Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back To School Game Mod

No, I'm not talking about the Old School Movement in the D&D blogosphere. Some of my most popular games have been Marvel Supers set in school a la New Mutants.

Even though I don't have a time slot for another campaign, while reading a comic (Pixie Strikes Back) I had an idea for a campaign. The jist of it was that the characters would start off as "normal high school students". Anyone that has played in my campaigns know there would be very little "normal", and the high school setting is just the launch pad for the campaign.

My question was, how to render characters in my version of the MSHAG engine in a way that would keep things simple, but would lend itself to complication once the the game got off the launch pad?

I hit on the idea of using cliches in place of skills. A little brainstorming and I came up with enough cliches to cover the bases. Below is an excerpt from the draft.

Of course, like all high school students, you fit not-so-neatly into the nine clichés. Odds are you are a mix of multiple clichés… being all one would just be too cliché. For example a hard-case goth might be half Hood, half Weirdo. The same combination could also be a D&D nerd that knows how to use a sword.

Artist – you’re a creative type. What you create could be traditional art such as painting, drawing, or sculpting, or you could be a writer or composer.

Brain – you’re one of the kids that throws the grading curve. You take may take honor classes, be prepping for college, or just be a brainiac. Of course, while you may be book smart, there is a difference between knowing and applying.

Dramatic – you’re likely involved in theater, band and/or choir. Dramatics are good at entertaining and can be good at fooling people.

Gearhead – if it has a motor, you can fix it and/or drive it. You’re probably at home in shop class and are more likely than most to have your own wheels. It may not look like much, but you can keep it purring. Okay, maybe rumbling.

Geek – technology is your friend. It maybe your only friend, not counting those 127 on Facebook. You may not have the highest grades, but you do have the highest level paladin in WarQuest Online.

Hood – most other kids think you’re scary. Rumor is that you have a knife and know where to buy fake hall passes. Grades don’t matter, just as long as you can dodge detention.

Jock – being an athlete has its perks. You’re the least likely to be bullied because you roam in physically fit packs and all that sports training helps in scuffle… as long as there are no hoods with switchblade.

Popular – through a combination of looks, money, and personality you are high school royalty. Even if they won’t admit it, the other students want to be you, or at least invited to your parties.

Weirdo – voted most likely to get stuffed in a locker, you know stuff, stuff they don’t teach in school. What you don’t know is how to fit in. Basement dwellers, teen witches, and that odd guy who stands in the corner talking to himself all fall into this cliché.



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