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Tabletop Game / Princess: The Hopeful

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Bring back Hope to a World of Darkness.note 

A Storytelling Game of Fighting Fear.

Fan supplements for the New World of Darkness have always been a popular pastime among forum denizens of RPGnet. However, Princess: The Hopeful is unique in that it originated as a parody. Combining World of Darkness with the trappings and glitter of Magical Girl anime? Surely no one would be able to take it seriously.

Or so the original authors thought. The idea was deemed to have genuine merit, and after a Cerebus Retcon or two, ultimately Blossomed into a fan line with popularity rivaling that of Genius: The Transgression - a tale of what it means to be a living avatar of Hope and Light in a world where Despair and Darkness have essentially won. (World Of Darkness being what it is, there is little surprise in that the resulting concept resembles Sailor Nothing much more than Sailor Moon.)


It is also noted for being heavily inspired by Second Edition Exalted (the titular characters are both Reincarnations of heroes from long past yet separate people, Grey-and-Gray Morality, the general thematic of A World Half Full, social combat, etc).

Due to creative differences between the writers, there are actually two different versions of the game, respectively referred to as the Dream and Vocation versions. Aside from differences in tone and mechanics, however, the game mostly remains the same in concept and story.

Once Upon a Time, there was a great Kingdom, a paragon of happiness and stability to its people. Under the guidance of its Queens, it became very-nearly a Utopia, giving guidance to its sister states and the first line of defense against the All-Consuming Darkness, a mindless, cosmic force of sorrow, fear, and hunger. This was not a hard job. It was so easy, in fact, that over time, their light became self-righteous and insular, caring more for their vision of what was right rather than what was needed. This gave the servants of the Dark opportunity to form a plan.


Simply put, it worked.

Of the Queens, five were imprisoned in the Dreamlands, to avoid further interference. Two escaped, but not unchanged; the one now known as the Queen of Tears was able to save the city of Alhambra by shunting it into the middle of the Darkness, while the one called the Queen of Storms abandoned her own body as a possible weakness, becoming a living tempest of anger and vengeance to stop the Dark by any means. These, along with a mysterious individual called the Queen of Mirrors, became known as the Twilight Queens.

Thus, possibly in conjunction with the fall of Atlantis, the World of Darkness began, the dream-Queens and their servants completely unaware that Dreamlands were a never-fallen Kingdom, the Alhambrans draining Light from the world to keep their city alive, the soldiers of Storms reshaping themselves as the cybernetic part-spirit androids called the Goalenu, not caring who they had to hurt in their never-ending mission to eradicate the Dark. And the Darkness itself? It just continued on as it always had, consuming the world bit-by-bit...

Until the Apollo moon landings, that is.

For the briefest instant, the light of hope shone on Earth brighter than it did in the Dreamlands. The Queens saw this and, realizing that they had been deceived, mustered their armies and drove out the guards stationed in the Dreamlands by the Darkness. While it still exists, it is just a Dream World now, with at least some inhabitants aware that it is just a simulation of the real world. While a few, known as the Amanojaku grew to envy the real world and decided to take flesh bodies by force, the captive Queens were able to send out their captive Light into the world, to find those worthy of rebuilding the Kingdom... without making their mistakes, hopefully.

The wiki can be found here There is now a downloads page for the PDFs and supplements which can be found here. There is a Discord server here. There also is a Hunter-related supplement whose trope page is here.

The inborn splats of the game are refereed to as Callings, the ways in which a Princess is called to serve the cause of The Light.

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    The Callings 
  • Champions: Champions are those who stand up and defend those who are weaker than themselves. They are the heroes, the dragon slayers. As such, they have a natural affinity for charms involved combat, as well as those that strengthen themselves and others and grant abilities.

  • Graces: Graces are the messengers of Hope. They seek to guide others to confront their own fears and doubts so that they may better serve the light. They have a natural affinity for charms which grant special abilities, as well as those which affect personal relationships and allow the princess to recognize counter supernatural influences. More often than not, they tend to be leaders among any group of Nobility.

  • Menders: Menders seek to aide others who are suffering physically or spiritually. They possess affinity for charms that can mend and heal living and non-living things, as well as those that can grant abilities and shape materials.

  • Seekers: Detectives, scientists, and scholars, seekers are those driven to discover truth and knowledge. They are skilled in charms that allow them to gain knowledge, recognize and counter supernatural influences, and craft illusions.

  • Troubadours: Troubadours are artists and performers, seeking to bring joy and enlightenment through their works. They have an affinity for charms of illusion as well as those that arouse emotions and shape materials.

The chosen splats of Princess are the eight Queens. When a Princess reaches the apex of her power she becomes a source of magic, like a colored mirror who not only reflects more of The Light onto the world but impresses her ideals onto it. If a Princess' beliefs align with a Queen she may draw on that source of magic in addition to calling on The Light directly, both to make her magic stronger or to move it in new directions. The Queen's themselves are teachers, mentors, and moral exemplars who help define the ideals Princesses live up to. The five Radiant Queens were killed when the kingdoms fell. Their souls were trapped in the Dreamlands, and they have chosen to remain there after the release as they feel they can do more good as dead Queens than living Princesses. Though most Princesses swear to a Queen it is nearly universal to show some affinity for many Queens.
    The Radiant Queens 
  • Clubs: The Queen of Clubs is loosely based on Taoism, with hints of environmentalism. Her Princesses tend to blend the best of modern life with spiritualism. Fittingly the Queen's philosophies emphasize finding a way to express your true self in harmony with the world, accepting and adapting to change, and to avoid committing violence. Club's signature emotion is Harmony and tranquility.

  • Diamonds: The Queen of Diamonds embodies Enlightenment values. Her courtiers aren't exclusively scientists, engineers or academics, but every member believes in the power of reason to improve the world. Her chief philosophies are to think through a problem before attempting a solution, to educate others, and to focus on big picture structural changes. Diamond's signature emotions are curiosity and wonder.

  • Hearts: The Queen of Hearts believes in politeness, responsibility, trust, and duty. Her Princesses believe that building and leading social institutions is key to making a better world. Heart's chief philosophies are to bring people together in community, to honour traditions and that authority must be earned. Heart's signature emotions are trust and duty.

  • Spades: The Queen of Spades favours good humour and lateral thinking. Her Princesses are jesters, rogues and scoundrels who do their best thinking unfettered by social orthodoxy. Spades' philosophies are to think outside the box, to spread laughter, and to think and run quickly so you don't get caught. Spades signature emotions are Laughter and Suprise.

  • Swords: The Queen of Swords believes that you should always follow your heart and your passions. Her Princesses try to become heroes whose example will light the world. Sword's philosophies teach that at heart morality is about not hurting people, the importance of broadening your horizons and of course to embrace your passions. Sword's signature emotion is Love.

The three Twilight Queens survived The Fall, for a given value of "survived." They are the moral flaws of Princesses taken to extremes, and yet their goals are noble. They offer unique advantages unavailable to the Radiant Queens, and many Princesses have been tempted to dabble in their dangerous magic.

    The Twilight Queens 
  • Tears: The Queen of Tears survived The Fall by using unholy magic to turn her city, Alhambra, into an impregnable fortress. Living deep into the heart of The Darkness, she sends her agents out to steal hope itself to keep her city alive. Though she believes in Alhambra's right of rule, the core of Tears' philosophy is protecting the ones you care about, at any cost. Her ability to shelter friends or family in Alhambra, and her unique control over a large mortal infrastructure, tempts the Radiant to her cause. The Queen of Tears' signature emotions are depression and resolve.

  • Storms: The Queen of Storms transformed herself into a living embodiment of her own ideals, and so survived The Fall. She remains in the heart of The Darkness, destroying everything within reach, and she grows stronger as her followers die and their souls join the gestalt Queen. Storms' philosophies revolve around killing the Darkness and acceptance of collateral damage, but her powerful battle magic always tempts more followers to her suicidal war. Regular mortals will develop some limited magical abilities if their beliefs align with the Queen of Storms, an effect that no other Queen has demonstrated. The Queen of Storms' signature emotions are rage and hatred.

  • Mirrors: The Queen of Mirrors ran away shortly before The Fall. No one knows what she did afterwards, but she is assumed to still be alive, if only because she talks to Princesses outside the Dreamlands. The Queen remains the most distant and unknown of the eight, but her Philosophies are simple: A mixture of vanity and predestination, which attract Princesses who want a life free from constant struggle. The ability to prophecy or remain transformed indefinitely help too. The Queen of Mirrors' signature emotion is vanity and solipsism.

And now it falls upon you to wield these tropes in the name of hope:

  • Abstract Apotheosis: The Queen of Storms has transcended her body to become her Invocation: A part of the Queen exists within every soul that feels hate and anger, if they feel it strongly enough they can meet the Queen within their dreams, becoming fanatical soldiers of Storms. This is an autonomic process, the Queen isn't even aware of it. So far The Queen of Storms is the only Queen known to have become her Invocation. Some believe that she has reached a theoretical rank of Empress. But she has lost her humanity in the process, leading them to wonder if she is an empress gone wrong, or if becoming an empress is fundamentally wrong to begin with.
  • The Ageless: The Queens are not this by default, but can become so through royal magic. However, it is still considered ideal for a Queen to go through Reincarnation once every few centuries to avoid psychological problems.
  • Allergic to Evil: Princesses have a form of enhanced empathy known as Sensitivity, which causes pain, suffering and cruelty to literally hurt them when they witness it, with the effects ranging from the pain turning physical to turning them into justice-seeking berserks.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Queen of Tears has more than a few of these going to advance her agenda on Earth.
  • Alpha Bitch: A distinct possibility for a Princess of Mirrors.
  • And Man Grew Proud: The Kingdom(s) fell when the Queens grew arrogant and narrow-minded, allowing the Dark to grow within the cracks in their society. Alhambra is the only surviving remnant of the Kingdom.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Hitting Belief 0 can ultimately drive a Princess to this.
  • Apocalypse Cult: Among the antagonists available in the rulebook are the Cults of Darkness, which are basically various human sects used by the Darkness to corrupt more people.
  • Arrested for Heroism: Yes girls, you are warriors of Light and Hope, battling the Darkness, but Division Six and Task Force VALKYRIE still want you dead. As the introduction of the Rule book says when discussing the themes of the game, in many ways an angel is just another type of monster.
  • Badass Bookworm: A possibility for Diamonds, but a certainty for Alhambra's Order of the Tortoise - librarians and archivists who're trained to fight to the death in protection of their collection, and who archive Alhambra's best Bequests.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: The Embassy to the Economy. Supernaturally powerful financial investigators, enemies of corrupt corporate executives everywhere and patrons of nice suits.
  • Bag of Holding: The entire point of the "Miss Poppins' Bottomless Bag" charm.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Mirrors' philosophy, appropriately, is a twisted version of this. The True Heir will be chosen by destiny, and Princesses of Mirrors all believe that they're the one. Except that in this case, the alleged destiny is just a delusion, and no Princess of Mirrors is the True Heir because there is no such thing.
  • Brown Note: The Inspire Charm "Living Image" lets Princesses create art that performs magic on the people who view it. The Court of Storms is noted to make artwork that causes Dark creatures to feel so bad they explode.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Princesses of Mirrors come with a power that allows them to be better at everything because they're pretty. They also fit the "don't have to work hard" part of the trope; since being the True Heir is a matter of destiny rather than hard work, a Princess of Mirrors can work at her own pace.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: The Persistently Peachy Pretty Perfect charm lets you shrug off dirtying effects. Composed Come What May, meanwhile, allows you to remain beautiful even when you're covered in mud. It doesn't protect you from the other issues, though, so although at level 5, you could crawl through a mile of raw sewage without a drop getting on you, you're still probably going to become sick.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: A Lacrima Charm which temporarily makes you a Creature of the Darkness does this.
  • Blessed with Suck: Since this is the New World of Darkness, this par for the course. You are a Magical Girl with the ability to smite the darkness with the Power of Love but now, the evil and corruption of the world is a source of literal pain and suffering for you. The forces of Darkness, are extremely dangerous adversaries who are not above targeting your friends of loved ones if they ever found about them. The inevitable double life that comes from being a Princess is exhausting, and makes any semblance of stability all but impossible. Last but not least, you are just as likely to be targeted by Tears and Storms as you are by the Darkness.
  • Blithe Spirit: Troubadours of Swords, though they're even more likely to introduce a little verity into a normal culture as they are to shake up a repressed one.
  • Born-Again Immortality:
    • All Princesses have this. However their memories of past lives are a bit hazy, and the nurture side of the nature/nurture split means different lives can have very different personalities. In canon, this means you might owe allegiance to different courts in different lifetimes, and can even be different races and genders.
    • Naturally all Enlightened had to have a first life, and Onceborn are still on that first life. They are people who radiated such goodness that they were elevated to a higher state of being and begin play with a higher Karma Meter.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Tempesta Charms. Storms attitude as a whole could arguably be described by this trope. They favour strong attacks, Tempesta punishes retreating, and many Furies want to die and become part of the Queen of Storms.
    • The Storms' lieutenants, the Goalenu, can use abilities called Reprisals, which also damage the material vessel their spirits inhabit. The more damage taken, the more inhuman they appear, and enough of it eventually destroy the vessel entirely.
  • Cast from Sanity: Usage of both Lacrima and Specchio has this cost, though in different ways. Use of Lacrima forces you to make more and more Belief Compromises that can lower your Karma Meter, while use of Specchio penalises you with solipsistic, self-centred Conditions that can literally drive you insane.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Justified by the Royal Tongue merit, which grants a bonus if you spend a turn announcing and describing the Charm you are going to use.
  • Came Back Wrong: On occasion, a person never touched by the Darkness and who died after crossing the Despair Event Horizon (usually after being Driven to Suicide, though they can also lose the will to live) will have their corpse reanimated by the Dark, creating a special kind of Darkspawn called a Cataphractoi. They retain some memories from their human lives, but Cataphractoi are incredibly bad at pretending to be as such, only going through the motions their memories tell them to. And then there's what happens when they get pissed off...
  • Central Theme: Succeeding in the face of all hardships; hope.
  • Child Mage: Princesses can Blossom at any age. Unfortunately, younger Princesses are often drawn to the Court of Mirrors.
  • Child Soldier: Nothing except their own moral code is forcing Princesses to fight, but you still have young children fighting very real and very dangerous monsters. This is a major reasons why a lot of hunters still disapprove of the Hopeful.
  • City of Adventure: An official supplement covers the Princesses fighting to reclaim Detroit from the Darkness.
  • Clark Kenting: Transformation conceals a Princess' identity, and it's difficult (but not impossible) to put the two together. The only 100% effective method of verifying a Princess' identity is to personally witness the transformation process with your own eyes.
  • Color-Coded Elements: The Queens are linked to colours, and to elements; for example, the Queen of Swords, linked to Fire, is also Red.
  • Combined Energy Attack:
    • The Terra Charm Strength of Ten uses tactical coordination to strengthen one attack.
    • The Specchio Charm One Perfect Woman is a much more powerful and purer form of Combined Energy Attack, but also deconstructs it, since drawing her followers energy leaves them drained of Willpower. It's the sort of Charm you'd create if you really did believe it's all up to you.
  • The Corruption: Taint, the metaphysical presence of the All-Consuming Darkness - it can infest locations where evils great or mundane are committed, and can infect people who stay in it too long. These 'Darkened' develop Villain Teleportation and the ability to draw power from the pain of other people. Their moral compass inverts, making their Vice far more emotionally rewarding than their Virtue (i.e. indulging it restores all Willpower rather than just one point). Those who lose further Integrity will often develop Umbrae as the Darkness warps them physically. A Darkened who hits Integrity 0 with at least one Umbra dies in their sleep and becomes a Darkspawn, a monster whose only impulse is to serve the Dark. Darkened who hit zero without having acquired Umbrae (usually nasty or unstable people before becoming Tainted) become Mnemosyne, which retain their bodies and intellects and nothing else.
  • Cute Bruiser: Just about any Princess with well-developed Fight and Perfect charms.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Twilight Invocations all carry a certain measure of risk to them. Using Lacrima is almost always a compromise of Belief and requires a degeneration check, Tempesta inflicts wounds as price of its use, and Specchio causes madness.
  • The Dark Arts:
    • According to the conventional position, the Invocations of the Twilight Queens should not be practiced by a Radiant Princess. However, this is a downplayed example, as the Queens and most of their followers won't go Burn the Witch! on you simply because you're dabbling in these Invocations. On the other hand, each Twilight Invocation embodies an extreme and rather dangerous philosophy, and most followers of these philosophies are dangerously corrupt.
    • It's debated whether Specchio (the power of Mirrors) counts as this, as it draws upon solipsism and vanity. Some Princesses consider the Queen of Mirrors to be a Radiant Queen to be honored with the others, while others believe that any Princess who even dabbles in Specchio is hopelessly corrupt. It doesn't help that this branch of magic can make one temporarily insane with things such as superiority complexes, delusions of grandeur, solipsism, and self-justifying morality ("I did it, so it is right"). In fact the stronger you are with this branch of magic, the greater your risk of insanity is!
    • Tempesta, the Invocation of Storms, is also debated, as its destructive force is highly tempting to use in situations where a powerful enemy needs to be destroyed, and its cost of self injury is considered by many to be a better price to pay than a compromise of beliefs or the risk of insanity. A large number of Champions dabble in it if only for this reason, an open secret nobody talks about. Isolated Nobles also tend to dabble in it if only to be able to handle more dangerous goes on their own. However, Tempesta also obliges its user to show no mercy when destroying the Darkness or Tears and to prioritize the destruction of evil over the lives of innocents. Any Princess who would rather not burn the world and forget about saving it is likely to come into conflict with the Furies.
    • Lacrima, the Invocation of Tears, is very rarely debated; most Princesses who have the Invocation are loyal to Alhambra, and the Invocation won't work if you won't sacrifice absolutely anything for whatever you love. In fact, many of the Charms of the Invocation are inherently sins against Belief and the Light. With that said, many veteran Nobles have been known to dabble in Lacrima, because it's at its most applicable when you've passed the Godzilla Threshold, and these particular Princesses are often much better at justifying moral compromise when (they think) victory is more important than their life or soul. Also, there's a special group of Princesses of Diamonds who study Lacrima because the Invocation also has power over ghosts and the dead, and take strict vows to never use Lacrima for any other purpose. However, while the Queen of Diamonds is okay with this, there are a lot of Princesses who think that once these Diamonds have the power, they're going to be tempted to use it.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Darkness is Evil with a capital E. Moreover, the Lacrima Invocation used by the Queen of Tears is linked to the element of Void, and can be used to drain Light from the world. More importantly, it won't work for you if you won't compromise your beliefs to protect what you love, which inevitably leads to becoming just as much of a Well-Intentioned Extremist as Tears is.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Very rare. However, there's technically nothing that prevents a good Princess from taking the Lacrima Invocation; it's a frighteningly potent tool for defending one's own Nation, and there's nothing more powerful when the Godzilla Threshold has been crossed. In addition, there are Diamonds who use Lacrima to study the dead and the Underworld, with the blessing of their Queen, and take vows to never use the Invocation against mortals-and indeed, the ghost-manipulation Charms of Lacrima are the usually the ones that aren't Belief compromises.
    • A less debatable case is Vuoto, Pentacles'/Pre-Fall Mirrors' signature Invocation. It may be The Power of the Void, but it's primarily about the emptiness that allows one to see things unobscured.
  • Dark Magical Girl: You'll likely find at least some in service of the Twilight Queens.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Very much so, especially for Alhambra - if they don't keep the lanterns burning, any particularly dark area begins to be eaten by the All-Consuming Darkness, even spawning monsters to put out the lanterns.
  • Dark World: The Dark World, where the Darkness makes its home. It resembles a rotting version of the normal world, due to the light the Darkness has been sapping and digesting. The Dark World is implied to function as a Genius Loci and the terrain itself will attempt to collapse on any Noble who enters it.
  • Deal with the Devil: One unconfirmed legend claims that the Twilight Queens fell by making desperate pacts with the Darkness. The Queen of Tears offered the world's hope and the lives of the very Kings and Queens who had come to her for aid in return for protecting Alhambra from the Darkness. The Queen of Storms made a deal to rage against it forever without losing herself to the Darkness. The Queen of Mirrors bargained for safety with the catch of all of her followers being destined to fail. This pact is said to have caused drawbacks in their magic and to have possibly created Dark Queens as avatars of their flaws. Were this theory to be proven true, it is believed that Loophole Abuse in the Pacts' terms or the destruction of these avatars would be required to redeem them.
  • Death by Despair: The least-bad thing that can happen if a Princess hits Belief 0, in the Dream version. For Muggles, often what causes them to rise as a Cataphract.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: This game takes advantage of the darker setting to deconstruct the Magical Girl genre, by pointing out all the consequences fighting evil would have on young girls (trauma from battle, exhaustion caused by the workload of a double-life, confrontation with sometimes horrifying opponents), acknowledging that not all the problems in the world can be fixed by a speech on friendship, that good and evil aren't always clear-cut and that sometimes, evil winning and death are very real possibilities. It also doesn't shy away from how difficult it would be to be a genuinely good person in a place as dangerous and rotted as the New World of Darkness. However, it also justifies a lot of the abilities Magical Girls have, encourages players to follow strategies outside the genre such as training mortals into monster hunters, gives the protagonists very real power, and acknowledges that, for all the hardship, they can still win.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: This is invoked by a Specchio Charm called befriending.
  • Deflector Shield: The Princesses' substitute to most Supernaturals' Healing Factor, Holy Shield. While it doesn't allow them to regenerate, it instead lets them spend Wisp to create a small shield around them that will deflect or weaken the impact of attacks as a reflexive action. Gameplay-wise, this allows them to downgrade the damages inflicted to them, turning Aggravated into Lethal, Lethal into Bashing, and flat-out cancelling Bashing.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: The Dreamlands has many of the associated tropes, however it is Beacons who tend to go through the standard narrative.
  • The Dreaded:
  • Dream Land: The Dreamlands, appropriately enough.
  • Elemental Nation: All of the Queendoms have access to the invocations of the other Queendoms. But each has an affinity for their own, which in turn are associated with a specific element.
  • Elemental Powers: Charms are mostly generic energy effects, but by using an Invocation or an Invoked Charm Princesses give a certain elemental theme to their magics.
    • Blow You Away: Aria is strongly associated with wind and speed and the Invocation favoured by the Queen of Spades.
    • Casting a Shadow: Lacrima is the Invocation that has most to do with manipulating shadow, darkness and death. The Darkness' own minions make use of Caligene, their own magic system that draws strongly on the themes of Darkness, Decay and Corruption.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: The Terra Invocation, favoured by the Queen of Hearts.
    • Green Thumb: The Invocation of Legno is this, and the favourite of the Queen of Clubs.
    • Light 'em Up: Specchio attacks take the form of pure light, in a world where Light Is Good this only feeds their arrogance further. It's downplayed though, Specchio's real "element" is actually time and space.
    • Making a Splash / An Ice Person: The Aqua Invocation, and by extension, the servants of the Queen of Diamonds.
    • Playing with Fire: The Fuoco Invocation, which also involves manipulating the flames of the heart, is favoured by the Queen of Swords.
    • Universal Poison: Tempesta, the very point of Tempesta is to be destructive, to the enemy, to your allies, to yourself and to everyone and everything around. And not necessarily in that order. The Queen of Storms' servants find this Invocation most easily used, and use it to great effect.
    • There is some work being done with Cups, Wands and Pentacles (the precursors of Tears, Storms, and Mirrors respectively) on the boards.
      • Extra-ore-dinary: The Invocation of Metallo, utilized by the Court of Wands.
      • Power of the Void: The Invocation of Vuoto, utilized by the Court of Pentacles. A case of Dark Is Not Evil, as it's supposed to symbolically be linked to clarity.
      • Shock and Awe: The Invocation of Fulmine, utilized by the Court of Cups.
  • Emotional Powers: All Princess magic comes from their emotions, however their magic is not controlled by their emotions. A healing spell could just as easily be powered by compassion, worry or a feeling of personal responsibility. What really matters is that the Princess can channel her emotions and use them to drive herself to action. In addition each Court has signature emotions.
    • Clubs: Harmony and tranquility.
    • Diamonds: Curiosity and wonder.
    • Hearts: Trust and duty.
    • Spades: Laughter and surprise.
    • Swords: Love.
    • Tears: Depression and resolve.
      • Cups: Enlightenment and identity
    • Storms: Rage and hatred.
      • Wands: Humility and resiliance
    • Mirrors: vanity and solipsism.
      • Pentacles: Wisdom and maturity
  • Empathic Weapon: Averted. A Princess' magical waeapon is a physical manifestation of her emotions but the weapon itself behaves like an inanimate object.
  • Enemy Mine: The appearance of an extremely powerful force of The Darkness will cause all the Princesses in the area (including those that serve the Twilight Queens) to team up to stop it.
  • Enemy Without: Done interestingly (and with moral alignments inverted) for Ishmael Goldstein-his soul actually remained on Earth as a dybukk even as his body reanimated as a Cataphract. He uses his Body Snatching powers to great effect when saving people from his body, and it is suggested that the Cataphract attempt to use the troupe as Unwitting Pawns to get rid of him.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Alhambran legend claims that the kingdom fell when several Kings and Queens were tempted by the Darkness's power, waged war against one another, and were betrayed or corrupted by the very power they sought to control, devouring their nations to use against the rest.
  • Expy:
  • The Extremist Was Right: One undeniable fact about Storms is that it will annihilate the Darkness (and Alhambrans, for that matter). It's hard to make things right in a Tainted place, but just burning everything with green flame and acid will erase the Taint, and it won't bring more Darkness to the world (at least not directly). The question is whether it's worth it to find a better way.
  • Everything Is An I Pod In The Future:
    • The dominant look for Ambassadors to the Machine is the "iPrincess" look; sleek, hard and white clothing, Technicolor Eyes, hair and skin.
    • Older Ambassadors to the Machine tend to use a variety of Zeerust instead. Steampunk Wrench Wenches, however, are timeless, and found in young and old Princesses alike.
  • Evil Counterpart: Princesses tend to view Unchained as this, particularly how a curious demons tends to become a Stalker Without a Crush, because they find the Inner Light...fascinating.
    • Also the Begotten, as they bring fear and nightmares into the world whereas the Nobility bring hope. The stereotypes imply that the Princesses don't buy into the "teaching through fear" ideal.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • Besides Darkness vs. Everyone Else, the Seraphim (Storms' faction) really, really, hate Alhambra for running and hiding from the war. For their part, Alhambrans just wish they wouldn't be shot at.
    • Tempesta is the most reliable way to destroy the Darkness. While fighting the Darkness for a virtuous reason usually cleanses Taint and restores Light to the world, killing creatures of the Darkness selfishly doesn't purify anything, and even virtuous violence can end up creating more Darkness than it destroys. Tempesta, however, purges and destroys Darkness regardless of its user's reasons. (Which is a good thing, because there's nothing virtuous about Storms' rage and destruction.)
  • Evil Is Not Well-Lit: As a city in the heart of the Darkness, Alhambra lacks a true sun, and is only illuminated by the lanterns which burn stolen hope.
  • Evil Is Sterile: It is said that the Darkness's greatest weakness is its inability to create or develop. Instead, it must corrupt and consume.
  • Fallen Hero: The Dethroned, a possible fate for Princesses that hit Belief 0. Unlike most Magical Girl versions, however, they're mostly passive-most are content to wallow in their own misery in the Dark World until more driven Darkspawn sense the Godzilla Threshold has been passed, and provoke them into awakening (the reason they generally don't do this is because most also have the ability to overwrite Darkspawn into their servants, destroying any mind they have in the process). Then there's the factor of the Twilight Queens who were once Radiant...
  • Fix Fic: An in universe example. The Embassy to Stories opens with a Fix Fic where Santa Claus marries The Little Mermaid to The Little Match Girl and they all live Happily Ever After. Since the Embassy believes the world runs on stories they tend to do this a lot, mostly to people's lives. Might be another Shout-Out to Madoka, considering how there are definite Fairytale Motifs of Andersen's tales behind the tragic fates of both Kyoko and Sayaka, who are all but an Official Couple.
  • Foil: Courtwise, the Queen of Mirrors philosophies and emotion are the exact opposite of the Queen of Wands. Whereas hers is all about vanity and that you alone can resurrect the Kingdom, Wands is all about Humility and working in a team to solve problems.
    • There's also the smart, pragmatic Court of Diamonds towards the Large Ham Court of Swords, the traditionally aligned Court of Hearts towards the whimsical Court of Spades, the calm and harmonious Court of Clubs to the hateful and chaotic Court of Storms.
  • Frills of Justice: A Downplayed Trope. Princesses have enormous variety in their outfits, so Frills of Justice are a possibility but far from universal.
  • Girly Bruiser: A distinct possibility for any Champion, especially the Court of Hearts.
  • Glass Cannon: Best Defense boosts your strength by your ranks in Tempesta at the cost of disabling your Barrier Jacket.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: In the Dream version, Queens are basically princesses who have successfully formed a nation of people who believe in them and their ideals and have forged those ideals into an invocation. If their nation is destroyed, or if they lose their nation's admiration, then they fade into a stronger than average princess. Nevertheless, the Radiant Queens still have power in the Dreamlands since the deceased souls of their nations also reside there, though they have little power over the waking world beyond sharing their invocation. The Queen of Storms has transcended the need for a nation and can draw power from humanity's collective hatred. No one knows how the Queen of Mirrors maintains her power.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Lacrima can always be used without cost if the situation is truly desperate.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In a way, the Trap as constructed in the Dreamlands had gone perfectly well for the Darkness. It soon grew to not only work on Nobles, but it was also able to draw in Sworn and Beacons too. The "Horribly Right" part kicks in when the Earth shines with more hope than the Trap can gain with the moon landings, showing all trapped Nobles and Queens that they're in a Lotus-Eater Machine, curbstomping their captors and proceeding to reincarnate on Earth again and bring hope back into the world.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: This game has the Radiant Courts (the Good), the Darkness and its assorted minions (the Evil), and the Twilight Courts (the Slightly Less Good/Bad).
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • More or less up to the various developers' fancy. Gratuitous Italian is used in naming the Invocations, Shikigami, Nakama, and Amanojaku are the terms used for the Animal Companion, the PC group, and a type of Monster of the Week, while the Darkness gets esoteric-sounding for the monsters and their powers.
    • Interestingly enough, it's all explained as actually being gratuitous In-Universe. The Italian was chosen by an early Princess who loved Italy and spread through the early forums; the Japanese came from fans of magical girl anime; and the Greek and Latin are actually a result of internal debate with the Diamonds, the Court that studies and categorizes the Darkness the most. The Greek comes from their Queen's own belief that it is "the language of scholars and doctors" and so many rush to classify them as such. The Latin comes from those who are influenced by modern scientific practices. It notes that particularly geeky Diamonds have memorized the Greek to Latin or vice versa translations so they don't have to mix languages.
  • The Heartless: At least some Darkspawn (it's implied more than a few are created directly from the Darkness) and Mnemosyne.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Nobody knows what's up with the Queen of Mirrors, but her Invocation is generally seen as a bad thing, and her Princesses as useless jerks.
  • The High Queen: The Queen of Hearts, although the Queen of Diamonds tries to be a particularly intellectual one in public. The other Queens avert it, only the Queen of Tears shows any interest in formality and she has other problems.
  • Hollow World: The city of Alhambra is a rain-drenched bubble world inside the Darkness, only kept real by Light stolen from the outside world. The city is around the inside of a sphere, broken up by lakes and canals which provide its food.
  • Hope Bringer: Every Princess is supposed to be one. Not all are.
  • Hostile Weather: Remember what we said about Storms being a living tempest of anger? That's not merely a metaphor, it's literal.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Aside from unusual cases, such as the Queen of Storms and the Queen of Mirrors, the Queens are largely this, since ruling a small country and getting at least close is the most important requirement to gain that status.
  • I Am Very British: Averted, British Princesses are said to use their natural accents in contrast to American Princesses, who are known to adopt an upper class English accent to sound more regal. British princesses occasionally parody the Americans by adopting thick regional British accents.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: One of the ideals of the Court of Mirrors; the True Heir does not choose the least evil option! She will save everyone without sacrificing anything at all! This is reflected in game mechanics: anyone who invokes Specchio and dings their Karma Meter in the same scene is far more likely to go insane as a result of the disconnect between their ideals and reality.
  • In Harmony with Nature: The Court of Club's core ideal is to promote harmony. It doesn't have to be between man and nature, but that is a very common manifestation.
  • Interspecies Romance: While Princesses usually despise the Unchained and are disturbed by their creepy fascination toward them, there is an exception when it comes to the ones following the Queen of Tears, due to both of them being Not So Different. Because of this, Demons and Princesses of Tears actually get along pretty well, and it's not uncommon for them to fall in love; in fact, at least one Handmaiden has been confirmed to have a half-demon daughter.
  • In the Name of the Moon: If a Princess is collapsing too badly due to Belief transgressions, she may need to use this to psych herself up enough to Transform.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier: A fundamental unit of horror in Princess is that Sensitivity means the Nobles can never build up emotional armour to the suffering they witness. Every heartbreak, every innocent victim lost, every atrocity seen hurts just as bad as the first.
    • However the flip side is just as true, in that every special time with friends and loved ones, every bond made, be it friendship or love, every moment of happiness feels just as euphoric as the first time. This bulwark of positivity and hope is what allows Nobles to bear the immense emotional weight of their duty.
  • It's All About Me: The Specchio Invocation reinforces this kind of thinking. For example: Specchio ceases to work if you show any form of humility or try to play down your actions or allow yourself to be taken down a peg by someone else. The latter can easily be undone by publicly humiliating who ever made you look bad.
  • Karma Houdini: Storms and Mirrors both offer ways around sensitivity, Storms burn their shadows with rage, at the cost of being burned by those same flames. Mirrors just erase any memories that don't support their fantasy of invincibility and righteousness.
  • Karma Meter: Belief, the measure of how closely a Princess adheres to the ideals of the Light as she understands them. While it uses the Integrity system from God-Machine Chronicle, Belief is still lost through compromising one's own morality rather than through being shocked by supernatural things.
  • Knight Templar: Princesses who follow the Queen of Storms are driven by their hatred of the Darkness and seek to destroy anything and everything associated with it, even if there is a better way that does not involve, say, hurting innocents tainted by the Darkness.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Jade is this to creatures of the Darkness; to reflect this in-game, they take one lethal damage per turn as long as a piece of jade is in contact with their body.
  • Language of Magic: The Royal Tongue is this, perfectly comprehensible to the Hopeful but not anyone else. It's not recordable, but boosts Charms. Actually speaking it requires a Merit. Amusingly it usually translates into friendship speeches.
  • Light Is Good: Princesses draw their power from "the Light," a force created by love, friendship, and the desire to help others. Every act of love or kindness brings more Light into the world. Accordingly, Princesses have some of the best benefits for keeping their Karma Meter high, are inherently driven to prevent suffering or bring joy (and can build power by doing so), and the mysterious processes that cause Blossomings select from among the best of humanity.
  • Light Is Not Good: Princesses that follow the Queen of Mirrors believe that being a Princess says more about their morality than their deeds. They tend to use the brightest, most obvious colour schemes and powers. Their Invocation also strongly promotes being self-absorbed Jerkasses
  • Lord British Postulate: The dream version of the game does not give the Queens' exact stats, but does give an overview of how a princess can become a queen and how their abilities work. The vocation version on the other hand leaves the Queens as a vague mystery to discourage players from trying to kill them.
  • Lost Technology: Tears has access to Bequests that pre-date The Fall and use Invocations that no longer exist.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Dreamlands is far from a perfect prison anymore, but its original purpose is still intact - spend too long there, and it's possible to forget it's not the real world, and that the physical world is nothing but a horrible nightmare. By the way, what makes it such an effective trap isn't that it's a Utopia; It's that the rules of the place means evil always loses sooner or later, without irreplaceable sacrifice or damning yourself in the process. Think about what that says about the World of Darkness for a second.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Umbrae, deformities possessed by most Darkened and Darkspawn that enhance physical and supernatural ability at the cost of sanity and social ability.
  • Love Freak: Princesses of Swords are most commonly like this, though almost any of the Radiant courts can draw in a few of this sort.
  • Mad Oracle: All the best scrying and prophecy Charms require Specchio so using them means you're more vulnerable to gaining Derangements. This might seem odd given the Princesses of Mirrors' usual shallow attitudes but remember that the Queen of Mirrors used to be the Hierophant Queen before The Fall.
  • Magical Girl: All Princesses generally act as this.
  • Magical Girl Genre Deconstruction: Averted. While Sailor Nothing was a major inspiration, Princess is a Decon-Recon Switch of the genre, showing how magical girls can still be effective heroes in a more realistic world.
  • Magical Girlfriend: It's entirely possible for this to be the relationship between a Princess and a Sworn or Beacon, or even a regular mortal, especially with the Entwined Destiny Merit.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: The War of Hope makes it a sad necessity for every Noble to have at least some combat capability.
  • The Magocracy: The magical girls are refereed to Princesses, Princes and Nobles for a reason. Though the differences between a Magical Girl and a Wizard Classic means that many of the magocracy stereotypes do not apply, as does the presence of six different magocracies and thus the need to make them distinct from each other.
  • Mama Bear: Any Princess of Tears is this towards Alhambra. Non-Alhambrans who use Lacrima instead substitute loyalty to their family, True Companions and followers.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Princesses of Spades have the power to destine themselves to serve this role for someone else. The power is even called "Manic Pixie Dust." Making the world better is the job of every Princess, and the Knaves in particular enjoy making people laugh. Unlike most pixies, however, Princesses don't have an inexplicable attraction to the strait-laced.
  • Martyrdom Culture: Both Alhambrans and Stormite cultists, to different extents — Alhambrans believe that there is no price too high, including their lives, to protect the city, and Stormites simply don't care if they die, only that they take the Dark with them.
  • The Masquerade: Not enforced, but necessary. There isn't any rule against revealing the Light to individual Muggles (though magic, in the World of Darkness, is inherently terrifying to people not in the know, so being careless can hurt people's brains). But using magic in public means that the Darkness can track you more easily, which may end in a very nasty creature finding out your identity (or simply your mundane allies) and going after your loved ones.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: Subverted by the Queen of Diamonds, who acts something like a Vulcan while performing her royal duties but reverts into a technology-obsessed Genki Girl in private. Her court tend to simply avert rather than subvert the trope, being a group who proudly fuel their often intellectually and technologically focused emotional magic with scientific curiosity and a love of learning.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: The Tempesta and Lacrima upgrades to the Valiant Mind Charm, the former outright calling it "A Terrible Thing". With Tempesta, you can terrorize your enemy with your burning hatred. With Lacrima, you drown your opponent with your grief.
  • Minmaxer's Delight: Specchio charms are horrendously useful for self-buffing. Take a few charms they use, such as Beauty is Talented (adds Striking Looks bonus to any dice rolls for a few turns), Gems from Enduring Beauty (gives equipment bonuses when added to Bequests or you can crush them to add their resources/availability as a number of automatic successes to any roll that's in line with Specchio), and ANY skill enchancing charm by invoking the Specchio Invocation (it can be invoked for free if the target of the charm is the using Princess, in which case all Skill Enhancer charms target the Princess), and you have at minimum a +2 bonus with an automatic single success (if the gem was crushed) or a +3 bonus instead (if used in a Bequest). At maximum aka Specchio 5? It's a +7 Bonus and Five automatic successes (if the gem was crushed) or a +12 Bonus (if used in a bequest). Really, Specchio could easily reach levels of broken if it didn't cause insanity and (on the part of the Gems) require Human Resources to get them from. This makes sense when you realize this is exactly what a Princess of Mirrors would want to be - the brave Princess who is always strong enough to save the day on her own, because they're The Chosen One while everybody else is just a helpful secondary character.
  • Monster of the Week: While many monsters can of course be used, Darkspawn are explicitly created for this. They're highly customizable and introduce no moral of philosophical questions to the setting that might get in the way of a simple action scene.
  • Monster Lord: Both Mnemosyne (people who embraced the Darkness without becoming physical monsters) and Cataphractoi (the Darkspawn occasionally born from suicides) count for the Darkspawn.
  • Moral Myopia: Alhambrans believe in moral behavior... toward other Alhambrans. Taking what they want from the Rebellious Provinces is only just and proper.
  • Monster Clown: The Fools Upon the Summit, Alhambra's official jesters. Due to the extremely formalized society the city possesses, any one who survives for a significant period of time is a master Manipulative Bastard who knows just how to get under your skin without openly insulting you...and if you do react to them, you will discover the hard way that they're the public face of the Ghost Owls, whose explicit job is to weed out people who are more easily tempted by the Darkness. Such as, for example, people who react to the guys whose explicit job it is to satirize you.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: What the Kingdom was before the Fall, and what specifically happened to it, is unclear; the only ones whom have might have any records of this are Alhambra, and the Queen of Tears is an Unreliable Narrator at best. The Radiant Queens have confused memories from being dead, the Queen of Storms only cares that Alhambra and the Darkness were responsible somehow, and the Queen of Mirrors isn't talking.
  • Mundane Utility: Many early charms add a piece of equipment to a Princess' regalia. Not only do these come in handy when the need arises for a little "extra-legal" work (it is often difficult or dangerous for a Princess to carry an assault rifle, broadsword or a set of lockpicks in her civilian life all the time) they can be used for many mundane tasks such as a first aid kit or portable computer. The magic in them can allow them to function as top of the line gear in addition to certain special properties.
  • Mythology Gag: The moon landing helping to bring a tide of hope and inspiration into the world is also featured in Changeling: The Dreaming.
  • Never Gets Drunk: An Aria charm allows a Princess to get as drunk or high as she wants and always keep her poise and composure. However, it just masks the symptoms. It doesn't actually stop the drugs' effects.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Princesses of Mirrors HATE each other, as There Can Be Only One True Heir.
  • Not So Different: In the wiki section for crossovers, Tears holds vampires in contempt for how they feed off the world solely to extend their unnatural lives, yet Alhambra steals hope to extend the longevity of their city.
  • Odd Friendship: Princesses actually get along quite well with werewolves, Prometheans, and changelings.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Alhambra gets its raw materials by putting a chunk of material they need copied into a furnace, extinguish the light and wait a few moments for the darkness to surge up and over it. Then they light the lights again, causing the shadows to solidify in a larger amount of what it just tried to eat.
  • Older Sidekick: This is mentioned as a possibility for a Princess' family.
  • The One Guy: It is up to individual groups to decide how true they want to remain to the source but male Royals do show up. (The Embassy to the Economy's iconic Matthew Sheppard for instance).
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The Karma Meter in this game is much more forgiving if you're doing bad things to bad people than it is if you're doing bad things to good people.
  • Personality Powers: In addition to being linked to the elements, the Invocations resonate with certain philosophies and worldviews. For example, Acqua calls to those who believe that truth and reason will build a better world, while Lacrima will only work for someone who will do whatever is necessary to protect the ones she loves.
  • Playing Card Motifs: Four of the five Radiant Queens correspond to the four traditional suits. The remaining one is Swords.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted. It's mentioned that most Dark Cults are broken by the police, and the section on Tainted Places mentions that the real life practice of completely stripping down and power hosing the homes of serial killers cleanses taint.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: To fuel the lamps that are critical to Alhambra's survival the Princesses of Tears drain mortals on Earth of their hope.
  • The Power of Hate: The invocation of Tempesta is powered by hate and rage, though it is usually pointed at the Darkness.
  • The Power of Love: Any Princess can use it, but the Court of Swords use it most of all. The Court of Mirrors specialize in inducing this in others, for when the Princess wants to be the perfect lady fair instead of the perfect hero. (Specchio isn't good at helping the Princess use this herself, as that would require her power to depend on her relationships with others.) And the Court of Tears will do whatever it takes to protect the ones they love, thus drawing this trope through a glass darkly.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Some Inspire Charms that also use Specchio are specifically made to aide in Seduction.
  • Princesses Rule: Averted in the Dreamlands; Princesses are subjects of the Queens. However, on Earth, it's entirely possible for them to establish their own Nation.
  • Princess Protagonist: Taken up to 11. There are legions of magical girls who all call themselves Princesses.
  • Prestige Class: Embassies and Protectorates. The former grant power through ties and agreements between regular Princesses and the supernatural world, while the latter allow Alhambran Princesses (and Sworn) to assert authority over the supernatural.
  • Prohibited Hero Saves the Day: Averted by the Queens. They've seen so many pre-teen Princesses ignore their orders and attempt to be heroes that they can recognise this trope aproaching and when it does they don't bother setting out prohibitions any more, and skip straight to the training.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Dr. Ishmael Goldstein, one of the example Cataphracts. He just wants you to get over your relationship difficulties...many of which his minions he's quite willing to push you over the Despair Event Horizon to break you and your significant other down into something he can work with.
    • Averted with the real Dr. Ishmael Goldstein, who was a good man that did his best to help people despite his own problemsnote  that evetually drove him to suicide. And even after he died, his spirit has stuck around, and he does his best to save people from the Cataphract that took over his dead body.
  • Purple Prose: Anything said in the Royal Tongue is very deep purple due to the structure of the language; even saying a one syllable "thank you" translates to a two-paragraph dissertation on the magic of friendship. The Queen of Hearts sees this as a feature, not a bug, while the Queen of Diamonds prefers to speak Earth languages for this reason.
  • Really Gets Around: The Queen of Swords has a lot of consorts, and deeply loves every one of them. To a lesser extent, the Queen of Diamonds, who has a lot of one-night-stands, but no permanent consorts.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: All of the Radiant Queens, but most intensely embodied by the Queen of Hearts, who strongly encourages her Nobles to follow this trope as well.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Princess: the Hopeful has inspired multiple fan works, such as a supplement about the origins of the Twilight Queens based on advice from the developers, a Hunter: The Vigil crossover supplement, and the fan made Courts of Melodies and Brass. Sparks Of Light can be considered a more idealistic, and financially expensive, version of the game (it explicitly name-drops Princess: the Hopeful as an inspiration).
  • Redemption Equals Death: In the Dream version, a Princess fallen to Belief 0 is too far gone to be saved in this life. If her Belief is restored to 1, then she'll die peacefully in her sleep and move on to the cycle of reincarnation, which is probably the best she can hope for. Averted in the Vocation version, though-a Princess who is caught early enough in the slide into irreparable despair can be talked out of it, and from there they can reform their Phylactery-though it's not easy.
  • Red String of Fate: Invoked by a Fuoco power that allows a Princess to become someone's destined lover. It can also happen naturally with the Entwined Destiny merit. The natural destinies also come with compatible personalities. Both forms of entwined destiny are one-way and only affect the character with the destiny (though there's nothing stopping both partners from taking the merit), so the individual who the Princess has chosen to love is not bound to her and may freely reject her affections.
    • A more advanced version of the Fuoco charm does allow the Princess to bind someone else to her as a destined lover, though it automatically fails unless the target grants informed consent. More disturbingly, Specchio can be used to do the same thing without the requirement for informed consent.
  • Releasing from the Promise: Forced Vows Are No Vows allows a Princess to break a Magically Binding Contract, defying the concept of The Oath-Breaker in the process. According to the Light, abuse of a contractual relationship is just plain abuse.
  • Rightful King Returns: The True Heir to the Kingdom is supposed to be this, according to the Queen of Mirrors.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment:
    • The philosophy of the Queen of Diamonds is the Enlightenment in its purest form, while Hearts is rather Romantic (though an idealistic variant). The other Radiant Queens' followers have mixed positions on the subject.
    • The Kingdom of Alhambra is unabashedly Romantic and backward-looking, but that's because of how it's structured; the philosophy of Lacrima itself passes no judgment on the issue.
    • Specchio is as purely Romantic as it gets. The True Heir to the fallen Kingdom will be The Chosen One by destiny and divine right, and she will put the world right and rule over it because that's how things are meant to be.
  • Romantic Vampire Boy: Stereotypically, Princesses of Mirrors divide vampires into two kinds: the evil (and ugly) fiends and "the hot ones I can save." Naturally, this is the precise opposite of the reality going by Vampire: The Requiem (the pretty Daeva are Vice-addicted Stepford Smilers with a marked tendency towards emotional abuse, while ugly Nosferatu tie with the Mekhet for least evil vampire clan).
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • It's arguable if Princesses are actually royalty, either way they certainly do stuff. The Queen of Mirrors was in part deliberately intended to sponge up all the tropes about royalty only looking pretty and being superior to keep them away from the PCs.
    • The philosophy of the Queen of Hearts insists on this. "Authority Must Be Earned," so a Princess of Hearts must act in such a way as to deserve her Nation's trust.
  • Sacred Language: The Royal Tongue's nature as utterly incomprehensible to even other supernaturals in the World of Darkness turns it effectively into this.
  • Sailor Earth: The 8 Invocations (11 if you include the pre-Twilight Courts) are not the only Invocations that existed, merely the ones that are active/have any semi-public surviving records of them existing. In addition to Invocations that may exist in Alhambra's Vaults or survived the Fall by more unconventional means, Dream allows players of sufficient power to develop their own.
    • The Court of Melodies was a fan-created Court thematically associated with Harmony and Friendship that was added to the downloads page.
  • Sickly Green Glow: A common feature of the Tempesta Invocation, belonging to the Queen of Storms. Comes in both glowing green radioactivity, and glowing green acid variants, too.
  • Sizeshifter: The benefit of the 3-dot Perfect charm Royal Stature, as well as the Darkspawned Caligines Diminutive Size and Grotesque Bulk.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Dreamlands section has lots to Girls Underground stories. For example the sample entrances are references to Coraline, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Lives of Christopher Chant and Peter Pan in Scarlet.
    • The Clubs philosophy "Things Change My Dear" references a line from the Tori Amos song Winter.
    • The section for the Queen of Spades opens with an in charachter speech by someone who is very clearly based on Pinkie Pie.
    • The Swords Philosophy "Specialisation is for Insects" references a Robert A. Heinlein quote, the Philosophy also begins with a Long List like the quote.
    • The Embassy to the Dreamland's powers are mostly named after characters form Girls Underground novels.
    • The sample Dethroned is called the Witch in the Woods. Calling it a witch is an obvious reference to Madoka, less obviously it's heavily based on the witch from No Rest for the Wicked.
    • One of the sample Tainted Places seems to be based on Desperate Housewives.
    • The initial defensive Perfect Charm, which provides bonus armor to the Princess invoking it, is called "Barrier Jacket". There is also another charm called befriending.
    • Two Hearts, One Soul was explicitly made as a shout out to Futari wa Pretty Cure.
    • Most of the Inspire Charms are named after song lyrics.
    • The quote at the front of "The Outer Darkness" section of the main rulebook is very similar to something G'kar once said
    • The rules for emotionally bullying a Princess to weaken her powers are in a section titled Mean Girls
    • The Court of Tears and the Court of Cups share one. Cups Kingdom was called "Calat" and it's capital is "Alhambra". Calat Alahambra is a real life place.
    • Child Princess' whose Transformations turn them into adults are called Creamy, while those who's Transformed Selves are Wise Beyond Their Years are called Nahonas.
    • The power that lets a Dethroned travel to Earth is called Walpurgisnacht after the Witch in Madoka who attacked outside her barrier.
  • Smug Super: Princesses of Mirrors are required to be smug to some extent by their Invocation, while Princesses of Tears tend to lord it over Earthlings for cultural reasons.
  • Sorceress Queen: The eight Queens are among the most powerful beings in the game. Six of them rule a kingdom, the other two used to.
  • Spiritual Successor: Arguably one to Sailor Nothing. The game also oddly enough, shares many of the same themes as Changeling: The Dreaming thought handled slightly differently.
  • Stone Wall: Best Offense from the Road of Dawn supplement boosts your dexterity by your ranks in Metallo and allows you to use the higher of wits and dexterity for calculating defense, but you can't use damage-boosting upgrades to your Kensai/Levinbolt/Empty Hands charms.
  • Super Gender-Bender: It's possible to have your transformed self be the opposite sex.
    • First Law of Gender-Bending: Averted. A Princess' transformation is temporary. Only the Court of Mirrors are an exception, and they can still revert their transformation if they chose too do so.
    • Second Law of Gender-Bending: Due to the way Transformation works a Princess basically has to be Transgender if her Transformed self is to be of the opposite sex. So naturally they consider their new form a blessing.
    • Third Law of Gender-Bending: Since Princess is a role playing game each player will decide for themselves how stereotypical their character will be.
  • Take Over the World: A key tenet of Lacrima is that Alhambra must "Subdue the Rebellious Provinces." However, as a matter of policy, Alhambra doesn't go conquering, because the City must be protected above all else. The tension between ideology and policy has led to a growing faction who say that it's time to take back Earth.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: The Royal Tongue can compress entire speeches into a few words, making mid-battle speeches practical if spoken in said language, and thus making this a Justified Trope.
  • Theme Naming: 4 of the Radiant Queens and their courts are each named after one of the playing card suits most often used in the English speaking world. The odd woman out is the Queen of Swords, whom uses an archaic name for the suit of Spades, which is still used by Italian tarot as a suit of minor arcana. One of the sections refers to bequests of lost invocations: Coppe, Bastoni, and Pentacolo (Cups, Wands and Pentacles).
  • Tarot Motifs: The pre-Fall names of the Twilight Queens correspond to suits of the Minor Arcana. The Queen of Tears was known as the Queen of Cups, the Queen of Storms was once the Queen of Wands and Mirrors was Pentacles. The uncorrupted Queen of Swords rounds out the quartet. The other four Queens are named for the modern playing card suits that evolved from the Minor Arcana suits; see Playing Card Motifs above.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: While Princesses have more leeway than Muggles in this department, a Princess who has abandoned this rule has descended into a fairly gray area of Belief and is suffering penalties for it. If they've abandoned it without replacing it with some kind of Fictional Geneva Conventions, then they're on the fast track to Dethronement.
  • Totally Not a Werewolf: Many Hunters have a bad habit of to group Princesses with the Mages as "witches", resulting in the attitude you'd expect.
  • Tortured Monster: Generally speaking, Dethroned were not nice individuals before they bottomed out the Karma Meter, and the transformation into a full Darkspawn turned them into powerful, insane monsters if they weren't already. At the same time, they also literally do not have the ability to feel hope, and now they just exist to be pushed into doing whatever more driven Darkspawn want. At this point, death is a Mercy Kill. Except that it doesn't work; the Dethroned will just reincarnate if slain.
  • Transformation Trinket: It's an RPG about Magical Girls, of course it has these.
  • Triple Shifter: The Fighting Evil By Moonlight Charm is used for pushing fatigue back, and it's designed to help those Princesses who can't fit a few hours of sleep into their busy schedules.
  • Unequal Rites: The various Callings don't always get along, but pretty much everyone looks down on Troubadours, since they seem more concerned with art and song than directly helping people.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Diamonds' current Practical Magic allows its Nobles to invoke this. After spending at least an hour researching and planning for a broad goal (e.g. "uncover proof of a Corrupt Corporate Executive's crimes"), a Princess can then in pursuit of that goal spend a Wisp to respond to new developments with a declaration of "ah, I planned for this". For example, upon finding a fingerprint lock in a mansion, she may that declare she has already acquired a copy of the necessary fingerprints, making rolls for the actions required where necessary. She cannot Retcon events that have already happened, though (if a burglar alarm goes off, she can't have disabled it); she can only expound upon them (she can have been sure to jam the alarm so that it wouldn't get a signal to the police).
  • Utility Magic:
    • The Embassy to the Economy are masters of magical accounting and magical economic forecasting. They use it to fight white collar crime.
    • The Invocation of Bastoni was all about this, but the Invocation is dead. Alhambra still owns pre-fall Bastoni Bequests. In the Supplement, this is the Metallo Invocation.
  • Utopia: Every Queen has her own in The Dreamlands.
  • The Unfettered: The Invocation of Lacrima requires this. In service to your Nation (which is either Alhambra, or else the people you've chosen to protect), you must be willing to commit absolutely any sin if that's the best way to go about it. However, this state is also impossible for any Princess to really achieve, because Princesses cannot wall themselves off from the suffering of others.
  • Vestigial Empire: Alhambra is the last remnant of the Kingdom that wasn't trapped in the Dreamlands, and they believe the Queen of Tears to be the rightful ruler of the entire world.
  • Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia: The Radiant Queens's Kingdoms are currently utopic places in a literal Dream Land, while the All-Consuming Darkness' plane of origin, the Dark World, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin- a warped, wasteland-looking version of the real world where everything alive freezes. Interestingly, there is a justification for the Dreamlands being like this- they were originally created by minions of the Darkness as a Lotus-Eater Machine where they could trap the Radiants, so it'd make sense they designed the place to be as pleasant as possible.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Given that the Princess encourages players to create a mood of exhaustion this trope is likely to come up. You can even earn exp by taking adult supervision as a disadvantage for your charachter.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Both Tears and Storms fall under this.
    • The Queen of Mirrors is publically in this place as well, constantly testing Hopeful to determine whether or not they are the Kingdoms' True Heir. Most don't measure up and break. Those that don't measure up in the most spectacular ways break worse.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: The Radiant Princesses vs the Twilight Princesses. The Twilight Courts have understandable goals but really terrible methods. The Radiant Princesses don't find it easy to be good, they don't always succeed, but they try so hard.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change:
    • Pentacles' Practical Magic plays this straight. A Princess may spend a wisp and turn one of her Aspirations, Dreams or Vocation into a Destiny. She selects how she's going to fulfill it and she gains bonuses whenever she acts in favor of her Destiny. However, she also receives Penalties whenever she tries any other ways to fulfill it! For example, if the Princess wanted to "Arrest Al Capone for the murder of Luigi", she's shut herself off from all attempts to "arrest Al Capone for Tax Evasion".
    • The Charms of Entwined Destiny allow a Princess to give herself a destined role related to another person. The Tears and Mirrors Charms of Entwined Destiny (The Old Allegiance and Standing On A Pedestal), meanwhile, allow the Princess to give others destinies related to her.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Downplayed. Living forever is said to by psychologically unhealthy, but living for a few centuries is fine and nobody says anything bad about having Born-Again Immortality.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie:
    • Anyone who channels Acqua, the Invocation of Diamonds, must adhere to this or temporarily lose their ability to channel the Invocation. They also cannot deliberately tell Half Truths or use Exact Words; intentionally deceiving someone goes against the philosophy. The Princess is however allowed to be untruthful if it is to keep someone's confidences or to shield innocents from harm.
    • "I must not lie for personal gain" is the First Oath of Nobles with the Seeker calling. Unlike with Acqua, this accommodates lying for the greater good, and has wiggle room for half-truths and You Didn't Ask, but violating such an Oath will force a fairly nasty Compromise roll.
  • Wonder Twin Powers: Anyone who has the Two Hearts, One Soul Flaw.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Yes, go ahead, help the nice psychiatrist deal with the evil body-hopping spirit haunting him. Or rather, help the Cataphract wearing Ishmael Goldstein's body get rid of the ghost of the actual Ishmael Goldstein, who stuck around after his suicide to warn people not to trust the being inside his body. The Storytelling Hints section for them specifically recommends playing on the players expectations for how a ghost story works.
  • You Rebel Scum!: A common attitude of the followers of Tears towards everybody else, judging by their stereotypical views. The even call Earth "The Rebellious Provinces."

"You cannot live on hope alone. But without hope, life is not worth living."

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