View Full Version : Charmed TV Show

01-09-2009, 06:35 PM
Hello. I am quite new to this site (and the internet in general) and was hoping to get word out there. I have been an independant game writer for ten years and have even worked professionally as a creative director. I was looking for some feedback on this next game.

It is called Magical (though the name is subject to change) and is based on the Charmed TV series. Since it will be sold I could not use anything from the actual Charmed series, but the parallels are not hard to find.

I am here to ask your opinions on whether a game like this would sell or not. Before we go further let me clarify, this is a total Setting book. It is not a few pages to give your existing games a Charmed flavor. This is a complete book.

In it you will find character generation rules (including rules for innate witch abilities such as Pipers "freezing" and Prue's telekinesis, plus many more), a complete rundown of the setting (including various dimensions), and some pieces taken from the Book of Shadows (essentially a combined spell list and bestiary of demons and other monsters).

Players DO NOT play as the Charmed Ones in this game (as default but that can be changed if so needed).

Feedback would be much appreciated. Already I am in the work of writing up supplements.

Also if this project garners some interest I am looking for one or two people to proofread and create the eBook. Also looking for playtesters. Message me if interested.

01-09-2009, 07:21 PM
Not to be a naysayer, but ... how is your game different from C. J. Carella's Witchcraft (now a free PDF), or Ghosts of Albion (a $28 PDF), both by Eden Studios?

While you can still put your game out on the eBook market -- rpgnow.com and its sister site rpg.drivethrustuff.com are the most frequented marketplaces -- there's already a glut of PDF-published games. Some are gems, most ... aren't. You can try for the upscale indie markeplace, like IPR (which like the previous sites is now part of the OneBookShelf empire), and use the PDF to raise money for the printed edition ... but unless you've got novel mechanics, a truly offbeat theme, or both, the indie crowd aren't going to bite either.

So, I guess the question is, especially if you can't use Charmed as a selling point, what might make your game stand out?

BTW, there's a well known document -- can't think of it at the moment -- about becoming an e-publisher. {EDIT: it's ePublishing Secrets (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=51107&filters=0_2892_0)} The first page is simply, "DON'T". If your project is a labor of love, good ... because it almost certainly won't let you retire early.

01-09-2009, 11:40 PM
To be honest, I didn't find the setting very compelling. It's basically just a rehash of mythology, with a lot of mistakes and contradictions. It's essentially the same setting as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a lot of people watched it for the same reason: pretty girls and ugly monsters. And pretty girls killing ugly monsters. (At least, that's why the people I know watched it. There are fans, too, but I think they were heavily outnumbered by casual viewers.) If you take away the main characters, you lose a lot.

Also, a TV show can ignore the internal contradictions and get away with it, but a tabletop RPG really can't do that. To take just one example, I never understood how half the population knew about the monsters while the other half was completely clueless. I guess that's just the way things work in TV-land. It can't work that way in a game, though; players are likely to ask tough questions.

If you solve all these problems and are wildly successful, you're very likely to get sued. The setting has so many inconsistencies that if you reproduce them, you can't really claim you weren't copying the TV show. You really need to secure a license.

Instead of taking on all these problems, why not just take the basic concept and develop your own setting? You could use actual mythology rather than WB's poor imitation. The setting is loosely based on Celtic mythology, with a good sprinkling of various other mythologies and lots of misinterpretations. You could achieve the same thing with much better quality by projecting Celtic mythology forward to the present day. You could use either ancient mythology (before the fall of Rome), or the medieval folklore that grew out of it. Or, instead of just using the Celtic mythos, you could use all of them, assuming that the various mythological creatures are native to the appropriate land (Sidhe in Ireland, Dwarves in Scandinavia, Cyclopes in Greece, and so forth).

And don't make it secret. If there are monsters roaming around, everyone's going to know about it.

That's just my take, of course. Obviously I'm not a fan. You might get an entirely different reaction from fans; I don't know.