I’ve been meaning to do this mashup for while, and this is probably a good occasion. Let it roll: it’s Harry Potter time. Any book is fine, or all of them, or whatever suits — one of the elements of the series that I really like is the time progression, although I’m not confident that Rowling won’t screw it up, but do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the mashup law.
(Hm. I should use Al next Monday.)
OK, so I’m going to translate this into the near future, with a superbly talented kid sent to a military training school. For some reason, only children can be trained to fight the alien invasion — what? Orson Scott Card is on the phone? Damn.
Right, so: I’d invert the somewhat elitist themes of the Harry Potter books and set the game in an alternate Mage universe. In this world, the Technocracy is losing; the Traditions managed to convince the Void Engineers to join them and the result has been catastrophic. Wild things stalk the cities at night, vampires have elbowed their way back out of mythic reality, the fae folk are born again, and it is deeply unsafe to be a human being.
More so than in the standard World of Darkness, I mean.
So the Technocracy has devised a number of plans of counterattack. One of them is an elite school for teen mages, in the hopes that by teaching them to harness their potential early they will become unimaginably powerful. Everyone there is told that this is the only hope, in order to increase the sense of urgency; in reality there are a number of desperate plans underway.
One of the kids at the school happens to be the son of a pair of dead Oracles, one of whom was from the Traditions. I think he’s an NPC. I actually kind of want the PCs to be Draco Malfoy and his bunch, just to complete the turnaround. To make them sympathetic, I think they get to uncover the truth behind the school — that it’s only one option — and… not sure where they go from there.
But definitely a game about growing up.
I want you to read the following a couple times and ponder it:
Someone who is comfortable leeching large portions of his recall into an external device is actually someone who’s fucking creepy, rather than avuncular.
The turnabout-tactic on Harry Potter actually works brilliantly well.
Yeah. There’s a lot of creepy inherent in the Potter mythos. There are times when I think that the really successful children’s authors are those who embrace the creepy rather than repressing it.
I went the parody route… kinda.
Harry Potter and the Computer of Alpha Complex
As far as your take goes, I think the correct way to complete your inversion, and to make Malfoy et al sympathetic, is to make Harry exactly what he’s accused of being by Snape: A rule-breaking glory hound.
To further make Malfoy sympathetic, you need to make his dad less evil. This means whitewashing Voldemort as well, methinks. Consider that these ARE Technocrats. Make Voldemort the Machine Messiah, an alternate way of solving humanity’s problems, rather than the “powerful mage” route of the Academy: Technology gives humanity the edge to take back the night, and grants immortality… Death Eaters, anyone?
After learning that the Academy isn’t REALLY the only hope, the PCs can embrace the Machine Messiah and the new order it represents. Imagine how Order of the Phoenix would have gone with kids on both sides.
This week, Bryant gives us Harry Potter as his half of the mashup. This one is going to be a…