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Eavesdropping on the Professors' Lounge


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Eavesdropping on the Professors' Lounge

 

You were just passing the area where the Professors' Lounge is when you thought you heard something interesting. Some kind of discussion is going on in there and it's going on a bit louder than most of them are. The Professors' Lounge is reasonably soundproofed though so you can't make out anything from here. Are you curious enough to get closer?

 

Exit 1:- No.

Success:- You shrug and go on your way.

(No effect.)

 

Failures:- No failure.

 

 

Investigation 1:- Spy. Yes, but cautiously. Stay at the door.

Success:- You put your ear up to the door. It's a real strain to try to make out what's going on in the room from here, but you manage to pick out a few bits and pieces. They're talking about some kind of forbidden magics! And they actually seem to be talking about them in terms of how they're used, how the spells are cast... This is amazing! You'd heard rumors that the teachers were allowed to talk about anything in the Professors' Lounge, but you always thought those were exaggerations!

 

Eventually the conversation fades, and you hear someone approaching the door, so you turn to get out of there before you get caught.

(Inform a random Gates subskill, opens Escape exits, closes all others.)

 

Failure:- You put your ear up to the door. It's a real strain to try to make out what's going on in the room from here, but you manage to pick out a few bits and pieces. They're talking about some kind of forbidden magics! And they actually seem to be talking about them in terms of how they're used, how the spells are cast... This is amazing! You'd heard rumors that the teachers were allowed to talk about anything in the Professors' Lounge, but you always thought those were exaggerations!

 

And then someone tries to open the door from the other side. You're not sure how Lisle Avantyrare got so close when you were listening intently, but she did. She acts like she knew someone was going to be on the other side, even! You're expecting a detention, but she smiles and claps her hands together once. "Well! Looks like we've found someone else who is interested in this topic!" she says. You are 'invited' into the lounge. It's not the kind of invitation you can refuse.

 

The other teachers in the lounge seem to find this as uncomfortable and irregular as you do, but Professor Avantyrare just cheerfully asks you what you think of the ethics of Gates magic. She seems to be enjoying your discomfort. You awkwardly ask for more information and receive a summary of the conversational topics. And then you've nothing to do but squirming in the spotlight.

(Inform a random Gates subskill, opens up Discussion exits under Curiosity, closes all others.)

 

 

Exit 2:- Run away!

Success:- You hightail it out of there. Not the quietest exit, but you're well ahead and around the corner before the door opens, which is good enough. And you know enough about Gates now that you might be able to research it yourself! All sorts of strange creatures could be at your command. Maybe you'll even recover the lost secrets of teleportation!

 

You're feeling pretty good about that whole adventure. That good feeling lasts until Kate Badcrumble tracks you down and gives you detention. Did you know that divinations can be used to catch sloppy spies who give away their presence? Well, you know that now.

(+1 Skill step to Theory of Astrology, and detention)

 

Failure:- You turn and run from the door, but you don't get very far before you get nabbed.

 

You'll just have to console yourself with the fact that you know enough about Gates to possibly research it yourself. All sorts of strange creatures could be at your command. Perhaps you'll even recover the lost secrets of teleportation.

(Detention)

 

 

Exit 3:- Move Silently. Sneak away.

Success:- You listen to the door opening from around the corner. Nobody's the wiser. The teachers just think the hall was empty. Good job! And now you know enough to look up Gates yourself. All sorts of strange creatures could be at your command. Perhaps you'll even recover the lost secrets of teleportation.

(+1 skill step to Move Silently)

 

Failure:- You turn and start to sneak away from the door, but you don't get very far before you get nabbed.

 

You'll just have to console yourself with the fact that you know enough about Gates to possibly research it yourself. All sorts of strange creatures could be at your command. Perhaps you'll even recover the lost secrets of teleportation.

(Detention)

 

 

Investigation 2:- Curiosity. Yes, absolutely!

Success:- You put your ear to the door, but you still can't hear. So you crack the door open slightly, and now you can make out little bits and pieces. Are they talking about _Gates_ magic? Guided irresistibly by your curiosity, you sneak through the door and take up a position behind a piece of furniture in the Lounge. There's no way this can end badly now, right?

 

The conversation that's going on is completely fascinating. They're talking about exactly what it seemed like. And they're not just 'about' Gates, but about how it's done! You'd heard that the teachers were free to talk about anything in the Professors' Lounge, but you'd thought that was an exaggeration!

 

You keep being tempted to add to the conversation. You're almost certain that would be unwise. You've got a good hiding spot. If you speak up, you'll blow it. But then again, following the temptation of curiosity led you to something interesting itself, didn't it?

(Inform gates subskills. Open Discussion exits AND the Hide exit under Infiltration. Closes all other exits.)

 

Failure:- You put your ear to the door, but you still can't hear. More than that would be risking being caught, so you back off again. You need a more sophisticated approach.

(No effect.)

 

 

Exit 4:- Ethics. Join the discussion with a position against Gates.

Success:- Gates is low-hanging fruit for anyone with a good understanding of ethics.

(I need someone else to write this in. I'm assuming that arguing against the forbidden magics isn't challenging, but I'm not at all clear on why Gates is prohibited. I'm not clear what the benefits of this should be. If the action is successful though, I'm assuming that the conversation picks up again and the student escapes punishment at the very least.)

 

Failure:- Gates is low-hanging fruit for anyone with a good understanding of ethics. Tearing into it seems the best way to avoid getting punished in this situation, so... that's what you do. Judging by the reaction of the crowd though, your arguments come off trite and abrasive. As you get more desperate, some of what you're saying just starts turning into nonsense.

 

You're just humiliating yourself and digger yourself in deeper here. Finally <Random Professor> cuts you off, "We've heard all this before. This is a terrible room for students to be sneaking around in. I hope you've learned your lesson."

 

You assure them that you have and swear you'll never eavesdrop on private conversations of the professors ever again, but that doesn't save you from getting a detention.

(Detention. Relationship drops from several random professors.)

 

 

Exit 5:- Debate. Take a daring position in favor of Gates magic.

Success:- If you're going to risk serious trouble, you might as well do it with style. Besides, isn't this the room where anything can be said? You cautiously state some potential justifications of Gates magic. They get shot down immediately. But that's okay, you expected that. You roll with it and grapple with the objections, conceding some points and pushing others. Your arguments get more energetic and confident as you get a better feel for the parameters of the discussion.

 

Some of the faculty members are impressed. Some of them are revolted. But you must've judged the room's mood well, because pretty soon the discussion is lively again and everyone seems to have forgotten you're just a kid. Old habits die hard; in any other place, the things you're saying would probably get you verbally savaged. They might even bring legal trouble! But here the unwritten rules protect taboo topics.

 

The conversation keeps going strong until it's time for several of the chief participants to leave for other engagements (like teaching classes!). You file out about that time too. What an experience!

(1 skill step to Debate and informs ALL Gates subskills. Possibly visitation rights? If not those, then something else, and certainly a Memory in any case.)

 

Failure:-

(I have no clue what trying this tactic and failing would result in. If this event is interesting to anyone, filling in this blank would be helpful too.)

 

 

Exit 6:- History of Magic. Bring out the old condemnations of Gates.

Success:- You join the topic with dry historical references, accounts of the tragedies caused by irresponsible use of Gates magic, and the legal arguments that surrounded the topic long ago. Errus Viada, who had been dozing in a corner of the room and trying to ignore the entire event, wakes up and watches you interestedly. He eventually even joins the discussion.

 

This seems to be something of a death knell to the topic. Between you and the history teacher you dominate the discussion and manage to bore everyone else. Most of them have found 'pressing business' in other parts of Academagia. Finally it's just you, Errus Viada, and Lisle Avantyrare, who applauds. "That discussion was starting to seem like it'd go on for hours," she says with a grin. "Not fun at all. Thanks for the help."

 

It seems like you've befriended them both.

(Relationship gains with Professors Viada and Avantyrare.)

 

Failure:- You join the topic with tales of ancient times, of the horrible monsters and wicked wizards who used Gates magic, and the terrible fights that surrounded the topic long ago. Errus Viada, who had been dozing in a corner of the room and trying to ignore the entire event, wakes up and watches you interestedly. Then he starts grimacing. You haven't a clue about this history stuff so you've been making it up as you go. Nobody else in the room has figured it out, but when Professor Viada gets up and starts tearing apart your story, you look completely ridiculous.

 

You seem to have killed the topic one way or another, and you get detention for trespassing on the Professors' Lounge and eavesdropping. The cloud has a silver lining, though. Your stories weren't bad at all, and Professor Sido actually tells you later that he wished Professor Viada hadn't interrupted. He invites you for language tutoring!

 

Professor Tarvixio Sido

(Detention, +1 Skill step in storytelling, Informs location Professor Sido's Back Office and grants Visitation Rights)

 

 

 

Investigation 3:- Infiltration. Piece of cake.

Success:- You go up to the door and listen quietly for a moment, then you cast a spell to check if there's anyone on the other side of the door. It gives you an unnaturally good viewpoint through the cracks of the door... and nobody at all is looking. So you open the door, slip right past the teachers, and take up a position behind a piece of furniture in the Lounge. From here you don't have to strain to listen at all. You just have to stay quiet.

 

The conversation is fascinating. They're talking about forbidden magics - Gates to be specific. You'd heard rumors that discussions in the Professors' Lounge occasionally turned to such topics, but you'd never known before now that those rumors were anything but exaggerations.

(Informs Gates subskills, opens Hide exit, closes all other exits.)

 

Failure:- You go up the door and listen quietly for a moment, then you cast a spell to check if there's anyone on the other side of the door. It doesn't work. You try again, etching phemes in the air, but it's not just working. Finally you hear someone coming! Argh, no more time for this, you have to get out of here.

(Opens Escape exits, closes all other exits.)

 

 

Exit 7:- Hide. Just stay quiet and listen.

Success:- You keep your breathing nice, even, and slow while you settle into your position, and you listen attentively. You've got a great spot. You can hear everything clearly and tell who is speaking, without revealing yourself at all.

 

You can't exactly leave while the room is full, and the conversation goes on for quite a while. The position gets uncomfortable, but there's nothing to do for it. Eventually a few people leave and you can get out as well.

(Informs ALL Gates subskills, and grants one level in a random Gates subskill.)

 

Failure:- You keep your breathing nice, even, and slow while you settle into your position, and you listen attentively. You've got a great spot. You can hear everything clearly and tell who is speaking, without revealing yourself at all. Only then, you start to itch. It's horrible. It's not a terrible itch, but there's nothing you can do for it. If you move, you'll get caught.

 

You barely hear anything else. Finally <Random Professor> investigates the faint sounds of your uncomfortable squirmings. You end up chewed out in front of half the faculty and put in detention for eavesdropping!

 

 

 

 

This event should require that the player already know where the Professor's Lounge is, or else getting the event should Inform them of the Lounge. It has a few holes (things I didn't feel competent to fill out), is rather complicated, and may need more editting than my other writing submissions. My original inspiration was simple - I wanted an event to use a Curiosity skill check. From that, I decided eavesdropping is the classic thing that curious people do to satisfy their curiosity, and then I remembered the throwaway line in the Professor's Lounge description about no subject being taboo.

 

Then I thought that people who are good at sneaking about are likely to eavesdrop as well. They may not be exceptionally curious, but they're good at it, so they don't need the irresistible curiosity effect.

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