Original SA post
I have a couple of books I could review here, both a little more obscure than mockable, but I suppose it depends on your proclivities. Both are anime-themed. I'll just go ahead and do the first one, since my short synopsis began turning into a full-on review.
, or "In the name of the moon, I shall punish you! ...Hey, Sailor Mars, you doing anything Saturday?"
Part One: Introduction, basic concepts, basic system.
Magical Burst is a game revolving around the concepts from the anime
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
The city contains a hidden danger that mortal eyes cannot see. The youma, creatures born of dark magic and humanity’s dark, entropic desires, prowl the shadows of the city and the souls of men. Their victims are devoured, ripped from reality itself and never seen again. However, the city is not without defenders. There are creatures born of brighter magic and purer emotion, the tsukaima, who recruit humans with magical potential to fight the youma. Males have too little magical power, and adults have even less, so girls must become mahou shoujo, or magical girls, to defend the city and the people they love. It is a dangerous task, but it is not without rewards. Each fully grown youma yields an Oblivion Seed, and a magical girl who gathers thirteen seeds will be granted a wish.
This game is about schoolgirls (Ages 10 through 16 are recommended) battling monsters, with a very dark tone involving losing control/innocence, juggling relationships, and creeping despair. Now, in the author's defense, he is not a total creep about this stuff:
This is a dark, fucked-up game that can involve some violent and disturbing imagery, starring little girls no less. Please play responsibly. If the game is making you feel uncomfortable, speak the hell up and figure out a way to fix it, even if you have to stop playing.
So there's that, at least.
There's nothing too odd about the system itself. It uses 6-sided dice, and doesn't require miniatures, battle maps, or specially-branded sex toys. Although I'd imagine anyone wanting to play this would tend to have some anime figurines lying around. Of note is that it even uses 6-sided dice for larger charts where you'd normally roll percentile dice. The author uses the notation "d66", which is like rolling 2d10 for percentile dice, producing a range of 11 to 66. This is only used in one place during actual gameplay, but character creation can be done entirely randomly with several d66 charts.
After that intro and the notes on dice (No section on "what is an RPG", seems like it's still a bit early in development cycle for that), it moves into defining the setting and key concepts. Of note: Normal people find magic disturbing and react poorly to witnessing it, and youma generate distortions in reality that only magical girls can see. Also, youma require magic to slay. Even if a normal person can somehow see a youma they couldn't do shit about it without going henshin and unleashing their Love Love Spiral Justice Laser Nipplebeams.
I'll be creating an entire character from the random tables later and just covering the basics here. The game goes through character creation in this order:
-What kind of angst-ridden jailbait they are
-Why they want to be a magical girl
-What they'd wish for with their 13 youma asses
-Their magical element, which ranges from the classical four to the Chinese five to other, more esoteric ones like music, chains, or cakes.
-Their special superpower, which can range from the basic superpowers like flight or running really fast, to odder ones like having a bus/train show up just as they need it or summoning cakes from thin air. This is mostly flavor.
-What kind of special mechanical action they can do, ranging from double attacks to attack boosts and shields to regeneration. Most of those effects are tied into the "loss of control" mechanic I'll go over in a later post.
-Their magical girl weapon. Staff, sword, gun, chainsaw-chucks, cake-batter-encrusted whisk. Nothing mechanical about the weapons, it's just flavor.
-Their costume. Display as much skin as you want on that 15 year old. Decorate it with bat wings, gems, stars, or frosting and cherries.
There are tables at the back of the book for random generation of all this shit.
And only now do you actually put points into attributes. Magical girls have three attributes: Magic, Heart, and Fury. You distribute 18 points among those three, with these caveats: No ability can be lower than 3 or higher than 9, and no two abilities can have the same value (So no 6/6/6 chicks with sick, sick, sick thoughts (in box on Knox)). A random generation method is also provided: For each attribute, roll 4d6, divide by two, and round down.
Of note is that any of these attributes can be used either for attack or defense round by round. I'll cover that more when I get to combat.
Next is their finishing attack, the special once-an-episode stock footage that gets nearly as much airtime as your transformation sequence. This is basically the equivalent of a 4E daily, and usually does more damage and/or inflicts some kind of special effect on the enemy. There's six of them, so guess what: You can randomly determine it!
Next comes relationships, which is more involved than anything before it, but still in the realm of character creation. After all, it wouldn't be a schoolgirl anime if you weren't blushing and going "Senpai~"! Magical girls need to maintain relationships with normal people in order to retain their sanity and humanity. Developing the relationships at first is its own little free-form game as you go around the table a few times creating a
. Relationships can be based on any of the three attributes:
-Heart is for positive relationships, your basic friendships, crushes, and so forth.
-Fury is for negative emotions, and consists of rivalries, battle-related camaraderie, or major psychotic fucking hatreds.
-Magic relationships come from "common involvement in the world of the magical" and I have to admit I don't know exactly how those would differ from Heart or Fury.
So, using those guidelines, and treating frogs as magical girls, we might wind up with a relationship map that looks
something like this.
Sgt. Frog was not the best example, but it's the only anime I know with a relationship map.
Finally, you think up a crisis, something that just happened to your magical girl that she can't ignore. Examples range from a youma killing her family/friend to waking up with amnesia to finding evidence that she died years ago. Nothing cake-related on the suggestion chart, unfortunately. This is basically a bigger hook to involve her in the storyline and give the GM a few ideas.
With all that, congratulations, you have a fully-functioning magical girl just waiting to go insane from battling Lovecraftian horrors in the secret reaches of the world!
Next time, I'll go over combat, maintaining sanity through lesbionic shenanigans, and overflowing with INFINITE POWER! I may generate a girl in that post, or save that for a third.
Original SA post
Magical Burst Part 2:
Battling Monsters, Battling Insanity, Battling Perverse Sexual Lust
The rules for doing something with magic are simple enough. Roll 2d6, add a stat, get higher than the difficulty the GM assigns. Average difficulty is 16. Dice explode (Roll a 6, roll another die, it can keep doing that), but add a point of Overcharge to the stat you're using when they do. I'll cover Overcharge in a bit. You can also take up to 3 Overcharge and roll that many extra dice if you want to. There's a minor restriction to that, but that's just to keep you from blowing yourself up. Of note: Using magic in a mundane situation is an automatic success, but there would be consequences. There are no rules for doing mundane things in the first place, and no rules for the consequences, the GM is encouraged to go with what seems natural in both cases. Like a chick on the track team will have no trouble chasing down a panty-snatcher, but the bookworm would probably fail, and get horrified stares and shunned even more for beaning him with a magic cake.
Aside from flinging magic around in battles, magical girls can also do sorcery related to their magical element. A fire girl could extinguish or incite a house fire, a water chick could also extinguish a house fire or swamp a boat, and a ケーキの魔女 (cake witch) could recreate the "Be Our Guest" number from Beauty & The Beast. Or just make a torte come out perfectly.
This brings us to actual combat. Magical girls select which stat they'll be attacking with and defending with each round. This is important not just for switching from offense to defense, but because a lot of youma are strong against one stat and weak to another. Their third attribute is used for support, which involves basic Aid Another mechanics. Attack rolls are the basic 2d6+stat, and damage is 1d6 plus half the attacking stat, +2 per point of Overcharge on the attack roll. HP is tracked in the form of Resolve. Magical girls have 13 and can increase that to 18 through advancement. This is actually a little hard to find. It's only referred to in terms of recovering Resolve either in battle or after. If a magical girl loses all her Resolve she transforms back into a normal girl until she regains at least 1 point of Resolve. If attacked in normal form, a magical girl dies.
Guess what also plays a part in battles? If you said "That hunky guy in the chess club", you're right! Your relationships can get Strained by magical things happening around them or the mundane things that can break up a relationship, and operate on a three-strikes rule. You can also intentionally strain or break relationships to improve your rolls or regain Resolve. These represent intentionally alienating someone and burning out your ability to relate to people, and breaking a relationship normally damages you. Once per episode (session) you can have a specific relationship scene, which can temporarily improve your Resolve beyond the base 13, repair Strain that relationship's suffered, or forge a new relationship.
Okay, now we get to the good stuff. Overcharge and Fallout. Overcharge is accrued whenever dice explode, whenever you use your Finishing Attack, whenever most of the special battle abilities are used, and some youma just radiate that shit constantly, adding it just for being around them. 1 Overcharge on an attribute is fine, that just goes away with no trouble. If you accrue more, however, you need to let that shit out as Fallout. Out of battle you can do this at any time, but in battle you need to deal with 6 or more Overcharge either immediately or as soon as battle ends.
2 or 3 Overcharge in one stat results in a relatively minor Distortion. Magic causes some oddities in the surrounding world, like objects falling oddly, abrupt weather changes (or rains of frogs), a door suddenly becoming a teleporter for a use or two, or the like. Heart requires you to suddenly get close to someone. A lingering hug, a date invitation out of nowhere, or a sudden kiss. Fury needs you to
4 or 5 Overcharge results in a Flare. You roll on a table, and have a 50% chance of rolling on the next higher table for a temporary Change. Otherwise, a Magic Flare results in either a conspicuous or disturbing Distortion, or a large manifestation of your magical element. The pavement ripples, fire rains from the heavens, the local candy shop turns into a puddle. A Heart Flare induces a breakdown, and you go weepy, panicked, or catatonic for a bit and take die roll penalties. Or you can become infatuated with one of your relationships and become a creepy stalker. Fury Flares result in either everyone around you getting angry and starting fights, or you going on a rampage.
And now we hit the interesting stuff. Change. As mentioned before, Flares can result in temporary Changes, either to yourself or others. When that happens, or you have 6-7 Overcharge, you roll d66. The Magic Changes are the most interesting, and have several subcategories where you roll another d6 after the d66 roll. I'll just cover the oddest, funniest, or most horrific ones.
15. Rococo Style
You have a sort of magical aura of garish ornateness. Your belongings subtly alter themselves to become elaborate and lacy, your packed lunch seems to become all sweets, and so on.
16. Moé Girl
You become unnaturally attractive in a way that appeals to otaku. Your proportions are a little too perfect, your skin looks photoshopped, your eyes become just a little too large, and your hair looks like a quality cosplay wig.
You go beyond the impossible and become more anime than anime.
- There is an inflation plug in place of your belly button. Outwardly you look the same, though youre very light (only a few kilograms) and float on water. If your plug is opened youll actually deflate and flop helplessly to the ground until someone inflates you again. However, youre durable enough that you wont be punctured unless you either lose all your Resolve or you do it
This... this is a furry subfetish.
That sub-table also has Doll Joints (desu) and Miniaturization. Of note: If you and someone else both have Doll Joints, you can
. I'm sure someone somewhere gets off on that.
You sprout the ears and tail of a furry animal. These give you a bit better hearing, but are more than anything a burden. Its possible to hide them, but doing so is difficult and uncomfortable.
Another sub-table, this covers cat, dog, fox, bunny... bear and tanuki.
34. Theme Music
Cute, peppy music just sort of forms in the air around you at times.
The least devastating of the Changes, and also probably the most awesome.
43. Strange Element
Your magical element is suddenly changed to something bizarre.
Choices are blood, radiation, sickness, color, sugar, and nothingness. Of those, Color and Sickness are the only ones that don't appear on the random magical element table for character creation.
45. Missing Parts
A section of your body is just missing. This doesnt actually inconvenience you per se, but it looks horrifying.
- There is a circular hole in the middle of your chest where your heart should be.
3-4: No Arm
- One of your arms isnt there, but your hand still is. There is a sort of phantom image where your arm should be, and your hand floats at the end of it and works normally.
5: Torso Gap
- There is a large gap in the middle of your torso.
6: Hollow Eye
- One of your eyes is missing, and theres a hole in your eye socket that goes out the back of your head.
There's a skullfucking joke available with Hollow Eye, but
This covers gender swap, evil twin, and three results where you turn into someone else.
Heart and Fury Change tables mostly institute some mental change in your character. None of these are all that sexual, and the author has admitted difficulty in coming up with non-pervy ones. Options on the Heart table include fear of the opposite sex, fear of being alone, stealing and hoarding things from people you're in relationships with, hugging people whenever someone says a specific word, or emulating someone you have a relationship with as much as possible. The Fury table includes property damage, kleptomania, nasty scars, cutting yourself (oh god what if you have this and Inflatable?
), night terrors, and "murder spasms", the urge to just randomly slaughter an innocent bystander. Fun!
66 on a Change table makes your Change change every day.
And finally, 8 or more Overcharge results in a Burst.
. If you have no relationships, you turn into a youma.
A Heart Burst results in a Heartspawn, a youma formed from your feelings for a specific person, who will attempt to stalk and kill that person. If you have no relationships, you turn into a youma.
A Fury Burst brings on a Ragestorm, "a psychic maelstrom of hate and fury that fills the air with a baleful red glow." Everyone in the area attacks random people for 1d3+1 turns. If you have no relationships- psyche! This one's fine if you're a pitiful wallflower with no friends.
The thing is, you
to take the most severe result dictated by your Overcharge levels. If you have 6 Heart Overcharge, you can't just smooch two people (3-Overcharge Distortion) and get away with it, you need to Change.
This is long enough for now, so next time I'll get into the DM's section, or: Tables,
Randomly Generate Friends, Enemies, and Yourself
Original SA post
Magical Burst, Part 3
Randomly Generate Friends, Enemies, and Yourself
The game is very explicit that it's the GM's job to think up everything involved in the game. It provides tables to help brainstorm, which is what we'll be focusing on here.
First off, we have tsukaima, the little fluffy Sufficiently Advanced Aliens that grant the girls their powers. A table is provided to determine their form, detail, and personality. Rolling for shits and giggles, we get a
vengeful clockwork dragon
. It talks a little about your options should magical girls want to kill a tsukaima (Which is actually very likely, as we'll see in a bit). The basic options are tough combat, impossible (Can't even hit the thing, or it regenerates rapidly), or easy as drowning a puppy but with
. The only explicitly listed consequence would be a lack of healing: If a tsukaima doesn't choose to heal its magical girls to full, they only regain 1d6 Resolve after combat.
There's a little segment on normal people and using the answers the players thought up during chargen, and then:
I'll just roll up three or four here, since the tables provide a lot of... interesting choices.
-A giant girl. I say interesting choices, and my dice conspire against me.
-A luminous butterfly. Oh fuck, we're fighting Ambien.
-A gelatinous motorcycle.
-An amorphous wad of cotton candy.
Next up is its power level. At power level 3, a youma has the same attribute values as a magical girl, deals 1d6+1 damage, has 40 Resolve, and has 4 power points. Youma don't accrue Overcharge, but they use Power Points to simulate its effects. As mentioned before, youma also have strengths and weaknesses, which just apply ±3 damage. How do you tell what works? Ask Cogsy the Angry Dragon!
Tsukaima have a good knowledge of youma physiology and combat tactics, and can usually tell when a magical girl's attack is being rendered more or less effective by a youma's strength or weakness. Whether or not they choose to actually tell the magical girls about this is another matter though.
Youma also have special abilities, some similar to the ones magical girls get, others more villainous, like Overcharge Radiation (1d6 Overcharge added to one stat at the end of a scene where the girls are around the youma) or Minions.
One of the main concepts behind Magical Burst is that the tsukaima do not tell the magical girls everything. To use its inspiration, Madoka, as an example:
Magical girls will eventually become the witches they fight, and the whole thing is so Kyubey's race can stop the heat death of the universe.
Some of the Secrets provided in the book are:
-The youma actually only target people with real evil in their hearts, and magical girls are in fact the unknowing dupes of forces that wish to maintain a certain level of evil and suffering in the world.
-The tsukaima are servants of a being that might be called God, but that being utterly despises mankind. If humanity is to have a future at all, magical girls will have to band together and fight God himself.
-Human beings are creatures of flesh and blood and nothing more. When they die, their biological processes simply stop, and they come to a very permanent end. Even magic cannot change this fundamental fact.
That last one leads easily into the next segment, which is a short paragraph on granting wishes. In Madoka, the theme used for wishes and the granting thereof is "There's no such thing as a selfless wish". Wishes are granted, without any twisting, but they aren't actually what the girl wished for. For instance, a girl wished for someone to recover from an illness, with the hope that he'd fall in love with her since she nursed him back to health. He gets better, but doesn't fall in love. The book provides no hard-and-fast rules for wishes, but says that even without the literal or evil genie approach, 'be careful what you wish for' is still very apt.
And finally, trapped way down in the bottom of this box, is a short bit on hope.
Random Chargen Tables
It's that time! Finally! As I mentioned,
about your magical girl can be generated. Except purely physical stats. No cup size chart, no hair/eye color... Anyway, let's get started.
First off, name. The charts provide decent examples of rather fanciful names. We roll...
31 - Hino
14 - Hikaru
That's family name first, so she would be Hikaru Hino to all us gaijin.
Next, girl type. We roll 15 - Rich Girl. Hino-san owns a large house, possibly Western-style, probably has a driver to bring her to school, and is probably fairly high in the school hierarchy.
Now, her roots, what caused her to become a magical girl. Dice say... 62 -
'I can fight for love and justice!'
So she's a bit of an idealist. There's a number of these hero-type motivations on the chart, but a lot of them are based on protecting friends, avenging wrongs, or fixing a bad situation.
The next table is wishes. Survey says! 44 -
'I wish time would stand still for just a little while.'
Hikaru probably feels overwhelmed at times, like the world is spinning out of control too fast around her. A lot of the wishes want to either kill someone or bring them back to life, and others deal with love, fame, or other relationships.
Now, her magical girl name. In most series, she would simply be Magical Girl Hikaru, but the table provides for much more fanciful names. Let's see... 62, 26, 65:
Super Fraulein Heartful!
There's some overlap between the three tables, so you could wind up with something like Magical Princess Magical.
Next is the weapon table. This table and the one after are sorted into six subsections. The weapons table has the divisions Magical (Basic Sailor Moon equipment), Military (Guns), Dangerous (Kind of an oddball category of actual weapons), Melee, Domestic (For magical maids), and Weird. As I mentioned, this is simply flavor, and has options such as tea set, car, and garrote. Dice say 46 - Polearm! There's no table to determine exactly which polearm, but I'm sure someone could find one. I'm going to go with the potential Western-style theme introduced by her house and say she uses a
Magical element comes next. This table has the subdivisions Classical Elements, Other Elements, Cute, Emotions, Intense, and Things. 55 puts us in Intense, with the result... Radiation. Let's reroll that, Super Fraulein Heartful does not strike me as Hiroshima Lass. 65 gives us Plastic, which is fairly nice in terms of sorcery.
The special power table is the next thing we roll on, and in a lucky break for the rest of our concept, we get 26 -
This lets us see the Red String of Love connecting people, and change those connections.
There's no table for our special battle move and Finishing Attack here, so we go back to the front of the book for those. There are eight Magical Effects, so we can't actually roll on that table.
Going with what we've determined of her so far, let's give her
: she recovers one Resolve every turn, to a maximum of 13. What happens when she increases her Resolve with XP?
For a Finishing Attack, we roll a 2, for
. Hikaru can summon a storm of plastic bags and Saran Wrap, and wrap up an opponent, causing it to remain in one place, use its lowest attribute for defense, and it cannot attack until it gets a 15 on a 'maneuver check', something that is only mentioned in this attack.
Next is Hikaru's costume. It says we should roll 'a few' times on the table for ideas, so let's do four and see how ridiculous it gets. 52 - Key. 61 - Jumpsuit. 26 - Rainbow. 23 - Gold. Not bad, nothing contradictory or really overblown.
Now for stats. Let's use a pretty commonly-referenced division of points and use an array of 4, 6, and 8. Hikaru's theme seems to be love, so let's set Heart as her highest, 8. But, she also comes across as frustrated and a little lonely up in that big house. So she's probably got some Fury going on, too. Let's put the 6 there, leaving her Magic at 4. So that's Heart 8, Fury 6, Magic 4.
And finally, her crisis. What's blown up in her recent past? Oh, wow. 66 - 'I remember the end of the world, as clear as if it had just happened to me a moment ago. I have to try to stop it.'
This is getting pretty long, but let's make two friends for her really quick: Pinkie Pie, and
- Space Cadet - 'Using magic for real is a dream come true!'
'I wish for... a big cake I can share with all my friends!'
(This is on the table. Verbatim.)
Creamy Sugar Strawberry - Weapon: Ribbon - Element: Sugar - Power: Summon Cake
(Yes, that makes her wish redundant, shut up)
Magical Effect: Magic Shield (Take a point of Overcharge at any time to add +3 to your defense or another girl's)
Finishing Attack: Debilitating Attack (Target rolls one fewer die for all challenges until the end of your next turn)
(Argh! Blood sugar spike! So... drowsy!)
Costume: Maid, Runes, Cat, Silver
Stats: Heart 6, Magic 8, Fury 4. She's friends with the whole school, and that makes her
But she just
bring herself to hate even the vilest of mustache-twirlers!
Crisis: 'I found out there’s a clone of me. She doesn’t seem to want to do anything bad, but she’s as scared as I am.'
- Spooky Girl - 'Maybe the other magical girls will be my friends. I don’t have any friends right now.'
'I wish my mom would find a husband who doesn’t hit.'
Lunar Witch Eternal - Weapon: Kitchen Knife - Element: Blood - Power: Blood Warping
(Can control blood both in veins and after it's been spilled)
Magical Effect: Magic Strike (Take a point of Overcharge when rolling damage to add 1d6 damage)
Finishing Attack: Powerful Attack (deal 1d6+6 more damage)
Costume: Gothic Lolita, Witch, Bandages, Pentagram
Stats: Heart 4, Magic 6, Fury 8. Bound so tightly with tension and anger, she approaches the state of rigor mortis.
Crisis: 'I found evidence that I died 10 years ago.'
That's it for now, tune in next time for Fate, the Nasuverse RPG. To my left is Servant Rider, to my right is Arcade Bumstead, and I'm a Muppet with the Mystic Eyes of Contract.
Encore: Mock encounter
Original SA post
Well, that's a damn fine Gnomejamin Franklin, I don't see what... Oh.
Magical Burst Encore
I picked table entries for Fuu and Setsuna to make them fit the theme, but you could legitimately roll them or things very like them (Although I fudged and took two entries off one column for Fuu's magical girl name). And yes, there is a table for secrets, although they're mostly a little lackluster.
Also, Kwyndig has been talking about running an IRC game of Magical Burst. I've no idea as to when, though.
If you're taking requests, I'd love to see this fleshed out when you go into Youma generation.
I'm pretty much done with the book, but I can do a few factoids and do a full workup of Jellycycle. Heck, we've got a party of magical girls, let's throw them at it.
We've got the basic description of a gelatinous motorcycle, so let's set it at Power Level 2. A decent threat, but one a party of magical girls shouldn't be overly bothered by. This gives it:
-Magic 4, Heart 3, Fury 5. PL 2 is somewhat weaker than a magical girl, stats-wise.
-1d6 base damage per attack, and 30 Resolve.
-2 Power Points. There's a limit to how many PP a youma can spend in one round, but that only applies to PL 3 and up, Jellycycle here can burn both of them at once if it wants to.
-1 special ability. Let's give it Burst Attack. It can spend a Power Point to attack up to 3 targets at once.
-The Nightmare created by a level 2 youma is 2d6x10 meters in area. We roll 10 for a 100-meter square area. That isn't very much, and given Jellycycle's shape it's kind of constrained in where it can be. Although nothing explicitly restricts it from being in an office building or something, let's situate it in an intersection, where it can nibble on passersby.
-Rolling for strength and weakness, Jellycycle is strong against Fury and weak against Heart.
Now, our intrepid heroines and their emo friend have discovered this youma's Nightmare, but since it's in a busy intersection, they can't just go out in broad daylight and start flinging spells around, someone's likely to get hurt. So they make a plan. Fuu brings a tasty cake down to a nearby construction site for the workers, and notes where they keep the detour signs and pylons. That night, they make a daring robbery. Hikaru performs some sorcery, lifting the plastic pylons over the chain-link fence. She can't affect the signs, though, so Setsuna wriggles under the fence and slips the signs out that way. They then set these up surreptitiously a block away from the Nightmare, so traffic detours around the intersection.
Thus prepared and fairly certain they won't be interrupted, the three step foot into the Nightmare. Sensing their magic, the Jellycycle charges, engine gurgling.
Hikaru/Super Fraulein Heartful: Heart 8/Fury 6/Magic 4, 13 Resolve
Fuu/Creamy Sugar Strawberry: Heart 6/Fury 4/Magic 8, 13 Resolve
Setsuna/Lunar Witch Eternal: Heart 4/Fury 8/Magic 6, 13 Resolve
Jellycycle: Heart 3/Fury 5/Magic 4, 30 Resolve
Setsuna wants to kill this fucking thing, and kill it
. She sets Fury as her attack attribute, and Heart as her defense. She also wants to make sure she gets the jump on it, and uses Reckless Action, adding 2 to her initiative at the cost of 2 to her defensive stat for the round. She has an adjusted attack stat of 10 for initiative.
Fuu goes in defensively, with Heart as her attack and Magic as her defense. Her attack stat and initiative are 6.
Hikaru enters battle with Fury as her attack stat and Magic as her defense. Since her Fury and Fuu's Heart are both 6, the tie for initiative is decided based on the defense stat. Fuu's is higher, so she goes first. If Hikaru had set her Heart as defense for another tie, it would have gone to the third stat, and then a die roll to break the tie.
Jellycycle uses Fury for attack and Magic for defense. Its initiative is 5.
Setsuna opens with her Finishing Attack. She attempts to leap into the saddle and stab the youma violently in the gas tank with her Eternal Knife. She rolls 2d6+8 versus the youma's 7 (defensive stat +3) for passive defense or 2d6+4 for active defense. The youma opts for passive defense, not knowing that she's a beast. Setsuna's roll totals 16, and her attack hits, accruing 1 Overcharge on her Fury for using the Finishing Attack. She adds a second one to use Magic Strike for another 1d6 damage, so she rolls a total of 3d6+10. One of her dice comes up a 6, but I don't think damage dice explode, so her total damage is 21, but since Jellycycle is strong against Fury, that's reduced to 18.
Fuu peppers her foe with jellybeans and toffee launched from her Strawberry Ribbon. This is a basic attack, and she gets 12 versus Jellycycle's now active 16 (Boxcars!). It's irrelevant, since she misses anyway, but defense dice do explode.
Hikaru attempts to hinder Jellycycle by tangling it in shopping bags, pitting her Heart of 8 (The third stat, used mostly for this purpose during battle) against its Heart of 3. I think. It's unclear. She rolls 13, and Jellycycle gets 9, so Hikaru inflicts a -3 penalty on Jellycycle's next action.
Which happens to be Burst Attack. It rolls its 2d6+5 and compares it to the girls' defensive stats, who all opt to go passive: Setsuna 5 (4 Heart, -2 for Reckless Action), Fuu 11, Hikaru 7. Jellycycle gets 15 total (4, 6 > 3, -3), hitting all of them for 1d6+4 (half attack stat, +2 per exploding die in the attack roll). Each takes 6 damage as the gooey, spectral motorcycle does a donut, spraying them each with sticky goo from its rear tire.
Each girl has 7 Resolve left, Jellycycle has 12 left. Setsuna has 2 Fury fallout.
Fuu: Heart offense, Magic defense.
Hikaru: Heart offense, Fury defense.
Setsuna: Magic offense, Fury defense.
Jellycycle: Fury offence, Magic defense.
Fuu uses her Magic Shield, summoning a bright blue dome of rock candy in front of Setsuna, giving her +3 to defense. Fuu accrues a point of Heart Overcharge.
Hikaru regains 1 Resolve and attacks, wielding her Heartful Hammer. She gets 2 sixes and a total of 24. Jellycycle gets a pitiful 12 and takes 9 damage: a roll of 2, +4 for half her Heart, +3 for being weak against Heart. Hikaru gets 2 Heart Overcharge.
Setsuna goes into full defense, adding +3 to her defensive attribute for a total of +14.
Jellycycle charges Setsuna, using its last Power Point to add another die to its attack roll. It rolls 2 sixes and totals 23 versus Setsuna's 19, shattering her hard candy shell and slamming into her with a squelch. She takes 8 damage, knocking her out of her magical girl form.
Hikaru: 8 Resolve, 2 Heart Overcharge. Heart offense, Magic defense.
Fuu: 7 Resolve, 1 Heart Overcharge. Heart offense, Fury defense.
Jellycycle: 3 Resolve. Fury offense, Magic defense.
Setsuna: Normal form, one hit will kill her. 2 Fury Overcharge.
Hikaru gains another point of Resolve. With their comrade knocked out, Hikaru and Fuu prepare the Rabu Dai-Namikku. They use a Team Attack, attacking at the same time and using the same attribute. Each gains +2 to attack and damage for their attack. Additionally, Fuu spends a point of Overcharge to roll another die on her attack. They roll 16 and 17 against Jellycycle's 15, dealing 19 damage. Fuu summons a giant hard candy, and Hikaru takes her best baseball swing at it, blasting the gelatinous chopper into little blobs. Left in its wake as the Nightmare collapses is a single Oblivion Seed, they'll need to figure out who gets it.
But for now, they have the slightly more pressing concern of 2 Overcharge on each of them. Fuu and Hikaru hug each other
while Setsuna glares at them and then beats the shit out of a bystanding trash can.
Each of them also gains 2 XP for participating in the session and battling the youma, and there's a player reward of XP: Each player gets to award 1 XP to one other player however they wish. XP can be spent to raise attributes or Resolve, gain new Magical Effects, or gain new Finishing Attacks.
Had Jellycycle not been killed, Setsuna's only option would have been to try and escape the Nightmare, which would take two turns (longer for larger Nightmares, at hte GM's discretion). Her friends could have interposed themselves if they hadn't chosen to make that Team Attack, although attacking was probably the better, and mroe impressive, option.
Extra: New edition comparison
Original SA post
Magical Burst Extra
One of my friends revealed the other day that he is a co-worker of the author of Magical Burst, and said author is aware of my review. It makes sense, I'd probably keep an eye out for critical response to something I put out, it just mildly surprises me that I have only two degrees of separation from the dude.
In any case, I've been meaning to cover the third draft update, so here we go. The game is the same, although some additions and changes have been made, as well as a few removals. It all seems to be for the better, in my judgment.
-The Magic Barrage magical effect was a complexly-worded ability that let you ignore the penalty for attacking multiple targets with a second roll.
-The Inflatable Change.
Also most of the sub-tables in the change tables have been broken up or removed entirely: The only Kemonomimi result left is catgirl, for instance.
-Magical girls now have rules to cover nonmagical tasks! Each girl has a set of four Normal Attributes: Aggro, Cool, Social, and Sharp. An imperfect equation to d20 would be: Aggro = Str/Dex/Con, Cool = Wis, Social = Cha, Sharp = Int. You arrange 3, 5, 6, and 7 among those. Normal tasks are covered by a flat 2d6+stat, no exploding or Overcharge.
-GMing and playing advice is added, nothing overly complex or new to the veterans of the hobby.
-Specific combat actions are added, in addition to the extant aid another mechanic. These include Cool rolls to remain calm, Sharp rolls to track people/things, and Social rolls to bond with someone. Specific rules for sorcery are also in play: On 17+ your effect works like you want and is subtle enough to not attract much attention. On 14-16, you only manage one of those. You can use magic for non-magical things, and without transforming, but if you incur Overcharge, you transform immediately.
-The Cover mechanic is introduced, letting you interpose yourself between an attack and its target. You can also Revive, harnessing your
shoujo spirit to regain Resolve from 0 and take a little Overcharge.
-Tsukaima now have suggestions for abilities they can possess, such as teleportation, altering memories... or inflicting pain on magical girls.
-An entire set of variant rules is provided to duplicate the setting of Madoka. Mentioned, but not elaborated on, is the potential for
-Base Resolve is now 18, and is clearly marked at the end of a page, hard to miss.
-The relationships entry is expanded, with notes that a mostly-homogenous group, such as the archery club or the preppies, can be represented as a single entity to have a relationship with, and it notes all relationships are ultimately positive, including those based on Fury.
-Broken relationships (those with 3 points of strain) are still present, but provide no benefit until you successfully Bond with the other party and remove the third point. You can also store 1 "temporary HP" of Strain in the relationship, and the results from straining a relationship for profit have been toned down.
-The Change tables for Heart and Fury have been expanded to the full 36 entries, mostly by breaking up the Magic results. For instance, the Heartless result from the
sub-table has been put in Heart, and No Arm in Fury. Hollow Eye remains in Magic, and Torso Gap seems to have vanished entirely. Specific additions to the Heart and Fury tables worth noting are Happy Place/Bad Place, where you slip off into delusions for a bit; Always Smiling; Prismatic/Elemental Hair (Present on the Magic table in 2nd draft); and Bionic Limbs. The only sub-table remaining is Strange Element, which has moved down to 65 on the Magic Change table, but is otherwise unchanged.
-Instead of the different costs for advancing different attributes, which ranged from 4 XP to raise Resolve by 1 to 15 XP to raise an attribute by 1 (if it's between 10 and 12), the new system is simply a flat 5 XP to pick one of six Advances: +4 Resolve, +1 to a Magical or Normal Attribute (Can be taken twice each for different attributes), or a new Magical Effect or Finishing Attack. Like feats, you can't take the same one twice, unless you've got them all already, in which case you can start over.
-Youma now adjust their Resolve based on how many magical girls they're supposed to
face, and have some additions to their potential abilities.
-A few minor changes to the costume design table: Key used to appear twice, now Butterflies and Circuits take their place. Staff and Sword (Which may contradict entries from the weapon table) become Ribbons and Midriff.
So there are the salient points of the new version. My next content post will probably be wrapping up Fate and building a Servant.