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October 13, 2023

Harry Potter and the D20 Game Review

In case you’re scratching the itch to follow teenage wizards in action but don’t want to shell out for the new Harry Potter game (or the increasingly terrible spin-off movies), you can always watch a bunch of nerds play harry potter and the d20. Adapted from Dimension 20’s Dungeons and Dragons role-playing series Misfits and Magic, this new take on the story follows a group of American kids sent to Gawpenny Academy, a magical school in Scotland that bears more than a few similarities to Hogwarts. The players, like the characters they embody, are very aware of Rowling’s world and call BS on a lot of its tropes. In the course of their dnd sessions, they mock the Sorting Hat ceremony, question whether it’s really worth it to send a homeless kid to Gryffindor house, and chastise Evan Kelmp for being a potential He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

While it’s no HP and the Sacred Stones, harry potter and the d20 is still a fun, fast-paced show that makes excellent use of its meta elements. It’s also, as you might expect, often hilarious: the players’ attempts to order a McRib from the magical British kitchen are a treat for the eyes, and the “common fucking sense die,” which rewards the kids with gameplay boosts for subverting fantasy narratives with real-world wisdom, is an inspired touch.