So I made a Harry Potter themed D&D campaign…
by David Ng
So, usually around Christmas time, my family and I play a lot of games – card games, board games, party games, and even on occasion, RPG type games. But because some of them are not that keen on the whole Dungeons and Dragons RPG thing, this year, I decided I would try to design a game based on D&D rules (5e) that would place the players in the world of Harry Potter. Partly because J.K. Rowling has done such an amazing job of world building, but also because my more D&D skeptical family members happen to be huge Harry Potter fans (i.e. maybe this “world” would better get them immersed).
Anyway, I have an edit ready to share. It’s not finished, and to be honest, I’m not sure when it will be finished, but there’s a good amount of play here (about 2 to 3 hours or a mini adventure) for those that might be interested. There’s probably a few issues with game balance (i.e. maybe some of the spells are too powerful or too easy, etc), but I think the nuts and bolts would hold up fine for a good session.
Part of the changes included modifying how spells would be cast, as well as a tweaking of the wizard character class so that it would seem a little more in line with how things are done at Hogwarts. I’ve put some of the spell card details below, just so you can get a glimpse of some of the changes I’ve incorporated (as well as where some of the details were referenced from)
Anyway, here are the links to the campaign document, as well as just the sheet containing the spells. I’m going to be playing it with my family tomorrow, but if you get a chance to try it out, let me know how it goes! It would also be cool, if there are others who would like to add to it (if so, let me know by leaving a comment – I could easily set up a google doc or something). Cheers, Dave
Link to Campaign document – Nathair’s Curse, and the Mystery of the Second Wand (25Mb pdf)
Link to Harry Potter Spell sheets – HPD&D5espells (0.2Mb pdf)
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I hope you don’t mind I posted this to the D&D sub-reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/5lx9b6/nathairs_curse_and_the_mystery_of_the_second_wand/
(This is very cool and I’m totally planning to use it!)
No worries cross posting it elsewhere. It would be cool if others take a peek and have a go. We ended up playing it over the winter break (with my wife and two children – ages 13 and 15). They thought it was pretty cool overall, although I was relatively lenient as a DM. A couple little things did come up during the play through (spoiler alert for players).
1. Character set-up and generation were pretty hilarious (my son tagged a lightsaber as his proto-wand). The discussion over where to put rolled attributes was pretty funny, and occasionally a little argumentative – I think this part would be a highlight if you play with friends (although I guess you would need to make sure no-one’s feelings get hurt!)
2. Definitely helps to have more players than NPC opponents. As it stands, the stupefy spell feels a little too powerful the way it’s been described.
3. Overall though, the combat bit at the train station was pretty fun. 3 players (at first level) against 2 baddies (and a mildly lenient DM) was just about right.
4. My daughter suggested using one of the spells to turn off the train car door charms. Hadn’t thought of that – I played through as if it didn’t work (i.e. forcing them to deal with the puzzle aspect), but should address that possibility in the text.
5. The figuring out of the train part went really well, although it would be cool if there could be some more interesting things hidden within the cars.
6. The second combat step near the end seems unnecessary (I think because it seemed too similar to the first one). Maybe a different type of task – something along the lines of the challenges at the end of the first book – before finding the teapot?
7. The cliff hanger worked well, although on second thought, I think it might be cooler for them to portkey to Azkaban and have the next part continue from the confines of the prison itself.
I stumbled over your DnD campaign and have to say that this is pretty awesome! I was hooked immideately and would really like to know how the story continues…would you share the blueprint of your storyline?
Thanks and kind regards from Austria
This is great! I love the premise, the idea of having the players BE the characters helps avoid a lot of issues that could confuse/discourage new players (particularly meta-knowledge, which could definitely be an issue for Potter super-fans).
A few things that stood out to me as I read through are noted below. I have no idea if you intend on doing more additions/revisions of this, but here they are just in case:
P5 paragraph 1: Proficiency bonus of a level 1 character is normally +2. Is the intent really to be +0 at game start? If so, consider changing “This also means…” to “Unlike normal a normal 1st-level D&D character…”
P8 paragraph 1: “the 3 other individuals” should probably be “two”; guessing you removed one for balance.
P8 Snaker stat block: 4th-level characters/CR4 monsters would normally have a proficiency bonus of +2. Was the intent “spell attack bonus” (proficiency + spellcasting ability modifier)? Also normally a dagger would be +3 (dex + prof) to hit and 1d4 +1 (dex) damage.
P10 Snaker stat block: Same comments as above but these ones have an even higher proficiency bonus.
P11 paragraph 5: A 12th-level character/CR12 monster would normally have a proficiency bonus of +4. Was the intent “spell attack bonus” (proficiency + spellcasting ability modifier)?
Spellcasting: Why add a “magic intuition” stat? Seemingly Wisdom is already a degree of intuition about the external world? Furthermore I’d consider letting each player choose from the three mental stats (Int, Wis, Cha) to help define the source of their powers.
Are the rings intended to be explained to the DM? Cases are given where they are lost, but no hints about the effect of their loss.
Thanks so much for the comments. Yeah, I can see why some of it seems confusing, since there are things that are kind of worked out in my head (sort of)!
In general, you’re right in that the whole proficiency thing is really just a special Harry Potter verse “spell attack bonus” that would need it’s own dedicated table. In my mind, I had figured that the Snakers would be at a level where maybe they would have done the standard 7 years of school, and that maybe one achieves a +1 increment for every two years of study (0 year = +0 or what our players are essentially, 1st/2nd years = +1, and so on). Using this, I figured that a graduate would have the +4 which makes it pretty decent but hardly what I would call powerful. Folks like the professors on the other hand would obviously have much higher bonuses (or something like that). Anyway, a work in progress!
The magic intuition is meant to explain the idea that certain folks just have “magic in their blood.” As well as getting into the nomenclature around squibs and muggles. The premise is that everyone needs a certain number (I think I had 10), but you can be great at magic because you are smart (hence the intelligence being an option) versus being just born with it. i.e. you can imagine some characters in the books being good because they are brain smart (Hermione would be the classic example), and some who are just good because it’s in their blood or genetics (say Draco or even Harry himself). I thought about using wisdom straight up, but that attribute is kind of bigger than just being able to naturally do magic, so I went with adding an extra value (note, wisdom is also a fun value to assign on behalf of your friends).
Finally, the rings on the proto-wands are basically notches to count down the number of hours left on the tea bag spell (the one that lets them cat magic with their temp wands). I guess I would hope to expand the adventure so that there’s an added tension in finishing before time is up (or even better, the finale has to be accomplished without magic).
Anyway, hope this helps!
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You are so awesome for making this. My sister in law throws and annual Harry potter feast party and they have been wanting to try dnd. The stars aligned and we decided we would play at the party! I did a Google search for Harry potter campaigns and found this one. Did not disappoint. Only 3 of the 9 had ever played dnd at all so there was a lot of explaining but the character creation was fun and engaging and so was the letter. I changed the drink to “enchanted wine”(sparkling cider) and added two more snakers in because of the large group size. It was very fun, but with the large group and the fact most had never rolled a d20, we only made it through the first encounter in 2 hours. We plan on playing again at thanksgiving with less people. Should be great I hope you add more!!🤗
Thanks so much for creating this. Just ran this for my wife and 2 kids (10 and 6). My 10 year old daughter had a ball, my 6 year old some checked out (to many numbers and he’s difficult with anything that doesn’t involve a screen).
Adventurer went pretty well. I changed a few things…
1. Tea – none of my kids would drink hot tea so we used “Magic Apple Sparkling Cider”
2. Two “Snakers” only on the platform – fight was a bit much and went on a while through multiple train carts.
3. Added a “Cloak of Billowing” (Slytherin crest of course!) in the Slytherin carriage for some extra loot.
4. Instead of more “Snakers” in the baggage sections, I described an evil looking house elf they encountered multiple times as they “bamfed” into the different carriages in the train (every second carriage when they weren’t dealing with the “Snakers” apparently looking for something but apparat’s away when the party enters the carriage. I then had the house elf looking through the luggage compartment, annoyed with the “dirty muggles” following him while he’s looking for his master.. blah.. blah. Made it an easier fight than the “Snakers” and would of have him apparat to escape if they hadn’t killed him (fun NPC if it ever continues).
5. I then changed the final encounter from Hogwarts to the top of Azkaban Prison (large triangle with it hollowed out – you can google the image) and some stairs heading down (also shielded). Drew it up on grid paper – each side of the triangle is 120+ feet. Had the same scenarios’ when the “Snakers” and Nathair Baliga takes the wand as before but they have just initiated the shield to drop and then breaks one of the orbs before apparting. Then had a puzzle with the center of the triangle having a force field stopping 50 Dementors from flying out and 3 blue orbs (one in each corner) that “toggles the shield up of down when a wizard touches the orbs at the same time. One orb was broker (Reparo), one was in magic darkness (Lumos) and one was on a 25’ platform (Wingardium Leviosa for 20’ and other party to the extra 5 or a strength check to pull themselves up). If they touch the orb, lightning shoots in 2 directions towards the other orbs half way as a clue. If another party member is within the lightning (1d6 lighting damage). Was a fun little puzzle that got them looking through their spell books. Indicated they were on a clock and the shield would open if they weren’t quick enough. Did it in 6… so made out they just made it. Stairs shield drops when orbs reset keeping the dementors so the adventure could continue there……
Was the first time I DM’d in 30 years (I’ve played for the last 2 years as a player) so it was fun giving it a go again.
Oh my god, you have no idea how awesome this sounds. I really want to give this a try on my next sleepover with my best friends! Please tell me there’s a continuation for it? That would be so epic!
Thanks so much! My year 7 class are reading Harry Potter this term and on Friday’s we play DnD – this will be the perfect mesh!
Hi! Did you ever finish this campaign?
I was about to ask the same. Is there something after Act 2?
This is very nice, I also tried to create an Harry Potter’s atmosphere in DnD, but I dind’t invent spells like you did, I simply used the official rules. It is here: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/266746/The-magic-Academy
Love the character sheet and spells, so much more in the flavour of the HP world. Hanging out for third act.
This was truly outstanding – I played this last year with my kids (aged 7, 12, & 15) and it went over really, really well. I love the choices you’ve made – and the starter campaign was outstanding.
I’ve returned in the hope that you might have an act 3 developed to the scenario (as I am too busy to do it myself at this time in my life). In truth, I’d be more than willing to spend a few dollars at drivethrurpg.com (or similar) if that provides you an incentive to do more! (And I suspect I’m not he only one.) 🙂
In any case, many thanks for your excellent work on this!
This is awesome, and I’m already setting up a campaign to play with friends. Are there any more acts we can find online? I’m dying to know more info and play the story out!
So cooool! I am very excited to try this out – thank you! 🙂
I would love to see this completed!
I can’t find the hwole campaign ):
Sorry, i meant whole
Query…These comments are more of a food for thought, I’ve never actually personally played, but I do enjoy watching or listening when players are engaged in the roll playing in the game.
So, just in case you or anyone else is playing your “H.P. homebrew”
* in this world do you have a good/neutral/evil lawful/chaotic modifier that might not have let players Select their alignment as a 1d4 Sorting Hat modifier at character creation could or would have slotted a character into a School House that defines an alignment definition 1d4 [griffindor – slitherin] with the modifier of house alignment not forcing players to be good or evil, but specific houses having a modifier positive or negative that could fluctuate depending on action. Sounds complicated, but the Sorting Hat’s selection of House seems to decide for itself character’s alignment and their reputation. Also, following that type of House Modifier, there could also be a quest or “Loot type” that possession of or knowledge of someone with possession of could Win a chance to actually Select House Alignment or another chance to roll for house selection…
Just a thought. Not actually having played myself, this type of “house modifier” might ruin some peoples enjoyment.
Nice job in setting something up to lure some family members into playing.
If doing home-brews is something you enjoy, I can name a couple of writers whose books might inspire you to brew some more.
C.S. Friedman’s Cold Fire Trilogy takes place in a world where what you fear, as in phobia and luck could actually Manifest your fear, either as a say monster class for or even an accidental self inflicted Curse that could require of course a quest to get it removed, though the Curse could work witha modifier working in different way. Just bringing a book series to your attention that might inspire an out of the ordinary Homebrew for you and your friends.
Thanks for sharing
Rehatha at yahoo
I would love to see the campaign but it doesn’t load. Do you have posted anywhere else?
Anyone finish this story? I’m a terrible story creator and would love this to be finished. Even bullet plot points would be workable.