Help me repair our Harry Potter Homebrew


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About a year ago, my friends and I decided we wanted to play a game set in the Harry Potter universe. We immediately decided to build our own since no official system was available and the various generic system weren't to the taste of my GM. We ended up with a monster made up of ideas from d100, D&D and WoD... and it doesn't work.

We recently went back to the drawing table since we've been taking a break of that game for a few months and I'd like to get some suggestions on how to improve, or build from scratch, a good system that could support the Harry Potter universe. It does not need to be 100% canon since we're playing in an alternative Beauxbatons (The french school), but my GM is very adamant on it "feeling like harry potter".

So first, what is our system? It's a d100 inspired by Call of Cthulhu. Characters have four attributes, Body, Intelligence Knowledge and Power. We then build a list of around 30 skills and our GM gave a very low number of points and a very low max for skills (1 at maximum 50 and the other at max 30). Spells are under a skill so you need to roll to cast a spell (ugh...). We also have an artifact system were you get stuff from your background like a wand, I, for example, can cast metamorphosis spells without a wand and speak to mammals. Progression is crazy slow as it comes from using a skill (And getting a +1d4 at the end of a semester is you use it once), getting a 01 (Again, a +1d4) or from succeeding in classes. (We have to roll to get those skill points)

We would like to be able to have a system that still support the artifacts in some way, but I also took the time to go around the table and compile our "core values" for the system, which are as follows.
  • Spells are the main toy of a character, if they have to make a roll, spells should be the first bonus or thing they try to use. It should have some sort of limitation (My GM wants to prevent spam), but otherwise, if I need to convince someone, I use a spell, not charisma.
  • The character evolves through the gameplay, not only at the end of chapters. I'd like a system similar to burning wheel.
  • The character can use connections with the universe in gameplay, for example, I should be able to use my friend the potion teacher if I need some help with something.
  • A character should not be limited by the type of magic he wants to use. If a character wants to use mainly potions, magical creatures or even runes, the system should work identically as if he used normal spells. I'm thinking OVA would work well here.
I think Fate would work with this, but my GM is far from a fan of fate, so I am looking into a homebrew thingy. I'd like suggestion on similar system if you have some, I'm probably gonna post later this week a draft of my GM's system (First system he would ever design) and a draft of my ideas.



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I've got an rpg in the beta stage of development that might be of interest to you. It's called Thornwood: School of Magics, and is designed for emulating the feel your going for here. I took it to pax australia and you can read the pitch for the game in my blog post here:

You can also read a play report from one of my playtest sessions here:

If you're interested in playtesting it you can send me your gmail and i'll give you access to the google doc. Otherwise good luck to your GM on creating something from scratch!
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