Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Charmed

I am not ashamed of this, but all things considered I vastly prefer Charmed to Buffy. I don't even consider myself a Buffy fan to be honest, more of a Willow & Tara fan. But I am an unapologetic Charmed fan.

There is the whole witch thing to be sure.  And the Charmed Ones are rather easy on the eyes.  But I think my friend and former TV writer Robert Black said it best,  Charmed never forgot who their audience was and never forgot they were a TV show.

You can see his post from an archive of the Original Other Side here,

I am at a really good place in my gaming life.  I get to game all the time now with various groups. I get to talk to the people that make this hobby happen and they are really cool.  And I get to write the stuff I like.

But I'd kill to be able to write a Charmed RPG.

While I know the demographics of the show and your average gamer are not exactly the same, I think with the amount of "modern supernatural" fiction being published today that a Charmed game would be fantastic.  Buffy sold well, Dresden Files is doing nicely.  Granted those are properties with significant geek/gamer buy-in and at the time of their games the properties are still active.

I would like to point out that with all the stuff I have written about witches and magic in the things I have published that this game would be a natural for me. ;)

The world of Charmed is richer and it is a drama about sisters that happen to be witches and living in a supernatural world. Not one about witches that happen to be sisters.  The differences sound subtle but have huge potential differences on how a story can be told.  Charmed featured, not just witches and demons (the typical fare in my book) but all sorts of other races, creatures and groups with agendas of their own; and just because two groups were working for the same side they didn't always get along.  For example the Charmed Ones and the Elders or even the Valkyries.

I think there are better stories one can tell in the Charmed universe, actually I know so.  One of the premises of Season of the Witch was to take two Buffy characters and put them into a more Charmed like universe and tell a story.  It worked. It worked really well in fact.

Of course my system of choice for this would be Unisystem, but I can also see doing it in something like Mutants & Masterminds or even Cortex..    Maybe I need to chase down the company that owns the game rights (I know, or rather knew, who they are) and see if they want to hire me cheap.  If Eden were to do it and publish it I'd even consider doing it for free.

There are a couple of versions of Charmed on the web.
Andrew Peregrine, author of Victoriana 2nd ed and Hellcats and Hockeysticks did one way back when.  You can still find it here,

Jeff Slick also did one years ago, but all his copies seem to be gone.  I did find thins one though,

I like both, but there are things I'd do different in each one.

At the end of the day though I think a Charmed RPG may never be.  More is the pity too.  I think I could really rock on writing it.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, that does sound like an interesting game.

I enjoyed Buffy more than Charmed overall, but Charmed did come ahead in certain ways, especially when it came to consistent wordbuilding. Joss and the other Buffy writers tended to put the story ahead of consistency, which is a reasonable approach, and in line with Emerson said about consistency being the hobgoblin of little minds.

But Charmed made good storytelling out of being consistent. In each of the episodes where the nexus features and the Woogeyman shows up, for instance, they use the same facts, and most of the time the same spell. But the character circumstances are different, so that they're not doing the same episode over and over.

Thanks for sharing!

Corone said...

I think Buffy was a far better show in terms of writing and most other things, but I did love Charmed as a guilty pleasure.

Charmed was also interesting as it is the closest I've seen to a Shojo manga, where fighting the monster wasn't as important as sorting relationships.

Pulp Herb said...

I have tried to get into Charmed twice. When it first ran and in 2008 via Netflix. I just couldn't do it. I made it one episode on the original run and two discs from Netflix but it never clicked for me. Given the huge Buffy fan I am I was surprised.

Then again, I love the Hollows novels but beyond the first have often struggled to get through them and the most recent read (Outlaw Demon Wails) I almost didn't care for much of it.

That said I do have the Unisystem version that was out on the net (not sure if it was one of the ones you listed).

Charmed featured, not just witches and demons (the typical fare in my book) but all sorts of other races, creatures and groups with agendas of their own; and just because two groups were working for the same side they didn't always get along. For example the Charmed Ones and the Elders or even the Valkyries.

If memory ready you're somewhat early in The Dresden Files. This is a key feature of the Dresdenverse and one of the reasons it has such a pull on me.

Timothy S. Brannan said...


I am posting about the Dresden Files tomorrow. I am actually getting ready to finish up "Turn Coat".

Unknown said...

Charmed was chock full of eye candy... but I never warmed to the show at all (other than the How Soon Is Now title sequence). I vastly preferred Buffy for the writing and my attachment to the characters and to the underlying mythology of the show. Of course, it gave me my longest running RPG campaign I have ever played, so I'm a little biased..

But each to their own. I find your your taste in female-focused SF charming and it's one of the reasons I keep coming back to your site. :)

baygirl32 said...

I could never get into Charmed or Buffy, but yet I did watch Angel... weird I know

stopping in from the A to Z

Angela said...

The certainly are easy on the eyes.

NiaRaie said...

I am late to posting this, but I absolutely LOVE Charmed. I never could really get into Buffy. Great post!

Jason L Blair said...

Charmed is a dream license for me. I've been building the system for the past couple years, mapping out how I'd do the book. I'm not sure there's enough interest to chase the license but I've thought of stripping the name and key elements, injecting some new mythology, and releasing my take on a witch-with-problems RPG.

(That said, if I had the backing, I'd go official. Charmed RPG is at the top of my "want to design" games.)