BUT WHAT IF...
Someone is talking too much, or not enough?
Usually, you can fix this by asking the quieter players a question. Questions like “How do you feel about this?” or “What are you up to right now?” are always good. Make sure you use their witch or wizard's name!
Keep in mind that sometimes, quiet players are happy to sit back and watch the story. Don't force them to participate, just offer them the chance to do so.
If you're the one talking too much, ask everyone more questions. You can even ask things like “What does the room look like?” or “How is the ghost acting right now?” It's your job to describe the world, but it's completely okay to hand it over to the players now and then.
Everyone is looking at me but I don't know what to say?
Don't panic! Now is a good time to make a Narrator move. Introduce something new to the story, like a new student or an undiscovered room. Have something unexpected happen. Or, ask a question. Then, see how the main characters react.
If the story really has you stumped, it's okay to say, “I'm not really sure what happens next!” You can then take a short break to figure it out. You can also ask the players what they think should happen. Remember, this is a collaborative story!
We don’t solve all the Mysteries?
You might end your story without crossing off all your Mystery questions. If the players seem happy about how the story ended, you don’t need to worry about the unanswered questions.
However, if they’re pointing out all the Mysteries that are still unsolved, your story might not be over yet! You might want to play for a bit longer. Or, if you’re out of time for the day, you might want to schedule another story session.
If you can’t do either, you can ask the players, “What do you think the answers to those questions are?” Then try to quickly talk out some solutions to the unsolved Mysteries.
We don’t know what a spell does?
The “Spells” sheet only includes spell names and incantations. This is deliberate. When someone casts a spell, they get to describe its effect. As long as that effect fits the name of the spell and feels fair to everyone playing, go with it.
The “Spells” sheet has some suggestions about how some kinds of spells might lead to or prevent Conditions. However, most spells just do something in the story, like make things levitate or give someone the hiccups.
Remember, to cast a spell, a witch or wizard must correctly say the incantation and wave their wand!
My group doesn't feel like using all the rules?
No problem! You can use as many or as few of the game rules as you want. If your group wants to play a game without Conditions, don't give anyone a Condition. If you don't want to write down and cross off Mysteries, don't ask for Mysteries. It's up to you!
I don't know something about Harry Potter, or someone knows more than I do?
That's fine. This is your group’s story, not anybody else’s. It's okay to make things up to suit your story. You don't have to follow the books and films perfectly.
If someone corrects you on something about the world, go with it – but only if it makes sense for your story! If someone is holding up the story by correcting people all the time, gently remind them that you’re all creating an original story. Even the films changed or left out things from the books, and they're still great!
If you really need to know something, you can always pause the story for a few seconds and look it up online.
We're at the Sorting Ceremony and the Sorting Hat needs to sing a song!
You should sing the song.