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My Take On Princess: The Hopeful

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  • #16
    the fighting evil by moonlight lyric was from the original English Dub theme song. We all know just how accurate that dub was


    A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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    • #17
      I have added the following feature to my revision to mitigate the issue of the limited transformation sequence. I know it is not exactly what the posters in this thread were asking for, but I want to keep internal consistency, such as it is.

      A number of times each Story equal to their Palace, a Noble can receive the Informed Condition on a roll to cross a Radiant Bridge by spending 1 Governance in addition to 1 Willpower. Nobles almost always reserve this for when one or more of their Subjects are in immediate and lethal danger. In this revision, the Begotten have an equivalent ability which uses Satiety to open Primordial Pathways. If a Noble gains an Exceptional Success by Resolving the Informed Condition and the Begotten wishes to initiate a Clash Of Wills against the Palace with its Lair, the Begotten must either receive 6+ Successes or spend 1 Satiety. In the latter case, roll for the Clash Of Wills normally.


      Let Him Speak.

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      • #18
        Okay, let's have a look at this thing.

        There's admittedly a big thing I am going to overlook going into this, so I'm gonna put this up front: In this presentation, I'm proceeding on the read as though this is Princess from the primary angle of them as Bright Dream actors, more invested in the spires of civilization and properly wearing the crowns of rulers and builders in the various elements of humanity in a more actualized angle than, say, Heroes if they were such, and NOT as a magical girl idiom presented through the dual lens of Chronicles and Beast specifically, namely because if I did the latter I would have to basically start off with how the idiom is basically completely absent and the failures as presented there. The language of Magical Girls as Bright Dream actors is present in Princess and an angle many people have been quick to tackle, for the better I think-though many who make this sharp observation tend to fall flat by making the same fundamental mistake that happens everytime that robs Princess of teeth and dulls their appreciation of Beast, but we'll get to that in a second-but this presentation does not really play to that angle and I'm going to assume by the degree of definition provided that's deliberate.

        Okay, so first off, the larger rant about the Primordial Dream and Bright Dream that eclipses direct commentary so we can have ground to stand on. Namely, we do understand that the Bright Dream was the original source of horror for the Astral Realms to begin with and thus remains such, right?

        I'm not kidding, go and read Astral Realms from Mage. The Section on the Temenos, which is both the Bright and Primordial Dream, basically dives deep into reflections of human horrors and the depth of imagination, and in a post-BPG world, it basically reads as a heavy examination of the Bright Dream. This is because the Bright Dream is not all sunshine, rainbows, and the best of humanity-it's fear and hunger and every dumpster fire that you discover on the internet-the Bright Dream is really better understood as humanity in it's civilizationally based incarnation, and largely the "persona" for humanity on mass(maybe). Likewise, the Primordial Dream is not an extended region of Fear and Hunger alone subdivided up by the domains of gods-in-monstrous-embryos, but an extension of our relationship and reaction the natural world and most fundamental, elemental, primordial forces that still rein powerfully in our lives, including fear and hunger, yes, but also, awe, serenity, personal connection, and largely the "shadow" for humanity on mass(maybe).

        My point is that attempts to make actors based on these predilections tend to need a fuller appreciation for what's going on, and this ran right into that problem directly.

        Minorly related, there are several emotional theories out that, but Hope frequently does not parallel Fear, with the former tending towards more against Despair across models and the latter tending against Anger, but that's an aside. So, that aside, what's next?

        Yearnings are fine.

        Governance's lower rungs incline me to lean away from the Beast angle and more lean more into desperation and despair, a heightened sense of need to act out of the sense that everything is slipping away.

        Nightmares can't deal with a name swap alone to work for the concept, the soul-deep affirmation of nightmares, fears, doubts, despairs, loss, confusion, etc. just simply won't play out with according the principles at work. Nightmares are largely curses that are also ironically how Beasts offer extended benefits to their allies by engaging the lizard brain and generational spiritual memory to their potential benefit-it's a risk/reward game that emphasizes how some of the things we hide from can also bring out the best in us. Decrees, with the principle they work on, would be less Adding Benefits and more Removing Obstacles with the risk of placating the individual, making them "sleepier" in response due to the assurance. Confidence may emerge from a Decree, but Tense Focus won't.

        Regalia is fine, barring the earlier conversation.

        Callings are fine, though I don't get the renames. I don't remember if Callings in Princess have innate advantages? If they do, I'd port them over and adapt as needed.

        Palace is fine and dandy, though I'd do some reframing around the emotional discussion, see the despair angle.

        People's issues with Thicker than Water continue to baffle and mildly upset me, but by and large that's my problem. ANYWAYS, Right to Rule is hella powerful, effectively making Princesses inherently more powerful than any other monsters when it comes to Social Maneuvering, and that's with some of them using their powers. It's one thing to not like how Beasts essentially can try more often to get on people's good sides, it's another give someone the ability to tear through psycho-social barriers* with ease.

        Know Your People is fine.

        The irony of Royal Speech is that since it bolsters Integrity and Integrity-alikes, that actually means that people are less likely to feel the trauma of their own actions and the world around them, which means they are more likely to, following along Nobility in the course of actions they regularly take, eventually develop a certain blase attitude towards atrocity and become more likely to become terrible people. Fear and Sadness are essential components to connecting to other people and empathizing, they are elemental for deep call and response. So naturally I think that's hilarious and love it, nothing wrong with that. (Nobility are monsters, too)

        Commoner's Guise is fine, though I wonder why players don't just roll Governance for it.

        Sovereign Dominion should probably play more into Halls.

        I get how Outsider Vigil provides Governance when you interfere with a hunt in the paradigm provided so far, but I don't get how that plays out with just watching the hunt. Also, it's at this point I really need to ask how closely you've thought out the core play cycle of the hack, but not enough to get into a rant about it.

        I don't see the need to clarify on Legend and Life and in fact have to wonder why Life would seem to actually de-emphasize a core element of the angle of play here.

        Clash of Wills stuff is fine.

        Nobles are not Descended From The Dark Mother, nor are they Fundamentally Human. Therefore, the Kinship of the Begotten does not apply to them.
        This train of thought can die in a fire right away. Nobles are Monsters of a very Pretty Package variety tied up in their Fundamentally Non-Human nature that DEFINITELY qualifies them for Kinship, and while you didn't know this was a sore spot for me, I have so very little tolerance for this concept after all the other bullshit around the subject. No.

        I am perplexed by the decision to apply Palace to resisting Disquiet and feel like you should instead pick one way or another-either give them immunity or class them in with changelings and mages. On a side rant, the funny thing about this is that this would really be very easy to resolve in the magical girl model, since part of the concept at play with transformation is bearing the best of humanity, and therefore this would make more sense in that instance. ANYWAYS.

        Decree Exceptional Successes are cool, but why are they so much lower than the Decree section?

        Now as flattered as I am by the shout out, I need to clarify that Beast Logic doesn't work for the assumptions this Princess Incarnation has for organizations. Where as Beast plays Families, Princess plays Kingdoms, and absolutely aims at the spires that humanity builds, with an eye towards the future and far beyond their current incarnations, with an eye towards everyone else rising together instead of an individual sheltering everyone else under their wings, nurturing them until they outgrow the nest. Lessons are still a thing, of course, but Paragons matter less in this dichotomy for the purposes of society building, and given the mortal human focus, the "alternative to other monstrous socieities" makes little sense. Given the way that supernatural communites create better pools for resources and abilities with longevity, as evidenced by the fact that the groups I'm about to mention have used the Astral(Bright Dream) for facilitation in making such endevours, honestly Princesses would have large organizations, and they would look an awful lot like Mage Orders.

        Inheritances are fine.

        Blazing Light is fine, though I feel like maybe this'd be a point to have different inherent Hall Traits based on Callings, because every Princess having Blazing Light is giving me a Paradiso flashback and I feel like it's important to remember that the Light is a Metaphor and therefore Not Always Actually A Light.

        Abominable Armament is fine-ish. I feel like again maybe I'd want a different version for each Calling, or at least a Calling Benefit to stack on top of it.

        Radiant Beats is fine, though perhaps more incentives for player action than player reaction. I also thought there were no courts?

        I feel like Lair and Palace can be in the same place, just saying.

        And everything is just kind of eh.

        I am actually generally among the first to back the idea of Princess being rooted in the idea of the Bright Dream, and this is not a bad thought experiment on the subject, but for the life of me, I can't quite get into the hack's headspace of struggle for semi-righteous dominion. In Beast, a lot of the struggle come from the conflict in needing to transcend reconciled with the nature of what self is for a Beast, that a Beast expands as a nightmare because it is their wholeness brings into question whether that is wholly dark and disturbing or if there is more to it than that. In Princess, a lot of the struggle comes from just how traumatizing fighting for a better world is, and really is more about juxtaposing the results of success with the costs of success and having horror in the question if it's actually worth it, if having the power to make a difference matters if it burns the hell out of you to use it. Here, there's some horror and therefore struggle in whether these concepts that form the fundament actually work for building better worlds or is in fact just painting over what is essentially a ruined foundation, but, like-

        So, Scott McCloud in his book Understanding Comics once laid out how all art follows path of six steps, being idea to form to idiom to structure to craft to surface, and how people tend to learn how to make art by going at it in the opposite direction. So what we have here is a hack that ostensibly takes the Ideas of Princess and tackles it with the Idiom, the language and toolset, of Beast, which is an interesting concept to go at it all from. But it feels like instead of taking those ideas, getting a sense of what you want to do with them within the freedoms and limitations of a tabletop roleplaying game, and then codifying that with Beast's particular language and later on cleaning up the appearance to mesh the influences, we very much just took the surface of Princess and slapped it over the craft of Beast, without an appreciation for how the structure and language facilitates creating a particular gameplay experience(and that, mind you, is accounting for the fact that Beast is messy) in loose pursuit of it's (equally messy) ideas.

        It's interesting despite that! Since I've been thinking about Heroes recently in particular, it was definitely an interesting mirror.

        But as a hack I'd want to use in some kind of capacity or another?

        Eh, I dunno. It kind of leaves me cold. It's just too much of a reskin that has it's appeal on it's sleeve, but is kind of hollow when I bite into it. In order to really get somewhere, You have to figure out why you want to use Beast's direct language set/idiom to express Princess's ideas, and how you want them to come out in play.

        *straight to their pants


        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
        Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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        • #19
          ArcaneArts

          Your review was a lot to digest, and I'm sure my revision was too. That being said, the fact that senpai took the time to write such a review makes me very happy.

          While I am proud of my revision, all your observations are valid. It's just not as good as it could be. I especially agree with your comment on the Decrees. I knew when I started writing that this section of the revision was essentially an attempt at fitting a round peg into a square hole. In my defense, the initial presentation of the revision was less involved and I wrote it on the spur of the moment. I just didn't want to completely redesign every single Nightmare, so I went with what seemed the closest adaptation at the time.

          I renamed Champions to Knights because I see all Nobles as Champions of some kind. Knight is both more exact and evocative of that Calling, and also avoids overlap in names with the idea of Paragon As A Mirror To The Apex. I likewise renamed Seeker to Scholar because the latter is more fitting. Seeker is a really generic term which does not invoke any specific mental images, unlike Grace or Troubadour.

          The Courts are indeed more fitting as global organizations, now that I think about it. But I still feel like they need to fit into the canon setting's cosmology somehow. One possibility is to make it so that the Radiant Courts were originally a single Fae Court based on the emotion of Hope. But they grew restless and indignant with how their fellow Courtiers only inspired Hope in a fleeting manner that ultimately drained mortals of it.

          The Nobles stayed silent about their grievances until the landing on the Moon, which not only triggered a massive explosion of Hopeful Glamour similarly to the original version of Princess, but also gave the social and metaphysical catalyst needed for this Fae Court to become a Radiant Court. It split off into its subdivisions from there more or less naturally.

          As for how to fix Decrees...I am very unsure. I might just replace them entirely with some unique feature that hopefully (haha funni joek) addresses your main point. The catch is that any such feature would still need to interact with Governance like Nightmares interact with Satiety. Any and all suggestions on that front are especially welcome. The Court Conditions and their respective 5th Dot Benefits would naturally be reworked.

          All in all, thank you. Immensely.
          Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 06-08-2019, 08:03 AM.


          Let Him Speak.

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          • #20
            Important edit: I have replaced Decrees with revised Invocations, and changed Mystery Cult Benefits of Courts. I have also tried to address the other observations made by ArcaneArts.
            Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 06-08-2019, 11:12 AM.


            Let Him Speak.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
              Where as Beast plays Families, Princess plays Kingdoms, and absolutely aims at the spires that humanity builds, with an eye towards the future and far beyond their current incarnations, with an eye towards everyone else rising together instead of an individual sheltering everyone else under their wings, nurturing them until they outgrow the nest.
              And there in a nutshell is why Princess - at least the version I edit - has had organization rules for years.

              Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
              This train of thought can die in a fire right away. Nobles are Monsters of a very Pretty Package variety tied up in their Fundamentally Non-Human nature that DEFINITELY qualifies them for Kinship, and while you didn't know this was a sore spot for me, I have so very little tolerance for this concept after all the other bullshit around the subject. No.
              Could you expand on this? Because it isn't clear to me that Nobles are Fundamentally Not Human - especially if they're empowered by the Bright Dream. After all the Bright Dream is the thoughts of Humanity, and magic that draws from human thoughts can't be far removed from human nature. So I'm puzzled by this remark.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Michael Brazier View Post
                Could you expand on this? Because it isn't clear to me that Nobles are Fundamentally Not Human - especially if they're empowered by the Bright Dream. After all the Bright Dream is the thoughts of Humanity, and magic that draws from human thoughts can't be far removed from human nature. So I'm puzzled by this remark.
                1) The Bright Dream is Not Some Grand Antithesis to The Primordial Dream. Let's just get that in our heads now.
                2) The Primordial Dream is also the "thoughts" of Humanity, which is a misnomer because the Bright and Primordial Dreams are collectively the soul of all humanity which includes a lot less thoughts and more deeply applied elements of identity and self-conception, and Beasts are explicitly living nightmares from that place, and Goetia also blatantly do not count as humanity even if they spring forth from humanity like Athena from Zeus's child-eating word-producer thing, so this train of thought is what we in the industry call "nonsensical", which in here means it's total nonsense.
                3) A person who can move things with their mind doesn't count as human for the purposes for Kinship, what makes you think a superpowered, magical nexus of empathy and aspirationally healthy character building in the form of a person somehow is exempt when little Carrie here clearly has a spot in the family tree?
                4) Again, Princess carries a theme of the dangers of being unable to let go, and while this hack doesn't play that up as much, it does still stake a gamble on the ideas of at least a perceived actualization against the realities of the darkness surrounding a person and finding that your wholeness that you've achieved might still not be enough to claim a place in the world, let alone change it, so once again anything that denies Princesses the horror of confronting the fear and drama of bearing kinship to Beasts is not only betraying Beast, but also betraying Princess in that it's horror means you don't get to let go.

                And none of that is going into the stupid as hell reason that's a train of thought for people anyways.


                Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I know nothing about Princess. But reading this hack, especially the take on Radiant Empress vs Dark Mother left me with one certainty -
                  They would be two expressions of the same entity or force in my games.

                  Most everyone would *believe* that they were different, as presented, but they wouldn’t be. Not really.
                  The only hint would be the fact that I’d allow Kinship with Beasts.

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                  • #24
                    You know, this does give a good (enough) idea for re-using much of the mechanics for Demon, though (Descent as well as Inferno-ish)

                    Descent:
                    Family: Incarnation
                    Hunger: Agenda
                    Atavisms: Demonic Form
                    Nightmares: Embed equivalents
                    Lair: Bolthole + personal Hell
                    • Gaining [Primum]: Building up resonance with a location, and incorporating it into your personal Hell/Infrastructure.
                    Satiety: Cover + Aether
                    • Low Cover: The Demon's Form isn't as distanced from their facade, expressing its power more fully.
                    • High Cover: The Demon can access reality hacks with less oversight, and leverage them more fully.
                    • Spending Cover: Expressing more personal power, at the danger of fraying your Cover and risking detection. If needed, at 0 Cover they could be "Burned" enough that their powers get locked down (no more spending Cover) until they can shake the trace by building it up again.
                    • Gaining Cover: Pacting and "Just a normal person" interaction, rather than hunting. Family Dinner equivalents would be Deflecting attention onto the other supernaturals.
                    Kinship: Forming Links with other "non-mundane" beings.
                    Heroes: Angelic Hunters (or those empowered by them)
                    Anathema: Kill-codes the Demon is still vulnerable to, that cause them to Glitch out. Replace Stated-only vulnerability with making it just contested by Cover.
                    Last edited by Vent0; 06-13-2019, 08:17 AM.


                    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                    • #25
                      I have been thinking about this Hack as of late, and I realized something. It might work better if it was based on Demon instead of Beast. Hear me out.

                      On the surface level, Nobles-As-Unchained would be able to transform at will (even if at risk of Compromise). Not only that, but they would have mechanical incentive to present themselves as humans most of the time, AKA behaving in accordance with their Covers. This has an additional dramatic benefit of Nobles-As-Unchained having to keep their true selves hidden from all but the most trusted and brave of friends.

                      On a deeper level, it seems to me that you can draw stronger thematic parallels between Demon/Princess than Beast/Princess. Sure, the latter has that interplay between Bright Dream and Primordial Dream. But like ArcaneArts said, my Hack didn't explore much further than that.

                      But when you think about it, narrative links appear more organically in the former. Nobles and Unchained are fighting an indefinite battle against a vast enemy which has a parasitic relationship with mortals, they want to build their own vision of an ideal world, and struggle with issues of identity and trust.

                      Maybe the new Hack could be built upon these narrative links? I would need to do a bit more than re-skinning, though. Nobles do not come from the Darkness in the same way that Unchained come from the God-Machine. And the enemy in the eternal war is less actively malevolent, and more like a broken system. It's a more decentralized and impersonal Darkness, which encourages Nobles-As-Unchained to think outside the box. This in turn plays into the fact that Demon is an espionage game. It does have options for flashy spectacles common in the magical girl genre, but the focus is qualitatively distinct. Finding a middle-term might be tricky, but I think it is doable.

                      My core idea is to frame the cold war against the God-Machine as a desperate struggle for the survival of the humanity's very spirit and belief in itself. Emphasize the corrosive and oppressive aspects of the God-Machine. Its Angels wouldn't be directly analogous to Darkspawn, per se. They'd be closer to characters like Kyubey: heartless and logic-driven entities who do not understand the humans they wish to control. Therefore, we have a built-in conflict for the protagonists: a personal struggle for identity and companionship, and an external battle against a cosmic force of darkness-as-mechanization.

                      As an aside, the whole tech-gnostic aesthetic could likely stay. Effectively, does it matter if the magical girl has more gears and circuits than frills and hearts on their true forms? As long as similar narratives are being decently adapted, it should work.

                      What do you all think?

                      EDIT: On second thought, this whole idea for a new Hack has many holes. The big one is that Demons shouldn't necessarily be the good guys, and that they are already more Kyubey-esque than Angels regardless. And that is without the purely crunchy adaptations. I don't think Charms = Embeds and Invocations = Exploits works enough for my taste. Espionage as a whole implies a gameplay style that clashes a lot with the magical girl genre. I'll have to give this more thought to see if it is worth developing further.
                      Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 07-31-2019, 11:08 PM.


                      Let Him Speak.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
                        I have been thinking about this Hack as of late, and I realized something. It might work better if it was based on Demon instead of Beast. Hear me out.

                        (Stuff elided)

                        What do you all think?

                        EDIT: On second thought, this whole idea for a new Hack has many holes. The big one is that Demons shouldn't necessarily be the good guys, and that they are already more Kyubey-esque than Angels regardless. And that is without the purely crunchy adaptations. I don't think Charms = Embeds and Invocations = Exploits works enough for my taste. Espionage as a whole implies a gameplay style that clashes a lot with the magical girl genre. I'll have to give this more thought to see if it is worth developing further.
                        I think that your second take is correct: Demon is a poor match. In Demon the PC's are trying to hide at all times from a power vastly greater than their own. It doesn't match too well.

                        Maybe something from Mage where Paradox is replaced by Despair? That is, people who have lost hope actively suppress or hurt the PC's? I'm not too familiar with MtA.
                        Last edited by KieranMullen; 08-01-2019, 12:28 AM. Reason: fixed a spelling error.

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