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PbtA Magic School

Herodarwin

Registered User
Validated User
Here's a question How is school generation going to happen?

As I can think of a few questions if t will be based on asking players questions, not the final wording mind you.

Asked to all players/students

What feature of the school made you say wow in your first week?
Which non clique Student do you like the most? (this and the one below is to produce a student body)
Which non clique Student do you like the least?
What were you surprised to be asked to bring?


Asked to one player/Student

How are students made aware of their admission to the school?
Where is the school?
What is the school uniform like?
How do students get to the school?
How did The Clique first meet up?
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
Maybe throw in some "normally" : How are people normally made aware etc.

Monsterhearts has a very nice classroom sheet for NPCs.
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
Moves revised. I changed the second stat to Ambition, which is pretty obvious considering the 4 stats are the Potter house values. I've added Worldliness, i.e. the not being a wizard stat, with the aforementioned When You Study A Person. I've included [MENTION=80946]Herodarwin[/MENTION]'s suggestion about the Fight With Honor move.

Spoiler: Show
When you duel, fight or compete with honor, roll +Virtue. On a 7-9 choose 2, on a 10+ choose 3:
The GM will tell you something about your abilities. Take +1 forward.
They concede something of your choice or suffer.
You come to understand their abilities.
You impress someone else.
You come away clean.

When you offer a deal, make your offer and roll +Virtue. On a 10+, they agree. On a 7-9, they need some tangible assurance before.

When you cheat, steal or fight dirty, roll +Ambition. On a 7-9 choose 2. ON a 10+ choose 3.
You take something from them.
You make them suffer.
You leave no one the wiser.
You don't suffer for it.

When sneak after someone or go where you are not supposed to, roll +Ambition. On a hit, you learn or find something valuable. On a 10+, there are no complications on the way back.

When you consult your knowledge on the School's culture, history or magic, roll +Learning. On a 10+, you now something interesting and useful about the situation. On a 7-9, it's up to you to make it useful.

When you address a problem with magic you have not mastered, make the necessary preparations and roll +Learning. On a hit, you can do it. On a 10+, choose 2. On a 7-9, choose 1.
You don't have to break any rules.
There are no side-effects.
Beginning now, you can do it without a problem should this particular problem come up again.

When you stand your ground, roll +Heart. On a 10+ choose 2. On a 7-9, choose one.
You protect something or someone.
You take them down a notch.
It hurts less than you thought.

When you show kindness, roll +Heart. On a hit, choose one:
They take +1 on their next roll.
You ease their suffering.
On a 10+, they must give you Trust to benefit.

When you study someone, roll +Worldliness. On a 10+, ask two. On a 7-9 ask only one or have them ask one as well.
What are you afraid of?
What do you not talk about / what do you not show?
What can you do to me?
How can I get you to...?
How can I gain your Trust?

When you need to get away, roll +Suffering. On a 7-9, you leave something behind.

When you have given your Trust to someone, you take +1 on all rolls to help them. They take +1 on all rolls to make demands on you. They may burn your Trust to make you suffer.

When you suffer from scrutiny, take -2 to Ambition. To ease scrutiny, suck up to the bigwigs.
When you suffer from ridicule, take -2 to Virtue. To ease ridicule, do something daring.
When you suffer from heartache, take -2 to Learning. To ease heartache, indulge yourself.
When you suffer from guilt, take -2 to Heart. To ease your guilt, make a sacrifice.
When you suffer from exhaustion, take -2 to Worldliness. To ease exhaustion, ignore some commitment.



I've also started on some playbooks. I will likely consolidate the above list a little.

Spoiler: Show

The Refugee

Your life was hard before the school took you in. It's a wonder how you found magic for yourself. Put a subject into Basic. You have found a from it and you might use it without the tools and ceremony usually required.

The Chosen One: There is a prophecy. Say why it may fit you. Name another character it might fit. Mark potential, when you learn something about it. Take +1 on all attempts to get away from it.

Benefactors: You have a benefactor among the staff. They will not support you openly, but may leave hints or overlook your wrongdoings. Another member of the staff despises you though.

Outsider Perspective: When you point out an injustice or absurdity in the school's society, roll +Worldliness. On a 7-9, choose one. On a 10+, you get both:
They must stop to explain themselves or suffer.
They mark potential, if they heed your call.


The Studious

You are a rising star. The school is happy to have you, they say. Put a subject into Basic. You have already mastered a hand full of tricks from it.

Teacher's Pet: When you ask a teacher for something that you need for "your studies", roll +Learning. On a 10+, they bite. On a 7-9, they have what you need in their office, but are not willing to hand it over.

Research: When you take a completely new approach on a magical problem, formulate a theory how it might work. On a hit you may choose one one more and you may also choose:
I can teach this to others.

Sucker for Rules: When you admonish another student about the school rules, roll +Virtue. On a hit, they will hesitate in what they are doing and you take +1 forward against them. On a 10+, you may choose to make them suffer.


The Scion

You hail from an old noble family of mages. They expect great things from you. Put one subject into Lost. You have an heirloom that can produce a single trick from this subject.

Influence: When you call your family for help, roll +Ambition. On a hit, choose one:
You can get some special allowance.
You can get some minor magic item delivered.
You learn some information about politics or economy.
On a 7-9, earn some good grades, before you call again.

Cronies: Name one or two fairly average students who really look up to you. When you ask them for favors, step up your result.

Tutors: Your family didn't let you come unprepared. You may declare that you have mastered a spell from a basic subject. Time must pass before you do so again.


The Pragmatic

School? Yeah, no worry. You already know what you're going to do after. Put the appropriate subject in Elective. You already know a trick from it.

Facilitation: You have turned your family's business into a commodity that is in high demand by the student body and hardly within school regulations. When you offer it in a deal, you may roll +Ambition (instead of +Virtue). If you keep the deal, they must give you trust. On a miss, your goods will fail in a spectacular manner.

Sportive: You are physically fit compared to your fellows. When you fight or compete physically, you may choose one more on a hit.

Siblings: Name one or more siblings who currently attend school. They Trust you, and you may ask them for favors with +Heart. On a 7-9, they do not fully agree with choices, but may help you in lesser ways.


The Alien

You hail from a close-knit community not usually served by the School. Your ways are your own. Put an appropriate subject into Forbidden. You know a trick from it. Also say why you are here: Accident, Exile, Hostage, Spy, Survivor, ____________

Honor: When you trust them and they trust you, take +2 to help them. When you break their trust, suffer.

Calling Home: You have comparably fast connection to your people. When you call with some request, roll +Heart. On a 10+, delivery will be fast. In any way, they will make a request upon you in the future.

Well Traveled: You may consult your knowledge about faraway places. If you do, roll +Worldliness (instead of +Learning).

 

johnthedm7000

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
I love the basic moves but I'm concerned that the offer a deal move is a little bit too transactional in it's nature. It's more or less a word by word translation of the parlay move from Dungeon world which I don't think necessarily fits with the tone of Harry Potter and related media.

In those stories, convincing another character to do something is less about what you can offer them in exchange and more about winning their trust. At least in the case of characters who are about the same age as the protagonists.

And then entirely separately there's how characters in these sorts of stories interact with adults (usually teachers), which is usually based upon either keeping them in the dark or buttering them up.

My suggestion would be:

When you prove to someone that you're trustworthy roll+ Heart

On a 10+ you gain their Trust. If you already have their Trust they'll do something for you instead out of thanks. PCs take +1 forward if they do so and mark xp.

On a 7-9 they choose one:

I ask you to keep a secret
I ask you to tell me the truth
I ask for your loyalty
I ask for you to back me up

If you do, you gain their Trust.

I think changing the mechanics around trust is also worthwhile thing to consider. I think that NPCs who trust the protagonist's should generally he willing to help out the player characters that a trust unless they're asking for something way outside the NPC's comfort zone or abilities. In cases like that, the PC will have to prove that they are trustworthy.

Combine that with giving PCs an experience point when they put themselves at risk for someone that they Trust and I think you've got a recipe for a system that nicely models the friendship dynamics you see in a series like Harry Potter.

The buttering up a teacher / adult move I'm not quite as clear on but I feel like in most young adult fiction where the characters are part of some magical school there's a clear divide between how they interact with one another and how they interact with the adults in their life. Just a thought.
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
Very sensible. I wasn't quite sure about the social rules indeed. You make very good points. I'll think about that.

As for buttering up a teacher, I made one of those for the Studious playbook. See above. What do you think, is a basic move required or are various expressions over the playbooks a better way of doing it?
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
So, concerning [MENTION=60407]johnthedm7000[/MENTION]'s suggestions:

If you already have their Trust they'll do something for you instead out of thanks.
I think that is good as a separate move: 'Whenever you gain someone's Trust again, they will instead do something for you out of thanks.' I was looking for an effect for that trigger. This is a good one.

When you prove to someone that you're trustworthy roll+ Heart
I think that trigger might a bit too open to interpretation. Also there is already a Move on +Heart that allows you to gain Trust. I might shuffle that around of course, but I'd also like some social move on +Virtue.
 

johnthedm7000

Social Justice Witch
Validated User
I don't think it's necessarily any more vague than "when you offer a deal to someone". What a character considers proving one's self will vary based on their nature and priorities, just as what constitutes leverage in DW will vary from person to person.

The prove yourself move could easily be +Virtue as well. Which makes me think: can you think of a character in the media you're using as inspiration who would have low Heart but high virtue? Or vice versa? What's the distinction?
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
Which makes me think: can you think of a character in the media you're using as inspiration who would have low Heart but high virtue? Or vice versa? What's the distinction?
Virtue is about the Doing and the Being Seen Doing It. It's the popular kids' stat. Heart is more what's inside. Neville L. is high Heart and low Virtue.

But now having vacuum-cleaned some, I think I will do it like this. Change the +Heart move to 'When you encourage, help or show kindness...'. That makes it a bit more clear and easier to use.

When you speak of friendship and extend your Trust, roll + Virtue. On 10+, they give you Trust as well. On a 7-9 choose one to prove it:
- Get them in on a secret.
- Give them something they like.
- Promise them help with a problem.
 

Threlicus

Full of Stars
Validated User
This move seems ... weird. I mean, it makes sense in the fiction, but from a mechanical point of view, I'm not understanding what a player is trying to do with it. Is it to your advantage to Trust other PCs? If so, why does the 10+ result have them give it to you? If it's *not* to your advantage, a 7-9 means you've both given trust and given up some fictional leverage. So that's almost like a miss?

I mean, I get what you're going for, fictionally, and extending Trust is an important thing in this genre, but the mechanics backing it up here need some rethinking, I think.

(Also, if you want Virtue to be the 'be seen doing it' maybe a different name is in order. Virtue seems pretty internal. Maybe 'Honor' would be better?)
 

1of3

Registered User
Validated User
This move seems ... weird. I mean, it makes sense in the fiction, but from a mechanical point of view, I'm not understanding what a player is trying to do with it. Is it to your advantage to Trust other PCs? If so, why does the 10+ result have them give it to you? If it's *not* to your advantage, a 7-9 means you've both given trust and given up some fictional leverage. So that's almost like a miss?
You honestly tell them you are their friend. On a 10+, you gain their Trust. On a 7-9, you have to prove your good intentions, before they give you theirs as well. I think I just forgot half a sentence on 7-9 part.

On 10+, they give you Trust as well. On a 7-9 choose one to prove it before they do:
If you see any other issues here, please tell.
 
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