Reviews: Witch Girls Adventures

A light, fun game that needs just a little tweaking.

I was pretty skeptical of this game just looking at the previews, and hearing about its background made me moreso. Then again, I'm a big fan of witches, so I gave it a shot. Count me a fan of it now—I gamed with the creator at a con and got a copy of the rules for myself.

System-wise, the game resembles Savage Worlds's dice-size-as-stats system. Skills act as a flat bonus to stat rolls, further modified by Traits (bonuses to certain rolls, e.g. Spooky giving bonuses to unnerve people, or Goody Two-Shoes for trying to help them). Heritages provide both bonuses and limitations, and while many are cool, I do wish there were more variety, since some come off as a bit too restrictive. Making characters is quick, and while there is One Stat To Rule Them All, it's a set value depending on your "clique" (such as Gothique, Rustic, or Sorceress) to discourage easy powergaming.

The magic system is more-or-less Mage Lite, which is totally fine. The basic schools are simple and flavorful, particularly Cybermancy, whose signature blast spell is a deadly Pong block. There are numerous example spells, and you could play pretty happily just sticking to the examples.

The rules are simple, and while there's a few ambiguities, they're easy to house rule. No complaints here.

The setting is take-it-or-leave-it, and many may leave it or heavily alter it since there's a heavy elitist pro-witch bias—it reads like Rapture minus the bad parts being called bad. You can see why the GRIMDARK version is popular. On the upshot, the baddies tend to be pretty cool, especially Malleus Maleficarum.

Be wary of transformation fetish overtones, which are present, frequent, and usually delivered by canon sue Princess Lucinda. While it's easy to ignore or downplay these elements in actual play, they show up nearly everywhere and it's kind of annoying to wade through. Unless you're into that sort of thing, in which case shine on, you crazy diamond!

The rules are easy to tweak, with Harry Potter and older-hero tweaks being in the core book. These are much appreciated, though I'd also like some plain rules for creating Immortals (spear counterparts to witches.)

All in all: If you want a simple, fun magic-heavy game and don't mind faint niche-fetish overtones or The Wesley, this is a solid game and great fun with the right group.