Magical Girl Questionnaire - Myth-Weavers

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Magical Girl Questionnaire

   
Magical Girl Questionnaire

I have been slowly working on putting together a magical girl game over the last month. So far I have written the background material, the principal entities involved, and a general plan for where I would take the campaign. Now I am working on the mechanics as well as filling out the setting details.

However a lot of this involves what individual players would want to do. Something I always have a hard time predicting. I know there was some interest for a game like this before. So I figured I'd just ask a few questions here and see what people thought.

1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play?
2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical?
3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know?
4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress?
5. What power level do you think would be best?

1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play? Magical girl a la Rayearth mixed with some Sailor Moon.
2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical? A city that is connected to a world where magic exists.
3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know? I suppose I'd like to know where and when this would be set. Different countries have different cultures, after all, and that culture can have a major impact on the characters. Culture can also change with time, hence the "when".
4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress? I like an even balance of social life and fighting monsters. Then it forces the characters to find a way to balance the two themselves, which is never as easy as it might seem.
5. What power level do you think would be best? Don't really have an answer for this one

1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play?
I would be the "jaded idealist" or "done with your bulls--- but doing this because it's the right thing to do" type a'la Homura from Madoka Magica.
Edit: That, or one on the younger end of the spectrum who wants to be a hero because she wants to be a hero, probably reads way too much Tamora Pierce.

2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical?
Could go two ways on this. "Big City" where we have to maintain something akin to the Masquerade - i.e. not letting the mundanes get wind of what's really going on - presents a certain kind of drama. "World of Magic" where other people have powers presents an entirely different story, and actually kind of makes me wonder what the point of Magical Girls would be if wizards exist.

3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know?
Whatever is appropriate for me to know based on how my character entered the setting. If I am expected to play someone who grew up there, then I would expect to know the things a native would know; government, social norms, the best local ramen joint, everything. If truck-kun sent me to this world literally yesterday, I would expect to start off knowing literally f--k-all and build from there. It would be nice if the people there spoke Japanese English though.

4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress?
I, too, enjoy a balanced breakfast.

One thing that I like about this balance, that I have never seen handled well in a Magical Girl series, is the realism of being a young person. Young people in our society are treated terribly in a lot of ways. At the very least a young person can be expected to have to deal with school and family, both of which consider themselves to have absolute authority over her every possible life-decision, and to be treated as laughably incompetent even to maintain her own survival. Survey data shows that people under 18 (at least in the US) face more interference and obstruction in their everyday lives than do active-duty Marines or death-row convicts.
Now balance that against having the power, the ability, and the responsibility to protect the world from eldritch horrors that the old people who assume themselves to be your superiors wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell against.

My Werewolf: the Apocalypse character, Tamara, is designed to explore this dichotomy. Sadly she never seems to make it into a long-running game.

5. What power level do you think would be best?
Depends on what kind of story you expect to tell.
If we're supposed to be the equivalent of street-level grunts in a galaxy-spanning war, then the equivalent of M&M's Power Level 8 or D&D 3.5's equivalent character level 6 would probably be fine. If you include the words "prepare to fight the Demon King" then I'm expecting PL 10 / ECL 12 minimum and go from there. If we're the only magical girls and expected to protect the entire galaxy with just the five of us... go nuts; we'd basically have to be playing mini-gods at that point.

1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play?
Well, ideally one on the older end of the spectrum - High school if not college (though yes, I'm aware, at that point you're pushing the boundaries of the traditional limits of the magical girl genre.) beyond that, probably a 'idealist by choice' sort. Which is to say, they're not natively idealistic, per se, but they're going to live as if things were idealistic because it's better than being a cynic and doing nothing. Hopepunk, as it were. Things may be bad, but I'm not going to let them stay bad, I'm going to keep going, keep fighting anyway.

2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical?
Big city, with a 'secret world' of magic and magical creatures that exists beyond the notice of most normals (either because magical powers or cosmic principles keeps most people from seeing the truth, some grand enforced conspiracy of silence or just because of the human power of denial, or maybe a bit of both)

3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know?
Well, what my character would know. If it's meant to be a darker take on the Magical Girl Genre, ala Madoka Magica, then there's a lot that I wouldn't know, at first. In other versions, I'd know a lot more. Also, of course, the divide between player and character knowledge - I'd like to know the basics underpinning where magical girls come from and what they do and why, and where their enemies come from, etc.

I don't need to know it all at first, but I need to know enough to function as a character, and to make some long-term plans as a player.

4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress?
50/50 or 60/40 on social life and fighting monsters, very little "helping small animals in distress". But the social life would include not just family/school drama, but the relationship with your fellow magical girls too, when I say this.

5. What power level do you think would be best?
More than one? Obviously it depends on what we fight and our area of responsibility and what the stakes are (the world, the city, just individual human lives, the galaxy, reality itself, some alternate dimension, some combination of the above, etc). But I'd rather multiple scales and the ability to eventually move up to the next level of power to face greater-scope threats.

1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play?
Between ages 10 and 17, living at home with parents and going to school, for the full triple-balancing act. I'd prefer the characters to all go to school together to sometimes have school-based adventures. And I'd prefer for it to not be limited to girls.

2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical?
A big city would probably be least limiting in the number and kind of adventures the characters could come across. In a small town we might run out of variety. I'd rather not have a 'totally magical' society where common people know about magic. It's more interesting if it has to be kept secret.

3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know?
The characters should know what the average person knows, meaning (at the beginning) very little about magic and whatever dark forces there are in the world.

4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress?
A balance between social life and fighting monsters. 'Helping small animals in distress' doesn't sound appealing to me, and doesn't appear to appeal to the others who already posted. But more sentimental / helpful adventures can be fun, too, like solving a mystery about a lovesick ghost so it can pass on.

5. What power level do you think would be best?
I find that a hard question to answer without knowing the game system. How about characters start knowing very little magic, but gain new powers very quickly at first, perhaps dividing up new powers as 'loot' from the adventure?

1) The magical kind! Crap, I'm bad at this. Probably Late High School/Early College.
2) A setting that is low on the magic side of things. Not much need to draft children if we have a adult team of trained wizards. :P
3) The important stuff. I'm still bad at this.
4) Let's say 40/40/10? Roughly? Look, I rounded to the nearest 10
5) Enough that we can win, but with reasonable amount of challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowBranwen View Post
1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play? Magical girl a la Rayearth mixed with some Sailor Moon.
2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical? A city that is connected to a world where magic exists.
3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know? I suppose I'd like to know where and when this would be set. Different countries have different cultures, after all, and that culture can have a major impact on the characters. Culture can also change with time, hence the "when".
4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress? I like an even balance of social life and fighting monsters. Then it forces the characters to find a way to balance the two themselves, which is never as easy as it might seem.
5. What power level do you think would be best? Don't really have an answer for this one
I was planning to set the mundane portion of this into a city in the United States during modern times. As that is the easiest for me to write. But I can change that if the players would prefer something else. That is why I asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SageBahamut View Post
1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play?
I would be the "jaded idealist" or "done with your bulls--- but doing this because it's the right thing to do" type a'la Homura from Madoka Magica.
Edit: That, or one on the younger end of the spectrum who wants to be a hero because she wants to be a hero, probably reads way too much Tamora Pierce.

2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical?
Could go two ways on this. "Big City" where we have to maintain something akin to the Masquerade - i.e. not letting the mundanes get wind of what's really going on - presents a certain kind of drama. "World of Magic" where other people have powers presents an entirely different story, and actually kind of makes me wonder what the point of Magical Girls would be if wizards exist.

3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know?
Whatever is appropriate for me to know based on how my character entered the setting. If I am expected to play someone who grew up there, then I would expect to know the things a native would know; government, social norms, the best local ramen joint, everything. If truck-kun sent me to this world literally yesterday, I would expect to start off knowing literally f--k-all and build from there. It would be nice if the people there spoke Japanese English though.

4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress?
I, too, enjoy a balanced breakfast.

One thing that I like about this balance, that I have never seen handled well in a Magical Girl series, is the realism of being a young person. Young people in our society are treated terribly in a lot of ways. At the very least a young person can be expected to have to deal with school and family, both of which consider themselves to have absolute authority over her every possible life-decision, and to be treated as laughably incompetent even to maintain her own survival. Survey data shows that people under 18 (at least in the US) face more interference and obstruction in their everyday lives than do active-duty Marines or death-row convicts.
Now balance that against having the power, the ability, and the responsibility to protect the world from eldritch horrors that the old people who assume themselves to be your superiors wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell against.

My Werewolf: the Apocalypse character, Tamara, is designed to explore this dichotomy. Sadly she never seems to make it into a long-running game.

5. What power level do you think would be best?
Depends on what kind of story you expect to tell.
If we're supposed to be the equivalent of street-level grunts in a galaxy-spanning war, then the equivalent of M&M's Power Level 8 or D&D 3.5's equivalent character level 6 would probably be fine. If you include the words "prepare to fight the Demon King" then I'm expecting PL 10 / ECL 12 minimum and go from there. If we're the only magical girls and expected to protect the entire galaxy with just the five of us... go nuts; we'd basically have to be playing mini-gods at that point.
2. By magical setting I meant something along the lines of a spirit world more than a D&D type situation. Although personally I think magical girls probably fulfill the equivalent of sorcerers to wizards. Stronger and potentially more immediately flexible, but with less ability to research and prepare their powers to fit specific circumstances.

3. As a small note I am purposefully avoiding language difficulties in this game. Everyone will be able to understand everyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylia Quilor View Post
1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play?
Well, ideally one on the older end of the spectrum - High school if not college (though yes, I'm aware, at that point you're pushing the boundaries of the traditional limits of the magical girl genre.) beyond that, probably a 'idealist by choice' sort. Which is to say, they're not natively idealistic, per se, but they're going to live as if things were idealistic because it's better than being a cynic and doing nothing. Hopepunk, as it were. Things may be bad, but I'm not going to let them stay bad, I'm going to keep going, keep fighting anyway.

2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical?
Big city, with a 'secret world' of magic and magical creatures that exists beyond the notice of most normals (either because magical powers or cosmic principles keeps most people from seeing the truth, some grand enforced conspiracy of silence or just because of the human power of denial, or maybe a bit of both)

3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know?
Well, what my character would know. If it's meant to be a darker take on the Magical Girl Genre, ala Madoka Magica, then there's a lot that I wouldn't know, at first. In other versions, I'd know a lot more. Also, of course, the divide between player and character knowledge - I'd like to know the basics underpinning where magical girls come from and what they do and why, and where their enemies come from, etc.

I don't need to know it all at first, but I need to know enough to function as a character, and to make some long-term plans as a player.

4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress?
50/50 or 60/40 on social life and fighting monsters, very little "helping small animals in distress". But the social life would include not just family/school drama, but the relationship with your fellow magical girls too, when I say this.

5. What power level do you think would be best?
More than one? Obviously it depends on what we fight and our area of responsibility and what the stakes are (the world, the city, just individual human lives, the galaxy, reality itself, some alternate dimension, some combination of the above, etc). But I'd rather multiple scales and the ability to eventually move up to the next level of power to face greater-scope threats.
1. My current plan is that your mundane character can be any age, but when you transform you become a magical girl of random age between 12-16. Thus not forcing people into a specific age background unless they choose to be such.

Though I actually went back and forth on this a lot in my own mind. So I'm interested in hearing whether people would prefer to play something with a more fundamental transformation sequence or one where it's basically just a uniform and gear.

2. There will certainly be a subsurface layer of magical creatures regardless of the rest of the setting. In fact interacting with them is what I meant by the small animals bit.

3. I am writing a short guide to being a magical girl from an in universe perspective which will hopefully answer those kind of questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hakootoko View Post
1. What kind of magical girl would you like to play?
Between ages 10 and 17, living at home with parents and going to school, for the full triple-balancing act. I'd prefer the characters to all go to school together to sometimes have school-based adventures. And I'd prefer for it to not be limited to girls.

2. What kind of mundane setting would you prefer, eg. small town, city, big city, totally magical?
A big city would probably be least limiting in the number and kind of adventures the characters could come across. In a small town we might run out of variety. I'd rather not have a 'totally magical' society where common people know about magic. It's more interesting if it has to be kept secret.

3. What kind of information about the setting would you like to know?
The characters should know what the average person knows, meaning (at the beginning) very little about magic and whatever dark forces there are in the world.

4. What is your preferred proportion of social life/fighting monsters/helping small animals in distress?
A balance between social life and fighting monsters. 'Helping small animals in distress' doesn't sound appealing to me, and doesn't appear to appeal to the others who already posted. But more sentimental / helpful adventures can be fun, too, like solving a mystery about a lovesick ghost so it can pass on.

5. What power level do you think would be best?
I find that a hard question to answer without knowing the game system. How about characters start knowing very little magic, but gain new powers very quickly at first, perhaps dividing up new powers as 'loot' from the adventure?
Since it seems to be unclear what I meant by power level was in universe power level on a scale from shooting small magical blasts to vaporizing the moon.

I've written an in universe brochure given to new magical girls here. Let me know if there are things you think I should add for clarity.

Edit: Also I would welcome suggestions for the various terms. I'm not great at naming things.

The existence of such a self-consciously brochure brochure has a somewhat comedic feel to it that makes me feel like the game is meant to comedic, to an extent. Is this intended?

It's intended by the people who wrote the brochure that it be cheerful and disarming. Whether it has the intended effect on your characters is up to you. The setting itself could go either way. It could be light and hopeful or it could go dark and grim. Depends on what the players want.

Although I should note that I probably can't pull off a fully comedic, I'm not that funny, or fully grim, it would be too depressing for me, scenario. So by default the world of the setting has some serious issues cropping up, but they can be overcome with hard work and not too much sacrifice.







 

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