New players, start here! (Optional for prospective players)   Posted by Interface.Group: 0
 GM, 583 posts
Wed 31 Jul 2013
at 07:58
New players, start here!
Welcome to the game! It's been going a little while, and you're assumed to have already done a few things the players already played through, so this post is to help you get caught up with a couple FAQs!

What do you need to start posting?
Your description filled out (an anime or comic-book portrait is welcome!) and me having at least some idea of how your character sheet will go. Your character sheet doesn't have to be filled in yet, but you should be working on it!

You don't need to fill out a class schedule before you start posting; you'll do that in character, possibly with assistance from a counselor.

Please note that all students are incoming first-years coming to the School for the first time, so your first post should detail your arrival at the School. Or, if you'd rather jump right into a class, you can post a schedule and then do that for your first IC post.

What has your character done so far?
They've traveled to the School from wherever they call home (the School foots the bill for the transportation), passed through the adjoining town of Convery, New Mexico, and then arrived at the School at whatever the current time is. They won't be in trouble for missing a few classes, new students come in all the time.

They've also been assigned to one of the three dorms (and by extension one of the suites the PCs occupy). Everyone takes classes together, but hangs out in their own dorms during evenings and such.
East Dorm: For most humans, and any other creature that can live in human conditions without difficulty.
South Dorm: For those with significant criminal records, those that can't control their powers, and those that need significant medical support.
West Dorm: For those so far removed from human that they need special living conditions. Giants, the aquatic, etc. These areas tend to be specific to their residents, so living here means you'll probably be bunked with NPCs unless the living conditions you need are very similar to another PC's.

They've also been given a complimentary laptop, cell phone, and credit card, the credit card receiving a stipend of $50 per week.

The School has also made sure they saw the orientation video when they arrived on campus, which can be found in the following post.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:59, Sun 01 June 2014.

 GM, 584 posts
Wed 31 Jul 2013
at 08:04
The first speaker is a conservatively dressed, middle-aged woman. "Hello, everyone, and welcome - or welcome back - to the School for the Unusually Gifted. I am  Chancellor Deborah Campbell. The School has an unfortunately labyrinthine system of titles and authority that can be hard to understand, especially for those unfamiliar with American school systems, but being Chancellor means I'm the big boss," she chuckles. "Some of you might have heard of my exploits as Stasis, though that was likely before many of you were born. I realize that all of you are settling in and exploring your new homes, so I plan to keep this relatively brief, and I expect brevity from the other speakers you'll be hearing from as well."

She takes a breath. "First, you should know at least a little about the school you'll be attending. The School was founded near the beginning of the Atomic Age, when widespread radiation began bringing out mutations and powers in people in exponentially greater numbers than before, and atomic detonations and experimentation drastically accelerated the trends of wormholes across space and different dimensions opening here on Earth. The school was originally intended to serve as a secret area for housing, studying, and sheltering those affected, but as the numbers of metahumans and nonhumans continued to increase, it quickly became impossible to maintain any sort of secrecy on the subject. It was reorganized into a formalized school, and soon enough it opened its doors to virtually anyone that needed such a school, regardless of their origin."

"Now, you should also know the mission of the school today. Many people who hear about the school assume it's a sort of real-life Hogwarts, where people go to master their powers and come out as superheroes. This is not the case. The primary purpose of this school is to give people with unusual talents a high-school education. It's true that we are also here to assist people that need help getting their talents under control; you will likely see some fully-grown, educated adults among your fellow students, because some people come by their talents late in life. But this is not simply a training camp for people who want to live and die by their powers once they've graduated. Our hope is that everyone who comes out of the School will have all the knowledge and resources to live whatever kind of life they wish, without being forced into a decision by their talents. I urge all of you to pursue this goal and help your friends and classmates to do so, no matter who they are, where they're from, or what they're capable of."

"Now, I've said enough already," she says with a smile. "I'll turn the podium over to Dean of Academic Affairs Andrew Chen."

A middle-aged, slightly pinched-looking man approaches the podium as Chancellor Campbell leaves it. The "audience" on stage applauds lightly as he does so.

"Welcome, new students," he says, his voice simultaneously bland and brisk. "I am Dean of Academic Affairs Andrew Chen. I'm here to explain, briefly, the class setup that first-year students will be experiencing." And that he does, with no attempt at a segue. "Monday through Friday, the school day will go from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. That time is divided into eight one-hour blocks. 9 to 12 is devoted to blocks for science core, humanities core, and civics, with times depending on the student group. 12 to 1 is a break for lunch. 1 to 2 is physical education. 2 to 3 and 3 to 4 are reserved for elective classes, which you will decide on with the assistance of your resident advisors and any other counselors you might find useful for your situation. 4 to 5 is set aside for time assigned to you by staff for counseling or other mandated time due to difficulties with your talents or disciplinary issues. Your RAs will direct you to your individual classrooms.  Thank you, that is all. Assistant Dean for Student Counseling Margerie Orr."

He leaves the podium rather abruptly.

There's more polite applause as a small, grandmotherly woman is the next to approach the podium. "Hello, everyone," she says with a kindly smile. "I'm in charge of student counseling, and, well, I just want everyone to know about the counseling available. There's always someone available, your sessions will be confidential, and we're trained to help you with anything you might need, with respect to classes or your own talents or anything else. I look forward to getting to know all of you." She steps back with a smile. "Next up is Student Activities Coordinator Kathleen Rivers."

More polite applause as a younger woman comes to the podium. "Hello!" she says energetically. "My office is in charge of student activities, and I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to join some clubs! We have an amazing number of them, you can look them up on your school homepage, which is already programmed into the laptops and phones you'll be given by the school. Oh, and they'll be handing out credit cards and a $50-a-week stipend, too." It kind of seems like this was blurted out rather than specifically being in her area of school activity. "Also! I'm in charge of organizing activities that bring together students from different dorms and grades and backgrounds to get to know each other, and I plan to set a goal of having some kind of event every weekend for students that are interested. If you have any suggestions on types of events you'd like to see, please drop me an email! Okay, next up is Dean of Students Leo Ramsay!"

Her enthusiasm does not seem to be entirely shared by some of the staff. He still gets polite applause, but a few people seem downright apprehensive about what he's going to say as he approaches.

"Hello, everyone," Ramsay begins when he reaches the podium. He doesn't smile, but his voice is mild. "I'm afraid few of you will recognize me, since this is my first year here. I'm here to tell you about the various laws and rules governing your conduct as students at the School."

"First, all federal laws, New Mexico state laws, and Convery's local laws are all in effect here. Generally speaking, if you've attended school elsewhere in the States, you probably know what not to do on a mundane level. If you have not, well, there are too many to list here, so please see a counselor for assistance. The very short version is: no killing or attacking anyone, no invading their privacy or touching them against their will or threatening them, no taking or damaging other people's property, including school property - which itself includes the school's property, which in turn includes the laptop and phone you'll be issued. You cannot legally sell or trade them and you will be obligated to pay for their repair or replacement if needed."

"Now, most basic legal principles apply to use of talents as well," he continues. "Taking things with telekinesis is still theft, setting a building on fire with your mind is still damaging it, and so on. Not everyone here has full control of their powers; the intent or lack thereof of an action will be taken into account, especially if you promptly report it to the authorities. In addition, you have agency over your own body where your powers are concerned, as long as the effects are limited to yourself. Even though some powers are considered too dangerous for students to use on others, whether and to use them on yourselves is a decision left to you while you are on campus."

"There are some types of powers that require specific mention; their use on others is forbidden unless performed with staff permission and potentially under their direct supervision. Any type of biological modification of other students is not allowed, even with their consent and if it's meant to be beneficial. This includes healing abilities - but there is an exception for the use of any power in emergency situations, healing included. Moving right along... No summoning things onto the campus unless they are inanimate and non-dangerous and the summoning is inherently temporary. The same applies to creating things outright. No flying, teleporting, et cetera of other students, or of yourself outside of the campus or Convery. No taking control of any people or creatures or otherwise manipulating their minds, emotions, physical actions, and so on. And no violating student privacy through the use of mind-reading, extrasensory perception, X-ray vision, and so on. With all of those rules in mind, if you think your own talents might fall into a gray area, or otherwise might be against the spirit if not the letter of the rules, consult with a counselor before you put them to use. Those that cannot keep their talents under control will be moved to a more appropriate dorm; those that are unwilling to keep their talents under control, and use them to the detriment of their fellow students, will be moved to a different, more appropriate dorm."

"Finally, the rules specific to the school," he says with a hint of a self-deprecating smile. "First and most importantly, curfew is between 11:00 P.M. and 4:00 A.M. All students must be in their dorm buildings during that time. Redundant security systems will go into operation in the dorms during that time while the systems on the rest of the campus undergo maintenance. Other than that, please obey the instructions of school staff, attend your classes, and keep your grades up. Thank you. Finally, Student Legal Representative Jolinaxas."

The next person to step up is a stunningly beautiful young woman. She gives the camera a warm smile. "Welcome, new students and old! I'm Student Legal Representative Jolinaxas. First, I want to tell you that my office is always open for those students with legal questions. If you feel you've been mistreated by the school authorities, or Convery officials, or anything else comes up along legal lines, we are here to assist."

Her look turns more serious. "Now, in that capacity, I'm here to give you a few warnings. First, you won't be watched in the shower or anything like that, but you should not expect to do much that gets by the administration. Your online activities will be monitored, your movements on and often off campus will be tracked, and things on a level of powers or magic or what-have-you will be checked regularly to make sure that rules are not being broken. The school tries to keep these activities as unobtrusive as possible, but they are not illegal, so don't come to us about them. Similarly, the administration has a great deal of latitude in how it handles student discipline, because of the risks involved with the talents of the students here."

"Now, that brings me to another subject I want to talk to you about. Unless you're in the South Wing of the South Dorm, which serves as a sort of juvenile hall for the talented that have already committed criminal offenses, attending this school is in fact voluntary. You are free to leave at any time." She raises a finger. "But first you should understand what you get out of staying in. If you graduate from this School, the U.S. government, and many other governments in the world, will recognize that you have been given some formal recognition of being informed and in-control with respect to your talents. To put it another way, you will be given the benefit of the doubt in a number of situations. If you leave the school, essentially, any use of your talents, or even any suspicion of the use of your talents, is at your own legal peril. If you have absolute control over your own powers, and never, ever use them, then you probably won't be hauled into court over every little thing... but unfortunately it could still happen. I highly recommend sticking with it, especially if you intend to become a cape yourself."

She claps her hands together. "Well, I think that's everything from us! From here, your RAs will be happy to answer any questions you have, and you can start trying to test out of the core classes if you like. Best of luck, and enjoy your time at school!"

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:31, Wed 31 July 2013.

 GM, 1790 posts
Thu 8 Jan 2015
at 03:53
Re: Orientation
Since the game has been going a while now, there's no longer a fixed "entry point" thread for the players, so how and where should you start out?

Unless you're one of the more unusual students, your path to the School has gone as follows: You flew, drove, or whatever to Convery (the town right outside the School), and arrived at the Student Services building that doubles as the front gate. There, you received the supplies and watched the orientation video described above, then took a bus to your dorm building.

So, to use the East Dorm as an example since almost everyone is assigned there, some good threads to make an introductory post would be:

The grounds outside the dorm building: link to a message in this game

The common area of your dorm suite: link to a message in this game (specific room assignments are usually determined by the RAs now)

The dorm's cafeteria: link to a message in this game

The second floor of the dorm: link to a message in this game (if you want to jump straight into counseling on your class schedule or what have you)

If you've arrived during a time when class is in session, you can post to one of those places and skip that period, or post your character's schedule and jump right into a class. Each class is its own thread; if you're in a class nobody else is taking then I'll make a new one for you.

EDIT: Updated threads (some of them had filled up)

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:04, Tue 07 June 2016.