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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 86 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: An rpg inspired by... Bewitched?  (Read 2575 times)

Posts: 729

« on: November 18, 2002, 05:31:26 PM »

OK, caught an episode of Bewitched the other day... the one where Tabitha starts teleporting the people she wants to see into her room... you know, big laughs.

Anyhow, how the hell does this lead me to thinking about an RPG?

I got to thinking about how magic works in this show (and in most other TV in the "magic person mixes with normal folks and must keep powers secret while having wacky adventures" genera)... there just arenít that many practical limits to what a magic using character can do with the mojo... but it seems like you can't do anything major with magic without having it come right back at you somehow as a plot complication.  Use a nose wiggle to keep the husband from loosing his job... and his boss ends up dating your semi-evil mother.  

I started to consider how to use this sort of instant karmic whammy to create really interesting stories... and I came up with this.


Magic ability is inherent in witchfolk, like the ability to walk or to speak.  Magical ability can be developed like a mundane could develop his ability to run into the ability to sprint in a race, or his ability to speak into the ability to persuade.  In game terms each of the various fields of magical endeavor are based off an attribute, so even young and untrained witchfolk can do some pretty impressive things.

When you use magic to solve a problem, you accumulate Trouble.  Trouble is a pool of points based on the power of the magic you use to fix your problem.  The more magic you use, the more Trouble you accumulate.  


Trouble points represent how magic always seems to come back at you.  Trouble is used to buy Events... and anyone in the game is allowed to spend them.  The GM can spend them to move his plot along, the other players can spend them to amuse themselves or screw you... and you can spend them yourself.  Events are written up on a 3X5 card and described with the following scores:

Players: how many people are involved in the Event?
Kinks: how many complications are involved?
Persistence: how tough to resolve is the Event?
Score: a total of the above.

To resolve an Event, a player has to succeed with a number of related skill/ability checks equal to the Event's score.  For example:

Julie- a typical American college student- used a fairly powerful spell to ensure she was accepted into the TriDelta sorority during rush week... but the magical fallout from the spell caused her best friend's boyfriend to fall for her... now she has to convince him she isn't the love of his life... without pilling up the karmic debts by using still more magic to get out of it.  The Event looks like this:

Cupid's Misfire
Description:  Jason Barnes- Kathy's boyfriend- has been charmed into thinking he is in love with Julie.
Players: 3 (Jason, Kathy, Julie)
Kinks: 3 (Jason is pretty hard headed; Kathy has to approve Julie's admission to TriDelta; Julie sort of likes Jason anyway...)
Persistence: 2
Score: 8

The good thing about Trouble is that it is the only way to advance... you earn advancement points (and metagame currency) by solving your Events.  Each successful stat check which reduces an Event's score grants one point of mojo or karma or whatever.  If you fail to resolve an Event, then the remaining points of its Score reduce your Karma.


Alternately, you can choose to spend your Trouble immediately to buy yourself a specific event in your future which will occur no matter what you do- a bit of unavoidable bad luck.

Injury- the only way to get hurt in this fairly combat-free game is through an Injury curse.  1 point is a bad bruise, 3 a bad sprain, 5 a broken bone, 8 a deep wound (requiring specialized care), 10 is a life-threatening injury you may not survive, 12+ is certain death.

Loss- you loose something dear to you.  1 is a memento, 5 your cherry red 63 Ford Galaxy convertible, 8 your best friend, 10 your true love, 12+ your soul.

Curses have a trigger number determined randomly when they are created... at the begining of each session, the GM rolls against this number secretly, and any events which come up will go off during this session.  

So, this is the initial sketch of the intresting bits of the system... there the rest of the mechanics need not be especialy extraordinary, just functional.  Any suggestions on how to run or manage this kind of event-building system?

Posts: 379

« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2002, 07:14:08 PM »

Hey, B. :)

Just wanted to say great post.

Minor quibble: Sam liberaly uses magic to get herself and Darren out of the mess they're in. However, to me, your system is perfect for a Sabrina, Teenage Wich, the RPG.

Anyway, like I said, I just wanted you to know that I liked it.



url=http://lisbongamer.mc-two.com/]Lisbon Gamer[/urlLisbon Gamer

Posts: 675

« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2002, 12:59:37 AM »

interesting take on the Bewitched concept, especially since you choose to re-create the troublesome aspect of "Bewitched" spells by literally having witches accumulate Trouble. as JMendes noted, that's not exactly "Bewitched" style, but it could prove interesting.

I've actually thought a lot about "Bewitched". for a comparison, you might want to check out my interpretation of Bewitched using Sorcerer, which I haven't actually tried to play, but it's certainly tempting. in contrast to the Trouble mechanic, I assumed that the character's troublez arise from the Kicker or from that malicious or meddling actions of witches and warlocks (perhaps influenced by their Desires and Needs.)

John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
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