Geekery Squared

This what happens when you read The Deathly Hallows in one sitting…

As I was lying awake last night – trying to sleep despite the cold virus doing it’s best to kill me or at least make me severely miserable – a fairly crazy idea entered my head. And, being me, I decided to pick it up and run with it, just to see where it would lead me. Where it led me was to a fairly insane combination of Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings Strategy Game (yes, we’re back to that again!) and Harry Potter (I said it was crazy didn’t I? :).

You see, a lot of people quite like the rules system used by the LOTR game, and several adaptions for different settings have been made. There’s one for the Old West (produced by Games Workshop themselves), a Napoleonic Wars version (which in a nice touch provides stats for Sean ‘Boromir’ Bean’s Sharpe), and WWII and Vietnam versions. So why not a Wizarding version too?

No sooner had this thought entered my addled brain than rules and ideas started to pop up. So I thought I’d better get them out of my head as soon as possible 🙂

OK, to start with all Wizards are Heroes, and all should start with at least 2 points of Will. Every Wizard also needs a wand – without a wand, a model can’t cast spells of any kind. In addition a wand gives the bearer 1 free point of Will per turn, pretty much in the same way as a Wizard’s Staff in the standard rules.

Now, casting. As far as these rules are concerned there are two types of spells – Charms and Curses. Charms are non-offensive spells cast on or around oneself, or on one’s allies. Examples include Lumos, Accio or Episkey. Curses are offensive spells cast against an enemy, such as Expelliarmus, Tarantallegra or Avada Kedavra. Curses and Charms are handled in different ways under the rules.

Charms are cast as normal magic spells using the standard rules. The one major change however is that each Wizard weilding a wand gets 1 dice free per turn (that is without spending Will) to spend on a Charm. Will can of course be spent to add extra dice to this Charm, or to cast additional Charms (there is no limit on how many Charms can be cast per turn).

Curses are treated as missile attacks, and take place in the Shoot Phase. It costs 1 Will to cast a Curse, and additional will can be expended to strengthen it (as described below). Whether the attack hits or not is calculated as normal, using the model’s Shooting value. The range for Curses is 12″/28cm, each model may only cast one Curse per turn, and no movement limits apply for models intending to Curse.

If the curse hits, then consult the Wounds Chart. The Strength of the Curse is the Courage of the caster, plus any additional Will they expended to strengthen it. The Wound Roll is then made, and if it succeeds the target suffers the effects of the Curse.

A model targeted by a Curse may attempt to cast a Counter Curse – that is throw a Curse of their own at their attacker. To do this costs 1 point of Will. Both players roll against their Shooting value. If one succeeds and one fails, then only the successful player rolls on the Wounds Chart. If both succeeded, then only the player that rolled the higher number rolls on the Wounds Chart. If both succeeded and both rolled the same number, the Curses collide in mid air and cancel each other out. A model may cast as many Counter Curses as they have will points to spend on them.

So that’s the basics of the system. Of course it needs playtesting, and the various spells need writing up, but I think it should work fairly well. An example is probably in order, so let’s look at the example of an Auror facing off against a Death Eater – probably at some point during The Half Blood Prince.

The evil player has the initiative, and at the start of the Shoot phase the Death Eater casts Stupefy at the Auror. His Shooting value is 3+ and his Courage is 4. He elects to throw the extra point of will from his wand into the Curse. The Auror spends a point of Will to cast a Counter Curse – Petrificus Totalus. His Shooting value is 3+ and his Courage is 5. Both players roll the dice. The evil player rolls 4, sucessfully casting the Curse, and the good player rolls 2, failing to produce the Counter Curse.

Consulting the Wound Chart shows that the evil player must roll 4 or more for the Curse to take effect (Courage of 4 plus 1 point of Will versus the Auror’s Defence of 5). He rolls a 3, and the Curse fails.

The good player elects not to cast a Curse, and the round ends.

In the next round the evil player retains initiative. At the start of the Move phase the Death Eater uses his free Charm dice to cast Engorgio on himself, which will increase his Strength and Movement. The standard magic rules are used, and he fails to cast. He immediately uses his wand’s free point of Will to attempt the Charm again. This time he succeeds, and gains 2 points of Strength, and an extra 4″/10cm of movement – however his Defence against missile attacks and Curses drops by 1 because he’s a much larger target. The evil player uses the Death Eater’s full movement to move him into partial cover behind some bushes, out of range of the Auror’s Curses.

At the start of the good Move Phase the Auror uses his free Charm dice to cast Wingardium Leviosa on himself, succeeding and flying 5″/12cm across the battlefield towards the Death Eater. He then uses his full move to get within Curse range, taking partial cover behind a tree.

At the start of the evil Shoot Phase the Death Eater uses one point of his personal Will to cast Crucio at the Auror. The Auror elects not to cast a Counter Curse, trusting in the tree to provide protection. As the Auror is behind cover, an “in the way” roll must be made, which the evil player fails – the curse explodes harmlessly on the tree.

At the start of the good Shoot Phase the Auror casts Petrificus Totalus at the Death Eater. The Death Eater uses his last point of personal Will to cast a Counter Curse, the shield charm Protego (which has a number of special rules). The Auror makes an “in the way” roll for the Death Eater’s cover and succeeds, his curse speeding through the bushes unhindered (Protego doesn’t require an “in the way” roll). Both players roll against their Shooting value of 3+, the Auror rolls 6, the Death Eater 4.

Normally this would mean the Auror’s Curse hits, while the Death Eater’s doesn’t, however Protego‘s special rules state that as long as the spell is cast, it gives +2 Defence to the caster, even if it would normally be beaten by another Curse. The Wound  Chart is consulted – for the Curse to have an effect the good player must roll 5 or higher (Auror’s Courage of 5 verses the Death Eater’s Defence of 5, minus 1 for Engorgio, plus 2 for Protego). The good player rolls a 6, and the Death Eater is frozen in place, unable to move or take action for two rounds.

So yeah, that’s how it works. If that can be said to work at all. Enjoy! 🙂

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