All characters in this game start as First-Year students at a school for young Wizards and Witches.
All Aptitudes have an initial rating of 0. You have five points to distribute between Athletics, Knowledge and Intrigue. You may gain an additional point by choosing one Aptitude at -1.
Athletics governs all physical abilities such as running, jumping, climbing and sneaking. It's also the attribute used when characters fight, fly broomsticks or play Quidditch.
Knowledge affects your characters' ability to remember facts, figures and arcane bits of information. Most skills deal with subjects such as the Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic. The Muggle Studies skill allows pureblood Wizards and Witches to use normal academic fields such as History or Science. Muggle-Studies also deals with mundane skills such as Computer Use or Driving.
Intrigue affects the character's social aptitude and their ability to deceive and to sense when others are deceiving them. Intrigue also deals with your ability to move stealthily and spy on others.
Magic is the attribute that directly affects the character's spell-casting ability. It is modifed by skill levels in various schools of magic, as well as based upon the type of wand that the chracter uses. The Magic attribute is the only one of the four attributes that has a set value that is not modified with starting points. The Magic attribute is equal to the character's number of years in wizard school. At the time of the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry's Magic rating is 4.
All First-Year students receive a starting Magic rating of +1.
Characters have a number of Skill Points to distribute within each attribute equal to that attribute. So a Wizard with an Athletics rating of +3 would have 3 points to distribute between Fighting, General Athletics and Quidditch.
The limit for any one skill is equal to the rating of the corresponding attribute.
Athletics Skills deal with strength, speed, coordination and overall physical fitness. They are divided into two main areas (Fighting and General Athletics), with a third category reserved for the various positions of Quidditch.
Fighting should be uncommon but it is to be expected (boys will be boys and girls will be girls and all of that). The Specialties within the Fighting Skill are grouped according to specific martial abilities that are taught in school. To this end, these Skills may also be used competitively (for example, in a Fencing exhibition or an Archery contest).
General Athletics covers the basic group of Athletic Skills. Note that the Fly skill involves both flying creatures (ie: Hippogriffs) and broomsticks.
Quidditch (advanced Skill)
The advanced Skill of Quidditch enables you to play on your House's Quidditch team. You should Specialize in at least one position (provided you have the pre-requisite Skills). Most Quidditch players focus on one particular position.
Knowledge Skills deal with facts, figures, names and dates. Most Knowledge Skills can be found in a properly-equipped library. When researching Muggle Studies in a library, take note that a Wizard library will have much less available than a Muggle library. Similarly, a Muggle Library will have almost no useful information about the world of Magic.
This class teaches students to recognize and decipher ancient scripts, sigils and hieroglyphs.
The study of the heavens and celestial bodies. Astronomy is a pre-requisite for Divination as students are expected to know all the planets and major constellations.
Care of Magical Creatures
A hands-on class where students learn about the habits of magical creatures and how to care for them.
History of Magic
History of Magic delves into both ancient and modern magical history, famous figures and noteworthy events.
Not a class-taught skill per se, but more the ability to research information from books, scrolls and other texts. This skill is most-often used when searching for information that the character doesn't otherwise possess.
Class taken by wizarding folk to study non-magical people.
The Knowledge Skill of Quidditch involves the history, strategies and famous figures of Quidditch.
Intrigue Skills deal with subterfuge, deception, stealth and persuasion - skills in which members of House Slytherin excel. Intrigue Skills do not have individual Specialties.
Using your personal magnetism and charm to convince others to do what you want.
The ability to fast-talk or otherwise fool someone, as well as knowing when someone is pulling a fast one on you.
Gossip is used primarily when spreading rumors. Handy when passing notes, using codes and innuendo and separating fact from rumor.
Also known as "brown-nosing," this is the art of flattery and sucking up to adults and older kids.
This ability allows you to pull off pranks and practical jokes successfully without getting caught. Prank also covers feats of mundane "magic" (card tricks, palming small objects, etc.).
Sneak & Spy
The ability to move silently and stealthily so as not to be noticed and also to notice things at a distance or under difficult cirumstances (such as listening to a conversation from behind a closed door).
Magical Skills include the ability to cast various kinds of spells, to brew potions, to use divination and numerology to forsee the future and defensive techniques against Dark Magic.
The ancient study of the magical properties of numbers.
Charms are a type of magic spell concerned with enchanting or conjuring an object. Charm spells are in some ways the opposite of Curses: many Charms seem to have in inherent positive tone (e.g. Cheering Charm) while Curses have an inherent negative one (Teeth-Enlarging Curse).
Defense Against the Dark Arts (advanced Skill)
Magic lessons that teach students how to defend themselves against evil creatures.
Divination (advanced Skill - pre-requisites: Astronomy +1,
Magical art of foretelling the future.
Draughts & Potions
The study of various potions and elixers and how to brew them.
Herbology is the study of magical plants and fungi, including how to care for them and use their magical properties. Some magical plants form important ingredients in potions, others have magical effects on their own.
Transfiguration (advanced Skill)
Transfiguration is magic which changes one object into another. It is possible to change inanimate objects into animate ones and vice versa. Some Transfiguration spells alter a part of something, such as changing a person's ears from normal into rabbit ears.
When enrolled at the school, students are "sorted" into the various Houses by the Sorting Hat. The Hat will look at the student and place him in a House that suits his or her inner nature. The four Houses are:
Members of Gryffindor are courageous and bold. Gryffindors will receive a +1 bonus to any action involving bravery or daring. If you are in this House you will gain experience when you accomplish a feat of heroism.
Members of Ravenclaw are wise and honorable. Ravenclaws will receive a +1 bonus whenever displaying wisdom or honor. If you are in this House you will gain experience when you accomplish a goal through wise decision-making.
Members of Hufflepuff are loyal and hard working. Hufflepuffs gain a +1 bonus to any action where they show their loyalty or determination. If you are in this House you will gain experience whenever you succeed through your perseverance or fair play.
Members of Slytherin are cunning and ambitious. Slytherins gain a +1 bonus whenever they do something sneaky and duplicitous. If you are in this House you will gain experience whenever you get ahead by using treachery or cunning.
In this game, characters may not choose House Slytherin as their House - they're the "bad guys" (or at least the antagonists) of most stories. It's also highly recommended that you keep all the characters within one House. Feel free to mix Houses together or have Slytherin PC's, if that's your wish.
All characters in this game are individuals and so all characters may choose one Unique Situation from the list below. Unique Situations marked with an asterix (*) are especially rare or powerful and should be cleared with the Headmaster before the game begins.
Most characters will have either a Muggle Upbringing or Magical Upringing. Skill Bonuses from Unique Situations do not count against the maximum rating of that Skill.
Characters can take an additional Unique Situation by sacrificing two of their five starting Skill points (leaving that character 3 Skill points to distribute between Athletics, Knowledge and Intrigue).
You are an Animagus, allowing you to change your form into that of an animal.
You know your way around a library, giving you a +2 to your Library Use Skill.
Born to Fly
You are a natural on a broomstick and gain a +1 to your Fly and Quidditch Skills.
You're a practical joker at heart and get a +2 bonus to your Prank Skill.
You possess a rare or even unique magical item of some kind, like a Cloak of Invisibility or Gloves of Giant Strength. Discuss the particulars of your gift with the Headmaster.
Your familiar, broomstick, robes, etc. once belonged to an older sibling and have been passed on to you. You don't have to spend any money on school supplies.
You have the blood of Giants in your veins, giving you a larger-than-average size and a +2 to the Fighting and General Athletics Skills (except Dodge). Because of your large size, you are also a bit clumsier than normal people. You have a -2 penalty to your Dodge and Sneak Skills. Note that Hagrid is actually a half-Giant, hence his considerable size and strength.
Your family has its own House-Elf.
You have an Affinity for a particular field of magic (Herbology, Divination, etc.) and gain a +2 bonus to that field.
You grew up in a Wizard/Witch household and are accustomed to the presence of magical creatures, spells and the like. Gain +1 in both History of Magic and Care of Magical Creatures.
You grew up in a Muggle household and are familiar with Muggle history, technology and culture. Gain +4 in Muggle Studies.
You have the rare ability to speak to serpents.
Your family (or just one member) is extremely well-regarded and respected by the Wizard community.
You're a budding journalist and you love listening to (and spreading) rumors. You get +2 to your Gossip skill.
As part-Veela, you gain a +2 to your Allure Skill.
You start with extra Galleons, Sickles and Knuts - enough to buy the finest schools supplies available.
All Wizards and Witches start school in possession of several items: robes, textbooks for that year, a wand, a broomstick and a familiar (either an owl, cat, toad or rat).
Every student must purchase two sets of robes; one for normal use, one for formal occassions. Pointed black hats are also worn as part of the school uniform. Dragonhide gloves are also required for laboratory work. A sturdy winter cloak is also necessary for those cold walks outside.
Students are also expected to bring the following items: cauldron, scales, quills, ink, parchment and a bookbag.
Every student is required to purchase a number of textbooks to coincide with their courses. Used textbooks cost about half as much as new books and usually come with their own annoations and pre-underlined passages. Unfortunately, they're not quite as sturdy as new books and may feature such unpleasant "features" as ripped-out pages or blacked-out sentences.
Year 1 Textbooks
Year 2 Textbooks
Year 3 Textbooks
Year 4 Textbooks
Wands are classified by four different characteristics:
After choosing the characteristics of your wand, you should decide what kinds of spells work well with it (and what spells don't work so well). Give your wand a +1 bonus to one kind of magic and a -1 penalty to another.
You may also choose to purchase a wand that gives no bonus or penalty.
Casting with an unfamiliar wand is done at -2. Casting with a broken wand is done at -4 and will result in a Mishap if the result is 5 or lower. Casting without a wand is next to impossible but may be attempted at a -10 to the roll.
A personal broomstick is necessary for flying instruction and also for playing Quidditch. Some broomsticks are built for endurance or for comfort. The most expensive ones are built for speed and agility.
Types of Brooms (in order of quality)
Broomstick Servicing Kit
A black leather case containing Fleetwood's High Finish Handle Polish, tail-twig clippers, compass, and a Do-it-Yourself Broomcare Handbook.
All students are permitted to bring a familiar with them to the school. Accepted familiars are toads, rats, cats and owls. Owls are the most expensive but come in handy when the student needs to deliver a message. Students without owl familiars of their own may use public post-owls for mailing documents.
Characters start with enough money to buy school supplies (nothing fancy!).
A Quidditch match involves the following:
Chasers try to score with the Quaffle (a skill check...must be at least a Bumbling Success). If the Chasers pass the Quaffle to one another, it will give them a +1 to any scoring attempt made (this bonus is lost if control of the Quaffle is lost).
The Keeper needs to match or exceed an opposing Chaser's skill check to block the shot. A successful Quaffle score earns that team 10 points.
Beaters keep the Bludgers away from the Chasers and Seeker. Unless blocked, both Bludgers will get to attack the Chaser and Seekers. On a Bumbling Success, one Bludger is blocked but the other gets free and may attack the Seeker or a Chaser.
On a Success, both Bludgers are blocked. On a Critical Success, the Bludgers are automatically knocked toward the other team's Seeker.
The Seeker must get a Brilliant Success to grab the Snitch - Seekers gets a +1 bonus every round until the Snitch is captured. If attacked by a Bludger, the Seeker must roll their Fly skill to avoid the Bludger or they lose their chance to grab the Seeker. If both Bludgers attack and aren't avoided, the Seeker is "out" for the next round.
Reaching 250 points or capturing the Snitch will end the match.
Roll a d20, add or subtract the appropriate modifiers, consult the chart:
Even if the result is not a Success, there should be SOMETHING that happens Bumbling Successes should be somewhat comical, Flops should be disappointing (but not stop the action outright) and Bludges should provide for VERY interesting plot complications. Of course, one Brilliant Success should make up for all the bad die rolls…
If the character is being directly opposed by someone or something, then use the opposing skill as a negative modifer to the character's die roll. Fighting, General Athletics, Quidditch, Bluff and Sneak & Spy are Opposed Skills.
Example: Winston (General Athletics +1) is being chased by a rather large troll (General Athletics +3). Winston rolls a 13 and adds +1 for his General Athletics skill for a total of 14. Now, he must now subtract the troll's skill of 3, leaving him with an 11. Success! Winston makes it to the dungeon door and slams it shut behind him.
Usually, actions are resolved in order of the skill involved. But if you really need to get your action off early you can take a penalty on your next die roll. This penalty is then applied to your skill when determined the order of actions.
Example: Winston (Magic +1) and Cynthia (Magic +1) are in dueling class. Winston knows Cynthia is experienced at dueling (she has a Dueling specialty of +1) so he accepts a -3 penalty to his die roll in order to get his spell off before Cynthia can react (giving him a Magic score of +4 when determining which action happens first).
Magic is handled exactly like any other die roll and magic spells can be cast in haste. If dueling and your opponent has the drop on you, you may cast a counter-curse, but at a negative modifer depending on the magic rating of your opponent. If the counter-curse's result is equal to or higher than the spell to be countered, then that spell is countered successfully.
Example: Xavier and Penny are engaged in a Wizard's Duel. Xavier and Penny are both third-year students (Magic rating +3). Xavier decides that he wants to get his spell off before Penny can react so he casts an Engorgement Charm with a haste penalty of -3. Penny opts for a more defensive strategy and casts a counter-curse.
Xavier rolls a 13 - an excellent result, but suffers a -3 penalty to his Magic score for casting his spell in haste His final score is 10 (13-3). A bumbling success…
Penny rolls a 10. Because Xavier's Magic score is the same as Penny's, they effectively cancel one another our. The counterspell is the same result as Xavier's (Bumbling Success) and so Xavier's Engorgement Charm fizzles out.
Simply roll your Fighting skill and subtract your opponent's opposing Fighting skill. If successful, you accomplish whatever you want to happen (just like when using any other skill). If your character is hurt (in a fight or after doing something hazardous), you may suffer a penalty to your future actions until healed - but this is up to the players and the Headmaster.