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Magical Girls and Mage: the Ascension?

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  • Magical Girls and Mage: the Ascension?

    Pretty nerdy question, but I wanted to have a character that possessed most of the conventions and trappings of the Japanese Magical Girl genre, which Tradition, Convention or Disparate do y'all think would best fit.

    For those not unfamiliar with the genre, typical Magical Girl themes and tropes are;
    - Main character is almost always a young girl
    - Only being able to do magic after going into colorful transformation sequence that gives the main character a sweet outfit
    - Having knowledgeable familiar/guide that usually takes the form of a cute animal or pushie
    - Main character's powers come from love, hope, kindness, friendship, etc.
    - Instruments usually take the form of staffs, wands, or medieval weapons
    - Often fighting creatures made out of despair and sadness
    - Magical abilities are pretty diverse but I think use of Forces and Prime spheres are almost universal in the genre
    - Calling out attacks in an elaborate and dramatic fashion is also common

  • #2
    I'm going to need to do some thinking about this - I could potentially say loads about it. So hold on.


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    • #3
      Some kind of Extatic with some major connection to the Dreaming... maybe?
      Flashy transformations and spells are kind of tricky, paradox wise.

      Familiar background is a given.
      Wishcraft could be a possible practice. Look at the Orphans Survival Guide or the Book of Secrets.
      Kind of staying with the Extatics tradition. Lot's of drugs can do such things.

      This actually reminds me of a player in a Vampire Chronicle who had his Assamite "transform" into the superhero Sailor Girl... we were the laughing stock of the Anarchs, back then.

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      • #4
        Okay, I think I've got something.

        The short answer is that magical girls wouldn't fit neatly into most groups. In a good number of cases, a magical girl who goes hard on the "Magical Girl" concept is going to be a Orphan. If there are enough magical girls running around at once, you might get a Craft all their own. Depends on how well they network with each other, and how well they can form a cohesive - or at least not overly contradictory - internal ethos and identity. But that latter part shouldn't be too terribly difficult, in the broad strokes.

        But if we wanted to fit a magical girl character into an existing group, we can do so with a little thought. First and foremost, they basically have no place in the Technocracy. Aside from the Union's hostility towards the idea of magic and other messy, "irrational" ideas like that, the Technocracy simply isn't down with flamboyant warriors of justice and friendship. They are sober, serious proponents of science and order, and see no reason to change that tune. They'd rather the magical girl be trained to work in a lab, and save the frilly costume for what they do in their own time, in the privacy of their own home.

        While the Syndicate might use a magical girl in a public context, it wouldn't be as a genuine player, but as a tool for generating profit and propaganda. A magical girl in this context is a pawn and a product, not someone who is of real worth to the Union's larger goals. Moreover, the Syndicate doesn't need an actual Awakened person for that, just a normal person willing to put on a costume and work with an effects team.


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        • #5
          No, it would need to be the Traditions or Disparates. In the latter case, I can only really see them hanging out with the Hollow Ones. Dark Magical Girls could work there, since they're likely to have become too jaded to be champions of hope, justice, and friendship. Magical girl classic, though, would steer clear of the Hollow Ones, for the exact same reason. Honestly, except for the Dark Magical Girls, the group as a whole might be outright ideologically antagonistic towards the Hollow Ones, because of the latter's insistence that the world is hopeless. The Hollow Ones, despite adhering to the sort of capital-R Romantic style that magical girls do, are burdened with a Despair that is anathema to regular magical girls.


          From here, where a magical girl would go depends on their particular (magickal) style and cultural influence. Because not all magical girls are the same. Or always girls; some might be boys, and some might be adults. I like Princess: The Hopeful in this regard, as it assumes that while adolescent girls are most likely to become royals, this isn't always the case. That anyone can be called into service by the queens, and anyone can serve the cause of fighting the darkness.

          Of course, Mage: The Ascension is very different than Princess, and being a "Magical Girl" has more to do with the Focus one chooses to use, than it does with being chosen. And most adolescent boys or grown adults will look askance at this particular ethos. But I digress.

          More on this in another post.


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          • #6
            Looking at TV Tropes, we see that many magical girl series can be divided into three categories: Cute Witch, Magical Girl Warrior, and Magic Idol Singer.

            The first, obviously, concerns teens who happen to have magic powers. As the name implies, such characters use Witchcraft as a Practice, and would thus be most comfortable in the Verbana. The Moon-Seeker faction of the Verbana tend to focus on exploring new ways to do Witchcraft - to bolster the power of the Old Ways, which they leave to other Verbana factions to hone and preserve - so I'd imagine the Moon-Seekers would be most accepting of post-modern magical girls. The Tradition as a whole may not take well to such commercialized witchery - since it reeks of the Syndicate - but the same suspicion often falls on the technomancers within the Moon-Seekers. So it's not like it's a complete deal breaker.

            That said, magical girls often have just as much thematic ties to Western Occultism as a whole, including the High Ritual Magick practice. Japan took extensive cues from the intricate mystical designs of the West when depicting magic. And the Clow Cards from Cardcaptor Sakura bear more than a little resemblance to the Tarot, another noted element of Western Occultism. As such, a magical girl might not be completely out of place in the Order of Hermes. Probably House Ex Misc, though a magical girl who grows older might drift into more formal, orthodox Hermetic style after a while.

            It's also worth remembering Practices like Chaos Magick and Gutter Magick, reflecting the appropriation of media depictions of magical girl power to their own methods. While this might make them end up as Orphans, a magical girl who patterns herself after the mass media archetype might find a home in the Virtual Adepts. A lot of them are otaku. Not to mention the Adepts are probably the ones most likely to have enough 3D printing know-how to create custom plastic tools, like magic wands. Buying a toy from the store can seem kind of gauche, since it would mean jacking an existing magical girl character's swag. Not unless your Focus actually derives power from said swag jacking, in a manner that pulls Reality-altering force from the Mythic Threads.


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            • #7
              The Magical Girl Warrior supplements their Witchcraft and whatever other styles with Martial Arts - reflecting their martial prowess.

              The Magic Idol Singer, meanwhile, makes good use of Bardism. Singing, dancing, posing, etc. Their performance not only manipulating reality by itself, but channeling the connection between themselves and their audience. Indeed, most magical girls I imagine have some level of leveraging magickal power from their ties to other people, from an emotional perspective.

              Speaking of, that idea of empowerment from feelings make the Cult of Ecstasy a good fit. I wouldn't say, however, that magical girls would tend to use drugs for magic. On that point, TheVarulfen and I differ, as drug-use comprises only one of many ways Ecstatics do magick. The Cult of Ecstasy is about passion, experience, and mind-expansion. If a magical idol girl can whip herself into an ecstatic state from an involved musical performance, complete with heartfelt singing and vigorous movement, that's as valid a way of doing it as getting high.

              (Moreover, while the Cult of X is all about having a good time, they are not without sense or ethics. You don't give children drugs, until they're old enough to handle them. As such, the Sahajiya is liable to support magical girls pushing their limits in a manner befitting their style. Save the booze, pot, and sex for when the kids have grown up. That's not compromising Paradigm, that's just basic human decency. The Code of Ananda demands nothing less.)

              Finally, one must remember that some magical girls in media derive their "magic" from advanced tech. It seems contrary to the concept, but it happens. Sailor Moon's Sailor Mercury had a friggin' magic computer, and some characters in Little Witch Academia blend magic with invention with no compunction. Then you have Jem from Jem and the Holograms, someone akin to a Magic Idol Girl who uses a supercomputer and, well, holograms to solve problems. So Magitek - or even just sufficiently advanced technology - could comprise a magical girl's Focus, so long as she keeps the spirit of a defender in mind.

              As such, a magical girl might find a home in the Virtual Adepts or Society of Ether, if not among the technomancers of other Traditions.


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              • #8
                Bluecho,

                Yeah, when I thought about doing this concept I immediately thought that the Hemetics or the Verbena would probably fit the concept the best. A lot the Magical Girl genre is rather blatantly ripped off from western occultism, albeit given a much lighter touch. I think your right that a Magical Girl probably wouldn't fit all that snugly in either group, given that the scholarly Hemetics would likely scuff at the whole powered by friendship aspect and the Verbena tend to to put a lot of focus on blood and sex as part of their rituals.

                Do wonder though if maybe the Celestial Chorus might surprisingly fit best of all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Weirdboyz View Post
                  Bluecho,

                  Yeah, when I thought about doing this concept I immediately thought that the Hemetics or the Verbena would probably fit the concept the best. A lot the Magical Girl genre is rather blatantly ripped off from western occultism, albeit given a much lighter touch. I think your right that a Magical Girl probably wouldn't fit all that snugly in either group, given that the scholarly Hemetics would likely scuff at the whole powered by friendship aspect and the Verbena tend to to put a lot of focus on blood and sex as part of their rituals.

                  Do wonder though if maybe the Celestial Chorus might surprisingly fit best of all.
                  *Tilts head in thought* Hmm...

                  I don't know. While I can kind of see it - Faith plays a great part in many magical girls's outlooks - I don't know if elements of direct service to a divinity fits well with the archetype. Monotheistic belief in the One is sort of non-optional with the Celestial Chorus. Not only belief in the One, but active veneration of same, to the point where they believe their power comes directly from god (whether that comes from prayer or actual God-Bonding). The kind of faith a magical girl usually believes in is tied to their faith to concepts, like love, justice, and the inherent goodness of the world.

                  Moreover, magical girls tend to be pretty witchy, and that has a habit of getting under the skin of most Choristers. The one religious witch sample character from the Revised Celestial Chorus trad book had to constantly reassure her Tradition-mates that her witchery was just Cunning Wisdom, as revealed by God. Any magical girl in the Chorus is likely to have a difficult time fitting in, unless she changed her Focus so much she ceased to be identifiable with the larger magical girl archetype.


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                  • #10
                    How about a dreamspeaker who communes with spirits from the astral realm primarily, rather than the middle umbra as seen with the usual lot.

                    An offshoot from the Shinto shrine maidens, perhaps influenced by the modern day spiritual beliefs.


                    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Saikou View Post
                      How about a dreamspeaker who communes with spirits from the astral realm primarily, rather than the middle umbra as seen with the usual lot.

                      An offshoot from the Shinto shrine maidens, perhaps influenced by the modern day spiritual beliefs.
                      Sailor Mars was a shrine maiden, after all.

                      Also, this idea lets one play a version of Reimu Hakurei, from the Touhou games. So that's neat.


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                      • #12
                        An Akashic of the Li-Hai championing the values of Universal Love through manga/anime inspired magic.

                        Alternately, a Dreamspeaker of the Baruti who taps into the inspirational power of Magic Girl characters and their legend(s).

                        Or a Virtual Adept otaku whose Digital Web persona is a Magic Girl character, able to replicate certain effects in meat-space with custom made devices.
                        Last edited by No One of Consequence; 01-11-2018, 07:14 PM.


                        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                        • #13
                          If you're interested in Magical Girls in the Classic World of Darkness, check out the fan-game "Senshi: The Merchandising". It's a sort of tongue-in-cheek fan game from the late 1990's that ties a lot of Magical Girl anime from the era into the WoD, most notably Sailor Moon, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Cardcaptor Sakura. A lot of the cosmology in Senshi is directly tied to Mage: The Ascension (and to a lesser extent, Changeling: The Dreaming). You might be better off as a Senshi who is allied with the Mages.

                          In fact, Princess: The Hopeful was originally envisioned as Senshi: The Merchandising done totally serious.

                          Here's a link to the rules.

                          http://www.thekeep.org/~wombat/senshi.html

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                          • #14
                            I might be hated for what I'm going to say, but I will say it anyway

                            I do not think it could go into any group. I might lack cultural background, but Magical Girls is not a thing of the World of Darkness. Mood does not correspond, and concerning Mage: The Ascension, I cannot see how such a concept would work from an actual Mage setting point of view. In game, Paradox would prevent it. And even without considering it, Mage is about "realistic magick". I mean, magick that find roots in cultural lore. Again, I might lack references, but even if magical girls are nowadays pop culture in Japan, Bouddhism and Taoism and the core of the historical philosophy there and there are plenty of things to develop and explore in Mage from that point of view. An excellent reference for a related kind of magick can be found in xxxHolic (absolutely great manga ! )

                            That said, I can advice you Mutants & Masterminds to play a game that does not care about pyrotechnics and that could fit into many moods. It also details excellent powers, gadgets and feats (which are non-magical powers if I could say) of all kinds. The system is not complicated and is adapted to action scenes, which the WoD system is definitely not. The Hitos system could be an alternative. It's a generic system oriented for roleplay, mostly.

                            My conclusion is that Mage is an excellent game in every aspect (fanboy-ing with little pinky hearts, stars and butterflies in the eyes) but it is not adapted to everything ^^

                            ‚ÄčI hope I've been helpful !

                            Edit : Actually, specific games for that kind of play could even exist !
                            Last edited by NicoTheDuck; 01-12-2018, 05:25 PM.

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                            • #15
                              The good thing about World of Darkness is that Rule Zero exists and you can use it to bring Magical Girls into your version of the setting. I mean, we have fan games like Senshi: The Merchandising and Princess: The Hopeful, so a fan-made Mage tradition or craft based on Magical Girls from anime isn't that much of a stretch if Rule Zero is applied.

                              The themes of WoD are not concrete and absolute. They are entirely dependent on the ST and the players.

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