5821 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Piper Halliwell (Holy Marie Combs in Charmed)

Piper Halliwell


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Charmed was one of the more successful 1990s TV serials about the supernatural. It ran for a robust 8 seasons (no movie, though it spawned a number of novels and comic books) and acquired a large and dedicated following.

It chronicles the struggles, both mundane and magical, of 3 sisters who discover that they are witches with powerful magic powers and a shared destiny. Known as the Charmed Ones, the Halliwell sisters are further armed with the powerful Book of Shadows, their ancestral grimoire.


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The show’s main hooks were a mostly female cast – and the ability to mix genres from light horror to urban fantasy to soap opera. Though it occasionally veered into camp or even “jiggle TV”, at its heart the show was about family and the bond between the sisters.

Our current Charmed profiles are solely based on the first season of the TV show (1998-1999), and come with S P O I L E R S. There are also small, indirect spoilers for later seasons.

Writeups.org’s Charmed profiles are dedicated to the memory of Phyllis “Figgy” Ann Flannery Kyle, killed by a drunk driver on Jan 18th, 2008. Charmed was her favorite show


Background

  • Real Name: Piper Halliwell.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives (Partial List — not including relatives whose existence is unknown in Season 1): Prudence “Prue” Halliwell (sister), Phoebe Halliwell (sister), Victor Bennet (father), Patricia “Patty” Halliwell (mother, deceased), Penelope “Penny” Halliwell (grandmother, deceased), Melinda Warren (great, great, great, great, great, great-grandmother, deceased progenitor of the line of Warren witches), and assorted other Halliwell/Warren/etc. foremothers (see the Charmed Wiki for a complete listing).
  • Group Affiliation: The Charmed Ones.
  • Base Of Operations: Halliwell Manor, San Francisco CA, USA.
  • Height: 5’1½” Weight: Yes.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Dark Brown Age: 25 (During season one; her birthdate is June 7th, 1973.)
  • Other distinguishing features: Piper has a small scar above her right eyebrow.


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Powers & Abilities

Piper Halliwell is inherently magical, descended from a long line of magical witches (somewhat like the DCU’s Homo Magi or the Marvel Universe’s New Salemites), as opposed to a normal, non-powered person who takes up the practice of witchcraft.

As a magical witch, she can cast ritual spells and brew magical potions. She can also perceive most ghosts, and perhaps other magical creatures that are typically invisible to humans.

True witches in the Charmed Universe are also born with a unique power of their own (much like a mutant or metahuman), a special gift which grows stronger over time and may even develop into additional powers.

In the case of the Charmed Ones, each sister received one of the 3 powers practiced by Melinda Warren, namely to move objects with the mind, freeze time, and see the future.

Piper’s special gift is the power to “freeze time”. She causes people, demons, and objects to freeze in place without any knowledge of the passage of time. Good witches are immune, and certain very powerful warlocks and demons can fight through the effects.

Piper’s power can freeze a large group of targets at once, so long as they are fairly close together (if outside) or confined to a single room (if inside). In fact, at this point, Piper can’t differentiate — everything around her target will freeze in place.

Piper is very much a novice witch throughout season 1, with little real occult knowledge. However, she has access to the Book of Shadows, the Halliwells’ ancestral tome. Using the Book’s Occultist score in place of her own, she can cast a variety of spells.

Most of them involve specific vanquishing spells for specific demons and warlocks (generally a combination of Pyrotechnics and Sharpness, in DC Heroes terms). Other known spells in the Book include a Truth spell, charms to summon an ancestor’s spirit, travel through time, exchange powers with another witch, multiply one’s strength (by creating duplicates of the character), etc.

In addition to her magic, Piper is an intelligent and compassionate woman with a genuine desire to help people. That warmth makes her very persuasive (in DC Heroes terms, Charisma (Persuasion)). As a physical combatant, she’s mostly a normal person at this point.

She has some handy domestic skills, though. She’s an excellent chef, skilled in sewing, can handle basic first aid, and is becoming a good business manager.

The Power of Three

Piper’s status as a Charmed One (3 sisters prophesied to become the most powerful witches the world has ever seen) is reflected in her Power Reserve, which enhances the Effect of a spell cast by Ritual Magic.

Note that it is the final Effect that is enhanced, NOT Piper’s Ritual Magic score. This means that she is as likely to fail in casting a spell as anyone else, but when she succeeds, the spell will be more powerful than normal.

She can only access her Power Reserve when Team Attacking a Ritual with one or both of her sisters. Since her sisters likewise possess this conditional Power Reserve, their combined magic allows them to cast spells of great power.

The Price of Magic

In the Charmed Universe, as in the DCU, magic has its price. In this case, good witches like the Charmed Ones have four Subplots constantly hanging over their heads.

First, warlocks and demons are constantly out to kill witches and steal their powers. As a result, Piper and her sisters are subject to attack at any time, any place, without warning.

They are also sworn to defend the innocent (typically defending them *from* the warlocks and demons), and are liable to encounter people in trouble unusually frequently.

There is a strong element of “destiny” or “fate” in the series, with the Charmed Ones encountering people they are “meant” to help. As both a target for evil and a defender of the innocent, the Charmed Ones encounter trouble about as often as if they lived on a Hellmouth (or as if they were super-heroes).

Third, good witches are sworn not to use their powers for personal gain, a witchly variation on the DCU’s Magician’s Code. Breaking this rule will always lead to unforeseen consequences which the GM should inflict as appropriate. Generally, they are related to the spell or power used.

For instance, casting a spell to attract true love might summon dozens of potential suitors, all fighting over the witch. A spell to cure a loved one of disease might just shift that disease to an innocent, or even many innocents.

Depending on the degree of personal gain (and the mood of the GM), the consequences may be dire. They will often be embarrassing, inconvenient, and sometimes silly (almost as if the characters are on a sitcom…).

Finally, witches work to conceal their identities and the existence of magic. In the first season this mostly functions as a garden-variety Secret Identity. As time goes on, it gets closer to being a Dark Secret.


Video

A cut of key scenes in the first season of Charmed, made as a recap.


History

Piper Halliwell is the middle daughter of Patricia “Patty” Halliwell and Victor Bennet. The couple had 2 other daughters, Prue and Phoebe. Patty and Victor split up when the girls were young, and shortly thereafter Patty was killed.

The trio was raised by their maternal grandmother, Penelope “Penny” Halliwell (“Grams”), in the family’s Victorian manor in San Francisco.

All in the Family

The Halliwells are descended from Melinda Warren, a powerful witch with the ability to move objects with her mind, freeze time, and see the future. Melinda died in the Salem witch trials in 1692 , but her daughter and Book of Shadows survived. She also passed down a prophecy.

Melinda foresaw that each generation of Warren witches would grow more powerful, culminating in the eventual arrival of the Charmed Ones. These 3 sisters, each possessed of one of Melinda’s abilities, would become the most powerful witches the world had ever seen. Wielding the Power of Three, they would defend the innocent and vanquish many terrible evils.

Piper Halliwell (Holy Marie Combs) during the opening credits

Over time the family name changed to include Russells, Bowens, Halliwells, and others, but the line of Warren witches thrived. Each generation added new knowledge and spells to their Book of Shadows. Eventually it became coveted by evil forces as one of the most magical of all tomes.

Much of the book consisted of vanquishing spells designed to destroy specific demons and warlocks. Many of these spells required the Power of Three, and thus could not be used by the Warren witches who devised them. They were a trust passed down to future generations, ensuring the Charmed Ones would be well armed to fulfill Melinda’s prophecy.

By the early 20th century the family had migrated to San Francisco and moved into a Victorian manor built atop a nexus of spiritual energy. By moving there, the family claimed the power of the Nexus for the forces of good, yet another way of preparing for the Charmed Ones.

Prue, Piper, and Phoebe were born in fulfillment of this prophecy.

The Wonder Years

However, when Piper and her sisters were still young (Phoebe was actually in utero), a warlock named Nicholas attacked. Patty struck a bargain which kept Nicholas from immediately killing her and then going after her children.

She gave Nicholas immunity to her daughters’ powers, gambling that she and Penny could protect the girls until they found a way to beat Nicholas. To ensure that he didn’t immediately kill the girls and claim their magic, Penny and Patty decided to strip Prue, Piper, and Phoebe’s powers.

Prue and Piper forgot ever having been witches, hinting that Penny may have also blocked their memory. Certainly, from this point on, Penny and Patty actively concealed the existence of magic from the girls. Possibly they didn’t want the girls to know about magic because they might have wanted their powers back before they were ready.

Penny and Patty didn’t find an immediate way to stop Nicholas, though, and the girls’ powers stayed blocked indefinitely. Nicholas kept his distance, no doubt to avoid confrontation with Patty and Penny, keeping an eye on the family to watch for signs that the trio had regained their powers.

This didn’t prevent other warlocks and demons from targeting the family, or release Patty and Penny from their own obligations to protect the innocent. Victor wanted the entire family to renounce magic and live normal (safer) lives, and it was this long-standing argument that strained Patty and Victor’s marriage.

In 1978, Patty was killed battling a water demon, leaving Penny (“Grams”) to raise the girls alone. Unknown to the sisters, their father wanted to raise them, but Grams wouldn’t allow it. He was a mortal and couldn’t, in her view, raise or protect the Charmed Ones.

Piper grew up very close to her Grams, learning to cook from her, contributing to her dream of becoming a chef. As the middle sister, she was close to both Prue and Phoebe and often found herself caught in the middle of their frequent arguments. She grew up as a mediator and a pleaser, trying to make Grams happy and make peace between her sisters.

Bothered and Bewildered

After high school, Piper mostly lived at home while attending college classes. For a time she and Prue moved out and shared an apartment, but they moved back in with Penny and Phoebe as Penny’s health deteriorated.

Piper felt compelled to be practical and responsible, making sure she was available to care for Grams. She put her dream of becoming a chef on hold, working as an accountant to help pay the family bills.

Near the end of Penny’s life, during her final hospital stay, Piper met Jeremy Burns, a newspaper reporter. Jeremy was covering a story and Piper was bawling over a bagel.

He handed her a napkin to wipe her tears, and she saw that he had written his phone number on it. The two began dating shortly thereafter.

Grams died in April of 1998, leaving the sisters still ignorant of their destiny. Prue and Piper stayed in the Halliwell manor to keep the property in the family. But with Grams no longer there, long-simmering conflicts between Phoebe and Prue came out into the open.

Piper, as always, attempted to play peacemaker, but it wasn’t enough to keep the sisters together.

Piper Halliwell (Holy Marie Combs) climbing up stairs

Phoebe moved to New York, in part to look for their long-lost father, Victor. Prue felt abandoned by Victor and was outraged that Phoebe would seek him out. She also felt Phoebe was irresponsible and unfocused. Phoebe felt Prue was overbearing and hyper-critical, more like an overprotective parent than a supportive sister.

Prue also believed that Phoebe had come onto her ex-fiancé Roger, when actually it was the other way around.

For several months Prue and Phoebe had no communication with each other. Piper kept in touch with Phoebe, but kept that secret from Prue to avoid fighting about it.

Meanwhile, Piper continued her relationship with Jeremy, which grew to the point that the couple got engaged. Piper also began pursuing her dream of becoming a chef again, and managed to get an interview to become the sous-chef at a restaurant called Quake.

Charmed, Year One

About six months after Grams’ death, Phoebe moved back into the manor, broke, unemployed, and at loose ends. Things between Prue and Phoebe remained tense, with Piper caught anxiously in the middle.

In the midst of the family drama, Phoebe discovered the Book of Shadows in the attic, learning the family’s true history for the first time. She recited a spell to call for their powers, and as Grams’ power block had died with her, the spell worked. Over the course of the next day, the three sisters realized they now had magical powers.

Phoebe gained the power to see visions of the future. When Prue was angry, she made objects move with her mind. And Piper could now freeze time, as she learned when her nervousness during her tryout interview at Quake caused her to accidentally freeze Chef Moore.

This proved useful, as it gave her the seconds she needed to finish her recipe, impressing Chef Moore and winning her the job at Quake.

But the excitement of getting a job as a chef was greatly overshadowed by the shock of becoming a witch. All the sisters were surprised. Phoebe was excited, Prue mostly angry, but Piper was scared by what they’d become, what it meant, and how it would change their lives.

Of all 3 sisters, she would struggle the most to accept being a witch and losing out on a normal life.

The Odd Couple

Piper was right to be scared. On a date with Jeremy, the very day she discovered her powers and froze Chef Moore, he pulled out a ritual knife and tried to kill her. He was actually a warlock and had known Piper’s true identity from the beginning.

He had been biding his time, pretending to love her and waiting for Piper to gain her powers so he could kill her and steal them. Working together, Prue, Piper, and Phoebe tapped into the Power of Three and vanquished Jeremy.

Over the next year, the three sisters tried to balance their new lives as witches, individuals, and sisters. As witches, the trio faced and defeated a number of magical threats, saving themselves and innocent bystanders on many occasions.

The situation forced the three to work together, inevitably bringing them closer together as sisters and teaching them to rely on each other.

Family Ties

The girls’ father, Victor, reappeared in their lives very soon after the sisters obtained their powers. He secretly hoped to take the Book of Shadows and convince his daughters to use a spell in it to give up their magic, thereby allowing them to live safe, normal lives.

While Piper and especially Phoebe were excited to see Victor, Prue met his return with anger and suspicion. But Victor did help the girls protect the Book of Shadows against a trio of demonic shapeshifters, and in the process saw that they were capable of taking care of themselves.

By the end of the incident, even Prue had warmed some to Victor. Then he unexpectedly left town again, leaving the sisters to rely only on each other again.

Piper Halliwell (Holy Marie Combs) using her magic

Their family ties were strengthened further when they met their ancestor Melinda Warren. The sisters used a spell in the Book of Shadows to summon her from the past for help against her old nemesis, a powerful warlock named Matthew Tate. Magic even gave them the chance to see Patty and Penny again.

Prue defeated Barbas, the Demon of Fear, with the help of a visit from her mother’s spirit. And when the warlock Nicholas discovered that the Charmed Ones had finally accessed their magic, he attacked. The three sisters used a time travel spell to go back to the 1970s for help and information.

The adult Halliwell sisters were able to work together with their mother and grandmother, and even their own past selves, ultimately defeating Nicholas while reaffirming their family bond.

Who’s the Boss ?

Piper’s professional life was also in transition. At the same time she found out she was a witch, she began her job as the sous-chef at Quake.

Her job was affected by her new witchly status, however. One of her first duties was to cater a wedding which was nearly co-opted by a bride literally from Hell. The Charmed Ones managed to vanquish her.

But in the midst of the catering job, Chef Moore quit, leaving Piper to run things. While this could have been a dream come true, in practice it turned out differently. The owner of the restaurant made her manager rather than head chef.

He took extensive advantage of Piper’s peace-making good nature, piling extra duties and extra hours on her, knowing she’d do the work of several people and not protest. Over the span of several months, Piper became an experienced manager, but was perennially stressed and overworked.

Eventually, the trials that Piper went through as a Charmed One helped her gain enough confidence and assertiveness to stand up to her manager. She demanded that he hire additional help. He folded quickly, and things improved for Piper.

Nevertheless, she still ended up quitting her job before the year was out. She decided it was a good job, but not her dream job, and if she was going to be a manager she’d rather work for herself than for someone else.

Touched by an Angel

Meanwhile, Piper’s post-Jeremy dating life was also in turmoil. A demon attack early in the year caused some damage to the manor, something that would occur all too frequently.

The sisters contracted with a handyman, Leo Wyatt, to make some repairs. Piper had an immediate attraction to Leo, but so did Phoebe, and the two began competing for his attention. Piper’s growing assertiveness assisted her here, as she finally asked Leo out, and he enthusiastically accepted.

Phoebe, with some ’encouragement,‘ eventually stepped aside, admitting reluctantly that much of her interest was probably because of Piper’s interest. Piper and Leo began dating and quickly became serious.

But as the year wore on, two of Prue’s co-workers, Rex and Hannah, were revealed to be demons. They framed Prue for theft and shot video footage of the sisters using their powers.

Rex threatened to expose the sisters unless they voluntarily surrendered their powers to him. Rex and Hannah had them beaten and were about to kill them when semi-divine intervention restored the sisters’ powers.

Leo was responsible for the rescue. Far from being a simple handyman, he was a magical being known as a Whitelighter. Whitelighters are heroic mortals who died but were given new life as a sort of guardian angel for witches. Leo had been sent to secretly protect and guide the Charmed Ones, and his relationship with Piper was forbidden.

With Rex and Hannah vanquished and the Charmed Ones at least temporarily safe, Leo was ordered to move on. He did so, with Piper and her sisters still ignorant of his true nature. Leo just told Piper that he had to go home, and that home was far away.

I Love Leo

After this Piper decided to take a break from dating, but Phoebe pushed her to “get back out there.” Eventually she began dating a young professor named Josh, met in the course of another demonic mis-adventure.

Piper was less into the relationship than Josh, but he was persistent, with Phoebe encouraging him, and the couple did grow closer. Ultimately this relationship went nowhere, though, as before long Josh was offered a job in another city.

He offered to stay with Piper, but she didn’t feel strongly enough to ask that commitment from him, and encouraged him to go.

Meanwhile, Leo continued to pop in and out of the sisters’ lives. On one occasion, Leo subtly got the Charmed Ones’ help in saving a young boy named Max, another new charge of Leo’s, just coming into his powers.

During the course of that adventure, Phoebe discovered Leo’s secret, but agreed to keep it. (Phoebe did actually tell Piper and Prue at some point that Leo was a whitelighter, but they thought she was joking.)

But Leo’s next appearance left his secret exposed to all 3 Halliwells. He came to San Francisco with another charge, a mortal woman named Daisy, who was destined to become a whitelighter. Daisy was sought by a jealous lover, a demonic darklighter named Alec.

Leo concealed Daisy and came seeking the help of the Charmed Ones, but before he could reach them, Alec poisoned him. The Charmed Ones were left trying to fend off Alec, save Daisy, and cure Leo of the mystical poison that was anathema to Whitelighters. Meanwhile, Piper was left reeling by the revelation of her boyfriend’s true identity.

Eventually Piper hit on the idea of switching powers with Leo. His healing power wouldn’t work on himself, but by transferring his power to her, Piper would be able to heal him. This didn’t work until Piper hit on the emotional trigger for Leo’s power — love.

In her anger at the secret he’d carried and her fear watching him decline, Piper wasn’t able to admit her love for Leo until she saw him seemingly succumb to the poison and die. At almost the last moment, her grief and love activated the healing power.

Leo was saved, and the two determined to try and make a relationship work, despite the rules against witch/whitelighter liaisons.

Party of Five

By the end of the year, there were 5 who knew the Halliwells’ secret — the Charmed Ones, Leo, and Andy, Prue’s sometime-boyfriend and an Inspector with the San Francisco PD. Piper and Leo still had to work out their relationship knowing that the Elder whitelighters forbade them to be involved.

Meanwhile Andy had trouble accepting Prue’s powers and their personal relationship remained somewhat uncertain, as he wanted the normal life Prue could never have. But now that Andy knew the sisters’ secret, he began to work together with them and to help protect their secret.

Unfortunately, this put Andy in the line of fire, as the shadowy hierarchy of the Underworld sent new demons to seek and destroy the Charmed Ones. Someone or something had noticed that demons and warlocks in the San Francisco area were suddenly being destroyed at an alarming rate.

Though Rex and Hannah had failed to defeat the Charmed Ones, they had passed on their suspicions that the Halliwell sisters were secretly the sisters of legend. New demons were sent to investigate.

The Halliwell sisters from Charmed

One of these demons took a cover identity as Inspector Rodriguez, working for internal affairs in the SFPD. Knowing there was a connection between Andy and the sisters, he pressured Andy, who chose suspension and giving up his badge over betraying the sisters.

Rodriguez nevertheless managed to confirm his suspicions about the sisters by magically eavesdropping on Andy.

With the Charmed Ones’ identities finally confirmed by the Underworld, a being called only “The Source” sent Rodriguez reinforcements. A demonic dignitary named Tempus aided Rodriguez by creating a time loop that would ensure he survived any failed confrontation with the Charmed Ones, starting the day over to try again.

In Rodriguez’s first attack, Phoebe was killed before he was vanquished and the day was restarted. When the loop repeated, Rodriguez adjusted his attack, and this time both Phoebe and Piper were killed.

Phoebe’s powers made her aware of the manipulation of the time stream, but it still took Andy Trudeau sacrificing his life for the sisters to gain the upper hand in the third time loop. They defeated Tempus and vanquished Rodriguez.

At year’s end, the sisters were temporarily safe. But Andy was dead and the mysterious Source was still a looming threat.

Charmed, Year Two

Forthcoming!


Description

Piper Halliwell is a petite, attractive brunette with long hair, longer than either of her sisters. She normally wears it straight down, parted in the middle or combed straight back.

Sometimes she wears pigtails or a pony tail, especially when working. Piper has an oval face with rounded features and a strong jaw line. She has a small scar over her right eyebrow.

Piper dresses stylishly, including high heels, though she’s less flamboyant than Prue or Phoebe. She often wears blouses that leave her arms or neckline free, but frequently wears a sweater or coat over that. Clothing color varies greatly, as she doesn’t seem to have a favorite or signature color.


Personality

Piper is a kind, caring person who genuinely desires to help people. In some ways she’s the center of the Halliwell family. Even when her sisters are angry at each other, they will both still talk to her.

Piper’s kindness is evident in how she treats people outside the family. She coordinates efforts between her restaurant and her church to provide food for the homeless.

She makes thoughtful gifts for people (knitting things for other people’s babies, making them meals, helping them throw parties for their children when they can’t afford to, etc.), tries to help co-workers work through relationship issues, and generally wants everyone to be happy.

The down side of this is that at times she can seem a little neurotic. She’s a people-pleaser and peacemaker, and she can be somewhat passive, letting people take advantage of her good nature.

Her experiences as a Charmed One have forced her to toughen up a bit, and she becomes more willing to stand up for herself and say “no” to people as the season goes on.

Piper’s also a pretty hopeless romantic. She loves being in love, flowers, poems, candy, all the romantic stuff. She takes pleasure in simple, homey activities, like cooking and sewing. So it’s not surprising that of all 3 sisters, she is the least happy about her powers.

Initially she’s scared of being a witch, afraid that her magic might have an evil source. Even when she is reassured that her powers are benign and can help people, she resents them for costing her the normal life she wants.

She sometimes resists Phoebe’s or Prue’s efforts to involve her in a magical problem, and can be the most fearful about encountering a demon. It’s not coincidental that the emotional trigger for her power is anxiety and fear. When she’s feeling fearful or stressed, Piper also becomes fairly snarky and sarcastic.

On the other hand, when she’s the one to encounters an innocent, her desire to help people kicks in. In those circumstances she can become very proactive and determined. Piper’s true strength comes out most clearly when Prue isn’t around.

When she has her elder sister to lean on, Piper follows her lead. When Prue’s in trouble or missing, Piper becomes far more resolute and assertive.


Quotes

“I hate being a witch.”

“I don’t know, it’s just…our whole lives we’ve been like everybody else. Suddenly we wake up one day and everything is different. We’re witches now. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”

Piper: “We don’t know anything about these powers. Why we have them, what they mean, where they even come from. I mean, how do we know it’s not…how do we know it’s not from evil ?”
Phoebe: “Piper, we’ve been through this. We’re good witches.”
Piper: “How do we know ? What about Jeremy ? What about all the other warlocks he said would be coming after us ? How do we know we’re not just like them ? That is what scares me. We don’t know. I just… I just want to be normal again. As messed up as that was. Is that too much to ask for ?”
Phoebe: “Piper, listen to me. You are the sweetest, most caring person I have ever met. No, I mean that, you are. You’re always there to help anybody, even strangers. You’ve been doing it your whole life. So there’s no way that you’ve been given this…this gift…if it wasn’t to do good things with it. To protect the innocent, just like the Book of Shadows says.”

“I’m good !” (Shouting and spinning joyfully in a circle after finding out she could walk into a church without being struck by lightning. Seriously.)

“At least we helped those people. I mean, it’s nice to know our powers really are good.”

Innocent: “Aren’t you scared ?”
Piper: “Terrified. Trust me, that’s a good thing.” (Because fear triggers Piper’s power.)

Piper, laughing and crying: “Leave it to me to fall for a dead guy.”
Phoebe: “It’s an improvement. At least he wasn’t a warlock.”

Piper: “I’ve never seen anybody killed before.”
Phoebe: “Jeremy.”
Prue: “Javna.”
Piper: “I mean humans.”

Prue: “I’m sorry, but some of us have a job.”
Phoebe: “And some of us have fun.”
Piper: “And some of us are having a really bad hair day.”

“My belief is you can never be too rich or too safe.”

Piper: “I just, I don’t know Phoebe, it seems like every guy I’ve liked lately has been a warlock, a ghost, or otherwise unavailable like Leo. I was just trying to save myself some grief with Josh.”
Phoebe: “But Josh is available, and human too… I think.”
Piper: “I just don’t want to be disappointed again. I’m tired of falling for the wrong guy, human or supernatural.”

Piper: “Well, everything happens for a reason, maybe it’s time we let the world know about us.”
Prue: “Piper, being outed would only make our lives worse.”
Piper: “We don’t know that. At least I could tell Dee what we’re doing and at least give her some hope.”
Phoebe: “No, Prue’s right. If we’re exposed we’re gonna have every crazy hounding us day and night.”
Prue: “Not to mention the media circus on our front lawn. Remember E.T. ?”


DC and Marvel Universes History

The Charmed Ones are basically super-powered heroines with a magical “flavor”. They’d fit very well in a superhero RPG. Each season of Charmed often had overarching themes or plots, but also many “villain/freak of the week” episodes.

DCH-style Subplots dealing with Romance and Jobs are very common. The DCH magic system is also well suited to represent their abilities. Their individual powers are easily described as DCH Powers, and their ability to cast spells and brew potions are fairly compatible with the DCH Ritual Magic system.

Some aspects of the Charmed cosmology would need adapting. Whitelighters would inhabit the Realm of the Just Dead. In later seasons the Charmed Ones encounter the Angel of Death and Angels of Destiny. These would obviously be manifestations of (or servitors to) the Endless.

In the Marvel Universe, both the Scarlet Witch and the Salem’s Seven are reminiscent of the Charmed Ones, possessing a superpower plus having access to some occult knowledge and spellcasting ability. Salem’s Seven vs. the Power of Three would be a fun adventure.

The Halliwells and the other witches of San Francisco would be a collateral branch of the witches of New Salem (such as Agatha Harkness, Nicholas Scratch, and the Salem’s Seven). Rather than going into hiding in New Salem, some witches chose to hide among mortals and try to live “normal lives”.

Similarly, in the DCU, the Halliwells and other magical witches would be Homo Magi, descendants of collateral branches of that race that did not go to another dimension like Zatanna’s people did, but went into hiding in the mortal world.

They’d encounter the DCU’s mystical community, and show up in crowd scenes during universe-wide crises (as in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12), meeting with the other mystics to pool their powers and help the super-heroes.

The main barrier to incorporating the Charmed Ones in a DCU, MU, or combined universe is the prophecy about them being the “most powerful witches the world has ever seen.” But perhaps the prophecy actually means “the most powerful witches from this particular coven/family”.

It might not apply to someone like Dr. Fate, who’s a Lord of Order, or to Dr. Strange, who’s not a witch but the sorcerer supreme. Zatanna likewise may be exempted on a technicality, as she’s a sorceress and not a witch.

Perhaps the simplest explanation is that the prophecy is flawed in interpretation. Melinda should have said they’d be the most powerful witches she’d ever seen. Melinda would simply be unaware of witchly rivals or superiors like Thessaly or Agatha Harkness.

However you get around the prophecy, the Charmed Ones at full strength would be significant magical forces in any universe. In season six Piper makes the Golden Gate Bridge vanish, so the sisters are no slouches even in universes that include the likes of Dr. Strange and Dr. Fate.

While they’d be outclassed against Dormammu, Baron Mordo, or Wotan, I could easily envision them battling Dr. Strange foes like Demonicus and Adria the Witch. Such foes would seek the Halliwell Book of Shadows (a prize in any universe) as a way to enhance their own powers before once again battling their old foe Dr. Strange.

The sisters might also clash with someone like Tala as she attempted to seduce innocents and take their souls. A being like Klarion the Witch Boy would also make for a good encounter.

As San Francisco is obviously Gateway City, the sisters would have encountered Wonder Woman and Etrigan/Jason Blood during their time in Gateway. Or you could replace or supplement these contacts with Daimon Hellstrom and Patsy Walker Hellstrom, who as Hellstorm and Hellcat were occult adventurers based in San Francisco.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Piper Halliwell

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility of Unwanted Power
Int: 06 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Chef, Restaurant Manager
Inf: 04 Aur: 06 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 012 HP: 015

Powers:
Power Reserve (ML): 01, Sharpness (Time Stop): 03, Time Stop (ML): 07, Speak with Spirits (ML): 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Power Reserve represents “The Power of Three,” see below for details; in general it only enhances the Effects of Ritual Magic (-1).
  • Sharpness (Time Stop) is Derived from Time Stop (-1).
  • Sharpness (Time Stop) only applies against normal (non-magical) humans, not demons or warlocks (-1).
  • Time Stop is resisted by Mystical Attributes rather than Mental Attributes (+0).
  • Time Stop has a regular Area Effect of 1 AP rather than the normal diminishing Area Effect (+1), but when indoors (including inside a telephone booth) the effect is confined to people in the same room as Piper (-1).
  • Time Stop has a Range of 2 APs (-1), still limited to the same room she’s in while indoors.
  • Time Stop does not affect good witches (-1).
  • Time Stop requires Piper to be able to gesture with at least one hand (-1).
  • Time Stop cannot last longer than 4 APs of time (about 1 minute) (-1).
  • Opponents frozen in time can roll to break the freeze early, as per normal; however, they roll against her APs of Power (07/07) rather than the RAPs from her Time Stop attack (+2).

Skills:
Artist (Cooking): 05, Artist (Knitting): 03, Charisma (Persuasion): 05, Medicine (First Aid): 02, Occultist (Ritual Magic): 01, Vehicles (Land): 02

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Expansive Headquarters (Halliwell Manor), Expertise (Cooking), Familiarity (Business Management), Magic Background.

Connections:
Prue (High), Phoebe (High), Inspector Andy Trudeau (San Francisco PD, Low), Quake Restaurant (Low).

Drawbacks:
Minor Irrational Fear (MIF) of embracing her destiny as a witch, Minor Irrational Attraction (MIA) to mediating conflicts between her sisters, MIF of standing up for herself, Power Loss (If Piper time travels to a point where she already exists at another age, only the self native to that time period will possess her powers), Price of Magic (see below), Secret Identity.

Equipment:
Besides the Book of Shadows (separate entry — note that Piper typically uses its Occultist Skill in place of her own, including roughly 8 APs of Ritual Magic), Piper’s only significant equipment is her late 1990’s style cell phone and her car, an SUV [BODY 07, STR 05, Running: 06, R#2, HP cost: 60].


Previous Stats

Piper’s stats are pretty stable during the first season, but there are minor gains in her control over her freezing power.

At first she seems to be unaware that Time Stop doesn’t have to be centered on her. In episode 6, The Wedding from Hell, she’s unable to freeze two demons because they are “too far away”, that is, outside the 1 AP Area Effect of her power.

Following that episode she becomes able to center the freeze effect anywhere within 2 APs so long as it’s in the same room, as noted in the stats above.

For the first half of Season 1, Piper’s Time Stop cannot receive more than 3 RAPs (freezing targets for 30 seconds or less). This limit increases to 4 RAPs in episode ten’s Wicca Envy, where a freeze lasts for 53 seconds.

She also buys off the Minor Irrational Fear of standing up for herself partway through the season.


Design Notes

The Book of Shadows will get its own entry and is not included here. For rough benchmarking purposes, consider it to have 8 APs of Occultist (at least the sub-Skills Ritual Magic, Create Potions, and Occult Lore) and an Expertise in Demonology and witchcraft.

Sharpness reflects the fact that humans are always frozen; we’ve never seen a normal person, however exceptional, fight off Piper’s power. That implies some ability to lower the RV of her targets.

Speak with Spirits represents the ability to see and hear ghosts that normal people cannot, at least when the ghost wants to communicate. It doesn’t include any ability to summon spirits, only speak to ghosts who are already present and wish to talk. Some GMs and Players may prefer to represent this with True Sight (limited to perceiving ghosts).


By Chris Cottingham and Ethan Roe.

Source of Character: Charmed (TV series); Character portrayed by Holly Marie Combs.

Helper(s): The Charmed Wiki (a handy quick reference, though the information must be double-checked).

Writeup completed on the 8th of October, 2012.

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