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D&D/HP Fusion Mechanics Idea

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rin, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. Rin

    Rin Oberstgruppenführer DLP Supporter

    May 28, 2007
    So, recently, I have been thinking of trying to put together a roleplaying version of the Harry Potter universe. I looked online and found surprisingly little in terms of HP adapted to D&D/d20, the system with which I am most familiar.

    http://www.d20srd.org/index.htm (Anything you actually need to know about D&D)
    http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ (The Pathfinder version, which could easily be used instead of D&D, since they're virtually interchangeable)

    Anyway, it got me to thinking about how to fuse the two systems. Essentially, HP magic is just too arbitrary and resistant to the mechanics of d20. However, rather than trying to constrain it into d20, I thought that instead, I might take the concept of a separate, hidden, magical world with its own magical school and simply keep the mechanics of the D&D world essentially the same.

    The game would consist of a single class – wizard, but the setting would be a magical school – you could even call it Hogwarts if you so desired. The classes one takes would be the various schools of magic available: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, and Transmutation. Because D&D allows for specialization, rather than the four houses that Hogwarts has, there would be nine houses, wherein the magical Hat divines your talents and divides you up into Abjurers, Conjurers, Diviners, Enchanters, Evokers, Illusionists, Necromancers, Transmuters, and Generalists (who do not specialize in anything). D&D ascribes certain personality traits typically shared by each of these categories. If the hat foresees it, it might even make you a focused specialist.

    1st-years must learn, by the end of the year, Cantrips, 1st-level, and 2nd-level spells (Class-Levels 1-4). 2nd-years must learn 3rd and 4th-level spells (Class-Levels 5-8). After that they learn a spell-level per year. The idea is that you could start a game anywhere along this line and know where you should be.

    Y = Year, SL = Spell Level, CL = Class Level:
    Y1 = SL 0-2 = CL 1-4
    Y2 = SL 3-4 = CL 5-8
    Y3 = SL 5 = CL 9-10
    Y4 = SL 6 = CL 11-12
    Y5 = SL 7 = CL 13-14
    Y6 = SL 8 = CL 15-16
    Y7 = SL 9 = CL 17-18
    CL 19 & 20 are for gaining your mastery in some subject and doing original work if you have not already done so. This would be if the game continued “after Hogwarts.”

    Although the original rules state that it takes 24 hours to learn a spell, for the purposes of this game, it will take 1 day × the Spell Level. Thus, it takes 9 days to learn a 9th-level spell. Cantrips, though they are “0th-level” spells, still take a day. The math works out that a school year consisting of about 273 days, is long enough for any specialist wizard to learn every single spell available for those levels spell levels required for their year (minus the schools forbidden them) with a little time to spare. The idea is that encompassed in those days is not just learning, but also practicing it in class and on one’s own, as well as doing related theory-homework, and whatnot. A focused specialist would have loads of time to spare.

    Because I am getting rid of spells per day:
    Unlike D&D specialists, who must forgo ever learning any two schools of magic of their choice (or only one if they are diviners), and focused specialists must give up three (or only two if they are focused diviners), in these rules, specialists get a +2 bonus to their chosen school of magic’s casting. Focused specialists get a +3. In their chosen “drop” schools, they get a -2 (-3 for specialists).

    As far as mechanics go – and because I am fusing some ideas from Harry Potter into this, I figured that I ought to change things a little bit. For example, in the same way that a Fighter has to roll his or her attack, and upon success, he or she rolls damage, so too one will roll to successfully cast spells.

    The skill, Spellcraft, will be replaced with the following nine skills: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, Transmutation, and Universal. To learn a new spell, you must make a successful roll using the appropriate skill. To cast the spell, again, roll. To create a new spell, use the appropriate skill. To make a magical item, roll the appropriate skill.

    Some spells have a non-variable effect, which is fine; you cast it successfully or you do not. Others do have variable effects: roll the spells specified dice for the results. The DC to cast any spell is 10+(2×Spell Level), so the DC to cast a 9th-level spell is 28 and the DC to cast a Cantrip is obviously 10 because 10+(2×0) is 10.

    To create spells, it takes as many days as the spell level, and the DC to create them is 10+(3×Spell Level).

    Your Wand:

    Length: roll 3d10 and divide the sum by 4 and add it to 8. For example, if I roll 6, 7, and 4, that is 17. 17/4 = 4 ¼. 4 ¼ + 8 is 12 ¼ inches.

    Roll 1d20 for the wood:
    http://www.valleywands.com/thepropertiesofwood.htm (I used this site to pick what schools the wand wood would augment)
    Alder :: Evocation (+1) & Conjuration (+1)
    Apple :: Conjuration (+1) & Enchantment (+1)
    Ash/Yggdrasil :: Divination (+2)
    Birch :: Conjuration (+1) & Abjuration (+1)
    Blackthorn :: Evocation (+1) & Necromancy (+1)
    Elder :: Necromancy (+1) & Conjuration (+1)
    Hazel :: Divination (+1) & Transmutation (+1)
    Heather :: Conjuration (+2)
    Holly :: Abjuration (+1) & Necromancy (+1)
    Honeysuckle :: Illusion (+2)
    Oak :: Evocation (+2)
    Pine :: Illusion (+1) & Divination (+1)
    Rowan/Mountain Ash :: Enchantment (+1) & Abjuration (+1)
    Silver Fir :: Transmutation (+2)
    Spindle Tree :: Transmutation (+1) & Illusion (+1)
    Vine :: Divination (+1) & Illusion (+1)
    White Poplar :: Enchantment (+2)
    Whitethorn/Hawthorn :: Abjuration (+1) & Enchantment (+1)
    Willow :: Transmutation (+2)
    Yew :: Necromancy (+1) & Evocation (+1)

    Roll 1d8 for your Wand Core:
    http://www.penpaperpixel.org/tools/d20monsterfilter/ (I used this to find some good-aligned creatures that might provide their parts for wand cores)
    Ground Guardian Naga Scales :: Abjuration (+1)
    Dragon Heartstring :: Conjuration (+1)
    Unicorn Hair :: Divination (+1)
    Nymph Hair :: Enchantment (+1)
    Phoenix Feather :: Evocation (+1)
    Pixie Wings :: Illusion (+1)
    Dryad Sap :: Necromancy (+1)
    Pegasas Wing Feathers :: Transmutation (+1)

    Incidentally, yes, there can be other kinds of wands. As you can see, elder is available to players, but THE elder wand does not have a core listed on here. Any magical creature can supply something that will serve as a wand core. If the players or DM wish to go that rout (players can learn how to make wands, too; either to sell, or to augment their own specializations, or maybe to make up for their deficiencies?) The DM should find an appropriate school that the new potential wand core should augment. Furthermore, wand cores should not mix and do not stack (no basilisk venom soaked lethifold skin, or whatever). Finally, any wand core opposed to its wizard by two steps or more in either the law/chaos or good/evil dimensions will subtract all of the wands bonus points from the wizards casting checks. Any wand diametrically opposed in alignment simply will not work: a core from a chaotic evil creature will not work for a lawful good character. Similarly, a lawful good core will not work for a chaotic evil creature.


    Although I wouldn’t anticipate much of the game being spent in the classroom, the professors do know that in order to advance, you must practice, so many practical portions of exams will consist of the professor conjuring a extra-planer beast and having you fight it, or a group of you. Of course, the “party” would naturally go looking for things to fight as well – and depending on the plot, maybe fellow students – hopefully not to the death!

    There could also be alchemy and potions classes, as well as other classes on making wondrous items, or magical arms and armor.

    The class that teaches wand making would be just that – make a wand for someone to use universally – not the 50-charge wands of the original rules. I imagine most party members would not take such a class, though it is available and a feat is still required to take it.

    The class for staves would be so that one can imbue metamagic feats into the staves – if you don’t have them already. In this case, you have to hold the staff and you gain the benefits of its metamagic feats. Keep in mind though that your casting DC goes up.

    I think the class that lets you make Rings would be highly useful.

    Since this version of D&D would be forgoing any other classes being magical (lest they be on the wrong side of the Ministry of Magic’s law enforcement), I think it would be safe just to say that all D&D magic is up for grabs – Divine, baric, druidic, whatever. Wildshape, for example would emulate an animagus, and healing spells are castable by HP wizards.

    (one of these must be taken at the start of game in addition to your normal feats)
    Muggleborn: You know your way around the muggle world and do not stand out amongst them. Benefit: Do not roll a Disguise or Bluff checks to blend into the muggle world. Take -5 to Disguise or Bluff checks to blend into the magical world. Pick a mundane craft or profession and add 5 ranks to it.

    Half-Blood: You know your way around the muggle and magical worlds, at least, well enough, but sometimes things bleed through. Benefit: Take -2 to Disguise checks to blend into the muggle world. Take -2 to Disguise or Bluff checks to blend into the magical world. Flip a coin. Heads: pick a muggle craft or profession and add 3 ranks to it. Tails: flip the coin again. Heads: you may practice at home. Tails: you may not.

    Pureblood: You know your way around the magical world and do not stand out amongst your fellow purebloods. Benefit: Do not roll a Disguise check to interact with purebloods without raising suspicion of your parentage. Take -5 to Disguise checks to blend into the muggle world. Flip a coin. Heads: you may practice at home. Tails: you may not (Sorry, your mother is Mollywobbles).

    Anyway, I’d kind of like it if any other D&D/d20 players out there could help me expand this, or have ideas for improving what I’ve posted here.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  2. wordhammer

    wordhammer Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

    Feb 11, 2010
    In the wood room, somewhere flat
    I'm out of habit when it comes to RPG's after the creation of d20 systems, but my first instinct is to recommend GURPS instead- it has a more compatible system for learning magic as individual skills that collect into areas of concentration.

    You'd want to set the ambient magic level to 'low-mana' (-5 to all spell casting) and define wands as foci with areas of specialization (Harry's wand: +3 for all spheres, +4 for Defense; the Elder Wand could be +5 for all spheres and have no compatibility penalty). Magery would range from 0 (squibs) to 3, with rare individuals boosted to 4 or 5. This puts Voldemort and Albus as the premier casters for having both a high magery and high intelligence.

    You work with the system you know, though. Good luck.
  3. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

    Aug 24, 2010
    This looks like an interesting take on blending the two. Have you thought about the mechanics behind how your PC's will actually learn magic?

    Also, I would strongly suggest having prestige classes available. 3.5 had a lot of good ones, and it would help to provide some variety. Another option is to use the generic classes from Unearthed Arcana, and give the Fighter one and the Rogue one spells per day similar to the Spellblade and the Bard. If you do that, make Knowledge Arcana and Spellcraft class skills for everybody.

    Here's a similar effort for Naruto: http://www.narutod20.com/

    You might look at how they handle both jutsu creation and learning, which could easily be applied to your system.

    Good luck!
  4. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Nov 11, 2005
    High Score:
    Actually, what I've been working on is a a way of modifying the Traveller character creation system to work for Harry Potter. I know Traveller is a sci-fi system, but the creation system is based on the passage of time, for every year of 'experience' your character has before game play starts you role on various tables to gain additions to skills and stats. All I need to do is re-write the tables for different creation paths and it would be simple enough to do.

    The basic mechanics of the system are a lot simpler than any D20 system out there, so I reckon its the way to rp Harry Potter.
  5. Fiat

    Fiat The Chosen One DLP Supporter

    Sep 2, 2009
    I agree with wordhammer. GURPS would be fairly easy to make a Harry Potter setting for.
  6. Silens Cursor

    Silens Cursor The Silencer DLP Supporter

    Nov 23, 2008
    The other side of reality
    Other than the fact that your system is so massively broken that I could abuse the fuck out of it in a standard D&D game, Rin, this is actually not a terrible start. I think your distribution of levels over the years at Hogwarts isn't really the best idea, on the other hand - it doesn't make sense, within the context of Hogwarts, for casters to be able to use Wish.

    But then again, I'm not entirely sure what set of rules you're using (I'm referring to the 3.5 rules, but if you're using 4th...).

    So yeah, massively broken - you might want to have some balances on this.
  7. Grubdubdub

    Grubdubdub Supreme Mugwump

    Feb 22, 2008
    You can actually make HP very similar to classic D&D if you forgo the Hogwarts approach. If you make your adventure war oriented, you open up a lot of possibilities. I'm thinking of something like this:

    Races: Humans (Weak physically, Many spells, some traits), Goblins (Mediocre physically, some spells, some traits, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma), Half-Giants (strong physically, limited spells, limited traits, +2 Stamina, -2 Intelligence) and Centaurs (Mediocre physically, limited spells, some traits, +2 Wisdom, -2 Stamina).

    As for classes, the for basic ones would work: Warrior (physical oriented), Mage (spells oriented), Priest (healing oriented) and Thief (traits oriented).

    As a human, you are automatically a Mage (Wizard), though you either specialize further in the art of Magic, or diversify and learn to be a warrior, priest or thief.
    As a Wizard, you'd have 4 magic branches specialization instead of 2. As a Priest you'd double your healing prowess. As a Warrior you double your hand-to-hand or ranged skills. As a thief you'd receive twice as much traits points.

    Same goes for rest of the races, basically. A warrior Goblin would be unusually strong and a master of many different weapons, a Goblin priest would have limited healing prowess though he would maintain his strength, and a thief Goblin [a banker...] would have double as much traits. You might choose that there are no Goblin mages, doesn't really matter.

    Half-Giants must be warriors, and Centaurs are either Warriors or Mages (who have a strong affinity to Divination and nothing else.)
  8. Rin

    Rin Oberstgruppenführer DLP Supporter

    May 28, 2007
    I used to play GURPS. For whatever reason I ended up moving over to d20 almost exclusively. Oddly enough, whenever I design my own home-brew systems, I use GURPS's 3d6 rather than 1d20 itself, and I try to move more towards reliance on skills as a determiner of as many things as possible. Maybe I ought to just return to GURPS and be done with it?

    I could imagine something like Potions Master: it grants the ability to produce potions of a higher spell-level than 3rd-level.

    Alchemist would be another one.

    Wandmaker - you are an expert at the subtle intricacies of crafting powerful wands for yourself and your fellow wizards. You can discern the magical qualities of new and exotic woods and how to combine them with seldom used (or hard to obtain) wand core materials.

    Super!Trunk maker - you know how to . . . wait. No. Nevermind. Scratch that.

    Yes, I'm using 3.5 or Pathfinder (which is, for all intents and purposes, 3.75). I really dislike the 4.0 system.

    The point of the idea is that, rather than trying to take Harry Potter magic and squish it into the D&D Rules, you forgo it entirely and just use D&D magic in the D&D universe where yes, 18th-level wizards/sorcerers can cast wish (though, I would not be insistent that they necessarily have access to the spell). The idea is that magic in this setting is unknown to people who aren't magical - you still have to be a wizard, and casting is done using a wand and a skill-check - and if you are magical, you attend "Hogwarts" and learn to cast. Incidentally, Wish's XP requirements are still present.

    But that's just it. It's an attempt to create a setting similar enough to the Harry Potter world that you could roleplay in such a setting, but the mechanics are borrowed - if somewhat modified - from an established mechanical system for magic, rather than trying to establish a priori a new mechanical system for canon Harry Potter magic.

    Anyway, thank you everyone for your responses.

    Now, does anyone have suggestions for fixing the problems in the system I proposed? Silens Cursor, you said it's broken, but anyone can point that out. What would you propose I do to fix it (hopefully without returning to Vancean casting)?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  9. Grubdubdub

    Grubdubdub Supreme Mugwump

    Feb 22, 2008
    You can make it work, of course, but as it is a Fanfiction forum I felt obligated to offer an alternative to HP canon. Was it your intention to use existing characters or new ones?
  10. Rin

    Rin Oberstgruppenführer DLP Supporter

    May 28, 2007
    Players would make their own characters. I susppose a DM could, if they so wished, have the original characters as NPCs, or the DM might even allow players to play canon characters. I'm just trying to figure out a way to fuse the worlds.

    I do appreciate your comments and ideas, don't get me wrong.
  11. Code Tangerine

    Code Tangerine Squib

    Jan 22, 2011
    Your ideas about feats and wand types seem pretty interesting, though it seems that characters level up too quickly. Going from a 1st-level wizard to a 17th level one in the span of 7 years seems pretty... extreme. I mean, I guess if the students are regularly sent out on grand, epic adventures ("your 4th year final exam is... to slay a dragon!"), it would make sense, but that sounds like it would lead to an awfully high death rate. :eek:

    Other than that though, it sounds pretty good. And if you do go with the whole "7th years are at least 17th level wizards," then, well, a high-magic setting is pretty nice too. :mrgreen: