistas with all the incomprehensible forms of a dream. The Dreamlands are more than just a metaphor; they are a true world. The inhabitants have lives, hopes and dwell in functional societies. Many Princesses are surprised to discover something so ordinary amongst dreams and flights of fancy, but is it really so surprising than a Princess’ dreams would form after how she sees the world? For the Princess who cares so much about friendship and community when she is awake, what else would she dream about?
Travelling to the Dreamlands offers many practical advantages to a Princess; she can find friends and mentors among the population including the Radiant Queens. Objects of power, often created and traded by Dreamlanders, can be formed into Bequests. However the Dreamlands is not just frolicking and sunshine; it contains all mankind’s fears and hates as well as it’s hopes and dreams; and it was once used by the Darkness to construct a trap for the souls of the Kingdom. Though the trap is broken it’s creaky machinery and the remnant of the prison’s old wardens still seek to imprison the Enlightened in a blissful dream.
Every supernatural apparently needs their own special realm (exceptthe ones that don't) and this is theirs.
The culture section is next and it's best preserved in its original form:
The Nobility are really good at community; in the short time since the Release a sprawling culture has grown across a network of blogs, forums and social networking sites. The Hopeful community covers more than just Princesses; Beacons and Sworn are welcome and even ordinary people can often be found on the comment threads. The online Radiant community is hardly a walled garden; it spills forth onto related subjects. Princesses can often be found blogging about and arguing in forums related to politics, current affairs, activism and social justice. Many blogs or forums are considered to be both hubs of the Radiant community – for the author or prominent members are Princesses – and considered to be ordinary websites by their mundane viewers – for the Princesses are still in the closet (at least under this username).
Many Princesses eagerly flock to debates about occult theory or magical phenomena, but on this subject the Nobility often retreat to their own private communities for a Princess talking about her emotional variety of magic often causes her to clash with both mortals – who eagerly latch onto occult principles (accurate or otherwise) to make up for the fact they cannot perform magic – and actual magicians – for whom occult principles form the foundation of their power – some young and naive princesses have caught the attention of experienced magicians who simply recognised the way they talk and think about magic.
Inevitably debates between so many young, passionate ideologues – on the internet no less! – often descends into a morass of arguments often about the most pointless things, if only because it’s easier to join an argument when you don’t need to have read about the subject. At least most Princesses are socially competent and able to spell. People often wonder how Princesses, a group who live by the maxim “School, friends, royal duties, sleep, choose three” ever find the time to argue on the internet. In truth it’s common for Princesses to vanish entirely from their online community when an actual problem comes to their town; lives have even been saved because somebody decided check up why a someone stopped posting.
Yeah...At lot can be said about this section particularly concerning the last quoted paragraph (I skipped the last actual one since it's mostly a transition into Nakamas). The snide passive aggression is practically dripping off of that paragraph.
The word “Nakama” means a group of friends; translated into English you might say “buddies” or“gang” in the playful kids’ use of the word.
Princesses use the word “Nakama” no differently than ordinary people. A Nakama is first and foremost a group of friends. They go shopping, see movies, plait each other’s hair or compete in fun magic contests.
Fluff on Queens, not really relevant; Campaigns (why?), so an in fiction reason for large groups to get together and fight as though the players and the ST couldn't think of one; and finally the Language section where the creators try to make in-universe explanations for their naming conventions.
Terms in Japanese originate from Bonnie Getsuei, an American (and complete Japanophile) who forged much of the Radiant’s community in San Francisco and even provided a common entry point to the online Radiant community for English speaking princesses (presumably actual Japanese Princesses also use their native tongue).
Italian words can often trace their origin to the Queen of Heart’s earliest followers in the United Kingdom (The Court of Hearts had a late start in America, as the first impressions of that court often clash with America’s national ideals. Today few Princesses even remember what the fuss was about.) Influenced by Andartan culture those Princesses chose to use a romance language, and since they didn’t want to use French; Princesses everywhere sprinkle their magic with Italian terms.
Greek and Latin words both share origins in the Court of Diamonds; the early Lights were the first to attempt to begin classifying and studying hopeful magic and related phenomena. This project was split between those who were more influenced by their Queen and wanted to use Greek and those who were more influenced by human academia and wanted to use Latin. The argument was never settled and various words from both languages have become part of the Princess lexicon, mostly for things a Princess can go a while without encountering as everything else was named through informal, and therefore faster, channels. Exceptionally nerdy Princesses sometimes use Greek instead of the Latin terms or Latin instead of the Greek, and Latin or Greek instead of English, Italian and Japanese terms.
Finally English is, obviously, the de-facto language of English speaking Princesses. Anything that did not get a catchy enough name quickly enough is likely to be in English. One unusual, and uniquely American, fact about English is that many Princesses adopt a more “royal” manner of speaking in their Transformed identity, which is to say a British accent ranging from “BBC English” to “not even The Queen lays it on that thick”. Princesses who are actually from the United Kingdom usually use their natural accent, though as the British will parody anything some have been known to play up, or adopt, incomprehensible regional accents when around Americans.
I don't know either.
That concludes Chapter 1 and now we can get to the really important stuff concerning the game. There's still a lot more fluff to go though so there's still stuff that everyone can groan over.
Next: The skeleton and bones of the system and the spookiness therein.
Coronation, Part 1: This is where the Magic happens
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
Chapter 2 - Coronation, Part 1: This is where the Magic happens
So after all that fluff, we finally get into making things relevant to the game. It's merely a 15 Step process.
To be fair, it's only a few more steps than most WoD games (just pulled up Demon for example and it has 9, Strix Chronicles clocks in at 7). For the first time in a while while making this post, I've opened a WoD book to compare Princess to it. Color me surprised at Chapter 1 always being a fluff chapter. That being said, Chapter 1 tends to actually focus on the key aspects of that splat (Demon focues on the GM, Angels and the Fall; Vampire focuses on Clans, Covenants and what it means to be a Vampire). PtH instead spends a relatively large amount of time talking about backstory and what makes a Princess rather than spending more time talking about a Princess's trials and tribulations, the moral dilemas that may come up in their campaign against darkness and so forth.
How to build a Princess
: The Story Seed - Decide what the game is about (i.e. the plot). This isn't a step I've ever seen in any other WoD game. It's the step that may as well be one of the Zero steps that's done by the person running the game beforehand.
: Character Concept - The standard Step 1.
The second step is to try and distil your character down into a single concept. You want something that you can easily hold in your head, this concept will serve as the anchoring centre to your character. When you start adding details later it should be quick and straight forward to ask yourself “does this detail
strengthen my character concept?”
A good character concept focuses on who your character is. Is your character’s self-identity defined by her mundane side, her supernatural side, or a balance of both. Because Princesses invest so much of themselves in their work it is often hard to separate who a Princess is from what she does, but try to cut out the specifics and drill down to the core of your concept. Consider a “young politician” instead of the “student president.”
Character’s often change during character creation as ideas bounce around, and once play starts circumstances can change fast. It’s good to have a little flexibility in your core concept.
: Fleshing it out - Essentially Step 2b.
Are you playing a Prince or a Princess? Does your character fight evil in a frilly sailor fuku or spandex and a cape?
Now that you have your core character concept you can add everything else: Appearance, personality, background, family, friendships and perhaps romances. In short, it’s time to write your character as a character rather than a collection of attributes and a list of magical powers.
Some players can write for pages while others will prefer a few paragraphs. There’s no right or wrong answer, except that it never hurts to discuss things with your group and try and make sure everyone’s style fits together nicely.
Why are these two steps separated? I understand that Step 3 follows from 2, but it's not as though they can't be the same step for simplicity's sake.
: Virtue, Vice, Aspirations and Dreams - Hopeful is banned as a Virtue since every Princess has it and that's the core of the splat, so it's already prominent. Five Aspirations and Dreams are suggested with at least two Dreams. Dreams are a special form of Aspiration for Princesses that'll be explained in the next post.
: Attributes - The standard Step 2. 5/4/3 Standard.
: Skills - Standard Step 3. 11/7/4 Standard.
: Skill Specialties - Standard 4. Pick three. Normal.
: Add a Calling and a Transformed Attribute - The first part of the typical "Add _____ template."
Calling is the X splat of Princess and represents the way the Princess brings Hope into the world. They'll be explained in greater detail in another post. Each Calling also has two Attributes the player can chose from to get a free Transformed Attribute dot. Transformed stuff will also be explained as this goes on, but as far as I can tell it's a bit disparate and spread out. Typical for White Wolf I guess.
List of Callings (list taken straight from the book):
Champion: Defenders of the weak and helpless. (Strength or Resolve)
Grace: Elegant and noble, the voices and diplomats of the Reborn. (Presence or Composure)
Mender: Those who take wounded flesh and wounded hearts and make them whole. (Intelligence
Seeker: Hunters of truth, banishers of lies, revealers of the hidden. (Intelligence or Wits)
Troubadour: Artists and exemplars who inspire greatness in others. (Presence or Dexterity)
: Add a Queen - The Queens act as mentors for Princesses and help define a Princess's philosophy. They also have a Favored Invocation that gets a unique enhancement.
List of Queens (as the list of Callings)
Clubs: The Queen of Wilds leads the coven of Princesses who seek to live in harmony with the
Diamonds: The Queen of Lights leads the conclave of progressive-minded Princesses who believe
in constantly adapting and refining the Kingdom’s techniques.
Hearts: The Queen among Queens leads the court of Princesses who focus on communities, and
their place within society, first and foremost.
Spades: The Queen of Knaves leads a confederacy of winking scoundrels and good-hearted rogues
who believe the best application of the rules is to break them.
Swords: The Queen of Heroines leads the company of Princesses who believe that inner strength
and passion should always light the way
Just like most Y splats, it's possible to choose none but it's said to be rare for Princesses. Princesses can also choose from the Twilight Queens, but those who follow those Queens essentially are of an Antagonist faction like the Seers or the Pure.
A sidebar (more like box since the book is single column instead of the double that's standard to WoD books) gives players a better idea of how to choose their Queen
Choosing a Queen
It is rare for a Princess to ever agree with her Queen on every single point, and it is almost universal for a Princess to have some affinity for the teachings of several Queens. This can make it hard for Princesses (and players) to know which Court is right for them. Should a naturalist join the court of Diamonds with her fellow women of science, or the court of Clubs with her fellow nature lovers? In all likelihood such a Princess will show her shared ideals by acquiring both the Acqua and Legno Invocations, but the player still has to decide which Queen goes on the top of the character sheet. The answer is which Queen shares her approach to making a brighter tomorrow:
• If you believe that self discovery and mutual understanding brings people together in harmony you will always be welcome in the court of Clubs.
• If you believe that clear and careful thought will lead us to a better tomorrow you’ll find minds that think alike in the court of Diamonds.
• If you believe that a Princess’ role is to build and lead communities into the light then you have a place in the court of Hearts.
• If you believe that the world’s ills are best solved outside of any boxes then you’ll fit right in at the court of Spades.
• If you believe that the world needs individual heroes led by all consuming passion then you can proudly join the court of Swords.
The Twilight Queens also have an approach.
• If you believe that the Darkness must be destroyed no matter what it takes you are ready to enlist in the armies of Storms.
• If you believe that being a Princess makes you the most important and special person in the world, and a utopia is just going to happen because you’re around then consider the Queen of Mirrors.
• Finally the Queen of Tears would say that if you believe in protecting your people no matter the cost, bring them to Alhambra where they will be safe. Yet remember that of all the Queens only the Lady of Alhambra rules a kingdom that survives to this day. She asks, and offers, more than any other Queen. A Princess who believes in protecting her people no matter what should still think if she wishes to be a part of Alhambra and if not she should choose another Queen or perhaps become a Courtless Lacrima specialist.
: Add Invocations - There are eight different categories of Invocations that players can choose from. Players start off with three dots to allocate with one needing to go into their Queen's favored Invocation. If they have no Queen (called Courtless [!?]), then they can just drop the dots anywhere. Invocations, as far as I can tell, don't get explained individually in their own section. Their either explained with their associated Queen or as a whole in their section.
: Add Charms - Charms are basically the actual tricks and spells that a Princess can do. There are 10 categories of these and players get 5 dots. Two of those dots must go into their Calling's three favored Charm families. Charms are purchased individually akin to Changeling, but rather than being a chain, it's a family (so multiples 1s, 2s, etc), and taking a Two dot Charm in a family requires having a one dot charm in that same family. Upgrades to that Charm cost a single Charm dot. Alternatively, players can trade, at most, one Charm dot for one Transformed Attribute dot or 3 Transformed Skills dots
: Add Inner Light - "A Princess’ magic shines out of her soul to illuminate the world. The raw power of her hopes and feelings is represented by her Inner Light."
Start with 1. Spend 5 Merit dots to get another. Spend the other 5 to get the third.
: Add Wisps - The resource stat. Wisps were explained in the previous chapter because I skipped over it. They're a measure of the manifestation of a Princess's emotional and magical energy.
: Add Belief - The morality stat. Will be explained in greater detail next post.
: Add Merits - "As a supernatural being a Princess is given three merit dots to spend at charachter creation, for a total of ten merit sdots." Two typos
And that's Character generation! Not too different from what standard WoD char gen might be like. There is no quick reference however. Maybe I expect too much.
Princess has the standard costs for things: 4 per Mundane Attribute Dot, 2 per Mundane Skill dot, 1 per Merit dot, and 5 per power stat dot. For the other things: Transformed Attribute and Stat dots cost one less than their Mundane counterparts and it costs another XP to convert Transformed dots to Mundane. Affinity Charms costs 1 per dot. Non-Affinity Charms cost the same but with a 1 XP surcharge. Charm upgrades cost 1 XP. Favored Invocation costs 2 per dot and the others cost 3 per. Belief is actually more expensive compared to the two splats I've checked at 3 per dot. Finally, Willpower that's sacrificed can be rebought at 1 per dot.
This was another shorter post, but it's on the level of Cytheria's size which I guess is as fine a benchmark as any for post about WoD fangames.
Next Post: Princess Traits. And maybe some pretty pictures to doll the post up since this one was kinda bland.
Original SA post
Don't want to break up creepy cat talk, so I'll just drop this in and let everyone continue.
Princess: the Hopeful
- Princess PTSD
Skirts, dresses, stars, hearts and sparkles
The various Advantages and Disadvantages of being a pretty pretty Prince or Princess. I apologize for the sheer number of Madoka pics, but the series provides an easily accessible amount of choice images for this section.
Wisps and Attribute/Skill Maxes follow Demon's (and presumably others). Transformed Attribute/Skill Max is the max when transformed. It starts at 5 and goes up 1 every 2 Inner Light until 9 Inner light where it matches the Mundane max. Princesses start with a max effective Charm level of 3. The effective Charm level is the Charm's level plus one per upgrade bought (so a 3 dot Charm with 4 Upgrades bought is effectively Seven). The max Charm level goes up one per Inner Light. Princesses also have Sensitivity, their drawback. The dice rolled for Sensitivity is equal to half of Inner Light rounded up.
A Princess is, by nature, sensitive to the suffering of others. When she sees someone in pain she cannot help but feel it herself; when she witnesses cruel or callous acts that cause suffering in others, the light within her dims and flickers. The sympathetic pain echoes in her mind afterward as a Haunting; she may continue to see the face of the victim or relive the moment over and over. Food tastes like dust, her favorite music is nothing but a cacophony, and headaches won’t leave her. Worse, the most severe Hauntings leave behind a lasting injury to her magic, represented as the Shadows trait.
The acts a Princess is sensitive to are called cruelties. A cruelty is any action which causes significant emotional pain to a sapient being that is not fundamentally evil (creatures of the Darkness are fundamentally evil, except Darkened). Both the act and the victim must be in the Princess’ presence, and to qualify the villain must be being who has a Virtue and Vice (or equivalent) – accidents or animals may cause pain, but they don’t trigger Sensitivity. The degree to which a Princess is sensitive is determined by her Inner Light, increasing in size as the Inner Light grows stronger. When a Princess witnesses (or causes) an act of cruelty, she rolls a dice pool of half her Inner Light (rounded up); she adds 1 die if the tainter is an intimate of hers, adds 2 dice if she herself is the tainter. The Storyteller may add up to three additional dice if the act is especially heinous.
Any successes on this roll mean the Princess experiences a Haunting; if there are more successes than the Princess’s rating in Shadows she also gains one dot in Shadows and the Fresh Shadows Condition. The type of a Haunting is determined by the number of successes rolled and the severity of the Haunting is determined by the dots in Shadows she possesses. When a Haunting occurs on a roll that also caused the character to gain a dot of Shadows, use the new, higher rating to determine its severity. The duration of a Haunting is normally one scene, but if a Princess’ Belief falls too low Hauntings last longer.
A war zone, a call center or possibly a bondage dungeon would probably trigger a boatload of Sensitivity rolls for a Princess. Yelling a slur to a particularly vulnerable person might cause a Princess to be literally Triggered and have them be literally shaking.
This is one of those rolls where successes are to be avoided. If there are more successes then their rating in Shadows, they get a dot in Shadows in addition to the Haunting effects. The last quoted paragraph doesn't quite mesh with the next table (unless my reading comprehension has gone down the shitter while making this post) which contains effects based on the number of successes on the Sensitivity roll. The Haunting types are also the stages of Grief. All conditions gained as a result of this last for the Haunting's duration
1 Success - Acceptance - Take unpreventable Bashing damage equal to Shadows
2 Successes - Depression - Roll Shadows, lose Willpower equal to the number of successes, minimum 1. Also gain the Memories of Failure Condition
3 Successes - Bargaining - Gain the Senseless Martyr condition
4 Successes - Anger - Gain the Obsessive Vengance condition. If the Princess was the perpetrator, then gain the Pain Seeker condition instead
5 Successes - Denial - Gain the Abject Denial condition. If the Princess was the perpetrator, gain the Willful Amnesia condition instead.
All these conditions remind me of the note during The Huntsmen Chronicles development that said that not everything had to be a Condition.
Shadows are the painful product of Sensitivity. They are regrets and sorrows, doubts and fears; they are everything a person says when they say “I can’t” to themselves; and for a women whose emotions are magic they can be as debilitating as any illness.
Another typo. Also, the fact that it's female when talking about emotions being as debilitating as an illness gives me these odd vibes of sexism. I know that Princess isn't meant to be gender specific and they only use females in the text given the nature of the source material, but it still kinda bugs me. It does read with less odd sexism if "women" was replaced with "person." Mechanically, Shadows are a penalty to a Princess's Transformation roll (the first time it's mentioned) making it Belief + Inner Light - Shadows. To get rid of Shadows,
the Princess must smite the Villain with all of the power of Love and Justice and scatter the remains with the force of their Hope
During the scene in which a Princess gains a dot of Shadows, if she manages to make the victim of the Tainting whole, or punish the one responsible for it, she may remove the dot again. After the scene ends, the dot “sticks” and can’t be lost so easily. If a Princess with Shadows fulfills her Virtue, she may remove 1 dot of Shadows in addition to regaining Willpower. If a Princess rolls an Exceptional Success on any roll to regain Wisps, she may also remove a dot of Shaodws. Finally, a Princess may spend Beats to remove a dot of Shadows; the cost equals her current Shadows rating.
There are four things Wisps are generally used for:
Charms are already explained (the magic tricks Princesses can do).
Practical Magic - spending Wisps to add bonus dice to mundane rolls based on certain Attributes as determined by one's Queen.
Holy Shield - while Transformed, negate Bashing or Lethal damage at a one to one rate of Wisps or downgrade Aggravated to Bashing (it's not explained if spending 2 Wisps can negate 1 Agg damage or not)
Quickening Transformation - same as in Werewolf.
If a Princess's Wisp pool falls to 10-Belief, she gets the condition Running on Fumes
To regain Wisps, there are also four ways:
Call of Duty - The normal method of regaining Wisps. At the end of every Scene where a Princess successfully performs a Task appropriate to her calling, the ST can call for a roll with the same pool as the task (or one of the pools if there are more than one) with a penalty equal to their Shadows. They regain Wisps equal to successes on the roll
Inner Strength - By spending 1 WP, the player can roll Belief and regain Wisps equal to successes + Inner Light. An exceptional success also grants the next roll Rote. This method is only to be used when the Princess is in immediate danger. Making a heroic speech asserting her Beliefs beforehand grants 9-Again on the roll.
Circle of Light - It's a Merit and is explained there.
Voluntary Work - Doing the stuff that would fulfill the Call of Duty requirements during downtime. Also, related to the Mandate Merit
An exceptional success on any of the rolls to regain Wisps also removes a point of Shadows.
Dreams are special Aspirations that involve helping others as that's what a Princess is all about. In addition, fulfilling them gives a Luminous Beat in addition to a normal Beat. Otherwise, they're functionally identical to a normal Aspiration.
By fulfilling Dreams and getting an exceptional success on Volunteer Work rolls, Princesses gain Luminous Beats. Five Luminous Beats get one Luminous Experience. Luminous XP can be spent on Inner Light, Belief, removing Shadows and buying Social Merits. Normal XP can be used to supplement these purchases.
Belief tracks the strength of a Princess’s convictions, her belief in herself and her cause. Characters with high Belief are confident, assured, able to draw on their power more readily due to the strength of their certainty. They inspire confidence in everyone around them. Characters with low Belief are wracked with doubt and despair, losing their confidence that the world can be saved and that they have the ability to do it, thinking larger and larger compromises must be necessary if there is any hope to win at all. At first, this is only a minor loss, and characters may believe it healthy to learn of their own limitations and view the world more realistically. As Belief continues to drop, though, all hope begins to abandon the character, her powers seem further away, across a widening gulf of gnawing doubt, and she may begin to project an aura of uncertainty and depression on those around her.
The Belief trait replaces the Integrity system from the God-Machine Chronicle. Where as Integrity represents a character collapsing under traumatic and supernatural events, Belief represents a core of inner strength and hope that allows a Princess to carry on going even while she is collapsing under trauma, duty and the burden of Sensitivity. Starting characters begin with a Belief of 7, representing idealism and confidence without being totally blinded by rose-coloured glasses.
As a Princess loses Belief, she begins to think along the lines of “Our ideals alone are not enough. We’ve got to compromise on some things if we want got get the big prize. We need to set our sights lower. What we’re doing is wrong, but it has to be done because our determination and ideals aren’t enough anymore.”
She thinks “I can do this... but I have to hurt the people I’m trying to help.” She degenerates further, and now tells herself “I can do this... but I have to kill some people.”
Low Belief Princesses will inspire the shit out of you
Something I missed in the previous section, Princesses also start with rules that they live by based on their Belief. Think vows of sorts. A rule of thumb is that there's a rule that they live by for each dot of Belief above the fourth. These can change as the game goes on. Other morals codes are implied (such as those involving murder and the like).
Whenever a Princess would violate her beliefs, abandon a Dream or cause important to her, fail to save a loved one from an untimely death, cause a friend or loved on to die or use certain Charms, they trigger a Compromise roll. A Compromise roll is the morality roll everyone knows using Resolve + Composure.
Dramatic Failure: The Princess’ sense of hope has been damaged, she might never again regain her youthful idealism. Lose a dot of Belief and choose from the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval) as her negative emotions send her magic haywire: Shattered Confidence, Dissociation, Abdicated or Madness. Also, take a Beat.
Failure: The Princess’ sense of hope is shaken. She is probably questioning her right to call herself Noble and the chance that good might ever prevail. Lose a dot of Belief and choose from the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Heavy Crown, Self-Doubt, or Overcompensatory Guilt. Alternatively and only when it would be a serious inconvenience, loose your powers for the remainder of the scene and take a Beat.
Success: The Princess comes through with her sense of idealism intact. She believes that she could have done things differently, better, and resolves to be more worthy of her title next time. Choose one of the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Cracked Confidence, Heavy Crown, Self-Doubt, or Over-compensatory Guilt.
Exceptional Success: The Princess’ experiences taught her the value of both her principles and pragmatism, and how to best combine them in a complex world. She takes a beat and gains a point of Willpower.
Again, lots of Conditions being thrown around.
Along with this, the game also provides a list of modifiers to the Compromise roll based on the triggering action. Ostensibly, this could be better done with a chart or with just a general cleanup, but idk.
• The Princess fought for a cause until the very end but failed: +3
• The Princess abandoned a cause because she realised (justifiably) that it wasn’t such a good idea: +2
• One of the Princess’ loved one chose to die in a heroic sacrifice: +2
• Betraying the third oath of one’s calling: +1
• The Princess abandoned a cause because a more urgent cause turned up: +1
• Betraying the third oath of one’s calling: +1
• Abandoning Family and friends: -1
• Betraying the second oath of one’s calling: -1
• One of the Princess’ loved ones died of preventable natural causes, including problems that are only fixable with magic: -1
• Inflicting significant hardship on another (bullying, getting expelled from school): -1
• The Princess abandoned a cause for personal reasons (blackmail, exhaustion, exam revision): -2
• Permitting the theft of light from the world: -2
• Betraying the first oath of one’s calling: -3
• One of the Princess’ loved one was killed by something she failed to deal with (a Darkspawn that got away, a plague she was trying to cure, she died in battle alongside the Princess): -3
• Unplanned killing (manslaughter):-3
• Killing in self defence or within the rules and customs of war (either the Geneva Conventions or an equally moral but different set of rules): -3
• One of the Princess’ loved one was killed because of her connection to the Princess: -4
• The Princess abandoned a cause for personal gain (e.g. she was bribed by the oil companies): -4
• Dealing with a supernatural force anathema to humanity and the Light (the Dark, etc) to trade information or anything that does not involve direct aid: -4
• Betraying family or friends: -4
• Premeditated murder: -5
• Torture: -5
• Preventing a Blossoming: -5
• Serial murder: Automatic Chance Die.
• Utter perversion: Automatic Chance Die.
• Aiding a supernatural force anathema to humanity and the Light: Automatic Chance Die.
• The Princess has Belief 8-10: +2
• The Princess has 4-5 dots in Circle: +2
• The Princess Compromised her Beliefs to protect a friend or loved one: +2
• The Princess acted in accordance with her Virtue: +1
• The Princess has Belief 6-7: +1
• The Princess has 2-3 dots in Circle: +1
• The Princess follows the Queen of Mirrors: +1
• The Princess has a Condition caused by Specchio’s Drawback: +1
• The Princess acted in accordance with her Vice: -1
• The Princess has Belief 3-4: -1
• The Princess has no dots in Circle: -1
• Compromising her principles allowed the Princess to achieved her goals: -2
• The Princess has Belief 1-2: -2
The Belief section has two sidebars: One about "Social Manoeuvring" in order to cause a Belief Compromise.
The aggressor sets the goal of ”inflict a Belief Compromise”. Calculate the Doors as normal, assume that this always counts as opposing a virtue, and when the last Door is opened make a Compromise roll. The Princess can’t offer an alternative, from a game perspective there is no alternative equal to a Belief Compromise. Vices and leverage can work as normal. Tempting a Princess with tickets to her favourite band gives means she’ll be spending an evening with her tormentor, who can use that time to chip away at the Princess’ self confidence.
The other is about mandatory Compromise rolls
Any act which carries a -3 modifier is always a Compromise for a Princess with a Belief of five or above. At a -4 modifier the limit drops to Belief four and above. A -5 modifier drops the limit to Belief 3. Any act so heinous to force an automatic Chance Die will always be a Belief Compromise no matter what. This also applies to a Princess’ unique Compromises, should they have a modifier severe enough.
A Princess's followers can also instigate Compromise rolls.
A Princess is also held responsible for the deeds of her followers. If another person, acting under her direction or with good reason to think she wishes it, fails a degeneration check, the Princess implicitly Compromise her Belief. Unless the Princess explicitly ordered the act this is more forgiving than Compromises that she intended: Half any negative modifiers or double any positive modifiers on the follower’s roll, that is the modifier for the Princess’ own roll.
It is possible for one Princess to ask a follower to do something that would not Compromise the Princess’ own Beliefs but still requires the follower to make a degeneration roll. A Princess who sees nothing wrong with using her magic to bring criminals to justice may convince a fellow Princess working for the police to break her commitment to due process and share some evidence. A Princess may lead a team of armed mortals against a nest of Darkspawn, this is not a Compromise for the Princess but facing such monsters is a Breaking point for the Mortals. When this occurs it still is a breaking point for the Princess. The only exception is when performing an unambiguously moral act is a breaking point. If a Princess convinces a werewolf not to kill an innocent who knows his secret, that’s might be a breaking point against the shapeshifter’s obscure laws but the Princess does not risk her Belief.
So the ST can be a real dick with NPCs if they wanted. Or Vampires can via their own mental tricks or coercion.
Belief also affects how long a Haunting lasts. At 4 Belief, Hauntings last 2 Hours all the way to 1 Belief making Hauntings last 2 Days. At Belief 0, a lot of things happen:
When a Princess hits Belief 0, the anchorstone of her self is shattered. As her sense of hope, drained by so many Compromises, finally runs out her Inner Light starts to go out. She decreases her Inner Light to 0 dots, nothing more than a few fading embers. Her Phylactery shatters, suddenly age-rotted, and she forcefully de-Transforms, back to her normal identity. Without a Phylactery, she cannot Transform. Barred from the Dreamlands the Queens can offer no comfort. Even the Twilight Queens are disgusted by a Noble who falls this far, for Tears sees her as a threat to Alhambra, Storms as just another Dark creature waiting to happen, and Mirrors as a failed True Queen to be forgotten.
Many would say that this is enough of a curse; that, stripped of rank and privilege, she is left to wander the Earth. It may be. But that is not what happens. She is not merely a fallen Princess but a fallen human, little more than a shuffling husk that drifts through life; something barely recognisable as something which once championed the cause of the Light. Stripped of all drive she may just lie still until she starves, unable to see the point of eating. If she is pushed she will go about her life, she is too empty inside to say no, to say I hurt too much to do this. She is a hollow shell of a woman. Lacking the strength to fight for what she believes in, always folding at the least pressure, unable to even cry for help.
When a Princess becomes Belief 0, the final act that broke her Beliefs triggers a Denial Haunting. She gains the Willful Amnesia Condition: She forgets what destroyed her Belief and far more than that; she forgets the people who were hurt by it, she forgets her own complicity or failure to prevent the act, she even forgets what it means to be a Princess. For as long as this Haunting lasts; which at Belief 0 is Permanent, she cannot remember or access any of her powers from the Princess template. There are further effects than just a Huanting. Devoid of Belief the fallen Princess’ Inner Light begins to sputter and dim, the Princess suffers from the Fading Light Condition and the Suggestible Condition, both remain until she regains a dot of Belief.
It is in this state, this borrowed time that any salvation must come, because
if she can raise her Belief back up to 1 before she loses all her dots of Willpower, she can cut free of the Shadows blotting out her soul, she will die peacefully in her sleep the next night.
But no Princess can reignite her Belief alone, between the Haunting and her own lack of drive the Princess is prevented from confronting the problem. Her friends must force her to remember. This is not without risks, remembering is painful for a fallen Princess. At the end of every Scene where she faces her issue, if she still has Belief 0, roll Resolve + Composure. On a failure she loses another dot of Willpower. Bonuses may be given to the roll if herfriends made a good attempt to patch her together, and penalties may be applied if her enemies are forcing her to face such painful memories for their own nefarious purposes.
Just as a pause with the block of text, unless the player wishes to play a villainous PC or this is during the last throes of a game, once a Princess hits 0 Belief, they're essentially out of the game and can become a MacGuffin that the PCs need to protect.
If her friends wish to help her they must do so before she loses her last dot of Willpower, for when her Willpower reaches zero she will simply lie down and stop moving. Nothing but the most powerful magics can save a once-Princess from this state. Trapped within, her soul struggles in one last attempt to break free. Roll Resolve + Composure – Shadows. On a Successful roll the soul manages to escape, although will likely be suffering extreme amnesia of any past lives, for it is the least sliver. It will take hard work, and probably several lives to fully recover. On a Failure the soul is trapped, helpless, replacing Fading Light with the Tainted Shell Condition. She becomes the prize in a great battle between Light and Dark: The last fading remains of her Inner Light, so close to the Darkness, cannot help but attract he attentions of the Darkness itself. In turn its attempt to gain such a prize draws the attention of Princesses due to watchful scouts or prophetic dreams.
The desires of the Dark tie into the final, and most terrible option available to a fallen Princess: Acceptance. At any moment where someone has forcefully reminded her of what she is the Belief 0 Enlightened may choose, as an Instant action, to Transform despite her lack of a Phylactery. The Princess turns towards the Dark to fill the empty void where she once held her Light. She focuses on everything that hurt her, everything that went wrong in her life and focuses on the grief and bitterness they invoke, for in her deranged state even that is better than nothingness. The mad will of a Princess in this state is a terrible thing to behold. She laughs with pure grief, she cries tears of crystal clear despair. Her feelings echo around her, calling pure Taint up from the Dark World and shaping it into twisted reflections of her own life. She even calls the Taint into her own body, fuelling her final Transformation into a being drawn from the depths of her own nightmares.
There are many reasons to do this; a desperate need to escape a helpless body, a need for power for something that they cannot do in a mortal state, a desire to get back at the world, a refusal to accept that they are losing their mind, the belief that they deserve no better in their self-disgust, the fact that their “friends” have tied them up and look like they’re trying to shoot them in the head...
And a Transformation in this manner should not be possible. In a sense, it is impossible, for no Princess could do it, never take this Last Transformation, and don the mantle of the Dethroned. But those who do so are no longer among the Enlightened, they are no longer even human. They shed their mortal forms, as Darkness rushes into the void within them which the Light once filled, and are both wisted and empowered by this blasphemous process. They wear blackened crowns on monstrous heads; they are the Dethroned.
A General Progression of Belief.
Transformed Skills and Abilities
On that cheerful note, we hit that last section. When transformed, Transformed Skills and Attributes are added to your normal ones and derived traits like Speed and Willpower are adjusted accordingly. The added Health and Willpower are called Transformed Health and Transformed Willpower, respectively. Transformed Health operates at normal, and the health wraps around when returning to normal unless recovered using Holy Shield or some other method. Willpower points gained while Transformed can be recovered at any time after being spent. If mundane and transformed is spent, Mundane WP is recovered first. Sacrificed WP comes from Transformed Willpower points first. Finally, the maximum dots of Transformed Attributes and Skills gained is equal to Belief + Inner Light with Skill dots counting for a third. (Ex: A starting Princess has a Max of 8 Transformed dots so 4 Transformed Attribute dots and 12 Transformed Skill dots would be the max.)
There's a final sidebar about IC justifications of buying certain Skills and Transformed skills and such, but I won't bore you with that.
Final notes: Again, there's a crapton of conditions brought up in this section. I'm not sure how often other games hand them out, so it might be normal and I'm just not used to them. I'll probably make another interlude post explaining all of the conditions mentioned in this post so there's an actual explanation of the consequences. Also, there's still a bunch of typos in the text. It's not enough to be noticeable, but they get pointed out when I'm editing. I don't fix them in order to preserve their depiction and "respect" for the writers.
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
As was elaborated in the previous post, there were a crapton of Conditions that one could gain as a result of their traits. In order to provide context to them without overloading the previous post, here they are on their own in their own short post. Punted this one quick because it was mostly copying and pasting.
Conditions from Hauntings
All of these conditions do not provide Beats and resolve at the end of the Haunting
Memories of Failure - At 2 successes. "After failing to prevent an act of cruelty your character has become obsessed with her inability to prevent it and other similar cruelties. Anyone who brings up your character's past failures adds her Shadows to any social roll intended to dishearten her."
Senseless Martyr - At 3 successes. "Your character is willing to offer herself as a victim in the forlorn hope that others might be left alone. She deducts her Shadows when rolling to contest any supernatural power or decreases a relevant attribute by Shadows when resisting a supernatural power."
Obsessive Vengeance - At 4 successes and not the perpetrator. "After witnessing horrors and cruelties your character is consumed with the thought, she cannot rest until she has set things right. If the perpetrator is present she mediately goes for him, otherwise she obsessively searches for the perpetrator. If your character wishes to do anything else she must succeed on a Resolve + Composure - Shadows roll." Akin to the Soft Rage in Idigam Chronicles
Pain Seeker - At 4 successes and the perpetrator. "Your character has personally committed an act of cruelty and dearly wishes to suffer for it. She obsessively seeks out the person she has wronged and tries to provoke them into a fight. Against whomever your character has wronged she reduces Defence by Shadows, including magical Defence and magical armour. Reduce magical armour first."
Abject Denial - At 5+ successes and not the perpetrator. "Your character witnessed an act of cruelty so terrible she refuses to accept such a thing is even possible. She must flee immediately from the perpetrator, the victim and any clear reminders of the crime and its results. If she is forced to confront them all rolls take a penalty of Shadows until she escapes the area."
Wilful Amnesia - At 5+ successes and the perpetrator. "Your character performed an act of cruelty so terrible she refuses admit or even remember she ever did such a thing. All memory of it is lost until this Condition is resolved and any attempt to force your character to acknowledge the truth takes a penalty equal to her Shadows." Probably not the worst condition all things considered.
Conditions from Compromise
Cracked Confidence - Succeeded on a Compromise roll. "Your character is verging on the edge of a Belief Compromise. Somebody who knows why can push her over the edge. Make a contested social roll with a the attackers' threshold being the Princesses' Belief + Composure and the Princess' being the attacker's dicepool. Roll once per turn, and if the attacker reaches the threshold first, make a Compromise roll." Resolutions include "Win or loose, Resolve the Condition after a contested social roll," Gain or Lose a dot of Belief, or the Princess deals with the issue.
Heavy Crown - Succeed or Fail on a Compromise roll. "Your character has failed the people who depend upon her and feels that she is no longer worthy to lead. She suffers a dice penalty to all actions where other people depend on her success. -1 for five people or less. -2 for six to 15 people. -3 for 16 to 45 people, -4 for 46 to 100 people and -5 for anything over 100." Resolutions: Succeeds or fails an important roll where people depended on her with at least as many as the original occasion or (as Persistent) the character and their people learn their value as a leader with their imperfections.
Self-Doubt - As Heavy Crown. "Your character has done something that shakes her confidence in herself. Emotions are magic, and her doubts are turning her own magic against her. Stripping her of the strength she does not believe she has. In any stressful situation your character cannot use her magical abilities (but keeps any that are already active) until she psyches herself up with a long speech about her ideals and beliefs. This requires an extended Resolve + Expression roll with a target of 8-Belief successes. One roll may be made per minute, or per turn if she uses the Royal Tongue." Resolution: the character psyches themselves up, (as Persistent) the character overcomes a similar problem, or (as Persistent) the character accomplishes a difficult or dangerous task.
Over-Compensatory Guilt - As above. "Your character has done something she feels guilty about, as a result she is attempting to counter her feelings by making amends in every way except addressing the real issue: If she stole something she might compulsively give charity, if she told a dangerous lie she might become compulsively honest." Resolutions: Suffer a hardship or gives up on something wanted through misplaced penance or (as Persistent) confess and make amends.
Shattered Confidence (Persistent)- Dramatic Failure. "Your character has completely lost her confidence in herself. Emotions are magic, and her lack of faith in her herself and her magic has become a self fulfilling prophecy. Your character cannot Transform, use Charms or Practical Magic. Even A Princess of Mirrors will be limited to her mundane identity." Beat: The character is harmed or fails a significant goal because of their lack of magic. Resolution: Gain a dot of Belief
Dissociation (Persistent) - Dramatic Failure. "Your character did something so terrible that she refuses to accept it. Instead she separates her two identities, using one to shield the other. Every time the Princess transforms into her guilty identity (whichever one committed the act) lose one point of Willpower. In addition neither identity are able to remember what they did while in the other identity." Beat: The character gets into trouble because they couldn't remember something (presumably from the other identity). Resolution: Admit to the crime and make amends or gain a dot of Belief.
Abdicated (Persistent) - Dramatic Failure. "Your character has been crushed by the weight of her crown, so she has taken it of. She refuses to believe that she is a Princess. She might accept that she used to be a Princess but she might refuse to believe that Princesses or magic even exist, referring to it as a childish game or an urban legend. Until she reclaims her crown your Character cannot Transform, use Bequests or Practical Magic. She still suffers from Sensitivity though." Beat: Suffer significant hardship due to lack of magic or they ail to further an Aspiration or Dream because they lack magic. Resolution: Confront and overcome the trauma, perform an act of heroism that reaffirms their desire to help, or gain a dot of Belief.
Madness - Dramatic Failure. I assume it's in another book since it's not in here.
Conditions from Belief 0
Wilful Amnesia - Upon hitting Belief 0.
Fading Light - Upon hitting Belief 0. "Your character has lost her last shreds of hope. Without hope her Inner Light begins to fade away. She cannot regain Willpower though sleep, and loses a dot of Willpower every week." Resolution: Regain a dot of Belief and will soon die peacefully as a result, become a Dethroned, or run out of Willpower and roll Resolve+Composure-Shadows with a Success allowing the Princess's soul escape and a Failure replacing this condition with Tainted Shell
Suggestible (Persistent)- Upon hitting Belief 0. "Your character has entered a fugue state where she will follow any instructions given for she lacks the willpower or initiative to do otherwise. For the same reason she will follow her instructions in a literal and uncreative fashion. Blatantly suicidal or heinous orders are ignored, when multiple people are ordering someone around the most recent order takes precedent." Beat: Do something against their interests because they were asked. Resolution: Depends on how they got there. In this case, they exit when Fading Light resolves.
Tainted Shell - Fail the roll from Fading Light. "Your character has lost all her hope and all her Willpower. She lacks the will to do anything, even to move. Without constant help she will starve to death." Resolution: Die or embrace despair. I'm not sure why this needs to be a Condition.
One other Condition was mentioned is Running on Fumes. "A Princess' magic is her hopes, beliefs and emotions given form. Your character has used up all her magic, she hasn't lost her emotions but she is out of fuel and running on fumes. It's an uncomfortable situation, but thankfully a temporary one. When adding Willpower to a dicepool you only get +2 instead of +3, in addition you take a -2 penalty on rolls that depend upon your emotions. Typically this covers making emotional connections with people, expressing yourself and enjoying works of art. Wisp regeneration rolls and Charms are unaffected (the lack of Wisps already covers the effects on magical ability)." Beats: Fail a roll because of this condition (roll the missing dice to see if the condition was the cause). Resolution: Have more than 10-Belief Wisps.
So yeah. Hauntings suck. Hitting Belief 0 is bizarre and also essentially an extended character death. Low Belief also sucks. Despair seems to be truly a slippery slope since enemies with social ability can start chatting away at the Princess about their failures and make them fall faster.
Next: X and Y splats with Stereotypes of Leviathans and Geniuses, but not Demons.
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
So unlike Cyth's posts with each portion of the X and Y splat being mostly on their own, I'm giving each of them their own megapost (so your Scrollwheel doesn't have to work as hard). I initially intended both Callings and Queens on a single post, but previewing just the Callings gave me a sense that the post would be too big if both were in the same post, so I've separated them into their own posts. Both X and Y splats have stereotypes referring to all of the lines except for Demon (presumably since the section hasn't been updated since its release) and includes the fan lines Genius and Leviathan. I know nothing about Leviathan, though I'm sure someone might do an F&F for that and possibly Djinn since I believe that's also been "produced".
Callings are the X splat. They're all rather one-note and can probably be easily boiled down to a single line of description with little to nothing lost. Each Calling has an affinity to three different Charm families and start with one dot in a Transformed Attribute. Of the Charm families, half appear only once with each Calling while the other five are shared between them. Every Attribute also only appears once in the transformed Attributes list except for Presence which appears twice. Each also has a Duty that they can follow to regain Wisps as well as three oaths that are general guidelines the class should follow (I say class since the parallels to the classic D&D classes are way too striking).
Champions epitomize the ancient concept of a hero – those who accomplish. In the Kingdom, they were the defenders and the conquerors, the dragon slayers and the chain smashers. Their counterparts in the Reborn world value strength for altruistic reasons. They serve the weak. Moreover, they enjoy physical accomplishment for its own sake – Champions frequently sprout from athletes, those with a penchant for construction or day labor, and even brawlers. Anyone who loves to push their body to the limit or appreciates the simple need for a sturdy pair of hands makes for a grand Champion.
Given their emphasis on physique, some tend to mistake Champions as simple-minded or naturally violent. Rather, they just look for direct solutions. To them, a problem is something that needs to be done. If they can’t find a physical solution, something they can flat out do, then Champions will break the situation down until they can. They cut the Gordian knot, instead of puzzling over it. If there is a weakness that stems from this tendency, it’s that Champions tend to be blind to someone’s more sublime pain or motivations, but it also makes them refreshingly straight-forward and realistic.
They're Fighters/Warriors. Or Knights too. They have affinities to the Bless, Fight and Perfect Charm families and get a Transformed Attribute Dot in Strength or Resolve.
Champions regain magic whenever they perform a task for somebody who physically incapable or overwhelmed and don’t have the time and/or resources they need. This can mean doing chores for an elderly neighbor, working for a charity or volunteer effort, protecting a classmate from a bully, or otherwise making a sacrifice of your time and effort for someone else’s benefit. Champions can also restore their magic by protecting the innocent. Wiping out a nest of Darkspawn, defending a child from a wild animal, even walking the beat as a police officer can all fulfil a Champion’s duties.
Ostensibly, a Lawyer or a nurse or even a sort of courier would also be acceptable occupations but most of the examples tend towards the physical with an emphasis on Strength.
I must never abandon those who need my protection. Even if someone isn’t staring down a horrible creature of Darkness right now, the chance remains that they could in the future. If someone needs to be watched over, they need to be watched over, and I can’t ignore that need.
I shall swear myself to a code. Might is never the ends, only the means. My code shall determine when violence is acceptable, and for what reasons a sword may be drawn. I may change my code but I must always have one, and once sworn I must uphold the values and principles enshrined by my code.
Weakness is not an excuse, it is a flaw. If I am aware of a threat that I cannot counter I shall train until I can.
Be strong for the weak.
One of the concepts listed is a Knight and frankly, I don't think there was much else used for the concept.
• Graces: By the time you have raised an army, I will have already won the battle.
• Menders: You tend to the wounded. There will be plenty of them soon enough.
• Seekers: You want the truth? Ask a Seeker. You might not like what you hear, but you probably need to hear it.
• Troubadors: Why are you just standing there singing? Hit something!
• Vampires: We have a word for these where I come from – “targets.”
• Werewolves: Nice doggy... we’re on the same side, remember?
• Mages: Don’t make me come over there.
• Prometheans: I feel sorry for you, really, but you have to move on now.
• Changelings: Yes, your life sucks. Now what are you going to do about it?
• Sin-Eaters: If you narrowly escape death, but then make yourself a slave to a dead thing, you haven’t really escaped death at all, have you?
• Mummies: You can’t remember why you’re fighting, I wouldn’t want to be you. Not for all your power and immortality.
• Mad Scientists: So, could you show me how to use that thing?
• Leviathans: RUN! I’ll buy you time... and goodbye.
• Hunters: You guys are crazy! How can I help?
• Mortals: My job would be a lot easier if these guys would step up, but some of them just can’t. That’s why I’m here
Most magical girls fit into this category
Kamen Rider Wizard (my own interpretation Magiranger also probably acceptable)
If we lost anything in the Fall, it was each other. People now wrap themselves in an shell of cynicism and distrust to save themselves from humiliation and risk. They carry popular opinions like armour, not with conviction. People can’t save each other if they can’t understand eachother and they can’t save themselves if they don’t even know who they are.
Graces are the maidens of relivation. In ages past, they were teacher, leaders, lawmakers and judges who helped a species of almost-monkeys become a civilisation. Now they continue their duty, although muted, in the modern world. Graces force those around them to look at the people around them and confront what they find there. They are not malicious and they are not cruel – they know there can be pain, but they only want to show everybody what they can already see: the golden light that could shine in all of humanity.
Graces are people people. They like to know people, they like to hear about people, they like to be around people, and they like when people are people. Nothing pains them so much as someone denying their own humanity. Others would describe them as “intrusive” or “presumptuous” – always nosing into other people’s business and offering advice when none is solicited. A Grace might be written off as naive or idealistic, for all her proselytizing about friendship. They do tend to be outspoken and emotional. They never restrain themselves from speaking what’s on their mind or in their heart – and might be no strangers to embarrassment because of it.
Social-Monkeys like the Rogue (since the Champion does all the Stabbing). They have affinities to the Bless, Connect and Govern Charm families and get a transformed Attribute dot in Presence or Composure.
Graces recover their magic whenever they convince act on their virtuous impulses or bring them closer to their fellow man. This covers situations such as convincing an addict to seek out help, easing the anger between antagonistic relatives, getting a classmate to study for her own sake instead of cheating, or even just helping someone act on their crush. Graces also refresh their magic by leading societies. Turning a petition into a law, making executive decisions in a company, debating in the student council, working as a judge, or just making a convincing speech are all sacred duties to the Graces.
Grace Princesses are the Boss. Bark orders, receive Wisps.
I must never force another to do as I wish. I can persuade and inspire but blackmail, or worse, mind control betray everything the I stand for. Nothing good can come from such rotten foundations.
I cannot isolate myself from the people I wish to help, how can I improve their lives if I don’t even talk to them about those lives?
I must be honest, not manipulative. Mine is the magic to build trust and bring people together, not the power to turn people into tools.
We can do this, together.
• Champions: What will you fight for? Me perhaps?
• Menders: You can only do so much by treating the symptoms.
• Seekers: Look as much as you want, I have no skeletons in my closet.
• Troubadours: I’ll lead them, you shall inspire them.
• Vampires: Explain to me again how your civilisation is anything of the sort.
• Werewolves: I might never know loyalty like you, but your pack has five. In a week I could make fifty friends.
• Mages: Their magic isolates them from their fellow man. Nothing good can come of it.
• Prometheans: You want me to teach you how to be human? Well you’ve come to the right person.
• Changelings: If you’re not careful a faerie can turn your words on you.
• Sin-Eaters: This mythology was stolen from dragonlance, and it sonuds like you wrote this code of honour while you were drunk! Is there nothing of substance to your society?
• Mummies: A leader and a servant, I would like the dichotomy. If only it wasn’t so dysfunctional.
• Mad Scientists: So if I get the institue to appologise for laughing at you research will you destroy the killbots? No? Do you even know what you want?!
• Leviathans: A society is it’s citizens not it’s leader. If you don’t believe me just look at those monsters.
• Hunters: Defending yourself is admarable, but fighting outside society can lead to dark places.
• Mortals: Stop calling it cheesy when it’s true. The power really is inside you if you just belive in yourselves.
Five typos. Also sounds like barely any thought went into any of these. If any at all.
There's only one provided example for this Calling so you get whoever this is.
Hinamori Amu from Shugo Chara! (theirs)
You know who (mine)
All of the Nobility feel the pain of others, but Menders are those who can’t bear to live with it. Their first impulse is always to treat pain, either physical or spiritual. These were the great sages and physicians of the Kingdom, who studied the science of the human conditions on levels undreamt by modern science. A good Mender is always looking around to see how she can make those around her better. Todays dark shrouded world is like a ravenous beast, they say, and it mangles us all, all the time. Without care, none of us will ever be strong enough to break out of the mire that swallows us whole. Nobody should be made to lie crippled as their dreams run on ahead of them.
Menders are typically described as either motherly or child-like – always blindly over-protective or naively concerned with the problems right before without seeing the big picture. They are natural caretakers. They easily take responsibility for those around them and are quick to worry. Often, they will display great maturity, although they are also frequently overcome by feelings of failure or helplessness when they lose a paitent. A large number are pacifists, even in this dark world. Their uniting characteristics are a deep respect for life and horror in the face of suffering. The latter may sometimes be a weakness, but the best turn it into an iron resolve.
Cleric this time. Their affinities are the Perfect, Restore and Shape Charm families and get a transformed Attribute dot in Intelligence or Stamina.
Menders regain magic whenever they provide consolation, comfort, and aid. They can volunteer their time as medical facilities or to provide home care, work as part of emergency hotlines, design new treatments, be a shoulder for someone beset by loss and grief, or do any other number of things to relieve the pain of others. A Mender can work with machines as well as people, a brake line can cause as much suffering as a broken rib. In the end though, it really does come back to suffering. A Mender builds and repairs machines to help people rather than the simple joy of creation.
Also Mercy killer, drug dealer and mad scientist
I will help all who request it. No matter what, I am here to heal. If anyone requests my aid, I will help them, no matter how I feel about them or what they have done in the past. Now, I don’t have to be stupid about it – if I don’t have the skills, or if a dangerous creature seeks my aid, I can take precautions to protect myself and my friends even as I administer that aid, and I don’t always necessarily need to give aid in the particular manner requested. But I am here because people are hurting, and to allow that pain to continue is to betray my Calling.
I shall search for those that are hurt and at least offer to help them. I cannot sit passively by and wait for those in pain to notice that I can make things better.
I have a sacred duty to healing, I shall do no harm and respect the autonomy of all my patients. The healer’s sacred duties have survived the fall of our kingdom and I am proud to uphold their traditions.
First, do no harm...
Not only is the quote uninspired (since it's done in the third Oath but the Hippocratic oath is probably on the money), the first Oath is ultra long and utterly terrible.
• Champions: Bring the wounded back here, I’ll be ready.
• Graces: Stop making speeches about the stars and look at how people live in the gutter.
• Seekers: The truth isn’t hidden, it’s right in front of us. People need our help.
• Troubadors: Just keep their spirits up for me.
• Vampires: Incurable.
• Werewolves: You could do so much good if you’d just let me try and duplicate your cellular regeneration.
• Mages: Give me one good reason you’re not curing somebody’s cancer right now, just one good reason.
• Prometheans: Bringing the dead back to life... growing replacement souls... it’s possible? I need to know more.
• Changelings: Why do those feathers make me think of scars?
• Sin-Eaters: I know you had one miraculous recovery, but as your doctor I must recommend you cut back on the drink, and the drugs, and the unprotected sex.
• Mummies: I could help you remember yourself, why are you only interested in the wands I make?
• Mad Scientists: Do you want to talk about it? Of course I’m not calling you mad!
• Leviathans: I can’t decide if they need healing or cutting out.
• Hunters: If you want, I’m willing to listen to why your’e so hurt.
• Mortals: No this isn’t going to sting, I’m better than that.
For some, it reads like a more Medically oriented Genius was saying these rather than as an arbiter of compassionate healing. Most of the example concepts have a medical lean to them too
This one's the same.
Shamal from Nanoha (theirs)
Madaraki Fran from Franken Fran (mine, but not really Magical)
Tetra from Log Horizon (also mine)
The desire to know is universal human trait, embedded in the heart and soul and genetic code of every man and woman on the planet. What isn’t common is the will to keep chasing after those answers when things start getting dangerous. That’s what sets the Seekers apart. In their previous lives, Seekers were the detectives, scientists, and scholars of the Kingdom. Their dreams of the Kingdom are filled with colleges where the secrets of the universe are revealed and cities where no lie is uttered and not even the smallest misunderstanding is present to obscure the truth. When they dream of the Cataclysm, they see grand libraries and academies burned to the ground, and lies entwined with lies in a web of deception so deep that even the most fundamental truths are uncertain.
Seekers are a varied bunch. Many Seekers act like detectives or journalists, ferreting out crime and deception from the communities under their protection. Others resemble the scientist-heroes or adventurer-archaeologists of the pulp era, braving danger and using the secrets they discover to fight evil and better the world. Some Seekers act as stoic guardians of Things Man was Not Meant to Know, keeping forbidden knowledge out of unworthy hands. Others are stalwart enemies of lies and deceit, and those who would use them to pacify and control a population. But no matter how they approach their duty, all Seekers share the common goal of unearthing hidden secrets and more importantly, using those secrets to make the world a better place.
Seeker often prioritize mental attributes to aid them in their search for the truth. Resolve is prized by all Seekers to keep searching after the truth despite hardship or weariness. Wits, Larceny, and Investigation are prioritized by Seekers who favor classic detective work, along with Manipulation, Empathy, and Persuasion to tease the truth out of reluctant witnesses or suspects. Those who were scientists or scholars before Blossoming often possess high Intelligence. Subterfuge comes in handy when a Seeker needs to investigate things without creating suspicion.
If not the Wizard class, then the Nerd class and thus likely closest to the heart of the writers. Their open spiel is also the longest. The get affinities to the Appear, Govern and Learn Charm families and get a transformed Attribute dot in Intelligence or Wits.
A Seeker regains Wisps whenever she uncovers new facts or information, and whenever she teaches another something that they do not know. A Seeker could be a scientist or explorer uncovering secrets no man has ever known. She could be a detective or journalist uncovering that which unscrupulous individuals try hard to keep hidden. She could be a teacher passing what she knows to the next generation. Many Seekers do a little of A and a little of B. A reporter uncovers a political scandal, then she publishes it. A Professor does exciting scientific research, then writes a paper and gives lectures on it.
How is that list bit "a little of A and a little of B?" Isn't that what those respective professions do? Admittedly, this is probably the clearest and relatively most thought out Calling in comparison to the others
I must never lie for personal gain. Even if I acknowledge that revealing my secret identity would be a bad idea, I have an obligation to the Truth and I shouldn’t misuse it just to help myself. Silence is always better than a lie.
It is my duty to educate. If I am asked a question I shall try my best to answer honestly and truly.
The world is full of mysteries and they should not be left unexplored. I shall work to increase my understanding of the world every day.
The truth shall set you free.
That First Oath could seriously be condensed into a single line instead of whatever nonsense that is.
• Champions: I understand how you feel, but punching people isn’t the solution.
• Graces: If only they asked any questions that actually mattered...
• Menders: I admire your dedication, but you’re treating the symptoms, not the disease.
• Troubadors: Stop prattling on about art and actually do something.
• Vampires: Friggin’ lying bastards hurting people and lying all over the friggin’ place. I hate them.
• Werewolves: Great sources of lore if you convince them not to bite your head off.
• Mages: A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Nothing that secrative can be any good.
• Prometheans: Don’t blame them for what they are. Who’s the bigger monster, the creature or Dr. Frankenstein?
• Changelings: They’re full of valuable insights. It’s gaining their trust that’s the chore.
• Sin-Eaters: They probably have useful information to share. If only we could get them to talk about anything but doom and gloom.
• Mummies: The truth is still there, burred beneath the sands. I could help you find it.
• Mad Scientists: You’d be suprised how much they know, if they ever bothered to remember there’s a difference between what they know is real, what they think might be real and what they think is cool.
• Leviathans: There are some things even I don’t want to know.
• Hunters: They’re great in a fight, but half the time they keep shooting up what I’m looking for!
• Mortals: People have been lying to you your whole lives. I’m gonna put an end to that, just you wait and see.
That Vampire line is just so screamingly awful. Also, there seems to be a running theme about what Sin-Eaters are like and what they do and how whoever's writing this can't seem to make up much of their mind as to any of it.
Four examples with only one of them that I know that really fits the bill.
Ms. Frizzle (theirs)
The Question (mine)
Soul is not a silent, static egg that we must shelter from the outside world until the time comes for it to hatch. Troubadours know the truth – the soul is a living, breathing maelstrom and unless we open up and let it out, it can smother to death within us. And the Troubadours have the keys to let it out.
Each Troubadour is a master of some artifice – singing, dancing, painting, sculpting, baking, cracking jokes, or even just folding paper cranes. In their past lives, they were the queens of bards, storytellers and chanters, masters of divine instruments who imparted the wisdom of the ages in grand halls and shady grooves. Now their mission now is to set us free from ourselves. Art, the Troubadours teach, gives shape to things that people can’t or won’t express themselves. Every song or painting or performance lets the silent and unassuming realize and crystallize the beautiful internal forces they otherwise overlook. The people of the Fallen World suffer through with souls buried under the rubble of the Kingdom. The Troubadours are archaeologists of Joy.
Most people would describe Troubadours as people with their heads in the clouds. If they aren’t visualizing a statue or planning a new routine or reviewing the forms of a plot, then a Troubadour is admiring the natural art of the world around her – the patterns woven out of everyday life and the people who populate it. Troubadours are vibrant, expression personalities, not shy about baring their souls. Their chosen art tends to consume their life and they want to involve as many people as they can in It. Unfortunately, they are artists first and foremost – they easily get lost in a world of symbols and frequently can’t understand people’s impatience with their “frivolous” hobbies.
The Bard. This one also seems a bit more thought out compared to the others even if it mostly boils down to "the Creative one." Their affinities are the Appear, Inspire and Shape Charm families and get a transformed Attribute dot in Presence or Dexterity.
Troubadours draw magic from the release of others’ souls. Their duty encompasses providing art that inspires or consoles those who otherwise draw into themselves, encouraging and teaching those looking for a way to express themselves, and energizing those around them with their own vibrant talents.
They also have the shortest Duty section
I will use my talents to awaken, not tranquilize. My art must always carry the sting of truth and the spark of life. It must never be used to make people afraid of their own identities or trick them into silence.
My art will ever be for my audience. I must not become so wrapped up in my own ego that I forget the people around me. Without the mortals who need it, my art is merely a selfish exercise in solipsism.
My art will be. As long as I draw breath I shall not cease creating and sharing my art to improve the world.
Let us make something beautiful.
• Champions: When you can use it to aim public opinion at a threat to the community, a song is a sharper weapon than a sword.
• Graces: Laws don’t make a society, art makes a society.
• Menders: You can heal their body, I can enrich their souls.
• Seekers: Do you remember your teacher’s lecture on the states and their capitals? No? Do you remember that song from Animaniacs? Yeah, it’s like that.
• Vampires: You dress yourselves up and act so elegant, but you’re really just wearing funeral makeup.
• Werewolves: Such strong emotions, hold still. I need to get this on canvas.
• Mages: I don’t understand, if you experienced a relivation like that how can you not be shouting it from the rooftops.
• Prometheans: To literally touch god through your creations...
• Changelings: They’re very secretive, but you can see their pain in their art if you know how to look.
• Sin-Eaters: Such a dynamic and energetic people, pity there’s no substance behind it all.
• Mummies: I admit it, I’m jealous. My works haven’t stood for thousands of years.
• Mad Scientists: I know how it feels to be inspired, but there’s really no excuse for what you did.
• Leviathans: That’s just horrible, and maybe just a little bit beautiful. Wait! What am I saying?!
• Hunters: You fight monsters? Without any special powers to help you out? And you win? [bites lip] Do you want my number?
• Mortals: I’ve got something to show you, I think you’ll quite like it.
The Elite Beat Agents (theirs)
AKB0048 (mine. Never actually seen this either fwiw)
Original SA post
Okay. Message received. Since it's Memorial day, I've got nothing to do so that's why these posts are flying out. Also, it's a lot of copy and pasting too. I have two Queens done already, but I'll space their posting out a little.
Princess: the Hopeful
The Y splat. These sections are a lot longer than the Callings section and include stuff such as the Queen's background, the team colors and Heraldry, and essentially an essay about the group's philosophy. Most of this stuff would have been shuttered away into another book including stuff on the Twilight Queens since it's largely irrelevant to a core book. Also included are Duties for each Queen according to the five Callings. For the sake of completion, I'll include what bits seem important or potentially humorous. Otherwise, I'll skip over sections that don't really add too much. This includes the Character Creation section which seems like common sense to anyone building to a concept. There are technically 8 Queens, but Protagonist PCs are suggested to pick from the 5 Radiant Queens. The other three are a bit morally grey in various aspects and are detailed in the Antagonists section where they'll get their deserved attention.
Also, in the previous section, I listed them as Examples, but technically they're Inspirations. For what it's worth, they should be mostly one and the same, but it may explain why a character like Yuki Nagato, a cold almost emotionless sentient servant and an otherworldly AI whose sole purpose is to monitor and observe, is listed under the Seeker Calling since she, in no way, shape, or form would be any sort of example for a Princess. She might make a good Demon though.
All Queens have three Attributes they can boost via Practical Magic at a one-to-one expenditure of Wisps to add dice to a roll, either to boost theirs or increase the penalty of another's. They also have an Invocation they favor that lets them apply bonus dice equal to their Invocation rating to a Charm roll if it applies. Normally it costs One Wisp to add an Invocation bonus to a Charm roll.
Queen of Clubs
AKA: The Matron of the Forests, The Mother
Followers' Epithets: Wilds, Turtles
In any battle your greatest foe is yourself. You must ask yourself why you fight, what can you hope to gain and is it worth the risk of what you might lose? The enemy who says you cannot back down is none other than yourself; overcome it and look at the other options. You could surrender, often it costs you nothing but an apology and some pride. You could examine yourself, what did you do that lead up to this moment. Why couldn’t you live here in peace? If you can learn to live in harmony with your surroundings, isn’t that a better result than whatever you could win in a fight?
You can’t fix the world by yourself, but the best place to start is within.
The Queen of Clubs leads those Princesses who seek balance and harmony, they believe that a better world can be achieved if we just learned to live peacefully with each other, with the world around us, and most importantly: with ourselves.
The hippie Queen. She takes it easy and is generally chill about all things. When tough problems show up, she takes care of the little things while building up to the big stuff. While she could be an immortal Queen that fears no ageing, she prefers to go with the flow and age naturally. Instead of living in a castle and wearing finery, she lives in the woods of her former kingdom and wears donated clothes. She's just totally chilled out, man.
The Queen of Clubs asks a question: “The world speaks to us. Have you ever stopped to listen?”
Most of the Mother's philosophy boils down to "Go with the flow." Suffering stems from struggling against the confines of the world and one's nature and harmony can be found by figuring out how to live with the world. And to achieve a world of total harmony, it cannot be done through conflict, but by teaching and showing by example
and being a hippy
A Turtle’s Duties are to bring things together. People certainly but that’s only a small part of it: Man and nature, reason and emotion, city and countryside. The Wilds dream of a world where what were once opposing opposites are now part of a balanced whole.
Champions of Clubs help people directly. They are park rangers and wilderness guides who help people brave the dangers of the natural world so that they may see it’s beauty first hand. More than any other Calling it is the Champions of Clubs who earn the epithet of Turtles. In battle they favour defensive tactics and seek to gradually wear their opponents down with a minimum of harm.
Many Graces are environmentalists who seek to preserve natural world and preach the importance of living in balance with our suroundings. Other Graces are mediators without peer who work to bring conflicting parties together in a harmonious balance. The lessons of harmony are not limited to those with an external enemy. The Queen of Clubs teaches that harmony beginns with inner balance and many of her Graces are teachers who help their students learn to live in harmony with themselves and the world around them.
In the Court of Clubs Menders are rarely simple healers. Under the Queen’s philosophy the disease itself is often a symtom and her Menders teach their patients to live a lifetyle that avoids further sickness. The court’s focus on the natural world attracts membership from vets and envionmentalists who work to clean pollution. Partnerships between Menders and Graces are common, the Mender deals with the physical symptoms and the Grace teaches a way of life that removes the root cause.
Seekers delve deep into the jungle seeking new herbs, undiscovered animals or just beautiful vistas. Others travel beyond the borders of earth. They delve into the lore of the Spirit wilds, the hidden half of the natural world, and try and use the wisdom they find to shape and heal the spirit community around them. A few Seekers blur the lines between Clubs and Diamonds as they work on renewable energy and cleaner technology.
Troubadours are inspired by nature and paint magnificent scenes of the natural world, others work with nature directly as landscapers, flower arrangers or bonsai artists. A surprising number are architects and urban planners who attempt to reintegrate nature with cities in the most literal manner.
I was worried they would mention Homeopathic medicine or GMOs.
Appropriately for a Court so focused on Harmony, the Wilds are often classified into two groups with little conflict or divisions between them. On the one hand you have the naturalists: Everyone from professional park rangers and conservationists to people who really love their pets. They are drawn by Clubs’ belief in harmony with the natural world and often leap for joy when they learn how Legno lets them talk to animals.
On the second hand you have the spiritualists: From gurus and philosophers to pacifistic hippies and suburbanites yearning for something with more meaning than materialism. That is not to say that every spiritual Princess is drawn to the Wilds. The Court of Clubs has its own philosophies which draws students interested in learning about harmony, balance and the quest for inner peace.
When the Court of Clubs gathers it is not rare for a laboratory biologist to talk long into the night with a self taught student of Taoism, each delighting seeing the world though eyes that on the first glance are so different from their own. The Queen herself knows that the two sides are both the inevitable result of each other and smiles every time one of her sons or daughters experiences the joy of learning so for themself.
At least the writers are self aware of how nature oriented they are. It's just a tad surprising. I'm skipping over the Heraldry, Echo and Character Creation sections since they're relatively useless and uninteresting (well no shit a person with an affinity for nature is going to put Dots into Animal Ken and Survival)
Practical Magic: Resolve, Stamina, Composure. i.e. The Resistance Attributes
The Queen of Clubs teaches the principles of harmony and inner strength in the form of Legno and the Turtles find it easier to master than any other. Legno encourages a Princess to work with, not against. To find balance not overpower. To defend not attack. It also guides a Princess to seek inspiration in the natural world.
Legno applies at no cost when the target of a Princess’ Charm is a living plant or wood, and when her Charm’s target is a natural, non-sapient animal. It also applies without cost when a Princess intends to restore things to their natural state, to restrain the reckless and calm the fearful, to find a harmonious compromise between two positions, to protect against an attack, to prevent or calm violence without committing violence herself, to conserve and cultivate over time, and to influence without drawing attention to herself.
Those who would make use of Legno must live for harmony in all things. A Princess who attempts violence against someone not involved in combat, or who helps another to do so, may not apply the Invocation until the next sunrise. Self-defense, protecting a non-combatant, and using Charms to stop a fight without violence are unexceptionable, but if a Princess gives tactical support to an ally and the ally attacks one who has not begun to fight, she loses access to Legno just as if she had struck the blow herself.
Basically, live up to your name and be one with the Turtle and tank things. Or Sundown Eyes. Or stop Death Rage Werewolves.
You can’t control the world, but you don’t need to.
• Diamonds: They seek knowledge only for the sake of knowledge. They build a future with no idea where it leads. Yet we must ask ourselves: Would we have time to contemplate without their agriculture? Would we understand the life of the butterfly without their tables of numbers? Ask them to free us from necessity, our work comes after.
• Hearts: They are living in traditions built for the world of yesteryear. Either they can hold the world back or the world can trample them underfoot. It cannot end well.
• Spades: Flexible, adaptable they can fit anywhere yet they lack the permanence to ask the same respect of the world. Somehow I don’t think that matters to them.
• Swords: If you are strong enough, you can move the world, but unless you teach the world to move itself it will always return when you remove your hands.
• Tears: The world changed, until you can change with it you will suffer. I would like to help you, but only you have the power to help yourself.
• Storms: When you learn to take every blow the Darkness throws at you, then you will learn to fight without falling to hate.
• Mirrors: You claim that you shall solve every problem yourself by the virtue of your crown, but your claims of strength are to hide from a weakness within. It is an appropriate paradox, in a mirror everything is back to front.
• Vampires: We’ve all heard the tales, that they are creatures of pure Darkness who run away from the Light’s touch. I didn’t want to believe them. Then I met one.
• Werewolves: I have heard the howls and seen them from afar. Beware, some beast are rabid and may bite even a caring hand.
• Mages: I’ve been watching you, I saw you drawing maps but did you notice every path you found was first found by the ants? This glade that delights you so, did you see that every moss and mushroom grows to face the centre? You can feel the Earth’s power, but you cannot master it until you listen to her heart. I could teach you so much if you only had the humility to listen.
• Prometheans: I met one once. It’s been the only time in my life were I was sure I had met something that couldn’t belong in an harmonious world. The next time I met him, he was just a man. How could anyone overcome such a burden? I have to know.
• Changelings: You are trying to balance two natures in your heart. I would say we were alike if your other nature was not so different. Instead I offer the kiss of a Princess for luck.
• Sin-Eaters: Behind their denial of death is a clear understanding that death is a natural part of life.
• Mummies: I can think of no curse greater than an unchanging immortality.
• Mad-Scientists: My biology teacher grew strange fungus-men in his basement. In the end we had to... we had to... I don’t want to talk about it.
• Leviathans: You look old, timeless, like something from the early days when the world hadn’t learned there was more to life than sex and violence. I’m sorry, but we’ve come so far since then and until you do the same there’s just no place for you here any more.
• Hunters: The only thing you can say they have in common, is that they define themselves by what they are in opposition to. They do good for the world, but they could do so much more if they found themselves first.
• Mortals: We live the world we want for them so it may come to be. It’s not easy, but I believe they are worth it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd imagine this group and Werewolves would have a little more in common and more to say to each other than "Watch out." The only difference is that Werewolves go offence and Turtles go defence. The Promethean one seems like a big flag to me as well since I don't think any references to their achievement of humanity are meant to be anything but rumor and legend.[/quote]
Animal Man (mine)
Best I could come up with that fit "peaceful naturalist"
Original SA post
I was weirded out by that too, is it really that hard between all the magical girl franchises, especially with ones like
that drop a whole new set of faces yearly?
From what I can tell in the changelog, those sections haven't been touched for a long, long time. The Callings don't seem to have been touched since before Septermber 2012 (and a cursory inspection on the Wiki seems to confirm this). The Inspirations for all of them don't seem to have been touched much either and seem to be something that was decided upon at the outset and then utterly forgotten. Likely, they pulled their Inspirations from TVTropes and kept it at that. Most of the recent development seems to be updates to antagonists and fluff of later sections. Queens and Callings, I assume, are largely complete to them and need no changing. Except for how samey they both are and the piles of typos still within it.
I do wonder if the people on RPG.net that are working on it would react to any of the criticisms we make beyond a huff and a silent dismissal. That aside, let's continue.
Princess: the Hopeful
The Queen of Diamonds
AKA: The Crystal-eyed One, Lady of Clear Water, The Philosopher Queen
Followers’ Epithets: Crystals, Lights, Hope-Engineers
Contrary to popular belief, people aren’t stupid. It’s just that people don’t think, or they don’t know how to think, or they just didn’t have the right facts. If you don’t think, you miss all the flaws in your plans. If you don’t have all the facts, you make stupid assumptions because you didn’t know any better. If you don’t think and don’t understand the world around you, you’ll put all your efforts into a plan that simply won’t work. And then things go wrong. Sometimes, they go very, very wrong.
That’s why thinking and knowledge and education are so important. If you know why a problem happens, you’re halfway to solving it. If you think clearly, you can find that solution. And if you educate people, you give them the ability to solve their own problems. By understanding the world, and teaching others to do the same, we can find a way to make it brighter.
So. Want to help build a better future?
The Queen of Diamonds teaches that the Light of Hope is best accompanied by the twin lights of knowledge and reason. The Nobles who follow her believe that with those two lights acting as Hope’s heralds, they can spread the light far and wide.
*tips fedora* "Hello m'lady, have you heard the word or Atheism?" All joking aside, this is the group for people who think they're smarter than everyone else and will demonstrate at every opportunity. As far as what the Queen is like:
From her seat in The Academy the Queen of Diamonds rules the Danann Archipelago. Upon a throne of whale ivory and pearl sits The Philosopher Queen: Regal as a glacier, six foot tall and adorned in the latest sleek future-chic fashions of her court. Here she judges the petitions and arguments of her subjects. Her replies are lengthy and explain the facts, theories and reasoning behind every decision. Every word spoken by The Lady of Clear Water is precise and rehearsed, as calm as a moonlit pond.
Those who know the Queen in private see a very different person. Barely reaching five foot stands a young woman just entering her twenties, wearing casual clothes, unkempt mousy hair and a tee shirt adorned with an obscure and highly technical joke. She even wears glasses having never bothered to fix her eyesight. Far from the regal Philosopher Queen she stumbles over her words, gushing like a bubbling brook in her excitement over the latest technical and scientific discoveries. When gifted with some unseen device or research from Earth she squees, yes squees, in delight. Among her many friends and frequent one night consorts she values nothing more than someone with whom she can share her boundless passion for learning.
In public, she is the Ice Queen that every nerd wants to get stepped on by. In private, she's a nerd girl that every nerd also wants to get stepped on by. Ugh. She also has an owl named Plato that's her second in command. Probably a reference to Athena and/or Archimedes the owl from Sword and the Stone. It's likely more the former than any sort of the latter.
The Queen of Diamonds has taken as her motto, “Think, then act.”
Since it may not be as clear through some of these excerpts, there's an underlying theme of running water for Lady. Everything about her philosophy revolves around being smart and logical and methodical and clearly explaining everything so that everyone understands. This generally means having all of the answers. If she doesn't she'll go and find them before giving an answer that's smart and logical and methodical and clear so everyone understands.
The Lights’ Duty is to use her brain. The Courtiers of Diamonds seek positions where problems can be solved with thought and intelligence alone. Sometimes it falls upon them to personally implement the solutions they conceive. Sometimes society expects them to start at the bottom and learn the ropes. Whatever situation she finds herself in, the ideal is to earn a Mandate to use her mind.
What Champions of Diamonds lack in combat power they make up for in strategic ability. As much a general as a fighter the Champions of Diamonds have the mind to plan a grand military campaign and organise the logistics of keeping her army fed and battle ready. When battle is joined her quick wits let her adapt to changing circumstances and match her foes gambit for gambit. If so many Champions of Diamonds are seen with shield and spear in hand against the Darkness, that’s because so few of them have an army to lead. While her Nakama will benefit from a well thought out plan to raid a Darkened cult, a group of five can scarcely afford to leave their Champion away from the front line.
The Graces in the Diamond Court might not be the best at managing people but they are the best at managing their kingdoms. The Grace’s pen closes loopholes in the tax code, defines laws in clear and understandable terms or just balances the national budget. So long as she can keep her head above the confusing tangle of special interests and the reins of policy away from those who pander to badly thought out populism she should have no trouble running a kingdom.
Seekers of Diamonds are perhaps the purest expression of Diamond’s Philosophy. They truly believe that knowledge is inherently good and only application can be evil. Deep within their ivory towers the Seekers of Diamonds study everything, from atomic physics to the Twilight Invocations. The future is built on what they discover.
If The Queen of Diamonds’ Seekers are scientists, then her Menders are the engineers. A Mender of Diamonds is more likely to be found in a laboratory researching new cures and vaccines than in the hospital, helping patient after patient. Rather than fixing a broken machine, she will design a new machine free of the fault that broke the first model. The Hope Engineers can be found in research and development teams, developing technological policy, contributing to open source and running crisis response centres.
The Troubadours of Diamonds tend to dedicate their talents in a very specific direction. Their duty is simple: make learning fun! Whether they write a sci-fi epics where the plot hinges on an accurate understanding of science or whether they’re the cool chemistry teacher who manages to tie every topic into a practical that ends with something blowing up. When Troubadours of Diamonds are teaching, you might not even know you’re being educated.
The Troubadour one gets a simple facepalm from me, but Seeker example really shows how similar these two portions of the X and Y splat are. While there's nothing wrong with overlap between two factions, the fact that they essentially have many of the same beats of theme and purpose gives the impression that one or the other was more an afterthough rather than an original idea (or lack thereof). The expected background is what one would expect and there's nothing interesting or surprising in that block of text. Their heraldry is more interesting though:
Lights often have a scientific, technological, or futuristic feel to their Regalia. For some, their regalia calls to mind science fiction; computer readouts built into sleeves or gloves, gadgets such as scanners, energy weapons, or palmtop computers, clothes made from metal, plastic, or some strange material that defies categorization. The superhero look is fairly common among the Hope-Engineers, with colors tending towards white or the brighter shades of blue. Many Regalia shed light in some manner. Others have a Regalia that call to mind professions of learning; many Lights wear glasses as part of their Regalia, whether or not they normally need them. Some have long coats reminiscent of a lab coat, while others have vests, boots, and practical looking clothing suitable for explorers, archeologists, or others who look to learn things far from a lab. No matter the style, the Regalia of many Crystals features a distinct lack of anything that would be inconvenient or unwieldy a normal costume, despite the fact Regalia doesn’t have to obey such rules.
So Tron suits. No Steam- or Cyberpunk outfits for these nerds. It's all neo-futuristic outfits and spacesuits.
Practical Magic: Intelligence, Wits or Resolve. i.e. All of the Mental Attributes
The Philosopher Queen focuses the lights of knowledge and reason into the Invocation of Acqua, and the Crystals gain mastery of that Invocation more swiftly than any other. It is linked with the virtues the Crystal-eyed holds dear, such as clarity of mind, honesty in word and deed, deep understanding, and to the emotions of curiosity and wonder. It is also tied to the classical element of water, and to liquids in general. The invoked Charms and upgrades based on Acqua relate to these things and to phenomena connected to these.
Acqua applies at no cost when the target of a Princess’ Charm is water or ice, or when she has spent at least one turn studying her target during the scene and nothing significant has happened to it since. It also applies without cost when a Princess intends to teach someone, to master a body of knowledge, to prove or refute a theory, to discover things previously unknown to anyone, and to carry out a strategy she has previously formulated.
The Invocation aids only those who are open and candid in all their dealings. A Princess who deceives another person in any fashion, be it simple falsehood, sophistry, or material omission, cannot apply Acqua for the rest of the scene, unless the deception is necessary to shield an innocent from harm, or to keep a secret given her in confidence. A Princess may reserve what she knows, if it isn’t relevant and no one asks her to inform them, and apply Acqua; she may not, however, cause another to believe what is untrue.
Of all of the things so far, I think Invocations and their special rules are actually one of the more interesting parts of the Queens. It's definitely a case where the mechanics came before the fluff and was adjusted accordingly as more fluff was added.
Your heart can show you where you need to go, but only your head can get you there.
• Clubs: You’ve got some good points, but I have absolutely no idea what you’re trying to accomplish.
• Hearts: We can learn a lot from the Kingdom, but you can’t just imitate its ways blindly and expect them to work today.
• Spades: They’re excellent when it comes to making you think ... but are they never serious?
• Swords: When you need a grand, dramatic gesture, call for them. When you need subtlety, call for someone - anyone - else.
• Tears: Look, it’s obvious - if you didn’t live in that dank hole, you wouldn’t need to steal the world’s hope. Why don’t you move out?
• Storms: The ones who let their hate and anger control them, I can deal with. They ones who are still rational, I understand and that scares me like nothing else.
• Mirrors: Someone needs to deflate their egos before they get someone killed.
• Vampires: You’re a problem. I solve problems.
• Werewolves: I’ll stay out of your way, try and stay out of mine.
• Mages: They’re dangerous – not because they have fireballs, but because their understanding of reality is fundamentally wrong.
• Prometheans: What “are” you?
• Changelings: The more I learn, the less sense they make. Thankfully, they don’t seem to be an issue.
• Sin-Eaters: They know a lot about working with the dead, but they don’t seem to understand how death works.
• Mummies: It sounds like your magic was far better understood than ours. Don’t let that be lost to history, teach me.
• Mad Scientists: They’re dangerous – not because they have death rays, but because their understanding of reality is fundamentally wrong.
• Leviathans: Find wonders in the deeps, whoever said that can’t have known what’s really in the deeps.
• Hunters: They do study mysteries, I’ll give them that. I wish they weren’t so quick to shoot them.
• Mortals: If we can teach them to think, they will make the world perfect.
Both the Mage and Genius stereotype have an identical last bit. Was that intentional or did no one notice that while writing this? The character voice is at least consistent and meaningful when talking about the other Queen courts though which is a plus. The others...vary.
, but the archetype that's being drawn is a pretty common one so rather than putting up images of the ones they list, since it's actually kinda bizarre.
Washu of the Tenchi series
Sailor Mercury of Sailor Moon
Jonas Salk, the scientist
On the Wiki, Iron Man is used instead.
Watanabe Eriko of some TVTroper fiction called Saga of Soul
(this took me a little bit to find it since there's an actress with the same name)
Still More Queens
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
The Queen of Spades
AKA: The Queen of Knaves, The Queen of Thieves
Followers’ Epithets: Knaves (affectionately derogatory), Rogues (affectionately derogatory), Scoundrels (affectionately derogatory)
Why does everyone think we knaves are lazy? Being a Knave is hard work, last week I had five parties, five! That was a lot of planning, and dancing all night really tires you out. Then I spent all last night watching great stand ups and making notes. I know everyone in school’s name, that took weeks of work, I had to write songs to help me remember, and then there’s birthdays and everyone’s favourite foods and what kind of jokes they like. After all that you have to keep yourself full of energy because any time something goes wrong people expect you to be the fast thinker, and you can’t do that when you’re tired.
But it’s all worthwhile when I see my friends smile.
A lot of the world’s problems aren’t nearly as hard as we “know” they are. If we could just step outside the box and give ourself space to look at other ideas, space to breathe, we could accomplish so much. The Queen of Knaves leads a Confederation of Princesses who challenge common knowledge and teach people to laugh at the absurdities of the rules which define them. They do the Light’s work with a quick wit, nimble hand and lateral thinking.
Drifting above the mountain-side settlements that form The Confederacy of Four Winds the Queen of Spades rules from a palace carved out of the clouds themselves. Blessed with limitless energy the Queen breezes through her palace and amusements trailing courtiers and petitioners in her wake. Her regal presence comes not from her appearance but from her character. She is youthful, yet she possesses a presence that blows from her; carrying with it a sense of confidence and power, the smell of windswept desert sand, spices and the Queen’s infectious laughter. Fashion at the royal court is a turbulent affair. The Queen changes her style frequently; always trying to keep one step ahead of fashions. This has memorably led to her occasionally preceding over a court of punks and ravers while dressed in ermine robes.
In conversation with her Princesses the Queen of Knaves breezes from topic to topic; she actively resists her Princess’ trying to pin her down to a single topic. It’s a game to her and unlike the citizens a Princess is expected to be skilled enough to play. Asking the Queen to stay focused (or worse: Get annoyed) is the fastest way to lose the game. If a Princess keeps her wits about her she may discover the Queen has answered all her questions (though not always in the order the questions were asked; and the answers may be hidden in riddles or metaphor). The Queen favours Princesses who play well, any Knave who can adopt her Queen’s breezy style of casual conversation and trick the Queen of Knaves into answering a hidden question scores highly indeed.
Her enemies say that the Queen of Knaves was a rebel before her coronation and remains a rebel at heart. Her supporters and citizens ask who better to lead a nation of tricksters, scoundrels and merchants than the Queen of Thieves herself? However the weight of truth travels with these accusations. The Queen is nostalgic for her days as a rebel and frequently leaves her throne unattended to travel her kingdom as a commoner, playing pranks and jokes before departing with the winds. She’s infamously responsible for about half the graffiti in her kingdom. Her supporters again retort that what she lacks as an administrator, she makes up for by being the laughing heart of her people.
The Queen who walks around in the woods and talks to trees is probably a more responsible monarch the Queen of Spades based on the sounds of this. As a mentor, she's probably sounds as cryptic as Yoda and twice as senile. Chaotic Random might be another apt description and it's no less pleasant. In all due fairness, the archetype could also be akin to a type of monarch that results after a roguish sort of character wins the kingdom.
The Queen of Spades shows that you can solve any problem with an open mind and a smile.
Find the Center of the Problem
The Queen of Spades delights in unorthodox solutions. She has reached infamy for immediately suggesting one sentence solutions to complicated problems and insisting her followers prove it won’t work or else carry it out. Many of these suggestions are obviously absurd but it doesn’t matter, their purpose is not to solve the problem. By playing the devils advocate with a bad idea she forces her followers to question “obvious” assumptions and ingrained dogma and so learn the first of herPhilosophies: To look beyond the obvious and the assumed, to question what the real problem is, and to act only when she has found it. If the best answers are obvious after they’ve been found, then they are already obvious to she who just looks in the right way.
Free as the Wind
A caged bird’s music is never quite as sweet. The Queen of Spades says that Light is innate, let loose the chains and let it shine forth. A Rogue should always let her spirit soar and express herself fully, no matter what anyone might say and they should extend the same courtesy to everyone she meets. High above the clouds the Queen teaches her court how to live on their wits, their feet and beyond the reach of anyone who might chain them down.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
You can’t change the past, but you can choose how you react to it. Who would prefer to cry than to laugh? To the Queen of Spades laughter really is the best medicine, and a positive attitude is just the thing to get a Princess who’s feeling down out the door and fixing her problems.
There's cutting the Gordian Knot and then there's suggesting it be ticked loose or something. This is not my favorite Queen and I'm certain there's a splat that's done an archetype like this well and with less hints of them being Chaotic Random. The Duties are much the same: Be free, think different, keep everyone smiling.
The free spirit of the Knaves is usually evident even before they Blossom. The Court of Spades draws its members from various countercultural groups (or as close as it can get given the young age of the average Blossoming), quite a few members were even outright criminals who Blossomed through a heroic effort to turn their life around. Even when they aren’t actually members of countercultural groups would-be spades often have some of the attitude. They are the self proclaimed jokers, slackers and class clowns who fight with authority, usually for the fun of it.
Joining the Court of Clubs encourages these traits, but also softens them in its own way. Declaring war upon “The Man” is less of an issue when you can just fly away, and when you can live on magic instead of a nine to five job. Knaves are more likely to make fun of what they see as wrong in society than they are to take up arms, and when they do decide to make a change their approach is often subtle, finessed and sometimes incomprehensible to others. It is usually delivered with a smile.
Guy Fawkes masks have smiles on them don't they? The trolls, jokers, hecklers, comedians, and those who find being anti-authoritarian a compliment all would be the types under the banner of the Queen of Spades. As far as the type of stuff they like to wear, it's generally colors associated with autumn leaves and the sky and clouds. Airy clothes are common as are counterculture symbols or visual puns.
Practical Magic: Dexterity, Wits, Manipulation. i.e. the Finesse Stats
The Invocation of Spades is Aria, the enviable lightness of being. It is the principle of detachment, the paradoxical unity of speed with forethought, and the laughter in the wind. Aria is taught by the Queen of Spades and her followers learn it easiest of all.
Aria applies at no cost when a Princess is blown by strong winds, moves at running speed or faster, or is at risk of falling from a height; and when the target of her Charm is the air, or other gases. It also applies without cost when a Princess intends to catch someone by surprise, to make someone laugh, to cast doubts, to expose pretensions and humiliate arrogance, and to subvert formal rules of an organisation or society.
Aria will not support any assertion of authority over another person. A Princess is free to advise, to persuade, to appeal to friendship, and even to deceive (within the limits of Belief) while using Aria, but if she issues a command she cannot apply the Invocation for the rest of the scene.
So no telling people what to do because that's the job of the Man, man. I can see this one where ST interpretation can cause difficulties
Lighten up! This will be fine, and if not we’ll just run for it.
• Clubs: Good-natured sort, by and large - except when they’re not. The little groan from a “Let’s go clubbing” joke never gets old.
• Diamonds: I probably shouldn’t take quite so much pleasure in pointing out when they’re wrong. It’s a rare enough thing that it’s a treat, though.
• Hearts: The bigger you make your castles the more places there are for me to hide in. You’re far too easy a target my dear.
• Swords: Halt dogooder! This is one of those bridges where you have to answer my riddles to pass.
• Tears: You might have kept part of the Kingdom alive, but you haven’t made it worth living.
• Storms: They are so predictable, traps, ambushes, they just charge straight in.
• Mirrors: Those special powers, did you know they stop working if... oops! Too late!
• Vampires: They seem to be at the heart of any rotten power structure. I wonder; do they corrupt things, or are they just drawn to such things like flies to meat?
• Werewolves: Discretion is often the better part of valour when a pissed-off eight foot monster is on the prowl. But sometimes you just have to get between them and their victims to draw them off.
• Mages: Look at the puppet-masters, making society dance on strings to their tunes. Never let them catch you with scissors.
• Prometheans: Well it’s like... where to begin... I don’t usually have to explain what a joke is.
• Changelings: Ticksters and lawyers to a man. Don’t try to beat them at their game of words and promises unless you’re sure you’re very good, or they’ll ensnare you.
• Sin-Eaters: Partying in the face of death; you’ve got style! Hey, I’ve never tried rum before. Want to share a bottle?
• Mummies: What would happen if I woke you and commanded you to see the world and decide who you want to be?
• Mad Scientists: Oh, don’t mind us. We’re just watching but um, can we like, be the beautiful lab assistants and shout “It’s Alive!” or something?
• Leviathans: Um, right, yeah, living in the sky is starting to look like a good idea.
• Hunters: Why are you so serious, ok I know why you’re so serious, but you’d cope better if you laughed once in a while anyway.
• Mortals: Come on everyone, smile! Fill my heart with sunshine!
A character that appeared only once in FullMetal Alchemist
Some dude from Shugo Chara (Ikuto Tsukiyomi)
Captain Jack Sparrow
Yeah. The other Pony reference.
Other appropriate ones:
Aang from Avatar: the Last Airbender
the Protagonist of Saint's Row IV
Next: the last of the Radiant Queens
The Last Queen
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
The Queen of Swords
AKA: The Brightly Burning One, The Faithful Marshal, The Queen Errant
Followers’ Epithets: Adventurers, Heroes, Martyrs
Fire, fire gets a bit of a bad name these days, but fire is really life. Almost every living thing on the planet owes its life to the sun, and we owe everything that makes life worth living to the fire inside us. Life is meaningless if we don’t feel anything from it: Laughter, hope, wonder, even sadness. Without
them what’s the point?
I guess, what I’m trying to say is. I love you, won’t you come on an adventure with me? We’ll see the world, try new things and maybe get into a few scrapes on the way. Even if we get burnt, pain is part of life and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Just as their magic lets them master the fire without, those who follow the Queen of Swords are consumed by the fire within. They are blazing heroic figures, driven by their passions. They will follow their hearts wherever it leads, even to their own deaths. The Court of Swords are called Martyrs too
That last line was pretty much unnecessary, but the archetype they're going for here is another of the more solid ones and probably the least boring of them all (or I might just be getting sick of this section). Of the Queens, the Queen of Swords is really the only one that talks about romantic love (except for one paragraph about the Queen of Hearts's champion). The Queen, herself, is the hands on type and would rather be out and about doing things like righting wrongs or exploring or just doing odd jobs rather than than managing the realm. She's the more practical sort and expects Princesses under her to follow suit. Also, if it wasn't obvious, the Queen of Swords breaks the standard card suit categories. Instead, they opt for one of the Tarot suits. Sadly, this doesn't follow through to the other three remaining Queens. Gotta have five groups for the X and Y splats though, right
The Queen of Swords only ever gave one order. “Whatever you do, do it out of love ”.
More completely, the Philosophies of the Queen of Swords can be summarized as: "If it hurts people then it is wrong," "Always be broadening your horizons," "True dependency is a chain," and "Yet when her very heart is at stake, her passions should burn everything in her path, even herself – like a flame." Yeah, the writers cheated a bit by tying two concepts together into on one. More succinctly, "Don't hurt others," "Don't be afraid to be as independent as you can," and "Follow your heart." All rather sensible philosophies, more or less. It's a group very much about being passionate and discovering new things. Their Duties also tend to being relatively free and untethered as they go about the good that they do and work at a smaller scale compared to the others. Presumably the first philosophy doesn't apply against supernaturals and people who are harming others.
Practical Magic: Strength, Intelligence, Presence. i.e. All of the Power Attributes. Only the Physical Attributes don't show up as a set for Wisp tricks.
The Queen of Swords raises passionate devotion into magic in the Invocation of Fuoco, and the Adventurers learn it more easily than any other. Love, heroism and sacrifice are its fuel, the noblest things the Queen Errant knows. It is equally bound to literal fire, heat and light.
Fuoco applies at no cost when the target of a Princess’ Charm is a flame, on fire, or hot enough to burn; and when the target is someone or something the Princess loves. It also applies without cost when a Princess intends to aid a person she loves, to strike at enemies with her full force, to take great risks for great gains, to inspire others to heroic endeavors, and at the culmination of a major campaign.
The Invocation abandons Princesses who abandon their beloved. A Princess who betrays or otherwise injures a person she loves or has loved cannot apply Fuoco until the one she has hurt forgives her for the injury, or until a full lunar month has passed.
Several Fuoco Charms create flames out of the love one person feels for another. The nature of the love determines the color of these flames, and the love’s strength fuels their heat. Consult this table when a Princess uses these Charms:
Natures range from "Love for an 'idea' of a person not intimately known" as translucent colored to "'As you wish'" being rainbow colored. The Strengths go from +0 (1st Degree) for Acquaintance to +3 (White Hot) Total Devotion. How white hot flames mesh with the other flame colors doesn't make that much sense, but the intention is clear. As far as GMC rules are concerned, I don't know if these values still work or not.
I have no regrets, I’m doing this because I love you.
• Clubs: I think after spending so much time trying to be part of everyone else, they’ve forgotten who they are.
• Diamonds: Good at writing a theory, but unable to take it out of the ivory tower and into the real world.
• Hearts: Sometimes traditions and etiquette are just a crutch. If you really know who you are and what mattered to you then you wouldn’t need them. Not like they do.
• Spades: Great for a laugh, I just wish they cared more deeply
• Tears: There’s no love in what they do, it’s nothing but fear.
• Storms: Find something to love, then fight for it. If you do it the other way around you’ll end like these girls.
• Mirrors: You’re not supposed to only love yourself.
• Vampires: I think the reason fire hurts them so much is that it reminds them what they’ve lost. They really are dead, on the inside.
• Werewolves: If I was sure they wouldn’t rage and splatter my intestines everywhere, I’d be their closest friend.
• Mages: I don’t care how long your theory is, it’s still wrong. If anything is real it’s what’s in your heart, not magic.
• Prometheans: See! I told you, it all comes down to the same thing. Fire and Humanity.
• Changelings: You loved something so much it let you defeat gods and escape hell. You can’t give up now!
• Sin-Eaters: Keeping the flame alive in the face of death; I’d respect that, if I thought it meant anything to them.
• Mummies: I’m only sort of immortal, but at least I’m alive.
• Mad Scientists: I think they are missing something. I think that they became what they are to try and find it, and they’re still looking.
• Leviathans: Everyone changes other people just by being near them. If we’re all like beautiful stars orbiting each other then these are black holes drawing in and giving nothing back. Pure perfect evil.
• Hunters: HEY! Why the hell are you shooting at me!? I’m on your side, here!
• Mortals: I’m going to take you on an adventure and break you out of that shell. Just you watch
Sailor Uranus, Nanoha, Captain Marvel, Indiana Jones. Eventually two others were added later (based on wiki history). Those are Sayaka Miki and Aquaman from Batman: the Brave and the Bold. Both of those sorta work, I guess. Finn the Human from Adventure Time is probably a better example than Captain Marvel of all characters.
So that's it for the Queens until we come to the antagonists. Most of them are rather one-note and a lot of the info included was rather useless (the character creation sections are all rather superfluous and useless). We're only about 1/5 of the way through the book and one thing that I had forgotten to notice until now was the lack of Example PCs and an example of Character Creation. While veterans to WoD may not need the examples, it would make sense to have an example that focuses on the portions outside of Core. This may be another element of their perpetuation of development and being too mired in it without taking a step back and looking at the game as a whole and just losing sight of the whole in general. That might be why the Charms section and the Antagonists sections are about 100 pages each. Even Mage doesn't take up quite as much real estate in its books when it comes to spells, I don't think.
Anyways, Next: Beacons, Sworn and Shikigami. Akin to Wolf-blooded, ghouls and Fae-touched.
Beacons, Sworn, Shikigami - The Help
Original SA post
What with Hunter, Changeling, Changing Breeds, Genius and Princess F&Fs all running mostly concurrently, it's almost as though this was an offshoot of the WoD thread. Sadly, only two of the things I listed are any good (and I may have forgotten some other WoD F&Fs that are in relatively active progress)
Princess: the Hopeful
Beacons, Sworn, Shikigami
- The Help
The Light of hope is far from unique to the Radiant; it belongs to all mankind. In the millennia of the Long Night mankind built civilisations and made wonders in the arts and sciences. It was regular humans who achieved the impossible and walked upon the moon, bringing a new dawn to end the Long Night. The Beacons are people whom the Light illuminates somewhat more brightly than most. Some Princesses say that in a better world everyone would be a Beacon. Some (usually the same people) say that in the Kingdom everyone was a Beacon.
Beacons are the people with a little bit of the same Light that powers a Princess. How they gain it, maybe they're born with it, maybe it's bestowed
Regardless of how they get it, they still have that same aura of hope, morality and idealism that the Nobility has. Because of that little spark of Light however makes them a target for the Darkness and can acquire Shadows due to the Sensitivity the Light gives them. Because of the spark of Light they have, Princesses tend to make friends with them since they tend to be good people. Also, they have a disproportionately high chance of Blossoming.
Mechanically, Beacons have an Echo just like Princesses though they still have Integrity instead of Belief. They can also have Dreams instead of Aspirations. Mentioned in the Merits section later are Bequests which Beacons can use. Bequests are the special splat tool/gadget/artifact. Unfortunately, they're limited to using Bequests with their own Wisp pool or those that don't require any since Beacons cannot generate their own. Beacons can also enter the Dreamlands if they have dots in Shadows. Entrance requires Empathy + Shadows and function the same as Princesses. Finally, they suffer from Sensitivity with a base of one die and use Integrity for the Haunting duration. Other things Beacons start out with when generated by a player: the Virtuous merit for free, Sympathetic can be bought for one dot, three bonus dots for Social Merits because they're so goshdarned nice. Optionally, those bonus merit dots can be bumped up to five and be used for social connections or supernatural abilities or Bequests.
Through the use of the Accept Fealty Charm, Princesses can make their own set of magically empowered sidekicks and support staff. Unlike Beacons, Sworn do not have the Inner Light that they have. However, by being Sworn, they are bestowed some of the powers of the Princess that's sworn them into service. Most Sworn are chosen to fill gaps in the skillset for a party of Princesses or to friends and family to help them understand the Princess's new life. It does require consent of the Sworn individual to becomes so Princesses cannot forcibly try and show someone the error of their ways through Sensitivity.
Mechanically, Sworn get a Wisp pool equal to their Integrity. Regaining Wisps require the Dedication Merit or undertake a ritual with a Princess of the same Court which reaffirms the Sworn's oaths. It takes about a minute and full concentration from both sides. Sworn can purchase dots of Invocation that belong to the Queen they (or the Princess that they) follow at an out of affinity rate. They also have access to that Queen's Practical Magic. Sworn can use Bequests and roll One die to transform them. Just like Beacons, Sworn can travel to the Dreamlands if they have Shadows and have Sensitivity. Both operate the same as a Beacon. Sworn start play with a dot in their Queen's Invocation. Optionally, they can start with five Merit dots to be spent on supernatural abilities like Bequests.
Notably, Beacons can become Sworn so as to become something like a Princess with stunted powers and abilities.
Those cute mentor or assistant characters usually created as mascot characters like KeroBeros or Kyuubi? Shikigami are their equivalent. In exchange for their knowledge and tutlage, Shikigami are allowed access to a Princess's magic so they can sustain themselves indefinitely on Earth. They need to because they're natives to the Dreamlands. The body they possess on Earth is artificial and is not necessarily representative of the Dreamlander inside of it. In almost all respects, Shikigami have the same spread of Attributes and Skills mortal humans have. The main difference is their size. Their starting size is between 1 to 3.
For any Shikigami, they can travel through the Dreamlands and pledge themselves to a Queen. They follow all of the same rules a Princess does in the Dreamlands except when rolls call for Inner Light, Shikigami get a flat +3 instead. When pledging themselves to a Queen, Shikigami can gain access to Practical Magic and Invocations like the Sworn. Princesses can form a bond with a Shikigami and more than one Princess can do so with the same one. If they are bonded to a Princess, Shikigami get access to a number of perks. Shikigami have a Wisp pool equal to their Integrity. To gain Wisps, Shikigami must either be bound to a Princess or know someone with the Charm Charge. Whenever a Princess gets a Beat from an Aspiration or a Dream, the Shikigami gets a Wisp. Wisps can also be acquired through physical contact for a minute. Additionaly, as long as they are bound to a Princess, Shikigami can Transform with their maximum Transformed Skill and Attribute dots determined by the highest Inner Light amongst Princesses bound to it. Shikigami can also acquire Transformed Size for one Merit dot per point of Size up to Size 8. While Transformed they can use Charms. However, the maximum Charm rating they have is based on the highest Inner Light amongst Princesses they're bound to. At Inner Light 1, Shikigami can learn 1 Dot Charms. At Inner Light 3, Shikigami can learn 2 Dot charms and so on. Finally, any Princess bound to a Shikigami automatically gains an Intimacy of Love to that Shikigami as well as every other Princess bound to it.
Starting Shikigami also gain one dot of the White Rabbits merit and can buy certain abilities for their bodies with merit dots such as wings for four dots and damage 0 or 1 weapons (claws, fangs, etc.) for one or two dots respectively. Finally, Shikigami start with 5 Experience to spend on Merits, Transformed Skills and Attributes, Charms and Invocations.
To Bind a Shikigami:
first searches for an star who is willing to leave the Dreamlands with her and who has a Rank of 5 or less (former inhabitants of the Kingdom don’t have a Rank but they all qualify except the Queens). This is usually quite easy, the Dreaming Kingdoms have institutions whoes soul purpose is to match Princesses with potential Shikigami.
This done, the Princess finds a doll, plush toy, or sometimes an animal, in the waking world who bears some resemblance to the Dreamlander - the closer, the better - and goes to the Dreamlands while her sleeping body cuddles the vessel. Then the Princess leads the Dreamlander back through her Crawlspace to the threshold of waking, and begins a rite of binding.
The action of Binding is an Extended Roll of Inner Light+Presence at 10 minutes per roll. The threshold is 3*Dreamlander Rank or 6 for former inhabitants of the Kingdom. It costs 1 Willpower to perform. This roll can be modified based on how similar the Dreamlander is to the vessel with bonuses for better resemblance and penalties for a lacktherof. Dreamlanders already inhabiting an object or an animal halve the required successes. A Dramatic Failure makes it so that the Princess can never make the Dreamlander into a Shikigami. A regular Failure means no progress is made and if she completely fails, she gains the Stuck Magic condition. On a Success and Exceptional Success, progress is made.
Princesses can only be bound to a single Shikigami at a time, though the Charm Astral Companion can allow her to bring other Dreamlanders to Earth.
The Stuck Magic condition:
After trying and failing to perform a large act of magic your character's magic has gotten stuck. It is partly a blow to her confidence and partly an almost physical blockage in the flow of her magic. A good push should clear it.
Resolution: At any time when rolling to Transform or using a Charm, the ST can invoke a -2 penalty.
A good hard squeeze should do it. Or maybe she just needs to relax a little. Or eat some more fiber.
Next: Chapter 3: A Huey Lewis and the News hit song made popular by a movie featuring Michael J. Fox
The Power of Love
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
Chapter 3 -
The Power of Love
So this chapter includes new Merits, Charms and options for higher level (Power Stat 6+) play among other things. These are the tricks that make them a step above Hunters and different from other Supernaturals. Before we get into Merits though, we'll go into a few miscellaneous things first (since that's how the book has them).
The light of a Princesses reverberates through the people around her. As she shines, so too can the people around her feel if. If her light flickers, so too can others around her feel it. When a Princess fulfils her Virtue, roll Belief. On a success, everyone around her who witness the action gets the Inspired condition which they can use on any roll in accordance to that virtue. i.e. a Princess displaying a feat of courage or bravery, will inspire the same emotion in others. However, failing to fulfil a Virtue when the opportunity presents itself (likely based on ST interpretation and potentially telegraphed if planned) also triggers a Belief roll. In this case, however, a failure gives witnesses the Shaken condition unless they roll Composure+Supernatural Advantage (I assume Supernatural Advantage is the power stat?). Generally though (as a Rule of Thumb according to the book), Echoes don't provide an advantage over foes. "If a police officer forces a vigilante Champion to stand aside for the authorities he won’t be Shaken by her hurt feelings. Her feelings will be more noticeable but the officer’s own belief in the importance of due process is more than enough of a shield. This goes double for people who actually want the Princess to suffer, while some Princesses have witnessed their enemies having a “my god, what am I doing” moment any Princess who expects or relies on her Echo protecting her from her enemies is an idiot."
The Wiki has quite different rules for Echoes. No idea why and delving into rpg.net for answers does not interest me in the slightest. Their version of Echoes triggers at the end of a scene amongst those the Princess has interacted with beyond the superficial level. A contested roll is made between the Princess and the person they interacted with with the Princess rolling Inner Light modified based on Intimacy and the other person rolling their Supernatural Tolerance or Chance Die if they're normal. Things like having an Intimate or Known Sympathy or how the Princess interacted with the character can modify the roll. Beacons and Sworn can also create Echoes however, their starting dice pool is 0 on the initial contest roll with the second roll using Integrity instead of Belief. It otherwise works the same.
If the Princess succeeds, their Echo is imprinted on the target's heart and triggers a second roll to determine its effects. This roll uses Belief-Shadows. The result determines which version of the Echo condition is bestowed. A success bestows the Light version which encourages them to act on their Virtues while failure bestows the Shadow version, further increasing the weight the World of Darkness bears upon them further tempting them to escape though their Vices. For supernaturals with alternate versions of Virtue/Vice, they use the respective replacements instead. i.e. the Light Echo condition uses a Vampire's Mask and the Shadow Echo condition uses their Dirge.
Beat (Light): When the character is the target of a social maneuver, the maneuvering character appeals to his Virtue, to open one Door without rolling or to improve the impression by one step.
Beat (Shadow): When the character is the target of a social maneuver and the maneuvering character tempts his Vice, the temptation opens one Door without rolling and improves the impression.
Resolution: The character may resolve the Condition when he spends Willpower on an action in accord with his Virtue (Light)/Vice (Shadow). This may add an extra +2 bonus to the dice pool, add an extra +1 to a boosted resistance, or convert the dice from the spent Willpower to a single automatic success.
Furthermore, from the Wiki, a Princess's Echo does not prevent against psychic intrusion or mind altering affects beyond the Supernatural Tolerance they gain from their Inner Light. However, a Princess's Echo also bypasses psychic and mental defences and barriers. The wiki also notes that all this Echo business should only be rolled for NPCs that might show up again since it happens at the end of a scene making it meaningless if the NPC doesn't show up again.
The transformed form of a Princess represents her idealized self. Smarter, faster, stronger, better. The first Transformation is called a Blossoming which is generally an unconscious act done at a time of great need or danger. Afterwards, her Phylactery will manifest itself. This object represents the power sealed away inside and generally takes the form of any small, simple object. A pendant or watch would be obvious versions. A Princess cannot Transform without her Phylactery so more dickish STs may try and find ways to take those objects away or prevent their use. Don't play with those people. While transformed, the Princess is allowed access to her Charms, transformed dots and other benefits
To Transform, either spend a Wisp to make it Reflexive or roll Belief+Inner Light-Shadows. On a Dramatic Failure, the Phylactery discorporates and must spend a Wisp, a Willpower and a full round resummoning it. On a failure, the transformation fails after spending a full round. On a success, the transformation goes through as an Instant action. On an exceptional success, it's reflexive instead of instant.
Returning to normal can be done at any time, reflexively and must occur after spending her last Wisp or when she falls asleep (I assume falling unconscious also falls under this category?). At the end of a scene or after half of an hour while transformed, the Princess must roll Belief+Inner Light to maintain the transformation. On a dramatic failure, the Phylactery discorporates and the Princess returns to normal. Getting it back is done as above. On a failure, she must spend a Wisp to maintain form and receives a cumulative -2 penalty for rolls to remain transformed until she ends a scene in mundane form. On a success, she stays transformed. On an exceptional success, she doesn't have to roll next time.
Like any hero that transforms, Princesses have a dual identity that most people can't connect together no matter how similar they look (see: Sailor Moon). Only with evidence can someone tie the two identities together. Mechanically, to tie the two identities together, it's a Wits+Subterfuge vs. Wits+Subterfuge contest. The observer takes a penalty based on Intimacy (akin to Mage Intimacy ranges for spells with a greater penalty the less is known about the Princess) and the Princess takes a penalty equal to their Sensitivity. If the observer has more successes than the Princess, they've cracked the secret identity. Otherwise, the veil can't quite be pierced. If the observer gets a Dramatic Failure, not only do they not succeed, but they get a cumulative -1 on the identification roll. If the Princess does that, the observer gets a cumulative +1 because she was so bad at hiding it. These cumulative bonuses and penalties can cancel each other out. Directly revealing it by the Princess or seeing the transformation does not need a roll (obviously), but if they're seen close together or pieces of evidence are revealed, that can trigger an investigation roll as it counts as evidence. Bonuses can be applied if there's more than one piece of evidence gathered.
Supernatural senses can't quite pierce the veil behind the transformation until they realize the Princess can transform. Once her nature is known, the supernatural can use Wits+Subterfuge or their own special roll for examination. The roll is contested as above with the same penalties based on Intimacy. Intimacy to one identity does not translate to the other though so an effect targeting a Princess through an Intimate connection is stopped upon their transformation (suck it Mastigos Mages).
These are not the same objects that house the souls of liches. These are the source of power for a Princess's transformation. Generally some method is done to activate with the minimum of touching it. The Phylactery tends to transform with them becoming part of their Regalia. In terms of stats, Phylacteries have Size of 0 to 2, Durability equal to Inner Light and Structure equal to Belief. If the Phylactery is lost or destroyed
please call the nearest Princess Help Desk for assistance
, all it takes is a Wisp and a Willpower and a full round of concentration to bring it back. If someone else were to obtain it,they couldn't use it themselves, but they would get an Intimacy connection equivalent to "Love" (that's a -2, the stage just below Sensory at 0). Any technique that might sever a Princess's connection to her Phylactery would, by nature, destroy it so she can always get it back.
These are the subtle tricks Princesses can do in either form and are based on the Queen that they follow. The Radiant Courts, Courtless and each Twilight Court have their own forms of Practical Magic.
For the Radiant Courts, Princesses can raise an attribute (or reduce an opposed attribute) roll by spending Wisps at a one-to-one ratio up to a maximum Wisps per turn. Each court has a particular set of attributes (which I listed earlier) that they can apply this to. Again:
Clubs: the Resistance Attributes
Diamonds: the Mental Attributes
Hearts: the Social Attributes
Spades: the Finesse Attributes
Swords: the Power Attributes
High Belief can enhance the amount of die received. At 8, the fist Wisp spent adds 2 dice instead of 1. At 9, the first two Wisps add 2 dice. At 10, as 9, except the first Wisp adds 3 dice.
Courtless Princesses are mostly the same as Radiant Princesses except they can enhance any Attribute or Skill that they have Transformed dots in rather than based on their Court and the maximum Wisps they can spend is based on the number of dots they have in that trait as well as their normal limits.
The other three courts each work differently. Those under the Court of Tears penalize rolls instead of enhancing their own. Each wisp spent degrades a target's roll by one step with the lowest step being no 10-again and 1s cancelling successes. In the event that more 1s are rolled than successes, the roll counts as a dramatic failure and the Princess regains her spent wisp. The Princess can spend multiple Wisps per turn to curse several targets or downgrade a single target several steps. Example: Three wisps can take three targets from 8-again to 9-again or one target's rote roll to the lowest step. At 8 belief, the first Wisp counts as though two were spent. At 9, the first two count as two each. At 10, the first counts as three and the second counts as two.
The Court of Swords do something entirely different. The more they are bloodied, the harder they fight. For 1 Wisp, wound penalties turn into bonuses and does not check for unconsciousness as the last health box fills with Bashing damage. Note: Iron Stamina merit does not reduce the bonuses. Higher Belief enhances these bonuses. "At Belief 8 the first wound penalty becomes a +2 bonus instead of a +1 bonus, at Belief 9 the first two wound penalties become a +2 bonus, and at Belief 10 all three wound penalties are enhanced." The book seems to have messed up the bonus for Belief 9 and the Wiki doesn't seem to include this last portion at all
The last court is the Court of Mirrors. They don't get Practical Magic! Instead, their Transformed and Mundane self is reversed such that turning into their Transformed self is reflexive and indefinite and turning into their mundane self requires a roll or Wisp expenditure. Belief has no bearing on this either.
Next: Merits - Modified and new
Original SA post
Double posting, but it makes replies easier this way
Princess: the Hopeful
The next portion we'll go over, relatively briefly are Merits, new and old. Merits for those unaware are basically like feats or special skills that can be picked up by characters to give them extra tricks or capabilities. Most are ho-hum and can be ignored without too much loss. Others are either laughably bad or unwittingly powerful (Fighting Styles). As a special advantage, Princesses can benefit from Merits with skill and attribute requirements using their Transformed dots. Consequentially, they can only benefit from these merits while transformed. Alternatively, she can apply a merit to only one of her identities and take a Beat in exchange. To apply it to both identities, repay the Beat. Certain merits such as Resources, Contacts and anything external to the Princess are assumed to only be tied to one identity (and thus do not have the option to get an extra Beat) unless the Princess wants to make the benefactor(s) of the Merit aware of both identities.
This post and the next are basically one giant list of things. The Charms post will be the same, but hopefully more condensed.
Queens are a possible choice for a Mentor. However, unlike a normal mentor, the dot value doesn't represent their skill, but how much time they can allot to the character. Queens are powerful, but busy so while the advice they can give is invaluable, most Princesses wouldn't be able to get the attention of their Queen except in the most dire of circumstances. Having dots in Mentor, specifying your Queen, means that the character and the Queen have a relatively closer connection than other Princesses. The book's rule of thumb is each dot specifies a meeting with the Queen per session. More broadly, at one dot, the Queen knows the character enough that they can get a word in edgewise about less dire matters. Three dots has the Princess in the Queen's schedule with time specifically allotted for them and their party. Five dots is about as close to BFFs as one can get with daily meetings and concern if the Princess doesn't check in with her Mentor. One thing of note is that Queens aren't particularly in touch with the goings on of the world so asking the Queen of Diamonds if they know how to break the encryption on a Vampire Elder's laptop might be a bit out of their purview as would asking the Queen of Hearts about the corporate undertakings of the Cherion Group. They can tell you how to go about achieving those things, but they probably wouldn't know Prussia from Russia from Moscovy.
Princesses are special in that they can buy the merit at one dot instead of two. For reference, the merit allows one to take a Condition at the beginning of a Social Maneuvering attempt to eliminate two of the target's Doors.
Because a Princess's Regalia are a personal expression of her self, she can use Taste to answer questions about another Princess based on their Regalia. Doing this makes it a contested roll though and is contested with Wits+Subterfuge. Additionally, this doesn't work if the Regalia is disguised.
Virtuous and Vice-Ridden
Princesses are too pure to have two Vices and they already have two Virtues
Unless otherwise noted, these are only available to Princesses
One of the avenues towards regaining Wisps is spending time with one's Circle. The Circle merit represents a Princess's healthy relationship with their family, friends and so forth. The more dots they have, the closer they are to their Circle. Once a day, a Princess can spend an hour with their Circle to regain (Circle*2)-Shadows Wisps. As a
Merit tax, Princesses without a Circle get -1 to Compromise rolls while a Princess with 2 dots gets a +1 or a +2 with 4 dots.
The saying "Follow your heart" is a bit more true to life for the Hopeful. Once per Chapter, the Princess can ask one of the following questions of the ST about another character and the ST has to answer honestly:
How will this character react to this action?
How does this character feel about this thing?
How does this character feel about that person?
What is this character hoping to achieve?
Can I trust this character?
Of course, this is only done if they succeed on a roll. In this case, it's Belief vs. the target's Manipulation+Subterfuge. The target doesn't have to be present and the contested roll is meant to represent any misconceptions or false assumptions the Princess may have. An exceptional success allows the Princess to ask two questions.
Also available to regular mortals.
Fate has bound the person who posesses this merit with a another. Upon picking this up, choose a relationship such as love, rivalry, loyalty, etc. and the name and nature of the other subject. Any of these can be left to the ST instead. While fate cannot force this relationship, it will conspire to make situations come up for it to happen. Once per scene, when fufilling this destined role, regain a Willpower. Forgoing it, though, will incur a -2 penalty on all actions for the rest of the scene because Fate is a fickle bitch.
Character generation only.
Whereas most Princesses have memories of their reincarnations as Princesses, Onceborn do not. They have none of the psychic baggage that other Princesses might have and no trauma of the Fall and the Dreamlands. Start with 8 Belief.
Not quite the location Merit. Instead, it's a special place that is requisite for certain Charms and generally enhances their magic. There's a Condition associated that's applied to the location and says as much. Additionally, there's the
merit (1-3) that makes it harder to find the location of the Palace and defends the inhabitants against scrying equal to its dot level.
Available only to Hopeful and Sworn.
Imagine a language that not only conveys meaning via its words, but also its tones, inflections, and context and where saying a simple sentence requires a verbose paragraph of prose and virtue. That is probably a fraction of the complexity of the Royal Tongue and makes even the Queens deign its use for other mortal tongues. While it can be heard by any, Mortals hear only a melodic singing in some unknown language. The nature of the Royal Tongue is so complex, it cannot be recorded without losing most of its meaning. The language of the Royal Tongue is inherently supernatural and thus triggers Unseen Sense.
To use it to enhance a Charm, the speaker must spend a turn declaring they will use a Charm and forcing the emotion behind it and generally making some sort of speech. The activation roll for that charm gets 9-again as a result (thus making the merit a near waste of XP).
Have a second Calling. It's now possible to regain Wisps from both callings as well as having Dreams from either. Of course, this means following the Oaths of both.
Presumably based on the character Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura who designs all of the dresses for the titular character. The merit allows the Princess, while transformed to regenerate her Regalia with a reflexive action instead of an instant action
Requires a Commonality of Dedicated (not quite sure what this means)
By belonging to a group of Nakama who've learned to reinforce each other, Inspire Charms can now be done as a Teamwork action and the Princesses involve can further fulfil their dreams about being magical performing idols. At minimum, the lead actor has to know the performed Charm, but those who don't know the base charm take a -3 penalty. The lead actor also is the only one that needs to apply Wisps and/or Willpower and all must know the require Invocation if it is to be used. Secondary actors need to pay a Wisp each in this case. Drawbacks from Charms apply to all participants.
As mentioned in the last post, it takes a specific roll to tie the two identities of a Princess together. Veiling makes it harder for others to find out. Princesses get a bonus equal to the dot rating to resist Identification rolls and Supernatural attempts get a penalty while the Princess is not transformed.
Next: Merits Part 2: Electric Boogaloo
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
The rest of the merits. Including Style merits.
Available to both Princesses and Mortals
This is the requisite Supernatural Item merit that every splat has. In this case, it is an object bound to a particular Charm. Bequests, like Princesses, have a mundane form based on the original vessel and a glorious form based on the Charm it holds. And just like Princesses, a Bequest's Charm can only be used while Transformed. To do so, spend a Willpower to transform it reflexively or roll Inner Light. The transformation lasts for a single scene but it doesn't require the used to be Transformed (or even a Princess). Bequests utilize all portions of the Charm applied to it including upgrades. Permanent Charms grant the permanent bonus when the Bequest is transformed, but Charms that require activation must have its costs paid each time it's used. For this, Bequests can have a Wisp pool of capacity 10. To refill the pool, the owner has to fulfil a duty (akin to a Calling) while carrying the Bequest. Details on this are listed in the Bequeath Charm.
The cost of a Bequest is based on the Charm it houses (a 2 dot Charm makes a 2 dot Bequest) and each upgrade adds a dot. Adding a Wisp Pool adds another dot.
Pick a Specialty for the Gallery such a Dinner Party or Gala or Art Gallery, when making Persuasion, Expression or Socialize rolls that fit under said Specialty, the owner of the Gallery gets a bonus to those rolls while inside the Gallery. Also, they messed up the font on Gallery so it looks like a submerit of Bequest.
Requires: Princess or posession of a Bequest with a Duty
Fulfilling Duties is the general method of earning Wisps. Being in a position to always fulfil one's duty is represented by this Merit. This could be a blog or a day job or something the posessor does during Downtime. The number of dots is related to the level of responsibility required. Being a part-timer for one's parents is worth less compared to a full time job as a doctor or police officer. At a number of times per day equal to their Merit dots the Princess (or Bequest owner) rolls a relevant skill roll with a penalty equal to Shadows and receives Wisps equal to the number of successes. Each Roll represents about an hour of work. If the Mandate is also appropriate to their Queen's philosophies, an additional Wisp is earned if any successes are rolled. Of course, depending on the nature of the Mandate, they may have to put in their hours all of the time to keep it going. The ST is encouraged to use a Mandate as a hook rather than just a time sink
Requires: Beacon, Sworn, Shikigami, or Hopeful
Possesing this merit indicates a sensitivity to the corruption that springs from the Darkness as it intrudes into this world. Whenever a creature of Darkness enters from the Dark World or the size or severity of a Tainted area increases within Inner Light miles (1 if without Inner Light), it is instantly known and a roll of Wits+Sensitivity can determine its rough location and direction of whatever triggered the sense.
An alternate, stronger version is available at the same cost that allows detection at 3 times the distance and gives a +3 to pinpointing the direction and location. However, such a stronger sense is painful and requires taking a moderate Sick condition upon sensing it for one scene such pain manifests itself as "nasuia, headaches, uncomfortable periods, cramps or some other painful medium." The only time the pain doesn't come is in a Princess's transformed state (so STs are to make sure to trigger it while the party is untransformed for greatest effect).
Requires: The ability to travel to the Dreamlands
With a connection to the Dreamlands, one can be witness to various portents and prophecies related to their life of their goals. White Rabbits (after taking a trip to the Dreamlands appendix to see whether they were an actual creature or something) are visions of the future that are visited upon Princesses. While normally, White Rabbits visit those in their sleep without much control, taking this merit allows one to seek them out. To do so, once entering REM sleep, roll Wits+Empathy-Shadows with a -2 penalty if they haven't found an entrance to the Dreamlands near their current location. On a success, the player recieves at least one clue for each dot they possess though they may be hidden behind symbols or portents.
Yep, style Merits. A subset of the Common Merits. There are three and thankfully, they're not Combat Styles. They're Social Maneuvering styles instead which are part of 2e so I'm completely unfamiliar with how they work beyond that they involve opening and closing Doors of sorts. They're still sorta garbage as far as I can tell.
Requires: Presence 3, Manipulation 3
This is the type of talk that belongs to politicians and cult leaders. The type of talk the stands behind an altar or a pulpit in front of dozens or millions. At the lowest levels, this is a style that can give debate tricks in one-on-one Social combat. Things like giving an opponent -2 to Social rolls against them for the scene and forgoing a turn to reduce an opponent's Persuasion or Expression pool by Manipulation*2. At the highest level, it's literally Exalted Social combat where both sides pick a social merit like Allies or Status and then the player rolls Presence+Persuasion+Merit dots. For the duration of the maneuver, for every (their Composure+their Merit dots-player's Successes) Social rolls, they must spend a Willpower to keep going.
As a note, the book does this:
Roll Presence + Persuasion + Merit Dots. For every (Targets Composure + Merit dots - your successes) rolls the target must spend one point of Willpower to keep going in the face of such hostility.
which makes little sense.
Requires: Intelligence 2, Academics or Science 3 or 2 with a specialty in academic methodology or practices.
If only talking about Science and the matters within it worked this way, the world might be a bit more sensible. Alas, the world is far more complicated and less about facts except in very particular arenas. Unfortunately for this skill, most of its techniques are equally limited. The first level only works against someone making statements based on science or academics as a field. The second is only useful with the Library merit and access to it. The third only works if the topic at hand is scientific or academic. The last two are at least more broadly applicable the the fourth allowing one to turn a contest of social skills into mental ones as long as a contested Persuasion or Expression roll succeeds (which sorta undermines the point). The last level is for Social Maneuvering and allows use of an extended research roll to close a Door.
Requires: Composure 3, Academics 2 or 1 with an appropriate school of thought as a Specialty
Extensive exposure to philosophy or religion has tempered the ability to resist persuasion. It's mostly defensive stuff for Social rolls. A -1 penalty to Subterfuge rolls against them, can't be tempted with their Vice, a higher impression level while meditating, and, at the highest level, a substitution to Composure+Integrity or Belief if the only goal is to resist.
Mortals only. No supernaturals allowed. There's also only two and only one of them is open to all Mortals.
Sworn only. Representing their loyalty to a Princess, the Dedication merit represents their devotion to a single Princess. It also provides an avenue for them to regain Wisps. Once per scene or once per hour during downtime, by spending time with the specified Princess (or Queen), the Sworn can regain Wisps equal to Empathy+Dedication at a maximum of their Dedication. If they share the same court and the Sworn is assisting in duties related to the court's philosophies an extra Wisp is gained is any were gained at all. The extra can exceed the max. This merit can be bought multiple times for Dedication to multiple princesses.
The limits are independent of each other, but only one of them can be used per hour or scene.
1 or 3
Buying this allows travel into the Dreamlands and not necessarily via sleep. Most of the rules are the same except Willpower is spent instead of Wisps where applicable. The three dot version also allows manifestation of a psychic shield akin to Regalia to protect against the gales present within. It takes a Willpower to activate this shield and acts as a transformation. Of course, the ability to enter also means things can exit as a consequence.
Next: The requisite location merit and Invocations. a relatively short section since it's into the breach that is Charms afterwards
Blessed Places and Invocations
Original SA post
I'm sure someone's homebrewed some weird and perverse RPG that's the Japanese bastard offspring of FATAL.. Would like to see it, but never ever play it.
Speaking of Japanese bastard offspring RPGs, here's more Magical Girls!
Princess: the Hoepful
Another short post before we dig into Charms.
The classroom of an inspirational teacher. A humble yet gifted artist’s studio. The best, hardest working hospital in town and the underfunded free clinic opening against the odds in the most deprived area. A truly welcoming and tolerant church. The laboratory tirelessly working on the latest disease to evolve and the library that preserves wisdom of ages gone by. These are the Blessed places, they stand on a legacy of the very best of humanity.
Every splat has one of these and Princess is no different. It's the requisite Location Merit! Unlike the others, this gets its own special section since they're a bit more complex than a normal merit. Blessed places have two qualities: Size (as all other Location merits do) and Beauty. Size ranges from 0 being the size of a closet to 5 being a full sized hospital or office complex or neighborhood. Size also determines the location's "Health" called Hold which is equal to Size+1. As the location is harmed, when all of the Hold boxes fill, the Location loses Beauty and becomes less pretty overall. Having a day without damage allows the location to recover by one. Beauty represents the level of good the location creates and each dot of Beauty adds one Blessing. While in the location, everyone inside gain the effects of the Blessing. Most mortals couldn't tell a Blessed place from any other, but those touched by the Light - Beacons, Sworn and Nobles - can on a successful roll of Wits+Composure+Sensitivity-Shadows
For STs, to stat up a proper Blessed Place (without the easier handwaving) or to determine the type of actions necessary to create a certain amount of Beauty. I'm not exactly sure how to read the chart, but the Wiki has a more comprehensible version. I still can't discern completely what it all means so someone who cares enough can try it on their own (
Link to it
Blessings can do a variety of things and a list is provided as to what one can choose a Blessing to do. Most can be chosen any number of times and stack while the rest can only be chosen once. Blessings that can be chosen multiple times include Attribute, Skill (or special Attribute+Attribute pools like Perception), and Specialty boosts at a net +1, +2 or +3 across one or more of each respectively. Others include a penalty to combat by individuals with "evil intentions," a bonus to resist supernatural effects via Resolve or Composure or a temporary extra point of Willpower within the location once per day. Blessings that can only be applied once include one that doubles natural healing times (which would include Werewolf healing, but nothing applied externally), a bonus to Breaking Point/Compromise checks if done for a noble cause, and an extra Virtue for those within that can only be fulfilled with a "genuine goodness of heart" (the example they use is for Righteous with a judge being allowed to fulfill but a vigilante killer not allowed).
Additionally, Mortals, Beacons, Sworn and Princesses also gain benefits from sleeping within a Blessed Place. The first is a greater resistance to being lured into the Dreamlands against their will. The nightly roll for anyone with Shadows to be lured in is reduced by the Beauty rating of the location. I won't elaborate on the other because it seems to involve gaining a point in something that is not a part of the game anymore (Lux) and it not referenced in the wiki at all being replaced with something about Vocations. Also, there seems to be a few other Blessings and modifications to Blessings included in the wiki that I wont elaborate on since I haven't done so already for the most part and starting now would probably be more of a headache than its worth. Suffice to say, they need to get their shit together and make the wiki consistent with the book or vice-versa.
Blessed places can be harmed in three broad ways. The first is through
; the grundel; the fleshy fun-bridge
. Whenever the Location would be tainted, roll Beauty-Taint. On a failure, reduce Beauty by Taint. If there's any excess Taint, it becomes a Tainted place (they need another name for that, IMO). The second way is through committing acts that oppose the general cause of the location like poisoning people in a hospital or gouging people at a non-profit. Any successful roll or extended action done in opposition to the place's cause marks one hold box. Actions which reinforces the place's ideals can undo this however at the same rate. Finally physical damage to the location can harm it. Mostly, if it's unrecognizable as the same place or otherwise unusable for those purposes (i.e. paving over or sterilizing a community garden) then it's not a Blessed place anymore.
To refresh, there are eight with each one associated with a Queen. While I assumed a Princess could only apply the special catches for Invocations that apply to their Queen, the book seems to imply that all of them are open for discount if done in accordance with their catches, though any may be locked out based on the character's actions. The different kinds of Invocations and what they mean and do were mostly described in the Queens section due to what the book says is an "intimate tie to the Queens." While this might be a bit of classic White Wolf layout chicanery, the act that all of them are open to Princesses and all have positive and negative catches makes me think that they should all be centralized with reference to their Queen rather than distributed amongst the Queens that favor them. Because of this, to know about all of the Invocations, it requires flipping through two sections to know about all of them: the Queens section and the Twilight Queens subsection in the Antagonists chapter. This is of particular importance because the Invocations related to the Twilight Queens have drawbacks when used. At least the PDF is bookmarked and the catches aren't totally contradictory.
To use an Invocation, while using a Charm, a Princess spends an additional Wisp on top of the Charm's costs and adds the dots in the Invocation as dice to the Charm's activation pool. Permanent Charms or those that don't require a roll can use Invocations in other ways. Invocations cannot be stacked because the rules say so. Invoked Charms are special versions of Charms that require a certain Invocation rating to use. Those Charms can also only be enhanced by that specific Invocation. However, violating an Invocation's ban does not stop one's use of an Invoked charm
Additionally, a Princess can Invoke for Willpower. Similar to channeling Virtues in Exalted 2e, if the ST agrees, if a Princess's actions during a scene reflect the values of an Invocation and they haven't violated its ban, they may roll their Invocation dots once per session per Invocation. On a success, they regain a Willpower. On a failure, nothing happens. On an exceptional success, all Willpower is regained and on a Dramatic failure Willpower can't be spent on actions that reflect that Invocation.
The book advises, when choosing Invocations to choose those tied to philosophies that reflect their character rather than because they're connected to Charms they want to get more mileage out of. Philosophies that they can only fulfill occasionally or rarely shouldn't be obtained past one or two dots while those that they can adhere to should be those of focus. Ostensibly all character choices should follow the concept, but, like the other supernatural splats, if part of a character's concept is to eat fire and shit lightning, then buying any and all abilities and things that would allow it are at the top of the priority list and damn everything that wont get there. At least, that's my experience.
Preface on Charms
Before I start listing Charms by the bucket-load (or just summarizing each category and pointing out interesting ones), I'll explain how Charms work and any other little caveats. I'll skip over the sections on learning charms and the types of actions charms can be since the former was explained in a previous post and the latter is more of a general rules mechanics thing that's for deciphering the text.
Intimacy was mentioned before in terms of linking a Princess's two identities. More specifically, it's akin to how the Mind and Space Arcana of Mage modify or penalize rolls on distant or otherwise not present targets. In this case, Intimacy is the emotional closeness of a target when they're not present. There are six levels from 0 being within sensory range of the Princess and -2 being one of Love or intimate closeness (like a longtime friend, a family member or a treasured keepsake) to -8 being one of acquaintance where casual contact has been made but nothing more and -10 being one of less than casual acquaintance (i.e. you know it exists and have a description of it). This can be modified or enhanced by using another person's emotional connection, though the connection is treated as one step lower (or at an additional -2 unless it's already -10), a connection between a person and an object they treasure though that's two steps lower, or both someone else's connection and an object they treasure (the text isn't clear if it's the target's keepsake or if it's the keepsake of the person being piggybacked off of) at a reduction of the penalty by one (equivalent to +1). Alternatively, if the Princess has a keepsake connecting them and the target, the penalty is also reduced by 1.
Commonality is an alternate modifier for Charms intended for multiple targets. Charms with Commonality don't use Intimacy so all targets must be present. The Commonality penalty is dependent on their commitment towards each other or towards the goal the group was organized for. This penalty ranges from 0 being an individual and -3 being of a dedicated commitment (i.e. a family, a group of close friends, or a group whose goal takes up most of their time) to -12 being of casual commitment (i.e. a group of strangers). If resisted, the highest resistance trait amongst the group's members is used. If contested, each member contests individually.
For extended Charm actions (and Embassy Privileges, a Z-splat thing), there's a slight risk and reward to its use. Failure imposes the Stuck Magic condition (a -2 to a Charm or Transformation roll at the ST's discretion) and a Dramatic Failure induces the Shaken condition. Exceptional Success on the other hand gives the Luminous condition which can be cashed in for a Luminous beat when they or someone else within a certain range of the Princess does an action that falls under the Princess's Calling. That action also gains a +1 to the roll or a +2 if the Charm that gave the Luminous condition was Invoked and the action matched both the Queen and Calling.
If two Princesses (or anyone with magical powers) tries to use conflicting magics on the same target, a Clash of Wills occurs and all involved parties must make a contested roll to determine whose powers actually wins out. A series of dicepools are listed but are essentially the listed being's powerstat+half of their Integrity equivalent if applicable. This list does not include any of the other Supernatural splats though. Only entities listed in this book, so if a Sin-Eater, a Mage and a Princess all want to levitate an object the ST will have to figure something out on their own.
Certain Charms will summon object for the Princess to use in their transformed self. These are Regalia. They have the same stats as Phylacteries and be restored the same way if lost or destroyed. Any number of Regalia can be summoned or dismissed with a single Transformation roll (the same is done with Charms with passive or automatic effects). Going back into mundane form obviously dismisses all Regalia.
Next: Charms! 100 pages worth over, likely, several posts.
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
Because there's so many extra riders to Charms such as invocation costs and activation times, I'll gloss over those for the most part. Also, while I do call them trees, they're really not at all like a tree except that each dot level requires a certain investment in the previous levels to unlock access to Charms at that level.
Most of the Charms in this group that need rolls to activate require use of Subterfuge, Expression or Stealth. There's two instances of Crafts and one of Politics. Based on that alone, the skill diversity seems relatively higher than I thought. Charms for Illusion and other "tricks of the light." Appropriate for any beguiling sort. Those of the Seeker and Troubadour Callings have an an affinity to these. Charms that disguise the identity of the user deactivate when another charm is used, but those have upgrades that can keep those on, though the disguise flickers as the other charm is used.
At the bottom of the tree (one dot), Charms such as "Life of the Party" and "Unseen Traveler" give 9-again to mundane Socialize and Stealth rolls, both within a specific Specialty respectively. So utterly narrow and only a marginal improvement at base (see the discussion on why 9-Again is worse than adding a die) compared to just getting an extra dot. The upgrades for the first charm aren't all that great either. The second one does have a good upgrade but it requires having one of the Invocations with drawbacks to its use. Both get an upgrade that can add another Specialty, and the former gets upgrades for 9-again on gleaning information from Contacts or looking not drunk or trashed no matter how much has been imbibed. Of course, the upgrade doesn't stop the physiological effects like hallucinations or a loss of balance. They just don't look so sloppy while they're shitfaced (until they keel over). The other charm gets a special upgrade that forces a penalty on targets when making a surprise attack on them due to how silent the user is, and the user can pay an extra Wisp to essentially use Silence.
Alternatively, there are Charms that are akin to D&D spells such as Light and Disguise Self. It's not exactly the same as those spells as the Light Charm (called "Light the Way") merely lights the path in front of the user and the Disguise Self Charm (called "Twenty Faces") only changes the user's Regalia into normal clothes for the area and immediately ends when the user uses another Charm. The latter does necessitate a roll to activate as well. As far as upgrades go, the Light charm can dazzle an opponent (on a successful Dex+Athletics-Def attack) while the Disguise Self charm has the upgrade mentioned in the first paragraph which keeps it on, or to the robustness of the disguise or make the charm actually like the spell Disguise Self.
Finally, at the base of the tree are two, more unique charms. One that grants a dot of Status in a mundane organization with a successful activation and another that can remove the successes of an attack by transforming into a loved one of the attacker. The former simply adds a dot of status via an air of authority for a scene or an upgrade can allow usage of the transformed identity to use the Status of the mundane identity. The ramifications, of course, mean that while a Princess couldn't suddenly ingratiate themselves into a Changeling community, they could show up at CIA HQ and gain all the benefits and access of a low level agent. The other charm has its limits and caveats such as being unable to apply defense to the attack and can only stop up to the attacker's Integrity. Who the user transforms into may be unknown to the user unless they use an upgrade. Said upgrade can also add more permanent penalties for the scene. A different upgrade can even transfer damage taken if the person they transformed into is present. This does require four dots in the necessary Invocation and spending a Willpower to use it.
Further up the tree (two dots), there's an Illusion charm that starts off only lasting while the user concentrates on it and is essentially Silent Image with more limits. It has 10 upgrades that expand its ability including affecting other senses, being able to cover objects and act and react without the user's concentration. Another charm makes it harder to remember the user at all (called "Dim" and another charm will refer to it later). Finally, there's a charm that allows the user to communicate clearly and with complexity with just a simple gesture. Or course, anyone that can see it knows what's being communicated unless a particular upgrade is purchased.
Next up is at the three dot level. We start with "Summon Backup Dancers." That's the name of it and it most does what it says in that it allows you to summon a group of backup to assist the character. Just like backup dancers, they can't exactly do much beyond their given task. Essentially, it's summoning a group of paper automatons (a single point of any damage will make them disappear) to assist in some sort of action, specifically Crafts or Expression. Next is the generation of a literal clone of the user, albeit without any supernatural abilities or Willpower or even 10-again. Just like the other charm, the clone is a bit simple and can't do much outside of what's commanded of them, but the clone in this case is a bit more robust since it has all of its creator's stats otherwise. Upgrades can allow the user to know what their clone did and even insert their personality and will into it through a summoning it from a mirror. Of course that being now has a mind of its own and may resent being put back where it came from. Another at this level is a more targeted disguise which affects a single target (unless it's upgraded) and forces the target into dramatic failures for all Wits+Subterfuge contests against the user. There's a defense reduction charm made by summoning an illusion of an attack, a dodge via creating a temporary doppleganger, or even an application of temporary damage that makes the target potentially suffer wound penalties or even go unconscious if phantom damage ticks the last box. The final one is simply the creation of a simple, temporary tool made of a reflective surface that can add up to +5 on a skill roll where its used.
At the final level (four dots), there are three charms. The first applies the charm Dim to an area. The second creates an imaginary being that only the target can see, hear or otherwise interact with. Not even the user of the charm sees the imaginary being they created. Finally, there's a charm which can drape a given area with an illusion, transforming every nonliving thing to match a theme of the user's choosing (so transforming an abandoned warehouse into a country meadow or a stretch of jungle into an office space) and affecting all of the senses. The last two have no upgrades.
So that's the first batch of Charms. If there's a better way of doing these besides just putting them in a list with a summary of their effects (which is probably simpler to do so I might do that anyways), I'm open to hearing it.
Next: Bless Charms. i.e. Buffs and Blessings and floating pools of dice.
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
So may Charms. It's like I cracked open an Exalted book. Also, I'll try a different format for this post. It'll be easier to digest everything but it'll probably look a little less interesting. Names are kept as they're displayed in the text. Weird spellings and all if any.
Most of the charms here are Buffs of a sort and enhance what's already there. This is different from Perfect Charms which bestow traits and abilities beyond the target's capabilities. May be a little confusing. The Champion and Grace callings (the Fighter and Social adept callings) have an affinity for these charms.
A number of the charms in this tree give the Floating Blessing condition for a category of rolls. The condition gives the affected a pool of dice they can draw from to add to their pool or subtract from another's (i.e. when an opponent makes a roll of Wits+Subterfuge-opponent's Composure). Dice from this condition can't be added to Chance Die rolls. A better version of this condition is a pool of Automatic Successes that can be drawn from.
One Dot Charms
Small Providence - Spend a wisp, a target gets a discount in obtaining it for a day by some sort of fateful providence. "Applicable purchases are everything," which presumably means it can apply to things other than objects like mercenaries or ladies/gentlemen of the night
Sea-Foam's Touch - Give someone the Floating Blessing Condition with a minimum of two dice for mental skills since it ties into the Acqua Invocation. An upgrade cam apply it to Metal attributes too.
Bejewelled Visage -
Seeing things like a video game can enhance one's skills.
Same, but for social skills since it also ties into the Terra Invocation.
Count no Cost - Same but for combat skills. No upgrade for attributes obviously.
I'm the Best
- Steal dice from an opponent in a contested action where they have more dice than the user because fuck them. The charm is linked to the Invocation belonging to the Queen of Mirrors which is all about being better than everyone. At four Specchio (the charm initially requires one), an upgrade waives the requirement about being worse than the opponent and can force a Dramatic Failure
Two Dot Charms
Intuitive Flash - Give a target a pile of Specialties for a scene with no limits as to what they are. It's about as useful as it sounds.
Touch of Fortune - Give a target 9-again for a number of rolls equal to successes made on activation. May actually be less useful than the previous charm, but the upgrades available make it
better. One upgrade lets them determine which rolls are affected so the bonus isn't wasted on more trivial rolls. Alternatively, the bonus can be boosted to 8-again or Rote. At full power, for 4 Wisps (and after three upgrades), give a bunch of rolls of the roller's choice Rote.
Engine Heart - Same as the other Floating Blessing Charms. This time for rolls for the Power Attributes.
Steady Resolve - As above, but for Resolve Attributes
Wits of Wind - As above, but for Finesse Attributes
Burden of Rule - As above for anything to defend the user's kingdom
Three Dot Charms
Light's Aegis - Share the Princess's Holy Shield ability with a target and can be stacked on another's Holy Shield
What's That Sound - The target gains a condition that allows them to trade it in for an upgrade to a Perception roll (Failed->Success->Exceptional Success) or +2 to a contested Perception roll.
Oaken Fortitude - Get temporary health boxes
Four Dot Charms
Drawn by the Moon - Boost a mental attribute of a target using a condition for a scene. The max is the Invocation associated (the charm requires 2 initially). An upgrade at 4 lets the user split it over multiple Mental attributes each of those still has a max based on the Invocation dots.
Wind-Borne Grace - Same but for Finesse
Stoke the Furnace - Same but for Power
Forest Sanctuary - Same but for Resistance
Crown Jewels - Same but for Social
Avenger's Might - Same but for attack rolls
Tendril of Nothing - The reverse of above for a Resistance trait to a minimum of leaving them with one dot and can lower the target's health boxes. There's no upgrade.
Five Dot Charms
Both of these charms are Avatar charms which prevents the use of Invocations besides the one the linked to the charm and are linked to a particular Queen.
Peaceable Kingdom - Undergo a second transformation taking on traits suggesting a large and powerful animal or otherwise some sort of king/queen of beasts. While no physical traits are bestowed from this transformation, the user gains +1 Intimidation against mortals and, more importantly, raise the intelligence of all animals in witness of the charm such that they are sapient and can perfectly communicate in the user's language. The animals can also be affected by Social Skills like mortals and gains a bonus against the animals. When the charm ends, the animal returns to normal, but if they're affected again, they'll remember what transpired the previous time. Obviously linked to the hippie Queen.
Sheltered by Her Hand - A special charm only for defending the citizens of the kingdom of Alhambra. It also triggers a Compromise roll for those at a Belief 4+. It's linked to the Queen of Tears whose whole thing is defending Alhambra. When successfully activated, the Princess can expand their Holy Shield in defense of the Alhambran inhabitants and automatically spend wisps when they take damage. If the user is out of Wisps, roll a die per wisp spent. Each success generates a point of Taint because the Charm literally sucks the magic out of the land. Maintaining it takes a toll on the user's psyche though and each turn spent protecting someone forces a Resolve+Composure roll that merely gets a -1 for the next of these rolls on a success and a failure adds a day of Depression that's gained when the Charm ends.
Next: Connect Charms. So should I keep posting them like this or should I do it the other way?
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
It's been a bit and frankly I'm slowly being disillusioned on the whole thing. I'm doing my best to tough it out though, but I may skip over to the antagonists just to add some variety. Feh
Powers that allow the user to reach out and touch someone. To tie and untie the red strings of fate that bind people. These are the Charms for the Grace Calling who're all about socialization. Most of the charms that require a roll use a Social skill and of those, Socialize seems to be the most frequent with Expressions seemingly in second. I haven't done a count on this because
Fair Welcome - Gain a condition that adds a dot to a Contacts merit for a day because the user's become magically better at talking.
Illuminatus - Permanently gain 9-Again for a specific Politics specialty
The Stare - Same, but for Intimidation
The most kawaii of intimidation techniques
Laying Down the Line - Pick a preexisting division like a river or a road or a fence and designate a target individual or group. The user will know when the target(s) have crossed the line chosen. It's basically the Alarm spell with a duration of a day for a prexisting boundary (the book says natural divide, but refers to a doorway or a bridge which does not immediately occur to me as "natural"), and a scene otherwise. The line or divide must remain intact for the charm to continue working unless an upgrade is taken
First Impressions - Anyone the user makes a first impression with has an impression increased by one (it's a social maneuver thing).
Open Heart - Can apply Invocations to mundane Empathy rolls. Not all that spectacular on its own, but the upgrades add a few interesting tricks. One allows the substitution of Empathy for interrogation instead of Intimidate taking Good Cop to a whole new level. Another allows the user to figure out a person's behavior while out of sight. A third lets them get a read of a room and if a fight breaks out by one of the people there, the user gets an initiative bonus. Finally, after using an Empathy roll to understand a person, they can use the successes on that roll as bonus die on Persuasion rolls with that person.
The Naked City - 9-again on a Streetwise specialty. I guess it's okay on its own, at least relative to the other 9-again Charms. The Upgrades make it a little more useful. One allows them to substitute Aria (an Invocation) for Streetwise when measured against Availability in looking for certain "things" like rare goods or social lubricants. Another reduces the number of successes needed to suss out a particular rumor or bit of info by Aria.
- 9-again on a Persuasion specialty. There are a total of six upgrades for this one. Besides the requisite upgrade that allows for two other applicable specialties, one adds a penalty to any attempts to confuse the Princess, one can make a target Confused on a regular success with Subterfuge (thematically, it fits even it uses a completely different skill) by being confusing, one can give multiple targets the Inspired condition, one makes the user open extra doors when cutting a deal and the last one is the same but with flirting, but requires the Striking Looks merit.
Animal Magnetism - Same, but for Animal Ken. Includes an upgrade for reducing penalties on Animal Ken rolls.
Mercury's Blessing - Gain the Multilingual merit based on a language a target knows
Better Together - Two people (possibly including the user) gets a condition that lets the pair each gain a Beat one when fulfills an Aspiration or equivalent. Basically a route for powerlevelling characters or the party.
Shared Interests - Requires five people with two dots in the same skill to be present. One of those five temporarily gains the Hobbyist Clique merit as long as the group is together. The merit is in the GMC book and gives 9-again on that skill and +2 to extended rolls also using that skill. Seems very narrow
The Right Word - Learn a target's Aspiration as part of the user's first action in a social maneuver.
Beast Speaker - Gain a dot in Language for a target animal.
You Didn't Earn My Love - Requires Razzle Dazzle and the Seduction upgrade. Pick a target and give them the Suitor condition which gives them Beats for trying to prove themself to the user and a Willpower if a pre-selected token of affection is performed like a kiss or agreeing to a date. The charm lasts a few days.
You're Only in Trouble if You Get Caught - From the name of it, it sounds like some sort of larceny Charm. Nope. It's about reducing intimacies. An upgrade can let you use it on others, helping them get over someone or something. Another upgrade can let you do it to groups so an application of this could make a group of tight knit One Direction die hards suddenly a group of strangers with one less artist on their playlist.
Cherish - Increase the Intimacy value between the user and another target until a Charm is used using that connection.
Leading the Way - Make a Dream or Aspiration special, such that fulfilling it gives everyone who helped Beats.
An Introduction - Learn how to find someone with a particular set of skills that's desired and will initially like the user. They don't magically appear. Rather, the ST tells the user how to find that person.
Whispers from Afar - Telepathic communication. Person on the receiving end first has to roll Resolve+Composure to actually converse in the other direction and not assume that they're going crazy. An upgrade even allows temporary remote perception through the connection.
Ivory Gate - Share dreams, enter each others' Crawlspaces into the Dreamlands, engage in lucid dreaming. An upgrade lets the user enter other people's dreams without permission.
Up in Smoke - Teleport objects! Affectedby the user's intimacy to the destination or the original location of the object. Also can only be of objects the user can lift.
Hymn to Orpheus - Sing a song to draw the attention of a certain species of animals to the singer's location.
Ferryman's Shroud - Use shadows to teleport to Alhambra. Upgrades allow the use of vehicles to be transported in or for a return trip.
Mirror Walk - Be like Mirror Master and walk through mirrors. It only works for mirrors large enough for the user to fit through and only the user can go through without an upgrade. other upgrades allow the user to come out of a mirror closest to a specific person rather than in a location and another allows travel between worlds.
Charms of Entwined Destiny - There are five flavors of charm that makes an Entwined Destiny for the user and another. Each flavor is based on a Radiant Queen and have names such as Great Expectations and rewards the user for improving the target's social standing or Manic Pixie Dust which rewards the user for basically being a manic pixie dream girl for a target. There's also Red String of Fate which is about love. The whole thing lasts a month and is all one directional though there's an upgrade to make one bidirectional. Also another upgrade allows tying two people together rather than the user.
The Old Allegiance - The version specific to the Queen of Tears is another Entwined Destiny one, but ties the target to an organization, usually Alhambra, but possibly others. Unlike the other previous one, this can be done on an unwilling target (and obviously triggers a Compromise).
Ultimate Fidelity - The user devotes themselves to a cause and gains willpower when they advance it and doubles their resistance stat when others try to prevent them from pursuing it. Opting not to further their cause requires a Resolve+Composure roll and whenever their cause becomes impossible to fulfill, the user suffers aggravated damage because their soul seeks redemption in failing an oath.
Standing on a Pedestal - The version of the Entwined Destiny Charm for the Queen of Mirrors. Binds another to seeks the User's approval and favor.
Only one charm here.
Becoming the Fulcrum - The Avatar charm for Spades. It allows the user to make a mundane Finesse roll and store the successes for later to apply as a bonus or penalty to another roll. Basically set up stuff so as to pay off when most convenient. Fire a random bullet up into the air and then have it come down just as a foe makes their escape as an example. Fairly useful if the player is creative enough.
Weeaboo fightan magic
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
With Beast coming out and having been revised revealing it to still be crap, it can be safely said that even Princess is better than Beast. Also, after this set of Charms, I'll pause on the Charms to go over the Twilight Queens and why the Protagonists hate them.
Champions have an affinity to these, but anyone who wants to use special powers in combat rather than just procuring weapons from a sporting goods store or an arms dealer. These charms include tricks such as summoning weapons, making elemental blasts or enhancing their natural combat ability. There's also a sidebar about how the magical weapons summoned by some of the charms can be applied to any Fighting Style they would apply to (but who in their right mind would allow those?) based on a mundane weapon chosen upon purchase of the Charm, even if the actual weapon doesn't quite make sense, such as a massive hammer with the Light Weapons style
The first three charms listed have a crapton of upgrades as they're relatively fundamental to any character that desires magical weaponry or magically enhanced grappling. No defensive objects here. That's in Shape.
Empty Hands - Allows Invocations to be used on initiating grapples, actions within a grapple and to otherwise touch an opponent without harming them.
Crushing - Can deal lethal damage to an opponent while in a grapple
Grasping - When using an invocation with this charm, get an equipment bonus equal to the number of times the upgrade was purchased, max 3.
Penetrating - If Acqua is applied, can freeze an opponent is damage is dealt
Disarming - If Aria is applied, can draw an attack on a single roll or disarm an opponent and then attack or just take the weapon and put it away
Blistering - Each time Fucoco is applied, the opponent takes 1 Bashing damage each turn because the user is so hot, literally.
Entrancing - If Legno is applied on a turn, the opponent takes a penalty equal to that Invocation to any action to harm the user
Unbroken - If Terra is applied on a turn, moves made by the opponent to break grapple or render the user prone are penalized by Terra
Draining - If Lacrima is applied during the turn, the opponent must succeed on Resolve + Composure or pay 1 Willpower to do anything other than try and break grapple because the user is too spooky.
Kensai - Pick a melee weapon. Any melee weapon. It's now part of the user's Regalia. Upon purchase, the user picks either Brawl or Weaponry as the associated skill for using the weapon. Its initial stats are Damage 1, Initiative 0, Strength 0, and a Size of 1 - 4. For anyone else other than the user the Initiative penalty and the Minimum strength required to use it is 3+Inner Light. The weapon can do either Bashing or Lethal damage and can be switched with a Transformation action. Invocations may be used as a bonus to either the attack roll or the damage, but not both in a turn and the max that can be added on top of bonuses from Upgrades is 5
Because a Charm can only be bought once, it's unclear if a Princess is only allowed one melee weapon from this Charm or if they're allowed any of them, but only one at a time with the requisite choices made each time. In theme, the former would make the most sense, even if it would be otherwise limiting and the side bar somewhat agrees with that interpretation.
Accurate - Bonus to attack equal to purchases of the upgrade (max 3)
Damaging - As above, but for Damage
Durable - Add Inner Light to Durability of weapon
Precise - When applying Acqua, reduce called shot penalties equal to its rating in addition to the bonus dice already being recieved
Swift - When applying Aria, gain Armor Piecing equal to Weapon Damage + Aria, but reduce Weapon Damage to 0. Any extra points in Armor Piercing do add to the attack roll however. Seriously way too complicated, where it could just give Armor Piercing equal to Invocation and be done with it.
Burning - When applying Fucoco, get 9-again. The invocation application is worth more than the effects of the upgrade unless the die pool is immense.
Clinging - Can use Weaponry for grappling and the bonuses from the Damaging upgrade can be applied as dice to grappling maneuvers. Associated with the Legno invocation
Knockout - When applying Terra, the attack gains the Stun quality and the target's Size is halved for the purposes of applying the Stun tilt.
Draining - When Lacrima is applied and the target takes damage, the target rolls Resolve + Composure to not lose 1 Willpower because the attack is too spooky (it's actually described as unsettling). Using the upgrade is also a Compromise at Belief 6+
Berserk - When applying Tempesta and making an All-out attack, instead of getting the normal bonus from an All-out attack, the target loses their Defense.
Levinbolt - As above, but for a ranged weapon. It's range is (10/20/40)*Inner Light and can hold 3 shots. It is also summoned unloaded unless a Wisp is spent. At any time, as an instant action, a Wisp can be spent to reload the weapon regardless of however much the weapon can hold. A weapon summed by Levinbolt
uses Firearms, regardless of form including Thrown weapons. Examples include space guns, magic staves and a
returning throwing dagger
so the ammunition limit doesn't really make that much sense with the last example (as compared to, say, a bandoleer of throwing daggers), but that's how the magic works, I guess.
Accurate and Damaging are the same as Kensai
can shoot multiple targets at once equal to times purchased
Increase clip size to 10 and allow medium burst fire on first purchase of upgrade and increases it to 30 and allowing long burst with the second purchase.
Long - Double range
Boiling - If Acqua is applied, the target also moves half the user's speed for each success on the attack roll away from the user. If the target hits an obstacle while being pushed, they take bashing damage equal to the successes on a roll equal to the number of successes on the initial attack roll minus each step of Speed/2 (rounded up) the target moved before hitting the obstacle. I believe this can alternatively be done with the target moving the user's speed equal to half of the successes and the collision damage roll penalty being equal to 1 per unit of speed.
Freezing - As Swift for Kensai.
Burning - If Fucoco is applied and the target takes damage from the attack, the target is set on fire. The flame is the size of a torch and as intense as a candle dealing one damage per turn.
Soothing - If applying Legno and the target takes damage, the target must roll Stamina + Resolve - user's Legno or else become drugged. The effects are as per the rules for Morphine in the core book: ignore wound penalties, but reduce all die pools and resistance traits by 2.
Quaking - If applying Terra, the target must roll Dexterity + Athletics - successes on attack or be Knocked Down
Draining - If using Lacrima and the target takes damage, they also lose 1 Willpower. A Compromise at Belief 5+, but much better than its Kensai counterpart.
Irradiating - Associated with Tempesta. Can take 1 bashing damage for +1 to attack roll or 1 lethal damage for +3 to attack roll.
Trickshot - Associated with Specchio. Ignore penalties for ranged, called shot, concealment for others up to Specchio rating
Flash Step - Lose defense, but penalize attack by the number of successes on the roll. Also, if successful, moves Speed*activation successes in yards. An example:
Courteous Parry - Can add Manipulation+Persuasion against an opponent of a roughly human mindset when dodging by making some sort of sly remark or being unusually calm. Can only be used once on an opponent. An upgrade allows the user to use Manipulation+Persuasion to calculate their defense rather than the normal pool against the same sort the Charm would be affected by. Dodging adds their original Defense value to their alternate one rather than Doubling it. However, against any other attackers, the user's Defense is 0. A transformation roll can alter the user's Defense to the normal calculations.
Shield Wall - When an ally is attacked, or when the user is attacked and an ally is present, the user can deflect an attack or call someone to deflect an attack. All attacks against the target where Defense is applied gets an additional penalty equal to the successes of the activation roll. Doesn't stack if multiple people use it however.
Lightning Charge - Spend a Wisp, don't lose Defense when taking a Charge action.
You Might Hurt Yourself - Requires Kensai. Instead of applying Defense in close combat, the user can apply the successes on a Dexterity+Brawl or Weaponry roll (depending on the weapon on the user) as a penalty to the attacker's successes. If the penalty exceeds that number, the opponent is disarmed and the weapon used goes flying. An upgrade (which uses a completely different invocation from the disarming upgrade for Empty Hands) allows the user to take the weapon if the opponent is disarmed by this charm is able.
Fluid Defence - Give up a turn an turn Defense into Soak which downgrades Aggravated to Lethal and Lethal to Bashing respectively at 1:1 for each point of Soak. Soak is applied after Armor and before Holy Shield and only applies to attacks that Defense is allowed. This sounds utterly useless unless the attack roll is large, but the resultant damage is low.
Safety in Stillness - The user's defense is not reduced until the user takes 1+activation successes attacks in a turn. Actually a VERY good tanking trick, all things considered.
Seraphic Fury - Take a Lethal damage and make an attack deal Aggravated damage to a creature of Darkness or a follower of the Queen of Tears. An upgrade expands it to any target. Literally more
from the followers of the Queen of Storms
Guardian Angel - The user picks a target they can see other than themself or anything with a Supernatural Advantage equal to or less than the user's Inner Light - 2. Anyone who attacks the target, and everyone who can see both the user and target knows this, cannot apply their Defense to attacks from the user. An upgrade allows the charm to target a group.
Contest of Champions - The user choses a target (and makes a contested roll for activation). Both the user and the target get +1 Defense against all other attackers besides themselves. If either takes an action other than attacking the opponent in single combat or doing something suited for single combat, the charm ends and the person who did that loses their Defense against the other for the turn. Otherwise, the charm ends when one of them is defeated. One upgrade allows the winner to rally their side and give them a bonus equal to the winner's Presence to the next roll. The other creates a ring of fire around the duelists and doesn't work if one can't be formed. The ring expands outward to fit the confines of a room or up to 20 feet wide. The flames are unextinguishable by non magical means, but do not ignite anything and burns anything up to 10 feet high that tries to cross it with the intensity of a bunsen burner. Belongs to Fucoco, but still very
Spite Strike - The user foregoes their Defense to activate the charm when attack and can, if damaged by the attack can roll their attack pool (they actually say the user's "normal dicepool") with a bonus equal to the amount of damage received with the type of damage dealt being the same as the damage received.
Befriending - If a character is defeated in combat by the user, the user can give them the Fresh Impressions condition set to Good. Doesn't work on creatures of the Darkness
Cauterising - Damage against creatures of the Darkness from the user that's unenhanced or from a source not connected to a Tempesta Invocation is Resistant.
One Woman Warband - During the turn, the user Dodges and gets a +1 to their Dodge pool instead of losing Defense for each attack up to either double the user's Defense or triple their Specchio, whichever is higher. An upgrade allows the user to make a single counter attack at at the end of the turn with a dicepool equal to the number of attackers with an additional die bonus the the target missed attacking the user.
Backstab - I'd make a D&D joke here, but I only know the rules from when it became Sneak Attack. Basically works as per the Flank and Rear attack rules, but can apply after Initiative is rolled. Requires the target to make a Wits+Composure roll and fail and the user to attack from the rear or side without being noticed so as to ignore the target's Defense. Pretty much terrible unless the target has an obscene Defense and there is a lack of Firearms available.
Refutation in Arms - Upon successful activation, the user gets +1 on all attacks for the scene and increases by 1 each turn (max Acqua*2) spent fighting them "For the purposes of this Charm “fighting an opponent” is defined as attacking that opponent, using a Charm upon that opponent, taking an action designed to prevent the opponent’s action from succeeding, or assisting one of her allies in doing any of the aforementioned actions." This charm can only target one opponent at a time and changing targets requires recasting the Charm.
Tangling Vine - Create a net of vines that can be thrown to Grapple at range. Requires Kensai. One upgrade allows for Lethal Damage from the net in the grapple. Another applies Autofire benefits to its use with First purchase being the Short bonus and the Third being the Long bonus.
ed Wounds - Attempts to heal the target receive a penalty equal to the amount of Lethal or Aggravated damage the user inflicts in an attack.
Demilitarization - The environment gains a tilt that penalizes all combat actions or actions which would aid or assist others in or entering combat by the number of successes on activation. Dramatic failures on attacks may destroy the weapon used and possibly transform it into something harmless like flowers.
Towering Inferno - Create a Size 1 Fireball that explodes on contact with a radius equal to the user's Inner Light (no units given so it could be feet or inches or miles!) and does damage equal to the activation roll (Strength+Firearms). Damage from the explosion is Bashing and ignites all it damages with mundane fire. The fireball can be "cooked" by the user and will explode after a number of turns equal to the user's Fucoco rating (the Charm requires 4) before exploding.
Strength of Ten - During combat, for each success on activation, the user adds dice to a mundane attack next turn equal to the number of successes an ally makes on a mundane action. The mundane actions from allies must contribute in some way to the user's next attack.
The Finest Hour - The Tempest Avatar charm. Upon successful activation, all damage dealt by the user is Aggravated, the user gains temporary health boxes equal to Inner Light+Resolve and every time they kill someone they believe to be in league with the Darkness or Tears, they refresh their Willpower. The charm lasts for the scene or until no foe is left standing before them.
These charms are really where the followers of the Queen of Swords really shine as they're all about killing the fuck out of enemies at any cost. The last charm, for example also requires the user to take 1 Aggravated damage as part of its cost as do most other Tempesta linked Charms. All of the damage costs are also Resistant so there's no shortcuts around them afterwards.
Next: A pause on Charms for a look at the Twilight Queens. There are still six sets of Charms to go
The Queen of Tears
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
So while a I refresh and take a break from the more mechanically heavy portions, here's some more flavor that provide context to some of the Charms that sometimes are decidedly more interesting than the PC's five choices for a Queen. They are known as the Twilight Queens and are composed of: the Queen of Tears, the last ruler of the last surviving Kingdom of Light, the Queen of Storms, a being of rage incarnate that seeks to destroy the Darkness and those who might embrace it, and the Queen of Mirrors, a child queen whose ego compensates for her loss.
The Queen of Tears
AKA: The Ever-Flowing One, Lady of Alhambra, The Last Empress
Followers’ Epithets: Handmaidens, Esquires, Ravens, Witches (derogatory), Crybabies (derogatory)
Have you ever really looked at the world? Not casually, I mean, really looked at it? It’s broken. It’s flawed. People fight each other in stupid, pointless wars. Everyone just want to hurt each other, and there’s no rhyme or reason to it. But you know it too, don’t you? Everything was better in the Kingdom. And I follow its Queen.
Alhambra is out there. I’ve seen it. The Kingdom is not dead, it has survived, under the guidance of the Ever-Flowing One. She’s not a ghost in a Darkness-made dream-world, not a monster who’d burn the world. She cries for what the world has become. She’s kept the Kingdom safe for thousands of years, and she asks our service to help her, so that the last parts of what which was once glorious don’t fade. I give mine willingly. Sometimes it hurts, what she asks us to do. I know it makes a few people suffer, but it’s only a lesser sacrifice, for the greater good. Because we need to save the Kingdom, need to keep it safe and hidden and safe... and then, maybe one day, we can get all of world back under the guidance of the Queen, and we won’t have to have wars any more and... and no-one will hurt anyone.
I really hope so.
I really dislike that last Epithet since it sounds so utterly childish for a group that's supposed to be mostly composed of young adults and older teens. Still, the Queen of Tears is a pretty apt name for her as she stands in perpetual vigil over the defenses of her Kingdom as she ceaselessly mourns. The endless siege has also affected her physically. Once, she was a bronzed beauty hailed in song and poetry but the dim light of Alhambra has rendered her pale. And though she's a Queen, she wears no fancy adornments or regalia. Only a suit of armor with a set of mourning clothes over it. Always by her side is her naginata (a Japanese glaive because
). Her sorrow is so strong, that she's been known to convert Princesses to her side when she sees them in private and unleashes the full scope of her sadness.
Alhambra is the last bastion of the Light in the eyes of the Queen and her followers and to let it fall would be to let Darkness have the ultimate victory. Consequentially, there is no cost too high in order to defend Alhambra. Even if that means draining the Light from Earth to keep it alive. One other philosophy that was once a more primary philosophy, but has declined in importance due to more pressing matters is the subjugation of the "Rebellious Provinces." This includes the conquest of not only the other seven Kingdoms that once existed, but also of the Earth. IMO, it sorta feels like they ran out of ideas for Philosophies for them, but at the same time, it does round them out a little, but not by much and vaguely in the complete opposite direction. The Duties section for the Queen of Tears (among other places) also mentions Enclaves which are implied to be area outside of Alhambra under their rule. However, there's never a formal explanation of any sort. Just mentions and implications that may have been left in after the main mention was cut out.
Speaking of, all of the X-splat groups have some sort of job in the functioning of Alhambra except for the Troubadors. Champions defend the land, Graces keep the kingdom running, Menders make sure everything works and Seekers make sure to keep an eye out for any enemies of the state as well as looking for new assets to acquire. Since Alhambra is pretty much stuck in the past, the artists don't exactly have much to draw on after a while and trying to go Modern or post-Modern or in any sort of experimental direction is seriously frowned upon so they're used as auxiliary troops. At the very least, all recruits get the sort of training no other Princess can receive as the Alhambrans have the most experience with the powers of Princesses and their capabilities. The walls of Alhambra also possess the greatest amount of protection against enemies of Princesses so loved ones can be provided for and protected. There are those who are aware of the faults in Alhambran society. Some regress into denial over the whole thing. A Charm called It Was Necessary helps. Others acknowledge the wrongs committed, but remain due to the assets of protection and support Alhambra provides.
I mentioned, in a previous post, the Practical Magic of the Twilight Queens and their Princesses. Just to repeat since it's been a while, the Queen of Tears's Practical Magic is cursing opponents and downgrading their ability to reroll. From base, the cursed target loses 10-again and 1s eat successes. If 1s outnumber successes, the target suffers a Dramatic Failure and the user gets a Wisp refund. Cursing targets with better rolling abilities follow this progression: Rote->8-again->9-again->Base (10-again)->see above. Multiple Wisps can be spent per turn to wreck a single opponent's roll or to downgrade multiple opponents' rolls.
Way more interesting than the Radiant Practical Magic which just boosts Attribute rolls.
Charms connected to Lacrima are more powerful, but at the cost of triggering Compromise rolls for those above a certain level. They're automatic and mandatory. Lacrima invocations come at not cost when used within Alhambra and the Underworld and also when the target is a ghost or their anchor. It also applies when "failure means death or ruin, and when a Princess intends to protect those she cares about, act on behalf of the Queen of Tears or her subjects, or in the interests of her own Nation and its members." It fails if the Princess would take another course of action while their nation is in danger and can be safeguarded.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse, you are all subjects of Alhambra.
• Clubs: Delusional. The strength of the Kingdom always lay in its cities, not the wilds, and she will only weaken us against the Darkness.
• Diamonds: It is a shame to see such brilliance going to waste, frittered away.
• Hearts: So close. So very close... and yet so far.
• Spades: Insubordinate curs! Born traitors who serve someone who shows no regard for the burdens of leadership!
• Swords: With their loyalty, Alhambra could be rendered safe, and the Rebellious Provinces pacified - but they will not be loyal.
• Storms: Monsters. They may once have been the loyal army of the Kingdom, but now they’re nothing less than crazed beasts who try to thwart our every effort!
• Mirrors: Hubris-filled egotists. To think that anyone but our Lady could be a True Queen... it makes me sick!
• Vampires: We are nothing alike.
• Werewolves: Beasts. Keep away, and do not carry out operations in the savage areas they claim. It’s easier in the long run.
• Mages: They claim we both lost our kingdoms, they are wrong. Alhambra survives, pity them for what they have lost.
• Prometheans: Walking corpses, fueled by some kind of fire? Clearly some kind of Darkened, if they actually exist.
• Changelings: Why should we care, as long as all they do is hide?
• Sin-Eaters: We know about ghosts in Alhambra. But these things aren’t quite normal ghosts possessing people.
• Mummies: Just another rebellious province time has turned to dust. Only Alhambra is eternal.
• Mad Scientists: They’d tear the world down just to see what would happen if they did. Despicable! Despicable yet very dangerous.
• Leviathans: No! It can’t be! They were said to be extinct! They can’t be back! They can’t... not again.
• Hunters: Rebels from the Rebellious Provinces. Why am I not surprised?
• Mortals: Why won’t you see? It’s a necessary sacrifice.
Inspirations: Homura Akemi
She sits in an empty palace, the tapestries are moth eaten and threadbare. The floor is covered in dust, no one has been this way in years. In a ghostly whisper she answers petitions from courtiers and subjects long departed from their mortal coil. And yet she carries a presence about her, she still radiates with the power of her magic. The Princess is dead but her subjects still need her. Long live the Princess.
Princesses reincarnate (like Celestial Exalted from another White Wolf game) and do not create ghosts. However, with certain, powerful magic, a Princess can be kept on the mortal plane as a ghost and continue to serve Alhambra. Unlike normal ghosts, Ghost Princesses don't have Rank, Essence, Influence or Numina. Instead, they have the magics they had as a Princess (the Charms, Invocations, Inner Light and such) still at their disposal. However, without any anchors and a steady supply of Wisps that dissipate due to the equivalent of Essence Bleed, the ghost will eventually return to the cycle. There is no risk for Essence bleed or otherwise in Alhambra however. Ghost Princesses do not have any natural Anchors and must have artificial ones created via Charms or other magics or they can suffer a similar fate as ghosts without an Anchor.
Since they still have their Inner Light, they are also susceptible to Shadows and once their Shadows reach an equivalent level to their Belief, the ghost will undergo a process similar to when a Princess hits Belief 0. Removing Shadows from Ghost Princesses work the same way however. Things like their Belief, Inner Light and Shadows are set to whatever they were at when they died. Belief compromises can still be triggered, but it will eventually reset itself after time as the memories fog over and they forget. Just like other ghosts, they exist in Twilight and need to Manifest to interact with material beings. have a Bane: Any Mortal who has willingly abandoned someone they care about for any reason. It's not the act itself, but the emotions behind it so recreating those emotions may be enough to trigger it. They also have a ban which is the same as Lacrima's and to go against it would cause a total unraveling and the death of the ghost where it eventually returns to the cycle of reincarnation.
I kinda think the Queen should've also been a Ghost to make the ties to Ghost Princesses stronger and more apparent (also so they can say: "The Queen is dead. Long Live the Queen")
Next: Get hard with the Storms.
The Queen of Storms
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
The Queen of Storms
AKA: The Seraphic General, Lady of the Cleansing Flame, The Dragon-Slayer
Followers’ Epithets: Seraphim, Furies, The Sworn Guard, Crazies (derogatory)
Former Kingdom: Gonel
The world hurts. The world always hurts. The Darkness is everywhere, subtly writhing in the night and in the hearts of corrupt bastards, and those fucking parasites in Alhambra make the world a worse place just by existing.
So we burn it out. We burn it all out. When some bastard takes children, we’re there to make sure he dies and make sure that the Taint he leaves doesn’t get to spread. We’re not soft-hearted fools like the so-called ’Radiant’, who prattle on about hope and self-belief and innate kindness and the like. The world is stinking and wretched and corrupt, and, like a cancer, the evil must excised. By any means necessary.
It’s better to light a fire than curse the Darkness, after all.
Because the Kingdom was betrayed from within. We were all betrayed. Our Queen gave her life protecting something which wasn’t worth protecting, and we now know that you can flap around talking about the Light all you want, but what the world needs is for all the bastards to die. They all deserve to die. And we’re willing to give our lives to do so. We won’t compromise, and if we die, we’ll keep on fighting.
Even in the face of the end of the world. Even after the world ends, we’ll keep fighting by our Queen’s side. We’ll keep on fighting until the Darkness is ash.
There's nothing quite like a faction that believes in their cause so hard it's self-destructive. The Queen fought to her last breath as her Kingdom fell and became something more. She became rage incarnate and the very embodiment of Tempesta. Now within the Dark Lands, there is an ever raging storm. As it passes, the skies fill with green fire as its lightning splits the earth. The storm burns with the rage of millions and in its wake, there's nothing but ash. The forces of the Storm include more than mortals consumed by their rage against the Darkness and Alhambra, but also of ghost-like beings whose bodies are made out of flesh and clay (not Prometheans though).
The ultimate goal of the Storms is to burn the Darkness away and leave nothing but ash. It doesn't matter if it's a complete stranger possessed by the Darkness, or a best friend that became a Dethroned or a UNECO site that's become Tainted. If it has been touched by the Darkness, it must be burned away the land salted so no Darkspawn can ever use it. Collateral damage is acceptable, but only if it harms the Darkness. Otherwise, it's useless and counterproductive. The ends justify the means. While not much is explicitly said about their hatred of Tears, it comes up often when talking about the enemies of the Storm. This is likely due to how Tears tends to drain Light away from any place that isn't Alhambra, weakening it for the Darkness to invade which is utterly anathema to the Storms. The Tears would see it fit to turn the Earth into a haven for the Darkness if it meant one more day Alhambra is left standing. The Storms would see the Earth be an ashen wasteland if it meant the destruction of all Darkness. Alternatively, the Tears are stuck in the Bargaining stage of Grief while Storms are stuck in the Anger stage.
Out of every Y-splat faction, the Storms are the most Hunter-like, even if a bit overzealous. Out of all the courts, the Storms tend to pick up the most Mortals since their goals and desires are so simple and straightforward and tangible. Humans who want revenge against the Darkness are welcomed into open arms into service against the Darkness. Ultimately, those in the service of the Queen of Storms are soldiers in a war that may never end. This may manifest as front line assaults or covert ops.
Simply put, for 1 Wisp, for the rest of the scene, reverse wound penalties (-1 becomes +1, etc.) and don't check for unconsciousness when the least health box is filled. It synergizes fairly well with their Charms which tend to require taking Resisted damage as part of their costs.
As mentioned, Tempesta charms have the unique cost of requiring Resisted damage be taken. Death due to taking damage through Tempesta charm costs or bleeding out from damage incurred by those costs also prevents the Princess from reincarnating. Instead, they join their Queen as part of the never ending storm. As an alternative to regaining Wisps through the following of Duties, the Princess can instead roll Tempesta at the end of a scene where they have fought the Darkness and gain Wisps from successes rolled.
The Tempesta Invocation cost is waived when the user has suffered enough Bashing damage to incur wound penalties or any amount of Lethal or Aggravated damage as well as in the midst of violent storms, explosions or other widespread devastation. It also applies when fighting a servant of the Darkness or an agent of the Queen of Tears. Showing mercy to an opponent who's wronged the user or those that they protect/love or pulling an unnecessary retreat or refusal of combat bars use of the Invocation until the next sunrise. If the opponent was a servant of the Darkness or an agent of the Queen of Tears, Tempesta can't be invoked until the last health box of the user is filled as such weakness and mercy must be forced out through pain. Self-flagellation is an acceptable method to achieve this.
It dosn’t matter if I die, just how many I take with me.
• Clubs: So... when’re you actually going to do something useful, then?
• Diamonds: You’re real smart. Now look at the real problem.
• Hearts: The kind of cattle who followed the Traitor Queen into betrayal.
• Spades: Yeah, let’s go prank the Darkspawn on Fifth, who’re there because some fucker killed his kids. That’ll make things better.
• Swords: We kinda get them. They just need to focus on the real problem.
• Tears: You’re in with the Darkness! Your Queen is a traitorous bitch! So just die already!
• Mirrors: Arrogant blind self-righteous bastards.
• Vampires: Bloodsucking parasites. The world will be a better place when you are all ash.
• Werewolves: Sometimes... I just want to smash everything, too.
• Mages: Our magic burns us, but at least we can rely on it in a fight.
• Prometheans: They’re like the Goalenu, I think. I saw one tear something that looked like a Darkspawn apart.
• Changelings: Keep out of our way.
• Sin-Eaters: Huh. I see a dead person who isn’t dead anymore.
• Mummies: Priest, I gain nothing from your death. Send your god against the Darkness and I shall let you live.
• Mad Scientists: Who cares how the fuck this works, we can nuke Darkened from orbit with it.
• Leviathans: I’m not running, not even from a fucking god. I hope I fucking give you indigestion.
• Hunters: They get it, you know. We’re like them.
• Mortals: FUCK! How can you just sit back and... argh!
Inspirations: The Punisher, Hit-Girl
Specific to the Storms are two sub-factions: the Stormwracked, Sworn mortals who can channel the Queen of Storms and Goalenu, living avatars of Tempesta and miniature storms whose physical form is mainly via possession of bodies of clay and flesh.
Unique to the Queen of Storms are the Stormwracked, Sworn mortals who can not only resonate with the Queen that they are sworn to, but channel her power directly. Technically, any Sworn who purchases a dot of Tempesta is a Stormwracked. Stormwracked can purchase Unseen Senses for 1 XP provided it's for The Darkness and can buy a version of White Rabbits that allows communication between Stormwracked through dreams that operates through the Queen of Storms rather than the Dreamlands. They can also gain Wisps through Tempesta's unique method. Finally, there's Royal Favors. Once per story, the user can declare that the Queen is working her magic through them creating an Invocation of any general or Tempesta charm with a rating of half of their Tempesta rounded up. There is no roll. The user simply declares how many successes they want and take that much Resistant lethal damage. Princesses with a dot in Tempesta can also ustilize these benefits except for the Royal Favors which are only open to the Court of Storms.
As a sidebar, a Merit is introduced that's pretty sickening is Checkmate Firing Pattern (2). Dodging bullets is a thing individuals or creatures with supernatural defenses can do. To counteract this, it just takes enough shots such that it's impossible to dodge without getting hit by a bullet somewhere. Mechanically, a person declares a teammate and then rolls their normal ranged attack without subtracting Defense. The target's defense is penalized by the successes rolled when being shot at by the chosen teammate. Multiple people can help. It's probably way more useful to just all fire at the target though unless their Defense is ridiculously high so the last person that's firing can do a called shot straight into the target's brain matter (if they have one).
In addition to the Stormwracked and Princesses (who've only really been present in large numbers after the Moon landing), there are the Goalenu, the lieutenants to the Seraphic General. Without a vessel, they resemble a large human-shaped storm cloud that internally flickers green, about 6 and a half feet tall or more or a shimmering distortion of the air. In this form, they're not quite so substantial and somewhat ephemeral. As far behavior, it tends to the absentminded or monomaniacal with only one driving purpose, but can sometimes be found arguing to itself with the only explanation they give being "many by birth, one by the General's will."
Mechanically, it is similar to other ephemeral beings. Instead of Essence, it has Wisps and can regain them using Tempesta's advantage. It's considered rank 3 with three dots in Influence Tempesta and cannot put its influence elsewhere. It even has Skill dots, however those are only relevant when within a Vessel. They retain a Virtue and Vice and its Ban is the same as Tempesta's. It's Bane is the emotion of forgiveness and those feeling that emotion can harm the creature with a touch. Running out of Wisps or Corpus makes it disintegrate and returns it to the Queen. Though they are ephemeral, they retain enough human nature (either singulaarly or in aggregate) to be affected by things that would affect a human soul. No other ephemeral being can interact with them as well unless it can interaction with beings of different orders.
I haven't read up too much on WoD spirits, I'll just summarize it as the book as done. Manifesting Goalenu is done as usual (whatever that is). Their base condition is called Tempestuous which forms in the presence of Storm's followers or great hatred and destruction (like maybe a Wasteland?). They may use their Influence to apply the Tempestuous condition on anyone with Tempesta dots. As far as Manifestations go, they can have any of them except Claim and Fetter and always have Materialize and Possess Vessel. It also has the Craft Vessel and Blast Numina with two variations of the Seek Numina also open for Darkness and Tempesta. When using the Possession Manifestation, both the Goalenu and the possessed takes a point of Aggravated damage.
Crafting a Vessel
A Vessel is a physical construct formed of flesh and clay that allows the Goalenu certain abilities it couldn't otherwise use as well as preventing Wisp Bleed and allowing it perpetual manipulation of physical objects (like enemies). It is the creation of the being through the use of the Craft Vessel numina and always needs a human heart and a clay sculpture of the Goalenu for the brain. The other parts may be of flesh or clay and different advantages are given for each. Clay parts makes the Vessel more resilient to the energies of the being, thus allowing it to last longer as well as other boons from not being made out of meat while flesh parts allow it to blend in more easily and access to Skills of their original owners. It takes 5 Wisps and an extended roll to craft a Vessel.
There are a total of nine body parts with relevant effects. The brain and heart must be clay and flesh respectively, while the others can be from either. Vessels have a Revelation track which starts at Resolve + Clay parts-4 maxing out at 10. The maximum amount of Clay parts is 8 so a Resolve of 6 is needed to max out Revelation. As an ephemeral being, a Goalenu only has Power, Finesse and Resistance to use. Entering a Vessel gives it actual Attributes with, technically, no limits. Skills are based on the Goalenu's and the Skills of the previous owners' of the flesh body parts. Each body part also comes with 9 powers called Reprisals which are based off of its body parts. Two are common as they're from the heart and brains which can only be of a certain material the other seven have a choice.
The 7 other body parts are the: eyes, right arm, left arm, legs, tongue, lungs and spine. Other body parts can be made of either material (or possibly other materials) but have no listed mechanical benefit. Each body part is also associated with an attribute whose Reprisal roll requires alone. Using Reprisals also makes the otherworldly nature of the Vessel more apparent as well as the energies inside become more apparent and the body of the Vessel begins to crack. At 0 Revelation or when the Vessel is destroyed due to damage, it explodes dealing damage to everything around it and rendering the parts unusuable. Health can be gained through repairs, not via healing.
Reprisals on the Clay side include laser eyebeams, turning into a living artillery, pseudo-teleportation among other tricks. Reprisals on the flesh side include being able to ignore durability of inanimate objects, war cries, and defense boosting. Each costs some amount of Wisps and/or Revelation.
How I feel about Princess: the Hopeful now:
Next: Queen of Mirrors, also probably my last post on Princess before I drop the whole thing.
The Queen of Mirrors
Original SA post
Princess: the Hopeful
After this, I'm abandoning this F&F of Princess. 6/10 of the Charms are yet to be done as well as the other Antagonists (essentially all of the forces of Darkness). Settings such as the Dreamlands (and its connection to the Astral Realms) and Alhambra are also in the book. Finally, the Z-splat: Embassies. If anyone wants to take it up, go ahead. You have my Blessing (9-again to Craft Princess F&F). I'm just tired of this game andwhat it has to offer. It's not all that exciting or interesting to me. Without further ado however, the last Twilight Queen...
Queen of Mirrors
AKA: The True Queen, The Child Queen, The Hierophant-Queen, The Crown’s Custodian
Followers’ Epithets: Lightbearers, Heirs, Brats. (derogative)
Former Kingdom: Crystal Heril
Come on! Just a little bit more! You can do it! I’m leading you, and you don’t want to let me down!
Yeah, see, I was just a 13-year old, wandering ignorant and doing silly things. But then I started having these odd dreams, and I found I could do these strange things that I could never before. I was really scared at first, but this really pretty lady with silver eyes told me about what I was, and how the Light had chosen me to lead it, how it was destiny. Everyone’s just got to work together, and follow my orders, and we can beat the Darkness do it forever. I believe in you, you see, so that means you have to believe in yourself. It’s your duty to fight for the Light.
And when we rebuild the Kingdom, everything won’t just be okay again, it’ll be better.
I really hope so.
The Hierophant-Queen was meant to be the mediator between Queens and to arbitrate disputes. She was meant to be the one to keep the Light at the first and foremost above all. She was chosen at the age of 6 as she was destined to be and as the stars foretold. By 8, she ascended to the throne. By 9, the Darkness began its invasion and the Fall occurred. She was looked to for guidance in all of her wisdom, but the Child Queen could only see hard choices in every direction and she could not bear such a loss. Instead she ran. She abandoned her Kingdom and it fell to the Darkness like almost every other Kingdom.
Still, she exists to the best and brightest of the Radiants who couldn't bear the weight of being looked to by their Nakama. And still to others, the newly Blossomed, she seems to appear to anyone at random. Yet for all of them, she asks for nothing but for them to be themselves. There are certain philosophies that they uphold, but there is not a mandate to follow them. The first is the authority that they hold from being "Royalty." There is no Earthly authority above them for their mandate is from the Light itself. The second is that they Blossomed because they are great and all should be aware of such greatness. Such greatness should be at the forefront and all others should acknowledge that. Finally, there is no such thing as a hard choice. There is always a way to save everyone without sacrifice or loss, even from oneself. And they will find it because they have justice on their side.
Their Transformation is reversed. Instead of being normally in their Mundane form, they're always Transformed and must use a Transformation roll to turn into their Mundane self.
Just like all of the other Twilight Queens, while their Charms are more powerful, they also come at a cost. For the Lightbearer's it is one of egotistical madness. There are two sets of three conditions that can pop up. The lesser set requires a user to either make a scene (Drama Queen), go at a problem they cannot or are unprepared to handle (Narcissism), or not go along with a group and cause a scene over it or cave and go along with the group (Special Snowflake). The more severe set includes ignoring a Compromise roll through a bizarre leap of self righteous logic (Mirror Blindness), Madness, or become utterly obsessed with an individual to the point of suffering or inflicting a serious hardship on somebody (Yandere which also gives a +3 to any action done in the name of the crush and -3 on any other action).
Specchio can be invoked without cost when the charm it's used with is used on herself, an actual mirror (not a reflective puddle or tinted window), to set an example, convert others to her cause, impress others, when failure would lead to their own embarrassment, to get attention or just to prove how special they are. They lose it until the next day if they show humility, deny or downplay their own actions or even let someone else take the spotlight. Even in a simple disagreement they must prove themselves right to their opponent or any onlookers or else they lose their ability to Invoke.
Whay don’t you let me do that for you. You could at least be greatful, commoners!
• Clubs: Wasting your life where no one but the beasts can see you, how does that help anyone?
• Diamonds: Maths class is Boooring!
• Hearts: Formality and protocol. You wouldn’t need any of that if you were as good as me.
• Spades: What’s the point of a joke if people don’t realise how funny you are?
• Swords: You know, your bravery and... stuff is pretty cool. But I think you should do it this way instead! Chop-chop!
• Tears: Why are you wasting your life defending a city. You’re more important than a city.
• Storms: You fight, and then you die. Get someone else to die, royals are too important.
• Mirrors: You’re not the True Heir! I am!
• Vampires: Creature of the night, begone in the name of the Light! Unless you’re one of the hot ones that I can save, of course!
• Werewolves: You’re the archtypical wild man, filled with raw animal strength and passion. How on earth did you make that look savage and unattractive?
• Mages: Years of study, and you can’t even do magic in front of people? You got the boring powers.
• Prometheans: God, is that thing ugly
• Changelings: You’re hiding, that means you’re scared. Now me, I’m not hiding from anything!
• Sin-Eaters: Sweet party. Real nice... um, death-theme. And the... ghosts. And... um. I have to go.
• Mummies: Stop worshipping it! It’s old and ugly. I’m the one you should be worshipping!
• Mad Scientists: You can’t show them all with a death ray, there’d be no one left to be shown. It’s a good thing I came along, clearly you need my help.
• Leviathans: Um, eww! I think it’s trying to talk to me.
• Hunters: I’m glad someone’s trying to do something, I think I’ll make you my knights.
• Mortals: Don’t worry everything will be perfect, you just have to do every little thing I say.
Libby Chessler, The Great and Powerful Trixie, the evil cheerleader archetype in general.
Presumably that archetype is listed in TVTropes. It's probably also not completely the right archetype since a Mirror might also be someone in utter idealistic naivete like so many superheroes. Alternatively, Lex Luthor, who always thinks he's right (and many times he is) and assumes anyone as powerful as Superman must be planning something since that's what he assumes anyone with that much power would do. He also stands proud for his achievements and hides his more sinister achievements if only to build them for something greater that everyone will appreciate when it comes to fruition (like the Amazo Virus or Bizzaro or other projects).
And that's it! I'm sick of Princess and this Magical girl game because it's totally not interesting at all to me beyond the novelty of a magical girl game. I'll try a different game though. Probably one that's a little shorter and/or more interesting.
I put up for F&F, two homebrew games originally produced and posted on 4chan. One was successfully Kickstarted a while back and the other has been abandoned in F&F once before another attempt with an unofficial abandonment by AccidentalHipster. They are
Dungeons: the Dragoning 40k 7th Edition
. As far as I can tell, Engine Heart isn't particularly bad and is rather charming in that one could run a game based off of Wall-E or The Brave Little Toaster or 9 or even Chappie (may be wrong about this last one) as the game is meant to have the PCs as robots of most sorts. Alternatively, there's DtD which came out on April Fool's Day and allows the construction of a Chosen Ork Ratcatcher of Vectron or a Promethean Dragonborn Paladin or more. A number of modules (read: pregen characters and settings) were made as part of the Kickstarter for the former while the latter has an expansion book out from the original creator and a fan expansion after the creator more or less abandoned it.
CHOOSE: The game about robots that hasn't been seen by F&F before or the more complicated game that slams every major game into a blender and has been tried by two other goons previously.