[Teenagers+] How would you write it up?

The place to discuss the proposed "Ghosts" and "Teenagers+" settings.

[Teenagers+] How would you write it up?

Postby Surreal Superman » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:49 pm

Since it'll be awhile before we see it, let's have some fun figuring out how you, yes YOU, would write the game (using the ORE system, of course) and what you would emphasize if you wrote it.

See, I'd try to be 'creative' and instead of the 6 basic Stats, I'd have stats like Phys. Ed. (BODY), Academics (Brains), Extracurricular Activities (Charm), Vo-Tech (Coordination), Cool (Command), and Study Hall (Senses). Then I'd have breakdowns on Skills similar to classes.

I'd have regular XP, and a special boost when the characters advance through grades 9-12. I'd have no fighting skill, so characters, if they got into a fight would have to roll straight Body or Coordination, unless they could justify it (martial arts instruction, or something), in which case I'd make allowances for one dot, two at most.

I'd probably use standard Willpower gain rules for regaining Willpower, plus borrow M&OCT rules regarding Relationships. After all, nothing guts your day like finding out your best friend has stopped speaking to you because you're just not cool anymore. (Or your girlfriend!)

I'd let them start with one dot in each stat, a bunch of bonus dots for Stats and Skills, and maybe 25-30 points to build a Talent.

Sounds good? Got issues with it? What would you do?
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Re: [Teenagers+] How would you write it up?

Postby Priority7 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:42 pm

I never got a chance to read the original idea, but I have gathered it was about a government-run high school for teenagers with superpowers. This turned out to be really long.

High school is crazy even for kids who don't have super powers. I think there are a lot of things that can be brought in just by remembering that the main characters in this particular setting would be teenagers, with all the raging hormones, insecurities, and overwhelming passions that come with that.

I would divide the school into two basic categories: "normal" and special ed.

The normal category is not all that much different from what we know and look back on with a mixture of fond and horrible memories. The students in each grade (9-12) are (supposedly) randomly assigned to classes of 20 students, who are their classmates for every class and share the same recreational room connected to four rooms with five students each, two for the boys, two for the girls. Classes must, by federal law, contain the basic classes such as English, Math, History, and so on, but with at least some individual focus on using these subjects in conjunction with whatever special powers the students may possess.

Extra curricular activities are given a special focus. Whether it's Cross (the sport invented to accommodate players with unique abilities), debate, or academic competitions, students are strongly encouraged to participate in any activity they want, as long as their grades don't start to fall. Outside of those three teacher run competitions there are, of course, various student run fine arts performances. Despite receiving no support from the teachers other than use of the stage, there's always some sort of recital or performance to attend on any given weekend.

Many students are required to attend frequent counseling sessions for emotional or other problems that come as a result of their powers or simply feeling alone and different. Due to considerable pressure from teachers and a few of the more powerful recipients of these sessions, this is only stigmatized by any particular student once.

It's important to note that cliques are just as prevalent here as they are anywhere else. Jocks, goths, preps, there are always students trying to set themselves apart by joining with others. These cliques are the primary way that students mingle with students from other classes and grades. Most students can be easily identified as belonging to one clique, with the occasional student who switches back and forth or just seems to get along with everyone.

The special ed classes run a little differently. These classes are for students whose abilities prevent them from being around other students. Whether it's the depressed empath who can't keep from projecting a veritable aura of despair around her or the boy who turned into an amorphous blob and lacks the control to keep any sort of normal form, even in a school of the weird and unexplained, these kids are bizarre. Each of them has more than one professional constantly monitoring them and trying to help them develop the control necessary to lead some semblance of a normal life. Their success rate so far has been an astoundingly high ten percent.

Stats would begin at one die in each stat, and players would be given six more to place how they wish. Teenagers are not fully developed yet, so it is likely that most characters will end up excelling in one or two stats while having only one die in two or three of their other stats. Uncoordinated, socially awkward, intellectually gifted kids are par for the course for teenagers.

The skill list should be looked over and maybe even re-worked from the ground up for a high school setting. Lying and a foreign language fit well with the theme. Ranged Weapon, not so much. A form of specialization, such as a Math skill, seems appropriate. Specialized skills can be bought for 1/2/4, must have a "parent" skill, and can be added to pools with their parent skill in appropriate situations. Specialized dice can be upgraded to more general dice for the difference in point cost using experience points. Players will be given 40 points to allocate to skills.

Powers are as detailed in the WTEE rulebook. 50 points will be given for this. In this situation, anything goes, be it hyperstat, hyperskill, or miracle.

Should a player want to play a special ed student, intrinsics can be bought by trading in points or dice from any of the three fields. This probably would work best with a whole group of special ed teens, but if a suitable reason can be thought of for why he would be in the group, by all means, feel free to play him.

Teenagers, in a sense, are passion. It only makes sense to have a way to reflect this, and Willpower works perfectly. Outside of the normal Loyalties and Passions players possess, there would be two separate pools for temporary passions and loyalties. This can take the form of a girlfriend or boyfriend, and often does, but also includes teams, performances, tests, or anything else the character devotes herself to. Temporary motivations are bought with willpower when characters first devote themselves to that motivation on a one-to-one basis, and there is no upper limit on how high they can go. Teenagers are not known for doing things half-way. After that, any action that supports greatly the motivation, whether it's winning a game, getting a perfect score on a test, or a first kiss, gives two times the rating in that motivation in willpower. Something as simple as studying or a good team practice should give at least one point of willpower. Failure can be devastating, however, and carries a hefty toll. Whether it's losing that game, forgetting your lines and ruining a show (in your mind), or breaking up with your girlfriend, three times the motivation rating is lost in willpower points. This can be reduced to two times its rating by discarding the temporary motivation by quitting the team, finding a rebound boyfriend, or anything else appropriate. If at any time temporary willpower loss takes willpower below zero, the extra is removed from the motivation, to the point of removing it completely.

Example: Dave is an excellent student with 10 temporary willpower. He pours everything he can into his studies, spending 8 of those willpower points on a Passion: get good grades. He now has 2 temporary willpower. He studies every night for three days and gains 3 willpower points, bringing him up to 5 temporary willpower. Should he get a 103 on his next test (found a wrong question), he will have supported his passion and will receive 16 temporary willpower and will now have 21 temp willpower. In two days he has a math test, his worst subject. He can't figure out a problem on his only night to study, dropping him to 20 temp willpower points. Then he bombs the test, horribly, getting an F. This is a major blow to him. Should he keep his passion and keep trying to get good grades, he will lose 24 willpower points, dropping him to 0 temp willpower and dropping his passion down to 4 points. Should he instead choose to slack off for a while and not care as much about grades, he can discard the motivation and just lose 16 points, leaving him with 4 temporary willpower. Maybe bookwork just isn't his thing.

This will cause huge variations in willpower, putting characters on an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows, where they can achieve great things, but lose their confidence just as quickly. In a game about teenagers, this is precisely the way it should be.

Combat is not a primary focus of high school (at least not mine), but conflict is always in center stage. Whether it's everyone ramping up for an anticipated Cross match or debate, there's an electricity in the air when something big is about to happen. For such competitions, it seems appropriate to give players an allotment of temporary willpower for use during the extended contest appropriate to the amount of buzz going on. This can represent both the reigning champion's confidence or an underdog's determination to come out on top, and can range from 5 points for a match that few people even know is going to happen to 50 points for a championship game where the entire school shows up. These points can only be used during the contest, and should be narrated as appropriately amazing stunts, maybe even surpassing what a character thought they were capable of.

James Marsh on The Open Secret: Yeah, we know they're watching us. Everything we do is being evaluated, discussed, and recorded. Some of them think we don't know, but, y'know, some of us can read minds, so it's not as secret as they think. The truth is, we just don't mind. Yeah, some day one of us might go off the deep end and they'll use what they learned about us here to take us down, but we belong here. I don't mean that in some segregated kind of way, I mean we can be who we are here, and pretty much only here. Any other school, we're just freaks. Freaks that people are afraid of, but still freaks. Here, that kid who can change his skin color made a pretty good Puk in A Midsummer Night's Dream. All I'm saying is, they can do their tests, I'm staying here no matter what.
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Re: [Teenagers+] How would you write it up?

Postby Shane Ivey » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:38 pm

I love the treatment of Temporary Willpower. Nicely done.
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