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

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  • Michael Brazier
    replied
    A correction is necessary, I see. Dual Identity in Princess makes it impossible for supernatural powers to detect that the mundane ID and transformed ID of a Noble are really the same person, and to use sympathetic magic to attack her through one ID while she's in the other. It doesn't do anything beyond that. In particular, it doesn't block powers that recognize a Noble's supernatural nature while she's mundane. Heck, there's two Charms that can be used to do the latter, and if the Hopeful can spot each other magically, other supernaturals can't be locked out of spotting them.

    The way that interacts with Beasts and their Kinship ... well, first, the "rule" that only transformed Nobles count as Kin isn't official - it's on the wiki, but it isn't in either Dream or Vocation, because no rules on crossovers are. And honestly I don't see it as reasonable. Princesses are always supernatural; it just isn't very obvious when they're not transformed. If they're Kin in one form, they should still be Kin in the other. The only reason I ever saw why the Hopeful should not be Kin to Beasts is an assumption that the Light is just as opposed to the Dark Mother as the God-Machine is ... which, if true, would entail the same sort of deep hostility between Nobles and Beasts that canonically exists between demons and Beasts. If you don't want such automatic suspicion, moderate Kinship follows.

    The logical way to handle the Dual Identity/Kinship interaction, IMO, is to restrict the Family Ties Condition to one of the Noble's identities, unless the Beast already knows her secret. None of the Kinship powers help a Beast with figuring out a supernatural's real identity; but if a Beast realized that someone he'd never knowingly met before had Family Ties with him, that would pretty much give away who the other person had to be. Having different social connections in her two forms is already a thing in Princess, so it's not a stretch to say that a social/magical tie is limited the same way.

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  • Mangaholic13
    replied
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    [USER="7212"]A Beast could use the Nightmare We Know All Your Secrets to force the Princess' allies to tell what they know. They could use Needs Must, From the Shadows (or better yet, both at once), to spy on the Princess and catch her as she deTransforms. The Beast could use a Lair Trait like Sealed Exits to trap a Princess until she cannot maintain her Transformation and see who she reverts too. A Beast could use the mundane Investigation Skill to look at places the Princess has been active and see if she's left anything identifying behind.
    Heck, that idea I mentioned earlier in the thread? Part of the danger is that the Beast did something exactly like that, spying on the Nobles in order to learn their true identities.

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  • Wormwood
    replied
    Well, I'd argue that the very moment a Princess has access to any non-mundane ability outside transforming, they immediately count as kin, albeit similarly to Demon, they are not as easily identified.

    If there was a really strong "human/Supernatural" divide, I'd agree to not count untransformed Princesses as kin. But the very moment that is no longer the case, I see nothing (not even the Contract) preventing Beasts from attempting to identify them. Penalize it, sure, but not outright deny it. I would, however, be fine with them registering as different templates depending on their state.

    That'd be how I'd handle it, and after all, the only thing that matters is that it works for your table.


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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    Vent0 beat me too it.

    Whether or not you interpret this as a theme of safety is up to you, and up to how the Storyteller runs the game. Either way is valid. Safety is a motif used in horror. How many times have you seen the horror protagonists try to escape only for the car to be broken down? That's horror movies playing with safety: Safety exists, but it's unreachable. If you wanted to explore a theme of safety Princess could do something similar very easy: Give the players the ability to stop Transforming and return to a mundane life anytime they want. Then remind them that the price is that they'll have to give up their Belief that they can make a difference. I'm sure you can distil some top quality horror out of that.


    Originally posted by Paradim View Post
    And you're even acknowledging that an unTransformed Princess can be detected "if the player screws up", so it makes absolutely no sense why you seem adamant to add, "just not by a Beast, ever, Beasts don't get to use tools available to them" which seems pretty detrimental to the Beast player.
    For the record I strongly object to "just not be a Beast, ever". I said Family Resemblance doesn't work when a Princess' isn't Transformed. That's vastly different from saying "just not by a Beast" or that Beasts can't use the tools available to them.

    A Beast could use the Nightmare We Know All Your Secrets to force the Princess' allies to tell what they know. They could use Needs Must, From the Shadows (or better yet, both at once), to spy on the Princess and catch her as she deTransforms. The Beast could use a Lair Trait like Sealed Exits to trap a Princess until she cannot maintain her Transformation and see who she reverts too. A Beast could use the mundane Investigation Skill to look at places the Princess has been active and see if she's left anything identifying behind.
    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 09-28-2017, 02:13 PM.

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  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by Paradim View Post
    Basically, invoking this "contract" seems to have no grounding in any mechanics and purely comes across as an arbitrary decision.

    Every Chronicles of Darkness games has themes that they're meant to invoke, and they invoke these themes with the reinforcement of the mechanics of the game. It sounds like Princess wants a theme of safety (odd for a Horror game..) but seems to just eschew the mechanics to support that theme by just hand waving it with the arbitrary declaration that this will never matter.

    And that's very unsatisfying of an answer and not persuasive for arguments.
    Eh? The mechanics as to why have already been discussed. Princesses are effectively normal when not transformed - Beasts aren't kin with normal humans. It's right there.

    The disconnect between identities is to provide some modifications of protection to the Princess's allies - it hardly counts as a theme of "safety". It just means that being the ally of a splat based around community isn't an automatic death sentence.

    The reasoning has, again, already been discussed. You may disagree with it, but it is hardly arbitrary.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    I actually have thoughts on how you actually could argue the "Kin when transformed, not when not" for magical girls. I might jot them down later.

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  • Paradim
    replied
    Basically, invoking this "contract" seems to have no grounding in any mechanics and purely comes across as an arbitrary decision.

    Every Chronicles of Darkness games has themes that they're meant to invoke, and they invoke these themes with the reinforcement of the mechanics of the game. It sounds like Princess wants a theme of safety (odd for a Horror game..) but seems to just eschew the mechanics to support that theme by just hand waving it with the arbitrary declaration that this will never matter.

    And that's very unsatisfying of an answer and not persuasive for arguments.

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  • Paradim
    replied
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    You could say the same thing about Vampires being unable to go out in sunlight. Games have themes and mechanics, sometimes they clash with crossover. That's normal. Saying that those rules need to be adapted when they clash with Beast, that's favouritism.
    That makes absolutely no sense. A vampire being harmed by sunlight isn't an effect of a supernatural power that the vampire is using, even passively.

    And no. Saying that the rules need to account for Beast is not favoritism, that's just acknowledging that the powers that a Beast is expected to have and accounting for them so the person who's playing a Beast doesn't feel shafted by you being arbitrary. At that point, it's better to just acknowledge that the game isn't meant for Crossover and just recommend people who play it don't do Crossover without changing aspects of the game.

    At least Demon: The Fallen provides explanation as to how they're the Perfect Liars and can even deceive powers that try to detect truth or lies, by working around the power so that there actually is no conflict, as it's the conflict that invokes Clash of Wills. But even a Demon's Spoofing can be detected. And you're even acknowledging that an unTransformed Princess can be detected "if the player screws up", so it makes absolutely no sense why you seem adamant to add, "just not by a Beast, ever, Beasts don't get to use tools available to them" which seems pretty detrimental to the Beast player.

    And I have absolutely no idea why you'd want this "contract" you're putting on a pedestal, especially for a Horror game. Especially when you're favoring this "contract" with Princess' players and telling the Beast player "No, you can't use your powers for their purpose".

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  • Mangaholic13
    replied
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    If you're going to do something with Beasts and Dethroned there's bound to be some interesting Primordial Dream stuff to work with. When I rewrote Dethroned to have Madoka style Labyrinths as an innate trait rather than a Hex I cribbed heavily from Lairs.

    I've got no ideas off the top of my head, but there should be something there.
    Really? I'll have to look that up again.

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    Originally posted by Mangaholic13 View Post
    On an unrelated note, I was looking at the Hunter thread for Princess and one of the story ideas gave me an idea: What if a Nakama ran into a Beast protecting a Dethroned, ...
    If you're going to do something with Beasts and Dethroned there's bound to be some interesting Primordial Dream stuff to work with. When I rewrote Dethroned to have Madoka style Labyrinths as an innate trait rather than a Hex I cribbed heavily from Lairs.

    I've got no ideas off the top of my head, but there should be something there.

    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    And Raven will argue this because this is his pattern. It's not a one time thing for him, it's not even his more egrigious moments.
    Not this time. Arc's bringing up points I've already responded too.

    Originally posted by Paradim View Post
    That sounds like something Clash of Wills is meant to resolve. The Family Resemblance power of Beast even brings that up when they're around another supernatural creature that is using a power to hide their nature.
    In this case no. A Princess' Dual Identity is like Demons' Spoofing and super-lying power. Something that's thematically imoportant enough to the game that it trumps the usual counters. Neither Spoofing or Dual Identity is infallible, but both are heavily stacked in the Demon/Princess' favour compared to a Clash of Wills.

    In this case the theme is that Princesses' have lots of friends and family, so the game makes a contract that players can invest in relationships with NPCs without them becoming targets unless the player screws up and leaves clues to their secret identity. (I've been meaning to rewrite that mechanic for a while to use the actual Clues mechanic to make investigating an antagonistic Princess - be it Radiant vs Twilight or something else - more interesting)

    Originally posted by Paradim View Post
    So this kind of comes across as wanting to have your cake and eat it too, regarding the Kinship to Princess, because it looks like you're wanting to claim Kinship when it benefits a Princess and wanting to disown Kinship when it might be detrimental to a Princess.
    The Dual Identity rule that prevents Beasts from detecting an unTransformed Princess was written long before Beast. Everything I've come up with about Kinship is just my interpretation for the simplest way to combine the Kinship rules with the pre-existing Princess rules.

    If I actually wanted to give Princesses all the advantages I'd do what you're suggesting and make unTransformed Princesses Kin their rules as written supernatural defence against being spotted by a Beast. Princesses can benefit from Mother's Kiss while unTransformed when using Bequests and if their goal is to offer Beasts an ethical source of Family Dinner (and the Storyteller allows it) then being Kin when unTransformed opens up a lot more opportunities.

    Giving Princesses protection against the bad part of Kinship when unTransformed while letting them keep the advantages would be having cake and eating it.

    Originally posted by Paradim View Post
    I'm not sure what this contract is that you're mentioning, but it sounds like something that is pretty detrimental to crossover gameplay. Especially with a game that is meant to be able to discover supernatural associations.
    You could say the same thing about Vampires being unable to go out in sunlight. Games have themes and mechanics, sometimes they clash with crossover. That's normal. Saying that those rules need to be adapted when they clash with Beast, that's favouritism.
    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 09-28-2017, 06:42 AM.

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  • Paradim
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    It's confusing because it's bullshit. A Princess has template traits accessible out out their transformed state and perform acts of (very kind) predacity similarly, and in fact all their transformed state is a compartmentalized idealization of possible self, the fullness of their Inner Light compressed down into a burning hot shape. It's like saying the Uratha are only monsters when they aren't in Hishu.

    And Raven will argue this because this is his pattern. It's not a one time thing for him, it's not even his more egrigious moments.
    It seems kind of unneeded... Considering the use of Family Resemblance isn't really a sure thing. If some effect is hiding a character's nature, then a Clash of Wills has to first be performed. And then the roll for Family Resemblance can happen, which gets further modified. For example, when trying to detect Kinship that's Descended from the Dark Mother (werewolves, for instance), then the werewolf's Composure gets subtracted from the roll (but I think Hishu also adds a further penalty to rolls to detect them). And if the Kinship is Fundamentally Human, then if the target isn't using any active supernatural powers, then the Family Resemblance roll gets a further penalty of the target's Integrity rating (or analogous metric, such as Wisdom for a Mage).

    So, there's obviously a lot of precedent to have a feature of Beasts be "This is difficult to do" (invoking Clash of Wills by hiding ones nature... having powers that increase the difficulty of detection...), instead of going with an arbitrary "You don't even get to try" which fundamentally contradicts the Clash of Wills rules. That's just not how Chronicles of Darkness works. If two powers come into conflict, there is a Clash of Wills.

    Edit: On an interesting note, Beasts even have a chance of detecting Demons, even though they're explicitly not Kin. The Demon has a chance to spoof showing up as a supernatural creature (I suppose that would register to the Beast as effectively getting a Failure state for their Family Resemblance roll?), but if the Demon screws up the Spoof check or the Beast gets an exceptional success for the Family Resemblance check, then the cat is out of the bag and an immediate Clash of Wills check occurs to see how the Beast and Demon react to each other.
    Last edited by Paradim; 09-28-2017, 03:52 AM.

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  • Paradim
    replied
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    Princesses always count as two separate people for the purposes of "supernatural identity". In Mage terms they would have different Sympathetic connections and different True Names. In Beast terms one is a vastly supernatural being and the other has slightly less magic than a mortal with the Unseen Sense Merit. (Practical Magic works by calling on an external source of power).

    That makes unTransformed Princesses an edge case. But Princess: the Hopeful has a contract with players that their charachter's enemies cannot track down and attack the charachter's mundane life unless the player screws up and leaves a trail to their secret identity. Part of this contract involves blocking supernatural attempts to identify the charachter's secret identity, including Family Remsembence. It seemed simplest to resolve the edge case by saying they're not Kin rather coming up with unique rules for how Kinship works for Princesses without violating the game's contract.

    As for your other question: Why should Transformed Princesses be Kin. Well Beast's rules are pretty clear that anything as magical as Princesses will be Kin unless they're Unchained. And I couldn't think of any reason to make Princesses another special case. Even when Princesses and Beasts are in outright opposition, it feels more appropriate (from a Beast perspective) to say that it's a conflict within the family and draw on archetypes like Luke vs Vader. From a Princess perspective I couldn't think of any reason not to let the Beast players have their family conflict fun.
    That sounds like something Clash of Wills is meant to resolve. The Family Resemblance power of Beast even brings that up when they're around another supernatural creature that is using a power to hide their nature.

    So this kind of comes across as wanting to have your cake and eat it too, regarding the Kinship to Princess, because it looks like you're wanting to claim Kinship when it benefits a Princess and wanting to disown Kinship when it might be detrimental to a Princess. It's confusing, especially when you make claims that you don't want to make special cases, while you're admitting to making a special case.

    I'm not sure what this contract is that you're mentioning, but it sounds like something that is pretty detrimental to crossover gameplay. Especially with a game that is meant to be able to discover supernatural associations.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Paradim View Post


    It seems contradictory to me to say that "Princesses are Kin, except when they're not". That's what my understanding is when they say "but only when Transformed". I mean, you're either Kin or you're not, whether you're Kin that's Descended From The Dark Mother or Kin that is Fundamentally Human. So how is it that a Princess is Kin, but only when Transformed?

    So yeah. That's confusing as hell.
    It's confusing because it's bullshit. A Princess has template traits accessible out out their transformed state and perform acts of (very kind) predacity similarly, and in fact all their transformed state is a compartmentalized idealization of possible self, the fullness of their Inner Light compressed down into a burning hot shape. It's like saying the Uratha are only monsters when they aren't in Hishu.

    And Raven will argue this because this is his pattern. It's not a one time thing for him, it's not even his more egrigious moments.

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  • Mangaholic13
    replied
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    That makes unTransformed Princesses an edge case. But Princess: the Hopeful has a contract with players that their charachter's enemies cannot track down and attack the charachter's mundane life unless the player screws up and leaves a trail to their secret identity. Part of this contract involves blocking supernatural attempts to identify the charachter's secret identity, including Family Remsembence. It seemed simplest to resolve the edge case by saying they're not Kin rather coming up with unique rules for how Kinship works for Princesses without violating the game's contract.

    .
    Huh, that is actually pretty interesting. Heck, as far as an actual lore reason, you could say that a Princesses' Inner Light blinds even the Primordial Dream from granting insight into a Princesses' secret identity, as though the very real fear of what could happen were they exposed empowers that ability... Okay, I don't think I worded that right, but I'm hoping I got my point across, a Princess being exposed would be very, very, very bad.

    On an unrelated note, I was looking at the Hunter thread for Princess and one of the story ideas gave me an idea: What if a Nakama ran into a Beast protecting a Dethroned, not because the Beast was using the Dethroned but because the Dethroned had once been the Beast's friend and the Beast doesn't realize the truly horrific extent of what a Dethroned is? The Beast thinks this is something that the Dethroned will be able to get over in time, and fails to realize the person the Beast knew is never coming back? Maybe add in a previous encounter with a Stormite that tried to straight up kill the Dethroned?

    Anybody interested?

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    Princesses always count as two separate people for the purposes of "supernatural identity". In Mage terms they would have different Sympathetic connections and different True Names. In Beast terms one is a vastly supernatural being and the other has slightly less magic than a mortal with the Unseen Sense Merit. (Practical Magic works by calling on an external source of power).

    That makes unTransformed Princesses an edge case. But Princess: the Hopeful has a contract with players that their charachter's enemies cannot track down and attack the charachter's mundane life unless the player screws up and leaves a trail to their secret identity. Part of this contract involves blocking supernatural attempts to identify the charachter's secret identity, including Family Remsembence. It seemed simplest to resolve the edge case by saying they're not Kin rather coming up with unique rules for how Kinship works for Princesses without violating the game's contract.


    As for your other question: Why should Transformed Princesses be Kin. Well Beast's rules are pretty clear that anything as magical as Princesses will be Kin unless they're Unchained. And I couldn't think of any reason to make Princesses another special case. Even when Princesses and Beasts are in outright opposition, it feels more appropriate (from a Beast perspective) to say that it's a conflict within the family and draw on archetypes like Luke vs Vader. From a Princess perspective I couldn't think of any reason not to let the Beast players have their family conflict fun.

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