Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Flow of the Game

To protect the identity of my fellow role-players I will only use the names of characters and not the actual names of the role-players themselves.

     The Harry Potter role-play started about two weeks before I joined. So, by the time I joined, the players had already established in-game friendships with each other and I was the odd one out. Yet, I did not join with a defeatist attitude. On the contrary, in my first scene I bullied Ruth and was cursed by Daniel. This brings me to my first point: when joining a windows driven campaign, you have to come with ideas. Yes, there is a Games Master, but the game will not be as fun as it can be if you do not bring ideas of your own.                                      
     
Harry Potter Examples:

*Prince was a character who had a harsh home life. His father was introduced in a short scene created by a player, and he was loved. So much so that he became more of an important character and eventually became a major villain for the rest of the players.

*Daniel was a character who was a bit strange. Thus, the players focused on him and to spite the fact he was suppose to be a minor character, he became one of the main cast.

*Chris, played by someone who did not want the character to be the lead character, ended up being the lead character simply through the situations that other characters put him into.

These decisions where driven solely by character interaction and scenes made up by the players themselves. Now, not all of the decisions and changes that happened were good, but none of us can say we haven't had fun getting to where we are in the role-play. (year six and close to an end).



     

Monday, February 20, 2012

Harry Potter Beginnings

     The idea for a Harry Potter role-play was one tossed around one afternoon after the excitement of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince hit theaters. Although it had been brought up before, I never expected anyone in our group to GM a game. Then, just weeks into my sophomore year in college, a friend of mine  stumbled onto the window system. After reading how it works, she decided that she would indeed GM a game and anyone who wanted to join was welcome.
     I jumped at the chance, although I did have to miss the first few games due to a heavy homework load. Before playing, she came up with the setting, an American school, the background for the school, a possible overall story, classes, teachers,  et cetera. Really, the work and detail she put into was amazing and I think her for the time and effort she spent doing it. She also had each person make in-depth character sheets.
      At the beginning of the role-play, I only had one character sheet for my main character, known as prince. Now, I have eight characters, each having different personalities and working on different sides: good or evil. To differentiate between characters, I have given each a different voice, movement, or pose. Prince for example has a low voice and I cross my arms, while Prince's father only has a high pitch voice. 

HERE IS THE CHARACTER SHEET FOR MY MAIN CHARACTER:

Quick Sheet

Full Name: Prince Jaggeroth
Age: 17 (sixth year)
Gender: male
Race, Blood Status: white, half-blood
Ethnicity, Nationality: American
Height:            above average
Physical Description: short and black hair, green eyes, sullen face

This Character Has … (Traits)
Fair Strength (D12)
Excellent Agility (D8)
Good Endurance (D10)
Fair Knowledge (Muggle) (D12)
Fair Knowledge (Wizarding) (D12)
Good Intelligence (D10)
Excellent Research Capacity (D8)
Good General Magical Aptitude (D6) Lowered GMA: (D10)
Good Charisma (D10)
Fair Perception (D12)
Good Awareness (D10)
     
This Character Is … (Skills)
      Fair Dark Magic (D10) lowered (D12)
      Fair Dueling (D12)
Fair technical knowledge transfiguration (D12)
Good knowledge of types of potions (D10)
Excellent at Mathematics (D8)
Excellent Gymnast (D8)
Excellent student (D8)

This Character Carries …
Wand
Extra Wand
Necklace
      Spider
            Agility (D8)
            Venom (D30) 1-2 death 3-10 2 die penalty 11-15 1 die penalty 16-30 paralyzed

           
Full Character Sheet

Character History:
What were his parents like? What was their relationship with each other like? Did the character know both of his parents?
Prince’s father is a wizard lawyer, which he takes great pride in, and isn’t at home very often. He demands greatness from his son. His mother was a Muggle nurse. He remembers her being happy and protective. She always told him to do the right thing and tried to nurture his caring side. It was very saddening to him when he overheard his parents fighting. He came home one day at the age of six and found that his mother was gone along with all of her stuff. His father told him that she had left them, but in reality he had used the Obliviate spell to erase her memories.

His father taught him basic technical skills in magic when he was young. He also learned gymnastics and excelled at math.

Prince does not like his father. He resents his father for his mother leaving and thinks he pushes him too hard. Yet he still respects him as an authority figure.

He grew up in a large city on the East Coast.

In elementary school he wasn’t very social. He just kept to his studies. He was made fun of and some kids called him “Princess.” His favorite subjects were preparatory magic classes and mathematics. His teachers were often worried about him, but did nothing to really help him.

He met Hermi when he was nine while coming home one day. Hermi was being beat up by a bully because he was black. This was a chance for Prince to prove that he was good. Prince knocked the kid off of Hermi and punched him. The other kid hit Prince in the eye, but Prince came back and knocked him in his balls. The boy hobbled away and Prince continued walking. “Thank you,” Hermi called out. The two were next door neighbors, and Hermi found many ways to annoy Prince on his way to and from school. Over time, the boy grew on him.
But one day, everything changed. Prince came home from school and wasn’t expecting his father to be home. Hermi and Prince walked into the Jaggeroth house to play Scrabble. Hermi had just gotten a super-high score with “wonderful” when Mr. Jaggeroth came home. Prince’s father raised his voice saying, “A Muggle…and a BLACK Muggle at that.” With a flash of light, Mr. Jaggeroth transfigured Hermi into a frog. “How could you?” Prince whispered. “I’m teaching you a lesson,” he said. “But what will the neighbors thing?” “I’ll take care of that.” With a flick of his wand, his father shut the windows. The door locked behind him. Prince looked down at the frog, which hopped over to him. Prince bent over the Scrabble board and played his word off Hermi’s — HATE.

Prince’s main goal is to change Hermi back. Hermi’s human age is affected by his frog form. For every one year, he ages two years.

His fondest memory is of mother. Whenever she would get back from her nurse duties, she would tuck him in and read him a story until he fell asleep.

Religious Beliefs and Personal Philosophy:
Be the best I can be.

Appearance:
Hairstyle and color—short and black
Eye color—hunter green
Preferred style of clothing—black

Personality:
Hobbies and Interests? saving his friend, studying, reads books
What does this person really care about? What are his/her passions? What drives him/her? Does she/he even have something to be passionate about?
Saving his friend and revenge on his father
What maker him angry? Being called Princess
What is he afraid of? He’s afraid of not saving his friend in time.
What are her insecurities? That he’ll become like his father.
What qualities make this person likable? Why would someone want to be friends with this person? What are his strengths?
He has the ability to care, and he has a tragic story.
What qualities make this person dislikable? Why would someone not want to be friends with him? What are his/her weaknesses?
He is pretty much a jerk.
Does he keep any secrets? From whom? What are they? He’s a homo.
Pick one of the Seven Deadly Sins he/she relates to and one that he/she does not:
Pride=Yes
Sloth=No
Pick one of the Seven Holy Virtues he/she relates to and one that he/she does not:
Hope=Yes
Charity=No


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Building Windows

Today is the introduction of the first role-playing system I plan to talk about: the windows system. The windows system is good for those who are creative and love having fun.

(GM)
The actual system for leveling is set up by what I call a Games Master (GM), named so by my best friend and the GM of my current role-play. The GM also helps players create their characters, creates the setting for the role-play, and begins to think of possible story arcs.

(Players)
In the beginning players are allowed freedom to act as they choose: being protagonist, antagonist, or neutral. Once the players have become accustomed to the system, they are allowed to add new characters and set up future plots (as long as they do not interfere with the GM's plans). The players of this type of system should love to tell stories. Even though the window system allows for a role-play that is action centered, the system works better when the focus is on storytelling.

(Overall?)
The system calls for an advanced player to be the GM, but the players can range from advanced to newbies. So, not only can any person play a window systems role-play, it is easily adaptable to any anime, video games, or book series that you might want to use as a template. Another great point is that it is free and easy to find! Yep, there is no need to buy books or spend hours looking for the updated version of a character sheet. So, overall, this system is pretty darn good!

Learn More: http://www.mimgames.com/window/welcome/

Now, you may be wondering how this system works in a real role-play. Good, because my next set of posts will detail the "Harry Potter: Life After the Books" role-play that my friends and I are currently playing.