Guest Author - Jay Shaffstall
Witch Girls Adventures is a game about pre-teen witches coming into their power (see my Witch Girls Adventures Review, if you missed it). It's a great game with a great concept, but running the game can be challenging, depending on where you're coming from in your role playing background.
Let me explain a bit.
Let's say that you're used to running Dungeons and Dragons scenarios, and you map out the entire dungeon area, create stats for everything, and figure out the most likely pathways that the party can take through the dungeon.
If you do the same for Witch Girls Adventures, you're going to be disappointed when the very first encounter turns your carefully prepared scenario into so much scrap paper.
The spells that the characters can cast in Witch Girls Adventures are fun. They're meant to be used, and they will be. But even starting characters get access to spells that can wildly change the way an encounter happens.
Here are a few examples from a WGA game I recently ran.
The group had found a small pirate treasure. I'd intended that they be able to convert that into cash after the adventure. But, one of the characters was a Cybermancer, a computer based witch. She used her Cybermancy to sell the treasure online, magically transport it to the buyers, and receive the money online. All in minutes.
In another encounter, they came across an ancient dragon. The dragon was supposed to give them a serious fight. One of the characters had the spell Poof Begone, which makes the target disappear for some amount of time. They rolled very well, and poof! the dragon was gone.
Another encounter involved a vampire. This was supposed to be frightening for the characters. One of them, however, had the ability to shrink things. A six inch vampire isn't nearly as frightening (although he did still give them a fight).
The point here is to not try to imagine how your characters will use their magic, because they'll come up with ways that will surprise you.
Prepare the NPCS
To run a game of Witch Girls Adventures, create the NPCs in some detail. You'll need to know their stats, what spells they have available, etc. Create each NPC in enough detail that you won't have to refer to the rules during play, so include spell descriptions, damage done, etc.
This way, you'll know exactly the capabilities of each NPC and be able to roll with whatever the PCs do.
Copy Cheat Sheets
For each player, copy the spell descriptions for the spells they can use. Pre-calculate their damage in likely situations. Put the needed reference material in front of them as possible, so they won't have to flip through the rules during play.
What Are The NPCs Trying To Do?
Do understand what your NPCs are trying to do, and why. This will help you adapt to whatever strange happenings the PCs cause.
Don't Stress Mapping
Distance is mutable in WGA, especially if you have someone with Time & Space spells. So don't plan on plot points that depend highly on a given map setup. For example, don't depend on a villain being able to dart into a secret door to escape. The distance to that secret door might suddenly become a lot farther!
Keep your maps simple, and flexible.
This is most important. The game is designed to be fun for the players. Yes, the players will break your scenario in some way. Just roll with it, and keep making it fun. Don't get too invested in things happening a certain way, and allow them to happen the way they happen.
Especially if you're playing this with players who are pre-teen girls! You want them to have a good RPG experience, not a frustrating one.