Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Magical Musings (Tales of Hogwarts 5)

Sorry it has been a while since the last part of the adapting of Fria Ligan's amazing Tales from the Loop to use as a Harry Potter game. Things got a bit on top of me, the cat was a little ill, major appliances broke, and I fell down the spiral of self doubt.

Part of the Harry Potter library... because, you've got to have reference material...

Where were we? Oh yes, we'd determined the Attributes - the four house Traits, and the Skills.

The character sheet so far
(Attributes in the Hogwarts Crest!)
The controversial decision I mentioned last week was not having a single "Magic" Skill, but splitting it into Supplementary Magic, Charms, Transfiguration and Defence Against the Dark Arts.

The main reason for doing this is to (a) split the practical magic - the actual wand waving and so on - from the potions and herbology, and (b) to split the remaining practical magics so that there wasn't a single "god" skill that players would pump all of their points in to make them horribly over-powered.

Of course, we've already mentioned that I decided to untie the Skills from the Attributes, so that you could use Brave and Defence Against the Dark Arts if you were making an attack against a dark wizard, or Wise and Defence Against the Dark Arts if you were studying it for your homework, or researching a spell. You could even use Cunning with it if you were attacking in a particularly sneaky way, or even Loyal if you were using it to protect your friends.

What about those three practical magic skills?

I mentioned last week that they break down like this:

Charms - Charms are all of the spells that give the target new properties, whether that is light, levitation, fixing something, unlocking something, etc. For example: Accio, Alohomora, Lumos, Silencio, Wingardium Leviosa.

Transfiguration - Transfiguration classes are about changing the properties of a target, including switching, conjuring or vanishing. For example, Engorgio, Aguamenti, Incendio, Serpensortia, Reparifarge.

D.A.D.A. (Defence Against the Dark Arts) - while the class
is about defending yourself against the dark arts and dark creatures, D.A.D.A. as a Skill also covers all forms of hexes, jinxes and curses, as well as defending yourself against them. For example, Expecto Patronum, Expelliarmus, Flipendo, Levicorpus, Protego, Rictumsempra, Stupify.

To make it easier, I've created a little table of which charm or spell is a "Charm", "Transfiguration" or "Defence against the Dark Arts"...

There are a few things to note on here. Reparo, and Revelio are odd ones. They could work as both Charms and Transfiguration - after all, they are both fixing and adding something to the object, as well as changing its properties. They're classed as "Transfiguration" in Hogwarts Mystery, but some of their choices are interesting to say the least. I'm undecided about those, but I'd be tempted to leave it up to the GM depending upon the situation.

The other thing to note is the inclusion of the three Unforgivable Curses (Avada Kadavra, Cruciatus, and Imperius). Player characters shouldn't have access to these, though it's not unheard of with more mature students in times of extreme stress and conflict. Using these should not be without consequences...


When it comes to actual magic use, it's just a simple roll of the dice like any Attribute and Skill roll. Simple!!

If you're duelling or in a conflict, it's the same as the usual "Kid versus Kid" text from p70 of Tales from the Loop. If the target has prepared by using Protego beforehand, the difficulty is pushed up from Difficult (1 Success needed) to Extremely Difficult (2 Successes needed) so the winner would have to roll 2 Successes more than the target to win. Battling major villains is the same Extended Trouble (p70) for when you're fighting a Basilisk or trying to snatch an egg from under the nose of a Hungarian Horntail.


I think that's about all you need to run a game. I had started to think about odd little things like increasing the difficulty when using someone else's wand (2 Successes) or using no wand at all (3 Successes) and odd little modifiers depending upon your heritage (Muggleborn, Half-blood, etc), but that's only really when dealing with muggle items (purebloods have it harder!). But those are little details the GM can add if they fancy.


That's it for now. Next time I may have to bring up #RPGaDAY again to see if anyone's actually interested in spreading a positive message of gaming...  you've been warned.

Until next time, stay multi-classy!

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