Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hogwarts Adventures -Year One Episode 2

I had high hopes for this since we were trapped inside our home by Hurricane Irene. I figured I would have a little longer. Sadly, I forgot that my college needed my hands on attention during said hurricane, and I was forced to shorten things up. IT worked out okay because it wasn't going as smoothly as I wished.

We started off with some Magic Classes as promised. I thought a little Study Test for each spell would be a good way of introducing the dice mechanics to the kids. Sadly I forgot that William has an aura of good luck, and Sophie, not so much. So Gandalf (Will) ended up with half again as many learned spells as Stacie (Sophie). That set a sort of unhappy tone for the beginning, but it turned out okay. Stacie turned out to be pretty resourceful, and Sophie's excellent Memory paid off in the end.

We find the two apprentice wizards in Prof. Snape's potion class. My Snape is much improved by the way. The kids were impressed by my impression.:) They were working on a Mutagenic Potion that allowed one object to take on the properties of another. They were cautioned never to include living creatures in the mix.

The wizards spied those ne'er do wells Goyle and Draco trying to abuse poor Neville Longbottom. After some general taunting Draco used the Wingardiam Levioso spell to levitate Trevor, Neville's trusty toad into the air. The kids, responding as kids frequently do, did not intervene directly, but instead called on Prof. Snape's attention to the crime. He angrily cast the Desino spell (a dispel magic I added to the repertoire). Poor Trevor fell helplessly into the potion that Neville was working on, and was instantly transformed into a grey blob of some kind, still possessing his toadlike abilities, bt now imbued with other strange powers. The Trevor Blob began to hop and slide out of the room. Snape ordered the class to retrieve it. Stacey and Gandalf were fist out, and just in time to leap from one moving staircase to another (barely making it) to follow the Trevor-Blob through Hogwarts.
Their hunt led them to locked doors where they had to apply their Alhomora (unlock spells), and dark corridors. Stacey used the Lumino spell, Gandalf relied on the Aciso to summon a candle for light. They eventually tracked the blob into the caves beneath the towers, and used the Petrifico Totalus to the paralyze the blob and bring it out.
They were unable to end the enchantment with a Desino spell, and so instead took the Trevor-Blob to Dumbledore. The head master is not one to do for a student what they can do for themselves, but he gave them a potion they could give the Trevor-Blog if they first could lure a special fly into it,and then get the Trevor Blob to consume the fly. They beseeched the head cook for some syrup to lure a fly, and managed to convince her to lend it to them. It didn't take long to catch the fly, enchant it, and feed it to the Trevor-Blog thereby releasing him from the charm.
I had to speed through the last bits as the hurricane was causing some panic to the college (phones out, and no WiFi!), but I think the kids we're satisfied. This did tell me that an hour and a half, maybe two is the maximum I should aim for with them, any more is too much for their attention-spans. So it worked out.
Observations - although Gandalf had an extensive list, he was fond of picking one spell, and trying it every chance he could. With her more limited selection, Stacie was quick to connect the opportune spell with the right circumstances. She barely chased the Trevor-Blob in the caves before whipping out the Petrifico.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hogwarts Adventures: Year One

So, I've been waiting with both hesitation and excitement to share my love of Role Playing Games with my kids. They've been asking to play since they realized that is what I do on Tuesday Nights (and why they need to clean their play room). I've tried a few little things, totally informally, but they haven't worked well. Then I made a promise. When you can read well enough, we will play.
Well, that time has come.

We also just finished reading (me to them) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The kids love it, I could to practice my voices (I think I have Dumbledore and McGonagall down pat, my Hagrid is iffy, and my Snape needs work). They loved it and have been running around the house brandishing wands. So I did it.
I made some Character Sheets, and the worlds most basic rules, and we did it. I decided not to let them play Hermione and Harry (their first choices, and forced them to make their own characters).

Sophie was faster. She made Stacy Granger, cousin to Hermione. Her parents are muggles, but know about wizards. She has a cat named Spotty (who doesn't have spots). She is most talented at Magic, then Studies, then Sports (the three only character traits from the rules).
Will has trouble with names, but he settled on Gandalf Ley (pronounced Lee), also the child of muggles, but unaware of his heritage. He has a Great Gray Owl named Warlock. He is best at Magic, average at Sports, and worst at Study (I think).

They picked their wands. They both luckily got into Gryffindor House (There was no avoiding it).
Sophie failed her first attempt to transfigure a match into a pin, and was required to visit Prof. McGonagall during office hours, where she succeeded.
On her way back, she spied Mrs. Norris. She was pushing a small cart with some objects on it. She ran back to the nearby Gryffindor Dorm, but could not convince Gandalf to accompany her (Will seemed to want to listen more than play).
Stacy followed the cat into a secret room where she discovered all sort of things missing from classrooms, dormitories, and other rooms at Hogwarts. She carefully hid from Mrs. Norris (making Sports rolls like a champ) and returned to Prof. McGonagall's office with the loot stolen by the cat. She was praised for her bravery (a fitting quality for a Gryffindor) and her house was awarded 10 points!

They wanted to keep playing! Sophie remembered almost every detail to tell Carly. They both asked if we could play tomorrow. So I am pretty pleased.