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Svinik

Writing adventures: Help please

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I'm thinking about writing some fairly simple easy-introduction to the game adventures, but think they might work better as co-operative pieces.

 

What deters me, is my lack of technical skill in this area. I can write the text, list out the options, etc, what I can't do is the actual game mechanics stuff. Is that something that the DLC17 team would do normally, or do they prefer writers to do it?

 

Each adventure chain revolves around a club / social group. These are quasi-tolerated activites where the Yr 1 students are really only just slightly getting involved, but which Yr 2 adventures might expand on.

 

The idea is for fairly formulaic pieces (to simplify the writing and make it easier if other people want to write a stage or 2). Each stage of the adventure having 3 phases usually, with each phase giving the chance for a skill-up in a core skill for the club, a relationship game with a student or a professor, and then either a minor cash/wierd item reward or a skill-up in a non-mainstream skill.

 

 

Possible ideas include:

 

Rimbal Supporters Club

1st years aren’t ready for “real Rimbal” but the students play informal games, and team talent-spotters look for promising students at these games, and encourage supporters to assist the teams.

  1. Cleaning the grounds
  2. Vandalism and vengeance
  3. Practice makes perfect
  4. The friendly match
  5. The unfriendly match
  6. The match we shall not mention to adults
  7. Owning the field

Core skills: Rimball plays, rimbal positions, rimbal tactics, endurance, tactics, competition, running

Repeat skills: Command, Leadership, Logistics, Manner of a Champion, Strategy

Skills: Wrestling, Negation spells, Field Medicine, Schoolyard Education, Incantation Spells

 

Preliminary potions

1st years don’t get a full class for potions, they do some basic potion-making in various different classes but that’s all. Those students who wish to practice potion-making on a more coherent basis are encouraged by Matain Leith out of school hours as the genial teacher encourages interest in his beloved subject.

  1. Preliminary potions
  2. A clean bottle
  3. A slight mishap
  4. Boom badda boom-boom-boom
  5. The beauty of the bang
  6. Intervention
  7. Pure sources
  8. Dreams in a bottle

Core skills : Alchemical tools, Analyze, Chemistry, Poisons.

Skills: Orthography, Temperance, Test-taking, Forgery

 

Code Duello

Students are encouraged to settle disputes that get too serious with duels rather than excessive prank-wars, or out-of-bounds bullying that could lead to permanent injury. Code Duello is the Duellist club, dedicated not so much to such arguments, as the “beautiful game” of the duel.

  1. The beautiful game
  2. Fighting stance!
  3. The perfection of the circle
  4. The need for discipline
  5. When anger flares
  6. The need to clean
  7. Soft words and serious bruises

Core skills: Demi-tour, Duel conduct, Duelling circles, Duelling forms, orthography.

Repeat Skills: Field medicine, theory of negation, negation methods, negation spells, negation phemes, theory of incantation, theory of revision.

Skills: Manner of a champion, Minetan swagger

 

Explorer’s Club

After a “discussion” with the Headmaster 4th year student Tario Exiol “agreed” to run a social club for the more exuberant younger students. Now in its second year Tario’s explorer’s club treads the thin line between “allowed if you don’t get caught” and “not tolerated”. The explorer’s do however provide a handy outlet for teachers to assign a detention-like punishment without a professor actually having to bother sitting in the classroom through the detention by simply ordering a trouble-maker to lead an expedition of younger students to a named site and short essays to be written about the trip.

  1. Learning to pay attention
  2. On the track(s)
  3. The admirable Admiratio
  4. Shopping at X’s
  5. A night at the zoo
  6. The mercenary guild and the favour

Core skills: Animal Husbandry, Cartography, Climb, Knots, Seeking friends in High places, Wilderness Survival, Hunting, Scent detection, Scouting.

Repeat skills: Escape Artist, Infiltration, Move Silently, Danger Sense, listen, hide, lock-pick, puzzles, schoolyard education, wit

 

Noblisse Olige

The socially superior often struggle to deal with the undeserved envy of their inferiors. Noblisse Oblige is a club organised to help the aristocrats show their charity to their inferiors, although in practice the club is frequently more interested in arranging social events for its members and covering up indiscretions.

Adventures

  1. Charity begins with ones inferiors
  2. The Duty of the Better-Bred
  3. The best help is leadership
  4. Dinner at Percy’s
  5. A faux pas and an opportunity
  6. A need for discretion

Core skills: Diplomacy, Etiquette, Intrigue, Politics, Worldliness, Bluff, Dating, Innuendo, Social skills

Repeat skills: Satyric Revelry, cosmetics, court hairstyles, courtly fashion, perfumes

Skills: Famous speeches, grammar, practical jokes.

 

The Bookworms

The Bookworms are volunteers who assist with the library (under the watchful gaze of the librarians). The club is seen by some as merely an excuse for the bookish to avoid the outdoors and visit the library out of hours. The librarians meanwhile see the club as handy fodder and, in the case of the more merciful librarians, a way of getting one group of students to sort out trouble caused by another group without the librarians officially having to notice it.

Adventures:

  1. A fascinating read
  2. Filing and fury
  3. A Night at the Library
  4. The Day after the Wild Night Before
  5. The Book Thieves [strategy, mimicry]
  6. Returning the unfortunate borrowing
  7. Ink and Orthography

Core skills: Cryptography, Decipher Handwriting, Filing, Library Knowledge, Bookbinding, Forgery, Forms, Illustration, Ink Compounds, Orthography, Study Habits.

Skills: Interrogation, Magical appraisal, Elumian, Oncestrian.

 

Saint Pai’s Petitioners

Not every student is a megalomaniac in training, some are filled with a true sense of charity and desire to help the stricken, or in need of a professor’s favour, it’s much the same thing in the end. Saint Pai is the recipient of many petitions for aid, as part of the Academagia’s community support program.

  1. Professor Leith’s request
  2. Professor Rupprecht’s letter
  3. Professor Briardi’s house
  4. Professor Knoht’s odd errand
  5. Professor Orsi’s inexplicable chore

Core skills: Ethics, Oratory, Piety, Prayer, Theology, Veneration of the Saints, Composure, Empathy, Worldliness.

Repeat skills: Baking, Greengrocery, Recipe’s, Roots, Fish, Transport, Negotiate.

Skills: History (clues to task) [The Calamities, The Captivity of Man, The Early Empire, The Exile, The History of Magic, The Middle Empire, The Second Captivity]

 

Questions:

1. Does this sound like a useful/possible idea?

2. Does the idea of social clubs sound reasonable?

3. Is there a way of listing out students in a club so that the adventure can insert a random clubber?

4. What students should be in each club?

5. With potentially 3 benefits per action, I don't think that an ability point/big item should be needed for the final stage - basically these adventures are substituting for a new action designed to rapidly train various skills.

6. Do any of the clubs sound more interesting than the others? I doubt I'd get to write all of them even with help so some focus would be needed.

7. Would any other clubs be better, i.e. an orchestra society for music-lovers, a familiar's club for training your familiar / bonding with it, a Battlemace club, a Gamblers Bridge club?

8. The explorer's club (possibly a scout-unit type of thing) is a way of introducing some interesting locations people might otherwise miss - what locations sound "right" for the club?

 

Thanks for the help / advice / etc

 

Svinik

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1. Does this sound like a useful/possible idea?

2. Does the idea of social clubs sound reasonable?

3. Is there a way of listing out students in a club so that the adventure can insert a random clubber?

4. What students should be in each club?

5. With potentially 3 benefits per action, I don't think that an ability point/big item should be needed for the final stage - basically these adventures are substituting for a new action designed to rapidly train various skills.

6. Do any of the clubs sound more interesting than the others? I doubt I'd get to write all of them even with help so some focus would be needed.

7. Would any other clubs be better, i.e. an orchestra society for music-lovers, a familiar's club for training your familiar / bonding with it, a Battlemace club, a Gamblers Bridge club?

8. The explorer's club (possibly a scout-unit type of thing) is a way of introducing some interesting locations people might otherwise miss - what locations sound "right" for the club?

1. Clubs are going to play a more significant roll in Y2, I believe, so this could be a way to introduce the concept in Y1.

 

2. I don't see anything unreasonable, although I must say I find it hilarious that the charity club is strongly into religion - can a person not be helpful without involving some cosmic force demanding that they are or what?

 

3. In Y1 I believe not, but I'm not too familiar with that since the mod tools are...kinda broken on that front.

 

4. I can think of a few obvious picks, but eh, you know, "obvious" picks...

 

5. ...I don't see a question.

 

6. I'd say focus on clubs that would be more naturally inclined to form a club (Saints) rather than a clique (Noble...what the heck is that word?), and don't focus on clubs that have a Y2 class (Rimball?, Brew).

 

7. A Familiar club could offer an alternative to the near-mandatory Improved Familiar Handling, actually, which I think could be a boon mechanically.

 

8. Considering that you can get caught and reprimanded for trespassing nearly everywhere? Practically nowhere, honestly.

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1) There already many planed clubs for year 2 but for year 1 the complete club live was intentional left out

2) As mentioned we will see them in year 2

3) As fare I know its impossible to do with the engine of year 1

4) Keep the student list (or better everything) as suggestions because I don't see that this will be added to year 1 and from year 2 we know to less except that clubs will have theyr own handling and that they take away from your free time regular.

5) I also don't see your point here

6) Depend on the player and what he thinks his char is interested in. For me not a single of this clubs is interesting for year 1 as it is already known that clubs regular eat away free actions from the player and it is to suspect that they are as bad time waste as class.

7) Gamers' Guild, the regular meeting of the Battle Mace player and a college specific club for gaming are things the player is already introduced in year 1.

8) Sorry when I'm here against using already existing locations if at all I would use a special version of explore because where is the fun for the other 'explorer' to just show you what they already found.

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Just to point out what I fear is that i.e. when you play a Vernin Char with Astrology then you might end in loosing 4 time slots per week in year 2 just from all the organisations and clubs you joined trough the College and Class adventures in year 1.

Given how bad of time waste the gravity ball training ability is in year 1 I doubt it will get better in year 2 just that you now have to do it once per week and also for a extra timeslot lost tournament games now and then.

 

That's the reason why I don't find it to interesting to join any "hobby" club.

 

Edit: Beside my suggestion of the Four Roses Writer Club apparently already made it to year 2 from what I understand the Legate.

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5. Sorry, editing issue. I was asking if, for balance, there should be an attribute boos at the end of the adventure chain, or if the skill-up's and relationship gains would be sufficient.

 

Metis: The reason I put the religion in the charity club is partly shortage of ideas for skills, and partly because any organised charity is likely to be co-opted by religion, particularly in a setting where there are actual gods. The idea of the petitioners is that each college receives petitions for charity from various causes, which they, variously answer or ignore depending on ability, cost, and the person involved. Each stage would give the chance of a relationship gain with the relevant professor, a little insight into their character, history, etc.

 

Also, my apologies for the typo that confused you, it is of course Noblesse Olige, not Noblisse Oblige.

 

Shwarzbart: I know that there is some sort of plan to crack down on action slots in Yr 2, I was aiming for something much less formal here.

 

Explorers club is taking some body blows, I suspect terminal ones :( the idea is partly to introduce non-core skills and the explorer club skills are one's I like a lot, so... I had thought of something along the lines of the scouts which seemed innocuous enough...

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5. Sorry, editing issue. I was asking if, for balance, there should be an attribute boos at the end of the adventure chain, or if the skill-up's and relationship gains would be sufficient.

 

Metis: The reason I put the religion in the charity club is partly shortage of ideas for skills, and partly because any organised charity is likely to be co-opted by religion, particularly in a setting where there are actual gods. The idea of the petitioners is that each college receives petitions for charity from various causes, which they, variously answer or ignore depending on ability, cost, and the person involved. Each stage would give the chance of a relationship gain with the relevant professor, a little insight into their character, history, etc.

 

Also, my apologies for the typo that confused you, it is of course Noblesse Olige, not Noblisse Oblige.

If every stage will consist of three phases you're looking at 15-24 rolls. There's adventures that hand out attributes for less, honestly. Of course you might run into the problem of handing out an attribute point, making it easier to learn skills, after handing out a bunch of skill steps.

 

Clearly. I mean Empathy is already a stretch considering what it's mechanically tied to, but fish? No Patience, Character, First Principles, Awareness, Conversation, Character Study, Sewing, Listen, Temperance, Coordination, Creativity, Diplomacy, Leadership, Logic, Minetan Swagger, Passion, Social Skills, Storytelling, Bassan, Merilian, Oncestrian or Vilocian? Fish? That aside I do like the idea. Would be a good way to get backstory on certain professors if you don't, say, know that researching Spy is how you get backstory on Professor Knoht.

 

...That doesn't really help. Those words are not in my vocabulary.

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I would go with the name Academagica Rangers or something like this instead of Explorer’s Club.

This way you don't have the problem that the people in the club all want to go to new locations and you still can teach the complete Explore SS in the club.

Maybe they even have visitation rights for the Imperial Reserve

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Metis:

Fish, come on, where else are you going to learn it???

 

The idea is that among the various adventure choices are some rare / unusual skills, so that people who want to learn them (not Fish in the case of Metis clearly) can unlock them. Empathy as you note has an odd mechanical tie, but otherwise it fitted well with one of the strands.

 

It is a lovely concept that was often talked about (much like chivalry, knightly virtue, etc) and often completely ignored http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noblesse_oblige - the society is officially about charity for/guidance to the inferior, but might slip into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullingdon_Club

 

Schwarzbart: Great idea, perhaps they could do some work with the rangers (under the strict if frequently absent supervision usual for Academagia)

 

Hmm, I presume that you can select a specific student for an adventure stage - if so then we don't really need a "change student from the club pool", we could do a different student each stage, and just need to decide who fits in each.

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If every stage will consist of three phases you're looking at 15-24 rolls. There's adventures that hand out attributes for less, honestly. Of course you might run into the problem of handing out an attribute point, making it easier to learn skills, after handing out a bunch of skill steps.

 

I was mentally comparing it with Longshade and the Sphinx (+1 to 3 SS perhaps swapping a SS for a relationship gain or pims), most adventures are +1 SS per stage, possibly 2 SS and an ability point on the final stage with the odd item or bag of pims about. the continuous adventures are obviously far superior.

 

I'm thinking of fairly low skill rolls so you shouldn't need to get a dozen ability points before doing the adventures, you can however get stress or damage if you fail a roll (although I'd figure on automatically advancing phases and stages even if you don't "win" and get a reward (no do-over's!) so perhaps ability points would be justified.

 

If so I might try and level the playing field somewhat.

 

Thanks to all for comments so far. I'll have a crack at an opening stage or two for one or two of them over the weekend and see how it goes.

 

Silly point. Awareness, Perception, Observation, Character Study - what other "common unlock less obvious options" skills should I look at?

 

Hmm, Pru should definitely be in the Academagia rangers, same with Eliana, Gwendy, Louise? Jo/Philippe? Piccolet perhaps?

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Metis:

Fish, come on, where else are you going to learn it???

 

The idea is that among the various adventure choices are some rare / unusual skills, so that people who want to learn them (not Fish in the case of Metis clearly) can unlock them. Empathy as you note has an odd mechanical tie, but otherwise it fitted well with one of the strands.

 

It is a lovely concept that was often talked about (much like chivalry, knightly virtue, etc) and often completely ignored http://en.wikipedia....Noblesse_oblige - the society is officially about charity for/guidance to the inferior, but might slip into http://en.wikipedia....Bullingdon_Club

Actually, Athletics class teaches one step of Fish on the first of Athonos, give or take three days, so if I wanted to learn it I'd enrol in Athletics. And not in Zoology, because that class teaches nothing about Fish.

 

The thing is that it's listed as a repeat skill, and none of the other repeat skills are unusual at all, so it seemed like it was part of the required skillset. That aside I do like the idea of adventure choices using rare skills to get to know them...but you only learn a skill through an adventure if you get a skill step, get specifically informed of the skill or fail the roll. Also, I don't like the idea of the stage options of an adventure being something like Attribute/Skill v. 20 that I conveniently have untrained, an attribute/skill v. 17 that only hands out a +10% CoS, and Attribute/Fish v.20 or something. That would just be all kinds of painful (yeah, sacrifice a clique member, I kinda don't have too many of those).

 

No kidding on the ignored part. Show me a good noble in any of the history textbooks I've read and...I'll probably freak out because seriously how do you know what history textbooks I've read :blink:?

 

Hmm, I presume that you can select a specific student for an adventure stage - if so then we don't really need a "change student from the club pool", we could do a different student each stage, and just need to decide who fits in each.

You can when you're writing an adventure, not ingame.

 

I was mentally comparing it with Longshade and the Sphinx (+1 to 3 SS perhaps swapping a SS for a relationship gain or pims), most adventures are +1 SS per stage, possibly 2 SS and an ability point on the final stage with the odd item or bag of pims about. the continuous adventures are obviously far superior.

 

I'm thinking of fairly low skill rolls so you shouldn't need to get a dozen ability points before doing the adventures, you can however get stress or damage if you fail a roll (although I'd figure on automatically advancing phases and stages even if you don't "win" and get a reward (no do-over's!) so perhaps ability points would be justified. If so I might try and level the playing field somewhat.

Ultimately it's +1 attribute for passing 15 rolls in 5 turns to 24 rolls in 8 turns. Again, I've gotten more for less.

 

Thanks to all for comments so far. I'll have a crack at an opening stage or two for one or two of them over the weekend and see how it goes.

 

Silly point. Awareness, Perception, Observation, Character Study - what other "common unlock less obvious options" skills should I look at?

 

Hmm, Pru should definitely be in the Academagia rangers, same with Eliana, Gwendy, Louise? Jo/Philippe? Piccolet perhaps?

Have fun ;).

 

Beyond Observation there really isn't one, in fact I'd barely call Character Study one. Awareness and Perception I plain won't. For other such skills it really depends on the situation, but if you want to focus on skills that any player is likely to have, look through the school survival skillset.

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Ultimately it's +1 attribute for passing 15 rolls in 5 turns to 24 rolls in 8 turns. Again, I've gotten more for less.

 

Beyond Observation there really isn't one, in fact I'd barely call Character Study one. Awareness and Perception I plain won't. For other such skills it really depends on the situation, but if you want to focus on skills that any player is likely to have, look through the school survival skillset.

 

Thanks, I want to avoid monty haul, though I note that failure would in my view still progress, you'd just miss out on intermediate skill-ups or relationship gains, so it would only be the final stage you'd have to pass. If I write enough stages of any of them to justify a point I'll put it in.

 

Regarding Observation, etc, I was referring to the skills which reflect ability to perceive, these generally don't result in a skill-up when selected in an adventure, but rather unlock a new option, often containing an easter egg. Observation is the obvious one yes, but awareness, character study, and perception should be alternatives - I don't want to overdo observation, but I do want to encourage (certainly for the rangers) people to go for the keep-your-eyes-open skills a bit.

 

Also, I should not that the skill lists are currently possibly less planned than may occur. I don't know how many adventure phases would involve scavenging food or cooking it but that was what I had in mind when I put down fish and roots :rolleyes:

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Thanks, I want to avoid monty haul, though I note that failure would in my view still progress, you'd just miss out on intermediate skill-ups or relationship gains, so it would only be the final stage you'd have to pass. If I write enough stages of any of them to justify a point I'll put it in.

 

Regarding Observation, etc, I was referring to the skills which reflect ability to perceive, these generally don't result in a skill-up when selected in an adventure, but rather unlock a new option, often containing an easter egg. Observation is the obvious one yes, but awareness, character study, and perception should be alternatives - I don't want to overdo observation, but I do want to encourage (certainly for the rangers) people to go for the keep-your-eyes-open skills a bit.

 

Also, I should not that the skill lists are currently possibly less planned than may occur. I don't know how many adventure phases would involve scavenging food or cooking it but that was what I had in mind when I put down fish and roots :rolleyes:

Eating three +1 Stress/-1 Vitality per day for five to eight days just to get a chance to get an attribute point is...really, really bad. Especially if they're low rolls that hand out relatively easy skills steps. That'd be all kinds of awful. I think the biggest balance point you should put in is simply making the clubs exclusive - with how time devouring Y2 is going to be it'd probably be a good idea not to join more than one, maybe two anyway. Two extra attribute points aren't going to matter in the long run. Just ask your Morvidus demi-god :wacko:.

 

Ah, yeah in that case those are the skills to use. Awareness to see who is acting suspiciously, Character Study to judge whether a suspicious individual is about to throw a brick at you, and Observation to see whether that brick is going to hit you. I have no idea what Perception's dead is.

 

Clearly you're doing something like Give Charity and Work or Help at Alice's Tavern (Ability) for some reason or another.

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Eating three +1 Stress/-1 Vitality per day for five to eight days just to get a chance to get an attribute point is...really, really bad. Especially if they're low rolls that hand out relatively easy skills steps. That'd be all kinds of awful. I think the biggest balance point you should put in is simply making the clubs exclusive - with how time devouring Y2 is going to be it'd probably be a good idea not to join more than one, maybe two anyway. Two extra attribute points aren't going to matter in the long run. Just ask your Morvidus demi-god :wacko:.

 

Ah, yeah in that case those are the skills to use. Awareness to see who is acting suspiciously, Character Study to judge whether a suspicious individual is about to throw a brick at you, and Observation to see whether that brick is going to hit you. I have no idea what Perception's dead is.

 

Clearly you're doing something like Give Charity and Work or Help at Alice's Tavern (Ability) for some reason or another.

 

Fair point on the first, but I'm aiming for a "fill the gap" approach adventures as the opening game is very tough. Sigh, I haven't been able to match my Morvidus guy with Durand or Avila, hopefully Aranaz will do better when I start my next play-through.

 

On the charity one I'm slightly fluffy on it, I think at least one stage will be a food-for-the-poor sort of thing, if Paz has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

 

Silly point, how do I post a spoiler? I should try posting something...

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Thanks guys. Now I need to put my money where my mouth is and do some more writing. I've sketched out the first stage of the Rimbal and the Rangers, but need to change Rangers to deal with the switch from explorers. At the moment it would be fine as a 1st/2nd week adventure, but if done later would be a problem due to the potential skill losses unless the DC's were very low (which they should be but that's another story).

 

 

 

Academagia

Rimbal supporters club

 

Stage 1: Zorzi's note

"Did you see? I mean did you see it?" Zorzi practically knocks you over he is bouncing so much. "It's been fixed! Everything is going to be awesome! Here, I took the copy off the Morvidus notice-board, they wouldn't be interested anyway and everyone needs to know"

 

1.1. Character Study: What is Zorzi so excited about?

Success: +1 character Study, advance phase 2.

Of course... Zorzi... right, he's the first year who managed to fall off the stadium's upper tier while trying to get a better view of the players; the one who spilled hot chocolate all over Professor Rupprecht when the Vernin Owls scored against the Godina Ravens; the incredibly-crazy-about-rimbal-Zorzi. Ok, so whatever has him excited now must also be about rimbal, you might as well read the note and get it over with.

Failure: -1 character study, advance phase 2

When you fail to respond quickly enough, Zorzi gets so frantic he grabs you. "Look!" He jabs at the note in his hand so fast he almost tears it and says "read the note!"

 

1.2. Awareness: Are other people excited? Is anyone even reading the Godina notice-board on the other side of the hall?

Success: +1 Awareness ss, advance phase 2.

Nobody seems as excited as Zorzi, but the notice-board certainly has plenty of people gathered around it - mainly 1st years but a few second years, this could be good! You grab the note off Zorzi and read it

Failure: -1 Awareness ss, advance phase 2.

With Zorzi bouncing in front of you there could be a brass band marching down the corridor and it would be hard to tell, it's probably nothing interesting but resigned to reading the notice you grab it off Zorzi.

 

1.3. Perception. If you squint you might just be able to read the notice in the brief moments when Zorzi isn't waving it around.

Success: +1 Perception SS, advance phase 2

Failure: -1 perception ss, advance stage 2

 

Phase 2: The note at last

Where squinting fails, estimating where Zorzi's hand will wave and catching it long enough the grab the note succeeds and you get to read the note.

The note reads: Calling all rimbal supporters, a supporters club for those who love the beautiful game but aren't ready for the breakages of Minetan-rules rimbal. Meet at the athletics grounds after 7th session tomorrow

 

2.1. Patience: It's just a club, probably some bored 4th year trying to get the younger kids excited because they have no one their own age to play with, what's Zorzi blathering on about being fixed anyway? Fortunately Zorzi never met a silence he didn't need to fill so if you give him a few moments he's sure to explain what's got him so worked up.

Success: +1 Patience ss, advance phase 3.

Failure: -1 patience ss, advance phase 3.

 

2.2. Curiosity: Uh, ok, Zorzi, so how does this fix anything?

Success: +1 Curiosity ss, advance phase 3.

Failure: +1 stress, advance phase 3.

 

2.3. Schoolyard education: Ok Zorzi, what does this fix? It's just a supporters club!

Success: +1 Schoolyard education ss, advance phase 3.

Failure: +1 stress, advance phase 3.

 

2.4. Persuasion: Convince Zorzi to explain what's so special about a supporter's club.

Success: +1 Persuasion ss, advance to phase 3.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 3. edited: Thanks paz

 

2.4. Conversation: Talk to Zorzi and get him to slow down and explain what's so special about a supporter's club.

Success: +1 Conversation ss, advance to phase 3.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 3. edited:added, thanks paz

 

2.5. Social skills: Smile along with Zorzi until he starts making sense about the supporter's club.

Success: + Social skills ss, advance to phase 3.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 3. edited: added, thanks paz

 

 

Phase 3: The meaning of the message

"What's fixed? That stupid rule banning first years from playing in the rimbal teams of course! Look, the professor's don't mind a little knock-about game, well, except when they do, but they won't let first years play proper rimbal either, even second years aren't allowed unless they pass the test".

Zorzi pauses for a moment mulling over some thoughts "Philippe said the test is an obstacle course, with real curses and everything, if you can't get through they won't let you play, but Rui said you have to win a duel against a player, and, and, everyone else says something else! But - this is another way to play! Look, it specifies Minetan rules rimbal won't be played - it doesn't mention other kinds, they must be playing touch rimbal or one of the other variants."

"So, are you in?"

 

Auto: Why not, if it's rubbish you don't have to go a second time

+1 relationship Zorzi Galea, +1 social skills, access stage 2.

 

Auto: No thanks Zorzi, you have better things to do, like, the battle-mace tournament, messing about on the lake, heck, even studying. +1 Dispassion SS, halt adventure.

 

 

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Hmm, let me know what you think about this Paz, it got a lot longer than I'd hoped for. I'll try to do stage 2 next weekend when I've recovered :rolleyes:

 

 

 

Edit: All option DCs are 3 (stage +2 is the plan for these adventures, with rare skills just 'stage' and easter-egg revealing skills stage+3) unless otherwise stated as the idea is that this is an introductory adventure so do-able in the first half term with some stages in the frst week or two.

 

Stage 1: St Pai: Supper at Alice's

Phase 1: St Pai's Petitioners is one of the older social clubs in the Academagia, often looked down on by the more irreverent students it was founded centuries ago by Alana Chard to improve relationships between "town and gown" as Mineta and the Academagia are often termed.

 

Nominally affiliated with the temple of St Pai most activity of the club is run by the professors who use volunteers from the club to answer various petitions addressed to the Academagia by those in need of charity. "Volunteers" is one of those terms that has a special meeting at the Academagia, a number of pranksters and minor bullies have found themselves volunteering for a few meetings to avoid detention.

 

Today is your first meeting and of the two students you've been chatting with while you wait for the older students to arrive it is fairly clear that Sima Venesico is from the first category of volunteers while Prudence Cossins is from the second, which is quite impressive this early in the school year.

 

You have been chatting for a while when you abruptly realise that Professor Baldassare Monetario has been talking for a few minutes, you quickly shush the students around you and tune into the professor's droning voice.

 

"...which of course was well intentioned but should never occur again, err, well, I hope I never have to speak to any of you about this in the future." The Professor stops droning for a moment leaving you wondering what he was talking about. "Well, on to today's petition, which is an old favourite of the club. Alice is holding one of her open suppers for the poor this weekend and needs some help. As ever, aid from the older students serving and cooking is a must, but even the youngest of our new students can assist with gathering food, donations, and so on. Alice has been a good friend of the Academagia for years and all students get a discount at her tavern, I expect you to do us proud with your efforts, once you have formed your groups collect a note from me to show you are acting as petitioners."

 

"Now, I don't want any of you going out on your own of course, so groups of no less than three please - and don't go near of the places I mentioned earlier of course."

 

Sima frowns thoughtfully, "we could gather some potatoes and onions from the gardens - I heard that the gardeners planted too many last term so they have plenty". Prudence frowns, "how boring, let's get some donations from the upper city - I know a tavern there that lets people play for the patrons and Alice could buy what she actually wanted with the money." "And what if they don't?" asks Sima, "We'd have wasted our time and have nothing to show for it. [PC name], what do you think?"]

 

Edit with thanks to Paz:

 

You and the others volunteers collect the notes from the professor, and he soon excuses himself from the room.

 

"The gardens", Sima says with a thoughtful smile, "we could gather some vegetables from there. I heard that they are abundant this time of the year, must be quite the view."

 

"How boring, I've been working in the gardens all day already" Prudence exclaims, "why don't we just go to the upper city and make some pims? I know a tavern there that let people play for the patrons and we could use the money to buy the ingredients for the suppers."

 

"Well, it's not like people would be eager to give their pims, and if we collect the vegetables we would not need to buy them in the first place, but we can make this work. What do you say [PC name]? should we go after pims to buy the vegetables, or do we get the vegetables ourselves ?" asks Sima, with a curious grin on her face.

 

 

1.1. Persuasion: Talk to the gardeners and ask permission to gather some potatoes, onions and so on from the vegetable garden.

Success: +1 Persuasion, unlock option 1.1.2, choose again.

Once they see the professor's note about Alice's breakfast and you slip them a few compliments about their gardening efforts the gardeners are happy to let you each fill a small sack with produce, success! "We could go to Alice's now if you like" says Sima, "but we may still have time to try Pru's idea".

 

Failure: Choose again

The gardeners look at you suspiciously and one says "nice try kids, get ammunition for your pranks somewhere else."

 

1.1.2. Roots: Gather produce from the garden.

Success: +1 roots, inform: Academagic: Vegetable Garden, unlock 1.1.3, choose again

The gardeners direct you not only to the garden, but to piles of tubers already harvested for the kitchens. Hardly believing your luck at how quickly you got what you wanted, you fill your sacks until you can't carry any more. "We could go to Alice's now if you like" says Sima, "but we may still have time to try Pru's idea".

 

Failure: -1 merit, unlock option 1.1.3. Inform: Academagic: Vegetable Garden, choose again

Prudence being annoyed at having to grub in the dirt and gizzling constantly that her idea would have been less effort, went from amusing to annoying when the first turnip that she threw hit you, but of course it would be your retaliatory swede barrage which accidentally stunned a passing apprentice gardener. The three of you quickly flee before the apprentice wakes, with nothing to show for your efforts.

 

1.1.3. You've got your spuds, time to go to Alice's.

Auto: +1 Temperance, advance phase 3.

 

1.2. Persuasion: Bluff: Convince the gate guards that the professor's note means you are allowed to head into Mineta.

Success: +1 Persuasion Bluff ss, unlock option 1.2.1, choose again.

The guards barely look up from their card game as you approach, at the sight of the professors seal they casually wave you through.

 

Failure: Choose again.

The guard shakes his head. "Sorry kids, First years aren't allowed out alone, beside there was news of a werewolf prowling around last night - you want to stay inside where it's safe." The guard goes back to his card game, you clearly aren't going to get anywhere with the guards.

 

1.2.1. Seeking Friends in Hidden Places. Go to Pru's tavern and ask the owner if you can set up outside.

Success: +1 Seeking friends in hidden places ss, advance phase 2.

Barrin the owner reads the note slowly and says "Alice is doing a free charity supper? Sure! I don't want the riff-raff around here but Alice is welcome to them, I'll give you a sack of flour and some cheese as a donation too, just don't drive my customers away."

 

Failure: Choose again.

Before you even get into the tavern you see that a troubadour has set up outside, your heart sinks as you hear their merry fiddle playing and joke-laden patter. There's no point even asking inside, a good minstrel like that will bring in business and you'd only distract the crowd. You quickly slink back into the Academagia.

 

1.3. Tag along with some older students. They'll make you do the grunt work but someone has to do the boring work right?

Auto: +1 Logistics, +1 stress, advance phase 3

 

edit: changed the numbers to show unlocked options as a sub-category off the multi-part number to try to show which options start open.

 

Phase 2: Barrin's Bar

Pru quickly sets out Barrin's rules for buskers, he likes something that will attract passer's by into stopping for a coffee, snack, or to convince them to take one of his famed meat-wraps for later in the day. So the key thing is to be noticed - and of course you need people to know what you are busking for.

 

2.1. Calligraphy: Write a neat note about Alice's free breakfast and asking for donations.

Success: +1 Calligraphy ss, unlock options 2.1.2 - 2.1.5, choose again

Sima nods appreciatively, "that's good penmanship, people are bound to read that!" Pru nods, "and of course, we both know whose homework notes to borrow now!"

 

Failure: unlock options 2.1.2 - 2.1.5, choose again

Staring at your pitiful scrawl Pru shakes her head, "what was that supposed to say?" She shakes her head, "here, let me do it!"

 

2.1.2. Minetan Swagger. You know the people of Mineta, and in this area that means that they want to hear cheeky but not rude banter, which is something you've been aching to try.

Success: +1 Minetan Swagger, unlock options 2.1.6, choose again

Pru and you quickly fall into the jape-and-counter comedy routine common to many a village bard and apprentice and Sima uses the attention gained from passers-by to ask for donations, soon you have a small pile of coins in your school caps.

 

Failure: Choose again

Clearly practice makes perfect, which makes it a pity that you didn't do any, despite your best efforts you don't raise so much as a smile from the passing people, time for something else.

 

2.1.3. Glamour spells. You might only be the most junior of students, but even you can handle a few basic glamour spells, and how better to get some attention?

Success: +1 glamour spells, unlock options 2.1.6, choose again.

Sima takes the lead and is clearly quite able, her instructions quickly result in you and Pru helping her create quite adequate displays and your caps are full in no time.

 

Failure: choose again.

You've barely begun when a passer-by stops to look at your display, encouraged you try your best and manage an illusion of a pair of sparring ghosts. The traveler is clearly unimpressed, with a contemptuous sneer he pulls out his wand and creates a glamour of a forest drake that leaps forward and bites your ghosts, destroying your glamour and even sending the charity notice flying. "Kids, stop wasting people's time with your finger-weaving, you embarrass real wizards." Sima grabs Pru to restrain her from retaliating agaisnt the smug traveller, while you pick up the notice and brush off the dust. "OK, let's try something else."

 

2.1.4. Oratory. As first year students you can't really hope to compete with professional troubadours or minstrels. Fortunately you don't have to, this is a wealthy district and you aren't asking for much charity - a simple if well worded request should do it.

Success: +1 Oratory, unlock option 2.1.6

"Fine lady, a moment of your time and charity for the poor... Sir! A meal for the less fortunate is being held at Alice's tavern, could you donate a few pims for the poor?" Most of the passer's by barely slow while tossing a few coins to you, some pause and are talked into going into the bar by Pru to keep Barrin happy, it isn't long before you have a fair haul.

Failure: +5 pims, choose again.

When the bards write new pages of quotes by the orators of the ages, they won't include anything from you, that's for certain. The first gruff passer-by finds you speechless with nerves, while you get so flustered and tongue-tied while talking to the second that they throw a handful of pims to Pru saying "for [his/her] medication". Pru sighs, "let's try another approach"

 

2.1.5. Worldliness. The important thing is not really what you say or do, but who you approach. It isn't long before you see someone promising. A matronly Vilocean woman walking down the street - with her cape fastened with a brooch in the shape of Egri, patron of the dispossessed.

Success: +1 Worldliness, unlock option 2.1.6.

"What a worthy cause, and you all such good children to spend your time supporting it!" The woman passes a handful of coins to Sima, and seeing she is the first to donate then calls to a passing Minetan gentleman, "Sir! My praise to your city, see how your children do you proud raising charity for the poor, are you not proud of them?" The man stops surprised "ah, er, yes, so good of them, it makes me proud indeed!" He hastily passes you some coins and several other passers-by also dip into their pockets to prove their civic pride to the Vilocean woman, not too shabby if you say so yourself, you sure know how to pick them!

Failure: choose again.

The woman may wear Egri's brooch, but you doubt she knows what it means as she sweeps past you without even bothering to say no. Perhaps another approach?

 

2.1.6. Count the coins to see if you have enough.

Auto: -1 relationship Prudence, +1 Applications of Arithmetic, advance phase 3.

You see Sima's horrified look too late as you start to count the coins from Pru's hat, "not you as well!" shrieks, Pru. "I didn't take a pim and don't you dare say otherwise!" Sima cringes, "I'm sure [PC name] didn't mean anything by it either Pru, we just wanted to know if we had enough money to finish." Pru scowls, her cheeks flushed so red she looks ready to burst. "However much it is, it's what we've got, what are you going to do if we don't have what you think we need? Stay here all day?" She stomps off huffily and Sima helps you gather the coins apologising "that was my fault, I asked what she'd got earlier and she misunderstood and thought I was accusing her of taking some of it, I should have warned you."

 

2.2. Call it a success with what you've got, it's getting late and you need to be at Alice's to help with the meal.

Auto: +1 relationship Pru, advance phase 3.

 

Phase 3: Alice's Tavern

Even though its only mid-afternoon the tavern is bustling, Alice is a whirling dervish of energy dispatching orders left right and centre while keeping half a dozen pots on the boil. Some of the poor are already gathering outside and other volunteers are struggling to get through the growing crowd.

 

3.1. Logistics: Ok, enough chaos. Time to organise this place! If everyone works together then the work will be done in no time.

Success: +1 Logistics ss, advance phase 4.

Organisation is the key to every group activity, and a kitchen is no exception. Fortunately you have enough knowledge of cooking to anticipate the needs of the professional cooks and can make sure that everything they need is ready for them when they need it allowing them to get on with the serious business of cooking.

Failure: Advance phase 4.

You do your best but there are so many people and it's so confusing that you aren't really sure if you make much of a difference, well, at least you made the effort and it all seems to go well.

 

3.2. Carpentry: What Alice needs it appears is some temporary tables, there is so much food around that there isn't anywhere to put it, while volunteers hover over every surface.

Success: +1 Carpentry, advance phase 4.

Fortunately you aren't serving lords and ladies, empty barrels make fine makeshift posts and a few nails and well placed blocks fasten planks over them to make crude tables - they won't last very long but they'll be fine for the night, which is all that is required. The extra tables make all the difference giving the volunteers space to work efficiently and it isn't long before your tables are laden with bowls of stew and crewed by the hungry, a good days work!

Failure: Advance phase 4.

You do your best but there are so many people and it's so confusing that you aren't really sure if you make much of a difference, well, at least you made the effort and it all seems to go well.

 

3.3. Cooking: You don't have to be a master chef to knock up a nutritious broth and bake bread to dunk in it. To the ladles!

Success: +1 Cooking, advance phase 4.

Stew has the advantage of being one of the simplest dishes, but also one of the most nutritious. Careful to avoid your instinct to add spices that would be unfamiliar to the poor, you make sure that everything is properly sliced, diced, mashed, grated and mixed into the stew adding a dumpling to each bowl as it is served to make sure it is filling.

Failure: Advance phase 4.

You do your best but there are so many people and it's so confusing that you aren't really sure if you make much of a difference, well, at least you made the effort and it all seems to go well.

 

3.4. Greengrocery: Pru leads the way to the knives and the three of you start chopping.

Success: +1 Greengrocery, advance phase 4.

Well, you know for future reference not to mess with Pru, she's a demon with chopping knives, it makes you wonder how much time she's spent cooking but her scowl when you ask sends you to the other side of the room to bake bread rolls with Sima for half an hour. Fortunately Pru calms down and you get away from the heat of the ovens to the cool of the chopping area until the meal is ready to be served.

Failure: Advance phase 4.

You do your best but there are so many people and it's so confusing that you aren't really sure if you make much of a difference, well, at least you made the effort and it all seems to go well.

 

3.5. Composure: If people can't get through the crowd, they can't bring the donations in and nothing will get done. They aren't rowdy, just in the way - a calm demeanour and polite manner should get them out of the way until the supper is ready.

Success: +1 Composure, advance phase 4.

There's an old saying, if you can keep calm while all around you lose their heads then you'll be ready for war, or something like that, well, no warzone could match Alice's for activity that's for sure, but you are an oasis of calm. First you talk to the gathering crowd and arrange them into orderly queues, then you make sure that people are sent for wood and water so that the pots are boiling when the cooks have chopped and prepared the food for cooking, oh and that the ovens are heated for the bread, and so on with so many things that need to be done if the meal is to be prepared smoothly. When you finally run out of chores for other people to do it's time to go back to the Academagia for bed - it's been a long day!

Failure: Advance phase 4.

You do your best but there are so many people and it's so confusing that you aren't really sure if you make much of a difference, well, at least you made the effort and it all seems to go well.

 

3.6. Prayer: They know the drill, the poor are used to food for prayers. You move to the shade of a tree and start the routine of the petitioner's prayer and the crowd shuffles over and mumbles along by rote.

Success: +1 Prayer ss, advance phase 4.

You keep the crowd busy with some common homilies until the priest of St. Pai arrives to carry out a proper service, then it's back inside to help with stirring, chopping and no end of carrying and minor tasks. Eventually the entire crowd is fed and to the sound of 5th years telling stories of old you and the other younger students troop home tired but happy.

Failure: Advance phase 4.

You do your best but there are so many people and it's so confusing that you aren't really sure if you make much of a difference, well, at least you made the effort and it all seems to go well.

 

Phase 4: Back to School

You get home so tired you are bleary-eyed, Professor Monetario welcomes you back saying "well done, I think that was the biggest supper Alice has done yet and I'm proud of you all. Off to bed now, and be proud of all that you did!"

4.1. Auto: +1 relationship Baldassare Monetario, +3 merit, access stage 2.

 

 

 

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Pff, you call that long? :rolleyes:

 

One thing, it's a bit unclear what options are available at what times. 1.1 opens 1.2 which open 1.3, and 1.4 opens 1.5 and some open 1.6 so... :huh:.

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I think it'd be Manipulation, if you're waving the seal that wouldn't get you permission in front of them. Deceit is staying in character during long-term cons, bluff is making something sound as grandiose as is believable.

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I admit to ulterior motives on including both :ph34r:

 

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll adjust the text.

 

Metis: I was struggling to show it, the idea is that people can skip phase 2 if they want, but making the entire phase option made it quite complicated since I needed a way forward regardless of success/failure and the choice to go to the tavern or not if the roots roll succeeded. It may be easier to have Pru argue for her idea on a success and to auto-proceed to phase 2 from a successful roots roll, as Paz notes, Sima would probably be cool with that outcome.

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OK, trying stage 2 of the Petitioner's.

 

 

 

Edit: All DC's are 4 (stage +2) unless specified otherwise as this is intended as an early game adventure.

 

Stage 2. Professor Leith's request

 

The Petitioner's club is its usually busy self, discussions by the older students about long term project, requests for reader's to assist at St Pai's children's infirmary, the usual litany of projects requested from one group or another, and of course various games around the hall and demonstrations by the older students of various handy spells and skills for the younger students.

"[PC name], just the student I'm looking for...and this little errand would be right up your street as well Piccolet, and yours also Ms Cossins - I'm sure that if you help me with my petition I'd entirely forget this morning's mishap, ah, and one more I think - Aaran, yes, you're just the lad." Professor Leith is so positive and certain in his tone that the three of you have been steered over to a map of Mineta and volunteered before you have time to quibble.

 

"Now then, I've received a petition from the mission for seafarer's orphanage down here by the docks" the Professor taps the map and then continues "I think you may recall it Aaran. They had a problem with a runaway cart yesterday and with the weather as it is, they need to fix their wall before any storms start and the building takes real damage. Ms Chard has kindly drafted some plans for the reconstruction - I need you four to help with the construction with some binding charms and the like."

 

Auto: Go to the orphanage

Advance to phase 2.

 

Phase 2: Heaving Bricks

The orphanage is near the docks and at the base of a steep hill - which is clearly what led to the damage when some fool managed to lose control of a heavy cart, you just hope that the horses pulling the cart didn't get hurt too badly. Aaran looks at the orphanage and sighs glumly, "oh yes I remember, fish stew every day and potluck crab on special occasions, if they offer you any crab sticks as a snack say no."

 

Some of the older children and helpers from the Orphanage already working on the site but when you arrive with your Academagia robes fluttering in the breeze there is a small cheer, "it's wonderful to see you" calls out a rotund older woman overseeing the work, "it is always lucky to have a mage around, particularly with people as superstitious as seafolk. I'm Etta by the way, I run the orphanage, let me know if you need anything." She looks at Aaran briefly and for a moment seems confused, then she shakes her head and gets back to ordering everyone around. "It looks like she remembers you Aaran" says Piccolet jokingly, "ok, where shall we pitch in?"

 

2.1. Brute strength: Help Piccolet heave bricks while Pru mixes the mortar.

Success: +1 relationship Piccolet, +1 brute strength ss, advance phase 3.

Not everyone has the skill to lay bricks in a straight line or place a window, but anyone can mix mortar and cart bricks so that the skilled workers can work efficiently. Piccolet leads the way and over the next hour the four of you make a sizeable dent in the brick pile.

Failure: -1 brute strength, advance phase 3.

Piccolet is big enough to heave bricks all day, but the rest of you aren't, after Aaran drops a brick on Prudence you decide to join the main workforce.

 

2.2. Engineering: Pru eyes the plans suspiciously, "ok, anyone else think that her highness should have stuck to eye-shadow? These plans need some work."

Success: +1 relationship Prudence, +1 engineering ss, advance phase 3

The Chard's may be one of the most noble families, but they obviously don't understand that not everyone has their money - the materials required by the plans are far out of the orphanage's price range. Fortunately with a little work you manage to substitute cheaper if bulkier materials to make a new plan and the work proceeds rapidly.

Failure: advance phase 3.

Hmm, well if the plans need work it is certainly beyond you, after some desultory efforts to improve the plans you give up and get on with working with the main team.

 

2.3. Metallurgy: Aaran looks at the building site nervously, "perhaps we could work a little way away from the others to avoid any trouble - maybe some iron posts would prevent the next runaway cart crashing into the orphanage?"

Success: +1 relationship Aaran, +1 metallurgy, advance phase 3

The building work is going fine, but a stitch in time saves nine. Sinking some posts in the street is easy enough with a modicum of revision and Piccolet's strength, the next cart that goes out of control should be diverted away from the orphanage by the posts preventing another crash.

Failure: +1 stress, advance phase 3

Digging holes for the posts is easy, getting the posts to stay upright is not, after several woeful efforts end in posts with various angles of inclination you return to the main work crew red-faced at wasting so much time.

 

2.4. Awareness: Have a look around the workers. [Awareness v 5]

Success: temporary +33 chance of success, choose again.

It doesn't take long to realise that some to the orphans are trying far too hard, a rest break would do some of the them the world of good.

Failure: choose again

Several of the orphans sneak suspicious looks at Aaran, and every time he helps someone the whispering starts, that's fairly normal behaviour around Aaran though so you get on with work.

 

2.5. Work with the main team under Etta's guidance

Auto: +1 carpentry, advance phase 3.

Etta sets you to work, "first we need the framework put together, help Jon please, he'll handle the drilling and carving but he needs people to hold the frame together until its fixed properly."

 

 

Phase 3: Magic makes for light work.

Pru mops her forehead, "this lug-work is silly, we're mages, right? It's about time we made with a little less elbow grease and a little more wand-work. I figure we can negate the weight of the beams and avoid the need for all the scaffolding, what about you guys?"

 

Piccolet chuckles, you know, brute strength isn't the only way to solve problems - although it's pretty good, if we incant some strong winds we can keep everything in place until the frame is fixed together.

 

Aaran mumbles something under his breath but seeing Pru's scornful smirk says "How about some revision? I think it might be the best magic for this situation, I mean, if you tell me what to do."

 

3.1. Theory of Negation. Work with Pru to temporarily negate the weight of the bigger beams so they can be put in place easily.

Success: +1 Theory of Negation, inform Lift (pheme), +1 relationship with Pru, advance phase 4.

Pru demonstrates the phemes to use on the beams, with your help Pru's plan goes smoothly and Piccolet and Aaron quickly hammer the frame together, at this rate you'll be done in no time!

Failure: -1 Theory of Negation, inform Lift (pheme), advance phase 4.

You've barely started adding your strength to Pru's spell when things start going wrong, first you increase the weight of the beams, then you start them spinning, Pru laughs so much at your ineptitude that she almost drops the beams. Don't ever ask me to trust you with negation [PC name]! I can't believe you don't know lift from repel! Pru demonstrates the pheme to the rest of you several times, then with Piccolet and Aaran's help she quickly gets the beams in place leaving you to hammer in the nails before the spell wears off.

 

3.2. Theory of Incantation. Work with Piccolet to incant wind to hold the framework in place while it is hammered together.

Success: +1 Theory of Incantation, +1 relationship with Piccolet, advance phase 4.

The wind keeps the walls up long enough for the framework to be put in place, although you have to be careful not to blow the roof off more than once. Seeing real magic at work the orphans stop work and cheer in awe.

 

Failure: -1 Theory of Incantation, advance phase 4.

Well, you certainly get wind, lots of wind, enough wind in fact to blow parts of the roof off and nearly decapitate Aaran with a flying tile. Sheepishly helping the stunned boy up it is only thanks to Pru's quick negation spell that the wind doesn't rage completely out of control. "OK" Pru says, tossing her hair and looking sharply at the cringing Piccolet. "Out of the way lunks, time to do it my way." Fortunately Pru is quite skilled at negation and in an hour or so you have the framework in place.

 

3.3. Theory of Revision. Show Aaran how to revise the pieces of the frame to make them easier to fix together.

Success: +1 Theory of Revision, +1 relationship Aaran, advance phase 4.

Aaran's not the most skilled student of Revision, but he's a good mimic and with Pru and Piccolet helping you, the four of you quickly make the framework sticky enough to stick together without needing to be held in place, a few nails and voila!

Failure: -1 Vitality, +1 relationship Aaran, advance phase 4.

One moment your spell is going well, then somehow Aaran manages to do something horrible to it. You don't know what the beam was turning into but Pru's quick incantation blast was clearly for the best, even if it did leave you flat on your back seeing stars. Aaran cringes but you laugh it off, don't worry, no harm done. The second time things go better and after an hour or so the framework is finished.

 

3.4. Character study. Which of your fellows sounds the most confident? [Character study v 5]

 

Success: temporary +25 chance of success, choose again.

They all look pretty sure of themselves, well, except Aaran, but he always looks nervous, you figure that all of their ideas should speed up the construction.

Failure: Choose again.

They all look pretty sure of themselves, well, except Aaran, but he always looks nervous, what shall you do?

 

3.5. Carpentry. Magic, yeah... when you are older it might be safe but for now you have wooden beams, nails, and hammers - a few careful whacks and you should be almost done.

Automatic: +1 Carpentry SS, advance phase 4.

 

Phase 4: A slight mishap

"A job well done and in no time at all!" Etta is clearly happy with the pace of the work and doles out stew and bread as a celebratory snack before you go. Too late you see Aaran staring intently at his seafood stew and muttering intently over his wand. "Stop" says Pru, "you've mixed up the phemes", while she points her wand and mutters something Piccolet lunges forward and lunges at the bowl. "I..I.. just wanted to turn the crab into something edible..." murmurs Aaran dazed at being pounced on by his friends before he is interrupted by a growl, a very deep growl....

 

Raising its head from the dropped bowl of stew should be a little mongrel dog, it was a skittish if intrigued little terrier just a few moments ago when you gave it something globular and allegedly of fish origin from your bowl, unfortunately as you look it the dog doubles and then trebles in size, its teeth growing to the size of daggers and its eyes bulging with rage.

 

"Don't let it near the orphans" says Piccolet grabbing a large mallet, "the spell won't last long, if we look threatening it should run away"

"Don't hurt it" shouts Pru, "it's just a poor little doggy! It's not it fault that the walking calamity turned it into the Beast of the Bassan! Negate the spell with me!"

Aaran backs away shivering "err, maybe I should avoid doing anything else to it? If you distract it I'll go for help - Professor Pachait should be with the dock-master checking his shipment."

 

What will you do? You'd better decide before the beast gets any bigger!

 

4.1. Schoolyard education: Piccolet has the right idea, pick up a mallet and swing at the beast!

Success: +1 relationship Piccolet, +1 schoolyard education, advance phase 5.

One clobbering coming up! The four of you quickly surround the slavering hound. Pru starts by taunting it, as it turns on her Piccolet knocks it sideways with his club, as it turns on him Aaran hurls a tile at it, one after the other you batter the beast attacking in turn so it spins round and round confused, Pru holds back while you distract the hound until triumphantly she unleashes her negation spell, the hound staggers and starts to shrink, it manages a few more howls but after a minute or two it is just a mongrel doggy again. "I think it's time to go" says Prudence, "maybe if we get back before hte rumours we'll avoid any trouble."

Failure: -1 relationship Pru, advance phase 5.

One angry beast heedless of its own safety and desiring only to bite students is, it seems, far more than a match for four students trying not to get hurt.

 

The hound pounces on Aaran, shaking him like a doll before turning on you. Pru distracts it but screams when the hound jumps at her biting her arm badly, Piccolet swings his hammer and sends the hound reeling with his mallet. The hound staggers for a moment, before charging at you, your hammer bounces off its shoulder as it knocks you over, and moments later the hound has its jaws around your shin and starts dragging you back from your friends.

 

Fortunately for you Piccolet is still standing and with a half-roar that belies his usual gentle placid nature charges after the hound swinging his hammer so wildly that you duck in fear. The hound gives one last howl and lets go of you, retreating from Piccolet. Fortunately the magic soon wears off and the hound shrinks back into a mongrel dog.

 

Luckily Pru is able to heal the worst of your wounds, complaining all the while about having to use up her mother's precious healing salve and by the time you are back at the Academagia you are barely even limping.

 

4.2. Incantation spells: Slow the beast down with a barrage of incantation while Aaran runs for help.

Success: +1 relationship Aaran, +1 relationship Professor Parchait, +1 Incantation spells ss, advance phase 5.

Who needs a mallet when you have a wand, stepping in front of your fellows you unleash a small bolt of lightning, the hounds yelps as the bolt strikes it. You are too tired from the spell to do much more than shoot sparks for the next few minutes but the beast has learned its lesson and cowers back in the corner until Professor Parchait arrives and with a cool swish of his wand conjures a net to trap the hound.

 

The professor looks intently at the mongrel after he's removed the growth enchantment from it, "it looks like the little fellow has some change-beast blood, perhaps even werewolf ancestry a few generations back, that's quite worrying, I'll have to have a look at the local dogs to see if others are afflicted - the blood can react badly with magic you know. Off you go now, it's time you were back at the Academagica."

Failure: -1 relationship Aaran, -1 relationship Piccolet, -1 relationship Professor Parchait, advance phase 5.

The plan was simple enough, the three of you bombard the hound with magic sparks and glamours to keep it back until the professor arrives. It's a good plan, with as it turns out just one flaw. Not that the hound leaps past the sparks and attack you, no, that part works just fine, but you really wish the Professor had arrived a few moments earlier, as when he arrives the three of you are facing merely a terrified little mongrel cowering from the remaining sparks and whining piteously for help.

 

Professor Pachait is furious and dispels your sparks. If not for Etta's statement that the hound had been a huge monster attacking the orphans you think he'd have put the lot of you in detention for a month, as it is he gives you a severe tongue lashing and stalks off, threatening to tell Professor Leith how badly you behaved.

 

4.3. Negation Methods: Pru is right, un-do the potion's effects!

Success: +1 relationship Pru, advance phase 5

The hound howls and charges at you, but Pru's spells catches it in mid-leap and the hound shrinks a little so that it is barely bigger than you when it barrels into Piccolet. The burly boy staggers back, but seeing the beast turn on Pru, Piccolet gathers his courage and leaps on the hound, grabbing it and pulling it back. As the hound turns to bite Piccolet, Aaron casts a glamour that befuddles it and moments later your negation spell undoes the enchantment over the Hound completely. The mongrel pauses confused, then licks Piccolet's nose and wriggles free. Success! Time to go home perhaps before anyone asks where the Hound came from.

Failure: -1 relationship Piccolet, advance phase 5.

The hound howls and charges at you, but Pru's spells catches it in mid-leap and the hound is barely bigger than you when it barrels into Piccolet, the burly boy staggers back, but seeing the beast turn on Pru, Piccolet leaps on the hound and pulls it back. As the hound turns to bite Piccolet, Aaron casts a glamour that befuddles it and moments later your negation spell slams into the hound - and dispels Aaran's glamour.

 

Piccolet manages to hurl the hound away before it bites him too badly and Pru dispels the magic. Piccolet winces and looks at you, "thanks for nothing! Lucky for you Pru saved the day!

 

4.4. Duel: So, the puppy wants to play does it? Well it's messing with the wrong posse! A sabre-toothed hell-hound is no match for four students of the Academagia!

Success: +1 Duelling forms, advance to phase 5.

Piccolet and you unleash spells at the same time and the hound gets sent flying, it gets up and tries to rush you again but by now Pru's finished the phemes of her stun spell and lets is loose, the hound goes down like a sack of potatoes, that will teach it to steal a magician's stew! Well, steal Aaran's stew anyway, yours was fine, practically a feast compared to the cafeteria food, the gods alone know what Aaran had done to his stew. Looking around it is clear that your job is done here, "I think it would be better for us to finish off ourselves rather than trouble you further" says Etta. Smiling apologetically you follow her advice.

Failure: -1 Duel Conduct, advance to phase 5.

Ok, note to self, if you are in a fight again, and there are several of you on the same side, plan tactics your tactics first.

Pru's negation would probably have reduced the hound back to its doggy state, but not when Piccolet charged forward and caught the spell in the small of the back - just in time for the hound to charge into him and bite his arm.

 

Your incantation might have battered the beast if Aaron's Astrology spell hadn't twisted fate and sent the hound skidding to one side a moment before your spell hit it.

 

Finally, long after the terrified orphans have run inside the orphanage and barricaded the door, the four of you manage to dispel the enchantments and send the mongrel fleeing back to its den. Rather than face the no-doubt irate Etta you trudge back to the Academagia.

 

Phase 5. Facing the music

The hall is quiet when you get back, which is good as Professor Leith is clearly unhappy at the report of your work from the dark look on his face.

 

"So what happened? This should have been a simple task well within the capabilities of four first years! The orphanage asked me to make sure I sent some older students to watch over the young ones next time, apparently you summoned a werewolf! If not for the fact that half of what they said is clearly exaggerated I'd probably put the lot of you in detention!"

 

"Well", the professor calms, "that is I might if you hadn't fixed the place, not that a right excuses a wrong, but that bit I'm sure of, Professor Knoht scried the place for me and said the repair work was perfect."

 

"So, which of you messed up a spell? Hell-hound, werewolf, whatever it was it didn't come from nowhere and that means one of you did it. Well? [PC name], Etta spoke well of you, who was it?"

 

5.1. Auto: "It was Aaran sir, you know how things just go wrong around him..."

-1 relationship Aaran, +1 Ethics SS, access stage 3.

"Well, honesty is the best policy [PC name], Aaran you've survived the cafeteria food often enough, what harm could the stew have done you? See me tonight and we'll go through how to spice up a stew with magic without making a monster."

 

Auto: "It was Pru sir, she was cast a spell of some sort at Aaran's stew when he was spicing it up and it all went horribly wrong."

-1 relationship Pru, +1 Character ss, access stage 5.

"Again Pru?" The professor sighs, the idea is that you redeem yourself in St Pai's young lady, not that you indulge in your flair for recreational mayhem. A little more prudence in your conduct hmm? The professor waves you out and Pru storms out in the lead, fuming over the Professor's joke made about her name.

 

Auto: "It was Piccolet sir, Aaron was doing some magic on his stew and the big lug shoved him, the dog ate the stew and it turned into a monster..."

-1 relationship Piccolet, +1 Composure ss, access stage 5.

"What? No sir, that's not..." The Professor silences Piccolet with a raised eyebrow. "Again Mr Gleyre? I've known a lot of boys like you, they think their size gives them the right to demand respect - well it doesn't, and you'd better learn that quickly before life teaches you a harsh lesson on the subject!

 

Auto: "It was my fault sir, the guys were fooling around with each other and I wasn't paying attention, I should have known better than to let a dog eat the spell-stew without negating it first."

+1 relationship Matain Leith, -3 merit, access stage 3.

Well, at least you understand the idea of working together - someone could have got hurt. Still your honesty is refreshing and the four of you did fairly well all things considered. Just try not to make any monsters next time ok?

 

 

 

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For stage 2; completely unavoidable losses (relationship, Merit or something else) can be suitably dramatic and appropriate...but they're not exactly fun. Mind, with multiple chances to increase relationships before getting to the point where you either have to decrease one or eat a loss of Merit this isn't a big deal. Just something to keep in mind ;).

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I was trying to balance a bit as I was sometimes giving 2 rewards for a single phase. I do need to go over it though, I'd note that I'm seeing this as a very early game adventure - low DC's, and quite possibly no skill point to actually lose, or plenty of time to regain relationship losses.

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OK, trying another stage for St Pai.

 

I need a little help on phase 3.2, can anyone remember the name of the Peerage book in the Community Service adventure?

 

 

 

All DC's are (DC=stage+2) unless otherwise marked, rare skill may be just (DC=stage) and observation/perception/character study/etc easter-egg revealers are (DC=stage+3)

Stage 3. Professor Ringraeyer's

The Petitioner's Club is busy tonight, the older students have just finished debating what should be done with this terms funding from the Academagia, the prank-war between the third years resulted in all the club members from Morvidus turning an odd share of green (although going quite a fetching shade of blue when they blush), while the second years are feverishly planning some major club project for Professor Rupprecht.

 

Which left the first year students free to volunteer for any petition brought to them by Professor's Storey and Ringraeyer. Between the two professor's, working with the strict Storey seems less appealing so after a quick check that you are presentable, you head over to Professor Ringraeyer.

 

Professor Ringraeyer looks you over, "ah good, a volunteer, I have a petition that I wish to answer, I would have preferred older students, but the third years are clearly not presentable and the others are busy, so you will have to do."

 

Katja, Sima, Aaran the three of you will be needed as well, three should do it - the Professor looks over at some of the other first year petitioners and purses her lips, "I think I shall leave Ms Cossins and Piccolet to Professor Storey, such a pity that Ms Chard could not be here, oh well, the three of you will have to do."

 

"So that I know you are not going to embarrass St Pai's Petitioners with ineptitude, I have a simple task for you. I left the petition on the podium in my classroom, you need to retrieve the petition and make sure it is answered, somebody has amused themselves with a prank - fix that while you are there please dears, I'm very busy this evening and need to catch up with my marking, let me know when you've answered the petition, it sounded easy enough."

Auto: Advance to phase 2.

 

Phase 2: The Glamour Classroom

The Glamour classroom should be empty, no classes are scheduled at the moment, but people are clearly moving inside the classroom. Odd lights and shadows can be seen moving through the door and a low murmuring can be heard from outside the class, although just below the point of intelligibility.

 

When you open the door the prank the Professor referred to becomes obvious. Ghostly students sit at their desks, well, mostly sit, the class throws quills, paper and spells at each other. The students are exaggerations of themselves, grotesque caricatures of normal people often scandalously attired and behaving as their attire suggests. Oddly at the front of the class where the professor would be expected is a void, not only is there no professor at the podium but the many missiles thrown at the front of the class vanish when they reach the podium only to appear again when they reach the far wall. You suspect that Professor Ringraeyer was un-amused by whatever illusion the prankster made of her and obliterated it.

 

"Um, ok" says Katja nervously, "they can't hurt us right? I mean, they are all just illusions."

 

Sima shakes her head "if you believe an illusion enough it can affect you, and with an illusion this complex and layered it is quite possible that the caster wove in other magic too - a few hanging incantations can do wonders for making people believe in an illusion."

 

Aaran ducks a bolt loosed by a thuggish looking glamour "perhaps we should do something rather than just stand here?"

 

"No" says Katya, "we need to remove the illusion to satisfy Professor Ringraeyer, does anyone have any ideas?"

 

"Well", said Aaran, "we might be able to twist the glamour to make it unstable, it should fizzle out after a little while."

 

"That's a good idea" mused Sima, "but maybe we should figure how it was put together - that should reveal how to destroy it more quickly."

 

"I'm no good at glamour" said Katja "but the comet of Parsaphius is high in the heavens tonight, "we could try to draw on its power of clarity to undermine the inherent inconsistencies of the glamour".

 

2.1. Glamour Methods. Work with Aaran to try to adjust the illusions to make them harmless and undermine the stability of the spell.

Success: +1 relationship Aaran, inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

Aaran's idea was a good one, the glamour is very complicated, but the complexity is in the end its own undoing. With help from Aaran and Sima, and encouragement from Katja, you manage to slip some extra phemes into some of the glamours.

 

The extra phemes work against the smooth interactions of the illusions and soon the illusions become less substantial, eventually the spells have too little energy to remain and with faint whines the illusions dissipate. Katja laughs in pleasure and practically dances across the classroom returning triumphantly with the petition. "Well" she says, "shall we read it and see what our mission is?"

Failure: inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

It seemed like a good idea, but you forgot about Aaran's amazing ability to be victimised by fate, all you do by trying to adjust the illusions is make yourself the target of them. Bombarded by illusionary attack you eventually close your eyes, cover your ears and bump and clatter your way to the front of the classroom. Ducking behind the podium you retrieve the petition and then stagger back to the hallway.

 

Fortunately in bombarding you with illusionary missiles the spell exhausts its power and by the time you reach the hallway the glamour has faded. Well, that's the first job done, now to read the petition and find out what you are supposed to do.

 

2.2. Theory of Glamour. Work with Sima to figure out how the illusion was created and undo it.

Success: +1 relationship Sima, inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

Sima it turns out has a knack for glamours, not just casting them but a real understanding of how the phemes interact to create a self-sustaining efficient glamour.

With her guidance you and Aaran figure out how the illusions were put together and as a result how to undermine them.

 

As the three of you undermine the glamour Katja cheers, "you are all so good at magic, I wish I was better but I just can't get the hang of forming the phemes." Sima gives Katja a hug "don't worry, you'll pick it up, that's what the Academagia is about!" "Yeah" said Aaran, "Look at me, half my spells go horribly wrong - at least you don't cause all that trouble." When you add your own words of comfort Katja cheers up and says "well it's my turn to do something, I'll get the petition for you" While she runs to the front of the class you turn to Sima and say "you're pretty cool too Sima, that was a great idea."

Failure: inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

Next time you want to dispel a glamour you will try negation you think, a good negation spell just eliminates a glamour. It does not do what Sima's attempt to un-write the phemes in the glamour does which is trigger a counter-reaction from the illusionary students.

 

One after the other the illusionary students looses magic bolts at you, most of the spells are just glamours, feelings of terror, horrible images and the like, some however feel entirely real - slaps, thumps and zaps.

 

Fortunately while the illusionary students bedevil you, Aaran (at at least is used to this sort of thing) and Katja (who isn't and is far too nice to deserve it), Sima manages to dodge their attention and get to the Podium.

 

A few moments later she calls to the three of you "I've got it and am back in the hall, run towards my voice - we'll tell Professor Briardi about the glamour and ask her to get rid of it."

 

2.3. Comets. Call on the power of Parsaphius's comet to undermine the illusions

Success: +1 relationship Katja, inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

The power of the comet is apparent shortly after you cast your first Astrology spell, Katja deftly summons the shining light from the comet through the window of the classroom to illuminate the illusions.

 

As the light from the comet shines on the illusions they begin to waver, after a few moments the light begins to shine through the illusions they slow and quieten, and after a few more moments the illusions become patchy and begin to dissipate.

 

You don't even wait for the illusions to fade completely as long before then you can easily see a safe path to the podium. The petition is easy to find on the professor's desk and you wave it triumphantly as you return to your friends, first challenge overcome!

 

Failure: Inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

The comets may have great power, but clearly not in this classroom, well, no power that you can draw upon anyway. After a few embarrassed minutes you and Katja give up and step back while Sima and Aaran attempt to dispel the glamour. Luckily they are more successful than you and Katja were and after a few minutes the illusions are banished and you are able to retrieve the petition. Oh well, it's only fair that your friends get to show off once in a while, so you swallow your disappointment and congratulate Aaran and Sima and ask them to tell you what the petition says.

 

2.4. Negation Spells. The way to get rid of a spell you don't like is with Negation, time to show your colleagues how to dispose of unwanted illusions properly!

Success: -1 stress, inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

After carefully gathering your thoughts you gather your strength and carefully draw phemes onto your palette and cast your spell. For a few moments nothing happens and Sima and Katja give you comforting pats on the shoulder, "don't worry, we're all learning, my spells don't often work either" says Katja. Sima nods quietly, but then her eyes go wide as with a series of soft pops the glamours vanish. You smile and stand a little straighter "I don't know guys, I think I got this actually". Aaran gives you a friendly punch in the arm and Sima and Katja burst into chuckles at your faux-modestry and say "well as you're our hero it seems, you can go get the petition too!"

 

The podium is easy to get to, now that the illusions are gone and it only takes a few moments to find the petition in the drawers under the podium. Sometimes, you just love knowing magic, you practically skip out of the classroom. Returning to the corridor you show the petition to your friends, "shall we read it and find out what we have to do?"

Failure: inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

After carefully gathering your thoughts you gather your strength and carefully draw phemes onto your palette and cast your spell. For a few moments nothing happens and Sima and Katja give you comforting pats on the shoulder, "don't worry, we're all learning, my spells don't often work either" says Katja. "Let me have a go" says Sima, "Aaran and I were talking Glamour while you were casting and we think we've got a way to undermine the illusion". Sima and Aaran cast their spells and one by one the illusionary characters vanish leaving the classroom empty.

 

Struggling to smile through your embarrassment you walk to the front of the classroom and retrieve the petition from the podium. Hopefully when you've found out what the petition is about and know what to do, you hope you get to show your friends that you aren't a total idiot.

 

2.5. Observation. Are there any inconsistencies in the illusion that could be used to undermine it? (DC = 6)

Success: +25 chance of success, choose again.

At first the illusions look seamless, but after a few moments you can see gaps where they don't overlap, areas where the illusions are out of sync. Focusing on these visible errors you look more deeply with your understanding of glamours and soon you can see where the spells are starting to weaken and interfere with one another. This should be easy.

Failure: Choose again

The illusions are just too good, whoever cast them was incredible, you can't see any flaws in it. Just as you are about to give up Professor Ringraeyer's quest as hopeless Aaran shakes you. "Snap out of it, I know its a good spell, but trust me, no spell is so good that it can't be fouled up, let's get on with it."

 

2.6. Perception. Look around the classroom, it's a glamour classroom there should be means to undo mis-cast glamours. (DC = 6)

Success: +5 chance of success, Gain: Minor glamour ring, +1 Theory of Glamour skill level when equipped, choose again.

The illusions cover most of the room, as you look around at it for clues on how the spell stays focused you see a glint of light. At the centre of the room one of the illusions is wearing a ring, their hand is the only illusions that doesn't seem to move at all, the ring must be the focus of the spell, possibly its even acting as the power for the continuing spell. You carefully avoid the attention of the illusionary students as much as you can as you cross the room and slip the ring from the illusion's finger. The illusions all flicker briefly, but they still continue, "rats" says Sima, "I thought that might do it, well at least you got the ring - the prankster certainly won't be coming back for it - what now?"

Failure: Choose again

Nope, nada, zip. There will inevitably be weaknesses in the illusion, no illusions are perfect, well, except possibly this one. You can't see the faintest discrepancy in how the illusions interact. Maybe you should try something else.

 

2.7. Umm, magic, right. The illusions are very skilled, way too tough for a 1st year to get rid of. Just walk calmly to the podium ignoring the illusions, take the petition from the podium, then ask Professor Briardi to have one of her senior students eliminate the illusion.

Auto: +1 Composure ss, inform: Glamour classroom: Professor's Podium, advance to phase 3.

Calm maturity is the key. The illusions are ultimately nothing more than a childish joke, ultimately harmless. Taking care to breathe deeply and remain focused on the podium you walk calmly but briskly to the podium and collect the petition, returning to your friends in the corridor you wave the petition triumphantly. "Ok" you say, "Aaran, you're always talking to negators to get help over the magical mayhem that keeps blowing up around you, go grab someone to get rid of the spell, we'll figure out what we need to do."

 

 

Phase Three. The Minetan Dowager's Social Society

The Petition is the first you've actually read, before the professor has simply told you what you are supposed to do, it almost seems cheek to read the petition. But... Professor Ringraeyer did tell you she was busy and you should complete the petition before going back to her.

 

The petition turns out to be much more tedious then you expected. The Minetan Society of Dowagers are meeting for afternoon tea and wish to be entertained by some of the fine students of the Academagia so that they can rejoice in the caliber of the youth of today.

 

"Well, um, right, er, great." Aaran sounds even less enthusiastic than usual. "This will be fun".

 

"Fun? Who are the Dowager Society of Mineta?" Says Katja sounding barely more happy.

 

"Probably a social club of some sort, they're probably lonely, it should be easy enough" says Sima.

 

"Well, they give a lot of money to orphanages, they came to the places I was at from time to time and gave us toys, I remember them being really old and mostly kindly but that's about all." Says Aaran, he seems somewhat quiet even by his standards clerly upset by the memory, Aaran doesn't normally talk about where he's from and you can see that it's hard for him.

 

"And what sort of entertainment they are after? I've played music for a lot of old folks back home, it's something that can really cheer them up." Says Katja.

 

"And, how do we found out where they are?" Asked Sima.

 

3.1. Library Knowledge: The library of the Academagia has everything in it - at least so you've heard. Have a look through the index and see if you can find the Dowagers.

Success: +1 Library Knowledge SS, advance to phase 4.

The Library is vast, but fortunately it has native guides, grouchy native guides who don't like students, but guides none the less. The first librarian you approach hisses at you to be silent so vehemently that you don't dare to stutter out your request. The second librarian disappears around a corner and when you follow all you see is a dead-end corridor into a number of book-cases and a single book in the centre of the floor of the corridor - a single very fat book. You back away quickly and the third time is the charm, the librarian takes a brief moment out of their busy schedule of .. well.. whatever librarians do all day, to give you directions to The Social Societies of Mineta which has three pages covering the Minetan Dowager's Social Society, including their address and meeting times.

Failure: advance to phase 4.

Books, right, who reads books right, I mean, just people like Milena and Zoe who stomp exams and stuff. You clearly aren't amongst their number as after the better part of an hour you haven't found anything out about the Dowagers.

 

Fortunately you are rescued from your looming stacks of discarded books by Katja who pulls you up saying "no luck huh? Don't worry, Sima found something over in the Etiquette section, it seems the Dowagers are pretty famous, it says they have a townhouse in upper Mineta and the description should let us find it fairly easily.

 

3.2. History: The Middle Empire: If they are dowagers then that means they inherited wealth and titles, so they, and their club, should be listed in Quirp's Peerage.

Edit to alter from: [help what was the book in community service adventure that took off "Burke's Peerage" called?].

 

Success: +1 History: The Middle Empire ss, advance to phase 4.

The Peerage lists out everyone who is everyone, everywhere which is everywhere, and every club worth belonging too. The Dowagers have a significant entry in the Peerage, they are a social club for noble widows noted for their charity events, particularly events focussing on youths. They are also, it transpires, patrons of the Academagia who pay for a student from a poor background to attend the Academagia each year. So it's no surprise that when they lodge a petition the professor's pay attention to it.

Failure: Advance phase 4.

The library, you are told, holds all the knowledge known to man. That may be so, but the fruits of your labours indicate otherwise. Piles of books high enough to need hiding from the librarians surround you but none of them have a word to say about the Minetan Dowagers Social Society. Finally with drooping eyelids you bury your head in your hands and give up, only to be jolted awake as Katja drops a book next to your somnambulant head. "There you are! We've been looking you for ages! We're ready to go to the Society, stop reading - uh - whatever this stuff is - and come on!"

 

Great, not only did the others find out about the Dowagers where you failed, they did it hours ago. OK, better plan to shine when you are there or you'll never live it down.

 

3.3. Minetan Swagger: If these Dowagers are rich, then people know them, ask around and get the information.

Success: +1 Minetan Swagger ss, advance to phase 4.

It turns out that the Dowagers are somewhat famous, and you have a dozen leads on them in less than an hour. The Dowagers are a very long standing society of well-to-do ladies with, from the sound of things, too much time and not enough to do - so they do charity and social events, everything from sponsoring orphanages and giving charity to the poor, to running the grand debutantes ball of Mineta and patronising the most snobbish artists of Mineta.

 

The event you've been invited too is, it seems, one run by the older, more staid and proper dowagers, the ones who are the great and good, and whose money is, you suspect, sponsoring more than one poor student at the Academagia. No doubt they want to see you to see if the student body is worthy of their continued support. After a few minutes walking, you stand in front of the Dowager's Establishment.

Failure: advance to phase 4

After an hour trailing around your haunts in Mineta Aaran finally loses patience, "you haven't a clue where they are do you? Look, I've got some ideas, how about we each have a look on our own and we meet back here at the coffee shop in two hours?"

 

You keep looking on your own after the others follow their own hunches, but one after another the shop-keepers and scamps that you thought might help you either shrug or say something contradicted by the next.

 

Finally footsore and crestfallen you slink back to the coffee shop figuring that you'll wait for the others to return. At the coffee shop however you find the three of them are already waiting, and from the pile of cake crumbs and sweet wrappers they've been waiting quite a while, and by their grins they clearly found out about the Dowagers. Oh well, at least Katja saved you some cake.

 

3.4. Etiquette: Those in the know what is U and what is Non-U, and the Dowager's are famous proponents of the former - in fact you are fairly sure you recall them being mentioned in Modern Manners of Mineta...

Success: +1 Etiquette ss, advance to phase 4.

Your hunch was right, you've barely started skimming the articles by Dame Hallia Artin in her Modern Manners of Mineta column before you find the first reference to the Dowagers, in this case a description of the proper way to run a charity dinner - at the headquarters of the dowagers in up-town Mineta.

Failure: advance to phase 4

Whups, you'd forgotten (the shame!) that to refer to individuals in articles is non-U (except in the right circumstances obviously) of late. While there are references to the Dowager Society of Mineta nobody is crass enough to mention members by name or say where they are based, the worthy would, of course, already know.

 

While trying to carefully slip the articles back on the shelves without being obvious (lest someone ask you what you were reading and you be forced to lie to conceal your folly) Katja taps you on the shoulder, "Aaron found out about the Dowagers, we need to get moving to get there in time."

 

3.5. Character Study. Have a think, how would you find out information about a group of rich dowagers? (DC = 6)

Success: +25 chance of success, advance to phase 4.

Rich old ladies with a habit of charitable largesse are not hard to find, every artist, philosopher and student seeks their patronage and every business their custom. Finding them should merely be a matter of a little basic questioning about where they meet.

Failure: Choose again.

Right, one society in all Mineta, Mineta, the shining city, the still beating heart of what was once the Empire. You might as well look for a needle in a haystack. Still you can't give up, Professor Ringraeyer can be brutal when she's in a bad mood and she won't like you failing to answer her petition.

 

 

Phase 4: Entertaining the Dowagers

Arriving at the Dowager's Townhouse is somewhat nerve-wracking, the streets in this part of Mineta are spotless, every major building has doormen, the carriages on the streets are brightly painted and have uniformed drivers, and every door-step is well-scrubbed.

 

The doormen at the Dowager's Townhouse are fortunately expecting you, after looking down their nose at Aaron and raising a sceptical eyebrow at Katja and Sima, they wave you in.

 

"Welcome children, it's lovely to see you. I'm, Lady Rishon, and I asked Professor Ringraeyer to send you here so that the Dowager's can remind themselves about the qualities of the students of the Academagia, many of your predecessors have come in previous years and done a great deal to encourage the Dowagers to sponsor their fellows in one form or another."

 

"So, there are no particular rules, the Dowagers present are mostly through in the sitting rooms, go through and be yourselves to them - but remember please that you are representing the Academagia and be of good conduct."

 

"Ok, what shall we try?" says Aaron, "I figure we could try story-telling, old people love stories."

 

"We could try music, I've brought some instruments if someone can sing along I bet we can make the Dowagers happy." Says Katja.

 

"I think we should play some games with them, I snuck a look at the dowagers and a lot of them are playing board or card games, bet they'd love to play against someone new." Says Sima.

 

4.1. Gambling: Sima's idea, play some Bassetta with the Dowagers, and go easy on the little old ladies.

 

Success: +1 Gambling ss, +1 relationship Sima, advance to phase 5.

Blessed Pai, next time you see two little old ladies with twinkling eyes in front of a Bassetta table you will be more careful. Your first game is an abject rout, it is your sixth game before you even manage a draw. The Dowagers are merciless despite your age and when you finally scrape a marginal victory on the back of a run of good luck you are justly proud.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 5.

The first game goes badly, but you console yourself that you had bad luck. The second game goes worse and the third is beyond a mere rout. the Dowager's are merciless and you realise too late that each of the Dowagers that you are playing against have at least 5 decades experience on you and absolutely no mercy.

 

Mindful that you are here to entertain the Dowagers and display the best qualities of the student body of the Academagia you choke back your disappointment (and no little anger at how brutal the ladies are) and keep a smile on your face. Hopefully Professor Ringraeyer is appreciative of your suffering.

 

4.2. Voice: Katja's idea, sing along to Katja's music to entertain the Dowager's.

Success: +1 Voice ss, +1 relationship Katja, advance to phase 5.

Katja takes out her violin and starts to play, Aaran takes up a small flute and Sima pulls out a tambourine, sadly you didn't bring an instrument with you, but you sing along as best you can. The Dowagers are fortunately quite a welcoming audience and the next few hours pass quickly with several rounds of polite applause.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 5.

Katja plays as perfectly as ever - you wonder sometimes how long she has spent practising, Aaron is surprisingly good at his flute, and even Sima clearly has some talent with the tambourine and other simple instruments. Sadly you can't remember the words to the songs after the first verse or two and so you keep retreating into an embarrassed silence leaving your friends to carry what words they could recall. Fortunately Sima manages to carry enough of the song to avoid you being humiliated and after a few hours you get to escape with some dignity intact.

 

4.3. Story-telling: Aaron's idea. Tell the Dowager's about life at the Academagia and how hard everyone is studying.

Success: +1 story-telling ss, +1 relationship Aaran, advance to phase 5.

Life at the Academagia is never boring, and you amuse the Dowagers with story after story, at first you are very careful only to tell the more favourable stories, but before long as the Dowager's quiz you, you let on about some of the pranks that Lambert and Aymeri have played on each other or Rui's legendary jokes. The Dowager's laugh at the stories and give keen advice on how to avoid being the victim yourself - and some ways to take amusing revenge if you are picked on, sharing their own stories of the Academagia in a few cases and many more of St Trinia's Finishing School for Well-bred Young Ladies which make you think that the Academagia is a calm safe place for study for the first time this term.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 5.

You dutifully try to tell stories of hard working students and proper behaviour, but the Dowager's merely laugh and ask you if think that they were never young themselves. Sima then chips in with an amusing tale of a cooking competition where Asmita's muffins were turned into muffin people who drove the competitors out of the kitchen with a barrage of dough-bombs before barricading the kitchen against intruders until Professor Aventyrare finally demolished the door and toasted the muffin men. Katja follows with a story of Professor Chastellain's attempt to teach the Music class Soja chanting without realising the impact that it would have on revision magic that the students tried for weeks afterwards. Aaron follows with tales of magical mayhem and by the time he is done the Dowagers have entirely forgotten your bumbling attempts to pretend that every student is diligent, which given how amused they are by the others is probably for the best.

 

4.4. Playfulness: Katja has a good idea, but you aren't much of a singer, so why not put on a skit to entertain the Dowagers and show them the lighter side of Academagia life.

Success: +1 Playfulness ss, +1 relationship Katja, advance to phase 5.

The Tales of Pytor Wabbit are known to everyone, and while Katja merrily plays the fiddle and Aaran pipes along on the flute you and Sima act out several of Pyotr's escapades for the amusement of the Dowagers. The next few hours pass quickly and the four of you sing songs of Pyotr Wabbit all the way back to the Academagia.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 5.

Playing out the tales of Pyotr Rabbit should be easy, but in front of an audience you find yourselves forgetting your lines constantly. Fortunately Katja covers up delays with her violin until can hint the line to you, and after the first scene you swap with Aaran and play the gruff gardener so you don't actually need to say much after that, even if your friends do have to do most of the work.

 

4.5. Conversation: Sima's on the right track, but it's as important to talk as it is play games if you want to entertain, right?

Success: +1 Conversation ss, +1 relationship Sima, advance to phase 5.

It's lucky that you can talk all day as the Dowagers are brutal games-players, still in between moves as you are crushed in game after game you manage to comment sensibly to various political and historical comments by the Dowagers and show that students of the Academagia are aware of topical issues and understand how goodly people should feel about them. After a few hours you go home to the Academagia buzzing with the latest gossip and with a handful of sweets in your pocket.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 5.

You try to keep up with the conversation but you haven't heard of most of the topics discussed or the people referred to and after a while you just sit there um-ing and oh-ing while Sims, Aaran and Katja laugh along with the Dowagers and keep the conversation going. Your silence continues most of the way back to the Academagia while the others fill you in on everything you've clearly been missing about what is going on in Mineta all term.

 

4.6. Famous Speeches: Aaran's on the right track, but the Dowager's probably want to know that you've heard and understood the speeches of great women of Mineta and the wit and wisdom within them.

Success: +1 Oratory ss, +1 relationship Aaran, advance to phase 5.

Sima is quite quiet, and Katja is so shy that she normally talks through her music rather than using her voice, fortunately Aaran appears to have memorised every aphorism of the saints (it was kind-of beaten in, he notes later) and you manage to come out with some of the longer passages from talks by famous leaders and generals. The Dowagers nod appreciatively at your learning and add quotes and sayings from leaders you've not heard of before. You mull over some of these sayings all the way back to the Academagia.

Failure: +1 stress, advance to phase 5.

You manage to avoid mangling a few of the more famous sayings, although to your embarrassment you manage to attribute some incorrectly, fortunately Aaran is a bottomless pit of perfect quotations, with one for every comment by the Dowagers. On the way back to the Academagia the three of you try to pump him for information on how he learned so many but Aaran clams up, obviously not wanting to talk about his past.

 

 

Phase 5: Back to school

Professor Ringraeyer's office is perfectly neat, and has art on every wall. The Professor is delighted to see you, "Wonderful to see you, it seems you answered the petition well, the Dowagers sent their congratulations on what witty and proper students we have. Well done, the Dowagers are a long-standing patron of the Academagia and it is important to keep them supportive."

Auto: +1 relationship Professor Ringraeyer, +3 merit, access stage 4.

 

 

 

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Not familiar with that adventure, but this part?

You comb the nearest bookcases, looking for anything that jumps out at you. "A Treatise on Topiary Gardens" - no..."Horse-Breeding Made Easy" - no..."Boar Hunting for the Ambitious Gentleman" - definitely not. You're about to lose hope and then you find, wedged between a hundred-year-old collection of fairy tales and the latest edition of Querp's Peerage, a battered copy of "Tumbler for Beginners".

 

Come to think of it, Quirp's Peerage might be helpful, too.

You flip through the books, memorize what you think you'll need, and head back to the chaos of the drawing room.

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