Greywacke Posted January 1, 2019 Report Share Posted January 1, 2019 Welcome to a text based Let's Play intended to be roughly in the style of Bobbin Threadbare. Ordinarily this sort of thing involves making the character together and such, but I'm just going to jump right into it. We're going to be playing as Dolan Durne, who possesses the following characteristics: Spoiler Fitness: 2 Finesse: 1 Charm: 2 Luck: 2 Strength: 1 Intelligence: 2 Insight: 2 Heritage: Strozzan +3 Observation, +2 Debate and +1 Willpower. The People of Strozza are very perceptive, fond of argument and wilfull. Strozza is a broad chain of islands, extending from the Renaglian chain in the north, to the wide deserts of Oursouk in the south. Pastoral and dry, Strozza is dominated by the Merchant Princes of Renaglia. Omen: Three Suns +1 to Finesse, as well as to your skill in Acrobatics, Composure, and Concealment. At the moment of your birth, three suns were visible in the sky overhead. Tradition holds that this is a sign of trickery and deceit - and you've done your best to live up to it. History: Descended of Traitors You're resented by the Students of the Academagia, beginning the school year at -2 Relationship with 10 random Students. However, you gain an additional point to spend on Backgrounds. "Ambition, thou beloved and bright star; all too often does the hour of thy ascendancy pass and, in wayward course, bring thee to Treachery's gate." Your family suffers from the crime of treachery, having betrayed some great trust put upon them. Though it is not your doing, this crime has passed to you, as well.This is my personal favorite trait. It's fun, it gives a point and a relatively insignificant, and fun penalty. Station: Nobility +2 Diplomacy, +2 Intrigue, +1 Leadership and +1 Command. Whether poor or rich, the nobility are heirs to long traditions of service and duty. In this day and age, the nobility still rule in many areas of Elumia, and even where they do not their influence matters a great deal. In your childhood you would have learned the important arts of maintaining one's position, intrigue and leadership. Apprenticeship: Spy +1 Finesse, +1 Poisons, and are informed of all Espionage and Blackmail subskills. Dolan was sent to study under his uncle Oslatt, his father’s younger brother and the spymaster of the Durne family. He taught Dolan the skills needed to one day replace him, and serve as spymaster for his older brother. His letter to the Academagia arrived before he could put them to much use, but Dolan is still certain that these are the skills that he will be using for the rest of his life. Familar Bond: Owl By selecting this Background, you gain an Owl (specifically, Porridge, a Peace Owl) as a familiar. Note that you may have only one Familiar. The Peace Owl is a stately bird, capable of flying for hours and of offering sage advice in matters of love, politics, and war; the honorary "Minister" precedes many of this breed's names. They don't have much of a sense of humor, from most accounts, but they make up for that, socially, in sheer intimidation power - and, of course, in devoted friendship to their chosen humans. Inheritance: A Spy’s Stealth By selecting this Background, you will receive Black Clothes and a Spy Glass. You also begin with an extra level to your skill at both Moving Silently and Hiding. On the day Dolan left for the Academagia, his uncle handed over to him the items that once led to his own success. Dolan Durne comes from a family of Strozzan nobility. He is the third son, and the third son in his family is supposed to be the Spymaster serving his eldest brother. Learning he had talent for magic had been a surprise for everyone, even him, but his parents decided that knowing magic would never be a disadvantage, although they warned him against attracting too much attention at the Academagia. Dolan’s Familiar, Porridge was the first sign of Dolan’s magical skills. Dolan named the bird Porridge in the hope that it would be too offended to stay. Over time though, he learned to appreciate his partner somewhat, and secretly sees him as a friend. Sometimes though, Dolan thinks Porridge doesn’t approve of his future career as a spy, and would much prefer that Dolan became a proper wizard. Now let’s start the actual game. In accordance with the way the text is written, and by the example of Bobbin Threadbare, this lets play will be written in second person. Some text will be altered in order to fit with the character and story we will create as we go. This next part is the introduction, letter from Gera, and all of that. I'm going to be putting all of that in a spoiler tag, because it's boring and basically the same as every other first day of every other character. If you've played the game before, or read another LP, I'd recommend skipping it. Spoiler So, here it is. Past the disturbingly huge city of Mineta, past the famous gates of the Academagia, past days of sunburn and nights of motion sickness and all the other pleasures of traveling in a hurry, you find yourself in your new home: a big, warm dorm room with a sickly sweet smell and a window view of a big stretch of grass and churned mud that’s probably an athletic field. A good place to rest, but otherwise... well, just a room. For the first time in your life, you don’t have a family member nearby, unless you count Porridge. Your old life – your old destiny – has been left behind. Until you graduate or get yourself expelled, you’re at the Academagia, to learn magic, for all the good it will do you in the real world There are a couple of boxes waiting for you in front of your armoire; some tiny amount of stuff inside them came from home, but the rest is of the school. Textbooks, uniform robes, gods only know what else. Putting them away will be work, and you’re not in the mood just yet. You want to see magic. You want to see kids your own age. You want to see kids your own age using magic. It’s at this point that you notice the letter on your bed – tips from the room’s last occupant. You skim it: you can change the plans on your calendar to determine what you’re going to do in a day. Check. If strange things happen around you, you shouldn’t be afraid to fail; failing teaches you new skills. A bit bleak, but fine. Train in skills to improve them, one step at a time. Good. Study for classes at the same time in order to excel at tests. Ugh. Familiars, Bonds, whatever. Suddenly, you’re interrupted by an adult voice, magically amplified and booming from… well, somewhere else. "Attention, students! The wyverns are under control! I repeat, the wyverns are under control! However, for your own safety, please avoid making eye contact with the pirates! As they are under a particularly unhelpful Glamour - three demerits for Miss Cossins’ College! - their behaviour can be difficult to predict! The situation should be resolved shortly!" Well. This is your new life. You hope you can get a handle on it. At least you know can start with the letter. You take a seat at the windowsill, while Porridge looks over your shoulder. What did this former occupant have to say? Hello, new student! My name’s Gera Tolmin, and your dorm room here was mine this time last year. Sorry about the smell - making your own candy isn’t as easy and splatter-free as they’d make you think! Stupid candy liars. Anyway, I’m gone. By the time you read this, I’ve gone back home. It’s a long story, it involves pirates, and you’re probably better off not knowing it. And, look, I know you’re going to get a mentor by the end of your first day, and maybe it’ll be a good one. Mine just made me carry her books and told me to keep my eyes open, though, so maybe not. For what it’s worth, here’s what I wish someone had told me at the start. In one of the boxes the College set out for you, you’re going to find a calendar. It’ll show you a week of your life at a time, and the people who run the school have already set it out for you. Five days a week they want you going to class, then going to class again, then resting. And, sure, you can do that! At the start of every single day, though, you have the option of changing your plans. Change any and all entries you like – instead of going to class, you can try to cast a Spell! Instead of resting, you can go on an Adventure! If you go overboard, they’ll make you pay, but for the most part no one’s going to force you to do anything. Up until you Validate your actions – our funny way of saying "walk out the door," committing yourself to the day’s choices – your imagination is the limit! You keep reading, there’s bound to be something useful, eventually. Gera Continues: The most interesting and unpredictable things will hit you when you’re not trying to do school stuff, let’s say that up-front. Random events will just wander up and smack you on the side of the head while you’re in the middle of your own business, and you’ll probably go out looking for Adventures (which usually continue off and on for days at a time). What both have in common is that they’re going to challenge you; you’ll find a problem, you’ll think of two or three ways you might get around it – or maybe you’ll Investigate and find a better way – and you’ll make a choice. Here’s one of the places where I went wrong: it’s fine if you make mistakes. You’re young! You’re magical! The world is your oyster, or whatever seafood you like! If you fail a challenge, sure, you’ll get stressed out, or confused, or even beaten up, but you’ll also learn enough about the skill you tried to use to be able to train in it. [If you succeed, you’ll learn stuff and find stuff and impress people and become super-awesome and all the rest. But I figure that goes without saying.] Not exactly the trove of knowledge you were hoping for, but it’s something. Gera Continues Training is a big deal – you can find it listed as a choice on your calendar under "Action." Here, too, learn from my lousy example: I didn’t do enough. There are hundreds of little skills out there for a kid to master, and some of them combine together to make big skills – so, like, if you learn about Hiding and Lying and working Lockpicks, you’re going to find out you’re learning how to be a Spy. Learn about Baking and being a Greengrocer and learning Recipes, and you’re learning how to be a Cook. Right? Right. Now, when you Train, you take a Step toward mastering whatever little skill you choose. Some skills take more Steps than others, both because they’re harder and because... well, maybe they’re Intelligence skills, and you’re kind of a moron. If so, hey! Me too! Or maybe they’re skills that require Finesse, and your strengths are of the mind. Whatever. Work at any skill long enough, though, you can get it to its Maximum (usually around level 10), no matter how dense or clumsy you might be. By the way, if you want to give yourself number scores... well, let’s talk about your skill with Music. If you can read Notation like a 3, you have a Voice like a 2, play Harpsichord like a 1, and all your other music-y skills are at 0, you’re a level 1 Musician. The level of the Parent Skill is always that of the weakest of your three best subskills. Which, yeah, is unfair a lot of the time. Sorry about that! You’re a little surprised she talked about learning to be a spy. Could she know more about you than she was letting on? Anyway, back to Training. A good place to start is with what we call the School Survival skills – making the most of your natural curiosity, getting to know your familiar (more on that in a minute), learning to study effectively, learning to keep the other kids from making your life miserable. All good stuff! Some of those little skills can also teach you enough to Train other skills, or show you how to pull off cool Actions or complicated Abilities – so getting good enough at general Social Skills will let you learn how to guide Conversations, or Listen to a friend grumble for hours at a time without yawning. A Schoolyard Education will teach you how to throw a Punch without breaking your hand. That kind of thing. I know, it sounds complicated. I promise, though, once you start you pick it up fast. Not a bad idea from Gera! Your experience with people your own age is rather limited, but a friend could be a useful tool in the right circumstances, especially if that friend is a wizard. You’re even starting to get used to the smell in your dorm room! Gera Continues: Right, what else? Oh, for the record: Training isn’t the same thing as Studying. They're separate Actions. Basically, Training teaches you how to use a skill; Studying teaches you how to talk about a subject in class to get good grades. You'd think they'd be the same thing, but they're not. All Classes will actually Train you off and on in various skills; all you have to do is sit in your desk every day. Studying you have to do outside of Class. It raises your Study Level, and the Study Level is a big part of how well you’re going to do on tests. [The good news is that every Class only has the one Study Level. It's not like skills, where you have to Train in three at a time to raise a Parent Skill Level.] You can be the most amazing Glamour wizard in all Elumia, and if your Study Level is 1, you’re just going to choke when it comes to writing out what you know how to do. Alternatively, there are people out there who can’t cast a single spell without breaking their fingers, but can end a year of Glamour classes with 102%. Here’s a basic tip. To get the best grades in your Classes, make sure your main Skill and your Study Levels are all at 5 by the start of your fourth month in the school (which would be Cheimare, unless they’ve really moved the calendar around because of those idiot pirates), and make sure they’re all at 10 by the end of the academic year. So, come Cheimare, if you’re taking Incantation, you’re going to want three of your four Incantation subskills (Incantation Methods, Incantation Phemes, Incantation Spells and Theory of Incantation) at 5, and you’ll want your Study Level at 5. Simple! The end is in sight. Gera Continues: Now, I said earlier I’d come back to familiars. Actually, wizards capitalize that word in formal settings, so "Familiars." Most kids get them early – dogs or cats start following them around, and then those dogs and cats start getting more able to understand humans, and then the next thing you know things are getting set on fire right and left. Here’s the thing: magic is weird. If you don’t have a Familiar now, something will probably find you. You may not like what comes looking, but neither one of you is going to have much choice at first. Something to do with the ley lines and imbalanced reactions and who knows what. The connection between you and your Familiar is called a Bond, and you can kind of treat it like a skill – you can Train it. What we call the Bond of Iron has to do with the physical connection between you and your whatever it turns out to be – as Iron goes up, it just means as one of you gets more physically capable, the other’s likely to do the same. The Bond of Silver is the same, but with brainy stuff, and the Bond of Stars is... I don’t know. Fate. Astrology. Not my subject. The Parent Skill for those three – like the skill being a Spy to Hiding and Lockpicking and Lying – is just called Bond. You look over your shoulder at Porridge. You’d never thought about why he’d picked you before. Porridge was still looking at the note from Gera. Well, one more reading session. Then Gera’s behind you. Gera Concludes: There’s a lot more you’ll pick up. Exploring will Inform you of new Locations, all of which give you either temporary bonuses or new things to do. Just be warned, if you’re exploring where you don’t have Visitation Rights, there’s a Chance you’ll be Discovered and get in trouble. You’ll build Relationships, you’ll make Friends, and those friendships will make some things easier for you. You’ll annoy people and fight Duels. You'll obviously learn about Spells and Phemes - that's kind of the point. Maybe you’ll even run into pirates and monsters. I kind of hope you don’t, for your own sake, but... well, from the time the first dragon reared its evil head, it seems like humanity’s hopes haven’t always counted for very much. Anyway, take care of the room, please. I always liked it. Yours in magically burning things, Gera. All those pages of guidance, and Gera never told you where to find the kitchens. Typical. Ah, well. Time to meet the school! You try to work on your “bond” with Porridge, but you’re not really sure what that means, or how to do it. After trying for most of the morning, you give up. You spend the rest of the day working on some memory exercises Oslatt taught you. He always said that there was no good reason to forget something. Knock-knock-knock You’ve only just finished telling Porridge every surface of your room he stood on since you got there when you hear the knocking at your door. Wondering who could be calling on you so soon, you cross the small room over to the door and open it hesitantly. “Yes?” you say. A bright smile greets your nervous question. “Hi,” says the woman as her hand snakes out to grab yours in a firm shake. “I’m Oan…Oan Sung. I’m your Mentor.” Seeing the confused look you give her, she continues with, “And I’m guessing no one told you I was coming, did they?” You shake your head – there was the thing in the letter, which you made sure to memorize, but it didn't give you much information. She smiles politely. “I remember what it was like,” she says. “Day before classes, barely settled in your room, no idea what’s in store…let me tell you, it’s better that way. People who come here full of stories about how things should be don’t have the easiest of times; they’re the ones who get stuck in detention the first day.” Detention on the first day? How does that happen? Still nervous, you find it difficult to talk. Oan’s polite smile turns into a gentle one. “Come on, I’ll explain as we walk.” Pulling you out the door, Oan closes it behind you and leads you out of the Morvidus dormitories and into the fresh air; as she walks, she keeps up a steady patter that is as soothing as it is informative. “Like I said, my name’s Oan, and before you can ask, yes, I’m from Sae’on. And before you can ask, let me say that yes, we know just how important magic is to our survival and no, I don’t plan on taking what I’ve learned and going back to spend my life there. Growing up in a city that needs to be under a bubble of air just to protect it from the volcano isn’t as interesting as people think it is, but yes, you do learn an awful lot about magic from an early age.” She looks over and smiles at you. “But now you can tell your friends that you’ve met someone from Sae’on. I’ll bet you none of them have.” You smile awkwardly, mentally filing away the possibility that your classmates would be impressed by this, while reminding Oan of why she’s there. “Right…you’ve barely had time to unpack, let alone make friends. Don’t worry, you’ll get there.” Turning, she directs you to a worn pebble-lined path and steps up beside you as you start down the path. “You’re obviously curious about things, or you wouldn’t be here, so that’s a start. Everything you need to start with is right in here anyway,” she says, tapping your head lightly with her finger. “After all, you must have decent study habits to have come this far. Your social skills must have been good enough to pass the interview, and since the Academagia doesn’t accept total wimps, your ‘schoolyard education’ couldn’t be too bad off, now could it?” Schoolyard education? She must be talking about that time in the yard when your supposed friend…but how did she know about that? Your confused look gives your thoughts away, and... “I’m sorry,” she says, “I didn’t even explain what I’m doing here. Okay, here’s the quick version. Each incoming First Year is assigned a Second Year as a mentor, someone to help guide them during their first year at the Academagia. As tradition dictates, this Second Year -me- greets the First Year -you- on Juvenalia. Appropriate, is it not? You're like my new apprentice. Don't worry though, I won't treat you like one," she gives a little laugh. "Anyway, it seems there was a little mix up in the registrar’s office this year, though, because they took in three last-minute additions and ran out of mentors. Legate Orsi asked around for the best mentor from last year, and my name popped up enough that he asked me personally to draw a name from a hat and mentor that student.” Her smile crinkled the corners of her eyes. “And when the Legate asks you personally to do him a favor, you don’t really say no, do you? Still, some First Years don’t want to be hassled by someone older than them, so you have a choice to make. Do you want to have me as a mentor, or should I just let you go back to your room?” “Well, I’d be happy to hear anything you can tell me,” you say, trying not to sound like you need the information too badly. Oan nods. “I figured as much, but it never hurts to ask. Come on, let’s head over to the Great Hall and we’ll talk about a few things.” “See that building over there, the one with all the arches and white marble?” Squinting, you see buildings everywhere, most of which are encased in some kind of marble. Following her finger, though, you find the building she’s pointing at and raise your eyebrows. No wonder they call it the Great Hall! Tall and cylindrical in design, the building seems made more of arched windows than of marble. From the outside, you can see a veritable forest of columns, and for a moment, you find yourself losing perspective as you see several gnomes walking in front of the Hall; it’s only when one of those ‘gnomes’ starts walking up the stairs that you realize they’re students like you! “Yeah, it took my breath away the first time I saw it too,” Oan says. “The Great Hall is where you’ll take your meals, but it’s much more than that. It’s a meeting place, a study hall, a dueling ground…but only when there aren’t any Professors around, obviously; it’s also where students go when they’re assigned Hall Session and Detention, so we’d better talk about how to avoid those two things. “I don’t know how it was at your last school, or even if you went to any schools before this, but here at the Academagia, there are two kinds of Reprimands: Academic and Conduct. Most people only get Academic Reprimands if they stink at a class during the Midterm exams; Professors don’t like failing students, but they won’t pass someone just because of their family connections. Well, they usually don’t pass students because of that, but it’s happened before, so I’m sure it’ll happen again. Still, if you don’t have good connections and stink up a class, you’ll get assigned to a Hall Session, which takes up the whole first day of your weekend, so make sure you don’t neglect your studies for your fun. “The second kind of Reprimand is a Conduct Reprimand.” Oan tosses a smile over her shoulder and laughs. “Everyone gets at least one of these during a year, so don’t panic when you get hit with your first one. Lots of things can get you a Conduct Reprimand here, things like being in the wrong place and getting caught, being on the wrong side of a Professor’s temper, royally stinking-up an answer in class…lots of things, really. "I think it's fair to say that the easiest way to get in trouble is just by being somewhere where you haven't been invited. Basically, almost anywhere you go, if you don't have official Visitation Rights, you have a chance of being discovered by someone who'd worry about what a kid your age alone is up to – even in a lot of shops, unfortunately – and who'd file a complaint with the school. Or with the guards. Or both. "I don't mean to make you panic – usually, the odds are really low. Like, four or five in a hundred. But if you're seen carrying a flaming sword and giggling like a maniac, the odds can go way up. "Don't ask me how I know that. “Anyway. “You’ll have to discover some things on your own, of course, but I’ll give you a quick brief on Conduct Reprimands. There are three grades, each of which goes hand-in-hand with a Detention. The first is a Caution, which isn’t so bad, really; you get three of these a month before moving up to the second grade, which is a Review. You get two Reviews a month before you’re in real trouble, which is the third grade. You don’t want to deal with a Discipline, but if you do, expect to spend a long time in Detention.” Oan’s voice takes on a personal hitch as she says, “Detention’s not all that bad, really, but the stuff that comes with a Discipline isn’t worth the hassle, believe me." Oan leads you up the wide marble steps of the Great Hall, taking a single step with each extended stride. You’re forced to take two steps to her one, a fact that doesn’t escape Oan’s observant eye. “This whole building was built to remind students of two things. First, it was meant to remind us that we’re smaller than we think we are; no matter how important we all think we were when we got here, we have to remember that there’s a bigger world waiting for us after graduation. Secondly, it’s supposed to remind us of the days when the Wyrms ruled Men, thus pushing us to the perfection of our preferred crafts so we can fight the Dragons should the Empire call upon us.” She shook her head and laughed. “As if any Dragon Flights had made it past the Wall in the last century!” Cresting the final step, she turns and waits for you to make the last few steps before continuing. “Now that the bad part is out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff. There are two kinds of Exams: Midterms and Finals. The purpose of Midterms is to sort out who is failing and who is on the bubble. Finals, on the other hand, are meant to find the best of the best and shower them with honors. I’ve already told you what happens if you do poorly in your Midterms, so I won’t waste your time with that again. Suffice it to say that you’ll want to study at least enough to pass them comfortably. And before you ask, no, I don’t know how much is enough for you; each person is different, so you’ll just have to pace yourself and take your own risks. Finals boil down to this…pass your class or don’t plan on moving on with the rest of your friends. Skills and Studying are very important, got it?” You nod your head, so Oan continues. “Spend as much time Studying as you want, but don’t forget to Train your Skills too. Training is easy…just take a couple of hours and work on something you already know about.” By now, Oan knows your confused look, so it’s easy for her to shift directions when she sees you’re lost. “Take Negation for an example. Negation is composed of Negation Methods, Negation Phemes, Negation Spells, and Theory of Negation. The more you train yourself on these Skills, the better your overall Negation will be. Some things you’ll want to do require you to be very good at Negation Methods or the Theory of Negation, but some things require you to be good at overall Negation. You can’t study Negation itself, only its component parts. The better you understand those parts, the better you understand the whole. Make sense?” She pauses, thinking for a moment. "But don't get so wrapped up in studying that you neglect to have fun! You have got to mind your Emotions or you will definitely be burned out. It's all right to take a break from time to time, go shopping, chat with friends or play a prank." Nodding, you let Oan lead you into the building. Her voice takes on an awed tone as she leads you through the forest of columns and towards center of the building. A great granite dais rises from the marble floor, a good ten paces square. On top of the dais are seven different colored clay pots, each holding a single incredibly dead looking flower. “These are the Flos Fragi,” she says. She turns to you. “No matter how poor your Elumian is, everyone in the Academagia knows these words,” she says. “The Flos Fragi, or Exploding Flowers, are the symbol of each College’s Merit. When a student does something that makes a Professor happy, they award a point or two to that student’s College; the Flos Fragi grow a bit for each Merit point until, when a threshold is crossed, a seed shoots out of the plant’s flower through the hole in the ceiling and explodes into the College’s colors! The plant doesn’t die, but the flower loses its leaves until the College is awarded Merit again. The plant grows with each Merit point too, so even after your College’s flower explodes, you know how far ahead of the other Colleges you are.” Oan’s broad smile tells you she’s seen her fair share of her College’s colors displayed over the school’s sky. “Here’s the rub, though. Only the first College to cross the Merit threshold gets to have their plant explode…the others just drop their flowers’ petals when they cross the threshold and start over. And the best part is that the winners of each level of Merit win something from the Professors! The first prize is always a small purse of Pims, but after that, it’s different every year. Only the winners get the prize, so the competition is fierce!” Oan walks you around the rest of the building, pointing out where Hall Sessions are usually held and where each College usually takes their meals. When she finishes the tour, she says, “So, now it’s time I got to know a bit more about you. What would you say your best strength is, the thing that really makes you deserve to be here at the finest school in all of Elumia?” You aren’t sure what you can say to that. She obviously wants something a little more personal than that you have some sort of magical talent, but you’re not about to tell her that you’re a spy. You flash back to the memory training you were doing when she walked in. Being able to memorize things would be a good trait for a wizard as much as anyone else. “I’ve got a pretty good memory.” you tell her. Oan nods. “I thought as much,” she says. “My advice to you is to Train to your strength, at least for the first few weeks. Don’t neglect your studies, of course, but focusing on your strengths for a little bit might pay off big for the next time we meet.” “Next time?” you say. “Of course! Mentors don’t just do one thing and disappear. Tell you what; let’s plan on meeting again when you feel ready. You can fill me in on how things are going then, and maybe we can see about answering a few more questions. Any time you want to meet, you can look me up with the Adventure Action. The Adventure you are looking for is called 'Request a Meeting with your Mentor'. Good luck, and enjoy your time at the Academagia!” Gains for the day Porridge’s Bond of Iron increased by 1 Memorization increased by 3 --Added 1 Reminder Sheet --Air Pheme Learned That's day one down. Tomorrow, Dolan takes his first classes, and we'll see what he thinks of them. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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