Labyrinths & Lesbians: Witches of St. Sayuri D20, part 1 (Classes)

Hello everyone. It’s been a while since I did a L&L post. I’ve been musing the idea of actually running a BESM/anime d20, but I didn’t know what I wanted for a setting and campaign. It dawned to me “why not just use Yurishima?” So thus I began typing up a campaign setting of sorts. In the next few posts, I will dissecting the system and laying out the ground rules, making class variants, etc. Today, let’s start with classes…

For starters, I’ll be referencing the classes introduced in the BESM/Anime d20 core rules and disregarding any classes from other d20 sources (such as the 3.6 D&D classes and the D20 modern classes). Why? Simply because it’s much easier to modify those classes since their features are very bare bones and easily swappable. The following classes won’t much use or place in the island of Yurishima:
-Giant Robot
-Mecha Pilot
Both these classes focus on technology not present on the island (let alone anywhere on earth in this current era). While the use of alien technology could hand wave the existence of fifty foot, humanoid machines, it’ll detract from the pseudo-archaic charm of the island.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss the classes that will be available, but with modification to better fit the setting:
-Tech Genius
-Dynamic Sorcerer
-Magical Girl
-Pet Monster Trainer
The Tech Genius is probably obvious. On an island of magic and monsters, what’s the need of a master machinist? Well, BESM/Anime d20 constantly references a variant to the Mechanical Genius trait (the primary defining feature of the class) called the Magical Genius. That is the key to rebranding the Tech Genius into the Magic Genius (name pending). Since this modification is purely cosmetic and has no major game rule adjustments, that class is pretty much as good as done. Now let’s move onto one of the classes you may be confused as to why I’m altering it: the Dynamic Sorcerer.
The Dynamic Sorcerer, by far, is one the most boring and potentially overpowered classes in the BESM/Anime d20 core. Why? Because, with an overly lenient GM, they can combine the bests of any given spell lists from all d20 sources and become nigh-unstoppable! But at the same time, there is very little to the class other than the Dynamic Sorcery attribute at every odd numbered level and energy bonus at the 12th and 18th levels. What a bore. How do I suppose to fix this? Simply do away with Dynamic Sorcery (and the d20 magic system) altogether.
Because of the power of the Dynamic Sorcery attribute, it costs a whopping 8 points per rank. This cost can be reduced to 4 points per rank if you were put a mild limitation on what spells you can cast. You know what else costs 4 points per rank? The Magic attribute. With enough creativity, you can replicate any spell found in the d20 system with ease. The only limit to it is the fact that each separate instance of the Magic attribute counts as a single “spell”. That may seem like a downgrade, but here’s the key: It’s a single spell you can design however you want. Doesn’t that sound tempting?
Now that we’ve replaced Dynamic Sorcery at every odd level with Magic, the class gains an extra four character points to spend. What should we do with this? Well maybe make up for the fact that the Magic attribute doesn’t increase the amount of Energy Points you have each level. The simple solution is to spend three of the four character points on Energy Bonus, adding a whopping 20 bonus energy points every two levels. The Dynamic Sorcerer has gone from a magical tool box class to a class that may have few tricks, but they are refined to the point of mastery and probably be used more often than those puny d20 spells. What’s that? I was complaining how Dynamic Sorcery was overpowered? Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing entirely wrong with meta-gaming, when it’s done creatively that is.
Now that we have a rank of Magic and Energy Bonus at each odd level, that leaves a single CP to spend. Why not that spend it on Place of Power? What’s a Witch without her lair? Oh, by the way, let’s just rename this variant class the Witch while we’re at it. No problems?
Let’s take a step back and look at what we’ve done. A 20th level Witch has 300+ Energy Points and anywhere from one to ten different “spells” that is fine-tuned to their preference. Doesn’t that sound tempting?
Now let’s discuss the Magical Girl; another class that would be fitting for this environment. By Yurishima’s lore, magical girls (class-D witches) are in fact, often criminals and demon worshippers (though rarely are consciously aware of either). Because of this, a magical girl can’t go around telling strangers where their mysterious powers come from. That sounds like a 3 BP Skeletons in the Closet defect acquired as soon as the first level. Assuming the four ranks of Servant a Magical Girl gets at 1st level is the 2 point per level kind (limited to a single particular servant), this defect reduces the cost from a grueling 8 to a less sever 5. But what to spend these 3 energy points. We’re one point shy at a Magic or Special Attack attribute and Energy Bonus or Place of Power is rather meaningless without anything to spend Energy Points on. We could spend two of the points on another rank of Servant, but let’s not have her demonic contractor outstrip in terms of power. Talking about power, why not assign a 3 point Item of Power? This item of power can be practically anything, but I would suggest a weapon of some sort. At this early in their career, they don’t have any flashy spells or special attacks to rely on so they have to defend themselves somehow. They can choose to either upgrade this item or get new items as they acquire additional ranks in Item of Power at higher levels. In the tradition of renaming these classes, let’s assign a new name. Hm…How about Contractor. That sounds mysterious and foreboding, doesn’t it? It’ll work for now.
Last, but not least, we have the Pokémon Pet Monster Trainer class (before anyone brings up Digimon, I’m not entirely familiar with that franchise to make a cheesy joke. I’m sorry.) Instead of replacing or augmenting class features, let’s merely limit the choices available to the PMT. This is simple an insignificant 1 BP Unique Defect applied to the Pet Monster attribute called “species found on Yurishima”. I will list the stats of monsters viable as Pet Monsters another day, but I think it’s only a minor sacrifice. As for what to spend that 1 extra character point on? Let’s just bump up Animal Friendship by 1 rank and call it a day. What? You try to spend 1 character point on something significant! As for renaming this class, Monster Tamer would probably be a good alternative.
As for the remaining classes, I have some interesting variants in mind, but it’s rather late at the moment I type this post and I need to work tomorrow, so I must retire for the night. Hopefully I will up to the task of posting again in the morrow. Night.


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