Magical Girl (Arcane) (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Magical Girl[edit]

"It's a rare chance, but remember: Death is a part of that deal"
—Momi Tomois, Human Magical Girl, Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Some warriors rely upon the strength and skill of their arms, whilst others channel their primal rage into destructive battle-fury. All, however, recognise the value of enchantments - no matter how they might belittle their spellcasters - so all envy the Magical Girl. Channelling her immense passion through sentimental trinkets, the Magical Girl can arm and armour herself at a moments notice, and the power of these enchantments only grow stronger.

Becoming a Magical Girl[edit]

People don't really choose to become Magical Girls - or if they do, it is a subconscious decision. In a single moment of desperate passion they infuse a tiny fragment of their soul into an item of sentimental value to them, which thus becomes their bonded focus - unlocking their new powers. Shortly thereafter, their familiar usually arrives to explain the wonders and burdens of their new life. Once they understand what has become of themselves, most Magical Girls will throw themselves whole-heatedly into it, battling the monsters of the world so that others won't have to. Of course, evil Magical Girls often become those monsters, but that is another story. Charisma is important to a Magical Girl, as they derive the greater portion of their power from their passion. Dexterity is often useful, because they rarely wear heavy armour and tend to rely on precision attacks over brute force, whilst Constitution is essential for just about everybody.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any, but rarely neutral - Magical Girls feels passionately about everything.
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Save Bonuses: Will +5
Charisma: Minimum 13
Feats: Must be proficient with their chosen weapon.
Special: Must have some Arcane potential - any spellcasting or spell-like ability would qualify (or GM's discretion).
Gender: Any. Despite the title, Magical Girls can just as easily be male. Or adults, for that matter.
Table: The Magical Girl

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Bound Focus, Summon Familiar, Transformation Sequence
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Twin Identities
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Combat Mastery
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Proximity Detector
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Powerful Athlete
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Aura
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Partial Transformation
8th +6 +2 +6 +6 Combat Mastery
9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Cantrips
10th +7 +3 +7 +7 Indefinite Transformation

Class Skills (5 + Int modifier per level)
Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Heal, Jump, Knowledge (local, nature, dungeoneering), Listen, Perform, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Survival, Spellcraft, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device.

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Magical Girl.

The Difficulty Class for saving throws against a Magical Girl's class Features is 10 + the Magical Girl's class level + her Cha modifier.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A Magical Girl gains proficiency with all simple weapons and light armour.

Bound Focus (Su): Every Magical Girl possesses a Bound Focus, a trinket of purely sentimental value through which she focuses her power. She cannot use most of her class features without having her Bound Focus to hand, and also suffers a -1 penalty to Charisma in such instances. In addition to providing access to her class features, the bound focus can manifest minor magical effects - treat as a Permanent Prestidigitation spell, with the Focus capable of maintaining a number of effects equal to the wielder's Charisma bonus. The Bound Focus can be replaced in an arcane ritual costing 500gp, which transforms one trinket of great sentimental value and takes one hour. No Magical Girl can have more than on Bound Focus at one time.

Summon Familiar: A Magical Girl's career begins when her familiar informs her of that fact. Other than not having to perform the ritual to summon it the first time, this works exactly like the Sorcerer's class feature.

Transformation Sequence (Sp): This feature is the keystone of the Magical Girl's power. When this class feature is gained at first level, the character must choose one weapon and one type of light armour for this power - she must be proficient in their use, and cannot change her choice later. She also gains a single +1 bonus, which she can assign to either the weapon or the armour. The Magical Girl can activate this power as a full round action, any time she is holding her Bound Focus - her Bound Focus transforms into the chosen weapon (though no ammunition is conjured, even if required) and her clothing is replaced with conjured armour. Both count as magical - but only the one she allocated the +1 bonus to has any powers.

At each subsequent level, the Magical Girl gets an additional +1 bonus which she can assign to either the weapon or the armour. She may also trade in some of the bonus for a special power - the weapon and the armour must obey the normal rules for enchanted weapons and armour, but the Magical Girl does not need to meet the pre-requisites for enchanting the item, so long as the total equivalent bonus of the item does not exceed that which she assigned to it.

A magical girl can maintain her transformation for a number of hours per day equal to her Class level + her Cha modifier. This time period can be split over as many different rounds as desired - it need not be consecutive.

Twin Identities (Ex): The Magical Girl can add her Character level to any rolls to conceal her true identity - even when her transformed and normal self look very similar, people struggle to make the connection. This bonus is lost against anyone who has seen the Magical Girl transform.

Combat Mastery: When she first gets this feature at Third level, the Magical Girl must choose either an offensive or defensive focus. She gains an extra form for either her weapon or her armour, respectively, and can switch between them as she chooses. The bonus rating applied to the chosen item is shared equally by both of it's forms, although the special powers can be assigned separately to each version (subject to the normal rules).

Offensive Magic Girls gain either Weapon Finesse or Power Attack as a bonus feat at third level, and Weapon Specialisation with her chosen weapon at seventh level. Defensive Magical Girls gain Dodge as a bonus feat at third level, and Mobility at seventh level. She need not meet the prerequisites of these feats.

Proximity Detector (Sp): The Magical Girl's Bound Focus gains the ability to use Detect Magic and Detect Good/Evil at will, with the following modifications - Only one can be used at any one time, and direction is not revealed. The Bound Focus glows with intensity equal to the intensity of the emanations it is receiving (a combination of distance and strength of the aura detected, but mostly the latter). By focusing for 2 Rounds, the wielder can estimate the number of emanations being detected, as well as their relative strength. Each round subsequently, she can focus on one of the detected auras to cause the Bound Focus to glow with the intensity of only that aura. By remaining focused for the entire round (i.e. a full round action) she can also tell if the 'flavour' of the aura is one she has detected before (same subject / cause).

Magical Girls can use this power to track their prey once they pick up it's particular aura (use the rules from the Track feat, with the Spellcraft skill in place of Survival), or else to determine whether their foe is a malicious threat or a victim in need of assistance. It can also occasionally serve as an early warning of danger, though it rarely sees much use in this regard as the Magical Girl must be consciously using the power for it to pick anything up.

Powerful Athlete (Ex): Whilst fully Transformed, the Magical Girl can add her Charisma bonus to any athletic's based roll (such as the Jump skill) in addition to the applicable attribute modifier, and ignores any cap that might limit her results.

Aura (Su): A Magical Girl of 6th Level or higher gains an aura of her alignment, just like a Cleric of her Character Level.

Partial Transformation (Su): From 7th Level, a Magical Girl can activate her Transformation Sequence as a swift action. However, doing so still requires the Bound Focus and only allows either the armour or the weapon to manifest, not both (although using this power again - in a subsequent round - can overcome this issue).

Rounds spent partially transformed still count against the time limit that a Magical Girl can spend transformed; and she may only use her Transformation Sequence, either partially or fully, once per round.

Cantrips (Sp): The Magical Girl gains a number of level 0 spells from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list, equal to her base charisma modifier, and can cast each one from her Bound Focus as a spell-like ability 3 times per day. Her caster level equals her class level, and any permanent change to her base charisma modifier also changes the number of spell-like abilities this feature grants.

Indefinite Transformation (Ex): The Magical Girl No longer has a limit on the length of time she spends transformed each day, and may switch freely between transformed and mundane states as frequently and for as long as she wishes.

Ex-Magical Girls[edit]

Should a Magical Girl loose her Bonded Focus, she cannot advance in this class until she recovers it. Should the bonded Focus ever be destroyed, She loses access to all her class abilities until she replaces it by performing the 1 hour ceremony to transform a trinket of immense sentimental value into a newly bonded Focus at the cost of 500gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Magical Girl[edit]

Combat: Magical Girls are generalist warriors - depending on their chosen transformation, they can fulfil a number of functions in combat. They tend to be a little to unfocused to hold the front lines by themselves, but they make excellent support fighters, effectively plugging any gaps that their colleagues leave in their defence.

Advancement: Once a Magical Girl starts out on this path, she generally follows it to the end; although there is no requirement to do so, and Magical Girls are free to pursue other classes before returning to this. Once they do turn back to other classes, Magical Girls tend to take one of 2 routes - Magic or Combat. Whilst some take up the study and practise of magic (and those who become Warlocks are truly a foe to be feared), so as to enhance the magical aspects of their nature, others pursue more martial goals, and perfect the use of the armaments their powers have bestowed upon them. Those few which manage to comfortably accommodate another 'balanced' class, such as Ranger or Bard, are truly potent adversaries in all encounters, and allies to be valued above all others.

Resources: Magical Girls arise spontaneously, and will rarely create any sort of formal association with each other. That said, it is far from uncommon for multiple Magical Girls to team up to overcome a powerful adversary. Whilst the powerful personalities involved can cause the association to rapidly fall apart, it can also cause the bonds to become almost unbreakable, leaving the group solid allies long after the threat has been overcome.

Other than such personal alliances, little more than unusually focused adventuring parties, Magical Girls have no unusual resources to call upon.

Magical Girls in the World[edit]

"I only want you to talk to me. . . And I wanted to apologise about your hat."
—Nanoha Takamachi, Human Magical Girl

Magical Girls are Magical Warriors. They fight for what they see as right, defending their causes to the bitter end. They can be found at the forefront of any turbulent clash of ideologies, but just as often they spend their days fighting foes so that no-one else has to. Anywhere there is a fight to be had, be it martial, spiritual or cultural, a Magical Girl can find herself a place.

NPC Reactions: NPCs will rarely recognise a Magical Girl as such, unless they see her transform. If they see her untransformed, they will likely treat her as they would a normal member of her previous class. If they see her after a transformation, they will likely treat her as a high-level fighter - after all, who else would have such powerful enchanted arms?

Magical Girl Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research Magical Girls to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (arcana)
DC Result
11 Magical Girls can conjure weapons and armour with powerful enchantments
16 Magical Girls gain their power from passion, and a small trinket bound to them and them alone.
21 Not all Magical Girls are female, or even young.
27 Specifics of a particularly notable Magical Girl who operates in the locality.

Magical Girls in the Game[edit]

Magical Girls are Magical Warriors. They fight for what they see as right, defending their causes to the bitter end. They can be found at the forefront of any turbulent clash of ideologies, but just as often they spend their days fighting foes so that no-one else has to. NPC Magical Girls often settle in a particular locale, fending off the threats that no-one else can. Others take to the adventuring life, defending not just her home, but the rest of the world as well.

Adaptation: The most obvious adaptation is to remove the restriction on arming the Magical Girl with 1 weapon, 1 armour. A variant where the Bonded Focus transforms into a Wondrous item could be fascinating - though you would have to convert the bonuses above into a flat Gold Piece value for this.

Sample Encounter: Your Party encounters a wounded girl amongst the remains of a Orc raiding party. Her injuries seem minor, but there is no sign of her family - or whatever destroyed these Orcs...

EL 10: Shortly after 'rescuing' the child (and after the party has begun to tend to her wounds, if at all) they are attacked by a Necromancer and his zombies, seeking to harvest the Orc's cadavers to increase his army. Just as the characters begin to realise that the odds are against them, the girl surges to her feet glowing with a brilliant light that transforms her into a Magical Girl!

Rosa Braham: female human Ranger 5 / Magical Girl 4

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