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PC's Saving the World while at a Boarding School

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  • PC's Saving the World while at a Boarding School

    How would you run a Savage Worlds game where the characters are all school kids but also have to save the world at the same time?

    The ideas below are heavily based off of Harry Potter, but it doesn't have to be a fantasy setting. Actually, I'm thinking it would be interesting to run this in a science fiction setting like Ender's Game. The idea of having to do homework and succeed at that while also figuring out what in the blazes is going on in the mysterious boarding school is intriguing to me, and it seems like it would be challenging to run. Here are some random thoughts. Can you help me flesh this out? This is very much a work in progress, and I would love ideas and constructive criticism.
    1. All PCs have the Young hindrance.

      This might be obvious since you are all playing children, but I think having this hindrance is very important especially considering the extra leveling up options I explain below. Characters start out with less abilities, but they will be able to gain abilities more quickly than standard Savage Worlds characters through studying.
    2. Exams and studying are important.

      I'm thinking that there would need to be some sort of reward to keep your players "studying". My thought is that each day, there would be different classes a character would have to go to. The entire class would be abstracted into a smarts roll. A success gives the character a knowledge token. Some classes would be easier or harder than others, and a difficulty modifier would be adjusted accordingly. For example, Professor Snape would probably have a -4 to Smarts rolls just because he is a difficult teacher. Important classes such as midterms and finals would also have a higher difficulty modifier, but they net somewhere around 10 or 15 tokens for a smarts success. At the end of the semester, if the character has enough tokens, he/she learns a skill or power associated with the class. For example, a person who passes the Defense Against the Dark Arts class might learn dispell and get a D4 in Knowledge (Defense Against the Dark Arts).

      So, what happens if your character isn't gifted in the Smarts department? Studying for one hour within 24 hours of the next related class gives you a +2 to your smarts roll in the next class. Also, if you happen to be a charismatic character, you can make persuasion rolls on a particular teacher to try and become a teacher's pet. Successful persuasion rolls could change the difficulty modifier of the class for you by 1 as the teacher spends more time helping you during class. Also, skipping class is a bad idea. The difficulty modifier will go up for the class if you skip class enough times because the teacher will not like you any more.
    3. Extracurricular activities are important

      Like classes, extracurricular give a bonus at the end of the semester. For example, playing quiditch might raise your agility, strength, or riding skill by a die type. Archery would increase your shooting skill. I don't have a system for this yet. I'm not sure if I want to do the knowledge token thing.
    4. Outside the school is mysterious and untamed.

      This is the crux of the game in my opinion. You can spend all your time studying to level up your character, but if you do, you will not "save the world". I'm thinking in terms of a West Marches game. The school is the central hub. For the most part, it's really safe and boring at the school. Everything outside the school is wild and the wilderness is where adventure happens. Outside the school, there is some darkness that is rising, and you must stop it. This will mean that characters will have to make a decision. "Do I study to get level ups, or do I sneak out in the middle of the night to figure out what is going on?". Also, the wilderness is the only place where a player can find magic items/relics/alien technology (depending on the genre). However, sneaking out and getting caught will get you in trouble.

    Here's an idea of a school schedule.

    Weekday 7:00 - 22:00

    07:00 - 08:55 Wake up and breakfast

    08:55 - 09:55 Period 1

    10:00 - 11:00 Period 2

    11:00 - 11:20 Break

    11:20 - 12:20 Period 3

    12:20 - 13:20 Lunch

    13:35 - 14:35 Period 4

    14:40 - 15:40 Period 5

    16:00 - 17:00 Extracurricular activities (football, orchestra, quiditch, cyberball, etc.)

    17:30 - 20:00 homework time and dinner

    20:00 - 21:00 leisure time.

    21:00 announcements and sometimes treats

    21:00 - 22:00 leisure time, but you're not allowed to leave school grounds.

    22:00 Bedtime


    SATURDAY

    08:30 - 09:00 breakfast.

    12:30 - 13:00 lunch.

    17:30 - 18:00 dinner.


    SUNDAY

    09:00 - 09:30 breakfast.

    10:00 - 11:00 religious service (if applicable in particular setting)

    12:30 - 13:00 lunch.

    17:30 - 18:00 dinner.

  • #2
    East Texas University is clearly for older characters, but I'm sure there are elements of this setting you could incorporate

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    • #3
      As I commented in this topic, if all the characters are going to be kids, simply have that be the baseline. Young (or some modification thereof) would be used for underclassmen or someone who skipped a grade or two. That topic also has a few suggestions which you may find useful.
      You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

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