Requesting Access.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 2 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 14:00
Requesting Access
Before requesting access, you are required to read the following:


Game rules may be subject to change.

SECTION I. CHARACTER QUESTIONNAIRE

Applications will not be accepted on a first come-first served basis. Please take some time and give some thought to your character submission.

Game Master:
Name: First names only
Age: (14 through 17)
Height:
Weight:
Activities: (an enumerated list of hobbies and interests, e.g. art, cinema, rugby, video games)
Quote: "A quotable quote that your character is likely to say."

Relationships: Pick two or three of the NPCs and describe your character's relationship with them. One or two paragraphs max please.

Description: One or two paragraphs max please.

Personality: One or two paragraphs max please.

History: A brief history of the character's time at Harrington School. One or two paragraphs max please.

Strengths/Virtues: One or two paragraphs max please.

Faults/Weaknesses: One or two paragraphs max please.

Powers: Though you begin the game with no powers at all, let me know how you'd like your character to develop. One or two paragraphs max please.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Here are some answers to some questions you might have.

What is the Big Picture?

This game is to be a modern, yet fantastical tale about a group of orphans raised in a strict boarding school who begin to discover that they may not be human beings. They have no knowledge of their exact natures and must discover their true origins for themselves.

Important elements to the game, in no particular order:

  • The players are students aged fourteen to seventeen attending a strict British boarding school.
  • The players are not the only students at the school. In total, there should be about twenty to forty students.
  • NPC students are generally younger than the players, with many of them in the lower school.
  • The players have superhuman powers and abilities. They are not even truly human. But neither do they have a shared origin. They are not mutants and can have a diverse and wide range of powers. Magic can coexist with science fiction which can coexist with gods and so on and so forth.
  • The players are not at first aware that there's anything special about them, only learning more and more as the game progresses.
  • The teachers, in contrast, know far more about what is going on. They are actively maintaining a masquerade and keeping the nature of the players' powers secret.
  • The teachers have many tools and vast resources at their disposal to keep this secret. They can fabricate government paperwork. They have almost limitless wealth. They can erase memories. Through some mechanism, they have managed to transform the players from their original form into human babies who have grown up into human teenagers. Some of them may even possess powers similar to the ones the players possess.
  • Neither are the teachers completely united. They are part of different factions, each with different agendas, beyond their one common goal of keeping the players' superhuman nature secret from them.
  • Seeded throughout their lives at the school, there are hints of the players' former selves hidden in the books they've read, the subjects they've studied, et cetera.

Who are the players supposed to be?

As far as they're aware, the protagonists are normal human adolescent children attending Harrington School, aged from fourteen to seventeen. What they all have in common though, and which they will soon discover, is that their true origins and nature have been obscured from them by the administrators of the school for reasons unknown. They each of them have some sort of unique paranormal and supernatural abilities, and they have great destinies before them.

With regard to your character's true nature, you may be a pagan god in disguise, an alien from outer space, or perhaps even a visitor from the fifth dimension. You may come from a lineage of kings both ancient and venerable or have dragon blood flowing through your veins. Maybe you're really a robot or golem disguised as a human. No idea is taboo here, and anything goes as far as I'm concerned. You may even decide that you like the mystery of not knowing and want to discover your character's origins during the game! Though let me know if you do. :)

One thing I'd like to avoid though is mutants with some sort of X-gene or the next step in evolution. :)

Here are some character ideas that may inspire you:

  • The True King of England
  • An elvish princess from Faerie
  • A Time Lord without a time machine
  • The reincarnation of Asklepios
  • An eldritch horror from beyond the dark of space

And so on. If you'd like to see more ideas, feel free to take a look at the NPCs.

Does this game take place on Earth?

Yes, and no.

You can expect things like smartphones and social media and complex political situations and so forth. But there's also aliens, magic, and dimensions beyond our own comprehension. Some license must be taken so that these things haven't occurred in a vacuum, but influenced and affected each other prior to the game beginning, i.e., in the backstory.

What those things are, I can't really say with any specificity, because that's not how I create games. I usually come up with a premise and form the game's world around the players as they explore it. I might have a few underlying NPCs and world facts in my head, but that's about it, and those are easily discarded if I find something better to fit.

What kind of powers can I choose?

I personally have no problem with any power whatsoever. Whatever you decide, I can roll with, for the most part. Now, other people may have their own opinions, so if there's a power you personally would feel uncomfortable being in the game, let your preferences be known as soon as possible. For example, maybe you don't like the idea of a power to induce torture, like the Cruciatus Curse in Harry Potter.

This is a Mature game, so that means there's not to be any explicit or graphic sex or violence and such, and any power you selected would have to fit that scope. And we definitely want to respect people's boundaries. Just know that I have very few that don't already fit within the constraints of a Mature game. :)

Tricky to adjudicate powers will be handled with care, but they should certainly be doable. If you want to be able to travel in time or read minds, I will make accommodations for those powers. One thing I think might be tricky is if you have a Rogue or Peter Petrelli like power to copy other people's powers. Ensemble stories are all about making sure you have your own way to shine that other people can't mimic. If you can do it all, there's no point in making this a story about a group of characters, but more about one particular main character. That wouldn't be fun, I think, for the other players, but we can discuss it, if that's what you want to do. We can see about adding some fictional constraints to make it more interesting as a story.

Take this as my stance on any quote-unquote "problematic" powers. If there's an interesting story there, I'm willing to work a little harder, exert a little more effort, to make it work in the story we're all telling together. But remember that we are telling a story together. Be open to feedback from other players as well as from me. :)

You may select a single power and have that be your sole power, like regeneration or shooting concussive force from your eyes; or you can have a grab bag of powers, like flight, super-strength, invulnerability, and laser eyes. You can certainly have magic as a superpower, if that's what you want.

What's your perspective on game balance?

I take a more nuanced approach to balance than is espoused in most game systems. Remember that this game isn't about combat per se. As long as every character has something interesting to do, I don't see a really huge problem. Often in stories you have an ensemble cast of characters with widely differing skillsets. You can have Superman and Batman in the same story.

Style

I expect players to think about their characters' inner life and thoughts and feelings and be descriptive about such in their posts. Some players have only posted their outward physical actions, which is fine for some games, but not the ones I run. I'm interested in character arcs and narratives and emotional pay-offs and so forth.

Lay out your character's backstory gradually. The tendency of most players is to get it all out at the beginning, sometimes in the first post. I've had some players whose first posts were their entire backstory, with 1000 words or more.

Don't do that.

Not only is it contravention to the posting guidelines, but we're just getting to know the characters, the world, the story. The less you spill, the more that is retained. Leave us wanting more, instead of wanting to skim.

Collaboration

I expect players to be open to collaboration in the fiction. I'll rein you back if I feel you come up with something that contradicts the world, but players should generally be open to suggestions from other players and the GM. We're all in charge of the fiction together. You can write for another NPC, just as much as I can. Someone else can even chime in and move other characters around if their idea makes for a more interesting story.

I'm even okay with player characters moving other player characters, with each other's permission, of course. Comfort levels may vary, but if I was playing Doc Brown, and another was playing Marty, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for me to move Marty in such a way:

quote:
"Great Scott!" said Doc Brown.

"What is it, Doc?" Marty said.

If you do move another PC or NPC, be sure to be open to making edits if someone says you're doing something to make them go out of character.

Regarding Romance

I'll leave it up to the players whether they'll engage their characters in a romance. Personally, I prefer for romance to arise organically in the story, as opposed to something that is forced or the "point" or the main driver of a game.

Nice as romance is, my aims and interests do not revolve around romance, but instead are concerned with the overarching narrative and the character arcs I'm trying to build in complicated webs between the characters. Romance can play its part, and maybe even a vital part for some arcs, but keep in mind that it's only one part amidst many others.