Magical Burst Stuff

The other day I got to be one of the very few people outside Japan to see the third Madoka Magica movie. It was at a crappy little theater in San Francisco, and we got to wait in the cold until 15 minutes before the showing started. On the other hand we actually got to see it. When they had the double feature of the first two movies they had about two showings total here, which sold out before I could get a ticket. Madoka Magica has always been the kind of show that’s hard to talk about without giving spoilers, and short of watching a fansubbed camrip, most people aren’t going to get to see it until some time after the eventual DVD/Blu-ray release, so I won’t go into detail about it except to say that it was quite good, but really, really weird, and I think it will be very controversial in the fandom.

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Although I haven’t really had time to actually work on Magical Burst, watching the movie did give me some ideas, and inspired me to start watching more magical girl anime, which in turn gave me other ideas, so at the rate I’m going I’ll hopefully get back into working on it before long. As much as I liked the third Madoka movie, I feel like it helped me mentally decouple Magical Burst from the franchise a bit more, so that I can look at other magical girl titles more clearly and openly. Although Madoka was a prime source of inspiration, MB was always its own thing in many very important ways, especially with the central conceit of Overcharge and Fallout, which is both very important to how MB works and very different from Madoka Magica. In particular I’ve been watching Day Break Illusion, Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya, Fresh Pretty Cure, and the live-action Sailor Moon series. These haven’t really inspired me to change Magical Burst rules-wise, but they have definitely got me thinking about the genre quite a bit more.

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I also ended up having a pretty solid idea for what I want to do for a “Magical Burst Companion” book to eventually follow the core rulebook. This is me getting way ahead of myself as usual, but it helps to have some kind of outlet for concepts that are extraneous to the core project, provided they don’t get totally out of hand. There are several possible alternate takes on magical girls that would make interesting rules options. I want to do something with a dark take on the reincarnation element in Sailor Moon, both as a rules option and in a story. Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya also presents the idea of magical girls having cards they can swap out to get different magical abilities (and of course there’s Card Captor Sakura). Pretear presents a variation on that concept where the different powers come from different people, but using them means risking those people’s lives. A “corruption” system more in line with Madoka Magica could make a nice replacement for Overcharge and Fallout.

The other major part of the Companion would be a set of three alternate settings, which use the same basic rules (with some key changes) to tell some very different sorts of stories.

  • Angel Project has heroines who wear skimpy sci-fi power suits (as seen in Galaxy Fraulein Yuna and a few others) and fight the forces of darkness and occasionally each other. Taking a cue from the Yuna PC Engine games, the setting involves destinations like the Water Planet and the Fancy Planet.
  • Helix Academy is about students at a school for people with special powers, heavily inspired by A Certain Scientific Railgun. I’m not sure how I would really approach this one yet, but I’d like to try something along the lines of Adventure Planning Service’s Elysion RPG, where you have to manage your schedule and take turns doing different things towards your goals.
  • Zero Hour would basically be Persona with the serial numbers filed off, concerning people with special Avatars that give them powers they can use to fight threats to humanity in the un-time. And now that I think about it, the time management type system would be pretty appropriate for this one too.

Anyway, I just wanted to share where I’m at with Magical Burst. I’m thinking over the course of 2014 I want to make a push to complete the new revision, do a bunch of playtesting and refinement, and then move towards publishing it by 2015. And from there avoid having quite so ridiculously long development cycles for my games.

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13 thoughts on “Magical Burst Stuff

  1. Ah I’m really excited for the future of MB! I’ve never seen Pretear but accidentally killing people to use powers vaguely reminded me of the DX Lois system.

    I think some of the BSSM musicals had pieces about reincarnation. Any S01 based ones (like the new La Reconquesta) have Beryl and the Shitennou, but there are occasionally more humorous mentions of reincarnation (twice in different versions of the Stars musicals).

    Would the Angel Project setting be the Nanoha equivalent?

    1. Nanoha would be on the list of inspirations for Angel Project, but a ways down the list. It’s much more Galaxy Fraulein Yuna with the serial numbers files off, and bits of stuff like Nanoha, Triggerheart Exelica, Symphogear, etc. added. It’s going to be a bit silly, the kind of game where you have to track the Dark Gothic Lolita Idol down on the Fancy Planet to do battle.

  2. Yuna and Persona addons for a game inspired by Madoka… throw a Valkyrie Profile setting in there and I’d wonder if we shared the same brain.
    Super excited about this! I discovered this game shortly after seeing Rebellion last week and although I have no TRPG experience, I’m attempting to start a session in my town.

      1. Magical Burst has gotten a good amount of playtesting, but I’m working on a substantial revision, which will require a good amount of playtesting. I’m hoping that once I make whatever revisions turn out to be required through playtesting, I’ll be ready to publish a final version.

      2. (For some reason I cannot post a reply on your reply, so I posted it on my own one)

        I am very much looking forward to seeing it. Also, if you need any help (proofreading, if nothing else), I would gladly do so.

  3. Hello, I been playing Magical Burst game for the past 6 -9 months and I have been home brewing the game quite alot. And when I mean alot I mean every day I’m adding new stuff to my game. I have several documents and 3 different factions using different systems.

    I might have something you might be interested in the files and I wanted to share them with you since it’s your game.

    I have them in a google doc file so if want, what will be the best way for me to get them to you.

  4. After playing Magical Burst, I’ve been thinking that it could be modified to play like the Persona series relatively easily. What are your thoughts on this? If it seems like modifying MB into a Persona-like game would be too difficult, maybe it could be a spin-off of sorts.

    1. So if you scroll up a bit you’ll see I’m thinking of doing a “Magical Burst Companion” book after the core MB rulebook, which among other things would have a Persona-inspired alternate setting.

  5. It’s possible I’m late to this party, but if you want any more playtesters for your new revisions, I’m pretty sure I can get some of my usual circle to be rabidly enthusiastic to do so.

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