Theme Guides: Character Integrations
Battle Fantasia is quite open to Original Character (as opposed to pre-existing source theme character) concepts! The magical girl genre is so open to completely original concepts that we wrote the Path to Power guidelines to direct peoples' ideas a little bit, then added a bit in the Original Themes rules.
This guide, instead, concerns itself with OCs from existing themes, and any rules or suggestions we have to integrate a magical girl into a theme more easily. It is also quite useful to FC applicants interested in how an existing theme has been integrated onto our game.
Relevant general restrictions from Inappable Characters bear repeating here, with a bit more detail:
1) You can't be from the future, unless you have a canonical way to the past. Original Themes are asked, for sanity's sake, to not involve time travel. When casts like the Black Moon Family show up, OCs from future themes will be allowed through that avenue.
2) You can't app OCs with major, pre-set ties to FCs. Minor ties (eg, 'in the same class') are inevitable and fine. This is because FCs often change hands over the course of a game, and asking a new FC player to honor prior roleplay is far more reasonable than asking them to honor something set in stone in an OC application.
2a) Many teams (the Sailor Senshi, a given Pretty Cure canon, etc) are closed to original applications for the reasons noted above, but original teams within their settings are often encouraged.
3) Original Characters should generally not not know all the secrets of their theme. Secret-privy Feature Characters usually have reasons to keep those secrets, and are expected to do so as appropriate. Really compelling OC secret-keepers, if we approve them, are similarly expected not to rush metaplots based on mystery and revelation.
4) Trans characters naturally count as the gender with which they identify for the purpose of gendered rules in any theme. Just like everything else, what's in your heart matters more than anything else. Although gender is of course not binary, we do often restrict FC themes by gender; the sisterhood (and, if relevant, brotherhood) vibe in many magical girl themes is precious and worth preservation.
Now, let's get down to brass tacks. This list is under constant revision; so ask the staff if you don't see something that you'd like to app.
- 1 Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
- 2 Cardcaptor Sakura
- 3 Devil Hunter Yohko
- 4 Little Witch Academia
- 5 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
- 6 Mai-HiME
- 7 Miraculous Ladybug
- 8 Otherworldly Denizens
- 9 Oto x Maho
- 10 The Pretty Cure Franchise
- 11 Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- 12 Revolutionary Girl Utena
- 13 Senki Zesshou Symphogear
- 14 Shugo Chara!
- 15 Star Driver
- 16 Steven Universe
- 17 Vividred Operation
- 18 Yuna Yuki Is A Hero
- 19 Generic Mages
- 20 Mixing and Matching
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Sailor Senshi: Sailor Senshi are the guardians of planetary and celestial bodies, drawing their power down from the incarnation of those bodies' power, their Sailor Crystals. The native enemies of the Sailor Senshi are, essentially, any who would dare threaten the continued survival of the people of their appointed planet. At the moment, with all the planets of Sol barren except Earth, the Sol Senshi have resorted to their other duty: Seek out the reincarnated Moon Princess, find the Silver Imperium Crystal, and protect both from the depredations of the darkness. Original Sailor Senshi are encouraged, with the following restrictions:
1) Your planetary or celestial body can't be from our solar system. That's mostly another way of restating the "no major ties to FCs" guideline above; such a senshi would almost certainly have links from the Silver Millennium to the rest of the cast. But also, we already have roughly 15 of them (eventually), and it's a great big universe. There are other places to honor with naming schemes, from distant stars and planets to constellations and nebulae.
2) Because of restriction 1, you need to explain what your OC Sailor Senshi from outside of the Solar System is doing on Earth. Are they fleeing danger on their planet? Does Earth have something they need? Were they reborn on Earth after the loss of their own planet, due to the dying wish of their own dynasty's queen? Earth is special, after all, but you need a reason to be here if you're from a planet Earth doesn't even know exists yet. If you're fleeing from point 4), you can't know the specifics of who they are, only that your planet fell to dark forces; we won't be pushing that plot for a long, long time.
3) Tuxedo Kamen is the only canon male Senshi and we'd like to keep it that way for thematic purposes. There are many other ways to be a magical prince, knight, and flower-chucker (though excessively direct homages will be frowned upon unless someone is literally directly emulating him like Umino Gurio).
4) OC Animamates will definitely be allowed... eventually.
See the 'generic mage' section at the end, and:
1) Mages in Cardcaptor Sakura can use either Eastern or Western-influenced magical systems. Many Western mages associate with a particular innate element that reflects their inner nature. Clow's element, for instance, was Dark. Note that in this case, dark magic isn't evil magic, just aligned with the element of shadow. Using a combination of both is rare, but doable.
2) Mages should follow the Paths to Power setup, like everyone else. They may contract with elementals or spirits and act as a font for their power. They should also use an implement of some kind to channel their power. For instance, Sakura invokes and seals the Clow Cards using her Key.
3) It isn't widely known that the Clow Cards have been unsealed and are loose. In fact, not everyone knows about the Clow Cards themselves. The Clow Cards as a plot element are in the hands of whoever plays Sakura Kinomoto, and anyone considering apping a competitor should defer to that player first. Understand that Sakura will capture the Cards and have them in her possession in the end; this is an OOC given.
Devil Hunter Yohko
Mano Demon Slayers: The Mano tribe of demon slayers only have one official, unbroken line of Devil Hunters, but that lucky (or, depending on perspective, unlucky) girl isn't the only member of the family with the talent, training, mystical bloodline and inherited Artifact to get involved with the family business. Indeed, not everyone in the family thinks Yohko is the rightful heir of the title (and the family leadership implicit in the investiture), and in a rare exception of our 'your Original Character can't be related to a Feature Character' policy, it is allowable to app (very distantly related) Mano family members to be Yohko's allies and/or rivals. The Mano Demon Slayers also occasionally accept apprentices, people somehow aware of the fight against evil who are determined to join the fight, who they arm with old family Artifacts and enough training and knowledge to make them a danger to devils, but hopefully not to themselves.
Mano Demon Slayers fight evil with sacred family (typically melee) weapons which sometimes hold additional powers of some kind, blasts of magical ki, and plenty of punches and kicks, too. Additionally, the Manos are the wielders of numerous secret demon-banishing techniques which they've developed and refined over the years. Consummate magical warriors, their strength, speed, agility and toughness are all extraordinary (as compared to ordinary people), imbued as they are with both the legacy of centuries of battle, and the power of love in their hearts. They are essentially universally part of the Magic Association, but black sheep exceptions are possible.
As always, Devil Hunter Yohko players are expected to follow our Rating and Gender and Sexuality guidelines; the source material has a fair amount of explicit content that is absolutely inappropriate for Battle Fantasia, and all of it can be considered to be cut, retconned, and otherwise excised completely. Perhaps the change most worth noting is that in the original canon, only virgins can become Devil Hunters (which proceeds to drive the plot of the first movie in BF-inappropriate directions); on Battle Fantasia, Devil Hunters are drawn from the ranks of single young women who have never had a date.
Little Witch Academia
Little Witches: The only canonical 'magical girl' in the Battle Fantasia definition of the phrase is Atsuko Kagari, who has an exclusive artifact and access to secret magics of cosmically greater power than ordinary witchcraft. However, the Shiny Rod may not be the only artifact of its kind, nor even the only artifact tied in some way to the Nine Olde Witches and the Grand Triskellion. Original Paths to Power within the Little Witch Academia theme are expected to follow in a similar vein, tied to ancient, mysterious items of power, whose unlocking and growth are connected, profoundly, to the feelings, experiences and hearts of their wielders.
Luna Nova: Not on-grid at this time, but most of its traditions are. Luna Nova students are instead students of the Infinity Institute School of Sorcery. However, the teaching staff is all present (along with staff from other themes), and largely in the same roles, with the explanation being that Luna Nova was bankrupt, and the school was generously offered a merger twenty-ish years ago. (Croix and Chariot are among the first graduates of the Infinity program.) Little Witch Academia's construction of magic forms the foundation of the Western school of magic taught at Infinity. Magic classes take place on the 13th floor, but outdoor mystical activities mostly take place in Gold Crown Town (which is technically on the /third/ floor, but in reality more of a portal to a quaint omniEuropean dimension).
The Sorcerer's Stone: At the top of the Infinity Institute's skyscraper, its magic pervades the whole arcology. In general, since the public neither knows nor believes in magic (with the separation between magic and normal life quite a bit firmer than it is in Little Witch Academia), the reliance of witches on the Stone is a lot less important and will therefore be downplayed; the Stone is valuable and necessary for the functioning of the school and eases the practice of extremely powerful rituals, but Tokyo is an extremely magical place, brimming with ley lines, and witches can operate reasonably well throughout the city. The desire for secrecy is still paramount to the community, though, aided greatly by Recognition Inhibition, which leads most displays of magic to be mistaken for displays of optical illusion and so forth.
Arcturus Forest: Is more like a magical world, one dimension over; it can be slipped into from the forests of Nishitama, and also from within Gold Crown Town, but never reliably. Wagandea lies within. It is not the World Tree in Tama, but there could be a connection.
Fuel Spirit: Croix has come up with a name for something that may or may not be part of the explanation as to why magical girls are so much more powerful than regular witches. How revolutionary her insights are, and how her practices might impact the magical girl community, remains to be seen, but she is certainly one of a long line of people who have tried to distill that secret ingredient into personal power for their own gain.
The Grand Triskellion: The 'Ultimate Magic' from megalithic ages, its unsealing has been a goal of the witch community ever since it was placed beyond reach by the Nine Olde Witches. It's just possible that the Luna Nova program was invited to Infinity Institute in pursuit of that very goal.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Midchildan Mages: Adrift in Dimensional Space, the magical world of Midchilda typifies the Battle Fantasia notion that sufficiently advanced technology IS magic (rather than the other way around). Their native mages employ an alien form of magic, aided by a variety of technomagical tool called, appropriately, a Device. Devices range in sentience from 'a search function' to actual understanding of hope, despair, and ethics; we recommend the latter option, called an Intelligent Device, and not only because it makes for fun dialog writing in poses. Intelligent Devices aren't just lying around, however (except when they are, some artifact lost to battle and time); they are crafted by Midchildan Meisters, and protected very dearly indeed. For more information about why we recommend an Intelligent Device, please see 'Paths to Power' below).
Midchildan magic is practiced by Midchildans (and other citizens of the many united, administered Magical Worlds of the TSAB, see below), of course, Yuuno Scrya being an example of a mage archeologist. There are also mage explorers, mage scientists and engineers, mage doctors, mage lawyers, mage bakers, mage candlestick makers, and everything else (including mage butchers; Midchildan villains are an excellent antagonist premise). A native Midchildan needs a good reason to be on Earth, but those aren't hard to find, given that Earth draws trouble, and therefore power, like a lodestone. Midchilda in general is very aware of the threat Lost Logia and Dark Fall pose, and citizens may be eager to get on the front lines. They do so, however, aware that they are outside of the umbrella of protection of their government.
There is a Midchildan exchange program in Infinity Institute, both to nurture the strained relationship between Midchilda and Earth (who blames the TSAB (see below) for the loss of so many of their best and brightest to the Book of Darkness) and to broaden the horizons of some of their young geniuses. Age, in Midchilda, is no barrier to authority; people are treated with the maturity they display. Conversely, an Earth-native Infinity student could be taking classes and have a Device unexpectedly embrace them.
Travel: As of the conclusion of the Jewel Seed Arc, the subspace distortions created by the aborted dimensional quake have blocked normal magical travel between Earth and Midchilda (a plot point that is actually mentioned in canon). Sufficiently miraculous means could still transport people to and fro. Existing NPCs who need to be part of ongoing plots set on Earth are assumed to have been already traveling offworld at the time of the explosion.
The Time-Space Administration Bureau: The TSAB is a government of united Magical Worlds. With its central government in the magical world of Midchilda and its military command center in an asteroid situated in the dimensional void, the Time-Space Administration Bureau attempts to govern its worlds and protect it from depredation by the wicked or the demons of Dark Fall. That includes containing Lost Logia, ancient relics of terrible power created in a war that spanned the dimensions. However, a disastrous battle with the Book of Darkness a decade ago killed most of their best talent (above and beyond canon, as a BF-specific integration detail) and much of Earth's, in their name. The Mages of the modern Time-Space Administration Bureau now struggle to keep up with the terrible glory of Dark Fall with only a shred of their former might.
As of the conclusion of the Precia Testarossa Arc on Battle Fantasia, Lindy, Chrono and Amy have defected from the unable-to-intervene-on-Earth-due-to-treaties-with-the-Magic-Association Time-Space Administration Bureau and joined the Tuner Organization on Earth. The TSAB has wholly disavowed them, and the split will be permanent. Characters interested in exploring TSAB-esque plots of growth within an organization, and exploration of victories of mercy and friendship within a ruthless organization, are encouraged to join them in the Tuners.
Consequently, active TSAB agents are no longer appable on Battle Fantasia whatsoever. As of the Jewel Seed incident the Magic Association has forbidden them from so much setting foot in Earth's dimensional space, and they have decided to obey this prohibition. Midchildan TSAB characters may elect to join Lindy on Earth, but they'll be giving up their rank and career to do so.
Devices: Please bear in mind that Lyrical Nanoha is presently in the timeline of the first two seasons; Modern Belkan magic exists, but is not at all popular and is considered almost universally to be inferior to the Midchildan magic system. Midchildan culture still remembers the Belkan wars and people may have strong opinions regarding them. Also, notably, the Saint Church as a theme concept is not a part of our setting; Modern Belkan magic has been independently developed by various sources with an interest in that piece of the past. Because of these reasons, Armed Devices (and Modern Belkan magic in general) will need strong justification to be used. Intelligent Devices require careful background justification but are preferred (see below); Boost and Storage Devices are very common and require no special background justification, but extra care must needs be taken in such a mage's Path to Power.
Paths to Power: Midchildan mages, like mages from Sakura and Little Witch Academia, require something more than a Device, talent, and hard work to fight on a Magical Girl battlefield, though their Artifact requirement is easily filled by said Device. Nanoha Takamachi, for example, not only has a Device but a relationship with that Device, a contract to seal Lost Logia; that makes Raising Heart no different from a Precure fairy in some sense, except that she speaks the local language rather better than the average fairy refugee. An unworthy heart will not be raised, so to speak, by these moderately sentient Devices; that's why most Midchildan mages (the mooks) only access a slim fraction of their power. Being deemed worthy by an Intelligent Device (and, if applicable, its Meister, or creator) allows the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha theme to slide neatly into Battle Fantasia integration.
HiME: Long ago, there lived an Obsidian King, who branded those women he favored with the mark of His star. Those unfortunate few, called HiME, gained the power to summon fantastic weapons, Elements; and mighty creatures, called Children. The HiME were called to battle for the favor of their King - for only one could become his bride, and with that favor, be granted a wish that could bend the world. HiME must be female.
HiME OCs are appable. The exact rules of the HiME Festival may vary from the anime, seeing as we are using the manga's gross inflation of HiME count (to "arbitrary"). It is also possible to be an artificial HiME, known as a PRInCESS; however, it involves a techno-magical surgery by the mysterious Searrs Foundation, who are extremely picky about candidates. PRInCESSes have earrings instead of HiME birthmarks. The natural foes of the HiME are the mysterious monsters known as Orphans, which actively seek out HiME while also maiming or killing basically anyone else in their path, if they aren't too busy with some other objective.
Miraculous Ladybug is canonically set in Paris, France; in Battle Fantasia, however, rather than having the entire cast be foreign exchange students, they are instead the children of immigrants, either born in Japan or brought there when they were extremely young. Chloe Bourgeois, instead of being the daughter of the Mayor of Paris, is the daughter of the French Ambassador to Japan.
Miraculous-Wielders: The Miraculouses are magical jewels that are at least five thousand years old, and each of them has been used in that time to bestow extraordinary powers on those would would rise up to protect the innocent and fight evil, making these some of the oldest Legacies in Earth's history. Each Miraculous is associated with an animal, and has an associated guardian fairy, called a kwami. Kwami are universally tiny and adorable (and sometimes kind of obnoxious). In order for a Miraculous wielder to use their mighty magics, they need to be wearing the Miraculous (which always takes the form of jewelry, such as a ring, pendant, pair of earrings, bracelet and the like); the kwami then merges with the Miraculous, initiating the transformation.
When transformed, a Miraculous-wielder gains a masked costume, enhanced speed, strength, agility and endurance, a special weapon of some kind, and a unique superpower (such as Ladybug's Lucky Charm, which invokes the power of Creation to fabricate an item crucial to defeating an enemy, or Chat Noir's Cataclysm, which invokes the power of Destruction to destroy any single thing he touches). The transformation lasts until the superpower is used, at which point the wearer has about five minutes before they revert back to normal -- after which their kwami will require some rest (and food!) before being able to transform them again.
There are canonical Miraculouses for all of the zodiac animals, but only seven of them have current users: the Ladybug, Black Cat, Moth, Turtle, Bee, Peacock and Fox Miraculouses. They are strongly implied to originate from ancient China. Most of them are in the care of the Great Guardian, Master Fu, who bestows them on those he feels are worthy. (Master Fu is also a big name in the Magic Association, though he was nominally retired until very recently, when Papillon appeared, forcing him to recruit Ladybug and Chat Noir. His Order of the Guardians has been all but wiped out, per canon.) These seven Miraculouses are not available for original characters. Their canonical unique superpowers (as best we know) include the powers of Creation, Destruction, Illusion, Patronization (the Moth Miraculous allows its wielder to recruit followers and grant them their own superpowers, making the wielder their patron), Protection, Subjugation (paralysis) and Summoning. Their canonical weapons include a yo-yo, a staff, a flute, a shield, a spinning top and a fan. Unlike in season two, Ladybug and Chat Noir's canonical allies (Rena Rouge, Queen Bee, and Carapace) can be recruited permanently on our game as regular, playable magical boys and girls.
However, original Miraculous-wielders are available for application! Another level of Master Fu's Miracle Box contains the Rat, Ox, Rabbit, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig Miraculouses. (Dragon and Tiger, we've decided, are synonymous with the Ladybug and Black Cat Miraculouses, so they're taken.) New Miraculous-wielders gain their powers in the standard way: by Master Fu deeming them worthy, and secretly slipping them one of the gems -- the kwami takes it from there. If someone would like to make another Papillon-like misuser of the power of a Miraculous, the staff is happy to work with them to figure out how they gained their artifact. Finally, original Miraculous-wielders should generally be from Tokyo like the rest of the cast, but need not be the children of French immigrants.
Note that Battle Fantasia only integrates canon from the television show, not the wide array of additional materials, so original Miraculous-users are welcome to come up with names, personalities, and powers for their kwamis that may differ from the Miraculous Ladybug extended canon. If and when these kwamis (and their Miraculous-using characters) appear in the show, previously made original characters will supersede the canon ones, and we will find an alternative way to integrate the canon if it's important to the story.
The multiverse is vast, and the denizens of other worlds are many and strange, from small fairies that resemble anything from squirrels to puffs of adorable fluff, to little girls with great powers who just don't seem to think about the world the way a normal person does.
This is not a bad place and time to revisit Battle Fantasia's dimensional vocabulary. Multiverse geography is hard and also pointless to firmly define, so we'll just say there are three categories of other worlds: Fairy Realms, Dark Realms, and everything else, which is categorized as part of Dimensional Space.
Fairy Realms: Fairy Realms are explicitly the Pretty Cure fairy worlds, from the Garden of Light to the Trump Kingdom. They are filled with rainbows and cute fairies that usually resemble balls of fluff. They tend to house fundamental and primal connections to -- or be, in some sense -- ideals like "hope" or "music." That is, presumably, why the Dark Realms are relentlessly trying to wipe them out. It is totally great to invent more Fairy Worlds for OC Precure teams. Non-Precure citizens of fairy worlds are, however, essentially noncombatants for themeliness' sake, so please don't app a fairy refugee OC unless you really want to be helpless (or a Precure refugee in serious need of aid from Earth, though we prefer human Precure in general; Fairy Realms needing to go to Earth to find Precure is the rule, not the exception). The Fairy Realms needing help from Earth to be able to fully express their sacred power is an important portion of their theme.
Dark Realms: Light cannot exist without darkness, nor darkness without the light, or so some claim. Whether the Dark Realms are simply the Fairy Realms through a mirror darkly, or vice versa, is difficult to ascertain, but it's definitely true that some realms in either portion of the multiverse lack an obvious counterpart in the other. It is also true that the seemingly endless conflict between good and evil, hope and despair, darkness and light, doesn't seem to care much for the idea that there can never be an ultimate winner. Indeed, individual realms of darkness are often entirely focused on the goal of extinguishing the light of the universe forever. With names like Minor Land, Labyrinth and Dark Kingdom, perhaps that isn't all that surprising. There are many Dark Realms that aren't from Precure; they're the dark places that Dark Fall -- otherworldly, destructive, often demonic -- villains come from, mostly. A citizen of a Dark Realm with a heart three sizes too large for their homeland, who escaped and found a path to power as a magical girl and came to Earth, is also a viable OC.
Dimensional Space: This is everything else. Cephiro is in Dimensional Space, and so is Midchilda. When "Magic World" is used as a term, it is typically referring to a world like one of these. They also have lots of (less helpless) refugees fleeing dark forces, as well as magical princesses or other visitors coming to Earth to learn its ways (badly) and often prove themselves worthy of some sort of title back home. In general, magic worlds should be highly dissimilar to Earth - either with staggeringly high magical or technological levels (preferably magical), or just a theme, like the entire dimension being made out of unmelting ice cream. The denizens of such realms should be similarly thematic, or just having some particular quirk. Do note that dimensional travel to Earth, while not as absurdly difficult it was until Clow Reed's magic rattled the very foundation of the worlds, is still quite tough, and requires some pretty impressive resources. An ice cream adventurer who decided to just wander Earthwards would not be approved; the prince of the Land of Ice Cream come to select a champion to reclaim his kingdom from the Evil King Coldstone probably would. Typically in the genre, most such refugees are exactly that: Citizens of a world swallowed up by darkness. While we'll entertain other situations, we'd prefer if there not be some pressing need for you to go back every Sunday.
Also, please note that on BF there is no otherworldy species so badass that they can simply fight on the power scale of magical girls without some sort of unique, individual path to power of their own, other than the godzillamonsters of various themes, which are of course inappable. "I'm an alien" is not quite enough on its own to explain why a character is a champion at fighting with the power of their heart, though it can certainly be a Legacy as part of a greater PtP explanation.
Oto x Maho
Tuners: There are those whose power comes not from any apparent artifact, but from a contract with the World itself. These Contracts have emerged since ancient times, parchments (which are indeed Artifacts in the PtP sense) passed down from mother to daughter in perpetuity. They have but one mandate: To silence the discordant Noise; to bring the world into Tune. These freelance magical girls helped found -- and name -- the Tuner Organization, though any of the many categories of magical girl is eligible to join it. Tuners, in the 'magical girl type' sense rather than the 'organization member' sense, must be female.
This type of magical girl speak their Meaningful Words, a short, simple phrase ("Spread widely, to the end of the sky!"), to transform and summon their Origin Key, a weapon which is usually meaningful to them as a person. The woefully impoverished Grace Chapel's Origin Key is a self-multiplying coin named "With Interest", for instance. The native enemy of the Tuners are the Noise, creatures that emerge from ambient human sorrow, which often take the form of monstrous animals. Particularly powerful Noise have been known to reverse the roles, hunting down Tuners to bring crippling discord to their hearts!
Of course, magical girl templates that might exist in other themes are also perfectly acceptable.
Pretty Cure: Pretty Cure (Cure for short) are the guardians of the fairy worlds (which often house primal forces like "hope" or "music" in serious need of protection) and occasionally important magical places on Earth (the key example being the Heartcatch Precure's Tree of Hearts, connected to the hearts of all humanity; there could be other such sacred sites with their own fairies and Cure). After Dark Fall's terrible ascent on the Long Dark Night, in particular, the number of Pretty Cures on Earth has skyrocketed, as refugees from many fairy worlds seek champions to reclaim their homes. Pretty Cures must be female, and their power is so massive that it must always be granted to a team for it to be expressed fully, though they may awaken one at a time.
An OC Pretty Cure team would be fairly trivial to create and approve, but it should be repeated that Pretty Cures, far more than many other types of magical girl, work and operate as teams. A solo Pretty Cure is probably Doing It Wrong in one way or another - selfishly shouldering a burden too mighty to bear alone, such an individual is inevitably heading toward an unhappy end. Either that or they're waiting for their teammates to awaken. However, we do discourage just apping a solo OC Cure blindly hoping for your partners to show up. Like Senshi, the native enemies of Pretty Cures are many; they are the sacred appointed guardians of their patron Fairy World, and must defend it and its people. As Fairy Worlds are rich in magical power, this can be a very tall order...
Puella Magi: Throughout history there have been great women - powerful warriors and great queens who have reshaped the course of human events. However, the greatness of their deeds were matched only by the tragedy of their grisly ends. In truth, many of these mighty achieved their power from the same perpetually-smiling fairy animal, who offered them a simple bargain: Power, and a wish; in exchange for a new fate of lifelong battle against the despair-sowing Witches.
Puella Magi are unwittingly the victims of a fatal con being run by the alien fairy named Kyubey, doomed to have their powers turn against them. Sadly, like all the soul-binding powers of this world, their contract with Kyubey is permanent, changeable only by the direct action of a miraculous power; they must deal with the consequences of their choice, however tragic. However, we will not require Puella Magi OCs to set any kind of deadline for their destruction; we won't even really demand that it happen, necessarily. That said, the weight of their double-edged power is a key part of the Puella Magi story, and people who don't want to play with the consequences of it are encouraged to consider another type of OC. The natural enemy of the Puella Magi is the Witch, monsters who hide within bizarre, mind-bending Labyrinths. They pull victims there to feed on their happiness, and inflict on them suicidal despair. Puella Magi also regularly fight Familiars, small demons created by Witches to aid their work.
The third natural enemy of the Puella Magi is other Puella Magi. As they use magic, the Soul Gem of a Puella Magi, the source of their power, grows dim; when it darkens entirely, the price of Kyubey's bargain catches up to them fatally. To dispel this, they must employ the Grief Seeds harvested from Witches to return the sparkle to their Soul Gems and prolong their very lives. Tokyo, dense with magic, has far more Puella Magi than the Witch population can support - leading to regular, brutal battles over the precious Grief Seeds. Although some Puella Magi can and do support each other, they must do so with that knowledge overhead: That they may, ultimately, need to turn on one another, else all will perish.
As a further note of clarification, please remember that Kyubey wouldn't be much of a con man if everyone knew his game; for the most part, Puella Magi, FC and OC alike, know that they need Grief Seeds to replenish their magic, but not the full implications of that need... particularly not what happens should they run out. He's just another fairy mascot, making dreams come true.
Further Puella Magi OC design advice:
- The most common mistake made is to start at 'what cool powers do I want!!' and then go to 'what wish should I make to get them?' Puella Magi honestly fight pretty similarly; they are summoned-weapon-focused with some kind of unique power that supports but does not thematically displace their weapon-style combat. That unique power is the least important part of their design as a character, and the last place to go for brainstorming, not the first.
- Rather, wishes should be OOCly designed, from the outset, to go really badly awry over time -- one of PMMM's core themes is about not only being careful what you wish for, but the juxtaposition between what you officially wished for, and what you really, truly wanted all along. That's the kind of story PMMM is here to tell, so characters should be designed accordingly, with a clear sense of what each of those elements are.
- Embrace the limitations of being a Puella Magi -- since another big theme of PMMM has to do with being forced to make difficult moral choices due to very finite magical resources. Someone who goes on every quest, jumps into every mission, fights every monster, like it's no big deal, would really run out of grief seeds and become a Witch very, very quickly. "Like it's no big deal" is the problem here: it's totally fine to be an altruist and regularly interfere in non-Witch business, but building that into the core PMMM thematic of risk and limitation is not only narratively worthwhile but fundamentally required. A Puella Magi who spends magic fighting anything but Witches is a huge hero, but only if the narrative involves their sacrifice in doing so -- having to take risks in later scenes to hunt Witches with less magic available, getting injured or needing rescue, and so forth. For Puella Magi, altruism has consequences, and that must be not merely acknowledged but constantly explored; nor should these consequences be relegated to off-camera afterthoughts. (It's totally fine if someone doesn't want to deal with that kind of issue on Battle Fantasia; but Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not a suitable theme for their character, if so.)
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Duelist: The rose signet rings of Ends of the World are sent to those 'worthy' of becoming Duelists, along with a monogrammed letter. This artifact not only allows them physical entry to the Dueling Arena floating above Ohtori Academy, but also empowers them with supernatural speed and strength on the magical girl power scale, as well as (eventually) a Soul Sword, so Touga vs. Sailor Mars is not a really short fight of 'sword vs. flamethrower'. This is said to be but a taste of the Power of Dios, the power to revolutionize the world, and every Duelist has a deeply personal reason to fight for it, or they wouldn't be given a ring in the first place. What the full expression of the Power of Dios can do is unclear, but it's definitely true that the current Champion of the duels retains a girl called the Rose Bride, who officiates the duels and will summon the Sword of Dios from her chest for their use. She also submits to their every demand. There are also other, lesser duels over everything from settling scores to determining the bracket for who has the right to be the next challenger of the Champion; these brackets are occasionally but totally ignored when Ends of the World writes to announce an immediate duel for the Bride.
Since Duelists are far more than a bunch of kids with swords, how they choose to respond to the apparent inundation of monstrous activity around them is their choice alone.
Most of the Ohtori Student Council (on the middle and high school levels, separate from the elementary school Guardians) are Duelists, but they can be found outside of the council. The only apparent requirement is to have something to fight for... though the Ends of the World does not take kindly to Duelists who choose to ignore their written instructions. There is also an OOC contract to not talk about Fight Club; nobody who receives a letter or a ring would be so foolish as to throw away their opportunity by exposing even a hint of the conspiracy, or they wouldn't have been contacted in the first place.
Characters from other themes can get Dueling signet rings, but:
1) The powersets don't stack; such a character duels with their normal powerset. Having a ring simply grants them access to the Duel Arena and the right to participate in Duels.
2) They can't start with Dueling rings, but must acquire them on camera, by requesting that the BF staff arrange for a letter to be sent. This request ought to detail something that they want desperately enough for them to be contacted (and manipulated) by Ends. Staff have to approve it, and then the letter, and ring, will arrive.
3) They shouldn't ask, if they aren't interested in really exploring the Utena theme. This is not an afterthought sort of request, though of course neither should it totally dominate all Duel participants' lives. One important element of the Utena theme that must be acknowledged by all would-be Duelists' players is that Dueling is a fundamentally selfish and hypocritical activity (that involves coming to grips, over time and duels, with those very issues) -- characters intended to out-Prince Utena Tenjou (whose selfishness and hypocrisy is also a vital part of the theme, it's good to note) should rethink that plan from the start.
4) They understand that the Duels (and their outcomes) will be more often focused on actual Duelists, specifically Revolutionary Girl Utena FCs and OCs. Getting a ring is an implicit agreement to directly and categorically lose to Utena Tenjou, sooner or later (much like Clow Cards will always eventually end up in the hands of Cardcaptor Sakura). It is also unusual at best for an extra-RGU Duelist to defeat non-Utena RGU Duelists, as their credibility as antagonists (as well as the extraordinary nature of Utena's success) is important to maintain for the health of the theme. That doesn't mean RGU Duelists should never lose to anyone but Utena, nor that extra-RGU Duelists should never be able to win against people other than Utena, but it's something to keep in mind: RGU characters are all about the Duels, it's their highest priority and most passionate supernatural commitment, and they should do extremely well in the arena, accordingly.
Black Rose Duelist: Additionally, everyone, Duelist or not, whether their theme is Revolutionary Girl Utena or not, can be possessed by an angry ghost who brings their darkest feelings to the surface and then tries to beat the crap out of Utena Tenjou (or, perhaps, someone in the challenge bracket). Souji Mikage's player (or the staff, NPCing him, if necessary) will be in charge of handing out Black Rose signet rings; these rings vanish when the Duel is over, and generally the period between 'creepy manipulation disguised as psychoanalysis' and 'the duel' is pretty short. Dates should be arranged in advance, so as not to drag the angst out too long.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Original Symphogear Users: Symphogear Relics are a mysterious and ancient technology that can only be activated when the relics resonate with the bodies and hearts of girls whose songs hold special power. These Relics have been used and studied by the Tuner Organization for years (in modern times, the Japanese subdivision of this operation is called the 2nd Division Mobile Disaster Response Corps; there are others elsewhere), and they're constantly on the lookout for possible candidates to wield them.
These relics are generally ancient mythological weapons (in other words, they've played a role in much of history). Original Symphogears can be invented along these lines, as long as they avoid invoking famous weapons important to other themes. When activated, a Symphogear Relic provides magical Symphogear armor, a magical weapon called an Armed Gear, and superhuman strength, speed, and toughness. When deactivated, it looks like a weird little red shard, typically worn as a pendant.
The ultimate power of a Symphogear Relic can be invoked with its magical girl's 'Swan Song' -- her singing unlocks its full power all at once for spectacular and devastating effect, but the magical energies are far more than a human body can bear. A fully realized, uninterrupted Swan Song is fatal. Use of a Swan Song in any form requires prior discussion with the staff unless a player is committed to suffering that consequence on the spot.
For the time being, original Symphogear Users were either recruited by the Tuners, or else by Fine and her organization, but they cannot be free agents (no stumbling on a Symphogear Relic in the back yard and figuring out how to use it); original magical girls from the organizations from later seasons of the show will become playable as the story reaches that point.
Noise: Unlike in the world of Senki Zesshou Symphogear where Noise are a terrifying worldwide phenomenon (and so are Symphogear-users, increasingly), on Battle Fantasia they fall under Recognition Inhibition like everything else, and the Tuners oppose them with their usual secrecy and without UN or other government support. Being touched by Noise is not instant death by disintegration on Battle Fantasia -- it takes prolonged contact (bringing these legions of youma in line with their peers in terms of deadliness, and allowing them to rampage through Tokyo in great numbers without killing thousands in an eyeblink).
The 2nd Division Mobile Disaster Response Corps: The name and the secret base are pretty much the same, but as an organization they no longer have any relationship with any government, nor much of their military trappings (no tanks, no army support for that matter). They're basically men in black supporting magical girls, one such subsection of the Tuner Organization. In general, they have much less ability to oppose magical girl-level threats than canon sometimes inconsistently suggests.
Rating: As always, Symphogear players are expected to follow our Rating and Gender and Sexuality guidelines; Symphogear canon has a fair amount of problematic material which is not suitable for Battle Fantasia and will have to be firmly altered or entirely offscreened.
Guardian Character-Bearer: All children hold an egg in their soul; the egg of the heart, which holds that child's dreams. Certain dreams held by certain willful children manifest that dream in the form of a Guardian Egg, which hatches into a small fairy known as a Guardian Character. Guardian Characters are more compactly referred to as Shugo Chara. By merging with their guardian fairies (complete with transformation sequence and costume change!), Shugo Chara-bearers access powers far beyond that of their normal selves -- that of the idealized selves they yearn to be. Chara-bearers can be of any gender.
Shugo Chara-bearers are also viable OC concepts. Bear in mind that past elementary school, dreams start cracking, and it's quite rare for a person to have their Guardian Character into their late teens - and nearly unheard-of for it to happen into adulthood. By that point, people have almost universally either given up on achieving their dreams, destroying their Heart's Egg - or reached out to grasp the future, making their Shugo Chara redundant.
Zero Time: Yes! The major conceit of Star Driver is that all battles of major import take place in a fairly trippy (also, fairly rainbow) alternate dimension called Zero Time (and when Zero Time is activated, the normal time that elapses between the start and finish of the battle is zero, thus the name). This is because the major artifacts of Star Driver, the Cybodies, are currently SEALED within Zero Time -- they can ONLY manifest there, until the seals keeping them there are broken. Going into Zero Time is sort of like laying down a vastly more psychadelic and galactic-themed Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha barrier, with the understanding that it doesn't reflect the real environment of Earth at all; so, there will be no collateral damage, but you also cannot, ever, affect things on Earth while in Zero Time. Anyone with any Path to Power has the option of being pulled into Zero Time when a Cybody Apprivoisers; you don't have to have a Mark or a Mask like in the show. On BF, it is a more general heart magic thing.
Note that Zero Time behaves somewhat similarly to Forestization from Yuna Yuki Is A Hero. Its invocation also involves the brief appearance of a glowing golden tree. Is there a connection between Zero Time and the Shinjuu? That remains to be seen...
Order of the Glittering Crux: Yes! The Order of the Glittering Crux is a group that seeks to capture the four Maidens of Southern Cross Island and crack their Seals, thus releasing the 22 Cybodies into the real world to conquer it! On Battle Fantasia, it's one of the major branches of Ends of the World, in collaboration and competition with the Searrs Foundation when it comes to superscience. The Order is much bigger than just its Star Driver membership. Thus, it is possible to apply for OC members of the Order! All members of the Glittering Crux receive an ornate golden mask, made from technology derived from Cybody research. Much like the Utena Rose signets, the Crux mask provides an Artifact Path to Power for those loyal to the Glittering Crux, in this case allowing them to transform ("apprivoise") and fight at a supernatural level. Also like those signets, it is easily taken, broken, or annulled, and anyone with another Path to Power receives no benefit from the Mask beyond awesome, anonymizing headware. Remember that because all members of the Glittering Crux wear their Mask at all times while on Crux business, members of the Glittering Crux do not know each others' identities! Those who suspect another's identity, however, can try to greet each other with their secret handshake; members thus identified are pretty much obligated to reply to their comrade, as long as it's just the two of them around.
Cybodies: Yes, but. Cybodies are giant robots run by the power of passionate emotion, literally fueled by the strength of one's heart and the purity of one's intentions; even so, as giant robots are not wildly conducive to the rest of our theme (though they could, perhaps, go skirmish on Cephiro to their heart's content, when Magic Knight Rayearth gets to that point in its own theme...), Star Driver's giant robots are therefore highly restricted in how often they get to come out and play. Specifically, activation of Zero Time outside of Star Driver-specific plots should be done sparingly and thoughtfully, and always with the consent of the GM and all players in any given scene. Cybodies are often Supercharged Henshin Modes, to make up for their rarity and to sell their awesomeness; see below for what a Star Driver's regular fighting style is like instead! Additionally, unlike in the show, we encourage a) cybody fights to not always end with the destruction of the cybody, and b) people to take advantage of the fact that cybody regeneration is not going to kill them. That spectre may hang over their heads ICly, but it's hardly something we're going to enforce, in the name of telling a better story than 'the hero wins every episode' (which in turn is mandated by the original plot, wherein if Takuto lost even once, it would all be over but the crying).
Apprivoising: Heck yeah. The above restriction would make it sound like Star Driver is functionally unplayable on Battle Fantasia outside of Star Driver-specific plots, but no! As some characters demonstrate in the canon, to apprivoise, or henshin, does not actually require being in Zero Time, and on Battle Fantasia everyone, Ginga Bishonen or no, has a transformation entirely separate from Zero Time and the Cybodies. They can use their Star Swords, if they have them (basically, awesome lightsabers named after a gemstone of their color -- in French); they can use similar fighting styles, with similar powers as their Cybodies (if applicable; someone without a Cybody can just design a cool power suite that's appropriately Star Driver-flavored), albeit without the Cybodies themselves. If they have a First Phase power (a minor magical ability usable even when untransformed, though as with all themes the utility of untransformed magic on Battle Fantasia is limited to 'roleplay fluff' and should not be oversold), it might be enhanced to combat-scale effectiveness post-transformation. Glittering Crux members, of course, mostly apprivoise using their Masks, but outside of the electric bier, they get to keep them on. That, plus Recognition Inhibition, can protect their identities very thoroughly.
Original Star Swords: Absolutely, as long as it isn't named/colored after a gemstone already taken. Note that not all Star Swords are longswords (but most are) or even swords (though most are); there are canon examples of katanas, rapiers, scimitars, lances, and spears, so feel free to design the awesome brightly-colored sparkly laser melee weapon of your choice.
Entropeople: No, sorry. There's a couple around, but as they are very few and we are given no indication there's more than the handful of FC examples, Entropeople OCs are not appable.
Marked/Ginga Bishonen: Similarly no. There are exactly 22 Marks for 22 Cybodies, and we know who they all are. We have no intention of increasing that number. Fortunately, having a mark is not a huge deal; all it means is 'can transform without a Glittering Crux Mask' -- it's an alternate Path to Power and little more, other than IC prestige among a certain class of individual.
Star Drivers: Also no! Although during Second Phase it is possible to be a Star Driver (aka Cybody Pilot) who isn't Marked, all Cybodies have canon Star Drivers at this time. Cybodies going to noncanon hands may be considered as brief plots (at the discretion of any Head player and also staff), but the permanent reassignment implicit in an OC application will not be considered.
Sealing Maidens of Southern Cross Island: Alas, no; there are four of them, one for each season and cardinal direction, and they are all FCs. Maidens who wish to optionally honor the original restriction of the theme are welcome to, but it isn't required. Instead, on Battle Fantasia, they are restricted to 'Tokyo' instead of 'Southern Cross Island', since Southern Cross Island is basically just Ohtori (there are also commercial and residential neighborhoods there, but still). This lets them get into the greater action of the game, while still leaving them with some pathos when all their friends go off on a grand adventure to a Magical World.
Then what's left for an OC to do? Having a Glittering Crux mask but not a Cybody, on Battle Fantasia, is like having a Rose Signet but not being Engaged to the Rose Bride. You won't get special benefits, but you have plenty to fight for with your supernatural powers: the strength of your feelings and, perhaps, your powerful ambitions made manifest. Despite being Ends of the World, Glittering Crux has its share of canonical moles, traitors, and surprisingly ethically motivated members, as well, so it's very viable to be a protagonist (much as how Utena has plenty of morally complex Duelists who are more than mustache-twirling villains); this is far from antagonist-only (though we do encourage played baddies, as always).
The biggest adjustment to Steven Universe is its setting. Canonically it takes place in Beach City, a seaside town somewhere that definitely isn't Japan. And right up until its inclusion on Battle Fantasia MUSH, that's where it was, as well!
For reasons of his own, the leader of the town, Mayor Dewey, introduced a program called the "Economic Exploration Exchange." People of Beach City could swap places with citizens of Tokyo, Japan, allowing for a voyage of cultural discovery! Learn from one of the greatest economic engines in the world! Explore a completely different country! What an opportunity!
Nobody but the Mayor signed up to go... until Sour Cream and Jenny Pizza realized they were losing their best friend, his son, Buck. They managed to convince their families to do it -- at which point Lars signed up on an impulse. Sadie had always wanted to go to begin with; Ronaldo Fryman too (with stars in his eyes, imagining the expansion of his blog to "Keep Tokyo Weird"), and nothing will separate the Fryman family. The Maheswarans, meanwhile, made the decision separately, eager to get their daughter into some of the most competitive schools in the world. Many other families were caught up in the momentum as well.
When Steven realized he was losing virtually all of his friends, he became distraught. His Gem activated and warped the Temple onto the shores of Tokyo (where it is veiled by recognition inhibition). Greg hastily followed.
Now the people of Beach City have a new stage of their life to leap into, and the Crystal Gems have a lot more proximate people to protect.
- Everyone speaks perfectly fluent Japanese, and this is not remarkable. The reason for it is that Pearl invented a translation device in order to communicate with humans, thousands of years ago. When they moved to Japan, she gave one to Steven, who promptly begged her to make enough for everyone. She obliged, but in a form in which the magic of the device simply dissolves into the citizens of Beach City on contact. It has since been fully distributed to all of them.
- This setting adjustment is much more about 'putting the show on the game' than it is an invitation for an extended dive into the pathos of being a foreigner in Japan. Some difficulties should and will inevitably arise in their adjustment, but Steven Universe as a show is very much about the strength and warmth of local community, and that's not something that should change.
- Indeed, for the same reason, although the people of Beach City have not formed some kind of immigrant enclave, they have mostly settled in various Shitamachi neighborhoods.
- The Earth of Steven Universe is filled with ancient battlefields and other Gem artifacts. This is also true here, but -- not all that differently from within its own setting, really -- they are well-veiled by recognition inhibition, and universally in far-flung, extraordinarily remote regions that are only accessible by Warp.
- As previously noted, the Temple is now on Tokyo shores. People think it's some kind of retro art installation.
- The Gems are obviously weird, and yet, through the power of Recognition Inhibition, also not remarkable, much like Mr. Cat teaches ballet at Infinity Institute and it's really no big deal.
Original Characters: Per Inappable Characters, original Gems (both Crystal and Homeworld) are not yet playable but probably will be someday. Original Beach City civilians are discouraged (better to actually be from Tokyo if you're a human anyway), but a sufficiently strong app would be considered.
Vivid System-Users: Vividred Operation is about the Vivid Team, girls who transform using their Vivid Keys, which resonate with the power of their friendship and the strength of their hearts! They exist to defend the source of their Palette Suits' power, the Magic Association-sponsored technomagical Manifestation Engine, which may someday bring about world peace given its seemingly infinite ability to generate power. It is being targeted by the mysterious Alone, enormous monsters who will stop at nothing to destroy it. To finish off their opponents, users of the Vivid System often merge into a single being, such as Vivid Blue or Vivid Green! Their mascot is Professor/Grandpa Isshiki, inventor of the Manifestation Engine and the Vivid System; in a tragic accident, his consciousness has become trapped in an otter plushy called Uso-kun.
As always, Vividred Operation players are expected to follow our Rating and Gender and Sexuality guidelines; the fanservice in their source material breaks our 'tastefulness' requirement routinely, and it will not be tolerated on Battle Fantasia in any form, including on the wiki. Helpfully, on BF they're in Infinity Institute uniforms.
As with many team-focused theme sources, one can absolutely app an original character, but not one who is part of the canonical Vivid Team. There are lots of other colors to go around, though, for other teams who got their keys separately, probably from Yuri Shijo instead of Professor Isshiki.
Vividred Operation's integration on Battle Fantasia primarily and dramatically alters the role of the Manifestation Engine, the role of the modern military, and also handles some logistics in transforming a twelve-episode anime into an indefinite roleplaying game:
- Battle Fantasia is not set in a utopic near future where the Manifestation Engine is providing the entire world with free, clean energy. Instead, the Manifestation Engine is providing Infinity Institute with free, clean energy; it powers the whole skyscraper, and that is amazing enough. If it can't be protected long enough to demonstrate itself as worth the trouble, its Magic Association managers will never allow a larger one to be built to bring about world peace.
- Much as the Manifestation Engine is not the anchor of world peace, the Alone are not a publically known threat, nor are they, by supernatural standards, a threat above and beyond that of any other monster of the day. There is no United Defense Force, or any Battle Fantasia equivalent for military involvement; that entire aspect of the show, which is fortunately really just minor flavor like 'the girls initially riding to the edge of the battlefield on military hardware' and 'tanks and battleships shooting fruitlessly at the bad guys', is gone, as is the whole subplot where they save Japan with a nuke signed off on by the Prime Minister. There are magical weapons of mass destruction they can use instead, but what's really important here is that the girls fight on their own, with advice from their mascot, just like everyone else.
- Instead of being affiliated with the military, Grandpa is affiliated with the Magic Association, as is, by extension, the Vivid Team; he's a superscientist, but like all superscience on Battle Fantasia, that means he's into magic.
- Mizuha Amagi and Yuri Shijo are, respectively, an Infinity Institute homeroom teacher and a vice principal who are also Magic Association agents. As previously mentioned, the entire rest of their military faction, the UDF, does not exist; they have no secret base or control room beyond Magic Association headquarters, within which they are one of a great many people who scramble for MA resources.
- Grandpa's wacky superscience toys are much more limited in their scope, since they are persistently inappropriate to the greater BF setting; players of the theme are expected to respect that, and keep them to tolerably background levels. Akane can have a flying bike, but it only works in range of the Manifestation Engine and therefore the II grounds (which is still a lot, in a huge, crazy skyscraper with a massive central atrium). Similarly, Himawari can be a world-class hacker, but much like 'world-class ojou', this is much more RP fluff than something that drives magical girl plots, ever, really.
- Akane and Aoi went to some other non-Sister School prior to being transferred to Infinity Institute by the Magic Association.
- The Vivid Operations are, in csys terms, TEAM finishers; otherwise, all the girls fight with their Palette Suits on the same level as any other magical girl. The girls may certainly supplement their builds with non-TEAM finishers; they are also encouraged to invent combinations that don't involve Akane (Yellow+Green might be Vivid Lime, Green+Blue might be Vivid Teal, etc), as long as these revelations are accompanied by dramatic and awesome friendship scenes the first time they happen -- this is explicitly different from the anime.
- Basically because it's rough to have to pose sharing a body (especially since the anime makes it look like Akane's basically 'driving' and her partner of the day is just a telepathic voice in her head), it's better to just pass on separate henshin modes for the Vivid Operations. They really are functionally Finishers anyway, and one round a fight of that is enough. If the players want to do multiple rounds a fight as Vivid <Color>, they can also buy some TEAM Specials.
- On that note, apping the canon (or any) Vivid Team as a 'plural' app is not an option; given that what makes Vividred Operation magical girl is the fact that they fight with the power of friendship, as expressed and strengthened by the relationships between them, removing the ability to have them roleplay among themselves destroys the feasibility of the theme on our game.
- Rei Kuroki's goal is to destroy the world by helping the Alone blow up the Manifestation Engine, so she's definitely Dark Fall. Rei has a lot more feathers, and probably a full on fighting style that involves being more of a typical support caster on Battle Fantasia, eg, 'not just buffs, but debuffs'. She is from a very Earthlike, but not-Earth, Magical World in another part of Dimensional Space. She has a transformation like everyone else on Battle Fantasia, even though visually it may look like 'summoning her bow.'
- The Crow may or may not be related to Princess Tutu. The true nature of the power behind the Manifestation Engine, and the origin and purpose of the Alone beyond blowing up the Manifestation Engine, are Battle Fantasia mysteries that will be revealed in due course.
Yuna Yuki Is A Hero
The massive, monstrous Vertex come from outside the Earth, one dimension over, in a seemingly infinite hellscape of demons and flame. The infinite nature of this dimension is unknown to Heroes, who are told that they are prophesied to fight a finite number of Vertex. The Shinjuu (literally "Divine Tree") prevents this dimension from merging with and thus destroying the Earth, but (unlike in canon) the entire planet is shielded. When the Vertex attack, the Shinjuu releases a beautiful floral barrier dimension known as Jinkai, in an effect called Forestization, where the battle proceeds to take place. This effect is large but is still on the typical Battle Fantasia battlefield scale within Tokyo (or wherever else the Vertex might attack, should they have reason to attempt an incursion elsewhere), which is to say a neighborhood; the entire game is not drawn in. All magical girls in the area, Heroes and otherwise, are affected by Forestization. Antagonists are not automatically drawn in, but may enter consciously and deliberately if they wish to interfere. No time passes outside of Jinkai while the battle takes place, an effect not dissimilar (and possibly related) to Zero Time. However, if the battle takes too long, the Jinkai may wilt, with a commensurate amount of damage done to the real world (examples might include a car accident, collapse of an overpass, or landslide).
As per canon, the Shinjuu's central power, which must not come into physical contact with a Vertex lest the whole world come to an end, lies within a massive tree of local spiritual significance. On Battle Fantasia, it is the World Tree in Tama; in other words, the World Tree and the Divine Tree are the same thing! That puts the girls at Infinity Institute (near the World Tree), and though it is not common custom to bow to the tree, a few of the older professors might encourage such behavior.
Per Magical Sensei Negima, the World Tree releases magical energy once every century or so, and the mystical Control Points in surrounding neighborhoods that control that energy are managed by the Magic Association (although both Ends of the World and Dark Fall have recently made plays for possession of these points, with mixed success). This is Shinjuu energy. The mysterious organization known as Taisha is believed by the Magic Association to be a legitimate actor of the state of Japan, in charge of the physical protection of the trunk of the tree itself. In reality, the Taisha are one of the oldest affiliates of Ends of the World, tasked with maintaining the status quo while they (and their allies) remain in control of as much power as possible, at expense of the girls in the Hero System.
Heroes: The Hero Club comprises the only Heroes at Infinity, but canon suggests that there are other teams empowered by the Shinjuu to fight in its defense. Thus, Original Character Heroes may hail from either Juuban or Ohtori. Heroes from the same school are expected to form some kind of team under the auspice of a club, as that is a major element of the theme every bit as important as the battles that take place under Forestization. Heroes are always young women in elementary or middle school. They transform using a special cell phone app (which also tells them what the Taisha want them to know about the Vertex, Jinkai, and Mankai), wield some kind of summoned weaponry, and begin with one Fairy guardian.
Mankai are Supercharged Henshin Modes two ranks above a character's Master Rank (so starting rank C characters have an A-ranked Mankai). All Heroes have them. As per canon, their usage leads to permanent physical disability of some kind (memory loss is also a potential late-stage problem, after multiple Mankai), though no Hero is aware of this in the beginning. Unlike canon, it is once every few usages (minimum of one, maximum of "don't strain the credulity of the impact of Mankai"), rather than absolutely every time, allowing their rare and dramatic use over a longer period of time on the MUSH while creating an element of scary uncertainty.
Which disabilities Heroes obtain, and precisely when they do, is up to the discretion of their players. Each time a Hero undergoes a Mankai that results in a new disability, they gain a cute (and possibly slightly creepy) new Fairy mascot and protector, dispatched by the Shinjuu to watch over their guardians. The ultimate purpose of these spirits is to keep the girls alive by any means necessary, which day to day often involves the Fairy creating a colorful force field to mitigate mortal blows in battle.
Yuna Yuki is a theme which gives careful consideration to disability. While the Mankai disables girls physically, girls in this theme also deal with mental illnesses both before and after their Mankai. Not everyone will react to physical disability with despair -- look, here, to the ever-cheerful Yuna! -- but the combination of permanent consequences and difficult battles can bring with it its own struggles. Disability, both mental and physical, is a thematic concern of Yuna Yuki. Please engage in these issues with sensitivity and respect.
The key point to understand about the idea of a 'generic wizard' on Battle Fantasia (in the 'studies hard, learns spells, casts spells' sense; all of this also applies to martial artist concepts) is that it is not actually an alternative to playing a magical girl -- it's more an effect of theme bleed. Shows like Cardcaptor Sakura, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, and Magical Sensei Negima establish the setting idea that there is a greater community of wizards on Earth and in the greater universe, and we're fine with that. We address how to make a character using those specific styles of magic in their respective entries in this file, and there are other examples as well within the genre that will be no doubt added here in due course.
However, we insist that such characters keep to the conventions of the magical girl genre, which is to say, that all the mages in these shows are useless mooks unless they have things like special artifacts, transformation sequences, and powerful emotion in their hearts (good or bad). In other words, PC combatant mages are magical girls by any other name. They can downplay (though still use, in subdued form) the trappings of magical girls, if they really want, though we prefer that magical girl conventions be celebrated, not avoided. However, the fundamentals are required. This isn't Super Wizard Wars.
Let's take a moment and discuss what those terms, trappings and fundamentals, really mean.
The trappings of magical girl are superficial -- but iconic -- things like an important item that symbolizes and unlocks one's powers, a transformation sequence, silly (or sinister) expository mascot creatures, beams of energy exploding against each other, and gigantic stock-footage finishing attacks. Most of these things are encoded into the Path to Power guidelines for original concepts, one way or another, but it's pretty possible to make Wizard George, whose item is a pendant he keeps under his shirt, whose 'transformation' is simply his activating his suite of defensive combat spells right before battle is joined, and whose finishing attack is Bigby's Crushing Hand. And that's okay, if they really insist; they're still having some initial external access to their powers, which is a trapping universal enough to be required for everyone, which is why Artifact is the only mandatory Path to Power. What isn't okay is them acting like their spellcasting is somehow coming from a different, superior, exclusive sort of source, because they studied and trained for years and Cure Blossom just met Chypre yesterday.
The fundamental theme of the magical girl genre is 'stories about feelings, and the power of feelings to change the world'. Sure, ALL stories are stories about feelings to some degree, but in magical girl, feelings have primacy. It isn't the biggest badass -- in the traditional sense of a person who possesses traits like a 'special weapon' and/or 'combat talent' and/or 'finely honed combat skill' or even 'insane levels of dedication to their combat technique' who wins. Characters can have fancy weapons, they can be skilled, talented, and dedicated at beating people up, but at the end of the day, the magical girl protagonist is fighting for, and with, her feelings. And that can never be denigrated within a theme written to tell magical girl stories; Usagi Tsukino would rather read comic books than hit the dojo, but she is no less capable, nor, more importantly, less worthy to wield the power of her heart than Nanoha Takamachi, who gets up at four in the morning every single day to run exhausting combat drills with Raising Heart. True power, in the magical girl setting, our setting, is honed by work but is ultimately powered by love. By friendship and kindness and wisdom, and that's why Nanoha Takamachi ultimately defeats the vastly more experienced and at least as driven Fate Testarossa -- because Nanoha is empowered by her compassion.
Every character on Battle Fantasia, whether they're the frilliest magical girl or the most serious mage, ultimately fights from the power of the heart -- and they know it, if only instinctively. People who don't, who ONLY fight with fancy weapons and talents and skills, can't even enter their league. Those are the manifold Rank E (and occasionally D) wizards of the Time-Space Administration Bureau, who are scattered by the golems that Precia Testarossa built in the throes of her heartbroken grief, and the equally impotent wizards of the Magic Association, who wonder what it is that Clow Reed had that they don't, and can't ever seem to achieve, no matter how hard they try.
Clow Reed, of course, had love, and hope, and grief, and despair, and so does every character here.
Mixing and Matching
Power sets may not stack unless explicitly stated. Such infusions of power bind the heart and soul into service, and the soul may be so bound only once at a time. A miraculous event might break such a contract and make obtaining other powers possible, but in the process you lose what powers you had. (So, no Puella HiME or Sailor Cures.)
Mages are the aforementioned explicit, but specifically and carefully implemented, exception, but only in that you can still do little things for flavor, not that you can be both Elminster and Sailor Moon at the same time. For instance, Rei Hino is a mystic in addition to being Sailor Mars, and she can still use her modest magical powers even after receiving Mars' blessing, represented by a Signature Attack master trait for her "Evil Begone!" ofuda-fling. However, such individuals will find their growth as a witch or wizard or psychic or martial artist simply cannot match their might as a mage or warrior who casts with the heart in their primary way; their own conduit to that primal power simply is not attuned to expressing power as conventional spellcasting.