- Therefore I am sure that this, my Coronation, is not the symbol of a power and a splendor that are gone but a declaration of our hopes for the future, and for the years I may, by God's Grace and Mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen
-- Queen Elizabeth II
This chapter covers the Nobility themselves, the Princes and Princesses who fight to make a world of Light. The process of creating a character is detailed, as are the unique Merits available to the Nobility, the Callings that drive them and the elegant Charms they weave against the Darkness.
Creating a PrincessEdit
Begin by designing the Princess as a mundane character: allocate Attributes, Skills and Merits, calculate the derived traits, and choose a Virtue, a Vice and three Aspirations. As a Princess, the character gets 3 more Merit dots, for a total of 10, to allow her to have some of the Merits open to the Nobility. Then, add the Hopeful template.
"Do I have to play a girl?"Edit
Princess: the Hopeful usually speaks of the Hopeful as female, mainly because nearly all of our inspirations have girls as their protagonists, and the genre’s very name is "magical girl". We would like to emphasize, therefore, that you are not required to play a female PC. By default Blossoming has no connection with gender, and a new Noble is just as likely to be a boy as a girl.
The first step in creating a Princess is to choose her Calling. A Calling is the fundamental way the individual Princess brings hope to the world; her Calling also gives the Princess a free dot in one of two Transformed Attributes. There are five Callings available to choose from.
- Champion: Defenders of the weak and helpless.
- Grace: Elegant and noble, the voices and diplomats of the Reborn.
- Mender: Those who take wounded flesh and wounded hearts and make them whole.
- Seeker: Hunters of truth, banishers of lies, revealers of the hidden.
- Troubadour: Artists and exemplars who inspire greatness in others.
|Champion||Strength or Resolve||Bless, Fight, Perfect|
|Grace||Presence or Manipulation||Bless, Connect, Govern|
|Mender||Intelligence or Dexterity||Perfect, Restore, Shape|
|Seeker||Intelligence or Wits||Appear, Learn, Govern|
|Troubadour||Presence or Dexterity||Appear, Inspire, Shape|
Once the five Radiant Queens governed their Kingdoms in the name of the Light; now they are dead but their minds and souls live on in the Dreamlands. From beyond the veil of sleep the Queens mentor the Radiant. A Princess can accept a position in a Queen’s court, a bond of both personal loyalty but also mystical affinity that enhances a Princess' magic.
There are five Radiant queens that a player can follow; in addition there are three Twilight Queens who are not usually available to player characters.
- Clubs: The Queen Mother leads the coven of Princesses who seek to live in harmony with the world.
- Diamonds: The Philosopher Queen leads the conclave of progressive-minded Princesses who believe in constantly adapting and refining the Kingdom's techniques.
- Hearts: The Queen Regnant leads the court of Princesses who focus on communities, and their place within society, first and foremost.
- Spades: The Queen of Knaves leads a confederacy of winking scoundrels and good-hearted rogues who believe the best application of the rules is to break them.
- Swords: The Queen Errant leads the company of Princesses who believe that inner strength and passion should always light the way.
|Transformed to mundane||1/dot|
|Other Charm||1/dot, + 1|
All Princesses draw magic from their Beliefs and hopes, but when a Princess becomes a Queen her beliefs and philosophies echo across the souls of humanity. Any Princess can feel that echo within her own soul and draw on it to enhance her own magic. Each Princess starts with three dots in Invocations, one of which must be placed into her Queen's own Invocation. Courtless Princesses have a free choice of Invocations, but they may not place all three of their dots in the same Invocation.
There are eight established Invocations, each favored by a Queen.
- The Queen of Diamonds focuses the lights of knowledge and reason into the Invocation of Acqua.
- The Queen of Spades teaches the Invocation of Aria, the enviable lightness of being.
- The Queen of Swords raises passionate devotion into magic in the Invocation of Fuoco.
- The Queen of Tears has embodied the laws and requirements of her city within the Invocation of Lacrima.
- The Queen of Clubs teaches the principles of harmony and inner strength in the Invocation of Legno.
- The Queen of Mirrors uses the Invocation of Specchio to cultivate those who may be the Kingdom’s heir.
- The Queen of Storms distills rage against Darkness into the Invocation of Tempesta.
- The principles of the Queen of Hearts find their magical expression in the Invocation of Terra.
Every Princess knows Charms, special talents and magical spells that she knows how to use. A Princess starts with nine dots in Charms; at least three dots must be for Charms in the families the character’s Calling has affinity for, the others may come from any family. A Princess may take upgrades for any Charm she knows; each upgrade costs 1 of her starting Charm dots. She may not take Charms higher than 3 dots, or upgrade a Charm above 3 dots. If she takes an invoked Charm or upgrade, she must have the prerequisite dots in the Invocation. The ten families of Charms are:
- Appear Charms change a Princess’ appearance, and produce other illusions.
- Bless Charms enhance people, pushing their abilities to a peak and bringing their actions to perfection.
- Connect Charms trace and use the connections between people, or make and break such connections.
- Fight Charms enhance a Princess’ ability to fight.
- Govern Charms control supernatural powers and those who possess them.
- Inspire Charms lift people’s hearts, spark their passions, and exhort them to action.
- Learn Charms confer knowledge, and reveal what has been hidden.
- Perfect Charms grant new personal abilities.
- Restore Charms repair damaged objects, heal the injured and tend the sick.
- Shape Charms shape materials as you will, or make things out of nothing.
Should the player wish, they may use Charm dots to buy transformed traits after taking her three affinity Charms. A transformed Skill dot costs 1 Charm dot; a transformed Attribute dot costs 3 Charm dots.
Optional Rule: Free AffinityEdit
Some players have character concepts that don’t fit neatly into the five Callings, for they need Charms from two families favored by no single Calling. For instance, a D&D paladin needs both fighting gear (from the Fight family) and healing magic (in Restore); a phantom thief requires illusions (from Appear) and the athletic enhancements in Perfect; a gadgeteer detective has equal use for Learn and Shape Charms.
To accommodate such concepts the Storyteller may rule that each Calling favors only two Charm families, while each Noble also has affinity for a third family, chosen freely from the remaining eight. The Callings’ affinities become those listed in the table here. A Noble’s third affinity is chosen at character creation and cannot be altered in play, any more than her Calling can.
A Princess’ magic shines out of her soul to illuminate the world. The raw power of her hopes and feelings is represented by her Inner Light. A starting Princess has one dot in Inner Light, but she may spend 5 Merit dots to increase her Inner Light to two, or her full allotment of 10 Merit dots to increase it to three.
Among other things, Inner Light allows a Princess to use a few Charms in her mundane state. One of her one-dot Charms is Practical; she may use this Charm without transforming. With Inner Light 2 a second one-dot Charm becomes Practical, and with Inner Light 3 a third one-dot Charm becomes Practical. Only the basic Charms are Practical, not any of their upgrades.
Wisps are the fuel for a Princess, a measure of both raw magic and emotional energy. A Princess begins with half her starting Wisp pool, as measured by Inner Light, plus the higher of her Circle and Mandate Merits.
Belief replaces the Integrity trait for Princesses. It measures her confidence that her ideals and principles can survive in the World of Darkness. A Princess begins with one dot of Belief for every dot of Integrity she possessed when she Blossomed. When creating a new character this means she will start with seven dots of Belief.
In addition to the three Aspirations of a mundane character [CofD 28] a Princess may take a fourth Aspiration as her Vocation. A Vocation must be related to the Princess’ Calling, and it should be a task for which the chief benefit, if completed, goes to someone else. A starting Princess may leave her Vocation blank, to be chosen during play when an appropriate goal emerges, if her player doesn’t have something in mind yet.
Daddy's Little PrincessEdit
The mahou shoujo genre has a long and proud tradition of child and early teen protagonists. If you wish you can combine Princess with WoD Innocents; the Princess template will function as intended if applied to a character built using the rules in Innocents. Any Charm that uses Science or Academics will use the Study skill instead (or if you prefer, you can split your character’s Study dots into Academics and Science upon transformation).
Child Nobles are limited to three mundane dots in Skills unless they have one of the three Prodigy Merits; this limitation does not apply to transformed dots, and the cap on mundane Skills is increased by one at Inner Light four and five. In addition, so long as a Princess has at least one relevant transformed dot, she is considered to be an adult for all rules purposes related to that Attribute or Skill while she is transformed. The same applies to anyone who has 6+ dots in an Attribute or Skill, such as anyone under the influence of an appropriate Bless Charm. (A complete list of special rules for adult-child interactions can be found at p. 193 of WoD Innocents.) How this manifests is up to the player. A Princess with transformed Composure might acquire adult emotional maturity every time she transforms or overcome her fears through a supernaturally potent child-like sense of adventure.
With a little cunning Nobles can have access to Social Merits that are usually off limits to children. A Troubadour could earn Resources by working as an artist for commission; nobody can see that she’s nine years old over e-mail and her work will likely put grown adults to shame. Similar tricks, and if necessary the occasional Appear Charm to disguise oneself as an adult, could allow a Princess to acquire 4+ dots in Allies or Contacts. However, all such Merits must be limited to her transformed identity.
All this assumes that the young Noble doesn’t become an adult upon transformation. If she does then just treat her in that form like any other grown-up.
Next: New and Modified Traits