Thursday, January 14, 2010

The School Campaign: Examples from Libri Vidicos II

Still talking about school based campaigns. In my last post I showed the class list and descriptions for Year One Libri Vidicos, my HP inspired steampunk fantasy campaign. By way of contrast, I'd like to present the course listing for Year Three. By this point tracks for the students have been established and also the school administration has changed, shifting the tone of the listing a little bit. One of the goals-- and one which succeeded was to make the choice of classes difficult for the players, with many attractive options.

Students who have made it to their third year find themselves in a difficult position. They have a certain amount of skill, but perhaps not the wisdom entirely to use it. This year will see students having to make difficult decisions, not least of which is the choice of which of the five Schools to devote themselves to. Year Three has one of the highest drop rates for students, so failure remains a possibility. A number of changes have also taken place in the academic and practical structures of Libri Vidicos. We trust third year students will be able to cope and help along incoming students.

This year a renewed focus on study and academics has necessitated certain shifts in focus. As a result, students will be allowed a total of eight academic courses, including any apprenticeships and independent studies. Three of those have been chosen for you, two must come from your School and Track, while three remain in your hands to choose each semester.

As a new measure, students from second through fourth year will additionally have to select a Service Component. These are duties and tasks in which the student will assist in the day to day affairs of Libri Vidicos. While some may object to these new requirements, we feel these will help develop you as a well-rounded person.

Kitchen Duties
Laboratory and Workshop Cleaning
Serving Duties
Animal Husbandry
Watch Duty
Laundry Services
Library Assistance
Departmental Assistance
Event Assistance and Training Ground Upkeep
General Cleaning
Detention Oversight*
Hall Monitors*

*Requires special permission

Other services may be allotted or permitted based on the recommendation of instructors.

Please note that with the arrival of our guests from other schools, students will be required to maintain a strict curfew and dress. Please wear your house uniforms and colors at all times except when granted special event dispensation.

Classes marked as "reslisted" have carried over from Year Two for availability. Classes marked with (*) last for a single semester, while all others last a full year.

All third year students will take the following core courses as part of their study. Additionally, students will also choose a single School Seminar which will take place during the fourth period.

Ethics: Students will consider what is the right thing to do. This question will be considered in a variety of situations, with special attention to historical and philosophical precedents. Various codes established through history will be examined and looked at in terms of their evolution and development.

Understanding the Races: This course will examine the cultural and social attitudes of the various races of the continent, with a reflection on the historical forces which have shaped their outlook. We will consider the question of natural inclinations and destiny as well as the inevitability of conflict. Second semester will examine the major cultural trends and forces within the human nations and parallels with the development of non-humans.

Continued Studies in the Dark World: The Undead: Students will be taught the various forms of the Undead and the many and varied threats they pose to the world. The role of necromancers and the Aetheric will be examined as well as the current thinking in methods of elimination.


The School of Steel still provides two approaches for those wishing to pursue a career involving warfare. The Headmaster recommend students pursue the first track, the Path of the Officer, as it provides a broad range of skills and greater future opportunities to bring honor to oneself and Libri Vidicos as a whole. Should that not prove to be interesting for students, we respectfully recommend choosing another School from among the six. The Path of Warrior, it should be noted, remains for the present as an available track, serving as it does for those who wash out of the Path of the Officer.

School Seminar: Introduction to Logistics and War: A course covering the basics of how modern warfare functions. We examine the necessities of such conflicts, how these can be circumvented and methods for assessing the opposition. On a practical scale we will look at the realities of war within various diverse nations. Scales of conflict and how these relate to one another will be addressed.

Leadership and Virtue (Officer): By examining the philosophies and decisions of historical leaders, we attempt to gain insight into decision making. At the ground level we consider how leaders can affect and motivate their troops, whatever those may be. We consider the ethical dimension involved with difficult choices and how to establish and manage one's moral set.

Deader than You: The Combatant's Art (Warrior): This course looks at the most important way to stay alive, avoiding combat. Then it considers options once combat has become unavoidable. Finally it discusses how to kill other people most efficiently.

Elective Courses
Tools of Warfare*: A look at the machines and engines of contemporary warfare. Students will be taught maintenance and repair for all such tools from simple weapons to steam machines.

The Life of the Watch*: The life of a guard, whether over a person, a neighborhood, a city or a nation, is never easy. This course presents an outline of such a life and the challenges such duties present. Gaining trust, evaluating threats, and negotiating responsibilities will be covered.

Magic and Steel: Students will learn to use magic in concert with conventional fighting techniques. Admission by approval only.

Fighting Styles of the Continent: A history and overview of the various combat styles currently in vogue. The course will teach recognition, countering and the ability to note new variants and forms.

A History of Warfare* (Relisted) Examining the records of the great battles of history-- and the contradictions between various accounts, students will come to understand the difficulties and dangers inherit in large-scale warfare. By the end of the course students will understand the difference between strategy and tactics, how to read an OOB, and learn how to spin post battle narrations to the best effect.

Also Advanced Dueling and various weapon courses remain available.

The School of Magic offers two Paths for those which demonstrated magical talent. The Path of the Practicist focuses on the application of magical talent to a variety of tasks. From engineering, to diplomacy, to art, to warfare, to travel, the Practicist will study how magic may serve as a complementary skill to one's other talents. Training focuses on a breadth of ability and the art of being situationally responsive. The Path of the Magus, on the other hand, focuses on magic to the exclusivity of anything else. Students will learn how to eat, sleep, and breathe magic which will undoubtedly provide them with colorful if narrow prospects in the future.

School Seminar: Assessments of the Life of the Mage: Students will examine what it means to wield the power of magic. Reference to contemporary events within the world of mages will be considered. Laws and rules covering the use of mage will be addressed as well as the ethical implications for the use of such powers.

Magic and its Practical Applications (Practicist): Magic can be put to many uses, some of them grand and mighty. This course does not cover those. Instead it looks at how magic has been integrated by many wizards into the fabric of society itself. Fundamental principles for the interaction with other arts will be covered as well as how magic can better lives.

Experimentation and Safety (Magi): Students will study the principles of establishing their own arcane workshop, as well as the code of conduct for sharing space with other mages. Defensive forms will be stressed and the mean to analyze and existing location will be covered. Students will be required to pass a thorough test of their thaumatological knowledge in order to receive satisfactory marks in this course.

Students in the School of Magic will also be required to serve an apprenticeship working with a senior level instructor. This does not substitute for other service requirements.

Elective Courses
Mentalism, Mesmerism and the Mind*: An examination of the difficult arts of engaging with the will of another beings. There will be some discussion of the ethical questions as well. Students will restrict themselves to specified areas for practice in this course.

Magical Dueling: Advanced students may take this course only with the approval of the instructor.

Transformations and You*: From enhancements to shape-shifting, polymorphs to doppelganging, this course looks at all of the possible uses of transformative spells, beginning with the inanimate and working up to the animate.

Cataloging the Unseen World: An introduction to the taxonomy and classification of all spirits and beings subject to the powers of summoning, control and banishment. Special attention will be given to the last of these.

Introduction to Alchemy: Students will study the physical, chemical and magical principles involved in the creation of alchemical concoctions and preparation. Due to past events, all students wishing to take this course will be required to present a waiver.

Astrology, Astronomy and the Motions of the Spheres* (Relisted) This course examines how celestial mechanics influence or can serve as a measure for present events. In addition, the course will look at how well these techniques measure up against other conventional auguries, oracles, and prophecies. A scientific and analytical approach will be used throughout the course so scoffing will not be acceptable.

Principles of Symbology* (Relisted) Students will look at the various notation schemes used historically and presently. Application of those schemes to contemporary casting styles will be considered. Course work will also focus on practical application of permanency, cross-styles communication, and handling obscure concepts.

Wands, Staves and Rods: The Magicians Toolbox* (Relisted) Some call them crutches, others call them lifesavers-- we will examine the making and use of supplementary items for spellcasting. Note-- students must bring their own wand or device with them to the class. Please see the Quartermaster of Twilight for supplies.

The Governing Council has decided to merge the School of Practical Arts into the School of Knowledges for the sake of efficiency and symmetry. Accordingly, three Paths exist for this School. The Path of the Scholar presents students with a basic grounding in the principles of scholarship and allows them to select a particular field or set of fields. The Path of the Scientist focuses likewise on the arts of science, physics, chemistry, and especially mathematics. It also includes more practical applications and endeavors. Finally the Path of the Engineer deals with those who build gadgets and like geegaws.

Engineers may chose an appropriate apprenticeship, while other members of the School of Knowledges may wish to select an independent study as well.

School Seminar: Research and Notation Methodologies: Students will learn how best to conduct research and the best methods for presenting said research both to colleagues and an ungrateful public. Special attention will be given to

Survey of the Liberal Arts (Scholar): A year-long course providing an outline of the fields of scholarship currently available. Will look at the basic history of those fields and the major thinkers. Contemporary developments will only be given a cursory examination.

Survey of the Scientific Arts (Scientist): Perhaps you would actually like gainful employment and a career upon departing Libri Vidicos, then this should be your choice as opposed to the Liberal Arts courses above. Consider this, we managed to get this description in here after the Headmaster proofed these documents.

Fabrication (Engineer): How to make things.

Elective Courses
Telling Stories*: This course looks at history as a body of tales and stories, and considers how different tellers have told the same tale. The contradictions therein show us showing about who wins in the war of history versus truth.

Calculation Engines: Use and Abuse: A study of the principles of calculation and analytical engines-- how they can be applied and how they can be built.

Cartography and Map-Making*: This course examines how maps are made. On the one hand we look at survey and the strict means of measure, on the other we consider the impact of cultures and agendas on the making of maps. Students will be able to create their own excellent maps by the end of the course.

Theoretical Mechanics*: The study of forces and energies and their application to a variety of fields, especially architecture, building and transport.

Gumdrop for a Gasket*: A consideration of the necessity of substitution in the carrying out of projects.

Highest Math*: A look at hypothetical, dimensional and counter-factual forms of mathematical thinking.

Ancient Languages (Relisted) Nothing impresses more than a strong mastery of older texts and poetry. Alternately, it could be a potential tragedy if you couldn't read that ancient Donaen “Keep Out” sign.

Modern Literature*(Relisted) An examination of literature from the lowest to the highest: from poetics to smut, from epic to pulp action-- we examine the trends, styles and techniques currently “all the rage.” We will also consider how to make a fast buck from the mercurial tastes of the public.

Metal Working* (Relisted) Students will learn and practice the basic techniques of working with metals-- from delicate handiwork to forging. Second semester will introduce students to working with amalgams and magical metals.

Power: Muscle, Steam and Mana* (Relisted) Engines and devices are for nothing without the energies to power them. Seize that power! Master the ancient secrets that have evaded the wise ones through the ages! They call me a fool, but they'll rue the day!!!

The School of Diplomacy offers two paths. The first, the Path of Diplomacy trains young minds for a future within government, as ambassadors, contractual officers, heads of houses and masters of their own destiny. It combines the ability to master social arts with a knowledge of where to best apply one's skills. The Path of the Merchant likewise trains students for a particular role, but that of the financier, banker or investor. It considers the economics and solidly practical concerns of such a life with the ability to serve as an advisor to others.

School Seminar: Presentation and Advice: Defining Desires: All it takes is a small word here or there and the course of history can be changed. The diplomat must know when to judge the moment right and how best to present those words to a potentially hostile audience.

Negotiation and Disputation (Diplomat): Considers the nitty-gritty of coming to an accommodation and managing to reconcile disparate persons and groups. Hypothetical situations and alternative scenarios will be explored through the course of this course.

How the World Works (Merchant): We present a reading of history, current affairs and future events from an economic perspective. This alternate reading of events allows a clearer focus on the best way to approach difficult situations.

Elective Courses
A History of Lies*: This course presents a look at conspiracies and secret societies, both in myth and reality. We look for the signs and shadows that hint at successful conspiracies and examine how unsuccessful ones failed or were revealed.

A Survey of Religious Beliefs*: A comprehensive survey of religious belief across the continent, human and non-human. The implications for dealing with persons steeped in such traditions will be considered.

Entertaining*: A look at how best to entertain guest, questions of manners and excess as well as the management of small talk and guest balance.

Household and Estate Management*: This course looks at the structures of the household and how those can translate up in scale. The names and roles of vairous staff members will be considered, maintaining accounts, hiring practices and day to day affairs in perspective.

Genealogy and the Noble Class*: A look at the specific titles of nobility across the continent. Heraldry, nomenclature, and quick identification will be stressed. The ability to remember relations within a dense group of persons will be tested and required.

Entering a Room*: This course considers how to analyze the social dynamics of situations, what tell-tale clues one can gather as to who hates whom, who hides their desires, and who does not belong. Conversely, it will also teach students how to conceal or shift those signs in their own person.

People and Places of the World (Relisted) A comprehensive survey. Do I need to say more?

Contemporary Political Structures (Relisted) This course considers who holds power and why. We look at rules of succession, the voice of the people, rules of nobility, political movements, and how change occurs. Most importantly we look at who really holds the power and how they manage to get it.

Economics and Accountancy* (Relisted) From the smallest level to the greatest, money or likewise commodities drive people. We look at the virtues and vices of mercantilism, how value is assigned, the new orders of compacts, and how trade is managed and measured. We also examine the mathematical tools best used for analyzing the flow of trade, locating fat pocketbooks, and acquiring treasure.

The School of Purposes continues to handle those areas which fall between the cracks of the other four schools. Currently, the School offers two tracks. The Path of the Artist which attempts to support those desiring to improve their creative skills to a high degree, be it in painting, music or performance. The Path of Necessity serves as a catch-all for students unable to survive in another path or unwilling to make a choice for their future.

School Seminar: Getting By: Surviving Without Very Much: The School of Purposes means often having to go through lean times. This course considers how one can make it through such times without betraying one's principles too much.

Independent Workshop (Artist) Students will be allowed to study and work within their chosen field of performance, until the tutelage of an expert. Students will be expected to produce a significant portfolio of work for review by the end of the year.

The Life of the Adventurer (Necessity) This course will look at what being an adventurer means, the percentage of successful adventurers and how best to manage the social stigma attached to this role.

Elective Courses
Ciphers and Codes*: JKLhkl RETGUIV SDFW-09 UIOUR77

Driving and Piloting*: By the end of this course, students will be able to drive a variety of machines and sail powered ships, as well as pilot a number of aircraft. Attention will be given to navigation and crewing.

Craft of the Agent: A look at the romantic figure of the spy and the actual realities of such a path. We will look at how nations have used such tools in the past and what measures can be taken to stop them.

Composition: A course of the musically inclined, it covers harmony, rhythm and composing both for the small and large scale ensemble. This course is highly recommended for those wishing to make something of themselves in the world of musical performance.

Paints, Dyes and Pigments*: Secrets of these arts will be revealed only to a select few. Lessons taught here may not be passed on without permission.

Culinary Arts: Meats of the World: An exploration of the centerpiece of most feasts. The second half of the course will consider combining said meats with the correct side-dishes.

Forensic Investigation and Legal Niceties*: A consideration of how crimes can be solved using modern and magical techniques.

The Art of Escape*: (description not found)

How Not to Be Seen (Relisted)* Please don't take this class if we have to explain that to you.

History of Crime (Relisted)* We study the methods and events of the rich lives of famous thieves, con men, and generally questionable figures. This course features special attention to the overlooked details which resulted in the less skilled being caught.

Mastering the Outdoors (Relisted)* Prepare to engage in the rough and tumble romantic world of eating pinecones to keep yourself alive. It is not enough to know how to survive in difficult and dangerous environments, the true master learns the art of turning his surroundings to his advantage, making places dangerous to those who would harm him, and creating his own kingdom. Students will learn advanced tactics in wood and field craft culminating in a rigorous final exam to the death.

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