Eclipse – The Magical Girl Template (+2 ECL)

   I just know I’m going to regret this – but I’ve had a request for a template for an anime-style “Magical Girl” (or, far more rarely, boy).

   The trouble with creating a Template for a “Magical Girl” is simply that “Magical Girls” are pretty ill-defined. Fortunately, there are a few near-universal elements. Pretty much all magical girls have:

  • A need to keep their powers a secret. There’s usually no actual reason for this, and the Magical Girls battle-costume “disguise” is usually hopelessly inadequate as far as disguising the Magical Girls identity goes – but no one ever suspects anyway.
    • We’ll call that Immunity to anyone independently making the connection between the Magical Girl and her Secret Identity (Common, Minor, Minor, 4 CP) without the use of a great deal of detective work, powerful magic, or some similar method.
  • An absurdly-elaborate and lengthy Transformation Sequence, usually with implied nudity, which they must undergo before they can use most of their other active powers. Fortunately, no one ever simply interrupts the transformation.
    • Innate Enchantment/Transformation Sequence, Transmutation, Level One, Components; V, Casting Time; One Swift Action, Range; Touch, Area; Creature Touched, Duration; Instant, Saving Throw; Will Negates (Harmless), Spell Resistance; Yes.
    • This peculiar spell changes the user’s clothing into some stereotypical battle-costume or back to normal. The change is actually instant, but the spell effect gives everyone watching the vague impression of a lengthy and dramatic transformation, with background music and appropriate imagery. Any adult viewer may make a will save to gain the impression that they saw something briefly titillating, despite the fact that they haven’t actually seen a thing, which at least usually relieves the mental boredom. Most Magical Girls have the personal-only version of this, for a 1400 GP value as an unlimited-use use-activated Innate Enchantment.
  • A magical catchphrase and/or gadget that catalyzes the Magical Girls powers. This is occasionally a disadvantage – but it’s not a big one. It’s effects aren’t too predictable either, and if the gadget is really critical, somehow it never goes missing for long. Ergo, it’s a Restriction (worth +1 CP per level): A Magical Girls powers and abilities may be weakened, or even temporarily negated at the convenience of the game master by preventing her from using her talisman, uttering her catchphrase, changing into her battle-costume, or by whatever other means the game master feels is appropriate.
  • A Magical Talking Animal Sidekick/Servant (rarely non-fuzzy, and always around somewhere), which usually doubles as a wise elder mentor or trainer – because Magical Girls are usually pretty incompetent and even squirrels make wise elder trainers by comparison. Of course, the things are usually quite independent, occasionally need rescuing, and otherwise act up. That’s Companion with a Template (Mystic Aide/Tutor), Specialized/the companion does, and doles out information, as he, she, or it pleases (6 CP).
    • A few Magical Girls have Leadership, and a magical sidekick or boyfriend instead – but that’s a pretty minor variation.
  • Uber-Cuteness – often sufficient to make villains fall in love with them – about which little more need be said.
    • That’s +2 Charisma (12 CP as a part of a template) and Innate Enchantment/unlimited-use use-activated Attribute Boost (Charisma +2) with the Personal-Only Modifier (1400 GP Value).
  • An Aura of Innocence, which apparently protects Magical Girls from mind control and such – and can even break other people free of such effects as long as they’re in close contact and the Magical Girl can make some dramatic appeal to friendship, love, and generic goodness.
    • That’s Innate Enchantment/unlimited-use use-activated Protection From Evil with the Personal-Only Modifier (1400 GP).
  • Fairly ineffectual combat skills (which neatly match the fairly ineffectual villains).
    • I could call this a Restriction – but this really won’t work out in most games, which tend to rely far more on actual combat than the original source material. Ergo, I’m going to skip this bit.
  • A Romantic Interest, most often with lesser powers but far more competence in using them, who can come to the rescue occasionally.
    • I’d say this is a Minor Privilege (3 CP): the Magical Girl always gets to have a relationship with someone who’s either a good catch or one of the major villains.
  • While Magical Girls have no actual abilities as planners or researchers, somehow any even remotely plausible plan which they do come up with invariably works out – somehow – at the critical moment.
    • That’s Luck, with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/It only works when both the game master and the player agree that it’s a critical situation and that it should, can only be used on rolls which are somehow a part of a “plan” – however inane that plan may be (4 CP).
  • Absurdly good morale. In fact, whether it’s through vast self-confidence or simply being too perky for words, it’s almost impossible to get them down.
    • That’s Innate Enchantment/unlimited-use use-activated Inspiring Word (2000 GP).
  • They’re fairly tough to hit. Given that – in a d20 game – there’s going to be some fairly heavy combat involved, I’ll give them Innate Enchantment/unlimited-use use-activated Mage Armor (personal only, 1400 GP) and Shield (2000 GP).
  • They tend to bounce around like superballs. Magical Girls are forever leaping out of the way of attacks, yanking people out of the way of onrushing doom, and pulling off similar stunts – just like most anime characters. For this we’re want:
    • Opportunist: May take a Move Action using Acrobatics, Jump, or Tumble once per round as a Free Action. This may be combined with Tumble to avoid Attacks of Opportunity (6 CP).
    • Innate Enchantment/unlimited-use use-activated personal-only Jump (1400 GP).

   Magical Girls share a variety of other, standard, anime abilities – in this case, represented as another batch of Innate Enchantments – once again, all effects use-activated unlimited use at caster level one, personal only):

  • Mending (this fixes their hair, clothing, and other personal items, 700 GP). Now you know why a Magical Girl can be blasted with flame, have their entire body scorched and burned – and then appear in the next scene with clothing intact and her hair in place.
  • Disguise Self (+10 bonus only, 1400 GP). Oddly enough, the skimpiest disguises work quite well for Magical Girls – and all other anime characters.
  • Resist Energy (1400 GP). This will provide Resistance-10 to all forms of energy. Like most Anime characters, Magical Girls can stand up to bolts of lightning, flame, and corrosives – but knives and bullets still affect them normally.
  • Fast Healing I (up to a limit of 20/level/day, 1400). Magical Girls recover from Injuries with fabulous speed.
  • Prestidigitation (only provides glowing special effects, half cost, 350 GP).
  • Immortal Vigor I (provides (+12 + 2x Con Mod) bonus hit points, 1400 GP).

   Now, we’ll need a few mechanical elements here…

  • Immunity/Stacking limits when combining innate enchantment effects with external effects (Common, Minor, Minor; covers effects of up to level three, 4 CP).
  • Immunity/Dispelling and Antimagic (Common, Major, Epic, Specialized and Corrupted/only protects innate enchantments that provide personal augmentations, 9 CP).
  • Immunity/the normal XP cost of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Minor [only covers first through third level effects at caster levels of five or less], Specialized/only to cover initial racial abilities, 2 CP).

   Finally, we’ll need Presence. Magical Girls are always either inspiring, or intimidate enemies, or cheer everyone up, or provide morale bonuses, or shield people and creatures against mind-controlling enchantments by their mere presence – and Presence will cover that for a mere (6 CP).

   Now lets see… That comes to 56 CP (so far) and 17650 GP worth of Innate Enchantments – 19 CP worth. A total of 75 CP so far.

   What else do we need?

   A set of normal companions, most often a tomboy girl and a very feminine girl, who are so hopelessly incompetent that they can make the Magical Girl look good, is a common option – but are also free, since they’re totally useless in game terms.

   Oh wait; we need a few actual active magical powers.

   Since the Magical Girl is already heavily into Innate Enchantments, we might as well continue with the theme.

   Lets call it…

  • Three additional usable-at-will level one innate enchantments at caster level one – for 6000 GP / an additional 6 CP.
  • A usable-at-will level two innate enchantment at caster level three – for 12,000 GP / an additional 12 CP.
    • These will commonly include a basic ranged mystical attack or the ability to produce a magical melee weapon, often includes enhanced movement or acrobatic abilities, some sort of animal-themed enhancing transformation (a specific version of Aspect of the Beast [from The Practical Enchanter] with attribute modifiers), the ability to control some element, to walk up walls, or any of a hundred other specialized effects.

   That’s 93 CP, and I’d like to get to 96 CP – for mathematical reasons to be noted later.

   For 3 CP, each Magical Girl gets a unique Privilege. They may be regarded as the Princess of the Squirrels, be high-ranking nobles, have the ear of some powerful spirit, be automatically invited to all the best parties, or have someone who covers up their frequent absences for them.

   Whether for good or ill, the entire Magical Girl template is Corrupted – reducing it’s net cost to 64 CP, or a +2 ECL Template. Magical Girls:

  • Invariably have a nemesis, with loads of minions to send after them.
  • Must keep their true identities secret, on the pain of endless plot complications.
  • Invariably have a duty to whoever or whatever gave them their powers, and will get constant missions from them.
  • Swiftly become famous; their enemies will invariably be quite familiar with their abilities.
  • Are always emotional and easily distracted. Whenever a relationship problem comes up, they must make a will save to avoid penalties of the game master’s choice until they deal with it.

   Further Advancement: Well, the Innate Enchantment route will be useful for a bit – but it will soon become impossibly expensive to buy higher-level powers, no matter how useful a swarm of lesser abilities may be. Personally, I’d usually recommend saving throws, decent sized hit dice, Empowerment (to boost those offensive powers to more effective levels) and some levels of the Wilder progression – granting increasing mastery of higher-level powers which, sadly, unlike the basic stuff will NOT be unlimited-use.