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Has anyone played a Swan Maiden?

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  • Has anyone played a Swan Maiden?

    Or Swan Prince

    From the Changeling Players Guide

    I convinced my ST to change the Swan Maiden’s weakness slightly so that they can have sex without penalty as long as they’re truly in love with the person. I thought it was more romantic that way.


    Rain On Me... Lady Gaga (I went to the same academic summer camp she did) and Ariana Grande. This song actually works really well with the World of Darkness.

  • #2
    Haven't played one, but I would def consider how you're viewing romance; it's not an objective idea. The Swan Maiden idea is a pretty toxic one, where a person's worth, their "purity" is tied to their sexuality, or lack thereof. It's built around the ethos that people should only have sex for the most practical reasons (children) and only when they have "proven" their love first (Marriage). Not going to tell you how you should/shouldn't play, but the idea is definitely meant to represent some pretty puritanical notions of sexuality, which are extremely rigid. According to their doctrine, sex isn't romantic, it is an occasionally necessary evil, in the most extreme of circumstances. In that ethos, to suffer is to be closer to god, and to feel pleasure is to succumb to temptation, showing weakness. Also note that the Frailty regarding intercourse doesn't actually HARM the Swan, it only stops her from accessing her birthright. She doesn't incur Banality or anything to that effect. It can still BE romantic, just not the 1700's puritanical notion of romance. The story they represent is a very anachronistic and frankly outdated one. The tension between representing a dying idea but being a living thing is sort of part and parcel to making Changelings what they are; in some form or another, they almost always represent an idea or story that is dying, and are trying to find a way to get by. Swan Maiden's specifically are walking tragedies (literally), guaranteed to either lose themselves or the ones they love, with the only recourse being to shut themselves away or break off their relationships (incurring banality, and thus being tragic anyway). Playing a Swan Maiden should not feel like a particularly comfortable or cushy experience.
    Last edited by RigelJ; 10-11-2019, 11:42 AM.

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    • #3
      RigelJ thank you!! You said exactly what I was thinking, except a lot more articulately. I'm gonna tell my ST that.


      Rain On Me... Lady Gaga (I went to the same academic summer camp she did) and Ariana Grande. This song actually works really well with the World of Darkness.

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      • #4
        Haven't played one, but now I want to make a male of their bloodline, who ends up becoming a Swan Pooka as some kind of practical joke!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
          Haven't played one, but now I want to make a male of their bloodline, who ends up becoming a Swan Pooka as some kind of practical joke!

          Lowkey, if I were a Swan Maiden, I would work my ass off to find a namer and become like any other kith SO fast.

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          • #6
            Yeah, I pretty much am anti-Swanmaid. I've seen it either depicted as the Taylor Swift "short fling" Kith, or the "James Bond with a woman of the day," Kith. All while having a big ol-grabbag of bonuses, discount wings (I find discount merits lazy design), and just being thematically easier to replicate Oaths/Geases. Having "You or them" Dark Fate baked in cheapens any emotional pathos that could be had by playing them in my book.

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            • #7
              Honestly I don't see why Profound loss isn't the only Frailty... Most types only have one Frailty. If you wanted to give it more bite they could have to interact with people they love on a regular basis like any day they haven't at least talked to their loved ones counts as a Banality Trigger. Mantle of the Maiden is arbitrary. True Love's Curse is litterally pointless by the mechanics as.. you cannot buy Merits midgame, and even if you are allowing it... its super easy to get around...by never buying it.. plenty of people have commited loving relationships that don't count as "True love' mechanically, just like plenty of people are deeply devoted to their faith without being able to turn vampires and perform miracles.

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              • #8
                Hmmm. So you guys think playing a Swan Maiden is a terrible idea. I’ll have to reread the rules more carefully and think about it. Thanks.

                MagicJuggler I actually like Taylor Swift, so that wouldn’t discourage me.


                Rain On Me... Lady Gaga (I went to the same academic summer camp she did) and Ariana Grande. This song actually works really well with the World of Darkness.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                  Hmmm. So you guys think playing a Swan Maiden is a terrible idea. I’ll have to reread the rules more carefully and think about it. Thanks.
                  I think the build is excessively Frailty heavy. If someone asked to play one I would not use anything but the first Frailty. I don't think "Punish your character for having sex" is a reasonable mechanic... and its one that is easily ignored ("I'm only going ot fuck when not adventuring!") and hard to really impliment as an ST("Oh hey can you all tell me when your characters last fucked?")True Love's curse is even worse for pointlessness, it requires you take a merit to ever come up.

                  I don't think dropping them would make the character profoundly unbalanced.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you. I’ll talk to my ST about doing that if I decide to still play a Swan Maiden.


                    Rain On Me... Lady Gaga (I went to the same academic summer camp she did) and Ariana Grande. This song actually works really well with the World of Darkness.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I talked to my ST. He said we could drop True Love’s Curse and Mantle of the Maiden would only come into play if my character randomly hooks up with someone (as long as she has feelings for them, it doesn’t count). I am gonna play a Swan Maiden. Thanks for all your help.


                      Rain On Me... Lady Gaga (I went to the same academic summer camp she did) and Ariana Grande. This song actually works really well with the World of Darkness.

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                      • #12
                        Wait, I'm a little confused, because the Swan Maiden that you people are talking about is different from the information I've found on them.

                        This specifically being the case.

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                        • #13
                          They are written up in the c20 players' guide.

                          +1 app, +1 Dex can't botch performance. May buy wings for 2 points.

                          Once per session may lower the difficulty of someone they are in love with.

                          Frailties.

                          Banality Trigger if they break up with someone.

                          If they have sex they lose their second Birth right

                          IF they have true love iwth someone either they or their true love recieve Dark Fate.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                            Haven't played one, but now I want to make a male of their bloodline, who ends up becoming a Swan Pooka as some kind of practical joke!
                            That's actually a clever idea!


                            It is a time for great deeds!

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                            • #15
                              Just wanna say that there is a lot of negativity going on here. While I personally agree that the Swan Maiden kith could have been structured a little better, I actually think they offer more narrative than say a Selkie. Nothing on the Selkie Birthright/Frailty actually provides a plot hook beyond "NPC stole my coat", and how many times can you actually run that story? Swan Maidens intrinsically offer tension and exist as a criticism of real issues that exist in our world, so like... yeah, they could be built a little better, but like also lets not jump down @Penelope's throat. We're all Changeling fans here, and that makes us all super weird. Swan Maidens might not be perfect, but lets face it, Changeling has had worse issues in the past.
                              Last edited by RigelJ; 10-15-2019, 10:00 AM.

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