Aug 03, 2021 8:36 PM
Bella is an otome villainess
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"Fair. Next thing is minions. You get a free maid minion from your current hairstyle pick, and you get to pick two other free minions of your choice. The maid minion is highly competent and loyal to you personally, beyond what could be expected of an ordinary maid. Each maid minion also has a special skill beyond traditional maid work; the default is bodyguard or spy, but you get to pick. The other minions are 'Classmates,' 'Admirer,' 'Animal Companion,' 'AI,' and 'Butler.' A Classmates minion is actually two people, classmates of yours who are loyal to you and will do what you ask them to within reason and usually act as a unit. The Admirer option is a boy who has a crush on you, and has no expectation of reciprocation but will mostly do what you want anyway just because he likes you that much. You can take a flaw to promote the Admirer by making him one of the fiance options you didn't choose; this is what I recommend if you want to switch to a runner-up after your fiance runs off with the heroine. The animal companion can be a familiar or otherwise magically bound to you in high-magic settings, and can be a person in high-magic or high-technology settings; otherwise it is merely a very well-trained beast. The AI is a human-level-intelligence AI who is personally loyal to you and much more advanced than most AI in the setting if AI are common. The AI minion requires a tech level of Contemporary or above. The Butler minion is not your personal servant but an older and wiser friend, by default a servant of your parents but this isn't mandatory. The Butler minion will not do anything you tell them; their primary value is as a source of moral support and really good advice."

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"What process guarantees all this loyalty and friendship flying around?"

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"Personality compatibility selection. There's no mind control and you can alienate them if you try hard and believe in yourself."

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"That's very reassuring, thank you. Can my maid be good at personnel management."

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"Sure, that's extremely narratively appropriate."

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"Marvelous. How good is the personality compatibility thing? I notice that didn't come up with my fiancé, but it'll apply if I get an admirer?"

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"You can take a perk that will make the compatibility apply with your fiance but by default you are correct in all particulars."

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"But promoting him has to take a flaw, not spend a perk?"

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"Right. I do recommend looking at the flaws before ruling out taking any; they aren't all of equal disutility."

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"Okay, whaddaya got."

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"Do you want me to list all of them, or just the ones I think you might actually take?"

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"You may skip obviously immoral and mindcontrolly choices."

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"'Abhorrent Admirer.'  This is essentially the opposite of the Admirer minion. He's guaranteed to be unattractive to you and have no useful talents. He won't cross any lines, but he won't be put off, and there will be some social or political impetus to tolerate his flirting politely instead of just telling him off outright. 'Anything you can do...' I'm sure you can finish the sentence. Anything you're good at,  the heroine will be better at. 'Dark secret'--you or your family would have some secret that would be socially and politically catastrophic if it came out but essentially harmless as long as it stayed hidden. It doesn't have to be an unethical secret. 'Ditz'--reduces your patience for reading and intellectual pursuits." She frowns slightly. "I have...no idea what would happen if you tried to take that flaw, honestly, since it would be a neurochemistry alteration and not actual mind control. 'Equal Enemy'--one of the villainess options you didn't pick dislikes you on sight. Personality antiselection like the Abhorrent Admirer. 'Late Start'--instead of getting your memories back at the approximate beginning of the plot, you get them back only afterwards when it's too late to mitigate any of the damage. 'Magicless'--requires a high-magic setting; you are essentially magically disabled; you can't use magic despite its ubiquity. Incompatible with the magic-user perk. 'Not a Fan'--you won't receive extra meta-knowledge of the 'plot' of Roses of Villarosa beyond what you personally determine here and now. 'Sickly'--you personally will be frail and of generally poor health. 'There's Two of Them'--one of the heroine options you didn't pick exists as a companion to the primary heroine. 'Unattractive'--you, personally, will be plain at best and ugly at worst. This won't do anything to cool the ardor of the Admirer or the Abhorrent Admirer, but frankly, pretty people have an advantage; consider how many of your own world's Presidents had nicer hair than their opponents. 'Unprepared'--you won't remember anything between dying and being reincarnated." 

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"Uh, throwing in a bonus heroine seems reasonably harmless assuming anything is harmless at all since my plan for harmlessness involves not getting into a stupid fight with her. Is there a way around the tragic backstory issue with the other heroines? I'm not sure where to get a disadvantaged princess from here."

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"I'm not either, but it does seem harmless if it can be managed. Hmm..." her eyes go distant, but not in the looking-at-invisible-things way.

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"Like, I'm implying a dead civilization but I don't want any people from it around, don't want to have to build neighboring civilizations, don't want to character-assassinate my dad... is it 'poor' enough if she's like my second cousin via some non-inheriting sibling or something -"

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"A second cousin could work. It would require grandparents and great-grandparents."

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"I'm undecided on precisely how many generations I want to accommodate here. Hero's daughter strictly has to have dead parents who died and continue to be dead?"

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"Hero's daughter has to have at least one parent who died and continues to be dead. It doesn't have to be permanent, but it does have to be long enough to affect her upbringing, which is its own problem." Thoughtful pause. "From a practical standpoint, there's a limit to the size of a single coherent star kingdom you can found starting from everyone wakes up in alien ruins. Having multiple polities would increase the plausible reincarnated starting population."

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"Yeah... might wind up having to build multiple civilizations while I hang out here and study up on whatnot."

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"So the poor princess could be the visiting princess of a smaller, less powerful kingdom, for example."

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"Yeah, all right, a little polity whose alien ruins were on a cute li'l moon, she's a foreign exchange student, she hits it off with my heroine. I guess I could even switch it up and make her the protagonist and then she can, like, marry my fiancé to cement an alliance with her cute moon, and I can outgrow my comparatively petty motives and hook up with my well-chosen admirer."

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She applauds lightly. "Marvelous. Which of the remaining fiances would you like?" 

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"Do you have more detail on the effects of the archetypes?"

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"If the Prince Charming and the Dark Rival are brothers, the Prince Charming will be the elder; the heir, if the heir is not instead their sister. Aside from that, the difference is largely temperamental. Beyond that, the specifics are malleable."

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