Magicalogia Part 2: Gameplay

Part 1 can be found here.

With the character creation section out of the way, let’s go over the rest of the game, starting with the task resolution system.  This is normal Saikoro Fiction fare: roll 2d6 and hit the target number or higher to succeed.  Double 1s are a fumble—instant failure and roll on the failure table—while double 6s are a Special—instant success and, if attacking, extra damage.  Magikalogia adds something new this time around, though; anytime the dice show doubles of any number, 2 mana are produced that correspond to the number’s category.

If you take a look at the character sheet, you’ll notice that each category has a dice number above it: beast is 2, dark is 6.  If double 2s are rolled, then 2 Beast mana will be produced.  What does that mean for you?  Well, in order to cast a spell, a certain number of mana is required, and they’re not easy to come by.  Luckily, you can share mana between players that share a Drama Scene, so its possible to help each other out that way, but it can still be tough to gather the 3 mana needed to summon a Mage Lord every time you go into battle.

Speaking of battle; battle is tough.  Battle is a 1 on 1 affair, though you can take your friends along with you to provide extra defense or support spells.  The “representative” will do all the attacking, summoning, and offensive spells, though, and everytime they take damage from being attacked, the back-up characters will take 1 point of damage.  Damage is represented by Magic Points, by the way, and are rolled at the beginning of every scenario, and may be rolled again as a result of a Drama Scene if a player so wishes.

Anyway, battle goes like this: Attacker summons, Defender summons, Attacker attacks, Defender attacks, repeat.  Attacking involves the Attack value and goes like this: the Attacker takes a number of dice equal to their Attack value and sets the Plot.  Yes, Plot makes an appearance here, but in a totally different way.  So with 3 dice, the Attacker might choose 3, 3, 6.  This is totally secret, because the Defender takes their Defense value and does the same thing.  Let’s say 2, 3, 6.  The dice are then shown to everyone, and any matching dice are taken away.  Any remaining dice on the Attacker’s side become successful attacks and deal 1 MP damage per dice.  Any remaining dice on the Defender’s side become mana of the corresponding Category.  In our example, the 2 dice remaining would become a Beast mana and could be used to charge a spell that uses that type of mana.  Once the Attack phase ends, the round restarts at the beginning of the summoning phase.  Summons are used to soak damage, do extra damage, and deal Boost dice for Attack or Defense.

Each game starts, as usual, with the Introduction Phase, where each character gets a scene in which their character becomes involved in the event.  In this game, though, this phase is doubly important because it is this phase in which they gain a new scenario relationship and, at the end of the scene, their MP for the session.  Each scenario relationship that gets handed out to players gets a Person handout, which usually has a Secret on the other side for the players to find.  There are usually other, hidden Persons for the players to find during the Main Phase.

The main crux of the game is the Main Phase.  Usually 3 cycles long, each player gets to control a single scene per cycle.  As in Shinobigami, each scene must be either a Drama or a Battle scene.  Drama scenes always start with a roll on the Scene Chart to find out what sort of background the scene will have, but the choices for the outcome are as follows: Research (Find someone’s Secret or bring out another Person), Incident (cause an incident to occur that will make another character’s relationship/destiny become further entwined with yours), and Tuning.  If you choose Tuning, you can either reroll your MP, roll 3 dice and use those to charge Mana, or heal a status ailment.

Battle scenes can be performed at any time with anyone.  However, any normal people that become embroiled in a magic battle die pretty much instantly.  Magic battles are described as ritual magic sessions that only end when one person wins, with both parties putting their life on the line.  Battle is usually only performed when an NPC’s Secret has been revealed, and it turns out that a Fragment–part of one of the evil grimoires–is possessing them.  As long as you can catch a Fragment’s possession early, defeating one will set the person free.

The goal is to find and defeat as many of the Fragments as possible.  The boss is usually a grimoire that has spread its pages out, to make it harder to find it and beat it.  However, once a fragment is defeated, the spell that is written upon it becomes a Prize for whomever beats it.  So as long as you can beat all of the Fragments that appear in the scenario, the final boss will be missing a bunch of pages and will be pretty weak.

This brings us to the Climax Phase.  As in the other Saikoro Fiction games, the Climax Phase is basically the final battle.  However, since the battle system in this game is a 1 on 1 style battle, things work a little different.  Basically, the players simply take turns being the representative; once the round is over, the next person takes their turn with the rest of the players playing backup.  It is suggested in the rulebook that if there are many players, that several bosses challenge a split party, to keep the balance right.

That’s pretty much that basis for the game.  I’ve played it twice and had a great time both times, but I have a few gripes about it.  I’m currently reading the replay that’s in the rulebook, but I think that once I’m done with it, I’m going to make another post writing about my ideas to make the game a little better.  I just finished watching Madoka Magica, so I’ve got magic on my mind, heh.

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~ by mattgsanchez on May 12, 2011.

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