Happy Monday, everyone!
Playing Dungeons & Dragons has opened up a new world for me. I’m always excited to play with our group and am routinely disappointed when the time comes for a session to end. Thankfully, Rachel and I have a couple of friends who indulged us in giving D&D a try with a Harry Potter-flavored campaign.
Last year, I spoke of the time that I took on the role of Dungeon Master for the first time. That was a quick one-shot with Rachel while we showed a friend the basics of Dungeons & Dragons so we could gauge her interest. Our friend was willing to try more D&D with a Harry Potter twist so it was a setting that she had more familiarity with. Ignoring the fact that one-shot was nearly eight months ago, we finally started that Harry Potter D&D game with our couple of friends during our latest game night.
It was a giant learning curve for me. While Rachel and I have been part of a traditional D&D group for a year or so now, the idea of creating a homebrew campaign was both exciting and nerve-wracking for me. I honestly spent most of my prep time modifying a regular character sheet to give it more Harry Potter-relevant skills, such as Flight, Charms, and Potions. Along with that, I made a “How to Create Your Character” kind of packet, detailing different aspects of the character sheet and how to roll for their stats and such. Of course, both friends were like, “That’s a lot of reading,” and Rachel and I walked them through creating the characters, haha!
I wasn’t sure if our friends would be interested in starting the story after doing the character creation sheets, but our second friend was totally into it. He peppered us with questions, asking if there was a way for him to be a White Mage like in the Final Fantasy series, and while our Harry Potter campaign just has the characters as simple wizard students, I told him I’d bring along the Player’s Handbook so he can get a better idea as to what other kinds of classes and races are in a traditional D&D game. With his enthusiasm, and the hard work and laughs we had from them just creating their characters, we dived into the story.
Being set in the Harry Potter universe, I figured the easiest way to modify the world was to have everyone’s characters be a new student in Hogwarts. All three characters went shopping for some school supplies with the limited beginning money I gave each of them, giving them an extra point in relevant skills if they decided to splurge and get better items than the standard supplies. The characters met each other on the train to the school, with the players learning to ham it up as they role-played. Each character is in a different Hogwarts house, including the NPC I play, so we have a good quartet. I was a little extra in the fact that I created different class schedules for each house, being sure each house had a couple of classes with another house a few times a week so the characters can interact more with each other.
Other than that prep, I wasn’t as prepared with the story as I would have liked to be, but it all worked out well. I have a plotline for the characters to figure out, but I wasn’t quite sure how the classes and earning spells would work. While playing, Rachel and our friends helped me figure out, even if they didn’t realize it. They went right along with me making up the world and story on the spot, and it’s turning into a bit of a competition already in regards to the House Points that students can earn and lose!
We’re all excited for the next time we continue the game. In the meantime, I’m going to create a more solid list of spells, charms, and potions for them to learn for next time. I now understand why so many Dungeon Masters keep tables of random loot handy for games!