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Janisy
07-14-2009, 12:00 PM
We have been playing a homebrewed LOTR campaign using a variant of Tri-Stat for a few months now. However, we have exhausted the setting and are looking for a change. Our old homebrewed setting Fantasy Realms has become old news, and none of us are interested in going back to any WoD, WitchCraft, or D&D.

Then one of our players came up with an idea. He wanted to play a Harry Potter setting. At first I thought it was a good idea, until I started trying to create the rules for it.

This is the toughest setting I have ever tried to tackle. In a world like Harry Potter, how do you assign rules?

Lucian-Sunaka
07-14-2009, 01:53 PM
I might be able to offer some help Janisy, if you can hold a specific discussion on the topic. I've designed my own magical school based game, so I've got a fair measure of insight that might help (but it was designed for a play by post, so as I said, you'd need to ask specifics I can't just hand out random data and expect it to help)

MortonStromgal
07-17-2009, 12:13 AM
Use the Nobilis rules (I am only 1/2 joking)

Bearfoot_Adam
07-19-2009, 06:29 PM
Unisystem may work well. where each subject is it's own skill to be raised and you use the spell creation from Buffy RPG.

tesral
07-21-2009, 09:48 AM
Urban, any.

Harwel
07-21-2009, 10:10 AM
Honestly, I would probably use GURPS (unless you have a severe GURPS allergy). The default magic system models a "one spell builds on another" method of learning that would I think fit well for students learning and full wizards. And if the default magic system doesn't appeal, there's always GURPS Thaumatology.

thomaswhodoubts
07-23-2009, 09:57 AM
I would use Savage Worlds, and just make each spell in the book a skill, except you both have to earn the xp AND be taught, although a rule for inspirational spell/potion/item creation would be good as well.

BTW - I would highly recommend using the Lego sets for your mini's. They're available on eBay, among many other places.

XeroDrift
10-08-2009, 10:57 PM
No magic, no high-technology, no super or special or psychic abilities, no aliens... GO!

...........

exactly...

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-08-2009, 11:30 PM
WFRP (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay) rules, any edition. Why make it harder than it needs to be, after all.

DMMike
10-09-2009, 02:30 PM
Sorry Janisy - looks like half the posters in here didn't actually read your message.

My advice for running Harry Potter - lots of GM adjudication. The GM should probably be an expert on the novels. Maybe even the movie. This is because, from what I recall of the movies, there are precious few rules to magic. So the fun part is letting the characters do whatever they dream up, and then toning it down to a reasonable/rational level.

I would actually call Harry Potter a hard system to handle, not setting. The setting seems fairly easy because there's no believability to sustain.

Hard settings to me are modern ones, where there are countless buildings (maps), each with countless items inside, and a much larger population of people (any of whom could be significant), and all of these are arranged in tight-knit groups with rigid social, legal, and political structures holding them into place. Basically, a setting that requires GM railroading, endless and original improv, or unhealthy amounts of abstraction.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-09-2009, 02:49 PM
Janisy,

Tackling Harry Potter's setting and rules seem (to me, anyway) to be an easy thing to accomplish, which leads me to assume i'm not reading your request for help correctly. Perhaps if you gave us some examples that you are dealing with, we can be more helpful. You have me curious. Besides, giving specifics would guarantee you more responses from the members.

BTW, the Harry Potter idea is a great one. I hope it comes to fruition for I'd love to read more about it, and updates on future adventures in said world. Why do i love the idea so much? Because i am a dark and gritty fan and i can see this world bleeding out with dark and gritty goodness-or-badness. Again, very cool idea.

I look forward to your next post.

XeroDrift
10-09-2009, 07:07 PM
Sorry Janisy - looks like half the posters in here didn't actually read your message.


Nope, just read the title of the thread

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
10-09-2009, 07:21 PM
To be fair, the post was written with a bit of ambiguity.

michael
10-12-2009, 07:31 AM
I agree with Harwell that GURPS would be a good starting point. I also agree with DMMike that being an expert on the books (and movies) would help you build the world.

I would also spend a lot of time building puzzle-style quests that require a lot of PC-NPC interaction and PC detective work. I would also do things like make 3 or 4 slightly different maps for several of the locations in Hogwarts to reflect the changing nature of the building.

Pocket dimensions might be big in the game too.

Hope this post is helpful!

Pushkins
11-01-2009, 10:30 PM
Might want to look at the old TSR, Marvel Superheroes rule set, to tackle Harry potter, The rules lended to a lot of role play, and were extremely simplistic.

IMO this is/was the best system ever, since very little of the time was actually needed to make a character or to determine outcomes of actions, a lot of Role play came as a result

Check it

thomaswhodoubts
06-01-2010, 01:01 PM
I think Savage Worlds would be the way to go. List all the spells, put them as powers, going from novice (alluminatus, or whatever it was) all the way to Legendary (avracadvra). Might take a little bit of tweaking, some work on the wand/magician relationship perhaps, but otherwise should be good to go.

tesral
06-01-2010, 01:56 PM
Might want to look at the old TSR, Marvel Superheroes rule set, to tackle Harry potter, The rules lended to a lot of role play, and were extremely simplistic.

IMO this is/was the best system ever, since very little of the time was actually needed to make a character or to determine outcomes of actions, a lot of Role play came as a result

Check it

There is a point there. Potterverse is not rules and specific action heavy. The magic is extremely under explained. While we see magic being used for all sorts of things from novelty badges, moving pictures, to cooking and cleaning we do not see the mechanism behind much of it. A handful of spells named and mentioned. Most of it is hand waving fast enough to cause a hurricane.

I personally would dread trying to gamemaster the setting. It's contradictory, under built and over blown. (Yes, I liked the first several books, then the plot errors and world building flaws piled up to the point they overwhelmed the good stuff.)

I would look for a simple system that allowed off the cuff action and wasn't too keen on nailing everything down.

thomaswhodoubts
06-01-2010, 02:05 PM
There is a point there. Potterverse is not rules and specific action heavy. The magic is extremely under explained. While we see magic being used for all sorts of things from novelty badges, moving pictures, to cooking and cleaning we do not see the mechanism behind much of it. A handful of spells named and mentioned. Most of it is hand waving fast enough to cause a hurricane.

I personally would dread trying to gamemaster the setting. It's contradictory, under built and over blown. (Yes, I liked the first several books, then the plot errors and world building flaws piled up to the point they overwhelmed the good stuff.)

I would look for a simple system that allowed off the cuff action and wasn't too keen on nailing everything down.

I think Potterverse does lend itself to a very simple system, and again I think Savage Worlds would handle it well. For the objects, a minor modification of the Gagdeteer power would get most of the self-cleaning skillets and other objects done. As far as gamemastering it, as long as your players weren't obsessed fans quoting chapter and verse, I think it could be a lot of fun - you could even use the lego sets, available still on eBay.

wizarddog
06-02-2010, 02:03 AM
It would depend if you plan to keep it a simple loose system or trying to define it heavily.
You also have to plan t around your premise---do you really need the players to reach the high levels of magic that is in the world, if they only play students of magic? Or do you want them to be able to be adult wizards in this world?

If you choose the 1st, where they are only students, then through the books (and some video games) you can break down the spells and abilities pretty well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_in_Harry_Potter

is a good resource to start.

If you choose the latter, then you will need to expand on magic beyond the uses from the protagonists, since we saw magic described through the eyes of novice wizards.

How you measure the success of spells is up to you: In the books Hermonie was very bookish and knowledgeable of spells but her power was weak in conflict (she could not maintain a string patronas), absolutely could not get Fortunes and she was terrible in flying. Harry had the strongest power in spell casting, brought on by his father and mothers ancestry and his infusion of the Dark Lords power, but he had no where-near the general spell knowledge of Hermonie. However, Harry had extensive training in advanced spells in order to compete in the Goblet of Fire and special training in dark arts defense by Professor Lupin. Harry also was the best flyer. Ron's greatest strength was "street smarts" of the wizardry world, influenced mostly from his father and his family legacy, and was also a decent flyer, if not the best student compared to Hermonie and Ron.

So from those character descriptions, you get a pretty good idea on stats. The system you use should reflect that the more you practice, the better you get and some players will be better at different things. A Hermonie character would have skill points in all matters of magic spread about while a Harry and Ron would be specialized in certain spells/magic.

thomaswhodoubts
06-02-2010, 12:28 PM
Following on wizarddog's post, perhaps magic could be broken down into skill and power, or skill, power, and knowledge, so Hermine would have lots of the latter, some skill and some power; Harry have lots of power but limited knowledge and narrowed skills, etc. Power would be an attribute, while skills and knowledge would be acquired.

tesral
06-02-2010, 01:10 PM
That looks like a decent breakdown to me.

I also note that unlike D&D; Wizards never seem to run out of magic. Power would have more to do with effectiveness than how much you can do.

Some spell effects scale. Some spells require an X power to accomplish. All have a skill threshold, all have a knowledge requirement.