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The Play's the Thing


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I said that I'd work on this adventure as soon as I got my four students done, but instead I decided to make two more students and goof off and that means this adventure hasn't been touched in weeks. I want to change that, so I figure that by posting it in public, I'll be more likely to feel like I need to work on it so I don't look lazy/like I'm abandoning things. So. I'm going to be posting this adventure in this thread so I hopefully actually work on it. It'll probably take me a while to complete it, but at least this way I'm doing something.


Anyway, I like writing adventures. I don't like coding them. So I came up with this brilliant idea of writing an adventure and making the Academagia team code it instead. This may make me a horrible person.


This is adventure where you and several students (including some new faces, hello!) put on a play. It is meant to invoke feelings of fifth or sixth grade performing Romeo and Juliet, when half the class is convinced it's the most romantic thing ever, a quarter of the class can't stop gibbering nervously about the kissing scenes, and a quarter is convinced that Shakespeare is a foreign language made up by the teachers just to torment them. If you never went through that in fifth or sixth grade (personally, I had to do it in both), you are a lucky person and all my envy goes to you. It was horrible. Not quite as bad as Taming of the Shrew, though. That was really bad. I still hate that play with every fiber of my being, it was so bad.


I'll put all I've written so far in this first post, and stuff I'm writing I'll put in a separate post for each event. Please feel free to throw out ideas- I have no outline for this, I'm working off hand. And if you have ideas for an exit somewhere, post it, because I am horrible at coming up with exits sometimes.


This is meant to be a long adventure, but a relatively low stress one. Most exits move you on to the next part whether you succeed or fail, and honestly, even if you fail everything you're still going to put on a decent play because I can't track variables and branching off of every decision would be too hard. In return, this adventure probably shouldn't have a super-awesome reward. But then again, it will be pretty long. We'll see.


Okay, so here we go.



teh play is teh thing


(first part could possibly be a 'holiday'/date triggered event near the end of the first month, to make sure this adventure is started early in the year so that it can be finished in time)

++ The Lonely Sign Up Sheet


The walls of the Academagia are generally covered with posters and fliers for various events and clubs that are forbidden to first-years, to the point that you've gotten quite good at generally ignoring them. It's just depressing to know how much cool activity is going on that you're forbidden from joining. Today, though, your eyes happen to catch a set of five almost-identical papers, lined up neatly on the wall. Four of them are filled up with names, but one of them is empty. It seems lonely.


You wander over to read it, and, hey, wow! It's actually open to first-years! It's for first-years, in fact!


Apparently, later on during the year, every grade level will be performing a play in front of an audience of Mineta nobles as part of an effort to 'integrate the Academia with Minetan life' (also known as 'attempt to convince the people of Mineta that the Academagia isn't just full of crazy nutters'). It says that from start to end, the responsibility of the play will be on the students of the year: they'll take care of scenery, props, costuming, music and of course acting out the play. It will be, the paper tells you, a lot of work and a huge commitment.


Apparently, it's such a huge commitment that no one has yet bothered to sign up for it. The paper is completely empty of names.


Maybe... maybe you should sign up? It would be a fun way to learn about acting, and probably make some new friends.


++++ Nah. Acting isn't really your thing.

Or maybe you shouldn't. You could make a horrible fool up there on stage, and you have so many adventures planned for this year that you're not sure you want to take the time to perform a play. You could be out fighting pirates with your magic skills, not sitting around in a boring old theater going over your lines.


(end plot, no play for you!)


++++ Maybe you should! This will be fun!

You pull out your ink and quill, and sign your name proudly on the first line.


Then you go about your business and almost forget about it, until much later that afternoon when you run in to Professor Aventyrare. She smiles down at you, and then asks to talk to you in her office. You can't really refuse an invitation from a teacher, so you follow her there.


It's nothing bad, though.


"You show a lot of promise," she says to you warmly. "Also, you were the first to put your name on the sign-up sheet this morning. So the staff would like you to act as the director for the first-year play."


Director? You, the director?!


This could be incredibly awesome... or a giant disaster. You're hoping for the first.


"We've chosen a play for you," she continues. "The Sky Pirate and the Princess."


Oh. The Sky Pirate and the Princess.


It’s a story, at it’s core, about a Sky Pirate and a Princess. They meet at a dance and fall for each other, but then they don’t meet for years. Much later, the Sky Pirate- now the Captain of his own ship- is acting against the Princess’s father, who may or may not be a Tyrant, depending on how sympathetic the director thinks the audience will be to Sky Pirate’s. The Princess and the Sky Pirate meet then once again, as war breaks out around them.


The Princess is served by her loyal Bodyguard, who has loved her silently for as long as he’s served her, and her loyal Handmaiden, who’s loyalties become suspect over the play. The Sky Pirate is accompanied by his crafty First Mate, and the thoughtful Navigator, who is the critics say the only person in the play with any lick of sense. Then there’s the other pirates, the Princess’s father and younger sister and guards, a bunch of soldiers, and some civilians.


The plot is basically that the Sky Pirate and the Princess love each other, but can’t be together, because the Sky Pirate is acting against her beloved father. The First Mate tricks the Bodyguard in to thinking that the Sky Pirate is only using the Princess, and the Bodyguard challenges the Sky Pirate to a duel in which he dies. The Princess, grieving, blames her loyal Handmaiden for her Bodyguard’s death.


The Handmaiden, who had since then been loyal, goes to the First Mate, who she secretly loves. The First Mate loves only power, though, and desires the Princess in order to gain more of it. He tricks the Handmaiden in to poisoning the Princess. The Sky Pirate finds the poisoned Princess, and thinking her dead, throws himself off his ship. The Handmaiden kills herself in grief of what she’s done. The Princess wakes up, learns that her beloved and her Handmaiden are dead, and then kills herself too. Then the Navigator kills the First Mate for his part in the tragedy, then pilots their now empty ship to ram in to the King’s palace to finish their war against the man who may or may not be a tyrant, dying as the curtain falls.


It’s either the most romantic, heartrending, and painful play in existence, or the most stupid, irritating, idiotic waste of ‘art’ that has ever been produced. It’s really hard to be neutral about it: you either find it a beautiful example of the extent love can drive us, or you think it’s a play about morons acting at their worst and making stupidly bad decisions one after another.


And you’re going to direct your fellow first years in to performing it with the city of Mineta and probably tons of parents as an audience. May the Gods help you.


"Your first step," Professor Aventyrare continues, oblivious to how your thoughts are going, "should probably be to hold auditions and set up roles. Everyone who signed up for your year is gathered backstage in the Dimmae Theater. Why don't you go greet them and discuss the play you'll be performing?"


That seems like a good idea, so you head to the Dimmae Theater.


(We auto continue on to the next part.)



++ The Theater Kids


Antonio de Reyez e Irizarry-Vargas. Catherine Chard. Luti Jaconelli. Miya Hikari. Tabin Furenzti.


All five of them look completely unimpressed when you stand in front of them and announce that you're going to be the director for the play the six of you (...and hopefully some others, or this will be a really confusing play) are going to be putting on.


"What makes you qualified to direct us?" Catherine asks, her eyes a bit narrow.


"Professor Aventyrare appointed me," you say, leaving out the part about she choosing you simply because you were the first to sign up. "We'll be performing the Princess and the Sky-Pirate."


Antonio and Catherine groan. Miya, on the other hand, bounces excitedly. "Ooo! That's the most romantic play your people have ever written! I love it! I get to be the Princess, right?"


"No, it is not," Catherine says. "And no, you don't."


"Can't we perform something that doesn't depend on every member of the cast having no common sense?" Antonio complains. "What next, we perform Love in the Waves in play form? Seriously, this is a wretched choice."


Luti shifts a bit, but doesn't say anything. You think he looks a bit embarrassed, though.


Tabin shrugs his shoulders. "Like it or hate it, it's a popular play. It should draw a huge crowd."


"Great," Antonio says, laying on the ground. "Then you take the lead part, Tabin. Be the Sky Pirate."


"I don't think the lead part really suits someone like me," Tabin demurs. "Don't you think you'd be much more suited? You have the charisma for the part."


"Oh, no, not at all," Antonio retorts, dismissing the claim with a wave of his hand. "You have much more time on your hands to prepare for the role, yes? It's not like you have any problems interfering with your ability to act, right? You always have things well in hand."


"Oh, none at all," Tabin says pleasantly.


He's smiling. Antonio is smiling. You can almost see flowers and butterflies from the compliments the two boys from Aranaz are exchanging. So why does the room feel so cold?


Miya, having been not getting enough attention for her tastes, jumps up on top of a table. "Me? The Princess. I want to be the Princess. I will make a perfect Princess."


Catherine looks at her with distaste, adjusts her robes, and generally looks Princess-like, complete with the haughty-air.


"Luti should be the Bodyguard," Miya continues. "As no one would believe Tabin or Antonio as a Bodyguard."


"I am a mercenary," Antonio says heatedly. "I have been trained in how to bodyguard people. Well, whatever. Catherine can be the Princess, Miya can be the Handmaiden, Tabin can be the Sky Pirate, then we just need to find someone evil looking to be the First Mate. I'll take the Navigator. He has some sanity."


"I agree with those roles," Catherine says quickly.


Luti shrugs, then nods.


"I'm really not sure about being the Sky Pirate..." Tabin says, looking a bit uncomfortable. "I'm not one for lead roles."


"You are a bit short..." Catherine says with a frown. She then looks between him to Luti to Antonio and then back to him. "...but you may be the best of three bad choices."


"Wait, why is everyone saying Catherine gets to be the Princess?" Miya demands. "I want to be the Princess! I am a Princess, you know!"


Everyone just stares at her for a moment.


She stomps her foot on the table she’s still standing on. "Fine. Fine! But I'm not playing the Handmaiden. Someone else can play the goldfish poop. If I can't be the Princess, I'm being the First Mate."


More staring. Finally Luti ventures, "That's a male part."


"I am an actress," Miya says, with a flip of her hair. "I can perform any part. I'm not stuck with only female roles. I can be a perfect conniving, plotting, lying, no-good traitor, even if it is male."


"When she puts it like that, she sounds perfect for the part," Catherine says with a trace of cynicism.


You're starting to think you might have bit off more then you can chew just from listening to these five talk among themselves (or three, anyway- Tabin and Luti aren’t huge talkers), but it does look like the roles are settled. That means... "We just need the Handmaiden, and we'll have all the main parts. Does anyone know someone who would be interested?"


Everyone appears to think. You do the same. The only kids that you know are in to acting are sitting right here in front of you, though. No one else is coming to mind.


"Well," Miya says. "Then let's just grab the first girl we see and make them perform."


"I thought actors weren't limited to gender roles," Antonio says. He's mocking her, though she seems unaware of it.


"I said an actress could take an actors part," Miya corrects. "But an actor can't take an actresses part. Boys are lame like that. Well, unless it was Cyrus. He could probably pull it off."


"I am not having Cyrus as my Handmaiden!" Catherine says very quickly.


"He'd look cute in a dress," Miya says with a sigh, before wandering outside the theater. A few moments later she comes back, calling, "I found a Handmaiden!"


She has her hand quite firmly wrapped around Noemia Falcon y Paredes's wrist.


Noemia looks around nervously at the crowd of six people, as though that's too much for her to stand, and squeaks out, "Hello?"


Catherine looks at her critically, then only sighs. "I suppose she'll work."


"Oh, Noemia is acting?" Antonio asks, sitting up. "That's a good step. You'll have fun."


"Acting?" Noemia repeats, looking frazzled.


"Isn't she so brave?" Miya says, beaming at her collegemate. "Noemia's so shy, but now she's going to stand in front of an audience of hundreds and show them her soul."


"Good for you," Luti says warmly.


Noemia looks like she might faint, and trembles out the word, "Acting?" once again.


"Did you actually tell her what was going on?" Tabin says, playing the voice of reason.


"Oh, right. This humble actress forgot," Miya says. "My dear Noemia, you will be serving as the Handmaiden to Princess- feh- Catherine during our performance of the Princess and the Sky Pirate."


Noemia faints.


"Well, she has that part down pat," Antonio says. "She'll be really good at the part where she needs to faint after the Princess accuses her of betraying her, yes?"


"I choose so well," Miya brags.


Luti fetches some water, and Noemia is brought back to the world of the living. She looks around in sheer terror, but Miya still has a hold of her wrist. She, unfortunately for her, can't flee.


++++ Ask her if she wants to do this.


Before Noemia can respond, Tabin says quickly, "We really could use your help."


Antonio catches on, and adds, "It would be a terrible disappointment for us to not have a Handmaiden, yes?"


Catherine nods sharply. "I need my loyal Handmaiden to be a most proper princess."


"Oh, she'll do it," Miya says cheerfully. "Noemia wouldn't want to let us down, right?"


Luti frowns a bit, but then smiles at Noemia when she looks at him.


Ah, peer pressure in action. Noemia looks around woefully, then jerks her head up and down once. She looks positively miserable, but also like she's not going to head off running.


(the rest is the same as if you'd chosen the option below)


++++ Just assume she'll get peer pressured in to taking the part, and head on to the next issue on hand.


"Now that the main parts are settled," you say, "we still have a bunch of minor parts that need to be auditioned for."


The King, the younger Princess, three Sky-Pirates, and two guards all have dialog (and the last five even have death scenes). Then there should probably be a few other Sky-Pirates and Guards to fill out the stage for the epic battles. You'll also need around five extras who will perform as civilians, sky-pirates, and guards as necessary- they won't have any lines, but they'll have a few costume changes.


That's one male part, one female part, and fourteen or so roles that could be played by either guys or girls. Unfortunately, the Academagia doesn't exactly have a score of first years dying to try out for plays. What you see in front of you is basically what you get.


"Should we make posters?" Luti asks.


You nod. That's probably the best idea. Make posters about auditions, and cross your fingers that people actually show up to them. With all the talking you guys did, there's no time to do that today, but you should probably get on the poster making as soon as possible. Professor Aventyrare had said you had till the second to last day of the year, but Kaliri will be around sooner then you think.



++ A Failed Play

(This occurs if Kaliri 27 comes around and you haven't finished the adventure.)


Well, you did it.


You failed. Completely.


Hustle and bustle is all around you as the second, third, fourth and fifth years proudly put on their plays in front of the Minetea audience. They had waited till the last possible day in hopes that you would be finished by then to perform with them, but it wasn't the case. You and the others just couldn't finish your work in time.


And that's where the problems come in.


++++ If you had succeeded, you would have been the one showered with compliments and rewards. But as you failed...


...You're the one who is left holding all the blame. Professor Aventyrare is upset. The actors are upset. The upper-years are upset. Everyone is upset. And they're all upset with you in particular.


Thankfully, only one more schoolday until summer and you're out of everyone's path. Hopefully, by the start of next year, it will have blown over.


Right now, though, all you can do is keep your head down and wince.

(-2 with everyone- Professor Aventyrare, Antonio, Catherine, Luti, Miya, Noemia, Tabin. Yeah, even Noemia hates that you drug her in to this horror and made her go through all the anxiety and pressure and there wasn't even a performance from it. Poor CHARNAME.)



++ Making Posters


"I don't do art," Catherine says flatly.


Like all seven of you, she has a parchment, paints, and ink in front of her. Unlike everyone else, she's just staring at the items before her like you set down a bowl of maggots instead. She looks positively disgusted with her current place in life. Though considering it's Catherine, that isn't exactly an unusual look on her.


Antonio, Miya, Noemia (who still keeps eying the door) and Tabin all take Calligraphy classes, so they're concentrating on the lettering. Their posters are plain, but at least the writing is neat and clear.


Luti... is just doing something magical, only it involves paintbrushes rather then wands. Never have you seen such a beautiful poster. It shows people auditioning for a play while a battle between sky pirates and guards, with the weeping Princess, takes place behind them. It's gorgeous.


It's also taking him quite a long time. Art like that can't be produced in mere minutes, after all.


"You take calligraphy, too," Miya protests. "You could at least write up some posters like the rest of us are doing."


Catherine looks at her as if she's crazy, then promptly ignores her.


++++ Persuasion. Convince Catherine to help make posters.

FAILURE: Catherine looks at you as if you're crazy then says, quite calmly, "No."


You point out that everyone else is working and to be included in the group, she has to work too. She points out that this isn't really a group she wishes to be included in, which sort of offends everyone, but it's Catherine. Not much you can do about that.


You try begging and pleading a bit, but that gets you nowhere. Finally, Catherine just says she's had enough of this and leaves the room.


Meaning that you have to make up her share of the posters, too. Just great.

SUCCESS: Catherine looks at you as if you're crazy then says, quite calmly, "No."


So you lay down the law. If she doesn't work on the posters, she doesn't get to play the part of the Princess. You'll switch her and Miya around, for all that Catherine would make a fairly horrible First Mate. Catherine glares at you coldly, but you don't back down, and eventually she starts working.


She's clearly not putting all her effort in to the project, but you at least have posters to hang up.


++++ Command. Luti’s the only one producing posters of worth, so create a process where he can produce posters as quickly as possible.

FAILURE: This would work well, if your actors would just pay attention to what their director ordered!


“Why aren’t you mixing up paints?” you demand at Catherine.


“I told you, I don’t do art,” she says primly.


“Why is the Princess’s hair green?” you ask Miya.


“Er… my hand slipped?” Miya says innocently.


“What language is this lettering even in?” you throw out at Antonio.


“I got bored of writing everything in Elumian,” he complains.


Luti just stares at the poster where everyone ‘helped’ in dismay, then suggests, “I think I can work by myself.”


Yeah, it’ll take a lot longer, but with this group, it might be the best bet.

SUCCESS: You give out orders, and the others (with some grumbling and complaining) follow them. You have Luti do the lineart, the others paint in the general colors that he’s labeled, and then Luti go back and do the detailing and then shading. The others also mix the paints for him and do the lettering, so he doesn’t have to be bothered with that.


It’s a very efficient, neat little cycle. You have to supervise with the vigilant glare of a tiger to make sure no one starts going off and doing their own thing, and on a few occasions you’re left barking orders and receiving some nasty glares in return, but at least it keeps everyone focused.


Soon, you have a small pile of gorgeous posters ready to hang up.


++++ Painting. Perform your own magic of poster making.

FAILURE: You mix paints. You eye your parchment critically. You make a few ‘hmm’ noises. Then you start to paint.


A few minutes later, everyone is crowded around you staring at your poster.


“I think it would be a better play if everyone was a squid,” Antonio is assuring you. “I think it’s an excellent statement about the irony inherent in the play itself, and it speaks well of you as an art critic.”


“Why am I a squid,” Catherine is demanding. “A bright pink squid. There is no such thing as a bright pink squid.”


“I have a mustache,” Miya wails. “A squid mustache! This is improper! Demeaning! Upsetting!”


“Your art is very interesting,” Luti says in an absolutely neutral voice, which says just about what it needs to say.


“Are we performing this play in squid costumes?” Noemia squeaks. She sounds like she’s about to faint again; Tabin gets ready to catch her.


You look at your art in dismay. It was really… well, you were trying… you didn’t mean…


The reality, though, is that you painted a bunch of squids performing a play. Somehow, you painted a bunch of squids performing a play. The art isn’t up for interpretation. It is most definitely squids.


You crumple up your parchment, and rely heavily on Luti’s work, as yours certainly isn’t fit for hanging.

SUCCESS: You mix paints. You eye your parchment critically. You make a few ‘hmm’ noises. Then you start to paint.


A half an hour later, everyone is crowded around you staring at your poster.


“It’s as good as Luti’s,” Tabin says quietly.


Luti shakes his head. “It might be better.”


“I look beautiful,” Catherine says with approval, and something it is almost- if not quite- awe.


You managed to paint one of the epic confrontations of the play, with everyone in their proper roles and blank faces for the roles that need auditions. Even if you want to be modest, it’s quite a well done piece of art.


You just need to do another poster or two, then you’ll be ready to hang them up and prepare for auditions.

(If you choose Luti's Command option and are successful on it, you gain the Play Luti Helped memory. Collect all the 'helped' memories, and you'll get even more congratulations and cheer at the end of the play. It's sort of a bonus for people who hang out on the forums and have read this post, really.)

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Do we really need to have that failure event on 27th Kaliri? I don't think I can handle the failure.sad.gif


Now for fun suggestions.


1) Reverse the gender roles. Bwahaha!


2) Have the two bullies play the main roles.


3) How would you feel about Vuillaume Eparvier handling special effects? Or Asmita Tidar handling catering?


4) You are going to setup an orchestral right?


5) Caspar as the backdrop artist.

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Do we really need to have that failure event on 27th Kaliri? I don't think I can handle the failure.sad.gif


In order for their to be success, there must be failure options! Suffer, oh thou who hast not properly prepared for thy play! SUFFER!


Now for fun suggestions.


1) Reverse the gender roles. Bwahaha!

I really played around with the idea, but Miya was the only one I could convince to do it. Though the imagine of Luti trying to play a princess very much amuses me, I don't think the kids are yet mature enough to handle it. There might be some crossplaying among the minor roles, though.


2) Have the two bullies play the main roles.

Joana and Olivia show up next part to say exactly what they feel about the Princess role already being decided without their chance to audition with their own beloved Prince Charming. I think Catherine can beat them handily in an audition, though, so I didn't go that route. There may be some sabatoge coming up, though. If Joana/Olivia can't perform the play with Phillippe/Cyrus, then, well, the play isn't really worthy of being performed, now is it? IS IT?!


3) How would you feel about Vuillaume Eparvier handling special effects? Or Asmita Tidar handling catering?

I hadn't even thought about catering, but Vuillaume is definitely an option (and quite probably the best option) for special effects. It can get pretty messy, though, so one must be prepared for a few minor explosions. They won't hurt anything. Probably!


4) You are going to setup an orchestral right?

Yep! In my barely there plans, that's how you get Noemia's help, as she notices it's far, far, far too quiet and scary on stage without their being musicial accompaniment.


5) Caspar as the backdrop artist.

Well, you could get Casper... but are you sure you wouldn't want Rixenda? The mud candy makes beautiful clouds, after all! Why do you hate her clouds?!

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1) *Sigh* Fine, failure it is. dry.gif


2) The cross-dressing part might have worked if it was a professor directing the whole play. Clearly Professor Chastellain would enforce such a thing in order to improve the play.


3) For this part I need you to imagine the kissing scene where the Princess will continue to kiss her lover for a long time that everybody starts to feel uncomfortable (except the princess) and you have to hiss at her to stop. wink.gif


4) Catering represents a chance to sabotage the play. And actors get hungry too you know!


5) Orchestral. Will there be singing? You might need one for dramatic scenes, Mr. / Ms. Director!


6) Why not have Caspar and Rixenda fight over who can make the most dramatic backdrops?


7) How about a senior heckler named Adrian? Or Freddie Spacing?tongue.gif

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