Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Accio Attributes! (Tales of Hogwarts 3)

No Tales from the Loop game this week, but I have been continuing my thoughts of using the game system to run Harry Potter.

Many, many moons ago, when I first started thinking about Harry Potter as a tabletop roleplaying game, I started working out what Attributes and Skills would work the best for the game. After initially planning on using a simplified version of the Vortex system, the system I'd developed for Cubicle 7's Doctor Who RPG (Adventures in Time and Space), I thought about just having four Attributes - one for each Hogwarts House.

You can see from the initial character sheet I'd designed that the Hogwarts crest on the little "report card" didn't have the usual illustrations of the four house animals - they were blank for you to write the Attributes in! (Bet you didn't notice that the many times I'd posted that picture!!!)

The original idea for the character sheet was a report card - note the houses on the crest are empty to fill in values!
Originally, as you can see in the image, I'd thought of having Brave, Shrewd, Loyal and Wise as Attributes.

Let's come back up to date and look at how I've been stripping the Tales from the Loop system down to use for Harry Potter.

Tales from the Loop, and the other games that use the system, have four Attributes. I really liked the Mind Attribute to reflect how smart your character is, and the Heart Attribute that's used when you're being empathic or interacting with your friends...

Wait... A smart Attribute, and a friendship Attribute... sounding like I was on the right track all those years ago...

That leaves two Attributes. If you think of the physical things the characters in Harry Potter do, they're either being daring and brave - flying, punching Draco, heading into dangerous places, hanging out of flying cars, etc. Or, they're investigating - sneaking about, finding stuff, etc.

I'd already decided there wouldn't be a Magic Attribute (as it'd be the God Attribute that everyone would pump all of their points into and try to be the all powerful lord of magic). So that means that the remaining two Attributes would again be physical (but not entirely)...

But it's just what I had before. So now it's just a case of narrowing down names. So, to put it in Tales from the Loop terminology, the Attributes now look like this:



Your student is defined by four Attributes that help you overcome Trouble and continue your studies at Hogwarts. The Attributes are: Brave, Cunning, Loyal and Wise. Attribute scores range from 1 to 5.

Brave - is the student's ability to face danger, swing the sword of Gryffindor at the basilisk, punch the bully in the nose, run down a corridor when the ceiling is collapsing, fly a broom in a storm, climb, or hold your ground. This is the highest Attribute in most Gryffindor students.
Cunning - is the ability to sneak around the corridors at night, pinch vital ingredients from the potions class supplies, deduce strange puzzles, make a sneaky attack when duelling, bluff your way out of trouble, distract someone, or convince them to do something for your own benefit. This is the highest Attribute of most Slytherin students.
Loyal - is all about the student's relationships, understanding what they are thinking, making friends, know the right people, helping them to overcome their problems, and reassure them when they doubt their actions. This is the highest Attribute of most Hufflepuff students.
Wise - is about knowledge, learning and understanding. This is the ability to learn, study, deduce, solve riddles, understand clues and remember the vital information needed at the right time. This is usually the highest Attribute of most Ravenclaw students.

The highest Attribute you have at character creation (and therefore, when you are sorted) will determine the house you are sorted into at Hogwarts. Simply, if your Wise Attribute is the highest Attribute you have, you'll be sorted into Ravenclaw. It's not always the case, there are always exceptions to the rules (and Hatstands, as they are called). If a player really wants to play a Ravenclaw whose Loyal is the highest Attribute, as long as the GM agrees there's nothing to stop them. (Personally, I'd say that's what happened with Luna!)

That's Attributes "sorted" if you pardon the pun. Next time, we'll look at Skills...

Until next time, stay multi-classy!!

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