Harry Potter (#4)

I have seen all kinds of Harry Potter merchandise. From umbrellas to coffee mugs, if it can be sold in a store then Harry Potter can be plastered across the front and marked up by 10%. That maybe a little unfair, but in many ways the Harry Potter franchise is the Star Wars of their generation. With so many buzz-feed quizzes that test what house you belong too, I was shocked to find that a Harry Potter themed tabletop RPG does not exist. Off the top, I should admit that I personally have not read the books or have any investment in the series, however, I love that so many do. So, what would Harry Potter and the Overly Dense Rulebook look like?

Strengths:

  • It Would Make ALL the Money
  • Brings in a Younger/More Female Audience
  • Character Creation Based on Houses
  • More Innocent/Fun Setting
  • Seriously, All the Money

Obviously, Harry Potter is a cultural phenomenon that has maintained relevance long after the books and movies released. Meaning, there really is no bad time to launch a game like this as the audience is clamoring for new material. It goes without saying that this IP is the largest on my list, as well as, containing the most potential to bring new players to the hobby.  Not just new players, but a younger, more female audience. I do believe we are seeing a healthy shift in the tabletop RPG community in regard to the representation of women, but it can’t hurt to encourage gamers of all types to join us at the table. Harry Potter does this by allowing for a more whimsical adventure where a young wizard can learn the art of magic, because the fate of the world doesn’t hang in the balance… at least, not until book 6.

For game mechanics we would need to employ someone with a larger knowledge base of the Harry Potter world than I, but It’s obvious to even this muggle, that character and group creation should be modeled after the four houses of Hogwarts. The players can all be part of the same house or perhaps have to work together despite being from rival houses. Crazy idea: You could have the players create their characters and introduce themselves to the group by giving their backstories, and then.. being called forward to be judged by the sorting hat, all while you as the DM choose their house based on their character. Most of the time the player will design the character with a desired house in mind, but once in a while, you as the DM can pick up on a backstory detail that may place the character in a different house than they were expecting. Could be fun, could end in incendio. I can imagine there are many fan favorite spells that players would love to see brought to life. Studying and mastering these techniques could increase ones ability to cast a certain spell. I’m thinking along the lines of a spell ranking system to encourage the schooling aspect of the game.  As you master a specific school or technique, you become more powerful/efficient in that area.  Those are just a few ideas that lend themselves to this rich setting.

Weakness:

  • Singular Game Style
  • There Would Be No More Money Left and the World’s Economy Would Crash

The more the game mechanics drill into the fantasy of being a young wizard at Hogwarts, the more the game becomes one dimensional. This isn’t a problem for a group that wants that kind of game, but it maybe challenging to adapt for other styles or stories, even simply being better off playing a different game if you want to go in other directions. That being said, the specialization of a Harry Potter game is what could bring you detailed maps, puzzles, and story hooks all inside the walls of Hogwarts. Also, small side note, everyone would purchase this game, funneling all of the money to J.K Rowling, and leaving the world’s economy in a free fall.

Assuming we all survive Harry Potter and the Death of Economics, the school of Hogwarts would be a magical addition to the tabletop RPG community, and would surly bring in fresh faces to a hobby we all love.

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