Monday, June 1, 2015

Magic Girls Monday

A couple of products came up on my radar. Since I had some credits burning a hole in my pocket over at RPGNow I figured I'd pick them up.

These games are all of the "magical girl" type in one way or another. So if you like stories like W.I.T.C.H., Sailor Moon, or even Steven Universe then these are good choices.  The systems under the hood is different in each case, but there are some familiar names here.

Star Sailors: The Magical Girl Supplement for White Star RPG
Oh, this one is a fun.  This little book (11 pages, including cover and OGL) is packed full of great material.  Basically this presents a Magical Girl class, the Star Sailors.  Each level the Star Sailor gains a "Heart Power" of a different color. Very cool.  They also get a "Starlight Blast" that is blasted out of her "Star Sailor Starlight Wand".  I know this all sounds silly, but trust me, this is exactly the sort of thing you would see in a Magical Girl show or book.  I also love how each power has a catchphrase.  I would totally make my players say these to activate each attack.
The powers are described, with effects. Also some background on the Starlight Entity.  The sailors also can have mascots, aka pets.
There is also a great monster/big bad for the sailors to fight, the appropriately named "Gloom".
While the book is overtly for White Star it includes some ideas for Modern Times and S&W.
Really, really fun.  The art also really fun and appropriate.
Don't like Magical Girls?  You could, with minor tweaking, turn this into a Green Lantern like organization.

Witch Girls Magical Minutia: Crossover
This book for Witch Girls Adventures previews a bit of the rules we will see in WGA 2.0 and the upcoming super hero games from Channel M. WE are introduced to Nemsis Earth, an Earth populated by superheroes and some differences in history.  Chapter 1 covers the details of this new Earth and it's features, both magical and tech.
The book is presented from the point of view of a Witch Girl travelling across the dimensions.
There are plenty of new equipment for Witch Girl stars and even a new heritage (Half-Metahuman).
Chapter 3 covers Channel M's new "Youthquake" team of superpowered teens.
The general feel of this "Crisis on Two Earths" and honestly I really like that. I wish I had had this back when I was working on Season 3 of my Willow & Tara game where I crossed over to a super powered Earth that resembled the Earth int he DC universe.  While reading this I was also wishing I had an Icons version of this.  Same ideas, characters and text, but Icons as the rules.  They would mesh together rather nice I think.
If you are a fan of supers and Witch Girls Adventures then this is a good buy.
One issue. I hate to bring this up, really. I love Malcolm's work but he should really hire a good proofreader and editor to help clean up his work.  That leaves him to focus on the big ideas and let others do the editorial work.

Sparks of Light
At 110 pages this is the largest of the books I have picked today. No surprise, this is a complete system-sort of.
Sparks is a light hearted game of Magical Girls. I uses the Fate system, but it can be used as a guide for any magical girl game regardless of system.
I think the most important thing about this book is how do the characters relate to each other and too the NPCs.  This is the key feature of any magical girl story whether or not it is Sailor Moon, W.I.T.C.H., Cardcaptor Sakura or even Charmed.  It is the relationships that define the character.  Take someone like Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, he is (let's be honest) useless. But he does have relationships to the rest of the cast and that makes for drama.  Would it make for a good game? No, maybe not, but consider Angel in the first season of Buffy. He was basically Tuxedo Mask.
I also really liked the Hope Points mechanic.  Magic Girls rarely see last death or injury (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune not withstanding), so hit points don't really make a lot of sense.  Plus the Darkness is not about killing really. It's about snuffing out the light or hope of the heroes.
In this respect it might make it a better game for little kids.  Don't get me wrong, I have played D&D with grade-schoolers and they are a vicious, blood thirsty lot. But they don't have to be.
If you like Fate then is a good game to try out, especially given the price.
If you like Magical Girls then this is a must buy (even if some of this is covered in other books as well).

Personally I think Sparks of Life makes for a great addition to Star Sailors.  Get both books and use them together. Star Sailors for the basic game and ideas and then Sparks of Life to expand on them.

4 comments:

Mark Craddock said...

Tim,

So between Witch Girls Adventures and Witch Girls Magical Minutia: Crossover, is there enough to play a mostly Supers game?

faoladh said...

You have made my day complete. I've posted about what this means to me. Thank you.

Timothy Brannan said...

Mark, no, not really. Not all the powers are defined. It's enough to sprinkle the occasional super into a Witch Girls game.

faoladh, I am with you. I spend so much time wallowing in the dark places of games (grim dark, evil, demons...) that the unapologetic light of a Magic Girl series is the perfect antidote.

Marius Latauskas said...

Oh wow, this is awesome, I will need to get the Magic Girl supplement when I finally get around to getting the White Star.

I also second making the players say the power catchphrases to use them.

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