Attacks are designed by spending attack points on a combination of attack Power Level and Attack Flags. The number of attack points available for a given attack is a function of a character’s Master Rank and the attack’s Tier.
Type and Range
Attacks can be magical or physical, which determines, in the case of the +brace reaction, whether the defender draws from the Spirit or Vitality Stat respectively to fuel their defense. In either case, attacks are empowered by the Might Stat.
Attacks can be ranged or melee, which determines, in the case of the +counter reaction, what kind of counterattacks are allowable; only ranged attacks can counter ranged, and only melee attacks can counter melee, unless the Barrier flag is in use on the counterattack.
It does not cost any attack points to designate an attack as magical/physical and ranged/melee.
Many abilities improve attacks or defenses against a given type or range of attack.
There are three tiers of attacks in the Battle Fantasia system: Free Attacks, Special Attacks and Finishers. A given henshin form (eg Sailor Moon, Cure Blossom, Barrier Jacket Lyrical Nanoha) starts with two Finisher slots and three Special slots, and can buy more for 5 character points apiece. Specials and Finishers are nominally permanently defined, but older abilities can be replaced with new ones as time goes by, to represent evolution of one’s fighting style and advancement in power.
As characters increase in Master Rank above C, the number of attack points available to a given tier increases as follows:
Free Attacks can be created on the fly by anyone (even a civilian in Base Mode), but have a maximum Power Level of 3, have only a limited set of flags to choose from, can only have one flag at a time, and are built on the smallest number of attack points. These represent both spontaneous improvisation in battle, and attacks that don’t come up often enough to justify the use of a Special attack slot. The Improvisationalist Ability grants 1 extra attack point for each free attack’s pool.
Special attacks are many of the attacks often heard shouted in a magical girl show (though an incantation is not required): “Moon Twilight Flash!” “Blossom Shower!” “Divine Shooter!” They are powerful and dangerous, with a maximum Power Level of 5 and the full range of possible flags. They can be used at any time.
Finishers are, in magical girl shows, generally accompanied by stock footage -- often long stock footage. If they have their own musical leitmotif, that’s a good sign that a given attack is a finisher. “Moon Healing Escalation!” “Precure Pink Forte Wave!” “Lyrical Magical Jewel Seed Seal!” Finishers literally represent final blows, the ultimate attacks that turn monsters of the week to dust and send the lieutenants of darkness running back to their masters. If you use a Finisher and fail to KO your opponent, they may immediately use a Finisher in response, so plan accordingly! They can otherwise only be activated above or below a certain Morale threshold, and managing one’s morale over the course of a fight in order to access one’s Finisher at the right moment is one portion of the tactics of our game. On the up side, Finishers come with a hefty Mana cost discount.
Attacks have Power Levels measured from 0 to 10, where 0 is a no-damage attack and 10 is a world-shattering attack. An attack’s Mana cost is determined primarily from its Level, and secondarily from any Flags. Power Levels are not linear, and begin increasing especially rapidly in both damage and mana cost above Level 5. An attack’s Power Level is bought with attack points on a 1:1 basis, the logic being that despite the nonlinearity of their power, the equally nonlinear mana investment (which increases on the same scale) makes designing a given attack an exercise in creating many different tactical options. A lower-Power Level attack with more flags may well be more versatile, and will certainly be moderately more affordable, than its higher-PL cousin; in general most regularly-used attacks on Battle Fantasia are PL 0-3, and that does not mean that range is weak. The opposite is true: PL 3 is very strong, despite it seeming low on the scale, and even PL 1 is a punch or blast from a magical girl. (Do not underestimate Sailor V Kick!) Here’s a sense of the range:
Level 0: No damage; mostly used for applying status effects, or beneficial effects to one’s allies.
Level 1: Basic punches, blasts, and so on. The meat and drink of the combat system.
Level 2: A reasonably strong Free attack. Clobbering someone with a dumpster.
Level 3: An extremely strong Free attack or moderately powerful Special. Dropping a building on someone’s head. This is the highest possible level for a Free attack.
Level 4: A powerful Special attack. This is the lowest possible level for a Finisher attack.
Level 5: Extremely powerful Special attacks; fairly weak Finishers. This is the highest possible level for a Special attack.
Level 6: Reasonably powerful Finishers.
Level 7: Powerful Finishers.
Level 8: Extremely powerful Finishers. It is fairly rare to have any attacks this powerful, but not so rare as to stand out as anything more than very strong.
Level 9: Once-a-series events. Many of the final-form final episode Finisher attacks fall here. Attacks this powerful make people stand up and take notice.
Level 10: World-shaking attacks. Attacks this powerful are extremely rare and are usually only found on main series antagonists.
Attack points can be spent on flags, which modify attacks in various ways. Free Attacks have restrictions on which flags are available for purchase, but Special Attacks and Finishers may select any flags from the list.
Mana cost scales with attack Power Level, but Finishers enjoy a hefty mana discount. Flags increase mana cost either on a percentage basis (reaction penalizing flags, Banish, Purify, Barrage, Vampiric, Mana Attack, Energy Drain and Area) or additively (Rush and Charge (progressively more expensive with investment)), buffs and debuffs, morale flags, Bind Break, Cleanse, Interrupt, Item Grab). The Analyze, Barrier and TEAM flags cost no extra mana. The Efficient flag gives a discount based on its investment from Efficient1 to Efficient5.