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From the back of the core rule book:
This world is being targetted.

The hidden true history.
The world we live in is threatened by the danger of destruction. Enemies called "Emulators" have incaded, breaking through the kekkai surrounding the world. Only you can save it from this danger. Yes, only the "Night Wizards".

Fell the enemies diving into the kekkai.
When the red moon rises in the sky, the common sense we know breaks down and the truth is turned out. The enemies hide in the darkness between tall buildings, in a mirror at night, and in the hearts of humans, waiting for a chance to rewrite the world. The players become "wizards", dive into the laws (kekkai) controlled by the enemies, and destroy them.
Here comes the present day fantasy presented by Takeshi Kikuchi of "Seven Fortress".

Night Wizard!

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Setting

The game is set on Far The Earth, a world more or less identical to modern Earth. It is being invaded by the emulators or 侵魔 (invading demons) from the Far Side or 裏界 (Rikai), which is basically the backside of Far The Earth. The goals of the emulators are to gather Plana, which is an energy inherit in everything and necessary for things to actually exist, and to destroy the World Kekkai, a kind of force created by the subconscious consensus of humanity that certain things exist or don't exist. Emulators can either bodily manifest or dive into the hearts of people. Emulators usually create an area (called Fortress) around themselves where the laws of reality can be warped and they usually change that area into a dungeon fitting their personality. When an emulator invades, a red full moon rises in the sky - regardless of the actual moon phase or the location (it can even appear in the middle of outer space). Because emulators defy common sense, normal weapons are virtually useless.

Player characters are all so-called Night Wizards wielding magical powers to fight the emulators. At the same time, they have to keep things secret as to not to threaten the World Kekkai. Since they are also removed from common sense, they too gain some protection against normal weapons.

There are several secret societies supporting the Night Wizards, and they have an own currency, called vargo. While there are many individualistic emulators, there are also more powerful emulators, called demon lords who scheme and use others for their plans and who have their own hierarchy within an empire.

At the time of this edition, emulator has been high, after the third angel's bugle, when an experimental magical reactor exploded in 1986 near the black sea due to an intervention by the most powerful active demon lord. It is noteworthy that the comic in the core rule book mentions "type Lucifer", which is not used anywhere else, and later publications call the demon lord responsible "Ru - Saifa", which is a modification of "Rushifa", the Japanese spelling for "Lucifer".

Miscellaneous Bits

As with "Lucifer", there are several cases of modified names. For instance, a demon lord very prominent due to recurrent appearances in different items is "Beal Zephyr", whose name is spelled somewhat similar to "Beelzebub", and her title is "Queen of the Flies". "Merlin", on the other hand, is used unchanged.

While the game's background has a lot of potential for horror, the general tone is light-hearted, sometimes even comic. For instance, wizards call magical transportation items brooms, as in "witches brooms", even though they are often a combination of high-tech and magic. This is taken to extremes in the core rules by for the brooms that can also be used as weapons, like the witch blade, a powered sword that can be riden, or the gunner's broom which features prominently in several illustrations/comics in the rule book and can be seen as a running gag. The gunner's broom is shown carried by the central character on the title page (the red-haired girl, it is in her right hand).

Rules

Night Wizard! uses a variation of the system Takeshi Kikuchi also uses for Seven Fortress: characters are defined by 2 elements (1 primary, 1 secondary) and their classes. From those, base attribute values are derived, which in turn are used to determine combat attributes.

ROC is the abbreviation for "Roll or Choice" marking tables that you can either roll on or pick any result you like.

Character Elements

Elements:

Name
Translation/Explanation

Heaven

Dark/Underworld (literal meaning is dark, but explanation and general usage links to Hades)

Earth (as the element)

Water

Fire

Wind/Air

Emptiness

Base Attributes

Name
Translation and additional meanings
筋力
Strength/Constitution
器用度
Dexterity
敏捷度
Agility/Speed
精神力
Willpower
知力
Intelligence/Knowledge
信仰心
Faith
知覚力
Perception
幸運度
Luck

Combat Attributes

Name
Translation clarification
命中直
Hit Value (as in hitting precision)
回避直
Avoidance Value
攻撃力
Attack Strength
防御力
Defense Strength
魔導力
Magic Strength (used for spell casting and spell attack value)
抗魔力
Magic Resistance
行動直
Action Value (means swiftness of character, used to determine initiative)

In addition, the game also uses HP and MP, which are determined by the elements plus a bonus per level.

Classes

Name
Official Translation and user explanation
Book with definition
Book with sample character
大いなる者
Great One as in Elder God
Core Rulebook
Supplement "Stardust Memories"
陰陽師
Card Master actually literally "Taoist Sorcerer"
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
吸血鬼
Vampire
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
強化人間
Killing Machine actually literally "Strengthened Human"
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
使徒
Apostle actually means servant of a greater being
Core Rulebook
Supplement "Stardust Memories"
人造人間
Homonculus
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
人狼
Werewolf
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
聖職者
Exorcist actually literally "clergy man"
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
転生者
Returner meaning a reincarnated person
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
忍者
Ninja
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
魔剣使い
Sword Master actually literally "Magic Sword User"
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
魔術師
Mage
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
魔物使い
Tamer actually literally "Monster User"
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
勇者
Excellent Warrior translation error, fixed in later editions. Should be "Hero"
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
夢使い
Dream Hunter actually literally "Dream User"
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook
龍使い
Kung-Fu Master
Core Rulebook
Core Rulebook

Character Creation

There are two methods of character creation. One is Quickstart which means taking one of the sample characters which already has all stats prepared and add some details. The other is Construction, which encompasses a more thorough creation. Newly created characters are usually level 0.

Quickstart

  1. Pick Sample Character
  2. Determine Personality consisting of two traits like "friendly" or "unreliable" which can be related in difference ways. ROC
  3. Determine Lifepath ROC one birth/origin aspect and one strange life aspect. They may add/subtract combat spirit and also have other in-game effects/powers
  4. Determine Connection ROC one free connection (tables only contains human/wizard personalities/organizations)
  5. Distribute Combat Spirit Combat Spirit are bonus points to distribute among the combat attributes
  6. Determine Plana ROC how much Plana a character can store and how much they can release at any given time. The two values initially add up to 10.
  7. Spend Money Buy additional connections or items
  8. Personal Data Add things like name, age, sex

Construction

Listed in official order of overview, explanations in book differ a bit after purchasing items. Given that Lifepath may add money, returning to purchasing items may be necessary in some cases.

  1. Determine Class
  2. Determine Elements ROC primary and secondary element
  3. Determine Attribute Values Look up primary and secondary element on a table which lists the resulting base and combat attributes including HP and MP
  4. Determine Special Abilities Each class has one automatic special ability and at creation one more can be selected from the class and general list.
  5. Determine CF Adjustment Calculate the adjustment for critical/fumble.
  6. Purchase Items Characters start with a fixed amount of money and can freely buy items. Automatically gain a special cell phone and credit card for free.
  7. Determine Combat Attribute Values Meaning applying boni/mali from equipment.
  8. Determine Spells Based on the class, each character can choose a number of spells, restricted to their two elements.
  9. Determine Works ROC. Profession in normal society, e.g. "pupil", "artist", "scientist"
  10. Determine Personality consisting of two traits like "friendly" or "unreliable" which can be related in difference ways. ROC.
  11. Determine Lifepath ROC one birth/origin aspect and one strange life aspect. They may add/subtract combat spirit and also have other in-game effects/powers
  12. Determine Connection ROC two free connection (tables only contains human/wizard personalities/organizations), may also use other connections from the book
  13. Distribute Combat Spirit Combat Spirit are bonus points to distribute among the combat attributes
  14. Determine Plana ROC how much Plana a character can store and how much they can release at any given time. The two values initially add up to 10.
  15. Personal Data Add things like name, age, sex

Task Resolution

In order to resolve tasks, a "judge" takes place, either normal or resisted. Basically, you take one attribute value, add 2d6 to get the achievement value and compare it either to a difficulty rating (normal) or the achievement value of the opponent (opposed). Rolling a critical is counted as +10 regardless of actual dice result and the dice are re-rolled and added until no critical is rolled. Rolling a fumble with the initial 2d6 is counted as -10 regardless of actual dice result. Plana can be spent before rolling the dice to increase the achievement value.

Combat Resolution

Combat takes place on a square grid (Sq used as measurement) and is round based. At the beginning of a round, all participants determine Action Count with an Action Value Judge. Characters act in order from highest to lowest Action Count. Only characters with positive Action Count can act. After a character has performed an action, their Action Count is reduced by 20 and the character with the currently highest Action Count gets to act. It is possible that characters can not act at all during a round (Action Count less than 1 due to special effect and/or fumble) or act several times (Action Count 21 or more).

Attacks are handled by two opposed judges: Hit Value vs. Avoidance Value and if there is a hit Attack Strength vs. Defense Strength. There are also rules for blocking with shield or sword.
Characters at 0 or lower HP face a special judge, on success, they are back to 1 HP but unable to act and losing slowly HP, on a failure they die.

Magic

All magic requires a judge determined by the spell. If successful, MP are expended to pay the cost. In combat, spells have a preparation time, decreasing the Action Count of the user before the judge takes place (so spell-casting can be interrupted). Damage spells use judges similar to normal combat to determine whether they hit and how much damage is dealt.

Game Play

Game Play is divided into 3 phases, which then see subdivisions:

  • Pre Play Characters are created, each character gets a scenario handout as well as a scenario connection and also one connection to another player character. There is also an announcement of today's episode, where the GM basically hints at the scenario's possible development (like announcements of the next episode at the end of serial tv shows).
  • Main Play The actual gaming phase.
    1. Opening Introduction scenes for the PCs. Usually one scene per character, but depending on the scenario may be fewer or more. Provides motivation and circumstances for PC involvement in the situation.
    2. Research A series of scenes where the PCs investigate the situation. No guidelines for number given.
    3. Dive A dungeon crawling part where the PCs venture through the enemy's Fortress. Uses special, board-game-like rules. Core rule book contains rules for randomized dungeon creation which can be used GMless.
    4. Climax Confronting the ruler or the core of the Fortress, usually a boss fight.
    5. Ending Similar to the Opening phase, usually one scene per PC, sometimes more or less, describing how things have turned out.
  • After Play Levelling up, spending loot and so on.

Experience

There are no experience points. One class level is gained after each scenario, at which point a class change can also take place.

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