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.