Can't Fight The Moonlight Legend

Psyga 315

Rainy Day Man

We are on page 148. Two pages from 150. Wow. How lucky am I? Two posts ago I made it half way, and now I am close to finishing this.

Let us start with the author of the book reminding me something I already know. GMs. They are pretty much the authors of campaigns. To put in non-technical language, imagine if someone contacted you, and told you that you would do a new Sailor Moon show. You are now the director, producer, scriptwriter, and yes, even the actor. That or you are pretty much writing Sailor Moon fan fiction. The book tells us that there are three different lengths. I will again put it in non-technical language; a campaign is a season of Sailor Moon. A mini-campaign is a filler arc (its length can be compared to the Doom Tree arc). A one shot’s length can vary from an episode to a movie, so long as it can be started and finished in a single night (or if you are writing fan fiction, one chapter). The author points out that most of the sessions need to have a theme. And thank God they don’t try to cram the whole “Magical Girl = Puberty” thing. It is a decent explanation on themes. Oh boy, another Sailor Says. Wait, I know what is coming up; I will mistake the lesson for the infamous Sonic Sez meme, and then correct myself. Well, no sir. I will not deliver the moral. Instead I will think. (Thinks for a minute). And there, that’s what the Sailor Says is about. It is about how kids should avoid... GOD DAMN IT! DAY DREAMING! SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT DAY DREAMING!

Okay, so then the author tells us how to write villains. Prepare yourself; they are going to spout some tropes. First, they talk about the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, how the villain introduces themselves to the hero. The author tells us to give the villains names, personalities, and a bunch of other things. Especially motives. They just cannot be bad because someone says they are. They have to have motives, mostly along the lines of “I totally swear that engaging the world in a constant nuclear war will bring about world peace!” And, I actually can get behind that. Most of the villains usually fight for what they think is right. Alan and Ann want to save the Doom Tree, but they are getting the wrong message on how to feed it and the Negamoon family were pretty much forced out of their homes by Serena. Most of the villains actually redeem and (sometimes) live, with the truly irredeemable left to die. Other suggested motives include Revenge, Power, or just downright insanity. They also talk about how we should give the villains personalities of their own instead of just the "Lol, I'm evil" approach. Also, Monster of the Week, and how we should not give them characterization because they are the evil equivalent of Red Shirts. They also talk about how the villain’s downfall should go. Maybe they have a power source that needs to be taken out, maybe their boss is pissed off at their constant failures and proceeds to kill them, maybe they work on a time limit, or maybe they pull off a Heroic Sacrifice. Does not matter, so long as we have to make the deaths memorable, as well as everything else about the villain.

The book also tells us that we can choose to play as the villains. However, we already know that. What we do not know is how to space off our arcs. Usually, there is some villain the heroes have to go fight. Ehen he is defeated, the next arc and villain appear. This is the kind of thing I saw in Double. However, the Sonozakis do not take on Double one at a time like with the Shitennou. No, instead, it is someone else who is usually considered a member of the family, but not entirely. To reveal what all three of these people have in common is a spoiler. Same thing here, a member of the Quirky Mini Boss Squad appears and gets their asses handed to in about 10 episodes. Rinse and repeat. The book also tells us that this can be integrated into other Magical Girl shows. That alone fills the list of crossovers I want to see. It also tells us not to draw stories directly from the show, as Genre Savvy players can predict it. Plus, no one likes being on rails. However, who said anything about variations? Maybe Jedite becomes the Big Bad, maybe Nephrite lives and joins the Scouts as a Sixth Ranger, or maybe Malachite goes crazy over his “mother” and tries to send a giant meteor to Earth. I know, wrong show. The book discusses the problem of adapting the Sailor Moon style and its characters, as it would be hard (for a non-fan) to do it justice.

Even harder is to try to balance the team. Sailor Moon gets all the new fancy powers, and her friends are usually stuck to that one power constantly and only in other seasons do they replace them with another power they are stuck using. The book tells us that we can fix this by giving all the characters the same number of points. While this fixes the problem, it does under power them slightly. The book tells us that we don’t have to go follow the series and can just make a campaign that does not follow it. For example, taking the Sailor Scouts and putting them in a completely different plot, completely screwing with the stats to make Lita the Brainy Brunette, making characters change gender, turn some side characters into the heroes or villains, or just create your own damn characters. They also tell us that we can make a story by asking what if, as in “What if Queen Beryl won? What if she won through economic and political maneuvering?” “What if Queen Serenity accidentally sent the Scouts somewhere or when random in the universe?” “What if the Sailor Scouts were never revived?” “What if there was an alien invasion?” “What if the Scouts were trapped in the future?” “What if Fry never came to the future?” “What if 99% of Earth’s population (not counting animals) were Orphenochs?” Stuff like that.

Then it talks about character advancement. About every third role-play session, the GM is obliged to give the players one character point. Players can use this to increase their attributes, gain new ones, or even take off some defects. So long as they have a role-played reason. Oh, and diaries. They have diaries. Not just, they suggest that you should use a diary, but that they should purchase their diaries. They have three diaries, one for each class and the book encourages the GM to give people points for having diaries. Okay, I can see where they are going. It’s cool to have a character biography to take with you to your sessions, but when they get promoted for it, there’s something fishy. This, my friends, is the Bribing Your Way to Victory trope, in which you can level up by paying real money. Moving on to the Monster of the Week. Which ironically, is what the book calls the next section. If you don’t know by now, most of the villains, if not all the villains have monsters to act as their servants. They go around and do their bidding, whether it is collecting energy, reclaiming objects, fighting the scouts, protecting locations, or literally stealing peoples’ hearts (not making up that last bit there). They also have names as well, for example, Season 1 has the Youma (demons). Season 2 had the Cardians (monsters from cards) and Droids (robots). Season 3 had the Daimons (Monsters made from ordinary objects. Lord Zedd called; he wants his MOTW motif back). Season 4 had the Remless (I guess they attack people in their sleeps if I read correctly). Last but not least, season 5 contains my favourite monsters of the week in Sailor Moon: Phages (Mock-Sailor Scouts. Let me just say, Sailor Guts for the win!) You get to make your own monsters as well. At random as well. Oh look! Tables! Better not get Nina on one of them. Joking aside, let us create a monster on the spot! The instructions say that I need to take a template of a certain level of monster and then roll 3d6 (three six-sided dice) to see what powers he gets, and I have to do it five-to-twenty times for each ability. However, that is if you wish to make a random monster. You can create your own without the hassle of rolling. It’s the same as before, you are given a certain number of points, stronger powers equals higher price, and using weaknesses can bump that number of points up. For now, I’ll create a monster at random.

  • Name: Keaw
  • Health Points: 20
  • Energy Points: 20
  • Attack Combat Value: 5
  • Defence Combat Value: 3
  • Max Damage Value: 20
  • Abilities:
  • Is able to deflect 20 damage points from a Sailor Senshi attack.
  • Assume any human form.
  • Control the minds of 4 to 10 animals.
  • Place one person in a deep sleep.
  • Super Strength.

Suddenly, Keaw does not seem so weak. And I rolled for weaknesses, Keaw got nothing. Now, I am thinking of whether I should roll a six to see which villain group he would go to. I will not do so yet. Now let us look at some examples. The examples are monsters shown in Sailor Moon, one for the first three groups. I had to laugh at one of them being named Marzipan. Simply because of Homestar Runner.

And now the GM gives us more advice.

Advice #1: Watch Sailor Moon. NO!

Advice #2: Encourage innovative thinking when making characters. Okay then.

Advice #3: Make every character a focus. Don’t create Spotlight Stealing Squads.

Advice #4: Don’t make combat the main course. Okay then, I will just make it Once an Episode.

Advice #5: Keep dice rolling at a minimum. Remember kids, this is Role-playing! Not Roll-playing!

Advice #6: Give attacks some latitude. This means talk about how the person’s hair dances in the wind as they unleash the Kamehame Hadoken. Setting said attack to some J-rock (GIRUGAMESH!). You know, make it look more like art than prose. I don’t think that is possible, but okay.,

Advice #7: Use flaws to benefit role-playing. Oh, I will. (Evil Grin)

Advice #8: Downplay the less important NPCs. Don’t make them over powered. In fact, ignore them. Push them into the background. Don’t make them the Victim of the Week or anything. Nope, demote them all into extras. Tell me, is this Sailor Moon or CLANNAD? Okay, I know that it's referring to people like the barber down the street and random passersby, and that they shouldn't be as strong as the heroes, but you got people like Molly who managed to have one of the Shitennou pull a Heel–Face Turn. NPCs have their role to play.

Advice #9: Encourage players to talk with each other while you are busy interacting with someone else. In fact, put them in a room to talk as if they are actually the characters.

Advice #10: Don’t let the players get distracted. This can ruin many nights.

And that is it. The author recommends Big Eyes, Small Mouth so we can mix and match traits with Sailor Moon. I will just say Sailor Venus on EVA 01 and leave it at that. And we are done with the book. No, that is it. Other than the adventures and the resource guide, this book is over. However, we are not done with this Liveblog. I have obliged myself to play the adventures that come with the book. I hope that I will retain enough of the book and characterization to play out the short adventures.

Well, Adios.


Do you need players?
DrRockopolis 4th Feb 11
Hm... Not really, I am gonna go through this solo.
Psyga315 4th Feb 11
Cool. Look forward to seeing it.
DrRockopolis 4th Feb 11
I once came up with an idea for using the Justice League (first year of the cartoon) as the heroes in a world where Luna didn't find Usagi and thus there's no Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars or Jupiter. (There is a Sailor V, though.) The talking cat has to coach the JL through fighting the Dark Kingdom and such. (The character who has the hardest time is Superman due to the whole "magic works on Superman" thing.)
SKJAM 4th Feb 11