GeekMom Games: Harry Potter Wizard’s Dueling is for Everyone!

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Image courtesy Warner Brothers

It’s here.  The second to last Harry Potter movie.  The books are done.  The movies are coming to an end, and by golly, my obsession is not nearly over.  I’m a Harry Potter fan through and through.  Admittedly a latecomer to the series I didn’t read the first book until after the release of the second movie (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets).  Even then I only did so because a particularly insistent friend gifted me the book in college.  A tried and true bibliophile I couldn’t not read it.  It’s a book, that’s what its for, right?  Six hours later I was in the car praying that the local Border’s was still open at two in the morning so I could get the rest of the books that had been released at that point.  It was and so my obsession began, late and in-austere, but obsession nonetheless.

I own a channel-changing wand (courtesy my paycheck devouring fave site, ThinkGeek), I regularly don a Professor McGonagall costume, and have taken every blessed Which Harry Potter Character Are You quiz ever written on the internet.  I draw the line at writing fan literature although that can’t be far behind with the book and movie franchise drawing to a close.  I have however created my own version of Wizard’s Dueling to be used by my geekiest of friends.  My three-year-old daughter even plays it.   With the movie premier nearly here I thought I would share my abbreviated version with GeekMoms to use in the theater as you wait for the midnight showing.  The beauty of this version is that it can be played from memory, much like Rock Paper Scissors. If you can remember three spells you can duel your fellow wizards.  It is easy for kids to learn and you get to yell out Harry Potter spells as loud as you can.

You’ll need three spells and an optional wand:

  • Confundo
  • Petrificus Totalus
  • Expecto Patronum
  1. Confundo beats Expecto Patronum (In order to cast a Patronus you must be able to focus your thoughts on things that make you happy.  Under a Confundus Charm you would be unable to focus.)
  2. Expecto Patronum beats Petrificus Totalus (Expecto Patronum is a simpler spell to cast if you know how to do it and a Patronus, when conjured properly, can have physical effect on its target.  Since it takes a bit more wand work to cast Petrificus Totalus, the Patronus would have your opponent on the ground before the spell could be cast.)
  3. Petrificus Totalus beats Confundo. (You can’t cast a curse if you can’t move your arms.  Petrificus Totalus is the Full Body-Bind Curse and is pretty effective.)
  4. In case of a tie, it is a draw and you have to cast again.
Wizard’s Wand Remote from ThinkGeek

Yes, I’m that a big a nerd.  Most of my information is from extensive reading (and re-reading) of the books as well as this awesome spell compilation I found on Wikipedia.

You can add various dimensions to this by assigning point levels to each spell.  You can also add your favorite spells, just be sure to write down what beats what.

Another variation to try:

Using the above matrix, assign point values.  I use increments of five (5) because it makes the math easier.

Confundo gets 5 points, Petrificus Totalus gets 10 points, Expecto Patronum gets 20 points.  Each time you win using one of those spells you get that number of points.  However you lose the assigned number of points when you lose the match, so you can’t just yell Expecto Patronum every time. Now we add a bit more.

Add to the list Expelliarmus (expels the wand from the opponent’s hand) and Finite Incantatem (negates the effect of most spells):

  • If you use Expelliarmus your opponent loses 10 points.  You, however lose 5 points. Great tactic if you are close in points.
  • If you use Finite Incantatem you win the match, however you receive no points.  Your opponent still loses the points associated with the spell they attempted to cast.
  • You play in rounds.  A round consists of ten castings. You can only use Expelliarmus and Finite Incantatem once each per round.

Again, these are the kid friendly versions of the game.  When playing with my grown-up Harry Potter fan-friends we have a much more complicated version that more closely resembles the old-school table top games.  There is a point system, the forbidden spells (which I left out of the children’s versions, even the loudest geek part of me really can’t condone kids yelling out imaginary killing curses at each other), tie breakers and the like.  I’m choosing not to post this version for two reasons.  First, it is painfully complicated and it involves diagrams and matrices and insanity.  Second, I’d like you to post your own variations of Wizard’s Dueling without mine to taint the creation.  Use the comments section and share your tales of dueling. I look forward to hearing from you!

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