THE NOVICE LIGHTBEARER'S COMPANION
adapted from reliable sources by
DOUCELINE DE RABUTIN,
CHAPTER THE THIRD
MERITS AND INVOCATIONS
OF MERITS, INVOCATIONS IN GENERAL, AND SPECCHIO IN PARTICULAR
The name you choose is a promise, and the Enlightened have chosen the name “Noble.” The Radiant
know they are the example, they literally cannot help it, and so they have promised to be a good example.
When a Noble is at her best people take notice, they are impressed and want to imitate her. When a
Noble looses heart people notice and it scares them.
This is magic, but only a little bit. A Princess’ Inner Light makes her every action, good or bad,
shine brighter. Human empathy does the rest.
Whenever the Princess fulfils one of her Virtues roll Belief. On a success everyone who witnessed
the Princess takes the Inspired condition which they may use on any roll to act in accordance with that
However if the Princess has a clear opportunity to fulfil her Virtue and chooses not to do so she must
also roll Belief. If she fails the roll then everyone nearby takes the Shaken Condition unless they Succeed
on a Composure + Supernatural Advantage roll.
As a general rule, Echoes don’t provide Princess’ with any advantage over their enemies. If a police
officer forces a vigilante Champion to stand aside for the authorities he won’t be Shaken by her hurt
feelings. Her feelings will be more noticeable but the officer’s own belief in the importance of due process
is more than enough of a shield. This goes double for people who actually want the Princess to suffer,
while some Princesses have witnessed their enemies having a “my gods, what am I doing” moment any
Princess who expects or relies on her Echo protecting her from her enemies is an idiot.
The most essential expression of a Princess’ power is the ability to transform. She calls on the magic
she’s gathered to herself and assumes the form of her “perfected self”, an idealized version of herself time, a transformed Princess is a force to be reckoned with.
The first time a Princess transforms is called her Blossoming. This is an unconscious act, usually
in response to some great need or danger. After her Blossoming, a princess’ Phylactery will manifest.
This is the physical representation of the power sealed away inside of her, and may take the form of any
small simple object. She must have her Phylactery with her later to transform. When a Princess wishes
to transform, she has two options: she may either spend a Wisp or make a transformation roll. If she
spends a Wisp, she transforms automatically, as a reflexive action. The transformation roll is Belief +
Inner Light - Shadows.
Dramatic Failure: The Princess’ Phylactery discorporates. She must spend a Wisp and a Willpower
point to resummon it, which takes a full round and requires her absolute concentration.
Failure: The Princess fails to transform and spends the full round.
Success: The Princess transforms as an instant action.
Exceptional Success: The Princess transforms as a reflexive action.
A Princess can return to her ordinary self at any time as a reflexive action. She must de-transform if
she spends her last Wisp, or when she falls asleep. Also, transformation grows harder to sustain as time
passes. When a Princess reaches the end of a scene transformed, or after half an hour spent transformed,
she rolls Belief + Inner Light:
Dramatic Failure: The Princess returns to her mundane self and her Phylactery discorporates. She
must spend a Wisp and a Willpower point to resummon it, which takes a full round and requires her
Failure: The Princess must spend a Wisp to remain transformed in the next scene, or the next halfhour,
and future rolls to remain transformed take a -2 cumulative penalty until she ends a scene in
her mundane self.
Success: The Princess remains transformed at no cost.
Exceptional Success: The Princess remains transformed, and need not make this check at the end of
the next scene, or for a full hour.
While transformed, a Princess has full access to all of her Charms and abilities, and also gains the
One aspect of the Hopeful’s transformation is subtle but amazingly convenient: the mundane and
transformed selves appear to be different people, and those who have seen one of the Princess’ forms
generally fail to recognize her in the other form. A simple perception roll never reveals a Hopeful’s
identity; to discover it requires active scrutiny, akin to seeing through a normal disguise.
Whenever an observer has evidence that the two forms of a Princess are connected, he may roll his
Wits + Subterfuge, contested by the Princess’ Wits + Subterfuge.
The witness rolls Dramatic Failure: The witness dismisses his evidence entirely, and takes the
Incredulous Condition making future attempts to identify that Princess even harder.
The Princess wins the roll: The witness fails penetrate the Princess’ dual identity.
The witness wins the roll: The witness he identifies the Princess correctly.
Exceptional Success: The witness also takes the Informed Condition regarding the Princess.
If the Princess rolls an Exceptional Success downgrade her rivals result by one step: Exceptional
Successes becomes Successes, Successes becomes Failures and Failures become Dramatic Failures. On
the other hand if the Princess rolls a Dramatic Failure then upgrade the witness’ result by one step.
This protection does not apply to research rolls designed to gather evidence, or to direct observation
of a transformation. If someone sees a Princess change, he will know who she is thereafter without any roll. If a Princess’s mundane and transformed selves are seen close together, or she reveals knowledge in
one form that she learned in the other, that counts as evidence and justifies an identification attempt;
and the storyteller should give an observer bonuses if he has found multiple pieces of evidence through
Supernatural powers that could reveal a Princess’ identity are confused by her Transformation. An
entity cannot even begin to discover her identity by using such a power before he realizes that she
can transform. Once the Princess’ nature is known, the supernatural observer may roll either Wits +
Subterfuge as above, or his usual roll for examination, to deduce her identity and the Princess contests
When targeting magic against a Princess. Intimacy or similar traits connecting to one of the Princess’
forms does not connect to her in the other form, even for those who know her secret; even the Hopeful’s
own Charms, when modified by Intimacy, respect another Princess’ privacy. If a power is currently
targeting a Princess through a Intimacy connection, transforming instantly looses track of her.
Every Princess has a Phylactery, a physical item that symbolises exactly what being a Princess means
to her. A Phylactery is also the source of a Princesses power to Transform, she must activate it, open it,
apply it to herself, or at least touch it if she wishes to Transform, this limit affects anything described
as a Transformation action. Many Phylacteries also Transform with the Princess, becoming larger and
more ornate or becoming the Regalia linked to a Charm strongly associated with her duties (a Phylactery
is simply a specialised piece of Regalia and share most of their rules). The rest remain as they are, but
are incorporated into her Heraldry.
A Phylactery has a Durability equal to Inner Light and a Structure equal to Belief, typically it will
have a Size of 0 - 2. If her Phylactery is destroyed or lost, the Princess can recreate or summon it. She
must spend a Wisp, a point of Willpower and concentrate for a full round.
If another was to steal a Princess’ Phylactery they would be unable to use it, but they would be
able to target the Princess through an unbreakable Intimacy link with a strength equivalent to love.
Fortunately any technique that would cut the connection Princesses use to summon her Phylactery
would, by definition, destroy it.
In addition to the immense power each Princess wields in her Transformed identity, the Nobility can also
wield Practical Magic. A subtle magic that she can call upon in both her Identities. Which abilities a
Princess possesses depends upon which Queen she follows and the details can be found under the relevant
Mentor (•- •••••)
The Mentor Merit detailed in the World of Darkness Rulebook focuses on relations within mortal or
supernatural society. While both of those can be of great help to a Princess, a further option is available
to a lucky few Princesses: Personal mentorship from their Queen. Even though a Queen cannot leave
the Dreamlands, she still has such a wealth of power and experience that she would be far beyond a
five dot Mentor. However the Queens have many obligations that demand their time besides tutoring
a Princess. Therefore when applied to a Queen the Mentor Merit represents not her skill (rather than
three skills, Queens can be assumed to have every skill.
Unfortunately... Neither Storms nor Mirrors will serve as Mentors. So you are the only one at the Court of Mirrors you can fully trust. However, Stormbringers and Lieutenants, whom you will have to face left and right, adhere to the same rule...
Princesses are good, perhaps too good, at letting others get close. The Sympathetic Merit can be brought
by Princesses for only one dot.
A Princess’ Transformed self, and the Regalia she wears are the innermost expression of who she wishes
to be. This expression is influenced by her culture, this is why Princesses in Europe who wish to be
“pure”often have white as a prominent motif in their Regalia, while Princesses in much of Asia often
wear white if they wish to work with ghosts. When used to study Regalia the usual questions answered
the Taste Merit can be asked about the Princess herself. On an Exceptional Success gain the Informed
Condition, applying to the Princess’ self identity.
Drawback: Studying a person isn’t quite the same as studying an object, the Princess can contest
the roll with Manipulation + Subterfuge to cloud the issue. If the Princess disguises her regalia with
magic the benefits of Taste are no greater than when studying the fashion of any other disguise.
Princesses cannot take the Vice-Ridden merit. The worst examples of humanity simply don’t Blossom.
All Princesses have two Virtues, therefore a Princess may not take the Virtuous Merit.
While Princesses have as much benefit from a normal human retainer as anyone else they may also seek
out Beacons, accept the fealty of Sworn, or travel with Shikigami.
For a Beacon or Sworn, their magical abilities are basic add a single additional Dot to their
effectiveness, and merit cost, as a Retainer, this remains true even when one person wields both the
magic of a Beacon and a Sworn.
Even though Shikigami typically have a mentor-student relationship with the Nobility their lack of
connections or influence in the waking world and their loyalty means that they are better represented by
the Retainer merit. Since the typical Shikigami is a person of note in the Dreaming Kingdoms and has
access to magic they’re rarely worth less than four dots as a retainer. As a special rule a Nakama can
split the cost of a Shikigami between them, after all one of a Shikigami’s most useful abilities is serve as
a magical relay between all the Princesses it is bonded with.
The Hopeful may buy Merits with Attribute or Skill prerequisites that they only meet when transformed.
If they do so, they only gain the benefit of the Merit in question while in their transformed identity.
You may convert transformed dots to mundane dots unlocks Merits with prerequisites in the mundane
identity if the character’s new mundane traits are high enough to support the Merit.
Below are new Merits related to the Princesses. Unless otherwise noted, all these Merits are reserved
to the Hopeful.
Sometimes a Princess has a merit which only applies in her Transformed identity.
Her perfected self may be significantly prettier than her mundane self (that’s a
common one), she may transform into a tougher person. Alternatively a Princess
may live off the grid in her mundane identity but have achieved fame for her
exploits in her Transformed identity. Every time a player buys a Merit she can
declare it only applies to one identity and take a Beat. Transformed Attributes and
Skills count towards any perquisites, but only in the Transformed identity of course.
If the Princess puts in some effort most merits can be expanded to cover both
identities. A Princess who is Fleet of Foot in her Transformed body could train
herself at running in her mundane body. This costs nothing more than repaying
any Beats given for taking a Transformed Merit.
This only applies to merits that are part of the character. Resources, Contacts, and
any merit that represents something external to the Princess do not provide Beats.
They are assumed to belong to one identity by default, unless the Princess wants
her Contacts to know about both her identities.
Circle (• - •••••)
The human mind was not designed for large numbers. When the suffering of millions feels
incomprehensible, you can turn to the small every day problems and triumphs of friends and family to
remind yourself what you are fighting for. The Circle Merit represents healthy relationships between a
Princess and her family, close friends, or mentors, who are ordinary mortals (not supernatural in any
way.) The more dots a Princess has, the more or the stronger these relationships are and the healthier
her social life is. Describe the people your character is intimate with when you buy dots in Circle.
Once per day a Princess with this Merit can spends an hour socialising with her Circle and regain
up to (Circle * 2) - Shadows Wisps. She doesn’t have to speak to every friend she has in an hour, like
most people she probably different friends or family members at different times.
Friends and family are good for more than Wisps, they also provide a support network which provides
pervasive modifiers to Compromise rolls. A Princess with two dots of Circle gets +1 to all Compromise
rolls, at four dots the bonus increases to +2, however a Princess with no Circle has a -1 penalty to all
Drawback: Friendships require investment, family is more forgiving but even a family relationship
can grow distant. If a Princess goes a significant amount of time without socialising with her Circle she
may lose dots.
Emotional Intuition (•••)
People are always being told to follow their heart, and when your emotions are the source of magical
powers following your heart can lead you right. Once per chapter you may ask the storyteller one of the
following questions. Roll Belief, on a Success the storyteller answers truthfully. On a failure you get no
answer. An Exceptional Success lets you ask a second question. If a character has been attempting to
deceive the Princess they get a roll to contest any questions asked about them. Even if they are not
present they can contest, the defensive roll represents any false impressions the Princess retains from
past deceptions. The Storyteller should roll the target’s Manipulation + Subterfuge in secret. If the
target wins the answer is what they would want the Princess to think.
• How will this character react to this action?
• How does this character feel about this thing?
• How does this character feel about that person?
• What is this character hoping to achieve?
• Can I trust this character?
Entwined Destiny (•••)
Prerequisite: Hopeful or not supernatural. Gaining another supernatural template does not break the
bond from this Merit, but the benefit and drawback from it cease to apply. (Note that supernaturals of
other types can be the subject of an Entwined Destiny.)
You were bound to another before you were born, and both events and your inmost will urge you
towards a specific role in his life. When you take this Merit, choose the nature of your relationship with
its subject – true love, rivalry, protection, loyalty, and enmity are all possible, and if none of these fit
you may define your own, with the ST’s approval. You may also choose the subject’s name and general
nature, or leave that up to the ST to decide. Once a scene, whenever you succeed in a significant task
that plays into your destined role, you regain 1 point of Willpower.
Entwined Destiny cannot directly influence an person’s choices, but when you have this merit Fate
will attempt to nudge you in certain ways. For example if you have an Entwined Destiny of love Fate
cannot make you feel love. Instead Fate can and will create coincidences where you and your destined
bump into each other in circumstances appropriate for heart to heart talks. If the destiny is natural it
can also be assumed that your destined true love are compatible people, your destined ward will need a
protector, or similar.
Drawback: In any scene when you have an opportunity to fulfil your destined role in dramatic
action, and deliberately forgo it, you take a -2 penalty on all your actions until the scene ends. For
example, if your destined rival challenges you, you must accept; if you discover your destined enemy’s
plot, you must oppose it; if your destined ward is in peril, you must rescue him.
Taijutsu Kensai (••)
You have learned to use Transformation itself as a weapon, manifesting your Regalia mid-motion to catch
your foes by surprise. Whenever your Kensai weapon is not manifested and you Transform reflexively
you may roll Wits + Brawl or Weaponry vs Wits + Brawl or Weaponry. If you win you may make an
attack using your Kensai weapon that bypasses your opponent’s Defence.
A character who witnesses you using Taijutsu Kensai is immune to it for the remainder of the scene.
Available at character creation only. You are one of the rare people who Blossomed, and became one of the Hopeful, without any
memory of a past life as a Princess; your soul was never trapped in the Dreamlands, and the bitter
memory of the Fall is not yours. This unshadowed innocence grants an unusual level of moral clarity.
Your Belief begins at 8, not 7.
Drawback: You have no experience from past lives to call upon.
There is a difference between a house and a home. A Palace is not a place to live, though a Princess
may live in one. A Palace is a place with such an intimate emotional connection to a Princess that her
magic works better there than anywhere else. A Palace automatically has the Consecrated Condition,
which lasts indefinitely just so long as the Princess’ emotional connection remains strong. Any additional
benefits of a Palace may be represented by Merits such as Safe Place or Gallery, or as Equipment.
Palace Veiling (• to •••)
Something odd happens to some Palaces, when its mistress deliberately associates her domicile with her
mundane self and avoids associating it with her Transformed self. The effects of her Dual Identity seeps
into her home, preventing others from connecting it to her Transformed Identity. Each dot assigned to
Palace Veiling provides a -1 penalty to any attempt to find the location of the Palace when searching
for the home of it’s mistresses’ Transformed Identity. Searching for her Mundane Identity’s home has no
penalty. Anyone inside the home suffers the same penalty to notice any evidence of the Princess’ identity.
This is not infallible, a -3 penalty is not enough for her to greet guests in full Regalia and though she
might get away with leaving her magic wand on her desk, don’t risk it.
Finally a Veiling also serves to protect those inside from hostile scrying. This does not stack with
any other Merits that penalize scrying – apply the larger penalty if a character with such a Merit scrys
upon a veiled Palace.
Royal Tongue (•)
Prerequisite: Sworn or Hopeful. It might be possible for other supernatural creatures to find a way to
mimic its effects, but that would require the active use of powers (such as the Mind Arcanum or a
Majesty Devotion), and so they cannot learn the Merit.
You know how to produce the Royal Tongue. You can use it to enhance your Charms.
As languages go the Royal Tongue is unique, it is quite possibly the densest language there is. Meaning
is conveyed not just by words but also tone and the placement of stresses, two different words could be
completely identical except for where it’s grammatically acceptable to use them. A monosyllabic prefix or
suffix can completely change a word within it’s conceptual space; the Royal Tongue has over a thousand
words for friend, (and just as many for lover or sister or brother) each defines the exact details of the
relationship and not only do they all come from the same root word, they all sound like that root word.
The hardest thing to do with the Royal Tongue is speak a straight sentence. Between the grammatical
rules and the enormous amount of information in every word a simple sentence like “thank you for
helping” would, if translated into English, look like two paragraphs of flowery purple prose about the
inherent virtue of teamwork. When asked how such a language came about the Queen of Hearts implied
that it was deliberate, the Queen of Spades burst into laughter and the Queen of Diamonds (who’s fluent
in, and prefers, most Earthly languages) gave a put upon sigh.
Mortals can hear the the Royal Tongue but they cannot understand it. Many Princesses swear blind
that the Royal Tongue uses magic as well as sound waves as a carrier to pack even more information
into each word. The cost of this is that only Princesses, Sworn, and Beacons can learn to understand the
Royal Tongue. Beacons can’t even speak it. To anyone else it sounds like someone singing in an unknown
melodic language, the emotional intent comes across clearly but the words are incomprehensible. The Royal Tongue can’t be recorded either, a Princess who hears a recording of the Royal Tongue catches
at best the occasional word, it sounds as though someone has removed 40% of the syllables and all the
grammar. This is considerably more confusing than it would be in a normal language.
The most useful aspect of the Royal Tongue is to enhance a Princess’ Charms (Though some
Troubadours insist it’s use in lyrics and poetry is more useful... Deep purple prose is an acquired
taste). If you spend a turn speaking the Royal Tongue, declaring that you will use a Charm on a
target, and forcing the qualia, the experience and feeling of what you are about to do, into the musical
speech, your activation roll for the power gains the 9-again quality.
Use of the Royal Tongue is a supernatural ability, and triggers the sense of individuals with Unseen
Senses related to Princesses or the Light.
Second Calling (••)
Your character feels two Callings in her Heart. Choose a second Calling for her; she may recover Wisps
from that Calling just as well as first, and she may follow Draems from either Calling.
She does not gain an extra transformed Attribute dot or affinity to any Charms from her second
Drawback: Your character is bound by the Oaths of her second Calling, just as much as those of her
first - both sets of Oaths are breaking points for her.
Tomoyo's Touch (•)
Your character is unusually adept at manipulating her Regalia, as well as her Phylactery. While she is
transformed she may Reflexively modify her Regalia as per a Transformation action as without needing
to roll or spend a Wisp. She may do this once a turn.
Unfinished Business (• - •••)
Something in your character’s past life still haunts her, and when an opportunity to address the issue
arises (which usually means tracking down the reincarnation of someone else involved) your character’s
past self may replace her current personality for a short while. Once per Session, while you are
Transformed, you may elect to have your character’s past self take over and peruse her goal. You get
two experience points per dot of this Merit to represent the skills your presumably older and more
experienced incarnation knew at the moment she died, you do not have to spend the experience the
same way each time. If your past self causes a significant hardship for your present self, take a Beat.
Princesses who manifest their past self this way don’t manifest all of their former self. In behaviour
and attitude they are identical, but they are clearly people outside their own time. They have trouble
forming emotional connections to present people or situations, which is extremely unusual for a Noble,
and relate to the world as though they were just reading about it in a particularly dry history text book.
They show a similar lack of concern about the fact they are dead. Only something which relates to her
unfinished business or her own time can form an strong emotional reaction.
Not every Princess agrees with her past self and others simply don’t have the time. Some find
closure through therapy rather than a quest, and others seek inner peace through meditation or in their
It is recommended that Characters with Unfinished Business also take the White Rabbits Merit as
that ability makes a great way to provide clues to her Unfinished Business and find sitautions where you
can bring out your character’s past self.
If you resolve your unfinished business remove the Merit and refund it’s cost.
Veiling (• - •••)
Some Hopeful’s perfected selves differ so much from their mundane selves that they are excessively
difficult to identify, even beyond the norm. A Princess with Veiling is one such; whenever an observer
tries to connect her two identities, she adds her dots in the Merit to her dice pool in the contest. Also,
supernatural attempts to discover her status as a Princess while she is not transformed suffer a penalty
equal to her dots in the Merit.
If a Princess has Veiling and Anonymity the two merits have distinct roles. Anonymity makes it hard
to find information about the Princess (or one of her identities). Once you have that information Veiling
makes it hard to connect it to her second identity, or even realise she has two identities.
The following merits are available to both Princesses and mortals.
Your character possesses an object, within which has been bound a Charm. This might have come from
within your own soul, to be granted to another or used to boost your own powers, or might have been
obtained on a quest to the Dreamlands. Some senior members of the Nobility (such that there are)
make a habit of gifting trusted friends with them for, despite the cost, they can give a Princess access
to powers that she might not otherwise be able to reach.
Every Bequest, like the Princesses, has two appearances: a mundane one from the vessel, and a
glorious one from the Charm. And, like the Princesses, a Bequest’s power can be used only when the
Bequest is transformed. Transforming a Bequest is somewhat more difficult than transforming yourself;
you can spend a Willpower point to do it reflexively (not a Wisp) or make a transformation roll of your
Inner Light (not Belief + Inner Light.) A Bequest, once transformed, remains so for 1 scene. You need
not be transformed to transform or use a Bequest, and you do not have to transform a Bequest yourself
to use it.
Many permanent Charms grant bonuses to tasks falling within a Skill speciality; when one of these
Charms is Bequeathed, the tasks it assists are fixed as the Bequest is made, and the character making
it must have any speciality she puts into the Bequest. Anyone using the transformed Bequest as a tool
gains the Charm’s benefit within the speciality (or specialities) encoded in the Bequest, not on any
speciality of his own. He does not get the +1 speciality bonus on actions the Bequest enhances, unless
he has a relevant speciality himself.
Any of the Hopeful, whether transformed or not, may recognize a Bequest as such; she rolls her Inner
Light the first time she touches it in a scene. Bequests also show up on an Unseen Sense for the Light.
Bequests based on permanent Charms apply their Charm’s effect to the person holding them as long
as they are transformed. Bequests based on activated Charms require the person holding them to pay
the Charm’s cost, and then release the Charm’s effect. If a Bequest is based on an upgraded Charm,
every upgrade included in the Charm applies every time the Bequest is used, and you must pay the
upgrades’ cost in full – a Bequest, unlike a Charm, is not flexible. If you have an Invocation that’s
compatible with the Bequest’s Charm, you may apply it when using the Bequest, with the same effect
as it would have on the Charm.
Some Bequests simply cannot be used by anyone without an Inner Light of their own (that is,
Princesses and Queens); This includes Bequests that contain the Charms: Bequeath, Accept Fealty or Long May She Reign. Bequests containing an Avatar Charm cannot be used by anyone who does not
have four dots in the related Invocation.
Many Bequests carry a pool of Wisps within themselves, which their holders can spend to activate
them (but not for any other purpose.) The capacity of the pool is 10 Wisps. To add Wisps to the pool,
the Bequest’s owner has to carry out a duty while the Bequest is on her person, roughly equivalent to a
duty of a Calling (and using the rules for them); the specific duty, and the dice pool the owner rolls, are
fixed at the Bequest’s making.
A Bequest’s base Merit dot cost is equal to the level of the Charm (so, for example, Charge, a Govern
2 Charm, costs two dots), plus one dot per upgrade, plus one dot if the Bequest has a Wisp pool. For
more details on Bequest creation, see the rules for the Bequeath charm.
Gallery (• - •••)
Humans are social creatures and Princesses even more so. A Gallery is a set up designed to help with
anything from dinner parties to theatre shows. Each Gallery covers one Speciality. When performing
any Expression, Persuasion or Socialise action which fits under a Gallery’s speciality the Princess gets a
bonus equal to the dots, so long as she inside the Gallery at the time.
Example. Princess Gwendolyn of Hearts wants the mayor to invest more in the town’s cultural
heritage. Gwendolyn has Gallery (•• Dinner Parties) and has invited the mayor to discuss her proposals
over a meal. She gains +2 to all Persuasion rolls during the evening.
Lucid Dreamer (••)
Your character is aware of when she is dreaming and has the ability to act consciously within her own
dreams. This is especially useful if someone else is inside your dreams, as it gives you the ability to
interact with and oppose intruders. While in their own Dreams a mortal can roll an appropriate Mental
Attribute + Integrity to perform any physical action imaginable. Whether that’s imagining a gun and
shooting an intruder with it or imagining the entire dream flooded with lava. A success is a success,
dream guns and lava are equally powerful barring special circumstances.
Lucid Dreaming is common among Nobility, and even more frequent among their Transformed Selves.
Maintaining awareness in the Dreamlands, a universal ability for Princesses, is not much different from
remaining aware in a regular dream. When only the Transformed self is a lucid dreamer it is the Princess’
Transformation within the dream, not her physical body, which applies. This means that a Princess who
is attacked in her dream and instinctively transforms achieves lucidity.
While asleep a lucid dreaming Nobel uses Belief instead of Integrity, though most use their Charms
instead as they are often significantly more powerful.
Mandate (• - •••••)
Perquisite: Princess or possession of a Bequest with a duty.
Every Calling has it’s Sacred Oaths, the means by which a Princess feels is her duty to help the world.
The Mandate Merit represents not an emotional connection to one’s Calling, but a practical ability to
fulfil it. Any Grace could take it upon herself to help the local bully apologise and make amends but
she’ll only come across so many bullies in a month. A Grace who works as a relationship councillor,
she’ll be seeing clients every day.
A Mandate, therefore, represents opportunities to help people that come along as part of a Princess’
day without her having to go looking for them. A Champion could work on the police force, a Troubadour
could have a popular blog where she posts poetry.
When a Princess buys the Mandate Merit, the player states how their character is in an advantaged
position to make a difference. During downtime the Princess can fulfil her mandate, rolling an appropriate
choice of Attribute + Skill - Shadows. Each success grants one Wisp and if the Princess’ mandate is
appropriate to her Queen’s Philosophies she gains a bonus Wisp providing she scored at least one Success. She may do this a number of times each day equal to her Mandate dots, each roll requires at least an
hour or of work.
Drawback: A lot of Mandates are responsibilities as well as opportunities. A Mender who’s parents
own an animal rescue centre can leave the animals in her parent’s hands while she goes of to deal with
some Darkspawn. A Mender working as a Doctor at the local hospital will be in trouble if she doesn’t
put in her hours. Generally Mandates without responsibilities tend to be worth few dots.
The Storyteller is encouraged to see a Mandate as a way to start interesting plots, not just a time
sink that keeps players from the adventure. Darkspawn victims could come into the hospital emergency
ward. A police officer could assigned and interesting case, mundane or supernatural. A blogger might
meet a fellow blogger who reports on supernatural events.
Poplulist Rhetoric (• to •••••, Style)
Perquisites: Presence 3 Manipulation 3.
Your character has been trained in making friends and influencing people. She might be a politician
or a cult leader, even if she is not she sees words as tools to make people do what she wills. Such power
can be used for both good or ill.
Anecdote (•) Your character brings up a heartwrenching story. Arguing against her is like arguing
against little orphan Annie. Roll Presence + Expression vs Composure + Expression, on a Success your
target has a -2 to social rolls against you on this topic for the rest of the scene.
Polispeek (••) Your character can talk at length while saying nothing. By spouting a never ending
stream of ambiguous statements and platitudes you can dodge questions while appearing to give answers.
When someone is debating against you, you may reflexively forgo your action for a turn to subtract twice
your manipulation from your opponents Persuasion or Expression rolls. This works best at stalling for
time or when you can’t win a debate and hope to simply minimise the scale of your loss.
Catch phrases (•••) People are naturally tribal and like a social chameleon your character can
fit in anywhere by spouting catchphrases and speaking with the correct lingo. Once per scene you may
spend a point of Willpower and gain a bonus equal to half her Subterfuge to all social rolls with a certain
group. This cannot be done if the target group has perquisites your character does not meet, an adult
could not join a teenager only group for example. Using this technique is not declaring loyalty to a group,
in fact it’s probably best to avoid doing so, but if she’s good people will naturally feel more comfortable
Drawback: By getting in with a group your character is placing herself outside other groups. She
gains an equal penalty to those who dislike the group, for example if she creates a bonus with Republicans
she’ll take a penalty while talking to Democrats for the rest of the scene.
Encouragement (••••) Your character can convince people to associate what they like about
themselves with herself. You try to treat all people politely, that’s not because you’re a good person.
That’s because you’re a Christian/Liberal/Humanist/Feminist/Conservative. You can apply a variant
of the Inspired Condition to your listeners, it may only be Resolved on actions in line with their Virtue
but when it is resolved you open a door.
Rally (•••••) Your character can call play the crowd like a fiddle, alienating and isolating her
opponent. Both your character and her opponent pick a social merit that gives you influence over people
(Usually: Allies, Fame, Mystery Cult Initiation, or Status though others may be aloud. The people
represented by that merit must be present, be they in the audience, waving placards outside or posting
comments on the blog with the debate). Roll Presence + Persuasion + Merit Dots. For every (Targets
Composure + Merit dots - your successes) rolls the target must spend one point of Willpower to keep
going in the face of such hostility. This does not count as the target’s one willpower per turn.
Example: Gwenaëlle is a columnist having a public debate about obesity with Desmond, the director
of public relations in a greedy fast food chain. Gwenaëlle rolls Presence + Persuasion + her Status in the
newspaper to fill her next column with catch phrases that sound a call to arms. She gains four successes.
Desmond has a Composure of 3 and chooses to play his Status 4 in the corporation, getting subordinates
to ghost write and give him some emotional distance. Every third roll Desmond looses a willpower as his
corporate blog is hammered with aggressive comments by Gwenaëlle’s supporters.
Scientific Rhetoric (• to •••••, Style)
Perquisites: Intelligence 2, Academics or Science at 3 or at 2 with a speciality in academic methodology
For your character a debate isn’t about winning or convincing others, it’s about spreading the truth.
Scientific Rhetoric works best against the open minded, even if your character looses the debate she
First Principles (•): Quantum nonsense, pyramid power, “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV”.
People have been using scientific lingo to promote rubbish for years, to a real scientist it usually sounds
ridiculous. As a reflexive action you may inflict a -1 penalty on anyone making an argument based on
science or academics (the fields, not the skills). This does not work if their science is sound, assume that
a speciality or three dots in a relevant skill confers immunity. Less for basic topics.
Citation (••): You don’t need to prove your point, just point to someone else who has already
proved it for you. You may apply the Library merit to social rolls, provided you have access to your
Library and your conversation partner lets you fetch books. Internet access is worth +1, unless you have
a Library of bookmarks to hand.
Just the Facts (•••): A quick tongue doesn’t matter, for the facts speak for themselves. You
may fall back to established facts, allowing you reroll one failed social roll per scene providing it is on a
scientific or academic topic.
Burden of Proof (••••): You stand your ground and insist debate will be decided on the facts.
Make a contested Manipulation + Persuasion roll (or a Presence + Expression roll when debating in
front of an audience). If you win you and your opponent must use an appropriate mental skill (such as
science or medicine for a debate on evolution) in place of social skills.
Scepticism (•••••): There is a reason reproducibility is one of the principles of the scientific
method. After a social encounter has opened one of your Doors you can take the time to double check
the other guy’s claims. Is that salesman’s product really the best in it’s field? Make an extended research
roll with a target equal to the dicepool used to the door. If you succeed that door closes again. You may
only ever use this maneuver once for any door and it fails automatically if the claim you are investigating
turns out to be true.
White Rabbits (• - •••••)
Perquisites: The ability to travel to the Dreamlands.
Your Character has an especially strong connection to the Dreamlands; when she sleeps she is called to
witness prophecies and portents applicable to her life and her goals. To consult the White Rabbits, the
Princess must go to sleep for long enough to reach REM sleep. The Princess may not look for White
Rabbits more often than once per session. The Princess rolls Wits + Empathy - Shadows; if she has not
found a Crawlspace entrance near her current resting place the roll is at -2.
Dramatic Failure: The Princess is called to the Dreamlands by a March Hare, or perhaps even a Black
Rabbit, that she mistakes for a Prophecy Rabbit.
Failure: No Rabbits appear that night.
Success: The Princess is called to the Dreamlands by a Prophecy Rabbit or Memory Rabbit and learns
information on a question or topic chosen by the player. The Princess will receive at least one clue
per dot of White Rabbits, though the clue may be hidden behind signs or portents.
Exceptional Success: In addition to the regular benefits the Princess also gains the Floating Blessing
Condition with a pool equal to her dots in White Rabbits. The Condition lasts for the remainder of
the Session. At any point during the Session the player can declare that the Princess knows the what
to do because of her dream and cash in dice from her pool: The affected trait is “things related to my
The Storyteller is free to introduce White Rabbits without players using this Merit. Even a Princess
without any dots in White Rabbits can experience the occasional prophecy if it’s important enough. See
the Dreamlands appendix for more details on the White Rabbits.
HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON JULY
1969, A.D. WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND
The classroom of an inspirational teacher. A humble yet gifted artist’s studio. The best, hardest
working hospital in town and the underfunded free clinic opening against the odds in the most deprived
area. A truly welcoming and tolerant church. The laboratory tirelessly working on the latest disease to
evolve and the library that preserves wisdom of ages gone by. These are the Blessed places, they stand
on a legacy of the very best of humanity.
Anyone touched by the Light - any Beacon, Sworn or Noble - feels her heart lift when she arrives in
a Blessed area, though she may not realize why. The Storyteller makes a Perception check, rolling Wits
+ Composure + Sensitivity - Shadows; if it succeeds the character notices the Light-touched quality of
the place she enters.
Creating a Blessed Place
Blessed places are formed when attempts to improve the world are performed with true passion and
great skill. This can be as general as making something beautiful simply for the sake of beauty or as
specific as helping one single person. A single but extraordinary act can create a Blessed place all by
itself while others are formed by gradual accumulation.
Blessed places have two attributes, their Size and the Beauty of their Blessings. The Size of a
Blessed place is measured on the scale as of zero to five.
0 dots - Around the size of a person, a closet, bathtub or tiny bedroom.
1 dot - A small apartment or a cabin in the woods; 1-2 rooms
2 dots - A large apartment or small remote house; 3-4 rooms
3 dots - A converted church, warehouse or large house; 5-8 rooms
4 dots - A mansion, a clinic or a small region; 9-15 rooms
5 dots - A hospital, a neighbourhood, a large office complex; countless rooms
The Beauty of a Blessed place measures how powerful and numerous its effects are; each dot in Beauty
supports one Blessing. Larger Blessed places are also more resilient; a Blessed place has a Hold track
with a number of boxes equal to their Size +1. Most methods to damage the Beauty of a Blessed place
marks Hold boxes. When the rightmost box is marked reduce the Beauty by one, remove one Blessing
and clear the Hold track. Blessed places recover from damage if left alone; clear 1 Hold box on each day
that no Hold box is marked.
When creating a Blessed place the Storyteller should first imagine the person or people responsible.
An artist motived by his love of art? A scientist dedicated to discovery? A good Samaritan? See where
their actions fall on this rough guide to how much Beauty may be created. A dot of Beauty costs 1
point; a dot of Size costs points equal to the new value of Size (1 point to raise Size from 0 to 1, 2 points
to raise from 1 to 2, and so on.)
Deep within the Dreamlands servants of the Darkness built a trap, a shining lure to lead Light
away from the world but within a Blessed place that lure doesn’t seem quite as tempting. The nightly
roll for a Character with Shadows to be lured into the Dreamlands is penalised by the Blessed Place’s
Protecting Blessed Places
Every Blessed place is a treasure, any Nakama with knowledge of one is sure to do their best to protect
it. So what do they need to protect it from?
Tainting and Blessed places cancel each other out weakening or even destroying the Beauty of a Blessed
Place forever. When a Tainting is committed within Blessed Places roll Beauty - the amount of Taint
created (as per the rules for Tainted Places) on a failure the Beauty decreases by the amount of Taint
created; if there is any excess taint it forms a Tainted Place.
Every Blessed Place has cause, something beautiful people did that has left it’s mark on the area. Actions
which directly oppose this cause can cause the beauty to decay.
Example: Harriet is a true artist who’s only motivation is to make the world a better place by creating
things of beauty. Her dedication turns her studio into a small Blessed Place. If her studio passed on to
another artist who saw art merely as a way to get money and prestige – going against everything Harriet
believed in – then this could degrade and ultimately destroy the Beauty of her studio.
As a general rule, assume that every successful roll, or successful extended action, which is directly
opposed to the origin of the Beauty marks of one Hold box, but turnabout is fair play: every successful
action which reinforces the ideals of the Blessed Place can clear one hold box providing it was specifically
marked by Symbolic Opposition.
The power of a Blessed Place is held in the physical from: It is in the ancient stonework of a university
whose scholars have added to mankind as a whole. It is in the trees of a forest where generations have
found peace and strength. Destroying such things can damage a Blessed Place. If the physical place is
changed enough that it is no longer recognisable as the same place, the blessings are destroyed.
Invocations are Beliefs of the Queens. A Queen’s light shines out onto the world and Princesses reflect
that light to shine ever brighter. A Princess may buy up to 5 dots in an Invocation. Normally, when
she activates a Charm, the Princess spends 1 Wisp on top of the Charm’s usual cost to apply one of the
Invocations she knows - this adds her dots in the Invocation to the dice pool for activating the Charm.
Charms that don’t require a roll to activate gain power from Invocations in other ways; for example,
several permanent Charms allow a Princess to apply an Invocation to some mundane Skill rolls. It is
never possible to apply two Invocations to a single dice pool, or to stack Invocations in any other way.
Some Charms, called Invoked Charms, are linked to one specific invocation. These are denoted by having
dots in an Invocation, as well as a Charm family. A Princess may not learn an Invoked Charm unless
she has sufficient dots in the relevant Invocation, and when using an Invoked Charm only the linked
Invocation may be used to increase the Charm’s potency.
Each Queen favours one Invocation, and the Hopeful sworn to her find that Invocation easier to learn
than any other. Due to this intimate tie to the Queens, the Invocations are described under the Queen
who favours them. An Invocation can be applied for free (without paying the extra Wisp) under certain
conditions, generally when her actions are consonant with the principles of the Queen favouring that
Invocation. There is also, for each Invocation, a prohibition that a Princess should not break; if she does,
she loses the right to apply that Invocation for a period of time, she may still use Charms that depend
upon that Invocation as a perquisite.
Invoking For Willpower
Aside from adding power to Charms, an Invocation can inspire Nobles who strive to live up to its
principles. What could be more encouraging than knowing a person of almost divine wisdom supports
of your actions? If the Storyteller agrees that a Princess’ actions during a scene reflect the ideals of an
Invocation the Princess has learned, and she hasn’t broken its ban, the Princess rolls her dots in that
Invocation as a dice pool. (This pool cannot be modified in any way - she may not spend Willpower on it,
and no magic or Condition affects it.) She may do this once per session, for each Invocation separately.
She need not be transformed to use her Invocations this way.
Dramatic Failure: The Princess’ recent actions feel a bit hollow; she doubts the ideals that inspired
them. Until the scene ends, she may not spend Willpower on actions that reflect the Invocation.
Failure: The Princess goes on with her life.
Success: The Invocation confirms the Princess’ actions. She regains one spent Willpower point.
Exceptional Success: The Invocation revives the Princess’ flagging will; she regains all spent Willpower.
Choosing Your Invocations
(This article is written from a Radiant perspective. Balderdash when it comes to their view of Twilight invocations.)
The choice of Invocations is an important one, an Invocation shapes empowers a Princess’ magic. The
easiest trap for a player to fall into is jump to thinking which Charms she wants. Invocations are not
a neatly packaged source of power for any Princess’ who likes the look of a certain Charm. Rather, an
Invocation is the ideals and Beliefs of a Queen given form, resonating in the souls of mankind through
the inherent magical nature of a Queen.
When choosing Invocations a player should think about what views and beliefs a Princess shares with
a Queen. The more a Princess has in common with a Queen, the more she upholds a Queen’s ideals, the
brighter the Invocation shines within her. With practice (represented by spending experience) she can
draw on that Invocation to enhance her magic. The Queen’s philosophies can provide a yard stick. A
Princess who only follows one of the Queen’s philosophies is unlikely to advance beyond one or two dots
in an Invocation. Agreeing with two philosophies can reach three or perhaps even four dots. A Princess
who broadly agrees with and lives up to all three philosophies can with time master an invocation.
And what of the Twilight Invocations? Not every philosophical ideal of the Twilight Queen’s is pure
evil to be rejected by any right minded Princess. Protecting those you love or opposing the Outer Dark
in all it’s forms are ideas commonly found among the Radiant. So what stops a Princess waking up one
morning and realising she now has a Dot of Lacrima? The answer is choice. A Princess who believes in protecting those she loves can feel a connection to Lacrima deep within herself and knows she can draw
power from it, but she can choose not to. The connection to an Invocation does not shape her beliefs,
it is shaped by her beliefs. An Invocation she chooses not to use, or vows to stop using, cannot turn her
to the dark side.
Dancing in Twilight
(This article is actually faaar less nuanced!)
One of the dirtier secrets of the Radiant is the sheer number of Nobles who,
at one point in their life or another, dabble in the Invocations of the Twilight
Queens. Dabbling in this case can be anything up to buying two or three dots
in the Invocations; more requires a strength of commitment to the ideals of the
Queen which is largely incompatible with remaining a member of the Radiant
(for one, one’s own Queen will tend to object). The truth is that, the flaws in the
Twilight Queens are ones which are within the hearts of man as a whole, and so
most of the Enlightened have felt the same urges at some point in their life. Note
that, however, such dabblers still consider themselves part of the Radiant, and,
in the case of those who feel affinity for the Queen of Mirrors, often consider the
The Child Queen to be Radiant. They still oppose the Darkness, and will fight
against the loyalists of Storms. One of the greatest topic of debate in
the multiple, disparate groups of the Enlightened is how to respond to people who
use Twilight Invocations, and whether or not they’re doing anything wrong.
The Invocation of Specchio, tool of the Crown’s Custodian, the Queen of Mirrors,
however, is the most subtle and insidious of the Twilight Queens, and the influence
it is. In part, it is because of the lack of an overall enemy that the Invocation is
linked to; while the Furies provide a highly visible “there but for the grace of the Light I go”
example which other dabblers can keep away from, the egotism and self-righteousness
implicitly promoted by the Queen of Mirrors, and the lack of a solid adversary
is hard to fight against, especially since many Princesses have tendencies in that direction naturally.
Dabblers can slip into following the Queen of Mirrors much more easily, especially since the Queen does
not demand fidelity, which means that some elder Radiant are much more harsh in
opposing its use. There are those who argue that, unlike Tempesta and Lacrima,
use of this Invocation makes you a de facto follower of Mirror’s agenda. And on the
other hand, there are those who count the Queen of Mirrors as among the Radiant
Queens, despite the objections of the other five. Moreover, there us also a faction
in the Court of Diamonds who study Specchio for the unique sources of information
it provides, or even to study the strange achronal or spacewarping Charms unique
to Specchio, once again the Queen has given her consent. Even outside the Court
of Diamonds there are Radient who find these Charms to be exceptionally useful
and irreplaceable with more moral Invocations, not just an improvement over them.
In the Court of Diamonds these dabblers protect themselves from the effects of
madness by only using Specchio while supervised by a Princess who knows the
Reclaim Charm. Of all the Twilight Invocations, Specchio might be the easiest
to learn, too; all one needs for it is self-belief in one's own cause, and a spark
of the brilliance needed to reshape the world. And neither are rare among the