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My Take On Princess: The Hopeful

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  • GibberingEloquence
    started a topic My Take On Princess: The Hopeful

    My Take On Princess: The Hopeful

    In this revision, consider that the Dark Mother has an equivalent but nominally opposing entity residing inside the Bright Dream called the Radiant Empress. This entity embodies Hope instead of Fear, and she (as far as such an entity has a gender) can lead mortals into their Blossoming like the Dark Mother leads to the Devouring.

    For the most part, the Nobles use re-fluffed versions of Begotten powers. However, there is a crucial difference: they sustain themselves by inspiring Hope instead of Fear. Therefore, Nobles have a Yearning instead of a Hunger, and use Governance instead of Satiety. The act of regaining Governance is called an Inspiration instead of a Feeding. The Lessons of Nobles are almost always more traditionally constructive than those of the Begotten, but can lead to dangerous and toxic extremes just the same. For example: a Noble who Yearns for Friendship might insist that everyone always get along and talk it out, even when there are legitimate grievances and the conflict has escalated way beyond the point where peaceful resolution is feasible.

    The Yearnings are defined as follows:
    • The Hunger for Prey becomes the Yearning for Friendship, and Predators become Companions. They regain Governance by nurturing lasting bonds and restoring broken ones.
    • The Hunger for Power becomes the Yearning for Freedom, and Tyrants become Liberators. They regain Governance by standing up for those who cannot defend themselves and giving opportunities for others to fulfill their true potential.
    • The Hunger for Hoard becomes the Yearning for Prosperity, and Collectors become Benefactors. They regain Governance by catering to the physical and emotional needs of others.
    • The Hunger for Ruin becomes the Yearning for Safety, and Ravagers become Sentinels. They regain Governance by renewing others' faith in order, law or equivalent ideal.
    • The Hunger for Punishment becomes the Yearning for Forgiveness, and Nemeses become Diplomats. They regain Governance by convincing others to let go of their grievances and understand those who are have done them wrong.
    • The Hunger for Secrets becomes the Yearning for Trust, and Whisperers become Confidants. They regain Governance by protecting secrets that would cause more bad than good if they ever got out, and by helping others cope with the consequences if they do decide to reveal the secrets.
    • The Hunger for Transgression becomes the Yearning for Wisdom, and Enablers become Advisers. They regain Governance by letting others know when there are better options and guiding them toward answers.
    Nobles shine with an Inner Light instead of unleashing a Horror, and Atavisms become Regalia. Replace Satiety with Governance and give them new names and appearances.The Satiety Conditions are renamed as follows: Ravenous becomes Indignant, Starving becomes Watchful, Sated becomes Indecisive, Gorged becomes Stalwart and Slumbering becomes Complacent.

    Your current level of Governance is reflective of the Inner Light's mood. Low Governance means that the Inner Light is dissatisfied with the amount of Hope it has caused, and thus its Regalia grow stronger to better defend the Subjects of the Noble. High Governance means that the Inner Light becomes refined in its approach and its Invocations grow stronger instead. The Governance Potential Chart has the following changes.
    • "Victim died" becomes "victim was saved from certain death or another horrible fate".
    • "Target is a supernatural being and Beast has Family Ties with another being of the same type" becomes "target is a mortal who has actively rejected the Subject Condition for the Noble".
    • "Target is a supernatural being with whom the Beast has Family Ties" becomes "subject is a mortal who has previously lost Integrity because of the Noble".
    • If the target has a Major Supernatural Template, inflict a penalty equal to their [Supernatural Tolerance/2 round up].
    Nightmares become Invocations, which work as follows:

    A Noble has an Invocation as determined by his Radiant Court, just like in the original version of Princess. However, since Charms do not exist under my revision, each Invocation gives dots of Influence over its purview equal to [Palace/2 round up]. These work like regular Influences, but are broader. Every use of an Invocation rolls [highest Power Attribute + Governance], similarly to Nightmares. While inside the Palace, Nobles use the Power rating of their Inner Light instead. Nobles have an "Essence" pool for Invocations equal to [Palace/2 round up] x 10. They refer to these points of Essence as Wisps, and may spend 1 dot of Governance to regain Wisps equal to their rating in Palace. This is inspired by the Legendary Horror Merit from the Beast Player's Guide.

    However, since revised Invocations interact with Governance, they must have their own unique effects at different levels of Governance. They consist of the following:

    Normal Governance: You pay an amount of Wisps to activate your Invocation that is equal to an Influence of the same level (e.g. Control Legno costs 3 Wisps). Their effects on the world are lasting if they could have happened naturally, however. For instance: the wound of a non-sapient animal that is healed by Legno does not reopen after the Invocation ends. You may cancel the effects of any Invocation at will. The Invocation lasts for one day.

    High Governance: The Invocation can now last for a number of days equal to your rating in Palace x 2 by doubling its Wisp cost. Those who gain an Exceptional Success on Breaking Points for Integrity caused by your Invocation gain the Inspired Condition along with +1 Willpower.

    Governance Expenditure: The Invocation is now Charmed. Any Clashes Of Wills involving it gain the Rote Quality. This does not change the duration of the Invocation.

    Exceptional Success: You may mark a number of mortals equal to your rating in Palace who are within your immediate presence and directly perceptible. They are considered to have Inspired Condition on Breaking Points for Integrity that are caused by your Invocation. Such protection only lasts for the same duration of the Invocation itself.

    Influences Of The Invocations:

    Legno (Clubs): Harmony, Flora And Fauna
    Acqua (Diamonds): Water, Knowledge And Wonder
    Terra (Hearts): Earth, Authority And Compassion
    Aria (Spades): Wind, Laughter And Doubt
    Fuoco (Swords): Fire, Love And Sacrifice


    Instead of Families, Nobles have Callings, which work similarly to those from the original version of Princess. However, Champions have been renamed to Knights and Seekers have been renamed to Scholars. These Callings come with the associated +1 Attribute dot, which may not take you beyond 5 dots. Each Calling also has a Favored Regalia. These are added for free. Callings do not have Birthrights. The benefits are transcribed below:
    • Knight: Resolve or Strength. Glorious Weapon (Abominable Armament) or Radiant Armor (Unbreakable). Should you choose Glorious Weapon, the immunity to Down And Dirty Combat imposed by Governance Expenditure refers to Beasts instead of Heroes.
    • Grace: Presence or Manipulation. Royal Splendor (Alien Allure) or Royal Authority (Looming Presence).
    • Mender: Intelligence or Dexterity. Feel Their Pain (Eye Of Heaven) or Tireless Endeavor (Relentless Hunter).
    • Scholar: Intelligence or Wits. Heroic Sagacity (Mimir's Wisdom) or Keen Sight (Needs Must)
    • Troubadour: Presence or Dexterity. Bard's Enchanting Performance (Siren's Treacherous Song) or Battle Cry (Terror's Friend, From The Beast Player's Guide). Should you choose Battle Cry, the Low Governance effect gives a bonus equal to your Palace and the Governance Expenditure effect rolls Presence + Expression instead of Strength + Intimidation. The Insane Tilt is applied instead of Beaten Down to Beasts who refuse to flee, rather than Heroes.
    Instead of Lairs, Nobles have Palaces. The Heart is called a Throne Room, and associated Chambers become Halls. Under The Bed becomes Honored Guest, which requires a roll of Manipulation + Governance. However, Nobles may add Halls to their Palace when they gain an Exceptional Success on an Invocation or when mortals gain a dot of Integrity.

    Nobles cross Radiant Bridges instead of opening Primordial Pathways. They roll Manipulation + Composure instead of Wits + Resolve. They refer to their Broods as Alliances, and Brood Lairs as Castles. Their equivalent to the Apex is the Paragon: the most hope-inspiring mortal in the area. There is no equivalence between Callings and Families for the sake of Regalia costs. For example: Knights are not equivalent to Anakim. Instead, Nobles pay 4 Experiences for each Regalia, or 3 if they successfully defeat a Beast with an equivalent Atavism. You do not have to gain victory in combat for this: you could Teach Lessons in your own way to the Beast instead.

    When a Noble reaches 0 Governance, their Inner Light does not Inflict Nightmares. Instead, it roams the Bright Dream to Inspire Dreams. The victim loses 1 Willpower point as usual. Instead of fear, they are filled with a false hope as they experience a glorious vision of a perfect world, and are devastated to realize it was just a dream upon waking up. An Exceptional Success likewise represents the Inner Light "killing" the target by raising his hopes to the heavens with fantastic adventures and then utterly crushing them when the dream ends. This draws the attention of Heroes as usual, but they will know something is off. If a Hero has encountered Nobles before and been informed on their nature, he can tell the difference between an Indignant Inner Light and a Ravenous Horror without a roll.

    Nobles have Belief in regular mortals instead of Kinship with monsters, since they draw their power from the Bright Dream. This includes most Hunters as well, but not Heroes, since their power comes from the Primordial Dream. Therefore, their abilities that would have fallen under Kinship are redefined as follows.
    • Thicker Than Water becomes Right To Rule. It gives at least at Good Impression against humans, or just Average if they are currently suffering from a Condition that represents Fear or Despair, such as Shaken or Broken.
    • Family Resemblance becomes Know Your People, which works like the Know Soul Dread Power. Spend 1 Willpower point and roll Wits + Empathy + Palace vs Resolve + Composure. You do not need to spend additional Willpower points to learn the circumstances of more Breaking Points: every Success that exceeds those of the target reveals another one. Furthermore, on an Exceptional Success, add your [Palace/2 round up] to all Socials roll involving the target during this scene.
    • Mother's Kiss becomes Royal Speech. Roll Presence + Governance - the mortal's highest Resistance Attribute. Every Success becomes a +1 on their next Breaking Point roll for Integrity (maximum of +5).
    • Passing Resemblance becomes Commoner's Guise. It allows you to register as human instead of a monster. Any mundane attempts at discovering your true nature suffer your current Governance as a penalty, while supernatural attempts trigger a Clash Of Wills.
    • Skeleton Key becomes Sovereign Dominion. Instead of allowing entrance into other realms, it allows you to to impose a Clash Of Wills against any monster who tries to invade a location you've claimed as your land. This covers an an arbitrary area which is only limited by its conceptual bounds. It lasts indefinitely, but you may only apply Sovereign Dominion to a number of locations equal to your rating in Palace. These may be changed at the start of each chapter. An Exceptional Success also applies your rating in Palace as a penalty to all supernatural powers meant to harm you and your subjects within the location if the monsters do invade. Use the same dice pool to activate Sovereign Dominion, but change Lair into Palace. You may only apply Sovereign Dominion to a location that resembles one of your Halls.
    • Family Dinner becomes Outsider Vigil. It gives you 1 Governance if you manage to stop the hunt. You gain 2 Governance if you also manage to inflict a Condition through mundane means on the monster that represents remorse or reconsideration, such as Shaken or Guilty. This only functions if the emotions behind the Condition are genuine. The Noble can tell when this is the case with a reflexive Wits + Empathy + Palace roll. You may only benefit from Outside Vigil once per chapter.
    • Family Ties Condition becomes Subject Condition, and it is applied to humans. It may be used to buy Belief Merits like the Begotten buy Kinship Merits. Those under the Subject Condition do not count for the Kinslayer Gift of Heroes. However, the Nobles themselves are valid targets for other Heroic Gifts, but not Anathema. The Subject Condition allows a Hunter to receive 8 Again for all rolls to defend the Subject from monsters.
    Nobles use Life and Legend. Their Life is much the same, but their Legend always carries a sense of noblesse oblige. They use their highest Power Attribute + Palace for Clashes Of Wills. They are Descended From The Dark Mother, but only through the indirect link of the Radiant Empress. Therefore, the Kinship of the Begotten applies to them. They are immune to Disquiet, just like the Begotten.

    Nobles have Radiant Courts as described in the original version of Princess. Their associated Radiant Queens exist and are modeled as Royal Avatars of the Radiant Empress. However, Nobles cannot visit them of their own accord: the Queens choose when to visit a Palace. Each Court is modeled as a Mystery Cult, and you gain 1 dot in its Initiation for free. They also have Persistent Conditions akin to those of the Unchained. When you Resolve a Court Condition, it returns at the start of the next chapter. These Cults and Conditions are written below:

    Clubs (Persistent)
    Effect: Gain a +2 on any mundane roll to maintain harmony and peaceful coexistence among your Subjects.
    Beat: When your attempts to create a harmonious and peaceful environment backfire.
    Resolution: You may use Governance Expenditure on the Court's Invocation for the aforementioned purposes without spending Governance.

    ● - An Empathy or Persuasion Specialty for Conflict Resolution.
    ●● - Allies 1 for Environmentalists, Survivalists or equivalent.
    ●●● - +1 Empathy or Persuasion.
    ●●●● - 8 Again on mundane uses of Empathy or Persuasion.
    ●●●●● - Your Court's Invocation gains always achieves Exceptional Success with 3 Successes, and relevant Clashes Of Wills involving it gain +5 dice.

    Diamonds (Persistent)
    Effect: Gain a +2 on any mundane roll to bring knowledge and enlightenment to your Subjects.
    Beat: When your attempts to teach and enlighten backfire.
    Resolution: You may use the Governance Expenditure on the Court's Invocation for the aforementioned purposes without spending Governance.

    ● - A Research Specialty in Academics or Occult
    ●● - Allies 1 for Scientists, Teachers or equivalent.
    ●●● - +1 Academics or Occult.
    ●●●● - 8 Again on mundane uses of Academics or Occult.
    ●●●●● - Your Court's Invocation gains always achieves Exceptional Success with 3 Successes, and relevant Clashes Of Wills involving it gain +5 dice.

    Hearts (Persistent)
    Effect: Gain a +2 on any mundane roll to lead and inspire your Subjects into decisive action.
    Beat: When your attempts at leadership and inspiration backfire.
    Resolution: You may use the Governance Expenditure on the Court's Invocation for the aforementioned purposes without spending Governance.

    ● - A Leadership Specialty in Expression, or Community Organization Specialty in Politics.
    ●● - Allies 1 for Lawyers, Politicians or equivalent.
    ●●● - +1 Expression or Politics.
    ●●●● - 8 Again on mundane uses of Expression or Politics.
    ●●●●● - Your Court's Invocation gains always achieves Exceptional Success with 3 Successes, and relevant Clashes Of Wills involving it gain +5 dice.

    Spades (Persistent)
    Effect: Gain a +2 on any mundane roll to convince your Subjects to think twice and take a different course of action.
    Beat: When your attempts at persuading others into acting cautiously backfire.
    Resolution: You may use the Governance Expenditure on the Court's Invocation for the aforementioned purposes without spending Governance.

    ● - A Lateral Thinking Specialty in Persuasion, or Humor in Socialize.
    ●● - Allies 1 for Rebels, Criminals or equivalent.
    ●●● - +1 Persuasion or Socialize.
    ●●●● - 8 Again on mundane uses of Persuasion or Socialize.
    ●●●●● - Your Court's Invocation gains always achieves Exceptional Success with 3 Successes, and relevant Clashes Of Wills involving it gain +5 dice.

    Swords (Persistent)
    Effect: Gain a +2 on any mundane roll to defend your Subjects from violence (this does apply to combat rolls enhanced by a supernatural ability, such as Strength + Weaponry to use Glorious Weapon).
    Beat: When your attempts at keeping others safe from physical harm backfire.
    Resolution: You may use the Governance Expenditure on the Court's Invocation for the aforementioned purposes without spending Governance.

    ● - A Romance Specialty in Persuasion, or Protecting Innocents in Intimidation.
    ●● - Allies 1 for Police, Vigilantes or equivalent.
    ●●● - +1 Persuasion or Intimidation.
    ●●●● - 8 Again on mundane uses of Persuasion or Intimidation.
    ●●●●● - Your Court's Invocation gains always achieves Exceptional Success with 3 Successes, and relevant Clashes Of Wills involving it gain +5 dice.


    Nobles can suffer the Merger, Retreat and Incarnation Inheritances. An Unfettered Noble is called a Forlorn, his Yearning drains hope instead of inspiring it, and he loses Legend instead of Life. A Rampant Noble is called a Zealot, and his Yearning becomes his only drive regardless of the consequences. An Incarnate Noble is called a Monarch, and he attains such Inheritance by becoming a legendary icon for his ideals, even if it causes massive unintended changes to the Astral and thus material reality. They might attain the Monarch Inheritance by Destabilizing the Myth of an Incarnate, or creating a long lasting lineage/brotherhood of Hunters.

    As an optional mechanic, Nobles may receive Radiant Beats. These are equivalent to the Supernatural Beats of other gamelines, but focused on the themes of Princess. They may be used to buy Princess-specific traits (e.g. Regalia, Decrees, Palace, Belief Merits). The following are the main sources of such Beats, though more may exist at ST discretion.
    • Beasts and their Kin meaningfully oppose you, or put you and your Subjects in danger.
    • Your behavior alienates, shocks or leads your Subjects to lose hope.
    • A character accepts your Lesson but takes it to dangerous or toxic extremes.
    • You get a Dramatic Failure or Exceptional Success on a roll to cross a Radiant Bridge. The latter does not count if you spend Governance to cross the Radiant Bridge (see below).
    • Resolving Governance Conditions can give either Mundane or Radiant Beats.
    • Go through significant hardship to add a Hall to your Palace.
    • The Persistent Conditions of the Courts give Radiant Beats. If the Noble is not in a Court for whatever reason, use the No Kingdom Condition instead, which is analogous to the Uncalled Condition of the Unchained.
    What If A Palace And A Lair Are Imposed Upon The Same Location Simultaneously?
    Only one can prevail. Roll for a Clash Of Wills. Furthermore, 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.

    Do These Nobles Have Sensitivity?
    No. External mechanization for that is unnecessary. A Noble is compelled to do as much good as he can just by being himself. How he chooses to do good and how he copes when he can't help everyone is entirely up to him. In a way, this resembles the struggles of the Begotten but in reverse, which can be material for interesting scenes.

    Can Nobles Only Raise Their Invocation Levels By Increasing Their Rating In Palace?
    By default, yes. However, the ST may allow you to buy the following Merit to mitigate this hypothetical issue.

    Legendary Incandescence (● To ●●●●●)
    For every dot bought in this Merit, treat your effective rating in Palace as one higher for the purposes of what Invocation levels you can use, up to Palace 10. If this brings you beyond 10, leftover dots are cancelled and reimbursed as per Sanctity Of Merits.

    Drawback: Your Inner Light is so incandescent that Darkness in its wake grows ever more corrupting and sinister. Mortals who must roll for an Integrity Breaking Point as a result of your Invocation suffer a penalty equal to your rating in this Merit, and their Failures are downgraded into a Dramatic Failures unless they spend 1 Willpower point after the roll. As for the Noble himself, his Governance Potential suffers a penalty of [dots in this Merit/2 round up] in any scene in which his Invocation triggers Breaking Points for Integrity.

    What About The Darkness And Darkspawn?
    While the Primordial Dream and the Begotten are superficially similar, the former is not a cosmic force of deliberate malevolence and the latter are still ostensibly human in mindset. There is nothing in the universe that Nobles can determine to be the source of all evil and suffering. Even if told about the Exarchs, Nobles realize that such entities come from us. Their greatest struggle is against a metaphorical but very real Darkness, within themselves and their Subjects.
    Last edited by GibberingEloquence; 06-08-2019, 03:55 PM.

  • KieranMullen
    replied
    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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  • GibberingEloquence
    replied
    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.

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  • Vent0
    replied
    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.

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  • lnodiv
    replied
    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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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    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.

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  • Michael Brazier
    replied
    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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  • GibberingEloquence
    replied
    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.

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  • GibberingEloquence
    replied
    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.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    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

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  • GibberingEloquence
    replied
    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.

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

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
    Also, Beasts do not need the presence of at least one Lair Trait in order to open a Primordial Pathway. Read the relevant section closely: each Lair Trait that is present gives a cumulative +1. But it's not a prerequisite. The same principle applies to Nobles.
    You’re probably going to have three dice at most before that bonus though (or one at low Satiety/Governance) and it costs a WP per try.

    Also when Sailor Moon transforms it lasts a lot longer than Resolve*3 seconds.

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  • GibberingEloquence
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    Bit of a bad example, since Sailor Moon changed at all times of day pretty clearly in the show. :/
    I meant that, much like how Sailor Moon can transform in any circumstances, so too can the Nobles. The moonlight is just an example of a Palace Trait that makes the transformation easier.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
    Have you forgotten the lyrics to the Sailor Moon Theme Song?

    Winning love by daylight, and fighting evil by moonlight.
    Bit of a bad example, since Sailor Moon changed at all times of day pretty clearly in the show. :/

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