Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Thinking Outside of the (Brain) Box

Before the madness that is #RPGaDAY starts next month (questions will be revealed next post), I wanted to talk about a revelation I had during a recent game of Tales from the Loop.

Our GM - Stoo - has been running Tales from the Loop for us for the last few months, and while I own the game I haven't read the adventures. I wasn't sure if I'd get to run it, so I haven't been spoiled for the major plot revelations.

However, sometimes, when that particular section of the adventure is over I go to the rulebook and have a quick look to see what was written about it to see how it was done.

Tales from the Loop is a strange beast when it comes to RPGs. The rules are surprisingly simple. Let's look - It's 192 pages for the corebook, The first 46 pages are introducing the world (both the Swedish Loop and the US Loop). Then you have 26 pages which cover character creation and the rules of the game. 31 pages of how to run a mystery, then 68 pages of adventure split up over four seasons ("The Four Seasons of Mad Science").

See? I told you it was simple. It's kinda reassuring as WILD is very simple in its actual system too, a lot of the game is going to be how to play in dreamscapes and setting information...

Anyway, I digress.

A couple of sessions ago we were playing one of the side investigations in the Mystery Landscape, one that only takes up a couple of pages of information in the rulebook, but has been keeping us intrigued for a couple of sessions at least. If you're familiar with Tales from the Loop, there's a plot involving dreams.

[MILD SPOILERS]

The game normally assumes you find a piece of technology that involves dreamsharing, and either destroy it, or the government sends in goons to stop it. However, one of our players decided instead to use the technology just to see what it does.

[END OF SPOILERS]

In a plot right out of WILD he ended up in a dreamscape, running through his childhood home and discovering things from his past that he didn't remember - major revelations about an older sister who died from an illness while he was very young, explaining why his father was a bit distant and a drinker...

To get him out of his dreamscape, we foolishly went in - full Inception-style - to try to lead him out, where my character had to experience the car accident that killed his mother, Debs' character had to deal with the feeling of being ignored in her own home - the least noticed of her many siblings, and the villain of the piece - the creator of the technology - confronted his violent father, aided by our characters encouragement. Instead of fighting the villain, we helped him stand up to his violent father in a dreamscape, and resolve a lot of his issues. All while dealing with some emotional and heartbreaking issues of our own.

It was epic, emotional, and absolutely none of it was in the rulebook. Most of it created on the fly by our awesome GM and the cool backgrounds that had developed for our characters over time.

--



It got me thinking. Mostly because this session was all in a dreamscape, it started me thinking about WILD. And I mentioned this to Debs the following day.

I realised, I wasn't imaginative enough to run my own game. The game I've been working on for the last seven (plus) years, I honestly don't think I can run it. I can write it, and I can give players and GMs the tools they need to run the most amazing game I can think of, but I honestly don't think I could run it and do it justice.

Then again, I've seen this happen with other games I've worked on. I've heard stories of Doctor Who games that people have run that have blown me away. Amazing tales of Cybermen attacking, Sarah Jane Smith uniting a school to help defeat them. And that's before we get onto the epic feat of storytelling that was Geek and Sundry's Doctor Who RPG series hosted by Eric Campbell.

--

I remember having this discussion with Jason, a friend of ours who first got me into Conspiracy X all those many, many years ago. He has worked for years with various mental health organisations and is now launching his own hypnotherapy business. One day he popped over and we started discussing WILD and the themes that the game could cover - delving into the unconscious and subconscious of the characters, and helping them to deal with recurring nightmares, as well as the other major plot elements (dreams invading reality, espionage, etc.). He said (and I'm paraphrasing) "You know, this game could not only be a good game, but it could also actually do some good - helping players come to terms with their own issues and complexes."

While I love the idea of creating something special that transcends the level of being merely a game, it's not something I think I could run. I felt really uncomfortable at moments during that Loop game - not because of the subject matter, but I just didn't think I was capable of being that "in the moment" emotionally and dealing with the traumas of my poor character's past.

I guess a lot of that is my problem and my mental state at the moment anyway. You never know, I may feel differently in a year's time if things improve a bit.

--

"Skip to the End" as they say in Spaced.

Basically what I'm saying is that roleplaying games are amazing and can produce a level of emotional involvement that is quite unlike anything else short of reality. Maybe it's close to method acting. It's a fantastic experience, and I'm always amazed when a game gets to that level of involvement - when you're really feeling what the character feels, whether this is fear, sadness, or joy.

These games can hit home, and sometimes that emotional attachment can help us to cope with things in our real lives.

I only hope that one day I'll be able to run WILD, or any game, that has that emotional resonance, again. Until that time, thank you Stoo and my fellow players for an astounding gaming experience, and thanks to the Tales from the Loop writers for giving us that opportunity.

Monday, June 25, 2018

#RPGaDAY2018 - This is A Call...



#RPGaDAY is looming on the horizon, and this year I was hoping to do something cool and a little different. I'll let the video explain everything...


If you can't bear to watch my stupid face, here's the basics...

This is the 5th RPGaDAY, and this year what I was hoping to do was to get the involvement of some of the coolest people around when it comes to RPGs. Writers, developers, artists, streamers, publishers... everyone. If you're involved in any form of the RPG industry and want to get involved, please get in touch.

Everyone who gets in touch can pick one of the questions from the previous four years' worth of RPGaDAY questions (the infographics are below so you can see what they were) and change it up a bit - to make it into a new question. We'll compile this into the new infographic for 2018, and unleash this onto the world in the very near future, ready for August.

Then, on the day your question is used, we'll host a short interview - whether this is text or as a video - just to answer some basic questions like who you are, how you got started gaming, your favourite game, and to answer the question you set.

If no one comes forward to join in, then Anthony Boyd (who has kindly volunteered to help again this year) and I will create the questions and we'll pootle along as normal.

Either way, there will be questions, there will be an infographic, and once again we'll try to spread the word of how great our hobby is, and combat all the negativity that pollutes the interwebs.

If you'd like to get involved, do get in touch - you can direct message me on Twitter @autocratik, or email me at dave (at) autocratik.com

Thank you everyone.

Stay Multi-classy!!

(Below, are the previous years' questions)





Sunday, June 24, 2018

Second Best UK RPG Blog?

Seriously?

I'm not sure if that's really the case. There are times when I really wonder if anyone actually reads my rambling nonsense. I mean, it's not like I get thousands of hits on my blog every post. I'm happy if it hits three figures, as that's often a rarity, so surely there are sites out there with more hits than me?

Anyway, I'll take the compliment, and the little medal, and say Thankee Sai to Feedspot.

New post will be coming in the next couple of days detailing this year's #RPGaDAY... stay tuned, stay multi-classy!!

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!


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Stupifying Skills! (Tales of Hogwarts 4)

Last week I continued my look at using the awesome Tales from the Loop roleplaying game as a base for the rules for a Harry Potter RPG, taking a closer look at how the Attributes worked in Tales from the Loop, as well as other games that use the same incredibly simple system (Mutant: Year Zero, and Coriolis).

The Hogwarts Crest - Designed by
MinaLima (c) WBEI
After some deliberation, I concluded that the four Attributes to be used in a Harry Potter version of Tales from the Loop should reflect the qualities of the four Houses at Hogwarts -

Brave, Cunning, Loyal and Wise.

I also decided to untether the Attributes from the Skills. That way, you free up the player to not only behave more like their House, but also to come up with imaginative ways of doing things.

It also means that you can work with the same low number of Skills and have them do multiple things.

Now we've brought up the topic of Skills, lets look at how they can work in the game.

SKILLS

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the first thing I did was look at the existing games with the same engine at its heart, comparing the fantastic Tales from the Loop with its sibling games, Mutant: Year Zero and Coriolis.

I was surprised to see that Coriolis broke the trend of having three Skills that tied to each Attribute (and expanded the list of Skills to 16). Even though I decided to break the ties between the Attributes and Skills, I really liked the idea of keeping to the simple list of 12.

As the Attributes have moved away from being Physical, Mental, Tech, etc. I couldn't have Skills that related to Brave or Loyal, but at their heart there were some similarities. I figured, like Tales from the Loop, to have a Physical batch, a Mental, and a Social batch of Skills. Tales from the Loop also has a group of three Skills that relate to Tech (Tinker, Program and Calculate) but as Tech is as far from Harry Potter as you can get, that leaves a batch of Skills to dedicate to Magic...

So, this is the way I'm currently thinking for Skills:

Force - This is basically the same as Tales from the Loop. It comes into play when you're lifting something, fighting physically (punching Draco on the nose, swinging the sword at the Basilisk, etc) or enduring strain, pain, fatigue, etc.

Move - Again, this is like Tales from the Loop and is used when you're physically moving about, climbing, running fast, balancing... anything that requires dexterity. Combined with Cunning it acts as Sneak as well.

Travel - This is a new one. This is for other modes of transport or moving, usually magical. Travel is used when you're flying a broom, apparating, using the floo network, riding a magical creature, as well as driving a car (enchanted or not), riding a bike, or even if a roll is needed with a portkey.

Investigate - This is similar to Tales from the Loop and is all about looking for clues, as well as researching and hitting the books in the Library.

Comprehend - Again, similar to the Tales from the Loop skill, it's about knowing the right thing and putting the clues together, or knowing where to look for something. It's also vital for understanding your studies at Hogwarts so you don't fail your classes.

Supplementary Magic - This Skill covers the studies that aren't done simply with the wave of a wand. This covers your studies in Potions, Herbology, Divination, History of Magic, Astronomy, etc. It's magic, but more academic and no less important. (Still pondering the name for this Skill)

Convince - This is like the Charm Skill in Tales from the Loop (but obviously we can't use Charm as a name for it) combined with Lead. It is used to charm someone, lie to them, convince them that they can do it, lead them as a group, or manipulate someone.

Friends - Like the Contact Skill in Tales from the Loop only with added effects. You can use Friends when you need to know the right person, or know who can help with a certain problem, but you can also use the skill when cheering someone on, or making new friends.

Empathy - is all about understanding what other people are thinking or feeling, helping when they are sad, scared or confused. Empathy is also a vital Skill for your Care of Magical Creatures class, knowing how to react and understand what the creature is thinking or feeling.

This leaves three Skills for magic use. Breaking down all of the magic in Harry Potter to three simple categories isn't easy, but hopefully it'll make sense...

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.

Why have I split the magic like this?

Well, it's to avoid a "God Skill". If all magic use was one Skill, at character creation you'd put all of your points in it and it would quickly become the most used Skill-check in the game. Splitting it into three (hopefully logical) categories spreads it about a bit and produces some wizards and witches who are good at Charms, but not necessarily great in a duel, and so on.

I started a basic list of which spell works with which Skill, though it should be down to the GM to determine any disputes or make any decisions depending upon the situation. I'll look at magic in more detail next blog post, but hopefully it should make sense.

So that means that the Attributes / Skills section of the character sheet should look a bit like this so far...

It's a work in progress, and the rest of the character sheet will develop as these blog posts continue... Fill in the Attributes in the Hogwarts Crest, and the rest is as normal.

Next post I'll address magic, and continue building the Harry Potter RPG/Tales from the Loop hack!

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:

-

Attributes

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!!


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Breaking the Rules (Tales of Hogwarts 2)

Having one of those "What's the frelling point?" days today, looking at WILD and feeling like it's all nonsense and that no one will ever want to read it or play it. One of the problems sometimes of having too many ideas and not enough motivation or the means to go through with it.

The t-shirt I was wearing for last night's Tales from the Loop game -
Bonus points if you recognise the 80's movie it is from!

As a means of distraction, I've been continuing my thoughts of using the Tales from the Loop system to create a Harry Potter RPG. We had another excellent game of Tales from the Loop last night, resolving one of the plots of the many we'd uncovered in the mystery landscape.

Last post, I started discussing how the Pride and Luck rationing could be tweaked to better reflect the Kids' time at Hogwarts, rather than out in the field filled with bizarre technology and weirdness.

The next stage is taking a look at the Attributes and Skills used in Tales from the Loop and seeing what needs to be changed to suit Harry Potter.

-

It's strange, but I had weird flashbacks to Star Trek. A couple of years ago, when I first started talking to Modiphius about working on Star Trek, they told me it would be done using their 2D20 system and I should take a look at that and see how it could be adapted to suit Star Trek.

The first thing I did was look at the 2D20 games they had published, or were in the works, to start "breaking the rules" - so to speak. Breaking the rules down into their components to see how it works. A sort of reverse-engineering.

I looked at Mutant Chronicles, Infinity, Conan and John Carter, knowing that they wanted a level of complexity in the middle of the range (if Infinity/MC was the complex end, and John Carter was 2D20 "lite"). First thing I did was make notes of what Attributes and Skills were used for each incarnation of 2D20, and see what related to what.

My original notes during the early phases of Star Trek Adventures development
looking at the various incarnations of 2D20


I also took a long look at the previous incarnations of Star Trek - the FASA, Last Unicorn Games and Decipher versions - and looked to see what they had considered essential skills and attributes in their interpretations of Trek.

More of my original notes, looking at the previous versions of Star Trek
and how they broke down the skills and attributes.


Eventually, I came up with six Attributes, and the six "skills" (which were basically the posts on the crew, two for each Star Fleet Division). The Attributes were Bravery, Control, Empathy, Presence, Reason, and Resilience. And the "skills" were Command, Conn, Medical, Science, Engineering, and Security.

Those Attributes changed shortly after I left the project, but you get the idea of where I was going with it.

-

I started doing the same with Tales from the Loop. I knew the system was used by a couple of other excellent games - Mutant: Year Zero, and Coriolis - so I thought I'd look and see what Attributes and Skills were used for each of these games.

However, looking at the Attributes and Skills gave me the same feeling I had when I first started picking at 2D20 for Star Trek...

FREE YOUR MIND...

And by that, I wanted to take the ties off. One of the first things I suggested for Star Trek was to untie the relationship between Attribute and Skill. Sure, it means that some players will want to always use their strongest Attribute to do anything, but the situation will determine if a certain Attribute or Skill comes into play.

I used a simple example for this -

Say you want to lift a rock. Bear in mind, this is for the original Star Trek Attributes, not the ones they went for finally as I'm more familiar with my version...

If you want to lift a rock to hit someone with it, you'd use Resilience and Security (as it's combat).
If you want to lift a rock off of someone who is pinned, you'd use Resilience and Medicine.
If you want to lift a rock off of someone while lava is approaching, you could use Bravery and Medicine.
If you wanted to lift a rock to see what is underneath, you'd use Reason and Science.
If you wanted to lift a rock to by wedging something under it and levering it free you'd use Resilience and Engineering.

You get the gist.

Looking at the system used in Loop and the other games, the skills are firmly tied to an attribute... I'm quite keen to break those ties as the first stage.

I'd also like to use similar Attributes to Tales from the Loop - but Tech needs replacing. Next comes the big issue which I'll be pondering over the week - what should replace Tech? Would a Magic Attribute be too powerful?

Hmmm... I'm going to think about that, and look in depth again at the breakdown of Charms, Jinxes and Curses ready for the next post. (As well as going back to writing WILD - after all, there's a lot more chance of WILD seeing the light of day than there is a Harry Potter game!!)

Until next time, stay multi-classy!




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mysterious Beginnings (Tales of Hogwarts 1)

Another awesome game of Tales from the Loop last night had me thinking again of using the game to play in the wizarding world of Harry Potter...

Original ideas for character sheet for a
Harry Potter RPG
Instead of me just getting frustrated that the game doesn't exist, I just figured I'd pop my ideas down here in a "thinking out loud" way so you could see which direction I was heading in.

There are a few sticking points when it comes to tweaking the Tales from the Loop system to working with Harry Potter. Of course, the big question would be how magic works, but I'll come to that later. 

First of all, the basics.

Luck


In Tales from the Loop, the older you are, the more experienced you are and the more capable you are of doing things. Age means you've learned more, can do more, and sometimes people take you a little more seriously. You also get more points to put into your Attributes. As you grow, your Attributes increase too.

To balance this, the characters have a "Luck" stat which allows them to reroll when they've failed. Your "kid" (as the characters are called) is aged between 10 and 15 years old, but your starting Luck is equal to 15 minus your age. So if you're 10 years old, you have 5 Luck points, etc. My character in the game we're playing at the moment is 13, so has 2 Luck Points at the beginning of each session.

In Harry Potter, we follow the characters longer during their time at Hogwarts, so the easiest option for this is to allow more Luck Points (mostly because they will not have the benefit of an "Iconic Item" - more on that later). So, I'm going with your Luck being equal to 8 minus your year at Hogwarts. So first years start with 8-1 = 7 Luck Points at the beginning of each session, and a fourth year starts with 8-4 = 4 Luck Points.

Pride


Pride is a really interesting stat in Tales from the Loop. It's something that gives you a boost, makes you feel strong, or awesome. It's usually something that motivates the character, but it is also used to give you an automatic success if you think your Pride comes into play in a particular circumstance in your game. You only get it once per Mystery, but using it also means you get XP.

Instead of Pride, I figured you could replace it with House. The pupil's House in Hogwarts is important, and a source of pride. You could list the descriptors for each house as follows -
 
Gryffindor - Bravery, Chivalry, Courage.
Hufflepuff - Loyalty, Kindness, Honesty.
Ravenclaw - Wisdom, Creativity, Originality.
Slytherin - Cunning, Ambition, Leadership.

If your student acts in keeping with their House, they can use the benefits just like Pride.

--

I'll follow this up in coming weeks with a look at tweaking the Attributes and Skills to suit the wizarding world.

Before I finish though, I thought I'd share a little document I found on my hard drive. Over a year ago (the date on the file is January 2017) I'd had another surge of determination about the Harry Potter RPG. I'd started to think that maybe the game could get to the licensing stage if the words "roleplaying" were omitted from any pitch. 

That in mind, I started to think of the game as a mystery game, with components that basically acted as character sheets and so on for a traditional roleplaying game, that could be promoted and marketed as a family mystery game. Players control pupils at Hogwarts, and attend classes, learning the skills they need to solve an overarching mystery. Expansions could add further years and more lessons and mysteries...

Nearly a year before the mobile game with a very similar name would be announced I created this document for Harry Potter: Mysteries of Hogwarts game. I've posted a copy below so you can see what I had in mind...

Click to enlarge, this is the pitch I started in Jan 2017...

Until next time, be excellent to each other.

- Dave

Monday, April 30, 2018

Tales from the Wizarding School

It has been a while since my last post - I'm sorry. A combination of actually doing work on the WILD RPG (tweaking the Attributes and Abilities) and being convinced that no one actually reads the blog.

I haven't really had much to talk about on here for a while, but recently my mind has been wandering back to familiar territories thanks to a couple of games.

Tales from the Loop RPG
Our epic Star Wars: Force and Destiny game came to a suitably awesome end, and recently we've started playing Fria Ligan's Tales from the Loop. You'll have heard about it by now - it has won many awards (deservedly so), based upon the amazing paintings of Simon Stålenhag. Set in an "80's that never was" this is Stranger Things meets robots, time travel, dinosaurs, mind control, and super-science, all in small town Sweden (or wherever you want to set it) with kids riding around on bikes and investigating stuff.

I've been wanting to play this for ages, since reading the rules months ago and finding them so simple and intuitive that it really appealed - especially as I love simple and quick rules systems.

Not only does the game encourage characters to have a "Drive", a "Problem" and a "Pride" which all come into play in the way the characters act and are motivated, but it also has a proportion of the character sheet and character creation dedicated to "relationships". You define how you know each other, and other people in the town, and you gain experience for putting yourself at risk to help your friends.

Within a session we were running around, bickering like thirteen-year-olds, and coming up with bizarre plans and pissing off the teachers from the school. Brilliant!

-

You know what else has teenage kids at school solving mysteries?

Harry Potter. Yeah, had to get back to my little gaming obsession. I got thinking about how the friendships and relationships from Tales From the Loop would work with Harry Potter (and a lot of the rest of the system to be honest).

A lot of the core of Harry Potter is the central friendships between Harry, Ron and Hermione. There's a real sense of this in the way the players are interacting in Tales from the Loop, but it got me thinking about taking it further. With the relationships having a value that could change and evolve over time. Just look at Year Four - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Ron and Harry have a real falling out at the beginning of the story, when Ron's convinced that Harry has put his name in the Goblet of Fire. They don't speak to each other, even using Hermione as a go-between (much to her disgust, rightfully so). While this is resolved, it's great to have a mechanic that represents the relationships of the characters.

With a few tweaks, Tales from the Loop would be a great system for Harry Potter.

-

Bearing that in mind, thinking about the way friendships work in roleplaying games, I was pleasantly surprised by the mobile game - Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery - that launched last week. It's received a lot of criticism for its energy management (encouraging that impatience to complete tasks and lessons to urge you to spend real money to help speed things up). However, the friendship mechanics have been a real eye opener.

My character (on the right), looking like a young me (when I had hair and no glasses), in Charms Class
in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery


In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, you play a character of your own creation attending Hogwarts in the 80's, before Harry is old enough to attend but after Voldemort has "vanished". You have a past of your own (a brother who was expelled for trying to access the Cursed Vaults under Hogwarts) and you make friends, encounter bullies, go to classes and everything you expect from attending Hogwarts.

However, time is taken to make friends at the school, whether this is over a game of Gobstones or chatting over food in the great hall. Talking to friends is handled in a similar way to classes, and you can answer in positive and negative ways to increase your "relationship" with some of the students.

It's not the complete, branching relationships we've come to enjoy in the Telltale Games like The Walking Dead or Batman, where our decisions really shape the outcome. I don't think in Hogwarts Mystery you can tell Ben to go home when he's worried about being at Hogwarts and him actually leave. Seems a bit mean, but I'm not your archetypal Slytherin.

Merula gives us Slytherins a bad name....

The friendships being such a part of the game was a really nice surprise, and along with Tales from the Loop has reaffirmed by belief that it should be an integral part of a tabletop Harry Potter experience.

I know it's probably impossible, and will never happen...

However, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is certainly a step in the right direction. After all, it uses established characters - not only professors like Snape, Dumbledore and McGonagall, but also young incarnations of Tonks and Bill Weasley! Something I didn't think any game would do short of adaptations of the books/movies.

The interesting thing is the timeline that recently appeared on Pottermore:


It seems to imply that Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is set on an alternate timeline? Almost like the Kelvin-verse of the Wizarding World. Or maybe I'm reading too much into this? If it is, what's the problem with allowing tabletop gamers to play in an alternate timeline after the Battle of Hogwarts, but before the events of The Cursed Child?

One day... One day my dream of writing an official Harry Potter tabletop game will come true...

You can read my lengthy treatise on Harry Potter roleplaying on this blog here.

Until next time, keep dreaming.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Done, Done, Onto the Next One!

I've been a bit quiet on here recently - sorry! Been busy. I had a writing project come in - not a huge one, but it was a major one for me - and I was already a month or two late in delivering what was promised.

Why was it a major one? Well, that's two-fold.

In a strange way this is almost the anniversary of my stepping back from the Line Developer role working on Modiphius' Star Trek Adventures. A dream job, working on a license I love. I didn't want to withdraw my involvement, but circumstances meant that if I didn't I would have made myself seriously sick - certainly mentally, if not physically. I was doing too much and I just wasn't handling it as well as I should.

Backing out was hard, but necessary. Afterwards I kept questioning myself, asking if I'd done the right thing? And then came the desert that was writing work. It just wasn't there - I started to worry if word of my failure had spread, and now no one would hire me to work on their games. I'd shot myself in the foot, no one would touch me. Gone were my chances of ever helming another game, let alone my dreams of writing Harry Potter...

The other major thing about this writing job was that 60-70% of the gig was an adventure.

Back when I started trying to get into RPG writing, back in the late 1980s, the only thing I thought companies wanted was adventures. I wrote a couple of adventures for WEG's Ghostbusters RPG, which got some pretty positive responses - though they never saw print. Just wasn't suitable (I foolishly steered a little close to other movie copyrights). I started work on another Ghostbusters adventure, and a Price of Freedom one, but then life got in the way - I went to work in cartography and archaeology, and the worlds of gaming faded to the background for a while.

When I tried to get back into game writing again, it was with Eden Studios. The first thing I wrote for them was a sample supplement for All Flesh Must Be Eaten called "Summercamp Stalkers and Unstoppable Evil" - there was a sort-of adventure at the back of the book. More a setting for teens to run around and avoid a horrible undead nemesis. Not really a proper plotted adventure with a story, as such.

From there, everything I did either had adventures written by other people or didn't need adventures. Even for Doctor Who I got a handful of more qualified adventure writers on board to come up with that section, and I'm glad I did. I've always been a bit crap at coming up with adventure ideas.

This reluctance to write adventures (because I'm convinced I'm crap) even lead to my turning down one of the most high-profile adventure writing gigs around - Wil Wheaton's Titansgrave. I know... what a dumbass.

So I was cautious when it came to the new gig. I hadn't written for a while, and the last plotted and storied adventure I'd worked on was around 1989... But, the subject was fun, and I couldn't turn it down.

And I'm glad I worked on it. I just sent off the completed thing this evening. Now it's onto edits, revisions, layout and illustrations. I'm sure I'll mention it a lot in the following months, especially when the Kickstarter begins.

I hope the company likes it, and I hope you like it when you see it. I had a blast writing it, and it's reassured me that I can not only have a go at adventures again in the future, but also that I can actually finish something. That was a big part - actually finishing something. With WILD taking so many years and failing to get anywhere I was starting to think I was incapable of doing anything anymore.

Anyway, I can't say what this project was, I'm sure it'll be announced soon. But, thanks to it, I'm back on the horse.

Monday, January 1, 2018

I think we must expect great things from you... 2018


...as long as they're not terrible.

I started writing a lengthy "end of year" blog post, filled with the usual "I didn't get this done" and "this is what has happened" nonsense. I even started thinking about my films, games and TV of the year. And you know what? It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what I thought of the year, what movie I thought was good, or any of it.

What matters is what YOU thought of the year.

More importantly, what matters is what you make of the new year.

-

Reflecting on 2017, I just wanted to thank some people.

Thanks to Chris Birch and Sam Webb at Modiphius, for letting me play in the Star Trek universe for a bit. For giving me the opportunity to work with cool Trek people like Dayton Ward and Scott Pearson, and for letting me shape the game a little. Many, many congratulations to them for how the game turned out and for the critical response to it.

Thanks to Dominic McDowall and Jon Hodgson at Cubicle 7 for putting up with my stupid emails.

Thanks to Anthony Boyd for his hard work and dedication running 2017's #RPGaDAY, making it the most far-reaching and successful campaigns spreading the positive message of RPGs to the world.

Thanks to Eric Campbell at Geek & Sundry for hosting some of the coolest actual plays around online featuring the aforementioned Star Trek Adventures and, before it, the game I designed for C7 - Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space (or Doctor Who Roleplaying Game as it is now). The exposure of the Twitch streams have sent the popularity of both of these games into the stratosphere.

Thanks to all my friends and family who have put up with my constant crap all year, and especially thank you to my lovely wife, Debs. Together, we're going to grab 2018 by the proverbials and show the world what we can do.

-

2018 is a big year for me. I just hope I can make it even bigger by doing something really special.

Take care of each other, roll well, stay multi-classy and as Neil Gaiman said - "make good art."


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I am a Jedi, like my father before me...

Today would have been my father's birthday, and I thought it apt (especially with a new movie recently released) that I posted about my life with Star Wars.

My earliest memory of Star Wars is thanks to my dad. It didn't happen often in his line of work, he worked as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, but there were a couple of instances where he went away for training or something. I was too young to really know what he did, but in 1977 he went off for a week for work somewhere, and when he returned he brought back gifts for my mum and me. He gave me two action figures from a film that the toy store clerk said would be big, called Star Wars. We'd not heard of it, but I was thrilled to receive these figures - Chewbacca and R2-D2. The original UK production run from Palitoy, with the illustrations of that first wave of figures on the back.

My parents had a great sense of value of things, and while I was encouraged to take the toys out of the blister packaging to play with (after all, that's what toys are for), my mum suggested cutting the top of the blister carefully with a knife so that the figure could slide out, and I could put it back when I'd finished. Brilliant.

The Star Wars oversized comic adaptation (part 1)
Marvel produced in 1977. 
Then there was the feature in 2000AD in one of their summer specials with some stills from the movie, but it wasn't until my local newsagents stocked the Star Wars Special Edition Marvel comic, in its oversized format, that I really knew what was going on. I have fond memories of laying on the floor in the living room absolutely devouring the comic, mentally shutting out the outside world until I'd finished it (though it was only the first half of the movie, and left it all on a horrible cliffhanger!)

Up north, the nearest cinema that was showing Star Wars when it was released was really the only cinema showing Star Wars. The Dorchester in Hull had been closed for years, but reopened just to show Star Wars. And that was all it screened. Three times a day, every day, for over a year.

It had one screen. A huge screen, with a balcony seating area. But you had to book weeks and weeks in advance. I remember my dad asked his brother in law to get us some tickets as we rarely went into Hull. The earliest we could get was about three months away, but the day came and as a family my mum, dad and I went to the cinema one afternoon and witnessed the movie that would change my life.

My mum was in a wheelchair, so we sat right near the back on the ground floor. The balcony almost obscured the top of the screen, but not quite. However, when the first crawl had finished, and the Tantive IV entered the frame, followed by the Star Destroyer, my mother nearly shot out of her chair, convinced they'd come from the balcony above us.

From that moment on, I was obsessed. I went to see it again with my sister and brother-in-law a few months later, and collected the figures, and read the novelisation and the comic over and over again.

(L to R) Me, my Dad, and Tom in 1978
I have particularly fond memories of our town carnival in 1978. My obsession with Star Wars continued, and my dad was just as enthusiastic. He loved dressing up every carnival and joining in the parade, and we quickly decided we'd dress up as characters from Star Wars. My dad loved Darth Vader, and we searched everywhere to get a Vader helmet, but it was both incredibly hard to find and also well out of our price range. We couldn't afford the £50 for a helmet back in the late 70s. So we ad-libbed.

The photo shows me in my Luke Skywalker outfit (more on that later), dad as Darth Vader, and my best friend at the time, Tom, dressed as Han Solo.

Dad's outfit was basically black clothes, a cape which he already had, and my lightsaber (though we couldn't afford a licensed one, my parents kindly bought me what was sold as a "Force Beam"). The helmet was a work of genius though. A black balaclava with a black bucket with the front cut out stitched onto the top. We'd found some black plastic grilling, and cut a rectangle of it (which we added buttons to) to make the chest controls, and cut a triangle of the grill and stitched it to the front of the balaclava. Then my dad put on his glasses, and clipped on some sunglasses, and bingo!

I think we even did the shiny shoulder piece with a bin bag.

Mum made my outfit, and we borrowed the white wellies from a friend of the family who worked at a fish processing factory.

I don't think we won the fancy dress competition, but it didn't matter. We had fun, my dad was the coolest with his Darth Vader outfit, and I got to be Luke Skywalker. While everyone I knew thought Han Solo was the coolest character in Star Wars, I just wanted to be Luke.

Luke was everything I wanted to be. Especially when he underwent his training and learned the ways of the Force. When Return of the Jedi came out, when I didn't have to wear school uniform I started wearing all black because Luke wore it in Episode VI. I remember one of our gaming group (Crud, sorry about the nickname) calling me "Jedi" like it was a derogatory term. It's what I wanted to be. Peacekeeper, honourable, brave, never attacking.

--

My parents didn't get to see the sequels. My mum was in a care facility for months before she died in 2012, but she insisted that she had a copy of the Star Wars trilogy on DVD while she was in there. I don't think she ever watched them though.

But, thanks to my parents introducing me to Star Wars, I can't help but think of them when I see the movies, new or old.

Mark Hamill returns as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Needless to say, Debs and I went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi on its opening day, and we loved it. I know there have been criticisms from whiny fans about how different this one is, but I really enjoyed it.

I loved The Force Awakens as well - brilliantly merging the old characters with new. My only disappointment with that one was the lack of Luke Skywalker. The Last Jedi makes up for this with plenty of Luke screen time.

Yes, this is not the Luke Skywalker we're familiar with, but there are notes and nuances that tug at the heart and remind you that even though Luke has shut himself off from the Force and the rest of the galaxy, deep down he's still the hero I wanted to be as a kid.

Debs, in her infinite wisdom, pointed out as we walked away from the cinema that his film was all about consequences and sacrifice. The archetypes of the characters are thrown on their heads, and the courageous acts that would normally save the galaxy are revealed to be foolhardy and put people at unnecessary risk. It's a great movie that really turns what we expect from Star Wars around, and we'll certainly be watching again after the festive season is over.

--

Talking of the festive season, this is probably my last blog post until afterwards, so I'll take this opportunity to say have a merry Yule. Until next time, stay safe, and may the Force be with you...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mornings are for Coffee and Contemplation...

It's been a while since I posted on here, and there's been a good reason. I've been writing! Hurrah!

No, it wasn't NaNoWriMo. It was a bit weird. I was in that limbo that I mentioned a couple of posts ago, wanting to do something and feeling a bit lost, and before you know it, I'd been given a quick gig.

I can't say much, except it's under the working title of "The Spirit of Manhattan" and is really is a blast to do. It's only short, though I do seem to be dragging it out a bit (always the way this time of year with the dayjob and family matters) but it is a really cool bit of gaming archaeology for me. Digging back to my gaming roots, so to speak.

There will be more info soon, once it's a bit more complete and it's properly announced.

Typically, it has sparked off lots of creative thoughts about WILD, and I'm really looking forward to getting back to it.

After that post I mentioned, where I was desperately clamouring to work on those licenses, I had a moment of clarity. It snuck up on me, but I was watching "The Conjuring" (of all things) and I suddenly thought of how it would work with WILD.

And then I thought about Stranger Things, how I was complaining that there should be an RPG of Stranger Things, and I realised... it works with WILD.

And I thought about Twin Peaks (God, I love Twin Peaks), and how I wanted a Twin Peaks RPG, and I knew, deep down, that it was easily compatible with WILD.

I realised, that I should stop worrying and just get on with WILD.

So that's what I'll be doing. I'm going to finish "The Spirit of Manhattan" (hopefully this year) and then in the new year, unless someone hands me the keys to a cool license, I'm going to get back to WILD.

I'll hope to post again before the end of the year, but in the meantime, hug your loved ones, stay safe, and stay multiclassy.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Harry Potter - Adventures in the Wizarding World

A couple of years ago I went into great detail about how, and more importantly why, a Harry Potter tabletop roleplaying game could and should exist. I direct people to the series of posts on this blog repeatedly, and (in light of new information) I thought I'd put all of the posts into one for ease of reference, update it a bit (as I've had some new ideas about how it could work) and add a new section at the end about the recent developments in Harry Potter gaming with the announcement of Portkey Games.

If you've been reading the blog, or know me even remotely well, you'll know that I love Harry Potter. My love of Harry Potter has lead me to ask many times "why is there no Harry Potter roleplaying game?" 

My pursuit of Harry Potter as a game has seen me look into the license many, many times, and a couple of times it has seemed like it could happen - talking to Warner Bros. and everything. But alas, it was not to be. 

I'm still convinced that a Harry Potter RPG is a great idea, but I think it has a couple of hurdles to get over - hurdles that could be tackled by getting the right message to the right people. 

The first hurdle is explaining what roleplaying games are - or more importantly, what roleplaying games are now and how amazing they can be.

Roleplaying Games - Using Your Imagination
Envelopes for Harry Potter Book Night 2015
at Waterstones, Norwich.

One of the truly magical things about Harry Potter is that it got kids reading again. Not only were kids reading, they wanted to read. I worked in a bookstore for seven years, and the greatest and most exciting experiences there were Potter book launches - the kids in their hundreds, dressed up for the midnight launch. The first one I worked we even had owls in the shop during the day. The atmosphere on the nights was amazing. 

What a Harry Potter RPG could do on top of getting kids reading, is get kids using their imagination in a truly social environment. So much of our time is spent staring at screens, whether these are TVs, our phones or computers, interacting with people via texts or messages, or even strange disembodied voices from the other side of the country telling us how bad our gaming skills are. 

Tabletop roleplaying games have the advantage of getting people together, face to face, sitting across the table and interacting. 

I've mentioned elsewhere on my blog that I got my first job in the "real world" due to playing Dungeons and Dragons - the boss interviewing me had been a gamer, and knew that it meant that I could communicate, work in a team, formulate courses of action, and (handily enough as it was a cartography job) could draw maps.

Dungeons and Dragons always has this social stigma associated to it - the image of grown men of generous proportions sitting in their basements. 

But going to a gaming convention these days, times have changed. There are far more women gamers (often more than men), and more and more kids playing. Boardgaming has become cool and popular again, and families are getting away from sitting in front of the TV and gathering around the table to play a game on a regular basis.

It's a great time for games, and a great time for roleplaying gaming.

The great thing about tabletop roleplaying is that it really stretches the imagination. Rather than being limited to the options of a videogame, RPGs allow your characters to do anything. You create your own stories, create characters with real depth and meaning, and work as a team together - not competing against each other - but together, creating your own stories and battling evil. 

The first hurdle in getting a Harry Potter RPG to be approved by J K Rowling and Warner Bros. would be to show them that roleplaying isn't what the stereotypes portray - certainly not any more. RPGs can be valuable social experiences that fuel the imagination and are perfect for kids and adults alike.

Creating Your Own Stories

The second great hurdle, and certainly one that I think is one of the tallest hurdles to overcome, is the concept of "creating your own stories", as we mentioned before.

Creating such a detailed and magical world, as is the world of Harry Potter, it's understandable to be protective of it. The events of the books are set in stone, and (despite being able to wander about and do strange things in the video games) you wouldn't want people playing Harry, Ron and Hermione and changing the events of the books.

However, if you set a game outside of the books, after the Battle of Hogwarts, but before the years when Harry and Ginny's children attend, that means the events of the books are held fairly sacred.

But the great thing about tabletop roleplaying games is that the stories you tell in the games, the adventures you play, they are yours and stay at the table. It's not like your stories are suddenly part of the official world. They are purely your own.

West End Games'
Star Wars RPG
A great example of how this works is Star Wars. There have been multiple roleplaying games based upon Star Wars (West End Games' one is my personal favourite, but there have also been ones by Wizards of the Coast, and most recently from Fantasy Flight Games). They allow you to play characters in the Star Wars universe, scoundrels, rebels, pilots, Jedi and more, throughout the many eras of the Star Wars history... but they never changed the Star Wars movies, they didn't become "canon", and they didn't ruin anything. 

Adventures were published for them, and some have been incredibly successful. But they're not part of the Star Wars universe outside of sitting around your dining room table, and in your imagination. The source material is incredibly safe.

For Harry Potter, other schools of witchcraft and wizardry could be created, making the events and characters at Hogwarts even safer, rather like the nameless schools that appear around the world in the PS3 video game "Book of Spells".

Of course, exclusive content, and fact checking direct from J K Rowling would be the ultimate way to go. It would be similar to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG from Eden Studios. When we were working on the supplements to the game we needed the full names of characters that only had first names in the series (Faith and Kendra). Eden asked Fox, and Fox asked Joss Whedon who provided the surnames for the characters (Lehane and Young, respectively), which have now become official in books and comics since.

Communication to the Ministry

Those, I see, are the biggest hurdles. Once you get over the stigma of roleplaying, and the care required for playing in J K Rowling's world - knowing that the game would be great and positive for kids, and wouldn't harm the world of Harry Potter, it's plain to see that a Harry Potter roleplaying game would be an awesome thing.

How would it be done?

The keys to a great Harry Potter RPG would be twofold - keeping it quick, simple and easy so that the game is fast to play, quick and easy to pick up for new players, and doesn't get bogged down in rules that would slow down what Harry Potter is all about: storytelling. And secondly, creating a game that is true to the feel of Harry Potter's world. 

Over the years, as I mentioned before, I'd planned and plotted a Harry Potter RPG many times in the past. I'd even recruited my awesome graphic design friend Will Brooks to put together samples of possible designs for one of the book's layouts.

First attempt at layout for the Students' Book for Harry Potter: Adventures in a Magical World
(c) David F. Chapman and Will Brooks
The first version was trying to be busy, a little like the amazing Film Wizardry book (which, I have to confess, we own four copies of...). C'mon, seriously... if you haven't looked at that book, it's awesome. The iBook for it is just as amazing, as the images are animated, just like reading a copy of the Daily Prophet.

A clearer approach was taken for a second attempt, swaying away from the movie images. 

Second attempt at layout for Students' Book for Harry Potter: Adventures in a Magical World
(c) David F. Chapman and Will Brooks
Of course, pretty pictures do not give any indication of what the game would be like. I went into great detail with a potential pitch for what the main game would be like, as well as possible supplements.

Me, in my rightful place, in the
Ministry of Magic


Harry Potter: Adventures in a World of Magic

Summary:

Harry Potter: Adventures in a World of Magic aims to allow players of all ages to experience the excitement of being a student at Hogwarts, and to enjoy the endless possible adventures that can await them in the wizarding world.  Players decide upon their student’s actions as they attend class, investigate mysteries and battle dark forces.  Using a quick and intuitive game system it aims to reproduce the feel of the setting, while allowing players to fuel their imaginations and develop their problem solving and social skills.
Early prototype layout for Chapter One
Layout by Will Brooks


The basic game will focus on their first few years at Hogwarts. Game rules are provided to allow players to invent a new student to attend the school, set after the climatic battle of Hogwarts and the defeat of Lord Voldemort. The game then takes them through the experience of shopping in Diagon Alley for supplies, choosing a wand (or rather, having a wand choose them) and embarking on the journey to Hogwarts. Rules will allow the players to be sorted into Houses, attend classes, play Quidditch, and engage in thrilling adventures while sneaking around the school.  A series of introductory adventures will be included, so players will be able to start almost immediately.

The basic game will be followed by periodic supplemental material expanding the information presented, and covering advanced classes, magical creatures, the Ministry of Magic, and more.





Audience:

The huge popularity of Harry Potter means that the game would appeal to the following groups:

Game Players

Obviously, we want game players to pick up the Harry Potter: Adventures in a Magical World.  All elements necessary for play will be included.  The plan would be to use our own, simple and innovative system that is simple enough to be easily picked up by new players, which would be able to be used over and over again to create more complex adventures and stories.

Game players who aren't necessarily Harry Potter fans will hopefully be tempted by the game's presentation and innovative game play.

Harry Potter Fans

Harry Potter has captured the imagination of millions of fans worldwide. Most of those fans dream of being able to go to Hogwarts, to fly on a broom and cast spells with their own unique wand. This game would allow them come a little closer to the fantasy, to immerse themselves in the wizarding world and experience the magic of the books and movies.

For the Harry Potter collector, we'd hope to include cool background information, possibly even exclusive content (unseen photos or design artwork, maybe even background similar to the amazing entries on Pottermore) that would entice the completist who may later be tempted to have a go at playing the game.

Readers

There are a number of people who will buy the game because they collect and read this sort of thing, but do not have the opportunity or time to actually play the game.  The game will include interesting information that’ll appeal to gamers and fans of the series alike, and present a handy reference in a lavishly illustrated way that would encourage readers and fans alike.

Above all, the key is going to be accessibility, aiming to appeal to everyone, from 8 to 80 years old!

Tone:
Sample prototype layout for Chapter One
Layout by Will Brooks

The basic game, and all supplements, will strive to capture the feel and ideals of the books.  Above all, it will be accessible, with the basic game acting as a gateway to both gaming as well as Harry Potter’s world in a clear and friendly way.  Sidebars will include interesting facts about the school, creatures and staff, and the history of the wizarding world, which will appeal to Harry Potter fans.

The book’s style will be visually identifiable as Harry Potter, using stills and promotional photography from the movies, and a style that fans will find familiar, presented in a similar format to The Daily Prophet, or the fantastic Page to Screen or Film Wizardry books with their amazing graphic design.  It will be supplemented by quotes from the books, used to emphasise specific elements of the rules or the book's design when it adds a suitable flavour.

The language will reflect the feel of Harry Potter.  It will be capture the humour, the adventure and the optimism of the stories.  It will also be written in “English”, using British spellings of words, rather than the traditional American spellings as seen in most games.

Above all the integrity of the story will be maintained.  The setting is after the events of the books, after the defeat of Voldemort at the battle of Hogwarts in 1998, but before James Sirius Potter and Albus Severus Potter attend Hogwarts. This way, while the players will be creating their own adventures and stories at Hogwarts, the events of the books, and the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, remain out of bounds and untouched. 

The game is designed to encourage children’s imaginations, storytelling, problem solving and to get them interacting in person in social situations, rather than relying on computer games and talking over the internet. And, above all, it is supposed to be fun, exciting and magical.

Harry Potter: Adventures in a Magical World - The Basic Game 

Have you ever wanted to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? To learn to cast magical charms, to brew potions and learn of the wizarding world? Maybe even take part in that most dangerous of wizarding sport – Quidditch? 

Now you can enter Harry Potter’s world, learn the secrets of Hogwarts and defend your fellow students against dark forces. Harry Potter: Adventures in a World of Magic takes you from your first trip to Diagon Alley to board the Hogwarts Express and enroll in the most prestigious and famous wizarding school in the world. All you need is a pencil and some dice!

Within the box you'll find:

* A Student’s Book, providing a guide to creating a student to attend Hogwarts, as well as the basic rules to get you playing.

* The Headmaster’s Book, with even more options to expand the game, allowing you to do just about anything in the school from attending lessons, learning Quidditch, to sneaking around the castle to investigate rumours of strange goings on, or venturing into the Forbidden Forest.

* Report Cards to keep track of your students’ progress through the school year.

* The complete game rules, simple and easy to use for new players, and able to handle even the most troublesome situation.

* The basic lessons of magic, how it can be used, what must never be used and where you can use it.

* A smattering of magical creatures and beasts that may be encountered during the average school year.

* A guide to creating your own adventures and advice for the Students and Headmaster on how to play them. All of this and more is covered!

* A complete adventure, ready to play, so you can start playing straight away!

Harry Potter: Adventures in a World of Magic Game
86 page Student’s Book, full colour, paperback
144 page Headmaster’s Book, full colour, paperback
32 page Adventures Book, full colour, paperback
Hogwarts Acceptance Letters
4 page Quick Start Guide, full colour, paperback
Dice
Counters and tokens
Box – full colour, made to look like a vast Hogwarts tome

Breakdown of Contents:

The amazing students' book covers
designed by MinaLima for the
Harry Potter movies. Wouldn't the
game books look awesome like this?
The New Student’s Guide to Hogwarts

Written from the perspective of either a Hogwarts Prefect or possibly the Head of House, this book will introduce all of the rules for the player, as well as offering some advice on how to play and how to get the most out of the game.

The first section will introduce readers setting the tone for the game. It will also provide a summary of what is to follow, and the conventions used (text conventions, sidebars, font indicators, rule descriptions, gender references, measurements and a note about the author(s)).

A very brief summary of the world of Harry Potter is explained for those foolish enough to be unfamiliar with Harry’s adventures or the wizarding world.  

The basic explanation of the game and its elements are introduced here. Using an example of play, the way the game works, how the players create an adventure in their imagination, while using rules to avoid the typical “I got you,”/ “No you didn’t” problems. The basic terms of the game are also covered here. The game requires the Report Cards, Tokens to keep track of things, and dice, all of which are provided in the box.

Each player controls a new student at Hogwarts, going to classes and sneaking off to have adventures and uncovering possible threats to the school. There is a Headmaster, a player who controls the action and knows where the story will develop and controls any extra characters, or enemies the players may face.

The adventures are divided into Chapters, resolved in one or more gaming sessions. Chapters can be linked into a story arc that can last the whole school year, building into to an epic story created purely by the interaction of players.

Students and Report Cards

The bulk of the Student’s book is dedicated to filling in the player’s Report Card, which defines how good they are at doing certain things, and explains what the grading on the Report Card actually mean for playing the game.

The students can come from all walks of life, and the game allows for this. Whether muggleborn or pureblood, with a knowledge of the wizarding world or coming to it all new – just about anything the player can imagine is possible.

The only limitations are playing inherently evil characters or setting the game during the events of books. Those are forbidden. Harry Potter is all about good overcoming evil, how love can conquer hate. It is about players having a good time and being happy – and while there is danger, and darkness, the players are actively keeping this darkness at bay rather than embracing it. 

The events of the Harry Potter books are set in stone and the game is designed to avoid playing during the events of the return of Voldemort.

School Rules

The other large section in the student’s book covers the full game rules, everything from classes, potions, charms, flying, and all of the drama and action that we’ve come to know and love.

One basic mechanic (roll two dice and add the student’s grade from their Report Card; the higher the total, the better the result is) determines the result of most actions, from noticing a clue to avoiding a Bludger.  This mechanic is only used when the outcome of an action is in doubt and is dramatically important; no rolls are used for eating trifle or walking down a school corridor, unless it is somehow relevant to the Chapter.

Conflict

Most tabletop games are about competing against each other to find a definite winner. However, this game is all about working together. Helping each other through the school year, working as a team to uncover any dark forces that may be threatening the school, and using each other’s differing areas of expertise to win through in the end. Just as Harry, Ron and Hermione were challenged to use their own skills (flying, chess and herbology knowledge) to get through the tests that lead them to Professor Quirrell at the end of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the players will find that cooperation will overcome almost any obstacle.

Actual direct conflict with other people or creatures remains true to the themes of the book. The spells immobilise, disarm or hinder, and never kill. The Unforgivable Curses remain off-limits to the students, and even experienced players who feel they have to use such a Curse will find their student wracked with guilt and nightmares. This doesn’t mean that characters cannot be killed during the game – Hogwarts can be a dangerous place at times, but in these times of peace such an event is rare.

House Points

House Points allow players to temporarily nudge reality in their favour.  If a roll doesn’t go their way, or if they are badly injured, or unable to fathom a way out of the situation they’ve wound up in, House Points can be spent to tweak the game at suitably dramatic moments to the player’s benefit.  House Points are gained by good game playing, making witty lines at apt moments, being brave and making the story dramatic and exciting.  At the end of the school year, the House Points that the students have earned can go towards the House’s totals, in order to win the House Cup.

Learning

The rules section also cover the student’s actual learning – whether this is during classes and being studious, or through their experiences outside of the classroom. The students mature, get better at their work and grow, and as such, their grades may improve. Of course, if they spend all of their time on the Quidditch pitch or being a socialite their studies may suffer and their grades may actually go down!

Advice

Finally, in the student’s book, are a few helpful guides for playing the game and getting the most out of it.

Mastering Headmastering

The Headmaster’s Book repeats most of the information from the student’s book, allowing the Headmaster to have access to the game rules without having to repeatedly borrow the book from the other players. However, the Headmaster’s book also includes additional information, clarification of the rules, and additional advice on how to play the game.

Written as a guidebook supplied to a new school headmaster, the book features additional rules for writing up a student’s Report Card, playing through their first trip to Diagon Alley, purchasing their wand (or rather, having a wand choose them), through to the train journey to Hogwarts. It also details the important process of being sorted into a House, as well as advice for playing a game where the students are all in different Houses. Of course, each House is covered in more detail to give the Headmaster more information for running the game.

Classes

The Headmaster’s Book also goes into more detail with the basic classes as the students learn about Astrology, Herbology, Charms, Potions, flying and the all important Defence Against the Dark Arts. The limitations of magic and the Principal Exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration are also covered, so that the Headmaster knows exactly what the students can and cannot do with magic.

Quidditch

A section of the book also covers playing Quidditch, allowing students to take part in the most exciting and dangerous of sports. The rules are quick and cinematic, allowing the actual game of Quidditch to feel fast and action packed, like watching it in the movies. An additional game will be produced to allow a more strategic Quidditch simulation at a later date for those who wish to incorporate it into their school year.

The School and its Surroundings

A brief overview of the school, locations and classrooms, House common rooms, and notable events is covered for the Headmaster to refer to during the game. The surroundings are also covered briefly, including the Black Lake, The Forbidden Forest, the Gamekeeper’s Hut and Hogsmeade. 

The Dark Forces book cover, photographed
at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Designed by MinaLima - An example of how
the book covers could look
An Introduction to Potential Threats to the School

While Voldemort has been defeated, there is still danger and threats to the students as well as the school itself. Woe betide anyone who feels they’re able to wander through the Forbidden Forest without thinking twice, and who knows what may be lurking in the castle’s dungeons? Most of the Death Eaters have gone into hiding or have been rounded up and sent to Azkaban, but there may be one or two plotting in the shadows, looking to gain a fraction of the power that they once had. This section details some of the creatures, Villains and threats that the students could encounter on a particularly bad day at school. 

Adventure!

Finally, the book also gives the Headmaster everything needed to create and run a game. Advice and guidelines for the development of Chapters and Terms is also provided, as well as help in creating the overall themes of the story.

The themes of the books – potential, optimism, love conquering darkness, and destiny are all suggested here, and the Headmaster is encouraged to keep the game in the same tone and share these themes.

Acting as Headmaster can be a little daunting, and this section aids the player who has never managed a game before.  Advice includes avoiding “railroading” the players on a predetermined plot, concentrating too much on classes and ignoring the personal dramas that make the story interesting, and getting a feel for how the game is going to ensure everyone has fun.

An Appendix is also included to recommend further reading, provide a glossary of terms and spells, and handy game-play reference.

-

Quick sketch of how the box design
would work, making the box
look like one huge book.
The idea would be to have a basic game that would come in a box, designed to look from the outside like one of the old textbooks from the Hogwarts Library.

To make the box more attractive and more commercial, this would be wrapped in a slip-cover that would partially cover the front with more colourful images of Hogwarts, Harry and so on, and provide information about what is inside.







This cover would be slightly shorter than the box is wide, so the cover can be stored inside the box once opened.





Not only that, the inside of this cover would be filled with useful information for the Gamemaster so the cover could double as the Gamemaster's Screen.




-

So that was the initial pitch. This doesn't include the plans for the supplements, the expanded rules for the later years, and more. 

"It's our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities." - Albus Dumbledore

Sample character sheet (designed as Report Cards)
along with a wand sheet (as a receipt from Ollivanders)
[prototypes by D.F.Chapman]
Now,  I thought I'd look at the actual game system and how it could work to replicate the feel of Harry Potter and the wizarding world.

When the pitch documents were first put together, the basic idea was to use the Vortex system I'd created for Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space for Cubicle 7 Entertainment. It seemed the easy thing to do, adapting the gadget rules to work for magic items, and so on.

But the more I thought about it, the more I reconsidered. Sure, the basic mechanic could remain, but it didn't necessarily need to. Working on my pet project, WILD, the RPG of dreamshare, creating a system for that naturally fired off some new ideas of how a game system would work for Harry Potter.

Let's look at the basics.

Most roleplaying games (Doctor Who included) use a basic Attribute and Skill mechanic. Add the two together, or one modifies the other, and bingo. Harry Potter would be similar, except the Attributes and Skills would be a little more broader ranging and less restrictive. 

Everybody can do everything, its just that some people are better at some things than others. Neville is brilliant at Herbology, and Hermione lacks the talent for Divination. But they can all do it.

Attributes, rather than the usual Strength, Dexterity, etc. would be simply the following four:

Brave, Cunning, Dedicated and Wise.

It's rare that something happens in the world of Harry Potter that wouldn't fit into one of those four. 

You'll notice that those four descriptors seem a little familiar. That's because those are the key words usually associated with the four houses of Hogwarts - Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw respectively. Students would have one of these "attributes" at 5, one at 4, another at 3 and one at 2. The high Attribute would determine the House the student it sorted into. Highest Attribute is Wise? Ravenclaw! Have your 5 in Cunning? Slytherin! 

But what about strength, or dexterity I hear you ask. Well, that's where the "skills" come into it. Instead of a long list of Skills like athletics, firearms, dodge and so on, it makes more sense to simply break it down into the classes that the students attend in Hogwarts. Flying is mandatory for first years, and the remaining classes (Astronomy, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, History of Magic, Potions and Transfiguration) covers just about everything needed in the game. Hence the Dumbledore quote above.

Once the students reach their third year, they opt to choose another two classes out of Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, Muggle Studies and Study of Ancient Runes, just like in the school. 

Then, simply, you'd roll a couple of dice, add the suitable Attribute and the correct Class, and try to beat the difficulty of the task, just like Doctor Who.

But thinking of the Doctor Who system, the results of the rolls used to be split into three levels of success, and three levels of failure, using the very cool Yes, But, No, And style of gaming. 

Success Table from the 11th Doctor Edition of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
You know what else has three levels of success and failure?

O.W.L.s.

Ordinary Wizarding Levels - the wizarding world exams.

It's like it was meant to be!  

How the Success Table would work just like O.W.L. results!
However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought that you could break down the classes and group them into even more generic terms. I came up with the idea of just using five, named after places in Hogwarts -

Charms Class, Library, Quidditch Pitch, Common Room, Divination Class

Charms Class would cover all magic usage that involved wands,
Library would cover any research or information, or academic magic like Herbology or Potions
Quidditch Pitch would be for flying, or any athletics and physical activity.
Common Room could cover all of the social interaction, and
Divination Class would not only cover prophecies and divination, but also perception.

It would certainly make it simpler...

These broad definitions could be paired with report comments like "exceeds at the Patronus Charm", or "often suffers from explosive side-effects", which could give bonuses and penalties, like the Good or Bad Traits in Doctor Who.

Hmmmm...

A closer look at the character sheets, designed to look like Report Cards -
The corner is cut off, and it is a sleeve you can tuck the equipment cards into
for ease of storage.
With character sheets that look like report cards, wand sheets with information of the wand's qualities on mock Ollivanders receipts, the other options are endless... Broom sheets as receipts from Broomstix, or Quality Quidditch Supplies... and familiar sheets with stats for owls, toads or cats from Eeylops Owl Emporium or the Magical Menagerie on Diagon Alley.

Rough doodle for a possible Chocolate Frog Card
You could take the props route even further with a couple of other options for task resolution. 

Working on WILD, I've been toying with using cards instead of dice for task resolution, using Tarot to inspire not only how you succeed but also what happens. Something similar could be done for Harry Potter using Chocolate Frog Cards...

Four suits, equals each of the Houses / Attributes, and extra symbols on the cards could be used for extra effects or for a quick Quidditch resolution system. Major cards could represent the most common charms, and the symbols could even be used for wizard duelling...


For a simpler task resolution system, you only need to look to Cubicle 7's Lone Wolf RPG for inspiration. In a genius move, rather than using dice, you flip a counter into the lid of the box and it lands on a grid of numbers which gives you a result. Simple! Brilliant. What does that sound a little like?

Gobstones.

Using a printed counter that looks like a gobstone, you could flip them into the lid of the box onto a grid (that could look a lot like a gobstone playing field) to replace dice rolling. You could even have places on the grid that would be when the stone spits at you, indicating a disastrous result!

[Of course, since originally writing this I've had a dozen more ideas that could work, including six sided dice with one for each house colour...]

--

I could go into more detail about how Quidditch would work, wizard duelling, and more, but this is already a lot to take in. As you can tell, the Harry Potter RPG is constantly on my mind, suggesting new and exciting ways of running the game, talking to me like a Horcrux in the night.

"The mind is not a book to be opened at will and examined at leisure."
- Severus Snape, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix

Next, I thought I'd take a quick look at potential supplements for the line, and how it would take the game beyond Hogwarts and into the world of magic.

The collector's edition of Page to Screen, along with the collector's
Beedle the Bard, and other Harry Potter reference books!
Each supplement would be presented as a book that could actually exist in the wizarding world, complete with cover design and layout that would fit right in on a shelf in Hogwarts. 

Senior Years Supplemental Textbook

Presented as a guide for selecting the optional courses, this book expands upon the rules of the game and allows students to choose their options in the Third Year (adding two of the following courses – Arithmancy, Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, Muggle Studies and Study of Ancient Runes) as well as the more advanced versions of their usual classes. 

The book also presents some of the really advanced magical techniques that are taught to the older students, and prepares them for their OWLs and NEWTs. Apparation and other more exclusive classes are covered for use if there is enough demand for the staff to warrant running the classes (for Sixth and Seventh Year students).

The rules also aid the Headmaster in creating more and more challenging adventures for older students at Hogwarts, taking the game to vast and epic proportions!

The Ministry of Magic

Some students may wish to seek a career at the Ministry of Magic once their education at Hogwarts is complete. The Ministry offers many opportunities to the wizarding graduate and this set of additional rules allow players to continue to game while working for the Ministry. 

The various departments are covered, most notably the exciting Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and the legendary Auror Office, as well as the Improper Use of Magic Office, Magical Law Enforcement Squad, the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office, and the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects Office.

Of course, if they don’t fancy a career there, there are plenty of other options available including the various offices in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, the Department of International Magical Cooperation, the Department of Magical Games and Sports, the Department of Magical Transportation, the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and the ever secretive Department of Mysteries. 

The Wizengamot will not be an option for the players.

The Ministry of Magic opens up a new world of gameplay for the players, taking on the various tasks of Ministry officials, investigating strange goings on and the misuse of magic in the wizarding world. It also doubles as an essential resource as a location for visiting Hogwarts students.

Headmaster’s Office

It’s all well and good being in charge of things, but it can be a bit tricky sometimes trying to juggle all of the staff, the pupils and the classes, and that’s before any of those unforeseen catastrophes happen. This book provides advice and additional game rules for the Headmaster to help them with running the game, planning new adventures and what to do if the players decide to go off in unexpected directions. 

Monster Book of Monsters as it appears in
the Prisoner of Azkaban movie
Monster Book of Monsters

While the Basic Game provides a smattering of monsters and bizarre creatures that may be encountered during the average school year – whether this is during class or through reckless venturing into the Forbidden Forest – it only begins to scratch the surface of the vast menagerie of wild and wonderful creatures that inhabit the wizarding world. Cataloguing some of the most interesting, rare and exciting creatures to be encountered, this is a handy resource for anyone wishing to explore or hoping for a career in the Ministry of Magic’s Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find
Them, cover by MinaLima designed
for the films
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Expanding upon the Monster Book of Monsters, this adds even more information about magical creatures through history, and expands the game into the era of Newt Scamander and the new pentology of movies set within the wizarding world. This adds new, post school career options for magical explorers and opens up the world to budding Gilderoy Lockharts everywhere.


Magical Schools of the Wizarding World

Hogwarts is well known to be one of the most prestigious places to gain a magical education. Certainly, after the defeat of Voldemort, it has become one of the most famous wizarding schools of its kind. But it is most definitely not the only one. While some choose to home school their young wizards and witches, other schools are out there in case Hogwarts is considered potentially too dangerous. Of course, these other schools are the institutions of choice for those in the country where they are located, but sometimes exchanges and such events as the Tri-Wizard Tournament mean that interaction with other schools becomes part of the academic year.

Defence Against the Dark Arts
book prop cover from the films
designed by MinaLima
This book gives the Headmaster additional information and rules for setting their game at Durmstrang or Beauxbatons, Ilvermorny or Mahoutokoro, or even a whole new school of their choosing, or for incorporating students from other schools as part of an exchange program or tournament at Hogwarts.


Defence Against the Dark Arts 

One of the most dangerous lessons in the academic year, this deserves an additional textbook of its own. Not only does this provide information for the Headmaster about the dark magic out there in the wizarding world, but also provides details for a host of Villains and evildoers that the students may have to face as part of their adventures. However, the most essential information within this tome is advice for the student on how to defend themselves against such evil and how to counter any of their dastardly plots.


Hogwarts - A History, book prop
cover by MinaLima for the movies.
Hogwarts – A History

Hogwarts is a huge place with a colourful and eventful history. This essential handbook for the budding Hogwarts Headmaster collects all of the necessary background information about the school, the various locations within the walls and in its surroundings – from the astronomy tower to the dungeons, from the Headmaster’s office to the Chamber of Secrets, right out to the Owlery and the Quidditch Pitch, to the Dark Lake, the Forbidden Forrest and Hogsmeade. 

-

And that's it. That's everything that has been compiled to date in my head for a potential Harry Potter roleplaying game. Ideas are always popping into mind, but I'll leave these blogposts as it. It would be amazing if this line were to be made, but for now they will remain as fantastic books in my overactive imagination. 

Maybe one day, execs from Warner Bros. or the legendary J K Rowling herself will see these posts, see what a great game it could be, how it would be respectful to Harry's world and Rowling's amazing creation, and how it could spark the imagination of kids and adults alike.


We can but dream.

----

Supplemental

I originally wrote most of the above posts a couple of years ago, shortly after we'd started talking to Warner Bros. about the possibility of doing a game, and only getting so far (it wasn't something they were considering at the time).

Since then, the thoughts of a Harry Potter RPG have always been lingering in my mind. However, recently (and hence the new post) there was the announcement on Pottermore that Warner Bros. Interactive had launched a new gaming division called Portkey Games.

A new division whose only purpose is to develop mobile and console games in the Wizarding World.

Brilliant! I must admit, I've always enjoyed the video games, and was slightly obsessed with the Fantastic Beasts iOS game "Cases from the Wizarding World". The moment they announced the launch of this new company (and the "Pokemon Go!" style game that'll come in 2018) I had to go and check out their website. The FAQs were very interesting, especially the following...

FAQ from the Portkey Games site







"...not considered canon."
"...have been inspired by the Wizarding World."

I say, this is sounding like something I was pitching earlier!

FAQ from the Portkey Games site













"...not direct adaptations of the books and films..."
"...interesting new locations, characters, story elements, etc."
"...experiences place the player at the center of their own adventure."

OOooooh, now we're talking. So under license from J K Rowling, Portkey Games will be making new stories, in new locations, with new characters, that may interact with familiar locations and characters from the books/films, won't be considered canon, and are all about the players being the focus of the action.

This is JUST what I was talking about earlier!

Hopefully, if Warner Bros. are happy with this to happen in video games (which have a far greater audience and reach) then maybe we can hope to see a tabletop Harry Potter roleplaying game in the future.

I just hope I'm the one to write it.

You know where to find me!

Still dreaming.

Dave
Slytherin (and proud)