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Suggestions to change ETU to East Texas High

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  • Suggestions to change ETU to East Texas High

    So I was going to see if my teenage daughter might be interested in rpging, and she likes horror. So I thought of ETU, but I was wondering what people would suggest to turn it into East Texas High School.


  • #2
    Why make her relive her daily life? You can give her, and yourself, a taste of the future.

    But if you want to make it high school then you'd basically be pulling out most of the personal independence aspects of the game. No majors, just regular classes; extracurricular activities would have fewer options; no random dorm assignments to hook interesting roomies; fewer assumed amenities; and probably some other stuff.
    You'd still have classes, class mates, and teachers, but those relationships would be forced to last longer than a single semester.

    Otherwise I think it would work fairly well.

    Good luck!
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      Bobby Evens of the GMs Table podcast is working on a high school horror setting similar to ETU. He posted some preliminary information about Hell Gate High on the SW Facebook page & has sample materials & playtests on his Patreon page. Looks really well thought out. Personally, the last thing I want to do is relive the horror of high school, but to each his own.
      GM's Table Youtube:
      GM's Table Patreon:


      • #4
        Ah, cool. I was thinking for testing it would just be a common knowledge roll.


        • #5
          I've played a high school horror campaign for other systems, based on inspiration from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, and The Circle. It was great. The key is not get into the trap of thinking of high school as boring or monotonous. My key GMing advice is the same as it is for ETU, but it actually works better in a high school environment: THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON. Get ahold of an academic calendar, or just make one up. Make every session either an event, the aftermath of an event, or preparation for an event. That's how you make the "school" parts interesting. The rest, making the out-of-school parts interesting, is fairly easier but you do have to solve the "Where are the parents?" and "Why can't we go to the <INSERT ADULT AUTHORITY>?" The usual answer to these questions in popular media is "no one will believe them" and if you use that line it will get you pretty far, but I like to go a tad further and come up with more interesting answers. Making the answer to these two questions interesting really gives life to the game and really differentiates one school-based campaign for another.

          Another little trick is to purposefully have the mystery lead bother away from the school but always have the mystery return to the school somehow. School is not home base. School is not a safe place. The school should be a recurring place that they return to, and I like to return to it as a place of dread, intrigue, and exploration. Someone at school saw the killer. The howl came from the school. The body is buried under the band room. One of the lockers has the arifact. Someone on the team is a necromancer. I do this primarily not by focussing on the school as a location but as part of the school as a location. This has a couple added benefits: one, you really think about how to flesh out each part of the school since you spend at least one full scene there. You don't stop by the school journalism room just to ask the teacher a question. It's a place. Who's there? What's happening there this time? SOMETHING IS ALWAYS HAPPENING. How can you really take the time to set a whole scene here. If you can't, it's probably not worth having the players visit there this soon. Come back when there's more at stake, when things are more interesting. Focus on where the intrique/mysery is. If there isn't any, get them out of school quick and into mystery or danger.

          Make use of recurring characters. The main thing I always love about these shows is the ensemble background cast and the fact that you never really know who the allies and enemies are going to be in any given episode. Everyone is a bad guy. Everyone is a good guy. And rumors can kill.

          Let me end with some helpful advice from the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

          "Absolutely eat dessert first. The thing that you want to do the most, do that."


          • #6
            Thanks, that is some pretty good advice for running such a game.