Wednesday, December 2, 2020

GLOG: Magical Girl

Magical Girls.  Pretty Guardians of Love and Justice. The term 'Guardian' is important as, while many Magical Girls are capable warriors, they are not soldiers. They are not, by nature, murderhobos. They are protectors of what's important to them. Fundamentally they are innocents who weaponize their femininity, cuteness, hope, and ideals to fight evil. Now, there are exceptions. Not all Magical Girls are girls. Not all of them are cute or feminine. But a Magical Girl is defined by fighting with their emotions, and of being sensitive to them. There are 'evil' or 'dark' Magical Girls, but they are often the products of hurt and trauma, cynics produced by broken and betrayed idealism. The 'evil' Magical Girl is, generally, a former idealist who now fights to protect themselves from harm and hurt others before they can hurt them. A Dark Magical Girl generally would love nothing more than to be like their brighter counterparts; they just believe it to be foolish or impossible.

For the sake of the below, I will use female-centric, heteronormative pronouns, but please adjust accordingly! Many Magical Girl protagonists are male, even moreso are homosexual, and even a few of them are gender-nonconforming or outright transgender.

In the context of the GLOG, I imagine Magical Girls as expressing magic through the power of their own soul. Their own sense of self, and their connections to other people. Their spells are not spirits they bound in their own mindscapes, or mutations from an otherworldly bloodline (maybe), or even necessarily the product of faustian pacts and contracts. These MIGHT be the case, but at the end of the day all Magical Girls draw their power from this inner wellspring of spirit, hopes, dreams, and feelings. The crowning of the Magical Girl is simply the event that uncorks this bottle.

Skills (1d3): Singing, Acrobatics, Cooking

Starting items: Transformation Trinket, plus 1d4 mundane items of their choice that aren't weapons and armor.

A: +1 MD, Transformation, Element, Cantrips, Spellcasting, Familiar
B: +1 MD, Transformation MAKE UP!
C: +1 MD, Friendship is Magic! (d6)
D: +1 MD, Friendship is Magic (d8), Miracle

TRANSFORMATION: A Magical Girl is one who transforms; they draw power from their ideal self and mantle it into reality. This change can be as indepth as you wish, but once determined, is set. Perhaps they only change their costume; perhaps their hair, race, gender, or even age is different! (Though bear in mind if you try to be sneaky and give them wings and other special appendages they'll be non-functionally ornamental by default).

A Magical Girl is the ideal self, not the true self, and so a Transformed Identity has a separate True Name, with all that implies for True Name magical fuckery. Most relevantly, even if your face is uncovered and entirely identical to your normal form, no one can recognize your Normal Self as your Transformed Self, or vice versa, unless they see you specifically transform. Mirrors that catch your transforming image shatter; recording devices malfunction; scrying magic fails. Only the naked eye can bypass the glamour of a switched Name and a Transformed Self.

The benefits of being Transformed are, obviously, you can cast your spells and use your other class features (unless they're cantrips or otherwise labeled as usable by your Normal form), and you add your number of Templates to all rolls regarding STR, DEX, CON, and CHA, as well as to attack rolls, saving throws, and AC. Transforming is at-will, and instantaneous, but comes with a critical caveat...

If anyone DOES witness you transform, you've done more than compromise your identity; the undermining of your Ideal Self means that even when transformed, you gain no benefits having done so; your physical capabilities are unmodified, and your power doesn't come to you, and you can't transform back to normal for a number of hours equal to your Templates. You can have exceptions to this; people on your approved list of secret-keepers. People you trust to know your secret, and your innermost self. The amount of people who can know your secret without triggering your drawback is equal to (CHA-10)+Templates, minimum 0. Hell yeah social inventory. Anyone who witnesses your transformation without being “Approved” has their memory magically wiped, keeping them from connecting the dots; the exception is supernatural beings and magic-users who have more templates than you.

There's technically no limit on how many times you can transform and how long you can be transformed, however, since no one can recognize you as your normal self while transformed, and limited resources like MD can only recharge when you're not transformed, AND you automatically de-transform if you run out of MD, well. I recommend only being transformed when it's advantageous.

Of final note is the Transformation Trinket, an entirely innocuous item like a brooch, ring, pen, or simple toy. When the Magical Girl is transformed, the trinket becomes a weapon of their choice, decided at character creation, and they possess proficiency with this weapon. Ranged weapons magically have infinite ammo.
Transforming without this trinket is possible, but subtracts a Magic Die from the pool (meaning this is effectively impossible at first level). If the trinket is lost or destroyed, a Magical Girl can craft a new one for 100 standard-coin per template.

FAMILIAR: Typically, a Magical Girl realizes her destiny through being informed (or making a pact with) a magical creature; or perhaps they find a magical item and attune to it, or maybe they just had a strange dream or stressful situation awaken the power within them all along. Choose between (or roll 1d4) these options:
1) You have a cute stuffed animal-esque familiar companion. They can talk and move on their own, and have no combat ability or innate magical powers aside from maybe being able to fly around or something, but they Know Stuff. They effectively know whatever the GM needs them to, and are roleplayed by them. Every once in a while they'll share something their partner couldn't have otherwise known, even if they're not always forthcoming. They never outright lie, at the very least.
2) The Transformation Trinket is intelligent, and may or may not be able to talk (choose or flip a coin). Either way it can teleport back to its owner if they ever lose it, and regenerate from destruction at some sort of trigger (the next dawn, etc).
3) The Magical Girl has no magical sidekick, but is able to have an extra Friend who can know about their Transformed self.
4) The Magical Girl has no magical sidekick, and leans into their loneliness, gaining an extra MD that they keep only if they have no Friends in on their secret at all, vanishing if they make even one Friend. As long as you have no Friends, you are referred to as a Lonely Magical Girl. This is important for future features.

MAKE UP!: Your innocent dreams are still pure, but have considered compromising with the mundane world. Perhaps your Ideal Self can be more than one thing, and perhaps those things can be more grounded. You are now capable of using your Transformation ability to disguise yourself as anything. This works like Alter Self, cast at 1 MD per Template you possess in this class, with the caveat that all the restrictions of Transformation still apply. Your identity is still protected with the same magical protections. Additionally, the magic of this ability gives you the ability to fake it till you make it. If you became a nurse, for example, you would not magically have any genuine nursing skill, but you'll know enough medical terms to roleplay the part and be able to blend in well enough that no lay person would be able to see through your trick; an actual medical professional would see through it if you're put on the spot, however.

THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!: To a Magical Girl, their friends are their power. One a day per Friend, you tap your friendships for a bonus MD that does not return to your pool. There's no upper cap on how many Friendship MD you may add to a single casting, though you invoke this at your own peril. At Template D, your Friendship MD are d8s.

If you're a Lonely Magical Girl, your permanent bonus MD becomes a d8 at Template C, and a d10 at Template D.

MIRACLE!: A fully developed Magical Girl is entitled to a true miracle; a perfect crystallization of her innocence, purity, and sincerity. This is essentially a Wish, granted with total respect to the spirit of the Magical Girl's intent, as it is coming from within their own heart, under their own power.

Whatever they wish for, it cannot merely be for the self, even for the case of a Lonesome Magical Girl. It's a wish for someone else, or for the world, or for a cause they truly believe in. It's a wish towards something with which they feel is worth their entire soul. And whatever they wish for, it must come true, inerringly, undeniably, unstoppably. The world is simply not large enough to oppose their dreams. The miracle is that the World must only suffer this defeat once.

After the Miracle comes to pass, the Magical Girl's story draws to a close, as negotiated by the player and the Referee. Perhaps they simply become a normal girl, and retire in peace. Perhaps they ascend to godhood. Perhaps it's simply that their mundanity is burned away, and they are permanently trapped (or, perhaps, freed to be) in their Transformed Self, and can never return to their old life, devoted to their duty for far longer than a mortal could have hoped to live.

Perhaps their adventure simply continues, and they live as they always have, but they are no longer our concern, their obligation to perform for us resolved now that they have found their answer on who they wish to be.

ELEMENT: A Magical Girl's power is based off a single core thematic concept. This need not be a literal elemental affinity, but is simply the vector in which their soul imposes itself on the world.

Roll 2d20, take lowest:
1. Fire
2. Water
3. Earth
4. Air
5. Plants
6. Metal
7. Thunder
8. Ice
9. Sound
10. Light
11. Darkness
12. Void
13. A single specific object (candy, glass, paper)
14. A single emotional or mental concept (Love, Hope, Imagination)
15. Time
16. Pure Energy/Magic
17. Radiation/Atomic Forces
18. Heaven/Holy things
19. Hell/Unholy things
20. Player's Choice

CANTRIPS: A Magical Girl knows three cantrips.

1. They can sense auras, vibes, and wavelengths that allow them to sense evil, despair, hatred, and general foulness. They only sense supernatural evil, but they can also sense mundane emotional anguish in people around them. This cantrip is always active and cannot be turned off.
2. They can reach out to sense for their Element's presence. The [Water] running near by, or the [Hope] in people's hearts, or whatever.
3. They can perform acts of prestidigitation, making everything look prettier, nicer, and cleaner. They can fix up their clothes and spruce them up in plausibly mundane ways, and most impressively, they can always make it as if they seem to have nary a scratch or smudge on them. This cantrip does not heal woulds or fix damage; it's merely magical make-up. The skin-deep pain might be healed back together but the internal injuries still remain.

SPELLS: A Magical Girl starts knowing four spells, and learns a new one each level. At 4th level, they learn both their Emblem spells in addition to their normal spell selections. These spells are inherent to a Magical Girl, and cannot be taught or learned. In settings where spells are external things like low-level spirits, Magical Girl spells are the exception; they are pure manifestations of her inner soul's light.

To facilitate this, only the names of their spells are provided. When a Magical Girl tries to cast a spell for the first time, she must give it an actual name, like “Fire Soul Rhapsody” or whatever, and discuss with their Referee on what the spell does. Two Magical Girls of the same element casting the same spell might have entirely different effects adjudicated for them.

And that is entirely the point. The second spell, Embody Self, is essentially a wild card. This can be any effect even if it doesn't conform to your Magical Girl's theme, intended to be a culmination of their unique personal and individual magic regardless of elemental influence. Craft your own spell.

1. Element Blast
2. Create Element
3. Speak With Element
4. Imbue Element
5. Element Barrier
6. Erase Element
7. Elemental Healing
8. Summon Elemental
9. Elemental Wings
10. Control Element

Emblem Spells:
1. Embody Element
2. Embody Self


1. MD return to your pool only on 1 or 2 for the rest of the day.
2. Weird Magical Occurrence related to your Element happens. A Space Magical Girl finds all the dungeon doors lead to randomized locations for a while, etc.
3. Roll a Hit Die (or d6 if you don't use HD). Whatever you roll, add this to the spell cast as an extra MD, and subtract the roll from your HP. The spell worked too well. So well it drained you.
4. It might not happen right away, but at the soonest opportunity, you do something devastating and emotionally self-destructive or humiliating. Fight with your best friend, confess to someone you love when you already know they have a girlfriend, etc.
5. Suffer some sort of cute/anime/thematic mutation that isn't very beneficial, like having conspicuously technicolor hair when you need to be stealthy, or turn into a cute animal mascot when you have an appointment to keep. Lasts until the damage is done.
6. Attract a new Monster of the Week that targets a friend, loved one, or personal interest in a way that demands your action. Not just a Random Encounter roll because the thing you care about starts off disadvantaged, compromised, or in a worse state because of it.


1. A major social connection you depended on is irrevocably changed. A close family member dies, or a friend leaves you forever. If you're a Lonesome Magical Girl, you lose something about yourself you built your identity on, like a talent or skill, a formative memory, or you straight up can no longer derive pleasure or satisfaction from a favorite thing.
2. It's becoming harder to maintain your social life. Literally. From now on, every time you suffer a Mishap, you also repeat the first Doom.
3. From now on, you can only recharge MD while suffused in your Element, and if you have 0 MD left, you become entirely intangible and ignored. Magical beings can see and interact with you, but in the mundane world you are a ghost. This can't be turned to your advantage; you cannot phase through walls and you cannot interact with objects if someone would observe it (meaning, you can use a door if no one would see you do so, but you can't “levitate” a plate). Additionally, every time you Mishap, you require more MD to keep existing. At 1 MD left, you become non-extant. Then at 2 MD left, etc.

When it becomes impossible to maintain your existence through this, you fully vanish, in a way fitting your Elemental affinity. A heavenly Magical Girl might ascend to a higher plane of existence. A Plant Magical Girl might become a flower fairy. Maybe you become a monster embodying your own pain and despair and can only lash out at people, now.

Whatever happens to you, however, all memory of you is fully erased from this world. One person might remember you, if you were the person they loved the most, and they were the person who cherished you more than anyone else ever did. For this one person alone, they can remember you. But they will never be able to experience or perceive you again except in their memory.

If there's a way to bring you back, they're the only person who could even have the mind to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Good shit. The only thing I'd poke at is mishap #4, I would have it be "you can't regain MD until you do X", just to give the player a bit of leeway with it

    The 2d20-take-lowest for the element is... interesting? Fire-MGs are more common than other types? Heavenly-MG is less common than Radioactive-MG? Or am I reading too much into it... what am I saying, of course I am :D