Do you want to tell stories where feelings have primacy, and their courageous, compassionate expression can reshape the entire world? Do you want to explore light slice-of-life comedies, dark coming-of-age dramas, or any combination in between? Do you want to get advice from your cute mascot, stand alongside your sisters, lift your transformation wand to the sky, and fight to protect all you love, armed with the incredible and infinite potential of the heart? Do you want to engage with a world where girls rock and everyone knows it?
If so, please join us on Battle Fantasia MUSH! Our website may be found at http://battlefantasia.pinksugarheartattack.net/. People interested in joining the real-time, creative writing-based MUSH roleplay hobby for the first time are encouraged to proceed directly to our MUSH Survival Guide for further instructions and advice.
For background on the magical girl genre, “MUSH”-style roleplaying games, more details on our theme, setting, community policies, and player testimonials, please read on.
Why magical girls?
From Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura to Pretty Cure and Puella Magi, generations of girls otherwise starved for heroic representation in pop culture have had their imaginations captured by the mahou shoujo (literally ‘magical girl’) genre of Japanese anime and manga. Magical girl provides coming-of-age arcs about heroines, often written primarily by women, intended for female audiences, and in a culture glutted with narratives of male knights saving princesses in every possible iteration – such that the literary term bildungsroman is virtually synonymous with “story about a young boy who grows up” – these stories are all the more precious and important to women of all ages. At their sublime best, magical girl shows are a joyful ode to being a girl. They showcase and celebrate a literal rainbow of girlhood, with the message that there are many wildly different ways to be a girl, all of them thoroughly awesome. Furthermore, positive representation of women of color and queer women is a proud tradition in the genre, with examples including Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena decades ahead of mainstream popular culture.
Of course, there is also a vast and overwhelmingly female tradition of fanfiction; magical girl has naturally been a popular genre for many years. Magical girl roleplaying has also developed over time, with a variety of play-by-bulletin-board-post settings, as well as actual tabletop systems designed (or, more often, cheerfully appropriated) to serve the needs of a magical girl story: the power of friendship, the epic battles between hope and despair acted out on every scale from one-on-one interaction to a universe-wide conflict, the expression of love through gigantic rainbow beams of energy that can reach even the darkest heart.
In 2013, Battle Fantasia MUSH – Multi-User Simultaneous Hallucination – opened its doors to serve the next generation of magical girl, and creative writing, enthusiasts. MUSHes, which have been around in some form for upwards of two decades, are a roleplaying environment that combines the detailed prose of play-by-post with the real-time excitement of interacting with other players at a live tabletop game. Chatrooms of players create stories together by writing out their characters’ reactions to each other, and to their world, in real time.
Game Theme, Setting, and Policies
Our setting celebrates the dualistic nature of the magical girl lifestyle, reveling in stories of ordinary life in Tokyo, and all the vital tragedy and triumphs therein, while juxtaposing grand tales of epic conflict, grand destiny, and, of course, love and justice. As is so often the case, the two are firmly intertwined; the class trip to Hokkaido is interrupted by snow spirits throwing a temper tantrum; a new friend met on the riverbank is ultimately revealed to be working, willingly or otherwise, for the powers of darkness. The universe is crafted to allow the inclusion of girls from many existing anime and manga, such that Nanoha Takamachi and Utena Tenjou might become friends or rivals or even bitter enemies – but completely original magical girls are equally encouraged, and have thrived. Players are encouraged to create wholly original themes, complete with mythology, missions, and potential roles for other players to fill, and these themes are treated with the same level of respect and attention as any other.
An optional ruleset, with commands which automatically handle all the math, simulates the transcendent highs and despairing lows of magical girl combat. It exists not to dictate roleplay, but rather to provide flavorful inspiration when desired.
Notably, the game maintains a strict rating policy; romances are expected to remain tasteful based on the characters’ average age of fourteen. There are many places on the internet for sexual roleplay, but this is not one of them.
The game also hosts a lively and supportive out-of-character community. From day one, Battle Fantasia has committed as a game to creating a space where people of any gender, sexuality, race, and disability are treated with kindness and respect. Slurs and other discrimination are politely but firmly rejected, and players who persist in rude behavior find themselves shown the door. The stories we tell with our characters sometimes confront these issues more directly, but always with the expectation that the construction of the narratives themselves handle every character with celebration and care. There is a firm expectation that we be better than our source material: anime and manga is often fraught with casual, 'humorous’ homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, and ableism. Battle Fantasia is not.
Examples of currently integrated themes:
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Magic Knight Rayearth
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Tokyo Mew Mew
Don’t see a show or manga that you’d love to play on the master list? Just ask the staff if it can be worked in!
If this looks like the place for you, we’d love to have you join us. Please visit us at our website: http://battlefantasia.pinksugarheartattack.net/!