I am trying to make a interactive novel about the character who discovers he/she is now the crown prince/ss of fictional island adjacent to the UK. I took inspiration from the teenage novel ‘Princess Diaries’.
The trouble I am having is the customisation of the main character. Yes the reader will be able to choose gender and personality,but do I need to add skills to this list? And if yes, what skills can a teenager have (other than leadership) that will help them through this ‘coming of age’ phase.
I am hopeful that one of you guys will bestow your earthly knowledge to help me out
So far I have covered intelligence and charisma/persuasion. Thanks by the way for quick reply.My question is how athletic skills, art or even music skills help one be a better monarch? I understand intelligence, since it helps one make sound decisions.
For example, if you were told that you are first in line to British throne, will your art skills really help you be better a monarch, or am I missing something?
Happy that we will be able to choose the Gender of our MC, but unlike in the era of absolute monarchies where becoming nobility or royalty is arguably a step up in our modern era of constitutional monarchy it’s more of a burden than anything else, especially for someone who isn’t used to being hounded by the tabloids/media every waking moment (It arguably killed Diana).
It also has the rather unfortunate distinction of being the only job, even in a country (like the UK) where gay marriage is otherwise legal, where whom you fall in “love” with, let alone marry is not within your power to decide.
All in all being a modern prince(ss) sacrifices a LOT of freedoms for precious little gain and my character would have to either be starvation level poor or actually hunted by assassins or mob hitmen or something to consider taking the job.
That is, of course, provided the character is of age when he/she finds out, if they are minors then they might not be able to resist the whims of their guardian(s) in the matter, especially if they’re orphans and said guardian is the state.
I imagine the teenage novel you speak of focuses more on heteronormative wish-fulfillment than the practical difficulties of being required to step into a role you are ill prepared for at best. Besides the possibly insufficient general educational opportunities provided by an underfunded public school system, consider the possibility that our prospective prince is a juvenile delinquent who skips school more than he attends it, or at the other end of the spectrum he’s your stereotypical, painfully shy and reclusive, math genius.
I’d say in a modern monarchy good looks would be of more value than raw charisma since modern monarchs are usually openly prevented from being politicians. What you can or cannot say or do is usually closely dictated by both the PM and someone like the head of the office of royal etiquette. While charisma would help your character personally, in our age of modern media good looks would help the monarchy more overall. Having an interesting, photogenic and apolitical hobby would help immensely with generating favourable media coverage for the monarchy. Being an artist talented enough for your works to merit your own expositions is one of the better hobbies a modern monarch could have, now that I think about it.
One last thought, geographically, if I need a unique European Island country (for custom D&D settings) that’s NOT perfidious Albion, I usually give the Azores (much) more land, since they easily have the European fairytale landscape whilst their relative geographical isolation usually lets me justify both their unique culture and why they were not conquered (being under the political influence is another matter entirely) by one of the giant European Empires back in the day.
Hmmmm, this is a very uneducated guess but maybe art in the form of architecture or something like that? A monarch more inclined to preserve aged buildings and culture might be more well liked with the country’s people and hence gives the people more of a national identity.
Don’t know if that makes sense, I’m bad at describing stuff
@SheaMcD A shy/confidence is more of a trait than a skill. Now thinking about it, may be I should just focus mainly on the personality of the MC rather than skill because the MC after all is a teenage, around 17.
@idonotlikeusernames Your reply is thought-provocative. I find myself agreeing with the points you raised especially the one about the crown being a burden than a blessing. I can’t imagine being followed constantly by paparazzi, I will go mad. But I don’t think that’s the first realisation a teenager will get (at least I wouldn’t, I will be ecstatic). But the point of this novel is to explore how one will might change themselves due to pressure society. Will the mc lose their identity and be bullied to the extent that they forget who they truly are.
Not that I am trying to be philosophical or anything, being a modern day prince/ss will be interesting to write about and see the reaction of the community of CoG. I read up on Azores and it is interesting island but I am still leaning on creating a fictional island that has its own unique culture and customs.
Now I am thinking of scrapping the skill variable and just focus on the personality of the MC. I am now thinking of adding an artistic MC who is photogenic ( thanks @idonotlikeusernames) , a MC who is charismatic and a MC who is smart. But I still feel I am missing something.
I want to explore the world of a teenager who is still in high school but has to also manage their ‘royal duties’. A teenager who if ever sets foot in a club with his/her friends, will find themselves in tomorrows front page.
Are you going to focus on the MC being the figurehead under a constitutional monarchy or the heir to the throne under a not-so-constitutional monarchy? On romance, state-building or something more ‘Machiavellian’, or even on the red-hot revolutionary stuff?
So far what I have written is that the mc is under a constitutional monarchy, but the monarch does have some political power. I don’t want to reveal too much right now, but there is a revolution going on. I am planning for there to be romance and political shenanigans mixed into the cocktail.
Fair enough…however for some more thought provoking what is the scenario/circumstances in which our MC has his/her royal heritage trust upon them, specifically what’s the reason they didn’t know they were a crown prince(ss)?
The answer to that question is key to determining how even a teenager will feel about it.
Just shooting the breeze here but since I’m sick in bed and have nothing better to do today I could see the following scenario’s unfolding;
The first, and IMHO, most likely one is that there was simply no need for the MC to know since they were never meant to be the crown prince (I’ll use male pronouns from here on out because that’s easier to write for me being a man and all) because they are a royal bastard. Being the bastard of a reigning king is always easy to explain as dear old dad has sown his royal oats as a young man, and if mom was a wild party girl with multiple boyfriends at the time, it’s possible even she might not quite know who your father really is. The only reason why dad suddenly needs you is because his heir(s) have just been killed in a hit or an accident. It still leaves open why he could not simply remarry and produce another heir, but it is possible he might simply not want to, especially if his wife is still alive but unable to bear anymore children.
Being the bastard of a reigning queen is also possible, but it is much more complicated and requires much more work and an elaborate coverup on the part of royal family to make it possible. However it is just about possible that mom got knocked up by a guy the Royal family in question REALLY didn’t approve of. In the age just before ubiquitous internet it might just be barely possible for the then crown princess to be “sent abroad” for a year or so and the baby to be quietly disposed of. Baby number two is however much more likely to end up either a ward of some foreign state or in foster care in said foreign state. Both have more dire consequences than scenario number one does. Having to essentially fend for yourself in orphanages from a young age usually makes kids grow up much faster than their peers of a similar age. I could also see a child growing up in such circumstances be understandably angry at their real parents for abandoning them and thus be less inclined to do them any favours.
Growing up in a happy foster home (yes, they do exist), possibly even being adopted at an early age, also has the effect of suddenly ripping the MC away from the life and family he’s known for practically his entire life and unlike mom in scenario 1 your foster parents are much less likely to accompany you to your new life, especially if they also have kids and significant careers of their own.
On the upside, being the bastard of a reigning queen, instead of a king, especially if said queen is over 40 likely means that they have to go with you and can’t simply remarry to solve their problems.
Another possibility, even if it’s slightly cliche, is the prince having to be hidden because of a civil war in the country in order to safeguard him from particularly vicious rebels (in the modern world think really nasty communists on the level of the Khmer rouge or something), but being hidden a little too well due to unfortunate circumstances, such as his guardian(s) who knew the truth dying before the civil war was over and the prince could be safely recalled. This scenario likely has most of the same consequences of the prince ending up in foster care or adopted as outlined above, however in this scenario it’s much easier to forgive your parents/the royal family for what they did.
The Last one is what I like to call the soap opera scenario, and has the prince switched at birth with another baby either maliciously or by genuine mistake of an overworked, underpaid emergency room nurse. Introduces the additional complication of what to do with the kid who’s been raised as the prince, up until now. On the upside you are more likely to have had at least a somewhat happy childhood with the people you considered to be your family up until now, rather than having been placed in the state system or adopted. Also the most likely scenario to have a PM like Francis Urquhart being the agent behind your rediscovery (maybe he correctly or not, finds the current heir to be a completely inept and insufferable royal brat and hopes to groom you better to the “needs of the country”) rather than the MC or the royal family itself.
Like scenario 2, probably requires the initial switch to have been made at a time before DNA testing on newborns became routine.
I never read the book version but I absolutely loved the movie when I was a teen. I’m thinking for personality you could use a compassion stat; can track the way you treat people and situations. Like deciding the fate of a criminal. Maybe there is a lot of poverty now and this person was caught stealing for the third time, their family might ask you to be a compassionate monarch and lessen the criminals fate? Maybe also create a popularity/liability stat; if you’re not a popular monarch then the people have no problems getting rid of you. If the people love you, they they can be conflicted as some would rather have you rule instead. Maybe you’ve helped to create jobs/income, or volunteered to help out at soup kitchens and give aid to the people.
How I imagine the beginning is that the previous monarchy were all assassinated or is about to die of natural causes. (Or not, maybe they were poisoned). It turns out you’re the first in line as the very first cousin of the (late) monarchy. This was not known to you as one of your parents decided to denounce their seat to the throne (sorry if that’s confusing I couldn’t think of a better term). This could be because they wanted to marry someone who is a commoner or maybe they didn’t agree with the way the country was run. Anyway, for some strange reason the law states that you are still entitled by blood to the thrown unless you abdicate. (Faint memories of receiving a nice presents on your birthdays but having your parents refuse to let you keep them. People from your hometown giving you funny looks but holding their tongues) . Also you’re parent is not allowed to come with you and advises against it. Or maybe they could have died a few years before you’re called on and your being raised by one of their close friends or a god parent?
I also prefer the second scenario of idontlikeusernames’s suggestions.
Good luck with you’re planning @Darkner, can’t wait for the demo.
Also, one of the things you may have to deal with (for romance part) is being forced to marry/become betrothed vs being with who ever you want?
And then you can have conflicts with the best friend (if there’s one) who openly tells you off for changing yourself. Do you punish them? Or realise that you are losing your identity?
The author has specifically stated that he wanted this to be a prince(ss) game and (most likely) not a reigning monarch game set in modern times.
This ties in to point 1, if the entire monarchy has been assassinated and you’re just the first cousin in line, they basically cannot compel even a minor, provided that minor is a resident of a foreign nation, to accept the job. This is the plot of a movie, that unlike the aforementioned princess diaries, I do know; “King Ralph”. That movie ends with King Ralph abdicating. Whereas if the King or Queen is both alive and your parent they stand an excellent chance of winning any custody case over a mere foster parent, should you or said foster parent be inclined to even go to the trouble. Even a true adoptive parent likely doesn’t stand much of a chance against a royal fortune numbering in the billions.
This is more fantasy (or eighteenth century and before) King than constitutional monarch. While constitutional monarchs usually do have the power to pardon or commute sentences, they usually only exercise that power on the express recommendation of the minister of justice, the PM or a parole and pardons commission, made up of prominent jurists. Interfering willy nilly in the judicial process is usually seen as extremely bad form, at best. Also this is a power only the reigning monarch usually has, a crown prince can do squat here. Well I suppose he could beg either his royal parent or the PM, MoJ or head of the parole commission to consider it, but formally he can do nothing.
Maybe, but again, the specific measures taken to relief and reduce systemic poverty in society are the purview of the government, not the monarch, in a constitutional monarchy. Modern monarchs don’t get to make government policy, most likely they are not even free to comment on it and they usually cannot vote for the sort of government they might want either. The best a modern monarch, let alone a crown prince could do, is starting or contributing to a private charity that shares that goal, using their private funds.
You make some good points, those are just suggestions and I don’t know much about modern day monarchs. I was also thinking more along the lines of “What a Girl Wants” sub plots then the Princess Diary movie plot, along with what ever other ideas poped up lol. In Thailand, they have their king and then they have those that are opposed. I don’t know the politics of it all.
I remember seeing something about a modern day princess, (a little segment on Disney channel a few years back, not even sure if that was the title…). She said she has blood lines from a lot of countries and spoke about the responsibilities of being a princess. I’m pretty sure she has no actual power (life changing/law stuff). I wonder how much realism will be implemented into the story line? I was under the impression that the story will be fiction with modern day perks; like technology.
If MC is not old enough to rule and there is a revolution on the way (for the island), wouldn’t those in power take control instead? Military/Advisors/or who ever else could be in control of the island. Or maybe the UK would just claim the island?
Also, I’m wondering how do they know MC is the right one when the MC has no clue?
Playing royalty without power? I don’t want to be a plucked from my petty life for the people of this island to comdemn! Nnnnooooo!
In modern times, simple DNA testing will suffice.
As for how exactly they piece it together, that’s something for the author to decide, but most countries do have foreign intelligence services that come in useful on occasion. If they’re in NATO, or allied with the UK or EU they might also have a lot of behind the scenes “help” from similar agencies of friendly powers, for example the CIA and SIS.
That’s a distinct possibility but it’s also very likely a military junta will depend much more on the monarchy to legitimise them and unify the country than a democratic government would. In fact, that’s why the Thai monarchy is relatively powerful today, they were able to claw back much power from successive military junta’s.
As for the UK outright claiming the island, that’s not likely to happen. If the Conservative government would even think about trying something like that the SNP would have a field day. They may well send “military advisers” though, or if worst comes to worst provide the bulk of an EU or NATO, stabilisation force. Provided, of course, the country is either strategically or economically important enough to warrant such intervention.
Yeah, I’m wondering how the author will piece those bits together. Claiming would be a problem with all the others in power trying to take control of the situation.
If that’s a possible ending in the story, I could accept that. I think it was china? That recently tried to claim an island as one of their own (saying that the waters were also theirs and not international waters for everyone to be patrolling on). But I was thinking more along the lines of, MC was unfit to rule and the place is going under then UK officials step in to help.
@Silverstone Don’t worry, everything will be revealed in the game. As @idonotlikeusernames has mentioned, the island is a constitutional monarchy which means that the King/Queen has very little political power. And on top of that, the MC is not yet a monarch but rather an her presumptive (actually there is another heir).
From the feedback I have gotten, especially from @idonotlikeusernames, I now have a solid plot and good grip on how to draw different personalities of the MC to allow the reader to immerse themselves in the game.
I’m curious to see it. As for personalities, maybe let the MC pick two, instead of one defining character traits, as it allows you to mix up the teenage, highschool stereotypes a bit. For example say you have amongst your possible trait choices, athleticism, comeliness, intelligence, charisma and creativity. Selecting athleticism and comeliness would turn a male character into your stereotypical pretty boy athlete, while selecting intelligence and comeliness might turn the character into a geek, who has reacted to being bullied in school by pumping iron and starting to dress in a way that avoided the worst of the bullying (being helped appearance wise by good genetics). Despite generally knowing his stuff and looking good on camera the second character might be prone to Biden-esque gaffes. Like I said it allows you to potentially mix up the highschool stereotypes a bit and helps avoid the MC appearing overly one-dimensional without needing a complex stat system.
Hmm…interesting, did the King bring in another of his bastards of approximately the same age, or did you go with scenario 4, but decided to have the royal laws retain much more Roman holdovers that potentially allow for royal adoption?
Or, more stereotypically, does an uncle or aunt smell opportunity in light of the MC being a (legitimised) bastard?