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Harry Potter Plus Dungeon Exploration

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For those who don't know this has been an annoying week. I received a relatively condescending email this weekend from a game publisher who shall remain nameless (but one who has nothing to do with the Old School Revival) telling me how folks like me were "ruining the industry" -- and driving down his company's precious profits -- by giving away "good games like Microlite74" for free. Needless to say, this has put me off of doing much posting roleplaying wise this week and made me even more likely to give more stuff away for free in the future.

However, when I haven't been working or ranting to myself over the above mentioned email, I've taken a look at a number of the games readers recommended in reply to my Simple Tabletop RPG for Harry Potter Needed post a week or two ago. While I doubt I'd ever want to run a game for teen characters set at Hogwarts, reading these rules sets gave me a couple of ideas for running a "D&D" style dungeon exploration game set in the same universe as Harry Potter.

The first idea is set in the Harry Potter universe in the near current time. There have to be a lot of old sites where previous Dark mages and weird orders of witches and wizards had their headquarters. The player-characters would be adult wizards and witches (squibs and even muggles if the GM allowed) who are attempted to improve the fading fortunes of their families (or establish fortunes for their families if they are new to the magical world) by finding and exploring these sites in the hope of finding items and knowledge that they can sell. Needless to say, these sites are usually dangerous with old traps and decaying magic protections doing weird things. Exploring these places would be much like exploring a dungeon. The interaction between the magical world and the muggle world could be interesting as well. Imagine a muggle shopping center accidentally built over the remains of a long forgotten Dark wizard's lair.

The second idea is set in the Harry Potter universe in the 1800s. Imagine graduates of Hogwarts and other wizard schools going exploring in Africa or other unexplored parts of the world hoping to find sites of old magical civilizations and either clean them out or hide them before the muggles find them. Sometimes, they might have to work within muggle teams -- for example exploring ruins in Egypt -- taking care of magical problems without letting the muggles have any idea that they even exist.

I don't know that I will ever run either campaign, but both sound like they could be a lot of fun.

[Don't forget that Original Dungeons and Dragons Goodies Are Available (for Cancer Fund Donors). There is still plenty of time (over nine days as I write this) to make a donation and get in on the giveaway. Thanks much to those who have already donated.]

5 comments:
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Christopher B said...
July 23, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

"I received a relatively condescending email this weekend from a game publisher who shall remain nameless (but one who has nothing to do with the Old School Revival) telling me how folks like me were 'ruining the industry' -- and driving down his company's precious profits -- by giving away "good games like Microlite74" for free."

Sounds like a real jackass - and obviously a capitalist who doesn't, somehow, believe in or understand the concept of a free-market economy. (If his products are worth buying, people will buy them regardless. If people are able to produce free products that significantly affect his bottom line, he needs to either make better products or get out of the business. Even a decent high-school business class teaches this concept.) I wouldn't worry too much about it...

As for the 19th-century Harry Potter idea, I like it. :D

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Eli Elder said...
July 23, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

I like the magic system that JK Rowling developed and it would be interesting to see a version of it worked out for a roleplaying game. Some characteristics off the top of my head: iniitative really matters, most can do all the basic spells but different people have different aptitudes, potion brewing is a major art and would be the best way produce certain effects. Probably would work best with a spell point system tied to a magical strength characteristic.

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Randall said...
July 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

Eli,

There are several "Harry Potter" like RPGs available -- most are free. See the comments to my Simple Tabletop RPG for Harry Potter Needed post for links to them.

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Dyson Logos said...
July 30, 2009 at 5:22 PM  

You've got to fess up the name of the publisher who emailed you.

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brujahacomic said...
September 8, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

I love your Potter ideas!
And i have to say JK really needs to jump on the Potter RPG bandwagon.

I'm going to suggest Hero Systems for your 1800's Potterverse ideas.

But for anyone interested in typical Potter as I and someone suggested in your other atrticle nothing eats Witch Girls Adventures. I've been running agame almost 2 months and it even comes with Potteresque optional rules.

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