Follow TV Tropes


Tabletop Game / Witch Girls Adventures

Go To

Magic is real... It is in the wind and rain. It is in stone and fire. And occasionally, in the souls of people. Lilith was the first. But women blessed by magic have since the dawn of time been a source of fear. However, despite that fear, some have sought her power for insight, knowledge, and healing. [...] Once a protector and mother of civilization, she was soon hunted by the untrusting, the ignorant, and the arrogant. And though she may think she's alone, there were always others. And together they showed the Mundanes they never were the masters of their world. They learned eventually that power comes in all shapes and sizes. So be nice. Or be a toad.

Witch Girls Adventures is a tabletop role-playing game published in 2009 by Channel M. While it functions as a stand alone universe, its setting and NPCs both use characters and elements from Channel M's Witch Girls Tales comic book series and Abby Soto's Princess Lucinda comic book series. The game runs on Channel M's own "Drama Diaries" system.

In the game, you play a student at one of the many magic schools set up for witches around the world and go through the usual trials and tribulations that being a tween to teenage girl brings, all while trying to learn how to use your powers. Obviously, the game is designed to get young girls interested in pen-and-paper RPGs.

It is based on an earlier comic book series from 2003-2006 which involved 2 published volumes called Witch Girls and Witch Girls Tales (later referred to as "volume 1"). They starred a separate group of girls who attended a school called Coventry. These volumes were later compiled into an anthology called "OWG! Original Witch Girls!"

The new girls in the RPG attend a different school called Willow-Mistt, and are featured in a comic in the main book. They are also featured in comics in the supplements Star Creation Guide and Pirates of Buccaneer Hill. Other supplements (like all About the Voodollars and 13 Magazine) did not include comics. A comic anthology, also titled Witch Girls Tales (referred to as "volume 2" to distinguish it from the original Coventry publication) was also produced featuring them, as well as issues 0, 1 and 2 of a "Princess Lucinda" spinoff series.

This tabletop RPG provides examples of:

  • All Crimes Are Equal: The Malleus Maleficarum consider merely being a witch a crime punishable by death — there's no distinction in their eyes between a magical princess who helps people and a witch who routinely kills mundanes for fun.
  • Alternate Universe: There are a couple. The Nemesis universe and Bruja (the Standard Fantasy Setting world), to name two.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Horrors and other servants of Echidna.
  • Artistic License History: Vlad Dracul and Vlad Dracula are not the same person. They just seem to have not realized they were not only two different people, but father and son. A hint is that "Dracula" roughly translates to English as "Son of the Dragon", with "a" being the "Son of" part.
  • Author Appeal: Transformation. Bleached Underpants or not, the game and comics repeatedly showcase Alteration magic and Princess Lucinda.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Gilgamesh really was an epic, superhuman hero and the progenitor of a line of immortals. Vlad Dracula really was an evil vampire. H.P. Lovecraft based his stories on the Horrors. Just for starters.
  • Black Comedy: Very much so — Paul Dini compared it to the work of Charles Addams in an introduction he wrote to one of the original comics.
  • Bleached Underpants: The company that publishes the Witch Girls franchise, MANGA GRAPHIX, is credited with running The Shrinking Sorceress, a now dead Geocities site and e-zine dedicated to "tasteful" art and stories centered around the fetish of people being transformed into animals and inanimate objects by sorceresses. (Note the copyright at the bottom of the page.) Malcolm Harris, the author of Witch Girls and the owner of Channel M, lists himself as a writer for MANGA GRAPHIX in his resume. Several characters, including Denora DeSade, Claudia, and Ebony, as well as the concept of witch girls (in those words) make an appearance in both mediums. It's become a source of Old Shame for the creator it seems, since pointing it out on the internet often results in the creator and his friends jumping into the discussion and denying the connection.
  • Canon Welding: Princess Lucinda started in her own separate series, and as mentioned in Bleached Underpants, a lot of the characters from The Shrinking Sorceress have also immigrated. Essentially, the Witch Girls Adventures verse is a puree of MANGA GRAPHIX, Princess Lucinda, and Witch Girls Tales, along with new Original Generation characters and far more sociology and background development.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Princess Lucinda, which is why she tends to get very upset when people point out her tendency toward Noble Demon.
  • Comically Missing the Point/Spoof Aesop: In one story from the second volume of Witch Girls Tales, Lucinda comes to the conclusion that helping people can be rewarding and she should do it more often. However, the reward she's referring to is the sadistic enjoyment she gains from destroying some bullies through downright horrifying methods, then tricking the boy who needed the help first into serving her for a year, then tricking him into getting out of it by cleaning her mouse cage... by shrinking down smaller than the mice to give it a really thorough cleaning. Without removing the mice. When it's near their feeding time. Notice she's mentioned under Heroic Comedic Sociopath and Card-Carrying Villain.
  • Crossover:
    • The original run of Witch Girls featured guest appearances by characters from Malcom Harris' Nemesis Superhero setting, such as Raven Sinclair and Team Maximum. The original implication seemed to be that they were in-continuity with each other, but a Witch Girls Adventures supplement seems to Retcon them into being visitors from an Alternate Universe.
    • Later works indicate that all Channel M games are potentially Alternate Universes to each other, allowing for crossovers as necessary.
  • Cultural Posturing: Quite a bit of it goes on, and is accepted. (The quote above? That's from a history textbook.) Members of the Highbinders (who actually function on the party line that mundanes and otherkin are scum and witches should come out and rule the world) are the most likely to do this.
    • The rulebook mentions often about how witches are prettier, smarter, have cooler eyes, don't get acne, are immortal, have eternal youth after they hit their 20s, and are just plain better than regular humans. They also always seem to be on the "winning/right" side in history. For example, the book mentions that witches were almost unanimously against African slavery. And yet, a lot of witches treat mundanes like crap and most witch communities won't allow its otherkin citizens to vote...
  • Curse of The Ancients: In one comic, Lillian says "that would suck" to Headmistress Mistt, who replies "I wouldn't use that exact words, (ever again in my presence)." "Suck" is a Gosh Darn It to Heck! swear-word in today's day and age, but even a few decades ago it was quite a bit harsher.
  • Cute Witch: The player characters. Though the Sorceress and Insider cliques (characters who were born into and spent most of their lives in the magical world) fit the most.
  • Death Is Cheap: Well, magical death, anyway. Restoring a mostly-intact body from magical death is only a rank 5 Healing spell (out of 10), and although restoring someone who was say, turned into a pile of ash to life isn't actually listed, it's likely not that much harder — the amazing task of resurrecting someone from non-magical harm is Rank 7. Restoring from a Forced Transformation is even more trivial. Thus, all the witch girls who have little experience with mundane life or have become too used to the magical world not quite realizing that killing and transforming people is kind of a big deal for ordinary humans.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Even good witches are guilty of this sometimes, but wicked witches downright specialize in it. Denora DeSade is guilty of such things as setting a man's car on fire and accidentally killing his entire family — not that she cared much once she realized — because he demanded insurance information after a minor accident, or conjuring giant ants to eat the theatergoers because the movie she was watching was boring.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Horrors. The picture is quite blatantly Cthulhu and they even have a skill called "Gibbering Insanity". As they're born from her dreams, Echidna could qualify as well.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: There are witches who can clean up big Masquerade breaches by rewriting the minds of the entire mundane world, so PCs who summon Godzilla into San Francisco aren't seriously endangering the system, just annoying the powerful witches in charge of maintaining it.
  • Fallen Princess: Lucinda, who was exiled from the realm of Bruja after her evil monarch parents were murdered.
  • Fantastic Racism: Witches tend to consider themselves just plain better than everyone else — especially the Highbinders mentioned above. The rulebooks do take the time to point out that this is actually a bad thing, but it honestly doesn't get as much play as it probably should.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Aside from witches, there's all sorts of fantasy creatures, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Aliens also exist, for one thing.
  • Flying Broomstick: Witches use them. There are also flying carpets, flying cars, and flying Vespa scooters.
  • For the Evulz: The motivation of nearly all of the villains mentioned in the rulebook. A major exception is the Malleus Maleficarum, who have a very good reason to hate witches and want to see them dead — the "villain" part comes primarily from the fact that they don't restrict this to the ones who deserve it.
  • Ghostapo: There was an openly-magical World War II which blew the Masquerade wide open until the war ended and some serious magic was worked to make people forget all the spell-slinging and whatnot. Practical or no, it's bloody awesome and is a blatant excuse to run magicked-up World War II games.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Witches who smoke are evil, or at least Noble Demons. Always. They tend to favor cigarette holders, and will frequently turn someone who's annoying them into a cigarette to use.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Every type of otherkin has a heritage for one of these and players who take the "Half Otherkin" heritage can be one.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Lucinda, when she's not an outright villain — which is more frequent than you might think, given the astonishingly high volume of examples of her being a petty godling.
  • Invisibility Cloak: One of items you can buy for your character.
  • Jet Pack: Notable because a working jetpack can be built with purely mundane technology. (And then it can be enhanced with magic, for the Witch who wants to pile on the Raygun Gothic.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Most of the major characters don't think twice about inflicting permanent Forced Transformations and Body Horrors on mortals who slightly irritate them and other witches with whom they have petty rivalries, or even just killing them outright. Even the nicer ones (who only temporarily turn mildly annoying people into dumb animals, inanimate objects, and Things That Should Not Be) stand idly by while others do this. In the first incarnation, it was hinted that they didn't fully understand the gravity of permanent curses, with one girl reflecting on the lesson she'd taught - and not in an ironic sense - to a woman she'd melted. The current characters give no real sense of this, though; they're just little bitches. And then Lucinda is evil and proud of it.
  • Kill It with Water: The biggest downside to the Hag's Syndrome heritage in the modern day is that water makes witches with the syndrome melt — the prejudices against its sufferers are largely a thing of the past (though they still get a social penalty), and those with it can use make-up to fix it. Unfortunately, spells to fix it automatically fail. Potions that alter one's appearance aren't forbidden though.
    • This vulnerability is addressed several times more in the 13 Magazine supplement. Page 24 introduces "Jennie Green Teeth", a monster with Elementalism/Mentalism and green skin, but who THRIVES underwater. Her bite which paralyzes people but allows them to breathe underwater could be harmless (save for making you vulnerable to being ripped apart) but would be utterly deadly to a hag. Page 34 introduces an "Instant Minions" conjuration spell from Denora which allows human minions at a lower magic rank than normal, but they are vulnerable to instant destruction by water. Page 35 introduces the "Wychlerro" hat from Abby (Soto's witchsona, a hag herself) which protects the wearer from the wetness of non-magical rains. Page 36 features an ad for the (presumably never published) second issue of 13 Magazine which promised a "Living with Hags Syndrome" article and featured a little girl with green skin.
  • Knight Errant: The profession of adult Lilians; they have no fixed home, but wander the world healing and teaching Muggles, and occasionally dropping the hammer on bad ones.
  • Knight Templar: The Malleus Maleficarum. All of them have had tragic experiences with witches and thus know witches are capable of terrible things. So they kill every witch they can — even if they had no intention of doing terrible things, or are young new witches who could be guided away from it. They're also specialized to be the typical witch's worst nightmare, being able to soak up magic attacks and deal loads of physical damage.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook:
    • Malleus Maleficarum soldiers have implants that give them Anti-Magic abilities, protecting them from magical assault and requiring creativity on the part of witch PCs to defeat.
    • Even the more generic, less competent breed of Witch Hunters can learn the ability to Dodge Spell, making them immune to any spell whose casting roll doesn't surpass their Reflex.
  • Mage Species: All women, of course. The (mostly) male counterpart are Immortals, but they have a limited repertoire of spells, while being resistant to magic (except for Half Immortals, who are more vulnerable to it). They all have Super-Speed and Healing Factor, and most also have Super-Strength and toughness.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Usually. The magic disciplines are all well-defined, but almost every signature character has some sort of special ability unique to them, from Susan Kroft's ability to naturally send messages across the void to Lucinda's supreme power with Alteration magic.
  • Magic Wand: Most witches use wands as foci for their magic, along with gesture and incantation. However, in modern days, other foci (most commonly smartphones, but a lot of other items too) have become popular among younger witches.
  • Magitek: The Cybermancy school revolves around this, starting with the creation and use of magical computers and cell phones. The school is popular among the younger generation, but generally looked down upon by the more traditional, self-absorbed witches such as the Highbinders.
  • Mary Sue: Poked fun at with the "Mary Sue" character trait, which gives the character a roll bonus for when they're in situations where they need to show off and prove how special they are. invoked
  • Masquerade: There is one. But the Witches World Council doesn't mind if it's broken as long as it isn't on a large scale. Witches telling Muggles about the secret is vaguely okay, Muggles who spread the secret or are security risks either get Laser-Guided Amnesia...or the usual fates.
    • It was broken on a large scale from about the lead-up to The American Civil War until the end of World War II — which actually had an open supernatural aspect — but Witches erased all memory and records of this. This rather upset some of the Otherkin, who felt it was about time the Masquerade came down and wanted to re-integrate with human society.
  • Money for Nothing: Averted and played straight! Witches with high, or even modest, levels of Conjuration can basically summon up precious materials and other valuables at will, making mortal life quite easy if they wish, though doing so is illegal because it can potentially wreck the mundane economy (and thus the Masquerade). Witches can also use Curses to hex themselves some good financial luck, causing money to make its way to them (perfectly legal in witch society). Nonetheless, there's a witch economy in place using a currency called Voodollars, since barter systems tended to degenerate into cult worship from mortals and one-upsmanship from other witches.
  • Muggles: Called "mundanes" here. "Mortals," meanwhile, refers both to mundanes and, more strictly, to humans who have gotten involved with the supernatural without any powers of their own, such as hunters.
  • Mundane Solution: The System Mastery podcast found that, due to balance errors in the game, by far the most effective way to defeat a witch is to sneak up on her and punch her in the head. Building a character who eschews magic in favor of physical ability results in a starting character who can punch out a dragon... and - by taking the Outsider background which allows an alternative stat to be used for casting spells, can be as good or better a witch than anyone else, too.
  • Noble Demon: Princess Lucinda often ends up helping people or otherwise doing good, albeit in a very sadistic Anti-Hero fashion. Pointing this out to her will at best get you a speech on how Even Evil Has Standards, and more likely get you turned into a frog.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Averted. While it's established that Witches exist to bring chaos and change, while Immortals bring order and stability, they are not true enemies. They sometimes rub against each other the wrong way, but they're not foes and will work together if they have reason to — the core book compares their relationship to bickering siblings.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Fae range from tiny Winged Humanoids to gnomes to the High Elf variety (though the term "fairy" only refers to the first kind). Many have an affinity for the arts.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Most vampires are evil and conniving and only help others if it would benefit them in some way. They also tend to organize themselves into medieval style kingdoms. They have all the usual aversion to sunlight and are weak to Necromancy. They also have Super-Strength, Super-Speed, are immortal, can reproduce normally or by biting others, and are physically numb (they cannot feel, taste, or have a heartbeat) if they don't have blood in their system. Lookswise, they range from Looks Like Orlok to Edward Cullen (without the sparkling) depending on their heritage. Dhampyr also exist.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Shapeshifters come in mostly the wolf, cat, and raven varieties and all shift and become angry and lash out during the full moon. They can be born normally or turn others via a bite, and are mostly immune to Alteration magic. They can shift into a half-animal form and a regular animal form.
  • Our Witches Are Different: Only females can be witches. Though they have a male counterpart in the Immortals.
  • Parody Sue: The "Mary Sue" trait mentioned above is tailor-made for playing these.
  • Post-Modern Magik: A mild version with Cybermancy, which allows witches to use cellphones and computers in place of magic wands.
  • Princess Protagonist: The signature character is a magical princess from another world. Of course, this is darkly parodied, as her family was overthrown because they were wicked witches, and she's a Card-Carrying Villain instead of a Princess Classic.
  • Psychic Powers:
    • Mentalism grants telepathy and telekinesis, among other things. Also, Circe Woodsworth is a natural psionic.
    • Actual psionics are available to mortals. They're far weaker than Mentalism, but are one of the little edges available to mortals who push into a world they're not supposed to be in.
  • Puzzle Boss: Since many enemies have resistance to magic or magic of their own, the average baddie is taken out through ingenuity on the part of the players. Targeting a Malleus Maleficarum's weapon instead of himself, for instance...
  • Raygun Gothic: Among techie witches, this aesthetic competes with the do-anything super-smartphone. Zap Guns, jetpacks and science-y techno-wands are all available to a witch who wants to look conspicuously high-tech.
  • Ret-Gone: Another major risk to mortals in the girls' vicinity.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: There are rampant spelling errors in the rulebook, which don't impact the rules but are most definitely annoying. The opening dedication is from a schoolteacher. Irony!
  • Royal Brat: Lucinda. Don't like it? Have fun being a toad.
  • Rule of Cool: Why is there an open magic World War II covered up when it would've taken way more effort to cover up than to fight it? Because it's bloody awesome.
  • Sanity Meter: Mortals (and only mortals) can face Freak Out rolls when opposed to the supernatural. This is downplayed compared to most uses of the trope, particularly the Cthulhu Mythos (the Trope Codifier), in that there's nothing supernatural about this, a character only Freaks Out once each time they're exposed to something new, and it's rare (but not impossible) for someone to actually go permanently insane in any way.
  • Scout-Out: The Hex Scouts.
  • Screw You, Elves!: The Malleus' reason for existence is to take down the pretty, perfect witches.
  • Shout-Out: The rulebooks make references to other witch series like Sabrina and Bewitched.
    • Pretty big ones to the Harry Potter series as well, but you saw that coming, right? There's even wink-and-a-nudge rules for running Harry Potter games.
    • The Immortals seem like a nod to Percy Jackson and the Olympians. There's a Monsterdex available for quick 'n easy monster scouting. Possible allies/enemies in one adventure include the Specter Breakers, who can help vanquish pirate zombies and pirate ghosts (ghost pirates?). In one adventure run at cons the Tin Man shows up and intones "Come with me if you want to live." There's a lot of pop culture shout-outs, let's say.
    • There's even a shout-out to a song: the Twenty-first Century Digital Witch heritage (the original song is Groove Coverage's 21st Century Digital Girl).
    • The 13 Magazine supplement also includes obvious conversions of the cast of Scooby Doo (page 8) and Slimer (page 23) while the Ghostbusters are in Pirates of Buccaneer Hill (page 30) as the "Phantom Breakers" and page 43 has an Internal Enhancement for Celestial Cell Phones called "I Choose You!", a nod to the Pokemon series, which allows a player to store up to 3 magical pets inside their phone.
    • The Scooby-Doo gang are mentioned directly in the Mortals book, though their belief that their dog can talk is mentioned as a sign of insanity rather than the truth.
  • Special Snowflake Syndrome: Encouraged. Several Heritages allow you to play halfbreeds, meditative Eastern-style witches, and The Chosen One. The NPCs, meanwhile, are even weirder, and all of them have at least one special signature ability. (Star characters are much more limited; the Signature Spell rules just give a discount on your favorite trick.)
  • Steampunk: There's a subtype of the Techie that specializes in steampunk tech. However, Victorian technology defies modern science and normal magic, and can only be used by steampunkers.
  • Supernatural Phone: The Celestial Cell is a magical cellphone. Also, many younger witches use cellphones as their magic wands.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Lucinda for the current cast of Witch Girls Tales.
  • Totally Radical: Mostly avoided, but the above mentioned pop culture shout-outs can reach this level if you want to go overboard. And you know you do!
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: The note on Evil Smoking isn't just for the adult witches.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The dark side of the Lilians. The Lilians believe that witches must lift humanity out of their ignorance, providing magical aid and education to the Muggles, but some Lilians are willing to take a more active role, such as toading corrupt politicians. This is called out as a bad thing; among other things, it endangers the Masquerade, though some of these Lilians really don't care.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Super?: Humans and even other magic beasties get hit with this stick hard.
  • White Magic: "Healing" is something of a misnomer. Not only does it heal injury, and even repair damaged objects, but it also allows for a "pure light" that can destroy undead and shadow creatures.
  • Wicked Witch: Hag's Syndrome makes a witch look about as close to the part as the series' Cute Witches and Hot Witches can, with red eyes, green skin and hair, and a tendency to melt in water. It's essentially a congenital disorder, though, and has nothing to do with the witch's morality. Good witches can have it, and truly wicked witches can look perfectly normal.
    • Witches who like to lord it over mortals and weaker witches are openly called wicked witches, and many embrace the term.
  • Wizarding School: The game is designed to revolve around these.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Most witches have no problem with killing even infant warlocks for no reason other than warlocks being able to use magic like witches and absorb the power of witches.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: Lillian Tamako's grandmother revealed to her at age 7 that she is descended from a long line of (long thought to be extinct) Japanese witches called "The Maho" and that she is the first one in centuries. A lot of anime fans can tell you that "maho" or "mahou" is just the Japanese word for "magic".
    • Presumably (hopefully) not to be confused with the other version of maho...
    • The proper term would be "mahou-tsukai," "magic user."
    • Given the various spelling errors in the rest of the book it may well be that the term intended to be used was Majo which would translate to witch (魔女)

Alternative Title(s): Witch Girls Tales