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[w/Princess] Odd Friends-Don't Mess with a Princess and Her Dragon

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  • [w/Princess] Odd Friends-Don't Mess with a Princess and Her Dragon

    I idly checked out the Fighting with Family thread just cause and I came across a commentary about the relationship between Princesses and Beasts that drove me nuts, because it always drives me nuts, because it's a shallow and cheap interpretation that really has more to do with some people's hang-ups with Beast than anything resembling an actual analysis of what each side has going for or against each other. I wrote up a response and then decided a post on how two splats would not always fight contrary to noisy insistence was against the spirit of that thread, which, you know, is all about fighting. So I copied it and pasted it below. Who knows how this conversation will turn out.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    I realize this thread is dedicated to Beasts go YAH YAH with other supernaturals in fights of various sorts, so I hope I can be forgiven for not only a brief divergence but counter-spirit posting, a subject on why some splats wouldn't fight.

    But god, is the idea of absolute enmity between Princesses and Beasts stupid and annoying.

    Sure, superficially that enmity seems obvious, and my argument has always included a mention of a barrier along those lines. It seems counter-intuitive for the fansplat dedicated to empowering humanity and fighting fear would get along well at all with the species' predators and fearmongers-except that it's really not as cut and dried as that.

    First off, the teaching culture of Beasts means that, actually, Beasts are inclined to the improvement of humanity as well, honing their wisdom and instincts and acting as a barrier against worst things out there than humanity is not prepared for, much like anything else. While not the same burning passion for Beasts as it is for Princesses, you can't have a culture of that sort without a significant buy-in, and so Beasts on the whole must at least pay token to the idea, a facet that any Princess can stoke up if they deal with more lax members of the Begotten-but honestly, they probably don't have to. Most they might need to do is provide guidance and counter-balance. In this way, Beasts empower and embolden humanity much the same way as the demons of Pandemonium do, by helping people confront their weakness and failures and gain a full knowledge of themselves-and I don't see anyone proposing Princesses ardently hate Mastigos for their acceptance of that buy-in.

    Second, out of the combined splats and fansplats, few pairings are as invested in reaching out to other supernaturals and connecting with them as Princesses and Beasts-and not only is that a shared trait, it's a street that goes both ways. Sure, Beasts want their family to be at home with their monstrous selves while Princesses unite with them to lead them towards humanity, both personal and grand scale-but these things are not mutually exclusive, and a significant part of both games is that each is prone to a reduced and simplified world view that often needs expansion. But putting aside the philosophy for a second, the two's perchance for connection means that both of them are of an open mind for discussion, understanding, and empathy. They are the most likely splats to sit down and have a long dinner and conversation trying to get one another out of the bunch, the most likely splats to talk things out. They are both practiced and focused on this sort of thing, of appealing and making themselves available as help. That does a lot to generate goodwill, even if they have such striking differences in their approaches.

    Third, there's this notion that what Beasts do is somehow among the worst things demanded of player splats. I won't dwell hyperlong here because that is it's own discussion and it's been beat to death with a peanut-butter-and-jelly encrusted baseball bat-but among a vampire's casual violation of people for blood, a demon's systemic upheavals and ruinous actions, and everything else in between, a Beast is not really that much different in terms of their actions and effects to other splats that Princess has long indicated a willingness to work out middle grounds with, so it seems arbitrary that Princesses would suddenly deeply object to one splat, particularly since-as established-a good number of them try make good for humanity with their predacity, an attitude lacking from most of the splat Princesses seek out. And for the most part, a Princess doesn't have to do much to be all right in a Beast's book, so these preconceived notions of enmity just sort of fall apart.

    I'm not proposing it's all smooth sailing-there is some reconciliation that needs to happen-but I am saying that this is the pairing to also take to that reconciliation with the most willingness to actually make it work out, and that both can and probably do come to appreciate the ways that they help each other out. A Princess further refines a a Beast's lessons and helps them find a better balance between their Life and Legend, and a Beast helps a Princess become aware of their own monstrosity and helps them learn where and how to excise some of them and how to turn other parts into boons for their quest to save others. Hell, a Beast feeding off of a Princess through Family Dinner is actually one of the rare few times they can claim to live a life without needing to harm others much, and at the same time the Beast is there to do the hard things that a Princess just might be too sensitive to do, and their Family Ties can help to soften that blow for them.

    Point is, just because someone doesn't like Beast doesn't mean that there's this absolute enmity between the two. Like with family, like with friends, it's a complicated matter. But if you acknowledge how they can, and frequently would, work it out, it's easy to realize what a powerhouse team-up between the two is, and makes conflicts between the two deeper and more nuanced.


    Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
    Work Blog Coming Soon
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

  • #2
    As a total fan of Beast and Princess...

    I honestly can't see this criticism valid.

    These are all good reasons for getting over it, but it's right there in the name. Princess is a game of Fighting Fear. Beast is a game where you are fear. Before some very good diplomacy from the Begotten, the Nobility is going to think of them as monstrous bullies-and the thing is, they all too often aren't wrong.

    The overall relationship is unique from person to person, but as a first impression? Beasts have something in common with demons, in that their very biology is a sticking point for a would-be superhero inhabiting a world where absolute good and evil exist.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
      [...]the idea of absolute enmity between Princesses and Beasts stupid and annoying.

      Sure, superficially that enmity seems obvious, and my argument has always included a mention of a barrier along those lines. It seems counter-intuitive for the fansplat dedicated to empowering humanity and fighting fear would get along well at all with the species' predators and fearmongers-except that it's really not as cut and dried as that.

      First off, the teaching culture of Beasts means that, actually, Beasts are inclined to the improvement of humanity as well, honing their wisdom and instincts and acting as a barrier against worst things out there than humanity is not prepared for, much like anything else. While not the same burning passion for Beasts as it is for Princesses, you can't have a culture of that sort without a significant buy-in, and so Beasts on the whole must at least pay token to the idea, a facet that any Princess can stoke up if they deal with more lax members of the Begotten-but honestly, they probably don't have to. Most they might need to do is provide guidance and counter-balance. In this way, Beasts empower and embolden humanity much the same way as the demons of Pandemonium do, by helping people confront their weakness and failures and gain a full knowledge of themselves-and I don't see anyone proposing Princesses ardently hate Mastigos for their acceptance of that buy-in.
      Yet the way Beasts transcend their horizons if by thrashing the monomith utterly, the very idea that humanity can "raise above". And Mastigoi would see opposition if they tried to enforce their "enlightenment" on an invasive fashion. Which thinking about it seems like the sort of thing a hubristic sob of one would do. Bottom line? Victims aren't better off because they were made victims.

      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
      Second, out of the combined splats and fansplats, few pairings are as invested in reaching out to other supernaturals and connecting with them as Princesses and Beasts-and not only is that a shared trait, it's a street that goes both ways. Sure, Beasts want their family to be at home with their monstrous selves while Princesses unite with them to lead them towards humanity, both personal and grand scale-but these things are not mutually exclusive, and a significant part of both games is that each is prone to a reduced and simplified world view that often needs expansion. But putting aside the philosophy for a second, the two's perchance for connection means that both of them are of an open mind for discussion, understanding, and empathy. They are the most likely splats to sit down and have a long dinner and conversation trying to get one another out of the bunch, the most likely splats to talk things out. They are both practiced and focused on this sort of thing, of appealing and making themselves available as help. That does a lot to generate goodwill, even if they have such striking differences in their approaches.
      Which would reminisce me of a bond villain explaining to 007 why there is no good or evil. Civilized, sure. But they'll agree to disagree.

      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
      Third, there's this notion that what Beasts do is somehow among the worst things demanded of player splats. I won't dwell hyperbole here because that is it's own discussion and it's been beat to death with a peanut-butter-and-jelly encrusted baseball bat-but among a vampire's casual violation of people for blood, a demon's systemic upheavals and ruinous actions, and everything else in between, a Beast is not really that much different in terms of their actions and effects to other splats that Princess has long indicated a willingness to work out middle grounds with, so it seems arbitrary that Princesses would suddenly deeply object to one splat, particularly since-as established-a good number of them try make good for humanity with their predation, an attitude lacking from most of the splat Princesses seek out. And for the most part, a Princess doesn't have to do much to be all right in a Beast's book, so these preconceived notions of enmity just sort of fall apart.
      Emphasis mine, lemme know if those were the words you were looking for.

      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
      I'm not proposing it's all smooth sailing-there is some reconciliation that needs to happen-but I am saying that this is the pairing to also take to that reconciliation with the most willingness to actually make it work out, and that both can and probably do come to appreciate the ways that they help each other out. A Princess further refines a a Beast's lessons and helps them find a better balance between their Life and Legend, and a Beast helps a Princess become aware of their own monstrosity and helps them learn where and how to excise some of them and how to turn other parts into boons for their quest to save others. Hell, a Beast feeding off of a Princess through Family Dinner is actually one of the rare few times they can claim to live a life without needing to harm others much, and at the same time the Beast is there to do the hard things that a Princess just might be too sensitive to do, and their Family Ties can help to soften that blow for them.

      Point is, just because someone doesn't like Beast doesn't mean that there's this absolute enmity between the two. Like with family, like with friends, it's a complicated matter. But if you acknowledge how they can, and frequently would, work it out, it's easy to realize what a powerhouse team-up between the two is, and makes conflicts between the two deeper and more nuanced.
      While you could try and spin the unlikely story, it's that: unlikely.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
        First off, the teaching culture of Beasts means that, actually, Beasts are inclined to the improvement of humanity as well, honing their wisdom and instincts and acting as a barrier against worst things out there than humanity is not prepared for, much like anything else. While not the same burning passion for Beasts as it is for Princesses, you can't have a culture of that sort without a significant buy-in, and so Beasts on the whole must at least pay token to the idea, a facet that any Princess can stoke up if they deal with more lax members of the Begotten-but honestly, they probably don't have to. Most they might need to do is provide guidance and counter-balance.
        Beasts claim they empower and embolden humanity. But do they really, or do just try their best in a situation where there is no room for well meaning amateurs? If you want to teach people a lesson you need to pick the right student (that's hard), the right lesson (that's hard), and teach it well (that's also hard). If you get any of those wrong you could inflict serious harm on the student, and that's true for a regular psychiatrist let alone one who uses psychic nightmares as a teaching aid. Beasts have almost no supernatural advantages to help make their lessons a positive influence on humanity. There's Mimir's Wisdom, and that's pretty much it until you reach Lair 6 and can start raising traits past 5. However they have a massive supernatural disadvantage in that they have to use fear as a teaching tool. So chances are Beasts are going to be getting it wrong a lot, and even when they don't. What gives them the right to gamble with other people's lives?

        In contrast Princesses are stuffed to the gills with advantages when it comes to teaching lessons. A 0 exp Princesses can have 6+ dots of Empathy or Academics with a speciality in educational theory. Princesses can learn aura vision, they can magically boost other people's Attributes and Skills. Princesses have a Charm that means a lesson they're trying to teach becomes easily memorable. They can bind destiny so that fate itself considers them to be somebody's teacher and makes it happen.

        A Princess who sees a Beast teaching lessons may well agree that the Beast has the best of intentions. But she's still going to ask very tough questions about his competence as a teacher and his ethics: Does the Beast get informed consent before teaching a lesson? Is there a way to teach that same lesson without terrorising the student? Odds are a Princess is going to insist that a Beast teaches people properly or not at all. And a Princess' definition of "properly" is unlikely to make a satisfying meal.

        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
        In this way, Beasts empower and embolden humanity much the same way as the demons of Pandemonium do, by helping people confront their weakness and failures and gain a full knowledge of themselves-and I don't see anyone proposing Princesses ardently hate Mastigos for their acceptance of that buy-in.
        This is a fundamental misunderstanding of why Princesses dislike Beasts. Princesses don't have any issue with asking people to confront their weaknesses and failures. What they object to is harming people and/or taking people's autonomy away.

        Unlike Beasts Mastigos have a ton of supernatural advantages to help them be competent teachers and avoid harming people, and like Princesses their techniques are completely compatible with getting a professional licence and/or informed consent.

        But a lot of Princesses would take issue any with any Mastigos who's hubristic enough to start working on people without getting their consent first.

        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
        Second, out of the combined splats and fansplats, few pairings are as invested in reaching out to other supernaturals and connecting with them as Princesses and Beasts-and not only is that a shared trait, it's a street that goes both ways. Sure, Beasts want their family to be at home with their monstrous selves while Princesses unite with them to lead them towards humanity, both personal and grand scale-but these things are not mutually exclusive and a significant part of both games is that each is prone to a reduced and simplified world view that often needs expansion.
        Objection. That is not a significant part of Princess. Quite the opposite, Radiant Princesses are influenced in their world views by five different Queens who's philosophies are, on the surface, often directly opposed. By digging into these sources and finding a unique combination and interpretation that suits her a Princess comes up with a mature and nuanced world view. Meanwhile the Princesses who do have an overly simplistic world view are the Court of Mirrors, an antagonist splat who exist to provide a "but for the grace of god" object lesson.

        The Invocation mechanics are directly encourage this behaviour, as a Princess who doesn't have a nuanced view is essentially putting all her eggs in one basket.

        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
        But putting aside the philosophy for a second, the two's perchance for connection means that both of them are of an open mind for discussion, understanding, and empathy. They are the most likely splats to sit down and have a long dinner and conversation trying to get one another out of the bunch, the most likely splats to talk things out. They are both practiced and focused on this sort of thing, of appealing and making themselves available as help. That does a lot to generate goodwill, even if they have such striking differences in their approaches.
        No matter how long and how politely Princesses and Beasts talk to each other, the fact is that one has to hurt people to feed*, and the other exists to fight pain and suffering. Malus had it right, it's like 007 sitting down to dinner with a bond villain.

        * I know you can get around this with Family Dinner; but any argument that says Princesses will be ok with Beasts that stop acting like Beasts and start acting like Princesses is completely off topic for a thread about what Princesses think about Beasts or Beasts think about Princesses.

        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
        so it seems arbitrary that Princesses would suddenly deeply object to one splat, particularly since-as established-a good number of them try make good for humanity with their predacity
        I point out that Princesses object to Leviathans as much as they object to Beasts; and there can be no question that I have a bias against Leviathan because I wrote 2E.
        Last edited by The Kings Raven; 08-26-2017, 06:36 AM.


        “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
        My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
        Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
          Third, there's this notion that what Beasts do is somehow among the worst things demanded of player splats. I won't dwell hyperlong here because that is it's own discussion and it's been beat to death with a peanut-butter-and-jelly encrusted baseball bat-but among a vampire's casual violation of people for blood, a demon's systemic upheavals and ruinous actions, and everything else in between, a Beast is not really that much different in terms of their actions and effects to other splats that Princess has long indicated a willingness to work out middle grounds with, so it seems arbitrary that Princesses would suddenly deeply object to one splat, particularly since-as established-a good number of them try make good for humanity with their predacity, an attitude lacking from most of the splat Princesses seek out.
          Adding to the other replies: Princesses seldom have good relations with vampires, precisely because vampires have to hurt people on a regular basis just to survive. Most CofD splats don't have that problem. Werewolves, mages, changelings and Sin-eaters can violate people to gain supernatural benefits, but they aren't obliged to, so Princesses start out on neutral terms with them. Beasts, though, are much like vampires - hurting people to live is their default; that means Princesses are bound to dislike them as a class.

          It's possible for a Beast and a Princess to work together despite that ... but it's not exactly likely.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'll chime in with: the "teaching culture" (leaving aside whether it is merely a justification thrown on their predation to make them feel better) also runs into conflict regarding what lessons they are teaching, in addition to their methods (which others have already covered).

            "Love is a lie" "You have to screw others over to get ahead" and "The tallest blade of grass is the first to be cut" are all lessons that could be argued to be helping the recipients, depending on worldview.

            They are also ones that will earn the enimity of most Princesses.

            It's not impossible for them to get along, but there are serious roadblocks.


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

            Comment


            • #7
              Even worse than that. If you take "primordial" literally, what is one of the oldest lessons? One which goes back to monkeys: Trust your tribe, trust those who are like you, don't trust stranger, the outsider.

              Playing a nuanced charachter who deliberately encourages racism or something along those lines would take more role playing skill than I have. But as an NPC antagonist for a one shot Hunter or Princess game, I'm sure a lot of players would love to bring that monster down.
              Last edited by The Kings Raven; 08-26-2017, 10:31 AM.


              “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
              My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
              Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
                Even worse than that. If you take "primordial" literally, what is one of the oldest lessons? One which goes back to monkeys: Trust your tribe, trust those who are like you, don't trust stranger, the outsider.

                Playing a nuanced charachter who deliberately encourages racism or something along those lines would take more role playing skill than I have. But as an NPC antagonist for a one shot Hunter or Princess game, I'm sure a lot of players would love to bring that monster down.
                Well, it is a perfectly valid Beast PC method. Granted I don't know too many people that would want to play such a character, but I don't think it is all that far from the various mass murdering and other deplorable character concepts that are open to many of the Splats.

                Actually... It might make a good personal conflict. What are you to do when you realize you've come to hate your own primary method of feeding? Hungers can change, but depending on when the turn happens, they could be very set into their routines.

                It would still take a lot of skill and detachment, yeah.


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Precisely. It' is a valid Beast PC, but it would take a lot of skill to do and not many people would be interested. I wouldn't be, I'd much rather have that Beast as the antagonist.


                  “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                  My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                  Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think most Radiant Princesses would really disagree with Beasts until they saw what happens when they don't act like bullies and such. Then they'd share a lot of drinks and bemoan how fucking unfair the universe is to both of them in different ways. Then I guess they would try to help them at least channel it into semi-appropriate channels or maybe even try to "cure" them.

                    Mirrors and Storms though...label them as Creatures of Darkness. No contest. the hit to their sensitivity for slaughtering them is probably gonna be a big surprise.
                    Last edited by Master Aquatosic; 08-28-2017, 03:25 PM.


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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                      I think most Radiant Princesses would really disagree with Beasts until they saw what happens when they don't act like bullies and such. Then they'd share a lot of drinks and bemoan how fucking unfair the universe is to both of them in different ways. Then I guess they would try to help them at least channel it into semi-appropriate channels or maybe even try to "cure" them.

                      Mirrors and Storms though...label them as Creatures of Darkness. No contest. the hit to their sensitivity for slaughtering them is probably gonna be a big surprise.
                      Actually, bring up Sensitivity, a Beast merely feeding would stand a decent chance to trigger it. I doubt that would improve relations either.


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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        sigh, so much for trying to find a way for them to do anything more than Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.


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

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                        • #13
                          I've got a question, what is Family Dinner with a Princess like? I think people have been overlooking those Beasts who feed using the Family Dinner method, Awakened, Lost, Uratha, and Sin-Eaters can all do their thing in ways that a Princess finds acceptable, someone here said so earlier... And a number of those methods can be used for Family Dinner, not including the activities of the Princesses themselves right? >.>
                          Last edited by Draca; 08-28-2017, 10:21 PM.


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                          • #14
                            I don't know if Family Dinner would even apply with Princesses - doesn't it require a degree of hunting, fear, or predation? It Call's out that a vampire feeding from their Herd isn't good enough, and Princesses don't really do any of that to regain Wisps.


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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Looking over numerous sources, dear god.... I don't know where I got the thought that Family Dinner could be less harmful.... (think it was the forums) but rereading the section on Family Dinner in the book, then looking through things like Mages being able to get Mana by Killing Living Things.... Yaaaa, then I reread again, and Family Dinner can be done through Nonlethal means, doesn't even technically need to be against Humans... I believe one thing I've heard somewhere around here was Mages tackling a Mystery, because that is a craving for them, it doesn't provide Mana, but supposedly it works? A literal example from the Book is a Werewolf stalking an intruder in his territory, why should those work and Not a Princess going out of her way to Track down and Cleanse Darkened or Tainted Places? And this still doesn't answer Family Dinner with other splats the Princesses can get along with.

                              (Please do excuse me, and correct me, if I'm not as read up on Princess as I maybe should be for this discussion, I am sorry in advance)
                              Last edited by Draca; 08-29-2017, 04:23 AM.


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